Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:"...need to be prepared..." (Score 2) 223

If you want to talk about paleo-climate, realise that the industrial revolution looks like an asteroid strike in the fossil record.
I will never understand why some people accept that "sea levels rose 125m in the last 10,000 years", but call BS when the same people tell them "AGW is a serious problem"? It seems to be related to the common religious behaviour where people pick and choose the bits they like, then labels the rest as BS?

Comment Re:I'm not a panicky guy but... (Score 1) 392

In my case, the games I play are appearing on tablets. I spend more time on my tablet each day than on my computer.

I tried out knoppix and was reasonably happy with it. And I made a strategy of finding and getting used to opensource programs that worked both on windows and on linux equally well. So when I swap over, I'll be familiar with my software stack.

I suspect the windows 8.1 pc I bought will be the last microsoft desktop computer I'll ever buy.

Comment EA makes a lot of games (Score 1) 103

Comparing EA and Rovio is silly. Rovio has one product and a couple of other tiny ones. An accurate comparison of Rovio would be to one of EA's development studios, not to all of EA itself.

260 people is a ton for a studio. Even if you look at the really big studios working on the really big titles for EA and Activision, it is usually only a couple hundred people at most. That's to produce things like Battlefield (and it's associated engine, which is quite advanced) not to produce a silly mobile game where you fling birds at pigs.

It sounds like Rovio had way more people than could be useful.

Comment FairPhone 2 (Score 2) 106

I'm hoping tablet and laptop versions soon follow so I can mix and match more modules over time. and I'll get multiples of them, too. it just makes sense to be able to repair them year after year, instead of buying another bloatware crap machine.

You should definitely check out the FairPhone 2.

Ease of repair has been one of the main argument for FairPhone 1 & 2.
For the second model, they are currently going to a a modular design to make it even more easy to fix, and to give the possibility to swap module in the future for added features.

Comment FairPhone2 (Score 1) 106

And yet, the Fairphone 2 has been designed is currently pre-selling. The prototypes are working, they are just gathering money to ramp up production.

- Where is consumer demand for such a device? Consumers are becoming dumber; they are flat out finding a power button, let alone selecting complex modules for a phone. This makes it a niche market device, thus low volume, thus expensive.

Modular design, means easier to repair just by swapping modules. (And ease to repair is one of the main argument for FairPhone 1 & 2).

- Connectors in any design are one of the common fail points. In this design you have lots of them.

As opposed to the ribbon connector of which you're going to have plenty in modern smart phone ?
At least the interconnects of module phone currently being produced tend to be sturdy.

Comment I'm not a panicky guy but... (Score 5, Interesting) 392

I've been with windows for close to two decades.

But I'm probably going to either use an older windows box or just bite the bullet and go to linux for my "real" machine. I might use windows for a gaming machine.

I've used openoffice then libre office for years now and no longer even occasionally dip back into Word.

I've disliked the tighter microsoft email/social account integration for a while now.

I really dislike what I'm hearing about the new o/s. I stopped using facebook because of similar actions.
it's like being fabulously wealthy isn't enough. If windows 10 goes forward as is, I probably won't go with it.

Comment Re:I have a question. (Score 2) 59

Well, about 2000 chinese noodle chefs were replaced by robot noodle chefs for the same reason robots are used everywhere.

Robots were less expensive (even than chinese noodle chefs), could work double shifts every day, 7 days a week and on holidays. When sick, they could be replaced the same day with a new one. The robots were more accurate, made less mistakes, had no legal liablity (no cut fingers, etc.) and the investors got to keep more money.

It's the end game that doesn't work. When 25% of the population can't get work because anything they can do can be done better, cheaper, and longer by a robot (or automated process -- i.e. computerized receptionists) then the system breaks down.

By definition, half the people are less than average intelligence. And many high intelligence jobs are being and will be automated as well.
The return is enormous (replace one or more highly paid humans with a machine or program) so the incentive is high.

The robot designer above is an excellent example. Sure- she'll continue to have work. But that's 1 job created for 1,000 jobs destroyed.

When people can't trade their labor for value/goods/housing/food what do you think is going to happen?

Comment Re:Judging by the story so far... (Score 1) 355

I think they need to make available the ability to see the account, the dates it was logged into, etc.

So people can prove that
1) they really did last long on before they got married.
2) or they only logged in a couple times to check it out.
3) etc.

Ashley Madison could serve as a neutral 3rd party to help people who were not actually using the service or had stopped using it when they married.

Comment I sort of skip around (Score 1) 192

I stopped reading certain characters in the book.. and as soon as certain people are on screen, I fastforward.

if something happens, I'll know about it from tyrian's perspective.

There is a lot of stuff that is as.. wait.. more repulsive than "Human Centipede 3".

The boobs are nice.

Comment Not double blind (Score 1) 570

So we provide him with a fake Faraday cage, that doesn't keep anything out.

For the study to be double blind you (the person building the 2 cages both the real and the true, and deciding on which day the child uses which one) must keep the information isolated.
The person handing/seting up the cage in the morning should NOT know whether the fake or an actual cage was handed out.
And only reveal the fake after the child has had a significant number of session using each.

It's a child. Children *can* be very sensitive to body language. The child could be suspicious of the smirk on your face when handing the fake cage.

Comment Precision (Score 1) 157

Actually, Apple neatly solved the whole problem in 2007 by doing away with the need for an ignorant stylus altogether.

Earlier PDA *could* also be operated with fingers. Resistive touch screen doesn't *require* a stylus. (Early Tomtom GPS were entirely finger operated resistive touch screens - no stylus available at all).

The stylus is simply an option for when you need more precision.
(To draw more precisely sketches, or operate smaller parts of UI).

What Apple did is doing away with the *precision*. (Hence the "on/off" sliders they've introduced in iOS. Much easier to operate than check boxes when using big fingers on a small screen).

A capacitive screen is a lot more coarse. You can't draw accurate sketches by finger painting. Apple's action have been a step back for PDA, making iPhone / iPodTouch a lot less good e.g. at taking notes during university lectures.
That made perfect sense for Apple (all they wanted is simply making phones / music players. Their main competitor wasn't Palm PDAs, it was candy bar phones & MP3 players. You didn't need a pen to operate a phone or an older iPod, why suddenly would you need one once they switched to touch screens ?).
But that's a big loss for PDA (they're the electronic descendent of paper note pads, personal organisers. i.e.: objects on which you write a lot. Stylus simply felt as the natural descendent of pens).

Samsung is simply trying to find a way to reintroduce the functionality in modern smart-phones. Give back the note taking ability of former PDAs. Thus they wanted to add the option for a stylus. They just went for way too much bling (flush to the body, complex ejection mechanics, etc.)

Comment Re:In "oil" country no less! (Score 1) 305

The chinese solar panel market receives substantial subsidies from the chinese government. This allowed them to sell the panels at lower profit markets. The logical reason would be an attempt to capture the solar panel market.

The problem was... solar panels are still dropping rapidly in price. So while some 1st world companies went bankrupt, new ones arose.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 305

Now, I wouldn't call two trillion dollars spent fighting a war to protect oil fields a subsidy.

Please. With those amounts you need something more like "mega subsidy!"

Oil company subsidies are embedded into the system so well that we don't even notice them most the time.

If solar can cut oil demand by 10%.. then the price of oil will never recover and we can start saving oil for unique things instead of burning it for energy.

There is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.