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Science

How Sequestration Will Affect Federal Research Agencies 277 277

carmendrahl writes "Unless Congress and the White House act before March 1, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester will kick in. And federal agencies are bracing for the fiscal impact. Federal agencies and the White House are releasing details about how these cuts will affect their operations. If the cuts take effect, expect fewer inspections to the food supply, cuts to programs that support cleanups at former nuclear plants, and plenty of researcher layoffs, among other things."

Comment: Re:This is no Space Shuttle, its better. (Score 1) 111 111

The space shuttle was ultimately a vehicle for delivering crew and cargo to orbit.
This task is accomplished for less money by the falcon rockets.
Granted, If you put a ping pong table on the shuttle, its ping pong capabilities would be incomparable to the falcon rockets.

Comment: This is no Space Shuttle, its better. (Score 5, Informative) 111 111

Space Shuttle:
Payload to GTO: ~3000 kg.
Average cost per flight: 1.5 billion (cost of shuttle program / number of launches)


Falcon 9 rocket:
Payload to GTO:~2000 kg
Average cost per flight: 50m (cost of expendable rocket)


Falcon 9 rocket with grasshopper gear:
Payload to GTO:~1000 kg (rough estimate)
Average cost per flight: ~200,000 (expected figure for fuel + incidentals)


You can do the math to figure out why this is a big deal.

Comment: Re:YAY !! 1952 ALL OVER AGAIN !! (Score 4, Insightful) 111 111

They haven't had any failures since the advent of the falcon 9 rocket. The first three falcon launches failed, and if the fourth hadn't worked, spaceX would've folded. Luckily, the fourth did work, and they learned a lot from it. (mostly that 9 > 1)
Media

Users Abandon Ship If Online Video Quality Is Not Up To Snuff, Says Study 155 155

An anonymous reader writes "The first large scientific study of how people respond to poor video quality on the Internet paints a picture of ever rising user expectations and the willingness to abandon ship if those expectations are not met (PDF). Some nuggets: 1) Some users are willing to wait for no more than 2 seconds for a video to start playing, with each additional second adding 6% to the abandonment rate. 2) Users with good broadband connectivity expect faster video load times and are even more impatient than ones on mobile devices. 3) Users who experience video freezing watch fewer minutes of the video than someone who does not experience freezing. If a video freezes for 1% of its total play time, 5% less of its total play time is watched, on average. 4) Users who experience failures when they try to play videos are less likely to return to the same website in the future. Big data was analyzed (260+ million minutes of video) and some cool new data analysis techniques used."

When all else fails, read the instructions.

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