Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Shouldn't it double? (Score 1) 196

It is still twice the rendering and disk space for the rendered files and 4X the headaches. I've worked 3D back in the 80s and 90s and it's a pain in the ass. I was doing effects rigging as well as some camera work. The problem is in film you get used to hiding things where as 3D has a nasty habit of seeing around the object or person. The cameras weighed a ton and we had one tear up a crane arm late one night. I was approached by a group that wanted to do a 3D film a couple of years ago. I tried to talk them out of it. I started laying out all the problems and I could tell none of them had a clue what they were getting into. Thankfully their money fell through. If you survive the shoot posting a 3D film will be an experience you won't soon forget. It's funny how companies avoided Vistavision because it added 5% to the budget but looked amazing. Depending on your budget and if it's live action or animated 3D can add between 10% to 50% to your budget and everyone wants to make them, the 50% is if you are low budget and crazy enough to try it. Your producer on the low budget film will take up drinking during the shoot and try to hang himself during the post. Most think it's just extra equipment rental and film stock, yeah that's the least of your trouble, With live action the set ups take longer and the camera needs to be checked constantly to make sure the calibration hasn't changed. If you think you're going to shoot 5 or 10 pages a day forget it. In post it's twice the film handling as well as things like adjusting the color timing not only to match the previous shot but to match the other camera. I always say it's twice as much work to make a 3D film. CG is far easier but it's still a headache.

Comment Re:Topsoil-based fuels are wrongheaded in every wa (Score 1) 238

The problem is say algae has 60% oil, I've heard 25% to crazy claims of 90% based on species and how it's raised. The cell wall is tough so you may only get half to two thirds and a lot of the extraction processes involve solvents. It's not like squeezing olives for oil it's more like getting oil out of olive pits. Also it would take a vast amount of algae to replace even a few percent of oil. It means dedicating a lot of land and water to algae production. There are efficient systems to produce it but they are all expensive and produce algae in the tons, we need millions of tons to even replace a few percent. Nice idea but it's hard to scale up. Personally I like it better for animal feed. Call the oil a bonus and feed the rest to livestock.

Comment Re:Topsoil-based fuels are wrongheaded in every wa (Score 1) 238

I wish you gave a reason rather than saying another is superior claiming we already know how to use it. Everything I read on algae is promising but there are issues. It has a tough cell wall which makes it tricky to extract sugars and oils efficiently. Algae has one of the biggest potentials and it can be fed off waste and CO2 but it's still a ways off. We have a lot of experience with alcohol production and beets are an excellent source. They are on pare with sugar cane but don't require the tropical climate. They don't need the intense fertilizers corn does and they even do well in poor soil. They grow well in northern states where other sugar crops do poorly. I hate to break it to you but "less evil" is the best we will ever do. Non evil is living like the native americans and that ain't happening. I dare you to name one energy source without a downside? Other than solar ovens and grinding grain with a mechanical windmill there's always a price. Solar panels are often attacked for the toxics used in their making and even electric windmills have that issue. Most of Slashdot see nuclear as relatively benign but history says otherwise. Nuclear has resulted in massive pollution as have oil and coal. Hydroelectric can have a devastating affect on the environment. Grown organically, and I don't mean hype organic, restoring the soil each season with mulch and rock dust for trace minerals organic, sugar beets can be grown indefinitely unlike most other current sources of energy, especially corn based biofuels. And no we can't replace oil with beet sugar, god I'm sick of that argument. It's the couch potato's argument that if one energy source can't replace oil it must be abandoned. Depending on one source is what got us into this mess! The real solution is algae, beet, recycled cooking oil, plant based oils, Christ soylent green people and squeeze the burger grease out of them. The point is use every source so when there a problem with one source there are dozens to take up the slack so the impact is minimal. I'll even mention the most evil source on the planet, CONSERVATION! We could cut energy use in half in a decade and not change our quality of life we just need to stop all the waste.

Comment Three notable meteors close together (Score 1, Interesting) 111

We're talking three significant meteors within a few weeks at the same general latitude. Everyone will say they are unrelated but it seems possible. End of the world? Give me a break. I think it's more likely a minor cluster that haven't been identified. More of a curiosity than a threat. Without knowing the path it's impossible to know if they'd cross our path in our lifetimes again. If they are part of a loose association of asteroids odds are this is the tail end of it. I'd be curious if there were more air strikes than usual during this period? Like I say more of a curiosity than anything. The point is there are probably hundreds if not thousands of these mini clusters if that's what this is that remain unidentified. We may cross several every hundred years or so with no idea that's what's happening. Just wish I'd seen one of them!

Comment I was on the fence (Score 4, Interesting) 260

It's kind of tricky because I tended to be ambidextrous at a young age and would switch hands when writing. The teachers forced me to use my right hand, grew up in the 60s. I'm naturally left handed and have all the left handed traits. I can sculpt equally well with both hands, I often work both sides of a large sculpture at the same time, and use tools with both. I fence and both shoot pistols and bow equally well right and left handed. What I find is everyone is born with a dominate hand but left handed people are often forced to use their right hand and tend to be ambidextrous more often than right handed people. It makes a straight answer difficult but since I can do most things equally well with either hand I had to answer ambidextrous. It comes in handy because when one hand gets tired I can switch without breaking stride. It's upsetting teachers especially in the past tend to pressure kids to be right handed.

Comment Re:No need to go overboard (Score 1) 687

You can divide people into 3 categories: those that WILL buy it, even if they could pirate it, those that might pirate it or might buy it, and those that will not use it at all if they can't pirate it. The second group of people is going to be the only ones that you might convert from pirates to customers by imposing DRM and that group might be quite small. Don't screw over the first group with overintrusive DRM.

I hate to risk the troll for pointing out the obvious but the reason there are groups two and three is because they can pirate and these days group two is the largest just based on web posts so by doing nothing you risk part of group two becoming group three. This is from some one whose life is made a living hell by DRM, I buy pro software and the DRM is pretty draconian. I miss the old days when everything was pretty wide open but back then less than 1% pirated. The music industry is the poster child for what can happen. Sadly attitudes have changed so much there's no going back. It's a cold war between content creators and pirates and the rest suffer.

Comment Re:Not so fast (Score 2) 237

The Voyager project's chief scientist says not just yet: Also, here's a fairly recent video lecture he gave on the topic that gives some good details:

What is this the third time we had a story about it leaving the solar system? Some include the Oort Cloud in the solar system so are we facing hundreds of years of these announcements?

Comment Re:West Virginia is the butt... (Score 3, Informative) 183

of a lot of jokes. Yeah, they screwed up... Again. However, most people don't know that West Virgina was part of Virginia up until the Civil War. They believed so strongly in free labor (as opposed to slave labor) that they succeeded from their state. I can forgive them for a lot of crap after that. It's sad seeing them struggle over basic internet access, but I think it's always been a challenge in WV.

Half of my family came from there and I can say that they are facing huge technical problems. Even cell phone service is spotty. There's very little line of sight in the state due to the mountains so they have to depend on lines. It's hard enough keeping roads passable since they wash out regularly. The coal companies used to help with tax dollars but that's been seen as a drain on corporate profits so the tax base is miserable so there's little money to address critical infrastructure so the internet comes in a very distant second to everything else. It's one of the poorest states as well so few people have computers to begin with. Just to spike the ball corruption is rampant. FYI he's one of the ones that isn't corrupt but my mother's second cousin is Governor so I have connections with the state. Another FYI I got a lot of nasty looks for daring to point out West Virginia was a northern state when I was growing up. Most of my mother's family still considers it part of the south. My guess is when the check showed up some one said "yeah internet routers, please" and put the money into his brother's company that fills pot holes.

Slashdot Top Deals

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw