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Comment Trend Analysis (Score 5, Insightful) 27

I can certainly appreciate a well written complex piece of SQL. Writing major summary reports in SQL can be unbelievably complex. However, it doesn't need to be complex in order to impress me. It just has to answer the correct question. Particularly true when querying a data warehouse, it is all about getting sums and averages over time periods, right? Now you take those results, throw them into a crosstab engine, start spitting out charts and looking for trends. Then you can start to see the anomalous trends.

An award winning SELECT statement, in my opinion, would simply be one that asks an insightful question.

Comment Re:just a friendly reminder (Score 1) 43

PS, if quantum photon tangler re-danglers are activated, let me know which light on the server indicates this and how i can check to make sure the tangler is launching fresh photons.

Well, we have designed it so that the photons will automatically light up. I am particularly proud of that design.
Unfortunately, we have not exposed them outside the box so you will not be able to see them from the outside.
However, we are working on software that will represent their state in a meaningful fashion.

Comment Re:Article asks an important question (Score 1) 416

  • [1.] A detection of thrust that scaled with input power: the greater the power, the greater the thrust, in a predictable relationship.
  • [2.] A thrust that was at least many standard deviations above the measurement error.
  • [3.] An isolated environment, where atmospheric, gravitational and electromagnetic effects were all removed.
  • [4.] A reproducible setup and a transparent device design, so that other, independent teams can further test and validate the device/investigate the mechanism.
  • [5.] And finally, a detailed results report with the submission of an accompanying paper to peer review, and acceptance by the journal in question.

Your caveats generally cover it for me. IANAS. Perhaps I see the world through too much of a programmer perspective but #4 is the only one that I care about.
If the results are consistent and repeatable by independent groups, does anything else matter?
It depends on what you mean by "...that this is real".
If you mean, "Can I build a propulsion drive based on this principle alone?", then I would need more.
If you mean, "This demonstrates that there is a something we don't currently understand that requires further investigation", just #4.
If you mean, "Can we use this to calculate the exact improbability of this being real?" then we could feed this into a finite improbability generator (still working on it) and use it to create an Infinite Improbability Drive. Then we wouldn't need all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace.

Comment Re:without the need for doping (Score 1) 38

When a graphene sheet was placed on top of an atomically smooth sheet of yttrium iron garnet, the graphene borrowed the magnetic properties from the yttrium iron garnet and became magnetized without the need for doping.

I agree. I have had enough of hearing about all the doping scandals.
The last thing I need is news that my writing instrument is high on who-knows-what.
I can't wait to buy a pencil that will stick to my fridge without having to glue a magnet to it.
...and with two sheets built in, I won't have to hunt for paper!

Submission + - Groupon backs down on use of GNOME trademark (

Inzkeeper writes: The Gnome Foundation started raising funds for a court challenge after Groupon tried to register several trademarks around the name "GNOME". After an outpouring of outrage from the open source community, Groupon decided to choose a different name.

Comment Re:The film sucked; the miniseries before it was g (Score 3, Informative) 39

Each mediam was made with the author who was well aware that they are different mediums, so the stories were adapted to each medium.

Bah! You are all wrong! For the REAL die-hard fan, get a hold of the radio scripts. They add a lot of commentary on how different things came about, how he was busy scribbling details right until air time, how he grabbed the janitor at the last second to play a part he just added in. The commentary is almost as funny as the script itself.
It describes how, at the end of one episode, he threw our heros out of a space lock and had the floating in open space with seconds to live.
He then goes on the discuss how he struggled for that next week trying to decide how to free them. Anything he came up with seemed to highly improbable.
So... he came up with the Improbability Drive (tm Sirius Cybernetics).

BTW: I agree, each medium was adapted as necessary. I enjoyed all of them. At first, the movie seemed a little too slapstick for my tastes, but it quickly grew on me. I think Douglas would have approved.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Strange place

Even after 10 years of being on Slashdot, I am left to wonder what the point of a Slashdot journal is.
Who would ever look here and why?
Perhaps if this was the graveyard of rejected submissions but otherwise...?

Comment Re:Someone's going to complain (Score 1) 208

Its stale. I've got news for you Google Street View and Satellite images can be years old. If I were relying on it for up to date information then I'd be mistaken. My house on street view was taken in 2010. A lot has changed since then.

That may be true but...
This is a logical starting point:

1. The drone snaps pictures of undocumented development.
2. Now they send in an inspector to verify and, having done so, start the process of reassessing the property.
3. Send new taxation notice
4. PROFIT!!!

Submission + - Fuel Cell Innovations

Inzkeeper writes: I remember years ago when I first ready about fuel cells as a possible alternative energy source.
This sounded great: using hydrogen to generate electricity without combustion. The exhaust is pure water. I was excited ...until I started reading about the drawbacks. Hydrogen is not easy to produce, store, distribute, etc. The cathode is made from platinum making it expensive.

Years after losing interest, I decided to check on recent developments in the field.
I discovered that research into the use of fuel cells is alive and well.
This may very well become the disruptive technology that we hope it could be.
Here are some of the many recent innovations out there:

April 9 2013: Burn scrap paper and aluminum, add cheap catalyst and water: "cheap" hydrogen on demand

Nov 25, 2013: CellEra creates a catalyst free of rare earth metals.

April 29, 2014: Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne National Labs create a process that uses 85% less platinum and has more the 30 times the catalytic activity.

June 24, 2014: UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council experiments with ammonia as a source fuel.
It is relatively easy to store, "cheap" to make, and can be stored at low preassure.

July 2014: GE has developed a process that uses stainless steel as a catalyst instead of platinum.
The fuel is natural gas instead of pure hydrogen. The exhaust, a mixture of hydrogen
and carbon, is then put through a combustion engine for further efficiency.

August 4, 2014: Anglo American Platinum is funding a study into the use of liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) technology
as a means of storing hydrogen.

August 22, 2014: Stanford has developed an process for producing hydrogen from water using inexpensive materials and relatively little energy.

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"Engineering meets art in the parking lot and things explode." -- Garry Peterson, about Survival Research Labs