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Comment Better link (Score 1) 90

Most of what's in the (originally) Reuters blurb is in the airbus link, except the 2017 date to get a prototype in the air, and doesn't contain that silly Shutterstock photo that has nothing to do with the Airbus group at all.

If I could afford one of these, I'd definitely get on, even if it had limited takeoff/landing allowables. Now, that's partly because the nearest gen aviation airport is ~1 mile from my house, and partly because I live in the mountains where the air miles to a mid-range destination (30-100 miles) can be less than half the road distance. But, alas, not being in the 0.1% means it's likely I will not be able to afford one.

Comment Re:Trump will pardon him on Day 1 (Score 3, Informative) 266

Having Kennedy run a study on the autism-vaccine link is like having Daniel Shenton (president of the flat earth society) run a study on weather or not the earth is a spheroid, or Bill Kaysing (if he were still alive) running an investigation into whether the moon landings in the 60s and 70s were a hoax.

Having ANYONE run a meta-study on what is , essentially, established science to try and find proof that it is not - and damaging national and world health in the process - is not just irresponsible but downright dangerous.

Oh, and DeVos basically wants to defund public schools by shifting as many dollars as possible to vouchers for people to use at privately-run schools, with essentially no oversight. Whether she intends to make public schools worse or not is somewhat irrelevant when her goal is to eliminate their source of funding.

Comment Trump will pardon him on Day 1 (Score 3, Funny) 266

The entire Trump administration is a perfect Bizarro world. Anti-school as sec of ed, anti-vaxxer running vaccine study, etc... I don't think it's even possible that Snowden doesn't get a pardon on Jan 22. It'll be part of the new US-Russian intelligence partnership.

Comment Re:"Super Cheap"? (Score 1) 369

Yep - and as a kid, we always had a vial around for veterinary use (for the animals). It probably also may have saved my father when he got stung by a bee and had an allergic reaction (none of us had a known allergy that would have caused us to have an epipen around). But, you know, it's too dangerous to have the average human know how to read a label, choose a medication dose (to within about factor of 3 - which is the "safe" range for epinephrine) and give a proper IM injection.

Comment There is always a monetary value on your child (Score 1) 369

That's how companies in healthcare can get away with the prices they charge. They look at a $30 drug or $120 component (build cost) and ask "what would saving your [wife|child|eyesight] be MIN(worth to you, how much could you pay if you sold everything you owned and mortgaged your life's work potential). Then they look at the data a fit a curve which chooses a price which maximizes the return. Naturally, that cuts some people out of the game - but that's life (or death, or the use of a limb).

What you have to realize is (a) 1 in 10,000 is about 3 orders of magnitude greater than the average human can evaluate or imagine - we are VERY bad at outcome choices where probability estimates exceed about 1 in 5 to 1 in 8 and (b) the name brand has a finite failure rate which is often very similar to the generic. So, in your example, if the name brand had a 1 in 10,000 change of being "better", the likelihood is that there would be (and, yes, I'm making this up, but the efficacy rules support this general concept) a 1000 in 10,000 chance of a failure of the name brand, and a 1001 in 10,000 chance of failure of a generic. The difference is ridiculously small. (Note that a 90% efficacy of a single-shot medication is actually rather high, on average)

Comment Capitalism sort-of works, sometimes (Score 1) 369

It's not that it's not workable, it's that the markets are not efficient (in the economic sense). Note that this took TEN YEARS to occur. Had the reaction been on the order of 3-6 months, I'd say it worked properly. The time from the beginning of price gouging to the current state where the cost is a single digit multiple of the production cost means that the marketplace is only reactive to massive imbalances.

Comment Re:Why 18:9? (Score 1) 132

In a way, it's worse, because ratios for theaters are 1.85:1 (vs ~1.78:1 for a 16:9 screen) and 2.35:1 (vs 2.33:1 for 21:9). The only real ratio that matched was the classic 4:3, which was cinema, TV, and computers back in the stone age.

I'm a fan of 1.41:1. The A sizes work the best, especially if you're going to go split screen (where you get exactly two portrait 1.41:1 screens in a landscape 1.41:1)

Comment Re:Electric Cars Were Better (Score 1) 198

Not sure when "you" could swap out 1200 pound battery in under 20 minutes from the bottom of a vehicle. Maybe a dozen 20# deep cycles in your trunk. Heck, even if it were accessible, 15 seconds to detach/undock and move a module to a shelf, and the same to move one back and latch into place means you can only move 40 batteries in 20 minutes. So for a Tesla S, that's 30# per battery. The average user (not you - I'm sure you're buff like Chris Helmsworth) is going to be exhaused from something like that.

Comment Re:charging available only at power stations? (Score 1) 198

To be fair, nobody really charges at 120V. Any decent charger is going to be off of a 240V single phase (for residential) and most commercial is going to have access to (at least) 480V/3phase or three 277V phase-to-ground legs (which is what many commercial fluor ballasts run, iirc). And that presumes that they even bother transforming down from the 7.2kV main before distributing to the DC. Now, I haven't the faintest idea what state of the art is for high amperage AC-DC conversion, but just looking at building systems that's the equivalent of probably 10,000SF of restaurant/retail or 20,000 SF of office building. If local energy storage becomes a "thing" and allows buffering of the power, you could probably service 8 charging stations from a service the size of a 4 - restaurant outparcel (Darden-chain size buildings). Not insignificant, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Comment Re:Terrible summary (Score 3, Informative) 168

The real inspiration was marrying a capacitive screen large enough for fingers with a finger-centric (finger-exclusive) OS. That, and "app" pricing at $free-$5 as opposed to the traditional $15-50/app desktop pricing which was carried over to WinMo. I owned several WinMo phones before switching to a 3G(s?) simply due to the effortless touch screen.

Comment 8K would be fantastic at my office. (Score 1) 192

For TV and movies, perhaps, but I'm still waiting for it for desktop use. And, by desktop, I mean like a Surface Studio with a 48-50" monitor for working on full size E architectural prints. I may not be able to see pixels on more than a portion of the screen, but there's no bigger productivity killer than having to constantly scroll around a print looking through a little "window" onto the page. Right now I use a pair of 42" 4k monitors which is good for a D size drawing at nearly 1:1. Even so, at my normal 20-24" viewing distance there is considerable pixelization. Pushing the dpi to 200 for rendering prints would be nice, but I'd settle for 160-180dpi and full size E prints.

Comment Artificial scarcity is not a hedge (Score 1) 146

If you just want a way to digitally pay for things with limited (but far from perfect) anonymity, bitcoin is a fine mechanism if you can stomach the wild fluctuations in valuations relative to governmental currencies. But if you actually want something independent of government currency, you don't want to jump overboard into an exchange based on artificial scarcity backed by nothing but the good will of mathematicians; you want durable commodities. Bitcoin is simply a zero-value hash which a subset of people have agreed has value. Nothing less, nothing more.

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