Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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: Declining fields and Pole Reversals. . (Score 1) 118

So the supposition is that kilns have been found with pots inside, we can demonstrate that the pots have been left undisturbed since the start of their last firing many thousands of years ago so you can judge the orientation of the earth's field at the time of cooling, and, moreover, we know the kilns haven't been moved either?

Color me skeptical.

Note that the article talks about intensity not orientation. Intensity, I understand. Orientation seems implausible with this method.

Comment Re:Alternative Explanation (Score 2) 118

Multiple samples from independent sources and locations help mitigate those concerns, along with a slowly-varying time course of the field strength.

What manufacturing circumstances would change the strength of magnetization for ferrous inclusions in cooling pottery that would be present before, say, 0 AD to pick a convenient, arbitrary and approximately relevant threshold?

Comment Re:Declining fields and Pole Reversals. . (Score 1) 118

Hmm ... How are you going to determine field orientation at time of cooling below the Curie temperature for pottery? Wouldn't that require knowing the physical orientation of the item when it was being cooled after firing? Am I missing something, like there's a universal point-to-the-east orientation that all pottery is placed in when cooling?

I can see making a good guess for geological structures, but pottery?

Comment Re:The published article (Score 3, Informative) 218

The subtitle of the article makes it pretty clear that the handheld market is not what is being targeted here:

It might be an ideal form of energy storage for solar and wind power.

It's intended for fixed-location installations where physical volume isn't such a concern, so energy density, while important, doesn't matter as much. The same niche is currently occupied by the nickel-iron battery that was recently mentioned in another /. article that I can't put my typing fingers on right at the moment. Same issues there: high reliability and lifetime, but (comparatively) poor energy density suggests power-smoothing for solar or wind would be an ideal application.

Comment Pilots, not drivers (Score 1) 123

Here's the thing, quick and simple: Uber is not known for it's warm feelings toward its employees/contractors (depending on which side of the law you sit on). Driving a four-wheeled vehicle on the ground is simple enough that you can do it while seriously impaired without too much risk. Not so with something flying through the air. Pilots are not the same as the semi-employable edge of society that Uber is famous for employing/contracting (yes, I'm being intentionally inflammatory here).

Anyone, but anyone, can drive a car. Not everyone has the situational awareness to fly you through the air, and the vast majority of Uber drivers I've had would not pass even a low-bar flight test. How are they going to surmount the barrier that getting a pilot's license requires? Are they going to attempt to establish a new class of licence in the eyes of the FAA? Good luck with that. Engineering is one thing. Fighting government in 50 states plus the feds, now that's something entirely different. Finding talented people to pilot these things for bottom-of-the-bucket wages, well, that's crazy impossible.

Comment Failure point (Score 1) 49

The soft helmets are a cool idea. But when they're unzipped, as you can see in the many photos with the helmets at that pose, there's a lot of stress at the zipper. That's going to be a failure point, just like it is on your luggage. I'm surprised that there isn't a better solution for that.

That said, it took me all of 10 seconds to see that, and the folks at Boeing aren't idiots, so I hope they have tested the hinging of their zippers!

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 389

Emphatically YES! Smarts in one narrow field doesn't guarantee smarts in every field: John Podesta is a Smart Guy, but he was stupid enough to fall for a phishing attack.

Yeah, the lesson I took from that is pretty simple and clear: DO NOT READ EMAIL AT 4 AM WHEN YOU ARE NOWHERE NEAR IN CHARGE OF YOUR FULL FACULTIES. Not sure why Podesta hadn't already figured that one out.

Comment Re:Primary factor (Score 1) 455

Let's understand the REAL issue here; the PATENT prevented everyone else from implementing a safety.

(Hyperbolic emphasis removed.)

I presume you mean "safety feature." In that case, you need to also understand that the fellow was using Apple's products and functionality, so their electing to implement or not implement the feature and thus blocking anyone else from developing the same has no bearing. You might also want to look at other instances where one company has patented some feature or product and that did not block other companies from producing highly similar features or products based on alternate implementations. There are many, many instances and examples of such cases. At the same time, we don't know that Apple, electing to not implement the patent, had not been approached to license the IP by manufacturers who wanted to implement the feature on their hardware. The argument you are proposing is that having a patent irrevocably blocks any development along a given line of inquiry, and that assumption is not exactly correct. Rather not, in fact.

Apple is being sued in this case, we might readily presume, because they have deeper pockets than anyone else, certainly deeper than the driver who so unfortunately caused the accident by his negligence to the task at hand of keeping his attention to the road. I suspect the suit will not succeed, and hope that the family can be brought some solace by owning all future wages ever earned by the liable driver.

Comment Re:Legal reference (Score 2) 163

Whether the amount the company is charging is an accurate reflection of their costs, or whether they are able to make a profit at it are irrelevant considerations. Whether the business model is a potentially successful one is not a legal question. And the simple counter-argument is that many, many, many businesses offer below-cost services in order to seed growth, especially early on in their existence. Even mature businesses offer so-called loss-leader specials that are intended to attract customers, even if they are not strictly money-making in an of themselves.

Whether the $1 final cost to the customer is sustainable by VidAngel is irrelevant: they could change their prices tomorrow, and for all we know, already have a price increase path plotted for the future.

Comment Re:Dear Developers... (Score 1) 173

Agreed. The only instance I can think of where a major UI change was definitively for the better was when GIMP tossed that horrible multi-window idiocy for the unified window presentation. That was a clear win (and one that users were clamouring for extensively). Other than that, though, it's all been for-the-worse. The basic menu is a great structure, but what makes it super-duper is having a help system that allows you to search for functionality without having to resort to Google.

Slashdot Top Deals

"If value corrupts then absolute value corrupts absolutely."