Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:$100,000,000 (Score 4, Informative) 205 205

by pavon (#49933443) Attached to: FCC To Fine AT&T $100M For Throttling Unlimited Data Customers

From Arstechica's article:

"Although the company no longer offers unlimited plans to new customers, it allows current unlimited customers to renew their plans and has sold millions of existing unlimited customers new... contracts for data plans that continue to be labeled as 'unlimited,'" the FCC said. "In 2011, AT&T implemented a 'Maximum Bit Rate' policy and capped the maximum data speeds for unlimited customers after they used a set amount of data within a billing cycle. The capped speeds were much slower than the normal network speeds AT&T advertised and significantly impaired the ability of AT&T customers to access the Internet or use data applications for the remainder of the billing cycle."

So as a rough order of magnitude estimate "millions of customers" equates to $100's of millions of revenue a month, over nearly 5 years, so they made roughly billions to 10's of billions of dollars on these accounts over the time period. And that is excluding customers that moved to a different plan as a result of the throttling.

The FCC said it believes millions of customers have been affected by AT&T's throttling, with speed reductions that "imped[ed] their ability to use common data applications such as GPS mapping or streaming video." On average, customers' speeds were slowed for 12 days per monthly billing cycle, the FCC said.

These customers were impacted for about a 1/3 of the time, and if you value the throttled service at half the value of the promised service, that comes to 100s of millions to billions of dollars that they were overcharging. So the fine is on the low end of reasonable.

Note, that the FTC is also investigating this and may require AT&T to refund money to their customers in addition to paying the FCC fine.

Comment: Re:Annoying (Score 1) 179 179

Oh man, it's worse than that. There are three options:
* 20gbps passive copper cable, USB-C connector, up to 2m long, supports Thunderbolt, USB3.1, and DisplayPort
* 40gbps active copper cable, USB-C connector, up to 2m long, supports Thunderbolt, USB3.1
* 40gbps active optical cable, USB-C connector?, up to 60m long, protocols not yet announced
Notice that you can't use DisplayPort on the 40gbps active cable. So in addition to having ports that look identical but support different functionality, you have cables that look identical but support different functionality.

Comment: Annoying (Score 1) 179 179

Coopting an existing port makes things worse, because now in addition to knowing what ports a device has, you have to know what protocols it supports over those ports. I dread having to constantly explain to non computer savvy people that, yes that connector is a USB connector and your computer has USB ports, but that is a thunderbolt device and your computer doesn't support thunderbolt. It is enough to make he wish that thunderbolt remains a niche technology that doesn't gain mainstream use.

Comment: Re:Sentencing matched the guidelines (Score 1) 363 363

by pavon (#49810061) Attached to: Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

Yeah, I have always thought it was weird that judges are supposed to take remorse into consideration when sentencing. It borders on violating the fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination, in my opinions. Because they are, judges have to form an entirely subjective opinion on that matter, and you end up with quotes like the above where she is basically countering the defenses narrative of how remorseful he was with her own narrative demonstrating why she doesn't but it.

Comment: Sentencing matched the guidelines (Score 5, Informative) 363 363

by pavon (#49803035) Attached to: Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

Here's my point. When I read about the Ross Ulbricbht court, what comes across to me is that the judge is saying "blah blah yadda yadda legal stuff and now here is MY OPINION" which will vary from judge to judge. But surely justice must be consistent? You shouldn't have one judge convicting a person for making an urgent phone call, but a different judge effectively exonerating a policeman for not driving with the care required by his job. And you shouldn't have a judge handing down an entire life sentence when another judge would most likely have given a sentence of 10-20 years.

I am undoing moderation to post this, because I have seen similar comments everywhere covering the story, all moderated up, and it simply isn't true.

Yes sentencing should be consistent which is why we have sentencing guidelines, and this judge followed them. He was convicted of running a continuing criminal enterprise which has a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years. And it gets worse when you add up the offense levels in the guidelines for his crimes: It was demonstrated that people who took drugs purchased on Silk Road have died from that drug use, which give him a base offense level of 38. The continuing criminal enterprise offense adds 4 points, and since he played an Aggravated Role as the ring leader that adds another 4 points, bringing him to 46 points. The sentencing table for someone with no prior convictions and an offense level of 43 or more is a life sentence, period, and that is before talking about the other five charges he was convicted of! As a judge you would have to present a very strong argument as to why someone with that high of an offense level should get less than life.

The reason he got such a harsh sentence is because our drug laws are so harsh, not because the judge was harsh. Prosecutors have huge flexibility in what they charge people with, and in this case they threw the book at him.

Comment: Re:Context (Score 2) 62 62

by pavon (#49784207) Attached to: SpaceX Cleared For US Military Launches

The Orbital ATK merger is different because they had complementary capabilities and weren't really competitors. Orbital didn't have any experience building rocket motors; they have always refurbished ICBMs for military launches, or purchased motors for their private launches. Whereas Thiokol produced many of those original ICBM motors that Oribital was reusing, and was already contracting with them to produce new motors for Antares. There was/is some overlap in the non-launch services parts of the companies, but as far as launch goes it was a pretty natural fit for them to merge.

Comment: Re:from what I read... (Score 1) 35 35

The demo of course takes advantage of Sony’s ‘asynchronous reprojection’ technique to ultimately output at 120 FPS." Translation: Two eyes means two frames, so you get 120fps from 60fps. Right?

No, they are talking about a technique that is also used by Oculus to translate variable frame rate renderings to smooth fixed frame rate output without judder.

Comment: Exactly (Score 1) 347 347

by pavon (#49666463) Attached to: Linux Mint Will Continue To Provide Both Systemd and Upstart

I don't know why this is moderated down, it is absolutely correct. Ubuntu provides and supports both upstart and systemd:

It's worth noting that while systemd is the default in Ubuntu 15.04, all of the Upstart packages are still there, and you can in fact keep using it if you wish. If you want to switch back and forth, you can use Grub and select "Advanced options for Ubuntu," where you will find an "Ubuntu, with Linux ... (upstart)" entry. If you want to permanently switch, install the upstart-sysv package.

Mint is just following their lead, which makes sense given that Mint is based on Ubuntu. This is a non-story, fabricated because editors know systemd flamebait generates traffic.

Comment: Cross Play (Score 4, Informative) 104 104

by pavon (#49624959) Attached to: GOG Announces Open Beta For New Game Distribution Platform

Crossplay-enabled games offer online play between GOG and Steam. Because where you buy your games shouldn't prevent you from playing with friends.
Cross-play doesn't require any setup or configuration. Steam users won't need to create GOG.com accounts or install GOG Galaxy, while GOG.com users won't need to create Steam accounts. Just log in, launch your game, and start playing online!

That is the killer feature, IMHO. I was scrolling through expecting to just ignore this like I did the downloader, but that actually provides something of value above what you can do with the website.

Comment: Not a big increase in complaints (Score 2) 553 553

by pavon (#49613967) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

At the same time, age discrimination complaints have spiraled upward, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, with 15,785 claims filed in 1997 compared to 20,588 filed in 2014.

In 17 years the number of complaints went up by 30%. However according to the Census Bureau, the number of "Mathematical and Computer Science" workers increased by 150% between 1997 and 2012 (from 1.3 Million to 3.3 Million). The number of job postings likely scaled similarly, so the complaints per posting actually went down.

Source:
http://www.census.gov/prod/3/9...
http://www.census.gov/compendi...

Comment: Devil's Bullets (Score 1) 216 216

by pavon (#49572657) Attached to: US Successfully Tests Self-Steering Bullets

Now, George was a good straight boy to begin with,
but there was bad blood in him someway
he got into the magic bullets and
that leads straight to Devil's work
just like marywanna leads to heroin
You think you can take them bullets and leave 'em, do you?
Just save a few for your bad days.
well...

Well, now we all have those bad days when we can't hit for shit.

The more of them magics you use,
the more bad days you have without them
So it comes down to finally
all your days being bad without the bullets
It's magics or nothing.
Time to stop chippying around and kidding yourself,
kid, you're hooked, heavy as lead

And that's where old George found himself.
Out there at the crossroads.
molding the Devil's bullets.
Now a man figures it's his bullets,
so it'll hit what he wants to hit.
But it don't always work out that way

You see, some bullets is special for a single aim.
A certain stag, or a certain person
And no matter where you aim, that's where the bullet will end up.
And in the moment of aiming, the gun turns into a dowser's wand,
and point where the bullet wants to go

I guess old George didn't rightly know what he was getting himself into,
the fit was on him and it carried him right to the crossroads.

- Tom Waits, The Black Rider

The Military

US Successfully Tests Self-Steering Bullets 216 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-news-for-Neo dept.
mpicpp sends this report from The Independent: The United States Department of Defense has carried out what it says is its most successful test yet of a bullet that can steer itself towards moving targets. Experienced testers have used the technology to hit targets that were actively evading the shot, and even novices that were using the system for the first time were able to hit moving targets. The project, which is known as Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance weapon, or Exacto, is being made for the American government's military research agency, DARPA. It is thought to use small fins that shoot out of the bullet and re-direct its path, but the U.S. has not disclosed how it works. Technology in the bullet allows it to compensate for weather and wind, as well as the movement of people it is being fired at, and curve itself in the air as it heads towards its target.

An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both sides of an issue. -- Homer Ferguson

Working...