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


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:630 US$ ? (Score 2) 46

by Minwee (#48923841) Attached to: Security-Focused BlackPhone Was Vulnerable To Simple Text Message Bug

630 US$ ? Isn't that about the same price as an iPhone 5s, and less than the price of the iPhone 6/6+ ?

You must be confused. iPhones are free. It says so right on the top of this contract I just signed. Sure, I have to pay more than $2000 over the next two years but the phone is free! It says so right here!

Would the phone company lie to me?

Comment: Re:Then there was War Plan Red (Score 1) 299

War Plan Red - The US plan to invade Canada.

While that is interesting in its own right, one should be careful to read too much into the existence of such plans. In the 1800-hundreds more emphasis was put on military planning as opposed to execution in the face of what had already happened. It was thought (largely correctly) that to gain and hold the initiative you had to already have considered possible ways of conducting operations and have ready plans for what it would take to carry those operations out. (The specialised staff officer comes from this period, the general staff being responsible for this analysis and planning).

However, in order to keep the necessary knowledge alive, major engagements being few and far between, a system whereby these staff officers were continuously trained by (more or less) dreaming up new scenarios, analysing them and making the plans to support the operations that that scenario would entail. As for keeping the updated, what do you otherwise do with the new young officers that can't be trusted to do stuff that actually has an effect on anything? You put them to update "War plan Z" or something. When they're finished you get to tell them why and where they got it all wrong, and send them back to their desks which both keeps them busy and out of everybody's hair, and also impresses the important lesson on their young and impressionable minds that they don't actually know anything and should mind their tongue and manners when the grown-ups are talking.

That these plans are kept secret isn't necessarily due to military necessity, but rather to make sure that the equivalent young know-it-all- politician doesn't get wind of them and create all manner of problems getting in the way of the work the grown-ups have to actually get done. It's more of a "conveniently secret", than actually sensitive (as these plans are on such a high level that most of the data they use aren't secret/unknown to begin with. What forces are where, what their general capabilities are and what the map looks like are no great secrets.)

So, if you look through the archives there would and should be plans for almost everything including invasion by space aliens via flying saucer(s) as the plans themselves aren't that important in the greater scheme of things, but the planning process, and keeping that skill alive is very valuable.

Comment: Re:Terrible names (Score 5, Funny) 375

by Minwee (#48907015) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

Shitty names and FOSS go hand-in-hand.

If you can think of another name for the Secure Human Interface Teletype then why don't submit it to the shitty developers? Or make your own shitty fork if you don't want to work with the shitty team. All of the code is right there in the shitty repository.

Comment: Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (Score 1) 388

"Right". The "United States" is a "constitutional republic", which is a form of "democracy", and the "Soviet Union" and "Baathist Iraq" were "constitutional republics" which "we" both put in "quotes" because they were "fake" "democracies".

Looks like you "missed" a few "finger quotes" there.

Comment: Re:"undercutting a private sector unable to keep u (Score 1) 160

The fact that your paper from 1998 even still asks the question shows you that the question certainly wasn't settled by then

Hardly. There are still papers published on Darwin's theory of evolution, how it applies in different situations, addressing paradoxes arising from the theory etc. This doesn't mean that the issue wasn't "settled" long ago.

The reason these require "large fixed investments" is not because there is a "natural monopoly" it is because power companies, electric companies, and municipal providers like it that way.

So the price of building roads, erecting power poles, and building a power station are artificially raised due to regulatory capture by how much? It's not like there aren't private roads, and it's not like they're built cheaper, in fact they cost as much as building a road anywhere.

And when it comes to screwing over customers, how come my Internet fibre in Sweden cost so much less being provided by a municipal company (no subsidies I might add), than anywhere in the US where it's almost exclusively provided by private entities? How is that even possible?

Comment: Re:Yay!! (Score 1) 420

by Minwee (#48888051) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

I don't think the directing was necessarily bad in ST:V. Let's be honest, the story as a whole was ridiculous didn't leave him a lot to work with.

That's right. The blame doesn't really belong to the director, William Shatner, but to the writer...

Whose name was also William Shatner. That's a funny coincidence, don't you think?

Comment: Re:From the outside... (Score 1) 666

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#48874573) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Look at the EU and their policy on GMO. It is ENTIRELY fear based.

Sure. But it's not fear of GMO as such. It's fear of American companies saying "Trust us, would we lie to you?"

Only half joking...

P.S. And the last thing Europe needs is even more food production. We don't know what to do with all the stuff we're growing/making as it is.

Comment: Re:"undercutting a private sector unable to keep u (Score 1) 160

No, I don't keep using the word "natural monopoly" other than to tell people that the concept is bullshit.

So you are of the opinion that in (for example) industries with large fixed investments such as water distribution, electrical distribution etc. that the most efficient use of resources would be to have multiple companies competing for the same customers? That is, that there would naturally develop a situation where multiple companies would lay roads, or water/sewage lines, or electrical lines to your house, and that that would lead to a more efficient use of resources? (E.g. lower total cost for the system(s), lower cost of providing the service, and lower prices for the consumers?)

Nobody has ever demonstrated the existence of a permanent natural monopoly in anything.

Just a cursory googling for example brought up: Are Municipal Electricity Distribution Utilities Natural Monopolies?, Massimo Filippini, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics Volume 69, Issue 2, pages 157â"174, June 1998, DOI: 10.1111/1467-8292.00077. Which points to that quite nicely. I.e. both natural monopoly and "permanent", i.e. have been so for a long time. (Of course any human endeavour isn't "permanent"). (Sorry, can't help you with full text access, you'll have to use your own library.)

OS/2 must die!