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Ask Slashdot: What Stands In the Way of a Truly Solar-Powered Airliner?

anonymous cupboard Re:The math doesn't work (590 comments)

Airbus have an interesting concept involving a linear motor based mono rail catapault. Not exactly what the OP thought, but shaving off the accelleration to take off speed from external power eis very attractive. The source, could be coal, but it also could be something green as long as it coul kick out a few MW (a conventional high speed train can take about 8MW). Note that although carriers are famous for their high G catapaults, they are only needed because of the short flight deck. A normal runway length would give no more accelleration than normally experienced in a commercial aircraft. The advantage is that although jet engines can be efficien, running them flat out as needed during takeoff isn't.

about 2 years ago
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London Stock Exchange Tackles System Problem

anonymous cupboard Re:"Oh well I guess Linux sucks then (237 comments)

I worked on a trading system back in the early days. We hit lots of "edge" performance cases. To take full advantage of what a system offers us and to code around problems we usually have source code to look at. We didn't change it, but we had to have the access. MS would gladly give their source code to major customers, but frankly there is more expertise around Linux kernels than Windows.

more than 3 years ago
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Erlang and OTP in Action

anonymous cupboard Re:Haskell is in a similar position (63 comments)

It is getting some interest for financial services such as trading and trade processing - again online patching is great as is the built in messaging and scalability.

more than 3 years ago
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All Your Stonehenge Photos Are Belong To England

anonymous cupboard Re:Simple: (347 comments)

it is not quite clear to me on what legal basis English Heritage can claim ownership of the photos one takes. IANAL, but to my mind they can't claim copyright:

They can assert their rights as a condition of entry to the property. This does happen also on entry to various museums which may explicitly forbid all photography or just commercial photography. If you photograph Stonehenge from somewhere else (especially from public land), then there can be no objection or claim to copyright.

# even if a building would be a "form of expression", it is not theirs (being listed as world heritage [unesco.org])

The term "world heritage" is only a special designation which may give access to grants. It does not "belong" to UNESCO, it is theoretically under the 'ownership' of English Heritage.

about 4 years ago
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All Your Stonehenge Photos Are Belong To England

anonymous cupboard Re:Simple: (347 comments)

I went there with my school when I was young and many years ago before EH took over. There was no boundary, and I even ended up sitting on one of the fallen stones (not forbidden in those days). What was more interesting were some of the nearby complexes such as Avebury which had a proper museum.

about 4 years ago
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Is RFID Really That Scary?

anonymous cupboard Re:Here's a better Defcon RFID story... (338 comments)

The answer in short is - yes. A lot of the data on a passport is not encrypted at all because any country with a reader should be able to use it and the formats are well documented. At places like Defcon, most people do not have their passports with them so a demo is hard (except for the Feds) but it would be trivial in Asia or the Middle East where foreigners are obliged to carry them. Note that if you are trying to hack multiple RFIDs at a range, you probably will need a bit more power. RFIDs are powered by the interrogation signal.

more than 4 years ago
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Recycling an Android Phone As a Handheld GPS?

anonymous cupboard Re:Battery availability might be a concern. (328 comments)

Note that E71 processor runs much slower than the E72 or the other modern Nokia smartphones. The slower processor was to extend battery life but it is my impression that some apps have issues with this such as the earlier nav applications.

more than 4 years ago
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Space Station Module Could Carry Humans To Asteroid

anonymous cupboard Re:Not a bad idea (62 comments)

Look at the Jules Verne [wikipedia.org] - a man-rated cargo carrier (i.e., an actual pressurized spacecraft) that was used once, filled up with garbage, and disposed of via re-entry.

Progress could also hold atmosphere although a bit smaller. There is no airlock to the garbage scow so it has to be capable of holding pressure. The problem remains with Progress or Jules Verne that you would then need somewhere to put your rubbish and something to shoot it with to make it burn up in the upper atmosphere. I have visions of a garbage bag sitting on some kind of mass launcher on the outside of the ISS - actually that would be kind of fun.

more than 4 years ago
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Open Source OCR That Makes Searchable PDFs

anonymous cupboard Re:Thanks! (133 comments)

That said, the one server per service concept is a mentality I do not subscribe to.

This is where Microsoft came apart. Due to their pricing model, there was always pressure to stick as much on one box as possible. This in turn led to interesting side effects.

Linux always made it easier to have many boxes, which tended to simplify problems. VMs meant you no longer had to worry about physical machines and you can still limit resources - useful if the OCR turns out to be a CPU pig.

more than 4 years ago
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Open Source OCR That Makes Searchable PDFs

anonymous cupboard Re:Thanks! (133 comments)

Many systems are better dedicated to a single problem, i.e., just because you have a server doesn't mean to say that you have to serve everything. VMs are a great solution to this allowing you to partition up your server so that each service that you provide runs in its own little virtual box without having to worry so much about unwanted interactions.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Out of Favor With Young, Hip Developers

anonymous cupboard Re:Microsoft out of favour with hipster developers (775 comments)

In a large conventional business, the head of IT (probably an MBA) will be wooed by Microsoft and its partners. In a startup, someone really technical has the choice instead and is going to go with what they know. Once the product is launched, MS is out of the equation, it hardly is going to get rebuilt in .net at that stage.

more than 4 years ago
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MeeGo, Zero To VT320 In Seventeen Seconds

anonymous cupboard Re:As Someone Who Worked On DEC PDP-11s... (150 comments)

And where does all that power go? Seriously, where does it go? The address space of a PDP is 64K. That's it. It would be hard to do a "Hello World" in that space on the netbook.

more than 4 years ago
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UK Students Build Electric Car With 248-Mile Range

anonymous cupboard Re:not very impressive (192 comments)

What are the temporary import rules? Usually there is a period of time that you are allowed to drive a car that has been type approved somewhere else, particularly if you a non-resident (so reasonably likely to re-export).

more than 4 years ago
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Google TV Announced With Intel, Sony, and Logitech

anonymous cupboard Re:Google TV (224 comments)

You'll need to buy a new TV to take advantage of it, or perhaps there will be an option to buy a set-top box.

Newer TVs are soft upgradeable and often even come based on Linux. It really comes to whether the vendor wants it and whether there is memory/processor power spare. One fly in the ointment are the content providers who have been forcing more and more verification technology to protect between the decryption CI+ unit and the display.

more than 4 years ago
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Google's Streetview Privacy Snafu Prompts Lawsuit

anonymous cupboard Re:Legal or Not, WHY Did This Happen? (418 comments)

You are quite right and WiFi GeoLocation tends to be more accurate than GSM based location services and unlike GPS, it will happily work indoors. Actually if you have Google Maps on your non-android mobile, it will work there too. It will even work with Google Latitude on your laptop.

more than 4 years ago
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PowerPoint of Afghan War Strategy

anonymous cupboard Re:I know that slide... (233 comments)

Thanks for finding that at high definition. What that is a mind map. The kind of thing that you can do with programs like FreeMind or its closed source, commercial counterparts. Mind maps are an invaluable tool but the only place you would use it directly in a presentation is to show complexity.

Where it does get used, and quite legitimately too is for planning. You can even have it up on a screen while you are doing it.

more than 4 years ago
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PowerPoint of Afghan War Strategy

anonymous cupboard Re:What a chart! (233 comments)

Graphviz is cool but I prefer FreeMind (opensource mindmapping tool).

more than 4 years ago
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Terry Childs Found Guilty

anonymous cupboard Re:Throw the book at him (982 comments)

To give an example. I was running a futures an options exchange network. I had enough passwords to cut right through the security. However also being somewhat of a security geek, I organized a scheme whereby I was not the only password holder and that the boss of the exchange technical department held onto the passwords in a sealed envelope in a safe. If emergency access was needed, the envelope would be passed to someone competent, who would then be responsible. As I was also responsible for the random password generation/distribution script for the routers, there were times when I was the only person who knew the passwords - but I did my damndest to minimize the exposure.

more than 4 years ago

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