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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Limits of storage / human perception (Score 4, Interesting) 109

I was just thinking to myself how awesome it would be to have a 1 petabyte micro SD card, but then realized, "What could I possibly use that much storage for?" Yes, I know, the supposed "640k is enough for anyone" fallacy. Well, there really is a limit to what a normal human being needs to store. Why aren't MP3 files today 100 times larger than they were 15 years ago? Because the normal human's audio perception cannot tell the difference between a 5 MB MP3 and a 500 MB MP3. So the space required to store 1,000 songs is pretty much the same as 10 years ago, for most people.

In the last few years, we've reached the limits of human perception when it comes to image resolution. The display on my phone and my ultrabook are both so high resolution that I cannot see individual pixels without a magnifying glass. How high of a resolution does a photograph need to be to print it out 8x10 with pixels so small that they cannot be seen? We've already surpassed that resolution a long time ago.

Why don't computer monitors and image formats use 64 bit colors instead of 32 bit color that we've had for 15 years? Because the normal human cannot distinguish shades of color beyond 32 bit RGB.

When everything is in 4k video, why would we need higher resolution (unless people are regularly projecting things on screens as wide as their house)?

The amount of storage we need has already plateaued when it comes to certain kinds of media, and it will soon plateau in the others (video, etc) as well. At that point it's just a matter of quantity. What good would it do me to be able to store 1 million songs, or 1 million pictures on my phone? I certainly cannot produce that many myself, and I cannot even consume them either.

For normal consumers, there will be a limit to the amount of storage we need and thus will pay for. When that occurs, research will slow down as the profit to be gained from selling petabyte of storage vs an exabyte will no longer justify the research. We are quickly reaching the point where speed and longevity are more important than capacity, so I expect, within 5 years, the emphasis will switch from mainly quantity to quality.

Comment Re:Top voted post of that thread, interesting poin (Score 1) 410

Can you summarize the point? I read all you pasted and am still confused what the point is.

Slashdot: News for redditors by redditors. I've only stumbled across reddit a couple times, and so I also have no idea what the significance of any of that is, or why I should care.

Comment Re:As Sen Dirksen said... (Score 1) 200

Nokia was already on the way out. They failed to adapt to the new phone market as defined by the iPhone. Perhaps if they had immediately switched to the Android OS and stuck to hardware only they could have kept pace and stayed relevant. Most people (myself included) have never even seen a Nokia phone without a physical keyboard. That shows the era in which they peaked and stagnated. Microsoft would have had to have saved Nokia, as opposed to just letting the Nokia status quo alone and Nokia magically being successful.

Comment Compiler optimizer bugs (Score 4, Interesting) 285

Some of the bugs I've beat my head against the wall over the most are compiler bugs. It's easy to have the mindset that the compiler is infallible, and so programmers don't usually debug in a way that tests whether fundamentals like operators are really working right. This was particularly bad developing for Windows CE back around 2000 when you had to build for 3 different processors (Arm, MIPS and SH3). I ran into a number of optimizer bugs usually related to binary operators. The usual solution was precompiler directives to disable the optimizer around a specific block of code.

Comment Re:Already been done in China for a while (Score 1) 239

That is not a DC air conditioner. Note that it comes with a 2kw inverter. It's just a regular 220V AC air conditioner. Also, that whole package is sketchy. The stated BTUs don't match throughout the page (title and description says one thing, specs say another). It comes with 4 solar panels, but there are absolutely no specs on them - not even the wattage. Anyway, that package is solar panels, batteries, huge inverter and a regular air conditioner. The efficiency would have to be very low.

Comment One Facebook... (Score 4, Insightful) 172

One Facebook to rule them all. At least Google gave it a try. I guess the end Facebook's dominance will have to be a long, slow process of attrition like with MySpace. It has a critical mass of users that cannot be overcome with money or other Web presence, as proven by Google. It may also take the young generation growing through it - most people under 20 do not have much interest in Facebook at all. They have accounts of course, but very few are very active.

Comment Avoidable? (Score 1) 549

It's good that Google's autonomous cars haven't caused any accidents, however the bigger question is if there was a human driver in those situations, would any of them have been avoidable? I try to keep an eye on vehicles coming to a stop behind me when I'm stopped, which is something the Google cars may not be programmed to do (or even have rear-facing sensors to detect that at all). I'm sure these vehicles are safer than a good many drivers on the road, but they can only react and respond in ways they were specifically designed for.

Comment Young surface (Score 5, Informative) 108

The detailed image showing Pluto's mountains is, according to one of the NASA scientists, one the youngest looking bodies in the solar system. The surface features appear to be less than 100 million years old. Very strange. Are there even any viable theories on what is providing the energy to resurface such an old, far-out, isolated body? A major impact of some kind is the only thing I can think of. Pluto is too small for the heat to be internally generated, and there is no massive nearby body to cause tidal forces and the like.

Comment Re:How do you define anything? (Score 1) 1083

There are African cultures (or were) where the males and females lived in separate huts. The males considered the female's genitalia unclean, because of menstruation and all that. The men would have the young boys (we're talking boys of all ages) perform fellatio on them, with the explanation that drinking the men's semen would make the boys grow up to be strong men as well.

Citing primitive cultures (Native American or otherwise) as some kind of model for our society is pointless.

Comment Consitution (Score 0) 1083

I don't have a problem with the judges appointed to the Supreme Court doing whatever they want because they have the power and have the final say ("It's good to be me!"), but to attempt to tie it in legally to the Constitution when that does not apply is going a little overboard. You're making arbitrary decisions and rewriting the text of law (ie the Obamacare ruling), so let's just at least not try and justify it Constitutionally (beyond the Constitution giving the Supreme Court the authority to make the decisions they are presented in the first place). A simple "We have the authority to make this decision and the majority have done so" would suffice.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.

Working...