Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 1) 398

She drove from Belgium to Croatia. She had to cross into 4 countries. With 5 different languages.

Just how far out of it do you have to be?

I once met a man who had been 40 miles off route. He had been hill walking, with a map and a compass. But he thought that the white end of his compass needle pointed north, not the red end. And the landscape he followed more-or less matched what he expected to within about 15 degrees of orientation (our magnetic declination at the time was just over 7 degrees ; it's barely over 3 degrees now). It wasn't until he had gone along two lakes (when the map showed that he should only have gone along one lake), and hadn't crossed either the road or railway line that he realised that something must be wrong. When he reached a third lake, he decided to try to re-trace his route. During that, I met him (I'd seen him earlier in the day with my binoculars and had wondered WTF he was doing), worked out what was wrong, put him outside a meal and a brew, then escorted him back to tarmaced road. I found out later that the local police had noticed his car parked up oddly and when he got back there they were thinking about launching a S&R operation for him.

You don't need to be stupid to end up in that sort of situation. A depressingly large number of people don't recognise when they're getting into trouble, and keep on digging themselves in deeper. Otherwise perfectly sane ans sensible people. Calling them stupid doesn't help.

(My lost man was an experienced hill walker, fit and well equipped. I put in a 10 hour working day making a geological map while he was on his meander through the countryside ; we were both solo.)

Comment Re:So, now is it finally legal to... (Score 1) 398

Typical overkill.

Two poles, a couple of lengths of rope, a combination padlock, and a sign painted on a bit of wood. Run the chain across the access road, from pole to pole. Connect the ends in the middle of the road with the padlock and the sign. Paint the sign saying "NOT A PUBLIC ROAD \n GOES NOWHERE BUT MR X's YARD \n If you want to see Mr X, combination in reverse of sign." Or words to that effect.

There's no need to be a dick to people who are simply misinformed.

A standard rant : it may be common to refer to this technology as "GPS", but that is wrong. It is sold as "satellite navigation" because that is a better description of what it is and what it does. There is a system that tells you your location - that is the GPS. There is a system that stores map data. And there is a system that uses the map data to calculate routing instructions to get between two locations on the map (one of which is typically the location returned by the GPS subsystem.

Here, the errors are either in the map data (you did get a system that uses OSM data, and keep it up to date? That way, you can correct the map.), or less likely an error in the route-calculating algorithm. Most likely it is the map data that is wrong, because that changes more often than either routing algorithms or the GPS system.

My wife and I actually refer to the free-standing satellite navigation machine as the "Deranged Idiot" as it's first version (since replaced by a pub quiz prize) had some seriously out of date map data - it showed roads as open which had been blocked off to prevent rat-running since before any GPS satellites were launched. The deranged company that sold the hardware would not accept map error information unless I' had signed up for a 2-year contract of their £30/ month speed camera database - which didn't even cover the country I was in, and didn't cover the northern half of the country it was designed in.

None of which affected the functionality of either the route-finding algorithm, or the GPS location-finding function of that aspect of the system. So here's some shit advertising for Road Angel - makers of the Deranged Idiot line of satellite navigation systems. Avoid them.

Comment Re:dmbasso is a pedophile (Score 1) 246

How would a policy of censorship or content deletion improve this situation

Because in some jurisdictions (e.g. the one I'm reading from), publishing libel is almost impossible to defend, and very expensive to even try to defend. So rationally, the lawyers of the new owners (sorry, in deference to long tradition, "our New Overlords") need to at least be aware of the threat profile of their new acquisition. What they then choose to do about it is then their choice, but they should at least be aware of the threat.

Submission + - Richard Dawkins has (minor) stroke.

RockDoctor writes: Controvery-stirring biological scientist and anti-theist Professor Richard Dawkins is reported to have suffered a (minor) stroke on Saturday.

He is reported to be back at home already and recovering. However he has been forced to postpone a planned promotion tour to Australia and New Zealand in support of his recent autobiographical book "Brief Candle in the Dark"

I would like to say that we all send Professor Dawkins our heart-felt best wishes, but knowing the number of Christians on Slashdot, I am sure that the death threats, bile, fear and contempt will spew forth below, in the true spirit of Christian kindness. Other religions can at least curse his scientific contributions and atheist activism without such hypocrisy.

Comment Re:Great (Score 2) 36

Gigabit LTE means that you'll be able to use up your entire high speed data quota in less than a minute, unless the carriers finally update their data pricing models.

How is it that we've ended up with $10 for 10Gb or less of data now for about ten years? In the meantime, we've gone from inefficient EDGE to unbelievably efficient LTE, with HSPA+ available now for, what, the last five years on most GSM family networks?

Yet the data prices haven't budged. The carriers have more bandwidth than ever, more efficient ways of using it than ever, but they still think they're running ancient EDGE or cdma2000 networks.

Easy - profits.

Remember just a few years ago when people paid 25 cents per text? And some even paid another 25 cents to RECEIVE a text? Same reason - it was a massive profit center

Then texting stopped being a thing - with many ways to avoid it been iMessages and IM apps and Hangouts etc which used much cheaper data instead of SMS. Plus competition made it such that carriers started offering unlimited text plans for $20 extra. And of course, they realized they had a new profit center - data. Even better, they charge by the kilo and not kibi, and for good measure, they toss in the OTA headers as well in the byte count.

So yeah, they're charging because they can because it makes them massive amounts of money. On the bright side, they do adopt the new technologies quickly in an attempt to make you overuse your data plan and pay even more outrageous overage charges.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 1) 398

Stupid truckers routinely follow their GPS up Tail of the Dragon.
They blindly drive right by the BIG YELLOW signs that basically say

"If you take your semi past this sign, you are an idiot, you will get stuck, please don't kill any motorcyclists with your stupidity."

They do get stuck way more often than that.

The solution is a truck specific GPS, which they do make What makes them special is they contain height information - before you start route planning, you enter in the height of your rig - the GPS will actually route with that information in mind - avoiding tunnels and routes where overpasses are too low to make it. (This may even entail taking an exit just to get back on the onramp).

The problem is, truck-specific GPSes are expensive and their map data even more so, so truckers often buy much cheaper car GPS units, or just use their phone's GPS system. None of which take height into account.

Of course, getting stuck and the subsequent tow, damage repair and other stuff suddenly makes the extra cost of a truck specific GPS a relative bargain.

Comment Re:How do they know (Score 3, Interesting) 85

Or Nissan Motor Company Ltd invokes the right for "Nissan" to be forgotten for just long enough to affect Nissan Computer's business to the extent that it goes out of business and/or agrees to sell the domain name to the automotive company.

That's not how Right to be Forgotten works.

Right to be Forgotten is an application of traditional meatspace record-keeping. Remember how in many places, after you've been convicted, after so many years that conviction is no longer on the books?

Or take your credit history - it only covers the past 7 years with older records, including things like bankruptcies and all that simply "forgotten" and expunged.

Right to be Forgotten is just like that.

First, it does not delete anything - it cannot. It merely breaks the link between a search term and the link it would point to.

Let's say you went to jail a decade ago and served your time and are completely free. You've lived a virtuous life since then, and a criminal record check would basically show you to be clean because your crime was wiped off the books. But a site archiving imprisonment records still lists you as being in prison. Right to be forgotten means you can break a link between your name and that site - you've done your time, and the state considers you to be clean and you can pass a criminal records check. But then an employer Googles you and sees that you were in jail. Is that fair? By law you did pass and such ancient history should be wiped. But the site showing the information has done no wrong either, so it would be bad to demand that they remove the information.

Or say you declared bankruptcy a decade ago. Since employers are doing credit history checks now, your bankruptcy is no longer shown to them for several years. But if they Google you, because some site archived news like that, you show up.

That's what right to be forgotten is all about. It only applies to individuals and only when the legal limit for such news has expired and is no longer relevant. So if you have a bankruptcy in the past 7 years, you can't invoke right to be forgotten to remove it off the internet - it's still relevant after all.

Or think of it another way - without right to be forgotten, a bunch of children are going to learn the hard way about the repercussions of their indiscretions. After all, in most jurisdictions, once you turn 18, your record is wiped and you start afresh - this includes any run-ins with the law (unless you were tried as an adult). Well, right to be forgotten lets you break all the links between the bad stuff you did as a adolescent teen and also start afresh

Comment Re:So What (Score 1) 84

anyway I like white text on a black background

Actually, white-on-black makes things worse - it makes skinny fonts skinnier and the black "creeps into" the white and makes fonts appear smaller.

So much so if you're doing it, you must increase the size and weight of the font you're using to make it look "normal" again.

Comment Re:how about other third-party tracking? (Score 1) 81

For example Doubleclick and those kinds of networks track me across the web even if I've never signed up for an account with them or otherwise accepted their ToS.

Are you sure? I mean, you probably did, probably for GMail or YouTube or some other Google thing. Or an Android phone.

I know Google loves to hide the fact that they own the majority of ad networks out there so everyone THINKS they only do the text ads, but no, Google owns the major ad networks like DoubleClick (they acquired them so many years ago it may even be when /. was "better").

You probably did accept DoubleClick and many other ToS by simply having and using a Google account (and didn't Google a few years ago unify their ToS across everything?)/.

Comment Re: Seriously?? (Score 1) 143

There are a dozen use cases for not full headless and not full desktop. I'll name you one: a laboratory workstation that you both physically sit at and occasionally check up on from your desk or your home by sshing in and running a graphical thingie to monitor to test equipment it's plugged into.

Which works fine if your equipment supports multiple sharing sessions. If not, starting the new monitor may disrupt the existing process, screwing you over. Which is why X and remote desktop are NOT mutually exclusive - sometimes a view-only session is all you need to quickly view a setting without running something that could disrupt your long-running process.

The other reason is if you're on a flaky connection. Do this and X becomes a poor solution because the moment your connection burps, your applications are force-quit and you lose your work.

There are situations where one solution is better than the other. X forwarding is great, but it's not the be-all-end-all solution, especially if something you're doing is single-session only or you're not on a reliable connection (e.g., mobile) where you don't want all your programs to abort because you lost your cell signal.

Slashdot Top Deals

Work without a vision is slavery, Vision without work is a pipe dream, But vision with work is the hope of the world.