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Comment Re: That's nice (Score 1) 142

actually they DO. When a machine is about to crest the 3 or 5 year mark, Apple re-evaluates inventory. California (and other places?) have extended consumer protection laws that require them to keep a deeper stock of parts. So all remaining inventory generally goes to CA-only repairs. Parts they have way too much of are sold off and will appear elsewhere. At 10 years, CA laws even admit "you need to buy a new computer now and quit trying to repair that ancient piece of junk".

Some parts that turn out to be very high demand (usually due to recall or design flaw) dwindle before even the 3 year mark, and Apple will stop selling the parts outright, requiring a return of the bad part for rebuilding. (mostly on motherboards) I recall this also being an issue with the older A/B airport cards. We bought a CASE of them juuuust before Apple put them on the restricted list, and we sold every one. I also had the foresight to order as many imac g5 power supplies as I could get my hands on, and we were selling those for two years after nobody else had any in stock. My manager started out by complaining about why I was stocking up so many of them, "don't worry, we'll sell them!" And we did. And no, we didn't even gouge our customers, the price stayed about the same even long after they had turned into unobtainium.

Comment Re:I'm no physicist but... (Score 1) 86

Indeed, same thing happens with these roadways they're trying to use to power stuff like ice indicators and traffic displays. That energy's gotta come from somewhere. Either it's hitting up your MPG or is making your walk more tiring.

I bet it's quite noticeable on a bicycle too. And pushing that baby stroller just got more fun. But on the upside, it'll probably reduce the number of posers flying by on their longboards and rollerblades.

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 5, Insightful) 1081

But really it is there for a REASON.

There was a reason we had it. Several actually.
1 travel time of a day or more to the polls for a significant chunk of eligible voters (and outside information getting to the voters was also greatly slowed)
2 extremely limited current information on political issues and events for the average citizens (not a lot in the way of "informed voters")
3 because of (2), many of the politicians and people running the government were sincerely worried about what would happen if the election became a popularity contest among the dumb citizens and a truly bad person was elected president of the country (some would argue we had that happen last night, others would argue it was inevitable given the available options...)
4 the college gave the final say to a smaller handful of more politically-informed people (the electorate) that could, in the event of insanity by the "dumb public", choose the sane option, overruling the popular vote.

The reasons for the college have long since disappeared. The best reason we have at this point to continue using the college is that we've been using it since forever and we're not comfortable with change, even when it's for the better.

The whole "first past the post" scheme itself has problems also, and IMHO should be ditched while we're at it. CGPgrey has a great explanation of this issue and how to fix it: It doesn't completely fix all the issues, fixes several problems, improves some of the remaining issues, and doesn't cause any new problems. Please watch this before responding, I promise you'll enjoy it if you're even remotely interested in the voting process, even if you don't end up agreeing with it by the end,

There is one thing I'd like to clear up that I think a lot of people miss when this discussion comes up. It's actually a point toward KEEPING the college. Just because I have an opinion doesn't mean I'm going to blindly ignore opposing reasons, and here's a good one anyone thinking about this needs to consider. Everyone games the college. In a political race, they'll do anything they can (legally, or that they can get away with) to help their candidate win. I'm OK with them doing everything they can within the rules to win. States with lower electoral votes get mostly ignored in races like this. States that have a history of voting very strongly in one direction also get ignored by both candidates. (one says "I have it in the bag, why waste my time here?", the other says "I'll never win these, why waste my time here?") So this WILL tend to create a lopsided popular vote vs electoral vote. Campaigning would be done VERY differently if we went strictly by popular country vote. It's difficult to look back at an election and say with any confidence "would it really make a difference?" States that got lots of ground pounding due to their high electoral count and "batleground state" status would see a lot less traffic, and other more moderately populated areas would see more campaigning. Surely this would change the numbers quite a bit. In what direction is very hard to say. Some years, maybe no noticeable difference. Other years, maybe a huge difference. So what I'm saying is that we can't just look at an election where the popular vote and electoral vote disagree (even somewhat strongly) and say with any great confidence "it would have made a difference if we did it the other way this election". Because we can't. But that being said, I still believe a popular vote using proportional representation would produce results that more closely aligned with who the public would rather see in office. (a lot moreso for congress than president, actually)

Comment Re:There's a simple way to reduce the defense budg (Score 1) 303

While on the surface that seems like a good idea, you have to look at how the market will adapt. Paying a criminal not to do the crime just creates a bigger market for criminals, looking to get paid NOT to do the crime, even those that wouldn't normally have been doing the crime, due to risks and other factors.

That $20B they made was an investment, not just in materials and effort, but in risk (of arrest or death) and direct loss. (materials, deaths, arrests, etc) You can't look at all $20B as pure profit because it's not, not even close.

Let me ask you how much I'd have to pay you to sit and do nothing for a year. Now ask me how much I'd have to pay you to sit and do nothing for a year, with an added 10% chance of your getting killed as a result. Now how about 10% chance of death PLUS a 25% chance of 10 years in prison. See how the costs go up? It has a high value because it has a high risk. Remove the risks, and the bottom falls out on the value.

Comment Re: Going by the data in the summary... (Score 1) 372

Women are not able to fall pregnant 25-50% of their cycle

The OP's numbers are probably taken from the "window of risk", not the actual physical window. The menstrual cycle is usually pretty regular, but can hiccup from time to time, leading to a shorter or longer duration between reset, or just outright skipping a month. This usually comes up when discussing the "rhythm method", and how it's not just a "today isn't safe, but tomorrow is". It's more about "today isn't very safe, but odds improve quite a bit tomorrow" sort of thing. So if you want to "play it really safe", then yes that window of fertility needs to be considered quite wide. (this also makes it difficult to quantify the success rate of the rhythm method, because interpretations and levels of risk vary from couple to couple, so the application isn't consistent)

It's been quite a few years since sex ed class, but I do remember this discussion coming up, and the window of significant risk of pregnancy that was discussed was quite a bit longer than 7 days. (12 or 14 iirc?)

Comment Re:Going by the data in the summary... (Score 1) 372

Bad analogy. People crossing the street is generally something that is necessary at some times. People eating is necessary at some times. Engaging in sex is not.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that engaging in sex is necessary, unless you want the entire species to be extinct in 120 years, give or take a few.

Comment Re:sounds familiar (Score 1) 163

if t were a vacuum, you'd be right. But there is no true freefall in an atmosphere. The air slows you down, and you do experience some gravity. (if you can reach terminal velocity, you'll be experiencing 100% gravity, as gravity is trying to accelerate you, but can't) The denser the atmosphere (which varies depending on your altitude) the more gravity you feel. They frequently rely on that to deploy the landing gear, it doesn't need to be powered when landing on a body with appreciable gravity.

It's admittedly somewhat complicated and has several factors working on it, but it shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone. And yes to an earlier poster, another lander had this same problem with the sensors interpreting jettison of the heat shield as surface contact. I really don't understand how you don't put a sanity check in place there, or wait to 'arm' the ground detection until it's at least getting NEAR the ground. Things like heat shield jettison and parachute deployments should flat out disable a number of sensors for awhile until the physical shocks have had time to dissipate. Surface contact detection has NO business being turned on that early.

Comment sounds familiar (Score 1) 163

The most likely culprit is a flaw in the craft's software or a problem in merging the data coming from different sensors, which may have led the craft to believe it was lower in altitude than it really was,

I don't remember which lander, but a previous one somewhere suffered a similar problem, mistaking landing leg deployment for surface contact. (the legs came down, and when the hit full stop the bounced back up a bit, triggering it to think the foot hit the surface) which caused it to shut off the landing retrorockts and it dropped like a rock from a good height, destroying the lander on impact with the surface.

You'd think they would learn from the mistakes of the past? Lower gravity messes with sensors, and you have to predict how they'll perform on another planet that has different gravity, pressure, etc. "don't rely on any one sensor to tell you anything"

Comment hello? dock? (Score 0, Flamebait) 347

Get a dock if you want to use lots of (legacy) ports on a compact laptop! I bring my computer home and plug in TWO cables. (power and thunderbolt) and suddenly I have: printer, scanner, SD card reader, firewire backup drive, speakers gig ethernet, 1080p display, and several more open USB3 ports. (as well as another thunderbolt and mic port I'm not using atm)

Compare that to plugging in ALL that crap one cable at a time before the dock. Now with USBC hubs, ONE cable will do all of that since C combines the data and the charge. I'm still running a 2010 mbp, I'm due for an upgrade, and a dock will be the first accessory I get for it.

This is just a headline grabber looking to wind up the haters by giving them something to hate that they have no real reason to hate. Anyone that's somehow finding it possible to be hurting for an additional $25 after buying a $2,000+ computer can just get on ali or amazon or ebay and pick up two cables for $6 shipped or something like that. But considering how few ports the computer has, you'd be stupid to get a handful of cables and adapters that you can only use one or two of at a time. Get a dock! Problem solved, and solved well.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 370

The whole point of school is to give you a somewhat shallow but very broad education. Math, chemistry, physics, literature, art, history, engineering, and yes, computer programming, are among the bricks that build the foundation of that basic eduation.

Nobody's recommending you be a proficient coder by the time you get out of primary school, just that you've been exposed to it. This gives you both the opportunity to see if you have an aptitude for it and if you enjoy it and want to dig deeper.

I'm extremely thankful that an observant instructor pointed me at an Apple II many years ago. Although the student in my class all got basic exposure to computres, I was the only one that reallly latched onto it. I had to self-teach basic all the way to assembly, and would surely have gotten more involved with it had a programming class been available. I had to wait until high school for that, and by that time my computer aptitude rivaled the computer teacher. She taught me pascal 1 and then I taught her pascal 2. Needless to say I didn't learn much more from her. I had to wait until college to get a real computer education. I wish I had been given earlier opportunities... so I completely support this.

I don't know if something more akin to VB would be more appropriate for this generation though, especially for younger kids. They need to find a way to keep things visual and keep the typing and algorythmic complexity in check at the very beginning.

Comment what did they use for an output device? (Score 0) 127

It has that sort of sound quality you hear from people trying to recreate the Imperial March using floppy disk drives or printer carriages. Does anyone know what they were using for an actual sound output device? Was it a speaker or something else? Maybe like the floppy drive players it was something mechanical the computer could control that was being repurposed?

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