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Comment Result of Technology (Score 1) 869 869

The whole system is designed for people having stuff "they only sometimes need".

That is the result of technology which has massively reduced the cost to produce items. Once the cost to purchase and store the item becomes less than the cost to rent the item (factoring in something extra for the convenience of ownership) people will buy it rather than rent it. However it is not clear to me that the rental model is more efficient: there is an energy cost to moving the device around as well as the cost of the people to manage everything.

Even if you think of massively advanced technology which might let you 3d-print tools, use them, and then break them down and reuse the raw material to build your next item it is still not a given that the energy cost of that would be less than just storing different objects for occasional use.

Submission + - 10 years of Intel processors compared->

jjslash writes: An interesting look back at the evolution of Intel CPUs since the original Core 2 Duo E6600 and Core 2 Quad processors were introduced. The test pits the eight year old CPUs to their successors in the Nehalem, Sandy Bridge and Haswell families, including today's Celeron and Pentium parts which fare comparably well. A great reference just days before Intel's new Skylake processor debuts.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:It's coming. Watch for it.. (Score 2) 134 134

The motorist in the video committed a crime -- several actually. But the cyclist committed an indiscretion by chasing down the motorist to give him a piece of his mind. That's not illegal, it's just a very bad idea.

Many years ago I heard an interviewer ask the great race driver Jackie Stewart what it takes to be a great driver. He said that a driver ought to be emotionless. I think this is very true for any kind of driving -- or cycling. Never prolong your reaction to anything that anyone does on the road beyond the split second it takes to deal with it. Let your attention move on to the next thing. Never direct it to a driver because of something he *did*. Keep focused on what's happening now.

Privacy

Tor Project Pilots Exit Nodes In Libraries 34 34

An anonymous reader writes: The Tor Project has announced a new initiative to open exit relays in public libraries. "This is an idea whose time has come; libraries are our most democratic public spaces, protecting our intellectual freedom, privacy, and unfettered access to information, and Tor Project creates software that allows all people to have these rights on the internet." They point out that this is both an excellent way to educate people on the value of private internet browsing while also being a practical way to expand the Tor network. A test for this initiative is underway at the Kilton Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, which already has a computing environment full of GNU/Linux machines.

Submission + - Tor Project Pilots Exit Nodes In Libraries->

An anonymous reader writes: The Tor Project has announced a new initiative to open new exit relays in public libraries. "This is an idea whose time has come; libraries are our most democratic public spaces, protecting our intellectual freedom, privacy, and unfettered access to information, and Tor Project creates software that allows all people to have these rights on the internet." They point out that this is both an excellent way to educate people on the value of private internet browsing while also being a practical way to expand the Tor network. A test for this initiative is underway at the Kilton Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, which already has a computing environment full of GNU/Linux machines.
Link to Original Source
Networking

Critical BIND Denial-of-Service Flaw Could Take Down DNS Servers 50 50

alphadogg writes: Attackers could exploit a new vulnerability in BIND, the most popular Domain Name System (DNS) server software, to disrupt the Internet for many users. The vulnerability affects all versions of BIND 9, from BIND 9.1.0 to BIND 9.10.2-P2, and can be exploited to crash DNS servers that are powered by the software. The vulnerability announced and patched by the Internet Systems Consortium is critical because it can be used to crash both authoritative and recursive DNS servers with a single packet.

Comment Let's not get ahead of ourselves... (Score 1) 213 213

First off, most of us really aren't waiting for autonomous cars. Just saying it to grab headlines doesn't make it true. I bike mostly and enjoy driving when I do. I get motion sick when someone else is driving. I could care less about a driverless car.

Second, there's no evidence _at all_ that driverless cars will lead to fewer deaths. It's just pure speculation at this point based on the notion that computers will reduce the number of errors that lead to deaths. There's also just as good a chance that driverless cars will introduce a whole new set of ways that people get killed by cars.

Finally, despite all the hype and small wins by Google, if you actually think through all the technology that still needs to be developed before this is practical, we're not going to see it anytime soon. Sure, Google has some cool tech demos and Uber's convincing scientists to leave stable jobs for high flying startup jobs, but that's just a sign of research, not development. Billions are spent on research programs that are just a "few years away" from practical application. Driverless cars are likely in this category.

Now, what will be cool for consumers and insurance companies is when some of these technologies trickle into ordinary cars. Semi-autonomous driving on highways would be great and is probably only a few years away. Better accident avoidance in cities is also likely to emerge from this. This is the benefit of these billion dollar research programs: while they rarely deliver what's being promised, some really good things do come out of them.

-Chris

ISS

Video Urthecast Brings You Earth Images and Videos from the ISS (Video) 16 16

Most of us probably won't ever visit the International Space Station (ISS) and look down at the Earth (motto: "The only planet we know has beer, so let's not ruin it"). Looking at pictures and videos made by cameras mounted on the ISS is about as close as we're going to get. There's already an ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment on Ustream, but Urthecast is putting out higher-definition images than what you see on Ustream, and has plans to put out even clearer images and video before long. While Urthecast is likely to accumulate plenty of "oohs" and "aahhs" as it rolls along, according to CEO Scott Larson their real objective is to sell imagery -- and not necessarily just from the visible light band of the overall spectrum -- to industrial and government users. People like us are still invited to look at (and marvel at) lovely images of our planetary home.

NOTE: Today's video is about 4:30 long. If you want to watch and listen to more of Mr. Larson, we have a second "bonus" (Flash) video for you. Or you can read the transcript, which covers both videos.
China

China's Island-Building In Pictures 124 124

An anonymous reader writes: The South China Sea is just small enough to have high strategic value for military operations and just large enough to make territorial claims difficult. For over a year now, the world has been aware that China is using its vast resources to try and change that. Instead of fighting for claims on existing islands or arguing about how far their sovereignty should extend, they simply decided to build new islands. "The islands are too small to support large military units but will enable sustained Chinese air and sea patrols of the area. The United States has reported spotting Chinese mobile artillery vehicles in the region, and the islands could allow China to exercise more control over fishing in the region." The NY Times has a fascinating piece showing clear satellite imagery of the new islands, illustrating how a fleet a dredgers have dumped enormous amounts of sand on top of existing reefs. "Several reefs have been destroyed outright to serve as a foundation for new islands, and the process also causes extensive damage to the surrounding marine ecosystem." We can also see clear evidence of airstrips, cement plants, and other structures as the islands become capable of supporting them.

Submission + - One In Four Indiana Residents Lost Data in Electronic Records Firm Hack->

chicksdaddy writes: Four million patients of more than 230 hospitals, doctors offices and clinics had patient data exposed in a May hack of the Fort Wayne, Indiana firm Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE), which makes the NoMoreClipBoard electronic health records system, according to the Indiana Attorney General.(http://goo.gl/KdCbRX) The breach affected 3.9 million people. But it hit MIE's home state of Indiana especially hard. In all, 1.5 million Hoosiers had data exposed in the hack, almost a quarter of the state's population, the Security Ledger reports. (https://securityledger.com/2015/07/doctors-still-in-the-dark-after-electronics-records-hack-exposes-data-on-4-million/)

But the breach affects healthcare organizations from across the country, with healthcare providers ranging from prominent hospitals to individual physicians’ offices and clinics are among 195 customers of the NoMoreClipboard product that had patient information exposed in the breach. And, more than a month after the breach was discovered, some healthcare organizations whose patients were affected are still waiting for data from EMI on how many and which patients had information exposed.

“We have received no information from MIE regarding that,” said a spokeswoman for Fort Wayne Radiology Association (http://www.fwradiology.com/), one of hundreds of healthcare organizations whose information was compromised in the attack on MIE.

According to MIE’s statement, released on July 24, individuals who received services from Fort Wayne Radiology Association and a variety of other imaging and MRI centers were also compromised when a database relating to the healthcare providers was breached in the incident, MIE said. That contained data going back more 17 years and involved another 44 healthcare organizations in three states: Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Local CO2 (Score 1) 64 64

pouring into the atmosphere at a rate of more than 100x what nature produces

... man, go back to elementary school. That hasn't happened, isn't happening, and isn't going to happen. [Jane Q. Public, 2015-07-31]

Yes it is. As the NAS explains on page 6 here:

"In nature, CO2 is exchanged continually between the atmosphere, plants and animals through photosynthesis, respiration, and decomposition, and between the atmosphere and ocean through gas exchange. A very small amount of CO2 (roughly 1% of the emission rate from fossil fuel combustion) is also emitted in volcanic eruptions. This is balanced by an equivalent amount that is removed by chemical weathering of rocks."

So natural CO2 emissions are balanced, and our fossil fuel emissions are roughly 100x faster than volcanic emissions. That's why "actual science" shows that our current CO2 emissions rate is unprecedented over the last 300 million years.

And if you read the rest of that NAS document, you'd discover that "actual science" shows that our unprecedentedly rapid CO2 emissions are a cause for concern.

Submission + - China's Island-Building In Pictures->

An anonymous reader writes: The South China Sea is just small enough to have high strategic value for military operations and just large enough to make territorial claims difficult. For over a year now, the world has been aware that China is using its vast resources to try and change that. Instead of fighting for claims on existing islands or arguing about how far their sovereignty should extend, they simply decided to build new islands. "The islands are too small to support large military units but will enable sustained Chinese air and sea patrols of the area. The United States has reported spotting Chinese mobile artillery vehicles in the region, and the islands could allow China to exercise more control over fishing in the region." The NY Times has a fascinating piece showing clear satellite imagery of the new islands, showing how a fleet a dredgers have dumped enormous amounts of sand on top of existing reefs. "Several reefs have been destroyed outright to serve as a foundation for new islands, and the process also causes extensive damage to the surrounding marine ecosystem." We can also see clear evidence of airstrips, cement plants, and other structures as the islands become capable of supporting them.
Link to Original Source
The Almighty Buck

Will Autonomous Cars Be the Insurance Industry's Napster Moment? 213 213

An anonymous reader writes: Most of us are looking forward to the advent of autonomous vehicles. Not only will they free up a lot of time previously spent staring at the bumper of the car in front of you, they'll also presumably make commuting a lot safer. While that's great news for the 30,000+ people who die in traffic accidents every year in the U.S. alone, it may not be great news for insurance companies. Granted, they'll have to pay out a lot less money with the lower number of claims, but premiums will necessarily drop as well and the overall amount of money within the car insurance system will dwindle.

Analysts are warning these companies that their business is going to shrink. It will be interesting to see if they adapt to the change, or cling desperately to an outdated business model like the entertainment industry did. "One opportunity for the industry could be selling more coverage to carmakers and other companies developing the automated features for cars. ... When the technology fails, manufacturers could get stuck with big liabilities that they will want to cover by buying more insurance. There's also a potential for cars to get hacked as they become more networked."

Submission + - Will Autonomous Cars Be the Insurance Industry's Napster Moment?->

An anonymous reader writes: Most of us are looking forward to the advent of autonomous vehicles. Not only will they free up a lot of time to previously spent staring straight ahead at the bumper of the car in front of you, they'll also presumably make commuting a lot safer. While that's great news for the 30,000+ people who die in traffic accidents every year in the U.S., it may not be great news for insurance companies. Granted, they'll have to pay out a lot less money with the lower number of claims, but premiums will necessarily drop as well and the overall amount of money within the car insurance system will dwindle. Analysts are warning these companies that their business is going to shrink. It will be interesting to see if they adapt to the change, or cling desperately to an outdated business model like the entertainment industry did. "One opportunity for the industry could be selling more coverage to carmakers and other companies developing the automated features for cars. ... When the technology fails, manufacturers could get stuck with big liabilities that they will want to cover by buying more insurance. There’s also a potential for cars to get hacked as they become more networked."
Link to Original Source

A man is known by the company he organizes. -- Ambrose Bierce

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