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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

coldsalmon Aerostat definitions (175 comments)

Aerostat -- a lighter than air craft that gains its lift through the use of a buoyant gas
Balloon -- an unpowered aerostat, which remains aloft or floats due to its buoyancy
Moored/Tethered Balloon -- a balloon that is restrained by a cable attached to the ground or a vehicle and so cannot float freely
Airship or Dirigible -- a type of aerostat or lighter-than-air aircraft which can navigate through the air under its own power
Blimp -- an airship without an internal structural framework or a keel
Rigid Airship -- a type of airship (or dirigible) in which the envelope is supported by an internal framework
Zeppelin -- a type of rigid airship named after the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin

I am sick and tired of people using improper terminology to refer to aerostats. The proper term for the subject of this article is a "moored balloon" or "tethered balloon." All definitions above are from Wikipedia. You're welcome. Now get off my lawn, because a zeppelin will be landing on it shortly.

3 days ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

coldsalmon "Please Print" (523 comments)

I spent years in grammar school trying to write cursive well, because everyone told me that when I got to middle school, cursive would be required! When I actually got there, cursive was forbidden because nobody can read anyone else's cursive handwriting. And besides, we were already typing everything. Every handwritten form I've ever seen says "Please print" on the top. Why did I spend all of that time learning cursive if everyone always tells me to print?

about three weeks ago
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I'm most interested in robots that will...

coldsalmon Automating basic tasks means sales/investment (307 comments)

Robots that do mundane tasks are easier to make than the others on this list (many already exist, such as the Roomba). They also already sell well, meaning that incremental innovation in this sector will probably be profitable and easy to finance -- and will eventually help to produce much more complex robots. It seems to me that this is where much of the innovation will likely happen, so I'm interested in watching this sector. Yes, we can already spend billions of dollars to make a specialized robot that will explore a planet/moon/comet/etc., but this is pretty far from general advances in robotics that will make it feasible to have lots of robots perform lots of generic tasks easily -- and thus to have robots become a part of everyday life.

about a month ago
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The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

coldsalmon Re:Ok... just turned two score, but... (438 comments)

About to hit 42 myself and completely agree. And we were thought to be completely rotten teens by adults.... today's kids make us look like genius saints.
-said every 42 year old in history...

"Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers." -- Socrates

about a month ago
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Alienware's Triangular Area-51 Re-Design With Tri-SLI GeForce GTX 980, Tested

coldsalmon Cool story, bro. (138 comments)

I liked the part about the triangular PC case.

about 2 months ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

coldsalmon Re:Why Is This Still A Thing? (986 comments)

I'm following the E-CAT stories because I am really curious how Rossi is managing to fool everyone over and over again. It seems like everyone knows it's a scam, but nobody knows how he's actually pulling it off. That is the interesting part: I want to find out HOW he's doing it.

about 2 months ago
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A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

coldsalmon Re:Roadable aircraft aren't "flying cars" (203 comments)

It also entails all of the safety issues of an airplane; the platonic ideal of a "flying car" is as safe and intuitive as a road car.

about 2 months ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

coldsalmon Re:Weight or volume? (385 comments)

By the time the bag of garbage is offered as evidence in court, the compostable portion will likely have shrunk to below 10% by volume.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

coldsalmon Exoplanet detection, for example (234 comments)

I recall hearing a few stories about amateur astronomers and/or teams detecting exoplanets. See this previous Slashdot article, for example:

http://science.slashdot.org/st...

Is this the kind of thing that you're interested in?

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

coldsalmon Has anyone done this? (234 comments)

If anyone on Slashdot has made a major career shift into the sciences later in life, I would be very interested to hear that story.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

coldsalmon My RAID horror story (268 comments)

I once had a RAID5 array with 4 disks on my home computer. Two disks were connected to the motherboard, and two were connected to a SATA PCI card because the MoBo didn't have enough SATA slots. One day, the PCI card had a little hiccup, and two of the 4 disks got out of sync. The array was toast. Note that my RAID5 array contributed to this failure -- it would not have happened if I had not been running RAID (and if I hadn't made a poor configuration choice). Fortunately, I had a backup.

RAID is great for protecting mission-critical systems from HDD failure when uptime is a major concern -- but it can also cause more problems than it solves. Now, my business server uses RAID but my home computer does not.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

coldsalmon My office backup (268 comments)

For my office data, I have an external HDD that uses rsnapshot to create incremental snapshots every hour, day, week, and month. The server data is also mirrored to each desktop in the office, and my laptop, daily. For offisite backups (other than my laptop), I use duplicity to backup to Amazon S3, which costs about $3 per month. I realize that there are some security issues with this setup.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

coldsalmon My offsite HDD routine (268 comments)

I store my offsite backups at my office. To do this effectively, I use three backup HDDs. One sits in a SATA dock at home, and mirrors my data every hour. The other two are at the office. Every so often, I take one of the HDDs home and stick it in the dock so that it updates to the latest version of my data, then I bring it back to the office. Next time, I take the other HDD home. This ensures that one of the HDDs is always offsite, and all three of the HDDs are never in the same place.

The obvious downside to this is that I have to remember to carry my HDDs back and forth. I haven't done it for a few months now. I suppose that an automated and encrypted rsync solution would be superior, but I honestly don't really care about my data very much.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Surface Drowning?

coldsalmon Re:It's a still a nice PC. (337 comments)

The only thing that comes to mind after seeing those outdoor pictures in the article: please give us a model with a matte display. I dislike glossy screens in general, but on tablets that will probably be used outside in the sun they are positively horrible. In the photos you can hardly see the screen for all the glare.

This. I'm using mine outdoors right now, and the display is really suffering from reflection. This is unfortunate, because it's the ideal machine for me to use if I want to take my work outdoors on a pleasant afternoon. It's still usable, but less so at certain angles. And it helps if you wear a black shirt.

about 4 months ago

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