Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:It's a cost-service optimization (Score 1) 105

I recently moved into a house that, while 2mi from a major metropolitan area city center (Knoxville, TN), there is no wireline broadband available. Comcast lines stop next door and AT&T installed a cabinet up the street a decade ago for DSL equipment but hasn't populated it. There's a cluster of about 24 houses that have no wireline broadband options.

We do, however, have a solid LTE signal from all carriers here. After burning through 14-18GB the last couple of months between my wife and myself, we just ordered a T-Mobile hotspot, and I'll be pairing it up with a RouterBoard router to supply our wireless network in the house with internet access, and switch to using that while here. I expect that we will see a substantial drop in data usage and have the benefit of being able to stream netflix or Amazon Instant to our TV's unlimited as well.

What some people forget, is that in situations like this, I would much, much rather have a throttled connection for video than to burn through all of our data while at home because CNN/Youtube/everything else wants to serve up my phone with 1080p HD video. As an added benefit, I'm not going to even be charged for much of that usage.

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 1) 200

Shouldn't have been less than 3 seconds. Federal Highway Administration Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (FHWA MUTCD) minimum is 3.0 seconds for an approach speed of 30mph (minimum tabulated). If you were contemplating slamming on brakes to make a panic stop, I would make a guess that the intersection was at least a 45mph approach speed, which translates to a minimum yellow phase of 4.3sec.

Most states (excepting CA, UT, TX, MO, IN, MI, OH, MN, MD and DE) have adopted the MUTCD or the MUTCD with a state supplement. The states that haven't have their own standards but are typically in-line with the MUTCD.

If the yellow phase was less than 3 seconds, you probably had a case to protest and win. But in reality it was probably a half-second or second longer than the MUTCD minimum, depending on traffic volume and other factors. People are notoriously bad at estimating time and distance.

Comment Re:Hooray! (Score 5, Informative) 167

A couple of comments. I worked at Watts Bar for 6 years - from just before they restarted construction until 2013. I now work out at one of the new reactors under construction at VC Summer.

First off, WBN2 and WBN1 share structures. Actually, all the structures except for the reactor building itself is shared. The units are what is considered an "opposite hand" configuration, which means that essentially a piece of equipment, piping, or valve on the far west side of the plant for U1 would be on the far east side, at the same northing, for U2 with everything matching up in the middle. The units also share many systems, and in order for them to start up U1, they had to have those systems (and many of the U2 pumps, valves and other support equipment) in service. The units also share a control room, spent fuel pool, diesel generators, and more. The only completely independent structure is the reactor building, which was structurally complete when they halted construction. Most everything inside was complete (major equipment set, piped in, etc). Most of what was lacking were control systems, instrumentation, and some valves. Also, all of this equipment was under temperature and humidity controls during the layup period.

One other thing - all of these structures are reinforced concrete. The unique thing about concrete is they get stronger with age unless you have something like saltwater causing problems. They're also *very thick* and *heavily reinforced* concrete - as in, the age isn't a handicap at all.

Comment On the other hand... (Score 4, Interesting) 365

A study on anonymous hiring practices in France showed that anonymization resulted in fewer minority candidates getting hired. Their explanation is essentially that the companies who care enough about diversity to participate in this sort of study are already subtly biased in favor of minority candidates, and anonymization put a stop to it. Considering the amount of focus big tech companies are putting on diversity, there's a fair chance the same thing is happening here too.

Comment Finally gave up my pager... (Score 1) 635

... but only because I changed jobs. As part of the radiological emergency response team at a nuclear power plant (Watts Bar), I was required to have a pager on during my duty weeks. They were in transition to an email and SMS-based system (which they were using for non-REP response primarily and in addition to the pager system for REP) but that required regulatory approval from what I understand for it to become primary. It was an old-school, 10-digit motorola pager and the utility (TVA) owned and operated their own network towers.

Submission + - China Mulls Undersea Train to the United States (washingtonpost.com)

MaestroRC writes: China is considering the construction of an 8,000-mile long rail line linking China to the United States via a 125-mile long tunnul underneath the Bering Strait. The line would traverse from China, through Russia and Canada and to the continental United States.

Comment Not relevant to the web site (Score 3, Interesting) 118

Most of the Affordable Care Act has nothing to do with the web site. The site didn't have to implement those "2.8 million words of Obamacare regulations" as code: it only had to match patients up with insurance plans, which means interacting with dozens (hundreds?) of government and industry databases.

Some states, like California, managed to implement their sites without any of the problems of the federal exchange. The federal exchange mainly suffered from (1) being rushed, and (2) having to deal with a larger number of external systems than any single state exchange.

Comment Re:Don't modern plans almost fly themselves? (Score 1) 421

Although commercial planes do fly on autopilot for most of the flight once they are in cruise, you still need the pilots that are fully capable of controlling the plane and landing it when the autopilot suddenly drops offline because the pitot tubes freeze, wings ice over, a gyro fails, or an engine catches on fire. The routine flights can indeed be handled by most any low-time pilot, but the unusual circumstances are where you need pilots with sufficient experience.

Comment Re:Post bigotry here (Score 5, Informative) 1113

There is NO DIFFERENCE between the "two" parties.

Except, you know, when it comes to issues like health care, reproductive rights, or Social Security.

Anyone who says there's no difference between the two parties is either (1) totally uninformed, (2) obsessed with fringe issues and apathetic about everything that the rest of us care about, or (3) trying to convince you to stay out of the election so their vote will count more.


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to ask college to change Intro to Computing? 3

taz346 writes: I got a Bachelor's degree 30 years ago, but I recently started back to college to get an Associate's degree. Most of the core courses are already covered by my B.A. but one that I didn't take way back when was Introduction to Computing. I am taking that now but have been very disappointed to find that it is really just Introduction to Microsoft Office 2010. That's actually the name of the (very expensive) textbook. It is mindless, boring and pretty useless for someone who's used PCs for about 20 years. But beyond that, why does it have to be all about MS Office and nothing else? Couldn't they just teach people to create documents, etc., and let them use any office software, like Libre Office? It seems to me that would be more useful; students would learn how to actually create things on their computers, not just follow step-by-step commands from a dumbed-down book about one piece of increasingly expensive software. I know doing it the way they do now is easy for the college, but it's not really teaching students much about what they can do with computers. So when the class is over, I plan to write a letter to the college asking them to change the course as I suggested above. I'm not real hopeful, but what the heck. Do folks out there have any good suggestions as to what might be the most persuasive arguments I can make?

Slashdot Top Deals

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?