Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Is it finally happening? (Score 3, Interesting) 111

The end game that Intel is considering is everyone running Windows 10 or 11 on their phones using Intel processors. Android can go run on whatever cheap architecture is out there, but if you want to run full-on Windows, you'll have Intel and pay a premium. Or at least, that's what Intel hopes.

The hardware is getting fast enough to put Windows on a phone. The Dell Venue 8 Pro is over a year old and runs Windows 8.1 in a small form factor on an old Intel Baytrail. It's not a far leap to expect a Windows phablet about the size of a Galaxy Note 4 that runs freaking Windows. Windows RT got eaten up by Windows 8. Windows Phone will eventually get eaten up by Windows 8 as well.

Docking will be wireless and easy. Just walk up to a BT keyboard/mouse and connect to a Miracast device. If your phone supports wireless charging, just drop your phone on the charging pad. Are you afraid that you'll lose your data if you lose your phone? Don't worry! Use Microsoft OneDriveâ"it's 100 GB free for two years! (Don't ask how much it'll cost later.)

Is Intel cost-competitive with other mobile solutions? Probably not. But why chase commodity markets on SoCs when you can ride along the Windows/Office monopoly?

Comment: Re:Live by the sword... (Score 4, Informative) 186

by darkmeridian (#49127395) Attached to: Jury Tells Apple To Pay $532.9 Million In Patent Suit

Apple files a bunch of crazy patents and design patents (such as for the curves of their phone) but at least they sell products. Trolls that simply buy up patents to sue people with are a much worse problem because they aren't contributing anything to society. They are basically rent-seekers who glom off the efforts of others.

Just the same, I agree with you 100% that Apple bought into the game, made the game expensive, and then now cannot complain about the game.

Comment: These Guys Are Fucking Geniuses (Score 3, Interesting) 115

You can hate the NSA all you want, but I have to tip my cap at their utter genius.

Beyond the technical similarities to the Stuxnet and Flame developers, Equation Group boasted the type of extraordinary engineering skill people have come to expect from a spy organization sponsored by the world's wealthiest nation. One of the Equation Group's malware platforms, for instance, rewrote the hard-drive firmware of infected computersâ"a never-before-seen engineering marvel that worked on 12 drive categories from manufacturers including Western Digital, Maxtor, Samsung, IBM, Micron, Toshiba, and Seagate.

The malicious firmware created a secret storage vault that survived military-grade disk wiping and reformatting, making sensitive data stolen from victims available even after reformatting the drive and reinstalling the operating system. The firmware also provided programming interfaces that other code in Equation Group's sprawling malware library could access. Once a hard drive was compromised, the infection was impossible to detect or remove.

Comment: Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard (Score 4, Insightful) 129

by darkmeridian (#49021633) Attached to: The Technologies That Betrayed Silk Road's Anonymity

I think the knee-jerk response is to say that the problem exists between the chair and keyboard. Just reading the article makes it impossible to draw another conclusion. He was nabbed in a public library before he had a chance to turn his laptop off so nothing was encrypted. Similarly, ARE YOU TAKING NOTES ON A CRIMINAL FUCKING CONSPIRACY? Why would you ever keep data in plain text even if the hard drive is encrypted? I am not expecting the FBI to raid me at any time, but just out of caution, I have my computer encrypted using Bitlocker (yeah, I know) and all data at rest is stuck in a hidden TrueCrypt partition. If I want to access it, I have to sign in separately. But most hilariously, he had a stupid freaking Facebook page that linked him directly to his true identity and Silk Road.

However, this only underscores how difficult it is to have operational security for any complex business. At some point, he needs to keep track of all transactions, with reasonably easy access. It's a pain in the ass for me to repeatedly log in and access data. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to conduct business. I guess the bottom line is that physical security is crucial.

Comment: Re:Their buying clout alone should end this deal. (Score 1) 105

by darkmeridian (#48980341) Attached to: Staples To Buy Office Depot For $6.3 Billion

This shouldn't be a problem with Staples would be competing with other big freaking businesses. Costco, Amazon, Newegg, and Walmart are all competitors with Staples for office supplies. If Staples decided to jack up the price, then consumers wouldn't wait to move their business. And if Staples wanted to play hardball with their vendors, then the vendors would simply take their business to other outlets. I buy lots of paper, toner, and K-Cups. Hammermill, Brother, and Keurig aren't going to get pushed around by anyone.

Comment: Re:Great (Score 3, Insightful) 105

by darkmeridian (#48980305) Attached to: Staples To Buy Office Depot For $6.3 Billion

I am a small business owner, and I have to say that this is not the case. The Internet is the great equalizer. I can buy toner and paper online from NewEgg, Amazon, Costco, W.B. Mason, or Walmart. If Staples decided to jack up the prices, then I'd simply order somewhere else. I don't like splitting up my vendors, either. If I order toner and paper from one company, then I'm usually going to take my coffee and other stationery business somewhere else. The vendors all know this so they're always trying to use paper as a loss-leader to get your business on the other items.

Comment: Diet and Exercise (Score 3, Insightful) 958

by darkmeridian (#48969193) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

Science has been inconsistent on diet. However, it's hard to blame science for fat people because science has basically said that you have to: (1) count calories; (2) eat fruits and vegetables; and (3) exercise. On the margins, science might be wrong on moderate alcohol consumption, healthy fats, etc. But the average America is fat because they're not exercising, and eating ridiculous amounts of unhealthy foods that scientists have always said was dangerous as fuck.

Don't forget that scientists discovered the link between smoking and lung cancer.

Comment: Re:Last 2 planes? (Score 1) 293

by darkmeridian (#48935159) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

Apparently, the 747 lost its market-share to twin-jets such as the 777 and the Airbus 320 when the smaller jets were able to fly just as far as the 747. There are international standards on how far you can be from a landing strip based on the presumed flight time of your engines. The 747 has four engines, which was, for a while, necessary to maintain that rating. However, better technology allowed smaller twinjets to have similarly high ratings.

I agree, however, that the 747 will be around for a super long time even if manufacture stops right away. There are just so many of them out there, and Boeing makes a lot of money supporting them.

Comment: Re:Not going to disappear quickly.... (Score 4, Informative) 293

by darkmeridian (#48935141) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

Based on Wikipedia, the freighter variant of the 747-8 is unexpectedly popular. The 747 already dominates the civilian air freighter market so it's a good bet the 747-8 will be around for a very long time, if only due to the numerous freighter versions being operated around the world.

Comment: Re:Change for change's sake (Score 1) 214

by darkmeridian (#48926031) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

Microsoft is being audacious in unifying the tablet and PC operating systems. The changes in Windows 8/Windows 10 is necessary to this end. Windows 7/Vista are painful with a touchscreen. I think we should recognize what Microsoft is trying to do is very daring. I don't see Android trying to reach the desktop (other than through the browser) and I don't see Apple unifying iOS and MacOS.

I won't be surprised if we're all running full-blown Windows on our phones within five years. Processors keep getting smaller, more powerful, and more power efficient. Phones are also getting bigger. By the end of 2016, Intel is supposed to have Skylake matured, which is a 14 nm processor with a system on chip option. By 2020, we'll see Intel going to a 10 nm or even 7 nm. Similar trends are being paralleled with regard to SSDs and RAM.

At the same time, all the major players are trying to make the PC wireless. Intel's Skylake is supposed to move the ball forward on wireless docking. We have a wireless recharging standard already. So by next year, we'll see devices being docked without wires. Once that technology matures, we'll have phones powerful enough to run Windows and MS Office that we can dock without any wires.

The vision of the future that Microsoft envisions is one where we carry around a phone that is powerful enough to be a desktop replacement for most office users. If all you do is word process and check your email, then you can be on the go all the time. Android and iOS should be concerned because Microsoft may be getting into mobile in a very big way should this vision come to pass, and that's why Microsoft is willing to take a risk on Windows 8, Windows 10, and other attempts to bring Windows onto mobile.

Comment: Re:Implement locally? (Score 1) 145

by darkmeridian (#48925407) Attached to: How One Small Company Blocked 15.1 Million Robocalls Last Year

I use Root Call Blocker on Android. It hacks the phone sub-system so that calls you do not want to receive do not even register on the phone system. RCB picks up the call and then hangs up. Your phone doesn't ring, and the caller get to voice mail, and no one is wiser. I have nothing to do with RCB other than a satisfied user.

Comment: Re:Umm... (Score 1) 80

by darkmeridian (#48905741) Attached to: SpaceX, US Air Force Settle Spy Sat Dispute

The FTC authorized the merger as long as some terms in a consent degree were followed by both parties. It's very possible that the FTC just said "yeah, whatever the Pentagon wants" and waved it through. But to be honest, I'm not sure if keeping the two companies separate would have been any more efficient. It's already a duopoly with a single, captive buyer, and there's no way that one provider is going to charge much less than the other guy. It's like the airlines. One company set its rates on Monday, and on Tuesday, everyone else sets the same rates.

It also sounds like Boeing and Lockheed Martin was suing their crap out of each other before joining the ULA. If you look at the KC-X program to provide an aeriel refueling plane to succeed the KC-135, lawsuits can keep a program from going forward for years. The Air Force/Pentagon/Boeing/Lockheed/FTC might have just looked at all this horseshit, and said, screw it.

Comment: Re:Let's hope (Score 1) 253

by darkmeridian (#48879747) Attached to: IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

The IRS has always promulgated regulations after Congress passes a statute. This is not unique in our growing administrative law state. Congress may tell the Patent Office to allow patents. Then the Patent Office, which is more specialized than Congress, will work out the details in the form of regulations. The same is true of the IRS.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie