Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment:! (Score 3, Informative) 39 39

Sure but SpaceX's goal to land the first stage has little to do with its cargo launch capabilities and its recent launch failure, or its march to man-rated rockets and the heavy lift booster. So I argue SpaceX is still doing very well in this lap. They can lift about one metric tonne more than the Progress freighter, and they are the only ones with return cargo capabilities. Return capabilities we haven't had since the Space Shuttle. I'm glad to see the Japanese cargo vehicle getting good use, and I'm happy to see all the different companies enter this space (literally). SpaceX happens to be the American company the closest to providing independence for western astronauts.

Comment: Re:Pao Wants "Safe Spaces" for Shills and Ideologu (Score 5, Informative) 277 277

Slashcode hasn't been open source in some time. Soylent built their site based on an older version of slashcode that was available and has modified it and improved it from there. Slashdot is built on the closed, and now completely proprietary, slashcode base.

Please Dice, drop the silly share button and return the read more link, and the read comments link. And provide a way to turn off the video stories that get stuck inline. This is an appropriate story to remind you of this. Your money is made because of content provided for free by us.

Comment: Google apps getting slower and more bloated (Score 3, Insightful) 104 104

Lately, every time I've allowed a google app to update I've regretted it. I was just fine with gmail the way it was. The latest incarnation I just don't like. For one I really hate how they are starting to ignore the menu button on phones that have them. I like having a menu button down at the bottom of the phone, close to where my thumbs are naturally. If I wanted an iphone I would have bought an iphone.

In any case I've learned to never update a google app that I like. One of the biggest problems with the Google Play walled garden is the complete lack of version history. Once a new version is out, the old version is gone forever. Always backup your apps before upgrading I've learned (and forgotten too many times).

But the real problem is that google apps are getting bigger and bigger and slower and slower. I don't install very many apps, and I finally ran out of space on my older phone, due to mostly google apps getting so huge. And over time my phone is getting less and less responsive. It's not like I have a lot of apps installed, and I never automatically update them. I do it judiciously, after looking at the changes list.

As I mentioned I don't update google apps much anymore, but the Google Play app and infrastructure update automatically and silently, and I have a hunch this is part of the slowdown. Sometimes I get a ton of "google play services has stopped" error messages until I reboot.

Comment: Re:No GPL (Score 1) 159 159

No one owes him anything. It may not matter to the GPL'd code's author whether this guy wants to use it in his own code or not. There are lots of reasons for writing code.

It's absolutely not a stupid line. The guy who GPL'd the code wrote it so he can do what he wants with it. That is his right. Surely this other developer can write his own code too? Of course GPL'd people don't use that line with end users. After all they are free to use the software however they see fit. That's what the GPL says.

As for toybox, llvm, etc. Good for them. Competition is a good thing. LLVM rejuvenated the stagnant GCC project. As for busybox vs toybox, toybox certainly is the better choice if the company doesn't know how to comply with the GPL or is too lazy to do so. For too long companies thought open source, particularly "free software" mean public domain. It does not, regardless of license. There are obligations under copyright law for all source code licenses, even proprietary ones like MS's royalty-free runtime redistribution licenses.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 806 806

I can't believe you would say these things and advocate killing more innocents, even if you're just playing devils advocate! And you got modded up too. But even worse you pass judgements on individuals you know nothing about.

I guess you haven't read up on the drone pilot news lately then. Burn-out is super high because drone pilots do have consciences. One guy talked[1] about being ordered to fire on some bad guys, shooting a missile at them, and then watching as one of them bled to death in the sand. On IR camera he could see the guy slowly get cold. That was more traumatic than you and I know. The effects of this and other incidences on this pilot have led to debilitating emotional difficulties. And that's not an uncommon experience.

Now this same pilot, had he been over in Afghanistan, in the thick of things, and under real danger and fire could have killed without remorse. The justification would be as much self defense as anything. But far removed from the action, the trauma of killing was much much more intense. And then going home afterward to a "normal" life with the wife an kids just amplifies the trauma for many personnel.

If you want to target the inhuman American war machine, go ahead. War crimes are war crimes, no doubt about it. But to claim drone pilots have no conscience is just wrong.


Comment: Re:No GPL (Score 4, Insightful) 159 159

You've been misinformed. I don't blame you, but you've apparently never read the GPL. It explicitly says:

You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.

Thus you are free to download and use it for any purpose, provided you do not redistribute it or derive software from it. Pretty clear.

Perhaps you meant to say there's a lot of GPL software you'd like to incorporate into your own software but you can't because of the license. You would be correct. And you won't get any sympathy either. As they say, write your own code!

Comment: Re:Welcome to reality (Score 1) 181 181

How do you figure? You say there have been
dozens of lawsuits. Please name a few. Because I can't think of any. I can think of arguments over look and feel and those were thrown out. I also know the DMCA specifically allows interoperability.

NVidia's may be in gray territory morally, but legally they are completely safe (at least they were before this rubbish). Their closed-source binary blob in no way links or even refers to kernel APIs. Instead the shim layer (which is GPL and distributed as source only) compiles against the kernel and then links to the blob. This is completely legal because the actual tainting is done by the end user, not NVidia. So no, their binary drivers are not "begging for a lawsuit."

The owner of the API certainly doesn't get to determine fair use. For that matter a copyright holder doesn't have the right to define this in general. Nor do third parties. They can claim fair use, but ultimately it's decided in court, which is what Google will rightly be arguing for.

I'm no Google fan, but your claims certainly don't stand up to recent history, and they aren't reflected in the law as written and interpreted up until now.

Comment: Re:It never worked properly anyway... (Score 1) 142 142

I've never had any luck with any of these streaming stick devices. The only thing that works for me a a full-blown computer connected to HDMI.

Of course there are bugs there too. It took Gigabyte two years to release a EFI firmware that fixed the HDMI audio bug where after turning off the TV, HDMI audio would disappear until you rebooted.

Comment: Re:The irony is ObamaCare is really 90s Republican (Score 1) 591 591

Depends. In the end he died as his health deteriorated. He was one of the lucky ones that had excellent healthcare insurance. So at worst there was no change for him, which was to be expected. For others I know, it has certainly been slightly better (not a whole lot better) as they finally have some health care coverage now.

I think ultimately the ACA will only improve things slightly. Had it been introduced in the 90s I think by now it would have worked a lot better. But things have deteriorated since then, and at best the ACA slows this deterioration slightly. Healthcare costs in the US are skyrocketing, with or without the ACA. Reform is going to have to cover a much wider aspect of the industry than just insurance. Had the republicans got onboard with the ACA, that would have gone a long ways to push the industry to accept some of this stuff as well. But the guys bringing out the ACA this time had the wrong jerseys on.

Across the entire globe, regardless of system, costs are climbing pretty rapidly while at the same time infrastructure of all kinds is crumbling. It's not going to be pretty.

Comment: Re:This problem needs a technical solution (Score 1) 268 268

As for the danger of a drone strike, we can safely say that the odds of losing lives and property from such a strike are not zero, even if they are small. However if drone kiddies would act in a rational and prudent manner and get their drones out of these restricted areas, those odds drop to zero. Thus it's stupid, utterly stupid, to allow these idiots to continue endangering life and property. It's a no brainer. I hope folks turn in these people and they get slapped with some heavy fines. And if an aircraft did in fact go down and hurt someone, I'd be completely in favor of a little jail time.

Comment: Post a reward for finding this guy (Score 2) 268 268

I guess it's time to post a significant reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who did this. Apparently just the news stories about how stupid this is isn't enough to dissuade these idiots. So a good stiff fine is needed, and his drone seized. Hopefully that would finally send a message. Time for someone to 'fess up and spread the word to others.

Being an RC airplane enthusiast myself, it angers me to see such lack of regard for the rights and property of others. It's exciting to see such technology but unfortunately the barrier to entry is now so low that people are able to act without thinking.

Comment: The irony is ObamaCare is really 90s Republican (Score 3, Insightful) 591 591

I find it interesting that the principles of the affordable care act were almost entirely conceived of and proposed by the Republican part back in the 90s in response to the Clinton health care reform initiative which failed. And no matter what they claim, a Republican administration in Mass (Romney) largely implemented much of the ACA on a state level and it worked very well indeed. Why it would suddenly become so repulsive to Republicans I do not know.

During the time of the passage of the ACA, my coworker, who was going through cancer treatment and other health issues read the bill in its entirety and he felt it was not at all perfect but it was better than what we had. A lot of the FUD going around (still is) was just that. He was comfortable with the bill as passed, even if the majority of congress critters seemed to not be familiar with it. I'm glad the supreme court upheld it. It the Republicrats want to get rid of it, they need to do it the proper way, and replace it with something better. No, going back to the status quo will not work. If they would propose a better, more equitable plan, I would support it. But so far they seem to be offering absolutely nothing. If they manage to get the White House, it will be over a campaign promise to roll things back to the good old days and then do absolutely nothing. The last part sounds good actually.

During the FUD and absolute crap going around during the passage of the ACA, many people talked about socialized systems in other countries (who was it that said they'd move to Canada to get away from the ACA?). The irony of all that is that between the VA, Medicare, and Medicaid, the US gov't runs the largest socialized healthcare system in the world. And it's one of the most expensive. Maybe the gov't should merge them all together into one program, and then require all federal employees, including elected officials and the president and all his advisors to use it as their primary health care insurance provider and system. You can bet all the problems would clear up in a a matter of months! And it just might end up being a really good program.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 175 175

But it's not your risk to take, nor the drone kiddie's right to take that risk. You honestly think people should be "free" to fly drones in a reckless manner that endangers the lives of others, particularly passengers on an aircraft? That's a strange idea of "freedom." What about the freedom of the pilots already risking their lives to fight the fire? What about the freedom of people just wanting to travel safely from point a to point b. Surely the pilot's freedom to fly how they need to to fight a fire overrides the freedom of some drone kiddie to get a cool look at the fire.

  Look I never said we should ban drones, UAVs, or RC aircraft. And if people would use them responsibly then we wouldn't need to regulate any part of it. But people seem incapable of understanding where the limits of their own freedom are and what their responsibilities in a free society are. Consequently regulations will come. Even ones that really do take away one's freedoms even more so.

Are you going to argue that people should be able to drive their cars anywhere they want with no regard for traffic signals, lane markings, etc? Cause it's freedom. Are you going to say, as long as they are not hitting other cars it's okay?

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 175 175

This sort of comment infuriates me. The fact is that flying any sort of aircraft is risky and lives are on the line, moreso with aerial fire fighting. Any risk that can be eliminated should be. A drone may be small and unlikely to damage full scale aircraft but why take that risk? To do so is foolish and stupid. Like a lot of drone kiddies seem to be. Keeping idiots with their drones away from airports, highways, fire fighting, etc should be done because it's the smart and prudent thing to do.

Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules. Corollary: Following the rules will not get the job done.