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Comment Not too hard (Score 1) 184

1. Detection
Pulses of prime numbers. Not natural phenomenon, same in all number systems. Simple beat with silence:

01111111111 111111111

2. Binary, you speak it
We repeat this in binary, which should be fairly easy to recognize as the previous information aligned to 8 bit = byte values.
00000010 00000011 00000101 00000111
00001011 00001101 00010001 00010011

3. Length of payload in bytes + payload
00000000 00000000 00000001 10110000 = 432
432 x ????????

4. Goto 1, rotate payload.

As for the actual payload.... You could for example send atom configuration from the periodic table.
1 - 1
2 - 2
3 - 2,1
10 - 2,8
11 - 2,8,1
18 - 2,8,8
19 - 2,8,8,1
20 - 2,8,8,2
21 - 2,8,9,2
22 - 2,8,10,2
23 - 2,8,11,2
24 - 2,8,13,1

It will be pretty obvious to any physicist this is the list of elements. Using that and a bit more you can explain the units of mass, time, distance and so on.

For math you can send a list of (input A, operator code, input B, result) and it will be obvious that this operator means addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and so on. Once you have subtraction, explain 0-1 and two's complement and you'll have negative numbers.

Then you can start making advanced concepts like C+O+O = CO2 and describe properties of that gas. I really don't think it's going to become a problem bootstrapping communication, if we could just find someone to communicate with.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 4, Interesting) 361

Anyhow, if we were to reinstate some sort of poll test, it may not be used to disenfranchise according to racial lines, but you can be sure that whoever is in power will find a way to stop others from voting or to make their vote count less. It's probably impossible to design a system that couldn't be manipulated once you start disenfranchising people. Who gets to define the relevant "knowledge"? How do we measure " intelligence"?

And you must realize that political parties immediately get incentive to do this if the voters most likely to be excluded lean a particular way politically. Say party A is strong with the low income families and party B is more of a middle class party and that statistically if you make the test harder more low income families will drop out because they're already working their ass off making ends meet. Now one party has obvious incentive to set the bar higher, the other to set the bar lower. Here in Norway there's a campaign to lower the voting age from 18 to 16, you can compare the youth vote scores with the parties supporting it and it's obvious why. Voters who've mostly never had a real job, never paid taxes and never had to balance a budget because they live at home with mom and dad with an allowance tend to vote quite differently than people who've had to support themselves.

Comment Re:You're a funny dinosaur, and wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 67

You have to remember that Christianity is at its core a guilt trip. We are all pitiful sinners that can be redeemed by the mercy of our Lord, who selflessly sent his only son so he could die for our sins. That's how it starts in the garden of Eden with the original sin, the seven deadly sins of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride and so on. Who has never had a touch of any of them? Not to mention all the implied ones by breaking the commandments and so on, unless you're a walking saint everybody needs forgiveness for something. Sexuality is of course a big one, take a basic instinct humans have and turn it into something shameful and you'll have a never-ending supply of people needing forgiveness for their sinful thoughts. Fortunately this institutionalized manipulation is in massive retreat though there's still some slut shaming at the fringes but for the most part people seem to feel good about their sexuality. As it should be.

Comment Re:RAM is not cheap (Score 1) 208

Yeah, DDR3 prices hit rock bottom right before Christmas 2013. I was considering upgrading to 32GB just because it was so cheap, but really I had nothing maxing out 16GB. Still don't really, even now running a ton of crap I'm only using 8-9GB and the rest is cache. For prosumer money ($1000) you can even get 8x16GB DDR4 for an X99 motherboard, prices have bottomed out but so has demand for most people too. Faster CPU, GPU, SSD and so on great.... more memory? Meh. I suppose it could be cheaper, but at least on the PC it's not much of the total anyway. It's usually the tablet and laptop producers charging an arm and a leg for RAM upgrades.

Comment Re:Benefit to end users? (Score 1) 686

The question is also how much has he tired from politics in general or the LKML in particular. Because whenever you are building something together with other people, you'll have disagreements on how it's supposed to be built and how it's supposed to work. One of the freedoms of open source is copying the code and going home, saying I'm build my own kernel. By myself. Exactly how I want it to be. And I don't have to discuss or argue or respect any majority opinion or prove why it's a good idea or anything. And when I'm done people can use it or not use it, I don't have to market it or make a business case for it.

So he wants to ditch the politics and just write the code, good for him and it could even result in some nice features if somebody else goes up to bat for it on the LKML or one of the other places opinions clash. But there's always going to be a place like the LKML, there's always going to be disagreements there and in any sufficiently large group of people there will be jerks and drama queens. The question is if the LKML is a particularly bad case or if you could actually create something better. Maybe it's just my experience, but often when you try you end up attracting all the malcontents of the current incarnation and the new place is actually worse since they all expect this to be the place they get their way.

Comment Not really (Score 5, Informative) 686

Branching happens all the time, either to develop a feature or because it's doing something that upstream won't accept. One man maintaining his own patches isn't a fork. A fork would imply that that you're planning to diverge from or replace the project you branched from, nothing in his post indicates he wants to compete with Linux or the LKML. He's just saying I'll make my own patches and provide them for those who want them, but I'm not going to bother trying to upstream them. Kinda like Debian and Ubuntu, Canonical made a lot of patches for Debian but they weren't trying to fork it. They just rebased off it every six months, being a downstream variation. He's making a downstream variation with some interface from BSD. Big whoop.

Comment Re:Emissions testing needs to be fool proof (Score 1) 104

Passenger car emission standards are g/mi and are the same for all fuel types. Epa is exploring ways to combat this type of fraud. But any test they make needs to be objective and reproducible for all vehicles, so it may be hard to eliminate this cheat vector.

No. What they need to do is to create an objective and reproducible test, then a "sanity check" where the car is driven an ordinary, mixed road trip with a sensor attached to the exhaust pipe that can't in any reasonable way be distinguished from ordinary driving. The latter will obviously be somewhat variable due to the particular route, road conditions, environmental temperature, traffic and so on but I imagine it would be a fairly narrow band that could be considered normal. If it exceeds that, start investigating.

Comment Re:Laurels (Score 1) 36

The Nobel prize is 8.000.000 SEK this year or ~960.000 USD. Divided by three that's $320k each. That you are very likely to only get once for a career in research stretching over decades. I suppose you could say it's a whole lot more than nothing, but if you wanted to make money you should have become a NFL quarterback or something.

Comment Re:Guaranteed to put stress on any car? As if. (Score 1) 129

Yeah, I have to agree. Autobahn has very strict rules about not passing someone to their right, and people actually follow them.

Because it's the slower car's job to get out of the left lane so if there's space and they're impatient they'll be sure to blink or honk to get you out of their way. I guess it's a cultural thing, if it's the faster car's job has to find a free lane to pass that system works too. Mixing the systems don't though, if both switch lanes at the same time the result could easily be a crash. And then there's the systems where lanes are fluid or non-existing including but not limited to opposing lanes, if it fits do it and if it doesn't then honk and do it anyway. There are countries the Google car won't touch with a ten foot pole.

Comment Re:So what, nothing new. (Score 1) 129

Highways are very simple, continuous lanes, very little complication, city roads are a whole different story. Non-story.

On the other hand... if you have a bunch of depots in conjunction with the Autobahn, you just pick up/drop off goods at the one closest to you and automated trucks bring it to the depot closest to the destination that could be a much quicker road to implementation than dealing with inner city traffic. Also much easier to map out, assuming you need that. The point is to start somewhere.

Comment Re:Not wasted (Score 2) 178

Back in the real world, The Martian was mastered in 2K and hardly anybody noticed. I have a UHD monitor and using RAW still photos I can tell the difference between a photo natively cropped to 3840x2160 and one that's between downscaled to 1920x1080 and back at my typically sitting distance but you need to watch some fine detail. There's no way I'd see anything past 4K. In theory a person with 20/10 vision (yes, they do exist) sitting in the middle of a large screen cinema should be able to see 7K, but that's only when trying to read one of those eye charts at maximum contrast.

Most of the comparisons you see are not apples-to-apples comparison, they show you one 4K screen and one not-4K screen and surprise surprise the one they want to sell looks much better. I look forward to 4K BluRay though, in addition to resolution with HDR, Rec. 2020 and 10 bit color it will improve contrast, colors and banding All three of those are probably just as noticeable as the change in resolution, though I suspect it'll take a while before we have TVs that can take full advantage of it.

Comment Re:Symbiotic parasite (Score 5, Interesting) 344

The answer you end up with depends on who you think started it, yes some websites took advertising too far and users hated it. But instead of using the sites that had "acceptable" ads and stop using the sites that had "annoying" ads, the solution was to start blocking ads. Now I don't subscribe to the whole "blocking ads is stealing" tripe but obviously the whole point of ads is that people see them. If everybody blocks them, there no point in paying for them and so the sites don't get any funding and the model breaks down. And it was the low-hanging fruit that mostly got hurt, the scummy sites with annoying ads were also the ones who'd most quickly resort to circumvention techniques to shove the ads in your face anyway.

The assumption here is that at least some users will be nice and accept to see som ads, if you're going to do that why not go for a real opt-in system? Tag all the advertising elements on your page with an <div class="ad">(ad goes here)</div>. Publish an advertising policy, like robots.txt Kindly ask ad blockers to replace ads tagged as such with "This website relies on advertising revenue to operate. You are currently blocking ads. Please click here to unblock and support our site."

If you click it, you get a dialog saying:
"This site has requested you to unblock ads. Their advertising policy is as follows:

Banner ads: Yes
Animated ads: No
Ads with sound: No
Interstitial ads: No
Pop-ups: No
Pop-unders: No

[Unblock ads] [Cancel]

You may at any time block ads again by.... (explanation)"

Of course you could have dick ad blockers that just remove the ads, but I think the popular ones could be convinced to play nice. Sites wouldn't have to get on any approval list tied to any particular blocker and everyone would decide for themselves what sites they want to support. No money for just being click bait, users have to actually like you enough to unblock. Not sure it'd work, but if that won't work then "acceptable ads" won't either.

Comment Re:fair competition (Score 2) 239

Their PR arguments also hold no water. Let's assume that all their arguments about safety, quality, crime, and so on are all true. Why should we not have the choice anyway to pick who drives us? I am happy driving a friend to a location, they are happy to drive me, people drive themselves, yet somehow cabbies have twisted this into licensed uber drivers as being the best way to get yourself killed. So the regulations that largely exist for all drivers such as not being drunk, having insurance, having a safe car, having a licence, all make sense for normal drivers; so why don't they make sense for Uber drivers. Does the uber app somehow make them worse drivers?

You might say pretty much exactly the same about cooking, but I still think it's fair to hold professional food serving businesses to a different standard than me inviting a friend over for dinner. As for insurance, the rates reflect the risk and letting commercially operated cars pool with your average commuter unfairly shoves their risk over on us. I don't see a problem with Uber being required to check if you are properly licensed to transport strangers for money before you're allowed to participate. This isn't a phone book, Uber is taking a cut for every ride. Imagine a P2P program with a central server that charged you to pair up, if you want to download game of thrones season one that'll be $0.50 of which we'll take $0.10 and the uploader $0.40. Oh and the peers are legally responsible for whether the files are legal, we're only a matchmaker. How long do you think they'd be in business?

Comment Re:Brave polling, but in real life? (Score 2) 257

Well, it depends on what passwords. Most passwords, well they can go to my webmail provider or bank or whatever and gain access regardless, most people at customs just want to know you haven't modded it to be a bomb so in reality I'm probably not going to refuse them but they're also not going to get access to anything I really want to keep secret. If you can avoid it then it's better to make them think they "won" rather than pick a fight, it's a fairly decent tactic against assholes of all shapes and sizes. Life's too short as it is so I'd rather just get on with it, even if I'm not really doing the right thing.

Comment Re:Great Flood (Score 1) 54

As is the idea that he was 950 years old when he died. Also totally believable.

Well, we have reason to believe some trees are over 5000 years old so if you believe in the creation myth and that Adam and Eve were created by divine touch that diminished over generations that is actually one of the less incredible parts. That we don't live longer is probably a compromise between reproductive age and retaining experience and knowledge between generations as giving birth to a new healthy generation might be more evolutionary "fit" than growing longer life spans, not any true kind of hard limit. Having seen how long we have and haven't gotten in medicine I don't think we'll see it in my lifetime but within the next few hundred years of science I think a thousand year life span is possible. Which doesn't mean that I think ancient people of the past lived that long, but still far more in the realm of the possible than some of the other stuff.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.