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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Teens shouldn't have access to guns... (Score 1) 300

There are many people that harvest wild game to eat. Cars don't work well for that.

I totally agree with you, but, well, funny story (kind of). I knew a poor family back in Indiana who lived way out in the boondocks. The father welded a formidable 2-inch pipe "bumper" on front of the old pickup that he drove just for "hunting". He averaged 3 deer/year with that thing. If a deer ran out in front of him - he swerved *toward* it.

Comment That $290M isn't impressive (Score 1) 78

And I'll tell you why - read this:

Here's the short version. The taxi industry in San Francisco is $140M/year. Uber's business there is $500M/year. Note that Uber hasn't taken that much business from the taxi industry - that's on top of it.

So, right now we can see that the actual taxi industry in that one city was 1/4 of the potential. That is seriously damaging the economy, particularly when you multiply it out among every city in the US. Put another way, the taxi regulations (bought by the cartels) were causing $500M less money to change hands every year in one city. Just so that they could keep competition low.

There's a great rant on here earlier about what the taxi industry does that stupid (hiring non-English-speaking-just-off-the-boat foreigners, etc.) and it's really kind of amazing to me. Uber's model is simple to replicate, and would be pretty simple for the taxi industry to take on at least parts of it. Have an app so I'll know who my driver is and can rate him. I saw a loon on here a couple of weeks ago claiming that the traditional taxi industry is better because there's a centralized complaint process. Uh, yeah, right. How does that work? How about after my ride I just click a button on my phone? That's a true "centralized complaint process" that even my mother could figure out.

It's clear that the taxi industry doesn't want to change, but it'll be the death of them. They've been buying politicians for years, and with Uber bringing in 3X the revenue the whole "buy a politician" business model is about to get priced out of the taxi industry's league. That really sucks because I don't have any reason to believe Uber will be any nicer than the taxi industry was from a regulatory standpoint, but at least it'll likely allow more competition.

Comment Re:edit distance, not just matching (Score 1) 82

A terminating null byte is a horrible way to denote the end of a string, as C/C++ designers eventually realized. The cost and space to maintain a separate value for the length of a string is O(1) no matter what operation is done. Not only does it take O(n) to find the terminating null, there's the additional complication of how to embed a null in the middle of a string, without terminating it. Use an escape sequence? Just don't allow the terminating character in the string? No modern string manipulation library uses termination characters. So, yeah, checking for equal lengths takes O(1), unless you're using the old string.h C library.

Comment Re: The new normal for Android (Score 1) 130

Discussing with someone who's so deluded he thinks the XDA developers forum is a good place to get ROMs is meaningless anyway.

I defer to your superior knowledge on that subject!

I assume there are perfectly conscientious makers of Custom AOSP builds, and that some of them might even have good enough compatibility for a few handsets to make it tempting to load them; but even without the Trojan factor, there still are significant compatibility problems with enough Devices that it seems dangerous to mess with unofficial ROMS.

Comment Re: The new normal for Android (Score 1) 130

If this is such a non-issue, then why have there been hundreds, if not thousands, of posts by frustrated Android users, and dozens of articles ( including the one you and I are posting under), that say differently?

Because there are so many more Android users than iOS users, and because they are less willing to give Google a free pass than iOS users are Apple.

Boy, anyone who has hung around Mac-oriented Forums knows what a larf-riot THAT comment is! Apple Users are some of the pickiest mofos you'll EVER see!

But even after that completely reasonable length of OFFICIAL support, those few that are still rockin' that "antique" kit are free to Jailbreak their iOS devices, and take their chances with "Custom ROMS" from sources like Cydia.

Cydia offers an alternate app store, not iOS updates. It's equivalent to rooting, not to reflashing.

Meh, I will admit I never was interested enough to really know what Cydia was, and wasn't.

Comment Re:Yeah, I thought this problem was solved (Score 1) 100

that's actually the problem with most technology

nuclear for example

i haven't a single doubt that we have the technological means to maintain nuclear plants forever without a single accident

but what we don't have is the social and political means to do that

Actually, a lot of us are simply numerically literate and realize that *every* a) energy source suffers from the issues that you whine about and b) nuclear has a great history despite having accidents sometimes.

Comment Re:The great nation ... (Score 5, Insightful) 104

There's Long Key, which is pretty good.

I otherwise am of the firm belief that so long as a machine is connected to the Internet, or we can hear the keyclicks nearby, that it's total folly to believe any data is safe, many air gaps included. There's a variant of Murphy's Law stated thusly: with a big enough hammer, you can break anything.

Perhaps your router was slipstreamed some code enroute to the data center. Maybe it was your little RAID 6 array. Perhaps the kernel has had a long dormant back door or nice stack overflow to hijack. Ever plugged in your smartphone to your machine to maybe, synch something?

My guess is that in one way or another, we're all already infected, it's just a matter of hassle to get what's needed by those desiring to smash you. You may believe this to be dystopian, but once you take a long look at the CVEs out there, multiply them by two for the probably-unknowns, and even machines living their life solely in Faraday cages become suspect.

Comment Re: The new normal for Android (Score 1) 130

Almost ALL Android Devices are "Abandoned" on the day you buy them;

Literally the only Android device I've got which got no updates is the Sony Xperia Play. I learned my lesson, and Sony can DIAF. (They explicitly promised ICS for it, but never delivered.) Every other device I've got has had at least two substantial upgrades, or will be getting them. TF201 got two. Moto G had one, is getting another. Nexus 4, not a problem. My crappy MK908 TV stick had two updates. All of these devices got at least a couple of years of support.

If this is such a non-issue, then why have there been hundreds, if not thousands, of posts by frustrated Android users, and dozens of articles ( including the one you and I are posting under), that say differently?

YOU brought up length-of-OFFICIAL-Support. you lose.

You don't even understand the argument, iFanboy. The argument is that once official support is over, your iDevice is garbage. At least there's a chance that someone will support your Android device. Now go throw your old Apple devices in the landfill and shut the fuck up.

Well, at the expense of possibly making part of your argument for you, even after Apple ends Official support for a particular Device, which is almost always long after that device is pretty-much completely out-of-circulation, you aren't screwed. For example, Apple produced iOS 5.1.1 in May, 2012, which was compatible clear back to the first iPad, and the iPod Touch, 3rd Gen, iOS 6.1.6 in February, 2014, which was compatible with the iPhone 3GS, and the iPod Touch 4th Generation, and iOS 7.1.2 in June, 2014, which supported iPhone 4 (with a separate release of TVOS that worked with 2nd gen AppleTV). Anything newer is fully supported up through the present iOS 9.0.2.

But even after that completely reasonable length of OFFICIAL support, those few that are still rockin' that "antique" kit are free to Jailbreak their iOS devices, and take their chances with "Custom ROMS" from sources like Cydia.

I don't endorse that, because it opens a User (and their data) up to the same things I was arguing against for Android; but it does somewhat negate your argument, et that, once IOS Devices are EOLed, they should IMMEDIATELY be "Landfilled".

Comment Stop Overreacting! (Score 1) 379

The US is the supreme country and if they bombed a hospital full of innocent people then you can be sure that there was a damn good reason. I suspect that there was probably a secret rocket base, terrorist enclave, or laboratory developing weapons of mass destruction secreted within the hospital. It's well known that terrorists use hospitals and other public places full of defenceless and innocents to deter retaliation by supremacist governments. That's why they build hospitals in those countries: to hide terrorists. It's quite obvious and they need to be eliminated whatever the cost.

The death and torture camps run by the US, which are full of Jews... err, Muslims, extract vital intel from these extremists and undesirables every single day. Do people really suggest that this intel should be ignored? The only obvious course of action is to destroy more civilian targets (which are, after all, probably full of Muslims anyway so no harm is really done). Peace and the oppression of terrorism is the highest priority so these costs are acceptable.

Wait... this is starting to sound a whole lot like another story I've read in my history books :(

Comment Re:Wait a day or two before passing judgment (Score 1) 379

Following your logic, there may be Taliban command centres in Afghanistan; and therefore it's ok to nuke the entire country.

Yes, I can see you have your finger on the pulse!

Would the better response not have been to send in a crack team of top US otters (or are they called seals? I always get confused) to eliminate the alleged command centre thus reducing off-target damage? You're saying that just bombing the shit out of a whole neighbourhood is better? I think you need to go masturbate and fire forth semen across your sacred flag again. Idiot.

Comment Re: The new normal for Android (Score 1) 130

4. Suggested Solution is to remain on said Platform, and purposely and permanently break Device's bootloader's security in order to install random, unsupported, un-vetted "Custom ROM" from the Internet.

Who's gonna steal your antique phone?

WTF are you even talking about?

Given that the Custom ROM could very well be a Trojan itself, doesn't this cycle seem like the "cure" could be just another disease?

You don't think anyone would notice? I do.

Maybe, maybe not. Depends on a bunch of factors, not the least of which is the User's ability to look in the right place, get the download from the right place, etc. Far too many variables for something so critical.

And even if that isn't the case for a particular iteration, doesn't the next vulnerability simply end you up at Step 1, above, but simply with the "Custom ROM" instead of the OEM ROM?

Nothing is supported forever. When Apple drops an iDevice, you're just fucked. When an Android device is dropped, at least there's hope.

Ah, but that's the difference that makes ALL the difference: Almost ALL Android Devices are "Abandoned" on the day you buy them; but almost ALL, if not ALL, Apple Devices are supported for two years or more; by which time, most users are shopping for an Upgrade anyway.

YOU brought up length-of-OFFICIAL-Support. you lose.

Comment Re:Soda is TOO expensive (Score 1) 534

Price was what first drove me away. Price does affect purchasing decisions. does damp down the desire for mildly addictive substances. Works for cigarettes and alcohol.

Improved health is a nice bonus, and now, having learned how unhealthy refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup is, I wouldn't take soda even if it was free. Ironically, many of these drinks were originally promoted for their health effects. Coke was created for pain relief. Carbonation itself was thought to have good effects on health.

Comment Re:Samsung != Apple (Score 1) 130

The last day to buy a brand-new iPhone 3G from Apple was June 2010. The last iOS update was November 2010. 6-months of support, for those who bought them near the end of the run. Brand new phones, sold as the *only* iPhone available at the time, so I bought the newest, best available, and got about 6 months support on it. My Samsung got very little support. I didn't get a single version upgrade on it, and there were maybe two bug fix patches. What does get support is rooting Android and using a generic package. Though that option isn't available for iPhone, so you are left with phones abandoned the moment they aren't sold anymore.

Your particular iPhone 3G situation is an admitted Outlier. However, unless you are a total liar, you will have to admit that Apple's OS Update support for both iOS AND OS X is second to none.

The current, just-released version of iOS, 9.0.1, is compatible with iPhone 4s to 6s, iPad 2 to iPad Pro, and iPod Touch 5 and 6. OS X 10.11, El Capitan, also just released, is compatible with almost all Macs introduced since 2007.

And if you compare that sort of support with the Russian Roulette style of "Updating through Random ROMS" you are advocating for Android, you are either a liar or are delusional.

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman