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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:I know what I'm getting for christmas... (Score 2) 399

The word everyone is looking for would be obsolescent. Just because a newer processor comes out, it doesn't mean that the old ones stop working en masse.

The statement isn't even true, however. Not as long as the older gear is still useful and the inconvenience of replacement outweighs the advantages.

Comment Re:They reconsidered (Score 1) 266

The days of gentlemen skippers are long gone. America's cup teams now use professional crews and professional skippers. USA 17 (the current cup holder) was helmed by Russell Coutts. Larry didn't "command the crew", Russell did. Larry's most important task was to support Russell financially and organizationally.

I don't mean to take away from Larry's abilities as a sailor, but simply to point out the commitment required of sailors at the top levels of competition. It's no longer the hobby it was 30 years ago. It is a life and a career.

Comment Re:Wait what? (Score 1, Informative) 799

It actually does mean they can't plan evil. Within the Piaget model, children do not form the processes necessary to reasonably determine the consequences of their actions and furthermore do not have an understanding of right and wrong beyond an egocentric level.

But you're right about the brain matter thing.

Comment Re:Diesels already do this. (Score 1) 576

Not a problem. Diesels tend to be quite durable, so (with a few notable exceptions) if you can put the mileage into the car, the motor will stand up to it. 1/2 million miles is not uncommon for a VW diesel.

It doesn't make sense to buy an expensive, efficient car if you're going to be putting in low mileage/low hours on your car.

Comment Re:Kill Stalin rather than Hitler (Score 1) 1270

The reasoning that dictator X is worse than dictator Y because X killed more than Y is pure bullshit. Evil doesn't scale with body count, it's a qualitative evaluation.

Hitler's influence certainly lasted more than a decade. Regimes which were influenced by Nazism and it's methods of control include East Germany (the Gestapo were cloned into the Stasi), Peron in Argentina, and the Baath party in Iraq and Syria.

Comment Re:Lest we forget (Score 2, Insightful) 279

The Cold War arose because of the Russian fear of the nuclear-armed US (they had after all nearly been destroyed by Germany, a smaller country) and their desire to create buffer zones in the West of the Soviet Union. That, and what that notorious left-winger Eisenhower called the "military-industrial complex".

Eisenhower wasn't upset about having a strong, high technology military. He was concerned that crackpot projects were excessively milking the country for money and that military spending should be looked upon always with a certain amount of clear eyed judgement to prevent unwarranted waste.

Nuclear powered bombers? Remember that one? Safeguard? Heck, even now NMD is being built for pork purposes under the smokescreen of a fictional "rogue nation" threat.

Even the Sovs had their own version military industrial complex. They called it the "metal eaters alliance".

However, as I suspect that you're writing that from your parents' basement, I doubt that you actually know any history, or were even around for the Cold War."We are too easily impressed by small wars nowadays"- if you knew any history, you would know that the Western invasion of Germany was a limited war because high casualties would not be accepted by the American and British public. Read up on Eisenhower. You need to learn about the greatest American general.

I'd say it was pretty much total war. There was a certain amount of trust within the western allied governments that the generals would not be wasteful with soldiers lives and I think Eisenhower and his colleagues were cognisant of that.

Comment Re:Wow. (Score 2, Interesting) 279

I'm guessing this is adaptable to alternative sensor platforms, not just cell towers. If they want that kind of accuracy from the SIGINT/DF hardware, they can probably get it. The problem is that they might not have a handle on the systematic errors being introduced into their targeting.

For example, say they slave the on station Predator optics to data from this software so they can pick up a guy in a town and follow him to wherever he's going. Everything is peachy, because they know there was nobody within 10m (but there were people 12m away) and the system's supposed to be accurate to 5m (or whatever). They have a good fix. CIA decides to make him an ex-person and maybe kills the wrong guy.

I hope this doesn't happen. I hope there are redundant checks within such a program to keep these things from happening. Maybe he has to make two phone calls. Who knows? The original contractor didn't know specifically how their software would be used. They wanted to ensure that the new hardware would match the old based on their regression testing so that as much as humanly possible, there would be no surprises.

Comment Re:Sad, actually (Score 1) 285

Big myth, here.


Rebuilding the assembly lines and rediscovering the small things which aren't down on paper. That's what's hard. The design is still there, right where it should be.

Now people actually know quite a bit about main engines. Nobody makes the really big ones these days because there's not much work and not a large amount of funding for big boosters. If the gloves were pulled off, I'm sure that they'd be able to impress.

Slashdot Top Deals

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.