×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

Irate Engineer Where were the votes stored? (108 comments)

What if the cast votes simply went to the system equivalent of /dev/null? That would be the electronic version of shredding ballots, with no unsightly cleanup or disposal of shredded paper. Votes? What votes?

yesterday
top

Profanity-Laced Academic Paper Exposes Scam Journal

Irate Engineer Re:Not bad, but... (134 comments)

This is just wonderful. I've had a crappy day (literally, my sewer line backed up). Just got cleaned up and found this. All is well.

4 days ago
top

What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

Irate Engineer I bet Slashdot knows better than any engineer... (519 comments)

...how to land a probe on a comet. Not. OK, let's start shooting holes in the OP ignoramus'suggestions: Q: "But, RTG!" A: Umm, no, fuck RTG. That is a shitload of mass that the mission simply can't afford. Given that no one (even Slashdot ignoramuses) knew a priori what to expect at the comet surface, cheap and simple solar panels made the most sense. Q: "But, harpoons didn't work!" A: Yes, but no one (even Slashdot ignoramuses) knew a priori what to expect at the comet surface. Even if the harpoons worked, no one would really know if that was an advantage or disadvantage, Bottom line, the average Slashdotter has not designed and deployed a space probe onto a comet surface. So, unless you have, and have the data to prove it, fuck you all and leave the science to the scientists, m'kay script-kiddies? Rocket science is hard, even harder than do loops. Try to wrap your heads around that.

about a week ago
top

Blowing On Money To Tell If It Is Counterfeit

Irate Engineer Let the contagion spread! (112 comments)

Cool, let's all handle cash that has been breathed upon by anybody with a potentially communicable disease. Screw phone sanitizers, Ark B needs cash sanitizers.

about a week ago
top

Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

Irate Engineer Re:Eletronic? (212 comments)

I was going to bitch about Slashdot editor qualifications, but yes, I do believe robotic elephants would be a suitable solution and will thus let the title stand. Long live our Eletronic guards! P.S. I love snarky Slashdot posters! That's why I come here folks! It's all about the snark.

about a week ago
top

The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

Irate Engineer Re:Cooled? (246 comments)

Atmospheric temperatures on Mars can range from 20 deg. C to -150 deg. C, depending on where you are standing and the time of day. Since the atmosphere is so thin the relative importance of convection and radiation heat transfer tilts toward radiation being a bigger player. Standing in the sun when the atmosphere is 20 deg C might be uncomfortably warm as you don't just feel the atmospheric temperature, but you also get a radiation component unrelated to the air temperature. If you have ever skied or hiked in the mountains in the winter, on some clear calm sunny days you may be very warm despite the air temperature being quite frigid. Upshot is that a suit would need a general thermal regulation capability (heating and cooling).

about two weeks ago
top

Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

Irate Engineer Wrong Argument for Renewables! (334 comments)

The thing that drives me nuts over the whole AGW thing is that it is a distraction from the real reason we need to embrace renewables - fossil fuels are non-renewable and will be depleted in hundred years or less. We're passing peak oil now and we're on the downhill slide. Screw the environmental aspects, the socio-economic aspects are what are going to kick our asses if we don't get in gear soon. We have time to shift to a renewable energy infrastructure, particularly for transportation, but cheap gas slows progress in this regard. Gas will be inexpensive until it costs three of your newborn children for a gallon - it will be a quick hockey-stick exponential cost increase. At that point we will have weeks to build a new infrastructure that really requires decades to implement and must start now. AGW might actually be a thing, but unfortunately it is based on predictions of the behavior of a wildly chaotic non-linear system, so no one will really know until it happens. We'll be out of fossil fuels before we know for sure. The economic impact is the argument that both the blue and red sides might agree upon. Or not.

about three weeks ago
top

EFF Begins a Campaign For Secure and Usable Cryptography

Irate Engineer How Can User Ever Ensure Messaging is Secure? (96 comments)

The fundamental problem is that the average user cannot ever be certain that somewhere, someone has managed to tap in and listen. This would require that the user know the messaging system completely, and they also would have to have enough knowledge to understand all of the potential failure modes AND know without doubt that all of them were closed. For everyone else in the world, using this system would have to be a matter of faith that someone with the above capabilities vetted the software correctly AND didn't use their knowledge to corrupt the system for their own gain. This is impractical and probably impossible to achieve in a fool-proof fashion. The only way to ensure that your messages are not intercepted is to not send the message and assume messaging channels are compromised until proven otherwise (and good luck proving that). Everything else will involve a big leap of faith.

about three weeks ago
top

Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Irate Engineer Re:Use Bitcoin Blockchain technology.. (388 comments)

But why put the voting mechanics into a computer that the average Joe doesn't understand enough to verify? What is the advantage? The least technically literate person eligible to cast a vote should be able to understand and verify the vote casting and counting technology. Everybody understands paper; the same cannot be said for Bitcoin blockchains.

about three weeks ago
top

Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Irate Engineer Re:Marked Paper Ballots FTW (388 comments)

No hanging chads on a marked paper ballot.

about three weeks ago
top

Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Irate Engineer Marked Paper Ballots FTW (388 comments)

We'll "get it right" when we knock off the electronic BS and use what has been tested to work, marked paper ballots. It.Just.Works.

about three weeks ago
top

New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping

Irate Engineer This Clock is Definitive! (249 comments)

It's reality that is frequently inaccurate.

about three weeks ago
top

US Midterm Elections Discussion

Irate Engineer Few real choices for U.S. voters (401 comments)

Stalin has been quoted as saying "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything". I'm not sure whether that is an accurate quote or translation, but it is a thought-provoking statement. In the U.S. outright voter fraud is possible but rare. A better statement would be "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who choose the candidates decide everything." In the U.S. you can have a "free and fair" election, but generally only have the "choice" of only two candidates (Tweedledee and Tweedledum) for a given office. They have a good time pissing away money artificially trumpeting the illusion that there are differences between the candidates, but in the end you get two candidates who will pretty much do the same as the other once elected. People and corporations with deeper pockets than mine have already guaranteed that either one of the two will do their bidding when elected. The real election has already occurred.

about three weeks ago
top

Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

Irate Engineer Goal isn't Mars, it's NY to Tokyo in 45 minutes! (594 comments)

SS2 is the space equivalent of the biplane barnstormer giving rides around the fairgrounds post WWI. Not everyone could afford it, and it didn't really get you anywhere except 'up'. People died doing it every now and again too. But people who took these rides a) had money and b) were able to see things from a different viewpoint and c) saw potential. These short rides turned into mail delivery, then short haul passenger service, then to airlines. Take that short parabolic arc and extend it a bit, and you have a high speed passenger service between two airports/spaceports. NY to LA in 15 minutes? Yes, this is still Concorde-level cost wise, but people would pay for the experience and to actually travel in a timely manner. Higher speeds and altitudes and you can get to the other side of the Earth in 45 minutes. Much more fun and adventurous than a 13+ hr flight. Perhaps it will never advance to the point that commercial aviation has done (i.e. the travel mode for the masses), but then again, perhaps it will. If people want to try to do this, and people want to pay to do it with knowledge of the risks, I say let them. If we don't dare we will never advance.

about three weeks ago
top

A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

Irate Engineer Standard Imperial Operating Procedure? (146 comments)

The Russians lifted this idea from Han Solo in ESB - just hiding out in the Imperial Destroyer's garbage dump. If Boba Fett can see through that ploy, so can the US.

about three weeks ago
top

Century Old Antarctic Expedition Notebook Found Underneath Ice

Irate Engineer Keeping a Stiff Upper Lip (63 comments)

The British fondly revere those who can maintain a stiff upper lip under trying circumstances.

Captain Scott's upper lip was decidedly stiff at the end of his expedition, as was his lower lip and the rest of him for that matter.

about 1 month ago
top

Lego Ends Shell Partnership Under Greenpeace Pressure

Irate Engineer Re:Next steps (252 comments)

Gosh, I guess we should just sit around and bang rocks together and grunt...until someone from the rock protection lobby sends a cease and desist letter for banging rocks. Or until the chimpanzees claim infringement on their "entertainment systems" patents.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

Irate Engineer hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Irate Engineer has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?