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:Why always going for hominoid? (Score 2) 47

It is explained. The reason was to facilitate the remote controlling by some kind of VR setup. If you turn your head, you expect something similar to happen to your robotic avatar. If you raise your arm, it's better if the distance between your "eyes" and your "shoulder", and the relationship of lengths of your "arms", is human-like. So you end up with a human-like structure. If you want to protect your sensors with a hull, a head-like cover is as good as any other.

On the other side, there are many other alternatives open to you, and it's clear that they went for the hominoid look, but that's also very human :-)

Comment Re:If confirmed, does this make it realistic? (Score 5, Insightful) 477

Are you serious? If the EM drive works we are at the gates of a major revolution in Physics (as in 'our understanding of Physics'). First we should have to understand how it works, tinker with it till the smallest-lightest-efficientest designs emerge. In parallel, other people would be trying to determine WHY it works. That's a much bigger task, that requires a rewriting of most Physic's textbooks. When we have a new theory that explains the EM drive, then probably still better drives can be designed, perhaps using other kinds of radiation.

What I'm driving at, is that discussing how possibly adequate or inadequate this EM drive is to space travel is like discussing the usefulness of electricity when good old Thales started rubbing amber pieces against animal skins.

Comment First or second part? (Score 4, Insightful) 227

Stranger in a Strange Land is really like two novels. The first part is good, classical Heinlein. The second part is some kind of rambling political pamphlet that always manages to bore me. I read somewhere that they were written with several years difference, and it shows.

I hope they base it in the first part, really. Well, probably, if it's a typical TV product, they will take the basic idea and massacre all else, so why do I care?

Comment Another irrelevant study (Score 1) 143

Come on. This is supposed to be a nerds' site. You should know that this kind of studies are useless because there is no way to prove causation. Perhaps people who like soda are more prone to diabetes in the first place. Perhaps (oh! sudden insight) they don't only drink soda but also overeat and don't move their sorry asses, like, ever.

When somebody makes a study of a thousand vegetarians that run 5K every day, and take half and force them to drink a glass of soda every day for ten years, and then compare the results with the other half, then I'll be interested. Until then, extracting a variable like this from such an interdependent mess as is human health, is simply the embodiment of a strong desire for publication, nothing else.

Comment Some mental adjustment (Score 4, Insightful) 598

Some mental adjustment will be necessary at first.

That's the understatement of the year. I've rarely read a more nerd-centric, normal-human-ignorant proposal. I suppose some things have to be written to scare the spiders away from keyboards. But giving them attention and consideration is a step beyond reasonable.

If you haven't managed to convince people in the USA to switch to metric, which is in use in the rest of the world, easier and more convenient, good luck making them wake up at two p.m. Oops, sorry, there won't be any a.m. or p.m, of course.

Comment Re:mountains of diamonds (Score 3, Interesting) 365

I notice that you didn't include India as a former colony, or the African colonies. Here is another alternate hypothesis. British culture is racist and genocidal and in some countries it invaded, it managed to exterminate the natives, creating in the process a homogeneous society, that can develop easier. French or Spanish invaders stopped killing the locals when they surrendered, and mixed with them, creating less cohesive societies, with different backgrounds and ways. It's just an hypothesis. See how well it checks with reality as compared with yours.

Comment Just as a thought experiment... (Score 1, Insightful) 220

Imagine what would have happened if it was the iPhone 7 battery the one exploding here and there. The hit that iOS would have taken would have been brutal. However, while Samsung suffers, Android doesn't even register the Note 7 debacle. Samsung could disappear tomorrow and other companies would take its sales in a blink. Evolution at work. That's because Android is a platform, not a company. In the end, platforms, specially if they are somewhat open, always trump companies.

Some day Apple will make a bad mistake, like Samsung has done, and then its trademark will suffer. If the mistake is bad enough, they might never recover from it. If they don't make a big mistake, they might make lots of small ones, and also lose ground. If they don't make either a big or many small mistakes, then some innovative company with a better product will pop up somewhere and be the next cool thing. And the important thing is that this company will be forced to use Android because Apple does not license iOS.

So in the end Apple always loses, because they use a closed environment and that means that they don't allow evolution to work. That fact has been obscured by the real genius that Apple has shown these past years in creating a whole new category of devices. That gives you a nice head start, of course, but it's finished now. Their market share is starting to reflect the realities of the dead hand of markethistory :-)

Comment Re:Selling at a loss (Score 1) 220

Well, if your share of the market drops below a certain point (technically known as the Blackberry point) then you won't get the new apps developed for your platform. And then you die. Slowly at first, then all of a sudden.

Of course rich people has Apple so it cannot die, and bla, bla. Well, rich people has money to change their phone in seconds if the NewHipApp isn't available for iOS. It's not like they are married to their iPhones, or rather it is like they are married to them, seeing how easily everybody divorces nowadays.

Comment Re:No, Just No (Score 1) 305

Well, no necessarily. You see, when full autonomous vehicles ride, there is the question of who pays for an accident if it was the "fault" of the autonomous driver. In could be Tesla, possibly by law. If it is, they can certainly restrict the kind of uses of the car, to be covered by that insurance. That's a still-to-be-decided practicality of autonomous cars, and one that will provide us with hours of entertainment.

Slashdot Top Deals

"This isn't brain surgery; it's just television." - David Letterman