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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Metric, you know? (Score 1) 66

Much as I'd like to, 50 years of understanding exactly how fast 60 MPH is means I have to pause and think about a little mental conversion when I see kph

Right after I posted, I realized I should have included a 'sarcasm' tag. In my example, I made mention of someone doing 45m/s in a 50kph zone to show that even to an engineer like myself, velocities in terms of meters per second are never mentioned in 'real life'.

(That 45m/s is about 100 MPH, obviously much more than 50kph)

I'm the same as you though, I've tried switching all the gauges in my car and GPS to metric units to get me into the 'feel' of how far a kilometer is, but it's been about 6 months and so far hasn't taken.

Comment Re:Metric, you know? (Score 1) 66

we can further simplify our phrase by simply stating "10 Gm/h".

To further simplify it I would suggest that you use the SI base unit for time. That means your 10 would become 2,777,777.7... m/s of course, I think we should consider significant figures here, and assuming only 2 significant figures then you end up with 2.8 Mm/s

Of course, given that in my normal day-to-day conversations I use m/s as the preferred metric of measuring speed, I'm quite comfortable using this as a comparative measurement. 'Why Jim, did you see how fast that car was going? It must have been doing at least 45 m/s in that 50 kph zone!' So always use base unit SI when discussing anything and it will be completely understandable to the reader of the article.

Comment Re:Smart guns... (Score 1) 814

Actually some do. My parents bought a safe with a digital lock that requires batteries to power the lock and retract the deadbolt in the doors. When it locks all their stuff in I'm just gonna say "told you so."

Oh I don't disagree that some safes can use batteries in their design, what I meant by requirement is that it isn't some rule written in stone that a safe must use batteries.

The catch with smart gun tech is that I don't see how it can work without some sort of energy storage medium. It's either batteries, long lasting capacitors, or something to store the energy necessary to perform the computation necessary to verify the user and validate their use of the firearm.

The only alternative I could see being a possible alternative to persistent energy storage is kinetic to inductive charging, like those flashlights you shake that charges a capacitor. That said, I don't think having to vigorously shake a firearm before it boots up it's verification circuitry is a good design.

Comment Re:TAANSTAFL! (Score 1) 181

But what cools the air cooling fins? (Don't say, "Moving air", because that doesn't work. Proof? Your muffler is very hot even after driving very fast.)

So your proof that cooling fins won't work is something that doesn't have cooling fins...

Also, did you ever wonder how hot your muffler would be if it wasn't exposed to moving air?

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Comment Re:In otherwords (Score 1) 258

Old military bases would be great for future industrial development, but using them as the base for a new residential community should come with some extreme reservations.

While a military base built after 1990 and decommissioned might be ok, most of our older bases have severe problems with hazardous materials. It isn't just a case of going through the records, mapping out the locations of old dumps and excavating the contaminated soil, many times there is no record of where the soil has been contaminated, and you often don't know until someone starts excavating a foundataion and pulls up a rusty 55gal drum.

If you are lucky, the drum contains waste oil from the motor pool repair facility. But the point is that there are plenty of 'buried treasures' on old military bases. I'd be very nervous about planning a community on a former base. A new industrial area, or a shopping center? Sure, but not residential.

Comment Re:"we now know" or "we hypothesize" (Score 1) 71

That's the nice thing about a sample return mission like the one that's been proposed. It'll confirm your above opinion of the evidence. Something that looks like gypsum sand to a rover, may well be. But if it looks like gypsum sand in a lab on Earth, then that's a vastly more definitive piece of evidence.

That's not really necessary as your situation isn't really possible.

Crystals/chemicals/etc don't really have many options to form 'differently'. When they form differently, they aren't the same. Sure you can get some isomers, but even then those don't necessarily have the same properties.

For your premise, that all of those minerals formed via some process other than one that involves water, would require a huge coincidence that the rover could somehow find all of these minerals which happened to form without water even though all of our experience tells us is unlikely.

Comment Re:Ec*freeze*lip*freeze*se works (Score 1) 543

I have similar problems on Visual Studio 2010 too- you have to double click to just select a method's name alone, single click selects the method's "signature" or whatever you call it. But often when I double click, and ctrl+c, VS2010 is too busy and I end up with the whole thing and not just the name.

I probably need a faster PC...

Comment Re:Um excuse me ... (Score 1) 543

and even an Apple II could have probably done some mod-magic for the title screen

Don't know about mod, but you can do polyphony and more complicated sounds:

Slashdot Top Deals

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau