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Scientists Propose Collider That Could Turn Light Into Matter

Dastardly Re:The next question is... (223 comments)

Very large stars create matter from light in their core. Although, in order to conserve momentum, it happens most commonly near a nucleus with a single photon. The photon converts to a positoron and electron and the nucleus recoils a bit conserving momentum. I expect that in the giant randomness of a stellar core gamma rays occasionally collide head on thus allowing momentum to be conserved that way, but I expect it is much rarer than the other mechanism, since at those densities a gamma ray probably encounters s nucleus before it can collide with another gamma ray head on.

If the pair production reaches a certain threshold it actually causes the pressure in the core to drop resulting in collapse. This increases the temperature and pair production reducing the pressure further and accelerating the collapse. Since this happens in a non-iron core, run away fusion ensues disrupting the entire star as a pair production supernova. There are only a few candidates observed to date, and not close enough for a very high level of confidence that they really were pair production supernova.

about 2 months ago
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Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

Dastardly Re:Hydrogen Vs Batteries (659 comments)

A far bigger problem still is the grid that would be needed to charge cars if you replace ALL of them with electric cars. Because the future is one where most cars are one kind of car.

A far bigger problem is the grid that would be needed for electrolysis of hydrogen for ALL of the fuel cell vehicles.

Yes, I know that hydrogen can be extracted from hydorcarbons, but you then go on to say.

Depending on the eventual methods of production is could mostly be local because it comes from water...

Which means electrolysis or thermal extraction of hydrogen from water.

Basically, hydrogen is energy storage same as electricity in a battery. The energy still must come from somewhere in that respect about the only difference with hydrogen is that pipelines and/or trucks are a means of transporting the energy while electricity is pretty much via wire.

about 2 months ago
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GM Sees a Market For $5/Day Dedicated In-Car Internet

Dastardly Simple mount point for smart phone... (216 comments)

I have a Toyota Prius from the year before the Aux port was added (pisser). But, the one thing I really need, is a place to put the freaking phone. My solution is a phone case and some velcro tape on the center console (on the radio) and on the back of the phone. A few seconds to plugin the charger and stick the the phone to the console.

No stupid suction cup phone holders that don't stick properly or block visibility or don't fit the phone right so it falls out or whatever.\

It also works well when I want to use the golf app on my phone for scoring and range finding by sticking some velcro on my pull cart.

If it is good enough to put a man on the moon, it is good enough to hold my smart phone.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Tell a Compelling Story About IT Infrastructure?

Dastardly Cheer the boring... (192 comments)

Infrastructure should be boring. Cheer the boring. If there is a time period where things just went smoothly, put a big exclamation point on it. And, then list why.

Things like clean failovers.
System patches without downtime.

One other thing that is a pain at my company that you could also show it provisioning speed. When requests come in for VMs, or hardware upgrades how fast a re they served. How many are queued, how many are awaiting management approval, waiting on vendors, waiting on quotes, POs, etc... That is also a great thing to show improvements on. Because if infrastructure is slowing new money making projects from getting off the ground then that is a problem. And, those projects are going to move to cloud services in an attempt to get around infrastructure for good or ill.

about 2 months ago
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

Dastardly Re:Oh please... (226 comments)

Amen.

I run into this similar mentality when explaining Agile team members and full stack development. Usually, the objection I get is "Well, if people are jumping around how are they going to learn anything really well, and not screw up that part of the application." It is people who think we are going to be stupid about assigning work. People and teams specialize, but they have capabilities outside the specialty, but at a lesser effectiveness. Generally, we will assign people work in their specialty. But, if the most important work does not fall into the available team's specialty, then we might give them that work if it is sufficiently more important than the less important work that might fall into their specialty.

about 3 months ago
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

Dastardly Re:Nothing new here (226 comments)

I think it misses the point of DevOps. My reading of DevOps is not that developers do operations. It is that operations applies development style processes to their job and works closely if not within the development organizations to make sure the application is designed for operational ease from the beginning. A DevOps specialists will be operations focused with a high degree of skill in the scripting to automate deployment and configuration. They will use version control in order to version the deployment and configurations with the application. That way when a version of the application is deployed to a development environment, testing, or production the exact same software not just for the application but the deployment and configuration is used. The goal is so that when things go wrong it is not due to some untraceable human error, but a fixable automation error.

And, DevOps doesn't mean operations goes away. I think it let's operations focus on delivering a stable platform for applications. i.e. servers, disks, networks, OS, and perhaps the software repository that DevOps can use to configure the platform and deploy applications. In infrastructure as a service cloud situations, servers, disks, networks, and OS become a DevOps responsibility, also.

As far as a DevOps role, I think this falls into the same mistake I get into in my company when trying to explain the concept of Agile team members and feature teams. Just because everyone on an Agile team should be able to take on any task to deliver the software doesn't mean you don't have specialists in Dev, Test, and Analysis. It also doesn't mean that you assign tasks stupidly to those least capable. Most of the time people will be working in their specialty, but they have secondary skills that allow them to take on other types of tasks when over flow occurs in those tasks. A DevOps specialist is focused on the deployment and configuration process and they primarily get that kind of work, but can help with other types of tasks when necessary. Similarly, just because teams are capable of working on any part of the application doesn't mean they don't specialize or that you assign work to teams outside their specialty willy nilly. But, if it looks like there is a long term need for another team in some application area, it is possible to have a team move to that specialty and ramp up their capability there with the help of the existing specialists. It might make sense to have a DevOps specialized team with multiple specialties (SA, DBA, scripting, support) represented in that team, but with flexibility to handle work in other areas, but perhaps at a lower capability that a team specialized in that area.

about 3 months ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

Dastardly What is nothing? Re:Its not nothing (612 comments)

I think more physicists need to work on the physics of "nothing". I don't think we really understand "nothing". In addition there are different kinds of "nothing".

We have the "nothing" of empty space-time where particle and energy pop in and out of existence. What happens when there is a lot of nothing? 1 atom per cubic meter, per cubic kilometer over millions of light years?

Even then there is still space-time. What happens when there "nothing" means no matter, no energy, and no space-time?

Or, what happens when the universe expands to the extent that the visible universe contains no matter, and the CMB has cooled to a hundred negative powers of 10 or more. Does space-time lose meaning?

The impression I get from current physics is that "nothing" is unstable. Has anyone studied "nothing" sufficiently to show that there is not some effect proportional to the amount of "nothing". Of course, how do you even talk about a quantity of "nothing"? But, what if the more "nothing" there is, the greater the so called quantum fluctuations, such that something is inevitable.

about 3 months ago
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The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

Dastardly Re:Why? (769 comments)

Hilariously expensive?

I guess the Keurig one at $10 might be, but there are several for $5 or less. In just 100 uses you are talking a nickel or less without the waste.

about 5 months ago
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The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

Dastardly Re:Why? (769 comments)

Use a reusable pod and fill it with the coffee of your choice. Ground yourself or pre-ground. It takes a little more time. And, there are some tricks. Like since the water flows fairly quickly through small cup a fine grind is a good idea.

about 5 months ago
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Tesla Model S Caught Fire While Parked and Unplugged

Dastardly If it was related to the car... (329 comments)

Some rare, but possible causes if it has anything to do with the car.

FOD... (Foreign Object Debris) - shorting power to ground anywhere. Doesn't take much especially on a circuit board somewhere, rapidly heats up and melts solder creating and even bigger short and more heat until fire.

Dendrite formation - Very rare and probably requires more than 4 months to happen, but certain components on a high density BGA array the solder can form tendrils towards other solder balls. As the dendrites get close to each other they will short and break kind of like a fuse, but eventually it can become big enough to hold and sustain current generating enough heat to start the solder balls melting driving more current and heat until fire.

about 5 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Dastardly Re:Why? (2219 comments)

At this point it means "been on slashdot so long I'm starting to get out of touch with the cool stuff if it ain't on slashdot"..

Crap! I wish I had some mod points for this sentence alone.

about 6 months ago
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Man In Tesla Model S Fire Explains What Happened

Dastardly Re:They should sue (526 comments)

People have forgotten a source of heat that is pretty close to the fuel tank in modern gasoline cars.

The catalytic converter.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Hardest Things Programmers Have To Do?

Dastardly Clearcase. (473 comments)

End of message.

about 9 months ago
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Jury Finds Google Guilty of Standards-Essential Patents Abuse Against MS

Dastardly Re:Nice summary (278 comments)

And, the argument being made by Microsoft and Apple is that patents on rounded corner or bouncing when you slide for a page, or any number of other non-SEP patents should cost more than the patents for the standard and that when a patent is contributed to a standard under FRAND terms that holder loses there ability to enforce that patent via injunction when others choose not to even negotiate a royalty rate. The end result is no patents being contributed to standards, and ending the standard process entirely because the standards can't avoid patents.

Basically, Microsoft and Apple are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs because without standards the whole ecosystem on which their non-essential patents gain their value goes away.

about a year ago
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Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail'

Dastardly Re:increase inflation (649 comments)

If inflation and returns on saved money are consistent then it will have little impact on savings rate. But, in general it is a good idea to try to stabilize the value of the currency, although demand pull inflation needs to be separated from commodity shock inflation since their causes and the actions taken to mitigate are likely different. Demand pull inflation as a result of there being more financial assets (currency) chasing a relatively fixed amount of real goods is mitigated by draining currency via narrowing the deficit of the currency issuing government by raising taxes and/or decreasing spending. And, the reverse when deflation threatens due to recession.

Some of this is automatic, and already exists. On the revenue side, income tax receipts increase as more people have jobs and income tax receipts increase, if incomes increase enough, a progressive income tax causes the deficit to narrow even more. On the spending side, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other safety net spending will tend to decrease, narrowing the deficit further. In an economic down turn when deflation threatens these act in the opposite direction. I would prefer additional more powerful automatic stabilizers, but these are a few examples of controls on demand pull inflation/deflation.

I don't know enough on the commodity side to say how that should be handled, but hoarding of useful commodities via ETFs backed by actual warehoused commodities held off the market should be banned.

about a year and a half ago
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Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail'

Dastardly Re:Richard, let me suggest an alteration to your i (649 comments)

Tax rent seeking revenue progressively, tax profit for sales of goods and services like today.

Rent seeking - Interest, dividends, trading profits, licensing fees (RMS would like that one), political contributions, ...

Allow for a certain amount of rent seeking revenue can be treated as regular revenue and subject to expense deduction. Becoming TBTF is actually a rent seeking behavior, so setting making the rate progressive is an act of taxing rent seeking.

Of note, Adam Smith proposed that taxes on rents are desirable.

about a year and a half ago
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Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail'

Dastardly Apply it to just financial gains... (649 comments)

Basically, revenue from the sale of goods and services work the way they do today with only profits being taxed. Interest income, dividend income, trading gains, etc... get taxed for businesses just like everyone else on a revenue basis.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To React To Coworker Who Says My Code Is Bad?

Dastardly Re:Do you always let interns tell you what to thin (507 comments)

Some times it just takes a different set of eyes. You get buried in the code and things that are not quite right do not jump out at you because you understand it and know it so intimately that you develop blind spots. A fresh set of eyes no matter experience will see things that you simply accept because it does not trigger your "that does not look right" alarms.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To React To Coworker Who Says My Code Is Bad?

Dastardly Re:Technical Debt (507 comments)

I absolutely agree. I wrote a large portions of some code alone that now several other people are advancing and maintaining. There are some good things and some not so good things in there. Some of the worst were caused by attempts to be overly clever.

about a year and a half ago

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