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


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:Whadda think, Bruce Perens? (Score 3, Funny) 123

Yeah, Sofia Vergara showing up in my bedroom would be nice, but the likelihood of anything more happening than her channeling the Talking Heads and saying "This is not my beautiful house!" and walking out is less than the above.

Once you've engaged the Improbability Drive, you might as well crank it up to maximum power.

Comment Re:Rockets are too expensive (Score 1) 322

Seems to me that no serious estimate is possible until you know with some degree of certainty what material you're going to be using.

In the best case, you'd use some magic material with an infinite strength-to-weight ratio, and send the whole thing up inside a a 20-pound cubesat for practically no cost.

In the worst case, it wouldn't matter how much you spend, because the material would never be able to support its own weight no matter how big the ribbon was.

The actual case is somewhere between those two extremes, but without knowing where, you can pick any cost estimate you want, and it won't be any more meaningful than any other cost estimate you might choose.

Comment Re:...disabled by default... until it's not (Score 2) 249

No, it's about safety and security of course.

Nothing at all to do with controlling distribution over the platform and taking a cut of all the revenue of every company publishing software on their platform.

It actually might not have been too bad, if they only had the repository system be extensible like yum and apt, which would allow competing application distribution platforms. But that would be too much for the user and not enough for Microsoft.

Comment Bring 'em on down... (Score 2) 209

This is great news, especially for people who don't have to have/build the latest and greatest. I am still happily running an intel Core2 Quad Core. But this means that the price of lower end parts, and used parts, should go down accordingly. The top of the line parts of today will be the hand-me-downs of tomorrow. My kids all have hand-me-down computers that are very capable for the things they do.

Comment Re:Yes, but it won't happen any time soon (Score 1) 122

Streep is an exception (and good for her if she can still pull in that kind of money.) Most actors don't pull in anything like that amount of money, and even those that are able to pull in six digits or, occasionally, seven, digits per movie do so usually knowing they have a shelf life, and that Hollywood will discard them when they get into their 30s. At that point, many know they'll be difficult to hire in any other professions, as they just devoted much of their lives to a single profession, and have no skills outside of that, and have fame as an added handicap.

20 million, incidentally, is dirt cheap for a modern movie (to put it into perspective, the pilot episode of the 2000 TV series Dark Angel cost that much), and the right star can be the difference between a $60-250M movie (which is more the ballpark) either making a loss, or making an outrageous profit. The ticket price, which seems to have held steady at around $10 per adult for the last 20 years now, is what the market has determined is what people will pay, so that's not going to come down if studios were to cut actors salaries. So... why complain about this, specifically? If they're the ones making the movies profitable, and if the money's there, why not let them have a cut?

Comment Re:Rockets are too expensive (Score 5, Interesting) 322

And a space elevator, of course, would only cost about a Trillion, and there's this little problem of it hitting something (we'd have to make Earth Orbit absolutely pristine and keep it that way) and there's a problem with the kinetic energy if it falls down. Sort of like having many atom bombs go off.

Maybe someday. But right now making rockets as cheap as they can be is a better idea. It's only $200K to fuel up a Falcon 9. We don't get the whole thing back in working order yet, but that would be a lot easier than making a space elevator.

Comment No Dragon 2 Soft Landing Yet (Score 5, Informative) 322

Dragon 2 isn't built yet. The escape test was a boilerplate capsule more like a Dragon 1 than 2. Dragon 2 has not demonstrated a soft landing, because it's not built yet. That was the Falcon 9 first stage.

Also, you can't get Dragon 2 down to the Moon and back up on it's own. Not enough delta-V. You would need to have Dragon ride on top of something that can hold enough fuel. Like a larger version of the Apollo Service Module.

The Command/Service module was originally intended to land on the moon and return without the LEM, before NASA bought the LEM concept, and was overpowered for the mission it got. Dragon is larger and heavier, but a lunar landing one would probably look a lot like an Apollo Command and Service module, and legs.

And yeah, Orion: I'm Not on Board. Big expensive obsolete rocket with no mission that makes sense.

But good luck getting Elon Musk to focus on the practical and eminently desirable target of the Moon. He isn't interested. It's only Mars for Elon.

I try not to watch all of the Mars Colonial Transport speculation. Falcon 9 and Dragon are great, and they're here, and we could do so much with them.

Slashdot Top Deals

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.