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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment Re:3.5mm? (Score 2) 335

Meh. Keep the 3.5mm connector, shrink the rest of the phone down,and fill the remaining space with extra battery. Seriously, how much thinner do phones need to be? I'd prefer some extra battery life, thanks.

Agreed! The phone is already too thin to hold onto without a case right now.

Also, Apple could just make a new 1.5mm female connector jack that was thinner than existing ones. For example, the female conductor could only contact some of the male connector on two sides, not all the way around. But I'm sure it's more profitable for Apple to have us buy their marked up new male connectors...

Comment Re:drunk drivers (Score 1) 350

Mountview cops have been known to pull drivers over who are going too slow because they suspect they are drunk drivers who are being extra careful to avoid being pulled over by the cops. If you are in a bar late at night in Mountview someone will often warn you don't drive too slow when you drive home.

And for those of you who don't get out of Mountain View very often, the police do this everywhere in the world.

They'll often pull you over for speeding with the intent letting you off with a warning if you don't qualify for a for a larger infraction (drinking, drugs, warrants).

It lets you know that they're out there, doesn't alienate the public as much as giving frivolous speeding tickets does, and gives them an opportunity to catch people that are doing things more egregious than speeding.

Comment Re:Catastrophic Failure? (Score 1) 196

Let's translate:

FTFA: "Raytheon, the contractor that makes the blimps, says the cable is unlikely to break.

"The chance of that happening is very small because the tether is made of Vectran and has withstood storms in excess of 100 knots," the company said on its website.

Clearly this was a terrorist attack by mother nature, because since our product has never failed in any previous storm it would not fail in a future storm. Due to this attack, more blimps are needed to protect the existing blimps.

"However, in the unlikely event it does happen, there are a number of procedures and systems in place which are designed to bring the aerostat down in a safe manner.""

For example, gravity will bring the aerostat down safely, eventually. In addition to gravity, we may also use F-16's to shoot it down, but only over Canada.

Comment Re:Great 5 stars! (Score 1) 203

You have to be biased against walmart to feel that way. It's just like any other supermarket. Maybe whole foods makes you feel better because they give you the impression that what you're eating there is healthier (spoiler: It's not. I've worked for a major food distributor and we sold them the same stuff we sold walmart when they ordered the same category of items.) The only difference is whole foods refuses to carry certain foods citing health concerns (though there's no actual scientific basis behind their ban list) ...

Dude, I don't know what you smoked or Kool-Aid you drank at the company you worked at, but Walmart's produce and meats look like they came from Whole Food's dumpsters.

They are also a parasitic company that moves into an area, lowers their prices to drive other retailers out of business, and then raises their prices once they have established a monopoly.

Some people place their morals above their bottom line, and that is why they are biased against Walmart.

Comment Re: Star's rapid change in mass? (Score 2) 67

I've forgotten enough college physics to be unable to say what the expected effect on the planet is due to the combined effects of the force of expulsion and the reduced mass of the central star on the planet's orbit should be (does it move in or out, etc).

Ah, I still remember that extremely painful integration in BC Calculus.

The planet's orbit increases due to the decrease in stellar mass: F = G M1 M2 / r^2 . (The stellar mass expanded around the planet will asymptotically cancel itself out as the mass expansion radius grows large relative to the planet's orbit.)

It's tricky to mentally model the effect of force expulsion on the planet. But if it interacted significantly with the planet, it would have forced it radially outwards with a relatively short impulse, which would result in a more elliptical orbit. It also could have induced drag on the planet's orbit during the expulsion time and the star's expansion phase, slowing the planet. But that effect would have been minimal compared to the mass reduction due to the low density of the star's outer layers.

Of course, it could also scorch the heck out of the planet's surface.

Comment Re:Because evolution doesn't exist (Score 1) 120

> It's still better than the alternative.

No no no, we definitely do NOT know that. Wiping out one population makes way for others that will definitely take up the niche. Those are currently being outcompeted by the existing population, but if you kill that off, that 1% remaining gets the whole thing to itself. This is what drives evolution.

So the question is, and always should be, whether or not those 1% are more benign *to us* than the 99% we currently have. Bacteria don't measure their success based on what happens to us, only what happens to them. Its very possible that the ones that are unsuccessful against other bacteria are perfectly successful in attacking us.

You have to be careful with these things, as the continual stream of stories right here on /. note. We have been putting anti-bacterial crap in everything around us, and now we are seeing the outcome of those decisions. Are we better off than in 1940? Absolutely yes. Are we better off than 1985? That is highly debatable.

You're right!

But by that logic, we should stop brushing our teeth, right?

Comment Re:omg we're losing our skillz (Score 1) 242

I can't speak for everyone but I have these type features in my car (adaptive cruise, lane assist, proximity warnings, blind spot detection, etc) and I can say without a doubt for me it surely hasn't made me a better driver. I get into my other car without all of that and find myself making noob driving mistakes (not checking blind spots, not keeping consistent speed, much longer parallel parking, etc). It's actually kind of unnerving at how fast I came to rely on the car to do these tasks for me.

I haven't seen any studies so maybe I'm just a goof but I consciously try not to rely on those things because I don't want to forget how to actually drive.

Maybe the cars with these advanced sensors need to condition their drivers to prevent this loss of awareness.

Every time your car catches you doing something wrong, it should not only alert you, but also electrically shock you!

Comment Re:Guaranteed to put stress on any car? As if. (Score 1) 130

Having driven on the autobahn it's probably the easiest place to try something like this. Everyone there already moves like robots. It's like some lawmakers figured out an "API" for how to communicate between vehicles.

I want to see it done around Chicago where it's "surprise, I'm coming into your lane".

Or Boston, where the only way to change lanes is to pretend that you're driving drunk, so that everyone will back off!

Comment Re:Actually ... (Score 4, Informative) 35

Pretty much this. I've been confused as to why this was an issue ever since it was. The navy *HATES* to go active on sonar, as it instantly gives away your position at a distance far longer than you'll get any information back. Active sonar is reserved for localizing a target that's close-in immediately before firing a torpedo, and often not even then. They also have a special high-frequency sonar specifically for under-ice operations. But for general searching in the open ocean? It's all passive. (My dad was a sonar guy almost his entire 20; starting out in GUPPYs all the way up through 688s.)

If you read the article, (I know, I know...) you would have learned that the Navy uses active sonar and explosives during training exercises to practice combat tactics.

(You probably could have also figured this out yourself since you appear to be a pro at sonar.)

So yes, you would use passive detection techniques hunting another sub, and then switch to active sonar just before firing a simulated torpedo at a simulated target. This is why they are only limiting their use near Hawaii and the US coast... because we generally don't do a lot of sub attacks in that region. However, when the Navy is training, they generally like to do it in a safe area that will not alarm other countries and where they can respond to accidents quickly... which is why they were doing it near the US coast.

Comment How to make a terrorist. (Score 1) 657

Smart motivated kids like this become terrorists when you alienate them from your society for doing something they are proud of... like showing off their cool, benign project.

I love the police chief's refusal to admit any mistake as well:
'“We live in an age where you can’t take things like that to school,” he said. “Of course we’ve seen across our country horrific things happen, so we have to err on the side of caution.”'

Well heck, let's just stop going to school.


C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]