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Comment: Re:A more important issue... (Score 1) 162

Personally, I don't use it. I run Fedora and use the re-packaged blob from the rpmfusion repo. However, I've seen a good number of posts on various support fora saying that nouveau works just fine if you don't need/want 3D. The only time it gives trouble is if you have both nouveau and the blob loaded, and there are several ways to prevent or correct that. If you've had bad luck with it, I'm not going to argue the point, but I do know that there are people out there who are very happy to be using it.

Comment: Re:A more important issue... (Score 1) 162

I started experimenting with Linux back in the mid-90s, but I abandoned Windows completely about a decade ago. I use Linux daily on my home computer, rebooting only for kernel updates. I'm retired, I'm not pushing the OS to the limits or doing bleeding-edge development, so my box Just Works. YMMV, and clearly does.

Comment: Re:A more important issue... (Score 1) 162

The only time you have to play with video drivers under Linux is with ATI or nVidia, and only if your distro doesn't do it automatically for you. I use Fedora and it doesn't; my sister uses Xubuntu and it does. I've changed nVidia cards more than once and had the old driver work just as well, but there are times you have to get the right one. Printers, actually, can be worse because not all companies make Linux drivers available or release the specs so that OSS drivers can be written.

Comment: Re:A more important issue... (Score 1) 162

Nice piece of FUD there. I've been running Linux exclusively for almost a decade now. I've changed video cards, hard drives NICs and mobos, without any trouble. Most of the time, you make the swap, boot and It Just Works. Once in a while, you have to boot into a CLI to get a new video driver, but that's about it. Maybe you should actually learn something about Linux before you come back and slam it again.

Comment: Re:So perhaps /. will finally fix its shit (Score 1) 391

by techno-vampire (#48623535) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites
We are living in a world where the west is increasingly persecuting people for ideas.

There's nothing new about this. If you look at history, you'll see things like this happening over and over. Look at how Rome treated Christians, look at the Spanish Inquisition and their expulsion of Jews, look at the Holocaust, look at Stalin's Great Purge. For that matter, remember that the Pilgrims weren't interested in letting everybody worship they way they wanted, they were interested in creating a colony where everybody had to worship the way the Pilgrims said they should. Up until recently, the US has been an exception to the general trend of mankind to punish anybody who doesn't think the same way as the ruler does, but I'm afraid that this is coming to an end. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't fight the trend, just that we shouldn't fool ourselves by thinking that this is something new in the world, because it isn't.

Comment: Re:James Tour made me a Comp Sci (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by techno-vampire (#48606895) Attached to: Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use
That class proved to me that I was not, in fact, a chemical engineer.

If so, taking it wasn't a mistake because it kept you from spending years learning something you weren't really cut out for. And, if you count in the tuition money you saved, it may have been the best thing you ever did while at Rice.

Comment: Re:End of flight as we know it (Score 1) 225

by techno-vampire (#48577147) Attached to: US Navy Authorizes Use of Laser In Combat
Armor tends to be heavy...

Armor designed to protect against impact gets heavy, very fast. Armor against lasers, maybe not, but I think we need to think in terms of shielding, not armor because that includes ablative protection which may not be as massive. And yes, there's a trade off, as shown by the fact that the bursting charge in an armor piercing shell is much smaller than what's used in a bombardment round. The problem, of course, is working out the optimal balance, and I have no idea how that's done, but I'm sure that the people designing these things know how to decide how much shielding is enough.

Comment: Re:End of flight as we know it (Score 1) 225

by techno-vampire (#48576469) Attached to: US Navy Authorizes Use of Laser In Combat
Part of penetration comes from mass and momentum. That's why the fuse of an armor piercing shell is at the back and has a time delay. Assuming that the impact velocity isn't lowered, more mass means more momentum. And, of course, if you can't increase the velocity, the only way to increase the impact energy is to increase the mass, which is why musket balls were so big.

I think we're both in agreement here that armor piercing isn't the main issue any more, although I'd be willing to argue that maybe it should be. I'm just trying to explain why I think that some sort of shielding, either reflective or ablative (if not both) isn't a waste of mass on a missile that's going against a laser defense.

Comment: Re:End of flight as we know it (Score 1) 225

by techno-vampire (#48575361) Attached to: US Navy Authorizes Use of Laser In Combat
'Most' Missiles are a hell of a lot lighter than a 16" shell.

Well, yes. Of course. I quoted those figures simply to show the difference (both in total mass and bursting charge) between an armor piercing and a bombardment round because I happen to know them. And, BTW, I'm not sure if the max range is quite right because back when I was in Uncle Sam's Navy, they were listed as reaching out to 25 nautical (not statute) miles. That 38km might be right, I just don't have either the time nor the inclination to calculate it for myself and it's not exactly important. Just thought I'd mention it.

Comment: Re:End of flight as we know it (Score 1) 225

by techno-vampire (#48573653) Attached to: US Navy Authorizes Use of Laser In Combat
You miss my point. Shielding on a missile isn't wasted mass. Either it protects the weapon from the laser or its mass does extra damage to the target. (You can think of it as extra shrapnel if you want.) Within reasonable limits, it's a win-win situation. I gave the details on the 16" shells just as an example.

Comment: Re:End of flight as we know it (Score 1) 225

by techno-vampire (#48569135) Attached to: US Navy Authorizes Use of Laser In Combat
Not all of the damage is done by the warhead, some of it comes from mass and momentum, and any shielding that survives until the missile hits just adds to that effect. In fact, most of the weight of a classic armor-piercing shell is simply a mass of metal in front of the bursting charge (with a time-delay fuse) that's intended to batter its way into (and if possible through) the target's armor before the warhead detonates. As an example, a 16 inch armor piercing shell weighs 2700 pounds of which only 150 pounds are HE. Bombardment rounds are 2200 pounds, including 500 pounds of HE.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll