Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Just...wow. (Score 4, Insightful) 44

by Rei (#49798823) Attached to: Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Plans To Obtain Sensitive Western Tech

No, fines for violating export laws.

Being slapped with massive fines is usually pretty good motivation for a company. And given that the US spends nearly half of the world's total military spending, and the EU a good chunk of the rest, simply "hopping overseas" and choosing to serve other markets isn't exactly the smartest of plans, financially.

It's idiodic for a company to wilfully risk sales of hundreds of thousands of units per year to NATO to sell a couple hundred units to Russia. Russia's economy is barely bigger than Canada's. And less than 80% the size of Brazil's.

Comment: Re:Just...wow. (Score 1) 44

by Rei (#49798769) Attached to: Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Plans To Obtain Sensitive Western Tech

You could start by reading more than the first paragraph.

1) They don't have "zero" capability, but they have way too little - only a few hundred modern imagers.

2) They have tried to buy them off ebay before. And it led to arrests. It's illegal to export military-grade night vision equipment without a license, and apparently sites like ebay are well monitored for potential violations.

Comment: simple (Score 1) 473

by Casualposter (#49798269) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

It will be like LASIK or really good dental work - not deemed medically necessary and thus available only to those with the money to buy it. A few countries, with small, aging populations might toy with providing it to their citizens, but the majority won't have it available to them. Having lots of youthful adults would diminish the profits of the medical/insurance complex. It will be hard on some types of plastic surgery, but overall, you won't ever see it except on movie stars and billionaires.

Comment: Re:EU food ban? (Score 3, Informative) 70

Yeah, but they "cheat" a lot - for example, Belarus has made a mint serving as a reshipping platform for European goods. And for some reason they left Iceland off their list even though we supported the sanctions against them. Still, it's caused major food price inflation (unsurprisingly). Seems kind of a weird way to punish Europe, it seems obvious it's going to have a lot more effect at home than abroad - Russia's trade in food goods with Europe makes up far more of its imports than Europe's trade in food goods with Russia makes up of its exports. But I guess they didn't have a lot of options for "retaliation". I mean, Gazprom is already nearly going broke as it is, turning off the spigots would have rapidly ensured that it did. Oil and gas make up half of their government budget and 2/3rds of their exports - it'd sure punish Europe, but it'd also be economic suicide.

I think they're really hoping that the sanctions will just expire and they'll be able to go back to raking in western capital again. Because if they don't expire, barring some huge unexpected oil price surge, those reserve funds are going to dry up. They expect it to be down to under $40B by the end of this year. What they're going to do when it runs out, I have no clue. They need dollars and euros to buy the goods that their undersized industrial sector can't manufacture. China's a help but not a solution; they don't have the lending power of the US or EU to begin with, and their goal seems to be more exploiting Russia over the situation than offering friendly aid. For example, they got Russia to agree to the cutthroat rates on the proposed "Power Of Siberia" pipeline that they'd been trying to get for years and to let them own greater than 50% stakes on fields inside Russia. They got Russia to sell them their most advanced air defense system despite the objections of the defense industry over concerns that China would do what they always do with new technology - reverse engineer it and then produce it domestically. But who else are they going to turn to? China's basically becoming Russia's "loan shark". And at the end of the day, if it came down to it and China had to chose between the Russian market and the 20-fold larger market of the US and EU? It's not even a contest.

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 1) 525

Everything from your wall switches to your wires will cause you never ending problems.

Mechanical wall switches are still rated for DC. Houses USED to be wired for DC a lot. You only have to replace the stuff that was designed after AC was pervasive and wasn't engineered to handle DC.

(I forgot to mention that you'll also have to replace the light dimmers, too, along with most other electronic, rather than mechanical, switches. They usually use a current-zero-crossing turnoff device, and DC won't cross zero unless you force it to do so.)

Even if you replace your wall switches and outlets, your wires will degrade over time and develop holes and other blemishes that will cause a fire.

No they won't - unless they're wet (in which case you have bigger problems than galvanic corrosion). Electromigration at the current densities involved in house wiring is not an issue, nor is insulation breakdown. The wires and fittings will be just fine.

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 1) 525

(DANG this stupid touchpad... )

An "inverter", by definition, actually has alternating voltage as a substantial output, or at least somewhere in the circuitry. A switching regulator has a cycling voltage, but it isn't an AC output, or even an AC intermediate.

But they're very similar.

(Also: I was going to mention, above, that the current supplied through the pull-down (or clamp-at-ground) switch is where the extra output current comes from, compensating for the lowered voltage with higher current for similar amounts of power. If the switches, inductors, capacitors, and wiring were all ideal, the driver and sensor circuitry didn't eat any power, and no energy was radiated away as radio noise, efficiency would be 100%.)

Comment: Re:Even if you go DC, stay at 120V (Score 1) 525

A down-stepping DC-DC converter is not an inverter?

Nope. But the pieces of the implementations are similar enough in function that it's close.

A typical DC/DC down converter involves two switches, an inductor, and both input and output filter capacitors, plus control circuitry to sense the output voltage and time the switches. (There may also be a VERY small resistor in series with the inductor to sample the output current if current regulation is necessary, but it's omitted for high efficiency if that's not an issue.) One end of the inductor is hooked to the output cap, the other through the switches to the input cap and to ground.

The pull-up switch is always active (typically a transistor). The control circuitry turns it on and the current in the inductor ramps up, charging the output capacitor at an increasing rate. After a while the pull-up switch is turned off and the pull down switch is turned on. The current through the inductor ramps down, but before it goes through a stop and reverses the pull-up switch is turned back on and the pull-down turned off. The pull-down switch may be a diode, which switches on as needed automatically, but for high efficiency it's usually another transistor, because it has a lower voltage drop and thus is more efficient.

The control circuitry varies the percent of pull-up versus pull-down time to keep the average output voltage at the desired level. The frequency may be controlled or may be allowed to vary somewhat.

So the waveform in the inductor is a sawtooth, and the current never reverses. An "inverter" by definition,

Comment: Re:Not a new idea (Score 2) 32

by Rei (#49795303) Attached to: GoPro's Next Adventure: Virtual Reality and Drones

I figured they'd tackle something more ambitious than that with their drone offerings - a drone that (barring instructions to do otherwise) follows you around whatever you're doing and keeps the camera on you, trying to get the most epic shots. E.g., you bungee jump off a bridge, it races you to the bottom, keeping whatever distance and filming style you told it to.

But maybe it's just another remote control drone.

Comment: Re:Lol (Score 1) 242

by spitzak (#49795257) Attached to: A Text Message Can Crash An iPhone and Force It To Reboot

Holy fucking shit, who cares? If this was done by LETTER WIDTH, we wouldn't see the problem-

EXACTLY! That is why you do not want "N characters". I don't understand what your problem is here.

It is true that for this example most programmers would scan from the start, finding the longest string that fits with an ellipsis at the end.

What I was trying to point out is that if you want to be clever, you can guess as to an insertion point. But 11 bytes is just as good of a guess as 11 "characters" and since 11 characters requires scanning you are not saving any time.

You are perfectly correct that after you stick the ellipsis in there you need to test to see if the rendering fits and perhaps try another guess. The idea is that you will do fewer measurements, but that such insertion can be done using byte offsets, and "N characters" is a useless concept that never enters into it.

+ - UK Goes Full Orwell: Snooper's Charter, Encryption Backdoors, Speech Suppression->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The old joke goes "George Orwell's 1984 was a warning, not a 'how to' manual." But that joke is increasingly less funny as the UK really seems to be doing everything it can to put in place Orwell's fictitious vision — just a few decades later. Right after the election a few weeks ago, we noted the government's plan to push forward with its "extremist disruption orders" (as had been promised). The basic idea is that if the government doesn't like what you're saying, it can define your statements as "extremist" and make them criminal. Prime Minister David Cameron did his best Orwell in flat out stating that the idea was to use these to go after people who were obeying the law and then arguing that the UK needed to suppress free speech... in the name of protecting free speech. Really.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Lol (Score 1) 242

by spitzak (#49792763) Attached to: A Text Message Can Crash An iPhone and Force It To Reboot

Do you really think 12 happy faces fit in the same space as 12 letter 'i'?

This is why it is pointless to do such counting.

And what you propose would split betwen a letter and a combining accent, so it really isn't any better for trashing strings.

Basically as soon as the words "N characters" come out of your mouth you are wrong. All your description just does that for many paragraphs. Don't feel too bad however as there are many many other people, including ones working for Apple, who are wrong as well.

PS: the surrogate order does not depend on they byte order in UTF-16. You might want to check what you are doing if you thought that.

Comment: Re:I am amazed (Score 1) 242

by spitzak (#49792433) Attached to: A Text Message Can Crash An iPhone and Force It To Reboot

A lot of misinformed programmers use the term "Unicode" to mean encodings other than UTF-8, typically UTF-16 or UCS-2. For instance a function called "toUnicode" often is a translator from UTF-8 to UTF-16. Therefore when people say "Unicode strings" they almost always mean non-byte strings. I propose the best solution is to eliminate all such strings. It is true that byte strings would encode UTF-8 and thus be "Unicode" but the hope is that this would be so standard that there would be no need to ever specify this and they would be called "strings".

Comment: Re:Terraforming potential? (Score 1) 275

by Rei (#49792059) Attached to: How To Die On Mars

But that's the point. If it slams into an immobile object of course. But we're not talking about anything slamming into an immobile object. From the perspective of a molecule in the gas stream, it's going about the same speed as its neighbors. It's quite cool.

As for the boundary region, even at the "pinched" funnel outlet one could be talking dozens of kilometers here. A dozen kilometers between going from zero velocity and 25 kilometers per second is roughly the same as a dozen meters between going from zero velocity and 25 meters per second. Aka, a virtually insignificant gradient.

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

Working...