Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 1) 407

Hate to break it to you guys, but the GPS will more reliably find you an optimum route than you can find yourself.


I've had the GPS suggest turning onto a superhighway that I was passing over on an overpass. I have both had it tell me to make a left turn that was impossible, because the road was divided with a tree-covered strip in the middle, and I have also had it tell me that I couldn't turn into the driveway of my destination but had to drive half a mile past, and take a U-turn to get there, because it thought the road was divided and it wasn't.
Once in Italy I had the GPS suggest that my car take a narrow foot-path that climbed up and over a mountain, rather than the highway that went around.

On the other hand, occasionally it suggests routes I hadn't known about.

Comment "Curved" space (Score 1) 353

Yes. Einstein theorized that spacetime is curved around objects...

More accurately, if you chose to define a geodesic as being the path taken by a light ray, then the space-time coordinate system defined by light rays in the presence of gravity obeys a non-Euclidean metric that is described by the metaphor "curved"-- by which we mean, it has the same geometry as a (Euclidean) curved surface in a higher-dimensional embedding space.

Comment Gravity is not instantaneous (Score 3, Informative) 353

Are gravitational waves different from gravity? Because this article would have you believe that the speed at which they propagate is speed of light, where as gravity has instant effect AFAIK.

Gravity does not have instantaneous effect.

Nothing physical has instantaneous effect.

In any case, if you're talking about the gravity of something just sitting unmoving, it doesn't really mean anything to say that the gravitational effect is instant, or delayed. It only makes sense to ask the question when something is accelerated away from sitting stationary, and in that case, the effect isn't instantaneous; the change in effect at an observer is at the speed of light.

Comment Compare prediction to reality [Re:Cool!] (Score 3, Informative) 353

> Nobody actually ever thought that gravity waves wouldn't exist

Which is precisely why this is such a non-important result. You don't learn much about the universe by demonstrating something everyone already knew is true. It would be much, MUCH more interesting if it didn't work.

To the contrary. Now that we have detected gravitational waves, we can start comparing the predictions to the measured data. Until we had detected them, we couldn't compare theory to data. Now we we have a possibility to do so.

That's why the MMX is cool, and this isn't.
>But it's amazing that we can actually detect it.
From a technology point of view, yes. From a theoretical perspective, not so much.

Comment Re:Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround. (Score 1) 84

What about those of us with prosthetic hands who can't use touch screens for lack of capacitive coupling?

You know they have gloves with capacitive fingertips now so you can use such devices, right? They don't depend on your fingertip's capacitance. That's a solved problem.

Actually, it's a problem I solved for Bochs when I worked at Google. Because I had the need to solve the same problem for a robot that needed to be able to capacitively couple with touch devices. The gloves only work because they are conductively connected to a great big meat antenna (you), such that the cpacitive coupling works.

If you have an artificial limb, there's generally no electrical coupling to the meat antenna. So people with artificial limbs do not get to use touch devices.

The fix is to place a conductive film in the plasticine coating, and to hook it up to an antenna. It's a relatively simple hack, and you can pretty much use any WiFi or Cellular modem antenna from a laptop to do the trick.

And then, voila! Magically able to use touch screen devices. The prototype allowed a man in Germany to use the touchpad on his Lenovo Thinkpad for the first time in his life. Which meant he didn't have to carry a mouse around, since both his arms were prosthetic.

Yes, I am a genius. I'll even let you hire me if you have something interesting to work on. You probably don't.

Comment These guys are morons. (Score 4, Insightful) 143

These guys are morons.

We pushed crypto development to South Africa for FreeBSD back in the early 1990's to get around ITAR restrictions: "you can import, but you can't export".

We will happily route around this brain damage, too.

P.S.: The way to get better cryptographers in other countries is to make cryptographers criminals in the U.S.; obviously, it will not do fuck all to actually stop cryptography from happening, it'll just be that our people end up being shit at it compared to their people.

Comment Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround. (Score 1) 84

Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround.

The underlying problem doesn't have to be resolved, because we can just ignore it by installing a bolder font than the one that uncovered the underlying problem in the first place by making it more obvious.

Does anyone else see this as a crap solution to the problem?

Does anyone else see the actual problem is people with bad vision trying to use eReaders?

What about those of us with prosthetic hands who can't use touch screens for lack of capacitive coupling? We should dumb down all of our devices so that the most handicapped among us can use them all. You know, instead of working to fix the handicaps or anything.

Comment If you don't like it, don't go there (Score 2) 654

Wired is a site that actually pays their writers. The internet has become a place where everybody wants stuff for free, and expects writers to be unpaid; the internet has been flailing around trying to find a model where writers can actually get paid for their work-- but having trouble finding one.

So, give them a little credit-- if you are neither willing to look at ads nor willing to pay-- basically, you want stuff for free--well, ok, don't go there: you can get plenty of free content elsewhere on the internet. It's a race for the bottom. But they are at least trying to find a way to survive and keep paying their writers.

(Hufflepuff Post is probably about the worst of the lot-- their business model is "we get millions of dollars, people who write for us get nothing.")

Comment Re:The stuff is just too expensive (Score 2) 88

I think what will kill iot is that it's just frankly too expensive.

No, that's just the way technology goes: they sell to the people willing to pay premium prices first, then the cheap bottom of the barrel manufacturers get into the action, and the price drops asymptotically toward zero.

The first hand-held calculators used to cost hundreds of dollars; now you get them free in cereal boxes.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..." -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"