Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:ST only needed transparent aluminum for... (Score 1) 247

by powerlord (#49572381) Attached to: Breakthough Makes Transparent Aluminum Affordable

Also so the crew taking care of them could see them and make sure that they arrive still living. But don't let common sense reign in a scenario involving a crew piloting a stolen alien starship in poor condition.

and Time Travel ... can't forget that part of the scenario.

Comment: Re:Schedule D?! (Score 1) 450

Another thing I do is send my taxes in a month early, in case I make a mistake, they will let me know instead of fining me. If you're getting a refund that doesn't matter though (because you won't be fined for being late if you're getting a refund, April 15th is not actually the deadline for a refund).

Actually it can make a difference, but you are correct, it doesn't affect how much money you're due (if you have a legitimate refund due you).

IANACPA, but my wife is (and prepares personal tax "during the season").

In some states (and the Fed), the pool of money available for refunds often gets depleted mid-way through the tax season. Submitting early gets your refund processed before the state/fed need to replenish these funds, which can sometimes get you your money faster.

The Military

War Tech the US, Russia, China and India All Want: Hypersonic Weapons 290

Posted by Soulskill
from the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet dept.
An anonymous reader writes: They can hit any target in 30 minutes or less. They travel anywhere from Mach 5 to Mach 25. All the major powers want them, and many look at them as a military game changer — if only they can make them work. Are hypersonic weapons the future of military doctrine?

Hypersonic weapons — or ballistic weapons that can hit a target flying many times faster than the speed of sound — have been hyped since the 1970s. Currently almost all of the major powers are trying to build them. The U.S. and China seem to be the furthest along, and are working on various types of systems. China hopes such weapons could be a game changer and deter any U.S. actions in Asia. There is, however, one big problem (besides the insane amount of technology to make them work, considering their speed): a possible arms race that could lead to a nuclear war:

"According to some analysts, the development of hypersonic weapons creates the conditions for a new arms race, and could risk nuclear escalation. Given that the course of hypersonic research has acknowledged both of these concerns, why have several countries started testing the weapons?"

NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration 200

Posted by Soulskill
from the billy-dee-williams-volunteers-to-lead dept.
An anonymous reader writes: IEEE Spectrum reports on a study out of NASA exploring the idea that manned missions to Venus are possible if astronauts deploy and live in airships once they arrive. Since the atmospheric pressure at the surface is 92 times that of Earth, and the surface temperate is over 450 degrees C, the probes we've sent to Venus haven't lasted long. The Venera 8 probe sent back data for only 50 minutes after landing. Soviet missions in 1985 were able to get much more data — 46 hours worth — by suspending their probes from balloons. The new study refines that concept: "At 50 kilometers above its surface, Venus offers one atmosphere of pressure and only slightly lower gravity than Earth. Mars, in comparison, has a "sea level" atmospheric pressure of less than a hundredth of Earth's, and gravity just over a third Earth normal. The temperature at 50 km on Venus is around 75 C, which is a mere 17 degrees hotter than the highest temperature recorded on Earth.

The defining feature of these missions is the vehicle that will be doing the atmospheric exploring: a helium-filled, solar-powered airship. The robotic version would be 31 meters long (about half the size of the Goodyear blimp), while the crewed version would be nearly 130 meters long, or twice the size of a Boeing 747. The top of the airship would be covered with more than 1,000 square meters of solar panels, with a gondola slung underneath for instruments and, in the crewed version, a small habitat and the ascent vehicle that the astronauts would use to return to Venus's orbit, and home."

Comment: Re:Really.. (Score 3, Insightful) 114

by powerlord (#48601863) Attached to: Apple and Samsung Already Working On A9 Processor

No, but they might have spent $3.9B so they can say its CPU is not "Made in China" and have a Chinese company "procure" the designs and start making the next gen chips based on the tech, while also having to worry about grey market versions of Samsung and Apple devices that utilize the processor.

If they can control a key component of the device (and "made in america" certainly provides that), then they can minimize grey market goods impact on their branded devices by potentially relegating them to an inferior parts chain.


Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity 574

Posted by timothy
from the who-is-the-journal-of-robot-overlords-going-to-believe dept.
Rambo Tribble writes In a departure from his usual focus on theoretical physics, the estimable Steven Hawking has posited that the development of artificial intelligence could pose a threat to the existence of the human race. His words, "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race." Rollo Carpenter, creator of the Cleverbot, offered a less dire assessment, "We cannot quite know what will happen if a machine exceeds our own intelligence, so we can't know if we'll be infinitely helped by it, or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it." I'm betting on "ignored."

Comment: Re:Amazing... BUT (Score 1) 89

by powerlord (#48360837) Attached to: Google To Lease and Refurbish Naval Air Base For Space Exploration

From the article:

Google already has a separate lease for another portion of the former air base, where it wants to build a second campus. Page and Brin have also used the Moffett runways for their collection of private jets, under another lease arrangement that's been criticized by some watchdog groups who say NASA gave the executives a sweetheart deal.

Because they are essentially renting the space next door to their new campus, and hanger space?

Comment: Re:Ashes to Ashes ... (Score 1) 268

by powerlord (#47947171) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

Synology has some nice RAID enclosures.

Get two with multiple drives and they can also be set up to sync with each, creating your own little data cloud (multiple locations, w/RAID 5 per location, sync with each other via internet). Only problem is making sure there is sufficient bandwidth between them.

Computer Science is the only discipline in which we view adding a new wing to a building as being maintenance -- Jim Horning