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When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

wvmarle Re:I give the Chinese 300 years (214 comments)

You're a few years behind the times.

While for sure they're not on par with the Americans, I wouldn't call BeiDou a "PR stunt". There are already mobile phones on the market that use it, in conjunction with the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS. They also have a growing number of more and more advanced military satellites circling around the earth already, and have managed to reach Mars.

There is for sure a lot of PR involved, and that should tip you off for the future. They will sooner or later leapfrog the US, just because of that, because it's the exact same motivation the US had to put a man on the moon.

3 days ago
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When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

wvmarle Re:I give the Chinese 30 years (214 comments)

I figure it isn't going to happen within 10 years. Since it isn't even started yet.

When the Americans decided to put a man on the moon, they did it within ten years. In an era where manned space flight was in its infancy

We're now in an era where manned space flight is more or less routine, and where rocket technology and other space technologies have vastly improved.

I'm quite positive it's possible to put a man on Mars within ten years, if only we really want to. If the US would put only a quarter of the money that now goes towards destruction of other people (i.e. the military) towards this mission, it can be done - the amount that goes to their military is so huge, a space mission will look cheap in comparison. It'll need a multiple of spacecraft, one for the crew (with life support for the duration of the trip and a while on Mars), several robotic freighters to carry further supplies needed to set up a permanent base. Indeed it'd be a one-way mission, until the Mars colonists produce the fuel needed for the return trip.

What's missing is the political will. The Americans got to the moon as they thought they were being outcompeted by the Russians, and that this was the only non-selfdestructive way to show the Russians their might (invading Russia would've amounted to suicide of course). This political will, this competition is missing now.

So that indeed gets us back to China. Russia has lost most of it's capabilities, and won't be back on track soon. The Chinese however develop quickly, and start to seriously catch up with the Americans. The moment the Chinese take over and say "we're going to put a man on Mars, just to show the world how great we are", the Americans will say "we're going to be there first!". As soon as that happens, less than a decade later, there will be people on the moon.

3 days ago
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When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

wvmarle Re:oil discovery = terraforming (214 comments)

LOL

The best part of your comment may be that it's modded "+4, interesting" instead of "+4, funny" and that so far you only got serious replies to it!

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

wvmarle Re:Leave them off your resume. (224 comments)

One hope is that the patents look good to the prospective employer on a resume, but I don't want them to take the existing IP for granted as part of the deal.

If it is not part of the deal then leave it off your resume.

Leaving them off may not be such a good idea if those patents are your personal selling point - showing your capabilities, and why they should hire you and not someone else.

Also later if you get the job, those patents will probably get in the way. I expect those patents to be right in the main field of expertise of the applicant - which is probably exactly the expertise the prospective employer wants to hire him for. It is going to be hard to use your expertise, when a key part of that expertise can not be used as you have patented it yourself.

So somehow I think the patents should be at least part of the interview process (show of expertise/experience if nothing else), and if the content of those patents is indeed related to the job at hand they will have to be licensed by the hiring company as well in one way or another - preferably in a way to prevent lock-in and conflict of interest from both sides. I've no idea how that could be done specifically, but I'm sure a way can be found.

Just leaving it out of the interview may come to haunt you later. Hired for the job, then you want to implement something for the company that needs your patented technology, and suddenly you have to ask more from the company (a patent license) just to do your job. That's bound to give problems at best, and in worse case dismissal.

4 days ago
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Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

wvmarle Re: Getting tired of this shit (280 comments)

There's nothing requiring you to go to registered doctors or official hospitals.

When getting sick, why don't you fly over to Africa (the plane tickets cost you about as much as a night in hospital in the US), and ask some witch doctor to treat you (his fees for a full treatment may be less than what your regular doctor will charge you for a consult)? Maybe it's because you hope to get a proper treatment at your registered doctor, who you know has finished a rigorous training, and that the hospitals you're treated are maintained to high standards?

There are good reasons for the licensing and registration systems that are in place for not only medical personnel, but also commercial transport services such as taxis. There may be room for improvement on the existing systems, but abolishing is certainly not going to be an improvement.

about a week ago
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Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

wvmarle Re:Uber seems to be fitting under UK existing law (280 comments)

Not knowing the intricacies of UK rules, what you mention still means that not just anyone who happens to own a car may start offering rides for pay.

The key is "Licensed Hire Vehicles" - they're licensed, so there must be some requirements for those that do not apply for normal private cars. Probably extra driving course and insurance, that kind of things. And as soon as they're licensed, they're legal to drive people around.

The problem of most Uber drivers is that they are not licensed to carry paid passengers.

about a week ago
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More Details On The 3rd-Party Apps That Led to Snapchat Leaks

wvmarle Re:Excuse me while.. (97 comments)

The problem if the randomness of the third party is that you don't know who it is - for many random third parties it indeed won't matter, but not for all random third parties. You never know where the image ends up.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Develops Analog Keyboard For Wearables, Solves Small Display Dilemma

wvmarle Re:Nothing new (100 comments)

Stroke order is indeed essential for proper software recognition.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Develops Analog Keyboard For Wearables, Solves Small Display Dilemma

wvmarle Re:Nothing new (100 comments)

Never seen pinyin in great use: too many homophones for that to work well. There are much better methods than pinyin.

However those methods only work well with a keyboard, while handwriting works better on small screens like mobile phones. Looking around me on the MTR I see most people use handwriting, some use other methods (such as "nine stroke" which basically uses the numerical phone keyboard for character input, advantage is that the soft keys on the screen are of reasonable size).

about a week ago
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Microsoft Develops Analog Keyboard For Wearables, Solves Small Display Dilemma

wvmarle Nothing new (100 comments)

Handwriting input is routine for input of Chinese characters on mobile phones, and has been for many years already. The character recognition part works quite well there, and is certainly a lot harder than for the very limited Western alphabet. So unless I'm missing something, there doesn't seem to be anything innovative about it.

about a week ago
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More Details On The 3rd-Party Apps That Led to Snapchat Leaks

wvmarle Re:Excuse me while.. (97 comments)

As long as you can be sure that this third party doesn't know you, you're fine.

But how can we be sure of that? Maybe this unknown third party uploads it with your name or other identifying information to some image site, Google finds and indexes it, and suddenly people that know you and that for fun search your name in Google, can find it. Same accounts for your future prospective employer, who receives lots of application letters, likes your resume, and a few Google queries later has your private parts in all their glory on his screen. As a result you never get a chance to even come for an interview. Not too far-fetched a scenario.

So that's how an unknown third party seeing them may hurt you.

If you happen to be a celebrity (if only as captain of your local school's football club) it's even more daunting.

about a week ago
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More Details On The 3rd-Party Apps That Led to Snapchat Leaks

wvmarle Re:Excuse me while.. (97 comments)

In turn, helicopter parenting is made so much easier thanks to mobile phones. After all, now there's the option to call your kids every 10 mins, no matter where they are.

about a week ago
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More Details On The 3rd-Party Apps That Led to Snapchat Leaks

wvmarle Re:Excuse me while.. (97 comments)

Banknotes are pretty anonymous, if someone steals a banknote from me, that sucks as I lose some money, however if he shows it to someone else there's no additional harm to me.

Now compare that to digital nude photos, especially the ones with the person's face in it.

about a week ago
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More Details On The 3rd-Party Apps That Led to Snapchat Leaks

wvmarle Re:Excuse me while.. (97 comments)

Agreed with the "should not" part.

However "should not" and "not doing" are two different things - especially for exactly kids that age. It's the age of self-discovery, of rebellion, doing things they know they shouldn't do, without yet realising the consequences.

In my time (I was that age in the late 1980s), taking nude pics of oneself and sending it to school friends was just not an option. That's probably the only reason it didn't happen back then, or any time before the early 2000s - the time web cams became ubiquitous, and instant digital shots could be made from the privacy of one's bedroom, with little to no chance of parents finding out. Nowadays of course web cams have been replaced by mobile phones, making it even easier.

It is more reasonable to understand that there are always kids that actually do this, trying to stop them is futile. Instead teaching general computer security as part of modern day computer lessons would be the way to go. One major part should be to have all people understand that if you can see a picture, you can save that picture, period. No matter what the app proclaims. It may be hard, you may not be able to pull it off yourself, but it can be done, and as a result those pics and other data may end up where you don't want them to.

about a week ago
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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

wvmarle Re:I hate the marathon (254 comments)

He's got the whole day to cover... just read GP.

about a week ago
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FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading

wvmarle Re:Ok, but (576 comments)

That way the pool of potential candidates is pretty small. Especially as in this case they're talking about internships, which is typically for young people.

about two weeks ago
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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

wvmarle Re:I hate the marathon (254 comments)

Close the windows and use the day for a Dr Who marathon or so.

about two weeks ago
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Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

wvmarle Re:Huh (249 comments)

Unfortunately last time I browsed without adblocker there are still those flashy animated gifs in use. Very distracting, very irritating, making it hard to read the text you want. That's why flashblock is not enough for me.

about two weeks ago
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Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

wvmarle Re:they fundamentally don't get it. (249 comments)

So true.

The problem is that Facebook et.al. are trying too hard, and the advertisers think that's the way to go. It's not.

It used to be much simpler. Tech ads go on Slashdot, motorcycle boot ads go on a motorcycling enthusiast site, hand bags go on a fashion accessories site. The mere fact that I'm reading Slashdot means I'm interested in tech. If I'd be reading a motorbike site, I'd likely be interested in motorbikes and related stuff. When visiting a baby site, guess what, good chance I'm expecting one or just got one, and would be interested in baby beds, baby clothes, baby toys and crap like that. What's so hard about that?

And then there are the rare moments that I'm actively looking at ads - those moments are typically when I'm searching Google in order to buy something, or to book a hotel somewhere, or something like that. As long as Google is smart and bases the ads on the keywords that I enter there and then, they often tend to be relevant to what I'm interested in. As a matter of fact I've used Google AdWords quite some time ago, and it did get me quite some business, it was money well spent. Nowadays in a different business the clicks are just too expensive to be worth it... (I have to offer USD 1.3-1.5 per click, even on what I thought are rather specific and uncommon search words).

I don't think there is really a need for advertisers to know my age, whether I'm married, or my current gender. My search terms, and the sites that I visit, should give plenty of clues about that. I know a few sites out there that actually have relevant ads (and where the ads are not blocked by the adblocker!) as they sell their ads themselves. Of course for most small sites that's not practical, so they buy wholesale from an ad network, and get crap. Luckily that's also the crap that's adblocked easiest.

about two weeks ago
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A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

wvmarle Re:I think it's a power and propulsion issue (203 comments)

An autogyro (that's a helicopter where the rotor is not powered, instead using a prop or jet or so for forward propulsion) would get really close. Especially if you add an engine to spin up the rotors for extra lift at take-off, and even (near) vertical landing is feasible. Forward speeds of such vehicles are low for an aircraft, so a more regular car body shape could be aerodynamic enough.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: backup solution for small business

wvmarle wvmarle writes  |  more than 4 years ago

wvmarle (1070040) writes "For my small business I am looking for a reliable backup method, allowing me to relatively easily recover my data from a crash. This includes email (Cyrus IMAP), LDAP, /etc, user home directories, and other user generated data. This is all stored on a single server; users mount /home over NFS. No important data on the work stations.
There are two issues I am struggling with: first of all the backup method. Currently I'm making a simple tarball (daily updates, weekly updates, monthly full backups); while reasonably effective it's not easy to recover data and ldap/mysql databases don't like to be recovered that way. I've been looking at software but there are so many solutions that I do not know where to start. Something reasonably easy to manage, and reasonably easy to restore, with a scheme similar to the above.
Secondly the storage medium. Currently my backups are on a separate hard disk inside the server. Again not the best solution. I have been looking to use e.g. flash drivers for external storage, but my .tgz monthly dumps are about 30 GB and the largest USB drive that I found is barely bigger, doesn't make me feel happy. Also too much for DVD-Rs. And it's not enough to think about tape. Removable hard disks I wouldn't like to just toss in my bag to take them home for off-site storage, just hoping they survive those trips. I'm not really looking for permanent backup, 3-6 months while rotating the media will do."
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Chinese surfers see red over Microsoft black-outs

wvmarle wvmarle writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wvmarle (1070040) writes "Microsoft has decided to take action against Windows systems in China that fail the "Windows Genuine Advantage" check. Since the latest automatic updates, many users find their desktop background to be changed to black. This has left many users fuming and looking for alternatives. Also Microsoft Office is targeted, and Chinese software producers supplying competing products see their downloads soar by as much as 50% already. One of the main complaints is that Microsoft is hacking end user's computers, and users are afraid that if today Microsoft changes their background, what will they do tomorrow? More news reports available here and here."

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