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Comment Re:Radiation wrecks robots? (Score 2) 307

It doesn't take years if the flux is high enough and the components are sensitive. Direct neutron damage really can be a problem for electronics.

You are definitely right about all the high energy secondary particles. They cause a whole heap of problems for electronics (including signal spikes etc).

My point really was that there's nothing special about the interaction between radiation and biological intitities (as the original poster was implying). Neutron radiation (including secondary effects) will damage non-biological materials just as well as biological.

Comment Re:Radiation wrecks robots? (Score 4, Informative) 307

In this case the "radiation" is the emission of high-energy neutron particles. Neutrons will run into anything *... and when they do, they transfer a ton of their energy into whatever they hit... causing "damage cascades" as atoms get tossed around (Wikipedia has a decent animation here: ).

That atom-scale damage adds up after a while... causing material failure... regardless of the type of material.

For instance, inside of a reactor all of the steel holding all of the fuel in place is constantly bombarded... leading to all sorts of effects like radiation induced swelling and embrittlement.

In humans the primary issue is when those neutrons hit DNA / cells and damage them. It actually happens to us all day long from radiation around us... but our bodies can deal with a certain amount. Too much damage though... and your body can't cope any more.

In robots / electronics the issue is much the same. The neutrons run into _everything_ and degrade it. More sensitive pieces (like camera sensors) will degrade rather quickly while larger components (like structural steel) will most likely be fine for long periods of time.

* The probability that a neutron will hit a certain type of atom is called a "cross section" (XS) and is an _extremely_ well studied phenomenon. You can look at some here: for instance, this is the probability for a neutron running into Hydrogen:

Comment Re:Eight function toilet? (Score 2) 187

I personally don't like the idea of any water coming up from the _toilet_ onto me. How clean are the spray nozzles? How well maintained is the tubing running to the spray nozzles?

No: I'll settle for wiping off what I can... and doing my own proper cleaning that evening in the shower with soap.

Comment I'm out (Score 4, Informative) 314

I didn't vote for Trump... but I'm tired of seeing this drivel on Slashdot.

I've been here a LONG time (~15 years). I've seen tons of _crap_ come through this site in that time... but this stupid political stuff takes the absolute cake.

This is supposed to be a damn technology site! I come here to get away from the normal news cycle and talk about technology with others who are interested in it.

I hate to give it up... but I'm out for now. I'm sure I'll check back in a few months... but maybe not.

Bye guys, it's been fun (mostly).

(Cue people telling me I won't be missed... which I won't be)

Submission + - Barnes & Noble to release a $50 Android tablet for Black Friday

Robotech_Master writes: Barnes & Noble has decided to imitate Amazon yet again, as it comes out with a $50 Android tablet just in time for the holidays. The specs are similar to slightly better than the $50 Fire, but the kicker is this tablet will ship with plain-vanilla Marshmallow Android 6.0 and the Google Play utilities--unlike the Fire, which limits its users to only those apps Amazon deems suitable to offer. Might this be enough to rescue the ailing Nook brand?

Comment Re:No (well, almost) Glare on newer MacBook Pro (Score 1) 319

Not when typing - but when going after an F-key... yeah, most of the time. I have some muscle memory for the F-keys I use most (F8 is a "compile" button for me in Emacs... hit that one a LOT)... but even then I usually glance down to make sure I'm hitting the right one.

You have perfect muscle memory for all of the F-keys?

Comment Re: No (well, almost) Glare on newer MacBook Pro (Score 1) 319

I do get it.

Like I said: I guarantee you there will be a utility for placing a "permanent" button anywhere you want on the touch bar. One that never changes no matter what you're doing. There are going to be hundreds of utilities for controlling this thing (just like there are for everything else in OSX).

And - if that fails - I agree with the Anonymous poster: there will be a way to force the touch bar to always display the F-keys...

It's going to be fine.

Comment Re:No (well, almost) Glare on newer MacBook Pro (Score 1) 319

16 _GB_ is plenty to run VMs. I run Linux and Windows VMs just fine on my 16GB MBP.

You'll be able to to configure the touch bar however you want. There will be _thousands_ of utility apps for changing it to do whatever you want. I guarantee you that you can force it to _always_ display an ESC key if that's what you so desire.

You will definitely be able to tell it to show an ESC key in VMware, X, Termina, etc.

Comment Re:No (well, almost) Glare on newer MacBook Pro (Score 1) 319

> I'm using ALL of the functional keys all the time. In particular, F1 is a shortcut to bring up iTerm which I'm using in ALL contexts. So now it'll become impossible.

No. Now it means you'll be able to put a little "button" called "iTerm" where F1 currently is so that it's even easier to recognize that that's what the button does...

I also use all of my F keys... have each one mapped to a specific task in Emacs. I'm looking forward to making them actually say what they do (and be context sensitive... they may even change depending on _exactly_ what I'm doing in Emacs) in the Touch Bar.

Why is everyone always so damn negative these days?

Comment Re:Escalation? (Score 1) 316

Why do people think _they_ are the only professionals?

What "professional" feature is being lost here? The SD-Card reader? Because, arguably, it is _gaining_ features many professionals want: higher speed external connections.

For myself: I'm a professional. I develop high-performance, massively-parallel, multiphysics simulation code that runs on supercomputers. I do not care much at all about any of the external connection capability of my laptop (SD-Card, USB-A, etc.).

The new MBP will still be a very professional machine for me as long as it is powerful and fast.

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