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Comment Re:the main legit use i can see (Score 1) 267

I presume that this would be integrated with some kind of app on the receiver end. When the truck is dispatched (or, if the depot is in range, when the parcel is ready for direct dispatch), you'd get a message telling you the time window when it will be available. You then signal that you're ready to receive it and give some GPS coordinates. It's then dispatched and sends another message when it's a few hundred metres away. You then go outside (or stand on a balcony) and wait for it to be delivered directly to you. Once it's very close, it can use WiFi from your phone (send your MAC address to the drone and the SSID that you're associated with - or create an ad-hoc network if you're out of range and it can home in on you) to check that it's actually landing by the correct person. Then just tap the 'delivery received' button and it will fly away.

Comment Re:How does space elevator save energy? (Score 2) 156

No space elevator designs that are even vaguely plausible include a moving cable. To understand why, consider the mass of such a cable: the energy required to accelerate it and then decelerate it for the cars to start and stop would be phenomenal. You could potentially have a loop that would continuously move in a circle, but you'd still have problems starting it. Just dropping things from the top wouldn't be enough, because you'd need to get them a fair way down before they'd stop orbiting and actually provide force in the correct direction. I don't even want to think about the lateral forces that such a structure would have to endure.

Comment Re:Hydro = from the sun (Score 1) 203

Direct solar may sound nice and work fine in small scale, but collectors would have to cover great areas to be effective

The total world energy consumption is somewhere around 100PWh/year. That's around 274TWh/day. The sunlight hitting the Earth is around 1kW/m^2, so 8kWh/m^2 assuming 8 hours of sunlight. If you assume 100% efficiency in conversion (totally impossible, but we'll start there and refine later), then that means that you need about 3.45E10 m^2 of land devoted to solar power. That's a square about 185km on each side. If you assume 10% efficiency (mass produced photovoltaics are 12-25% these days), then you need an area about 342000km^2, or about the area of Germany, to power the entire world. Now, given the efficiency of power distribution, you probably wouldn't want to put it all in one place, but you could easily fit solar panels enough that, even with transmission losses, you could power all of North America in Utah or Texas without anyone noticing. The difficulty is not the generation, it's the storage.

Comment Re: Humn.... That one is hard. (Score 2, Interesting) 317

Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Crom... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

Comment Re:Comedy of errors (Score 1) 815

Right because somone who does not possess electronics knowledge can tell the difference between a PCB for a cheap electronic clock and one that is some kind of detonator.

The school officials, and the police, all asserted that they had exactly that ability, as none of them actually invoked a single procedure that they had in place for dealing with a suspected bomb.

Schools get evacuated on the basis of a single anonymous phone call which says there's a bomb in a locker. It happens on a regular basis. Yet when they had the device IN HAND, they very obviously made the determination that it was in no way, shape or form dangerous. They did not evacuate the school. They did not call in bomb disposal. The teacher kept it in a desk drawer for a fair length of time. The police transported the 'device' in the same vehicle that they used to perpshame Ahmed.

They didn't just believe it wasn't a bomb, they made a specific determination, at every level and at every point in the debacle, that it wasn't a bomb, and SPECIFICALLY CHOSE to not invoke the procedures that all start with 'If there is ANY possibility that there is a bomb, do this....'

Comment Re:No! (Score 2) 815

Being arrested requires that charges be filed.

Incorrect. You're 'detained' of the officer stops you for any reason. You're 'under arrest' if you don't feel free to leave, if the police transport you anywhere, or uses force to prevent you from leaving. The officer requires 'reasonable suspicion' to detain you, and requires 'probable cause' to arrest you, but it DOES NOT need to lead to charges. The officer can reasonably believe you were commiting a crime, then turn out to be wrong, or have new evidence come to light without it having been false arrest.

Your twenty minutes is plucked out of the air and meaningless.

Actually, it's a rule of thumb applied by the SCOTUS. Google it a bit and you'll find all sorts of case law, opinions, and the like.

Otherwise, google 'detention versus arrest' and you'll find all sorts of legal jurisprudence about it. Like this. Or this. Or even this.

TLDR: You can be 'detained' on suspicion. If you're not free to go, if the officer moves you, or if the officer starts calling in backup, drug sniffing dogs, and the like, you're under arrest. If he develops 'probable cause' to believe you've committed a crime, he can arrest you.

Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 1, Insightful) 815

Ahmed was not detained. He was arrested. At no point would he have felt that he was free to go. Also, 'twenty minutes' seems to be the rule of thumb for how long somebody can be 'detained' before it turns into a de-facto arrest.

Ahmed was hauled off in cuffs, for zero reason. The American legal system specifically puts a dollar value on damages, as well as having the idea of putative awards. Ahmed deserves both.

Comment Re: Already solved (Score 1) 110

I bought a new fridge about 5 years ago. I moved house and worked out that the difference in power consumption between the old fridge I had and the new one that I bought meant that the new fridge paid for itself in 2-3 years. Newer utilities are significantly lower power than ones from even the '80s and '90s. I bet that the next set of low-operating-cost white goods will all have some kind of Internet-related insecurity as standard.

Comment Re:Open to abuse, by design (Score 1) 399

I'm not talking about the University's rights to accept or deny students based on more-or-less arbitrary criteria.

I'm saying that if the University considers a person to be suspect of committing a crime, they probably have a legal duty to report that to law enforcement, not simply send the student somewhere else where they can continue. Especially in cases such as sexual assault, which have a major impact on victims.

If my daughter were raped on campus, and I found out that the accused had been expelled from another University for having multiple accusations piled up, but was never reported to the police, I'd be after them like something that goes after something else really fast and hard.

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.