Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Obviously Chinese Espionage (Score 1) 17 17

Look, why does everyone think China is involved? Just because the IP addresses point in that direction? Weak sauce. Here is a much more nuanced way to look at things. Yeah, they use China IP addresses. But much of the high tech part of China is on the eastern coast. This is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a whole bunch of active and extinct volcanoes ringing the Pacific Ocean.

Now, there aren't a whole lot of fiber optic cables that run directly to volcanoes. The business case really isn't there. So, if you are an evil villain bent on world domination, holed up in said geologic structure, where would you get Internet access from? AT&T? Comcast? Nope. You're neighbors in friendly, capitalistic China. You can even pull some plausible deniability out of it.

Come on guys, think harder. What kind of world do you want to see? Millions of plastic knick knacks at Wal-Mart.

Or sharks with lasers.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 590 590

The key is when you retire.

Rent goes up faster than retirement income.

I use a home warranty service. As long as you don't try to sign up and then get a repair higher than your annual premium right away they are pretty reasonable. And their repair people are REPAIR people which is nice. A feeling of comfort knowing my max bill will be $65 too. No phony recommendations "well this is so old, better we replace it for several thousand dollars!

And predictable costs which is good when retired.

Comment No, it's not that old. (Score 1) 249 249

" IE turns 20 in less than a month, which is ancient in internet years,"

No, IE is not 20 years old. IE 11 bears no resemblance to IE8, which bears no resemblance to IE3, which bears no resemblance to IE 1.5.

This sort of description is like declaring the 1978 Saab 900 was anything like the 1994 Saab 900.

There have been 11 major versions of IE. Better to state that the name has been around for 20 years, or a product named that, but then we have to consider that 'Windows' has been around for 29 years. Does anyone even consider 'Windows 1.0' from 1985 is anything like current Windows, and shares the name only?

Lazy writing, worse thinking.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 197 197

I didn't make it suitably clear; but the 'complexity' is really more of a historical issue. The fact that you can get power transistors, digital logic, and similar solid-state goodness for peanuts, possibly even less than the carbon brushes or other electromechanical alternatives, is a comparatively recent thing in historical terms.

Now that you can, doing so is pretty compelling for any but the highest-power tasks; but it has not always been the case that you can throw semiconductors at a problem for astonishingly tiny amounts of money. Today it is; but a lot of very clever electromechanical, inductive, and similar tricks were developed during the time that it was not.

Comment Re:DC power? (Score 1) 197 197

Yep that windows 10 marketing hype and B$ reviews are certainly getting more than a little over the top. That don't seem to be doing that well though and they are running into a real problem. As they push more the windows 10 hype is starting to becoming more annoying and putting people off, so they try harder to promote hype and instead of winning converts they are just becoming more annoying. I think their key market is baulking and looks to be waiting more than a quarter for the B$ to die down so that reality can start to leak through prior to wasting the effort and frustration on yet another unwanted upgrade.

DC makes sense with your own battery capacity and only using minimal AC from the mains as emergency charge up, if you solar capacity or battery capacity was too small. So likely houses will go all DC as it is much safer and reduces capital cost (all appliances without transformers), with AC only going to the battery outside. Mains power could of course become hugely expensive with so little current flowing to pay for that infrastructure. Interesting problem though of medium and high density dwellings with insufficient area for power generation, not to bad if they are all together but really bad when they are scattered amongst low density dwellings with sufficient area to generate their own electricity.

Comment Re:My sympathy (Score 1) 27 27

If I keel over, please don't resuscitate unless there is at least a 50% chance of long-term success, and less than a 50% chance of causing long-term damage. It's just a life.

Just tattoo that requisition on to your chest along with the relevant link for inputting your clinical parameters to determine the likelihood of resuscitation and we'll be happy to oblige.

Signed, your local EMS team.

Comment Re:Low cost chip, high cost support (Score 3, Interesting) 56 56

What I find a bit weird about SPARC's near-total obscurity is that(please correct me if I'm wrong on the details; but to the best of my understanding from what I've read) the ISA is available for use on a royalty-free basis, and there are even a few BSD or GPL verilog implementations out there. That's even less encumbered than MIPS(which has some patents that the owners like to wave around on a couple of useful instructions).

My naive expectation would have been that SPARC on such liberal terms would show up a bit more often embedded in various chips that need some sort of CPU to do housekeeping, as the ISA of security and/or nationalism driven 'indigenous technology' efforts, and potentially even as the cheaper-than-ARM option for application processors.

Clearly that hasn't actually happened, and it's mostly ARM in SoCs and application processors(with PPC holding out in certain automotive and networking niches for some reason; and MIPS in router SoCs and the occasional Chinese vanity project); so ARM's license fees must just not sting that much.

Building SPARC parts that go toe to toe with Xeons would obviously be a much more ambitious project(as well as an act of directly fucking with Intel's juciest margins, which they probably won't take very kindly); but I am surprised by the fact that SPARC is so rare among the zillions of devices that have no need for x86 compatibility and are mostly about delivering performance in the gap between beefy microcontrollers and weak desktops for as little money as possible.

Comment Re:Crooks are afraid of the dark, too (Score 1) 167 167

Well, but according to the grandparent article reffered to in this article, this article is bullshit "Research suggests that road accidents have risen by 20 per cent in areas where street lights were switched off." So a twenty percent increase in car accidents, so shit for brain austerity fuck wit has simply shifted the cost from the rich back to poorer tax payers driving back home from work in the dark or driving to work in the dark. Hey, 20% increase in car accidents, death, dismemberment and permanent disability, so the fuck what, as long as the rich pay less tax and he sleeps better. How well are those 20 percenters sleeping after their car accidents, how many as sleeping permanently. How much would sane countries spend to reduce car accidents by 20%?

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 2) 590 590

Investment value is the real gnarly problem here. What do you think will be the future value of high priced exclusive infernal combustion vehicles, in the second hand market when gas stations start shutting down. How are new ones going to be sold, with a limited life span and perhaps no future second hand value. In fact those companies that start afresh without the burden of an infernal combustion past or capital loss in equipment, engineering, now empty patents, will have a huge advantage.

As countries try to dump fossil fuels on a shrinking market, so the price will temporarily drop until economies of scale collapse and regulations ban the pollution. The switch from infernal combustion to electric will be a whole lot messier than most people think unless cheap conversions become possible.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.