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


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: Re:There is no such thing... (Score 1) 62

by ScentCone (#49195203) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes

If the two of us ever get into a fight to the death, I'll gladly be the loser walking away.


And Mr. "There is no winnable war" needs to re-examine even some recent history. Does he really think that reborn, modern economies like Germany's represent the outcome of a war not won by those who reacted to that country's earlier aggression? Does he really think that the communists now running Vietnam didn't win their conflict? Does he really think that the rebels in the American colonies didn't win their war with the British crown?

Gaseous platitudes about such things made in an attempt to wish away groups like ISIS (if we just say that wars can't be won, they'll stop lopping off people's heads, right?) are ridiculous. War is horrible, but they can and have been won. Ask the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Comment: Re:God Republicans are Stupid (Score 2) 123

by ScentCone (#49193915) Attached to: The Mexican Drug Cartels' Involuntary IT Guy

Since she handed over a large number of emails, there's no reason to conclude she didn't hand over all the ones she was required to hand over.

No. The fact that she set up a home-brew system to avoid the State Department's record keeping in the first place, and the fact she's been stonewalling requests for official mail for years, and is her own gatekeeper on the message she decides State should be allowed to see - combine that with her long history of obfuscation, ethics problems, and working with her husband's supporters to engage in seriously sleazy tactics - the burden is very much on you to explain why you think her private stash has been delivered in whole and intact to State when everything in her history and everything about this entire scenario screams the exact opposite.

In fact, to plow through her "official" mail (you know, the stuff she couldn't be troubled to mirror in her department's archiving system the way that the 2009 regulation required her to do), she used employees of her family's business - and that operation is funded in large part by big contributions from foreign governments and other entities from which she solicited money while she was wandering the world as Secretary of State.

We know Kerry is doing things differently, due to a change in the law.

Both Kerry and Clinton were subject to 2009's regulation. But you already know that.

It is hilarious, though, to play back her nagging lectures about other people using private email at all, and to know that, for example, an ambassador from her department was given the axe for using private email.

The fact that you seem to anxious to write off her behavior as completely reasonable says nothing about her, but a whole lot about your very strange world view.

Comment: Re:If "yes," then it's not self-driving (Score 1) 343

by Firethorn (#49193785) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Why should death and serious injury be the deciding factor?

ewibble and Jane Q. Public make good points, but mine is a lot more prosiac.

It's simple enough: The statistics available for serious injury accidents in the USA is detailed enough to chart known BAC levels and get a good idea of how various levels really affect driver's tendencies to get into serious accidents.

That data is simply unavailable for minor and no injury accidents, and we're already making it such that 'busted for DUI' is the biggest 'cost' for low BAC drivers, and it can be a real moneymaker for police departments.

Comment: Re:If "yes," then it's not self-driving (Score 1) 343

by Firethorn (#49193757) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Flying car lanes would wind up being violated to shave off "precious" seconds.

You still have to consider that, unlike with ground traffic, you have a lot more 'lanes' in the air. Ergo, traffic jams are much less likely unless everybody wants to land at the same spot. Possible, but less likely.

Other than that, it appears that you didn't realize that I was talking about the collision-avoidance problem, not the 'requirements' for giving everybody a flying car. I wasn't disagreeing with the need for self-driving flying cars, I was disagreeing that the problem is harder in the air.

Comment: Re:Not completely self-driving (Score 1) 343

by Firethorn (#49193733) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Well, the first rule of a self-driving car should be 'don't hit anything'. The second should probably be 'don't impede traffic'.

So yeah, avoiding you should be one of their primary jobs.

The problem that I was pointing out, that the USAF is having with drones is that in some ways there's a 'valley' where you have too much automation for the operator to pay sufficient attention, yet not enough to handle all situations, such that you still need the operator.

Imagine a job where you stare at something. As long as the object does nothing, you do nothing. If the object does something, you have 5 seconds to hit a button. The object normally does something about once every other 8 hour shift.

Ideally you'd replace said human with automation ASAP, because the average human is going to suck at that job.

Comment: Re:Patriotism (Score -1) 508

by roman_mir (#49193085) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Patriotism is stupid. It is stupid to assign yourself to a group and then cheer for the group or go down with it. It is a sign of a weak intellect and stupid ideology to cheer for a team or for anything that is set up to consume and chew up and spit out an individual in the first place. Patriotism is for idiots and it is a useful way to control idiots.

There is only private property, in a war that is aimed at your private property and/or life you don't have a choice, but to be a patriot simply because of a set of circumstances that caused you to be born in a particular location within a particular set of people is stupid.

Stupid idea of patriotism is used for most horrendous crimes committed by the elites, who create walls made of people around themselves to protect their own power. These walls of people are then used as cannon fodder to destroy individual liberties, be it in civil or external wars.

Patriotism is a stupid idea that starts with the stupid idea of team sports and progresses all the way into wars.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 3, Informative) 508

by Solandri (#49192911) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 4, Informative) 508

by Solandri (#49192781) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?
Exactly this. I'm a US citizen who worked for a few years in Canada. Don't listen to OP - the tax issues are monumentally major.

Most countries tax based on residency. You earned money in your country of citizenship, you pay taxes there. You earned money in another country, you work out the taxes over there. Your native country doesn't get involved. This is why Canadians working in the U.S. for part of the year have to be able to document the number of days they stayed there. If they're in the U.S. for more than 183 days, they're considered a U.S. resident and don't owe Canadian taxes.

The U.S. taxes based on residency and citizenship. You earn money anywhere in the world, the IRS expects you to pay U.S. taxes on it if you're a citizen. If your kids become U.S. citizens, ignore the U.S. tax filing obligations for 20 years because they're living in Sweden or wherever, then when they're in their 30s and married and have kids they decide to visit the U.S., the moment they try to step foot into the U.S. the IRS will nail them for back taxes on everything they earned for the last 20 years. (Ok, there's probably a statute of limitations, but you get the idea.)

A lot of Americans living abroad work their butt off trying to renounce their U.S. citizenship just so they don't have to deal with this tax hassle. Do not subject your kids to it unless they intend to live in the U.S. (Some U.S. states do the same thing. California is notorious for it. If you were living in California prior to taking a job in the U.K., California still considers you a "resident" since you didn't move to another U.S. state, and expects you to pay California taxes on everything you earned in the U.K. Even California kids who go to college out of state and don't formally establish their residency in that state have gotten nailed for it when they work a part-time job while at school.)

The U.S. has tax treaties with most developed nations, where taxes paid in those countries on earned income (i.e. wages) can be applied as credit to taxes the IRS says you owe. Since most countries have a higher tax rate than the U.S. Federal taxes (U.S. Federal + State ends up being about the same), this usually means you won't owe the IRS any taxes on earned income. But they still expect you to file a tax return every year. And if you've got unearned income (e.g. interest on a savings account, stocks), you're probably gonna end up double-taxed on that (in both your country of residence, and by the U.S.).

Unless your kids are going to live in the U.S., don't do it.

Comment: Re:Ah, come one, don't we trust the Feds? (Score 1) 86

by Shakrai (#49192233) Attached to: US Marshals Service Refuses To Release Already-Published Stingray Info

Ah, but how does the traffic get from Netflix's ISP to your ISP?

Hint: The actual internet is more than the oft-imagined cloud on network diagrams. Network operators agree to interconnect with each other, for mutual benefit, and if such an agreement is unbalanced (because one party is handing off more traffic than the amount they're willing or able to deliver) one of the network operators will end up paying the other.

A simplified version, wherein we're both network operators, Case 1, equal traffic flow:

Shakrai: "I have 3 terabit/s of peak hour traffic that you can deliver for me."
suutar: "Perfect. I also have 3 terabit/s of peak hour traffic that I can't deliver but you can. Let's connect our networks."
Shakrai: "Sounds good."

Case 2, unbalanced traffic flow:

Shakrai: "I have 10 terabit/s of peak hour traffic that you can deliver for me."
suutar: "I only have 3 terabit/s to hand off to you. We're going to bill you for the difference, okay?"
Shakrai: "Sure."

That has been the paradigm on the internet for a very long time, because it's recognized that it costs money to get a packet from Point A to Point B. Networks pay for connections to other networks unless they can absorb a roughly equal amount of traffic. You can't dump terabits of traffic into someone's network without offering them something in return.

Netflix wants to blow up this longstanding model because bearing the full cost of delivering their packets eats into their bottom line. It doesn't kill their business model, the fact that they're profitable attests to that, but it sure seems to keep Mr. Hastings up late at night. If you actually drill down into this issue you'll find that they've hijacked the concept of network neutrality. There a ton of arguments to be made in favor of network neutrality but Netflix is not one of them.

Comment: Re:Ah, come one, don't we trust the Feds? (Score 1) 86

by Shakrai (#49191815) Attached to: US Marshals Service Refuses To Release Already-Published Stingray Info

POTS is dying, largely because it's unable to respond to more nimble competitors that do not have to deal with a legacy regulatory environment. It's arguably already a niche product, one that will be completely dead in another decade or two at most.

And, incidentally, the law in question hasn't been amended since 1996. When the 33.6kbit/s modem was bleeding edge for consumer internet access. Do you remember those days? Because I do. 19 years later and I have the equivalent of a T3 in my pocket, which works almost anywhere in CONUS. Such a connection was unthinkable for consumer access in 1996.

You'll pardon my skepticism if I think that advancement would have occurred that rapidly if we had sought to apply outdated regulations drafted for Ma Bell to the internet.

Comment: Re: Ah, come one, don't we trust the Feds? (Score 1) 86

by Shakrai (#49191769) Attached to: US Marshals Service Refuses To Release Already-Published Stingray Info

Why should Comcast give Netflix free co-location services? It's not Comcast's responsibility to enable Netflix's business model. I have no lost love for Comcast, or Time Warner, or Verizon, it's just that I don't see Netflix as a White Knight here. They're throwing their weight around to try and get favorable treatment that is unavailable to would be upstarts. Frankly I think that's offensive to the spirit of what network neutrality is supposed to be about.

I do see some fundamental problems. One of them (conflict of interest, most ISPs are also in the video business) is discussed in the mainstream. The rest are far too nuanced for most people to understand. To pick one, as the internet has evolved there has been a blurring of the traditional line between end user internet service providers and providers of bulk IP transit services. ISPs like Comcast now run national data networks rival the Tier 1 providers in many respects. I don't think anybody anticipated this development, or the interface between large national ISPs and CDNs.

My fear here is twofold:

1. The FCC is attacking the wrong problems.
2. We're opening pandora's box and regulating something that has flourished without regulation.

I think it would be more beneficial for Uncle Sam to encourage competition in the ISP space than to regulate what ISPs can do. Do you think any of the killer apps we take for granted would have emerged in a highly regulated Ma Bell environment? Because those are some of the regulations that they're seeking to apply.

Comment: Re:Nauseated. (Score 3, Informative) 135

by sycodon (#49191295) Attached to: Developers Race To Develop VR Headsets That Won't Make Users Nauseous

Getting motion sickness in a VR environment is caused by the same thing as getting seasick or airsick...a conflict between what your eyes see and your inner ear feels. That's why being on deck and looking at the horizon makes you feel better or looking out the car window makes you feel better.

So I don't know what the VR headset manufacturers can do about it.

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.