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Comment Re:He's missing the point. (Score 4, Insightful) 128

It would be nice if people could learn to think in terms of threats that fell somewhere between "safe to ignore" and "extinction level event". Or could distinguish between "extreme and expensive" responses and "effective" ones.

9/11 could have been prevented by simple, conservative and inexpensive countermeasures. After 9/11 politicians droned on about how "9/11 changed everything," but the cold sober fact was that it in fact changed nothing. It just showed that some of the things sensible people had already been telling us to do (like reinforcing cockpit doors or getting agencies to work together despite institutional rivalries) really did need to be done. Instead "9/11 changed everything" became the rallying cry for every pet scheme that had heretofore been correctly dismissed as too expensive, hare-brained, or just plain dumb.

Which doesn't change the fact that something needed to be done. Here's the lesson I think we should take into this infrastructure debate: we should take sensible and conservative steps to secure infrastructure against terrorism now, before events put foolish ones on the table.

Comment Re:Good but... (Score 1) 110

Or... what if anytime anyone called a residential number, a nickel was transferred from the caller's account to the callee's account.

That wouldn't stop anyone from making a call where an actual person is likely to be involved; the labor costs for a three minute conversation would swamp that. But it would discourage people from robocalling a hundred thousand people in order to turn up a handful of suckers.

And the public wouldn't have to pay a regulator to try to track down these boiler room operations.

Comment Re:Agrument in favor of modularity (Score 1) 86

I don't have to do anything. Even stored under ideal circumstances li-ion batteries lose capacity.

What matter is capacity relative to demand. In a phone like the Droid Maxx from a few years ago with plenty of surplus battery the phone will still be usable four years later. But something like a Samsung Galaxy S6 barely has enough battery to make it through the day when brand new and is pretty much unusable two years later even under ideal conditions.

Comment Re:There's a lot more iron much closer... (Score 4, Informative) 281

And there's some twenty million tons of gold dissolved in the Earth's oceans. Jules Verne made it the source of Captain Nemo's incredible wealth.

To put twenty million tons of gold in perspective, all the gold that has ever been mined by humans totals up to about 180 thousand tons. To put in another perspective: sure, it's gold, but at a concentration of thirteen billionths of a gram per liter of seawater it's worthless unless you have unlimited time and energy to extract it.

That's the problem with asteroid mining in general. Until the cost of changing an object's momentum goes down drastically it's not worth doing. If Pysche were a 1000 kg block of pure, refined platinum (market price: $34 million) you'd be hard-pressed to retrieve it and return it to Earth at a profit. Which is not to say asteroid mining is a bad idea; but first things first: you've got to reduce the price of interplanetary propulsion by a couple orders of magnitudes. One thing that never happens in a sci-fi asteroid mining scenario is the hero worrying about running out of gas. Propulsion in stories is always practically limitless and free of charge. Real propulsion will never be that good, but it could get good enough.

Comment Let's have government set prices! (Score 2, Interesting) 64

Just another example of Corporate Arrogance

Without the Capitalism in general and the greedy KKKorporation$ in particular, how would the gentle and human-faced Socialism even know, what to mandate?

From flush toilets, to personal automobile, to "EpiPen" — wonderful things get made and offered for sale by the folks seeking to profit from the sales.

Some of these wonderful inventions are then mandated by the government — for example, in most of the US an apartment can not be offered for rent without a) refrigerator; b) stove; c) flush toilet. But without the greedy (and arrogant) corporations making those things available — and affordable — first, how would these regulators even know, what to mandate?

Comment Re:Perhaps globalism might be in fear for once. (Score -1) 1433

I expect to there be less government under Trump, I may be wrong though. I expect reduction in government interference to the individuals (and when I say individuals I do mean people who are mostly abused by the power, those who have something to take away from, thus businesses and yes businesses are people.) That's the only thing that matters, one thing, the only thing, the singularity of things: less government interference.

Comment Re:already exceeding expectations (Score 1) 1433

Explain to me again why this is more reassuring than someone who is an old hand at foreign policy and a known commodity?

Because while he is thin-skinned, he doesn't have Hillary Clinton's decades of history of corruptly exploiting public office to enrich her and her family while baldly lying to your face about it. She's made herself rich - not by building hotels or other constructive things, but by selling political access to people like overseas dictators who don't mind things like throwing gay guys off of rooftops to please Allah.

So we don't like his manners, but we do like her serial lying, corruption, and incompetence ... because she's been doing it for a long time and we're used to it? No thanks.

Submission + - NASA eyes $10 Quintillion asteroid (usatoday.com)

kugo2006 writes: NASA announced a plan to research 16 Psyche, an asteroid potentially as large as Mars and primarily composed of Iron and Nickel. The rock is unique in that it has an exposed core, likely a result of a series of collisions, according to Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Psyche's principal investigator. The mission's spacecraft would launch in 2023 and arrive in 2030.

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