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


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:the establishment really does not like competit (Score 4, Informative) 366

by rsmith-mac (#49289575) Attached to: Uber Shut Down In Multiple Countries Following Raids

This doesn't mean there are no regulations - it means that Uber drivers are required to pay for the cost of a background check by the police department, and provide proof of insurance. This cost is tiny in comparison to buying a medallion, and provides the same level of safety as the background checks the taxi companies were running.

Keep in mind however that only a handful of cities use Medallions. Outside of NYC and those other cities, Uber is getting busted for exactly what you propose: they refuse to do things like pay for police background checks and require drivers to hold a commercial driver's license. Uber is managing to break the law even in cities with a limited number of common sense laws.

Comment: Re:AKA as Database Syndrome (Score 2) 112

by rsmith-mac (#49263121) Attached to: Scientific Study Finds There Are Too Many Scientific Studies

The crop of PhDs from the last 10 or so years are either unable or unwilling to 'hit the books'. If they can't find it in an electronic database AND easily download a PDF, they will ignore the existence of the work.

One of the primary reasons we even have computers is to help organize and locate information. Meanwhile, because computers are so good at it and we now have so much information to process, information that is not available to a computer in 2015 is not useful information.

Comment: Re:Interesting retort (Score 1) 98

by rsmith-mac (#49145923) Attached to: Fighting Scams Targeting the Elderly With Old-School Tech

I'm with you there. This really is a terrible layout, to the point that I first thought it was Firefox that was broken rather than Slashdot.

I've got a hidden Post button. Reply/Share links are overlaying comment text. Deep comments only fill the left half of the page. And everything else is unbounded to the left, resulting in stories and root comments being nearly the entire width of my screen.

Surely this was tested before it was rolled out, right?

Comment: Emergency? (Score 2) 120

by rsmith-mac (#49022559) Attached to: Arkansas Declares a High School CS Education State of Emergency

Judging from the title alone, at first I thought they were being far too over-dramatic in calling any kind of CS education situation an "emergency."

But after seeing that they only have 6 qualified CS teachers, I have to change my tune. Something is very, very wrong if a state of 3 million people only has 6 CS teachers.

For all the fledgling nerds-to-be in AR, I hope they can find a good, long-term solution to the problem.

Comment: Re:Nice in principle but fails at higher temperatu (Score 1) 183

by rsmith-mac (#48957251) Attached to: The "Cool Brick" Can Cool Off an Entire Room Using Nothing But Water

There is a chart which shows the optimal temperature for an office is around 23'C (Google "HVAC comfort chart"), this is the temperature which has the widest acceptable range for humidity that people find comfortable.

Now I'm curious. For the math/HVAC nerds among us, how much of a humidity increase are you looking at from evaporative cooling? Say 33C with 20% humidity to 23C as the OP lays out, what would the resulting humidity be?

Comment: Re:More proof (Score 2) 667

by rsmith-mac (#48869615) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

They won't, because they'll be dead.

And that's exactly the point.

It's not quite as short-sighted as business managers only looking after the next quarter, but when people are being asked to sacrifice now for a payoff that is beyond a human lifetime, that's a very hard thing to sell. Especially when no one believes that other major countries such as the BRICs will sacrifice as well.

Comment: Re:More proof (Score 5, Insightful) 667

by rsmith-mac (#48869395) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

More proof that this debate is political and not scientific.

It has been political all along. Regardless of the scientific basis, the consensus view of the American public is that they do not want to sacrifice their lifestyles for the environment, especially in this case since the benefits are non-tangible. All of the political debate is simply an extension of that.

Comment: Re:I would rather see 1000 terrorists go free... (Score 0) 562

by rsmith-mac (#48841785) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

If you live in the USofA, you are in more danger of being killed by someone in your family than by a terrorist.

I see where you're going, and fair enough on a statistical basis. But my family is composed of good, just, and law-abiding people. They are not the people I am worried about dying from

The question is whether you believe there are more terrorists in the USofA or more bad cops/contractors/other-people-with-access-to-track-your-daughter.

Without question, the former. My daughter is being raised to say yes sir and no sir, please and thank you. A proper respect for authority (be it her parents or police) but also the wisdom to understand that humans are not perfect.

You know who has trouble with "bad cops?" The people who don't respect authority in the first place. The people who have done things that harm others and the society at large. My daughter will never be in a confrontation with the authorities - never become a Michael Brown - because she has been raised to understand the need for the police and for keeping the peace (as much as I can teach her).

Once you sign away her privacy she probably won't be getting it back.

I grew up through the end of the cold war, the rise of the Internet, and the integration of Lawful Intercept into telephone communications. I am still here, still free, and still have my privacy. This is no different, and I expect to be able to say the same about my privacy 30 years down the line.

Comment: Re:I would rather see 1000 terrorists go free... (Score 0, Troll) 562

by rsmith-mac (#48841239) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

I dont like the scumbags that shoot up chocolate shops and newspaper offices or crash airplanes into buildings or blow up nightclubs but I would rather see 1000 terrorists go free than to see a single innocent person have their privacy, security, civil liberties or constitutional rights violated.

And I would rather not die.

Freedom is an incredible, wonderful thing. But there comes a point where I need to balance that with other things such as seeing my daughter grow up.

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton