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Comment Panic! (Score 1) 756

Yup. Recognizably human species have been around for, oh, say a million years, real like home sapiens sapiens for 0.1 million years. We should definitely worry about what will happen in 500 or 1000 million years.

As to the other point, I kind of hate to point it out, but the number of places with life that aren't really ideal for life is going to far exceed the number that are ideal. In fact, I think you can say that places actually ideal for life occur with probability 0.

Comment Learn the tools first, then worry about changing (Score 2, Informative) 338

See, as someone has already pointed out, there's at least one such tool that's in wide use already: TeX and LaTeX. If you don't like that one, it turns out that HTML, with CSS and a little bit of Javascript, is perfectly capable of doing all the things you want, too. You just have to learn how. Have a look at Lie's Cascading Style Sheets: Designing for the Web (written and typeset in HTML/CSS) and at Prince XML for detailed examples.

Comment Try therapy (Score 1) 1354

Seriously. A good therapist can help you by pointing you to the right sources, help you figure out anything that may be behind it. Also, a therapist of the appropriately opposite sex can let you develop some skills in dealing with them in a controlled, safe, way.

Comment Or maybe not (Score 1) 403

... it depends on what you're trying to do. Just today, Sun published a Sun BluePrint Solid State Drives in HPC: Reducing the I/O Bottleneck showing that by using SSD as part of an HPC configuration, you can improve performance pretty dramatically. If buying 64GB of SSD can double performance on an I/O bound HPC program (these were finite element analysis programs) it might be a pretty good investment.

Comment You may not be doing them right (Score 1) 345

Honestly, code reviews, historically, have proven to be about ten times as cost effective as other techniques. If you're not seeing good effects from them, the odds are that you aren't doing them right.

Not that this is a big surprise, as few people do them well.

Get hold of some of the literature on Fagin reviews, and make sure you're following the guidelines:

(1) not too many people in the review: 3 minimum, 7 maximum.
(2) the programmer isn't allowed to speak, except potentially to explain something
(3) no one can suggest solutions: identify a potential problem and move on
(4) close the loop: make sure all solutions get documented and passed to review participants.
(5) a single review can last no longer than 1 hour.

Comment Amnesia (Score 5, Insightful) 499

See, the real issue here is that the guy doesn't actually remember, say, 1960. We may not have flying cars, but we have cross country plane trips for $14 (in 1960 dollars). We don't have videophones, but we've got Skype with video on computers -- and it's free. We're very rarely arrested for being queer, we're rarely getting arrested for voting while incorrectly complected, no one anywhere in the world has smallpox, and hardly anyone has polio. Famines are the result of political disruptions and the thuggery of Mugabe and his ilk, not lack of food.

Comment The best part about this story is (Score 4, Insightful) 285

how completely clueless it is. Let's see ...

(1) The NSA doesn't wiretap the US. For all the hysteria, the NSA is only looking at calls crossing the border. Inside the US its FBI, and the Feebies are very jealous of that.

  And it certainly doesn't wiretap the whole US, because there's so much ohone traffic and 0.999999 of it is uninteresting.

(2) Could the NSA hack -- could DoJ simply subpoena -- the contents of a hotmail account? You bet ... but which hotmail account? Or fluffibuni387? Or what?

(3) Now, with prepaid phone cards etc. If I'm getting this, you're saying NSA is bad because they can't get intel from something like a prepaid phone. Now think it through: Achmed al Boomaboom goes into WalMart, and buys condoms, a bag of Fritos, and a prepaid phone. He makes six "busines" calls, talking in code words, calls a hooker, and throws the phone away. How is the NSA supposed to figure out which phone it is, and capture the phone calls, before he pitches the phone.

More to the point, how can they intercept those phone calls without intercepting all calls, or at least all prepaid cell calls?

Comment Lie down on the floor and keep calm (Score 1) 468

Okay, first of all, you can forget about the CO2 in the pressurization: that was collected from the atmosphere, and goes back, net carbon is zero. Similarly, since beer is made from plants, pretty well all the CO2 produced by making beer is absorbed again making next year's beer.

Just for fun, though, let's do a back-of-envelope calculation of how much there is. According to Wikipedia, humans brew about 133 gigaliters of beer a year, and we can assume it's about 5 percent alcohol, so that's (133×0.05)=6.7 gigaliters of alcohol. The specific gravity of ethanol is about 0.8 so that's 5.3 billion kilograms of ethanol per year. One mol Ethanol (CH3CH22OH) masses 45 grammmes. So that's 5600 billion grams of alcohol, 120 billion mols, and it turns out that there's 1 mol of CO2 per mol ethanol.

Thus we get 120 billion mol of CO2, a mol is 44 grammes, about 5.3 million tonnes. According to WikiAnswers, a car produces about 5.2 tonnes of CO2 per year, so all the world's beer production is about equivalent to a million cars.

So if it worries you, buy a couple CFL bulbs or soemthing. It's pretty small.

(PS. This would look better if /. allowed the sub tag.)

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