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

 



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

Comment That's what we call a buying opportunity. (Score 2) 78

Wait for Trump to say something stupid that knocks a chunk of money off of a stock, wait a few hours for it to crash, buy low, and sell it after a week when the price rebounds. Once again, the ultra-wealthy with their high-frequency traders get richer, and normal people's retirement funds get poorer....

Comment Re:That depends, some can land the plane unassiste (Score 1) 137

Well, *technically* it's not supposed to be zero, but the plane is 200 feet long and you're supposed to have 150 feet of visibility. In other words, you can see only half a second in front of you.

The plane's length and its landing speed aren't necessarily equal. That said, it's amusing that the first plane I looked up—the 767—the landing speed is up to 199 MPH, and that does just happen to equate to almost exactly half a second. :-)

Comment Re:They might have reversed cause and effect (Score 1) 124

But it is at least as likely that having shorter telomeres predisposes you to be less active, choosing to sit more than other people. In fact, I would argue that genes affecting behavior is far more likely than behavior affecting genes. Without a truly randomized study with a control group, I don't see how you can convincingly prove causation.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 2) 247

Perhaps, perhaps not. Venus is still very poorly understood. In its high temperature environment its conditions are largely self-sustaining (preventing the sequestration of CO2 in rock), although it's also unstable, prone to broad temperature and pressure swings. It also appears to have undergone a global resurfacing event about 300-500mya, if that gives a clue as to how unstable the planet as a whole is. ;) We don't know what caused it, or really anything about it. Part of the planet's properties are now a result of it having lost its water rather than being a cause, such as its hard crust. Obviously its lack of a magnetic field is responsible for its loss of water, but we don't know exactly when or why it disappeared (there are of course theories... I had always just assumed it was the slow rotation rate, but the last research I read suggested that not enough to account for it). Other issues as to how Venus ended up as it did may be related to size - although it's only a bit smaller than Earth, that may be the initial factor that set its fate in motion - for example, its lithosphere in general appears to be thicker and higher viscosity on Earth, which could have hindered or prevented plate tectonics, and thus subduction of carbonates.

Either way, it's a mess now at the surface (though rather comfy ~55km up ;) ). And I'm not so sure I buy into some of the proposed ways to fix it (terraforming). For example, some have suggest mass drivers ejecting the atmosphere. Let's just say you can pull it off, and then you start building oxygen in the atmosphere - what happens next? The crust is something like 7-9% FEO; it's going to rust away whatever oxygen you make in short order.

Interestingly, I'd argue that this is possibly the salvation to Sagan's airborne-microbe concept for terraforming Venus. The main criticism is that if you engineered some sort of carbon-sequestering microbe on Venus (or artificial equivalent), you'd end up with a deep surface layer of graphite surrounded by some hugely hot, dense oxygen layer, and the atmosphere would explode. But that would never happen; at Venus surface temperatures and pressures, the surface rocks would rust away the oxygen as fast as it was created, even in tiny quantities, with the wind blowing the dust around to collect at low/eddy areas. So you're laying down bands of carbon and iron oxide as you burn through the planet's iron buffer. Where have we seen this before? Right, Earth, ~2,3 billion years ago, banded iron formations. Just like on Earth, you'd eventually burn through the iron and start to accumulate oxygen. But by then the graphite is already underground, buried in iron dust.

It's not a fast process. But it has precedent. Microbes already rusted at least one planet, and that planet's surface conditions weren't nearly as favorable for rusting as Venus's.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 0, Troll) 247

I don't know how China managed to melt so much arctic ice, leading to the absurd situation that just a couple days before the winter solstice this year I went on a hike through the snowless mountains in Iceland among chirping songbirds digging for worms. All I have to say to China about this is: Best. Conspiracy. Ever. Well played, China. Well played.

Comment Re:liar (Score 1) 499

Ya, I spotted it immediately. He was really brave when he was sure he wouldn't have to do it. Kind of like all the people who claim they'll leave the country over [insert socio-political atrocity]. If they ever followed through, it would really be a newsworthy event.

Comment Re:IAPs (Score 1) 159

I thought Apple was only renting space to developers [slashdot.org], and got a fixed percentage from them. Isn't setting/raising prices something developer's should decide to do? Or are things somehow different in the UK?

Basically, when you sell something in any of Apple's stores, you choose a price tier in your default currency, and prices in other currencies are based on that price combined with the current exchange rates. For example, if I create a book right now, and specify tier 10 everywhere, that's $9.99 in USD, or $13.99 in CAD. If the Canadian dollar increases relative to the dollar, in a year, tier 10 could be $9.99 in the U.S. and $12.99 in CAD. In theory, the amount paid will always be approximately equal to $9.99 in USD.

To add further complexity, Apple provides some alternate price tiers that let you charge lower prices in developing countries, and for books, even lets you set per-country price tiers, IIRC, which could distort pricing even further... but that's a side discussion. :-)

Comment Re:love the subtle anti-brexit push (Score 1) 159

A better measure is the Big Mac Index [wikipedia.org]. A McDonalds Big Mac contains more commodities, and a significant portion of the price is in the service sector. In the UK, the average price of a Big Mac is 2.99UKP. In America, it is $4.79. So the fair market conversion should be about 0.62. So the pound is currently undervalued against the dollar, and Apple is screwing the Brits.

That's silly. The Big Mac in the UK is likely made with British beef, British bread, British lettuce, British tomatoes, etc. Expecting the same exchange rate is completely unrealistic when you're talking about buying goods that are made outside the EU.

Mind you, I'm not saying the 1:1 conversion rate that Apple is using isn't Apple's way of giving the middle finger to the UK for Brexit, nor am I saying that I agree with it, but the rate ought to be set based on roughly the average conversion rate over the past few months or so, and that rate isn't anywhere near 0.62:1. Realistically, looking at recent trends, a 0.82:1 rate is probably pretty reasonable. Add to that Apple's usual safety margin, and I'd expect more like 0.85:1.

Slashdot Top Deals

Hackers of the world, unite!

Working...