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:These days... (Score 2) 892

It exists because you've got two parties with two different goals. One wants to get paid as much as possible, the other wants to acquire something for as little as possible.

All monetary transactions are like that. Yet we don't negotiate for toothpaste, gas, etc.

Negotiations helps both sides find the middle ground that is acceptable in transactions where the stakes are high enough to be worth the trouble. Which side of that middle band the deal lands on depends on the skill of the negotiators. In the case of hiring, "no negotiation" means the employer needs to make a better first offer than with negotiation because there is plan B if the candidate refuses the first offer.

Comment: Re:Hmm... (Score 4, Interesting) 83

by erice (#49432903) Attached to: Patent Case Could Shift Power Balance In Tech Industry

Can't say I'm rooting for either party here, but I hate the idea of SEPs in general... If a method is literally the only permitted way to do a thing, should it be patentable?

If there is only one way to do it, then it is a fact of nature and can not be patented. Also, if the standard has been published, that counts as prior art so no new patents can be applied there. However if I choose to create a standard that requires your existing patent, why should that give me the power to invalidate your patent?

Standards bodies usually try to avoid patents but this is often not practical because there are so many patents and the best solution is often patented.

Comment: Re:What the fuck sort of unit.. (Score 1) 143

What the fuck sort of unit is an Oklahoma? Or a square mile?

A perplexing one for those who know anything about Oklahoma. Oklahoma is not known for heavy tree cover. Most of it is naturally grass land with quite few trees. According to Wikipedia, forest covers 24% of Oklahoma in the present day. I've heard it claimed (having difficulty finding authoritative sources) that this is consequences of numerous artificial lakes changing the climate and that originally there were fewer trees.

Comment: Limited 3D, limited scaling (Score 4, Informative) 42

by erice (#49358251) Attached to: Toshiba Announces 3D Flash With 48 Layers

It is excellent tech but they can't stack the cells indefinitely. The approach uses pillars of cells with no cross wiring. All the control circuitry is in one plane at the bottom. This makes it cheap because they only have to mask and etch once: all the way down to the planer circuitry on the bottom. The downside is you can only go so high before the control circuitry can no longer detect the signal from the top layers They could add another layer of control circuitry but the principle cost of making a chip is the masking and etching so it may be just as cheap (and definitely easier) to just make two chips.

Comment: Re:AI isn't taking over (Score 2) 294

by erice (#49329783) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Now Afraid of AI Too, Just Like Elon Musk

All the doom-n-gloomers miss what's really going on. AI isn't taking over - we're redesigning ourselves. Once viable non-biological emulation of our existing mind becomes possible, people will choose to migrate themselves onto that. Humans will upgrade. The end of biology will be a matter of consumer preference.

Strong AI and uploading are nearly orthogonal. Some possibilities:

1) Strong AI happens but no practical method of extracting a mind from a biological brain is found. The only machine intelligences are purely artificial.
2) Strong AI and a practical method of extracting a mind from a biological brain is found but technologies are incompatible. At best, the machine can emulate a biological mind very slowly.
3) A practical method of uploading a human intelligence onto a machine is found but strong AI is not solved. The only machine hosted intelligences are uploads.
4) Strong AI is not solved. Uploading is available but uploads are slower or otherwise inferior to running on a biological brain.
5) Neither strong AI or uploading are solved. The discussion continues until the end of days.

Comment: Re:and what will happen to people automated out of (Score 1) 341

by erice (#49295465) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

The REAL problem is twofile: (1) that we are no longer creating new, higher-paying jobs to replace those that were automated away, and (2) that the benefits of increased productivity per worker haven't been shared by the workers for 40 years.

The REAL problem is that you can't imagine what you could possibly ever do without a 'job'.

That's a secondary problem. Most people worry about how they would *survive* without the paycheck that comes from having a job.

Comment: Re:Waste of time (Score 1) 253

by erice (#49288341) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Building a Home Media Center/Small Server In a Crawlspace?

Dear Slashdot, I have a 1 and a 3 and I need add them and make 5. How can I add them together to get 5? Please don't tell me 1+3=4. I need it to be 5.

There's zero fucking reason to put an HTPC in a crawl space. Get a small machine and stick it by/behind the TV. Minimal power / video / network cabling, minimal worry of dust / moisture / temperature, minimal issues with connecting to a keyboard / mouse / remote, minimal issues with access when it needs to be physically powered on off (and it will), minimal cost, etc. They even have cases small enough that you can mount them on the TV's VESA mounting holes.

Oh, I can think of a reason: One or both members of the household has a strong sense of aesthetics and do not want anything resembling a computer in the living room.

In ran into this once with the girlfriend of the guy who owned the house I was living in. I was arranging speakers next to a big CRT TV. I noticed that the speakers interfered with the CRT, causing quite noticeable color distortion strong near the side and fading toward the center. I suggested moving the speakers out a foot as I found that this was enough to cure the distortion.

Her: "No, it looks better the other way"
Me: "But it doesn't work well"
Her: "keep the speakers close"

I gave up. Not my house and she watched the TV much more than I did.

The current current situation is probably considered acceptable only because the machine than drives it is a laptop and it gets packed away when not in use.

Comment: Re:Solar flares? (Score 2) 86

by erice (#49280985) Attached to: Most Powerful Geomagnetic Storm of Solar Cycle 24 Is Happening

wrong. a simple parity check can only correct one bit, most ECC memory is quite capable of multi bit flip correction through interleaving especially with neighbouring bits.

Parity can not correct any bits. It only detects single bit errors. While many ECC codes exist, the Hamming code overwhelmingly used in computer memories can correct one bit in a 64-bit word and detect two bit errors.

Comment: Re:Following instructions? (Score 1) 190

by erice (#49246253) Attached to: Powdered Alcohol Approved By Feds, Banned By States

it's just a polysaccharide with alcohol in it, the particular one they use can absorb 60% its weight in alcohol

So, how is this helpful for anything? If you want concentrated alcohol just do that. Sure, it's still liquid but it weighs 40% less than this powder and lightweight containment of liquids is a solved problem.

Sure, it might not taste good but reports are that the powder taste pretty bad too and involves otherwise unnecessary ingestion of questionable chemicals.

It looks to me like the only purpose is to make an end-run around liquor control laws. I'm sure the manufacturers banked on not paying the usual alcohol taxes either.

Comment: Re:Do it like the homestead act (Score 1) 115

by erice (#49222225) Attached to: SpaceX Worried Fake Competitors Could Disrupt Its Space Internet Plan

Ideally, you use congnitive radio and never grant exclusive use, only priority. If the priority user fails to show for X amount of time, another user can request the allocation as priority user. Cognitive radio implies a fair bit of spectral flexibility so they should be able to adapt to whatever is available fairly close to deployment time.

+ - Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "BBC News Reports

An unidentified attacker shot Mr Nemtsov four times in central Moscow, a source in the law enforcement bodies told Russia's Interfax news agency. He was shot near the Kremlin while walking with a woman, according to Russian-language news website Meduza. "Several people" had got out of a car and shot him, it added. Mr Nemtsov, 55, served as first deputy prime minister under the late President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, various sources report a massive gathering of protestors at the site of the shooting."

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye