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


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Because no one wants Linux on a laptop...? (Score 1) 383

No one? Really?

I switched this year to an all-linux environment. Previously, I mainly used Cygwin and VirtualBox on Windows to carry out development and local administration of web projects. There were always issues with things like file permissions and line endings along with the mental overhead of working across two separate OS. As I was already experienced with Linux, switching to Ubuntu on a new 5th gen i5 / 8GB was a breeze. It was a great relief to move into a homogeneous environment and as I fleshed out my software stack the advantages just became more and more apparent.

But there have been issues and they weren't always straightforward to solve, requiring much command line work to figure out. There's an annoying bug that causes system fonts to render corrupt occasionally. I don't get much joy out of the Bluetooth. If I was a new user I would probably have been frustrated and would have had to install Windows. So much of your comment is very valid. It does require a certain level of expertise to ride out the issues and arrive at a fully functional system.

Comment Re:Where does the Fed claim to get power to ban th (Score 1) 363

your [html] skills are not very impressive.

And so, all these "well armed" people. Deluded. Meeting up with other well armed people to talk about being well armed, shooting holes at bogeys in their minds and Ignorantly re-parsing 18th century English texts as their children run around at their feet, loving it, emulating, fingering safety locks and shooting their kid sisters in the head. It's worth bearing in mind that a well-armed militia would be called an insurgency these days and would be met with a well-armed government. It's hard for me imagine any kind of scenario where the "well armed" would actually "win' any kind of serious test of their well-armedness. In short, they'd get their arse kicked.

Comment Re:Well that was an incoherent metaphor (Score 1) 270

Yup, Paul Bremmer - CPA1. His first act as Emperor of Iraq. The clumsy and sinister "de-ba'athification of Iraq".

and put disgruntled ex-army on the streets and out of work

...with all their weapons. Don't forget that part. He didn't disarm them first. No time for shit like that.

Paul Bremmer. Donald Rumsfeld. These two guys really need to put their hands up and say sorry. They fucked it up so bad. It's tragic.

Comment Re:sampling bias (Score 1) 405

oh yeah, you get time on IM to formulate questions. Lots of time. That's because you are 'talking' to people typing with one finger, whilst simultaneously 'multitasking' (aka not really paying attention anyway). I sit there watching the little pen icon scribbling away thinking, ok , this will be good. Then a 7 word response comes back. It's shit. A chat is so much more efficient. Jot down notes as you talk, then summarise the salient details in an email. Old school? I know it is. But it is simply better work practice.

Comment Re:Hindenburg? (Score 1) 140

That occurred to me too subsequently. I don't have any specialist knowledge and I haven't even read TFA, I just like studying engineering problems.

To alter the buoyancy there are four main possibilities as I see it. Alter pressure. Alter volume. Alter gas mix, Alter temperature.

The delta pressure that could be achieved is limited by the structural and hermetic integrity of the gas envelope. It's probably quite feasible to build an envelope capable of pressurisation above atmosphere to perhaps 1 bar which would certainly give you a good range of buoyancy control and I think an operating ceiling of 5000m, possibly more, based purely on range of alitudes where neutral buoyancy is obtainable.

Volume changes could be effected with some kind of mechanical bellow. But as this results in a delta pressure it's similar to the above.

Temperature change is the most promising mechanism. Additional lift could be created using hot air balloon principles. You would get fairly fast reaction control

Gas mix changes would allow for trim changes as the craft ascended or loaded / unloaded. It's easy to conceive a system of pressurised gas containers that can be selectively opened to adjust the gas mix. Nitrogen would be the obvious candidate for this. But the problem lies with recovering the helium. Unless you can fit a scrubber system that can selectively leach the gas and return helium, under pressure to the onboard storage. If this device leaks helium - and it almost certainly will - then it is a) evil and b) useless.

But I appreciate this machine is a hybrid and most of the buoyancy issues are taken care of by generating aerodynamic lift. However, they would want powerful trim controls so at least some of the above must be designed in to the craft.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.