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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Fact check (Score 1) 568

Next time before spewing "facts", please check where they come from!
When I try to google Mercatus, the first auto complete is Koch brothers...
The idea that we spend on average ~$90k/yr/child is hilarious. We only spend that much money on prison inmates.
The real number is ~$10k including the school lunch program, buses, and janitors.
That's comparable to the overhead cost of a class A building for a relatively low paid employee... Ok seems about right.
Oh you want to educate them too? Then throw in an "overpaid" teacher who makes 40-60k/year (gets summer off but grades at night/weekends).

Simple check. There are 12 years between 18-6 ages. The average life expectation is 72 years. So very roughly 1/6th of the population is of public school age.
There are over $300m us citizens and so there are ~50m school age students. If we were spending $100k/student/year on it would be $5T/year or half the GDP. FAIL!
Oh wait, you mean they ballooned the number by adding up 10 years together and it's actually less than $10k/yr?
You mean they only use 10 years so that they can make countries that stop education at 15 look better?

http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66
Ok 5% of GDP I'll accept that, but it's still well below what many other countries spend so no big surprise.

How much do other countries actually spend?
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.XPD.PRIM.PC.ZS

So we are ahead of Bhutan and Cameroon, but well behind Columbia. Congratulations!
Hmm... actual data that hasn't been so twisted by insane ideology that it at least passes a smell test.
Please learn to use the Internet.

Comment Re:Define, please? (Score 4, Informative) 129

OLTP - Online Transaction Processing. An application/database designed for larger, equal, or nearly equal volumes of database inserts, updates, and deletes, as there are reads. The database is generally more (and often highly) normalized, meaning that there is less data duplication across tables and/or within tables.
OLAP - Online Analytical Processing. Essentially a data warehouse designed for larger volumes of reads than there will be inserts, updates, or deletes (often relatively very, very few deletes). Less normalized meaning that there may be duplicated data across and/or within tables in order to increase query speed at the cost of possible consistency issues due to the data duplication.

Mark this informative comment the hell up!
And smash my Karma if you want to, but the (four letter) acronyms really didn't help the article much.

Comment Re:Bad call by a union, nothing more (Score 5, Interesting) 394

You are correct in the case of airplanes and other macro structures...

But, interestingly the little mirrors in your TI based DMD/DLP movie projector use aluminum hinges.
They bend ~1% strain @540Hz for ~20khr before failing and that's >10^10 cycles!

Why? because the hinges are thinner than a grain size and so dislocations don't propagate.
Cool :)

Comment Lightning is a DC not an AC Electric arc? (Score 5, Insightful) 199

Greg is a great guy, giant tesla coils are cool, and I'd love to know more about lightning, but it seems like lots of properties of air (especially when it has water or other polarizable droplets/particles) are frequency dependent. So I'm not sure how that this is really going to act like the natural lightning that we're used to... Science? Ok, but not Natural Lightning Science.

Comment Re:just obvious human logic (Score 1) 250

You are absolutely correct... the details of the patent claims (and supporting specification) are very important.
However, the selection of the examiner is also extremely important.
I won't be surprised if one of these patents is issued in a first action allowance, even if another (perhaps even narrower) receives a final rejection.

Some companies even submit multiple applications with minor tweaks to the abstract so that they go into different branches of art.
When the first examiner allows the patent, you abandon all of the others so that any prior art discovered by another examiner doesn't make it to the file folder.

Multiple submission triples or quadruples the cost of filing, but you can dramatically improve the chance of allowance for highly suspect patents.

Comment Re:Isotopes != elements (Score 1) 220

Actually, finding a cloud containing only Radon gas would basically indicate alien intelligence or some completely new nuclear process since there isn't a process that would purify to only Radon... Even isotopes that decay into radon would need to be purified....

Finding a giant isolated stellar gas cloud that contains no other elements again either implies that they were purified by some process, or that it has been there alone since before there were other gases (eg Oxygen, Nitrogen) to mix with. It would (thermodynamically) ove to form ammonia (NH3) and water (H2O) to get to a lower stable energy state).

They have proposed the least unlikely answer (interstellar alien intelligence is a big leap).
Please pursue further education.

Comment The 3rd set of data supporting subsurface H20 ice (Score 5, Informative) 59

There was new data this year indicating subsurface water ice from two synthetic radars (SHARAD and MARSIS at different frequencies on two different landers).
They have estimates for the volume and placement of the ice as well.
http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/news/feats/2010/mars_glaciers.html

An original finding from 2002 based on a single Gamma Ray Spectrometer instrument showed excess Hydrogen...
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2002/28may_marsice/

And now even more extensive results from long term surface studies... I find the recent subsurface radar measurements most compelling.

Comment Re:Sadly its not real (Score 1) 828

I call BS on that post by Baldrson.

I was a physics student at Caltech at the time. We had pre-prints of the papers from both Utah organizations on cold fusion on the day that P&F released their paper (Early March around spring break) as well as the less well known Jones paper. We went to the university lab stores and bought all of the Palladium available. Professors in actual labs that wanted to study the effect were pissed (and actually bought the Palladium back at a profit and with the inclusion of the students). Several of the same students made large sums in the Futures market (on the way up and down). There was no significant work on-going at Caltech when ColdFusion was announced, but we were all very hopeful and involved in the weeks that followed. New calculations, research, and science was done based on the results. I am saddened that further CF research is so polarized from regular science (mostly due to governmental funding and politics), because this isolation prevents peer-review and publication of good experiments, but allows crack-pots to flourish in the vacuum. We all hope there is something there, but the chances of finding it get more remote with every fraud- its like figuring out what happened to JFK.

I also know one of Fleischmann's collaborators from just before this event- he describes him as both an excellent scientist, but also obsessed with secrecy and getting credit for work that was well outside of his primary field of expertise- Electrochemistry. That combination of obsession, intelligence, and renown has always been detrimental to our understanding of the universe... see Linus Pauling on Vitamin C or the work of the latest Nobel.

I trust my own memory, and that of my direct personal contacts more than I trust you.
You just seem tragically misinformed.

The scientific community has done a pretty good job dealing with the aftermath of some very bad actions both by scientists, the media, and politicians. Conspiracy theorists don't help us actually come to grips with the complexity of the world around us, they grasp for the "simple but wrong" answers instead.

Comment Re:A Groupon pitfall (Score 1) 129

Great idea! Creating a public app has it's own pitfalls, but if groupon (and other coupon writers) can create negative externalities on normal buyers to make their money... then we can create market pressure on their customers to make them stop... "free" markets only work when they are transparent and reciprocal (among other requirements).

Slashdot Top Deals

"Don't drop acid, take it pass-fail!" -- Bryan Michael Wendt

Working...