Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:Dams, too (Score 1) 243

Nonsense. The "erosion" on the main spillway was a huge crater many yards (meters) across, with increased flows spewing additional chunks of concrete into the air and into the Feather River. As the inflows exceeded the outflows (65000 CFS out, 120000 CFS plus in) the lake went to 100% and over the emergency spillway. The erosion on the emergency spillway threatened to destroy it, and they had to up the flow on the main spillway to 100000 CFS to start lowering the lake levels. There is now a HUGE crater at the end of the main spillway, and not much left of the main spillway below that point. Basically, they would have been able to manage the water IF they could release water from the main spillway (it can handle 250000 CFS, but that would flood the levees downstream). They could not. When it became clear the emergency spillway wasn't up to the task, they opened up the main spillway to just below levee-flood stage, which effectively assured the destruction of the rest of the lower half of the main spillway.

The big problem they have now, which is little-discussed in the media, is how long can they hold out. The rain season still has a few months to go, March is typically the wettest month, and the snowpack in the 6200 sq mile Feather River basin is about 175% of normal. Every day they run that main spillway at 100000 CFS they erode what's left of that hillside, and they have no option but to run it at that level if the storms keep coming. If the hillside erosion starts breaking off more of the main spillway it could threaten the integrity of the spillway gates, and then they're really in trouble. That's part of the reason they're desperately trying to shore up the hillside below the emergency spillway, because they might have no choice but to use it again soon.

Of course, even though much of California is washing away, just last week the Sacramento bureaucrats declared we're still in a drought. Bureaucracy and regulation is a ratcheting mechanism--it only turns in one direction. I'm sure they'll announce we're still in a drought next month too, even if they have to make the announcement from a rowboat moored to the top steps of the Capital building.

Comment Just more government run amuck, that's all (Score 1) 158

Hey Silicon Valley nerds: you do realize that California mandates exactly this sort of technology in your homes and offices, don't you? The 2013 and later building codes require occupancy sensors in all offices less than or equal to 250 sq. ft., as well as conference rooms, multi-purpose rooms and a whole host of other places. If you build a new home all garages, laundry rooms and utility rooms must have occupancy-sensor lighting. Feel free to be violated in the name of the environment, courtesy of your nanny state.

Comment Re:OK, help me out... (Score 1) 834

This administration doesn't strike me as one that intends to practice "business as usual". Trump stood next to British PM May and, while expressing support for a U.S. British trade pact, still made it clear that American workers came first as far as he was concerned. Companies planning end-runs around the rules might want to be prepared for some blow-back this time around.

Comment Re:BASIC programming skills (Score 1) 214

Software development is well on the path that Networking took about a decade ago. Good luck finding a job that pays enough to support a family when every 10th grade is building apps.

You could say that about pretty much every job today, from Airline Pilot to Zoologist. That has nothing to do wtih programming, and everything to do with automation and globalization in particular and life in general. Change is constant. Deal with it.

I wrote my own 6800 assembler in C-64 Basic (and hand-tuned 6502 assembly) as a teen to run my homebuilt wire-wrapped computer, so I'm probably about your age or older. I've been around the industry a while. Programming isn't math, or logic, it's understanding the domain and the end user. If I'm writing a Linux device driver I do it in C, and the domain involves semaphores, interrupts, bottom halves, and a host of other things that have little to do with math. Coding an android app in the NDK might involve C++, but the real hard work (at least for me) is building a proper UX and creating the graphics that other people want to use. Web site coding requires HTML, CSS, and the sort of browser-quirk javascript that makes me squirm, but hardly any math beyond an occasional sum. The only time I worry much about math is when I'm coding a FIR filter or some-such.

No, success as a programmer involves understanding the domain and the end user. That 10th grader may have barely passed trig, but he can still code up angry round objects and animate them using a plug-in library. If by genius or serendipity he realizes that every other 10th grader in the world will pay to watch those angry round objects dive on things, he's still a successful programmer in my book. If some particularly sharp 7-year-old codes up the next Minecraft in Scratch, more power to her.

Comment Re:HDMI cables? (Score 1) 104

You don't understand the System. The HDMI extortion mob could care less about HDMI cabling on dark matter detectors, provided the scientists are not slapping HDMI-Compliant trademarks on them and selling them for home Dark Matter Detection use. And even then only if they're actually making money on them. If they're making enough money, they'll soon be fighting patents filed for 'Detecting Anomalous Tenebrous Particles via Interconnecting COTS Technology' and other absurdly general ideas scammed through the PTO. Make enough money on Home Dark Matter Detectors, and the scientists simply buy the entire licensing organization and a few Congressmen.

Comment Re:Useless Metrics (Score 1) 111

There should be a clear and inviolable line of demarcation between the attempt to improve hospital/doctor intercommunication and the attempt to cut government outlays on medical costs. If not, both efforts are doomed to failure, and in bad ways. However, that's rarely the way the government bureaucrats see it.

Comment Re:Classic! (Score 1) 169

And the two big ways to get caught:

1) You're obviously living well beyond your means. It's never a good idea for an Accounts Receivable clerk to show up for work in a Maserati, unless they have the lottery ticket stub to go with it.

2) The scheme works so well (and it always does it at first) that you either get greedier and greedier, or start believing that you're so smart no one will ever notice your pilferage. The smart criminals are the ones who know when to quit when they're ahead.

Fortunately for society, the same character flaws that create a white collar criminal also tend to be those that create dumb criminals.

Comment Re:It reminds me (Score -1) 390

The 'cherry picking / proof by example' argument is common and fallacious. Most women who get an abortion are using it as a means of birth control, not as a medically necessary procedure, so the odds are the protesters will be right in their assumptions more often than not. The same fallacious reasoning is in full force whenever gun-control advocates assume that every gun owner is a mass shooter waiting to go off. Preying on people at their weakest is indeed wrong (unless you're a man-eating tiger), but so are straw man arguments.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson