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Comment: Re:AT&T customer uses $24,298.93 in services (Score 0) 233

Just because a journalist wrote about it doesn't mean it took the journalist to get the job done. Journalists love to talk up what they do, especially in these kind of "consumer advocacy" stories because they attract viewership.

For AT&T to bill a person for this much just requires a computer to total up some numbers. For them to collect it requires them to enter into collections. This would involve a review of the bills before it was submitted to collections. To assume that it took a reporter for AT&T to figure out they would do better to waive this bill than collect it is to take quite a leap.

Comment: AT&T customer uses $24,298.93 in services (Score 5, Insightful) 233

This isn't an errant bill or anything. The person called long distance that much in two months.

And AT&T waived it after it was pointed out. So why freak out about this?

Finally, I'm really ashamed of slashdot approving an article which refers to an AT&T spokesperson as a "spokeshole" for no reason. Georgia Taylor didn't do anything to deserve that.

Show some maturity, slashdot.

Comment: emitter of a FET? (Score 1) 85

by YesIAmAScript (#49479367) Attached to: Researchers Design a Self-Powered Digital Camera

In figure 3 Q1 is drawn as a FET (and the circuit implies it is one) but they refer to the "emitter" of it when speaking of the drain.

And obviously the goal of high resolution is counter to needing large cells to capture charge for harvesting.

The design would seem to imply that the device cannot be self-starting. That is, if it runs out of charge, it has no way to activate the harvesting and get it self running again. Ah, I see in there it say they had to start with a charged supercap.

It's still an interesting experiment.

Comment: it doesn't matter (Score 1) 100

The other countries already do this. And no, the US doesn't like it. No one does.

Every country expects their laws to be followed and considers them supreme to all others. If a law is broken in the US, the US expects to be able to subpoena the evidence even if it is in another country. And other countries feel the same way.

Comment: yeah, why does it say look that one up? (Score 1) 53

by YesIAmAScript (#49423209) Attached to: Back To the Future: Autonomous Driving In 1995

The 486DX2 was unquestionably the most famous chip of its era.

Some other notes:

The DX ran at multiple speeds, there was a 50MHz DX which was much faster than a DX2 for some things since it had a 50MHz external bus instead of 33MHz like the DX2/66. It was too pricey though. The DX4 (really 3x) ended that argument anyway and Pentium was also quick on the scene.

The turbo button craze started with the 286, where it would often toggle 8/16 MHz. It indeed was huge in the 386 days.

Comment: why does the poster thing this helps VP9? (Score 1) 68

by YesIAmAScript (#49362591) Attached to: Another Patent Pool Forms For HEVC

How do you call VP9 royalty-free in the same article as the rest of this info.

There is not currently a patent pool for VP9. That doesn't mean it's in a better position than HEVC, given there could be a "freelance" patent pool for VP9 any day now.

Any standard which becomes successful attracts leeches. VP9 is no exception.

Comment: actually, NSFNET came after that (Score 5, Informative) 318

And the government created that too. And the government decided eventually that confining the internet to just academia (as the NSFNET was) didn't make sense so they closed down the NSFNET and the main links changed to be commercial instead of government paid.

This period you speak of where the ARPANET was the backbone for a network that was generally used never existed. The NSFNET started out around 1987 and you didn't see any real commercial use of the internet until the early 90s. Even CIX (ANS) came in 1991 with the help of the NSF. After Congress (including Al Gore) passed legislation pushing the NSF to repeal its restrictions on commercial use you saw significant commercial uses take off.

Today's internet is in no way an unintended consequence. It may not have been paid for by the government, but they did design and develop it and were well aware of the possibilities beyond academia.

Comment: Semantics-wise, you're off base here (Score 1) 156

The Chinese government officially recognizes both knock-offs and counterfeits. Counterfeits are illegal. Knock-offs, which merely look at lot like the other item but do not try to pretend to be it, are legal.

These are knock-offs and are legal. The fake Rolexes you speak of are counterfeits and are illegal even in China. Of course, the law is unevenly enforced there.

Comment: yes, I do. (Score 1) 156

I'm not quite sure how some people delude themselves as much as you do.

The maker of this watch has too much to lose by making fakes in their factories. They would be killing the golden goose.

I'm sure there are some counterfeits which are really just "night production". But to assume this is the case in all cases and here is a failure to really put much thought into it.

Have you read the reviews of the fakes?

It's clear they don't have the same parts. It doesn't even have the same screen or knob. One of the knockoffs doesn't even have a touchscreen!

Comment: Re:Why is the hardware so complex/expensive? (Score 2) 217

I can't see why. You can get an ATMEL microcontroller at least as powerful (or more) than that one for $3 to $7 (depending on how capable you want it to be) in small quantities (qty 10). That's the SAM D21 CPUs ($3) and the SAM 3N or SAM 3S for $7.

I have to imagine the enclosure and such is more expensive than they thought.

The hardware seems pretty basic. I could make a prototype version from the CPU I just bought in a week. Yes, that includes sound triggering, opto triggering, etc.

Their AUX port seems HORRIBLY designed. They say it is powered, but you also can input signals? How? It's an RCA crown. It either can provide voltage and ground and look for a low resistance (short) across it, or it can receive voltages on it. If you really want to run active circuitry off it and receive a signal, you should use a 1/8" stereo jack and output power and ground and receive a signal in return. Then if you want to just use a short (like dry contacts) to trigger, you can ignore the power output, but if you want active circuitry you can do that too. Using the ADC to trigger is weird, even the $3 chip above has an analog comparator that interrupts you when a signal rises or falls and it can reference to things other than the 1.1V bandgap.

I just get the feeling they weren't nearly as good as they thought as what they are doing.

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll