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


Forgot your password?

Comment Free trade with non-free countries? (Score 5, Interesting) 81 81

I doubt, free trade with non-free countries is beneficial to humanity. Though one can argue, that it makes such non-free countries more free, it is not at all evident, that that's what happened to China, for example.

Meanwhile, the US is gradually losing freedoms as there appear more and more things we aren't allowed to do or even say, and the list of places requiring identification is growing.

Submission + - The Rise of Computer-Aided Explanation->

An anonymous reader writes: Imagine it’s the 1950s and you’re in charge of one of the world’s first electronic computers. A company approaches you and says: “We have 10 million words of French text that we’d like to translate into English. We could hire translators, but is there some way your computer could do the translation automatically?”

At this time, computers are still a novelty, and no one has ever done automated translation. But you decide to attempt it. You write a program that examines each sentence and tries to understand the grammatical structure. It looks for verbs, the nouns that go with the verbs, the adjectives modifying nouns, and so on. With the grammatical structure understood, your program converts the sentence structure into English and uses a French-English dictionary to translate individual words.

For several decades, most computer translation systems used ideas along these lines — long lists of rules expressing linguistic structure. But in the late 1980s, a team from IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., tried a radically different approach. They threw out almost everything we know about language — all the rules about verb tenses and noun placement — and instead created a statistical model.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:I am shocked! (Score 1) 98 98

the sort of moralists who read HotAir

Seriously? You are going to attack a message based on who delivered it? Well, my first link was from CNN, is that Ok with you? I then went searching for any report on what happened to them — is it my fault, that the CNN had no attention span enough to follow-up on the story?

Comment Re:I am shocked! (Score 1) 98 98

Well, considering the fact, that they worked for SEC — and were supposed to watch for and prevent or, at least, soften the impact of, financial disaster that occurred, their dereliction of duty did prove rather dangerous.

You are comparing two very different things.

Point is, the actions are both highly outrageous and unimaginable to anybody — their bosses and critics alike — until both happened...

Submission + - Ted Cruz is a 'Star Trek' fan and that is a good thing->

MarkWhittington writes: Just to prove that he is a multifaceted character, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas sat down for an interview for the New York Times Magazine and opened his mind, not on matters of high policy, but on comic books and science fiction. As a lad, he liked Spiderman and Han Solo. But it is in the realm of “Star Trek” that the presidential candidate may have created some controversy for himself. He very much prefers Captain James Kirk to Captain Jean-Luc Picard. There are Star Trek fans who will argue passionately for either Enterprise skipper. But then again, some Trek fans will fight over what angle Spock’s ears protrude from his temples.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Not just video stream (Re:DIY - RaspberryPi) (Score 1) 132 132



Ok, I have $200 burning here to pay you such a device. Can you make it installable outside? Under a roof, but still subject to temperature-changes? No? Ok, I'll set it up inside.

May need more than 10 hours, but doable within a day or so.

Sure. Take a week. But, if it does not work by then, you pay me back $300. Deal?

Wireshark for WiFi Sniffing and logging

Oops... I'm afraid, you didn't quite get it. I don't want to listen peer with their transmitters. I just want to log their appearing. My own side should be as passive as possible — to conceal my own capabilities.

Comment I am shocked! (Score -1, Flamebait) 98 98

'I am troubled by the allegations that such dangerous and illicit activity went undetected at a federal research facility'

Seriously? After reports of government lawyers watching porn on their office computers, nothing really surprises me about Federal government. Especially given the nincompoop we've twice elected to run it.

Because even among the above mentioned work-place masturbators none got fired.

Comment Not just video stream (Re:DIY - RaspberryPi) (Score 0) 132 132

All open source software. I know exactly what it's doing. [...] Total time investment, about 2 hours.

I'll give you 10 more hours and $100 worth more of budget to add recognition of license-plate numbers, if any, as well as detecting (and logging) Bluetooth and WiFi transmitters as they appear and disappear in the vicinity of the camera.

This would let me track cars entering my driveway and people walking by (those with smartphones in their pockets)... How about it?

Comment Re:Profits are important to allocate resources (Score 2) 92 92

The patent holder can and often does prevent others from using that invention

Sure. Which simply means, you have to offer more — money and/or access to your own inventions.

There is no requirement for them to accept

Of course, there is not! How could there be? I'm not obligated to sell my bike to you either. But I may consider doing so, if your offer is sufficiently compelling.

Comment Re:Profits are important to allocate resources (Score 2) 92 92

Get rid of patents and you will have quicker and smaller innovations as companies try to stay ahead in their market.

You'll certainly see companies guarding their secrets themselves — and not publishing their discoveries — thus stalling science.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, patents do not prevent you from using somebody else's discovery. You just have to pay the discoverer for the privilege...

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. -- John Naisbitt, Megatrends