Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Because Everything To Do With Air Travel... (Score 1) 194

I'm sure I'm not the first person in the world to have come up with the idea of putting a Dollar Store in an airport. Since I've never owned or operated a retail outlet of any kind, though, I can imagine there's some sort of prohibition to the idea that I haven't thought of yet

The reason you don't see dollar stores at airports or malls, is that they operate at very low margins. If they sell you stuff at $1, they would simply not be able to afford rent at a premium spot like that. There is no law against it, it is just not economical.

Comment Re:No compelling evidence? (Score 1) 663

How do you explain skinny people from Asia who consume a large portion of their diet through rice calories?

Same as south america where I grew up. Yes, we eat a lot of rice there, but we also walk _everywhere_. And while there are lots of calories coming from rice, we generally eat less sweets and sodas.

Comment Re:No compelling evidence? (Score 1) 663

That is FAR from a hard and fast rule. It depends on your genetics.

I am sorry, but genetics is nothing more than a cop out excuse for not exercising and eating properly.

Next time you are at Walmart look at any shopping cart, and look at the person pushing it.
Overweight people have doughnuts, cheetos, cereal, beers, cakes, potato chips, baked potatoes, rice, sodas, icecream, candy, white bread, etc... It is all about sugar, simple carbs, high glycemic index foods.
Fit people have fruit, vegetables, meats, eggs, nuts, etc...

It is true that overweight parents tend to have overweight children. But this is just correlation, not causation. They are feeding their kids the same sugary stuff they eat. Any kid would be overweight eating like that regardless what their parents look like.

If someone reading this thinks I am full of it and they indeed have some genetic predisposition that makes it impossible to lose weight. Go ahead, answer honestly, what did you eat yesterday (include snacks and drinks)? Open your fridge and pantry and honestly list what you have in there. How many miles did you run or walk last week?

I have great admiration for that fat lady at the gym running on a treadmill and lifting. She mustered the courage to some something out of her comfort zone, full of people that might make her feel inadequate. She has concluded that she will not be a victim of bad genes, environment, aliens, or whatever other bs people tell themselves. She has taken control of her own body and decided to endure the sacrifice it takes to improve herself. Fat lady at the gym, I salute you.

Comment Re:So I guess it's time.... (Score 1) 97

For automobile manufacturers to start factoring in the time of day and keeping the "key" hidden...

A much more secure method would be a challenge/response protocol, the car sends an encrypted random challenge to the key, the key decrypts it, calculates a response to the challenge and sends the response back to the car. The car checks the response and if valid, it unlocks.

There is no way to replay messages as long as the challenge is randomized, and the car obviously should not unlock if it receives a response to something other than the last challenge. There is no way to get the encryption key since it never goes over the air, it is just used internally by the car and the key to encrypt/decrypt the message.

The only problem with this is that it requires 2 way communication between the key and the car, so your solution would be cheaper and simpler.

Comment Re:Limits of storage / human perception (Score 4, Informative) 109

I am a game developer.

Indeed many games have color banding, so do many jpeg images. But this has nothing to do with the color depth.

When a game bundles an image, it is normally compressed in a lossy format such as DXT5 or ETC1 (depends on your platform) . These formats are typically much smaller than say a PNG, and are sent compressed to the video card. The video card has hardware that can get a pixel when needed from these images without having to decompress it. This saves a lot of video card memory which can be used for more polygons and whatnot.

These formats like jpeg, do modify the image a little bit if it helps makes them smaller. A somewhat oversimplified explanation is this: suppose there are 5 pixels that are almost the same color, for example: (red, red+1, red-1, red + 2, red +1), the algorithm will change them to be the same color: (red, red, red, red, red), then instead of saving each individual pixel, it will just store: (5 red), which takes a lot less space. A particularly bad effect of this is that gradients end up being not so smooth so you see banding. Reality is a lot more complex than this, but you get the idea.

In addition, when a texture is rendered at a distance, the hardware actually chooses a scaled down version of the image. The farther the texture, the less precision is used until there is only 1 pixel. This is called mipmap. Depending on the algorithm used for blending mipmaps, it can also generate banding.

You could use 128 bit RGBA color depth, and you would still see the same banding due to these optimizations.

Comment Re:50% is lost in AC to DC conversion? (Score 1) 466

I don't understand what the 67% loss in combustion is...

When we burn fuel, we are only able to convert a fraction of the potential chemical energy into work (pushing something like a piston). Then we convert the kinetic energy into electricity and again we are only able to convert so much. Some fuels are more efficient than others, and the performance of generators also differs greatly.

What the author is refering too is the fact that from the total potential chemical energy in fossil fuels, we are only able to collect less than half in the form of usable electric power. The rest of the energy is simply dissipated in the form of heat, and other non usable forms.

Comment Re:Not surprising at all (Score 1) 67

It's not surprising at all. The NASDAQ is tech-heavy and the performance of those companies affects the job prospects for recent graduates. It's interesting, but I don't think it's particularly remarkable.

Exactly!. I would be surprised if there was no correlation.

Education (just like any other service) is primarily driven by supply and demand. The more companies want a particular skill, the higher they will be willing to pay for it (demand). The higher the salaries, the more people will be interested in learning that skill (supply).

File this one under "no shit Sherlock" cabinet.

Comment Privatize them (Score 5, Interesting) 202

In 1900 there were less than 20 white rhinos left due to poaching for their horns. In 2010 there were 20,000. This success was accomplished by privatizing the white rhinos.

Today, the black rhinos face the exact same threat, and we don't know what to do?!? Is this a racist thing (lol) ?

In case you are wondering why this worked: If I own the last 20 white rhinos, they are worth a fortune. I have a tremendous economic incentive to protect them from poaching and reproduce them. Eventually as their population grows, I might be able to sell some for profit and the new owners would also have the incentive to protect and reproduce theirs. As supply grows, the value of an individual rhino drops and eventually it might be economical to sell them to hunters. If there are too many rhinos the free market would hunt them, and if there are too few the free market would protect them, keeping a stable and sustainable population. This is why any animal we can own (chickens, pigs, cows, horses, dogs, etc...) are not in any danger of extinction.

Comment Re:Who buys them? (Score 1) 668

The fact it's allowed to be sold in pharmacies (at least, in my country) is a scary thing.

You find it scary that they sell overpriced water in pharmacies?!?

As you yourself put it, the solution to this "problem" is simple: Read up on what homeopathy is.

By the FDA's own logic: homeopathy is not even drugs, so why the hell do they claim jurisdiction over it? Should they also start regulating witchcraft? how about preach healers? seems like a massive overreach to me for the FDA to start protecting us from water.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 830

I grew up under the metric system, then came to the US and got used to the Imperial system.

I would say the metric system is superior for most uses, but it is definitely not worth the time and money required to do the switch. Consider all the tools, software, books, manuals, recipes, etc... that all of a sudden become obsolete. Consider all the man hours required to change items in just 1 Walmart store, all the factories that need to be adjusted so their products work with metric tools. All those resources could have been used instead in building new things. And this huge "investment" so that people can divide by 10? It makes absolutely no sense to do this.

Moreover, why is it the government's responsibility to make everyone switch? People should switch when it makes sense to do so. Also it does not have to be an all or nothing deal, different goods can be measured in different units (this is already happening), and market forces are enough to push one way or the other if it makes sense.

Comment Re:There can be only one. (Score 2) 443

I used emacs for years, and I invested weeks configuring it to work exactly the way I wanted. My .emacs was beautiful and people often copied it for themselves.

Then I tried eclipse, and realized it already worked the way I wanted out of the box. Never looked back.

It is not about how configurable the editor is. It is about writing code. If your editor helps you do that: great, if not, just try something else, don't get religious on it.

Comment Re: Mixed reaction (Score 1) 328

Your problem is you aren't rich enough to own your own roads and cities too.

Neither is the government. Where do you think the government gets the money to pay for this? they don't have any money. They first confiscate it from you and me, whether we want it or not. Either by straight out taxing it, borrowing it in your name, or printing money which just dilutes the value of your savings. It also makes it impossible for the private sector to enter the road market.

The fact is that the private sector not only could take over making roads, but it would do a much better job at it. It would avoid building bridges to nowhere, and invest more heavily in areas with higher traffic. In fact, the first roads were entirely private. Murray Rothbard wrote a very nice book explaining how this could work (chapter 11).

In other words, you are saying they can tell me how to give a ride because they are already forcing me to pay them to build the roads. "Land of the free" indeed.

Comment Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1, Insightful) 328

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, some of these regulations are clear attempts to just protect the taxi industry from new models. On the other hand, some of the regulations (like having some basic insurance to cover if things go wrong) are pretty reasonable. On the gripping hand, both Uber and Lyft are both just blatantly ignoring regulations in many jurisdictions, and whether or not one thinks the laws should be there, it is hard to think that having cheaper car services is such a compellingly necessary service that it can morally or ethically justify ignoring laws.

In the so called "land of the free", I should be able to get a ride from anyone I please as well as give a ride to anyone I please and charge for it if I want to. What is wrong here is not violating the laws, it is the laws themselves that restrict this voluntary mutually agreed upon exchange.
If insurance is a big deal, then I as an uber user would only chose to ride with people that have insurance.

Protecting taxis is awful. By that logic we should have made refrigerators illegal since they threatened ice factory workers.

If you don't like the Uber and Lyft services, then you simply don't use them. But we have no right to forbid other people from using it or place restrictions upon them.

You have mail.