Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Comment Re:Why should? (Score 1) 397

This, this, this. A million times over. Humans are really bad at estimating real risk, are even worse at comprehending scale, and tend to fear the exotic or unknown. Nuclear power gets the triple whammy here.

Real Risk: The health/death risk of Nuclear power to the public is so vanishingly small it disappears on any graph you can create. There have been 9 or 10 deaths in the 60 odd years of civilian nuclear energy in the US. None by radiation. About half by electrocution ( they are electric plants... ) and the half by physical events, pressure explosions, heavy things falling.

Scale: 100 Nuclear power plants have produced about 20% of the entire US electric grid for the past 60 years. In contrast, 600 coal plants produce about 40% of our needs. On top of that each coal plant needs a constant supply of coal, and much more land to operate. The land use efficiency of Nuclear is much, much better. As far as the Nuclear waste argument, here again, failing at comprehending scale. The spent fuel rods consumed for the past 60 years of nuclear power would fit into a single house.

I would like to give some credit where credit is due, and where reasonable regulations apply. Airliners are extremely safe because of the NTSB doing amazing work, getting to the bottom of every major crash and then back feeding that information into actionable fixes. The same goes for the NRC. I am hugely pro-nuclear power, but also believe the NRC is an important part of that environment.

Comment Even though apple phones have encrypted files... (Score 2) 202

I had someone give me an iphone 4 last year where a child playing with the phone had accidentally deleted all the pictures. My task was to recover all the deleted pictures. It took me a few hours, mainly because I had never done anything with an iphone before. The process that worked invovled booting the phone with a different bootloader and breaking the encryption key. Most of the information and software to accomplish this can be found with a few minutes of searching.

Comment Just stop giving out the data.... (Score 1) 47

Like they did before. All the professors told them it was a bad idea when the site was proposed. Someone should tell the people in charge of Yale that they have pretty smart professors. They would be more efficient and do a better job if they took their advice.

Students evaluate classes and professors in extremely bias ways. Usually based on well they did in the class. Class was too hard for some entitled rich teenager? I can see the review now... "This class sucks!" Do you remember college? Put yourself in the role of a professor. Would you really want your annual evaluation based on the thoughts of a bunch of immature emotional teenagers? The entire idea of using student evaluations is flawed. Sharing the data openly is just plain dumb.

Comment Re: change.Just Wait !! (Score 1) 937

There wouldn't be any criminal liability. The casualty would be classified as an industrial accident. The new sub department of the NTSB that handles automated cars would investigate the incident. The results would serve to change the protocols and make the self driving car industry safer. _IF_ an NTSB investigation shows gross negligence on behalf of the car manufacturer, that would open up the possibility for criminal charges against executives at the company.

As a side note. Do you think you would get criminally charged _today_ if you "accidentally" veered onto a side walk and ran over a couple of children?

Comment Re: change.Just Wait !! (Score 1) 937

The parent would be responsible for the actions of their minor children under their supervision. If the parent is not the owner of the insurance policy of the vehicle, the policy owner, or the insurance company itself, may attempt to recover damages from the parent.

Obviously each case is different, and lawyers will have some work. Your hypothetical situation is similar to the "brake shift interlock" issue that went through the courts a few years ago. Parents argued that it was unsafe to be able to shift a vehicle out of park without depressing the brake after several children were injured and caused damage by doing so. I believe the interlock is now a mandated safety device.

I think people are over complicating this to death. It doesn't matter how magic the technology is. Insurance is black, cold, flat risk assessment. Nothing more. Everything else is details, and the lawyers will _continue_ to make plenty of money on that whether we ride horses, or have automated flying cars.

Comment I don't think much has to change.... (Score 5, Interesting) 937

The change will happen slowly, organically, over time. A self driving car will behave statistically as a very safe driver. Ownership of a self driving car should bestow upon you lower insurance rates. If the current insurance companies balk at the idea, the private market will take over and "self driving only" insurance companies will gladly take their place. Eventually, as more and more share of vehicles are self driving the size of the insurance industry will shrink significantly.

I see no reason to change the liability burden away from the "Driver". It may seem counter intuitive, but you are gaining economic advantage by using your self driving car. For that advantage, you accept the risks, and insure yourself against them. That said, operating a self driving car will/should carry significantly less risk and liability then driving yourself around does now.

That does not mean that the car makers are off the hook. Just like today, if a vehicle mechanically malfunctions in a way that the car maker is found responsible, the insurance company may attempt to subrogate the claim to them.

Comment ASCII Art CAPTCHA for the Win (Score 3, Interesting) 558

I recently started getting hundreds of spam signups a day on my site. So I installed a CAPTCHA to prevent that. I setup a standard image CAPTCHA with a plugin for the CMS. More then 80% of the spam sign ups just walked right through it. Then I changed the type of CAPTCHA to an ASCII art CAPTCHA. I haven't had a spam sign up since. The ASCII art CAPTCHA is also much easier to read then weird image CAPTCHAs.

Comment Re:I was going to buy one..... (Score 1) 251

You can use a credit card without a paypal account proper if you donate less then $500. So if you actually want a phone perk, you're going to need to create a paypal account. You can however just use the paypal account on top of your credit card, no need to move money into the paypal account or anything. It's pretty simple.


Submission + - Ubuntu Touch Is More Android Than Ubuntu ( 2

sfcrazy writes: Canonical was gaga about their new tablet and phone OS. You keep hearining them taking about convergence,Qt and QML but two words you never heard was Android or CyanogenMod. It's discovered that 80% Ubuntu Touch is just Android or CyanogenMod. They are using the word done by CyanogenMod community to slap Ubuntu services on phone. Is this they way open source should be developed? Is Canonical breaking the ethics of free software?

Submission + - Sexism in the PHP community (

Czarek Tomczak writes: "There is some heat going on in the PHP community around sexism, it started with the Enhance your PHP-ness T-shirt , one of the girls on the photo is the editor of the Web & PHP magazine and it must have warmed up the atmosphere, a twitter battle has taken place, some men felt embarrassed, others believe the reaction was exaggerated. And what was your initial reaction to the photo, did you see a penis there?"

Submission + - Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) can detect flowers' electric fields (

An anonymous reader writes: Results indicate floral electric fields improve the bees' ability to discriminate between different flowers. When used with visual signals, electrical cues can enhance the bee's memory of floral rewards. Researchers suggest this method of signalling provides rapid and dynamic communication between plants and pollinators..."What the pollen needs to 'know' is when to 'jump' onto the 'vehicle' — the bee — and when to get off it. So it's a selective adhesion type of question," Prof Robert told BBC Nature.

Submission + - Is it worth paying extra for fast SD cards? ( 1

Barence writes: "Are faster grades of SD memory card worth the extra cash? PC Pro has conducted in-depth speed tests on different grades of SD card to find out if they're worth the premium. In camera tests, two top-end SD cards outshone the rest by far, while class 4 cards dawdled for more than a second between shots. However, with the buffer on modern DSLRs able to handle 20 full-res shots or more, it's unlikely an expensive card will make any difference to anyone other than professionals shooting bursts of fast-action shots.

What about for expanding tablet or laptop memory? A regular class 4 or 6 card that’s capable of recording HD video will also be fast enough to play it back on a tablet. The only advantage of a faster card for media is that syncing with your PC will be quicker. However, a faster card is recommended if you're using it to supplement the memory of an Ultrabook or MacBook Air."

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas