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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment Re:This seems illogical. (Score 1) 286

I think it's time we mandate autonomous driving systems in all cars from 2020 and replace the dashboard with a toy driving wheel, lots of blinkenlights, and a high powered combustion engine sound simulator. I can almost hear Jeremy Clarkson: "What do you mean I'm not really in charge? That was the best lap time I ever had!"

Comment Re: (Score 1) 407

Damn right. You buy insurance against composers breaking your knees and still have to deal with performers, distributors, owners of mechanical rights, and all the other thugs. It's nothing but a blank media levy on the Internet. Free money for them, nothing for us.

Comment Good for consumers? (Score 1) 99

The conditions required by the DoJ may be good for Internet video companies, and the government undoubtedly is very proud of itself now for balancing everyone's interests, but is the merger good for consumers? In the 70s for instance Sony fought for their right to sell video recorders, and incidentally people's right to buy and own such devices. Today Sony is a content producer themselves, and instead of fighting digital restrictions they cripple their own devices above and beyond legal limits such as the expiration of copyrights, fair use, or the first sale doctrine. What can we expect from Comcast becoming a member of the MPAA?

Comment Re: virgin birth without purpose (Score 1) 313

The virgin birth served the same purpose as all miraculous births in literature and religion, to foreshadow a mythical character, a chosen one. What's more, in "Revenge" Darth Sidious shares a story of one Darth Plagueis who "was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying." To me at least this strongly hinted that Plagueis engineered Anakin, using Shmi as an unwitting vessel, and this untold backstory was one of the reasons Lucas introduced midi-chlorians. Still, to prop up the mythical elements of Star Wars with factual explanations was a poor decision. As for fishy, Shmi was sold to Cliegg Lars (father of Owen, who later raised Luke) shortly after Anakin left Tattoine, who freed her and married her. She died in Episode II before the Clone Wars began, with the Battle of Geonosis and the clash of Yoda and Dooku.

Comment Re:It's not about the card (Score 1) 377

4. Records might be data-mined for "patterns of suspicious activity" to detect criminals. This might produce false positives.

It will produce false positives. Say you have a database of 60 millon people, 100,000 of which are criminals. If the system is 99% accurate it will correctly identify 99,000 criminals and accuse 600,000 innocent people of being criminals.

Generally speaking, if the ratio of law abiding citizens to criminals is r, then r innocent people will be wrongly accused for every criminal the system misses, regardless how accurate the system is. To reduce the false results it can only become more and more intrusive, making us all jailbirds.

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga