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Comment Re:Here's a secret... (Score 1) 102

There is a positive note to all the 3D movie bullshit....it makes second run theaters like my local lovingly restored early 1930s movie house VERY popular as they only show movies in 2D. You go by my local Cinema 8 and there is just a trickle of cars for any of the "popcorn flcks" and family movies but the second they hit the old theater? Its fricking packed with lines going around the building to get in.

I can't say as I blame 'em as I decided to run my own little experiment and watch Iron Man 3 in both 3D at the Cinema 8 and 2D at the old movie house and the 3D gave me a skull thumper about halfway into the movie which lasted for about an hour afterwards while enjoying the 2D version in those classic opera house style seats with a big tub of popcorn? It was just a damned nice movie experience. Now I won't bother, if it doesn't come to the old movie house? Meh I'll either Redbox or pick up the Blu Ray, I don't want anymore 3D movies, thanks anyway.

Comment Re:Since they determined autopilot wasn't to blame (Score 1) 146

The smart ones already had great driving records. It is the stupid ones you are protecting with this technology.

Being smart doesn't protect you from stupid people's actions -- you can be a perfect driver and still get rear-ended by someone who never saw you slow down because they were texting.

This technology protects stupid people and the smart people who have to share the roads with them.

Comment Re:Since they determined autopilot wasn't to blame (Score 1) 146

For a small fraction of what is spent on personal vehicle ownership, we could have pretty amazing public transportation that would satisfy the needs of nearly every city & suburb dweller. And that would naturally lead to fewer serious accidents.

Also for a small fraction of what is spent on fast food, people could buy and cook healthy vegetarian meals for themselves, that would satisfy the nutritional needs of nearly every citizen. And that would naturally lead to fewer cases of heart disease and obesity.

Unfortunately, what people want is not always the same as what would theoretically work the best. In this case, most people want private cars, and they have made that preference clear through both their spending and their voting patterns. Barring the advent of some kind of benign dictatorship, a transition to all-public-transit won't happen anytime soon.

Comment Re:Intelligent design (Score 1) 82

These researchers may be trying to apply the wrong methods to a device that is almost certainly the product of a higher power.

That may well be the case, but if so, it's also quite clear that the higher power used evolution and natural selection as his development tool.

If human brains had just been magic'd into existence by divine fiat, there would be no reason for them to look like a specialized version of the brains of earlier hominids (which in turn look like specialized versions of the brains of earlier mammals, and so on for as far back as you care to look).

Comment Re:There will be commercials (probably) (Score 1) 141

Yeah we've seen the "no commercials" promise before when cable TV was becoming a thing and it was bullshit then too. They'll only stay away from commercials long enough to get a subscriber base. Commercials are where most of the money is and it will be hard for them to ignore that fact. I have a hard time imagining Netflix being immune to the siren's call of that much cash forever.

Is it really? Take the Superbowl which is one of the few items where we have pretty much all the numbers. In 2014 there was 49 minutes 15 seconds of commercials, $4.5 million average per 30 second slot and 111.4 million viewers. That works out to a little less than $4 per viewer. So if you offered $5 to watch it ad-free you'd be beating the advertisers. That's not bad for about four hours of entertainment with both a football game and the half time show and it's supposed to be super-expensive compared to normal ads. Granted one display != one viewer so they'd have to charge more than $5 but still I bet there's a lot of people who'd like to out-bid the advertisers.

Comment Re:And ISPs are jacking up rates (Score 1) 141

The real reason net neutrality is on the ropes is this: the idea was barely discussed by anyone during the election, in comparison to other issues. The companies that stand to profit from net neutrality are electronic media companies, and the companies that stand to profit from its removal are electronic infrastructure companies, and both will continue their fight under the covers. There wasn't much input from the electorate on the topic at all this cycle.

Actually I think it's way more old media vs new media, here in Norway where the main broadband revolution was DSL from telcos and the fiber revolution was lead by a former power company the "electronic infrastructure companies" seem pretty happy just to sell you bits and bytes. My impression is that in the US it's different because so large a part of the American population get their broadband through cable. It seems both bandwidth caps and anti-net neutrality gouging is primarily driven by cable companies wanting to drive customers to their own services instead of using online services and remain the gatekeeper and middle man between the content and the customers.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 2) 247

Perhaps, perhaps not. Venus is still very poorly understood. In its high temperature environment its conditions are largely self-sustaining (preventing the sequestration of CO2 in rock), although it's also unstable, prone to broad temperature and pressure swings. It also appears to have undergone a global resurfacing event about 300-500mya, if that gives a clue as to how unstable the planet as a whole is. ;) We don't know what caused it, or really anything about it. Part of the planet's properties are now a result of it having lost its water rather than being a cause, such as its hard crust. Obviously its lack of a magnetic field is responsible for its loss of water, but we don't know exactly when or why it disappeared (there are of course theories... I had always just assumed it was the slow rotation rate, but the last research I read suggested that not enough to account for it). Other issues as to how Venus ended up as it did may be related to size - although it's only a bit smaller than Earth, that may be the initial factor that set its fate in motion - for example, its lithosphere in general appears to be thicker and higher viscosity on Earth, which could have hindered or prevented plate tectonics, and thus subduction of carbonates.

Either way, it's a mess now at the surface (though rather comfy ~55km up ;) ). And I'm not so sure I buy into some of the proposed ways to fix it (terraforming). For example, some have suggest mass drivers ejecting the atmosphere. Let's just say you can pull it off, and then you start building oxygen in the atmosphere - what happens next? The crust is something like 7-9% FEO; it's going to rust away whatever oxygen you make in short order.

Interestingly, I'd argue that this is possibly the salvation to Sagan's airborne-microbe concept for terraforming Venus. The main criticism is that if you engineered some sort of carbon-sequestering microbe on Venus (or artificial equivalent), you'd end up with a deep surface layer of graphite surrounded by some hugely hot, dense oxygen layer, and the atmosphere would explode. But that would never happen; at Venus surface temperatures and pressures, the surface rocks would rust away the oxygen as fast as it was created, even in tiny quantities, with the wind blowing the dust around to collect at low/eddy areas. So you're laying down bands of carbon and iron oxide as you burn through the planet's iron buffer. Where have we seen this before? Right, Earth, ~2,3 billion years ago, banded iron formations. Just like on Earth, you'd eventually burn through the iron and start to accumulate oxygen. But by then the graphite is already underground, buried in iron dust.

It's not a fast process. But it has precedent. Microbes already rusted at least one planet, and that planet's surface conditions weren't nearly as favorable for rusting as Venus's.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 0, Troll) 247

I don't know how China managed to melt so much arctic ice, leading to the absurd situation that just a couple days before the winter solstice this year I went on a hike through the snowless mountains in Iceland among chirping songbirds digging for worms. All I have to say to China about this is: Best. Conspiracy. Ever. Well played, China. Well played.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 2) 40

Not only do things like this take batteries, but the human body is a surprisingly well evolved "machine". If you got one of these merely as a preventative measure the odds are likely great that the device would break before the heart it was supposed to assist did.

Granted, for people already having trouble I'm sure it'll be great, but I don't see it as being some routine precautionary thing.

Comment Re:Can it beat the doctors (Score 1) 150

Yes, and we already have that. There are people who die every day waiting for a transplant organ. There's a limited amount available so they must be rationed and someone (or a panel of people most likely) has to determine where the limited supply will do the most good.

That's what other western countries do. The US goes by who has the best health insurance, like how big of a bill can we justify sending...

Comment Re:Down with Putin - Down with Trump (Score 1) 255

Yes. Timing is the key to understanding it. Sanders would have defeated Trump easily. The timing of the releases were carefully placed so as to build suspicion with independants while not hurting her primary bid. Then once she clenched that, proof that it was a rigged primary sent a lot of independants away from the DNC to either Green, Libertarian, and even a number to Trump. If they had released it all in the beginning, we would be swearing in Sanders tomorrow.

Let's not forget that the DNC wanted Trump to win the Republican nomination. So first Trump let Hillary drag him center stage as the enemy, then he let her eliminate Sanders before landing a final blow nobody saw coming until late election night? If all of that was planned Machiavelli could take lessons from him. If could simply be that they know the media has the attention span of a humming bird on speed, let's just pace this out so we get a good buzz and can keep it going until the election and that the rest was plain lucky. It's either that or we're in a Bond movie.

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