Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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:Are emails copyrighted ? (Score 1) 138

by Rakishi (#48711713) Attached to: Sony Sends DMCA Notices Against Users Spreading Leaked Emails

Copyright ownership does not mean something cannot be distributed or given away or copied, how would anyone publish anything then? Copyright ownership is merely legal control over how something is copied and distributed and the owner get's to define how people can and cannot copy their work. For example, the copyright owner of a book would allows a printer to create copies of their copyrighted content in each book that they print. There's limits on the control with things like fair use and the first sale doctrine.

A licence is merely a legal statement defining exactly how a given piece of copyrighted work can be copied. As the copyright owner, and only as the owner ultimately, you can licence the work in any way you want. The license may be fairly complex such is the case with the GPL however it does not need to be such as with the MIT license. A work with no copyright owner is in the public domain and can be distributed and copied and modified with no limits.

Licences differ from public domain in that the copyright owner can use the legal system to claim copyright infringement on those who break the licence. A work in the public domain has no copyright owner and as a result no one can take you to court over it or enforce any licence on the work (in theory, in practice money trumps everything).

Comment: Re:Flawed Premise (Score 2) 454

by Rakishi (#48443665) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

First of all, cost is a big driver of user behavior. As a result anything which makes something cheaper will likely change user behavior. I suspect that a big part of the cost of existing car sharing programs is the logistics of keeping a lot of cars near where people live. If you could instead keep most in cheap industrial areas and move around to meet demand on their own then you'd save a lot of cost. That in turn can be passed onto customers.

Convenience is another big driver, if you make something more convenient then people are more likely to use it. A self-driving car would remove most of the differences in convenience between owning a car and something like ZipCar. The car would be at your door so no need to walk to the closest car sharing location. The car can return itself so you can actually make one way trips. They'll also be a lower chance of no cars being available since they can come to you from further away rather than being limited to just the nearby locations.

Comment: Re:Appropriate reply. (Score 1) 252

Nice thinking, except that Wikipedia is not a company, especially not an american one.

Yes it is. It's owned by the Wikipedia Foundation which is a non-profit company registered under US law in California.

It's not some grand complicated mystery:

Your inability to spend 10 seconds googling something isn't an argument, it's a statement about your own ignorance and laziness.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 139

by Rakishi (#45828367) Attached to: Cracking Atlanta Subway's Poorly-Encrypted RFID Smart Cards Is a Breeze

a) It's not a lot of data per link, but it is a lot of links. That 20 zloty plan is one link. Marta has 554 buses and 38 rail stations.

Since you can't do the math apparently I'll have to. $20 per bus per month comes out to under $150k per year to have GSM data everywhere. For comparison, the Breeze Card program had a $100 million budget and Marta has a yearly budget of $400 million.

So no it's not a lot of links or a lot of data or a lot of cost although it is sad how people can't do simple math and research anymore.

b) You have supplied no dataon the reliability of that link

What part of "There's a lot of reasons to not go with a GSM based approach but data cost is not one of them" is hard for you to read?

c) Pricing in Poland is not particularly relevant to Altanta, Georgia, USA.

Please read the whole thread in the future, I replied to someone who mentioned Poland. If you can't keep up with a simple thread of discussion then maybe slashdot is too complicated for you. And btw, the price of 1gb of data per month is $20 in the US through Verizon or ATT.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 139

by Rakishi (#45813375) Attached to: Cracking Atlanta Subway's Poorly-Encrypted RFID Smart Cards Is a Breeze

Because its expensive to run a lot of data over GSM links in every bus/tram in the city.

You don't need to send a lot of data. Maybe, 1kb for each authentication event? Assuming 2 million authentications per day (a lot) that comes out to 2 gigabytes of data per day. Last I was in Poland I think that cost around 20 zloty ( $10) to get on a prepaid plan. Hell, you can have it send 100 times as much data and you'll still end up paying less than the cost of maintaining the hardware itself.

There's a lot of reasons to not go with a GSM based approach but data cost is not one of them.

Comment: Re: Apple Build Quality (Score 1) 158

by Rakishi (#45250435) Attached to: Mac OS 10.9's Mail App — Infinity Times Your Spam

Yes, Apple is *gasp* a company and is driven by profits. When something makes up over 80% of your revenue (and increasing) you focus on that and not the remaining (and shrinking) slice.

Apple's focus on iOS and cute little phone apps has, for whatever reasons

Because that's actually making them money.

caused defect rates in their core desktop code to serious balloon.

Macs and OS X are Apple's side business, they haven't been core for a long long time.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure