Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Microsoft Develops Analog Keyboard For Wearables, Solves Small Display Dilemma

Fubari Re:Why would you want to type at all? (100 comments)

reasonably good voice recognition? Maybe, for a given value of "good'.
Voice recognition is hit or miss for me on android now... it works "reasonably good" provided I have....
1) Low background noise.
2) Solid network connection to upload & process voice sample on google's server farms.
3) In a place where I can talk and don't care if others hear what i'm saying.

So when it works I am suitably impressed, but it doesn't work often and I'm not always able to use it.

Just a data point: my ancient Palm smart phone had more usable voice dialing than my android does today, and that thing was 100% local processing. None of this "busy icon" for 30 seconds to time out and say "Please try again" because 4G data skipped out or something, which is what I see often enough to be a pain when I'm voice dialing or map searching etc.
(and yeah, I would probably complain about my flying car if I had one :-) I am amazed voice recognition works as well as it does, it just isn't at 100% yet.)

Why would you want to type at all? There's reasonably good voice recognition now, that's got to be better than trying to finger-paint letters on a tiny watch screen?

about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

Fubari +1 for parent Re:Vyatta (238 comments)

+1 for parent; I'm just learning about Vyatta. If you want to build your own as a research project, cool. Otherwise read up on this: vyatta and see if it might do what you want.

Just download and install VyOS (fork of Vyatta) if you're building your own firewall.

about a month ago

Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Fubari Re:math err? Re:Beyond what humans can do (708 comments)

r.e. .8 vs .85
argh :-)

The numerator above seems off: what is 6445 ?

4.75 tons of petrol is 6445 litres. Since petrol is 85% carbon, we can divide the 6445 litres by 0.85 and we get 7582 litres of petrol containing 4.75 tons of carbon.

For the weight of a big tub of petroleum containing 4.75t carbon, I think you'd have: 4.75 tons of carbon / .85 = 5.938 tons of petroleum.

Your answer is wrong: 4750 Kg of carbon / 0.85 = 5588 Kg of petrol. It looks like you divided by 0.80 instead of 0.85?

5588 Kg of petrol / 0.737 = 7582 litres of petrol.

about 2 months ago

Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Fubari math err? Re:Beyond what humans can do (708 comments)

Wikipedia says the carbon content of petrol is up to about 85%: []
So 6445/0.85 = 7582 litres of petrol contain 4.75t of carbon.

I'll start by saying thank you for the analysis; that was thought provoking.

The numerator above seems off: what is 6445 ?

For the weight of a big tub of petroleum containing 4.75t carbon, I think you'd have:
4.75 tons of carbon / .85 = 5.938 tons of petroleum.

To see how many Liters of petroleum that would be, we get:
5,938 Kg of petroleum / ( .737 Kg/L ) = 8,057 L.

Using that average fuel economy of 5L/100Km yields a range of
8,057L / ( 5L/100Km ) = 1,611 / (1/100km) = 161,100 Km
(Or 100,040 miles for our readers in Burma, Liberia and the United States.)
Which is indeed a LOT of driving in one year.

The oracle of Yahoo Answers suggested that 19,000 to 24,000 km (12,000 to 15,000 miles) is a more reasonable average.
So by carbon weight, yeah... the gp's claim for Carbon is roughly a factor of 8 too high (161,100 km / 20,000 km/yr).

You raise a good point considering whether the gp meant 4.75 tons of CO2 instead of carbon.
To do this I think we need to revise our petroleum footprint.
You'll recall we first derieved that above based on just the target carbon weight.
We'll take the same approach for our target CO2 weight.

So... to get 4,750 KgCO2 emissions we need to burn a certain amount of petroleum.
That works out to 4,750 KgCO2 / (2.331 L/KgCO2) = 2,037.8 L of petroleum.
Which yields an alleged annual distance of:
2,038 L / ( 5L / 100Km )
= 408 / ( 1 / 100Km)
= 408 * 100Km
= 40,800 Km (25,351 miles)

Which is closer, but still off by a factor of at least 2 unless maybe they were talking fleet cars.
*shrug* don't know... it is hard to tell what point they were making.
(and yeah, this was much more fun to do over lunch than reading yawn-inducing project requirements :-) )

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

Fubari recliner? how 'bout a cardboard cutout... (154 comments)

my work to where I am still around my wife and children so that I can still interact with them and be with my family, but still hit my deadlines

If you want to be with your family, be with your family. Read a book to your children. Play a game. Do something with them.

So... just what kind of interaction are you going to have with your "wife and children" while you're working on a deadline sitting in your recliner? Maybe this will help you more than a recliner:

When I want to spend time with my family or my friends, I make it a point to leave my ipad turned off, my smart phone in my pocket, and my laptop closed. If I get a phone call I need to take, I excuse myself and go take the call and come back when I'm done. I find it pretty rude to "spend time" with anyone whose attention isn't there; if I'm putting my tasks and goals aside to spend time with people, I expect them to do the same for me.
And when I need to get work done, I focus on that.

Oh well... at least you've got the whole proximity thing going for you.

about 2 months ago

Ex-Autonomy CFO: HP Trying To Hide Truth

Fubari Re:HP, wildly incompetent (59 comments)

Kind of depressing hearing about HP (I like to toss this out whenever I read about HP doing something unwise).
Step 1. Buy a really expensive company.
Step 2. Ignore it for a year or so.
Step 3. Rationalize how to dramatically throw it away.
Step 4. Profit? What is a few billion $ between friends?

Out of the longgg list of HP acquisitions, here are some
of the more notable ones that caught my eye:

* Verifone 1997 $1.1 (billions)
* Compaq 2002 24.0
* P&G IT: 2003 3.0
* Peregrin 2005 0.4
* MercuryInter. 2006 4.5
* Knightsbridge 2006 ?
* Opsware 2007 1.6
* EDS 2008 13.9
* 3Com 2010 2.7
* Palm, Inc 2010 1.2
* 3PAR 2010 2.3
* ArcSight 2010 1.5
* Autonomy 2011 11.0

So have any of these actually been profitable for HP ? I knew that Palm tanked (bye bye, WebOS). I haven't heard good things about Knightsbridge. Compaq seems like it was a break-even deal.

about 2 months ago

Newly Spotted Frozen World Orbits In a Binary Star System

Fubari bit soon for FTL... Re:Interesting but not useful (34 comments)

We need to try to solve the FTL problem.

r.e. FTL research: you raise some good points.
But nobody (except maybe a Comi-Con panel) is going to get behind funding FTL research.
Our species also has some baby steps to work on first: in no particular order... orbital solar power, fusion, space elevators, mars colonies, asteroid mining. *shrug* Let's solve those things first because they will (eventually) set the stage for interstellar work, including FTL research.

As for basic physics research, I would say China is showing some interest in basic research and advancing the state of the art; with any luck that will motivate some other governments to not be left behind. India also seems hungry to establish itself as a prestigious space power; they're doing some cool things - I hope they are successful.
Likewise I'm optimistic about the progress SpaceX has made; I hope they're wildly successful because it will open new doors for humans.

about 3 months ago

Chinese Company '3D-Prints' 10 Buildings In One Day

Fubari Re:cool inner-wall structure? Re:Plumbing & el (118 comments)

That makes sense r.e. "tilt-up". I've read that with plastic molding getting the mold to let go of the plastic itself can be non-trivial; I wonder how thin one could make the nested structures in cement-based molding and still get the form out of the wall once it had set enough to support its own weight. *shrug*
All very cool stuff; some days I think it would be more fun to work with atoms instead of bits. I suppose there a lots of people doing both these days :-)

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Switching From SAS To Python Or R For Data Analysis and Modeling?

Fubari "real" innovation? Re:no complelling arguments... (143 comments)

Wisdom indeed. Also... can you elaborate one what real innovation is? Seriously. Do you have an example or two of what opportunities are being crushed by the existing culture of "fake innovation"?

Because if not... if this is really large company, you may be perceived as a "precious little snowflake that also complains a lot."

And if this is a really large company, they're going to be able to coast along on the status quo for LONGGG time and I don't know why anybody would listen or care about a whiny snowflake.

So... can you (OP) elaborate the "real" part of "real innovation" ?
What amazing market opportunities are the current group missing?
What kinds of obvious fraud detection is slipping through their collective fingers?
What tremendous potential for increasing shareholder value is being left on the table?

Look, I'm not saying this incredibly large organization of yours could never benefit from some innovation, but realize this: you're going to be pushing against the inertia of entrenched culture and "we've always done it this way", which makes those "Stop Plate Tectonics" bumper stickers seem like an easy task by comparison.

I'll close with an alternative possibility: "I don't much like SAS. Nor do I like the people who have built a functioning SAS-ecosystem that handles this company's Multi-Billion euro statistical needs 'well enough'... it just doesn't encourage real innovation ('real' being code for 'fun'), instead I have to spend my time reading through thousands of pages of documentation and requirements specs and I have to troubleshoot this existing install base... Boy, I wish we had an opportunity to do real innovation here..."

about 4 months ago

Chinese Company '3D-Prints' 10 Buildings In One Day

Fubari cool inner-wall structure? Re:Plumbing & elect (118 comments)

Well... the tfa had a video (t=20sec) showing a latice-work inside the wall's exterior surfaces. I suspect that lattice would:
1) offer strength-to-weight savings (vs. solid slab cement walls)
2) use less material for a given surface area (yeah, this follows #1),
and 3) allow some extra insulation if warranted by the destination environment.

Also it would probably allow different configurations depending on how tall one wanted to stack (thicker lower-flow pieces; thinner upper-floor pieces). And the other point about embedding services cabling & plumbing stands; I could see them using standard interconnects to splice things together as they get assembled. *shrug* Maybe all that is common place today with prefab walls; don't know ianapfba (pre-fab building architect).

My first thought was "Big deal, another kind of prefab building" but the design + deposit is pretty interesting. This gets into some of the same things for machining I've read about where casting and/or subtractive (cnc milling) runs into limitations; additive manufacturing can create nested structure that were just not possible before. *shrug* It is cool to see people doing neat things with cement++.

And maybe - at some point - it would be cost effective for larger & taller structures to print segments on-site (and possibly at elevation for multi-story units). I don't know that they need to print in-situ; having useful-sized freshly printed & cured components (think just-in-time lego-blocks for the construction crew) could still be useful.

(One downside: I wonder about the "quick-set" additives and how nice (or not-so-nice) it would be to breath anything that off-gassed after it was all put together.)

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

Fubari extras... Re:Mandatory features: (427 comments)

Also... I'd consider buying a Smart Watch with any of these capabilities...
* Time travel, +/- 5000 years, with return feature
* Teleportation, up to 50km distance
* Time dilation ("bullet time"), minimum 60 seconds subjective to 1 second external observer.
* 3D copier (3D scanner + 3D printer; synthesize feedstock from atmospheric carbon)
* Flight (up to 30 minutes, max load 200kg, max speed 50km/hr)
* Force shield (deflect rain + bullets), 60 minute runtime
* Transforms into giant Battle Robot
* Underwater breathing support + waterproof (rated to 300 m)
* 2d projector (4m diagonal w/1200 lumens @ 20m)
* Holographic projector that plays "Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi..."; monochrome image ok
* Sleep gas feature
* Dog-walking feature

about 4 months ago

Unicode 7.0 Released, Supporting 23 New Scripts

Fubari Re:less useful how? Re:The larger, the less useful (108 comments)

r.e. CJK - that is interesting, and it is something I haven't interacted with directly. The collisions in mapping to unicode sounds like a *significant* headache. Thanks for the heads up (now I'm at least aware that I'm ignorant of this; a small step forward).

about 4 months ago

Unicode 7.0 Released, Supporting 23 New Scripts

Fubari less useful how? Re:The larger, the less useful (108 comments)

Fragmented? I haven't heard of any unicode forks. The people at the Unicode_Consortium seem like they're doing ok. Unicode seems pretty backwards compatible; have any of the the newer versions overwritten or changed the meaning of older versions (e.g. caused damage)? That isn't true for various ascii encodings, which is an i18n abomination on the hi-bit characters. Or with ebcdic, which isn't self compatible. One of the things I love about unicode is the characters (glyphs) stay where you put them, and don't transmute depending on what locale a program happens to run in.

The larger Unicode becomes, the more fragmented the implementations will be.

Maybe instead of fragmented, you mean there won't be font sets that can't render all of unicode's characters?
*shrug* Even if that were a problem, the underlying data is intact and undamaged and will be viewable once a suitable font library is obtained.

The more fragmented it is, the more errors and incompatibilities will compound. It will get less and less useful, and more and more bulky, and will eventually be as useful as Flash. (well, it may not be that bad, but still, Flash was all things to all people, and almost universally installed, until it wasn't.

Can you give me an example of an incompatibility? I'm not saying there are none, just that I don't know of anything and that, in general, I've been very pleased with Unicode's stability - compared to other encodings - for doing data exchange.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

Fubari test drive a simple problem... (466 comments)

I encourage you to test drive the languages that sound interesting. Choose a small slice of a problem (parsing & reformatting a *.CSV file perhaps); something small enough that you solved it with < 1000 lines of C code. Then try coding up the same with Python and one or two more languages recommended here.

One of the scripting things I look for is portability. While Java itself is pretty awful for rapid development (at least for me Java is painfully verbose), if you want to piggyback on Java's virtual machines you can go a long way with Groovy, Clojure, and maybe Python (here's an interesting review of JVM languages). It turns out for my day job there is always a JVM in the environments I need to work in, so I look for easier languages to work with in that regard.

My current personal favorite is Clojure; great leverage, you get a lot of bang for your buck for a line of clojure vs. a line of Java or C.

about 4 months ago

Ellipto: a DIY Fitness Tracker and Dashboard In 70 Lines

Fubari disclaimer enough Re:Warning: Slashvertisement (32 comments)

Cut the author some slack. The guy pointed out his connection to Keen IO & Electric Imp early in the writeup; that is disclaimer enough for me. It was a fun and interesting read and I appreciate the time he put into the writeup.

r.e. self serving: sure, but it also serves others (like myself) by being educational. I hope Keen IO makes a ton of money and goes on to create more cool things.

...but you really needed a bold "disclaimer" in both the summary and article for me to think this is anything but a self-serving post to advertise something that will profit your wife and, by obvious extension, you.

about 4 months ago

Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts

Fubari Re:Well, since it's inevtiable (784 comments)

At a certain point it gets less funny; maybe in 50+ to 100+ years once the ice caps are gone. Or maybe in 20+ years after the central United States aquifers are "inevitably" tainted with fracking side effects (Sorry everybody, move away from the former coastline... also, move out of the middle... it was inevitable you know).
So it seems appropriate that this story showed up near thorium-the-wonder-fuel-that-wasnt article trashing thorium (though the comments there are actually pretty informative).
So... I'll just leave this here:
*shrug* Our species may evolve some long term planning capability; or it may not.
Then again, the we don't need 100% of humans to be capable of long term planning... just enough to make a difference. Which may not need to be much at all, given that most will be distracted by famine or disease or economic collapse or reality tv. Maybe it only needs to be 0.1% that consider the long term and are worried enough to act. (Maybe, at the risk of being too obvious, we can make a difference.)

about 5 months ago



writing a tech-book: tools & surprises?

Fubari Fubari writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Fubari (196373) writes "For all you book authors on Slashdot: what writing tools have you found helpful? I want to start my book-idea off right (so I'm pretty sure I don't want to write it in MS-Word). I would love to hear about what has (or has not!) worked well for you.

What I have thought of so far are things like chapter/section management, easy references to figures (charts, diagrams, source code), version control (check in/check out parts like chapters, figures, etc.) and index generation.

I would also welcome advice about what I don't know enough to ask about. Are there any surprises that you wish you had known back when you first started?"

Fubari Fubari writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Fubari (196373) writes "Anybody know when laptops over 4gb might be coming out? Some of the devtools I want to run are just obscene ram-pigs. On the desktop I'm using now (win2003), it sucks up 1.6gb just to boot. By the time I log in and start doing work, it is stretching 2gb.

Move that to vista, add a vm-ware session or two, and I'm worried I'll be pushing 4gb.

I'm torn between buying a 4gb-max laptop now, or some mini-desktop that can fit in a set of luggage wheels. A friend of mine suggested something like this, but my first choice would be something designed to be portable."


Fubari has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?