Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Anything that slows down the Assholes... (Score 1) 233

Of course the problem with your statement is it isn't the 'assholes' who will slow down.

The ones who are convinced they're the awesomest driver on the road will be the least likely to slow down for this.

I've also been on roads where every single car was driving well above the limit -- that one guy driving along at exactly the speed limit was more of a danger than anything. That person probably should have decided to stay off the highway if they were afraid of it -- because on some roads it's not much different from being the guy who is driving well under the limit.

If every other driver, including the police, is ripping along at well over the limit ... the guy who is being the rolling roadblock is a hazard.

Comment Ummmm ... (Score 1) 25

On the other side are security researchers screaming that we're installing remote access with little thought about securing it properly.

Well, that and the weekly stories we see which demonstrates just how terrible the security of this crap really is. It's not like it's a hypothetical case researchers are warning us about.

Those of us who have been around long enough know damned well not to take a day-one update, because companies have become lazy and sloppy and don't find out what they've missed until some poor schmuck has it go wrong.

And now we're supposed to trust a vendor to push out an update to the things which run our homes and have them not screw it up?

You can keep your interweb of crap, and I'll keep assuming the people making it don't give a damn about security or testing their products.

The IoT is a model in which all of the consumers are the beta testers, and which security is a farce, if it exists at all. It's all gimmicks and toys, lacking either substance or quality.

Comment Oh god no ... (Score 1) 233

That sounds like a terrible idea.

I already encounter plenty of people who, upon encountering an obstacle on their side of the road, will happily veer over into my side of the road, even if it means crossing a yellow(*) line. They don't seem to grasp that if they have an obstacle on their side, they should slow or stop instead of just veering into oncoming traffic like a moron.

If with a big strip down the center of the road which indicates "your side/my side" people will still cross into oncoming traffic, there is no way in hell I would trust them without the damned line. Hell, I routinely see places with two left turning lanes where half the drivers just stray into their neighbors lane like +- 15 feet is just fine.

Trusting the average driver I see to know where the middle of the road is without some form of guidance seems idiotic, because they can't do it now. I can't tell you how many people I see who seem to think they need 15 feet of space on their right to clear a parked car, which puts them firmly onto the side of oncoming traffic and are apparently too stupid to realize they can't do that.

As TFA says, "Absurd, barmy, crazy".

It's not a shared space, I get a lane, you get a lane, you stay the hell out of mine. You don't get to make use of my lane just because it's there and you don't know where your car is.

This sounds really really stupid.

(*) we use solid yellow lines to separate from on-coming traffic for you Brits, instead of dashed white ones -- white ones are to separate you from people going in the same direction.

Submission + - EPA to Attempt Destruction of Aftermarket Automotive Industry (

drinkypoo writes: The EPA is proposing to make it illegal to convert street vehicles into race cars, and to make it illegal to sell certain automotive products used for that purpose. This has severe ramifications for the right to repair and modify other types of hardware as well, but the direct impact alone would affect the activities of millions of Americans.

Comment And they want you to trust them, too (Score 1) 51

The latest JRE updater elevates permissions before it even needs to, so the first inkling you have that something is taking place is the UAC prompt. Only after denying it did I find out that it was from the Java updater... the prompt only said "Java". I don't know about y'all, but my first impulse upon getting a mystery UAC prompt from Java is not to grant permission to rape my PC

Comment Needed to assign fault (Score 1) 233

We need the line to assign fault in a collision so that we can figure out who pays. They don't have the line in Panama (cities and Interamericano aside) and people do not slow down. They instead glide towards the edge just as you meet, unless they're drunk and then there is a collision. They do have interesting traffic laws there, though. If you hit a horse during the day, you are automatically at fault. But if you hit one at night, you're automatically not at fault...

Comment Re:Energy in? (Score 1) 112

Trust me, it makes no sense... I can guarantee you that it takes a lot more energy input than you can get out of the methanol.

And which is then going to just ... release all of that carbon dioxide.

It isn't magic.

But, in case you really needed to know:

but they admit that such a system may be five to 10 years away and will probably be still more expensive than ordinary fuel production.

Which over the years I have taken to mean "it kind works in the lab, we need to publish now, but there will never be any applications of this technology on a meaningful scale".

An awful lot of things which are 5-10 years away are really never going to happen. In fact, most such things are pretty much doomed to never be useful.

Not saying basic research isn't cool, but I don't think we'll expect to see this any time soon.

Now, if you can make ethanol, we're listening. Why no, officer, that's not a still ... ;-)

Comment Re: What's the viable alternative? (Score 1) 155

That's basically the goal, that we can create cheap code domestic instead of sending the work abroad. What good that would do, well, you can divine by gauging the quality of code you get from abroad.

In the end I can reassure you that it will not work out. Programming is not just a skill you can pick up by drilling it into the heads of people. It's at the very least as much dependent on a certain state of mind (lacking a better term). You will certainly create a few people who will be more or less capable of slapping together some code, mostly in a cargo-cult, copy-paste fashion. And their programs may actually work. Sometimes. And that "sometimes" is exactly the problem. Because these people don't know how to take special cases into account in a way that they don't fuck up the result.

And this is critical. Because the main reason companies want to use computers is to create results fast and without human work. And that entails that it is mission critical that you can rely on the results to be correct. Because if you can not, that advantage you want to get is null and void because you still have to put a human there to at the very least check the plausibility of the results, and in the end you might end up with wrong results which can be VERY expensive to clean up afterwards.

And that's the huge problem here.

With many other things in life you can hire cheap amateurs and if they fuck up, you notice it quickly and can fix it. If your plumber fucks up, you notice it quickly with the huge puddle forming in your basement. An electrician creating a mess usually means that the power is gone. Hopefully nothing worse. A programming error may surface after years, leading to costly all-night repair sessions from experienced programmers who tend to cost an arm and a leg. A security hole in a software you use can easily lead to even worse damage. And again, damage you might not notice until it is far, far too late to mitigate it.

Comment Re: What's the viable alternative? (Score 1) 155

No, but wasting time thinking on where the keys are is. I can't even imagine programming sensibly if I had to actually look at the keyboard and ponder where to find the letters I want to write.

I can concentrate on writing code. You have to concentrate on writing itself. Personally, I'd consider this a huge disadvantage.

Slashdot Top Deals

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce