Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Human thinking (Score 1) 608

by state*less (#46837211) Attached to: Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?

No alien civilizations have substantially colonized our solar system or systems nearby. Thus among the billion trillion stars in our past universe, none has reached the level of technology and growth that we may soon reach. This one data point implies that a Great Filter stands between ordinary dead matter and advanced exploding lasting life. And the big question is: How far along this filter are we?

I think the first sentence in the conclusion has problems. Why the hell would you assume, "No alien civilizations have substantially colonized our solar system or systems nearby."

I think I know why, we are stupid enough to think we are capable of understanding life that is more advanced than us. A sufficiently advanced entity could hide on our planet if it wanted to!

Comment: Comcast says the routers cost too much (Score 1) 410

by state*less (#46828819) Attached to: F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

If you look at Comcast's income statement for 2013, you'll see rising profits. They made 6.816 billion dollars in 2013. I find it disingenuous (fucking bullshit) for them to claim these content providers are costing them money.

In reality it is likely the opposite, the content providers are increasing the demand for their product and allowing Comcast to charge more for service. Their relation to content providers is somewhat like Apple's relation to App providers. Except in the case of phone companies, their are alternatives to Apple.

Comment: Toward Naive Programming (Score 1) 391

by state*less (#46608249) Attached to: Toward Better Programming

Chris claims that programming can be simplified so that the masses can program. Well he'd like to claim that, but at the moment he is only imagining. Let's cite some examples of things everyone will not be able to do with his new tool. Everyone will not be able to program a search engine such as Google's. Everyone will not be able to design a supervised learning task to find the needle in a haystack of data. Everyone will not be able to express the logic of their ideas, because they are simply ineffable to themselves
Even when you are adept in some field, when you hear of what the experts are doing in another field that you know little to nothing of, it seems like magic. Those who can write search engines, create statistical experiments and express the logic of their ideas will always be seen as magicians to non-experts. It doesn't mean that the tools they use are broken, though they might be, it means that there exists variation and degrees of expertise. Better tools is not going to change that, just shift the "problem" around.

Comment: Where are all the aliens? (Score 1) 745

by state*less (#38326566) Attached to: Is the Earth Special?

Unless an alien civilization finds a way to break the speed of light, we won't likely be able to communicate or visit with each other. It simply takes too much energy to travel and too long to communicate.

I quote from the Interstellar travel wikipedia article:

There is some belief that the magnitude of this energy may make interstellar travel impossible. It has been reported that at the 2008 Joint Propulsion Conference, where future space propulsion challenges were discussed and debated, a conclusion was reached that it was improbable that humans would ever explore beyond the Solar System.[1] Brice N. Cassenti, an associate professor with the Department of Engineering and Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, stated “At least 100 times the total energy output of the entire world would be required for the voyage (to Alpha Centauri)”.[1]

Perhaps if we discover something about the nature of our universe that we aren't yet aware of, we will be able to interact with alien life. For now, the possibility is quite remote.

Comment: Re:So how bad was it? (Score 1) 917

by state*less (#32933836) Attached to: Apple Offers Free Cases To Solve iPhone 4 Antenna Problems

I also have one, and I've both used a case and not. Like you, I do not make many calls on my iPhone. Mostly I use it for email, text messages, taking pictures and mapping. It does a great job at these tasks. I haven't experienced a dropped call, but I also don't hold the phone with my palm or finger bridging the gap in the lower left corner.

I put the bumper on. Like I said, I haven't experienced a dropped call, so I'm not sure what the bumper has done for me other than give me a little peace of mind.

Anyhow if you think it might be a problem put the bumper on, but you might not really need it.

Comment: What people don't know about aerogel (Score 5, Interesting) 556

by state*less (#8040926) Attached to: The Amazing Properties of Aerogel
Here's a nerdy factiod about aerogel that might help your processor speed.

There has been some close research into using substances like aerogel to improve processor speeds. Apparently the substances can be used as very efficient insulators between traces and components. This is because aerogel and substances like it are mostly made of air, which has a very high dielectric constant so aerogel itself is a very good insulator.

It's better described here

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser