Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Be Skeptical (Score 1) 353

Black holes warp space to the point that countless billions of planets can fit into a fairly normal "size" black hole.

Therefore the concept of "measuring" a black hole can be a nonsense. Inside it is billions of large things. Outside it, it might be a fraction of a light year across. And yet all that matter is crushed under its gravity and becomes nearly a point mass.

When your measuring system is reliant on getting a ruler and putting it somewhere, it all becomes a nonsense under space-time itself warping to the point of galaxies of objects fitting on the head of a pin, which from a distance just looks like a black hole in the middle of a galaxy.

Actual scale here is variable, indeterminate, dependent on the observer, and - in a lot of cases - unknown.

Comment Sigh (Score 1) 406

Use a tool like an idiot, and it won't work as you expect.

I regularly do things like 100 mile drives into the middle of nowhere, then just turn on the sat nav knowing that it will get me back. My girlfriend and I find it a nice way to discover new places, new pubs, new routes, new towns, new countryside.

What bugs me more than anything is short, temporary roadworks, restrictions, road closures, etc. that are never announced on RDS-TMC or similar traffic services and so you have to manually re-route. The one bit of a journey that pisses me off is when I *can't* let the satnav do its job.

Otherwise, I have never got lost, drove hundreds of km's out of my way "by accident" (moron!), driven through a ford I didn't know was coming up or into a low bridge that was too low for my vehicle (morons!), or anything else along those lines. Hell, it's been years since I typed in a postcode that the computer couldn't recognise first time.

Seriously, people, just get a life and check the overview map before you accept route. There are millions of places which share names with things that aren't what you intended. Check which one you meant first rather than blindly pressing OK.

And then your satnav-led journeys will be pretty much uneventful.

Oh, and I use a GBP20 Copilot app on an Android phone. It's not like I spent a fortune, and I don't even have to pay for map updates.

Comment Someone, please make my dream come true (Score 1) 406

For YEARS, I've hoped for GPS software that had three features:

1.) A "fewest number of turns" mode. Especially if I am in unfamiliar territory, I would rather a route that involves four turns and takes five more minutes and three more miles, than a route that saves me those five minutes and involves fifteen turns. Give me the route that is the simplest to memorize, even if it means a longer drive.

2.) An "avoid crappy intersections" mode. Yes, please, make my drive three minutes longer if it means I don't have to cut across four lanes of traffic within 100 feet to make a hairpin left at a five-way stop. Prioritize standard, right-angle intersections where possible.

3.) A "get the complete thought out" mode. One time, I was driving in Queens, trying to get back on the Jackie Robinson Parkway (I think). The GPS literally said "stay to the right...then...stay to the left...then...stay to the right...", to which I blurted out, "Cha cha now, y'all!". While yes, I was navigating through an intersection of three major highways (see #2), there were about four different roads I could get onto with that particular set of directions, and looking at the map to figure out which particular set of squiggly lines I was supposed to drive onto was not an option, given that I had to, y'know...avoid hitting another driver or ending up in oncoming traffic (yeah, I'm picky like that). If directions are going to be given in that quick succession, then tell me "head toward the Jackie Robinson Parkway"...and then, just start calculating rerouted directions in the background, under the assumption that I'll miss it.

Honestly, I think that these three features would be incredibly, anyone who wants to code it, just get me a free copy.

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 36

Americans constantly whine about data costs, endlessly - as if it's somehow a magical unlimited bucket of data available in the spectrum.
I mean, don't get me wrong, I'd like it too - but it seems only the Americans 'don't get it' when it comes to this. It's pretty straightforward, there's limits to it, period.

How's this, in the last 10 years, what if instead you didn't have 4G / LTE etc, instead you just still had "inefficient EDGE" BUT unlimited data, all month long, endlessly?

You can't have both. Especially with more and more devices out there.
The idiot Liberal (it means conservative here) Govt in Australia at one point, tried denying the need to build an advanced comms network (NBN) one of their excuses was "oh 3G / 4G etc will be XYZ GBs in a few years, laying fibre down is dumb!" because idiots don't understand the limits of wireless communications tech.

Personally, I have a 16GB phone, 32GB microSD slot. I get 1.5GB per month (!) and I use about half of it (but I don't go out too much) I imagine were I to travel more, I could envision a need of say 5 to 7GB at most, which is available right now at semi-reasonable prices.

Wireless is not a magical fountain of unlimited bandwidth, a million posts in a million articles won't change this.

Comment Re:But what would I be downloading? (Score 1) 43

How do you come up with those figures?
I get a theoretical maximum of 12.5GB/sec and I've _NEVER EVER_ encountered a wireless data transmission system that comes anywhere close to it's apparent maximum. Ever.

Wireless A,C,N,G etc - all of them, you should basically divide by 8, as standard and then halve it again. If you're lucky, maybe you'll get 60% of the claimed maximum, maybe.

I would imagine a 100Gbps system to give a real world figure (pulling this directly from my ass as I type this,.. based on experience............) probably......... 3 to 4GB/s maybe.

Comment It disables my mental compass (Score 1) 406

They have their uses but if I rely on one too much, my mental compass turns off.
I've got a ridiculously good mental compass (video games as a kid, I don't know?) but I almost always know what direction I'm facing, where I came from, where I'm headed to, what direction things face, etc.

GPS can get me REALLY lost, when I disable my compass for too long, I end up with no idea where I am.

Comment No... (Score 1) 406

These are examples of really really dumb people not paying attention. if your GPS says, "drive 250 miles" to the hotel near your airport, and you blindly do it... you are an idiot.

Drive 2 days away... again, idiot level.

The problem is that all technology requires the user to have a modicum of intelligence. The examples in the story are of people that should not be allowed to drive a car let alone use a GPS.

Comment Re:poison the data (Score 1) 225

Just VM it and stop pissing about.

Then you can run your Windows-only app, have a built-in firewall in the hypervisor that can do whatever you need, you can use your original hardware, you can run other systems that are more privacy-respecting for your day-to-day activities, your licences almost certainly already cover such use, and everything from 8 Pro upwards allows you to use Hyper-V to do just this.

Comment Re:Dumb question, forgive me (Score 1) 353

Nope, sound waves don't either.

Think of a giant rubber sheet with a ball bearing in every square inch. Squish the sheet and the balls in that part get closer together. Stretch it and they get further apart. Do both to the same sheet and you have a wave and the distance between them is half a wavelength. Repeat it regularly and you have a full, repeating wave of a certain wavelength.

The ball bearings are sound-carrying particles in audio terms, and mass-bearing particles in gravity terms.

Neither of them has "positive" or "negative" anything. They just further apart or closer together to each other.

That we sometimes represent them as a line on a graph that goes below zero (closer than without the presence of sound / gravity) or above it (further apart than without the presence of sound / gravity) is a matter of interpretation, nothing to do with anything "negative" at all.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..." -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"