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


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

Comment Re:Cop video storage is a moral hazard for Taser (Score 1) 97

But that's thing with a moral hazard -- just look at banking and securities. If you jack around the majority of your customers, it will become public and cause a shitstorm, but it doesn't make the moral hazard go away nor has it prevented all manner of moral hazards in banking from being exploited.

And not every -- or any -- potentially "lost" video is going to be tied to some high profile incident where some innocent black woman in a wheel chair took a dozen rounds of 00-buck to her face. The most likely ones will be the low profile ones nobody cares about, where some obvious drunk got manhandled after bar closing and a dozen citizen eyewitness statements back the police version of events completely.

And it's also not likely that Taser would just delete videos themselves -- that's too obvious. Rather than running a system that's totally secure from police tampering, the inclination will be to provide a "friendly" system that offers soft points where the police can prevent videos from getting uploaded at all under the guise of technical glitch or something.

Comment Re:Should they only be in the layer-2 business? (Score 1) 152

The thing is, you're *already* "having a company come in" as a carrier ISP to supply uplink for the municipal fiber. And hopefully/presumably more than one carrier is being used for redundancy. I would also guess that these carrier facility equipment rollouts aren't just some 2U Cisco router with a fiber port and an ethernet jack. Chances are there's enough uplink brought in by all the carriers that they could easily resell uplink to other 'ISPs" in the muni NOC.

I don't know what equipment the muni is using for terminating the fiber connections, but what do you want to guess it's MPLS or something which would easily have the facility to map and aggregate endpoints to some other endpoint within their NOC which would then act like a local ISP. They're probably already doing this so the water department/school/etc can have a private LAN that spans sites.

AFAIK there are still a fair number of regional/smaller ISPs serving niche markets who might be interested in opening a branch for that many fiber connected customers or who could be tasked with acting as the "caretaker" of the L2 network (getting the muni out of that headache) and for whom adding layer 3 service would be no worse than break even if they are already paid for managing the L2 network. In Minneapolis they did something similar with city-wide wifi -- the network was built and managed by an ISP. I doubt the paying wifi customers meet their costs, but the added costs of retail wifi are really low when you're being paid to manage the physical network.

Splitting off layer-2 from layer-3 would also make a ton of sense from a business incubation perspective, because if you were slightly forward thinking the the muni fiber NOC wouldn't just be a spare room in the basement of city hall, but a datacenter-like space which would have room for colo for whoever wanted to be an ISP and for local businesses looking for an offsite location.

Now you've got a big-city style datacenter facility with a large geographic fiber plant connected. It might attract a lot of other interested business looking for a well-connected smaller town to open a branch office or take advantage of lower cost of doing business. It's about the equivalent of widening the county road to the Interstate and paving your gravel streets.

Comment Re:hands in pockets (Score 1) 152

You mean all those bridges and highways that are operated by greedy capitalistic monolithic multinational corporations?

Basically, yes. Except that the corporation is called the US government, and it has changed its business purpose from providing liberty and the basic services necessary for the pursuit of happiness to the people, into being a corporate welfare institution.

Claiming that publicly funded and maintained infrastructure failures are caused by capitalism is a bit of a stretch.

Really? Look beyond the fassade, maybe. You don't see a problem with billions being spent on saving the financial industry, that were better needed to support the infrastructure?

Comment Re:It's simple... (Score 2) 178

Nuclear power is so reliable, safe, and inexpensive that using wind and solar becomes nonsensical.

Reliable and safe yes, inexpensive no. Economics and a very long lead time to build are the major issues holding back the use of nukes. Numbers vary but solar and wind are now cheaper per kwh than importing brown coal to countries like India. Costs per kwh are still steadily dropping for wind and solar, whereas costs for nukes are stagnant or rising.

people will freeze to death because the sun didn't shine and the wind didn't blow when we needed it to..snip...people will die needlessly.

That's just silly fear mongering, every bit as ignorant an mis-informed as the anti-nuke people you are arguing against. Local weather variations are irrelevant to a national solar/wind grid, climate wobbles such as the el-nino phenomena mentioned in TFA have a minor impact on output because they change the average weather conditions over the entire planet. Note the impact of natural climate wobbles on output can also be positive, it just happens that the one on TFA is negative for the US (it's likely the same climate event had a positive impact on Australian renewable output).

I have no ideological problems with nukes, the appear to work very well in parts of Europe apart from the occasional political spat. However the costs and long lead times associated with building nukes means they will continue to be used in the future only where renewables are impractical. Worse still for the nuke industry, the economic niches for profitable nukes are shrinking as the renewables industry steadily continues improving their technology and ROI numbers. One thing is certain, king coal's crown is slipping, "book values" for coal assets are falling fast, the world bank, IMF, etc, have all recently stopped investing in coal and advised other to follow, nobody wants to be stuck with a "stranded asset", except the luddites running the fucking country down here in Oz, who are doing everything in their power to build the port/rail infrastructure to service "the world's largest coal mine", the mine itself is likely to fall into the "stranded asset" basket before it is even constructed.

Comment Q: (Score 1) 6

When are you guys being sold again? I just opened a copy of Wired, and it had a Dice marketing guy contorted and mostly-naked in a corner ad, with some verbiage about the importance of branding.

Dice is creepy. Malda should have never sold out under the guise of needing management; he should've just hired a manager.

Comment Re:Won't someone think of hurting the children?? (Score 5, Insightful) 231


1. We don't know that it was unsolicited.

2. We don't know that he's not innocent or normal. I remember when I was a normal-ish 14-year-old boy. I can't honestly say that my mentality at that time would have precluded me sending such pictures in such a way because the technology didn't exist, but I can say that as an adult I've never felt compelled to photograph my bits for sharing with others. But again, at 14: Maybe, if I had the tools.

3. We don't know her intent in distribution. I think that a teenaged girl would likely be all giggles about the thing, without malicious intent. (Have you met a teenaged girl? My own is 14.)

4. We don't know why he chose Snapchat. Perhaps simply because it was convenient, and he was simply familiar with the interface -- we cannot assume, based on what we know, that it was a deliberate decision driven by Snapchat's default nature of deleting things after a short time.

5. We don't know that she's some crypto-savvy script kiddie who went through extensive measures to bypass Snapchat's security. For all we know she did the obvious and simplest thing: She used one handheld device to take a photograph of an image on another handheld device. (The analog hole does not exclude Snapchat.)

That normal, innocent kids might be smart and clever does not mean that their every motivation is evil. Furthermore, normal, innocent kids making unwise decisions is a hallmark of normal, innocent kids: They're kids, FFS.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 600

The professor was somewhat alarmed by this, but not totally in disaster mode

I would be. In fact, I am. This is the reason so much of our current software absolutely sucks. Performance is so pathetic that anyone who wrote software back in C64 days cringes just thinking about the wastefulness. Security is becoming worse, not better, even though we have an unbelievable amount of protections built right into the OS, compiler, VM, everything. And on the main task, solving a problem for a user, don't even get me started. Complexity != usefulness.

People should understand that there are different ways to sort and what the advantages and disadvantages are. Not for the sorting, but for understanding that there are many ways to solve the same problem. Some of them work better for small data sets, some of them better for large. Some are very fast but require lots of memory, others are light on memory but slow. And so on and so on.

Only if you understand this, not just by having read it once in a textbook, but by having it seen for yourself, will you be able to pick a proper solution under real-world restrictions.

Comment Re:It's true (Score 1) 600

Just as you don't need Picasso painting your bathroom, you don't need a rocket scientist to code your shitty business app.

Which is largely why so many business apps are shitty. Shoddy coding is very easy to spot, it's the result of people not having enough math education to think in algorithms. Math is not what you can put into your pocket calculator, math is understanding what you put in and why.

Comment Re:Programming (Score 1) 600

I've used much less than 5% of what I learned there, and probably more like less than 1%.

Then you went to a horrible university.

What about logic, never used it, hm? De Morgans Laws? If course, you use them all the time, you're just so used to them that you forgot the name.

Approximations (numerical mathematics)? All the time. Important as well: Understanding about error margins and how many digits in what calculation you can rely on.

Calculus, analysis, all the shitty things we hated, we use it. Fragments here and there, that's why mostly we don't notice.

Algorithms by themselves are pure math, like it or not. Heck, if we go to that level, the very idea of variables is from math.

I absolutely agree that there is a lot more that goes into a good programmer than just math, but there is a lot in math that we use daily when we write code.

Comment programming and "programming" (Score 1) 600

Uh... HTML and CSS aren't programming languages.

Come back when you've written something non-trivial in a real programming language. Say, some 3D visualisation in C++, without knowing about math (who needs matrix transforms, right?).

Like in any craft, you can do some simple things with little knowledge. Every idiot with two hands can put up a garden shed. That doesn't make you an architect and it doesn't make you a builder.

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality." -- Dante