Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Greenhouse gasses? (Score 4, Insightful) 261

Pardon me for injecting actual science but Mars doesn't have an earth like dipole magnetic field. It can't support a Van Allen radiation belt like Earth. As a result, the solar wind is not deflected as well and the atmosphere is not sustainable. So adding a bunch of greenhouse gas would be pointless as it would just be blown away by the solar wind. So yeah, it's great to dream up ideas on how to make Mars a place we can live, it's also good to come up with ideas that might actually work.

Comment Re:Degree does not matter in the least (Score 1) 266

I've found that the more people push their own academic and professional credentials, the less capable they are of actually getting real work done. I too don't give a flying rip what school you went to or what degree you got. Either you can do the work or you can't. And if you can't, you need to find some other job.

Submission Genes and Ancient Remedies Hold the Key to Fighting Antibiotic Resistant->

szczys writes: We've been hearing about it for years; bacteria are developing resistance to antibiotics and evolving into what are called superbugs. Some forecast the end of our ability to combat infection, but humanity has a knack for making breakthroughs that carry everyone forward. Dan Maloney looked at what is being done to combat antibiotic-resistance and the answer combines new technology with old remedies. It turns out that there are many ancient cures that successfully combat infections; they're just mixed in among a lot of cruft. More modern efforts focus on attacking bacteria on the genetic level which is a research area just getting itself up to speed now.
Link to Original Source

Submission Researchers develop molecules that slow prions in the brain->

An anonymous reader writes: When people with prion diseases start to experience symptoms, such as memory loss and difficulty moving, they don’t have much time left. Most patients die in about a year.

Prion diseases start when proteins in the brain go rogue. For most people, neurons churn out normal, healthy prion proteins. But in about one in a million people, something triggers these proteins to misfold into a structure that then coaxes other prions to do the same. This process propagates through the brain, and misfolded prions eventually aggregate into fibrils that can destroy neurons.

As is the case with more common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, there are currently no therapies that can stop the progression of prion diseases. But in the past decade, a few research groups have reported druglike molecules that disrupt prion propagation in infected mice and extend the animals’ life spans. The molecules don’t cure the condition, and none of these specific compounds are likely to make it into the clinic to treat human prion diseases, but the scientists who developed them believe the work offers hope that one day small molecules could serve as antiprion therapies.

Link to Original Source

Submission Apple Pay Doesn't Ring the Register in Europe

dkatana writes: Apple Pay is extremely popular in the US, and launched in the UK last July, but in Continental Europe has a long way to go.

Banks, Credit Card companies and the European Union consider that the 15 basis points (0.15%) that Apple wants per transaction is too much. Interchange fees in Europe are getting lower every year and banks do not have margin to pay Apple or any other mobile wallet. That is why they are developing their own platforms.

Submission Netflix CEO Thinks Downloading Content Is Too Complicated For It's Customers->

kheldan writes:

According to Hunt, this “Paradox of Choice” can leave some weak-willed users paralysed, pausing their binge-viewing sessions while mulling over how next to proceed: “One of the things I’ve learned is that every time you offer a choice, you paralyse some people who can’t decide if that’s what they want to do or not. Now, that sounds really stupid and self-serving, but it is in fact true. It’s the ‘Paradox of Choice’, the jam experiment – you put strawberry, apricot and blackberry jam in the supermarket aisle and you can persuade half the people coming down the aisle to taste the jam and maybe buy one. But if you decide to add lemon, orange, blueberry and grapefruit, by adding the choices you don’t increase the number of people choosing one, but in fact you go the other way. Fewer people choose anything at all.”

..so, apparently, Netflix doesn't think it's customers are smart enough to deal with downloading movies. Nice opinion, there, Netflix. I'm sure your customers will feel all warm and fuzzy over that.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Actually (Score 1) 289

That's what I've seen. While EE's are smart and capable of learning, they don't get any of the foundational groundwork that you learn studying CS so they're missing a lot of what they need to write good code. So they end up making a hot mess of the code they work on until they get the on-the-job training they need to do a better job.

Comment Re:Actually (Score 3, Interesting) 289

I've been a software engineer in the civilian and military aerospace world for over 2 decades. I've seen the kinds of software that engineers write in all its hideousness. The last thing this world needs is to let EEs continue to write software. The reason being is that your premise is entirely false. Engineering software is nowhere near "easy enough".

Sure, writing a simple app for a phone is "easy enough", but there's a lot of complicated stuff going on inside avionics systems these days and it's getting more complex every year. You need good software people to write good software in that environment. Let the EEs and CEs design the hardware and leave the software to the people who have the training and skill set more suited to designing the software.

Comment It's about time (Score 5, Insightful) 289

This kind of nonsense keeps popping up every few years. It was about time some "visionary" tried selling this crap again.

I'm sure it's different this time and there's this new thing that will solve all the problems they had the last 15 times someone has tried to push this idea...

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.