Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:It's a Fantasy movie not Scifi (Score 3, Interesting) 429

science fiction
n.
A literary or cinematic genre in which fantasy, typically based on speculative scientific discoveries or developments, environmental changes, space travel, or life on other planets, forms part of the plot or background.

Science fiction is FANTASY -- by definition! Your statement : "if every single aspect of the movie is scientifically impossible it's FANTASY not science fiction." has no merit for the examples you listed.

Starwars -- space travel, life on other planets, robots with sophisticated AI (all science fiction)
WALL-E -- robots with sophisticated AI, life aboard a space ship, ecological disaster due to human pollution (ditto)
The Thing -- intelligent alien life (ditto)
Back to the Future -- time travel with paradoxes, ripple effects, etc., hoverboards, flying cars, fusion powered vehicles, etc. etc.
The Iron Giant -- giant alien robot

If this were the 1800's, you'd probably complain the works of Jules Verne weren't sci-fi either.

Comment Re:Attempt to delaying uptake of competing product (Score 1) 657

You make an excellent point. The impending energy crisis will not be caused by a shortage of energy, but by our infrastructure which currently lacks the ability to harness, store, and distribute existing sources of energy to sustain our current use. Heat, light, mechanical energy (wind, running water), chemical energy (burning fossil fuels, biodiesel) , nuclear energy (from fusion or fission.... uranium or thorium), etc. are abundant. Fossil fuels may be dwindling, and it may take some time to replace such energy-dense matter -- particularly oil and natural gas which can be easily transported to refuel vehicles and/or heat homes. We will invest in research & expensive new infrastructure when the time comes and the expense can be shown to be economical.

Comment Re:Evidence (Score 2, Interesting) 134

I've rated about 3600 titles... but honestly, you don't have to watch an entire movie all the way through to give it a one star "I Hated it" or two star "I didn't like it". Sometimes I'll play a low rated movie for 15-20 minutes or so just to see if it's an under-appreciated gem -- or I'll play a 3 star movie and skip around waiting for it to pick up, then close out and rate it w/ 2 stars because I didn't enjoy it.

5,000 titles isn't that impressive when you consider every TV show, documentary, and movie you've ever seen in your whole life. I rated over 2,000 titles my first day or two of Netflix just to seed the algorithm with my preferences. If I had rated every children's show (Barney for example) with one star instead of simply clicking "not interested", I would easily have over 4,000 rated by now & it's only my second month of Netflix.

My guess is most people just don't bother to rate things b/c of the time involved in clicking the ratings for each one. I swear, rating over 2,000 titles was like playing whack-a-mole for hours.

Comment Re:What the hell? (Score 4, Informative) 646

First, thank you for an interesting theory that is worth researching. I had not thought about the possibility of enzymes being included in the product. It would be interesting to know what portion of enzymes survives the process, packaging, storage, temperature fluctuations, and human ingestion to be able to affect the digestion of other foods. My educated guess would be very little, but it would be interesting to find out. It would also be interesting to know if the types of enzymes used could even function at human body temperatures if they arrived unharmed in the digestive tract.

There is no doubt that ingesting sugar could lead to a "sugar spike" in the bloodstream, but it's unlikely to cause any harm in a healthy individual. Your post implies sugar spikes cause Type II Diabetes. While sugar spikes can be a symptom of Type II Diabetes, there is no evidence that they are a cause of the disease. In fact, there is quite a lot of evidence suggesting sugars do not contribute directly in any way. They do, however, contribute to obesity which is a considerable factor. One could ingest large quantities of fruits for a quick fructose rush immediately followed by sucking down pixie stix for their sucrose topped off with several spoonfuls of honey (which is similar to HFCS) daily and not develop diabetes from it.... unless they got fat from it & lack of exercise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes_mellitus_type_2

It's a bit odd that you attribute Type II Diabetes as being caused by a sugar spike b/c the body couldn't produce enough insulin -- when type II diabetes is generally caused by insulin resistance. The pancreas pumps out enough insulin just fine -- just not enough relatively b/c the body resists using it. It's the body's cells that resist absorbing the sugar with the help of the insulin that is the culprit.

The most prescribed treatment for type II diabetics is to avoid fatty foods and start exercising regularly b/c more than half the cases are caused, at least in part, by being overweight. People generally know that diabetes is a sugar-related disorder, so it's easy for people to get confused and mistakenly link the intake of sugar with being one of the many contributing factors that causes the disorder.

Comment Re:Use Windows Embdded, not XP Home (Score 3, Informative) 159

I've found the "Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP" can be very helpful at locking down exactly what can be changed on an XP build... including allowing changes, but wiping them after a reboot.
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/newsroom/winxp/SharedToolkitFS.mspx
It's now called "Windows SteadyState 2.5"
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=d077a52d-93e9-4b02-bd95-9d770ccdb431&displaylang=en

Comment Re:News flash (Score 2, Interesting) 426

Perhaps in your social circles, but not in mine.

There's only one person I know who even uses the word "tweet." Everyone else I know thinks it's stupid. Most people I know that use twitter still say "sent a twitter alert", "sent a twitter update", "posted to twitter", or "follow me on twitter" because "sent a tweet" and "follow my tweets" both sound about as stupid as Steve Ballmer sounded when he talked about "sending a squirt" or "squirting" data between devices.

No one can say for sure, but my money is on "tweet" becoming as archaic as it is juvenile & it will be largely forgotten.

Comment Re:What temperature does this work at though?! (Score 1) 72

Cut your arrogance, sir. "Not Yet" implies that it's something that is believed to be possible to achieve... which it isn't.

Any physicist will tell you that super-conduction depends on keeping atoms in a specific tight arrangement. At room temperature, there is too much movement of atoms and space between them even in crystalline structures to allow for superconductivity. Superconductivity is a state of matter. There are no super-conducting gasses or liquids (and there never will be!) and there will very likely never be any super-conducting solids at room temperature -- ever. The hottest temperature known for any material to super-conduct is 133 kelvin = -220.27 degrees Fahrenheit. That's not much warmer than liquid nitrogen at around 77 K.

It's not arrogance to say that superconductors will NEVER work at room temperature... at least according to the laws of physics as we understand them.

The colder super conductors work because atoms mesh into a quantum state only possible at cold temperatures. The hotter ones appear to work by aligning electrical spin of electrons -- a completely different method, but it too stops working above a certain threshold of heat. Heat adds motion and disorder to the system causing a breakdown in the state of matter.

To clarify, there will NEVER be a room temperature superconductor. It's literally impossible at room temperature to achieve the state of organized matter necessary to provide superconduction. To say otherwise is as ridiculous as saying one day we'll have a super-conducting gas (duh... gasses can never super-conduct either... nor can liquids).

There, fixed that for ya...

Comment Re:What temperature does this work at though?! (Score 2, Informative) 72

"Not Yet" implies that it's something that is believed to be possible... which it isn't.

Any physicist will tell you that super-conduction depends on keeping atoms in a specific tight arrangement. At room temperature, there is too much movement of atoms and space between them even in crystalline structures to allow for superconductivity. Superconductivity is a state of matter. There are no super-conducting gasses or liquids and there will very likely never be any super-conducting solids at room temperature -- ever. The hottest temperature known for any material to super-conduct is 133 kelvin = -220.27 degrees Fahrenheit. That's not much warmer than liquid nitrogen at around 77 K.

So, to clarify... superconductors will NEVER work at room temperature... at least according to the laws of physics as we understand them.

FTFY... anonymous coward with pie in the sky dreams and no understanding of the topic

Comment Re:Fuck the market (Score 3, Insightful) 392

Capitalism works, in theory, by survival of the fittest and is subject directly to consumers' support providing for their self-interests. It is the perfect solution for creating the fittest organizations to provide the goods and services people want at a price they want. It is fueled by people's selfish needs to grow and prosper by working hard as well as their selfish needs for goods, services, and the perception of wealth. It's really the only system that allows for a certain level of greed. Socialism is perfect in a perfect world with a benevolent, wise dictator where everyone agrees that we should all do equal work for equal pay and equal outcome... and the dictator tells us all what we should make, how much, and of what kind, shape, color, etc. etc.

The standards I use to say other systems do not work is that there hasn't been one yet that worked. The USSR tried and failed. Do you know that there was once a glass company that told its workers they would be paid by the hour, so they worked long hours and produced almost nothing? Then they were told they would be paid by the square inch produced, so they produced thin sheets of glass that would easily snap. Then they were told they'd be paid by the weight of the glass, so they added lead and other heavy metals to the glass and made it too thick to fit into standard window sizes. Eventually, they had to state every specification for the product and how much to be produced. It would've been so much easier if the company's income were based on the demand. Command Production and Quotas implemented by the USSR had detrimental consequences USSR

All systems have flaws -- they just take time to surface. Even capitalism requires government interference to provide laws to prevent monopolies, price-fixing, fraud, etc... but I have yet to hear of a system that works better to allow the masses to prosper.

Comment Re:Motor cars weren't (Score 1) 242

car is a general term for any conveyance for passengers or "cargo"... elevator cars, boxcars, cable cars, etc etc... and yes, it was a general term for a cart, chariot, carriage, etc as well. Basically any area for storage or passengers on a vehicle is the "car"

It's origin is the Latin word for a Celtic / Gallic 2 wheeled wagon which was generally pulled by an animal such as a horse.

http://www.tfd.com/car

Comment Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (Score 1) 242

While I agree with you that it could be argued that this vehicle is indeed a "car", it's a valid point that the unconventional design of the vehicle and its limited purpose make it border on becoming not what the average person would consider to be a car in terms of an automobile.

Keep in mind that streetcars, subway cars, monorail cars, and railroad cars are still "cars" because they also cross terrain, though they require tracks of some sort for their function. (even an elevator car is a "car") This new car requires nearly perfectly flat land, a rocket for propulsion, and very specific aerodynamics to adhere to the ground to reach its top speeds. It likely won't allow for much steering at those speeds, so it will have to mostly go perfectly straight as well.

At what point does such a specialized craft no longer qualify as a "car"? Technically, I could put a large rocket with a small compartment for a human being at the tip of the rocket on an elevated track and still call it a "car". If there were a requirement that it have wheels, I could put wheels on it that touch the ground, but they'd be rather unnecessary. Is there a rule against tracks? Possibly, but if so, it's arbitrary. At some point, someone defined the rules for qualifications for the fastest land speed record of this type, but I would argue that the spirit of the rules has been skirted long ago. This is really a rocket with wheels that has been crafted to hug the ground so as to stay within the letter of the rules of being a land vehicle.

Comment Re:Supply and demand? (Score 1) 324

You do realize that trade agreements, tariffs, bans, etc. are all bargaining chips in diplomacy & that when it comes to bargaining w/ China, we have to use these tools very delicately, right? Banning trade with China makes about as much sense as shooting your conjoined twin through the heart you both share. One ban in one area on one thing leads to retribution in another area and possibly escalation & so on. Trade barriers almost always lead to higher prices on goods, so there's another side-effect as well.

China has 1.3 billion people and zero care for the environment. That is not going to change anytime soon. They did a decent job cleaning up for the Olympics, but that was only temporary & for show for visiting countries (& to make the air clean enough for athletes).

Our options are limited & our bargaining power to force change in China is limited, so get used to the status quo or come up with a viable alternative. Do you know WHY we choose to buy our goods from China? It's because they have low wages, no benefits, and no environmental policies, so companies can afford to set prices low. It's cheaper to ship raw materials to the other side of the planet to be processed & then shipped BACK than to have them processed here in the US with US labor. I kid you not. We send wheat & flour to China to be processed into noodles & shipped back.

Why choose environmental policy as a stance for trade barriers? Why not human rights or worker conditions or even minimum wages? If you're going to get upset over subsidies, we subsidize food which we export & we and other countries subsidize banks, auto-manufacturers, etc. etc. It's much more blatant than lax environmental laws, too.

Why don't we just ban all trade w/ everyone but democratic 1st world countries with high environmental and working standards? -- Because the cost increase on goods will be astronomical, that's why!

If you're going to be all high minded and idealistic about our trading policies & threaten sanctions on our biggest trading partner and investor, you'd best be ready to back it up & have a backup plan for the consequences...

Comment Re:Yes. (Score 1) 259

Unless you live in a mobile home where the mortgage company owns the title to your home until you complete the terms of your contract, your mortgage company does not own any part of your home. Your home is merely collateral which can be seized to repay any portion of the amount of your contract you are unable or unwilling to pay.

Comment Re:Not quite (Score 4, Informative) 259

Nope... you and whomever modded this as +5 informative needs a course in business law. Owning 51% or more in a company gives you complete and unquestionable authority over what actions a company can take unless a signed contract says otherwise or your shares are specifically "non-voting" stock. If the Fed. govt. as 80% owner decided to release all documents or even liquidate the company, the owners of the other 20% would have no say at all and no legal recourse.

Slashdot Top Deals

Heisenberg may have slept here...

Working...