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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Fit In the Office?

PeterBrett Re:easy (372 comments)

This is the right answer!

I've always cycled to work, sometimes as far as 25km each way. It's a great way to stay in shape, it's fun (even when the weather's bad), and you get to see and hear lots of interesting things you'd miss sitting in a car or on a bus. Also, it can often be faster than driving or taking public transport, especially if the roads where you are tend to get congested at rush hour.

about a year and a half ago
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2013 Will Be a Big Year For Private Spaceflight

PeterBrett Re:Wait. (62 comments)

That's out of date. Dragon's C&C software has been Linux (not even RT-Linux) since the first flight that docked with the space station.

about a year and a half ago
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2013 Will Be a Big Year For Private Spaceflight

PeterBrett Re:Wait. (62 comments)

Some guys down the corridor from me are literally using a Makerbot to fabricate flight components for prototype satellite plasma thrusters.

about a year and a half ago
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Amazon and Google Barred From UK Government Cloud

PeterBrett Re:US Law Everywhere (79 comments)

Last time I checked, a maximum of a two-year custodial sentence is not a life sentence.

Just look at cases where an English judge asks a defendant 20-30 times for a key, and each refusal is three more years in the slammer.

Yeah, that didn't happen.

But your unnecessary hyperbole aside, I entirely agree that RIPA is utter rubbish, and I wish it would go die in a fire.

about a year and a half ago
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Alan Cox to NVIDIA: You Can't Use DMA-BUF

PeterBrett Re:hearts and minds (946 comments)

"Please comply with the very permissive licence that we chose to licence our code under" does not amount to a religious argument.

about 2 years ago
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Alan Cox to NVIDIA: You Can't Use DMA-BUF

PeterBrett Re:And this is why (946 comments)

I thought Oracle v. Google said APIs weren't copyrightable. As such, GPL-only APIs make no sense because the API can't be copyrighted to begin with.

You're wrong.

It is fine for someone to go and make a new, compatible implementation of the DMA-BUF API, with the same calling conventions etc., and license it however they wish. That is what the Oracle vs Google judgement said.

It is not okay to link your code into the GPL version of the DMA-BUF API unless your code is also GPL'd. That is something different.

about 2 years ago
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The UK's New Minister For Magic

PeterBrett Re:Reshuffles (526 comments)

Do any of these people have any actual experience or qualification in the departments they get dumped on?

Sometimes, albeit rarely.

about 2 years ago
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The UK's New Minister For Magic

PeterBrett Re:He might not think it works, but IS a politicia (526 comments)

It doesn't really matter what treatments Hunt wants the NHS to pay for; NICE is not under political control, and approves treatments based only on measurements of cost-effectiveness. BTW, this makes NICE extremely unpopular.

about 2 years ago
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Study Shows Marijuana Use In Teens Correlates To Decreasing IQ

PeterBrett Re:News Flash (626 comments)

There are some things for which just about any amount is overdoing it (e.g. cyanide).

My bag of almonds begs to disagree.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sources For Firmware and Hardware Books?

PeterBrett Gaisler VHDL style (88 comments)

It's not a book, but this book chapter is more-or-less compulsory reading for someone planning to get into HDL programming:

A structured VHDL design method

more than 2 years ago
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Billionaires and Polymaths Expected To Unveil a Plan To Mine Asteroids

PeterBrett Re:Breakup (531 comments)

The NASA study mentioned in the summary, which makes very worthwhile reading, recommends using a C-type asteroid rather than an M-type asteroid, explicitly because C-type asteroids explode and burn up very high in the atmosphere. And M-type asteroids of the size discussed hit the Earth multiple times every year anyway.

more than 2 years ago
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Billionaires and Polymaths Expected To Unveil a Plan To Mine Asteroids

PeterBrett Re:A bad idea that "sounds good". (531 comments)

And when the mission makes a mistake and an asteroid goes plummiting into a major city it will cause trillions of dollars in damage and massive loss of life and potentially create a cloud of dust that will cause an ice age.

Objects bigger than the size they're proposing to catch enter Earth's atmosphere several times every year. I think you've been watching too many movies. Did yo think the LHC was going to make a black hole and destroy the Earth, too?

more than 2 years ago
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UK To Dim Highway Lights To Save Money

PeterBrett Re:Highway lights??? (348 comments)

You want to save electricity? Ban clothes dryers, electric heaters, dishwashers and electric kettles. At least you'd cost less lives than this insanity.

Actually, dishwashers usually use less energy and less water than washing up by hand, if you run them with a full load. And it's quite common in the UK to have electric hobs in the kitchen; boiling water in an electric kettle is always more energy efficient than boiling it in a conventional kettle on an electric hob.

Furthermore, the examples you provide are unambiguously uses of the energy to do something useful. Using huge amounts of power to light a completely deserted stretch of road at 3 am in the morning is unambiguously not useful.

more than 2 years ago
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Spanish Extremadura Moving 40,000 Desktops To Linux

PeterBrett Re:Undercosting much? (137 comments)

"And of course, it needs to be free. Because our budget for this plan is of zero euros."

Yep.

Can't see this blowing up in anyones face. (See: the ongoing ordeal and budget overruns of the Munich conversion)

Um, last time I checked (which was a couple of weeks ago) the Munich project was going extremely well.

more than 2 years ago
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UK Green Lights HS2 High Speed Rail Line

PeterBrett Re:The problem with our railways is not speed (329 comments)

Well, I live in Surrey, and regularly travel between Woking, Guildford, London, Oxford and Cambridge (I don't have a car). And I literally can't remember the last time a train I wanted to travel on was cancelled, or sufficiently late that I missed a connection or important connection.

Although in fairness I must point out that, despite running on time, First Capital Connect trains from Kings Cross to Cambridge are incredibly shitty and crowded.

Don't forget, folks: the plural of "anecdote" is not "data"!

more than 2 years ago
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UK Green Lights HS2 High Speed Rail Line

PeterBrett Re:Yes lots, also lots of rich city types (329 comments)

Confirming that the "environmental concerns" are really concerns over property prices on the part of people rich enough to own country homes in the Chiltern Hills...

more than 2 years ago
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UK Green Lights HS2 High Speed Rail Line

PeterBrett Re:The problem with our railways is not speed (329 comments)

Note that the biggest problem with that route is the section between Cardiff and Swansea, where the terrain is so hilly that the only way to speed up the existing tortuous train route would be to rebuild it entirely with lots of tunnels. Note that the main reason that the government recently decided not to electrify that section was that the increased speed benefits of lighter, faster electric trains would not be realised on that section of line.

Once the trains get past Bristol, they do get up to full speed. Also, note that the three hours on that route includes several stops, which bring down the overall average speed quite severely! London to Brussels only stops at Ebbsfleet, Calais, and Lille on the way, and runs on very high speed lines all the way.

I don't think it's really fair to compare those two routes, TBH. When you think about it, the Swansea-London trains are actually doing pretty well...

more than 2 years ago
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UK Green Lights HS2 High Speed Rail Line

PeterBrett Re:The problem with our railways is not speed (329 comments)

They are building the line to the European loading gauge. The line is designed to be fully compatible with European very-high-speed lines, as DB and SNCF have expressed an interest in running through trains from European cities to Birmingham through the Channel Tunnel once the Eurotunnel monopoly expires. Additionally, the line is being built to serve very long trains (up to 12 European-length carriages).

All-in-all, the wider/taller loading gauge (which provides the option for double-decker carriages) and the long platforms will mean that HS2 will provide enormous numbers of seats between London and Birmingham.

It's not practical to upgrade most UK lines to the larger gauge, because it would mean rebuilding every station, raising every platform, re-laying every piece of track with wider separation (displacing hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses near train lines), widening every cutting and embankment, rebuilding every bridge, and reboring every tunnel. It would be possible, but not politically viable (imagine the voter response to being told that there will be no train service between London and Bristol for the next five years due to regauging, and oh by the way, we're taking half your back garden).

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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SpaceX receive $492m Iridium launch contract

PeterBrett PeterBrett writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PeterBrett (780946) writes "Slashdot recently reported on both SpaceX's recent successful launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, and Iridium's announcement of their second-generation satellite constellation. It's now been announced that Iridium have selected SpaceX as a major launch provider for the project, booking $492 million of launches starting in 2015."
Link to Original Source
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SpaceX eyeing 4th June window for Falcon 9 launch

PeterBrett PeterBrett writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PeterBrett (780946) writes "SpaceX have finally announced the launch window for their first much-awaited Falcon 9 launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral. Subject to good weather, they plan to launch either on Friday 4th June or Saturday 5th June, with the window opening at 12:00 UTC on each day. As usual, they'll be broadcasting the launch live from their website."
Link to Original Source
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"GNU Bucks" for finding non-free software

PeterBrett PeterBrett writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PeterBrett (780946) writes "From the beginning of October, the FSF have begun awarding "GNU Bucks" (in the amount of pi and signed by RMS) to people who discover non-free software lurking in one of the "free system distributions" that they endorse. If you find components (code, documentation, fonts or even music or other content) in a distribution that don't meet the FSF's guidelines for free distributions, you can claim your prize. Unfortunately, since all of the endorsed distributions seem to be bit-players alongside the likes of Ubuntu, OpenSuSE and Fedora, I can't help but wonder if this attempt to cash in on the cult popularity of Knuth cheques is doomed to failure."
Link to Original Source
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PeterBrett PeterBrett writes  |  more than 7 years ago

PeterBrett writes "NASA's Ames Research Centre and Google are teaming up:
NASA Ames Research Center and Google have signed a Space Act Agreement that formally establishes a relationship to work together on a variety of challenging technical problems ranging from large-scale data management and massively distributed computing, to human-computer interfaces.
This follows on from a memorandum of understanding agreed upon by them last year."

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