Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment PNAS (Score 1) 48

As a researcher in the field, I find it highly unsavory that something as important as a theory claiming to explain high-Tc superconductivity would be published in a proceedings journal. And not, say, in Science of Nature... In physics in general, proceedings are considered the lowest form of scientific paper. Basically, you get published I've you've been to the conference. That's not really an achievement. Which isn't to say that the paper is complete bullshit, I'm no expert in that particular topic. I just work on more applied techniques involving high-Tc superconductors...

Comment Re:TFA from Wired (Score 5, Informative) 174

I'm sorry to have to say that, but that is a very ignorant and claptrap post. Maglev trains by design cannot be derailed. Even the non-superconducting Transrapid by Siemens (Germany) that commutes between Shanghai Airport and Downtown cannot leave his tracks instead of catastrophic failure of the whole track. That's because the tracks are shaped like this c-× so the magnets push the "c"-shaped guides away from the "-"-shaped track in every direction. The worst that can happen is that the "c" hits the track in which case the train simply brakes because of friction. In the case of the L0, consider this picture: Yes, the track is almost straight. No, there are no sharp curves as in Spain, else it couldn't go that fast. For a more informed article with some tech specs, check here: Please don't ask questions just for the sake of asking something. A very academic thing to do, but trust me, everybody hates the frustrated postdocs who do this.

Submission + - H.265 OS implementation available

Zyrill writes: The Germany based company Stuttgarter Struktur AG has released a free and open source implementation of the H.265 codec also termed "High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)" which is now available on Github. At the same video quality, H.265 promises roughly half the bitrate as compared to H.264. Also, resolutions up to 8K UHD (7680 × 4320 px) are supported. The software is licensed under LGPL.

Quoting from the homepage where the software is also available for download: "[This software] is written from scratch in plain C for simplicity and efficiency. Its simple API makes it easy to integrate it into other software. Currently, libde265 only decodes intra frames, inter-frame decoding is under construction. Encoding is planned to be added afterwards."

Comment Re:I doubt most people will flinch but... (Score 1) 176

Won't help... FB is tracking people even when they're not signed up. So you'd also have to install stuff like NoScript (and and forbid any and all connections to FB domains...) and Ghostery to keep them from tracking you. Don't know whether or how I can post code here, so the code for ABE is here:

Comment Re:Big Android Problem (Score 1) 176

If what you say is true, the fix seems easy: make a custom rom return unavailable warnings instead of not allowed errors, right? Your approach seems to kind of defeat having a smartphone in the first place, if I'm any judge. It's advantage for me lies in being able to use Facebook, web, email and so on while underway. :) Not to forget google maps (I know I could use offline maps as well, but not when searching for restaurants, shops etc.).

Comment Re:Big Android Problem (Score 1) 176

It cannot be that big of a problem. Let's see which cases I can think of on the top of my head that an app needs to handle gracefully anyway: - network/wifi: can be out of range - write access: sd can be full - gps: no lock possible - contacts: there are no contacts - send sms/make call: out of range - get installed apps: no apps installed - camera/voice: some tablets have no camera/voice etc. pp. There is no reason for fine grained app permissions not to be included except political considerations. And I would not have even considered installing that new Facebook version had I not right now learned about OpenPDroid. I'm patching my CyanogenMod as we speak. If you're interested, see these two threads: for the patches for the gui managing app

Comment Re:Good news: we're only 20 years from fusion powe (Score 1) 115

It's not only a question of what's more convenient, there's also the question of risk allocation. I'm not familiar with fracking, but I'm sure there's concerns there, just like there are with nuclear fission. I still think fusion is a pretty cool concept. If we're really serious about developing fusion though, how about we stop bitching about a billion dollars and just pour enough money on projects that are worthwhile? We keep saving banks with that money every other day!

There's the example of W7-X in Germany, a stellarator design that'll never be energy efficient, but that's not the point I am making: they took ages designing and mismanaging everything until a science minister actually swung by the place, saw that the scientist were not getting anywhere because they were doing science and not managing the W7-X project, as it was. So the ministry scrapped the project and said: you can have all the funding back, plus a little extra, if you come up with a detailed plan how to build this thing in the next 7 or so years. If you miss a deadline, all your funding is gone. So the project went ahead, they got some actual project managers and consultants to work on the project and lo and behold: the system is almost finished. It just took enough pressure and some people that are actually trained for the job they're supposed to be doing to get that project humming!

So if we're serious about ITER, we need to put professional project managers in charge and not some consortium of scientists and politicians and bitch about who gets which share. The positions should go to the party most qualified for the job and not to a company in a country that didn't get contracts in the amount they poured in yet. If some countries want to pull out - fine, we just need to make sure we stop the finger pointing and the nationalistic attitude. If the Chinese can't provide quality steel, they shouldn't get those contracts! Working on that project is such a pain! Actually, fuck multinational projects, they're not going to work. If you want to build a power plant, devise a plan, get the best people working on the field to do it, secure the funding, put professionals in charge, check every two years if they're on track. That way, we might actually have fusion plants in 50 years. At the rate we're going now and with the projects currently under way, we never will.

TL;DR: multinational projects suck, too many economically motivated political bullshit; professional project managers should lead the project and not some senior scientist who has no clue about how to efficiently manage something on that scale; chance to get fusion plants in 50 years: >0.5. Chance to get fusion plants in 20 years with the currently employed system of running fusion projects: 1E-9.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 761

I don't know why it should be different here. In Germany, where I lived before moving to MA, they even sell *drum roll* Kinder Surprise! Google it if you don't know what that is... it's banned here in the US. So what you are saying is that US parents are so inept at bringing up their brood that more stringent regulation is needed here as opposed to Europe? hahaha... well... At this point, let me only say that I love the Darwin award.

Comment Re:Fundamentally Flawed (Score 2) 183

You mean it is still customizable. It's not like you can install any software you want legally on your iOS appliance. But that is besides the point: even using Safari browsers, one is still susceptible to MITM, fishing, scamming ... attacks. So it isn't really a question of which browser/OS etc. you use. It is a question of infrastructure and the weakest link will always be the target.

Comment Re:Prime example of scientific tunnel-vision? (Score 3, Interesting) 114

Actually, a crystal's basic physical and optical properties do not change even when it is eroded: one unit cell of the crystal has all the determining characteristics that a macroscopic sample would have. Given, it takes some training to tell a rough diamond apart from quartz, but that's what mineralogists and material scientists are for. Oh and one more thing: if it was at least a little transparent, the most readily distinguishable characteristic of calcite is that it's birefringent (check: Wikipedia if you do not know what that means).

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman