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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment Re:Is this really as typical as it seems? (Score 1) 106

Are the developers of such devices really this incompetent?

My guess would be that they were told to implement it in a certain way. They may have had objections but were overruled by managment.

Are they really so focused on jumping on the IoT revenue bandwagon that they give the actual security of their devices a passing glance, if that?

Yes. I find this is the most plausible explanation: "Make it work on the interwebs! By next week!"

Comment Re:Discussed before (Score 1) 283

USB is dirt cheap. You can have a separate bus-per-device if you so desire. That will easily eliminate all contention.

I don't think cheap equates to performance. The problem with USB is that it is CPU bound meaning that contention isn't as easy to remove as you think. For most video production work, the CPU is busy with processing the video and is limited by USB transfer. This limitation isn't a problem for a keyboard or mouse because the amount of information is quite small but video, music encoding? There's a reason why USB-based speakers never really made it so far.

And what you really mean is USB is useless for REAL-TIME work... When USB can do faster-than-realtime for you, the contention and other gripes aren't much of an issue.

No, USB doesn't. That's been the whole point. USB2 has a theoretical max of 480MB/s while Firewire 400 (the original) is 400Mb/s. In theory, USB2 should have no contention. In reality USB2 would get far lower (35MB/s) while Firewire would get around 49MB/s. USB3 pushes the max to 625MB/s while the practical rate is around 400MB/s (less than 60% actual efficieny).

Firewire is dying out in production video shops, too, though it has been (almost-) replaced by several different alternatives, not (just) USB.

Yes but production shops didn't turn to USB for Firewire's replacement. They may have tried eSATA and then Thunderbolt. Maybe they will use PCI-E in the future. USB3 is closer to Thunderbolt 1 but is beat out by Thunderbolt 2.

Comment Re:Bias? (Score 1) 128

my costs should not rise based on the decisions of others

Tough, and PS, welcome to sharing a planet with other humans. If you ever interact with another human ever, even indirectly[*] then your costs are going to be affected by decisions other people make. That is completely unavoidable.

[*] I mean REALLY indirectly. If someone comes and cuts down the trees near your cave for firewood, your costs have gone up as you're going to have to travel further to make wood. I say cave because it would be quite hard to live in other kinds of shelter without making use of anything humans have ever produced. I mean if you rely on metal tools to cut down trees for wood, your costs could be increased by a decision someone makes to increase the price of steel.

Comment Re:News for Facebook employees (Score 2) 128

If you can take several months off, it just means the company doesn't really need you. ...

Yes, but your comment is just plain wrong-headed, frankly. Small companies really, really need their employees. Departure of a key employee can sink a small company.

A large company like facebook has people leaving ALL the time. People retire, quit, move, change jobs, get sick, die and so on continuously. Any company over about 10 people is going to have to deal with departing and absent employees on a regular basis. You absolutely cannot have key employees for a large and/or long running organisation.

So yes, they don't "need" you, because they can't afford to need you: if the company is successful you'll probably leave long before it folds.

Or, it means someone else is will have to work harder (with no extra pay) to make up for your absence

Well, there's a sucker born every minute, I guess.

Comment Re:terrorist delivery vehicle (Score 1) 260

Maybe off topic, but I've wondered why some misinformed and mislead idiot hasn't yet used one of these things to fly explosive ordinance into a large crowd of people.

A drone packed with explosives is called a "cruise missile". They've been used to fly into groups of people for many decades. Granted by the armed forces (frequently misinformed and mislead), but it's the morning and I feel like being deeply pedantic. So there.

Comment Re:Apple would reject 100% CPU app (Score 1) 381

I thought 100% CPU loops in a background application were exactly what the App Store review process was designed to prevent.

Unfortunately, first-party code doesn't go through that same process. I was thinking in particular about a recent experience with spotlight indexing when I made that snarky comment.

Comment Re:Real bad news (Score 1) 381

This. "I would buy an iPhone if it were only thinner," said no one ever.

What would make me upgrade my iPhone 6S to the iPhone 7 rather than skipping two generations and buying the iPhone 8? Give me the ability to carry my phone for a two week trip, using it the way I do now, without having to charge it.

By contrast, there's something bordering on pure insanity about the notion of taking away the headphone jack that many of us use very heavily in our cars while charging the device just so that Apple's engineers can brag about how much thinner they made a device that's already too thin to hold up to your ear without being constantly in fear of dropping it unless you put it in a case. Doubly so when you realize that it will likely mean relying more and more on software tricks to keep the battery life numbers up, while the worst-case battery life (with one of those hundred minor background daemons sitting in a tight loop using 100% of one CPU) continues to decline.

Comment Re: Airplane Mode (Score 1) 381

In the U.S., portable devices like cell phones can be used in airplane mode during takeoff and landing. Wireless headsets, however, are not allowed. So this would mean that if you plan to fly, you'll have to carry your wired headphones and an adapter. Just another reason that removing the headphone jack is an idiotic idea.

Comment Re:Apple Desktop Bus (Score 1) 283

I disagree. It was a right bloody pain in the arse. My sister got an iMac to go to uni and the sodding thing came with USB only.

USB sticks didn't exist more or less and besides, USB on PCs was so flakey that had they existed they would have been unusable. The solution of course was to get a USB Floppy drive for exchanging data with people. That more or less worked. It didn't come with a CD recorder of course because those were super expensive back then.

Oh and the scanner. Oh my god. Ever tried running a scanner on USB1? Now that is a good way to learn patience. Scanning needed to be done, but that thing was so slow. Much, much slower than SCSI scanners. Much. The USB port was far slower than the scanner hardware. It would zip along, stop, upload data, zip along etc etc. I swear it took minutes per page, or worse.

Oh yeah and then there was the sodding puck mouse. Wretched thing. Third party USB mice did exist fortunately, but they weren't all that common, weren't all that reliable and were expensive too, compared to the infinite number of quality PS/2 mice around.

Legacy free is fine, but they were about 5 years too early.

Comment Re:It replaced freedom (Score 1) 283

Going to a serial interface also allowed for higher speeds.

Not originally. Usb 1 was about 11mbit/s. You could quite easily clock the parallel port at over 1MHz, often as high as 2, giving a higher data rate. In ECP synchronous mode, there was even a small FIFO and DMA system, so you could do all that with almost no CPU overhead.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.