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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

careysub Re:So close, so far (555 comments)

Where do you find actual chemistry sets with actual chemicals in them that can actually make interesting things? I have been trying to find something like I had as a kid for 10 years - with no luck. ...

Thames and Kosmos. Their Chem 5000 set is the real deal, at least equal to, and probably better than, the ChemCraft sets of yore that I loved as a kid.

About five years ago I was casting about for a chemistry set for my daughter, and heard about Thames and Kosmos. Unfortunately at that particular moment they were retooling their offerings, and none were available - but they are back on the market, better than ever.

about a week ago
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The Disgruntled Guys Who Babysit Our Aging Nuclear Missiles

careysub Re:Scale down the land based forces (176 comments)

Yes, they do. We can put an ICBM anywhere in the world within 29 minutes. Neither bombers or sub can do that.

ICBMs can cover much of the Earth, but not all of it. The U.S. submarine fleet, consisting of multiple mobile missile fields, can. Submarines can be positioned closer to the target, and can thus put a warhead on it faster than an ICBM (not clear why you think shaving minutes is so important though).

Bombers an Subs can more easily have the comms disrupted.

Not at all clear that this true today, with modern communication systems. Silos have serious problems with communications when warheads land on top of them.

Bomber and Sub will hve an active defense targeting them. Bombers and sub are tracked by other actors the various theaters.

What effective "active defense" do you imagine exists in the world today against the U.S. SLBM fleet? They patrol a couple of thousand miles off the coast, if they need to, and there is no effective anti-submarine force in the world to target them. The Russian submarine fleet is less than 1/4 the size that it was under the Soviet Union.

You may have heard of the U.S. carrier battle groups of which the U.S. has 11, versus none for the rest of the world. SLBMs have the option of operating from the protective umbrella of battle groups, which makes the notion of them being effectively target truly ridiculous.

And the bombers have cruise missiles with a range of 1500 miles, so the effectiveness of active defense against them is questionable.

Sorry you are grasping at ancient, worn-out straws trying to prop up the case for the ICBM fleet.

about two weeks ago
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The Disgruntled Guys Who Babysit Our Aging Nuclear Missiles

careysub Re:Scale down the land based forces (176 comments)

ICBM have a range of Anywhere On The Globe. SLBM have a range of about 4300 miles.

You must be talking of ICBMs and SLBMs that belong to some other country - certainly not the U.S.

The U.S. SLBM, the Trident II D5, is a much heavier missile than the Minuteman III (130,000 vs 78,000 lb) so with the same warhead loading will travel much farther than the Minuteman. The shorter range you see quoted is only due to the fact that it carries up 14 warheads, versus a maximum of 3 for the Minuteman.

The maximum range of Minuteman III missile is about 13,000 km, but the farthest place in the world from U.S. missile fields is 20,000 km away. A good part of the Earth is outside of U.S. ICBM range.

But here is the kicker - the farthest point of land from an ocean in the world is the Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility which is only 2645 km from the shore. So we can place submarine warheads truly anywhere on Earth.

about two weeks ago
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The Disgruntled Guys Who Babysit Our Aging Nuclear Missiles

careysub Re:Scale down the land based forces (176 comments)

Shift their responsibilities to the bomber and submarine forces. Land based missiles don't offer any benefit over the other two legs of the triad. Bombers can be recalled and submarines are much more likely to survive to deliver a counter strike. Both bombers and submarines lessen the need for launch on warning. The missile forces as constituted are an artifact from a very different technological era.

"Scaling down" does not seem to be the solution. As long as there are some ICBMs this problem will persist, and it is a bad idea to have any nuclear weapons under the control of a dysfunctional organization like this. It should be outright elimination.

There should be no "launch on warning" period. It is a deadly dangerous posture, and is unnecessary - we have subs that will survive any sudden strike, and airplanes that can scramble, then return to base if there is no strike (and continue to their targets, with real-time re-targeting if there is).

It seems very unlikely that this problem can be fixed while retaining the ICBM force. The Air Force being what it is, only the fly-boys and fly-girls will get the promotions. Silo sitting is a career dead-end from the beginning. The reward structure in the Air Force is deeply embedded from the time of its creation, and it is all but impossible (and perhaps flatly impossible) to fix a deep organization-wide reward structure like this without wholesale rebuilding of the organization itself - a remote scenario to say the least.

The triad is not holy writ, immutable and divinely inspired. It was something of a historical accident, a product of the way technologies matured during the days of the nuclear arms race, a race that ended 25 years ago. In terms of service turf (an important consideration in Washington) the Air Force still has its nuclear armed bombers, so giving up the ICBMs will still leave them their "nuclear manhood".

about two weeks ago
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There's No Such Thing As a General-Purpose Processor

careysub Re:Efficiency (181 comments)

This seems to be how the human brain works, and it runs on less than 100 watts (100 watts corresponds to 2000 Calories per day).

A whole woman consumes 100 watts. Of that brain is about 20 watts. Also, watt represents momentary consumption and calories are a fixed mass of energy, so you can't directly compare them.

You can do so reasonably well for sedentary (that is, most) people. There is a basal metabolic rate that consumes most calories for most people and only throttles down 10% at night. Even if an average person were to run a mile every day, they would only be burning an extra 120 Kcal, 6% more than their baseline 2000 Kcal, during that ~10 minute energy burst. This regimen matches the CDC recommendations for exercise (75 minutes of intense activity a week), but 80% of Americans don't even make it to this level.

So quoting an average energy consumption rate for the body is a reasonable approximation of the situation.

about two weeks ago
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Tech Giants Donate $750 Million In Goods and Services To Underprivileged Schools

careysub Re:Wow $100 Million (143 comments)

...Nobody should be paying a single penny in any income related taxes, less of all businesses. Businesses shouldn't be paying any taxes whatsoever....

So you are proposing that the entire tax system should be based solely on taxation of wealth? Wow! I never suspected you would be so progressive!

about a month ago
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Tech Giants Donate $750 Million In Goods and Services To Underprivileged Schools

careysub Re:If the money is used to hire much better teache (143 comments)

You (The US) already spends the most on education per student then any other nation and yet have some of the worst test results.

That may be true, but it's not going to teachers!. (Link describes North Carolina, but I think the same is true elsewhere.)

I don't think "throwing money at it" will make it better. Sure, teachers will take home more money but the test results clearly show this doesnt improve the quality of education.

This study disagrees.

Also, the core claim that the US spends the most per student - if we are talking about primary and secondary students - not college - is not true although it is on the high end. Switzerland, Norway and Luxembourg spend more, and Austria and Denmark are almost same.

about a month ago
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The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

careysub Re:Please Microsoft... (347 comments)

...If they set the price right I could see this killing off XP and getting a good chunk of the diehard Win 7 users (like myself) to jump on board....

The wait for a usable Micro$oft system has already made me jump ship - I got a Mac to go with my Linux systems. There are limitations in using Linux only, not all open source alternatives are adequate replacements for commercial apps, and many commercial vendors do not support Linux. But they do support Macs pretty well. There are no compelling "windoze only" apps that can force a Windows purchase over a Macintosh.

about a month ago
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32 Cities Want To Challenge Big Telecom, Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

careysub Re:and the cities are... (175 comments)

It is interesting to note that the EPB (which runs "the Gig") can be as corrupt as any of the telecom/cable monopolists in their own little way.

Citation (or explanation) please?

about a month ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

careysub Re:Any suffiently advanced tech... (986 comments)

Have you read the report? Power input was monitored. At this stage, either this is the most elaborate scientific/engineering hoax in history....

You sure about that? Seriously this is a very close copy of the Keely motor hoax.

about a month and a half ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

careysub Re:Not so much, maybe. (986 comments)

No, it would be more like you put the dollar into a billfold, then took out 10... put one back in, got another 10 out... and then did this for weeks. At some point you have to think to yourself "Ok, either this really is a magic billfold, or he is very good packing dollars into wallets.

I am sure there are any number of magicians who could set up this trick. This is just the "magicians hat" (which can produce anything, indefinitely) but with a different piece of apparel.

about a month and a half ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

careysub Re:Hoax (986 comments)

You don't think a clever enough stage magician could find a way to send power into the device over time? Heck, simply having one of the researchers in on the scam would make it trivial.

According to a poster on this page these "independent" investigators are in fact associates of Rossi's. If so then we can just shut this whole charade down.

Friends of the magician accepting assurances that he isn't trying to fool them...

about a month and a half ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

careysub Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (602 comments)

I dislike waste and generally try and conserve but it always seems like a scam when you save yet end up with the same bill. It's the environmental version of no child left behind where not everyone can be above average. If we all save water our bills won't all go down we'll just pay more for less. I've seen this scam multiple times with water...

And if your local water supply really is limited, and is being exhausted through over-use?

This isn't a "scam", it is that inconvenient thing called "reality" calling. No one guaranteed you as much water was you want to use at a low fixed price. If the cost running the system is fixed, then expect to pay a roughly proportionate share of that fixed price (depending on your relative share of water used, over some baseline), and if the water is in short supply expect to get less than you used to get for that same money. Sort of like that free market thing called "supply and demand". If the supply runs short, you will pay more for the same amount.

about 2 months ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

careysub Re:Not MAD. (342 comments)

~1500 multiple warhead weapons is still enough to blow up the world several times over,

No it's not. The very idea is preposterous. Blast radius of a 1mt Minuteman warhead is about .48km. Assuming an absurdly unrealistic "destroyed" zone 100 times the area of the blast, and assuming perfect coverage with no overlap, 1500 warheads gets us an area of 1.1 million square kilometers.

Making up numbers are we? The destruction radius of a typical 400 kT modern warhead (urban airburst) is actually larger than the "4.8 km" you pulled out your nether regions for a 1 MT warhead. Far from being "absurdly unrealistic", your urban destruction radius is actually a low-ball. In a nuclear urban annihilation attack (multiple warheads against large cities) a destruction radius of 7 km is reasonable (anyone outside is fatally burned, buildings are damaged enough to serve as efficient furnaces as the multitude of set fires merge into a fire storm).

This gives us an urban area destroyed of ~150 km^2 per warhead, or a total of 225,000 km^2. This is not the whole world, but it is about half of the world's total urban area with populations larger than 500,0000 numbering 2 billion people. Such an attack could easily destroy the world's entire petrochemical processing and storage infrastructure in a single stroke, as well as all of its major ports. Half the urban population in the world dead all at once. No oil or food shipments for anyone, anywhere. A billion deaths is just the starting point. How far would the population fall through famine and disease until it stabilizes?

Not the "end of the world", but the "end of the world as we know it" for sure.

about 2 months ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

careysub Re:MAD (342 comments)

They apparently used it in the Crimea. (Some sources say Sevastopol, others Kerch.)

In other words, they used them under circumstances where they did not fear retaliation in kind. Similarly Germany used gas to kill millions of captive people, again under circumstances where no retaliation was feared.

This actually supports the deterrence claims, it does not refute it.

According to Wikipedia, when they interrogated Goering after the war, he told them the reason they didn't use their nerve gas to repulse the landings at Normandy was that they hadn't been able to make an effective gas mask for horses.

Making gas masks for horses was a solved problem in WW-I. Germany had gas mask canisters that could protect against Tabun. Goering's ramblings in captivity mean little other than as a source for analyzing his personal delusions.

about 2 months ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

careysub Re:MAD (342 comments)

No, they couldn't. The V2 was't design for delivering gas. It's warhead detonated on impact. Its a very inefficient method of delivery, because most of the gas would bury into ground at supersonic speed.

Anyway 3172 rockets was an equivalent of a single large scale bombing mission over Germany done with Lancasters.

The V-2 could very easily have been used to deliver gas. A very efficient manner for delivering the nerve gas Tabun is an air burst missile warhead, where the "burst" is caused simply by strip charges splitting the missile nose, exposing the agent to the supersonic airflow. This results in a vertical line of fine aerosol being generated, which then creates a long ellipse of highly exposed terrain downwind as if descends (the U.S. developed missile warheads that worked like this in the 1950s and early 1960s). The only triggering method required for this is a clock. They could calculate the flight time of the missile accurately enough to burst it 1000-2000 m in the air.

Each missile carried a 1000 kg payload. It was possible for Germany to launch about 100 V-2 a day in a maximum effort surge attack (a strategy not actually employed during the war). Additionally V-1s delivered a payload of 850 kg, and more than 100 were actually launched in a day at the peak of the V-1 campaign. Delivering 185 tons of Tabun into the Greater London area in a single day was within Germany's ability, and the casualties would have been considerable - truly a terror weapon.

But as you point out, Bomber Command could exceed this in dropping gas on German cities on a regular basis, even compensating for the lower toxicity of the agents employed (roughly an 8-1 ratio). Thus no plans for gassing London were ever developed.

about 2 months ago
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Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

careysub Killer Drones (138 comments)

I sense a business opportunity here: killer drones!

These would be designed to go after and knock down the hovering picture-snapping kind, which would be easy pickings. The killer drones don't need to hover - they fly faster than the hovering kind and just go straight at 'em. Some kind of netting or framework to snag and entangle the drone rotors perhaps. Option of either hauling it back as evidence, or in true bird of prey fashion just applying a "killing blow" and letting it fall to the ground. Developing different kill mechanisms should be fun. Robot wars in the air!

about 2 months ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

careysub Re:It's getting hotter still! (635 comments)

Somehow a quite conservatively formulated claim (subjunctive mode, "some models, 75% chance, 5-7 years, during some month of the summer") magically morphed into the strong claim "Al Gore said in 5 years time the Arctic will be completely ice free".

And two years ago the summer arctic ice cover dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, only 1/3 of the average cover from 1981-2010, which is a divergence of more than three standard deviations, with all of the ice coverages since 2010 being far below that long term average.

It is pitiful how the existence of random variation superimposed over a very strong long term trend seems to succor the fantasies of denialists.

about 2 months ago
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Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

careysub Re:Precident has been set (213 comments)

The other theories of formation (volcanism, subsidence, etc.) had been discredited by the late 1920s, leaving the meteor impact theory the only one left standing. And there was a lot of good evidence supporting it (finely pulverized rock under the crater floor, the meteoric iron under the crater found by drilling, etc.). There was no controversy about the crater's origin, had been none for decades, when Shoemaker found the polymorphs. I know, because I read the original published literature - from the teens, twenties and thirties, Shoemaker's paper on Meteor Crater, AZ, his subsequent paper where he showed that the Ries Basin was an impact feature due to the polymorph presence (this was the first real case where it was crucial in making the determination), and also Shoemaker's obit in Science, which does not assert that he proved the nature of Meteor Crater.

Your geology department field trip may have been passing along a "good story" rather than a critical examination of the literature.

about 2 months ago
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Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

careysub Re:Precident has been set (213 comments)

Barringer Crater was a pre-existing landform that wasn't even confirmed to be of extraterrestrial origin until Shoemaker's 1960-ish PhD thesis. Granted, there was suspicion that it was from a meteorite impact, but the theories up until Shoemaker's were all incorrect.

Come again? The theory that it was a meteor impact was actually incorrect until Shoemaker found high-pressure quartz polymorphs? The preponderance of evidence supported it being a meteor impact decades before that, there were no other plausible explanations for the formation that fit the evidence. The discovery of the polymorphs coesite and stishovite provided a unique unambiguous indicator, but in no way was required to demonstrate that the meteor crater explanation was correct. The real significance of the polymorph discovery was to provide reliable indicators for other formations of uncertain origin. The original Shoemaker paper (Science, Vol. 132, p. 220, 1960) makes no claim that it "proved" that Meteor Crater was a meteor crater, the paper assumes that as a known fact.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Climategate Review: Round Two

careysub careysub writes  |  more than 4 years ago

careysub (976506) writes "The report by the second of three panels constituted to investigate the conduct of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, has come in. This panel was a scientific review panel set up in consultation with the Royal Society to examine the integrity of their research methods, and whether there research supports their conclusions.

The key assessment:

We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work
of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely
that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if
slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of
public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures
were rather informal."

Link to Original Source

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