Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:Which is why their computer's confuse me (Score 1) 640

And what makes you so sure they'd have to support anything that's non-Apple built? Can you call them up demanding support for an install of OSX86 on a ThinkPad? They'd laugh in your ear.

I say let people install it on any Intel box they want, and if they run into problems, they're on their own. That's why I was rooting for Psystar.

Comment Re:Not first-sale doctrine: Psystar altered OS X (Score 1) 640

I am not sure that Psystar needs authorization from the end user to do what they did.

Section 117 provides for exceptions to all the exclusive rights in section 106 under conditions of ownership and essentiality.

Psystar *is* the initial owner of the copy. At that point, they can prepare a copy and adaptation as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with "a machine", and then they resell that machine in conjunction with the original copy.

Comment Re:Space program != science (Score 1) 203

Perhaps my original scenario presented was a little extremist, though that was not my intention. I am aware, at least somewhat, of the complicated international relationships that keep the U.S. in the position it is in today. I also understand that it is important to maintain our supremacy if we want to continue to be the big kid on the block with the hardest stick. While I did say that the U.S. should cut and divert funds from it's war machine, which is prone to the interpretation that I meant ALL funds, what I meant to say was that the funds should be cut to an extent. The level of spending on America's military that should, in my opinion, occur, should be a level that allows America to maintain whatever position of power it wants in the world, but does not require it to bloat its military to unnecessary levels. Projects like the ABL, the F-22, THAAD, and so on are hold overs from a period where we were preparing for WWIII. We can and should, in my opinion, cut military spending to 'reasonable' levels (yes I know this is subject to interpretation).

The bottom line is that our military spending is bloated even if we want to maintain the advantages we have over other countries. We should reduce said spending, not cut it entirely. That was what I originally meant to get across and I do realize that I was not particularly specific in that manner. Forgive my lack of particulars.

Also, before I get dinged for it, I do know that the ABL and F-22 programs have been cut, somewhat, but those cuts so far have just been a very minor chip off the iceberg...there are dozens of other bloated contracts to consider...

Comment Re:In Defense of Artificial Intelligence (Score 2, Interesting) 483

For instance, your hand written mail is most likely read by a machine that uses optical character recognition to decide where it goes with a pretty good success rate and confidence factor to fail over to humans.

In fact, the Deutsche Post (Germany's biggest mail company) uses a neural network to process hand-written zip codes. It works rather well, as far as I know. Classic AI, too.

Plus, spam filters. Yes, they merely use a glorified Bayes classifier but, well... learning classifiers are a part of AI. Low-level AI, for sure, but AI.

Ont thing about AI that confuses laypersons is that it's a term describing many things from the lowliest classifier to SKYNET. Much like laypersons tend to associate chemistry with mixing colored liquids until something happens, they associate artificial intelligence with either artificial human-like brains or the behavior of bots in ego shooters (which, amusingly, often doesn't contain any AI at all).

Comment Re:Virtualization has worked (Score 1) 483

Actually every item in this list is suspect:

AI - In various forms, especially for predictive logic and expert systems, AI is working. It's also getting better with broader applications occurring all the time

CASE - well - that was not viable if you don't have AI that can program... first things first. However, tons of the tools we use today UML, to code completion have roots in this

Thin Clients - come on! What do you think a browser is? Successful? I'd say.

ERP - well - I'm not sure about that either. That's a big problem that need intelligent thinking. Most corps aren't all that.

B2B - I know that this is growing. The internet now is much more friendly than it was for this kind of thing. Also, the biggest companies back in 2000 were a mess to actually try to do that. It's time will come.

ESM - With the right tools and training, your staff can use efficient methods of attacking the collaboration problem. The issue is that most people are not -taught- to collaborate, and it's a difficult hurdle to get people to work in collaborative environments.

None of these things are ripe yet. All of these things take time to implement. Absolutely nothing in this article is up to date.

I can find failures in different companies for each of these, but I can also find successes in other companies for each of these.

This article is junk

Comment Re:How is that sustainable? (Score 2, Insightful) 453

Which part of $1.5B isn't beneficial? Their banks collect interest and their manufacturers make sales.

Meanwhile, 36K acres to power 150K homes? Doesn't a nice nuclear plant only need 100 acres or so to provide power that same number?

In you nuclear plant scenario are they mining and refining the necessary materials to power that plant on that 100 acres as well? What about the coolant?

Comment Re:I dont' see it this way (Score 1) 385

My view is a bit different although I think you're close. I'm not counting Apple out but my reasons are different.

The touch screen, accelerometer, music store, etc. are all things other phones have. Some phones even do some of those things really well. But the iPhone was the one that did them all really well, and did them first. So even though other phones have comparable hardware, few have the same polish and none have Apple's first-mover advantage.

What remains to be seen is whether the first-mover advantage will be enough for them, as the competition increasingly has feature parity and possibly lower cost. On the one hand, a widely available application base was hugely valuable for computers, and phones are increasingly just ultra-portable computers. On the other hand, most of the apps most people would want on a phone, aside from perhaps games, IMO are already available on competitors like the Pre (and Palm's tiny app store is just a faint shadow of Apple's).

The other thing not to forget is the Apple has formidable marketing skills, and that matters a lot. These are the folks who managed to create and sustain an almost fanatical loyalty among their Macintosh customers, even during a period of years when the Mac was technically inferior to other companies' offerings. If they can do something similar with the iPhone, which at present is king of the hill, they'll do quite well.

Comment Re:I for one... (Score 1) 178

You proved my point again. You claim that I haven't made a rational argument, yet you've made no counter claim, so what exactly do you have a problem with? Otherwise I can't address your claim. "You haven't made a rational argument" and saying "I'm just waving my hands" is not a response, it is you who's chickening out. If I made a mistake somewhere it has to exist by definition to say "all of it is a mistake" means you have to go through what I said and address it point by point otherwise: There are only two options 1) You don't have a clue as to what I said so you can't make a claim that it wasn't rational, because you couldn't even grasp it to begin with 2) you are too intellectually lazy to address my points because you might find something uncomfortable with the current view of the world you hold.

Either way I know you're immune from other viewpoints so as I said before it would be pointless to discuss this further with you unless you take an honest stab at it.

The Courts

Submission + - Jane Harman strikes back

fisticuffs writes: Yesterday on Slashdot we discussed the collection of allegedly incriminating evidence against California rep. Jane Harman via a federal agency's wiretap. Now she wants to make public all of the evidence collected during the wiretap. Will this plot twist make her an unlikely ally in the fight against government secrecy? Hopefully this will be allowed to move forward and not quashed in the name of "national security".
The Military

Submission + - SPAM: Pentagon bombs $400M Lockheed outsourcing contract

coondoggie writes: "The Pentagon this week said it was taking back the veterans pay and administration service work in had outsourced to Lockheed Martin in what some say is also a blow the former President Bush administration's government work privatization efforts. The return of the veteran's contract to government employees will save up to $25 million over the next 10 years according to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) that will run the program. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (globalpost.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "Industrialized nations mull enforcement rules that could affect Internet providers

SAN FRANCISCO — Several dozen industrialized nations are quietly negotiating new rules to crack down on everything from illegal downloads of digital music to unlicensed knock-offs of brand-name goods.

The vehicle for this international assault on software piracy and trademark infringement is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The talks include the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Canada and members of the European Union.

Maybe this isn't the kind of thing that should be done quietly, maybe this is the sort of process that could use a little scrutiny."


Submission + - Court orders White House to preserve e-mails (cnn.com)

Ethanol-fueled writes: A federal judge has ordered the Bush White House to preserve its e-mails, just days before a new administration takes over. The issue has been a thorny legal and political one for outgoing Bush officials, who are in the process of transferring more than 300 million e-mail messages and 25,000 boxes of documents to the National Archives. U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy instructed officials to search all White House workstations "and to collect and preserve all e-mails sent or received between March 2003 and October 2005, but is this the first step toward digging up and prosecuting any misdeeds?
(More info is here and here among other places. The second link notes that the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame and the ensuing fiasco first raised the issue)

Operating Systems

Linux Supports More Devices Than Any Other OS 272

Linux Blog recommends an interview up on the O'Reilly site with Greg Kroah-Hartman, long-time Linux kernel hacker and the current Linux kernel maintainer for the USB driver core. He updates the free Linux driver program announced almost two years ago, which has really caught traction now with more than 300 developers volunteering. The interviewer begins by asking about Kroah-Hartman's claim that the Linux kernel now supports more devices than any other operating system ever has. "[One factor is] the ease of writing drivers; Linux drivers are at normally one-third smaller than Windows drivers or other operating system drivers. We have all the examples there, so it's trivial to write a new one if you have new hardware, usually because you can copy the code and go. We maintain them... forever, so the old ones don't disappear and we run on every single processor out there. I mean Linux is 80% of the world's top 500 super computers right now and we're also the number one embedded operating system today. We've got both sides of the market because it's — yeah it's pretty amazing. I don't know why, but we're doing something right."

Everybody needs a little love sometime; stop hacking and fall in love!