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Comment Re:Rockets are too expensive (Score 1) 91

And a space elevator, of course, would only cost about a Trillion, and there's this little problem of it hitting something (we'd have to make Earth Orbit absolutely pristine and keep it that way) and there's a problem with the kinetic energy if it falls down. Sort of like having many atom bombs go off.

Maybe someday. But right now making rockets as cheap as they can be is a better idea. It's only $200K to fuel up a Falcon 9. We don't get the whole thing back in working order yet, but that would be a lot easier than making a space elevator.

Comment No Dragon 2 Soft Landing Yet (Score 3, Informative) 89

Dragon 2 isn't built yet. The escape test was a boilerplate capsule more like a Dragon 1 than 2. Dragon 2 has not demonstrated a soft landing, because it's not built yet. That was the Falcon 9 first stage.

Also, you can't get Dragon 2 down to the Moon and back up on it's own. Not enough delta-V. You would need to have Dragon ride on top of something that can hold enough fuel. Like a larger version of the Apollo Service Module.

The Command/Service module was originally intended to land on the moon and return without the LEM, before NASA bought the LEM concept, and was overpowered for the mission it got. Dragon is larger and heavier, but a lunar landing one would probably look a lot like an Apollo Command and Service module, and legs.

And yeah, Orion: I'm Not on Board. Big expensive obsolete rocket with no mission that makes sense.

But good luck getting Elon Musk to focus on the practical and eminently desirable target of the Moon. He isn't interested. It's only Mars for Elon.

I try not to watch all of the Mars Colonial Transport speculation. Falcon 9 and Dragon are great, and they're here, and we could do so much with them.

Comment Re:USPS Investigation? (Score 1) 143

USPS is bad for many other reasons, too. The post office where I live (a major city) is basically open in a narrow window from 8:30 to 5:00 on weekdays and a short four-hour window on Saturday. Need to ship something out? Unless it can wait until Saturday, you'd better plan to take time off from work unless you're willing to leave it on the side of the road for hours. And if the sender requests that something be held for pickup, that means you have to pick it up during that window, too. By contrast, there's a local UPS store that's open until 7 M-F and until 5 on Saturday, and a major FedEx depot that's open until 8 M-F and 5 on Saturday. It's just a much better experience.

And USPS tracking is borderline useless. It typically provides little more than a delivery confirmation. UPS and FedEx track it at every point along the way so that you know almost exactly where your package is at all times, and so do they. This makes package loss much less likely.

Comment Re: Sounds too simple to be true (Score 1) 937

This is what is being lost beneath the racism, the Indians, Mexicans, Chinese, etc. are not your enemies, they're just people trying to make a buck. Your enemies are Americans.

Specifically, the wealthy ruling class. Of course, some of them have also managed to trick a lot of Americans into believing that immigrants are the enemy by pushing an exaggerated sense of nationalism. I'm still trying to figure out how they win by damaging the income of other members of the ruling class, but I'm sure there's a financial explanation somewhere if you dig in deep enough.

Either way, the whole system is rigged, and the people at the top always win. It's just a question of which group of people at the bottom get screwed when they do.

Comment Re: pointless (Score 4, Funny) 173

Just because you have a "smart" TV doesn't mean you're stuck using the "smart" bits. Plug in an HDMI cable or three to the video source of your choosing, and you never have to touch the smart OS stuff unless you want to.

Just because it has a network connection doesn't mean you have to connect it to a network.

Comment Re:Anyone remember when cents/GB was used? (Score 1) 24

Stacking dies with many layers might help bring cost down by letting you burn out fuses on defective dies and then do part binning based on the number of functioning dies. I'm not sure if the defect rates on flash would yield a significant benefit from doing so or not, though.

Comment Re:Obsolete (Score 1) 96

Bots creating GoFundMe pages have replaced bums, no need to stand on the street holding a tin cup when you can create a bot to create an online story of distress and have it beg money for you.

That's what this article is about. There are two bots standing on the street corner holding their tin cups, jostling each other for position, and spilling half their money in the process. The AI is converging on a solution using cooperation, where each bot assesses the traffic, and parcels out the begging duty to the robot more likely to succeed with that particular potential donor.

In other words, "two bots one cup".

Comment Re:Weak/nonexistent punishments for faulty notices (Score 1) 81

All patent applications are signed under penalty of perjury. However, the US Patent and Trademark office disbanded its enforcement department in 1974. So, you can perjure yourself on a patent application with impunity.

Unless it's testimony in a criminal case, or the perjury trap in front of a grand jury, or something they want to prosecute like lying on your tax form, the Federal government is in general lassiez faire about perjury, or even encouraging of it with their reluctance to prosecute, especially perjury committed by a so-called intellectual property holder.

Comment Re:Will it work in a Raspberry Pi? (Score 1) 48

It will work in a Raspberry Pi, but the Pi doesn't have the required contacts to support UHS-II, so it won't benefit from the extra bus bandwidth. And it doesn't even support UHS-I fully (max speed is 100 MHz instead of 200 MHz) because you apparently can't put the SoC into 1.8V signalling mode (or so I've read). So you'll presumably benefit from improvements to random access time from the faster microcontroller on the SD card, but you won't get the full speed benefit.

Comment Re:TechBros are the worst Consumers (Score 1) 129

The challenge, of course, is defining what "deprive others of that freedom" means. Does it mean you can't deprive other people of the freedom to have the source code to your work that extends the original work, or does it mean you can't deprive other people of the freedom to make private extensions to the original work? That's fundamentally the difference between the GPL and BSD licensees is what other group of people you want to deprive of freedom.

Arguably, the BSD license is more free because the existence of a private fork doesn't deprive anyone of anything; the original work is still freely available. But on the other hand, you could argue that some of those changes merely fix bugs, and thus are not rightfully new works, and should be available to anyone who has the original software. It's a fine line, and there's no absolute right answer.

The reason the public mocks nerds, of course, is that they argue vociferously over which license is correct, which takes time away from actually making the technology better, and is often seen as a waste of everyone's time. On the other hand, without those arguments (which expand the community's understanding of the licenses and their eccentricities), there's a possibility of critical projects choosing a license that is inappropriate and ending up stuck with it to the detriment of everyone.

For example, the FSF's decision to relicense GCC under GPLv3 created stagnation in its largest user base (the Mac community), with OS X users stuck at a much older version for years, until eventually Apple worked with the LLVM team to replace it with Clang. To be fair, in the end, everybody benefitted from a more modular compiler architecture that could better be integrated into things like IDEs, so the resulting platform is more capable than GCC ever was (or ever will be, in all likelihood), but the bad licensing decision meant that the teams couldn't take advantage of each other's work, which no doubt made that transition take much longer than it otherwise would have and resulted in a lot of duplication of work, ultimately culminating in GCC becoming an evolutionary dead end that's still a giant time sink to maintain (and that, no doubt, will continue to be maintained for many years, for no real reason other than because it exists and has to work).

So in spite of the public's belief that this is all a bunch of silly squabbles like Star Wars versus Star Trek, the reality is that there are real-world implications of these arguments, making them at least somewhat valuable (up to a point, anyway).

Submission + - Google has demonstrated a successful practical attack against SHA-1 (googleblog.com)

Artem Tashkinov writes: Ten years after of SHA-1 was first introduced, Google has announced the first practical technique for generating an SHA-1 collision. It required two years of research between the CWI Institute in Amsterdam and Google. As a proof of the attack, Google has released two PDF files that have identical SHA-1 hashes but different content. The amount of computations required to carry out the attack is staggering: nine quintillion (9,223,372,036,854,775,808) SHA1 computations in total which took 6,500 years of CPU computation to complete the attack first phase and 110 years of GPU computation to complete the second phase.

Google says that people should migrate to newer hashing algorithms like SHA-256 and SHA-3, however it's worth noting that there are currently no ways of finding a collision for both MD5 and SHA-1 hashes simultaneously which means that we still can use old proven hardware accelerated hash functions to be on the safe side.

Comment Re:All you Apple Haters can bite my shiny metal SD (Score 1) 48

I seem to recall an awful lot of Apple Haters whining about a certain new MacBook Pro that had dropped the built in SD reader...

We were complaining about the lack of UHS-II support for about five years before they dropped it. Apple dropping it rather than updating it wasn't the first snub, but rather the last straw.

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