Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: FTFY (Score 1) 32

Because the plain old internet doesn't make much money for anyone.

You're talking about putting infrastructure into places where there is no expectation of the local population valuing the connection enough to pay for it. And infrastructure doesn't pop up for free.

Philanthropy is wonderful, but it's not generally part of the business plan for major corporations. Especially when that philanthropy would allow competitors direct access to users.

Comment: Re:Poster sounds sympathetic, but sounds like thre (Score 1) 250

There was no such ambiguity within the residents of Blacksburg. Most students currently at Tech were not students when the original shooting happened, or even know students who were here. But those of us who live here remember, and remember quite vividly. There was no question that this was related. Asking some kid who probably 12 when the shootings happened probably isn't going to get you much response.

Comment: Re:THREATS and WARNINGS (Score 2) 250

Calling in a bomb threat has always been a crime, not a prank. I see three possible conditions here:

1. He heard of a plot for a mass murder on the Virginia Tech campus and warned the community via Yik Yak
2. He was personally threatening to carry out a mass murder on the Virginia Tech campus and decided to go super villain style and announce it
3. Neither 1 or 2, He was pranking a mass murder threat on the Virginia Tech campus

If it's (1), then he's free and clear once he comes clean about all he knows of the plot for mass murder and there is credible evidence to show that such an event was immanent. If it's (2) then he's likely facing free room and board with roomates not of his choosing and very little outdoor time for the foreseeable future. If it's (3) it would fall under threats in the Virginia statutes, and is a class 6 Felony. Note that the law does not distinguish between an empty threat and a viable threat; when it is in writing (including digital communications) it meets the test of the law.

Comment: Wrong example - Try 9/11 on a NYC local yik yak (Score 2) 250

If you posted "Another 9.11 is going to happen, just a warning" on September 10th in a New York area yak, do you think it would be taken seriously?
better yet - how about "Another 4.15 is going to happen, just a warning" on the day before the Boston Marathon a couple weeks ago in a yak centered near the start or finish of the race - do you think it would have been taken seriously?

Comparing a lone-gunman of a few years ago to an invasion by a hostile air force / navy from 3/4 century ago is very, very different.

Comment: Corporations are people too (Score 4, Insightful) 224

by Overzeetop (#49592839) Attached to: Grooveshark Shuts Down

Except without all that silly permanence when things go wrong.

As long as the founders played the corporation game right, they have no personal liability at stake. A corporation is just like a person, except that when a corporation violates a law which would burden it for life, or financially destroy it, it magically disintegrates leaving the real people who ran it into the ground clean and unencumbered by their wrongdoing.

There are good reasons for the existence of corporations; this isn't one of them.

Comment: 25% deflation? Amateurs, I tell you! (Score 5, Informative) 251

by Overzeetop (#49587317) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Disrupting the Argentine Economy

Losing 25% year on year in the Peso looks like kid's stuff in the devaluation game. They need a *real* currency to lock in year on year decreases of more than 50%. And that's why they've turned to Bitcoin!

4/15/2014 = $496
4/15/2015 = $223

It's not as fun as lighting cigars with $100 bills, but it's just as productive!

Comment: Re:Most electric cars are powered by burning coal (Score 1) 280

by Overzeetop (#49587203) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

Even the most inefficient modern coal plants are significantly more efficient than an internal combustion engine.

The added bonus of electric cars is that, as the power generation shifts to less polluting sources (we hope), the electric car will become less polluting over time. The ICE powered car, however, will likely decrease in efficiency and increase the amount of pollutants it expels over time.

As for coal power, most of the electric cars in the US are located in CA, OR, and WA. Those states are primarily powered by natural gas, hydro, and nuclear power plants. Less then 15% of their energy comes from coal.

Comment: Re:Show me the math on the Tesla. (Score 1) 280

by Overzeetop (#49587159) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

I would be skeptical as well, however the Tesla is very easy to check. From the top link on Google:
"[the range of the Model S] 85 kWh battery pack is 265 miles"

  86,000Wh x 3.41 BTU/Wh / 265 miles = 1107 BTU per mile

I'm going to say that their claim is "accurate" based on a very simplistic level. As you point out, there are efficiency losses in generation, transmission, and charging.

Now, if you use the EIA rates (http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=667&t=3) for power generation, it's more like 10 BTU/Watt, which puts the tesla up to 3300 BTU per mile (ballpark), and still doesn't include transmission or charging losses. Of course, whether you're burning coal for that 10BTU or allowing fissile decomposition for that 10BTU makes a pretty big difference in the type of pollution you're going to have as a byproduct. (that's another argument, of course).

Comment: Re:No qwerty slider? (Score 1) 45

by Overzeetop (#49584087) Attached to: LG G4 and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 808 Benchmarked

As a G3 owner, I can tell you that there's very useful finger real-estate at the bottom bezel for buttons. Also, as a 16:9 device, you're not really losing any useful space to them when they're "on screen" as that's a fucked up aspect ratio for any kind of real work - way too long and narrow.

And, fwiw, there is still a fully customizable, full color notification light - it's in the upper left corner. I thought I'd really like having it, but I've turned it off. It mattered back when I only got a couple calls or emails in a day, now it's just on all the time. Besides, when I check the time on the phone (I stopped wearing a watch about 3 months ago) all the notifications are already there in the tray.

Comment: Re:For those wondering why this is a bad thing (Score 1) 353

Anyone can reproduce the studies and use their own data, or even anonymize the existing data. Guarantee anonymization and/or privacy of personal or proprietary information and put funding in the bill to cover all costs associated with release of the data and there won't be a problem, along with an exemption for data more than X years old to allow for long term studies where the raw data may have already been condensed.

Or just put the burden of proof on those who disagree with study findings, requiring that they pay for the data to be cleared or reproduced. But Corporations have already paid their fees in lobbying money and don't want to have to pay more.

Comment: We'll use magical pixie money to anonymize, right? (Score 2) 353

Of course it allows it - but does it *fund* it? That's the chloroform in the rag. Unless the original study authors spent the money up front to carefully anonymize the data, it all has to be re-hashed from scratch to ensure that no identifying data is released to the public, but that all the records are intact. That costs money, and I'm going to bet a donut that there's not a single cent allocated to pay for that data. And every single study would be required to be anonymized whether or not anyone else is going to look at it. It's a ruse to make access to the research which is out there simply unaffordable to use. And if you can't pay for it, you can't cite it.

Game. Match. Set.

We are experiencing system trouble -- do not adjust your terminal.