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Comment Leeches are already back. (Score 1) 353

When will Trump bring back leeching?

They're already back. They're used in limb reattachment surgery post-operative treatment.

When limbs are reattached the arteries work well right away but the veins not so much. So they have poor circulation and inadequate oxygenation, especially at the finger and toe tips. This can lead to further cell death, infection, and transplant failure.

Leeches applied to the extremities of the limbs can pull out enough blood and bring in fresh to keep more cells alive and bring more infection-fighting white cells to the area. And leeches do little damage other than draining blood, and provide their own surgical tools and anaesthetic. (It's in their evolutionary interest to not bother the victim into pulling them off while they're feeding, and not leaving wounds that would make him tend to avoid the location later.) So raised-sterile leeches are used, with substantial improvement in reattachment success rates.

Comment Re:Storage? (Score 1) 353

To pick up where renewables leave off, you want natural gas (or even petroleum) turbines that can quickly be brought on and off line.

Also: If you really are concerned about carbon dioxide, they produce a lot less of it per unit of energy.

In fossil fuels most of the energy comes from burning the hydrogen to water. Burning the carbon to carbon dioxide provides some, but it's mostly useful for packaging the hydrogen. Oil and gas is essentially long-chain-of-carbon molecules with two hydrogens per carbon and two more to cap the ends of the chain (with occasional tree-structures with the same carbon/hydrogen counts, and the odd ring-shaped or multiply-bonded impurity that''s short one or two pairs of hydrogens.)

So oil is a little over two hydrogens per carbon, gas goes from about 2.5 (butane) to 4 (methane). But coal is essentially just carbon. So gas is best, liquid oil fractions are not as good (though convenient for mobile engines), and coal is worst, on the energy/CO2 production ratio.

Comment If coal is dead, killing its bueaucracy won't hurt (Score 1) 353

Coal is dead. ... trying to resurrect something ... dying [from] market forces ... is [perjorative].

This isn't about trying to resuscitate the coal industry (though if it lets it run a little longer and die more smoothly - rather than being suddenly assassinated in a fit of political vitrual-signaling - it will let the miners and their offspring migrate to other jobs, rather than to government assistance.)

It's about killing off the massive, expensive, and intrusive regulatory infrastructure that no longer serves any purpose.
If Big Coal IS being killed by market forces, the government needn't bother killing it off.

It also gives Trump the opportunity to keep a promise to some of his voting base, make political appearances claiming credit for it, and engage in some virtual-signaling of his own (conservative style).

Remember: He didn't promise to bring their jobs back (though if some of the jobs do come back, or existing ones not be ended as soon, it is a bonus). He promised to dismantle the regulations that had already killed jobs - and give a dose of job-killing medicine to the regulators.

I suspect schadenfreud will please his coal-state voters, and the prospect of voter revolts and sweeping reforms may make at least a few future regulators think twice before stomping jackbooted on the faces of those they regulate.

Comment I wonder how much is really malware? (Score 1) 122

I wonder how much of this stuff is really leftover Adobe metadata and how much is components of malware?

With 20% to 40% of the code/data space of major applications composed of "along for the ride" data that's never interpreted, there's a LOT of room for malware to park itself, its redundant copies, its resources, and its purloined data without having to actually create files of its own.

Comment Size is still important (Score 3, Interesting) 122

I used to [use a tool to de-bloat images] This was important since much of the world was still on dial-up back then.

It is still important.
  - Some of the world is STILL on dial-up. Even in the US. (especially the rural part: At my vacation/retirement ranch I had only 28kbps until AT&T upgraded the cell tower to LTE last year).
  - Some of the "high-speed internet" isn't very - like DSL at 1.5 or 6 Mbps, or WISPs serving an entire town with what amounts to a WiFi hotspot.
  - Some services charge by the bandwidth used.
  - Some services throttle back "heavy users"
  - Some services sell tiered usage, with higher prices for larger monthly data caps, and killing the link (e.g. prepaid), drastically throttling down (e.g. 4G dropping to 3G speed), and/or charging punitive "overage" rates for bandwidth beyond the pre-purchased tier.
  - As the users get farther away, latency and setup-turnaround for the components of a web page display also slow the process.

Web developers tend to work with disks and servers built into their machine or attached by a fast LAN. So it's easy to miss that the actual users' experience may be slower - even drastically so. (Thus was the web, at the dawn of image-laden web pages, nicknamed the "World Wide Wait".) And they're not charged for that bandwidth, so they also don't get their noses rubbed in the price of it when they receive their monthly bills or hit their monthly caps.

So keeping a web page's bandwidth use small is still useful:
  - Even on broadband it makes it quicker - "snappier" - which improves the user experience.
  - It can reach a wider audience, as those on slower or more latent links don't give up in disgust.
  - It saves some users substantial money.

Comment Re:19th and 20th century powerhouse (Score 2) 206

Solar panels have a very large capital expense, they are cheap in the long run, but they are not feasible for running industry in poor countries.

Raw, ready-to-mount, single-crystal panels are down to $0.50/watt now, in pallets of ten at about 350 watts each, and have good lifetimes. Even adding the control electronics and batteries for nighttime and bad weather power, and replacing the batteries periodically, that's cheaper than building and running coal plants and their distribution infrastructure (even at third-world labor prices).

The control electronics is mostly semiconductor devices and still benefiting from Moore's Law. Solar panels are still improving, as are batteries (following their own Moore's Law like curves.) Solar has a factor of several in efficiency yet to go, and lot of room for cheaper manufacture. Batteries are pretty efficient, but still have lots of room for improvement in charge/discharge rates, lifetime, and manufacturing cost. Coal plants, meanwhile, are already close to as efficient and cheap to run as they can get. So solar will continue to improve its lead.

The main remaining advantage to coal plants is grid power gives suppliers an ongoing revenue stream and a captive market, while solar provides only an occasional capital purchase.

(But why do you never hear about the greenhouse effect of solar panels?)

Comment Re:The U.S. government is CORRUPT! (Score 2) 100

Rich corporations and people are allowed to do what they want.

There are exceptions: Volkswagen to pay $2.8 billion in US diesel emission scandal

That's because they cheated the GOVERNMENT.

But it's nice to see the individuals who got hurt (lower mileage once the patches are applied, lower resale value) getting some of the bux for a change.

(Why do you still get robo-calls? Because the Fed preempted state laws that had let people sue the robo-callers for damages.)

Comment I thought this was released weeks ago (Score 4, Interesting) 100

I thought one of the previous releases mentioned Weeping Angel (or at least weeping something) and that it turned Samsung TVs into room bugs. So I assumed this one was more details on it.

But the media seems to be talking about it as if it's new with this release and a big surprise.

Did they just notice it now, or am I misremembering the earlier stuff? (Either way, it's good that it's finally getting public attention.)

(Sorry to bother others with the question. But I've been too busy to plow through it all personally and would appreciate info from people who have done some deep-diving.)

Comment It's "Don't pull the rug out from under me" (Score 1) 388

... the sheer number of "why would you want that at all" or "nobody needs that" or "the software is fine as it is" type responses from software users. What is particularly puzzling is that its not the developers of the software rejecting the suggestions -- its users of the software ...

You've answered your own question. To mix a few metaphors:

One of the things about software is that a LOT of people stand on the shoulders of each giant - by being users of his code. A change that isn't a straight augmentation (and even some that are intended to be) can shift the sand under their castles and bring them crashing down.

Comment Old rules prevent creating new networks (Score 2) 71

The old rules prevent anybody (with enough money) from buying an outlet in each of the bulk of the markets and setting up a new network. (That would be doable even by parties of relatively modest means, because there are a lot of little stations that are hanging on by their fingernails which might be available cheap.) They're limited to directly reaching about a third of the potential viewers (and partnering with other owners if they want to reach more).

Meanwhile, they don't keep someone from buying up essentially all the outlets in a particular area (since taking over more of the stations doesn't add any more potential viewers).

Both of those reduce diversity - the first nationally, the second within regions.

Seems to me that eliminating the rule would fix the first one and increase the diversity of opinion available to viewers.

(Meanwhile, if the FCC wants to prohibit something to try to increase diversity, they could limit the number of outlets within each region a single party could own. That would also free up some outlets for new wholly-owned network builders, too.)

Comment Re:So actually enforce the law? (Score 1) 619

Those [tiny job ads] are needed for job-based green card applications, not for H1-Bs.

They used to be needed for H1-Bs also. Then the requirement was dropped.

The classified ad section of the Saturday issue of the San Jose Mercury News shrank from a small telephone books to a few pages. (And the paper and postage expenses of Silicon Valley technical people on unemployment dropped in proportion.)

Comment Worse than that: The body shops lie. (Score 1) 619

A degree from India is absolutely meaningless. They have a "university" practically on every street corner ...

Worse than that: The body shops often claim the worker in question has degrees that they don't actually have - but which the employer requires.

= = = =

Back before things got egregious, more than a decade ago, my wife was involved in making a hiring decision, and one of the candidates was an H1-B. My wife asked her about the masters degree on her resume and she was appalled: She had no such degree, (nor a CS bachelors - just some classes in the field.) She risked her immigration status rather than be party to the fraud.

(My wife hired her: She had adequate skills for the position and had demonstrated her honesty.)

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