Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:the obstacles (Score 4, Interesting) 118

Have you ever taken a closer look at a steam turbine installation on a major vessel? I am a software developer like you, but one of my grandfathers was a ship-building engineer (on large turbine-powered ships in the 30ies and 40ies, to boot), so there is some nerdy knowledge in the family. These installations are extremely intricate, and have to be more or less woven into the fabric of the ship: a modern diesel-electric set-up is plug and play by comparison (apart from the gigantic size of the machinery involved, that is).

I assume that the actual marine engineers in that company tried to tell their managers that this would not work, but that the PR department got to make a press release first. Or something like that.

Comment Re:the obstacles (Score 2) 118

Yeah, film at 11. 60 year old rusty hulk would require extensive re-build to accommodate a propulsion plant it was never designed for.

What the hell did these guys expect? A new coat of paint, and it's ready to go again? I mean, any sane person should have approached this with a mindset of "this will likely cost more than a new build. But this is (insert famous ship name here) after all, so commercial considerations should not be the main motivators." Any other way of approaching such a job would be just hare-brained.

Comment Re:Unfortunately... (Score 1) 280

To be fair, none of the current fighters were tested like that, either. And a good thing this was, what with a war against a first world power likely involving nukes, and all that. Pretty messy, just to test one's new fighters.

That having been said, I am also quite wary of the flying iPhone being vulnerable to the Russians or Chinese throwing some sort of electromagnetic spanner in the works during combat. Especially the Russians have apparently become very, very good at the whole electronic warfare thing. It is really a pity that there is practically no open information about the Russian EW capabilities, only indirect hints. But these are rather worrying, actually.

EW systems are a geek's true weapon: most of these things are incredibly nerdy. But also endlessly fascinating, iff one manages to glimpse some sort of info about them (which one usually can't, as literally no one is talking about them in the open).

Comment Re:Another one bites the dust (Score 4, Funny) 365

Of course, the W10 telemetry is seriously nosey. But as this is M$ we are talking about, I ultimately cannot see them doing much useful with it. They are probably too disorganised internally to come up with anything worse than an intrusive, ad-laden personalised version of Clippy, based on that data. Or something like that.

It's outfits like Google that give me the heebie-jeebies these days, not good old "640k is enough for everybody" M$.

Comment Another one bites the dust (Score 5, Insightful) 365

Seriously. Whatever M$ has ever touched, turned to manure in short order. Think Skype et al.

On the other hand, as M$ is actually one of the less creepy tech companies out there these days (with Linkedin being very near the top), this might actually end up *improving* the business ethics of Linkedin. :)

Comment Re:of course: more revenue for doctors, hospitals (Score 1) 55

He was exceptionally lucky to survive 9 minutes without permanent brain damage. He might have had some residual heart function which delivered some minimal oxygen to the brain for the first few minutes of his "cardiac arrest". Good to hear that he made a full recovery: stories like that are much needed morale boosters for EMTs like myself, and many others: the sad truth is that even for us who bring plenty of kit and experience to the party, CPR does not end up doing much useful in most of the cases we see. The few where it does work of course make it more than worthwhile, though.

Comment Re:of course: more revenue for doctors, hospitals (Score 3, Insightful) 55

The thing is, with proper first aid (to wit, competently done CPR from the get-go), the "reasonable recovery" rate is significantly higher than just 2%. Of course, it is important to realise that with current medical technology, it will never get any higher than ~20% or so. I have the 20% figure from a cardiologist: according to him, 80% of cardiac arrest cases are for reasons that are lethal with our current medical capabilities anyway: even with the best pre-clinical care possible, these will not result in a positive outcome (that is, anything other than, at "best", lingering death).

However, there is quite a difference between 2% and 20%. That amounts to quite a number of people who might yet have a few years (or months, as the case may be) to live *with a decent quality of life* - iff no hypoxic brain damage occurs, that is. So investing effort into improving pre-clinical medical care (and in particular, competent first responders) is not wasted. You never know whether someone you know might fall into the 18% group.

Comment Re:How? (Score 2) 296

I was under the impression that on your computer monitor, there is this thing called the operating system that is capable of providing genuine 5k content to your heart's desire. To wit, and by geeky standards: more open windows with more (typographically, at least) legible code on one and the same monitor.

Comment Re:aren't there airports in switzerland? (Score 3, Informative) 220

Nitpick: in Europe, a typical freight train carries more like 4000 tons, not 10k. 10k trains are the multi-mile thingies you guys run across the Great Plains in the US. Here, we are a bit more limited w/r to train length, and some other factors. Your point is of course still valid, though.

Comment Re:Surrogate (Score 1) 37

Even if you could, the connection aspect would not be your only worry. Brain death usually leads to death of the remaining body in fairly short order, due to complications from a fairly large piece of decaying goo in the former person's skull. The rest of the body goes on, but those brain cells are dead, and start decaying. Presumably, one could actively remove the dead brain tissue, and fill the cavity with the connections needed for the ghola to work (to make an inaccurate Dune reference). Still. Science fiction, for now.

Comment VR? What the heck for? (Score 2) 53

After all these years, VR is still a technology desperately looking for a problem that it is actually needed for. Sure, Oculus headsets are nifty things: but outside some niche applications, actually useful they are not.

Either Mr. Zuckerberg has a vision that no one else is capable of seeing yet, or they are going to waste an enormous amount of money on what amounts to a buzzword frenzy.

Comment Re:Go Turing Test (Score 1) 109

I never said I thought it particularly likely that the neural network Google has come up with is inherently limited to Go-playing capabilities equal to, or less, of that found in gifted humans. However, with these networks you do have the issue that you never quite know where their limit is. Specifically, for some networks, throwing more hardware at them makes them more capable - but for others, that only has a very weak effect (if one at all).

Or put differently: if hardware was all that mattered, whales would be way more intelligent than humans (their brains are significantly larger, after all).

Slashdot Top Deals

System going down at 5 this afternoon to install scheduler bug.