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Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

Irate Engineer Mineral Oil Cooling FTW (325 comments)

Just dump the laptop into an aquarium full of mineral oil:

http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

Problem solved, heat dissipated.

Using the keyboard would be a little slippery but that may actually be a feature if you're a pr0n aficionado.

about three weeks ago
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How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

Irate Engineer Re:Good Luck (319 comments)

Well, that's because no one knows what constitutes a "massive perturbation". Some think dumping CO2 into the atmosphere at a rate mutliple times faster than the environment's ability to absorb it is not a big deal, no action required. On the other end, some folks think we should all stop exhaling, now. Intermediate remedies include expensive technologies to mitigate the perturbation. Any solution within that broad spectrum of "solutions" is going to cost dearly, and there is no way to know if they would even work.

We don't know for certain that doing anything is better, worse, or neither as compared to the immediately inexpensive option of doing nothing.

My opinion is that since the perturbations being produced by humankind (e.g. CO2) are on the order of the natural inputs, so that it seems likely to me that we are affecting the climate in some manner. However, there is no concrete proof one way or the other, so my opinion may be quite wrong. All there is is a large number of climate model results, many poorly reported as being accurate without qualification, all swirling in a shitstorm of money and politics, with cherry-picked results being used to support chosen agendas. I really don't see a scientific / technical means to cut through this Gordian knot.

about three weeks ago
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How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

Irate Engineer Re:Good Luck (319 comments)

Climate 'scientists' might confidently state that the world will warm by X.YZ degrees in the next 20 years. What they don't ever tell you is the uncertainty in their prediction, basically because it is nearly impossible to quantify.

Take a look at these climate model results:

http://www.ig.utexas.edu/people/staff/charles/uncertainties_in_model_predictio.htm

Which model is closest to correct? Each model makes large numbers of different assumptions about how to mimic radiation, atmospheric turbulence, adequate atmospheric and terrain resolution, and any number of other phenomena. As the actual system is highly nonlinear, even a small uncertainty in the initial conditions can lead to wildly different results even if we had all of the equations exactly correct (which we don't, most are modeling approximations to make the problem tractable).

The best that can be said is that it seems probable that the Earth will be getting warmer. The questions are how much and how quickly? Having a number of predicted outcomes means that there is a range of policy decisions, and politicians can cherry pick the outcomes that resonate with their ideology. If a politician seizes on a prediction that indicates that warming isn't a big deal, they will push for the status quo, especially if the are already benefiting from the status quo. Or maybe they will seize the worst case outcome which suggests major societal upheaval is required to remedy it.

Also, as it is a chaotic system, there really is no way to determine if your attempts to control it were even meaningful, even in hindsight, as chaotic systems change non-linearly without human input. That is the argument of the folks who believe that AGW isn't occurring because the world was warming before humans came along. Others think it's all our fault. Without the ability to spin up a human-free Earth 2.0 as a control, it is very difficult to tease apart what is what.

about three weeks ago
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How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

Irate Engineer Good Luck (319 comments)

Trying to actively control a massive, chaotic system is not going to end well. The only stable configurations that pop out of computer models of the climate are the snowball Earth and the Venus 2.0 scenario. The only right way to play is to stop applying massive perturbations to the system and realize that even then the climate will change.

about three weeks ago
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Who's Responsible When Your Semi-Autonomous Shopping Bot Purchases Drugs Online?

Irate Engineer Re:The Absolutely Fabulous Robot (182 comments)

Great, now my brain has named the robot Zsa Zsa Gabor.

about three weeks ago
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In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX To Land a Rocket On Floating Platform

Irate Engineer Re:Deja Vu (151 comments)

They want to maintain visual on the 1st stage. The aerodynamics of the high altitude, high Mach number deceleration burns is probably the most important thing they want to study. They need to understand this well for the present objective of controlling and landing the stage, but the aerodynamics is relevant to semi-powered descent of the Dragon spacecraft onto Earth and especially Mars.

Here is some footage of their last landing attempt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UFjK_CFKgA

This is what SpaceX ultimately is aiming for - a spacecraft that can utilize drag and propulsion in varying proportion to land on any body in the solar system, no parachutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf_-g3UWQ04

about three weeks ago
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Who's Responsible When Your Semi-Autonomous Shopping Bot Purchases Drugs Online?

Irate Engineer The Absolutely Fabulous Robot (182 comments)

I got this mental picture of a robot wearing jeans, high heels, clutching a Louis Vuitton handbag and a credit card strutting by and saying "I'm Shoppppppinnng!!!!" Stupid brain.

about three weeks ago
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What Isn't There an App For?

Irate Engineer Re:How about an app for .... (421 comments)

To the fact that they aren't the only people on the bus/train, and maybe they might be blocking a number of people trying to get off the bus/train?

If they are seated and out of the way, fine.

about three weeks ago
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What Isn't There an App For?

Irate Engineer How about an app for .... (421 comments)

...putting the goddamned phone down and driving / walking / paying attention?

about three weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

Irate Engineer What about AI? (303 comments)

The insensitive clod who wrote this is clearly not working in AI.

about three weeks ago
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Study: Birds Slur Their Songs When Drunk, Just Like Humans

Irate Engineer Re:Reminds me of a joke... (63 comments)

Researcher 1: Hold my beer and watch this!

about three weeks ago
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Finnish KRP Questions Suspected Lizard Squad Member

Irate Engineer Did Everybody at /. have a Bad Christmas? (62 comments)

Geez, a script kiddie denies all you Slashdotters time with your new shiny Playstations and XBoxes on Christmas morning and you are all howling for blood.

Not defending the kid or anything - he'll be an ant squashed under a steamroller in a few months I'm sure. But some of you guys need to shut off the consoles, get out of the basement, and take a deep breath of perspective.

about three weeks ago
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South Korean Activist To Drop "The Interview" In North Korea Using Balloons

Irate Engineer Let's Do It Right! (146 comments)

I say we load up every B-2 bomber in our inventory with these DVDs, millions of boxes of Milk Duds, and glitter, and 'carpet bomb' the whole of NK with it all. Maybe that would teach that fat bastard Kim some humility.

about a month ago
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Out With the Red-Light Cameras, In With the Speeding Cameras

Irate Engineer Does a Cop or Computer Issue a Ticket? (335 comments)

In Massachusetts, tickets cannot be automatically issued by use of red light cameras (a cop has to issue the ticket), which means all of the cameras on light posts, installed at fair expense, are pretty much meaningless. Speeding cameras probably fall under the same law.

Not that we don't need to enforce traffic light and speeding violations, but automatic ticket issuing systems don't stop the truly dangerous drivers as they are not an immediate deterrent. And automatic tickets piss off the people who get caught in the edge cases (run the yellow a little too late). A cop can focus efforts to pull over the truly reckless drivers and can adjudicate the minor violations in a balanced manner.

about a month ago
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The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

Irate Engineer Open Office Space (420 comments)

Peter Gibbons: Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door - that way Lumbergh can't see me, heh heh - and, uh, after that I just sorta space out for about an hour.

Bob Porter: Da-uh? Space out?

Peter Gibbons: Yeah, I just stare at my desk; but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.

about a month ago
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NSA Says They Have VPNs In a 'Vulcan Death Grip'

Irate Engineer Re:*sigh* (234 comments)

Win.

about a month ago

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