Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:I hate hieroglyphics (Score 2) 177 177

I hate decyphering hieroglyphics. I propose that the unicode for "I have peanut allergies" should be the text string "I have peanut allergies."

That works well for 1-2 billion people and not so well for the remaining 5-6 billion. While we're working on that universal language, a few universal "hieroglyphics" are useful and there's no law against writing elevator next to the elevator sign. Like say these, these, these or these.

That said, allergens may be useful for store products but that's usually half the markings on a restaurant menu which typically can be stuff like vegetarian, vegan, hot, garlic and so on. And for many complete dishes many will contain lots of allergens, it's probably easier to use a negative marking like these. I don't quite see what existing use case these symbols are supposed to cover, yes it could be added to the ingredients list but you need to solve other issues like how do you prominently say no allergens and not unmarked?

Comment Re:Insecurity culture.... (Score 4, Insightful) 452 452

I don't think it's just the companies that have changed though, it's the market the companies live in. Before there were plenty of fairly sheltered waters, where you were competing with the shop down the street but it was obvious the town needed a shop like yours. Weathering the bad times was possibly more a game of attrition than truly caring for the workers. Today it's all about globalization and open markets with huge waves like on the open ocean.

Jobs are washed away and probably never coming back, the large multinationals that have caught the huge global waves make tons of money while the small local or regional businesses get crushed. I don't think they have a choice anymore, really. That is to say, I think companies that tried this "cradle to grave" approach to employment would be crushed by the markets. And the ones who are big enough to have a choice, well they're stockholder driven and don't have any particular allegiance to anyone so they'll just squeeze out all the profit they can.

On the bright side, they can't really carry on this race to the bottom without actually pulling people out of the gutter. China and India has seen wages and living standards increase considerably, as they chase new cheap labor that in itself becomes a scarce resource to be competed for. That will cut into the profitability of outsourcing, of course balanced by your pay not being worth as much abroad. Because they make decent money now too.

Comment No demand (Score 1) 375 375

You are connecting a very, very remote area of Russia with a very, very remote area of the US. Take a look at a population density map, there's no cities whatsoever nearby. And long distance shipping will either go by sea (cheaper) or plane (faster), just the maintenance on thousands of miles of rail would kill it. This is as likely as the head of NASA suggesting a manned mission to Mars, it's his idea to make lofty ideas but the people with the money will never fund it.

Comment Re:The central pro-escrow argument is idiotic. (Score 2) 82 82

You would think a pair of gloves would render all the police fingerprinting useless, yet haphazard criminals are caught by it all the time. Like everyone else with limited resources, they either catch you because you're important or because you make it easy. Heck, I bet many criminals using computers don't even know what crypto is.

Comment Re:The title is terrible (Score 1) 231 231

The car insurance industry is making a lot of money on the fact that your driving profile is individual and will trick you into keep paying a high premium despite having moved into a lower risk segment. All autonomous cars of the same model will drive the same way, which makes it a lot harder to price gouge. It doesn't matter if you're 18 or 80, male or female, single driver or whatever. It's one Google car, 10000 miles/year, parked in garage - what are you charging? In fact, Google might easily just offer insurance themselves since they're the driver and got deep enough pockets they don't need an insurance company.

Comment Re:Ha, lower rates lol (Score 2) 231 231

One of the major reasons traffic deaths went down is we redesigned cars so that instead of being able to withstand a crash without injury to the car, they absorb the crash in a 'crush zone', meaning the car itself takes the damage instead of a person.

And this made a lot of lesser crashes that wouldn't have injured the passengers anyway far more expensive because even small damage is distributed on a large area. I was in an accident not so long ago and despite being a fairly low speed collision where the air bag did not deploy, the damage to my car alone amounted to about 1/5th of the sticker price for a new one and in total I think it wiped out everything I've paid in insurance premiums over the last ten years. So I got no reason to complain, really...

Comment Re:Why animals can't be given human rights. (Score 1) 171 171

I tend to weigh on the side that sentient animals should receive protections similar to the protections we give to children or to adults deemed legally incompetent. That means they can't exercise many of the rights that we recognize adult humans have, but neither can they be wantonly exploited, physically or psychologically harmed.

There are already animal cruelty laws that could be amended to grant better protection from human-on-animal neglect and abuse. The problem with giving them rights is that they'd apply to animal-on-animal action or environmental harm. You wouldn't let a child assault another child, would you? But it would be crazy if we were equally compelled to intervene if a gorilla assaults another gorilla. And we wouldn't let kids hunger or thirst or freeze to death, yet that happens to animals in nature all the time. Not doing them harm is way different from being responsible for their well-being.

Comment Re:The Segway problem (Score 1) 45 45

The hapless Segway would have been hero technology had it first been marketed to those handicapped who can stand but not walk. It would be intermediate tech between fully mobile and chairs, which take you out of the eye-contact world of the normally upright.

And who exactly might that be? Anyone with a bad hip or knee wouldn't want to stand any significant amount of time. Nor the morbidly obese. And those with balance or support problems probably can't use a Segway at all, they'd still need their walker. Amputees would still prefer prosthetics that cloak their handicap better. Sure they're faster and less tiresome, but I can't really think of any condition where you're unable to stand/walk short distances and still able to use a Segway.

Comment What a load of bullcrap (Score 1) 111 111

Compassion and empathy is an indication that while I have a life to live, I care about yours too. Computers and robots already exist solely to serve me, whether they can beat me at chess or not doesn't give them any life of their own. If you're already a doormat, there's no point in saying please walk all over me. For the same reason I've never felt the need to say please to a computer, though I might occasionally call on a higher power for it to please work. And you will know it's a load of circuits, unless you like to live a self-delusion you'll know there's no feeling behind it. Faking it will just get creepy, like HAL 9000: "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that" instead of "Permission denied."

Let's review a few of the inventions that have replaced work already like the washing machine or the dishwasher. If I had a person to do my laundry, I mean literally scrub it like in ye olde days I'd treat them nicely. The washing machine I turn a few knobs and it works or I curse it because I have to call a plumber. I won't thank my car for driving itself, nor for a robot being my housekeeper, chef, waiter, butler, gardener, delivery boy or whatever else work they can get it just becomes a piece of machinery that we expect to work. I've already outsourced my vacuuming to a slightly intelligent robot, the main thing is it's functional.

Comment Re:It's shocking- read it (Score 1) 483 483

Well, I note most of these involve Cortana - Windows 10's digital assistant. If you want your OS to be your personal assistant it's going to be tough if it doesn't know anything about you. If you feel this is more like a Microsoft stalker, I'm sure there's an off switch.

Comment Re:In the US. (Score 1) 875 875

Again, this works in the US with big suburbs where everyone has a parking lot with an electric outlet. In other countries (like good old Europe), where most people live in apartments and there is just no way you can plug your car at night, it doesn't work.

Apartment buildings and fixed parking spots are far from mutually exclusive, either through a parking cellar or dedicated garages/parking spots. Granted, Norway is a cold country where a garage may be more useful than down south but by household:

58% have a garage or carport
25% have a private parking spot
17% have no parking

Of the last 17% only 38% have a car, so in practice it's only 6.5% that don't have a fixed spot for their car. And that probably includes people that have rented a parking spot nearby, in practice few wants to be nomads trying to find free street parking every day. Of course you would have to get an electrician to mount an outlet, but beyond that it's not really a problem.

Comment Re:settled cannon for about a decade now (Score 1) 81 81

Part of me wonders if this is deliberate. No graphics drivers that are useful, no games. No games, no Linux desktop.

Why? AMD has no stake or interest in what OS you game on, they're just looking to sell their hardware. They get no benefit from enabling or pushing a migration to Linux unless they can steal customers from nVidia/Intel that way, which seems highly unlikely. You don't need a conspiracy to explain why companies don't do things that don't benefit them.

Comment Re:wrong question (Score 1) 54 54

Honestly, I'd beg to differ. When you cut a human body open you're likely to find a relatively standard set of organs. Even with all conditions and permutations it is a whole less open-ended than say driving a car, where arguably a lot of odd conditions could happen at any time. In short, there's a few vital functions that that the body must uphold and if a robot surgeon does he's not making anything worse. He might not cure everything, but that's not the point.

Comment Re:What we have vs. what we want (Score 1) 316 316

A conversation about the internet that is long, long overdue: Is what we *have* what we *want*, and if not, what can be done about it? What we HAVE is a global network that will never, ever let you forget that silly thing you did whilst young and drunk that everyone thought was so hilarious at the time. Is that really what we want?

Maybe not. But it's kinda meaningless to quibble about the negative side effects when it's obvious the positive effects are so huge there's no way we'll give up on it, nobody likes drive-by shooting but it's obvious we're not going to give up cars. Yes, we would like a free global information-sharing network.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

Working...