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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Poor drivers kill, not speed (Score 1) 992 992

False. Speed (a.k.a. driving quickly) doesn't kill people; not driving alertly, improper following distances, not driving the appropriate speed for the lane you are in (e.g. using the left lane as a driving lane or the middle lane as the "slow" lane) and lack of/poor signaling kills people. In short people kill people. There are numerous places on the Autobahn where there is no speed limit and there aren't a significantly greater number of "speed related" deaths.

Comment Re:We all have a purpose (Score 1) 350 350

I think the lesson would be that in jumping platforms, they elected to have Google as a competitor rather than a partner. They bet on MS hard, despite the market reality demonstrating a pretty bleak scenario for Windows Phone. So *if* you are going to finally jump platforms, don't jump to the last-place player.

The lesson in one word is: Innovation. If you are in an "active technology" based industry there can be no pause in your leadership of new and/or breaking technologies to maximize profits or focus elsewhere. By the time you recognize that things are starting to change it is too late to recover.

Politics

Submission + - Obama Budget Asks for 1% Boost in Research->

sciencehabit writes: One of the big three research agencies appears to be lagging behind its doubling peers in the president's 2013 budget request released this morning. The $4.9 billion budget of the Department of Energy's Office of Science would rise by 2.4%, to $5 billion. In contrast, the National Science Foundation would receive a nearly 5% boost, to $7.37 billion, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology a hike of 13%, to $860 million. These three agencies were originally singled by President George W. Bush in 2006 for a 10-year budget doubling, a promise that President Barack Obama and Congress have repeatedly endorsed despite the current tough economic times.
Link to Original Source
Privacy

Submission + - How to stop apps like Path from stealing your contacts->

zacharye writes: Path caused quite a stir last week when it was discovered that the app secretly transmitted users’ entire contact lists to its servers. Without giving users the option to approve the transfer or even giving an indication that this data was being sent, Path was basically stealing personal data. The company’s CEO would later apologize and a recent update makes the process more transparent, but the damage has been done and the company’s image is tarnished. Apple is known for having strict guidelines by which iOS apps are judged before being allowed in the App Store, but apparently the theft of user data falls within those guidelines. Luckily for iPhone users, one developer decided to take matters into his own hands...
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:I'll second that. (Score 1) 605 605

Define risk. Is it someone who drives fast on an open highway or someone who drives extra slowly in the left lane during rush hour? You could argue that both are risky, but only one typically gets measured as "risk" by insurance companies. The argument that speeders are riskier is social programming because you can often see the direct cause and effect. It is difficult to directly see the cascading trouble caused of an excessively slow driver, but I would argue their impact on society and highway safety is worse.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 891 891

Whatever you think..taxes should not be used for behavioral manipulations.

Taxes are for funding the govt services we all need...that should be it...period.

People should be free to choose to drive and spend in the fashion they wish.

Taxes weren't passed to allow a 'chosen' few to dictate citizen behavior....

So you advocate rolling back tobacco taxes?

Speaking for myself, absolutely. Taxes used for social engineering are wrong. Period.

The purpose of taxes are to pay for the government. If the specific role of fuel taxes are to pay for the roads, then raising them with the idea of forcing 'economy' is wrong.

It is also amazing to me that some of the same people who will practically demand such taxes in the name of the environment will turn right around and argue that a flat tax is wrong because it hurts the poor. As if the higher fuel tax doesn't?

Grants & subsidies are another way the government manipulates things and allows people to buy homes, provide food through local farming, discover new science and create new technologies, provide access to education for the non-wealthy and yes, even provide energy for our country. To suggest that every part of modern society is not being manipulated in some form is naive; especially in these examples where their use is transparent and tend to be for the benefit of our collective well-being. I like keeping as much of my own money as the next guy, but if everything was left 100% to market forces we would be living in a toxic waste dump with less individual achievement and education. To some degree every society needs direction and taxes and subsidies are the current tools.

Comment Re:twitter, I like you (Score 1) 542 542

The purpose for patents is not to protect the invention any more. It's to protect against ANY invention. And that's not what patents are for.

Unfortunately patents have not protected inventions for a long time, they are designed to be used to exclude others from copying your exact methods and do not necessarily allow you to do something. "Law" Header -> "Effects" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent

Medicine

US Life Expectancy May Have Peaked 1053 1053

Hugh Pickens writes "Live Science reports that although life expectancy in the United States has risen to an all-time high of 77.9 years in 2007 up from 77.7 in 2006, gains in life expectancy may be pretty much over, as some groups — particularly people in rural locations are already stagnating or slipping in contrast to all other industrialized nations. Hardest hit are regions in the Deep South, along the Mississippi River, in Appalachia and also the southern part of the Midwest reaching into Texas. The culprits — largely preventable with better diet and access to medical services — are diabetes, cancers and heart disease caused by smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. What the new analysis reveals is the reality of two Americas, one on par with most of Europe and parts of Asia, and another no different than a third-world nation with the United States placing 41st on the 2008 CIA World Factbook list, behind Bosnia but still edging out Albania. 'Beginning in the early 1980s and continuing through 1999 those who were already disadvantaged did not benefit from the gains in life expectancy experienced by the advantaged, and some became even worse off,' says a report published in PLoS Medicine by a team led by Harvard's Majid Ezzati, adding that 'study results are troubling because an oft-stated aim of the US health system is the improvement of the health of "all people, and especially those at greater risk of health disparities.'"

Comment Re:The upside (Score 1) 485 485

I agree with you somewhat. Users should take a more active role in making sure that their computers are not causing serious damage to the system as a whole. But I also assign blame to the OS and application makers for not making that simpler. Essentially what I am saying is ... users should follow best practices (security, patches, A/V), but those practices should be easy to implement and the end user should not necessarily be required to understand how they work. This is where the end users have been let down. It boils down to ..... not everyone should have to be an expert in computer security to use the internet.

Comment Re:The upside (Score 1) 485 485

Since 99% of home users don't understand what is going on, all it would mean is more computers would be going to the shop for simple cleanings.

You say that like it is the users fault, however, poor documentation and complex UI design (although completely off topic) is equally, if not more at fault ..... Does a pilot ridicule you when you fly on his plane but don't understand the aerodynamics?

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel

Working...