Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:huh ? (Score 1) 32

why cant deaf people just type their words into a TTS app running on their smartphones.

Maybe they're wanting to engage in public speaking with a mixed crowd of hearing and deaf individuals but are either self-conscious of how well they can speak or never developed the skill to begin with?

Maybe they're online with their gaming console and want a way to communicate quickly to teammates without interrupting their gameplay with on-screen keyboards that take forever to type into?

Maybe they want something that's faster than typing on a smartphone?

There are plenty of reasons for this sort of thing, just like there are for any other sort of translation service.

Comment Re:quite likely "intelligence" is monitoring (Score 1) 318

I disagree with your assertion that those arguments are necessarily flawed, but regardless of our disagreement over that subject, that's immaterial to the discussion here, since if you have an issue with the analogy introduced by the previous poster, you can easily swap it out for most other forms of illegal business activity with which you have no such qualms (e.g. gun running? sex trafficking?) without changing the core of the arguments. Drugs were a convenient analogy that are familiar to most here, but if they don't work for you, the arguments hold up just fine with any number of other illegal business ventures being substituted in their place.

Comment Re:Not Sure (Score 1) 461

Feel free to blame Jonathan Ive for furthering the use of flat designs, but by no means did they originate from him. The most obvious counter-example is Windows 8, which pre-dates the "flat" releases of iOS and OS X by one and two years, respectively. Microsoft was leading the way in flat design with its Metro/Modern UI well before Apple had even dipped its toe in that water. And I'm sure there are examples (particularly on the web) that pre-date Microsoft's use of flat designs.

Jonathan Ive has done a lot of good stuff and has messed up a lot of stuff as well, but suggesting he was the originator of flat designs is patently and provably false.

Comment Re:Greed rules in Corporate America (Score 2) 118

So many things wrong with what little you've said:
A) While you, myself, and the esteemed Mr. Jay may each have a difference in opinion, the one thing we all have in common is that none of our opinions are law. Setting aside for the moment that his words don't mean what you think, his words hold no more bearing in matters of law than yours, mine, or anyone else's.

B) Two minutes of searching made it clear to me that you've taken Jay's words well outside the context in which they were offered. The full passage from which your quote was taken is:

By this [1777 New York State] constitution the right of suffrage was, in several instances, restricted to freeholders; it being a favourite maxim with Mr. Jay, that those who own the country ought to govern it.

I.e. John Jay was--at the time that the America was beginning to fight for independence--asserting the right of the people who live on the land to govern the land, which stood in sharp contrast with the notion that a country should be ruled by people from a distant land.

C) "Big business", as we think of it today, simply didn't exist at America's beginning, so saying that "[b]ig business has always ruled [A]merica" is quite an overreach. One might successfully argue that big business has ruled since the time of the robber barons, but even that may be a bit of a stretch.

Comment Re:You underestimate the power of greed (Score 1) 137

Aside from the obvious logical fallacy you're engaging in (i.e. pointing out that someone, such as a third-world nation, does something does not mean that the something is unique to them), your insinuation isn't even backed up by the facts of the matter, since meat exports are largely the domain of developed nations. To use your own examples...

Countries ordered by rank:
Beef Exports: Brazil, Australia, the US, New Zealand, Canada, and the EU account for almost 60%
Chicken Exports: Netherlands, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and the US account for about 65%
Pork Exports: The EU, the US, Canada, Brazil, China, and Australia account for almost 95%

In all three cases, you can account for over 50% of the annual global exports market just by looking at the developed nations in the top 10 rankings. No need to even consider the long tail on the graph (I didn't; I listed no nations beyond the top 10). I included Brazil in my lists, since by your own admission it's not a third-world country (even though it actually is, if we're going by the strict definition for what a third-world country is), but if you want to exclude it, the only list it would significantly impact would be beef, since it accounts for roughly 20% of the world's supply.


Comment Re:Biggest improvement yet to come... (Score 1) 91

Yeah, last I heard, the number for where their money was coming from was roughly 92% from advertising, with the other 8% being devices and services. I'm sure that the data they can gather ties in with some of the advertising, since it allows them to target the ads better and thus command a better price for them, but suggesting that it makes up the bulk of their revenue strikes me as being patently ridiculous, though I have no way to disprove the claim directly.

Mind you, I'm the OP in this chain who clearly has a bone to pick with Google. And even I don't think that AC's claims make any sense.

Comment Re:Biggest improvement yet to come... (Score 1) 91

Link? I recall something from a few months ago about decoupling G+, but it was not the complete decoupling I was discussing here. I also looked back through /. to August and didn't see anything relevant, so it must have been further back. But, I'm always open to being corrected and being provided with relevant information.

Comment Biggest improvement yet to come... (Score 5, Insightful) 91

They're obviously keeping the biggest improvement for later, since they have yet to announce that they're completely removing the G+ tentacles from all of their other services. But I'm really looking forward to that announcement and am sure they won't screw me over in the meantime! :D

...like when they stopped allowing YouTube comments if you weren't signed up for G+, preventing me from talking to my viewers.
...like when they finally forced me sign up for G+ since I couldn't otherwise manage a charity's YouTube account.
...like when they refused to permit the use of pseudonyms for several months there, even though many of us have globally unique names.
...like when they automatically created G+ pages auto-populated with their details for everyone signing up for any of their other services.
...like when they opted me in automatically to have my G+ images used for their marketing purposes.
...like when they enabled abusive exes to find the former targets of their abuse when they auto-friended contacts in Buzz.

But hey, this time will be different. They're redesigning it so that it works better on the devices we use 24/7 and entrust with our most private information, which is totally cool, since they've admitted they made some mistakes and have said they're sorry.

I think they mean it this time. Everything will be better.

Comment Re:Very different priorities indeed (Score 1) 87

That looks a lot like a standard non-denial. I figured it was just a ridiculous joke when the OP posted it, but having read through the entire contents at the link you provided, I actually now find it to be significantly more credible. It sounds like something that was intended to be a private conversation went public and that the administration needed to backpedal. Saying you don't know but don't think something sounds right is an easy way to do just that.

Comment Re:quite likely "intelligence" is monitoring (Score 1) 318

It's only a bad analogy if you make the assumption that demand must be supplied from local sources. Your whole statement is predicated on that assumption, but that's not a safe assumption with drugs and it's not a safe assumption with terrorism.

I agree that suppliers will seek to fill demand, generally speaking, but a den may be in a particular neighborhood for any number of reasons, only one of which is to be close to consumers. If all of the neighborhoods in a region make themselves inhospitable to drug dens, criminals will still seek to supply the demand in that region, of course, but they may be incapable of doing so, simply because it would have become too difficult for them to operate there.

Comment Re:quite likely "intelligence" is monitoring (Score 1) 318

I completely agree. Of course, there's also the case to be made that if a community activist posts a map to all of the drug dens in the neighborhood, it may finally encourage the community to take matters into their own hands, making the neighborhood inhospitable to the criminals. Get enough neighborhoods doing it, and it becomes pretty hard to do illegal business.

If the community actually responds, then great. But if they don't, which is what we'd typically expect, then the smart cop does exactly what you said: use the small fish to find the bigger ones.

Comment Re:I am a Christian and I do read the Bible ! (Score 1) 965

Even granting that the Old Testament is still valid, the Old Testament doesn't contain what you apparently think it does, so it makes no difference to this discussion if it's included or not.

Unlike what's being preached in extremist Islam, the Old Testament contains no standing orders to put anyone outside of the Jewish community to death. There's no "slay all non-believers" blanket command. Aside from capital punishment among their own people, the only other cases of there being a command to kill are the handful of historic instances where God commanded the Israelites to wipe out specific individuals or groups of people for specific reasons, such as the pagan nations occupying modern-day Israel at the time that the Israelites returned from captivity in Egypt. But even in cases like those, the peoples and nations that were to be eliminated were enumerated carefully and are no longer in existence, so there's no way that they could be construed to be applicable today.

So, whether we consider the Old Testament or not, it really doesn't change things. The arguments still end up being the same when it comes to comparisons between Christianity and Islam.

Comment Re:Exempt from wire-tapping laws? (Score 1) 223

IANAL, but I was wondering if this would be illegal under wire-tapping laws. A quick glance over the code (18 - US 2511) actually specified "oral" not "audio" communication. Would this then be exempt?

Given that they're picking up anything happening in the room, including any conversations you may be having, I'd guess that it would be covered by the law. The fact that they're (claiming to be) discarding much of the data they're collecting doesn't give them a free pass.

Obvious disclaimer: IANAL.

Comment Re:Welp, this still uses Google+ (Score 1) 54

The whole site is plagued with issues.

For instance, as a non-Google Now user who was apparently opted-in to it at some point without my knowledge, when I get to step 3 in the Privacy Checkup, I get a rather unhelpful popup that simply says "error" when I click the "Turn these cards off" button, even after disabling all of my ad-blockers or anything else that might be preventing it from talking to one of their servers.

If you go to "Manage Activity" for your YouTube history, it gives you a link to "Get Started", which takes you right back to the first page where you could click "Manage History".

There doesn't appear to be any way to delete the profile image or birthdate associated with your account (which were apparently pulled from my contact card in Gmail back in ye olde days?). And I had to "remove" my phone number multiple times before it finally stopped showing up as being associated with any of their services.

Unlike apparently all the rest of the settings, if you get into your Google+ settings, you need to switch between your Google+/YouTube channels to manage the settings for each channel individually, rather than being able to manage it across your account as a whole. There's no indication that this is the case, other than that if you happen to click on your profile pic in the top right, it'll show you all of the channels you manage, rather than just the accounts you have linked. In my case, it went from showing just my personal and work accounts to also showing a charitable organization YouTube channel I manage, my personal YouTube channel that got created automatically for me against my will when I had to sign up for G+ to manage the first YouTube channel, and my for-fun YouTube channel that I fool around with as a hobby on the side.

It's a mess.

Comment Re:I remember a time... (Score 0) 478

I agree with your general idea (though I take issue with your utter misuse of the term "FUD"), but I disagree with the claims you used to support it.

For instance, the reason the G4 was labeled as a supercomputer was because it was capable of 1 gigaflops, which was, by the definition of that day, a supercomputer subject to export restrictions and the like. In comparison, the Pentiums of that day were lagging quite a ways behind when it came to floating point operations, though, as you pointed out, their superiority in integer-based operations made them superior choices for most real-world work of the time. But there were a few scattered years here and there where if you were doing particular types of work, the G-line of chips really were the superior choice. That just wasn't the case for most people.

And the switch to Intel came as no surprise to anyone, as you said, since it was pretty clear that Apple had gotten screwed over by IBM. Steve Jobs famously promised 3 GHz G5 processors within 12 months back when the PowerMac G5 first launched, but three years later, they were still stuck at 2.7 GHz.

As for the current Apple comments being discussed, the only thing I find remarkable about them is that they think any specific competing product is worth addressing. It's common for underdogs to compare themselves against the giants, but it's odd for giants to compare themselves against underdogs, and as the most profitable company in the world, Apple is definitely the giant in the industry at the moment.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!