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


Forgot your password?
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Comment Re:A long time coming... (Score 2) 364

Inflation in the US has been negligible because (most) of the money created by quantitative easing has not been used to purchase tangible goods. As long as demand for tangible goods and services does not go up, prices will stay flat.

The Fed creates money by purchasing bonds from private investors. If investors immediately used the proceeds to purchase things like food, housing, consumer goods, etc... then that would certainly cause prices to rise sharply. There would be shortages, because the economy wouldn't have enough capacity to create an extra $80 billion a month in household goods (not immediately anyway).

But that's not what they do with the money. I assume they just dump it into other investment vehicles: stocks, bonds, maybe real estate. *cough* maybe some Chinese stocks... Prices rise, but not everywhere.

Consumers don't experience inflation until enough investors decide to cash out and buy real stuff with their money. That's when the economy suddenly decides, "Oh crap, there's not enough luxury condos to satisfy the 70 million baby boomers who just retired with $1 million portfolios!"

Comment Re:To hell with taxis... (Score 1) 295

Prices that low hardly seem sustainable to me. Of that $14.50, Uber takes 20% immediately (correct me if I'm wrong, just Google'd it). Ten miles of fuel plus wear and tear on your vehicle will probably cost another $4 in this case. The driver ought to have commercial insurance (and if he doesn't then it's not sustainable), so we gotta subtract another... what, $1? I'm pulling that one out of the air TBH.

That leaves $6.60 for the driver. A reasonable time estimate might be 40 minutes for a 10 mile trip, given that traffic might be lousy and you gotta drive to your next fare. Maybe 30 minutes if everything goes smoothly. So unless your down time between fares is less than 10 minutes you'll be making less than minimum wage.

Can any commercial drives give more accurate estimates?

Comment Re:"Server Stack"? (Score 1) 525

Sounds like it. The article says that this announcement applies to .NET Core, not the entire .NET framework. The .NET Core does not include WPF or WinForms at this time. Maybe they'll get there eventually...

The wording is a little confusing, though. They use the term ".NET Core Framework", which I assume refers to something less encompassing than the entire .NET framework, but honestly I can't tell for sure.

Comment Re:Max RAM? (Score 1) 353

Not entirely true. If your motherboard has dual-channel support then you'll definitely get a performance improvement (though maybe not a noticeable one outside of gaming) when you upgrade from 1 stick to 2 sticks of RAM, even if you can't use the extra capacity. Plenty of systems ship with only 1 stick installed.

Comment Summary ripped without attribution? (Score 1) 291

Summary appears to be ripped verbatim from zerohedge. Or did it originate somewhere else? It'd be nice if people would cite their sources.

Comment Re:+1, Flamebait (Score 4, Interesting) 364

Despite his nigh-infinite power and goodness, there are a number of themes that can make a good Superman story interesting:

1) Superman can't save everyone. His character can be forced to make difficult decisions about how and where to apply his efforts, knowing that he can't be everywhere at once. I don't recall this plot device being used much in the movie. Yeah, there are lots of civilians getting killed, but that doesn't even seem to phase our hero. I don't recall any critical decision moments.

2) Superman can't save everyone, again. Despite his powers, there are some things he just can't fix. As the recent Wired review mentioned, this is why Jonathan Kent usually dies from a heart attack - that's something that Superman's powers cannot help. The movie doesn't pick up on this theme at all.

3) Superman may be _good_, but he doesn't have to be omniscient. Well-meaning application of his powers can result in unintended consequences, and his character can be forced to play clean up and also show a does of humility.

There are plenty of others. The character has spawned multiple television and comic book series, after all.

I didn't really enjoy this latest portrayal of Superman; it feels like the writers didn't understand his "good" nature and how to properly create _interesting_ conflict. An hour of Superman employing brute force (the one thing that he has no problem with) is just not compelling.

Comment Re:What about this. (Score 1) 1059

Unfortunately even if the military budget were cut to $0 we would still have a half-trillion dollar deficit. The elephants in the room are the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits that have already been promised to people, and which already total nearly 70% of federal tax revenues. Health care costs continue to rise faster than economic activity, and the number of beneficiaries of the programs will soon jump higher as more baby boomers retire. Unless we plan on spending 100% of federal tax revenues on these programs (which won't work for very long) something must be done to bring costs in line.

Comment Re:Industrial terrorism (Score 1) 341

Welcome to the age of industrial terrorism.

The article was pretty light on details. I wonder what the range is on this thing? Industrial terrorism could definitely be a concern.

The description makes it sound like the weapon is just a directed microwave gun, and missile part is only required to deliver the gun into range. If that's the case, what's to stop a group of terrorists from deploying such a weapon anywhere they like? Rent a hotel room near a target, construct the weapon, fire it out the window to silently disable electronics, and then escape while workers are still scrambling to figure out why all the PCs just went dark.

Heck, you might even be able to mount such a weapon in a van or truck; slide the door open for half a second to fire (nearly silent, of course) and then speed away before anyone even realizes what just happened.

Comment Re:remarkable (Score 3, Insightful) 754

Seriously useful tip: your car has a nice, wide rearview mirror to let you see what's behind you. Adjust your side mirrors to show you your blind spots. I've done this for over a decade.

The proposed back-up cameras are not supposed to take the place of existing mirrors. Rather, they are installed closer to the ground so that you can see what's behind you at a lower level than what's typically visible with the rear-view mirror (ie small children).

Comment Re:Nerd Fantasy Extrodinaire: Ingame Scripting Age (Score 4, Interesting) 113

Have a look at the Spring Engine if you haven't already. There are a variety of RTS games, including some high-quality variants of Total Annihilation, which use the Spring Engine and allow for all sorts of client-side scripting through Lua. There are a variety of client-side lua "gadgets" that players have written already. You can move your units into custom formations by drawing lines or squiggles with the mouse; there are widgets to automate using air transports to ferry units between factories and rally points; there are even widgets to automatically alert the player when certain dangerous units are spotted. IIRC, someone was even working on a script for kiting with long-range units.

Comment Re:DO NOT WILLINGLY SUBMIT YOUR DNA!!! (Score 1) 468

I imagine a scenario like the following:

Twenty years down the road, a close acquaintance of yours is murdered.

Fortunately, the police find some DNA at the scene! Unfortunately it's yours.

Fortunately that DNA sample you submitted to Berkeley was confidential! Unfortunately, a quick scan of the good 'ol police DNA database finds it anyway. Wonder how that happened?

Fortunately your name isn't associated with the sample! Unfortunately, since the victim didn't know anyone else who attended Berkeley, that's enough for the police to get a warrant for an official DNA sample.

Fortunately you didn't actually commit this crime, and mundane reasons easily explain the presence of your DNA! Unfortunately, someone once heard you say that you really didn't like the victim very much, and that statement combined with your DNA is enough for the brain-dead jury to convict you.


Game Endings Going Out of Style? 190

An article in the Guardian asks whether the focus of modern games has shifted away from having a clear-cut ending and toward indefinite entertainment instead. With the rise of achievements, frequent content updates and open-ended worlds, it seems like publishers and developers are doing everything they can to help this trend. Quoting: "Particularly before the advent of 'saving,' the completion of even a simple game could take huge amounts of patience, effort and time. The ending, like those last pages of a book, was a key reason why we started playing in the first place. Sure, multiplayer and arcade style games still had their place, but fond 8, 16 and 32-bit memories consist more of completion and satisfaction than particular levels or tricky moments. Over the past few years, however, the idea of a game as simply something to 'finish' has shifted somewhat. For starters, the availability of downloadable content means no story need ever end, as long as the makers think there's a paying audience. Also, the ubiquity of broadband means multiplayer gaming is now the standard, not the exception it once was. There is no real 'finish' to most MMORPGs."

NYT's "Games To Avoid" an Ironic, Perfect Gamer Wish List 189

MojoKid writes "From October to December, the advertising departments of a thousand companies exhort children to beg, cajole, and guilt-trip their parents for all manner of inappropriate digital entertainment. As supposedly informed gatekeepers, we sadly earthbound Santas are reduced to scouring the back pages of gaming review sites and magazines, trying to evaluate whether the tot at home is ready for Big Bird's Egg Hunt or Bayonetta. Luckily, The New York Times is here to help. In a recent article provokingly titled 'Ten Games to Cross off Your Child's Gift List,' the NYT names its list of big bads — the video games so foul, so gruesome, so perverse that we'd recommend you buy them immediately — for yourself. Alternatively, if you need gift ideas for the surly, pale teenager in your home whose body contains more plastic then your average d20, this is the newspaper clipping to stuff in your pocket. In other words, if you need a list like this to understand what games to not stuff little Johnny's stocking with this holiday season, you've got larger issues you should concern yourself with. We'd suggest picking up an auto-shotty and taking a few rounds against the horde — it's a wonderful stress relief and you're probably going to need it."

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?