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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Better transistors? (Score 5, Interesting) 228

So the plan to make transistors tolerate higher clock speeds by using better materials is not going to happen?

Yet another restating of Moore's Law? The thing gets revised to whatever the latest growth area is.

The original 1965 article it was about "component counts", then it was revised in a later talk to be "circuit density", then revised in 1975 to be "semiconductor complexity", then revised in the later '70s to be "circuit and device cleverness", has been restated yet again when serial devices flatlined in favor of highly parallel chips.

Assuming this goes through the chipset, it will likely be restated again in terms of whatever other factor on the chips continues to grow.

Comment Re:No use fighting it (Score 5, Insightful) 130

Movie companies would do a much better job if they stopped trying to squash any sort of piracy, and focused more on providing what people want, in the form they want, when they want it, at a convenient price.

There will always be a guy selling DVDs on the corner, frequently backed up by organized crime. I'm not so certain that people who are less committed to that lifestyle will be always there and impossible to stop. That ease of participation relies on freedoms are now taken for granted which I feel may well become very eroded in the future.

That misses the point.

If the companies provided what the consumers wanted, in the form they wanted, at a convenient price, the guy on the corner has no customers and goes to a different process. The content creators get paid for the content, the customers can enjoy the content, and everyone is happy. (As typical, customers would always prefer to pay less, producers would like to be paid more, but ultimately a happy balance can be reached if they honestly tried.)

Systems like netflix, hulu, dramafever, amazon video, they are getting closer to what the customers wants. In an even better world all those off-catalog shows, the crappy direct-to-DVD releases, these would also be available in the catalog rather than the constant Disney-esque vault where availability is intentionally reduced to get more coin.

The fact that they are present at all on Torrent systems is enough to let the companies know to add it to the catalogs. If I knew I could watch {popular title} from Redbox for a buck per day, or from some paid service where there are no scratched discs, and watch it on a web player on whatever device I want for a time period, sign me up.

Simply: If it is available in a torrent but not available in the authorized service, the authorized service is insufficient.

The company needs to stop providing insufficient service. When one business gives insufficient service, and another source offers the service, it is clear what will happen to the business. Adapt or die. These companies don't even need to go through the process of digitizing the works; when they discover what is on torrents but not in their catalog, put the ripped torrent version among their authorized versions. What happens when Disney finds a rip from some old VHS they haven't migrated? Instead of trying to shut it down, Disney should find the best ripped copy and put that among their (fully paid and properly authorized) products.

If everything were available through a proper, above board, fully legal paid service, and there was one place I could go to get yesterday's TV show, this week's big blockbuster release, reruns of my favorites from the last decade, reruns from the 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, and even all the old back catalog movies clear back to the 1920s when the Golden Age of Cinema started, then the guy at the corner selling bootleg copies would vanish. If the mere presence of a show on torrents was enough to get it added to the proper legal channels, then the need for them would precipitously drop.

It would not vanish completely, there are some people who refuse to pay anything and also refuse to find any friends to share passwords and accounts. If the legal version is immediately available to paying customers, at a convenient price, on a convenient location, viewable on a convenient device, the unsatisfied needs that drive torrented movies would drop off the radar.

Comment Re:The wall will be built (Score 1) 827

People keep fallaciously saying this... If it makes you feel better, by all means keep repeating it to yourself. You don't

1) Understand HOW a President gets elected (Seriously- if you mention "popular vote" in this context, you DO NOT KNOW.)
2) Understand that it's not what YOU wish, but what a lot of other people think that you clearly know nothing about.

While I didn't agree with the man's take on things, I thought Romney was going to take it because of anti-Dem fervor back then. Clearly I was wrong. Pontificating like you have here, you're likely to be that too. Just don't act shocked, pissed, etc. when it doesn't work out that way. I won't agree with you then and I won't have any sympathy either.

Comment Re:Remember the NASA Wind Turbines? (Score 1) 178

Current blades are trucked in one piece (per blade) which is impressive to see. Three of them were parked on I-5 outside of Patterson, California a few months ago. There are a lot of net videos and photos which convey the scale.

Even at the current size they can't get through many highway interchanges and local intersections. The larger ones won't be able to ship in one piece at all.

Comment Remember the NASA Wind Turbines? (Score 4, Interesting) 178

NASA Wind Turbines approached this scale in the '80's. Unfortunately, this was a previously-unexplored area of aerodynamics for NASA, and they had mechanical stress and noise problems (including subsonics) and were all demolished. I think there was one near Vallejo, CA being taken down when I got to Pixar in '87, and one in Boone, NC, which famously rattled windows and doors.

The art has since improved. I took a ride to the top of the turbine at Grouse Mountain, that was fun! That's the only one I have heard of where you can actually get to see it from the top.

Comment Starting out with the wrong assumptions (Score 2) 165

This is starting out with the wrong assumptions.

Design a brick system that can be produced with 3-D printers, and will hold together when fabricated within the tolerances of an SLA printer. Forget FDM, it's too low precision and SLA is already achieving an equal or lower cost of manufacture compared with FDM.

LEGO is manufactured to astonishingly high precision, but I am not convinced that this is the only way to make a brick system.

Comment Re:No comparison (Score 1) 132

Blue Origin will eventually have a two-stage rocket that can reach orbit (although they are planning on a much smaller payload than SpaceX for their first iteration). When the booster of that rocket lands without damage, they will duplicate what SpaceX has recently done, although in smaller scale.

Blue Origin to SpaceX at present is a sort of bicycle-to-automobile comparison if you account for the tremendous difference in energy and the application. So, I think there really is an intrinsic difference between the two of them.

If you want to say there's no intrinsic difference, then we need to look at Orbital's Stargazer and Pegasus, which have been carrying small payloads to orbit for years, and there's only been one Stargazer all of that time so there is no question that it's reusable. The only difference is that Stargazer lands horizontally.

We can then look at the B-52 and X-15 combination, in which both stages were reusable, a human was the payload, and we're going back to the late 1950's.

Comment Re:Intellectual sleight of hand. (Score 1) 298

See what you just did there?

"a PROPER marketplace with a PROPER government is NOT..."

No, no, I have it all wrong, you say.

"government...is involved in the marketplace to assure the soundness of the transactions...enforce contract law, stamp-out fraud, squash involuntary transactions...make sure the marketplace is essentially 'safe' and fair..."

Gosh, then you restate exactly what I said. Markets exist because governments create the conditions for their existence. You list a few conditions that you believe are essentially right for markets, but these are not natural laws, they are your value statements about what makes a "good" market, presumably one likely to benefit you. Even the values have to be defined and are culturally bound. Sound transactions. Enforcement of laws. Fraud. Involuntary transactions. Safe. Fair.

These, too, are social quantities, socially defined. What do you think governing bodies do all day as they debate? They argue about what these things mean and how they ought to be encoded as policy. And however they're encoded, someone is getting their way and someone else is not.

By the time you have a market, governments (read: societies) have already picked winners.

"Safe" is not a natural quantity that can be measured. Neither is "fair." All are matters of social deliberation and social construction. All are arguments won (or lost) by someone. All are winners already picked.

Claiming that your own preferences are somehow objective and right doesn't make it so. Nature doesn't make markets. People do.

Slashdot Top Deals

The universe is an island, surrounded by whatever it is that surrounds universes.