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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

maroberts Re:LOL (255 comments)

You forgot to mention that some nations don't have so much land. Palestine, Israel, Taiwan, etc. You'd be insane to promote solar if you lived in any of those countries.

Not much land is needed - everyone has a rooftop and most of the countries you've mentioned are bright and sunny

5 hours ago

Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

maroberts Re:So your solution is ... (255 comments)

to kill them before the power plant does?

Not at all - the solution is to kill and cook them in one simple process instead of the dual process that we have currently.

5 hours ago

Modular Hive Homes Win Mars Base Design Competition

maroberts Re:comment (56 comments)

Its a bit difficult to say because of the complex nature of the car business, but European sourced cars are generally better than US models due to the realisation that corners are something to be enjoyed.

In Jaguar (yes I know its owned by Tata), Rolls Royce, BMW and Mercedes we have cars that everyone aspires to own, and that's before I get into mentioning Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Bugatti etc.

On the US side, you have one car manufacturer that is widely admired - Tesla.

9 hours ago

Of the following, I'd rather play ...

maroberts Re:Shall we play a game? (263 comments)

There was a game called Apocalypse produced by Games Workshop, also known as Warlord in a more complex form


Of the following, I'd rather play ...

maroberts Re: Shall we play a game? (263 comments)

I suspect that for n dimensions, there is a necessity for the board "size" to be n+1 for a game not to be completely trivial.

e.g. 2d = 3x3 board
            3d = 4x4x4
            4d = 5x5x5x5


Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

maroberts Re:Left or Right? (412 comments)

More importantly, a lot of rules change from country to country e.g. rights of pedestrians (jaywalking in the USA), implicit rules at junctions (no permission to go right on red in Europe) etc


The Data Dome: A Server Farm In a Geodesic Dome

maroberts Re:Awesome (58 comments)

Supersoaker water pistol (Lonnie G Johnson)
Smoke protection hoods for firefighters & traffic signals (Garrett Morgan)
Electronic components and pacemaker controllers (Otis Boykin)
Carbon filament for lightbulbs (Lewis Latimer)
Various agricultural products - (NOT peanut butter though) (George Washington Carver)

If you're bored, read Wikipedia


Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll

maroberts Re:Lodsys has been very quiet of late (61 comments)

I am still missing my Groklaw fix which used to assiduously track and report on such cases with detailed insight.


Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

maroberts Re:Surprise? (551 comments)

LibreOffice is fine for most so-called power users too. I would suspect the only problems for Power users would be in areas where Libre/Open Office does things differently from MS Office.

I would possibly agree that Excel is ahead on a few issues, but the type of people affected by this would be those generating complex models within Excel


Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

maroberts Re:Switch to linux / OsX. (318 comments)

You have to accept some moderation is done by mouth breathers. I put a full technical explanation of why something would not work in a national newspaper comment and got more downvotes than almost every other comment I had submitted combined.

2 days ago

Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

maroberts How times have changed (417 comments)

Only a few short years ago (well about 1000), your average Swede would have been giving their children nice shiny longswords, placing them on a boat and encouraging them to tour the world and kill people....

4 days ago

Kevlar Protects Cables From Sharks, Experts Look For Protection From Shark Week

maroberts There is a much better solution (103 comments)

Instead of polluting the oceans with these huge cables, we should attach fricken lasers to sharks.

At this point you might think I am going to do another tired re run of the Dr Evil comment, but if you had the imagination that he did you would realise that by also fitting optical detectors on sharks you could have a point to point internet mesh across all sharks in the ocean. SharkNet would not have a single point of failure as like the internet is supposed to do it could find another route in the event of the loss of any shark node.

I humbly submit that Dr Evil was a visionary who was simply ahead of his time and should be canonised into the pantheon of saints alongside Saint Steve of Jobs

5 days ago

Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

maroberts Re:Given that (414 comments)

It's been ages since I read Stroustrup or Kernighan & Ritchie, as I have largely moved on from embedded/Unix programming into Web based systems but I seem to recall one of the arguments for using C++ was that it could always do things as efficiently as C and possibly more so.

5 days ago

Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

maroberts Given that (414 comments)

C++ is more or less a superset of C (give or take a few minor issues), why has regular C continued to thrive?

5 days ago

3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

maroberts Re:A P-47 could not... (390 comments)

It is not how much explosives it takes to blow up a bus, it is how many buses you can take out in one mission. :-)

about a week ago

3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

maroberts A P-47 could not... (390 comments)

...carry 8,000lb+ of bombs to target as your typical modern F-16 can. Also I'll take a 20mm Vulcan cannon with LCOS over 8 machine guns any day.

Anyway if you're going to bounce rubble, do it properly with a BUFF and clean up anything left with an A-10!!

about a week ago

3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

maroberts Re:why stop at the Su-35 (390 comments)

The closest thing at a similar stage of development is the PAK-FA T-50, which looks as though it will get flying before the F-35

about a week ago

Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

maroberts Liquid Metal (111 comments)

Terminator 2 called and claimed the patent rights on killing...

about a week ago

China Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Apologizes For Unauthorized Data Access

maroberts Re:This does not make sense (64 comments)

Well in a roundabout way of thinking, its one of the simplest tests you can do to see if the phone can be accessed over the intertubes. All phones will have a contacts list/address book, so this will be supported by all Android phones.

Of course, when you think about it however, you realize that its more than a little absurd and creepy.

about a week ago

Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

maroberts A Devils Advocate writes (273 comments)

Technically, one could see the various software modules as "works protected etc.". The module is effectively a "key" granting access to the work. By creating this device, you are circumventing a technological measure.

It's a bit of a stretch, but you can probably sell this to a judge.

about two weeks ago



Ask Slashdot: Was Sandy good for New York and the people?

maroberts maroberts writes  |  about 2 years ago

maroberts (15852) writes "Whilst sadly more than 40 people have died as a result of Storm Sandy, my colleagues and I are debating whether the storm is actually beneficial in terms of employment and mortality rate. For instance, we argue that deaths from murders and traffic incidents will be way down, as will injuries from the same.

Similarly all the renovation work will be a source of jobs for less skilled manual workers, and we will genuinely witness income flowing from rich to poor. Insurance companies will pay out, reducing their dividends.

So overall, should the US be wishing for more or less bad weather?"

Do you want to play a wee game?

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 2 years ago

maroberts writes "No, the spelling isn't a mistake; you can now play games when you're in the toilet/ john/ bathroom (delete as applicable). The only question is whether a large "joystick" or a small one makes a better game controller....."
Link to Original Source

Violent Games reduce levels of Crime

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 3 years ago

maroberts (15852) writes "According to this paper produced from a collaboration between the University of Texas and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), violent video games may induce aggressive behavior, but the incapacitation effect outweighs this and produces a genuine reduction in violent crime. This paper was referenced in aBBC news story giving reasons why the US crime rates are falling (at least outside the prisons!)"



Why Donte has his name

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Someone asked why my son had an unusual name and even suggested that Donte is due to the parents not being able to spell. Anyway its not a spelling mistake, although some muppet who registered the birth did put Donate instead!

There's no typo; my (ex) g/f chose it, and since his ancestry is black English on mummys side, I see little wrong in him having a name associated with African ancestry.

Dante may be the possible Italian/Latin original of the name. As I have a degree plus college level English I don't think spelling is a problem for me (with a few exceptions).

Donte has a sensible middle name (which I chose) which he can use if he wants, and there's little wrong with shortening Donte to Don if he wants later. But having said that, having an unusual name also makes you memorable which can be an advantage.


Freedom of Speech v Privacy

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 3 years ago

The argument about whether the press can publish about relationships and gossip is not an argument about public interest; it is clear that the public don't really have a need or right to know who is shagging who, at least not directly.

However, it can be argued that the injunction conflicts with Freedom of Expression. Essentially the injunction brings into play where the balance between a right to Privacy and Freedom of Expression lie.

The European Convention on Human Rights gives states a wide "margin of appreciation" on where they may place the dividing line. For example, should the US ever become a signatory, it could legitimately claim compliance with the convention even though Freedom of Speech is regarded as a more important right than Privacy. In France, on the other hand, more importance is given to privacy. As long as both rights are protected to some extent, both nations would be regarded as compliant in terms of their implementation.

Censoring the Web is fraught with difficulty and could be challenged under those same rights.

When the UK implemented its Human Rights Act, which effectively ratified the ECHR in the UK, it was openly stated by Parliament that a high threshold would be required for matters of Privacy to overcome matters of Free Speech, i.e. Parliament wanted a Human Rights implementation closer to the US than France. Unfortunately, legal rulings have been quietly lowering the bar in clear contravention of this intention.


A14: The Road To Hell

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I would just like everyone who is thinking of living near Cambridge to forget the idea unless your idea of fun is sitting in stationary traffic.

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