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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: Trouble for Google (Score 1) 148

This is the beginning of Microsoft creating a competing ecosystem on Android. At some point in the not so distant future it will be entirely feasible for an Android manufacturer to dump Google's software stack in favor of Microsoft's. Unlike Samsung and many other handset manufacturers, Microsoft has the know how and capability to create and maintain a viable alternative to Google's ecosystem.

Comment: Locked down panic button app on old smartphone (Score 0) 327

by Coward Anonymous (#49037015) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Panic Button a Very Young Child Can Use

Roll your own app on an old iPhone/iPod/iPad. Use iOS's triple home button press (aka Guided Access - to lock the iDevice to the one app.

That button press can do anything from sending an e-mail to a tweet to your own custom web service (automatic SMS and phone calls are out if you stick to official iOS APIs).

Comment: Confirms that Apple's strategy is correct (Score 3, Informative) 415

by Coward Anonymous (#48272307) Attached to: How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

Mechanical watches were so ridiculously convenient and useful that people would gladly wind their watches once a day. Similarly, if the Apple Watch proves convenient and useful, people will gladly charge it once a day.

Of course, the most myopic aspect of these articles is the unwritten presumption that today's state of the art will never improve. Yes, Apple Watch will need to be charged once a day for the next couple of years, but charge times are going to improve tremendously as Moore's Law continues to plug along. The Apple Watch will improve in a way analogous to the way mechanical and later quartz watches improved far beyond the limitations of the original pocket watches and wristwatches.

Comment: My experience with hiring Ph.Ds (Score 1) 479

by Coward Anonymous (#47980953) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

Most feel they can hand wave through their technical interviews by citing some abstraction that while possibly correct doesn't actually solve the problem presented. If you are interviewing for a software position, hand waving doesn't write code.
Many others feel the technical questions are beneath them and refuse to answer very basic questions that are used to simply weed out the vast sea of know nothings.

If you fall into either of these camps, you have a problem. Your response to the STL question hints you may be suffering from the latter problem.

The question about the STL containers is not "overly technical". It's just stupid.

Comment: Jailbroken iPhone 4s git SCM (Score 1) 287

by Coward Anonymous (#47943573) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

I currently have a retired iPhone 4s serving primarily as a git server. Also useful as an SSH tunnel into the home network; to view IP cameras remotely without exposing them to the outside world, for example.

The 4s replaced a 3Gs that replaced a 3G that replaced a long serving, flash only, nslu2 running CVS and later SVN.

Of the bunch, the 4s is the first device that is indistinguishable over the network, performance wise, from PC workstations I've worked with. I imagine the 5, 5s and 6/6+ must be fantastic.

It is available, compact, mobile, has a built in screen and keyboard, and 24 hour UPS battery backup with plenty of oomph and storage for a git server and much more. What's not to love?

Comment: Corporate Lobbying and reform sabotage? (Score 1) 142

The reason this relic still exists is likely explained at 0:41 into the video where you can see the words "Iron Mountain" above the entrance. What can be processed with a few low power computers in a rack for a few hundred dollars a year is generating a mountain of cash for Iron Mountain in rental and consulting "fees".

Follow the money.

Comment: Tesla will not cave on this (Score 2) 387

by Coward Anonymous (#46231339) Attached to: Ohio Attempting To Stop Tesla From Selling Cars, Again

It is not a coincidence that Tesla has no dealerships. It likely never will.

This strong-arming is a perfect example for the reason. Dealerships wield in an inordinate amount of political power in their regions. The result hash been that once a manufacturer grants a dealership license to a dealership in a certain area, it is perpetual, geographically exclusive and irrevocable by the manufacturer. Unheard of conditions in practically any other business.

Tesla will sooner open its own dealerships across Ohio's state lines. The lost sales taxes will eventually prove irresistible to the coin operated legislature.

Comment: Re:This issue was solved years ago (Score 4, Interesting) 99

by Coward Anonymous (#45480379) Attached to: Online Car Retailer Launching Nation's First Car "Vending Machine"

No, the real reason the whole car buying experience is horrific is that there is no competition, by law. Car dealerships have indefinite, irrevocable monopolies in the regions they cover due to historical events that occurred 90 years ago. The real solution is to erase outdated laws, break the monopolies and open the market to real competition.

Here is a podcast about it:

Comment: Drive it in Belgium (Score 1) 722

by Coward Anonymous (#45245181) Attached to: Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than You

I propose Google set their cars free in Belgium. If they can prove that they drive safely through Belgium I'll be somewhat convinced.

Why Belgium you ask? Belgium has a very extreme interpretation of yielding right of way at intersections to traffic coming from your right. So extreme that it often extends to blind intersections where you might not even be able to see there is a road intersecting on your right (think alleys in towns). You need to be familiar with the roads in question to know where to yield, otherwise there is no way for you to know what to do.

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354