Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Not enough resourcees (Score 4, Insightful) 180

by Jeremi (#49560283) Attached to: Audi Creates "Fuel of the Future" Using Just Carbon Dioxide and Water

There isn't enough CO2 in the atmosphere to make this work.

That's okay, because they are unlikely to be taking the CO2 out of the atmosphere anyway. It would be much cheaper and easier to capture and reuse the outputs of an existing CO2 source (e.g. a coal plant) than it would be to suck CO2 out of the ambient air.

Comment: No need to overthink this (Score 5, Insightful) 276

by Jeremi (#49557801) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Google's social networking features remain marginal for the same reason all of the other social networking sites remain marginal: the value of a social networking application is proportional to the number of people who are already using it. And Facebook hit critical mass first, which means that anyone who wants to "socialize" online with all of their buddies is going to want to do that on Facebook, because that's where all of their buddies are to be found online.

Asking people to also sign up for a second social-networking service is a losing proposition, because it inconveniences them (now they have to check two sites every day) without providing any compensating benefit (why talk to their friends on site B when they could already do that on site A?).

Comment: Re:"Worth" (Score 1) 71

by Jeremi (#49524715) Attached to: I predict that by next Earth Day Bitcoin will ...

Bitcoin has no inherent worth. At least fiat currency, in physical form, can be burned for heat or used to clean-up after using the bathroom, or melted down and used for weights for fishing.

... and that's precisely why people turn to physical cash -- they never know when they will run out of toilet paper or kindling. No currency will ever be truly accepted unless/until it can also provide those vital services!

Comment: Re:Results may be interesting. (Score 1) 333

by Jeremi (#49522827) Attached to: Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet

That's not what I call "release". That's move from one cage to another. Maybe a bigger cage, but it's still a cage. Not freedom.

They wouldn't survive in the wild, so leaving them in the wild wouldn't be freedom either, it would be a death sentence.

That doesn't mean that putting them in a humane environment isn't the right thing to do. Keeping an animal in a 4x4 wire cage for its entire life is cruel. The distinction you're trying to make (an abstract idea of "complete freedom") isn't relevant and would be meaningless to the chimp; what's relevant is the chimpanzee's quality of life.

Comment: Re:Necessary step (Score 1) 333

by Jeremi (#49520319) Attached to: Update: No Personhood for Chimps Yet

What we've learned from our history is the stronger power typically enslaves the weaker, why would you think non-terrestrial intelligence wouldn't enslave us?

Historically there has been an economic advantage to enslaving people; if you enslaved someone you could get them to do work for you, so you didn't have to do the work yourself.

A non-terrestrial intelligence, contrariwise, would either not be present on Earth (in which case it wouldn't have the ability to enslave anyone on Earth), or if it did get to Earth, it did so by harnessing enough energy to make the trip across interstellar space. Any species capable of harnessing that much energy on its own is unlikely to need to enslave anyone to get its work done. It would be like you or I 'enslaving' a hamster to generate electrical power for our house -- there's not enough benefit to make it worth the effort of doing.

Comment: Re:Matlab (Score 1) 175

by Jeremi (#49516469) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

there has to be a good reason for it, and making it easier for bad programmers to produce more bad code is not a valid one.

If all you've got is bad programmers, and their bad code is nevertheless good enough to accomplish the tasks you need to get done, then a tool that allows bad programmers to produce more bad code may be just the thing you need. (of course some would argue that that niche is already filled by Java, but time will tell)

Comment: Re:ISTR hearing something about that... (Score 1) 159

by Jeremi (#49515815) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives

it actually caused a bug that would crash the system

It would be more accurate to say it revealed a bug. The bug was almost certainly a race condition that had always been present, but it took particular entry conditions (such as an unusually fast I/O device that the transcoder developers never tested against) to provoke the bug into causing a user-detectable failure.

Comment: Re:Never (Score 3, Funny) 181

by Jeremi (#49454767) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

What's dangerous is 3,000 pounds of metal being controlled by a driver who is impaired by alcohol, drugs or messing around on their phone.

I think there will be a market niche to accommodate the previous poster -- imagine a car that works just like a traditional car, except that it refuses to run into anything. It will be analogous to a (smart) mechanical horse -- you can try to get a horse to run into a brick wall, but most horses are going to turn or stop before they break their neck. There's no reason a car couldn't do the same.

Comment: Re:Alternative title (Score 1) 297

by Jeremi (#49454327) Attached to: Would-Be Bomber Arrested In Kansas; Planned Suicide Attack on Ft. Riley

entrapment: cop walks up to suspected thief: "here's the keys to that car, it's yours to take." he takes the car. he's arrest- invalidly. he should not go to jail and he should sue the police for entrapment

entrapment: undercover agent walks up to suspected terrorist: "here's the trigger to that bomb, it's yours to detonate." he (attempts to) detonate the bomb. he's arrested -- invalidly?

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

Working...