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Comment: Re:I Disagree with the Summary (Score 4, Interesting) 340

Someone in the Youtube comments says "The flight profile veers the booster off to the side on purpose so the exhaust from the final burn isn't directed at the barge where it could do damage"

If this was a planned manoeuvre, I'm much happier. Can anyone confirm this statement?

Comment: Re:I Disagree with the Summary (Score 1) 340

I was shocked at how abrupt and extreme the pitch changes were. I think so long as it needs such gross adjustments so close to landing, landings will be unreliable with a significant chance of failure. It is not at all like the tidy landings made by the Grasshopper test vehicle.

Two engineering changes which could make a big difference are lower minimum thrust (so it can approach the landing with lower acceleration) or lateral control rockets (RCS) at the top of the stage.

Comment: That's odd... (Score 1) 294

by Alsee (#49478069) Attached to: Denver TSA Screeners Manipulated System In Order To Grope Men's Genitals

indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.

That's odd, when I went through the screening and they mis-entered me into the scanner as female, it didn't report any anomaly.

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Comment: Regulation is ok, but the EU can't be a bad actor (Score 1) 245

by cpt kangarooski (#49476387) Attached to: EU To Hit Google With Antitrust Charges

Google does have an effective monopoly in search, and it's not a bad idea to have some degree of regulation in place to make sure that it doesn't harm consumers. (Though nonsense like a 'right to be forgotten' is going too far, and should be dropped)

The problem is that that very well may not be the EU's only motive here. At about the same time that the charges were announced, Gunther Oettinger, the EU's Digital Commissioner gave a speech where he said:

A great challenge is also Europe's position in the development of the next digital platforms that will gradually replace the current Internet and mobile platforms. We have so far missed many opportunities in this field and our online businesses are today dependent on a few non-EU players world-wide: this must not be the case again in the future. ... We need European industry 4.0 champions to win the global game in industry 4.0. ... Industry in Europe should take the lead and become a major contributor to the next generation of digital platforms that will replace today's Web search engines, operating systems and social networks.

Maintaining a level playing field and ensuring fair competition is one thing. Using the law to rig the market in order to engage in protectionism, however, is not acceptable. If the EU wants to pursue Google, they're going to need to do so in a way that is justifiably beyond reproach. Otherwise it's relatively easy for Google to restructure the way it does business internationally to avoid the EU from having any power over them, while still offering its services to persons in the EU, and to have many people cheer them on in the process.

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 1) 407

Then take a statistic course so that you will understand what a "representative sample" means. There's a point after which it doesn't matter whether you poll 60,000 households, 600,000 households, or 6,000,000 households, the number will be within a margin of error that you deem acceptable.

If that bothers you, then don't ever leave your house again, because it's the same methodology by which, for example, car manufacturers determine whether or not your car will spontaneously explode while you're driving down a highway. It probably won't, but if that amount of statistical certainty isn't good enough for you to trust the BLS to have a pretty good grasp on what they're doing, then what else do you just take for granted?

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 0) 407

Actually, they do, and it is the one you hear most often in the media. I'm not sure where this fiction came from that people off of unemployment aren't counted among the unemployed, but the only three criteria for being counted as unemployed are:

  • That you do not have a job,
  • That you have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and
  • That you are currently available for work.

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately, mostly from right-wing nutcases, to try to redefine "unemployment" to be something that it's not, in some way that is different from how it's been calculated for decades, to include people like retired people not seeking a job, students, new mothers who have voluntarily left the workforce, people who haven't sought a job in more than a month, etc.

Unfortunately for them (and you), unemployment has a specific economic definition and doesn't change based on what you think "feels right". The current unemployment rate is 5.5%. Arguing that it's something different is like arguing that the mass of an object is higher because your arms are tired and it feels heavier when you try to lift it.

Comment: Re:Perfect security (Score 1) 460

by Michael Woodhams (#49426117) Attached to: Planes Without Pilots

"... any modern airliner can be specced with options to fly itself from gate to gate on an ordinary day ..."
Can you tell me more about this? My understanding is that taxiing and take off are always performed manually. Unless it surrendered control to a central airport system, I don't see how autotaxi would even be useful, as actions are so dependent on other traffic.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

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