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Comment Re:Largest of its type only (Score 2) 109

...and doesn't require specific large-scale geography to implement.

This doesn't have to get a whole lot more efficient before it could become profitable. If you look at the wholesale electricity market in the UK, the peak cost of electricity is more than double the minimum cost over a week. So something that can store electricity at minimum cost and sell it back into the grid at peak cost only needs to be 50% efficient to be making money. Of course, that's ignoring the capital cost, but still, this is not too far off being profitable.

It's a pretty sad indictment of the state of energy storage, really. It only needs to be 50% efficient to be profitable. If it's profitable, people will do it. Therefore conclude that every practical energy storage system is less than 50% efficient (at least where it doesn't require geography).

Comment Re:Detecting weapons is NOT the purpose of TSA... (Score 4, Insightful) 349

This, and also the fact that they reinforced and lock the cockpit doors from now on.
The TSA has not stopped ANY attempts at bombing or hijacking airliners since 9/11. Various other methods have, but the TSA has been singularly useless.

Reinforced cockpit doors do sod all. Even without a reinforced cockpit door the crew could have kept them out of the cockpit if they wanted to using a co-pilots foot .

What has made us tons safer after 9-11 is that now there would be reasonable quantity of the passengers who would challenge the hijackers, as recently shown on a French train. Previously most air hijackings were about taking hostages and using them to plead for some worthless chum of yours to be released, as soon as it became clear that the hijackers were never interested in your survival or their own it made trying to subdue them the safest option, no matter how dangerous that seemed.

If you wanted to fly a plane into a building now you would have to steal an empty one first.

Comment Re:Why the hell would anyone use Go? (Score 2) 185

Why the hell would anyone use Go?

(Serious question, since our editors didn't tell us why Go was created, what Go's intended purpose was and whether or not anyone is actually using Go.)

As a software developer here that likes to fiddle with all languages, the second paragraph from Wikipedia seems to answer your question nicely: "It is a statically typed language with syntax loosely derived from that of C, adding garbage collection, type safety, some structural typing capabilities,[2] additional built-in types such as variable-length arrays and key-value maps, and a large standard library."

So from the first few words someone might know C and desire garbage collection to be handled for them? Golang might be a better selection for them than Java.

Personally for me, the built-in primitives for concurrency make it a great language for tinkering in realms of software design that were once onerous to me. But that's only one of a few of the language's goals.

Maybe a better set of questions would be for an elevator pitch on why someone should use golang? Or perhaps if they have dropped some goals of golang for others as development went forward?

Comment Re:Wisdom of naming it "Go" (Score 2) 185

There's already a game called Go, which has about a gazillion articles on how to program it. Couldn't you come up with a name that would be less ambiguous? Now, when you see a user group for "Go programming", you have no clue which one it is.

In conversation, I refer to it as golang. You are right on your point about potential for confusion but I don't think your example is apt anymore. Googling for programming go appears to yield only results about golang. Also, it is not without tangential benefits like being able to call Go developers "gophers."

I think when I first started programming Groovy long ago I stumbled upon a website promising that software development was groovy ... that's no longer the case when I google for groovy programming resources.

In short the success of your language is a big enough concern than the name of your language is negligible (with the exception of negative words). The search results will follow.

Comment Re:In all seriousness, (Score 2) 258

On the other hand, as long as the password exists only in your head, you cannot be forced by the state (at least legally) to divulge said passwords by invoking your right against self-incrimination (in the U.S.).

Here in the UK I can bet sent to prison for 5 years or something for not revealing a password or encryption key if a warrant orders it, which is why I answered "... if you send me a nice warrant first". I am not willing to risk 5 years in prison since I have a family to support.

This makes no difference to me though since I lead a pretty boring existence and nothing I use passwords for would be of any interests to the authorities anyway.

Comment Re:Everyone Is Guilty, Only Enemies Will Be Indict (Score 3, Insightful) 109

If you are a leftist, beating the shit out of private companies is well and good. Remember: corporations are evil! Prosecuting them is only a good thing. Are you a corporate shill?

I am neither a leftist nor a corporate shill. I believe in beating the shit out of private companies that deserve to have the "shit beat out" of them. You need only look at the lengthy history of consumer protection in the United States to find instances where this was and is necessary. Take, for example, Debt Collection Practices. Please, please, please "beat the shit out" of unscrupulous collection agencies. Please "beat the shit" out of the companies that call my grandmother to deliver unsolicited advertisements about a "warranty extension" on her car. There are plenty of private companies that should have this done to them. The issue I take with China's implementation is 1) that it will never target a state owned business and 2) the guidelines are by no means clearly laid out and can be ambiguously interpreted. Who will interpret them? When will they interpret them? Why just in time and by the same state body that made them. Please tell me, how can I prove that my product's advertising does not "Cause detriment to national dignity"?

Comment Do Not Conflate This With Individual Free Speech (Score 2) 109

Communists don't believe in free speech?


It's not that binary. The United States has its own truth in advertising laws that, in my personal opinion, are beneficial at both the federal and state level. Slashdot readers are free to go the Libertarian route and claim the free market would alleviate these issues on its own or perhaps point out how downright pedantic it can be at times. But the truth of the matter is that, as a consumer, we only have so many hours in a day to decide which of the thousands of products we consume in a year we should spend our money on. So it does come down to federal guidelines for what is "Grade A" or "Organic" or "Green" when there is a label espousing these properties and there are consumers paying a premium for this notion. Without those guidelines those words will mean absolutely nothing and there will be no way to tell where your product was made, how much cadmium it has in it or whether it is the end result of spewing carbon into the atmosphere. Without similar laws, you wouldn't be able to trust the nutritional information at the grocery store. Is it free speech to claim that my potato chips cure cancer and lead to weight loss no matter how many of them you eat? People will know that I'm lying? Cigarettes used to sooth sore throats. Trans fats used to taste awesome.

Speech used by an individual to express ideas is free speech. Advertisements -- especially advertisements representing a very large organization -- are not. Corporations should not have the same rights individuals have and I feel that free speech is one of those clear cut distinctions. There is a long history of consumer protection everywhere in the world -- learn about your own country's struggles with it. It's not a simple issue and advertisement should not be regarded as free speech.

Comment Everyone Is Guilty, Only Enemies Will Be Indicted (Score 5, Insightful) 109

Here is the full text of the newly amended law. Here is the WIPO listing the deltas with the older 1994 version of the law (click expand notes). It appears that this is the first change in this law since 1994. Also the WIPO provides a PDF of their English version which seems to be slightly different. I also found a definition of the extent of what is regulated advertising by the PRC. Here's the WIPO's full list of defined restrictions:

1) Overt or covert use of national flag, anthem or emblem of People’s Republic of China or military flag, anthem or emblem;
2) Overt or covert use of the name or image of national public institute or staff of national public institute;
3) Use of words such as “national-level”, “the most” and “the best”, among others;
4) Causing detriment to national dignity or interests, or disclosing national secrets;
5) Interfering with social stability, or causing detriment to social and public interests;
6) Harming personal or property safety, or disclosing privacy;
7) Interfering with social public order, or going against good social norm;
8) Containing obscene, pornographic, gambling, superstitious, terrifying, or violent content;
9) Containing discrimination based on nationality, race, religion, or gender;
10) Affecting protection of environment, natural resources or cultural heritage;
11) Other situations prohibited by laws and regulations.

Merely sounds like another tool for the Party to deal with companies that are not state owned. Most companies will be found guilty of some section of this but they won't be prosecuted until they run afoul of the Party. In China (and increasingly in the US) everyone is guilty of something but only those that the state wants to be prosecuted will be prosecuted.

So looking at the story, we have a new law enacted a month ago and whose head is on the chopping block today? Xiaomi? Well from wikipedia:

Xiaomi Inc. is a privately owned Chinese electronics company headquartered in Beijing, China, that is the world's 4th[4] largest smartphone maker. Xiaomi designs, develops, and sells smartphones, mobile apps, and related consumer electronics.[5]

Aaaaaand there's your problem. Wake me up when a state owned company is prosecuted under these new laws. Xiaomi's true crime was probably doing better than Huawei.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Simple, Cross-Platform, Video Messaging

DeathToBill writes: I spend a lot of time away from my kids (think months at a time) who are aged 3-8. I keep in touch with them by Skype, but the young ones are not really old enough to concentrate on it and we're often in quite different timezones, so it's not often it can be very spontaneous. We'd like to have some way that we can record short video messages of things we're doing and send them to each other. It needs to have an iPad app that is simple enough for a three-year-old to use with help and for a five-year-old to use without help; it needs to have an Android or web client, preferably one that doesn't require an Apple ID; it needs to be able to record a short video and send it to someone.

As far as I can tell, iMessage requires Apple kit (there is an Android app but it sends all your messages through a server in China...) and Whatsapp works on iPhone but not iPad.

What can slashdot suggest?

Comment Re:Online retailers (Score 1, Informative) 317

How does this work for online retailers? How do I get my own time pin out of the card? Does this mean you can't save a credit card anymore?

As someone in the UK where we have had chip and pin for years it does not change online purchases one little bit.

All chip and pin does is replace the bullshit signature with entering a pin. This is important because it prevents two types of attacks that used to be commonplace:

1) Have a friendly guy in the shop who didn't look too closely at your signature in return for a couple of quid.

2) Have a moron in the shop who didn't look too closely at your signature.

Both of these are pretty common place when you realise that working in a shop is basically a McJob with no real future. done by kids mostly paid barely minimum wage. Even if you get fired for repeatedly not noticing you took a stolen card you will get another job in some other shop in no time.

The reality is that you guys in the states have to start using chip and pin, or you can forget ever travelling to Europe where most of our terminals and moving to PIN only. Within a few years most retailers over here will have blanket bans on signature transactions, quite a few do already.

Oh, and I know it is not actually that much more secure, if it is at all as now the pin is stored on the card in encrypted format and not sent to the bank but that does not change anything. The attacks you can mount it are fairly high tech ones, which will always be an issue and not the banks priority. Chip and Pin is designed to beat the low tech, commonplace attacks I describe above that are done en-masse by thousands of chancers that cost banks a fortune (here in the UK banks are liable for this sort of stuff, unless that can prove you were negligent).

Comment Re:tl;dr (Score 1) 51

They pretty much had to. From the comments section of their blog, it was pretty much 80/20 that people were going to dump their products if they switched to a subscription-only license. The only people who seemed to be for it were those who found it a lot cheaper [their 'toolbox' subscription, where you can use all their ide's is a lot cheaper than licensing all their apps separately].

I was going to dump it, but given the changes to their licensing scheme announced today, I'll probably stick with using the RubyMine ide.

I am not sure what RubyMine is like, but certainly for me I would have had to stick with PHPStorm regardless as there is just nothing that compares to it that I have found that runs under Linux.

Comment Re:Are we supposed to believe *everything* they sa (Score 5, Interesting) 317

It is The Guardian, beloved of the Left. You don't need to question them, it is unseemly and icky. Everything they print is true, because it agrees with the Left's pre-existing ideas. Anything contradictory is simply not printed in the first place. This is one of the big reasons the Left has gone off the rails into obsessed hate in the past 20 years, they live in an echo chamber and think that dissident opinions have no place in political speech.

I certainly do not agree with everything the Gaurdian prints, but it is worth remembering that as it is a UK publication they have printed this knowing that if they can't prove every word they would be sued into oblivion for liable under the strong laws we have in the UK. We also have a slightly more regulated press than the you in the US in terms of a body that overseas them and force retractions if they print anything that is utterly made up.

So with that in mind you can be fairly sure that there is a fair amount of substance to this story unlike half the crap that the right wing press in the US run with where your free speech laws allow them to just make stuff up. All you have to prove in the US is that although you printed a pack of lies you did not do it "maliciously". Since that maliciousness is almost impossible to prove in court the you can get away with far more.

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