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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

painandgreed Re:LaserJet II and LaserJet 3 (454 comments)

I swear most of my stuff that brakes is overwhelmingly not due to a big expensive part, but cheap shit where the labor costs 100x+ more to replace it than the part itself.

You are correct. It usually is the cheap parts that break. That is usually designed in because better to have a cheap part break when something goes wrong rather than an expensive one. Then you'd have 100x+ the part cost and 100x+ the labor cost to fix the item.

1 hour ago

NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin of Life

painandgreed Thank you Dr. Manhattan (89 comments)

Matter interacting with matter.

When you eat some metal such as calcium, that calcium may become incorporated in your bones. Is that calcium all of a sudden ‘animated’ and ‘living’? Is the water that you drink somehow ‘animated’ because it flows through your brain cells?

"A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally there's no discernible difference."

6 hours ago

Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

painandgreed Re:Better leave now (211 comments)

If you could maintain a 1g acceleration indefinitely, you could travel to another galaxy and back within a human lifetime. It's not feasible, though, as you require more and more energy to accelerate the faster you go, and as you approach c, you approach needing an infinite amount of energy for an infinitesimally small boost in speed.

But energy, while conserved across all reference frames, is measured locally like time. It should be possible to create a near infinite amount of momentum by also creating a near infinite amount of momentum along an opposite vector, thus energy is conserved although there may be regions of high energy. Take a future drive that manages to take create matter and anti-matter pairs with opposite momentums in the direction decided upon by the drive. Allowing one to impart the ship and transfer it's momentum to the ship, while the other is expelled as exhaust. The ship gains momentum while net energy is conserved. Alternate the type of matter impacting the ship, and the exhaust recombined behind the ship into gamma rays and the ship gains energy for operation without gaining mass. Such a system should also be ok with thermodynamics, although there will probably be an efficiency issue requiring energy to be put into the process that will be converted to heat. You just need the momentum the ship gains to be greater than the momentum that could be created by that lost energy alone to be workable.

7 hours ago

Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

painandgreed Re:But is it a class M planet? (211 comments)

And that, in turn, will make the dark side so cold the air will precipitate out as snow. Then the atmosphere will equalize, and snow again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'm sorry, but I don't really understand how that implies airlessness. Kinda sounds like it's just experiencing seasons much like Earth does.

Basically, he's saying all your atmosphere will eventually end up as ice on the dark, cold side.


Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

painandgreed Re:The Economist (282 comments)

Does print offer any advantage over digital beyond not needing a powered device?

Personally, I am not sold that digital versions will stand up to the test of time. Printer versions pretty much only go out with decay or change of language which happen very slowly. Digital has it's own decay issues but proper back up will probably make it better than print, but I am uncertain that word docs, pdfs, or even text files will be compatible with future versions of similar readers a few decades from now. Will Adobe Acrobat 45 be able to update and open something made with Adobe Acrobat 4 accurately and reliably? Then there are revision issues. I can usually be certain that nobody has reprinted an old book with changes and if they have, there will be proper notation of this on the copyright page. Not so sure, I can tell how old a digital document is or that it hasn't been changed.


Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

painandgreed Re:Rewarding the bullies... (788 comments)

1. Kids shoot up schools. Why schools?

Because your targets are guaranteed to be unable to shoot back?

They obviously went to different schools than my friends in college. The ones from Philadelphia were explaining all the work they would go through to sneak their guns past the police guarding the school, and the one from NYC just laughed and asked why they didn't pay off the cop like they did. This all would have been in the 80's.

2 days ago

Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

painandgreed Re:Are you kidding (782 comments)

The American civil war was about much more than slavery--in fact, the slavery thing was pretty much just a PR tool Lincoln used to solidify public opinion in the north. The real issues were about state's rights, self governance, secession, and consolidation of federal power. It's good to know that mass "education" is successfully keeping people confused about this.

It was about the South running off with all the toys and money the North had bought for them (including the indepenence of Texas due to the Mexican-American War) and thinking they could just walk off with them.

2 days ago

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

painandgreed Re:Simple problem, simple solution (355 comments)

The benefit of SFO is that if you become unemployed in the tech industry, currently you don't have to wait very long to get another job. Los Angeles tech is a little different, and living in Denver, I'm sure the employment opportunities are even more limited.

The benefit of SFO is that there are things to do and you can probably walk or take the bus there unlike LA or Denver. From what I've heard, there are plenty of jobs in Denver and similar fly over states because the people capable of working those jobs don't want to live there. I've seen many friends try and decide if they want to live like a king in Ohio, or struggle with more money in SF, and they choose SF. The times I have seen them go to the less populated states has almost always been to raise kids in a place where there was passable schools and less trouble for them to get into. Of course, most of my friend and I grew up in those BFE states, and we're still bitter and biased.

2 days ago

Paper Microscope Magnifies Objects 2100 Times and Costs Less Than $1

painandgreed Re:Why lie about it being made of paper? (89 comments)

>The Economist is a Conservative publication??? You have an interesting perspective on the world.

Umm, yeah. Is this news to you? Certainly outside the U.S. it is considerate somewhat conservative.

For example, over the last 60 years it has almost always endorsed the Conservative party in the general election (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economist_editorial_stance#Endorsements)

Yep, but in the States, people like my Republican father find it a bit too liberal for his tastes. He still reads it because it has good information, but he can't see how they could endorse Obama in the last election (which they did), but there are other issues besides economics going on there. Of course, Obama is considered a solid conservative to most outside the US apparently.

2 days ago

Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

painandgreed Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (295 comments)

It was a war over Federal vs. State control

Yeah, control of slavery.

According to U. S. Grant, in his memoirs, it was over money. The US had just fought a war to help Texas gain indpendence, mostly funded by the north in both money and soldiers. The South was mostly economically depressed and the US had a great deal of possessions there, such as Fort Sumter, as well as money they had put into the South. There was simply no way the North would be willing to let them take all the toys and walk away with them. Slavery was certainly a wedge issue, and the reason Grant gave for the South being impoverished (You can't keep a third of your population so uneducated and unskilled that they can't even act as factory workers, and expect to do any better.). It was certainly one of the requirements for ending the war as at the Siege of Richmond when the South stalled by asking terms, Lincoln's offer was come back to the Union as if nothing had happened and abolish slavery and they would be allowed to write any other terms they wanted. Still, he stated in his memoirs that had the South sought independence without the economic entanglement, they would have been allowed to leave.

3 days ago

Mathematical Proof That the Cosmos Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

painandgreed Re:If you make this a proof of God... (594 comments)

Of course not. If He wanted you to believe, God would have showed you his birth certificate.

God tried to show his birth certificate, but scientists refused to look at it because it wasn't the long form.

4 days ago

The Graffiti Drone

painandgreed Re:For the Swarm! (126 comments)

Actual graffiti artists (think Banksy) can create some really good pieces which people actually collect.

Banksy is a "street artist" (who mostly copies Blek le Rat). Robbo was a "graffiti artist".

4 days ago

Why Are We Made of Matter?

painandgreed Re:Matter, anti-matter... (392 comments)

One possibility I have been wondering about is that of antimatter galaxies. Seen from a distance, wouldn't an antimatter galaxy look exactly like one made of matter? I have been told this is not a possibility either, since that would imply that somewhere there would have to be a boundary between matter and antimatter, where a lot of annihilation would be going on and producing gamma-radiation, which we have not observed.

I believe the explanation comes before that. During the primordial nucleosynthesis when matter and anti-matter were being created, they would be so well mixed that it would be impossible for galaxies to form. For any clumps of matter to form, the universe would have to be much less dense than it is now, and those clumps would not nearly be in the size of galaxies.

about two weeks ago

NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

painandgreed Re:robots (402 comments)

The robot missions are limited to using the equipment that they've taken with them. Woudn't a human mission have exactly the same limitation? There's a limit to what you can achieve with a pickaxe and a screwdriver. Anyway, I expect that a human mission would be so tied up in just keeping the humans alive, that they'd have little time or resources for any actual research.

Realisitically, a manned mission to Mars would be long term and pretty much have to include a machine shop and ability to repair like any large ship. Add in that there are skilled people present and if mission criteria changed due to what was learned, they could probably alter or build lab equipment for those new criteria. We wouldn't be sending just tools, but a lab with tools that could be used and arranged in various ways as needed. Which, yes, the complexity of sending such and keeping people alive reliably enough to do research is why nobody is trying to send people to Mars any time soon but rather continuing to do the research are are doing with space launches and the ISS.

about two weeks ago

NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

painandgreed Re:Realistically (402 comments)

Apollo 11 happened within a single decade, this time we'd be starting with a lot stronger infrastructure and tools, all it really takes is the devotion of resources.

The fuel to power the air conditioning for U.S. troops in GWII was consuming more money, annually, than NASA's entire budget. All it takes to do a thing like a manned moon landing or Mars mission is the political will to do it.

And going to Mars is a mission that is an order of magnitude larger than going to the Moon. It took a decade to go to the moon, so we can expect a hunderd years to go to Mars even with political will and funding. 40 years past and 60 years to go sounds about right. It's not like we've stopped going that way and are probably farther along that most people think. We're still sending things to space, sending missions to Mars, have the ISS doing research, all while tech is increasing on the surface. Sure, we could be doing more, but I don't think people understand the difficulty of what they mean when they say "go to Mars". We are looking at a multi-year mission for a sizable group of people in space and without any unplanned emergency backup in much harsher conditions than LEO. The beginning to a push for Mars will begin with an increase of dedication for the ISS. Probably building another one with what we learned. only then, we could start doing missions that would even look like Mars missions. Those missions would include long term space habitats outside the van allen belt. Return to the moon in a similar long term mission. Possibly exploring and attempts to mine the moon for water if the amount required and ability to gather it would pay off as opposed to shipping it up from the Earth's gravity well. Shipping supplies and equipment to Mars to await the crew and test our ability to get to Mars with such vehicles. Then we could actually send people to Mars.

about two weeks ago

NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

painandgreed Re:Realistically (402 comments)

We didn't go to the moon till Apollo 11.

Which was, it must be noted, only eight years after the first American went into space.

It's now been 40+ years since a human went beyond LEO...which is sad.

And this is about an order of magnitude larger than going to the moon which with 40 years past would put us about 40-60 years out from getting to Mars. Sounds about right.

about two weeks ago

NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

painandgreed Realistically (402 comments)

There's no conceivable way that, within the next few years, our engineering capabilities or understanding of things will be able to do a manned deep space mission to Mars, safe or not. We could try to just put a bunch of guys in a box and send it that way. I doubt we could design, build, orbit, and then get the box on it's way in the "next few years". Let's be serious. Nobody with space capability is looking at a Mars mission any time soon (next few decades*). The level of complexity needed will take time, research, and money. We didn't go to the moon till Apollo 11. Once you start seeing your Mars missions planned, let alone counting up, then we can start being serious about going to Mars. Seriously, we need to test deep space habitats. Long term independent space habitats. Long range movement of large structural objects in space. I bet we will have a deep space station and have sent something similar in a long trip around the moon long before we attempt Mars.

*Elon Musk said it's possible in the next 10-12 years. I think he is just being overly optimistic, and that is overly optimistic, to get in the papers.

about two weeks ago

Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

painandgreed Re:If you take the profits (179 comments)

People who use the banana equivalent dose don't seem to understand this rather basic and crucial fact. It's also why you don't hear experts on the subject using it.

Bring one fact into the discussion and that sort of indicates you have to bring them all in and now your discussion is way beyond anybody but an expert in understanding, if they ever finish compiling the facts. Facts are just a sure way you'll lose 99% of your audience as they fail to understand or get bored.

about two weeks ago

OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

painandgreed Re:Im all for human rights... (1482 comments)

being gay is not a matter of religion

Romans 1

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

It is very much a religious issue for many people.

That's just artifacts of the English translation being unable to convey the true meaning of the scriptures. It doesn't remotely mean the same thing when read in the original Klingon.

about two weeks ago

If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

painandgreed Re:Not playing nice. (353 comments)

No sympathy here. Play by the established rules and regulations or GTFO, ok?

Depends where you are talking about and which company. Most are operating under loopholes or bizarre interpretations of the laws, but aren't quite running a speakeasy of cab services. Of course, at least in Seattle, playing by the established rules and regulations means they can't enter the market as all the taxi licenses are already owned and they will not issue more. One of the companies in Seattle therefore ran under the rules that towncars and limos ran under as a charter service. It's just that with cell phone apps, the charter could be made from anywhere in seconds. Still, there are reasons that these service can even function at higher rates than taxis, and that's because that taxis, in Seattle anyway, and unreliable, inconvenient, and dirty.

about two weeks ago


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