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Comment Re: Article paid by Apple to boo over it. (Score 2) 456

If developer support was their priority, then they got it unbelievably wrong! I've spent most of my career working with various ms technologies, so was naturally curious about trying out the windows phone dev tools. Only they've managed to cripple them, to the extent that I still can't. Case in point - the emulator. Turns out it requires hyper v, not available for win 7... That's "cutting off nose to spite face" idiotic. No emulator on win 7, no corporate apps (we've only recently migrated to 7 at work, not about to do so again for a years yet). Contrast this with android - dev tools, Inc emulator, even run on XP. OK, maybe I can try it out on my home machine (if I hold my nose and swallow win 10) right? Actually, no - turns out you need slat support, which my (otherwise perfectly fine) CPU doesn't support. And no, I'm not about to buy a new machine (with a worse screen) just so I can try out win phone development (and discover that it's probably not worth the effort). So it's android device for me. I can get dev tools. Now. And they work with my current hardware and OS. How ms managed to screw this up so badly, I really can't comprehend.

Comment Password change page not secure? (Score 1) 159

When you go to the password reset page on, it doesn't appear to be a secure page. Maybe the "Save Changes" button submits via an https link, but I don't have time to go digging through the source code - that kinda defeats the whole point of the lock icon, etc, surely?

In any case, the captcha image has been "loading" for about 5 minutes now - guess everyone's trying to change their passwords?

Comment Re:NASA erased the origionals? did I read that rig (Score 1) 212

Am I right in thinking that data recovery firms (and government agencies) can pull data off a hard drive, even after it's been overwritten - possibly several times? (Yes, if you overwrite it with random noise, that might make it hard to guess what was there before, but if you just record a normal file or video over the top, that'll have a set of known statistics that make it possible to subtract out and recover the earlier data.)

And if that's the case, why can't they recover the original recordings - which must surely rank amongst some of the most important ever made? It's not like NASA doesn't have the money or the expertise to do this.


The Proton Just Got Smaller 289

inflame writes "A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"

Comment Re:Lazy Fucking Slashdotters (Score 1) 351

Interesting analysis - in particular that you've come up with a figure of 100mW per square meter, which is two orders of magnitude less than most of the other postings assume. You don't make any mention of moving the beam around - surely that would cut power requirements? Signal one 1,000Km stretch of coast for a few seconds, then the next, etc, then return. Maybe enough to knock another order of magnitude off the sums? Which brings your final figure down to 2.3MW (for the Indonesia case, admittedly). Too high for direct power from (reasonable sized) solar panels, but surely the satellite would have some sort of stored energy system; flywheels or capacitors. Would reduce the allowable duty cycle further, but really only need a bright flash every few seconds. To answer your other point: if the satellite happens to be in front of the sun's disc (or even close) you obviously won't see it. But you're going to need a few of these things for coverage anyhow, even in geostationary orbit.

Comment Re:Lazy Fucking Slashdotters (Score 1) 351

In order to make the "flashing light" appear as anything, it has to be several orders of magnitude brighter than whatever else it is around. If the sun is overhead, then it has to be brighter than the sun.

So how is is that people have been able to use mirrors as a means of signaling?

My bigger flash heads can give you an instant flash-burn if you were to stand directly in front of it, but will only give me about 20-30 feet of range in broad sunlight.

Irrelevant. Not trying to take a flash photo of the land here. How far away is that flash visible from (and bright enough to attract attention) from in front of the camera? I bet it's a hell of a lot further than 30 feet.

Comment Re:Lazy Fucking Slashdotters (Score 1) 351

10 watts / square meter is only bright enough to be seen as a light in the sky, reflected light will be non-existent.

So how is it then, then when you have something like the lights on a fire truck, these are clearly visible reflected off the walls of all the surrounding structures, even during broad daylight, even though there isn't anything close to 10W/sq metre incident on those surfaces? I don't envision competing with the sun - like you say, that would take ridiculous amounts of power. But to produce a bright flashing light in the sky? I think that can be done for a lot less power than people here assume.

Comment Re:Lazy Fucking Slashdotters (Score 1) 351

How bout this: Install sirens instead, as has already been done in places like Hawaii. Cheap, effective, and doesn't cost all that much since the range of the sirens is pretty good.

I'm presuming this scheme was aimed at places like Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, rather than places like Hawaii, which are already well covered. How do you power these sirens in the absence of mains electricity? Would solar-panel-charged batteries still be able to keep a charge after say, 10 years?

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