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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

starless Re:Touch ID for $100?? (347 comments)

If you look at this comparison chart you can see that the iPad Mini 3 is exactly the same as the existing iPad Mini with Retina Display (now called iPad Mini 2) with the exception of two things:

  1. It's got Touch ID
  2. It's $100 more expensive

I'm not entirely convinced that Touch ID is worth the extra $100. Hopefully the IHS teardown will indicate if there is anything else of value between the two.

If there was anything else worthwhile, wouldn't apple be boasting about it rather than us having to wait for a teardown?
I am convinced that Touch ID isn't worth $100 to me...

3 days ago

How Nigeria Stopped Ebola

starless Problem with CDC guidlines (381 comments)

From the NYT today:

Federal health officials effectively acknowledged the problems with their procedures for protecting health care workers by abruptly changing them. At 8 p.m. Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued stricter guidelines for American hospitals with Ebola patients.

They are now closer to the procedures of Doctors Without Borders, which has decades of experience in fighting Ebola in Africa. In issuing the new guidelines, the C.D.C. acknowledged that its experts had learned by working alongside that medical charity.

The Doctors Without Borders guidelines are even stricter than the new C.D.C. directives

4 days ago

Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

starless Re:HL7? (240 comments)

Hmm... but this is a boon -for lawyers-.

I stand by my original statement. There is no limit to how negative this could go.

Yes, so you can't overestimate how good it is for them.
You need to either say:
cannot be overestimated.
should not be underestimated.

about three weeks ago

Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

starless Re:HL7? (240 comments)

The boon this provides... for lawyers... cannot be underestimated.

I suspect you mean
cannot be overestimated.

about three weeks ago

Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines

starless Re:Stop there (61 comments)

They need to be careful and make sure they don't reduce Robin Williams tributes or Ice Bucket Challenges. Otherwise there won't be anything left :(

Don't worry - there will always be pictures of food and people's children and pets...

about 2 months ago

Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

starless Re:This is what they mean by "point of no return" (273 comments)

Methane is big. A huge greenhouse gas. It knocks the socks of carbon in all ways except that there's not that much of it(yet). It also doesn't "clean up" nearly as nicely after a couple of centuries of forest expansion/ocean calcification.

Actually, I believe the the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere is a lot less than that of CO2. So, although it's a more "potent" greenhouse gas, the long term effects of CO2 are worse because of CO2's longer lifetime.
See e.g. this article on the effects of methane compared to CO2.
When methane is released chronically, over decades, the concentration in the atmosphere will rise to a new equilibrium value. It won’t keep rising indefinitely, like CO2 would, because methane degrades while CO2 essentially just accumulates. Methane degrades into CO2, in fact...

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

starless Re:More details, please (131 comments)

I think the question is really intended to elicit general comments on good places to buy batteries, as much as one particular battery type.
That makes it of much more general interest to slashdot readers.

about 2 months ago

3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

starless Re:What? (393 comments)

NASA does not build a damned thing.

NASA builds lots of things, including scientific instruments and spacecraft. (Even if spacecraft are typically outsourced).
Although indeed it doesn't build launch vehicles.

about 2 months ago

T-Mobile Smartphones Outlast Competitors' Identical Models

starless wifi calling? (127 comments)

Did the study include the effects of calling over wifi?
I have t-mobile and connect to wifi networks at home and work for my phone connection and my charge lasts a lot longer than
when I'm away from wifi networks I can use.

As far as I know, I think t-mobile is the only carrier to implement calling over wifi.

(What, RTFA and check if that's mentioned? Of course not...)

about 2 months ago

Comcast Confessions

starless Re:I must be the outlier (234 comments)

I cancelled comcast basic cable service over the phone last week. I didn't get much pressure to continue with them, just a brief question or two.
I just received a UPS box and label to return my equipment. (I had just received unrequested equipment because even basic
cable is now going to be encrypted in my area.)
So, so far so good.

But, the second person I talked with on the phone who was handling the equipment return (at a contractor
company, not comcast itself) thinks I also have a modem. But I don't as I cancelled internet service
with comcast many years ago. I'm hoping that's not going to be a problem...

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

starless Re:mbs/Mbs (208 comments)

To be fair you're not very scientific about the whole thing. You are whing about a convention (and i do share your analattitude towards m/M conventin), but mili-bits doesn't make any sense. a bit is a 0-1 atomic unit. Atomic as is cannot but cut into smaller pieces. So mili-bit doesn't make sense.

But as a rate millibits per second could make sense. One mb per second would be equivalent to transmitting one bit every one thousand seconds.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

starless mbs/Mbs (208 comments)

I doubt you can do much with a 10 milli-bit per second connection...

(Sorry, but I'm a scientist, units are important to me...)

about 3 months ago

Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

starless Re:I hear ya, Nom du Keyboard (354 comments)

I would like to know what people watch who love the streaming from Netflix because there sure are plenty of them.

Mainly TV and netflix-only productions. e.g. Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Breaking Bad, Battlestar Galactica, Orange is the New Black,
House of Cards, Doctor Who

about 3 months ago

CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

starless Lives saved? (454 comments)

There are certainly deaths/years of life lost caused by excessive drinking.
But on the other hand, there are health benefits of moderate drinking.

There's some presentation of health benefits/problems on the Mayo Clinic web site:

So, one question would be: how may years of life for the entire population are lost from excessive drinking, how many years
of life for the entire population are gained from moderate drinking? And how can moderate drinking be encouraged while
decreasing excessive drinking?
In general terms it appears that Russian men are very adversely affected by drinking (life expectancy ~64), and French women's long
life expectancies (~85) are helped by their moderate drinking.
But culture in general can be very hard to change!

about 4 months ago

NASA's Horizons Spacecraft To Probe Pluto Moon For Underground Ocean

starless Re:What an odd headline from The Register (47 comments)

Or maybe they just like to capitalise any word that has a vaguely smutty alternative meaning.

That's what they do.

(I find it rather annoying, but less annoying than their global warming denial articles.)

about 4 months ago

Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

starless Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

The problem with Drake's equation isn't the uncertainty - that's part of the assumption behind the equation. It's that it doesn't properly account for space & time. Let's say that the highest number is correct and that there are 100 million civilizations

In 4.6 billion year history of our solar system intelligent life has had the possibility of traveling to another star for 1.08695652e-8 of that time (that we know of anyway) - that means that of the 100 million civilizations less than 132 might exist at the same time and if distributed evenly would be 1 per 7.1969697e+15km of space. Meaning that our nearest neighbour might be 760 light years away. That means that if they just started transmitting at the same time we did, we won't pick them up for another 710 years. If they started 100,000,000 years ago those signals have long since passed us by and we likely don't have the science to pick up the more advanced signals that might be passing us by right now.

Well, I do think the Drake equation does incorporate time correctly. It includes star formation rates (rather than numbers) and the lifetimes
of civilizations.
However, the Fermi paradox isn't really a paradox if you only think about sending signals, for the reasons you discuss.
As discussed in the wikipedia article (for example) it's based on the idea of colonizing, or visiting all of, the Galaxy.
A number of people expect such "colonization" to occur by mainly self-replicating autonomous spacecraft.

about 4 months ago

NASA Names Gavin Schmidt Director of the Goddard Institute For Space Studies

starless Re:National Atmospheric Science Administration (41 comments)

Before even debating which agency should be involved, why is the "Goddard Institute for Space Studies" a climate research facility? With a name like that, shouldn't it be studying, well, space?

It's "space studies" because the studies are done (in many cases) from space.

We don't study "space" at NASA - we study stars, planets, galaxies, the universe as a whole, the Sun, and, yes, the Earth - all from space.

That's why the Hubble Space Telescope is a "space" telescope. Not because it looks at "space" but because the telescope itself is in space.

about 4 months ago

'Curiosity' Lead Engineer Suggests Printing Humans On Other Planets

starless Re:The Songs of Distant Earth (323 comments)

Aside from the whole organic-3D-printing-of-entire-humans angle, this isn't a new idea. Arthur C. Clarke's The Songs of Distant Earth features an extraterrestrial colony of humans descended from machine-grown progenitors.

There's also Greg Egan's fascinating short story Glory.
A tiny anti-matter powered package traveling at near light speed is sent to an exo-planetary system.
That's used as a seed to generate humans + technology using data sent electromagnetically.
(And it's in the 25th Year's Best Science Fiction)

about 5 months ago

Supermassive Black Hole At the Centre of Galaxy May Be Wormhole In Disguise

starless Re:There are too many pseudo-science stories (293 comments)

Remember when the existence of black holes was still hotly debated, back in the '70's? Observations on an very small object with a mass of more than 1.4 solar masses (the theoretical upper limit for neutron stars) resulted in a general acceptance that it was a black hole,

1.4 Msun is the maximum mass of a white dwarf not a neutron star.
It's therefore basically the _minimum_ mass of a neutron star.

To show that something is a black hole you have to show that it's more than
the theoretical maximum mass of a neutron star which is higher. That's not very well determined but is something like 3 Msun.

about 5 months ago


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