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


Forgot your password?
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Comment It's immature... (Score 1) 195

We have had a century to figure out the "unplugged" car interface, and it is simpler: dials for speed and tachometer, nothing else. Drivers train from an early age to drive with this sort of instrumentation.

The lack of safety with these HUD's is likely a consequence of inexperience both on the part of the HUD designers and the drivers. Once the interfaces themselves iterate a few times, and then drivers get experienced with them, I imagine they'll be much safer.

Comment Re:Are "innovations" in Windows even relevant anym (Score 1) 138

"Trying to do what they have been doing for years" also means "running some software without needing or wanting anything from the OS rather than a window manager, device drivers, a filesystem, and a networking stack". Just because the "platform" isn't "innovating" doesn't mean that people don't run nifty software on it.

Most of the frustration with Windows comes from trying to get the Microsoft marketing bullshit to fuck off so we can use computers for what computers are for: running software.

Comment Re:how much it took (Score 3, Interesting) 274

It took "mere seconds" to burn through the engine manifold.

Paint it white (specifically, something with high albedo in whatever frequency range the attacker favors) and you can probably increase that time by a factor of ten. Paint it with that retroreflective paint that they make street markings out of and you've blinded anyone near the firing station.

Laser weapons look effective now because nobody's taking rudimentary countermeasures against them (because they don't need to). But if these things start appearing on battlefields, there are some simple countermeasures that will make their life a lot more difficult.

Comment Re: Civics class (Score 1) 481

I would hope men and women would carry guns if needed to protect their family, and that men and women would like respect at work.

(At work today, a physics professor asked a lady in the conference room "Ah, are you someone's wife?" No -- she is an English professor.)

Comment Re:Evolving world... (Score 1) 481

Remember: In the same way a Fireman runs into a burning building; this Officer is going to be running towards the gunfire if there's trouble, not away from it like the average youth on the street.

If my experience with the "youths on the street" in Baltimore is any indication, they'll be running toward the gunfire, fumbling for their cellphone cameras, chanting "World Star Hip Hop".

Comment Re:police are good (Score 1) 481

I know this advice, but I wound up not following it, and it turned out okay for me -- in one situation. I wish we could come around to a policing culture where every story could end like this one. Sadly, we don't, and in many places the police have made themselves out to be the enemy.


I got hungry for a burrito one night at midnight in Tucson (a city of about 800,000; mixed white/Hispanic). Good thing, too, since there was a burrito shop three blocks down the road. I was reading an e-book on my netbook, so I grabbed my netbook and tucked it under my arm, and headed for the Taco Shop. Well, it was colder than I expected, so I started jogging down the road. It didn't occur to me, of course, that I looked suspicious, running down the street with a laptop under my arm.

Well, four cops confront me in the parking lot of the Taco Shop, wanting to know what the deal was. They were professional, and didn't make any aggressive moves toward me, put a hand on weapons, or touch me, but made it plain that I wasn't free to leave. They asked where I lived and what I was doing, and I told them. I said "I guess that does look suspicious. But this is my laptop. Can I show you some documents on it with my name on them, and show you that they match the name on my driver's license?"

The cop tells me to go ahead, so I do, and he says "Huh, guess it is your computer, then. Enjoy your burrito" and leaves along with the others.

Thing is, this is exactly what you shouldn't do when stopped by police in many places, since as you say their goal (often) is to find people and put them in jail. I could have said nothing, been detained, called a lawyer, and wasted a whole bunch of my time and a whole bunch of theirs. But, thankfully, I was able to take a risk that the Tucson police were better than that and try to demonstrate my innocence on the spot, and it paid off.

(Three of the cops, incidentally, were Hispanic; this wasn't a "white cops let the white guy go" situation. But there is far less racial animosity in Tucson than there is in places like Washington DC.)

Pascal is a language for children wanting to be naughty. -- Dr. Kasi Ananthanarayanan