Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 185

Indeed, on both counts. And in particular I like the word "rogue planet". Again you have an adjective imparting additional information about another object ("Rogue X"), "rogue" can be readily quantified ("Not in a stable orbit around any particular star or cluster of stars"), and it's a very evocative term. And rogue planets are absolutely expected according to our current models. They'll be incredibly difficult to find, but they're out there.

We're also coming to the realization that there's a lot of objects, potentially including large ones, that are only tenuously bound to our solar system. And it's likely that we readily exchange this mass with other nearby stars over cosmologic timescales; parts of our solar system (primarily distant ones) likely formed by other stars, and things that condensed during the formation of our star system are likely now orbiting other stars.

Comment Why kill yourself? (Score 1) 59

There are a number of people who think if you are below 60 now you may well live forever at this point.

That may be a bit extreme but I don't think living to 200 is unlikely if you are anywhere below 50 and keep yourself healthy...

So if you are going to miss this in 200 years it pretty much means you did yourself in. Don't do that.

Comment Re:Metastability (Score 1) 171

I heard the lead on a Science Friday interview - he invited everybody in academia to come to his lab to learn the technique on how to make it, as he wants everybody working on the material. It sounds like they can fairly easily do it again, so I am surprised this article makes no note of that.

Well, "surprised" in that I pretend journalism doesn't exist just to sell ads.

Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 1) 260

Are you unfamiliar with the phrase "hand waving", or just being deliberately obtuse?

Science is about numerically accurate, falsifiable predictions. We need some of those in the Climate Change debate, but the science isn't there yet. Non-scientists like yourself, however, are happy to substitute hand waving (like a magician, hoping to distract the audience from the lack of substance).

Comment Dont worry I've got a backup (Score 4, Funny) 171

As it turns out I have a backup sample, because you have to keep it at incredibly high pressure I keep it in the much more reliably pressurized environment of a dorm room with two Chemical Engineering majors.

Indeed because of the pressures involved I had to add some padding around the sample to prevent the rare metal from being crushed.

You can come collect it whenever, except of course when there's a sock on the door handle (P.S. there is never a sock on the door handle).

Comment Hey guess what else this is true of - everything (Score 2) 140

was largely positive, but this changed from the mid-1990s to 2013,

The thing to understand is, this is not limited to tech. There has been an assault for a decade or two now on the public being happy in any way. You are meant to be riled up and agitated.... to what end I cannot say. But the end effect is not good, you can tell this is bleeding into everyone's real lives, affecting relationships and general behavior.

Comment Re:Practical? (Score 1) 117

Yeah, um...except for a 3 letter agency with a 10 or 11 figure budget or a Google no one has the money to devote this much CPU time to one attack. SHA-1 is still fine unless your worried about 3 letter agencies in which case you probably have bigger problems than just encryption -- problems like drones with missiles attached.

I can easily throw 1 million cores at a problem. That's 2.5 days to get an answer. My company would be pissed at me for wasting the resources, and would fire me, but I could do it. There are lots of people like me in the world.

Fun fact: a core-year on EC2 Spot generally costs less than $100. No clue how many cores you could get in parallel, but lots of organizations could throw $500k in IT spending at a problem, they just need to achieve something worth more than that by doing so.

I bet doing the same with an ASIC solution would be surprisingly cost effective if you had a lot of digital signatures to forge.

Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 0) 260

Bad analogy. It's very expensive to emit less CO2. Humans will suffer from the reduced standard of living. What's the right trade off to minimize harm to people? That's the whole point of the debate. Dismissing people you disagree with without understanding what they're talking about is popular today, because it's easy, but it's not smart.

Comment Re:My experiences in other companies and opinions. (Score 1) 172

In a manager I would find this particularly disturbing, because you should really be promoting managers based on leadership qualities, and shouting at your subordinates doesn't display leadership, it displays bullying.

Shouty managers were common for Baby Boomers and earlier. There's still a bit of that culture around, and I've had a few shouty managers over the years (mostly guys born before 1960, one born in the 60s). It's an effective way to deliver the emotional message that someone is underperforming and needs to change, when sometimes trying to connect rationally doesn't work. I'm glad it's now mostly faded from current management, but it's a valid approach for leadership (there's a reason drill sergeants and marine DIs shout a lot - it works).

The better criticism is that it's unprofessional. We should all be fighting to increase the perceived professionalism of software development. I've seen so much dignity stripped from developers over the past 25 years, and it's bullshit and needs to reverse. We're professionals like doctors and lawyers (and in some countries, better paid than doctors or lawyers). Can you imagine a doctor or lawyer, past the early career years, who doesn't have an office? Who doesn't have assistants to do the shit work?

Slashdot Top Deals

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein