Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



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

Comment: Not likely to happen (Score 3, Insightful) 105 105

Smart homes and appliances have been the promise of the future for decades. And, for the past fifteen years or so, we've had all the technology that we need in order to achieve this. The problem is that the big players all want to own the workflow. You'll have to have a separate flipping app for everything you want to control. For the oven manufacturer, these features will be less about you having a more useful cooking tool, and more about a marketing deal with the software company that requires you operate the features through their walled garden. Sure, we'll have pockets of innovation, and even a few outliers that get it right, but I don't see it becoming anything more than a hodge podge of spotty functionality.. At least for the next decade or so.

The solution will likely come from AI that can control those devices intelligently the way humans do, without waiting around for a standard protocol / interface.

Movies

Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use 255 255

Bennett Haselton writes: Vimeo and Youtube are pressured to remove a dark, fan-made "Power Rangers" short film; Vimeo capitulated, while Youtube has so far left it up. I'm generally against the overreach of copyright law, but in this case, how could anyone argue the short film doesn't violate the rights of the franchise creator? And should Vimeo and Youtube clarify their policies on the unauthorized use of copyrighted characters? Read on for the rest.

Comment: Probably short sighted. (Score 2) 166 166

If we survive as a society, in 500 years, our technology will be so advanced there will be systems we cannot even conceive of that capable of analyzing pretty much any data or bytecode you throw at it. Documentation or support systems will most likely serve a more historical than practical purpose.

Communications

Your High School Wants You To Install Snapchat 157 157

Bennett Haselton writes: They would never admit it, but your high school admins would probably breathe a sigh of relief if all of their sexting-mad students would go ahead and install Snapchat so that evidence of (sometimes) illegal sexting would disappear into the ether. They can't recommend that you do this, because it would sound like an implicit endorsement, just like they can't recommend designated drivers for teen drinking parties -- but it's a good bet they would be grateful. Read on for the rest.
Transportation

Why Didn't Sidecar's Flex Pricing Work? 190 190

Bennett Haselton writes Sidecar is a little-known alternative to Lyft and Uber, deployed in only ten cities so far, which lets drivers set their own prices to undercut other ride-sharing services. Given that most amateur drivers would be willing to give someone a ride for far less than the rider would be willing to pay, why didn't the flex-pricing option take off? Keep reading to see what Bennet has to say.
Twitter

An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration 162 162

Bennett Haselton writes The corruption of the #Ferguson and #Gamergate hashtags demonstrates how vulnerable the hashtag system is to being swamped by an "angry mob". An alternative algorithm could be created that would allow users to post tweets and browse the ones that had been rated "thoughtful" by other users participating in the same discussion. This would still allow anyone to contribute, even average users lacking a large follower base, while keeping the most stupid and offensive tweets out of most people's feeds. Keep reading to see what Bennett has to say.
Math

Big Talk About Small Samples 246 246

Bennett Haselton writes: My last article garnered some objections from readers saying that the sample sizes were too small to draw meaningful conclusions. (36 out of 47 survey-takers, or 77%, said that a picture of a black woman breast-feeding was inappropriate; while in a different group, 38 out of 54 survey-takers, or 70%, said that a picture of a white woman breast-feeding was inappropriate in the same context.) My conclusion was that, even on the basis of a relatively small sample, the evidence was strongly against a "huge" gap in the rates at which the surveyed population would consider the two pictures to be inappropriate. I stand by that, but it's worth presenting the math to support that conclusion, because I think the surveys are valuable tools when you understand what you can and cannot demonstrate with a small sample. (Basically, a small sample can present only weak evidence as to what the population average is, but you can confidently demonstrate what it is not.) Keep reading to see what Bennett has to say.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (5) All right, who's the wiseguy who stuck this trigraph stuff in here?

Working...