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Comments

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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

mikael Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (262 comments)

Many of the cities in the Bay Area were originally agricultural. Retirees moved there for the sun, peace and quiet and cheap rents. Then the tech industry started to grow. For every 100,000 square foot office block built, that's 1000 employees who want 4000 square foot lots for their homes. All the land got used up rapidly for roads, homes, offices, schools, hospitals and clinics. And those came at a cost. Retirees suddenly saw their property taxes go up and up to pay for all these services that they didn't use. The cities then get round this by granting permission for a company to build a new campus on the edge of their city, leaving the housing, schools and transportation access to their neighbors. The same retirees opposed high-rise apartment blocks because they lost their sunlight, and MVA (market-value assessment) meant their home was assessed the same value as the six unit triplex block next door. So they brought in a tax Proposition to grandfather in property taxes and block the construction of high rise concrete apartment blocks (also due to earthquake risks).

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

mikael Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (262 comments)

Thousands of cores means a web service that can scale up infinitely and is invulnerable to a DOS attack or whole group of slashdot readers arriving like a horde of barbarians on a horseback raid.

A 2005 GPU based laptop with 2.8GHz dual-core CPU can still edit 500,000 triangle meshes.

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

mikael Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (262 comments)

It's called a "reality tunnel". Working for a startup involves writing new software. And you have to believe that the software is going to be useful to other people in order to have motivation to keep working on it. So there is that kind of belief.

about two weeks ago
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Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived

mikael Re:how dark can it be on the ISS? (106 comments)

Maybe there are radioactive elements underground as well.

For me, the best the sleeps I had were in a hotel room which had air filtering, blackout curtains and was on the end of the top floor, well away from all the other guests banging and clattering their suitcases through the corridors.

But move to the same kind of room right next to the main hallway, and it was impossible to get a deep sleep, because there was always someone every hour who figured the best way to open a door that opened inwards was to hit it with a large suitcase. The same thing happens if the hotel room has emergency lights that come on whenever the main lights are switched off.

Air flow could be another problem. Even on Earth, sleeping under a lie-in (sloping part of a roof) always gives me a sore head due to the lack of air flow. The CO2 seems to build up. The only way I could stop that, was to sleep directly underneath the skylight window and keep it open. Maybe the shape of the sleeping pods leads to CO2 build up.

about three weeks ago
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What Do You Do When Your Mind-Numbing IT Job Should Be Automated?

mikael Re:Automation Resistance (228 comments)

You are doing bug tracking by hand??? We used to that back in the 1990's. I was given a three day task to sort, reorder, prioirtize about 200 open tickets in a single text file. Wrote a script in six hours to do this automatically, and had the report completed in minutes. Today, we would just use bug-tracking software like Jira

https://www.atlassian.com/soft...

about three weeks ago
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Australia Rebooting Search For MH370

mikael Re:How much have they spent already? (92 comments)

The first things we'd expect to find or see from satellite photographs are bits of wing and tail. The shock of a crash-landing would fracture them off. Then if the fuel tanks were ruptured, those would create oil slicks even if they were underwater. Live vests and seat cushions should also float, as well as bits of trimming from the passenger cabin. Then all sorts of passenger belongings should also float.

So the chances are the pilot aimed for a controlled landing in the ocean. There were witnesses who claimed to see a burning aircraft (from an oil-ring), and another who said they saw an aircraft flying low towards Garcia Diego.

about three weeks ago
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Australia Rebooting Search For MH370

mikael Re:I hope they find it (92 comments)

The "rotten corpses" is more likely to be due to the 1300kg of Lithium batteries that were on board that flight. Interestingly both flights were carrying lithium batteries and travelling towards the Far East.

about three weeks ago
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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

mikael Re: Online in England, maybe (282 comments)

Their idea would be that you would use biometrics, SIM cards or ID cards to get access to any internet terminal (smartphone, desktop PC, laptop, netbook or tablet). Anything with a SIM card would have a registered user.

That has been the plan all along. They absolutely hated desktop PC's and laptops because home owners could always "uninstall" whatever spyware they tried putting on the systems. Netbooks, smartphones and tablets are better because they are single chip systems and it's impossible to modify components like storage and batteries even if you have a Torx toolkit. Stick on automatic updates of firmware and applications by wireless access, cameras, microphones and fingerprint readers, and the government basically p0wns these systems.

about a month ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

mikael Re: Not Just Phones (281 comments)

My smartphone (Samsung Galaxy II) started running slowly. Even after I removed all the unused apps that I had downloaded, movies and photos, it was still running slow. Then I started looking through every single folder. It seems that the trash-cah wasn't actually emptying, and that there was a directory called ".faces" which seemed to archive every single picture that the AI software thought was a face. After those files were removed, my phone regained it's original speed.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

mikael Re:How many employees does Slashdot need? (272 comments)

Bullcrap? The application developers there deserve to have every ounce of bullcrap that is lying on the field thrown at them before being given a hot jacuzzi in pig swill. Punching a hole in someone's system network firewall, then putting a steel cage and door around that hole so it can't be closed?

I have enough grief with various Linux packages that create their own VPN's, offer "built-in" ftp and email functionality as a "feature". Every time I install something, I have to check to to see whether any new servers listening on network sockets have been set up immediately, as well as see whether there are any daily or weekly crontab settings which do the same.

about a month ago
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NASA: Lunar Pits and Caves Could House Astronauts

mikael Re:Hmm... (157 comments)

There's just an opportunity in Siberia - just opened up this week. Current theories are giant sandworms, graboids, pingo's, ufo's or an alien missile base:

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/myst...

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

mikael Re:How many employees does Slashdot need? (272 comments)

I guess some people don't forget what Microsoft was doing 20 years ago. They were literally bashing everything and anything. They were bashing UNIX with slogans like "UNIX is legacy, NT is the future". They were doing the same with DirectX vs. OpenGL. Even now they still claim OpenGL is legacy. Then there was the Netscape vs. Internet Explorer war where Microsoft was pre-installing Explorer onto their systems and nothing else. If you wanted to read Email from a server, you needed to have Windows, even it is was a hardware board inside a workstation. If Microsoft announced they were entering a particular niche market, venture capitalists wouldn't fund anyone to enter that market.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

mikael Re:How many employees does Slashdot need? (272 comments)

I hate that word "dead wood". Anyone who did have a degree, pass the informal interview, the technical tests, and team interview for a company, as well as continue to work in an Agile/Scrum environment isn't a piece of dead wood.

If a company discovers they have extra employees, then it is is usually because two or more products have been merged together, or all the development for one large project has been completed. Maybe they now share the same core libraries or features of one application duplicate another. But what to do then? Nobody is going to stay long at a company if they have relocated 1000+ miles for their dream job (say designing new applications) and then suddenly a month later, a PHB decides they want the most qualified engineer to move onto repairing broken widgets, and optionally advertise the original vacancy several months later because they realize they really do need someone to write new applications. So you need to keep people hanging around until you are sure all the problems have been fixed.

Some companies have internal vacancy lists where a job is advertised internally first. This gave employees a chance to move around if they saw something more interesting. Other companies just keep staff "frozen in place" where the only option is to leave.

The problem for Microsoft is that retraining isn't possible because they want workers who can bring in new ideas. If they had someone to train up someone for that vacancy, the trainer would be the person they are looking for.

about a month and a half ago
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Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

mikael Re:This kind of thing confuses me (214 comments)

Given that negative mass atoms repel each other, a negative mass planet would never form. Even if one did form, it would disintegrate rather violently within seconds. Probably be fun too watch.

So, negative mass atoms could only form thin gas clouds.

about a month and a half ago
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Harvesting Energy From Humidity

mikael Re:energy? (89 comments)

There are ways of measuring the speed of flowing water through the small magnetic fields created from dissolved metal ions in the water. These are enough to distort the local magnetic field and allow readings to be made.

about a month and a half ago
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Harvesting Energy From Humidity

mikael Re:5 Years Away (89 comments)

They would need to increase the surface area of the plates, probably using three-dimensional fractals. This would increase the ratio of surface area to volume in the same way that human lungs or fish gills work.

about a month and a half ago
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Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek To Control the Internet

mikael Re:Ugh... (117 comments)

Always keep offline backups.

about a month and a half ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

mikael Re:So what? they can be tapped to. (244 comments)

A microphone placed on top of a PC, beside or behind a PC will pick up more noise from the cooling fans. Even if you are not use a combination of cooling fans and an open-plan PC case that work as a white noise generator for the whole room :)

about a month and a half ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

mikael Re:So what? they can be tapped to. (244 comments)

They could still hack into the nearest smartphone and listen to the clicks that way. Just about everyone has a smartphone on their desk. Or they could collect the used printer ribbons and read back the text that way.

about a month and a half ago
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Walter Munk's Astonishing Wave-Tracking Experiment

mikael Re:Cheap documentary? (55 comments)

It's a feedback system. The wind displaces the flat surface of the ocean into waves. Then those waves catch more wind, create turbulence. You can download or view any number of GPU based ocean wave simulators.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Tony Benn, MP has died

mikael mikael writes  |  about 5 months ago

mikael (484) writes "The famous Labour MP, Tony Benn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Benn) has died at the age of 88. In his career which included Minister of Technology, he was responsible for the creation of ICL (International Computers Limited) and involvement in Concorde"
Link to Original Source
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Flu Pandemic may lead to websites being blocked

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mikael (484) writes "While corporations and businesses have been advised on how to allow employees to work remotely from home, there is still some uncertainty on how ISP's would be able to handle the extra flow of traffic. The Department of Homeland Security is suggesting that ISP's be prepared to block popular websites in order to prioritize bandwidth for commercial use."
Link to Original Source
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Scientists discover how DNA is folded within the n

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mikael (484) writes "Sciencedaily.com is reporting that scientists have discovered how DNA is folded within the nucleus of a cell such that active genes remain accessible without becoming tangled. The first observation is that genes are actually stored in two locations. The first location acts as a cache where all active genes are kept. The second location is a more denser storage area where inactive genes are kept. The second observation is that all genes are stored as http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/3d-genome.html ">fractal globules which allows genes that are used together to be adjacent to each other when folded, even though they may be far apart when unfolded."
Link to Original Source
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Volunteers recover Lunar Orbiter 1 photographs

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The LA Times is reporting on efforts of group of volunteers with funding from NASA to recover high resolution photographs of the Moon taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 in the 1960's. The collection of 2000 images is stored entirely on magnetic tape which can only be read by a $330,000 FR-900 Ampex magnetic tape reader. The team consisted of Nancy Evans, NASA's archivist who ensured that the 20-foot by 10-foot x 6-foot collection of magnetic tapes were never thrown out, Dennis Wingo, Keith Cowing of Nasa Watch and Ken Zim who had experience of repairing video equipment. Two weeks ago, the second image, of the Copernicus Crater was recovered."
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Cities plan to replace street lights with LED's

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The Pasadena Star News is reporting that a couple of cities including Pasadena and Los Angeles are planning on replacing sodium based street lighting with LED's. The new bulbs use between 40 percent and 60 percent energy and last four times as long. Los Angeles plans on replacing 14,000 street lights with LED's, while Pasadena aims to spend $528,000 to achieve this goal."
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Microsoft doubles reward for missing teenager

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The Toronto Star is reporting that Microsoft has doubled the reward for information about a missing teenager to $50,000. Brandon Crisp went missing since Thanksgiving Day after a dispute over a video game. Over 400 volunteers are helping in the search."
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London seeks own internet domain

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The Times is reporting that along with Wales and Scotland, London is seeking their own three letter domain (.ldn) in advance of the Olympic games in 2012. Could we see the start of every city getting their own domain?"
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National Library of Belarus

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikael (484) writes "In June 2002, the president of Belarus commissioned the construction of a new national library, which was completed June this year. Constructed in the shape of a spherical diamond and covered by reflective glass and chrome, it has gained the nickname of the "Death Star". Another feature of this building is that it is completely covered by colored lights on every side, which allows for some amazing animations. Perhaps they should offer programming competitions for the best animation. EnglishRussia has some photographs of the building in Summer and Winter, along with a timelapse video. Although, some residents would have preferred the money spent on a shopping mall rather than a national library."
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Nikko introduces R2-D2 entertainment droid

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The register is reporting that a Japanese company Nikko is producing an integrated projector, DVD player, iPod connection, and media card reader, all combined into the shape of an R2-D2 robot. http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/07/25/r2-d2_mult imedia/ http://www.youtube.com/v/N1h6onXX0dM No mention if they are going to provide a C3PIO unit to serve cold drinks and popcorn."

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