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Comment Re:Why animals can't be given human rights. (Score 1) 36 36

The issue is significantly more nuanced than that. Most people, and certainly most biologists and behavioral experts agree that there are certain animals that demonstrate sentience in a fashion at least analogous to the way humans think and feel. The great apes, and chimps, in particular, are among that rather rare group who share a significant number of emotional and cognitive traits with humans (little wonder, we're only separated by a few million years of evolution). So the idea here, so far as I understand it, is that those similarities are significant enough that chimps should enjoy, if not human rights, then at least some rights elevated from other far less human animals.

I tend to weigh on the side that sentient animals should receive protections similar to the protections we give to children or to adults deemed legally incompetent. That means they can't exercise many of the rights that we recognize adult humans have, but neither can they be wantonly exploited, physically or psychologically harmed.

But to pursue this in the courts is ludicrous. Personhood is fairly well defined in most, if not all, jurisdictions and it pretty much explicitly excludes anyone who isn't a member of H. sapiens. This is going to need to be something that is dealt with at the legislative level, and it's going to be a long fight.

Comment Re: Wow (Score 3, Insightful) 49 49

I wouldn't be surprised if they could get some more specific clues on what water it's been in - for example, marine growth species types or isotopic ratios - to help pin it down better than just general drift calculations (lots of places could dump debris on Réunion). There are could also be potential clues on how much sun or what temperatures it's been exposed to, such as rates of plastic degradation, and perhaps that might also help give them better ideas of what areas it's been in based on weather patterns since the flight was lost.

There are so many potential clues... each one rather vague on its own, but all together, I imagine they'll get pointed in the right direction.

Comment Re:Low cost chip, high cost support (Score 1) 65 65

It may seem wierd, but it is entirely rational.

Sure the ISA is open, but that is just for the CPU. A meaningful inplementation needs all the stuff that goes around it, and, as with all electronics, volume is king.

Theoretically, as you say, someone who needs a CPU to embed could choose Sparc. Then they could set about developing the rest of the system. But when they place an order, they better have a vlome market - or they would be better of with an alternative by a very large margin.

The existing Sparc targets a very specific market (web/database servers) at which it excels, but the market is not really big enough for other players to have massively bigger volume. The machines for this market have more IP outside the CPU than in it - it is about transactions per second, not instructions per second.

I have tried using Sparc as a workstation, and I am using Intel now. Its about the external infrastructure, not the product. My servers are all Sparc (OpenBSD, not Solaris - no hideous licencing problems, and Solaris majors on features I don't need - but if I did, the licence fees might be worth the money.

Now if a Sparc product was to target the mobile phone market?

Comment Re:Here's what I heard: (Score 1) 72 72

I don't have a direct reference point, as I installed Windows 10 on a new machine, but personally my boot time is spectacular with Windows 10. From the time the BIOS beeps, to the time I see the login screen it's 10 seconds. It's also completely responsive from the time I hit the login screen. No lag at all upon log in.

Comment Re:Trucking (Score 1) 690 690

While in general I think battery swapping is a stupid idea for cars (there's way too much need for different form factors, capacities, performance capabilities, etc, and it makes up such an integral part of the structure due to its size and mass and represents such a great amount of capital one would have to stockpile), I think it could actually work incredibly well for trucks. Rather than having them in the cab, I picture them slotting under the trailers (where various hardware is already often slotted), with a power connection to the cab. It would in such a situation be very easy to have a single form factor for the batteries and very easy to remove and reinstall them - you already have a standardized shape, easy undercarriage access, and the structural strength is already right where you need it. And whenever a truck picks up a new trailer that's been sitting around for a while, it could be already charged and ready to go. The cab would of course need its own batteries to haul itself around a good distance when not towing a load, but the trailers could basically hold the power for their own towing needs. And it would have little effect on an empty trailer's cost - it just needs the mounts for the batteries installed and the wiring to feed the cab, but would otherwise be a normal trailer haulable by any vehicle.

Comment Re:Error 1 (Score 1) 690 690

Indeed - and they can sell people on the concept pretty easily. Rather than saying "We're going to have you charge inside our store to tempt you to buy things", they'd sell the concept as "Remember back in the day when you used to have to fill up your car with gasoline out in the cold / heat / wind / rain / etc? Now we're enabling you to charge your car in comfort indoors in our stores because we love the environment so much and want to support people like you - you're welcome!"

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 690 690

Now, for electric cars to put them out of business, they'd have to be a relevant percentage of total vehicles - and overall, that will certainly take time. But the case becomes different in specialty markets. Different states and localities will (and already do) offer different EV incentives, and the natural use case for EVs varies between locations (urban/suburban/rural, mild vs. hot vs. cold climate, terrain, geography (isolated islands or areas without good road connects to the outside world, for example), areas with different driver profiles, and so forth). So an overall EV adoption rate of 1% might actually be 10%, 20% or more in certain areas. That could well be enough to start driving gas stations out of business in such areas, creating a potential contageon effect.

That said, business owners aren't stupid, and one expects them to adapt. For example, where appropriate one would expect gas stations to respond to increasing EV penetration by adding rapid charge stations. Electricity is cheap, but if someone needs a rapid charge (for a road trip or whatnot), they'll pay the going rate, even if it's similar to the cost of gasoline per unit distance traveled. They're not just going to say "meh, I'll just plug into a wall socket and wait overnight". So if you have an existing gas station with all of its capital costs of installing tanks and pumps already paid for, one would expect them to keep selling gasoline even as an increasing percentage of their customers switch over to electricity. Maybe they'll find it cheaper to remove broken pumps than fix them. Maybe they'll eventually hit a point where it's no longer cost effective to maintain their fuel tanks and have to stop selling gasoline altogether. But neither of these things are a "suddenly going out of business because EVs just showed up" scenario.

(Of course, there's a counter to what I just wrote, which is that - given that only a small percentage of EV charging will ever be fast charging - you're looking at a smaller potential market)

If you didn't have to work so hard, you'd have more time to be depressed.