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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re: Sounds Familiar. (Score 3, Interesting) 149

This was known and discussed. But they found microgravity to be a compounding effect of radiation exposure

This just drives home how much of a risk interplanetary flight is right now. And we really don't have great solutions that don't involve great masses of shielding. Artificial magnetosopheres for example are insufficient to deal with GCR.

Comment More importantly (Score 5, Insightful) 410

Every vote for a third party is a threat to a major party's political power.

As long as it's not enough of a threat to swing an election, they don't care.

What it DOES do that's useful, though, is tell them:
  - Here's someone who cares enough to take the trouble to vote, but that (both of) you weren't able to attract to your candidate.
  - and THAT (the STATED position of the minor party) is the direction you have to change in order to attract this voter later.

Comment Re:For those who may have forgotten (Score 3, Interesting) 55

Are you kidding? The breakup removed Bell's ability to prevent people from attaching arbitrary non-Bell equipment to the phone lines, which made modems practical, which basically made the Internet viable. It also made multiple long distance carriers available to a lot more people than had options previously, which was responsible for a lot of the cash that Sprint eventually used to build a cellular network. So basically, we have the Internet and multiple cellular carriers because the government broke up Ma Bell.

Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 327

I agree with you that many of us are no longer the teens or 20-somethings who continue to buy tickets.

I'm just not sure I agree with you on the not being numerous enough to matter. Apparently there are enough of us with enough disposable income to keep the home theatre industry going. I suspect we're also more likely to pay for genuine content, given a convenient source and inoffensive pricing, than younger viewers.

You don't beat piracy by trying to force people into a worse experience. You beat piracy by giving the people what they wanted all along, conveniently and at a fair price.

Comment I don't think that's what he did. (Score 1) 999

So you don't think the Republican candidate for the Presidency of the US inviting a foreign power, one that is at the best of times in a rather tense relationship with the United States, to hack into US systems just to gain dirt on the other party's nominee is reasonable?

It's obvious to a native speaker of English (who isn't astroturfing the Democrats' talking points) that Trump was NOT inviting the Russians to initiate a new crack on his opponent's servers.

He was ribbing his opponents, and keeping their lax security (and their "The Russians are aiding him!" attempt at distraction) in the public eye, by pointing out that the Russians probably ALREADY have the emails that Clinton's people "can't find", and inviting them to dig them out of their own archives and provide them to investigators and/or the press.

People claiming he is inviting new espionage don't just look foolish. They also play into his hands, by keeping the issue in the face of prospective voters.

But feel free to continue. B-)

Comment Re:Wait... Who got that other half of the $$$ rais (Score 5, Informative) 33

I spent about fifteen years of my career in the non-profit sector, so I have some perspective on this.

Raising money in a non-profit is just like selling stuff is for a for-profit. Generating gross revenue is relatively easy -- if you spend a lot of money you can rake in a lot of dough. What's a bitch to generate is net profit. In the non-profit sector we don't use the term "profitability" very much, so the metric that's often used to describe financial is "cost to raise a dollar." For typical fundraising activities cost-to-raise-a-dollar runs from 0.25 to 1.5 dollars/dollar.

Take junk mail. The cost to raise a dollar for a well-run direct mail campaign is in the range of $1.25 to $1.50, so if I want to raise $115,000 to spend on other things I have to scale my direct mail campaign to bring inover $258,000 gross. As you can see I chose a net target that was exactly 1/1000 the size of the ALS bucket challenge net, so you can compare the efficiency of the processes readily. The cost to raise a dollar for the ALS bucket challenge is actually better than a well-run direct mail campaign -- $0.91.

And it should be more efficient than direct mail, because direct mail is about the least efficient method there is. The marginal costs are huge because you pay for the names and addresses as well as printing and mailing of each piece, and most of those pieces will end up in the landfill unopened. So if direct mail is so inefficient, why use it? Because the financial inefficiency doesn't matter to the organization doing the fundraising. The end result of my hypothetical direct mail campaign is that my organization has $115,000 it didn't have before. That probably pays for one and half full time staff positions (at the low do-gooder wages we pay) for a year.

So the ALS challenge was in the financial efficiency range of methods normally used by non-profits, albeit a little towards the inefficient end. That doesn't really tell us if the campaign was responsibly run or not; to know that you'd have to look at all the expenses and compare those to costs in other viral Internet fundraising campaigns. But the bottom line is that the ALS association ended up with $115 million it didn't have before.

Can you think of a way of raising $115 million in a few months? I thought not. So presuming the guys who ran the campaign didn't spend the money on hookers and blow, I wouldn't be unduly concerned by a cost-to-raise-a-dollar of $0.91 if I was on the board.

Should donors care that the ALS challenge was a little high on the cost-to-raise-a-dollar metric? Well, I look at it this way. People did it because it was fun and for a good cause, and two years later we can point to concrete and significant scientific results from the money raised. That's not only pretty good, it's pretty damned awesome.

Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 327

The most important attribute of my home setup:

Audience = Whoever in the household wants to watch

Sometimes my wife and I enjoy the same things. Sometimes one of us wants to watch something that doesn't particularly interest the other. Adults don't necessarily all want to watch family movies with the kids (again). If we have friends over, we just buy extra food and drink before the show.

A decent cinema has a big screen and good sound, but the experience with a high-end home system these days is close enough that if the movie is any good at all you're not going to notice.

For me, as someone with less free time but nicer stuff than I had 20 years ago, the only compelling advantage of a big cinema these days is that they still get the movies when they release, which means you can watch them before some [expletive deleted] spoils everything. Waiting for the Blu-Ray to come out (or some online streaming service to offer it, if that's your thing) takes an eternity, and it's an entirely artificial barrier that exists only to prop up cinemas that are otherwise losing relevance.

Personally, I would pay significantly more than the cost of a cinema ticket to have an actual, my-own-copy Blu-Ray of a film or show (or a DRM-free download from a fast, legal source) to enjoy in the comfort of my own home as soon as I want it.

Comment Re:C is the best (Score 2) 306

C is actually quite portable. But documenting it correctly so that someone else (or you a few years later) can understand what's going on it a beast.

C is more portable than either assembler or C++ (to bracket it with similar languages). It's not the most portable, for that you need either an interpreted language or one that runs on a virtual machine. Like Java, Python, Smalltalk, Ruby, etc., but it's probably the most portable language that compiles to native code.

Comment Hades 2026 (Score 1) 244

Last Week Tonight Winter Olympics 2022

The ending here is not one of his best, but the two bits with Brian Williams are priceless. The other good bit: 7000 pages of host-nation demands.

Apart from the women's hockey finals, I can hardly recall the last minute of Olympic coverage I've watched in ten years, just because I hate IOC with the burning intensity of a thousand suns.

You might think I'm exaggerating, but consider that it's only one sun per seven pages of arrogance from geriatric gargoyles that even the French don't want.

Comment Re:anti-science environmentalists (Score 1) 181

Actually, it's thoroughly impossible to tell how the new standards work based upon by the linked articles, but it sounds like in plain language that Florida is using a computer model that could allow more flexibility in discharge permitting. This can lead to better results, whether your definition of better is "more rationally defensible" or "more in line with what my donors want." Determining which way it is better requires review by a competent expert. It might be both.

The real issue here is this phrase from TFA: "one of a kind." That's not so good.

It's important in managing environmental data to do things in the usual way. This is contrary to the way public thinks about new technologies. If there's a new iPhone, you expect it to be better in every way or at least as good. It's not like that with scientific methods; new techniques are proposed because they have certain advantages, obviously. But they always have one big disadvantage: their results are hard to compare with what you already know. You need to do a lot of work to justify doing things a new way, otherwise you can find yourself unable to compare what is happening now to what was happening before.

Fortunately Florida can't do this on its own; it has to get EPA approval. Since this is an administration that is generally favorable to environmental regulation, if they can get this past Obama's EPA that will help give these new methods more credibility.

Comment Re:Teams (Score 1) 244

There's only one sane way for companies to respond: by continuing to post about the Ol****cs, but avoid using any of their trademarked terminology. For example, they could censor it (eg. Ol****c G***s), or even better, use hashtag #LameGames reflecting the way they are running things.

And if they sue, countersue. Try for at least a ten-figure payout.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead

Working...