Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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:PEBCEK is the issue... (Score 1) 596

One of my college professors likes to tell the story about one of the Rational tools that was designed to find all possible paths to a destination.

They were testing it on software used to launch an air to air missile from a fighter and after a while the Rational people came back and said there are three possible paths to launch a missile.

The military people said their tool was wrong, there is only one path.

The Rational people pointed out the three distinct paths their tool found.

The military people said oh shit...

Comment Re:Not Censorship (Score 4, Insightful) 106

That's a pretty meaningless technical distinction. Differentiating between the country that demands the censorship and the company that actually implements it is like the classic case of the mass murderer who defends himself with "I was only following orders." Google, Yahoo, etc. have used the "We have to follow the laws of the country we're in" defense for a lot of stuff recently. But that's false on many levels. First of all they don't HAVE to do business in that country, they CHOOSE to. Secondly, even if you did, that still doesn't excuse the immorality of the actions. Even an Iranian business that must turn over dissidents for execution is still morally culpable for their role in that system.

Comment Re:Asimov himself said nothing happens in Foundati (Score 1) 283

Years later, when a publisher was trying to persuade him to make a longer Foundation work

This notion set off a massive warning bell in my head. Nothing could be worse than something once finished which gets re-written into something 8 times longer, or something written specifically for length in the first place. Exhibit one: Moby Dick. Exhibit two: much of Charles Dickens. If this is true you've probably convinced me to never read Foundation, or at least to track down the original short stories rather than trudge through a novelization of a short yet clearly complete, cerebral, and influential story.

Comment Re:Poor CFL reliability = con on public (Score 1) 400

Overall I agree. However, it does seem that purpose built CFL fixtures do have considerably longer bulb life than CFLs used in standard fixtures. Have not done a real study but I have used a lot of CFLs in both commercial and residential situations for over 10 years. The typical screw in replacements frequently, (and sometimes spectacularly),fail in less than one year. On the other hand - many of our overhead CFL fixtures have bulb lives exceeding 4 years.

Comment Decent Product - Not Excactly New (Score 1) 569

Great light output, color temperature, and reasonably long life. Good for places I like a LOT of light, (kitchen and bathroom). Maybe they are new in the states but they have existed for over 10 years in Europe. (Long enough that you can get assorted Asian knockoffs as well as the standard Phillips, Osram etc).

Comment Painting Roofs White (Score 0, Offtopic) 189

Why not go all the way and paint them with aluminum paint, (like we have done in the American southwest for, oh, 60 years or so). Big payback in required cooling. Equally big difference in heat absorbed by the BIQ, (Building In Question). This increase in albedo, (due to cities where forests used to be), was the driving force behind the OMFG Ice Age in he 1970s. Maybe it will help with the current global warming fad as well.

Comment Re:Too high for surface to air missiles? (Score 2, Informative) 374

The summary was a little misleading on how/where these would be deployed. The dirigibles would be used for covering large areas from a safe distance. They would not be deployed in a active air war where major military opponents had AA defenses against high altitude targets. Think Iraq, Afghanistan, and similar places. The threats are real but generally limited to small arms and shoulder fired missiles. 65,000 feet is plenty safe against these threats.

Comment Re:Anyone ride the Empire Builder? (Score 1) 675

I have ridden the Empire Builder, the Southwest Chief, and the California Zephyr, ( "Tho it's been a while). Expensive, takes longer than flying, and absolutely worth it. Note that the differences between NE Corridor and other eastern trains and Amtrak trains west of Chicago are extreme. Equipment , personnel, attitudes, and scenery are much nicer. Big seats, the ability to relax, (or actually walk around), and the fact that you are generally treated as guests rather than as members of a herd make it far superior to flying.

Comment Water Vapor? (Score 1) 492

Admittedly I am out of my element here but there seems to be a couple of potential problems with this.

1. Water vapor is the most significant of the greenhouse gases.
2. Cloud cover prevents heat from being re-radiated into space.

I guess if you covered the whole earth with clouds it might reflect more sunlight and lead to a net temperature decrease. Not sure about that being a Real Good Idea.


Submission + - Congressman gets paid by RIAA and cuts education

An anonymous reader writes: As reported by the following article by the consumerist the congressman Tom Feeney questions:

"Is it responsible for a Congress that wants to protect intellectual property rights to continue to fund network enhancements for universities if some of those enhancements are indirectly being used in fact to promote intellectual property theft?"

This is the link: in-america/#161557


To me it sounds rather like a schizophrenic statement:

1) The copyright was intended to promote research
2) The universities DO research
3) Tom Feeney proposes to cut research to further protect copyright

Something is really fishy here. 1000$ for such a statement are really little money... BTW if you want to spend a few minutes checking out "contributions" to politicians by lobbyist this is your page:

Further down the article the Consumerist states:

"One of the ways the RIAA operates is by donating money to politicians who then enact favorable legislation on their behalf. Don't let the optimist in you believe that this doesn't work. It does."

Slashdot Top Deals

The IBM purchase of ROLM gives new meaning to the term "twisted pair". -- Howard Anderson, "Yankee Group"