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Comment Re:Define "short range" (Score 1) 64

Ok, I'll bite. How far is "short range"?

Line of sight. 60 GHz stops dead when it runs into anything solid, including cloth. It's attenuated by the oxygen in air, but air being mostly nitrogen, the effect isn't too terrible. Mostly it's short range because it can't go through walls, can't go through a desk, can't go through a monitor, can't go through a couch.

Comment Re:Realism at last (Score 1) 215

The closest things we have are huge tunnelling machines (as shown in a post above)

Not the closest. This is a mining machine, built for the express purpose of strip-mining in vast quantities. Turning it into a robot is fairly simple, given that on Mars, your code doesn't have to keep track of things like property lines, power lines, roads, or basically anything. Plunk down some beacons, code it to stay within the beacons, and you're done. The automation required for the dump trucks that accept what it produces already exists here on Earth. That mine has 69 mine dump trucks running around entirely autonomously.

Mining robots are already starting to exist. I'm quite certain that same mine will fully automate its excavators in the next few years. The automation is not the hard part of mining on Mars. Building machines that can operate reliably in a soft vacuum is the hard part.

Comment Re:Clean up needed in aisle 11 (Score 0) 184

Perhaps we can get the USA built and launched Opportunity rover to motor over there and clean up the mess. It might take 25 years to get there, but hell it has been running for 11 years, what's another quarter century?

You forgot the obligatory XKCD. Shame on you.

Comment Re:After ripping BSD they deserve it (Score 1) 237

Funny how this is the same Slashdot that excoriates Disney for appropriating freely provided legendary stories and characters for massive corporate profit.

Mostly because Disney then sics their lawyers on anyone trying to do their own retelling, even when they try not to resemble Disney's rendition of the characters. You have to try really really hard not to resemble Disney's rendition, and even then you're still at risk.

It's not so much that Disney likes to plunder the public domain. It's that Disney likes to plunder the public domain, then try to prevent anyone else from doing the same, both by suing people who use the same public domain stories and by trying to make sure nothing else ever becomes public domain ever again. (Pulling up the ladder behind them.)

Comment Re:Solve problems on Earth first (Score 1) 265

We could be building our own infrastructure instead of blowing up other countries infrastructure. Instead of Lockheed building more F35s, which will be obsoleted by drones in 10 years, they could be building comms infrastructure, smart roads, and other actually useful things.

Oi. Why do you hate America? Can you even imagine having the same jackoffs who are designing the F35 involved in something that's actually important like roads and bridges? This would suddenly become real (after approximately 40 years of generating nothing but a pile of paper).

Comment Re:Well duh... (Score 2) 313

Almost all the big guys have stopped interacting with it and now use it as a write only medium due ot the sheer numbers of shitmouths that are there that make slashdot trolls look civilized.

Er... Slashdot trolls are civilized. The moderation system demands it. We get our share of spammers, propagandists, and assorted lunatics. We mod them down so fast and so frequently that they give up.

Plus Whipslash and company continue to fiddle with the filters, so the most obnoxious aren't even making it to moderation.

Comment Re:Anita Sarkeesian: Destroyer of Shareholder Valu (Score 1) 313

There aren't many assholes dedicated enough to trolling to run a mining rig just to shitpost.

Interesting. That sentence was supposed to be:

There aren't many trolls dedicated enough to trolling to run a mining rig just to shitpost.

But Slashdot's lameness filter wouldn't allow it in combination with the rest of the text. Yet I can post it standalone. Odd. I haven't run into the lameness filter for anything other than all caps in years...

Comment Re:Anita Sarkeesian: Destroyer of Shareholder Valu (Score 1) 313

The problem is if you want replies to tweets, you'll run into the same uncontrolled spam / troll / junk / harassment / propaganda problem that has driven users from distributed systems towards centralized sites and why so many blogs and other sites disable comments. You need some kind of CAPTCHA for rate control and it needs to be replaced/updated as it is broken.

Require proof-of-work to reply. In other words, deploy a blockchain-driven comment reply system.

I initially wrote that sarcastically, since blockchain is the new nonsense buzzword, but it just might work. Dunno, since I've never participated in that type of social media and don't understand the mindset, so I don't know if that sort of restriction would be acceptable. The only social media site I use is Slashdot, and it seems to be qualitatively different from all the others. Still, proof-of-work can not be gamed, no matter what you do. That eliminates spam, 99% of trolls, 98% of junk, 99% of harassment, and some large percentage of propaganda. The only surviving propaganda would be paid propaganda. There aren't many assholes dedicated enough to trolling to run a mining rig just to shitpost.

Since so many users of such sites insist on using their phones, you'd have to link installations via accounts. The phone app would not mine and would not serve data to the distributed system. You'd have to run a PC for both of those functions. The PC would mine and be a server node in the distributed system. The phone app would tap into the credits generated by the PC to be able to post. PC installation and app to PC linking would have to be drop dead simple while still being exceedingly secure, or credit piracy would be a thing, and the shitposting would continue. That's probably enough to torpedo the idea, right there. Key exchange isn't easy enough. Even easier key exchange, like "use the app to take a photo of a QR code" is still not easy enough.

Never mind. Solving the problem requires implementing security. Users hate security.

Comment Re:Doesn't Make Sense (Score 1) 310

Intel can get in big legal trouble with the SEC for lying on these type of financial announcements, so I tend to give a little more cred to regulated stuff like this than just some random analyst.

They're both right. I built a new PC this year. So did no less than three of my coworkers. We all finally felt it was time. And we all bought Intel CPUs, because let's face it, AMD can't seem to get their heads above water. But not one of us gave any money to the companies this analyst is talking about. We all built machines, not bought machines. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is considerably more common than it once was. Not everybody can build a PC, but practically everybody knows somebody who can, and when they ask that somebody, "How do I get a new PC without Windows 10?" that's the answer: build it yourself.

So that's what's happening. PC component sales are enjoying a resurgence. Each generation of upgrade for the past 8 years has indeed been a small percentage increment in performance, but it's been like compounding interest. At the end of four or five generations of 5-10% faster than the previous generation, a completely current machine is actually quite damn fast compared to your old desktop that was doing everything you wanted and seemed ok after an SSD upgrade.

Today, you build a 6 core i7 with 32 GB of RAM, an nVME 4X storage device, and a GeForce 1070 or 1080 and the difference between that and your 8 year old machine is kind of tremendous. Meanwhile you can't get a pre-built system at all with those specifications from many builders, and for the rare few who will do it, they want to charge you 3X to 4X retail on the components and still try to stick you with Windows 10. So yeah, they're losing sales. And since we haven't paid for a new machine in nearly a decade, and since we're expecting our new systems to last another decade, we're willing to spend like it's 1995 again, so we're buying high end components.

Ergo, PC sales are down, parts sales are up.

Comment Re:Level of disaster prevention (Score 1) 251

Cool story bro. Now explain how it only happens to Samsung Galaxy 7, and why it happens when the phone is in someone's pocket.

He was talking about burning iPhones and Apple's principle excuse for DRM-enabling their chargers. Super cheap Chinese iPhone chargers were melting internally and promptly setting fire to the connected iPhone. And responding to someone claiming the external charger doesn't matter, when it so obviously does.

Do try to keep up.

Comment Re:"IT" is on its way out (Score 1) 272

Honestly, redundancy over redundancy is retarded. AWS and Azure have back-ups, disaster recovery plans, multiple data-centers, and multiple peerings per data center.

It's not about technical redundancy. It's about business flexibility. If you build some big convoluted system that is utterly dependent on the deep foibles of one particular cloud provider, you could find yourself in serious trouble if your provider becomes hostile to you because of an acquisition or (in Amazon's case) a sudden urge to compete with you. They don't even have to be openly hostile to still cause you serious grief. Better to have a way out from the beginning, if you can afford it.

Comment Re:really? (Score 1) 813

At today's interest rates, there is very little reason to keep money in a savings account unless it gives you some advantage in dealing with the bank. Bank failure or government seizure of your assets in a bank is not impossible. You should keep a supply of cash on hand sufficient to handle your needs if the next-most-liquid deposit of wealth fails.

It does give me a small advantage in dealing with the bank, but that's hardly the point. I bank with a national bank. It is quite literally too big to fail. It will be propped up by the government if necessary. We have all the proof of that we need. As for government seizure, I keep my three felonies a day to the socially acceptable ones. If either a bank failure without bailout or an arbitrary government seizure happens, there will have already been a catastrophic breakdown of social order, and no amount of cash is any use. At that point, we're at the stage of canned goods and ammo. (And spices. Anybody who has read Lucifer's Hammer remembers the spices.) The savings account exists for the number one most probable personal disaster: layoff.

A sensible person weighs the balance of probabilities, and does not give undue weight to emotional analysis. In this world, losing your job is by far the highest probability happenstance that has a negative affect on any individual. The probability of bank failure that affects a retail savings account is indistinguishable from zero. The probability of arbitrary seizure is considerably higher but still quite low, and can be considered against the backdrop of society, and let's face it, people who have a reason to argue about the diversification of assets are unlikely to be subjected to it unless they have particularly unsavory habits or have specifically offended the powers that be. Enough cash to be of use in the event of a layoff is too much to keep on hand, because its purpose is to pay the mortgage. Conclusion primus: a bank account, kept in a bank that differs from the one which holds my mortgage. Conclusion secundus: pay off the mortgage as soon as possible. Working on that...

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