Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


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 Will Apple be able to spec/source a good OLED? (Score 3, Interesting) 104

I'm actually a fan of OLED displays when they're perfect, yes, even the bright colors.

But dammit it's hard to find a really good *actual* OLED display in an *actual* unit.

Went through five phones before I got a Note 4 with a good display. Went through four Galaxy Tab S units to find a good one new out of the box. Let's see, what are the problems encountered in the various and sundry displays?

- Strong yellow cast, like ridiculously strong
- Pink/green gradient, usually from corner to corner, with "white" only in display center
- Uneven brightness, i.e. dark "splotches" on white backgrounds or "dark gradients" at one edge of the screen to about 1-2" in from bezel
- Terrible pixelation/pixel noise at low brightness, not unlike digital camera "noise" in low-light exposures
- Burn-in (even in supposedly factory-new devices)

Either QC or the production process or both appear to be nearly fatally flawed for Samsung, and they're currently the biggest shipper of OLED screens in gadgets, and have had years of experience. You'd think they'd have it sorted out by now.

I love the *potential* of OLED, but it seems like for the most part right now, attempts to actually ship them in consumer devices leave a lot to be desired.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 83

Why would someone eat something that contains almost no nourishment

To enjoy the pleasure of food without contributing as much to obesity? cf. the entire diet-foods industry.

That said, I've had some of these yam-like noodle products, and the ones I got tasted like hell and digested even worse. Hopefully a large dose of cellulose can fix that. I'd love to have some chee cheong fun with the majority of calories coming from the sauce and meats!

You need either carbs or fat just to survive.

Or protein.

Comment Re:Disposable screens for disposable products? (Score 1) 104

Your old OLED screens don't compare to modern OLED displays - they're at least two generations behind. And black bars? That's the controller, not the 'phosphors'. It could be that a certain OLED panel had a bad production run, but try to keep proper separation of concerns.

A 4-year-old GS3 AMOLED screen looks great compared to any iPhone screen produced today, and the newer ones are even better (I considered switching to a 'better' phone (circuit-board level) after running a GS4 for years, and just couldn't go back to LED). Apple is switching to better technology obviously (and good for them).

Most importantly, the iPhone OLED screen will last longer than security updates will be available for the device. Be a responsible netizen and recycle the thing in 2023. Or go with an open product instead to extend the safe lifetime of your purchase.

Comment Re:Cost of access is key. (Score 1) 314

That was not my point. Ofc we can improve ISP. No idea how much that improves either 'performance' or drops price.

It improves performance a *lot*. As for price, it depends on how expensive that rocket system is. For first stages, an improvement in ISP's effect on the size of the rocket isn't that much greater than linear. But the further up the delta-V chain the engine is used, the more of an impact it has on everything that was used to get it there. An extra hundred sec ISP on a first stage might reduce the system mass by a third; on a second stage up to LEO, maybe cut it in half; on a kick stage for a Mars transfer orbit, maybe cut it by two thirds. On an ascent stage from the surface of Mars... well you get the idea. Shrinking down a rocket to a small fraction of its size - fuel, tankage, and engines - well, that's really significant. ISP is very, very important for upper stages. So you can afford to pay quite a bit for those top stages if it improves their performance. Just not an "unlimited" amount.

There is no way a high tech electrical engine will improve its performance by 10% regardless how much money or time you put into it: the efficiency is already between 98.5% - 99.5%, up to 99.9% in some cases.

This is getting a bit offtopic, but at least the electric engines in EVs don't usually run at nearly that high. Depending on the type they might average 85 to 94% on average. It varies over their load cycle.

Regarding rockets: there is simply not much margin anymore in changing the form of the exhaust tube, burn chamber etc

Actually you can. The general principles of how rocket engines work are fixed, of course - your exhaust will never exceed its local speed of sound in the throat, and then you want to expand it as close to ambient pressure as you want. But the details vary greatly. There's bell nozzles, linear nozzles, annular nozzles, aerospikes, throatless nozzles, atmospheric wake compression, and on and on. There's tons of different ways - developed, in development, and in theory - to pump and inject your propellants - where they need to be pumped at all. Even many propellants that are traditionally thought of as being in one state can be implemented in other states. There's various ways - developed, in development, and in theory - to prevent nozzle erosion. To improve regeneration. To reduce mass. And on and on and on. Rocket combustion is a rather complex thing and we're still trying to get a handle on it. Do you know that we still really don't know how aluminum burns in solid rocket propellant? There's something like five different competing theories. I mean, things like this are a Big Freaking Deal(TM), especially when such small improvements in upper stage ISP have such significance for lower stage mass. And even on your lower stages there's a lot of things that have a big effect on your system cost. For example, how to stop resonant shocks from ripping them up - a lot of people don't realize that one of the main benefits of adding aluminum first stage to propellant mixes is that the droplets of burning aluminum damp shocks. (yeah, it increases ISP too by raising the exhaust temperature, but it also has disadvantages, such as not contributing to expansion, slowing down gases (particularly near the nozzle), and impacting/eroding the throat (or even forming an accumulating slag)

Re, nuclear+chemical. There are proposals for this. The main issue isn't efficiency - the extra chemical energy doesn't make that much of a difference - but thrust. The downside to nuclear thermal is that the reactor is so heavy (fission is like that, unfortunately) that the mass ratio is only something like 3-4:1. That's really bad (you generally get 15-20:1 or even better for a chemical first stage). So the approach is to inject oxygen early in the ascent phase for added thrust, but only run on hydrogen higher up when gravity losses are lower. I'm really not that sanguine about nuclear thermal rockets getting a serious development program any time soon, though. The public overestimates the risk, of course - not only am I sure they'd well seal the fuel elements against whatever damage would be incurred by explosion or reentry, but there's the simple fact that the fuel is "fresh", not contaminated with the more hazardous actinides. But it's going to be a hard sell. And a really hard development project, if they ever did try again. Gigawatt-scale flying nuclear reactors that pose radiation hazards during assembly and test aren't exactly childs' play.

Comment Re:The guy aint no Sagan... (Score 1) 314

You forgot to exclude operational expenses.

Yes, people to run robots and comm time on the DSN. We're not talking about massive expenses here. The real expenses are the capital costs.

And also didn't mention that you can't just lob chunks of metal straight to Earth's surface,

Actually, you really just can. Even random rocks from space - not shaped for optimal entry shape, not cemented together by anything yet what nature chose to gie them - do this all the time. They have to be between a certain size range (too little and the whole thing ablates; too large and it explodes, either in the atmosphere or on impact), but the random creations of nature do it; delberately shaped and sintered projectiles should have no trouble with it, with (proportional to their mass) relatively little burnoff.

You would, of course, need a rather large area designated as the impact area; even with very precise aiming, by the time they get to Earth and undergo reentry the random variables will spread them out over a sizeable chunk of land. A large salar might be ideal, since they get resurfaced periodically so the impacts wouldn't be damaging the landscape.

By your same logic, the mining of minerals on Earth would be zero dollars per gram if the equipment was solar powered and automated

It's almost as if I didn't discuss capital and ongoing costs in my above post.

Launch costs really are key to the rate of development at the very least, in that they limit the rate in which funding can be raised for the necessary exploratory and test craft to be launched. Even if the economics for operating a mine on a NEO works out really well at present launch costs, you have to prove that you can do it before you can raise the billions to build it. And to prove that you can do it you have to launch a number of missions while you're still relatively poorly funded. They face the same problem that Bigelow has faced - a probably reasonable business plan but the early phases hinging around factors that they don't control.

It does nobody any good to pretend that the lack of a space economy is because investors are cowards and morons

I think you need to go back and read my last post again, particularly all of the "it's too early to say"/""we don't know"/"but time will tell"/etc lines. I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that there very well could be a compelling case for asteroid mining even without any radical changes in space technologies. But there's a great deal of work to prove that before we can get to that point.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 86

Now that the Steam Box is on the market, there is a growing demand for high-end gaming graphics on Linux. That sound you hear is nVidia laughing all the way to the bank.

They've already been there counting and laughing ever since the GTX 970/980 launched. They fell over laughing when they learned that the Fury would be a $500+ card only. Steam boxes would just be the cherry on top.

Comment Re: he should know better (Score 1) 218

The First Amendment to the ...


It is sad and sickening to see so called liberals ...

Also correct.

BUT ... it does not matter. In the end it is up to the business whether it will run X or not.

By way of example: if I paid you $10 to put a sign on your lawn saying X would it be wrong for you to refuse to put a sign saying Y on your lawn for $10?

And that's where we are at with this. The theatres refuse all religious / political ads. That way they do not endorse X or Y. Nor can they be seen as supporting Y.

Comment Re:he should know better (Score 2) 218

If you made some kind of public statement and your employer/landlord/bank called you up and said it's not compatible with being an employee/tenant/customer of ours anymore I think most people would call it a free speech issue. Granted, we're not really being consistent because half the time we want to protect dissenting opinions from the wrath of the majority and the other half we want obnoxious and offensive speech to have consequences. Like when Brendan Eich was forced to step down as CEO of Mozilla, was that right or wrong? Some think it was right, that the LGBT community had a right to cause a shit storm. Others think they blatantly silenced an opposing voice by harassing his employer. But the government wasn't involved, so there was no free speech issue right?

Submission + - NASA concludes that comets, not alien megastructures orbit KIC 8462852 ( 1

MarkWhittington writes: Back in October, findings from the Kepler Space Telescope suggested that something strange was going on around a star called KIC 8462852. Kepler was built to detect exoplanets by measuring the cycles of dimming light from other stars, indicating that a large object was passing between them and Earth. But the dimming light cycle from KIC 8462852 seemed to suggest a lot of smaller objects swarming around it. Scientists narrowed down the explanations to either a swarm of comets or alien megastructures. NASA announced evidence garnered by two other telescopes that pointed to the comet explanation.

Comment Re:The real Bill Gates of India (Score 1) 77

Waaaah businessmen are mean poopyheads!!! Are you nerds really so naive that you think that almost all successful CEOs aren't equally as ruthless? You don't succeed in business by being a wimp.

What I meant was one wouldn't brag about being like Gates if more knew his tactics. Perhaps ruthlessness is a necessary evil of a modern society, but people should at least be aware that it's being used.

Note I admire Steve Jobs far more than Gates because Jobs had a nose for what FUTURE consumers and movie goers would want (even though he was a still a jerk). Microsoft merely purchased or copied good existing products made by other co's and bundled them together.

Submission + - Research Claims Li-Fi Is 100 Times Faster Than Conventional Wi-Fi (

An anonymous reader writes: Research from an Estonian startup claims that Li-Fi, which uses light to transmit data, can operate at 100 times the speed of conventional Wi-Fi connectivity. In laboratory conditions speeds of up to 224 gigabytes per second were recorded, with the added security benefit that the data stops exactly where walls stop the light.

Comment Re:seriously? (Score 1) 77

Are the other variants more dialectal? In addition to huoji ( / ) (fire chicken) what I read states that there's also qimianniao ( / ) (seven-faced bird), tujinji ( / ) (cough up a brocade chicken) and tushouji ( / ) (cough up a ribbon chicken)

(hope Slashdot doesn't mess up the characters)

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?