Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Capital one is actually one of the better ones... (Score 1) 136

I always make it a point to let Capital One know before I use the credit card in India. They send me texts when the card is used.

Last year I told them I was traveling to Europe and India for two weeks. Found out in London that all their retailers use credit cards with pin numbers. American credit cards without pin numbers are authorized by the discretion of the retailer. Apparently if I use the card and deny making the charges, the merchant is in the hole in UK. Not sure if this is true, this what the pizzaria near Trafalgar Square told me. Anyway there were tons of fraudulent charges from London, mostly airline tickets bought from London to African destinations. Capital reversed ALL the charges from London. Had to call back and tell them the bonafide ones, I didn't want the legitimate businesses to suffer.

So far all the experience I had with credit card companies (Citi, Capital One) or debit cards (Schwab) were uniformly good.

The only minor negative experience was when Citi left a fraud alert phone message that let the cat out of the bag about a surprise Las Vegas trip I had planned for my wife.

Comment Re:Bacteria spread via the air (Score 1) 74

Proper antibacterial design, with maintenance, never provides a growth medium for whatever bacteria the winds bring in = no films in the first place.

Potable water systems, made of copper, which have never had anything but potable water go through them STILL get biofilms on them.

Comment Re:Yeah, I thought this problem was solved (Score 1) 74

Just having copper in the system won't kill legionella; it can live in copper-piped water systems just fine. Active copper-silver ionization will, but that requires active maintenance, as does every other effective method for treating legionella (UV, ozone, Cu-Ag ionization, chlorine).

Comment Re:Yeah, I thought this problem was solved (Score 3, Interesting) 74

that's actually the problem with most technology

nuclear for example

i haven't a single doubt that we have the technological means to maintain nuclear plants forever without a single accident

but what we don't have is the social and political means to do that

money is always being cut, indefinitely, and the people making that decision are not exactly technically proficient. the incentive to cut costs form the general public and bosses who want to trumpet cost cutting trumps all other concerns, because other concerns, no matter how vital, are simply not understood. combine that with a technical person that responds with anger and arrogance at the idea of vital safety mechanisms being underfunded, the manager will simply disregard him or her as a person with a personality problem, and then disasters happen

people who champion nuclear, especially on a website like this, understand the technology well, and are correct when they announce we never have to have a nuclear accident ever again due to technological issues

but they don't consider the political and social aspects of our species that means vital funding of safety mechanisms and maintenance of absolutely crucial technology *will* be broken. it's simply a matter of when, not if

and then people who champion nuclear get angry at people like me, and accuse us of not understanding the technology. oh we understand the technology is wonderful. but it is you who doesn't understand humanity

the imperative on cutting costs and doing as little effort as possible is always trumping all other concerns. always. and people like this wind up being the managers, not the underlings. they can't be fired, they do the firing

incompetence is a force that destroys everything. sober up and accept that

Comment Re:In soviet russia (Score 4, Funny) 53

Great, now I'm picturing a Russian version of the "Monorail song", with the Lyle Lanley guy having a heavy Russian accent.

The Soyuz will not fit in there
"The building's tall, like Russian bear!"
What if perchance the roof should bend?
"Not on your life, my Yakut friend!"
What about us cleptocrats?
"Your wallets will grow very fat!"
My vodka's gone and now I'm sad.
"Have another, dear comrade!"
Were you sent here by the Kremlin?
(displeased voice) ".... Next question please." (waves for undercover agents to take him out of the room)
"You see it's Vostochny only choice. Now throw up hands and raise the voice."
Cosmodrome! Cosmodrome! Cosmodrome!

Comment Re:Bacteria spread via the air (Score 2) 74

The lazy people are almost certainly not personally affected in this case. Ultimately the responsible parties here are landlords who don't properly maintain their buildings, and very few of the landlords who own buildings in the South Bronx actually live in the South Bronx themselves.

Comment Re:Well there's your problem (Score 3, Funny) 53

The funny thing is that in 2013 they actually lost a Proton-M and $1.3B of technical equipment because a technician installed the angular velocity sensors upside down. There was one problem in doing so, in that they didn't even fit upside down - but no worries, he was able to hammer them into place ;)

Comment Re:Bacteria spread via the air (Score 2) 74

I'd be curious to know if the design of these cooling towers(unfortunately, results for 'cooling towers' tend to be heavy on the really big ones used by power plants, which aren't terribly relevant except sharing certain basic principles of operation) would allow for UV sterilization.

The idea that you can actually 'disinfect' something in the real world, outside of a cleanroom or high end operating room, for more than a few minutes to hours is mostly a polite fiction. Any sort of real world plumbing arrangment is going to be hosting assorted biofilms and other incredibly durable bacterial reservoirs more or less inevitably. As the massive success of modern sanitation systems has proven, you can get water 'clean enough' for the more-or-less-healthy to stay that way; but if you actually need to exterminate almost all the bacteria, you are picking a whole different fight.

If, though, you only need to ensure that the contents of the droplets emitted by the cooling system in operation are reasonably disinfected, intense UV in the outflow ducts might be able to do that, and UV isn't high energy enough to do too much violence to metal parts(plastics/rubber/etc. can be trouble; but you won't be commiserating with nuclear reactor operators over radiation embrittlement issues.)

Comment Re:I want to see the video... (Score -1, Offtopic) 53

The Rada voted Yanukovich out - even including a majority of his own party. Russia claims that "proper parliamentary procedure" was not followed, but they're not the arbiter of that, the Ukrainian constitutional court is. And yeah, clearly the US is so into meddling in Ukraine that they won't even give them anti-tank missiles or counter-fire radar systems with a meaningful range. And it took a year of begging to even start go get anything more significant than blankets and sleeping bags. Yeah, the US is clearly so into helping Ukraine out! And look at all those US missiles in Ukraine, whooee! Meanwhile, Russia has been pouring some of its most advanced military hardware into Donbas, and when that wasn't enough, regular rotations of its army. But hey, Ukraine's got sleeping bags, so that's something, right?

There's long since been new elections in Ukraine. There were indeed two "nazi" candidates running. Combined they got barely more than 1% of the vote. The old "Ukraine is run by Nazis!" yarn is getting old.

Lastly: might want to check where you get your information from.

Comment I want to see the video... (Score 1) 53

... where all of the engineers have rounded up their buddies with trucks and backhoes and are trying to jam the rocket parts into place. "Come oooooon, it has to fiiiiit...."

I feel bad for whoever it is who will end up being declared a foreign agent embezzling money to support Ukrainian Nazis after this fiasco.

Comment Every human language leaves out information (Score 1) 43

when the source language admits to intentionally leaving out information

Every human language leaves out information. Different languages just leave out different amounts in different ways in different circumstances. This is why instead of relying on Google Translate, the author of an Hour of Code activity this year is going to have to hire a professional translator who can ask the author for the information that one language left out for use in a translation to another language.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford