×

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

Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

RightwingNutjob Sad, and not black and white either (351 comments)

The metaphorical White Man has a heavy burden here. Reach out to the savages, and there are adverse consequences, suffering, death, and loss of traditions going back millennia. Stay away, and people who should be your fellow human beings are cut off from the fruits of civilization, and are treated like livestock whose habitat must be delineated and (un)managed to keep their numbers healthy so that more children can be born into a life where their greatest aspiration can be to live just like their grandfathers going back tens of thousands of years.

about two weeks ago
top

Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

RightwingNutjob Re:Judging Distance (496 comments)

And you also won't be able to judge depth for farther objects by subconsciously bobbing your head back and forth to increase stereo baseline, as you're apt to do without even realizing it when you have a mirror.

about two weeks ago
top

Jesse Jackson To Take On Silicon Valley's Lack of Diversity

RightwingNutjob Re:Fuck that guy. (397 comments)

Maybe it's time that interviewees realized that it's not just about them. Acting slovenly has a pretty good chance to offend other people, no matter how good it may or may not make you feel inside.

about a month ago
top

Recent news events re: Bitcoin ...

RightwingNutjob Re:US dollar (192 comments)

That's true of shiny-rock currency as well, BTW. Before modern science found and actual user for gold in electronics and chemical processes, the only reason it was used as currency was because it was rare and sparkly.

about a month ago
top

Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

RightwingNutjob Re:An advantage (299 comments)

There's also still two cans and a string. Doesn't make it a valid means of communication for normal people.

about a month ago
top

Mass. Legislature Strikes Back: Upskirt Photos Now Officially a Misdemeanor

RightwingNutjob Re:No exceptions for law enforcement or security? (256 comments)

Then if its bad enough, you leave. Otherwise you grumble under your breath (or better yet, cogently and out loud) and wait for the next election cycle.

about a month ago
top

California District Launches Country's First All-Electric School Bus

RightwingNutjob Re:Cold (94 comments)

You'd need battery warmers to weather the overnight cold, but assuming they'd be plugged in to charge during the worst overnight cold, the battery heater would be running during the lowest temperatures with the standard use procedure.

The real question is what happens if you get a cold snap in the middle of the day. Since most suburban school districts stagger the school day for elementary, middle, and junior/senior high schools to minimize the size of their bus fleets, it's quite conceivable that these things would be on the road for close to 8 hours straight without a chance to recharge in between the morning and afternoon commutes.

about a month ago
top

Mass. Legislature Strikes Back: Upskirt Photos Now Officially a Misdemeanor

RightwingNutjob Re:No exceptions for law enforcement or security? (256 comments)

The government you vested with special authority by your consent (either by voting or not leaving) gets to do things you can't. Imagine that.

about a month ago
top

Mathematicians Are Chronically Lost and Confused

RightwingNutjob Re:Comfort with not knowing (114 comments)

See, there's a difference between knowing what you don't know and living in a sea of ambiguity the way the OP seems to imply. In mathematics especially, there is a very tall and elaborate edifice of deductions and axioms from which all exploration takes place.

For example, one of the more mind-bending exercises in undergrad abstract algebra is proving Peano's axioms for integers. On the one hand you could say "well, I thought I knew basic arithmetic, but now I have to question even that: I'm lost!" But on the other hand, when you go through that exercise, you have very powerful tools in your toolbox: deduction, group theory, ring theory, etc, which you spend time building up and exercising exhaustively before you attack the natural numbers. So you're not really "lost" as in at sea without a clue, but you're just approaching something from a new direction with very well-defined assumptions and rigid reasoning.

And if I can hope to contribute to the religious debate without sparking too big of a flame war: maybe this same conflation between being completely lost and working in an unfamility coordinate system may be at play when Skeptics and scientists describe why they're athiests. Empirical evidence and deductive reasoning can peel away some scripture as obviously false, but when you're denying a higher power by an appeal to logic/reason/etc, you're still assuming the presence of this abstract thing called mathematical/empirical truth, and perhaps even Order with a capital 'O'.

I'm sure I'm not at all speaking for any sort of majority view of believers or skeptics or deists, but why is it not valid to call that God and be comforted by its existence, as opposed to say chaos?

about a month and a half ago
top

U.S. Students/Grads Carrying Over $1 Trillion In Debt

RightwingNutjob Re:Tell me again... (538 comments)

Let me propose an amendment: "higher education in ornamental subjects should be for people who can pay their own way"

I'll take a wild stab and guess that people who take on monstrous loans to study useful things like math, physical science, or engineering put themselves in a place where they can actually pay off the loans in a reasonable amount of time without trouble. It's the people who spend four years boozing, partying, and "learning" about their humanities professors' favorite interpretation of reality that find themselves unable to meet their financial obligations.

about a month and a half ago
top

Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

RightwingNutjob Re:Yes, but appropriate for age level grade 6-12 (313 comments)

Programming should be part of the math curriculum and grow in complexity with it. After teaching math to kids grades 0-12 for the past 150+ years, we've got a rough idea of where the cutoffs in complexity are, and at what level it doesn't stick to such-and-such a percentage of kids of a certain age. But if you can expect a 10 year old to compute the volume of a box, you should also expect him to compute the total volume of a list of boxes supplied in a flat comma-delimited text file with one L,W,H per line. And extra credit for proper handling of mixed length units indicated after the numbers. Now go for the gold and bring out those idiot counting cubes you used in 2nd grade, glue 'em together into boxes, make a list, and see who's program can compute the right answer measured against the weight of the boxes!

about 2 months ago
top

A New Car UI

RightwingNutjob Re:Not to state the obvious... (237 comments)

At work we recently got ourselves a smart tablet ink thing for one of the conference rooms so people can give 'chalk talks' electronically. It's a touch screen with a special pen like the one in the checkout counter that lets you doodle on your powerpoints.

So 1k for the computer, probably 2-3k for the tablet, 1-2k for the projector, and God knows how much for the software licenses. The thing sort of works, but occasionally crashes, and takes a while to set up.

Back in the cave days of the mid 1990's you'd use an overhead projector, and pay less than 2k for it.

about 2 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

RightwingNutjob Re:Lego Mindstorms (876 comments)

Most of the things you need to do for engineering applications *do* lend themselves to a data flow paradigm, but a lot of the things under the hood do not. Data acquisition, process control, and the like lend themselves very much to such thinking. Iterative solvers and fitters, less so, but it can be done because the data flows in strictly parallel or strictly serial paths.

Applications where the data flow isn't 'laminar' and jumps around an awful lot, like learning algorithms, image segmentation, and pattern matching doesn't lend itself to data flow programming at all. That's not to say it can't be done, but the resulting diagrams will have crazy jumps and the LabView equivalent of global variables all over the place, because the data processing is not local, and the result at location x at time t doesn't only depend on the input in the neighborhood of x and time t.

about 2 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

RightwingNutjob Re:Lego Mindstorms (876 comments)

LabView is part of the problem, and the problem is a misapprehension of what problems programming solves. NI software sucks (and the constant excuses on the NI forums from the support people reek of a lack of technical know-how in the company's software people to fix them, which isn't surprising for a large codebase developed half a generation ago). The only reason LabView is used is that the graphical paradigm makes *some* limited applications so much better that it's worth it to deal with the NI clowns to use it. Trouble is that people who don't know better do those limited things with a graphical language and think they can do everything with it.

about 2 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

RightwingNutjob Re: The more simple you make it the less complex i (876 comments)

Motion control is a fairly restricted area of application where most of the thinking goes into the application of very mature mathematics derived from the solution of a small set of continuous differential equations. Add a small number of ifs and whiles to interlock the thing to behave safely and you're done. The information content of the resulting code is low compared to, say, a word processor, or an operating system, or a low-level device driver.

Likewise, PLCs tend to control fairly simple individual things for which ladders are as good a paradigm for as independent lines or small numbers of lines of code in a procedural language, with very little program-spanning complexity.

If you want your motion controller or automation system to do something special based complex transformations to other external inputs, that kind of logic is usually done outside the graphical programming language and feeds a single input block or pad or pin in the graphical paradigm, but has tens to hundreds of thousands of lines of C code behind it.

The example I've got in my head is something like an aircraft's autopilot:
Moving the control surfaces in response to the pilot's control input and the attitude gyro is something that can (and probably should) be coded up in a graphical language, both to provide checkability against the control theory math used in the design and to eliminate a possible point of coding error in the most critical inner loop of the code.
Feeding the autopilot with a trajectory based on GPS, airspeed, navigation waypoints, weather radar, etc, should be done in a procedural language because the complexity (both lenght and interconnectedness) of the algorithms makes it very painful to implement them graphically rather than procedurally.

about 2 months ago
top

HealthCare.gov Can't Handle Appeals of Errors

RightwingNutjob Re:Coders (208 comments)

Design without code is masturbation. Code without design...well, it's not masturbation, it isn't exactly sex either, but something gets fucked up, that much is for sure.

about 2 months ago
top

U.S. Border Patrol Drone Goes Down, Rest of Fleet Grounded

RightwingNutjob Re:WTF? (138 comments)

Doh! The manned airplane is more expensive than the *unmanned* airplane.

about 3 months ago
top

U.S. Border Patrol Drone Goes Down, Rest of Fleet Grounded

RightwingNutjob Re:WTF? (138 comments)

Hokay. 1 Predator = 12mil/27 flight hours. Subtract 3 hrs for takeoff/landing and getting on station for 24 hrs, so you get 2 hrs aloft/ 1 million = 500k/hr.
1 Cessna = 200k (or so).
No brainer, right? Wrong: A Cessna has a range of (guessing) 1000km for about 5 hours aloft/fuel tank. Count the takeoff, etc, and now you're down to 2-3 hrs aloft. So that's 50k /hr. So if you want 24 hours of coverage, you need at least three Cessnas to overlap, so now you're up to 150k /hr. If you want to have the same service ceiling as the Predator, each plane probably will cost 500k for something beefier, so you've more than doubled the cost, and your 150k/hr for three planes turns into ~400k/hr. This is already close to a Predator B.

Now let's add the fact that the Predator has a 3000lb optical surveillance package already built in. You're Cessna carries 4-6 passengers, depending on whether you've bought the 200k one of the 500k one, which is only (let's be generous) 1000lb of payload, not counting the pilot. And the you actually have to buy flight qualified surveillence equipment that you can bolt to the bottom/side of your plane without hosing its flight performance.

Big optics are expensive. Infrared and night vision cameras are more expensive. Going from my own experience, a package like the one on a Predator B, even if you bought all the parts and built it yourself, can easily run upwards of 150k per plane, not including integration costs. And you need to pay for three of them (one per plane). So if you've paid 200k for the plane, you're up to 350k, and if you've paid 400k, your up to 550k for two flight hours.

That's more expensive than a small manned airplane.

about 3 months ago
top

Protesters Show Up At the Doorstep of Google Self-driving Car Engineer

RightwingNutjob Re:Maniacal (692 comments)

Uh, basic property rights? If my front yard is so big that you can't make me hear you unless you go onto my front yard, and I can hear you, then you must be on my front yard.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

RightwingNutjob hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

RightwingNutjob has no journal entries.

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...