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Comment Re: What if I am an Ubuntu hater, too? (Score 1) 232

We host an apt repository with a few packages for a bunch of debian and ubuntu releases. Of course you have to target the right dependency set, but that's true even when you target a specific version of either OS.

I was just miffed by the remark that Debian would not support PPAs, when in fact the whole technical groundwork is actually Debian's and all Ubuntu did was build a thin command interface over it and suddenly gets credited for the whole invention.

Comment Re: What if I am an Ubuntu hater, too? (Score 1) 232

They also have extended the dpkg system with PPAs which (last time I checked) Debian did not support out of the box.

PPAs are basically just extra entries in /etc/apt/sources.list. That's a Debian feature, not an Ubuntu one. I certainly do appreciate the fact that Canonical offers easy and free hosting for personal repositories, but saying that Debian doesn't support PPAs is a bit weird.

Submission + - Workers in China, India, USA believe AI and robots will replace them (qz.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Chinese workers have seen the future, and it involves artificial intelligence, robots, and other forms of automation replacing them, at least for repetitive tasks. That’s how workers responded to interviews about the future of work (pdf) conducted in 13 countries by the ADP Research Institute, part of the payroll systems company ADP. In contrast to China, a minority of workers in Germany think machines will take over repetitive tasks in the future. Workers in Chile, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and France among other countries agree. But American workers and those in India are inclined to see things the Chinese way; nearly two-thirds of those polled said they thought the machines were coming for repetitive work.

Submission + - magic

Submission + - How many digits of pi does NASA use? (kottke.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Mathematicians have calculated pi out to more than 13 trillion decimal places, a calculation that took 208 days. NASA's Marc Rayman explains that in order to send out probes and slingshot them accurately throughout the solar system, NASA needs to use only 15 decimal places.

The most distant spacecraft from Earth is Voyager 1. It is about 12.5 billion miles away. Let's say we have a circle with a radius of exactly that size (or 25 billion miles in diameter) and we want to calculate the circumference, which is pi times the radius times 2. Using pi rounded to the 15th decimal, as I gave above, that comes out to a little more than 78 billion miles. We don't need to be concerned here with exactly what the value is (you can multiply it out if you like) but rather what the error in the value is by not using more digits of pi. In other words, by cutting pi off at the 15th decimal point, we would calculate a circumference for that circle that is very slightly off. It turns out that our calculated circumference of the 25 billion mile diameter circle would be wrong by 1.5 inches. Think about that. We have a circle more than 78 billion miles around, and our calculation of that distance would be off by perhaps less than the length of your little finger. Marc Rayman, director and chief engineer for NASA’s Dawn mission sheds more light into it. "The most distant spacecraft from Earth is Voyager 1. It is about 12.5 billion miles away. Let’s say we have a circle with a radius of exactly that size (or 25 billion miles in diameter) and we want to calculate the circumference, which is pi times the radius times 2. Using pi rounded to the 15th decimal, as I gave above, that comes out to a little more than 78 billion miles. We don’t need to be concerned here with exactly what the value is (you can multiply it out if you like) but rather what the error in the value is by not using more digits of pi. In other words, by cutting pi off at the 15th decimal point, we would calculate a circumference for that circle that is very slightly off. It turns out that our calculated circumference of the 25 billion mile diameter circle would be wrong by 1.5 inches. Think about that. We have a circle more than 78 billion miles around, and our calculation of that distance would be off by perhaps less than the length of your little finger."

Power

Scientists Are Developing the World's Biggest Wind Turbine With 656-Ft. Long Blades (latimes.com) 129

An anonymous reader writes from an LATimes article: Efforts to increase wind power mean that turbine blades are getting bigger and bigger. But a new design in the works takes the idea to levels most people can barely imagine: Blades up to 656.2 feet long -- more than two football fields. Today's longest blades are 262.5 feet. The blades at Imperial County's Ocotillo wind farm, which sends electricity to San Diego, are 173.9 feet long. "We call it the extreme scale," Eric Loth, a University of Virginia professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, said of the planned mega-blades. "There's nothing like it." The blades would look much different look from today's wind turbines. They wouldn't face the wind but would go downwind, aligning the blades to flow with the wind instead of fighting it. And instead of a single stiff blade, each blade would be broken into segments, allowing it to be more easily fabricated. In addition, the concept would allow the blades to "morph" -- spread out when the wind is blowing lightly to capture as much power as possible.

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