Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:What else is there left to do on smartphones? (Score 1) 227

When a technology is rapidly evolving, and innovation occurs on a yearly basis, all that means is that the technology is still very immature.

I, for one, will be glad to see the end of smartphone "innovation". That means smartphones will stop becoming a trendy fad you "need" to purchase everyone one to two years, and instead will become a commodity, a tool, that you instead purchase once every four to seven years, or as desired - sort of like with PCs now. It will mean that designs and form will have settled down into what is universally agreed to be the best form-factor and feature sets, and the "innovation" will occur with incremental improvements that simply refine already good functionality into slightly better.

*Gasp* Our trendy smartphones becoming as boring as a tired old *PC*? Say it ain't so!

Comment Re:Problem with the definition of a planet (Score 3, Interesting) 52

They'll say, "oh, it's okay, there's enough of a size difference between those bodies that they don't count". But the thing is that there's no way that most of the current "8 planets" would have cleared their orbits without help from the giants. It's pretty much accepted science in astronomy that Jupiter, and to a lesser extent Saturn, scattered most of the bodies in our solar system. Mars has a Stern-Levison parameter (rating of the ability of a body to scatter small bodies) two orders of magnitude less than Neptune, and Neptune has multiple Pluto-scale bodies in its orbit. Pluto may be small compared to Neptune, but it's not so small in comparison to Mars, yet Mars has two orders magnitude less ability to scatter them. Mars didn't scatter these things away - Jupiter did. Heck, a number of the models show that the planets didn't even form in their current locations.

There's all this misuse of the Stern-Levison parameter out there to say things that it doesn't. The parameter is based around a probabilistic simulation of the body and a bunch of "small bodies" with a mass distribution and orbital distribution similar to our asteroid belt. But of course, that tells you very little - our asteroid belt only has the size and mass distribution that it does today because of the influence of other planets - and when I say "other planets", I really mean overwhelmingly Jupiter (only a tiny fraction of asteroids are in Mars resonances). Jupiter has stopped these bodies from coalescing into larger bodies and scattered the vast majority of its mass elsewhere. That's not the situation that the solar system was in during formation. There were numerous large "planetissimals" scattered around. The Stern-Levison parameter says absolutely nothing about the ability of a body to scatter large planetissimals. And even concerning scattering asteroids, it doesn't state that the scatters are enough to "clear the orbit", only that their angle changes on a pass by more than a given number of degrees.

Basic point: a standard based around the "8 planets" having cleared their orbit is a lie. The science says that most of them aren't responsible for clearing their own orbits.

And while we're at it: what sort of stupid standard puts Mars and Jupiter in the same group but in a different group than Pluto and Ceres? There was a perfectly reasonable standard under discussion at the IAU conference shortly before they switched what they were voting on: a definition built around hydrostatic equlibrium. A lot of the planetary scientists left thinking that this was the version that was going to be voted on, and being happy with either "no definition" or an "equilibrium definition", saw no need to stick around for the final vote. Hydrostatic equilibrium actually is valid science, and it's very meaningful. A body not in hydrostatic equilibrium is generally made of primordial minerals. It's the sort of place you'd go to research, for example, properties of how the solar system formed. A body in hydrostatic equilibrium has undergone mass conversion of its primordial minerals to new forms. It's undergone massive releases of energy (which may still be present, depending), associated action of fluids, etc, and are the sorts of places you would go to study mineralization processes, internal processes or search for life. They're very different bodies, and there's a very simple dividing line - one that's much easier to calculate/measure than a pseudoscience "cleared the neighborhood" standard.

Comment Re:Missing the point a bit? (Score 1) 107

Dude have you not be on the Internet lately? there is a billion and one articles extolling using these Pi style boards for HTPCs which as GP pointed out and I agreed with is some serious dumb shit, but its the Internet so there is no lack of dumbshit.

That said I have a buddy that does car PC installs and uses boards like I linked to and for THOSE kinds of embedded projects? They work VERY well, top draw on them boards when playing media is sub 12w, they are fanless, and as I pointed out all the I/O you could need is baked right in.

So again unless your project has a specific requirement to be the size of a stick of gum? The X86 units would probably be a better choice.

Comment Re:Missing the point a bit? (Score 1) 107

Exactly, unless you have an embedded project that needs to have the board be as absolutely tiny as possible it just makes more sense to buy something like this AIO board that gives you dual X86 with a decent GPU capable of doing 1080P over HDMI and with built in Wifi, USB (both 2 and 3), Sata/eSata and Ethernet. By the time you bought all that for one of these? You'd have sunk more money for a less powerful system.

Comment What scares me here (Score 4, Insightful) 36

is that reading and exploiting data that's a mere 25 years old requires almost archeological-like recovery and reconstruction techniques. Compare that to a thousand year old book that's usually pretty much readily readable today.

I think modern society is on a scary path towards massive amnesia in the not-so-long term...

Comment Re: I'd be wary of Musk, too (Score 1) 103'>for numbers not much better in 2015, they are at 10,600 for first 9 months. And with sales of 2-3000 for the 2 summers months. And that was before the diesel issue was shown. My guess is that will jump them up to 3-4000 / month rather quickly.

Comment Re: Will Apple be able to spec/source a good OLED? (Score 1) 220

No, these arw characgeristic of OLEDs.

LCDs have their own problems:

- Backlight leakage
- "Bright" and "dark" edges (relative to backlight edge)
- Dim corners (usujally just one, due to slight LCD warping)


The iPad Air IZGO display had tons of problems at first, too. I remember seeing them at a store and thinking, "geez, there's not a single good display in this entirew row of iPad Air units."

But that doesn't absolve OLED of its problems. I think for me the big issues arew the color cast issues. The pink/green gradient is probably the worst, followed by the yellow color cast esp. when dim and the uneven whites (usually not visible in when colors are being displayed).

Comment Re:Or just make the diesels hybrids (Score 2) 181

And even the best public transport system generally isnt going to start and stop *exactly* where you need it, so there still is going to be *some* walking. Which some people with disabilities or health problems simply can't manage. And to achieve a good public transport system - with frequent stops, densely placed stops, relatively direct routes and affordable prices - is entirely dependent on population density far more than it is on "will". In places with high density, it's a relatively straightforward process to have a good public transport system. In places with moderate to low density, it can be difficult to nearly impossible. And weaknesses in public transport system are a viscious cycle: the less frequent the stops, the further spaced out they are, the longer the transit times, and the more expensive the rides - the fewer people will ride them. The fewer that ride the less frequent you have to have the stops, the further apart they need to be, the less direct the routes, and the less affordable the prices.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 94

LOL riiiight, I'm sure they are just lining up when the reviews all say the same thing which is Steam machines are completely pointless as they give you NONE of the benefits of a console and NONE of the benefits of a Windows gaming PC. You are paying MORE money for WORSE hardware and without the entire point of consoles, the ease of use and exclusive titles. I can find review after review and they all say the same things, glitchy controller, bad UI, buggy as a pile of shit in August, its a completely pointless product that will only appeal to the Linux faithful...who won't want to have a fucking thing to do with Steam DRM ROFL!

So sorry to burst your bubble but feel free to bookmark this post and come back in 24 months and see its truth, SteamOS will do about as much to spur Linux adoption as Ubuntu has, that is jack and squat. I mean for Pete's sake you no longer even have the "free as in beer" selling point as anybody can download the Windows 10 Insider release and use it for free.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.