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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment From where does the FAA get power to regulate it? (Score 1) 18

I'm curious:

Where does the FAA claim it gets the power to regulate drones which are only engaged in INTRA-state commerce and flying too low to interfere with interstate air traffic? Seems to me that's the state's job.

(Similarly with the FCC and radio signals that are too weak to be decoded outside the state of origin or substantially interfere with reasonable interstate services. Sure "radio goes on forever". But so does sound - with the same inverse-square law and similar interference characteristics - and we get along just fine without federal regulation of speech and bullhorns.)

Comment Re:What took them so long? (Score 1) 123

Sure, but unless you've developed a superconducting substrate, or come up with a reliable, efficient 3D cooling system, or are willing to run the 3D transistors only at very low speed/power, you're going to run into serious heat dissipation problems.

Back then I was proposing a diamond semiconductor - supported and powered by water-cooled silver busbars. Diamond is extremely conductive thermally. The bandgap is 5.5V, corresponding to the deep ultraviolet, so you can run it very hot without fouling the electrical properties (though you have to keep; it below 752 F or it will gradually degrade.) I'd want to put it in a bottle with an inert atmosphere so it wouldn't oxidize at high temperature, either.

The flip side of the big bandgap is that it consumes more energy - and generates more heat - when switching than current silicon designs which run at about a third that voltage.

These days I'd probably go for layers of graphine, which conducts heat even better than diamond.

With a rectangular solid you can get a LOT of transistors (and their interconnects) into a few cubic feet. The original proposal was for a six-foot cube - 216 cubic feet. Powering and cooling on two faces gives you 72 square feet of heat and power transfer serice, with 432 square feet on the other two faces for optical I/O fibers. Nowadays I'd take a page from Gene Amdahl and go a tad smaller: so, like the 1960s-era cabinets for IBM compter components, the block of logic and its supporting structures would fit into a standard elevator.

Comment What took them so long? (Score 1) 123

The report adds that processors could still continue to fulfill Moore's Law with increased vertical density.

What took them so long?

I've been pointing out that a three-dimensional arrangement off components could continue FAR longer than an essentially single-layer arrangements since at least the 1970s.

Comment Re:How Much? (Score 1) 72

I thought that much was obvious, but for those who have not been paying attention, we are close to using up our hydrocarbons.

Maybe four centuries for all sources of fossil carbon, hydrogenated or otherwise, depending on usage rate.

Remember that "reserves" means "the stuff we already found while exploring". Nobody with a financial clue spends today's private money exploring for stuff they won't be digging up and selling for decades. So you only have more than about 20 years of "reserves" when there have been giant finds, the known reserves are too expensive to exploit and there might be easier stuff out there, or too much of the known reserves are unexploitable due to things like government intervention. There's no doubt quite a lot more out there, though it's still finite.

Running out is not a disaster. We can easily make all the stuff that's made from oil and there are other energy sources - including more coming down the pipeline. We're only digging/pumping up most of our energy and much of our chemical feedstocks right now because it's CHEAPER than the alternatives.

But it's not cheaper by much. (Photovoltaic is now becoming competitive with grid power in many areas, even without government market distortions, and the tech just keeps improving.)

By the time the fossil fuels run out we'll have lots of alternatives, and they'll run out by gradually getting more expensive, so people will smoothly transition to alternatives (thanks to Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand"). The main problem (if the CO2->global warming conjecture is true and substantial) will be keeping the Earth from crashing into the next orbital-mechanics driven Ice Age (as humans MAY have been doing for about the last 10,000 years or so, as the orbital climate-forcing has been curving down steadily.)

Comment Caller id spoofing already broke that. (Score 1) 120

The real way to handle it is to create an open source shared black list, have people sign up for a service, and vote when they answer a call on whether or not it is a telemarketer or robo-call.

Caller ID spoofing already broke block lists. By the time a call gets to your local telco there is no way even for them to tell where it really came from. They regularly spoof their identity - often as others they're robo-calling, or even as the phone they are calling.

IMHO the only way available currently is to trace back a particular call, from telco to telco, to see where it DID come from - then go after the actual robocaller. (Good luck getting that implemented, though. Or getting it to work across all countries, rather than letting the spammers run from safe havens.)

Comment Re:I really don't understand this drone applicatio (Score 4, Insightful) 43

Why would you use a heavier-than-air craft to essentially hover? Wouldn't an aerostat accomplish the same goal at a much lower cost, and lower risk of bodily harm should it fall from the sky?

I don't know why they chose it. Here's my take:

An aerostat requires tethers, which are points of failure, and has enormous wind drag. Lose the tether(s) and you lose control. Then you have a large, failing, floating device at the mercy of the winds, dragging first broken tethers, then its own large structure, on an uncontrolled path along the ground, wreaking unknown havoc.

A powered heavier-than-air (but still ultralight) has little drag and can also be made to change locations easily. With good design, if it begins to accumulate failures that jeopardize its continued operational ability, it can be made to fly to a repair site and land - after its backup has arrived to take its place.

If you have catastrophic events - like huricaines, tornadoes, or forest firestoms - it can easily be moved away (to land for shelter or fly around or above the storm) and brought back when the environment is calmer. You don't even have to take it out of service. Just fly it above the tropopause. The stratosphere is probably a good place for it to operate anyhow: Negligible weather, no cloud shadows for solar-powered planes, and gives you a lot of coverage per drone. (Balloons can get there, too, easily. But 50,000 feet or so is a LOT of tether.)

Comment Re:The Finest Day.... (Score 0) 184

Tell you what, why don't you start working on the Constitutional amendment to make that type of government happen and we can talk about it. Of course you would probably have to move to the US, and maybe become a citizen, so that's not happening, is it? Just as well.

The US has always been divided, right from the very start. That isn't a particularly bad thing unless you want to throw a parade to celebrate a "People's democracy" and cure weak liberalism. The US unifies when given sufficient cause, otherwise people go about their business.

In some important ways the Democratic and Republican parties are becoming more different, and agreement on some basic issues is beginning to fall apart. The Left has never really like the US, and it is going to tear the US apart.

Comment Re: Fake (Score 0) 184

And that somewhere better be the moon, because the Russians will listen for anything that could remotely be considered fake. And they will waste not a nanosecond to expose it, you really think they would not have jumped onto the possibility to pull your pants down?

So what you're saying is that the global elites don't always work together to screw the little guy, to pull the wool over their eyes? That is a fascinating idea, and quite counter to many posts that get made on Slashdot.

The risk alone is impossible to assess. You have thousands of people working on it, thousands you have to silence.

You make it sound like there couldn't have been a secret "inside job" conspiracy for 9/11 that could have been hidden. Interesting. Tell us more.

Comment Re:The Finest Day.... (Score 0) 184

There is no WE. NASA is that space agency that is doing its shit, the US military is fighting a war somewhere, US economy is building this or that and US TV is showing yet another dumb reality show, which is, scarily enough, pretty much the only thing the average American has a chance to feel part of by participating in the freak show.

There is no WE in the US anymore.

The "WE" in the United States is "We the People," the opportunity to engage in a national ritual comes every two years, it's called voting. The US is about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, not collectivism and collectivist spectacle.

That's what makes this feat so great, not that 12 people hopped about on a moon that happens to orbit our planet. What made this a powerful achievement was the "WE did it" feeling. WE. Not "the US" but everyone really could feel that he did something for that.

No, the great achievement really was putting people on the moon, and the enormous technical, industrial, and organizational effort that took. Although Americans can feel proud their nation was able to do that, the key fact is that they did it. At least one major power other tried and failed. It wasn't a given.

If you want togetherness join a church or a club.

Comment But will they play Badger Badger Badger? (Score 1) 156

Over the past few years, Firefox has implemented Web APIs to replace functionality that was formerly provided only by plugins.

But will they play Badger Badger Badger?

Until that can be emulated on the "replacement functionality", removing Flash is a fundamental impact on the Internet Experience. ;-)

Comment Re:What would Kissinger do? (Score -1, Troll) 230

You seem to have omitted a few important details, such as Saddam''s funding and support of terrorism, training terrorists, and providing them refuge in Iraq.

Then there is the fact that he kept attacking nations in the region - invaded Iran, invaded and tried to annex Kuwait, attacked Saudi Arabia, attacked Israel. I seem to recall there were "border issues" with some of the other neighbors.

Nor was Iraq particularly stable. There were various rebellions again Saddam, assassination attempts, and various other issues. You may recall that some of these were put down by using chemical weapons against civilian populations.

And Saddam wasn't much of an ally. The US didn't want Iran to beat Iraq and threaten the entire region beyond the danger it already posed. Just think how lovely things would be if Iraq had collapsed and Iran leveraged that into controlling not only Iran's oil, but Iraq, and Saudi Arabia's.

As far as weapons go, Saddam got something like 90% of his weapons from the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact, China, or other communist bloc states. Most of the rest was from France.

We now basically have a war that we can prolong infinitely. As long as we need one, they'll deliver.

So what you are really saying is that Muslims don't have their own values and goals that they pursue independently of what the US or the West does? Really?

Do you know what the general terms are for when one side in a conflict (war) ceases to defend itself? Defeat and surrender.

How do you think you'd get along with your would be overlords?

Comment Re:What would Kissinger do? (Score 1) 230

You may recall that 9/11 happened before the war in Iraq. Bush ran on a domestic program and war was thrust upon his administration by Bin Laden, al Qaida, and the Taliban.

"Mission Accomplished" referred to the mission performed by the aircraft carrier where that banner was displayed as it was returning home. But if you're just engaging in smear and not trying to further understanding, well then ..... "Mission Accomplished."

Comment Re:Should be worried about gunfire (Score 1) 96

It doesn't list Trump voters,it lists white people that killed police officers.

The author effectively says for all anyone knows they could be Trump voters. By the same token they could be Progressive Hillary voters. Either way I doubt he did the leg work to track down their voter registration, and he doesn't offer any evidence.

That piece is an attempt to deflect attention from Black Lives Matter and doesn't acknowledge the growing number of ties between it and cop killers. Nor does it acknowledge the open calls for, and celebration of, killings of police officers at various rallies and protests they have held.

More Black lives matter than just the politically useful ones that Black Lives Matter protests over.

If not a single policeman killed a single black individual anywhere in the United States for this entire year, that would not reduce the number of black homicide victims by one percent. When the mobs of protesters declare "Black lives matter," does that mean ALL black lives matter -- or only the less than one percent of black lives lost in conflicts with police? -- Random Thoughts - Thomas Sowell

Slashdot Top Deals

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

Working...