Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:RFCs are not laws (Score 2) 53 53

The market not IETF process decides which protocols will continue to be used going forward.

The market loves when we have formal documents laid down by the Formal Documents People confirming what we've been telling our bosses for years. I would bet large sums of money that some tech, somewhere, just walked out of a meeting happy because he finally has permission to deprecate a long-broken system.

Comment: Re:citation please (Score 1) 112 112

No evidence other than the fact that the summary and article indicate a 5% loss of efficiency due to bug debris? Or are you accusing NASA of just pulling an arbitrary number out of their asses? Hmm... who to believe...

And I'll bet no one has thought of dimpling an airplane wing before. Oh, wait...

Comment: Re:a bright future (Score 1) 39 39

The best design for a solar plane with the capabilities of current planes might well be a regular solar farm powering a conventional fuel synthesis plant.

This. As one example, researchers are investigating ways to use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide in the air itself to synthesize kerosene. If we can manage to do that on an economically viable scale (which would mean building these plants on a massive scale), it would make a serious dent in curbing our fossil fuel appetite.

You simply can't beat the efficiency of hydrocarbon fuels in terms of released energy for a given weight and volume (as fuzzy gives us some hard numbers below), and that's crucially important for aviation. At the moment, there simply isn't any viable alternative.

Comment: Re:a bright future (Score 3, Informative) 39 39

There's a pretty big difference between a solo flight in an ulta-lightweight solar-powered plane. Note that they've had to wait for months for a clear weather window, and you're claiming that it's now possible to use commercial solar-powered planes? It's sort of like claiming that because we put a man on the moon, we're now ready to build a tourist resort there.

though naturally it wont happen until it's either mandated by law

You can't pass a law of physics through legislation. This is cool and all, but don't mistake a this for any sort of substitution for current aviation tech. It's not, and won't be anytime in the near future. We need to focus our efforts on places where it IS feasible to reduce or replace our use of fossil fuels in the relatively near term. Power plants. Cars. Stuff like that. There are many people who are investigating more sustainable aviation fuels, but for the foreseeable future, these are still going to be carbon-based.

I hate sounding like a naysayer, but you need to be a bit realistic about these sorts of things.

Comment: Re:Insufficient control authority (Score 1) 49 49

which puts tight constraints on the landing timeline

Damn... if only we had some sort of device that could perform tremendously complex real-time calculations - thousands, or maybe even millions of them per second. Then they might... just might... have a shot at pulling this off.

Comment: Re:Depends (Score 1) 512 512

In both cases, you're citing specific Windows Update bugs, which is rather different than "Windows slowing down with age".

My primary Windows 7 development machine is still on it's original installation from four years ago and is just as snappy as ever. And it's been like this with all my machines every since I switched to the NT line starting with Windows 2000. What do you think would make my systems magically immune from the apparently inevitable slowdown you think is destined to occur?

My guess? Look at the crap people have in their system tray. All those knick-knacks are services that are consuming systems resources all the time, and it's astounding how much cruft some people tend to accumulate on their PCs over time. Unless you're fairly vigilant about keeping these off your system, it's only natural that performance is going to degrade over time. If you're on a PC with only a minimal amount of memory, all these knick-knacks may push a system over the edge to the point where memory thrashing becomes more frequent, which obviously would have a huge impact on performance.

Naturally, a reformat and reinstall is going to "fix" all these issues, in the same way that burning your house down and rebuilding it will "clean" your bathroom.

Comment: Re: Hate to be that guy, but Linux (Score 1) 512 512

Vista was disliked because it performed poorly on mediocre hardware - which is, quite frankly, what most people have. The changed driver model meant poorer initial hardware support. Microsoft didn't help matters by grossly exaggerating the "minimum requirements", which were a joke, and even the "recommended requirements" probably should have been the "minimum".

Win8 was disliked because Microsoft removed a comfortable, familiar interface and replaced it with a UI that was optimized for a touch-screen, which again, most people don't actually have or use when they buy a *desktop* operating system. No one complained about the technical aspects of Windows 8, which were actually quite excellent. It's a shame MS hid it behind an abomination of a UI. It looks like they're correcting that in Windows 10, fortunately, even though they're keeping the ugly aesthetics.

Comment: Re:Sluggish Windows (Score 2) 512 512

Fragmentation typically isn't an issue anymore because Windows will defrag its own drives daily by default. Fragmentation is also irrelevant if you've got an SSD, which I'd hope most people have for their primary drive nowadays. Your registry only grows indefinitely if you're constantly adding new software AND it doesn't clean up after itself properly, something that's a bit less common than it used to now that most programs use the standard Windows Installer libraries.

Microsoft Windows runtime requirements actually haven't increased significantly since Microsoft Vista, which was a *big* jump in hardware requirements (and they significantly understated the minimum requirements as well). MS has actually done a good job at keeping the runtime requirements fairly constant the last few releases, because we haven't seen the constant increase in CPU hardware speed like we used to. If you've got a machine that ran Vista reasonably well, it will probably run Windows 10 as well.

The second issue looks more reasonable to me, as I've seen this happen with terrible AV products and underpowered machines at work before as well. Frankly, the scans should NOT be taking place during the day, as long as people's machines are left on and connected. The whole drive encryption is likely not the issue, as that has much lower overhead than most people expect - it's the security software constantly thrashing the hard drive. If you get two competing programs trying to access the hard drive, access tends to slow down exponentially, because the drive head now has to constantly swap between two different points on the drive to service multiple requests. IT is correct in that SSDs would make a huge difference here, as they don't have this issue.

Comment: Re:I am afraid the answer is, "Yes!" (Score 1) 512 512

Those hundreds of MB of security patches are just the same binaries that already exist on your system, simply modified and re-compiled to patch security vulnerabilities. They don't appreciably change the runtime requirement of the OS. The *disk space* requirements ARE affected, but only because Windows retains the older copies of the systems files via it's "snapshot" system so you can roll back if needed. Keep in mind that this has NO effect on the runtime requirements of the OS.

Comment: Re:Sorry most Americans... (Score 1) 117 117

Heh, you don't have to tell me how painful short falls can be, as I've also had my own rather nasty injury at a very close proximity to the ground (albeit down a couple of steps).

The point is that that anything *above* a few meters - which is where you're likely to be flying the vast majority of the time - should be much safer, since the parachute should deploy at those higher altitudes. We'll have to see what the safety limit actually is in practice, but again, this is like seatbelts and airbags for cars. They're not going to save everyone, but it's a hell of a lot better than not having them.

Comment: Re: In other words (Score 4, Insightful) 300 300

They're opposing the building of a modern institution of science and learning for the sake of "sacred land". I can't think of a better way to describe this than "ignorance". Or, they could admit this is a political issue of the separatist movement, and not really a cultural one.

The Hawaiians had their nation stolen from them about five generations ago. US citizens overthrew the Hawaiian constitutional monarchy, then the US annexed the territory. I feel bad about, and even the US government has apologized at this point. Yes, I have some sympathy with those who feel disaffected because of this, but after five generations... sorry, we're not going to hand the state back to the native Hawaiians.

"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental." -- Yogi Berra