Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:And blocked in court in 3, 2, 1 . . . (Score 1) 168

by SEE (#49159513) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Just like states are only part of the country?

No, not "just like" that at all. There are three basic classes of entity in US constitutional law - the Federal Government, the states, and individual people. States are not organs of the Federal Government, but legally separate entities with independent rights and powers. On the other hand, municipalities are mere organs of the state.

Comment: Re:Submarine versus Viking longship (Score 1) 26

And I could see a longship having a piece break off after getting shot at and having that debris end up in just the right spot to clog the subs engines or torpedo bays or something like that. Sure it's statistically unlikely, and probably not even a 1/1000 chance of actually happening, but for the sake of game play I can accept it.

At that point you're better off imagining the sub had a critical weapons malfunction and blew itself up so the longship wins on walkover. Or that the warrior sneaked into the riflemen's camp and poisoned their water supply.

Comment: Re: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More (Score 1) 140

by Kjella (#49159463) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Weren't people saying the same sort of things when the "assembly line" was first invented? After all, the main purpose of the "assembly line" was to make the same amount of stuff with fa fewer workers than had been needed previously.

Well first off you're not looking back far enough, during the first industrial revolution there was massive unemployment as machines replace skilled artisans and craftsmen with cheap, expendable factory workers that could receive minimal training in their one task on the line. The assembly line actually comes very late in a mostly industrialized society already and an old fashioned manual assembly line still employs a considerable number of people. And Ford famously doubled wages to get retention up, because the assembly line work was actually getting complex and needed trained workers.

This time we're not just dividing and rearranging the way workers produce their product, we're cutting the humans entirely out of the equation except for meta-roles like designers, developers and repairmen. For example take the banking industry, it used to be huge with branch offices all over the place. ATMs were the first blow, now online banking has reduced it down to next to nothing. I just checked the figures on one bank I know, 250 FTEs (full-time equivalents) supporting 380,000 customers.

Think about it, in how many service industries is the human staff actually a service? When I go to the grocery store, what I want are the groceries. I don't care if robots automate the whole shop if they keep delivering the same service and quality. When it comes to water/sewage/electricity/internet etc. I'd rather not deal with them at all, I pay a bill and it works. If a lot of those jobs disappear at the same time and I don't mind seeing them go, but I'm paying nearly the same for the robot/self-service service there won't be much left of my paycheck to pay whatever new jobs these people have found.

Comment: Re:Pretty pointless (Score 1) 215

by swillden (#49158817) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

You are assuming the company would know the legal limits of an NSL. you are assuming the company would care about legal limits. If the NSA agent makes a good case of "Terrorism" then they will likely get what they want.

Of course the company would know the legal limits. They have attorneys.

That they might not care I addressed in the second paragraph.

Comment: Re:Xfce 5 should be based on Qt. (Score 1) 58

by Kjella (#49158799) Attached to: Xfce 4.12 Released

If anything, what I want is for my DE not to be based on a major toolkit. This breaks down when it gets to the file manager

And the system settings, that one is much tighter integrated to the DE than the file manager. And it needs to manipulate the pointer. And context menus, arrange menu bars etc. so it need some kind of UI toolkit. I don't quite see what it has to gain by reinventing the wheel, it's not like pulling in Qt/Gtk drains that many resources by themselves.

Comment: Re:Pretty pointless (Score 1) 215

by swillden (#49158471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

I guess even if there was a way, the vendor would probably just get a NSL to put the backdoor in himself

NSLs can't do that. The law is quite specific about what an NSL can request. Not only can't it demand pro-active measures like backdoors, NSLs can't even demand the content of communications that the recipient already has. NSLs are limited by law to demanding communications metadata only.

Well, I suppose a letter can be issued that demands anything at all, and companies may choose to comply, but they don't legally have to if the letter specifies more than what is allowed by law.

Comment: Re:do no evil (Score 1) 172

by swillden (#49158419) Attached to: Google Taking Over New TLDs

Perhaps they should be asking for a ".google" gTLD, for that purpose, instead of trying to monopolize a generic identifier.

I was about to suggest the same, but with ".goog", to make it shorter.

They've applied for and received (been delegated) both.

https://gtldresult.icann.org/applicationstatus/applicationdetails/1429

https://gtldresult.icann.org/applicationstatus/applicationdetails/1430

Comment: Re:And no one cares (Score 1) 172

by swillden (#49158367) Attached to: Google Taking Over New TLDs

URLs have a reason to exist, and they will. The same way that IPs have a reason to exist and will, even though we rarely use them today.

Clearly they're important, and will be whether or not people see or use them. To the degree we can build infrastructure that hides the technical details and provides people with more human-friendly interfaces, we've made progress. Of course, the security engineer in me worries about the attack surface provided by these additional layers of abstraction.

But 10 years ago, I knew the IPs of all my servers by heart. Today I need them rarely, but sometimes I do and I know where to find them.

A few years from now you'll be glad that you need them rarely. Even with zero-compression, IPv6 addresses are unwieldy for humans.

Today I know all my domains by heart. Maybe in 10 years I will use them rarely, but when I do, I know how to do it.

It will be interesting to see what direction we go.

Comment: Re:It's almost like the Concord verses the 747 aga (Score 1) 151

by Rei (#49158079) Attached to: Hyperloop Testing Starts Next Year

zblockquote>See: Cabin_Pressurization [wikipedia.org]

A person needs at least 20kPa *from the mask to breathe*. Not 20kPa *ambient pressure*. Please learn to read.

The "problematic loading on the capsules" is from the high speed aerodynamics, not the ambient pressure

Aerodynamic loading = pressure. If you have high loadings, you have high pressures. Period.

Comment: Re:Automation is Dependent on Design for Manufactu (Score 4, Informative) 140

by Kjella (#49158007) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

At the assembly level it isn't so easy to automate with a lot of the designs. There are flex cables, adhesive, torque sensitive screws that all rely on a human to be able to manipulate and then quickly respond to misalignment. To automate this, the design constraints placed on the Industrial Designs need to change.

I think you underestimate how far sensor technology has come and will go, here for example is an example of automated salmon processing. Obviously there's a lot of natural variation, do we need to bioengineer a more robot-friendly salmon? No. They're measured out by a laser and intelligently cut. Head/tail/other cuts are dropped out to go on another processing line. Each cut is grabbed by a robot with robot vision and placed in pouches to be sealed. Skip to 3:12 if you just want to see that last part. Fillet-making machines are still in the research phase but there are examples of that too using X-rays to scan and find the pin bones. If they can deal with all that, I'm sure they can apply the right torque to a screw.

+ - Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "The history of pop music is rich in anecdotes, folklore and controversy. But despite the keen interest, there is little in the form of hard evidence to back up most claims about the evolution of music. Now a group of researchers have used data analysis tools developed for genomic number crunching to study the evolution of US pop music. The team studied 30-second segments of more than 17,000 songs that appeared on the US Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Their tools categorised the songs according to harmonic features such as chord changes as well as the quality of timbre such as whether guitar-based, piano-based orchestra-based and so on. They then used a standard algorithm for discovering clusters within networks of data to group the songs into 13 different types, which turned out to correspond with well known genres such as rap, rock, country and so on. Finally, they plotted the change in popularity of these musical types over time. The results show a clear decline in the popularity of jazz and blues since 1960. During the same period, rock-related music has ebbed and flowed in popularity. By contrast, was rare before 1980 before becoming the dominant musical style for 30 years until declining in the late 2000s. The work answers several important question about the evolution of pop music, such as whether music industry practises have led to a decline in the cultural variety of new music and whether British bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones triggered the 1964 American music revolution [spoiler: no in both cases]."

Comment: Re:One Word ... (Score 2) 168

by SEE (#49157235) Attached to: As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Given the 8-1 decision in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League in 2004, it's essentially certain that this FCC action will be overturned by the courts. The FCC doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that federal law did not and could not preempt a Missouri state law that prohibited municipalities from providing Internet service. Of the eight-member majority in that case, five (Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Scalia, and Thomas) are still on the court.

Comment: Re:It's almost like the Concord verses the 747 aga (Score 1) 151

by Rei (#49157171) Attached to: Hyperloop Testing Starts Next Year

What sort of claim is that? Since when do oxygen masks need 20kPa to function? And secondly, if there's "problematic loading on the capsules" from too much pressure on the pressure-compromised capsule, then your pressure is also way too high inside. Which means that you've repressurized the tube way too much. So the solution is: Don't do that!

Comment: Re:It's almost like the Concord verses the 747 aga (Score 1) 151

by Rei (#49157159) Attached to: Hyperloop Testing Starts Next Year

Branching at full speed is probably not possible with the Hyperloop as designed; the skis are curved to match the diameter of the tube, with a ~1mm clearance with the tube surface, so there is no passive tube design that could accommodate a "switch". In order to continue from Section A to either Section B or Section C, you'd have to make an intermediate length of tube several hundred meters long that could be physically moved at one end from B to C, with sub-millimeter precision

Wait, meaning that while it's technically possible, but it'd be really tricky to accomplish? Gee, I wish I had written something like "Branching would be really tricky, but there's no physical barriers" at the top of my post ;)

The reason is threefold: drag continues to increase at higher speeds regardless of the speed of sound

Drag is reduced in the first place by using hydrogen even at a given pressure. And you can use 1/4th the pressure and still maintain lift because you're moving four times as fast. And given how few reboosts are needed from LA to SF in the base case, a few more per unit distance hardly seems limiting.

If you consider that the steel Hyperloop pipe draped across 30m-spaced pylons will approximate a vertical sine wave, then at 700mph the allowable sag is only about 5cm

Irrelevant because earthquakes impose far more deflection that you have to be able to counter (and that the proposal calls for countering) than a craft moving past.

Mechanical braking from 1500mph in the event of an emergency is also a non-starter

What, you're picturing drum brakes or something? You're moving at high speeds in a giant steel tube. Magnetic braking couldn't possibly be easier.

a 700mph capsule will incur about 2g's of aerobraking deceleration

Where are you getting this from? Even if the tube was instantly full pressure (which it wouldn't be), a streamlined shape will not experience 2Gs at 700mph, any more than a passenger jet losing full engine power does. And anyway, 10g horizontal is not fatal even if that was the case. The average untrained individual, properly restrained, can tolerate 10g for a minute without even loss of cognitive function.

Even bytes get lonely for a little bit.

Working...