Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Proposed? (Score 1) 428

by hardburn (#35109738) Attached to: Prison Cell Phone Smuggling Out of Control

What I mean by "nature finds a way" is that individual actors, working in their own self-interest, will find ways to do things that the system expressly forbids, given enough incentive. It's exactly like trying to artificially impose limitations on nature (e.g., use a lot of antibiotics and end up generating antibiotic-resistant bacteria). "Corrupt officials" are just one example of the actors involved.

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 3, Informative) 217

by hardburn (#35071500) Attached to: Firewalls Make DDoS Attacks Worse

If it's limited to no higher than layer 4 stateful firewalling, then its not going to get overloaded. Assuming there's no bugs being exploited by attackers (if there is, you're probably screwed anyway), then an old Pentium could easily handle enough traffic to saturate the link.

If it's going to higher layers, then things get interesting. I'm also skeptical of the utility of doing that for public-facing web sites.

Comment: Re:more than 20 is too many? (Score 1) 559

by hardburn (#35032442) Attached to: How many microprocessors are in your home, total?

Should I count the old NES I have sitting around? Its CPU is probably less powerful than the microcontroller in my dishwasher. I know for certain that it's less powerful than many of the control chips in my hard drive. The ICs on a hard drive alone have enough power and RAM to run a sophisticated, modern OS (depending on how general-purpose the ICs are).

I could probably point out more than 20 microprocessors within 3 feet of where I'm sitting without too much flexibility in the definition.

Comment: Re:Expensive (Score 1) 417

by hardburn (#35025436) Attached to: Volkswagen Unveils 313 MPG XL1, Slates Production For 2013

Prices have been coming down as more production of carbon fiber ramped up. For most of the last 10 years, the majority of production went into the aerospace industry. There's now enough production capacity to fulfill general automotive needs, too.

The real problem I see here is that like plastic parts, a break in a carbon fiber part means the whole piece has to be replaced and color matched. Metal parts can often just be banged back out and the paint touched up. In cars of yore, chrome bumpers didn't even need to be painted at all--just bolt the sucker back on. Plastic bumpers these days are a pain.

Comment: Re:Not fugly... (Score 1) 417

by hardburn (#35025232) Attached to: Volkswagen Unveils 313 MPG XL1, Slates Production For 2013

You can look good without sacrificing aerodynamics. 911s are among the most aerodynamic cars ever built, and lots of people think they're also the most beautiful cars ever built. Porsche figured out an efficient shape for a car in the 1930s, and until very recently, nobody found a better one (that being the "boxfish" design).

The little bit of improvement in drag coefficient that the Prius has over the 911 is mostly due to extra downforce on the 911. The Porsche could easily be as good or better if it wasn't designed for speeds on long back straights.

Comment: Re:Doy?! (Score 1) 344

by hardburn (#34999612) Attached to: Your Face Will Soon Be In Facebook Ads

I would conceivably pay $10 for a cup where I've been shown that everything has been done perfectly from the growing location, to cultivating, to roasting, to grinding, to brewing. The beans would probably be Kona, and the roasting process would have been meticulously tweaked to perfection.

If it's just any old beans with some frothy milk added, then no. These days, a $1 McDonald's coffee is perfectly good for when I forget to buy more beans or I'm too rushed to do it myself.

That said, the donotwant tag on this story is inappropriate. This is the best news urban mischief makers could have had. A few Guy Fawkes masks should be enough to shut down this idea forever.

Comment: Re:All you need to know, from TFA (Score 1) 815

by hardburn (#34984142) Attached to: Italian Scientists Demonstrate Cold Fusion?

They have that whole mass-energy conservation bullshit, but both fission and fusion apparently produce tons of energy.

You can always "break" thermodynamics when you limit the scale in either space or time. We consider oil and coal to be energy-positive because we're not counting the energy put into the process to make the stuff in the first place (limiting the time scale). We consider solar photovoltaics to be energy-positive because we're not counting the energy that came out of the sun (limiting the space scale).

Fission/fusion work the same way. They're just releasing many times more energy than you could get from breaking a chemical bond.

Comment: Re:Riiight (Score 1) 815

by hardburn (#34983904) Attached to: Italian Scientists Demonstrate Cold Fusion?

Meh. Nuclear reactors of any kind use tiny amounts of fuel for the amount of energy they give out. Transmuting tiny amounts of one element will only give you tiny amounts of another element.

Some fission reactors can produce usable amounts of fuel for other fission reactors, but only because we can't find significant amounts of the output elements in nature.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields