Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Why air gaps? (Score 1) 129

Double glazed windows have a vacuum (or sometimes a noble gas) between the panes.

Or dry air. There's no need to use anything other than air to avoid condensation. You just need to make sure the air is dry and the windows are sealed so humid air can't get in. I doubt many windows are vacuum-filled; that's just begging for trouble, and would also limit the size of panes. 15 pounds per square inch adds up to a lot of pressure very quickly.

Comment Re:Why air gaps? (Score 1) 129

If you're talking about things that happen with p < 10^-5 you can can't test to any kind of reasonable confidence level. Engineers have to use the collective experience of the profession as a whole as a guide, in addition to actual testing.

Since phone design is interdisciplinary -- involving marketing, industrial design and engineering -- engineers will just have to push back when the designers and marketers try to take that half millimeter away. This case will be a touchstone for future generations of EEs, the way the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is for civil engineers and Therac-25 is for software engineers.

Comment Re:Analyzing a car purchase over 1 year? (Score 1) 36

That "5 of 12 were ineffective" carries the flawed implication that the device is filled with magic pixie dust that should somehow be 100% effective. Cell phone signals vary all over the place, by technology, by topography, by carrier, and were never designed to be perfectly interceptable by a man-in-the-middle box. Detecting them properly also requires some skill on the part of the operator. The fact that the machine yielded some signals that were actually intercepted by these techno-rookies is fairly remarkable.

This "story" is batting 0 for 3. Automobile capital expenditures aren't amortized over a single year. Police investigation money isn't invested on a value-per-conviction basis (anyone remember the fiasco that was ticket quotas?). And not all investigative tools produce fruitful results 100% of the time. Given just the evidence in this story, I'd say the Virginia police were more effective with the DRTbox than the typical MuckRock journalist is with a keyboard.

Comment Re:No investment opportunities big enough (Score 1) 102

Apple : "We have so much money we literally don't know what to do with it anymore."

That's alright. Neither do Google or Microsoft and a few others. They simply can't find investment opportunities large enough and profitable enough to do anything with their piles of cash. So the pile keeps growing. Eventually I expect it to attract a dragon or something.

Really they should be paying it back as dividends if they can't figure out what to do with the money.

The reason they have large piles of cash isn't that they can't figure out what to do with it, it's that it's cash they generated overseas they can't move it to the US without giving 35% of it to the federal government. They can't pay it out as dividends without repatriating it, nor can they invest it in anything in the US. Since most of their operations are in the US, that means they spend a little on overseas operations and put the rest in high-liquidity overseas investments -- high-liquidity in case they get an opportunity to repatriate it cheaply, or have a sudden need that makes the big tax bite acceptable.

Bottom line: the reason they have big piles of cash is because the US has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 162

Don't try that crap with Frontier, or you will 100% get screwed. They leave early on purpose so they can make people pay the re-ticketing fee.

If they close the door too early (not sure what the line is), they not only can't charge you, they have "involuntarily refused boarding", in FAA terms, and they are required to buy you a ticket on the next available flight (on any carrier) to your destination, and pay you a cash penalty ($500?). This actually happened to me once.

Comment Re:Dangerous (Score 1) 326

I'm pretty sure I'd see features like independently powered exit row lighting, emergency exits, inflatable slides/rafts, life vests etc.

In design and engineering you can't make things failure-proof, but you can plan for certain failure-modes. Yeah, if you lose a wing at 10,000 feet or do a nose dive at Mach 2 into the ground nobody is going to survive. But there is plenty of design that goes into an airplane that is aimed at very rare situations like the loss of all engines.

Comment Re:Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 350

The Abelson and Sussman textbook, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, uses LISP (actually Scheme). There are quite a few LISP fanatics who passionately feel it is still the best programming language made, citing such reasons as the simplicity of writing an interpreter for it. However, that textbook is pretty difficult. The authors didn't appreciate how hard recursion can be for many students to understand, and LISP and functional programming in general uses recursion so heavily it's the proverbial hammer for every nail of a programming problem.

Well, that's what you get when you beta test your textbook with MIT students. But that said, CLRS is no picnic for people who aren't very good at math, either.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 162

Ah yes, pay the extortion fee to regain your rights back as a conditional privilege. Thanks for making our lives easier, Toilet Safety Administration!

Yep, it sucks. But as a practical matter, if you travel regularly it makes your life much easier. Most of the time. You don't always get TSA Pre, even after paying the extortion fee. But you get it 90+% of the time, and are happy you did, especially when lines are long and you are carrying a lot of crap.

TSA Pre has allowed me to return to my pre-9/11 habit of arriving at the airport 25-30 minutes prior to departure, so that by the time I reach the gate I can walk right on. BTW, I don't recommend this habit unless you can afford to miss the flight, because maybe one time in 30, you will. But the 29*0.5 = 14.5 hours you'll save by doing it are worth the two or three hours you lose when you miss your flight and have to catch the next one. When the flight I'm on is the last of the day, I make sure to arrive 60 minutes before.

Comment Re:Read the first volume (Score 1) 350

It's also well worth the effort (and it is a lot of effort) to read the third volume, Sorting and Searching. The second volume (Seminumerical Methods) may be useful if you do certain kinds of work, but Fundamental Algorithms and Sorting and Searching are worth almost any professional programmer's time.

I have to admit I haven't bought 4A yet.

I really hope that Knuth is grooming someone to take over the work of completing the full set when he dies, or becomes unable to continue.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 2) 162

I'm always careful to grab mine, but with all the bullshit rules these days I have FOUR FUCKING BINS plus my bag to take through TSA.

It's complete fucking security theater. Stop requiring removal of all these devices that just slow down lines and lead to lost items. It's all bullshit.

If you travel much, pay the money ($100) and go through the process of getting your Global Entry card, which also gives you TSA Pre-check. It's well worth it for the hassle it saves. For a little less ($85) you can sign up for TSA Pre only, but if you ever leave the country the $15 extra for Global Entry will make re-entering the US much easier. I recommend Global Entry even if you just think you *might* travel internationally.

Slashdot Top Deals

A continuing flow of paper is sufficient to continue the flow of paper. -- Dyer

Working...