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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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:Beyond idiotic (Score 1) 226

Well, there's good reason to hope on the carbon emissions front.

The global trend toward replacing coal with natural gas will have a massive impact on human CO2 footprint. And this isn't the result of the strangling hand of regulation either: gas plants are simply more economically efficient and easy to run. It also coincidentally generates less than half the CO2 per kwH that coal does.

This trend alone makes hitting world CO2 goals a lot more feasible. A better electricity grid will allow more diverse energy sources as well. It's really quite feasible to increase electricity production while reducing CO2 emissions.

Comment Re:It Doesn't Work That Way (Score 1) 226

Well, your point is well taken: Moore's law is an empirical observation, not the result of a plan.

However it doesn't follow in the least that doubling clean energy requires a doubling of investments. That's because clean energy is actually benefits more form economies of scale than fossil fuels. To double your output of electricity from coal, you may get better at building coal power plants, and you may enjoy some economies of scale as people invest in infrastructure to transport coal, but you still have to pay for twice as much coal. Renewables use slack resources that are simply being thrown away now: sunshine, wind, water flow etc. Of course there are physical limits to renewables, but we're nowhere near them yet.

Comment Re:Everyone is underpaid. (Score 2) 98

Yeah, I've never talked about it in those terms, but we all know bullshit marketing-speak when we see it. On the other hand, I've often said "thank God for Stack Overflow" after finding a quick and informative answer to a technical question I had.

It's an incredibly valuable resource. I often find it useful when I'm first digging into a new language or technology. Nearly every basic or even advanced question I tend to ask has been asked and answered already, and I can just reap the benefits.

But the *real* payoff, in my opinion, is when you find answers to incredibly obscure issues for which you might have to work days or even *weeks* to figure out, and some kind soul who has already gone through that pain shares knowledge for the good of everyone else, even though doing so is even more work for them.

Comment So many questions (Score 2) 46

1) Can your robots read bad handwriting? Because a lot of paper documents have handwritten info.
2) What kind of security/privacy guarantees can your offer, and do you have adequate insurance to cover claims from a major hack or data breach?
3) Can I offload my documents from your cloud service to a different service or to my own servers?

Comment Re:As usual, more detail needed (Score 1) 120

Generally speaking you should never, ever change your behavior based on the results of a single study -- even a controlled, double-blind study, much less an epidemiological survey. You should wait for a comprehensive literature review paper in a high-impact peer reviewed journal before you consider a result reliable.

That said, correlation is still quite valuable -- to researchers. Science doesn't have the resources to come up with quick, definitive answers on a question like this, involving a complex system that is expensive and ethically tricky to monkey with. So science spends a lot of time doing safer, more affordable stuff like looking for epidemiological correlations, until it can justify spending a lot of rare research dollars on something more probative. And those dollars are about to get a lot rarer too.

Comment Re:Similar (Score 1) 195

Kiribati is going underwater. Does anyone else care? *sigh*

I could rob you and beat you to pulp. Would anyone else care? The answer is that wise people would care, because they'll know if I get away with that I'll be getting away with a lot more.

Same with climate change. Yes, Kiribati may disappear. But the Kiribatians aren't the only people who will pay; in fact most people in the world will end up paying. The way this works is that we all get some up front economic benefit from unregulated carbon emissions and we all pay for the consequences later, but the trick is that the benefits and costs aren't spread uniformly. Some people make a killing on cheap fossil fuel and then can move the bulk of the resulting assets out of the way of climate change. The worst hit are those whose wealth is in land -- the Kiribatians obviously, but also farmers in places which become unsupportably arid.

Comment Re: Oh well (Score 1) 195

I don't think it's greed. I think it's wishful thinking.

And it absolutely would be great if there were no downsides to burning all the fossil fuels we can lay our hands on. Most people on this site are too young to remember the smog we had in the 1960s and 1970s; they're imprinted on a time when gas was cheap, air was clean, and anthropogenic climate change was (as far as the general public was concerned) undreamt of. Who wouldn't want that to be true?

Comment Re:Blame the others (Score 1) 378

> yellow / blue palate

If the roof of your mouth, palate, is yellow / blue then you have bigger problems to worry about.

The process of tinting the palette towards the Orange and Teal colors is called color grading.

It sucks because it is constantly over-used.

--
WTB: old Apple 2 games, original disks, namely:
* Captain Goodnight and the Islands of Fear
* Empire I: World Builders
* Empire II: Interstellar Sharks
* Empire III: Armageddon

Comment Re:Sounds nice! (Score 1) 123

I'm far less certain of that - look how many people take life-extending drugs now, so that their failing heart/liver/kidneys/whatever won't kill them "before their time"

What makes you think a drug that benefits basically every aspect of your health, plus makes you look and feel younger, would be any less appealing? Granted, after a few decades of failing health perhaps the allure of several more would wear thin. Then again, our culture is rather obsessed with putting off dying as long as possible, at almost any price, so a relatively cheap and powerful aid to that goal would probably find a huge market, even if it did also accelerate the return to a more sane relationship with death.

Even then though, I would not be surprised if death from "old age" remained extremely uncommon, with people instead continuing to take the anti-agapics as long as possible, and then choosing a more pleasant way to go when they decide their time is up. I mean it's basically a choice between decaying as slow as possible and then taking a leap of faith when it's no longer worth it, versus willfully letting the misery of decay accelerate until it kills you.

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes is getting self-important (Score 1) 378

>Plus, I use Linux so my time is already worth nothing.

I know it can be hard to adjust, but just because you would have been flushing all that time down the toilet dealing with Windows problems doesn't mean it's worthless. It just means that Windows was a terribly abusive partner. Go, take your newfound free time and learn to live again!

Comment Re: Or... (Score 1) 378

But how many people use Rotten Tomatoes to decide what they might be interested in watching in the first place? It seems much more likely that it's the previews that catch people's interest and then RT lets them know if the movie managed to appeal to the same people as the previews.

I mean there's plenty of abysmal movies with lots of great explosions and fight scenes (looking at you Michael Bay), whose previews don't really promise anything else. And they generally get good popular reviews for the simple reason that they deliver what's promised. Their critic reviews are often terrible, but that's to be expected - they're terrible movies seen through the eyes of someone who watched them in order to write a review, rather than because he preview led them to believe they'd like it.

Comment Re:Can't see the forest for all the trees (Score 1) 378

I'd say the usefulness of aggregators lies in the extremes - if the aggregate score is 80-90%, that's a remarkably wide range of people saying it was good, so clearly it has a broad based appeal and you'll likely enjoy it too. Similarly, if something is ranked at 10-20%, that's a remarkable consensus that it's bad.

The more midrange scores though - that's where things get murky, likely lots of conflicting opinions, so you have to venture further afield to figure out where our own tastes are likely to lie.

There's another way of looking at it though - if you assume most people are initially interested in a movie because of the previews, then even the horribly crude rankings of an aggregator could tell you one important detail: how well does the movie deliver on the promises of the preview? If the preview accurately captures the essence of the movie, then most people who were attracted by the preview are liable to like it. If not... well then the popular review is likely going to be bad unless the movie really managed to do something else *really* well.

Slashdot Top Deals

A debugged program is one for which you have not yet found the conditions that make it fail. -- Jerry Ogdin

Working...