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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).

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Comment: Re:Nipples and terrorism? (Score 3, Interesting) 134

In general Americans have problems with moderation. If you say you went out to drink, then you will drink until you're drunk. While in many other countries a drink is just a drink, not even enough to get legally buzzed. If the person smoke then they smoke at least a pack a day. While in other countries it may be 1 or 2 cigarette a day.

Anecdotes are anecdotes, but as an American with a bit a world travel under my belt, this contrasts with my observations. Europeans tend to be better at the "just one drink" (and when they do over-do it, there is much better public transit, or their homes are nearby). East Asians seem to enjoy having a few drinks at a time, and Mexicans as well. There was no legal alcohol in Kuwait, and my visit to Afghanistan was before the wine "industry" started up again (so no observations there). However, the pub culture and local breweries have been taking off here in the western U.S., and we frequently go and have just one beer around here.

As to smokers: in every other country I visit, the local nationals are always surprised at how few Americans smoke. In many states in the U.S., public indoors smoking is illegal, which really cuts down on the number of chain smokers, and forces them to limit their smoking to about one cigarette per hour. I'm always surprised when I go elsewhere, as to how many people will finish a cigarette, then immediately light up another.

Comment: Re:Freedom, liberty and privacy, and the police (Score 1) 160

by xfade551 (#49251025) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

Beat cops work great in high density areas, it's expensive though and the high density areas are usually poor which means those programs usually get canceled despite their effectiveness.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles is effectively one giant suburban sprawl, so there aren't really many locations that are high density. Most of the "ghettos" and "barrios" of L.A. where once reasonable working- and middle-class neighborhoods in the 1950s and '60s.

Comment: Re:Why not do multiple forms? (Score 1) 169

by xfade551 (#49227391) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Video Storage For Time Capsule?
I have factory pressed (not "burned") CD's that are twenty years old at this point and saw regular use when they were new, all of which still read fine. I see no reason why a freshly pressed disc (CD, DVD, BluRay... whatever) couldn't last 100 years, especially if you vacuum-sealed it after placing it in a standard case. However, I would still include two or three copies for redundancy, and maybe see if you can get the disc-presser to run blanks from different lots.

Comment: Re:does anyone use the most current version? (Score 1) 275

by xfade551 (#49198863) Attached to: uTorrent Quietly Installs Cryptocurrency Miner
Yeah, I tried out uTorrent a few weeks back after not having played with torrents for a few years. Between the installer that asked me if I wanted to install optional crapware, the in-app advertisements, and some rather obvious things not working right, I promptly uninstalled it within a half-hour. It was bad enough that it made me suspicious whether it was an automated mole for the MPAA/RIAA.

Comment: Re:Procedural to Object Code (Score 1) 247

by xfade551 (#49192631) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

If you take a bit of well-constructed procedural/structural code, then convert it to OOP, you'll find you tend to wind up with a few extra memory loads and jump/branch instructions. You also tend to spend a bit more runtime doing data initialization with classes rather than structs.

Most of the time, these changes insignificant, but if you're doing something intensely iterative it can add up.

Comment: Procedural to Object Code (Score 4, Informative) 247

by xfade551 (#49176731) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality
The test case basically converted procedural/structural code (structs and test cases) to object oriented code (classes and polymorphism) for a small, 4,500 line project. What they basically added was extensibility at the expense of overhead and traded individual-line complexity with architectural complexity.

Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 823

by xfade551 (#48878177) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret
I drive a vehicle with a modern V-8 Hemi. It's incredibly quiet, except when I really stomp on the gas, and even then it's not that loud. I suppose I could swap the exhaust for Magnaflows or something, but it's kind of fun having a sleeper vehicle, especially when a couple tricked out Hondas pull up on you on the freeway when you're already doing 70mph at merely 1600 rpm.

Comment: Re:parachute (Score 1) 248

by xfade551 (#48834473) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released
The shuttle's Solid Rocket Boosters always had a bunch of salt water damage that had to be cleaned up and refurbished before being reused, and that refurbishment process costs only slightly less than manufacturing from scratch. The Falcon 9 is a liquid fuel rocket, so that same saltwater has even more things it can damage like pipes and pumps. SpaceX is trying to avoid any major saltwater clean-up, yet still have a place to put the rocket down that's unlikely to hurt anyone when the landing still fails every so often: "Oops, I guess that part was only good for 6 landings, not 7", "Crap, the forecast was wrong! The rocket is now incoming and we got high winds", etc.

Comment: Re:Jury of your peers (Score 1) 303

That you have a right to a "Jury of your peers" is a misunderstanding; it is nowhere in the U.S. Constitution. That concept was a British common law one, established by the Magna Carta, wherein nobles would be tried with a jury composed of nobles, and commoners with a jury of commoners. Since titles of nobility, etc. are blocked by U.S. Constitution, that means everyone is a "commoner", so everyone is your peer.

However, if I ever found myself being prosecuted, I would certainly much rather the jurors be composed largely of engineers and similar professions, but those tend to get booted during jury selection (lawyers don't like people who can see through their bullshit).

Comment: Re:Summary video (Score 1) 319

by xfade551 (#48769205) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

The deep ocean, where the clathrates are (because methane requires high pressure to hydrate in the midst of liquid water) really doesn't have much variation in temperature. Water, salt water included, is at it's densest at just a few degrees above it's freezing point, so you get an approximately constant temperature at the bottom (neglecting thermal vents and thin areas of crust, and the like). Tectonic/volcanic events are much more likely to release the stuff, and we don't have much control over that (okay, there is some debate about oil fracking, but that is land-based).

With respect to the "exponential system", the old "hockey stick" graph has been repeatedly shown to be false. Not to say there is no warming going on, but whether it's linear, exponential, or cyclic has yet to be proven. I'm more inclined to lean "cyclic" as there have been multiple ice ages and warming periods. Anyone know of any studies that have run Fourier Analysis/FFTs on climate data?

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