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


Forgot your password?
Last Chance - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Look at the incentives and likely outcomes (Score 1) 85

Companies' fear of large fines from regulators: incentivizes companies to skirt around regulation
Companies' fear of class-action lawsuits: incentivizes lawyers to pursue cases without actually benefiting victims much
Companies' fear of reputation loss: this is only the case if incidents are rare
Harsher punishment for ID thieves: incentivizes thieves to hide better or not commit a crime
Harsher penalties for individuals' security gaffes: how do you even propose to do this?
Individuals' vigilance with password & data security: need to provide incentive for this, especially when personal responsibility is diminishing
Nothing much: it's just an inevitable tide to endure: only the best option if all of the other options are likely to make the situation worse

I'm going with harsher punishment. While people do need to be more aware, the key is to create incentives for thieves to NOT steal. In an ideal world, the punishment for a crime should be strictly greater than the expected value of committing the crime (of course conditioned on the probability of false conviction). Obviously, such things are not easy to measure...

Submission + - Porsche chooses Apple over Google because Google wants too much data (

countach44 writes: As reported in number 5 of this list from Motor Trend, Porsche went with Apple over Google for the infotainment system in its new 911. Apparently, Android Auto wants vehicle data (throttle position, speed, coolant temp, etc...) whereas Apple Play only needs to know if the car is in motion. Speculation is around what Google, as a company building its own car, wants that data for.

Comment Re:So paying more in the long run is better? (Score 2) 53

I think the argument here is that it's cheaper than keeping the legacy power hungry stuff. Cheaper in the long run than owning the LEDs? Definitely not, because the lessor is making a profit somewhere.
If you don't have the capital to invest in purchasing your own stuff and switching over, however, it seems like this is a reasonable option.

Comment This could work well for them (Score 2) 113

I think people would be surprised how many users still want a decent android phone with a keyboard. I still have my droid4. It is not uncommon for me to get comments from strangers like "wow, I wish I still had a phone like that" whenever I'm typing away. Good on BlackBerry if they can pull it off, I know I'm not alone in hoping this isn't a rumor.

Comment Re:what? (Score 1) 398

Your doleta link talks about the WARN act, which requires advance notice of mass layoffs or plant closings, not severance pay. Did you link to the wrong thing?

It was originally legislated to protect workers from factory closure, but applies to many workers who get laid off without notice. Severance (though not in that name) is mandated in the Penalties section when due notice is not given: "An employer who violates the WARN provisions by ordering a plant closing or mass layoff without providing appropriate notice is liable to each aggrieved employee for an amount including back pay and benefits for the period of violation, up to 60 days."

I realize that the large severance pay typically given to IT employees is not intended to comply with this law (though it would would prove satisfactory in cases where WARN applies, should anyone investigate), but merely wanted to point out that it exists.

Comment Re:what? (Score 3, Informative) 398

Actually, depending on the terms of the dismissal (particularly how much notice is given), severance pay is not a benefit in the US, but required by law - In many of these cases, however, they're basically offering you that 3months+ of pay to be quiet (among other things). Even "I worked for a tech company that I'll not name, and was laid off when they hired foreign workers" may be in violation of the terms, especially when you start to ponder the strength of their legal team vs. yours.

Submission + - Pope says evolution doesn't mean there's no God ( 1

SternisheFan writes: In an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope explains that God is not some sort of wizard.

by Chris Matyszczyk CNET @ChrisMatyszczyk October 27, 2014 10:56 AM PDT

The pope says evolution is valid, as long as God is the beginning.

Arguments around creation and evolution sometimes seem too similar to "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?"

Science and religion get placed on either side of a spectrum, with a section in the middle for those who'd like to hedge their bets.

On Monday, the pope outlined his belief with respect to God and evolution. Speaking to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis insisted that there was no reason to believe that God and evolution were somehow incompatible.

It's just, he suggested, that God came first.

He said, according to Breitbart's translation: "Evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve." Though God is, he said, no wizard, he's still at the heart of all things, because he's the creator of all things.

The pope explained that God "created beings and let them develop in accordance with the internal laws that He has given to each one, so that they could arrive at their fulfillment," according to the translation.

The pope's views differ radically from those of some eminent scientists, such as Stephen Hawking. Hawking recently made it clear that he dismisses the idea of God. He said: "Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation."

Submission + - Speed cameras in Chicago earn $50M less than expected (

countach44 writes: From the article: "Chicagoans are costing the city tens of millions of dollars -– through good behavior." The City of Chicago recently installed speed cameras near parks and schools as part of the "Children's Safety Zone Program," claiming a desire to decrease traffic-related incidents in those area. The city originally budgeted (with the help of the company providing the system) to have $90M worth of income from the cameras — of which only $40M is now expected. Furthermore, the city has not presented data on whether or not those areas have become safer.

Comment Re:Well that's random (Score 5, Informative) 99

I apologize that I don't have time to construct a proper reply, but this article gives a nice explanation of how majorana fermions can be used to make qubits (hopefully it's not paywalled, but I'm on a university network so it's hard for me to tell):

Comment Longer yellows could be a solution (Score 1) 579

In some cities, the combination of red-light cameras and shorter yellow lights encourage looking at the timers. I know I'm extremely guilty of this, but feel like I wouldn't have enough time to stop if I didn't. Many drivers are more concerned with getting tickets than driving safely - not a good incentive if you ask me.

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner