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


Forgot your password?
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 So could I... (Score 0) 274

if I made everyone in South Australia asphyxiate themselves.

I feel like we've heard a lot of talk lately from Mr. Musk, but seen less action. I'd be pleased if he could resolve the problem, but let's have an actual plan with timelines, deadlines, costs, and enforceable penalties for poor performance or missed dates.

Comment Don't do this cool thing (Score 1) 101

This is why the bring-your-own commercial device idea doesn't work for many Defense and Government activities. I realize it sounds really cool to be able to direct artillery fire with your smartphone. But think about all the buggy applications you have on your smartphone... do you really want to be sending fires data with something that's just going to crash or hang because Candy Crush installed wrong?

Some other posters seem to be trying to connect this to Hillary Clinton's recent campaign. Really, the easy link it to compare it with Hillary's private e-mail server. Aside from the whole "don't circumvent the FOIA" thing, this is another why we don't want you doing public business on private servers. Government data is going to be attacked by government operators, if only to see what they can get away with. So it needs to be known so we can give it the government-level defense that it needs.

Comment Re:Why are hard workers being replaced? (Score 1) 455

This is probably off-topic, but that is one of the things that annoys me the most about working with foreign countries: the random holidays where everyone takes off. We been working with a German company (not on contract, but for some warranty work), and even their US sales rep couldn't get anyone on the phone in October. Maybe it's American pluralism, that not everyone has the same holidays, or maybe it's poor contracts that don't mandate at least 3 nines of level-2 availability for support (or in our case, no contract), but it sucks dealing with overseas people. I'm not saying people shouldn't have holidays, but how do you run a business or country that closes down for a month?

Comment Re:Broken Windows Policing (Score 2) 191

As I understand, there's a Catch-22 associated with the ATF background check: from what I've been told, the only way to see if the background check thinks you are prohibited from owning a gun is to submit the paperwork for a background check. And since no gun shop is going to submit the paperwork if you aren't going to buy a gun, or if you say "No I can't possess a gun", the only way to check is to try and buy a gun, submit the paperwork, and see if it comes back negative.

While I agree that a 1-in-1000 prosecution rate for felony gun purchases is probably too low, a lot of those cases are probably people who either didn't know they couldn't buy a gun, and the system correctly prevented them from buying a gun; or people who wanted to find out if they were now eligible to buy a gun, and the system correct prevented them from buying one. So to meet the presumed objective of "keep felons from buying guns", the system appears to be working, and I'd bet a lot of these people aren't repeat offenders (i.e., they don't keep going to try and buy guns once they find out they can't), so it's not worth pursing a case for someone who couldn't have known any better. The ATF is probably actually looking primarily for repeat offenders, either trying multiple stores in succession, or trying multiple stores in different counties or states.

What we probably need is to 1) spend some more time following up on these cases to make sure these people aren't turning around and stealing firearms, and 2) coming up with a better system of checking your ATF gun purchasing status without perjuring yourself.

Comment Re:interstellar mission (Score 5, Interesting) 347

Making an antimatter rocket is "do-able" for some value of do-able, but making the antimatter is whole 'nother issue. According to Wikipedia, estimates put the cost of a gram of antimatter somewhere between $25 billion (2006) and $62 trillion (1999). Given the 2014 gross world product was about $78 trillion, the puts the price somewhere between "a lot" and "all of the money".

If we started now, I guess we could build a two-copy redundant probe set in 20-50 years that would take 400-4000 years to get to Proxima using either ion propulsion or nuclear pulse propulsion (Orion type) (assume max roughly 1% light speed). The probe set would cost $10-1,000 billion depending on how you amortize costs, R&D and NRE, launch facilities, and fuel. The US, EU, and China have GDPs of roughly $17, $17, and $11 trillion, respectively, so that's the scale you'd be working against.

Comment Re:MIMO (Score 2) 72

As the summary says (and no-one has contradicted), this experiment used a directional parabolic antenna to improve the performance of the data transmission. Along with parent, I am not really all that excited until they can get the same performance with either multiple antenna or an isotropic radiator to give 4-pi steradian coverage (or so). Having a point-to-point link is nice, but I can do that with lasers and microwave beams already.

Comment Re:new recommendations for drive health also out. (Score 1) 85

I know this is a little off-topic, but for years I've been braising my magtapes at 375 for about an hour per pound. Do the new recommendations mean I really should be doing a high-heat / low-heat type cooking (like for DVDs), or would reducing the temperature and just planning to cook it longer give a more succulent cartridge?

Slashdot Top Deals

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.