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Comment: Cooking with Potential Energy (Score 1) 447

by ockers (#42065737) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Geekiest Way To Cook a Turkey?

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this oldie but goodie from university research labs in 1987: Cooking with Potential Energy:

Someone else did the math to try to figure out how high you would have to drop a turkey so it would be cooked by the time it got to the ground: (answer: between 72Km and 142Km).

Comment: Re:Trust?? (Score 2) 1128

by ockers (#39511117) Attached to: Conservatives' Trust In Science Has Fallen Dramatically Since Mid-1970s

Neil DeGrasse Tyson is right. Also here is the obligatory Asimov quote:

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”
  Isaac Asimov

Comment: Re:Chatbots... (Score 1) 257

by ockers (#34006534) Attached to: Chatbot Suzette Wins 20th Annual Loebner Prize, Fools One Judge

> I'd be much more excited about a program that genuinely understood just one concept. Red, or liberal or whatever.

I'm not sure this is an AI or programming problem. How would you explain the color red to someone who has never seen anything (say, someone who was born blind), so they would genuinely understand it? Or, how would you explain how an apple smeels, feels, and tastes when you crunch into it, in software, so that a program would genuinely understand it?

Comment: The cable networks have seen this coming... (Score 1) 502

by ockers (#32059430) Attached to: One In Eight To Cut Cable and Satellite TV In 2010

My parents live in Rural Florida (not a big city) and have DSL from a local ISP and SkyAngel, which is an IPTV provider. SkyAngel uses hardware and software from Neulion, and Neulion's stuff all seems fairly clever to me. The Discovery Channel is recently no longer available on SkyAngel. The reason for this is quite interesting!

My take on it is that the big cable and TV networks might have figured out that IPTV might be a threat to their business model and they have to try to pre-emptively put the IPTV providers out of business before they really catch on. My guess is that Discovery Channel, which makes most of its money from the big cable TV networks, was probably "told" to discontinue offering their programming on IPTV networks such as SkyAngel. I bet it was an offer they couldn't refuse, or something like that.

The official information is in press releases such as the one at . They paint it as a contract dispute. Of course SkyAngel has filed a complaint with the FCC or FTC or some regulatory agency. The legal battle is described on various blogs which you can find by googling "SkyAngel Discovery"

It will be interesting to see if the cable TV networks prevail on this one, and if they succeed in putting the upstart IPTV providers out of business before it catches on.

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 3, Insightful) 840

by ockers (#31992554) Attached to: Pope Rails Against the Internet and Transparency

Further to that:

The perpetuation of organized religion depends on 2 things: 1. ignorance; and 2. lack of critical thinking skills. The internet is the enemy of ignorance because of the openness and availability of information. Education teaches critical thinking skills.

The pope is just doing his job. They've identified that the fully open internet is a threat to the perpetuation of the church, and they have to take steps to discourage it or encourage limits on it.


Sperm Travels Faster Toward Attractive Females 347

Posted by samzenpus
from the like-father-like-gamete dept.
A new study has shown that even sperm can be superficial. Researchers found that males of many animal species, including humans, can adjust the speed and effectiveness of their sperm by regulating the amount of seminal fluid they produce during copulation. The determining factor on that amount of fluid seems to be whether the male finds the female attractive.

Solar Machine Spins Sunlight-Shaped Furniture 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-because-you-can-do-something dept.
Mike writes "Austrian designers mischer'traxler have created a solar powered machine that makes an incredible array of furnishings that vary based on how much sunlight it receives over the course of a day. Titled 'The Idea of a Tree,' the machine spins spools of thread into stools, benches, containers, and lamp shades that wax and wane as the available sunlight shifts. Furniture created during cloudy winter days will be wrapped more slowly, causing it to be darker in color, thicker, and smaller than pieces created during the sun-soaked summer months."

Bitterness To Be Classified As a Mental Illness 511

Posted by samzenpus
from the that-should-fix-everything dept.
Some psychiatrists are trying to get excessive bitterness identified as a mental illness named post-traumatic embitterment disorder. Of course this has some people who live perfect little lives, and always get what they want, questioning the new classification. The so called "disorder" is modeled after post-traumatic stress disorder because it too is a response to a trauma that endures. "They feel the world has treated them unfairly. It's one step more complex than anger. They're angry plus helpless," says Dr. Michael Linden, the psychiatrist who put a name to how the world works.

Should We Just Call Dog Breeds a Different Species? 497

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-technically-but dept.
Jamie found an amusing bit this morning on Scientific American where the author proposes that dog breeds are different species. Now some of you might recoil when you hear this suggestion, but if you read the article to see why he makes this suggestion I suspect you'll crack a smile and appreciate the elegance of the solution.

Comment: Seems obvious they got a whiff of H2S... (Score 1) 410

by ockers (#27943577) Attached to: Rotten Office Fridge Cleanup Sends 7 To Hospital

H2S (hydrogen sulphide) is produced when organic material decomposes in the absence of air. It smells like rotten eggs. Actually it would be more nearly correct to say that rotten eggs smell like the H2S they produce...

If a sealed container of food was allowed to rot long enough it could produce noticeable quantities of H2S. All of the symptoms I read about were consistent with mild H2S exposure. It takes very little H2S to kill a person, so they're lucky that they only got sick!

Comment: Your boss is a dumbass.. (Score 5, Interesting) 837

by ockers (#27729209) Attached to: Handmade vs. Commercially Produced Ethernet Cables

Ask him how the premise wiring in every commercial building in the world is installed. They order patch cables from some commercial patch cable vendor for every run, riiiiiiiight.

Also, CAT5e is fine for what you are doing. I agree with the previous poster that you could practically use tin cans and a string for this.

These special dies, jacks, and connectors are called "CAT5" parts and you can buy them at Home Depot I think. Does that make them "special" ?

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.