Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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 Re: Because... (Score 0, Flamebait) 961

Europeans still have a lot of the old feudal influences left in their culture. And one of the biggest holdovers from that era is "Don't question your betters."

Those of "common decent" are far more willing to be told what to do than to try and take the lead themselves. Makes Europe easier to organize, for both good and bad.

Comment Ok, I want one. (Score 2, Interesting) 51

The Adept Quatro was very impressive. I'd love to see the vision system that it was using and will have to show that vid to my employer to see if I can get them to buy one.

If there is a breakthrough in portable power generation, then we will see an explosion in mobile robotics development.

Comment Re:Here's a thought (Score 5, Informative) 233

That isn't as effective as you would think. Body language is a huge give away. Women in a burqa with a full veil are very submissive, they look down at almost all times when in public. Men trying to pass as women in a burqa have a hard time copying this. Woman may look up, but if you make eye contact, the look down in a hurry and will not look up again. Men have a tendency to not only look up, but to glare if eye contact is made. Its a dead giveaway.

And we caught one insurgent who's beard started poking out from under the veil.

Comment Re:Paging Bernie Madoff Clients... (Score 1) 666

Many nations will not allow a ship with private weapons into port. The right to self defense is not universal.

A work around could be to have ship outside the harbor that you could drop your weapons or armed guards into before coming into port. IANAL so I don't even know if this would be legal.

Picking up armed guards for the dangerous part of the trip might be a better option. Having a pick up/drop off point along a major shipping routes in the red sea and one in international waters on the eastern side would work. Again, not a lawyer.

And a RPG is not going to be able to sink a large cargo ship. Could it punch a hole in the hull? Yes, not a big enough one to overwhelm the bilge pumps.


Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience 219

trianglecat writes "The not-for-profit agency Canadian Blood Services has a section of their website based on the Japanese cultural belief of ketsueki-gata, which claims that a person's blood group determines or predicts their personality type. Disappointing for a self-proclaimed 'science-based' organization. The Ottawa Skeptics, based in the nation's capital, appear to be taking some action."

Comment I'll wait for the field trials (Score 2, Interesting) 128

It sounds good, but then again so did Land Warrior.

I can see it being useful in an urban environment, but can see a lot of issues with it in the mountains of Afghanistan. First being connectivity. Relying on a cell network in a 3rd world country doesn't seem like all that good of an idea. Getting a reliable signal in the mountains is hard as it is. It would be very bad for a unit to get used to using this system, and then get somewhere that it no longer works.

Second problem is EM signature. Cell phones broadcast as long as they are on. In urban areas, with lots of cell phones this isn't all that big of deal. In areas with very low populations, a cell phone being on can easily give away a platoons position. Frequency hoping helps with this on regular military radios and cell phones can't do this.

Comment Re:Until... (Score 3, Interesting) 419

From working with industrial automation, I can tell you that trying to synchronize motion between two independently controlled electric motors, with independent loads, is a nightmare. With modern control hardware we are getting better, but we are not there yet. In 1995, I sure that the could make it look good for some tests, but there was no control system fast enough or smart enough to handle it.

Without even looking at the automotive side, i would kill to have a system that can manage multiple electric motors with rapidly changing load conditions for long periods of time without freaking out. The possibilities for material handling systems and machine tending systems make me drool.

It was killed because Detroit couldn't make it work. The idea of wheel mounted motors gets kicked around a lot, because it does have a lot of merits, but there are too many technical problems that need to be worked out yet before it becomes viable.

Comment Re:Bad science (Score 1) 198

A gravity tractor sounds good in theory, but how do you propose to move something that has enough mass to shift the path of a asteroid a significant amount?

Two 75 ton steel spheres placed an inch apart have an attractive force about the weight of a mosquito. 150 tons is about half the mass of the international space station.

So how massive would a gravity tractor have to be to deflect a small, 1 ton asteroid if it has to be even 1 foot away from the asteroid? And how much fuel would it take to place it next to a small asteroid approaching at 15,000 kph? After that, how much fuel would it take to get it back so it could be used again?

Comment Gotta find them first (Score 4, Insightful) 198

All this relies on finding said asteroid years if not decades out.

I can't confirm, but I remember hearing that between NASA and all the other space agencies we track less than 20% of space inside of Jupiter's orbit. A large dark asteroid out of the Kuiper Belt could be closing on us right now and we wouldn't see it until months before impact, too late to do anything about it.

IMHO, lets work on finding and tracking large asteroids first.

Comment Re:Saw it Coming (Score 1) 611

Anti air is not my specialty. Picking up stealth fighters with current radar systems is not the problem. Picking them up before they have a chance to launch HARM's is.

We have radar arrays capable of tracking artillery rounds from quite a distance. But its my understanding that these arrays tend to be large, heavy, and have short duty cycles. They aren't suitable for active tracking of a live target as the emitters would burn out before a missile could reach an incoming air craft. Anti-Air radar arrays tend to be the first targets of any aggressor force, for good reason.

Without ground based radar to assist, there is only radar mounted on the aircraft to deal with. Add 2 stealth fighters, who can't get a reliable radar lock on one another and its back to dog fighting.

Slashdot Top Deals

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford