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Comment: Re:Not so fast, Thermodynamic laws are pesky thing (Score 1) 94

by cusco (#46776155) Attached to: 'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

Then I misunderstood your previous post, which I took to mean that there wasn't enough to bother with. It would be interesting to me to see an estimate of how much it would cost to make an exhaust manifold of thermocouple material, and what the estimated output would be. With hybrid vehicles like the Prius, which just uses the IC engine to charge the batteries that actually propel it, it might well be worth it.

Comment: When someone else controls your stuff (Score 2) 95

by erroneus (#46775139) Attached to: Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

When someone else controls your stuff, it's not your stuff. Look at Germany's gold! Where is it? It's in the US. They want it back, it's supposed to be on its way over... slowly. Net result, it's not Germany's gold. And if this tech makes it into our phones? Yeah, same thing. We "give up" our phones in order to prevent them from being stolen. Nice trade.

Comment: Re:Doesn't Gravity Affect Angle of Repose? (Score 1) 46

by icebike (#46774955) Attached to: Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

Yes, but his experimental platform is far from perfect, wouldn't you agree?

He's talking parabolic flights in powered aircraft, which lasts, what, maybe 30 seconds, and could not easily be shielded from all sorts of vibrations.

So the good geologist's work probably can't account for a moon-sized platform, or a mixed particle size, or the inclusion of water ice, etc. The angles do vary with gravity, grain size, grain polishing, binding agent inclusion, etc.

Still the Subject study uses a wide definition of the Angle of Repose ("anything between about 25 to 40 depending on size and type of particles involved."), and they suggest that all (or most) of these observed ridge shapes fit within that definition. While they mention water ice in their theory they don't seem to acknowledge its ability to drastically increase the Angle of Repose, easily up to 60 degrees in terrestrial gravity).

Comment: Re:How about... (Score 1) 46

by icebike (#46774787) Attached to: Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space

Exactly, this article essentially is an elaboration on the Wiki Article's theory # 3.

They make much of the angle of repose, but the angle of repose is not a constant. Gravity of the planet/moon affects this angle, (which I am sure they accounted for), but so does the water content, or any other potentially binding agent (frozen CO2, etc) of the material. Even the shape of the grains of sand can affect the Angle of Repose.

Comment: Re:The Economist (Score 4, Informative) 173

by icebike (#46774557) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Dono If I believe that.

The Economist has always had a penchant for saying very little with the largest number of words.

If you sit down and try to outline one of their major articles, as I recently did, you will see how few points they actually try to make and the inordinate burden they imposed on the reader while making them. And its not like they provide quality supporting documentation to justify their points. Often they simply trout out half truths and over simplifications in point after point of seemingly endless paragraphs of supporting verbiage which provide little enlightenment.

Programming

Code Quality: Open Source vs. Proprietary 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the put-your-money-where-your-code-is dept.
just_another_sean sends this followup to yesterday's discussion about the quality of open source code compared to proprietary code. Every year, Coverity scans large quantities of code and evaluates it for defects. They've just released their latest report, and the findings were good news for open source. From the article: "The report details the analysis of 750 million lines of open source software code through the Coverity Scan service and commercial usage of the Coverity Development Testing Platform, the largest sample size that the report has studied to date. A few key points: Open source code quality surpasses proprietary code quality in C/C++ projects. Linux continues to be a benchmark for open source quality. C/C++ developers fixed more high-impact defects. Analysis found that developers contributing to open source Java projects are not fixing as many high-impact defects as developers contributing to open source C/C++ projects."
Books

Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left? 173

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-the-crap-in-my-mailbox-every-day dept.
guises writes: "A recent story discussing the cover of Byte Magazine reminded me of just how much we've lost with the death of print media. The Internet isn't what took down Byte, but a lot of other really excellent publications have fallen by the wayside as a result of the shift away from the printed page. We're not quite there yet, though. There seem to still be some holdouts, so I'm asking Slashdot: what magazines (or zines, or newsletters, or newspapers) are still hanging around that are worth subscribing to?"
PC Games (Games)

Steam's Most Popular Games 72

Posted by Soulskill
from the goat-simulator-falls-just-short dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The folks at Ars Technica scraped a ton of gameplay data from Steam's player profiles to provide statistics on how many people own each game, and how often it's played. For example: 37% of the ~781 million games owned by Steam users have never been played. Dota 2 has been played by almost 26 million people for a total of 3.8 billion hours. Players of CoD: Modern Warfare 2 spend six times as long in multiplayer as in single-player. This sampling gives much more precise data than we usually have about game sales rates. 'If there's one big takeaway from looking at the entirety of our Steam sales and player data, it's that a few huge ultra-hits are driving the majority of Steam usage. The vast majority of titles form a "long tail" of relative crumbs. Out of about 2,750 titles we've tracked using our sampling method, the top 110 sellers represent about half of the individual games registered to Steam accounts. That's about four percent of the distinct titles, each of which has sold 1.38 million copies or more. This represents about 50 percent of the registered sales on the service. ... about half of the estimated 18.5 billion man-hours that have been spent across all Steam games have gone toward just the six most popular titles.'"
Power

'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the hot-wheels dept.
sciencehabit writes: "Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Researchers have tried to reclaim some of it with semiconductor devices called thermoelectrics, which convert the heat into power. But they remain too inefficient and expensive to be useful beyond a handful of niche applications. Now, scientists in Illinois report that they have used a cheap, well-known material to create the most heat-hungry thermoelectric so far (abstract). In the process, the researchers say, they learned valuable lessons that could push the materials to the efficiencies needed for widespread applications. If that happens, thermoelectrics could one day power cars and scavenge energy from myriad engines, boilers, and electrical plants."

Comment: Re:Open source was never safer (Score 1) 526

by erroneus (#46772411) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

One problem I see that is huge is in where it affects Android. It is an unfortunate reality that phone makers do not want to update or patch their phones as they would rather sell people new phones and carriers would rather extend contracts. So yes, perhaps I did understate it a bit.

There needs to be a push for phone makers to update their firmware NOW.

Comment: Re:most lego's are a rip off (Score 1) 298

by erroneus (#46772365) Attached to: Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

Well yes and no. Yes, it's overpriced. But when my son plays with them in ways I don't like (that is, I like to follow the instructions and only sometimes make changes for improved look or structure) he gets many hours more. He builds crazy and silly things but then again, he's 7 so what do you know?

Sad that kids can't use their hands. I didn't realize it was becoming a problem as I am trying my best to give my son the type of childhood I had. And yes, that includes teaching him how to go camping and fishing and shoot a gun and all of that. Am I a caveman?

+ - Steam's Most Popular Games->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The folks are Ars Technica scraped a ton of gameplay data from Steam's player profiles to provide statistics on how many people own each game, and how often it's played. For example: 37% of the ~781 million games owned by Steam users have never been played. Dota 2 has been played by almost 26 million people for a total of 3.8 billion hours. Players of CoD: Modern Warfare 2 spend six times as long in multiplayer than in single-player. This sampling gives much greater precision than we usually have about game sales rates. 'If there's one big takeaway from looking at the entirety of our Steam sales and player data, it's that a few huge ultra-hits are driving the majority of Steam usage. The vast majority of titles form a "long tail" of relative crumbs. Out of about 2,750 titles we've tracked using our sampling method, the top 110 sellers represent about half of the individual games registered to Steam accounts. That's about four percent of the distinct titles, each of which has sold 1.38 million copies or more. This represents about 50 percent of the registered sales on the service. ... about half of the estimated 18.5 billion man-hours that have been spent across all Steam games have gone toward just the six most popular titles.'"
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