Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Trust the World's Fastest VPN with Your Internet Security & Freedom - A Lifetime Subscription of PureVPN at 88% off. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:Next headline (Score 1) 92

Next headline: College Student Arrested For Building Autonomous Car That Hit Something

And the next line: Insurance company refuses to cover damages, clean-up costs, hospital bills, loss of income due to disability and so on. Even if you do eventually win expect to spend a few years in court with a lawyer driving you into bankruptcy first. Also if you're arrested you have the right to a lawyer, not so much in civil court when the insurance company claims you broke the terms, I'm sure they have something in the wall of legalese that will apply.

Comment Re:The usual 2 Windows10 questions: (Score 1) 73

Not true. It's like $8 a month and even individuals can use it starting with Windows 10. I am not defending. Just stating MS is making enterprise more readily available

The price sounds right (but not cheap if you consider that if you stay 10 years with Win7 you'll pay like $10-20/year) but where can one actually buy a single license? They say it's per user but not in any place Microsoft makes easy to find at least. Also you have to hook yourself up to the Azure cloud to use the CSP version, if you don't want to be tethered to Microsoft you need the VL version. Also it's the E3 version which basically means you get an 8 month slack on your leash using CBB (current branch for business) but not the LTSB version, that's volume licenses only.

Microsoft means business with the "last version of Windows", you can get a few months reprieve if you pay well but nobody's getting off the upgrade train this time around. The next time they pull a Vista or Win8 or whatever, you'll be dragged kicking and screaming. I hope that vGPU stuff that was on the front page recently works out, then Windows will become my Wintendo VM and they can do whatever they want as long as Steam works.

Comment Re:Nail on the head (Score 1) 136

Its very easy to talk about money not mattering and wanting an interesting life when you don't have to worry about rent or bills. Part of being an adult is accepting responsibility for your own fate and - unless you want to live in a hut in the woods or a park bench - than means finding the money to pay the above. The "gig" economy is just (usually rich) hipster talk for dead end park time McJobs thats been repackaged and remarketed for the latest gullible generation of 20 somethings who haven't yet wised up.

I think it comes in both flavors, those who use the gig economy to pick work and those who get used by the gig economy. Probably a lot more of the latter but I've met a few people who were avid surfers, kiters, snowboarders, golfers and such who want to be able to look out the window and say nope, not going to work today. Maybe we don't notice it much doing development where they care more about the results than when you do it but in a lot of other places like retail, manufacturing, education, healthcare etc. you have to be there from your shift starts until your shift ends, flexibility is low and tardiness is a big thing. Also there's people that go half a year to Thailand and work as hotel guide, dive instructor and bartender so they can afford to stay that long.

I had a colleague that was like super-fan of snowboarding, he had even more talented buddies who got sponsored enough they could stay the season in the Alps to practice, show off and do competitions, I doubt they made any real money. But that would for him be like a dream, half a year where he'd get paid to snowboard. Another friend of mine got a job where he's travelling a lot, lots of conferences and such. A lot of people wouldn't want that, but for him it was an opportunity to get a paid trip to a new golf course. I've heard the same about half-decent poker pros, some use it as a paid means to go different places and see the world while playing in poker tournaments. So for a few poster children I'm sure this is what they actually want, at least for the short term they have totally different priorities and do ad hoc work because they genuinely want ad hoc work.

Comment Re:Once you take away the need for FT benefits (Score 3, Informative) 136

Dunno where you work, but around these parts all the part time jobs are scheduled by the week, and half of them will fire you if you can't show up in 30 minutes when they call you in for the lunch rush or inventory night. Oh, you're at your other job? Oh your other job wants you from 11-2PM next week too? Tough shit, but hey, you only lose half your income.

Comment Re: Great idea... But there is a problem... (Score 1) 299

They didn't die after a few minutes - they lasted for 1-2 hours. And they didn't cost a billion dollars, they were built on the cheap. The Soviets launched almost all of their Venus missions in pairs because they considered it likely that something would blow up or fail at some point along the way - not a rare situation, a number of their Venus missions never even left Earth orbit, and some didn't even get that far ;). But of missions that actually got to Venus, they had great success, and even had one mission "rescued" by Venus (they designed it to parachute down, but the parachute broke - but the atmosphere slowed the fall so much that it survived the impact anyway).

For exploring Venus, if you're wanting PR, the Vega approach is the right one - aerobots, optionally paired with sondes. Aerial vehicles can fly for long periods of time studying the planet, and there's a number of exciting missions related to this being worked on (just waiting for funding). As for surface lifespans, they don't have to be limited. There's work on probes designed to "run hot" so that they don't need any (or only minimal) cooling, and there's also work on probes designed to lift off (bellows balloon) to a cooler layer of the atmosphere (to have any length of time to examine / process samples, cool down, etc) before re-descending any number of times. If you're only talking something with a ~2 hour lifespan on the surface and nothing else, you're talking something cheap, Discovery or at most New Frontiers class - not Flagship.

The main thing that's held everything back is that NASA almost never funds anything related to Venus. The last dedicated NASA mission to Venus (not counting flybies to other destinations that used Venus as a gravitational assist) was the Magellan probe, nearly three decades ago. And that came a decade after the previous NASA mission to Venus. Easiest planet to get to, and they almost never fund missions to study it. It's embarrassing.

Comment Re:Echo-chamber fake news (Score 2) 376

There were a lot of contributing factors, but yes, this sadly was one. The Thiokol engineers were against launch, but they failed to make a sufficient case as to why exactly they felt the O-rings were unsafe (there actually was a Thiokol document showing that not only was O-ring failure high at low temperatures but that the second O-ring ceased to be redundant - but they didn't have the document available to them). The Shuttle program managers were getting mad at them for insisting on delays due to the low temperatures without being able to back it up (one of them said something along the lines of "My god, Thiokol - when do you want me to launch, April?") and eventually the Thiokol management dropped their objections (even though the engineers were still strongly against launch). The engineers all gathered round to watch the launch on TV, thinking it was going to explode on the pad. When it lifted off they all breathed a sigh of relief, only to have it dashed during the explosion.

Comment Re:Echo-chamber fake news (Score 5, Informative) 376

Really, I have to give them credit where credit is due: by repeatedly pointing out errors (however trivial) out of the tens of thousands of news stories that are published every day, they've managed to get their supporters to the point where they'll trust a new story on www.siteiveneverheardofbefore.com/newishstuff/hillaryclintonpedophilering.html more than they will an actual newspaper. It's a real masterstroke in terms of controlling the narrative. "Anything negative you hear about me, it's fake, because there exist cases where newspapers have made errors, and we've selectively presented you only with those cases to create a narrative for you that newspapers are packed full of fakery." Not just newspapers - fact checkers, peer-reviewed articles, even official government statistics - all fake, because they've been presented with every case people can get their hands of of error, without the balancing context of the 10000x more that wasn't in error.

In the words of XKCD: "Dear God, I would like to file a bug report". ;)

It's the same thing that contributed to the Challenger explosion. They had a nice clean graph in front of them that plotted O-ring failures vs. temperature. There was no clear trend visible on the graph. The problem was that they omitted the successes, the cases where there were no O-ring failures. Here's what it looked like with that added in. All of the sudden there's a very clear trend of failure increasing at low temperatures - in fact, every low temperature launch had had O-ring failures, while very few high-temperature launches had. By being selective in what data you present (accidentally in that case, on purpose in the present case), you can get people to believe precisely the opposite of what is true.

Comment Re: Great idea... But there is a problem... (Score 1) 299

Anyone who can say "only 6000 m/s" with a straight face when talking about post-launch maneuvers has never worked with rocket mass budgets. ;) For a single stage, 6000 m/s with a 340s isp and 0.08 inert mass ratio is an over 10:1 scaling factor (aka, for every 10 kg you launch to LEO you get 1kg payload to your destination). Just 3000 m/s is a nearly 3:1 ratio.

Comment Re: Great idea... But there is a problem... (Score 1) 299

Probably better to get some kind of cloud city working on Earth before attempting to go trans-solar-system with the concept.

That would indeed be part of the development process. It's harder on Earth, mind you - a Landis habitat has to be inflated with heliox on Earth, which is much more expensive and permeation-prone. But such a habitat absolutely can be tested on Earth.

By the altitude Venus' atmosphere is more dense than Earth's, it's also highly corrosive.

The sulfuric acid is quite overstated in the popular imagination. It's more like a bad smog (or more accurately, vog) - several to several dozen milligrams per cubic meter, as noted below (also as noted below, OSHA allows people to breathe up to 1mg/m^3 for an entire 8-hour shift). It's much more of a resource than a problem; design work would be simpler if it were denser, not sparser. Material compatibility is easier to ensure (via fluoropolymers) than the scrubber design aspects are; you have to have high mass flow rates because the sulfuric acid is so sparse.

(That said, there was some - disputed - evidence from Vega that there may sometimes be "rain" on Venus. If that's correct, that'd be quite the blessing for resource collection. It's sad how we don't even know such basics as "does it rain on Venus?" at present)

Jupiter is a little too active for my taste, but perhaps Neptune or Uranus might have some attractive latitudes at which to float a city, assuming you bring your own power sources and don't rely on the sun.

The gas and ice giants are tough. They're very, very far, exceedingly hard to get out of, and because they're predominantly hydrogen (80-96%), the Landis design is right out (you can't live in a spacious envelope, you're stuck in a gondola); the envelope has to be hot hydrogen (heated with a lot of energy, because you lose it quickly on those scales). The gas and ice giants also have the wrong ratios of temperature to pressure - too much pressure relative to temperature. Plus, much less diverse gaseous mineral resources, and (effectively) no surface mineral resources at all. And of course as you note, little light. Venus is far better in virtually every respect. Its right next door, the easiest planet to get to, a great location from an orbital dynamics perspective, and it has everything.

Comment Re:EU Governments need to ban Windows 10. (Score -1) 156

Well I don't think MSFT or any corp is gonna have to worry about the EU for much longer as it looks like France along with several other countries are getting ready to bail and leave Mama Merkel and her Syrian migrants to it. Can't say as I blame 'em, ever since Merkel opened the floodgates its been a disaster, rape has risen several thousand percent, countries like Sweden having to tell their women not to go out alone at night in their own country for fear of rape gangs, and a bill of 50 billion and counting just for Germany to keep all these uneducated men on the dole.

So MSFT frankly ought to just ignore them, the EU will be nothing but a memory soon enough.

Comment Re:And, I might start buying more from them again. (Score 1) 179

That is the same reason the wife and I have been using Walmart for our online shopping, as it often has prices the same or less than Amazon, cheaper shipping and as a nice bonus a full 2/3rds of the items we purchased last holiday had a "free ship to store" option with many having same day or next day pickup.

Maybe now that Amazon have lowered the shipping we might do more shopping there...then again Walmart recently lowered their free shipping minimum to $25 and most small items we can get free shipping to our local Walmart so I don't have to come up with a bunch of stuff to put in the cart when I just need a flash stick or MicroSD card.

Slashdot Top Deals

"One day I woke up and discovered that I was in love with tripe." -- Tom Anderson

Working...