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Comment Leeches are already back. (Score 1) 375

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) 375

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) 375

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) 125

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) 125

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:The Cloud (Score 2) 79

This isn't the reason the cloud makes a terrible backup. The thing that you want to avoid with a backup is correlated failures: things that cause a failure of your primary store should be different from things that cause a failure of your backup. Your house burning down or thieves coming and stealing your computers will cause failures of both your original and on-site backups. It's a lot less likely that the founder of your cloud provider will be arrested for the same reason that you lose your laptop.

Remember: it only matters if your backup storage fails at the same time as your on-line storage.

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 255

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:SF salaries are too low (Score 1) 344

No, he's right. To afford a standard of living comparable to what the same engineer would be able to afford elsewhere, he needs to make $500K/year. That's obviously not sustainable for his employer, which means that the rational thing to do is start moving jobs out of the bay area (which some companies have already started - Microsoft closed the bay area Microsoft Research site a year or two back, for example).

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 344

You can address that by having a progressive tax. In the UK, there are tax-free savings accounts that have a limited pay-in amount per year[1], income on which is exempt from income tax. You could do the same thing with a wealth tax: anything in a tax-free savings account doesn't count. You could perhaps also add an exemption for money in your primary residence, up to the median house price in your region. Beyond that, add a tax-free allowance of something like $50K and most people will pay nothing.

The real problem with such a scheme is that it's open to tax avoidance. It's fine for poor people, whose wealth is typically in cash form and so easily valued, but what about wealth held in private stocks in off-shore corporations? Those currently don't even need to be disclosed, and if they are then it's often very difficult to determine the value of the company (especially if it's a shell company that owns other shell companies that own real assets, with arbitrary levels of indirection in the middle). To make it work, you need complete financial transparency on all private companies.

[1] When they were introduced, this was about £3K, which was pretty reasonable. If you're earning 50% more than minimum wage in most of the country, you can get close to this. Now it's over £10K, which effectively makes it a tax break for the rich. Unfortunately, it doesn't roll over either, so if you have irregular income then you couldn't put in nothing one year and then £6K the next.

Comment Re:It's got nothing to do with desirability (Score 1) 344

Add to that, claiming unemployment benefits after moving also typically takes a while to set up, so you need to have enough capital to cover your cost of living for a few months if you move somewhere to look for work, rather than moving somewhere because you have a job offer. And you're not going to get a job offer before you move unless you go and visit a place to interview first, which costs in hotel bills and transport unless your prospective employer covers interview costs (which only happens for relatively high-skill jobs).

Comment They are also often newer (Score 1) 162

That is another huge determining factor. The big cost is laying the infrastructure. The kind doesn't matter so much. So, if you are doing new deployments, fiber is more likely. The cable company here is all FTTH all the time for new build outs. However once that shit is deployed a replacement is a lot of money that you'd rather not spend. So they are less inclined to do it.

Well new developments also tend to not be low income. Usually middle and upper class is what they target. No surprise then that is where you see more of it.

There are plenty of rich neighbourhoods where I live with no fibre. The one right next to me is a good example. About 2 blocks away, and they have the same cable and DSL offerings I do in my cheap condo. Neither the telco nor cable company feels there's enough money to be made in ripping up and redoing the lines in either place, despite the fact that those houses are almost all 7 figures.

Go out in to a new subdivision though, and it is usually FTTH.

Also when they do rip things up and replace, of course they target the rich places since those people are more willing to spend the money. Offer someone low income the option of $100/month gigabit or $20/month 1.5mbit and they will likely go with the 1/5mbit. Ya it is way more per bit and annoyingly slow on the modern Internet, but it gets the job done and $80/month is a lot in the budget of someone low income.

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