Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment Re:Whoa! Consider the Law (Score 2) 737

In 1931 a book was published in Germany, Hundert Autoren Gegen Einstein (A Hundred Authors Against Einstein), a collection of criticisms of Einsteinâ(TM)s theory of relativity.

When asked about the book, Einstein retorted by saying âoeWhy 100 authors? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!â

Percentages of anything are utterly irrelevant to the evaluation of scientific matters.

Comment Re:Lenovo Tab 2 A10 (Score 1) 283

I will also endorse Lenovo Yoga Tablets. The bulge on one edge holds standard size LiIon battery cells. Using standard batteries makes the machine less expensive (8", $200, 10" $250), it also provides twice as much power as other machines with custom batteries. The bulge acts as a handle or, if the cover is flipped out, a stand. The machine has a slot for a micro SD card up to 64GB. Durable. Reliable.

Comment Re:Exceeds state authority (Score 2) 192

There are many claims of authority by regulatory bodies. Some of them are constitutional.

The FAA must rely on the grant of power in Art 1 Sec 8 of the constitution to regulate commerce among the several states.

Airliners bound for other states fly over my house every day. I concede the FAA's authority over those airplanes and their flights.

OTOH, a little drone flying barely above the treetops has a far slimmer case to be part of interstate commerce.

Federal jurisdiction over use of the air is not unlimited, and cannot be used to displace state jurisdiction on non commercial uses of airspace in realms that are clearly not part of the commercial airways.

If we look at other forms of transportation we will see a similar pattern. Federal jurisdiction over commerce does not immunize truckers from state rule about safe driving. Federal jurisdiction over navigable waters does not preclude state regulation of fishing boats and fishermen.

I personally guess that California's right to regulate the use of airspace below 500 feet outside of airport landing zones is constitutional and will be upheld if the law is enacted.

Yes, IAAL.

Comment Just an ordinary user who is a poor typist (Score 1) 698

Yes. Caps Lock is useless to me. One of these days I will install a utility to disable it.

Other keys:

I use : about ten times for every ; I use. Why aren't they in the opposite order.

In the old typing days. the . and , keys were often doubled, i.e. shift . was . and shift , was , It was actually faster for me that way. I don't use < and > enough to have them on that part of the keyboard. Ironically, on /. you have to type four characters to make those things appear.

While we are moving > and < can we move [ and ] and { and }. I actually use ( and ). If they were down on the [ and ] keys, it would save me some effort. I know that some programers use { and } a lot, but ordinary users don't.

Also, even in this internet age, I use ? which is part of ordinary English grammar, a lot more than /. Why not put / with \ and send | to some place where kind folks can give it a nice home? Then double the ? like the . and the ,

I would also like to say that I like and appreciate my right mouse button. I know it is anathema on Macs, but Windows makes good use of it.

Comment My Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (Score 3, Interesting) 134

I bought a new Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. It weighs 2 lbs 12 oz 1270 g. A bit more than the LaCie. OTOH it is built to Thinkpad standards so it is quite rugged. The keyboard is excellent. The machine came with Win 7 professional and no bloatware. It has a 500 GB SSD. It is fast and easy to use. I love it, and think the money was well spent. The battery life is excellent, it will run all day in ordinary usage. (i.e. not playing streaming HD video).

Comment Zero first-world nations still use imperial ... (Score 2) 273

Including the US.

Much of commerce and daily life in the US uses a customary system of measurements that traces its origins to England, before the revolution.

In 1859 the UK adopted a reformed and rationalized system of weights and measures that was binding on itself and its Imperial possessions, including about a quarter of the Earth's surface at that time.

The US did not adopt that system. Although in 1959, the US and the Imperial system countries adopted a common definition of the yard in SI units.

There are extensive differences between the US customary and Imperial systems, especially in units of volume and in larger units of weight.

All of this is explained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST, a division of the US Department of Commerce []] in Appendix B "Units and Systems of Measurement Their Origin, Development, and Present Status" to their publication Handbook 44 "Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices" [PDF].

While we are correcting misconceptions, the SI system (often called metric) is lawful in the US, and has been so since 1866, and dominates several important activities, such as health care, and the military. What the US has not done, and probably will never do, is outlaw, the customary system.

Comment But, the US is already metric (Score 1) 830

I am not sure that Mr. Chaffee understands the issue.

Let me start by quoting the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST a division of the US Department of Commerce]. Appendix B "Units and Systems of Measurement Their Origin, Development, and Present Status" to their publication Handbook 44 "Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices" [pdf] states:

2.2.5. Status of the Metric System in the United States.

The use of the metric system in this country was legalized by Act of Congress in 1866, but was not made obligatory then or since.

* * *

Since 1970, actions have been taken to encourage the use of metric units of measurement in the United States. A brief summary of actions by Congress is provided below as reported in the Federal Register Notice dated July 28, 1998.

Section 403 of ... the Education Amendment of 1974, states that it is the policy of the United States to encourage educational agencies and institutions to prepare students to use the metric system of measurement as part of the regular education program. Under both this act and the Metric Conversion Act of 1975, the âoemetric system of measurementâ is defined as the International System of Units ... interpreted or modified for the United States by ... the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Section 5164 of ... the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, amends ... The Metric Conversion Act of 1975. ... read[s] as follows:

âoeSec. 3. It is therefore the declared policy of the United Statesâ"

(1) to designate the metric system of measurement as the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce;

(2) to require that each federal agency, by a date certain and to the extent economically feasible by the end of the fiscal year 1992, use the metric system of measurement in its procurements, grants, and other business-related activities, except to the extent that such use is impractical or is likely to cause significant inefficiencies or loss of markets to U.S. firms ... ;

(3) to seek ways to increase understanding of the metric system of measurement through educational information and guidance and in government publications; and

(4) to permit the continued use of traditional systems of weights and measures in nonbusiness activities.â

The Code of Federal Regulations makes the use of metric units mandatory for agencies of the federal government. (Federal Register, Vol. 56, No. 23, page 160, January 2, 1991.)

Perhaps Mr. Chaffee wants non-metric units to be outlawed. That is not US policy (see above). I doubt that there is any enthusiasm for changing the policy, or any money to implement such a change.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang