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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Prep for the CompTIA A+ certification exam. Save 95% on the CompTIA IT Certification Bundle ×

Comment Re:pros and cons (Score 3, Insightful) 453

The astronomical cost of the F-35 means that 1) we won't make that many of them and 2) we won't deploy that many of them.

The F35 is a peace time fighter. Same with the F22 and Eurofighter. Too expensive and complex for a proper shooting war. Even the Russian and Chinese offerings will need to be put through some simplification before they're ready to be mass produced on the scale needed for war.

If the shit really hit the fan (and somehow no-one dropped the bomb) then the current crop of aircraft will be radically redesigned to be cheaper and simpler to manufacture. WWII demonstrated that with Nazi Germany producing vastly superior tanks but because of their complexity, they were swarmed by cheaper, mass produced tanks. So in a shooting war against an enemy that can defend itself, the fighters we have dont matter as much as the fighters we can build.

The British had the same problem in WWII, their existing bomber force consisting of Blenheims and Wellingtons would be wiped out in 3 months. So they started designing new bombers, such as that thing they knocked together out of balsa wood and glue which became one of the most famous fighter-bombers of all time.

Comment Re:Turnabout is fair play? (Score 1) 559

Oh, I lived - and worked - in Belgium and Chile for 2 years each.

I know for a fact the Belgium one is a lie. When you get a working visa for the Schengen countries you're automatically registered with the governments of the Eurozone. That's the purpose of getting a visa and you cant work without a visa.

You dont register with the local police, if the local police need to know anything about you they can look you up.

Lesson 1 about lying on the internet. Keep your lies believable.

Now that we've established the Belgium part is a fabrication, I'll wager good money the Chile and China parts are also fabrications. I've got a working visa in Hong Kong, no need to register with the police there. Shortly I'll have one for the UK, done a crapload of research, again no need to register with the police.

Comment Re:Turnabout is fair play? (Score 2) 559

I know when I travel to Asia, South America, or Europe, I need to present my passport at all hotels I stay at

Sounds like you've never travelled to Asia, South America or Europe... Because you only use your passport as a method of ID at hotels. A Hotel needs to know that you are the person you claim to be. I travel to a few places in SE Asia on a regular basis. They know who I am and dont bother asking for ID any more. So much so I've even got a rapport with a few customs officers at Perth. Also, I was also required to present ID at every US hotel I stayed at. The most convenient form is the Passport as they're fairly standard from country to country. I had more than a few US bartenders squint at my Western Australian drivers license for a while before they served me.

When I worked in Belgium, Chile and China, I had to register with the Government and provide the local police station with my information

When I travel to the United States, I have to Register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation in order to board a flight to the US. No ESTA, no entry. It costs about $4 and there are a variety of middlemen who charge upwards of $20 to do the same thing (so make sure you go to the DHS website). This form asks for a variety of information, not just for ID purposes, but personal questions as well (like "Do you have gonorrhoea") feel free to go through it yourself. At least they've stopped asking if I'm a Nazi.

Also when I was coming back to the US from South America a few years back I had to provide proof of an outgoing flight and my hotel prior to being permitted to board a flight in Panama.

I don't think that tourists need to provide their passports at hotels, nor do visa holders need to register with the local police station.

Next time, stop writing after "think".

As an Australian traveller, the US is an oddity. There are few places in the world where I need to fill in an application form to visit.

Comment Re:Yeah, nah. (Score 1) 559

Oh well then, just drop in to your nearest police station or FBI department every morning during your stay to say howdy. Nothing wrong with that.

The equivalent took place in former communist countries. I remember visiting the DDR (East Germany) and having to turn in my passport every night. Get a little perspective here, please.

I know 3 people from the former DDR and I've never heard any of them refer to it as "the land of the free".

A little perspective indeed sir.

Comment Re:Idiotic Summary (Score 1) 415

in-vehicle concierge (43%) - that means that 57% do use it

No it doesn't. It would have been faster for everyone if you had of said "I dont understand surveys" because that's what you said.

Remember there will be a large percentage of people who answered along the lines of "I dont have this feature", "I dont know" and "I'm not sure".

Comment Re:It's the interface, stupid (Score 1) 415

We do not need Apple for this. What we need is an interface that is porgrammable that can do all of this and do it regardless of Apple or Samsung.

What we need are head units that are replaceable.

Head units will become obsolete faster than brakes, suspension or radiators, yet all of these are easy to replace.

In 5 years, your head unit will be horribly out of date, not just in software but hardware which cant be fixed by a firmware update. A $150 head unit will be more advanced than a $1000 head unit from 5 years ago. Even if the manufacturer has bothered to update it.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 415

"I'd be happy if folks would just bother to use their blinkers, instead of fiddling around with other hi-tech in their cars."

I'd be happy if people would go forward when the light changes so I can get through the intersection before the light turns red again. instead of texting, or updating Facebook, or whatever the fuck they're doing with their stupid phones.

You have a device fitted to your vehicle for use in these cases. Its usually connected to the steering wheel (although old SAABs liked to put it in strange places) and when engaged it will make a loud sound.

I give people about 3 seconds before I do this, for those with a difficulty in perceiving time, this is long enough to say "wake up Jeff, we need you for the show".

BTW, as the owner of a loud car, when I see someone on their phone at the lights in my rear view mirror, I generally give it a bit of throttle to wake them up. Its fun to watch them drop their phone and panic. The death stares they give me after they realise I'm doing it deliberately are priceless.

Comment Re:Who cares (Score 1) 193

what keeps you up? the noise, the awkward body position?

I wish it was that simple an answer.

I simply do not know, it's definitely not noise as I've slept through a cyclone before. Once asleep, I am a very difficult person to wake. Probably not vibration either as I can sleep in cars and trains.

Could be the atmospheric conditions (dry air, pressurised to a higher altitude) but I cant say anything for certain except I dont sleep on planes.

Comment Re:"quality of finish" does anybody really care? (Score 1) 133

I can see you do not own an iPhone either.

That being said, I think the Nexus 5 really was the best looking phone on the market when I bought one. Mostly because it did not have that goofy curved back that some Samsung phones have, nor that absurdly large bezel that Motorola has. I hope the Nexus 5mkII looks the same.

When I showed my Nexus 5 to my car detailer, he was shocked at how good it was simply to hold compared to his Iphone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S 5.

This is a car detailer, so he really didn't know much, nor care about the technical details. He was just impressed by how easy it is to hold for such a large phone (IMHO, its due to the type of plastic used for the backing). These are the kinds of things that non-phone people find important. His first question was about how good the camera is, which is pretty damn good on the Nexus 5. The problem is, the Nexus 5 is no longer for sale.

Comment Re:Because Everything To Do With Air Travel... (Score 1) 193

That and the airports usually require that the airport location not charge more than their locations in the city center. So somebody like McDonald's has to charge the same price. The newsstands typically *only* have airport locations so there is no baseline comparison.

Erm, I've seen newsagents in the centre of most cities I've visited so there is a baseline comparison.

The big difference is you've got more foot traffic willing to buy in a city centre.

Comment Re:Fragmentation is an issue? No shit! (Score 5, Interesting) 111

Nobody who has done Android development is surprised to hear this.

I generally find the opposite, the ones crowing about fragmentation tend to be the ones who have no experience in development on Android (and indeed any non-iPhone platform) and handling perfectly pedestrian problems that we've been working with for all of programming history...

Different hardware and OS versions is standard standard, part of being a programmer...


If you want to avoid version issues with Android, target the lower API levels. Sure you miss out all of the newer features, but you dont need those for a fart app. Android itself handles most (or all of, in most cases) of the backwards compatibility.

Besides this, we've seen the problems inherent in monocultures in IT. Remember I.E. 6... This is why aged web developers never complain about writing compatibility layers for Firefox, Chrome and Webkit browsers.

Comment Re:The cars can detect gestures. (Score 1) 236

I can't think of a valid reason an individual LEO should be allowed control of an individual self-driving vehicle, ever. There is simply too much potential for abuse.

The correct answer to "when should cops be allowed to take control of an autonomous vehicle" is "never".

An autonomous vehicle should never allow remote control because it's only a matter of time before it gets compromised and then used by someone with less than benign purposes.

Comment Re:Who cares (Score 1) 193

How do I pull off this witchcraft? I don't go to sleep the night before a flight. so when I get to the plane... I'm pretty tired... and I can reliably sleep whenever and where ever I want to sleep.

He's a witch, can we burn him.

Seriously, I cant just turn my self off like a light. Tried, failed and it doesn't matter how tired I am. The only time I've ever slept on a plane was chemically assisted (I was royally hung over) and this was on a 1 hour flight from Bangkok to Phnom Penn.

I've flown from Perth, Western Australia to Las Vegas (assuming everyone knows where that is) and didn't get a jot of sleep, I even stayed up until 9 PM local time to avoid jet lag which worked, I was completely functional at 8 AM the next day, which is odd, I'm not normally functional at that time. I spent 42 hours waking in total considering I arrived at LV at 3 PM.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl