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Comment: Re:PDF/A (Score 1) 200

by ray-auch (#49697901) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Open Document Format?


Hundreds of people who do this for a living (they're called records managers), and have done for many years, have worked long and hard to come up with a standard format for exactly this. Doesn't do everything, but what does, but it does ensure that it will still do it in 50yrs if not longer.

Caveat 1: OP doesn't mention editing, if he needs it editable then don't convert, or store original and PDF rendition for preservation

Caveat 2: There is a trade off between doc size (OP mention compression) and digital preservation - PDF/A mandates embedding of fonts, which ensures readability in 50yrs at the expense of larger documents. If the OP doesn't need things to be readable beyond 10yrs (say) then PDF/A may be overkill. On the other hand, storage is cheap and getting cheaper, it is managing it that is expensive.

Comment: Re:The question is (Score 1) 416

by ray-auch (#49619137) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

Correct but also wrong.

The Alcubierre warp drive is mathematically possible but practically somewhat difficult due to requiring planetary sized amounts of energy and/or stuff like negative mass.

The EmDrive is a bunch of microwaves in a tin can that for some reason we don't understand produces thrust without propellant.

The connection is that laser interferometer measurements of the EmDrive in operation apparently show space time distortion consistent with an Alcubierre warp drive. If confirmed, that would indeed be a WTF moment. We can all stop looking for negative mass or dilithium crystals because all you need for a warp field is a microwave in a specially shaped tin can. It would also neatly explain why no one has ever built and marketed a conical microwave oven, because you'd have to nail it down.

Comment: Re:Enough of this (Score 2) 250

by ray-auch (#49601989) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power


If this was only spotted recently in "lab testing" (and why was it being tested now, and not before flight... what prompted the testing...) then it was known / not documented that overflow of this counter would cause shutdown. Some future revision could easily be to increase the precision, at the expense of range, or persist the counter across reboots, and that might not be considered a problem because the system was thought to handle the counter overflowing because no one documented that it didn't.

That is why I think the AD is there - to ensure this issue is known when this software is messed with in future.

Comment: Re:Not so uncommon (Score 0) 180

Yet when they happen on Windoze it's because the OS is insecure...

Real story is that Linux is the target for the payload, possibly in addition to Windows or instead of.
Linux has parity, at least, with Windows in the commodity web server space and as a result:
a) it is a target just like Windows
b) there are now clueless Linux admins just like Windows admins
c) Linux turns out to be vulnerable in the same Windows (see above)
d) ...and people will blame the OS

Welcome to mainstream...

Comment: Re:don't call these offers. they aren't (Score 1) 227

by ray-auch (#49601733) Attached to: Want 30 Job Offers a Month? It's Not As Great As You Think

Bingo - they are no more job offers than the 30 emails I get every week from allegedly beautiful young Russian women who have "seen me online" and would really like to meet me and want me to look at their pictures (in the attached .zip file or the included .ru link).

Comment: Re:What about a bus? (Score 1) 280

by ray-auch (#49589803) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

If efficiency is emissions per passenger mile, then it is the right thing to compare - it tells you the relative emissions for moving the same number of people between the same points by different means of transport.

If you want to just compare emissions, then you'll find that can make a much bigger difference by not going at all than by changing how you go - and indeed plenty of greens will argue that we should just travel less. This tends to miss the point that most people travel for a reason rather than just for the hell of it.

Comment: Re:What about a bus? (Score 1) 280

by ray-auch (#49589721) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

On average, buses are far worse than cars for energy efficiency because of the low average load factor.

On what data is this assertion based? I spent a few minutes seeing if such data exist. I could not find data to support your claim that buses are far worse.

Actually they are about the same - given an average car and average loading - but if your car is more eco than average or you carry more people it _will_ be a lot greener than bus.

You can get complete data for calculating carbon footprint from here: http://www.ukconversionfactors... - choose all scopes and "business travel land" and "passenger vehicles" to get bus and car relative data. There are links to the methodology papers on that site as well - explains what data backs the figures e.g.

Average local bus (not london) by these figures is 0.11 and average car is 0.18 - but the bus is per passenger per km, and the car is per vehicle. Take an average car occupancy of 1.6 - see e.g. - and the car is near enough the same as the bus per passenger km.

Now, if you have a more eco car than average or carry more than 1.6 persons on average then your figure may vary. I have a 7 seater which is 170 g/km, to which (according to the methodology links) I should add 15% for the mfrs cheating the tests (actually it gets closer to spec than that) so say a round 200. That car is mostly used to carry at least 5 people, and almost always more than 1, so take a conservative load average of 3 and you have 66g/km or 0.066 vs 0.11 for a bus. That's a lot less. Many new small cars will be less than a bus even with single occupancy.

Comment: wait for the recordable version... (Score 1) 34

by ray-auch (#49575451) Attached to: A Light-Powered Retina Implant For the Blind

Thought the fuss about "glassholes" was bad - we ain't seen nothing yet. Combine stuff like this with ability to record - possibly for assistance with memory problems - and replay through the eyes, or send elsewhere.

Might be interesting to see what the US cops do, probably forcibly confiscate and destroy people's eyes for looking at them funny...

Comment: Re:Any of the mid- high-end Lumias (Windows Phone) (Score 1) 484

by ray-auch (#49554699) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

I would add the low-end Lumias to that as well - seem to be rock solid and good for the price. We bought a 520 for one kid on the basis that it was about the cheapest available smartphone (and he had to have a smartphone...), on the strength of good experience with that have since bought a 630 too. Having mapping and navigation apps that work without data connection is a big plus.

I still say that classic Blackberrys are as good as you get for stability, starting to worry that mine is showing its age because I've had to reboot twice in 6months... but I have no idea what to replace it with - all I need is good email/contacts/calendar management, maps and maybe navigation, news/weather, bit of social networking, bit of web browsing, and I hate touchscreen keyboards (so that's another blackberry then?)

Comment: Re:It's the cloud (Score 1) 146

by ray-auch (#49422491) Attached to: The New Struggles Facing Open Source

Calc still has hard row/column limits similar to ten year old excel.

Writer still has no outline view (or draft view) similar to Word 2000 or earlier - bug report / feature requests outstanding since 2002 I think, and at least second most highly voted feature across all that time.

Those decade lags _do_ imply real problems - in each case the underlying architecture cannot cope with the wanted features.

Comment: Re:What makes you think FLOSS fails less? (Score 1) 133

What makes people _think_ fewer FLOSS projects fail is that people only look at the successful ones because they are the most visible. Commercial failures are very visible because of the amount of money lost, people do post mortems, studies to "make sure we don't make the same costly mistakes again". With FLOSS no one cares about the failures, they just move on to something else.

IT is not alone in this problem, take construction / civil engineering, we judge by the failures: "this bridge has cracks, there are bits falling off this skyscraper, these houses are subsiding". We want impossible success rates: "why with all our building standards and fancy technology do we still get these problems". Then we look at, say, medieval cathedrals and say "see, those medieval stone masons had none of our fancy technology, they didn't have computers to calculate stress and strain, and yet they built all these beautiful cathedrals that have stood for centuries".

Why can't we be as successful as medieval stone masons / FLOSS projects ? Answer: you can. Just be sure to clear up the piles of fallen stone and above all do not document or dwell on your failures, move on and they will be forgotten.

Comment: Re:Winning comments (Score 0) 43

You're missing the point - you can get a prosthetic limb on the NHS but it won't be delivered by f***ing Iron Man will it? And when it breaks, will Iron Man fly in through you roof to fix it, and then depart through your wall, leaving holes you'll treasure forever ? - no, thought not. This isn't boring old extract money from your taxes to pay for health care stuff, this is _Hollywood_, it's the all American exciting and fun way to extract money from your wallet for the same shit you watched last year in order to pay for one kid to get a new arm.

Only one kid gets an arm, of course, because provided you make sure he looks good on camera, you can just reuse the shots again and again. Sucks if you aren't the one, but hey that's Hollywood, ya shouldn't have been ugly or a loser...

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.