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Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 2) 366

by gman003 (#46795823) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

You're missing the point. The point is, right now they make a relatively small amount of money by selling off what would otherwise be waste. The regulation doesn't force them to do anything unless they're selling that "waste" as animal feed. If the testing and equipment make it unprofitable, they can simply dispose of the waste, losing an income of $30/ton. Relative to their profits from their actual core business, that's negligible. Beer will not suddenly double in price - beer is roughly $1000/ton (based on a 150lb keg costing about $75). You're looking at maybe a 5% rise in cost.

Comment: Re:Test and launch are the same, it is GREAT! (Score 4, Interesting) 119

by gman003 (#46793333) Attached to: SpaceX Launches Load to ISS, Successfully Tests Falcon 9 Over Water

I'm curious to know if this first stage had landing gear attached (maybe not because of the additional weight, drag). Also, in the future when they DO try to land it on land, where will they be aiming? If the flight profile of the first stage is mostly vertical then, without much fuel I guess they could return to Florida, otherwise would they be going for a Caribbean island? The Azores or Canary Islands? Africa? I'm sure they've got this figured out, I'm just curious.

This test did have the landing gear attached and deployed during landing, as the aerodynamics of it are potentially problematic (one of their tests failed when it entered a spin before landing).

The first stage flight path doesn't seem to be mostly vertical - I'm having a hard time finding solid info, but based on images of the first-stage separation, I'd estimate it to be no more than a quarter of the way across the Atlantic. I do know that their plan is to return the rocket to the launchpad for landing, which wouldn't make much sense if it was much further away by stage 1 separation.

Their flight path does seem a bit weird, though - of the Space Shuttle abort modes, Return to Launch Site was the riskiest and most difficult, compared to Transoceanic Abort Landing (landing in a European or African site) or Abort to Once Around (doing a full orbit then landing as normal). Either the Falcon is accelerating far faster once they break the atmosphere, or the Space Shuttle accelerated horizontally a lot earlier than it may have needed to.

Comment: Nintendo Gamecube (Score 1) 674

by gman003 (#46789917) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Maybe it's not the longest-lasting on the list, but it's definitely a very sturdy product in its category. I have a launch-era model (with the digital a/v out, although I don't have the cables for it), and it's still running flawlessly. It's not even really showing its age - it still looks fine, with the only yellowing being a slight tint to the front plastic. It probably helps that I have a black model.

Come to think of it, none of my Nintendo hardware has ever failed on me - they've lasted until I've sold them off. Some of the Game Boy games died (battery-backed SRAM - battery only lasts so long), but never a console or even controller.

Comment: Re:They already know about Earth (Score 4, Informative) 233

by gman003 (#46783165) Attached to: Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

have known at the minimum that Earth has liquid water, oxygen, and chlorophyll

Chlorophyll doesn't need to be detected - the presence of elemental oxygen alone is evidence of life, as it is too reactive to remain elemental unless some reaction is replenishing it, and as far as we know the only such reactions are biological in nature.

Comment: Re:Big data, spying? (Score 1) 117

by gman003 (#46774703) Attached to: Steam's Most Popular Games

Does Valve know any time I've played such and such games,

Yes, if you are playing in online mode (and maybe only if you launch it through Steam - I'm unsure on that point).

This data is in fact shown on your Steam profile, although you can set that to private to let only certain people see it. That will prevent people outside yourself, your Steam friends list, and Valve itself from seeing it.

on which servers and so on?

If it's using Steamworks, I believe so. They often use this for matchmaking - if people often quit a server after only a few minutes, it's counted as a mark against the server. For some games they record even more detailed stats - I've seen heatmaps of player deaths in Orange Box games.

Games that are merely sold and launched via Steam, but do not integrate with it, most likely have no data other than start/stop playtime.

Are data anonymized when surveys or such sociological studies are made?

Valve's own public data is presented only as a summary. This was an "unofficial" study done by randomly sampling profile pages.

While it is disconcerting, there is one point of interest - while most game developers want to gather data like this (or in even greater detail), they want it so they can make better games, not to sell as advertising data. I've actually never heard that come up in discussions on game metrics (as they call it), and I honestly don't think it would be that useful to any marketers.

Comment: Re:Hours Played is a bad metric. (Score 1) 117

by gman003 (#46774617) Attached to: Steam's Most Popular Games

It can be skewed the other way, though, by offline mode. I have some games listed as unplayed that I've played to completion, but in offline mode so nothing was recorded.

And then Half-Life 2 can be skewed back up because, at least as of several years ago, Source mods would log as HL2. I don't think that's still the case, but I also don't think they could retroactively fix that data.

Comment: Re:Is it dead? (Score 2) 110

by gman003 (#46771329) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

Kinda what I was thinking. x86 is now ancient, and unless things have changed a lot in the last few years, tend to be pretty power hungry.

They're power-hungry in comparison to lower-end ARM - a Cortex-A9 is far more efficient. However, they also perform circles around them. But the latest Atom tablet chips are neck-and-neck with similar Cortex-A15 chips (both in performance and in battery life), and the Core ones get a usable battery life while being more powerful than many laptops. In terms of performance-per-watt they're effectively the same.

Oddly, Intel's biggest tablet success was the Surface Pro - while it tanked as a general tablet, it found a niche among artists, who liked its full Wacom hardware and compatibility with Photoshop. I can see Intel having a future in high-end tablets because right now, they're the only ones who can do it - even Apple isn't able to match that much power, yet, and none of the Android chips are even close.

Comment: Re:OpenSSL OR... (Score 1) 290

by gman003 (#46759485) Attached to: OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

OpenBSD tries extremely hard to make the entire system BSD-licensed. AFAIK the only non-BSD items in a default installation is GCC, and that is an optional-but-default item. There are a few optional, not-compiled-by-default and rarely-used kernel modules that are GPL (an FPU emulator for very early x86 systems is the only one I recall), and of course you can install non-BSD packages as you wish, but the base OS and all components are BSD-licensed.

GnuTLS, naturally, uses the LGPL, which is probably why they went with OpenSSL (BSD-licensed) in the first place.

Comment: Re:Backport\Upstream? Seems unlikely (Score 3, Insightful) 290

by gman003 (#46758403) Attached to: OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

It's a fork specifically for OpenBSD. Why would they keep support for other OSes?

I agree that if they were trying to create a general replacement fork of OpenSSL, that those would be bad things, but for what they're trying to do, these are good decisions. They're trying to improve OpenBSD's security - OpenSSL is a big attack surface, and they're trying to make it smaller by removing the things they don't need.

This will complicate things both ways, going forward. Updates to OpenSSL might be harder to integrate with OpenBSD's fork (if it becomes an actual independent product, can we call it OpenOpenSSL? Or Open^2SSL?), if it touches upon the altered parts. Likewise, anyone trying to merge an Open^2SSL fix into OpenSSL might have difficulty. I expect that if OpenBSD's fork of OpenSSL becomes a separate project, one or the other will die off, simply due to all that duplicated effort.

What I expect to happen in that case is that Open^2SSH will maintain compatibility with all the platforms OpenSSH or OpenSMTPD (which are OpenBSD projects) support - pretty much any Unix-like environment, including Linux, BSD, OS X, Cygwin, and most proprietary Unices. If there's enough desire for support for other platforms, a second fork might happen to maintain them, but I honestly doubt it (Mac OS 9? Really?).

Comment: Re:Specialization is for insects (Score 1) 733

by gman003 (#46737393) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

I'm pleasantly surprised to say that I've done all of those except dying gallantly (for obvious reasons).

I was not particularly good at any of them save the programming and the equation-solving (my attempts to "cook a tasty meal" still fail as often as not when trying something new). And my invasion plans (as well as combat skills) are limited to simulations - "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" and five iterations of "Civilization" for the strategy; paintball, HEMA and boxing for the combat skills.

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