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3D Display Uses Misted Water

Ferrofluid Not a volumetric display (65 comments)

I was expecting this to be a true volumetric display. Nope. It's just a standard 2D projector projecting images on flat sheets of flowing water droplets.

about a week ago

Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

Ferrofluid Re:IANA Physicist, So... (630 comments)

Oxygen is most definitely not flammable. Please take a grade-six science class.

about two weeks ago

West Nile Virus May Have Met Its Match: Tobacco

Ferrofluid Re:Well, anything that kills the host (54 comments)

Jesus, does no one even read the summary? The drug isn't nicotine -- it's a genetically-engineered monoclonal antibody produced by the tobacco.

about three weeks ago

Forests Around Chernobyl Aren't Decaying Properly

Ferrofluid Re:Fire = Good (167 comments)

Chernobyl was a fission plant. Mankind has yet to create a viable fusion power plant. And even if we were able to make a fusion plant, it would be impossible for a fusion reactor to "go critical" since "criticality" is not even a concept applicable to fusion reactions.

about a month ago

Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting?

Ferrofluid Re:We need nuclear. (551 comments)

Solar power uses rare metals whose use could be just as bad as fossil fuels.

Huh? Yes, certain types of thin-film cells use rare and toxic metals. But what about plain old silicon cells, which make up a majority of the PV market? They consist of:

- silicon (extremely abundant and non-toxic)
- aluminum for the contacts
- tiny amounts of boron and phosphorus as dopants.

about 2 months ago

New 3D Printer Can Print With Carbon Fiber

Ferrofluid Re:Er... what? (141 comments)

I know you're joking, but how can an ablative process be used to deposit material? They're kinda the opposite of each other.

about 3 months ago

Best skywatching equipment at my disposal:

Ferrofluid Re:Google Sky not an option? (201 comments)

I highly recommend a program called Celestia. It not only shows star charts, but it allows you to explore the local universe in 3D. A similar program is Space Engine, although I don't think it's as polished and complete yet (although it may have a better renderer).

about 3 months ago

Using Nanotechnology To Build Thinner, Stronger Condoms

Ferrofluid Re:Possible simpler solution (253 comments)

Teflon is not, to my knowledge, very elastic. It's essentially a rigid plastic. Condoms need to be able to stretch and experience, ahem, rather extreme dynamic loads during use. They need to be quite stretchy so that they don't tear.

about 3 months ago

'Approximate Computing' Saves Energy

Ferrofluid Re:Finally some better 'Ai' (154 comments)

You can already do this using pseudo-random number generators. While pseudo-random numbers may not be random enough for certain scientific computation purposes, they are more than adequate for gaming. There seems to be a common misconception that computers are incapable of producing randomness. Pseudo-random number-generating algorithms, seeded with simple things like the system time and keyboard events, are good enough for 99% of common everyday computing tasks.

The advantage of this 'approximate computing' is that the hardware may be able to use less power. The randomness is a drawback, not a virtue.

about 4 months ago

'Approximate Computing' Saves Energy

Ferrofluid Re:Heard this before (154 comments)

JPEG is not a scaling algorithm. It is a (lossy) image compression format. By 'compression', I mean it allows you to compress the file size (measured in bytes) -- not the image dimensions (measured in pixels). It has nothing to do, really, with resizing an image.

Scaling algorithms are things like point sampling, bilinear interpolation, bicubic interpolation, etc.

about 4 months ago

'Approximate Computing' Saves Energy

Ferrofluid Re:Analog (154 comments)

Decimal: 1 bit can be one of 10 different values, so five times more information is present in a single bit.

No, that's not what a bit is. 'Bit' is short for 'binary digit'. A bit can, by definition, only hold one of two possible states. It is a fundamental unit of information. A decimal digit comprises multiple bits. Somewhere between 3 and 4 bits per decimal digit.

about 4 months ago

Will You Even Notice the Impending Robot Uprising?

Ferrofluid Re:why an uprising? (246 comments)

Most people don't have the faintest clue how technology works. It might as well be magic to them. Therefore, when people see things like the Terminator franchise, Battlestar Galactica, that terrible I, Robot movie, etc., the concept of a robot uprising seems plausible to them.

about 4 months ago

Army Laser Passes Drone-Killing Test

Ferrofluid Re:Advantages of DEWs (173 comments)

I'd rather be blind than have a bullet to the head.

Funny, I'd rather the opposite.

about 4 months ago

GitHub Takes Down Satirical 'C Plus Equality' Language

Ferrofluid Re:Feminist Programming Language (575 comments)

Poe's law applies here. That discussion thread -- they're not serious, are they? It must be a subtle troll, no?

about 4 months ago

Diamond Rain In Saturn

Ferrofluid Re:good news for space exploration (177 comments)

If you don't mind waiting a long time, perhaps you could use solar sails? Although, I'd guess that solar sails are only useful for providing radial acceleration (i.e. away from the sun), so this might not be useful if you're mining the stuff beyond the earth's orbit and are trying to bring it back home. And I doubt there's an analogue to "tacking" in the vacuum of space.

An alternative is to use solar cells to provide electrical power, and use the copper itself as propellant in some sort of high-efficiency ion engine or accelerator. You'd be cannibalizing your payload to use as reaction mass. Copper probably isn't an ideal propellant in such a system, but if you have billions of tons of it, you probably don't mind wasting a significant fraction of it.

A third option could be nuclear pulse propulsion. Something like the orion project?

about 6 months ago

Diamond Rain In Saturn

Ferrofluid Re:wrong (177 comments)

It was my understanding that, if you look at a phase diagram for any material, there may well be many distinct solid phases but only one liquid phase. How can you have different phases of liquid?

about 6 months ago

Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

Ferrofluid Does not fit on my screen (1191 comments)

See screenshot here: http://i.imgur.com/JBNcRAL.png

I am running the latest stable Firefox on Windows 7 with a 1280x800 display (not huge, but certainly not a small resolution compared to today's laptops). The little text box is cut off at the edge of the screen.

Also, may I add that there is far too much wasted space. I can only fit about 1 - 1.5 headlines on my screen at a time. I prefer a simple text-based layout where the headlines are packed together tightly. This allows me to quickly scan the headlines to see if there's an article worth reading. What's the point of having these useless images and whitespace? It just forces me to manually scroll the page more. The images add nothing of value and just increase bloat.

Remember, Slashdot's core readership is IT professionals, engineers, scientists, STEM students, etc. People who value function over aesthetics. If you sacrifice the former for the latter (and I don't even think the new design is an improvement aesthetically), you will drive away those readers.

The golden rule is K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

about 7 months ago


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