Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Chicken & egg; Wheel and road. (Score 1) 389

by howzit (#39253837) Attached to: Why Did It Take So Long To Invent the Wheel?
The wheel was available all along, problem was that ROADS had to be made first. In Africa, where I come from, there was no wheel before the arrival of Europeans but they did make sleds from a "Y" branch of a tree, and hauled by cattle. A wheel needs a flat surface to roll along on, without roads they are useless.

Comment: Ubuntu, what's in a name? (Score 1) 244

by howzit (#37789168) Attached to: Ubuntu Turns 7
I notice in the covering link for this topic there's an explanation of the naming process for the different versions of Ubuntu, but no explanation for the word 'ubuntu' itself. Ubuntu is an isiZulu and isiXhosa word of some complexity. It has lately been used for charitable, helpfulness, sharing, etc. It is actually more than that. It basically means: I am a man (Bantu) of people. What I do effects all humanity, therefor if I do good humanity will do good. If I help, humanity will help me. We must live for each other. We must draw together. Which is Mark Shuttleworth's vision for your desktop, working to unite other systems. Mark is a South African. Oh, almost forgot, happy birthday Ubuntu!

+ - Almost perfect dinosaur fossil.->

Submitted by
howzit writes: "German paleontologists have discovered what they believe is the best-preserved dinosaur skeleton ever found.The flesh-eating member of the theropod subgroup, which walked on its hind legs
about 98 percent complete, and also includes preserved bits of skin. "The around 135-million-year-old fossil is of outstanding scientific importance"."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Remembering The Challenger (Score 1) 2288

by howzit (#35904474) Attached to: Why Does the US Cling To Imperial Measurements?
I live in South Africa and work on maintaining Litho printing machines that are manufactured from all over the world, including Didde Glasers from the US. They are a nightmare. Literally. (What is 1 and 7/32 of an inch plus 1 and 5/7 of an inch?). Once we replaced an O-ring on the hydraulic pump system and had to use the metric equivalent which was ,1 mm (millimetre) smaller in circumference than the US produced one (6 weeks delivery time, 2,000 times more expensive). It ran OK for 3 minutes and then blew. A day later I watched the Challenger take-off on TV with the first woman on board (my wife insisted - she's a woman!) and we saw THE greatest tragedy in the Space Programme ever! It was due to the EXACT same reason, a metric O-ring in an Imperial channel. I'm still a bit angry about that.

Comment: That's what Heaven is.. (Score 1) 309

by howzit (#34194904) Attached to: Engineers Propose Lily Pad-Like Floating Cities
I like the idea. Heaven is: a Saturday afternoon, lying on the couch watching the game on TV with a beer in the one hand, a cigar in the mouth, and a fishing pole out the window. Even if a tsunami hit, if the ocean is deep enough, it will simply pass harmlessly under me without my knowing it!

Comment: What about the making of drones? (Score 1) 84

by howzit (#34159832) Attached to: Bees Reveal Nature-Nurture Secrets
Nurture not only makes a queen out of the common female lava (that would have become a female worker) but also the drones that are MALE. So, as suggested, the DNA of a female worker and the DNA of a queen may be the same but royal jelly 'triggers' the DNA to make a bigger queen; then what about making the drone? The DNA of a female, be it worker or queen, can't possibly be the same as a male, the drone, can it?

Comment: Play with transformers. (Score 1) 147

by howzit (#34079500) Attached to: Fun With an Induction Cooktop?
Seeing that the supply/load is INDUCTIVE, look at the plate being the PRIMARY COIL of a transformer, you only need to supply a SECONDARY COIL. Play with some transformers and a voltmeter. You may find you can charge your phone without having some fancy jack-plug for it's transformer, or maybe you can charge the ipod whilst listening AND cooking at the same time!

This screen intentionally left blank.