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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:It's not what Google wants.... (Score 1) 269

Yeah, everyone wants minute by minute logging of their Coolant Temperature and Throttle Position.

It's not as crazy as it sounds. Cars generate a ton more information than they have instruments to display. If you have a general purpose computer just sitting there, then why not use it?

I run Torque Pro with a Bluetooth ODBII dongle in my van when towing precisely for this reason... 90% of the item I don't give a shit, but when I'm hauling 4500lbs up a mountain I kind of like a little more feedback than I get from the stock dash.

Comment Re:OEM are peeing in their pants about Surface (Score 1) 80

But then I realized that none of the MS OEMs were building equipment to compete with Apple.

Sony was maybe closest with the VAIO series. But look what happened there.

Microsoft can afford to lose money (or at least not profit) on hardware. MS OEM's can't.

A higher end Windows device is competing against all other Windows devices at all kinds of price points, while Apple devices are almost competing in a whole other market. And not enough people were willing to buy high end Winstuff over cheaper models to make chasing that market worthwhile.

Comment Well, at least there's an opt-out. (Score 1) 58

From the announcement:

Users can control the ads they see, including Customer Match ads, by opting out of personalized ads or by muting or blocking ads from individual advertisers through Google Ads Settings.

Opt-out rather than opt-in sucks, and it does appear that my browser settings were independent of my Android Google Settings, but the option is there.

I'm ad blocking, so in theory my account ad settings are irrelevant, but belt and suspenders, etc.

Comment Re:That ship has sailed, ads are dead. You killed (Score 1) 116

Will keep blocking, unless they make all ads non-intrusive and they get the problem of malicious ads fixed effectively and permanently. As neither will be happening...

Even if it did... how are people using ad-blockers even going to find out?

"Please, give us another chance!" banner ads?

That's where the "ad blocking is a boycott" theme kind of breaks down. A boycott is an intentional action which requires a certain amount of effort to maintain. Ad blocking, once you roll it out, requires no effort or even awareness that it exists. Ad blocking is more like getting out of a bad relationship by burning the photo albums, selling the house, moving to another country, and changing your name.

Comment Re:Been at since '89 (Score 1) 162

Operating system updates breaking old software is nothing even remotely specific to Apple, and I don't even think Apple is particularly bad about it.

No, that's just a side-effect. The real issue is new pieces of Apple hardware forcing OS/X upgrades because Apple can't be bothered to make iTunes backwards or forwards compatible. I mean, even Windows users have a smoother experience... possibly as a consolation for having to run Windows, but still...

Yeah, I've replaced my share of hard drives in Apples, and the process is rarely fun (excepting the classic Mac Pro--incredibly elegant design there). I had to buy a plunger just for putting an SSD in an iMac!

Times sure have changed... I started using Apple products with the IIe, ran a Mac 512 for years, and I can't bring myself to even consider an Apple product these days.

Comment Re:Been at since '89 (Score 1) 162

The current version of iTunes runs on any of the last 4 OS revisions, covering about 4 years and probably 10 years of hardware at a minimum.

At the time, the hardware was 4-5 years old (iBook G4, 3rd gen nano; you do the math).

One nice thing about Macs is, no, it's really not a "fucking pile of grief.

Oh, it was. The OS/X upgrade wasn't free, for one thing. Apple fucked up and sent the french version, because apparently that's the default language they send to Canadians. Eventually got it, and the install was... well, after a couple attempts it worked. Don't get me wrong, it was still easier than installing Windows, but it wasn't fun.

I assume they've gotten better in the last decade, but I definitely identify with the previous poster about his ProTools experience. When Apple stuff works, it works well and in harmony with everything else. When it doesn't, it's not pretty.

About six months later the hard drive in the iBook croaked. I can assure you that "fucking pile of grief" is exactly the way to describe the process to replace the hard disk in an iBook G4. What kind of psychopath assembles the entire device around the part with the shortest expected lifespan?

Hell, I imagine the same type of behavior is even coming to Linux through systemd.

Most Linux distros have been in a continuously updating state for at least a decade. You do get "major" version bumps periodically which require a bit more clicking, but even those updates are pretty painless... I think the last time I needed manual intervention was 2008-ish. systemd likely won't change anything there, except maybe make the process more brittle for a while until things migrate over.

Comment Re:That ship has sailed, ads are dead. You killed (Score 1) 116

And there is nothing, literally NOTHING you could possibly do to make them uninstall it.


The thing about ad blockers is that they're fire-and-forget. You install them, and then... nothing. They're low-maintenance and basically transparent. People don't uninstall them because they'll forget they even have them installed within a few days.

And hoping for voluntary whitelisting is a pipe dream.

The best the ad industry can hope for is that they fix the problem before the remaining 80% of people not using ad blockers get around to installing one.

Comment Re:Been at since '89 (Score 2) 162

So what you're really complaining about here is a 3rd-party software package (ProTools) not working on a recent operating system release?

No. He's complaining about a new Apple iPhone requiring a gratuitous O/S update of another Apple product.

This same thing happened to my wife a while ago... she got an iPod Nano, which required a new version of iTunes, which required a newer version of OS/X (Jaguar on the iBook, IIRC), which... well, that was a fucking pile of grief for stuff that's supposed to Just Work, isn't it?

Yeah, third party software might have some issues too, but the core problem is that Apple regularly screws over people who work witihin their ecosystem but for whatever reason don't run all the latest stuff.

Comment Re:Unauthorized teardown (Score 1) 366

iFixit just gave Apple's competitor's a month's head start. You don't think that's horrible? If it was your product, what would you think?

Well, in hindsight I imagine that I'd feel pretty dumb giving a piece of hardware intended to give developers a head start on producing software to a company best known for dismantling hardware...

But as for giving a competitor a head start... that doesn't matter much to me, and I doubt it matters much to Apple. Ideas are easy. Bringing an idea to market is the hard part. Apple's use of these NDA's (partcularly after the already announced the product) are more about controlling the marketing message around a product than about preventing competitors from seeing what they're doing.

Comment Re:Unauthorized teardown (Score 1) 366

I hope you are not a lawyer.

IANAL, nor do I pretend to be.

I don't dispute that iFixit broke a contract. I'm saying that there's certain classes of contracts and/or business practices and/or laws that this community doesn't have a lot of respect for, and NDA's are one of them. It's better to avoid them and I think iFixit probably should have, but I doubt most people would find what they did particularly horrible.

Comment Re:Unauthorized teardown (Score 1) 366

Quite frankly the majority of Slashdot seems to be completely down with disregarding all of contract law

The NDA in this case is basically an agreement which forces someone to not share information about their work. In that context, it's fairly understandable that Slashdot might not be keen on it.

And since the reasoning behind this NDA is basically to support a marketing agenda (i.e. that all information about the product be released on an arbitrary window)... yeah, Apple's not going to get a lot of sympathy...

Comment Re:Unauthorized teardown (Score 1) 366

This situation is complicated by the fact that it's a pre-release unit provided to developers who signed NDAs.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that Apple sent a chunk of hardware to a company whos mandate is dismantling chunks of hardware. That's a bit like giving an alcoholic a bottle of whiskey and asking them to only evaluate the packaging...

Comment Re:TFA, TFS (Score 1) 323

Well, I avoided talking about other countries as I couldn't comment on their laws either. I assume Canada will probably have similar loopholes or would be handtied by some obscure NAFTA regulation, but I can't imagine the EU not nailing someone.

And the civil issues aren't necessarily trivial; the corporation can't shield individuals from *everything*.

For example, comparable to how medical malpractice works, I could see situations where a professional engineer might have their credentials stripped for this sort of thing.

I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller