Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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: How does your math hold up when it's $3? (Score 1) 480

by jpiratefish (#49039785) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket
I don't know about your PowerBall setup - but the payout is when you do the power-play because that engages the multiplier - without it you cannot win the "monster payout" that is advertised. Those are $3 each. When I do play the lotto, I don't even waste my time with PowerBall @ $3 per ticket unless the jackpot is over $250m, and then I know I'm tossing my money away anyway.

Comment: Can you guys shorten this to the point? (Score 3, Insightful) 27

by jpiratefish (#48006009) Attached to: Sci-fi Predictions, True and False (Video 2)
This video and it's immediate predecessor might have some cool stuff in it, but frankly, the format, run length, Etc. is 100% totally boring. This could be likely summarized in a viral video with some just animation and summaries - seeing 3 people talk in an overlong video is more boring that reading while on the can.

Comment: Keys are not dead! Just ait till your fob dies.. (Score 1) 865

by jpiratefish (#46922643) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?
So my first two keyless cars were nice, Nissan, and reliable. However, I must state something here - except for GM's more than obvious mistake, keys don't generally fail that badly. In the case of my Nissan Cube, when it hit 3 years old and around 40k miles, I had a key die on it. This wasn't covered by the warranty, and I had to replace it. Then I had to hit the dealer for them to program it. The only time I have to deal with the dealer on key issues before was when I lost a key and had to re-train a smart-key with the car, and the pricing of the pure-electronic keys is not friendly. My lost Nissan key was replaced for $80 on eBay, plus $50 a the dealer to program it. My co-worker who just lost his 2009 Mazda CX-9 keycard, and who's second key is flaky, is now looking at a combination of smart-key and physical chip-key replacement, times two - that's $500 just for the two keys themselves, plus $100 from the dealer to program it all up. These keycards from the dealer are $450 each, and just like tires, you can't drive without them. Ouch! I like my car's key. It's something that can be replaced and doesn't cost like someone stole all four of your tires.

Comment: Wait - if this makes time perception slow down.. (Score 1) 914

The idea of making an evil bastard serve a 1000 year sentence sounds like a clever idea, however, I do believe it falls under the tenants of cruel and unusual punishment. That being said, if a person could serve a 60 or 90-day sentence in 5 days, that would be beneficial to society from a cost perspective if the same level of rehabilitation takes place. On that note, I must ask - if time moves more slowly to the person on this fictional drug, does that mean that learning over time could be ramped up? Could we distort someones internal clock and then feed their brain information that all gets stored? This could be one way to upload someone with all the knowledge they need to complete an education..

+ - Why Not Replace SSL Certificates With PGP Keys? 9

Submitted by vik
vik (17857) writes "The whole SSL process has been infiltrated by the NSA, GCSB and other n'er-do-wells. If governments want a man-in-the-middle certificate they simply issue a secret gagging order to the CA to make them issue one. Consequently "certified" SSL certificates can no longer be trusted. Ironically self-issued certificates are more secure, but not easily verified.

However, PGP/GPG keys can be trusted and independently verified. They are as secure as we can get for now. Why not replace the broken SSL CA system with GPG/PGP encryption keys? Make the NSA-infiltrated stuff obsolete, and rely on a real-world web of trust?"

+ - Could Technology Create Modern-Day 'Leper Colonies'?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Back in the day, leprosy patients were stigmatized and shunned, quarantined from society in Leper Colonies. Those days may be long gone, but are our mapping, GPS, and social media technologies in effect helping to create modern-day 'Leper Colonies'? The recently-shuttered (born again as Good Part of Town) generated cries of racism by inviting users to rate neighborhoods based on 'which parts of town are safe and which ones are ghetto, or unsafe'. Calling enough already with the avoid-the-ghetto apps, The Atlantic Cities' Emily Badger writes, "this idea toes a touchy line between a utilitarian application of open data and a sly wink toward people who just want to steer clear of 'those kinds of neighborhoods.'" The USPTO has already awarded avoid-crime-ridden-neighborhoods-like-the-plague patents to tech giants Microsoft, IBM, and Google. So, when it comes to navigational apps, where's the line between utility and racism? 'As mobile devices get smarter and more ubiquitous,' writes Svati Kirsten Narula, 'it is tempting to let technology make more and more decisions for us. But doing so will require us to sacrifice one of our favorite assumptions: that these tools are inherently logical and neutral...the motivations driving the algorithms may not match the motivations of those algorithms' users.' Indeed, the Google patent for Storing and Providing Routes proposes to 'remove streets from recommended directions if uploaded route information indicates that travelers seem to avoid the street.' Even faster routes that 'traverse one or more high crime areas,' Google reasons, 'may be less appealing to most travelers'."

Comment: Re:Questionable List (Score 1) 657

by jpiratefish (#42106975) Attached to: Windows 8 PCs Still Throttled By Crapware
And this is why Apple is still winning.

Microsoft needs to desperately flush the toilet of all the old. The fact that the Surface Tablet, a supposed walled garden that supports only Flash, but not Java, still needed to perform a Windows Defender scan after it's first update, proves it. They can't break out of their old ways, and they're still not trying.

Comment: It's got the right idea, but... (Score 1) 658

by jpiratefish (#41660799) Attached to: $3,000 Tata Nano Car Coming To US
When did power steering become a safety feature?? Personally, as a commuter who uses drives to a train every day, I'm all for getting a car that's cheap and efficient - and this one sounds perfect. Airbags make perfect sense to me as a safety requirement, but I don't see where traction control should be required - this is what insurance is for. I do see the mileage going down however once it's got the weight added to the doors to prevent passenger smush in side collisions.. and in this country, that means the passengers have to live through an SUV collision.

Comment: Cricket (Score 1) 294

by jpiratefish (#39148103) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Mobile Phone Solution With No Data Plan?
$55/month - unlimited voice/text/data. And Cricket is trying hard to make sure that the rate they post is the rate they charge - so that $55/month is actually $55.00 - not the $117.23/month you pay to Sprint (in Colorado) when you're getting the $99 simply everything plan. If you live in a primarily Cricket area, your calls will be on Cricket's network first and foremost. If you're outside a native Cricket area, or in a city where MetroPCS is dominant, then you'll be using Sprints network with your Cricket phone - either way, no roaming charges, and the same flat rate. The choice of handset does define call quality - their new droid - the Huawei Mercury is worth considering - most of their other droids are just okay - good for non power users/non movie watchers. If you don't want the data plan at all, the basic talk and text plan is $35/month and they have phones that can do that, take pictures, Etc. One thing that people notice about Cricket is that their handsets cost more - this is because Cricket does not subsidize their handsets through contracts like all the major players do - so you have to pay for your handset, then pay the month fee to use it - but that's it. Cricket can also port your existing number over as well, and just about any Cricket dealer can migrate your contacts from your old handset to a new one.

Comment: Is Buildatron violating the GPL license? (Score 1) 129

by jpiratefish (#38878763) Attached to: Assembling Your Own 3D Printer
In the 3D printer world, how you feed your plastic and how you melt (extrude) your plastic are the LARGEST problems - period - free software does the rest of the work, and the circuitry and such are all open sourced as well. This Buildatron group seems to be holding on real tight to their X-Carriage design, as well as their feeder mechanism and their extruder design - plus, I don't see any public distribution of the document anywhere - and basically put - this is a derivative work of the Prusa - and all of that stuff is licensed under the GPL Free Documentation License - so I gotta ask, who goes after them for this potential violation? And short of paying them for one of their (way overpriced) kits, has anyone gotten one and can show pictures of how they're actually extruding?

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 1) 129

by jpiratefish (#38878369) Attached to: Assembling Your Own 3D Printer
Sure does look just like my Prusa. I guess the funny reel in the back made it more tech - that and the laser cut wooden box. For those really wanting to build these, go hit - I built mine entire from parts found at lulzbot and ultimachine - and I got the Arduino from Hong Kong for $25. See mine in action on my Piratefish blog - the future is here - and Buildatron doesn't have the lock on it! Oh, yeah, and for the wise guys saying I want one that prints other ones - well, they almost do. I want to build a Mendlemax in the worst way now...

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky