×

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!

Comments

top

The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

MichaelSmith Re:To be expected (665 comments)

Focus group sessions showed that users who have lost four fingers on each hand are an important category who need to be supported.

2 days ago
top

The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

MichaelSmith Pro tip (665 comments)

Listen to your users.

2 days ago
top

AT Black Knight Transformer Hits the Road and Takes a Hop

MichaelSmith Re:Combo vehicles will never be more than curiosit (33 comments)

In retrospect I think STS would have worked better as sort of a winged Apollo service module. Consider an Apollo command module in the expanded rescue configuration as the shuttle flight flight deck. Hatch through the heat shield like the Gemini wet lab. The CM could eject and land on its own in pretty much any failure scenario.

Of course, an Apollo stack did one or two repair missions on Skylab. It was short on storage space in comparison to STS.

3 days ago
top

AT Black Knight Transformer Hits the Road and Takes a Hop

MichaelSmith Re:Combo vehicles will never be more than curiosit (33 comments)

The shuttle was highly specialised and quite delicate. It could only accelerate at four gravities and in the challenger disaster, fell completely to bits when turned sideways against its direction of travel. An airliner would have at least held together and an apollo command module wouldn't have cared much at all. Apollo could aerobrake at 11 gravities and because of its triangulated structure could actually take a lot more of a beating than its occupants. It could land anywhere on earth, in smaller places than even a helicopter would require. The shuttle was limited to a few very long runways.

Because of its modular architecture, Apollo could have been extended for deep space missions. Attach an extended service module for long duration. Maybe build a skylab type module as a cruise stage habitat.

But my main point is that shuttle was limited to low earth orbit by its poor aerobraking capabilities, while Apollo flew to the moon and would have coped with missions to near earth asteroids. That makes it a better space craft.

4 days ago
top

AT Black Knight Transformer Hits the Road and Takes a Hop

MichaelSmith Re:Combo vehicles will never be more than curiosit (33 comments)

Yeah space as well. The Apollo CSM was a significantly better space craft than the Space Shuttle, but the shuttle was a slightly better aircraft.

4 days ago
top

Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts

MichaelSmith Well yeah (136 comments)

This is why its better to have elections than let the CIA select the government. AFAIK, anyway.

4 days ago
top

Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

MichaelSmith Re:Automation (322 comments)

Do you not think that the database would have those particular license plates listed so that no tickets would be issued?

Depends on where you are I suppose. In my state I have worked with people who set these things up, and in an official capacity with our state road authority. I know these exceptions don't exist.

4 days ago
top

Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

MichaelSmith Automation (322 comments)

This is what speed cameras are for.

4 days ago
top

How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

MichaelSmith Cochlear implant for me please (507 comments)

I'm not deaf but I would love to hack one up to feed in data from interesting types of sensors. And screw you lot with your "five senses only" culture.

BTW I worked with a guy who's young son has a cochlear implant. The boy tended to break the antenna connector on the embedded receiver while tearing around at school, leading to expensive surgery to replace it. His dad told me that the current unit could be made to work for a while by squeezing his son's head in such a way as to re-seat the antenna connection...

about a week ago
top

Linux Developers Consider On-Screen QR Codes For Kernel Panics

MichaelSmith Not enough data (175 comments)

QR codes are highly redundant and don't actually contain much data. There isn't enough space for a stack trace or anything like that. Probaby not even a register dump on those big modern CPUs.

about two weeks ago
top

Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

MichaelSmith Grow out of it (218 comments)

Many people will just grow out of FB and go somewhere else. Easier to leave their account behind and start afresh somewhere else than keep it updated.

about two weeks ago
top

Linus Torvalds Suspends Key Linux Developer

MichaelSmith Re:Linus is being Linus. (640 comments)

Linus can merge his branch again, against an earlier version of Kay's branch.

(I do CM in git for a living. Been there, done that.)

about two weeks ago
top

Toward Better Programming

MichaelSmith Balance (391 comments)

Better tools and languages just allow bad programmers to create more bad code.

about three weeks ago
top

New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

MichaelSmith Re:Doesn't Match (227 comments)

I used to work in ATC and as far as I know, creating a flight plan for your weaponised aircraft would be the major challenge. And its not even hard. You can enter it directly over the web, with the 24 bit airframe ID nicely confirming the output from your modified transponder.

about three weeks ago
top

New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

MichaelSmith Re:Credibility of Indonesian military (227 comments)

Small boats regularly depart illegally from Indonesian beaches,

It 's not illegal to leave Indonesia by boat.

So what, they get their passports stamped when they pile on to leaky old fishing boats and then head for ashmore reef?

about three weeks ago
top

New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

MichaelSmith Re:Credibility of Indonesian military (227 comments)

Australian here. Small boats regularly depart illegally from Indonesian beaches, heading for other countries and when told about it, the Indonesians show zero interest in arresting and charging the crews and passengers or even taking them back. Basically they don't gave two shits about whatever enters or leaves their country.

about three weeks ago
top

New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

MichaelSmith Re:Not new information (227 comments)

Primary radars are short range devices. Its pretty easy to evade them, by design or by accident. Having said that the aircraft would have to have been steered south after it crossed the Malay peninsula to the west, and there is no explanation for that at the moment. My hope is that the southern ocean search is being run to give the illusion of action while the US and China prepare to extract hostages from one of the [a-z]stans.

about three weeks ago
top

Solar-Powered Toilet Torches Waste For Public Health

MichaelSmith Execution? (126 comments)

Sounds like it could be turned into a humane alternative to lethal injection.

about 1 month ago

Submissions

top

Android web browser can not upload files

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "I have an android phone and wrote a photo blogging application so that I could upload pictures directly from the phone. When I finally got around to testing from the browser on android the <input type=file> tag turned into a message Uploads Disabled. So I googled around and found this hilarious bug report which unfortunately confirms that Android can not upload files."
Link to Original Source
top

Aus internet filter delayed for election

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Australian communications minister Stephen Conroy has delayed the planned implementation of internet filtering until 2011. The likely reason for this is to neutralize it as an issue in the 2010 election, which is expected to happen before October. Interestingly Optus, Telstra and iPrimus have pledged to block child-abuse websites voluntarily but the article doesn't say how they plan to do that."
Link to Original Source
top

Transport ticketing system as job creation

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Screw ups in the new Melbourne ticketing system are so common they aren't really funny any more but this one almost had me ROFLing.
Staff at the firm making myki have had to manually add one cent to 87,261 cards so that they can be used on Sundays, when seniors are entitled to free travel. The myki system requires all users — even those getting a free ride — to have a positive balance on their card. 'This exercise took several weeks and was carried out by existing myki customer service staff...."

Geez guys write a loop. Learn some perl. Or fix the original requirement."
Link to Original Source

top

The Wifi AP names people use

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  about 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "I code on the tram, going to and from work and I noticed that there are a lot of wifi access points along the way. So one week I made it my job to write an automatic scanner which runs from a cron job every minute during commuting times. My backup script pushes the new AP names to my web server and you can read it on line.
It is a mixture of the straightforward, naive and funny, with a few pop culture references along the way. The first column in the file is the number of access points with that name. The second column is the AP name, in brackets to pick up white space."

Link to Original Source
top

Could the Mono Lake arsenic prove there is a shado

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Scientists think that there might be arsenic based life in Mono Lake, California. If it shown to exist such life could have evolved independently from our own, or it could have forked from ours at a very early stage."
Link to Original Source
top

Look out for paragliding terrorists

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Intelligence sources are reporting that south Asian terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba has purchased 50 para gliders from suppliers in Europe. This article in the Indian Express discusses possible attacks in India using this novel vector, but other targets can't be ruled out.

One possibility would be to use a high building or terrain to fly right over perimeter security at a public event. Para gliders can use convective lift as well, but the pilot needs to be experienced. The article discusses suicide attacks so this may put a limit on the sophistication of the flying involved."

Link to Original Source
top

MP horrified by altered bin Laden pic

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "The FBI has apparently used elements from a photograph of Spanish member of parliament Gaspar Llamazare to help compose an age advanced image of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The FBI says:

"FBI special agent Jason Pack said a forensic artist had been unable to find suitable features from the FBI's database of photographs and used a picture from the internet instead.
"The forensic artist was not aware of the identity of the individual depicted in the photograph," Mr Pack said, adding that the image would be taken off the FBI website."

Mr Llamazare is not happy about his face being used in this way and has complained to the US Embassy in Spain."

Link to Original Source
top

Nine containers of PETN punctured in Nth Carolina

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "A major US port was shut down after nine containers of "highly explosive material" were accidentally punctured, officials said, urging that part of the city be evacuated.

The accident happened around 4:45am (local time) when a forklift punctured the imported containers during offloading in Morehead City, North Carolina, Mayor Jerry Jones said.

The chemical involved was pentaerythritol tetranitrate, known as PETN, he said, adding it was "highly explosive, but not airborne"."

Link to Original Source
top

US Army files found on second hand MP3 player

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "A New Zealand man who bought a second hand MP3 player from a store in the US found it loaded with the names and personal details of American soldiers, as well as a mission briefing and information about equipment.

Chris Ogle says he will return the unit to the US Defence Department if asked, and that it never worked as a music player anyway.

A slightly different version of the story is available from TVNZ."
top

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "More than a year ago a former member of the Australian Defense Force set up a web forum for ADF members. Recently the site was blocked by the Department of Defense, presumably as part of routine workplace filtering. The interesting bit is that the the head of the Australian Army, General Peter Leahy wants the block removed. In the process he blames the "geeks" in the DOD for filtering the site, though I, for one, am not taking that personally. From his perspective a geek is probably anybody not in the ADF."
top

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "The Mars Rover Opportunity is now only 45 meters from the rim of Victoria Crater. The rovers navigation camera has taken a great picture of the interior of the crater. NASA seems keen to drive the rover into Victoria to do some geology but by the look of it I think they will be unlikely to be able to drive out."

Journals

top

One openmoko phone still available

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I bought a five pack of GSM-900 openmoko phones. One I am keeping (very happy now that I am running OM.2009). Three I have sold to other people. The price for the last phone is 336.42 Australian dollars. That is exactly one fifth of the price I paid for the pack, including GST and customs charges. The price includes shipping within Australia.

This phone is unopened, still in the original packaging.

Please reply here if you are interested.

top

Anybody want to split a five pack of openmoko phones in Melb

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago As my sig says, I am interested in buying a pack of five openmoko phones ans sharing them with other people. This journal article is here so people can communicate with me about it.

top

Technocrat.net shutdown

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I am the person who posted with the userid smithm and display name "Michael Smith" on technocrat.net

After Bruce shut the site down I sent him an email offering to take over the domain name. He indicated that he doesn't want to sell it.

I am interested in setting up my own site. In theory an online community can be very cheap to run. You can do it on google groups for example. But being a software guy myself I have a few ideas for how to build a system. I want to use the Mercurial DSCM as a backend and build it around individual user web logs with RSS gluing them together.

I am of the view that discussion sites should almost never be edited. Mercurial has features which make it easy to see changes in revision history, which is why I want to use that tool.

I have a few projects on the go over Christmas. I am closing my co-lo and installing a server at home. The web log software is project number two over the holidays.

If you are interested in hearing more about this project, please leave a reply.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...