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Comment Re:In other words. (Score 3, Insightful) 284

The law should NEVER, EVER, EVER, provide protection over any data available behind public sector activity.

The public sector frequently claims the release of information will be burdensome; however, the public sector actors are not always forced, by statute (as they are in Minnesota) to ensure records should be held in a way which the sector cannot claim burden in failure to comply.

This needs to change.

Comment And yet, even at 24, it's not the year of Linux (Score 0, Flamebait) 152

I've been using Linux, in varying capacities in both my personal and work life, since that fateful day in fall of 1996 when I popped a Slackware CD into my Dell Latitude P-133 laptop. Yet, I still don't love it as much as I should.

Why? Because, as I found out this week when I installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a VM to power a SAS installation at work, it still sucks in so many ways. Is it better than it was 19 years ago? Not really. I still had to think; still had to work to get the damn thing to run; and grub still gave me a rash and a shit to get up and running.

Yeah, the Debian install I originally made back in November of 2002 is still running, after many a dist-upgrade, and it's going strong; however, I still have my love/hate w/Linux after nearly 20 years living with it daily.

I've always been excited for the next big thing. The next moment when it would be that system I could easily use on my desktop or laptop and interoperate w/the rest of the world; yet, here I am, typing this on a machine, provided to me by my company, I never thought I'd use (a MBPr), ever.

Yeah, Linux runs the Internet and many of our phones, yet, I still hate it as much as I did when I was 17 years old, for many of the same reasons.

I'll be happily waiting for another 24 while it continues to grow and do its thing but, unlike the visions many of us saw for Linux back in the day, it has not shaped up like we thought it would. Successful? ABSOLUTELY. But as successful and brilliant as it should be 24 years later, ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Crime

Two US Marines Foil Terrorist Attack On Train In France 468

hcs_$reboot writes: A heavily armed gunman opened fire aboard a packed high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris late Friday afternoon, wounding several passengers before he was tackled and subdued by two Americans Marines. The assault was described as a terrorist attack. President Barack Obama has expressed his gratitude for the "courage and quick thinking" of the passengers on a high-speed train in France, including U.S. service members, who overpowered the gunman. Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, paid tribute to the Marines as he arrived at the scene, and said "Thanks to them we have averted a drama. The Americans were particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances."

Comment This is more about hype than robots (Score 0) 114

Robots will *never* live up to the hype. Hype is there to get outsiders excited about something. I'm a robotics researcher, and even *inside* the community, people hype things in order to drum up interest. That's the point of hype.

The fact that things are sometimes overhyped doesn't detract from the fact that significant advancements are being made.

Science

How Many Scientists Does It Take To Write a Paper? Apparently, Thousands 122

An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the current spike in number of contributors cedited in scientific journals. The problem is highlighted by a recent physics paper which credits 5,154 researchers. The journal reports: "In fact, there has been a notable spike since 2009 in the number of technical reports whose author counts exceeded 1,000 people, according to the Thomson Reuters Web of Science, which analyzed citation data. In the ever-expanding universe of credit where credit is apparently due, the practice has become so widespread that some scientists now joke that they measure their collaborators in bulk—by the 'kilo-author.'"

Submission + - The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar->

schwit1 writes: In the last few years, I've watched a continuing battle among my friends about which is worse for you: artificial sweeteners or sugar. Unless you want to forgo all beverages that are sweet, you're going to run into one of these. Rather than rely on anecdote or myth, we can inform this debate with research.

The available evidence points to the fact that there appears to be a correlation between sugar consumption and health problems; none can be detected with artificial sweeteners.

Link to Original Source

Comment Have We Lost the War to Quid Pro Quo Complacency? (Score 3) 359

Time and time again I see news articles that seem to herald the idea that users are willing to sacrifice something like privacy for the use of software. Take Facebook for an example. You get a robust and snappy storage and website for communication at the cost of control over your life and privacy. And as I try to explain to people the tradeoffs most of them seem to be complacent. Even I myself use GMail, there's just no better mail service. Even if there were, I'd have to run the server from my home to be sure that I'm in control in it and it's truly free (by your definition). So given that much of the populace isn't even prepared technologically to harness truly free software, don't you think they have slowly accepted the trade offs and that the pros of your arguments -- though sound -- are only possibly realized by those skilled enough to edit source code or host their own mail server from their home?

Comment Companies Selling Actually Free Software? (Score 5, Interesting) 359

I found your piece on selling free software to be pretty logical on paper. However, has it ever worked in the wild? Can you name companies or revenues that currently operate on this idea (and I'm not talking about services or support of the software)? I simply can't come up with a widely used monetized piece of software licensed under the GNU GPL whereby the original software was sold at a single price and shipped with the source code -- free for the original purchaser to distribute by the license's clauses. Can you list any revenue generation from that? I must admit I'm not exactly enamored with paying for free software (as in your definition of free) before it's written yet I cannot think of any other way this would fairly compensate the developer.

Comment Re:What? (Score 4, Informative) 14

Hi, I've used a FuelBand (SE+) for a year or so.

They do log / track locally. There is enough onboard memory to store several days' worth of activity, in one minute increments as far as I can tell. (I only sync my data once a day when recharging by USB, but I've often gone a few days between. All the data make it home.)

Moreover, the FuelBand has a display that gives real-time feedback: it can give you move reminders if you've been still for too long, or "encouragement" if you start up. (I've disabled this feature on mine.) It makes a little animation when you've hit your daily goal. You can press the button to get statistics on Fuel (more on that in a moment), number of steps, and number of "hours won" (hours with at least several minutes of continuous activity) at any time in the day.

So yes, there is local storage, tracked minute by minute, accessible on demand for visual feedback. It can communicate via Bluetooth with an Android phone or iPhone for a bit more capability. (The button broke on my FuelBand, so this is my sole means of real-time communication with the device.)

I'd imagine that where they might have had more trouble is the "health" than the "tracking". They use an arbitrary unit called "Fuel" that correlates well with physical activity, but tries to scale many types of activity onto a single unit of measure. I've noticed that on very inactive days (couch potato sick day), I'm under 1000 Fuel. On a moderately active office day where I take a walk in the afternoon, 2000-2500. On days where I go for a run, 4000-5000+. It seems to scale well. But they may not have enough trials and other tests to validate that tracking Fuel means tracking health.

Advertising

Is Advertising Morally Justifiable? The Importance of Protecting Our Attention 351

theodp writes: With Is Advertising Morally Justifiable?, philosopher Thomas Wells is out to change the way you think about Google and its ilk. Wells says: "Advertising is a natural resource extraction industry, like a fishery. Its business is the harvest and sale of human attention. We are the fish and we are not consulted. Two problems result from this. The solution to both requires legal recognition of the property rights of human beings over our attention. First, advertising imposes costs on individuals without permission or compensation. It extracts our precious attention and emits toxic by-products, such as the sale of our personal information to dodgy third parties. Second, you may have noticed that the world's fisheries are not in great shape. They are a standard example for explaining the theoretical concept of a tragedy of the commons, where rational maximising behaviour by individual harvesters leads to the unsustainable overexploitation of a resource. Expensively trained human attention is the fuel of twenty-first century capitalism. We are allowing a single industry to slash and burn vast amounts of this productive resource in search of a quick buck."

Submission + - New Tesla Model S P90D "Ludicrous Speed" Goes 0-60 MPH in 2.8 Seconds Read more->

Eloking writes: The highest-performance Tesla Model S gets even quicker thanks to a new “Ludicrous Speed” mode (Elon Musk must be a big “Spaceballs” fan). In combination with a newly optional 90-kWh battery pack, this new mode brings 0-60 mph acceleration down to 2.8 seconds (from a quoted 3.2 seconds for the P85D model). This larger battery pack is offered as an upgrade from the existing 85-kWh model, creating new 90, 90D, and P90D models.
Link to Original Source

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