Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: It will create a non-neutral market (Score 1) 77

by MessyBlob (#48168761) Attached to: An Air Traffic Control System For Drones
This will likely cost a lot to use: a competitive market for 'transactions' and licensing. Imagine each segment or corridor of airway being owned and sublet by someone who sets transit pricing. Imagine the licensing process itself being regulated like domain names. It's likely to be better if regulated exclusively by a central authority, on a not-for-profit basis.

Comment: All-electric or Hybrid? Whose Interest? (Score 1) 603

by MessyBlob (#35036106) Attached to: White House Wants 1M Electric Cars By 2015
Opinion: The true long-term way forward is oil-free fuel (all-electric) at the point of use, but this needs a higher order of support than hybrid technology. A cynical view is that this [article/policy] might only practically contribute to the subsidy of hybrid cars, which maintains oil industry interests. This interest could be safeguarded by spacing the charging stations at intervals greater than is practicable for electric-only vehicles (which have shorter range).

Comment: Confusing 'Open' with 'Free'? (Score 1) 663

by MessyBlob (#34862626) Attached to: Ars Thinks Google Takes a Step Backwards For Openness
A standard can be openly documented, but heavily patented and licensed. A competing standard can be almost documented and a work-in-progress, but free to use. Which is better? H.264 would be a poor choice going forward; not because of openness or technical capability, but because the IP owners are luring implementers in, in the hope that early adopters will be irrevocably committed to a patented technology when the usage terms start to become a cash cow. What we need is good abstraction, so that we can freely switch between adopters of the standard interface: like having a graphics API that lets you use Direct-X or OpenGL just by flipping a switch.

Comment: Re:Good Science (Score 1) 307

by MessyBlob (#34582342) Attached to: String Theory Tested, Fails Black Hole Predictions
Yes, it would eliminate some of the 'landscapes', or reduce the possible variables of working landscapes. I'd use the word disproof reservedly - but it's good to see papers that say "it can't be X" against the many that say "it can be Y"; while the innovation of the latter is needed, it's nice to see the former, especially in the recent climate of string theory (and its variants) becoming institutionalized.

Comment: Modern Game = story (Score 1) 854

by MessyBlob (#34030014) Attached to: Are Games Getting Easier?
Recent games are often linear stories, loaded with artistic media, pretending to be free-to-roam games. Given the linear game sequence, it _doesn't pay to make some parts really difficult_, because it would close off the remainder of the game, spoiling the satisfaction. I used to develop small games: usually procedural, without story, where the difficulty just keeps going up, no end! While my approach challenged every player, and offered replayability, it wouldn't result in the type of 'formula' game that gets published nowadays.

Comment: Propose API having anonymous ID hashes? (Score 1) 219

by MessyBlob (#33978542) Attached to: Why Facebook Won't Stop Invading Your Privacy
I'm late to the party, but would the following work? A new apps API which publishes session-based hashes for user IDs and query results. The app-processed results are then passed back through Facebook API to be published. It won't answer all concerns, but it would allow a class of 'non-identifying' apps to thrive. Slashdotters might find a clever way of finding repeating patterns to identify users and linking through to known clusters, but it should be better than the 'open access' that apps currently enjoy just to function.

Comment: Charge user, prosecute pirate; leave others alone! (Score 1) 255

by MessyBlob (#33589480) Attached to: UK ISPs To Pay 25% of Copyright Enforcement Costs
It assumes that all Internet users are pirates: not so! Is this a statistical "taxation at the point of use", which assumes that the population has pirates in it, so we charge the population for use? I don't understand how the entertainment companies can justify the many ways they are taking money, other than direct payment for consumption. Solution (perhaps impractical, but ethical) is to charge users, and prosecute pirates.

Comment: Better security: Give users an admin account too (Score 1) 145

by MessyBlob (#33464304) Attached to: Facebook To Add Remote Logout
Any anti-bot/spammer/crook system has to work at a level that is not the same as the regular session. On joining a system, you should be able to set up a separate user/password that acts as admin for your account, and the admin account is used to control access. During regular use, you use your regular account, which means that there is less probability of having your credentials stolen, and less probability of having your admin account hacked. If your regular account is hacked, then disable the regular account; the admin account can then be used to unlock it.

Comment: Yes, and No... [Re:Shutter speed] (Score 1) 209

by MessyBlob (#33459838) Attached to: Canon Develops 8 X 8 Inch Digital CMOS Sensor
An SLR shutter doesn't expose the whole frame at the same instant: It's like a scanning line running down the frame, so if your gap (between the separately-controlled curtains) is small enough, you can have _any_ shutter speed you want - just don't expect the whole frame to be recording the same instant in time. Also, you don't need to put the shutter immediately in front of the film/sensor plate (but it helps give a clear image).