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Comment Re:FAA doing it right (Score 1) 57

Your argument is that we should wait for a tragedy to make rules to prevent a tragedy.

No, my argument is that telling a 13 year old girl that she has to have her name in a public-facing federal database in order to fly a 9-ounce pink plastic RC copter from a mall kiosk, or face a $20,000 fine will do exactly NOTHING to prevent a bad guy from doing all of the horrible murderous things that we're seeing done with RC toys. Oh, right - there are literally millions of them in the hands of people, with untold millions of flight hours on them, and we're not actually seeing any of that. But you're pretty sure that someone looking to do harm will step up and register their name with the feds, and then write their identifying information on the RC airplane they're going to use to deliberately hurt people? Are you really thinking this through?

Comment Re:Michelson-Morley were wrong. Ether exists (Score 2) 353

There's no difference between "change in speed of light", "change in distance", and "change in travel time for light". They're all the same thing. Don't both instruments detect very small changes in round-trip travel time for light, comparing one direction to the other?

Sure then 1880s apparatus wasn't going to detect gravity waves, but that's just a matter of sensitivity of the instrument. We still call an electron microscope a microscope.

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 353

Oh stop this nonsense. Causality being broken with FTL speeds is one of the most annoying and most wrong thing ever when it comes to FTL.

Causality breaking is subtle. For a simple one-way trip, in your reference frame, nothing will seem wrong, but from another reference frame you may appear to go back in time. If you have two pairs of ansibles (FTL telephones), each pair moving relative to the other, it's possible to send a message round trip (FTL to your connection, normal space to another endpoint, FTL to its connection, back to you) in such a way that you receive it before you send it.

The circumstances needed to break causality are somewhat contrived, but it's possible.

This is also why silly things like long-distance sensors in sci-fi wouldn't work either because light is still based on photons.

So a warp drive moving a whole ship FTL is somehow more believable than some sort of wave or particle that travels FTL and can be bounced off things in front of you? I find tachyons easier to believe than warp drives, myself (much as I hated particle-of-the-week Trek episodes)

Comment Two Seconds (Score 1) 408

Just take two seconds after you get routing directions up to zoom out and verify it's going about where you want to go.

I've driven in Iceland before and it's impossible to not go to Reykjavik if you pay even the least attention to signs, or just look at the map where you can see where Reykjavik is in relation to where you are driving.

I really like using Waze to guide me, not even by giving directions (which I often ignore) but just to see what roads are around me while driving so I can quickly adjust pathing to something that makes more sense.

One gripe I have with all modern nav systems is that I really wish I had a lot more control over the routes - like "avoid highway if possible" or "Your traffic predictions are always wrong, do not believe their lies". At least Apple Maps gives you three different routes to choose from, that's a nice start but I'd like to be able to guide it further.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 5, Interesting) 408

TFS said

Could society's embrace of GPS be eroding our cognitive maps?

I delivered pizza for a few years, before GPS, and a few hours of taking orders will disabuse you of this naive notion that most people have "cognitive maps". Most people do not know where they live! They can't tell you the nearest major intersection. What they know is a sequence of steps to follow to get to their house.

"Turn left at the big tree. Turn right where the church was before it burned down. Turn left where Johnny was hit by that drunk drive last year. Look for the red house."

I'm only slightly exaggerating. I really do encourage everyone to use maps, to learn to change your "pathing" dynamically when conditions change, to know where you are not just the steps you took to get there. To quote the REM song: "Stand in the place where you work. Now face north. Think about direction; wonder why you haven't before ". Can you do it without looking anything up?

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 353

I think you meant to say "Inconceivable? You keep using that word, but I don't think it means what you think it means".

Many fictional things are "conceivable", but in terms of real science, no one is going to take a casual "general relativity is totally broken" proposal seriously. General relativity has made more and better predictions (and more unexpected predictions) than just about anything. You can doubt any theory, but the more one has proven itself, the higher the bar to claim "but maybe it's totally wrong".

Every theory "might be wrong", but that's not a useful observation - it helps no one to point that out, much like complaining about the weather. "This might be true instead" is useful, but you have to explain everything the current theory is correct about too.

Comment Re:The U.S. is much more civilized (Score 1) 39

I find it interesting to see how Europeans get so testy whenever any other country is mentioned. Seems like you are projecting quite a bit there!

This post should make you happy since it only talks about Europeans, even only the failings, unlike the ability of Americans to consider a bigger picture.

Oops! Ha Ha, just did that to goad you further obviously. If you don't want buttons pressed you may not want to wear them on your sleeve.

Comment Picture is misleading, so is affected system desc (Score 2, Interesting) 70

For the few of you that actually bothered to click on the article link, the picture shows some kind of really short cord with a plug at the end...

I don't know what the hell that is but it cannot be the cord the article is about, because the cord MS is sending is just the cord that goes between the power brick and Surface Pro, so it doesn't have a plug.

Also worth noting that the article summary might lad you to believe this was about the current Surface Pro, but it's not - Surface Pro 3 and older. Even then it does not apply to a Surface Pro 3 you'd buy new from Microsoft now, they ship with fixed cables already. It doesn't affect the Surface Pro 4 at all.

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