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


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:What court? (Score 1) 128

I tend to limit my comments to things I know a lot about. But this is the first time I've ever been called a troll. Makes me feel like a true member of the Slashdot community. };->

I would consider you a member in good standing - you have a highly moderated post and don't seem to know much about the FISA court.

What is the FISA court?
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

You'll know you've stepped up your game when you regularly get modded down for posting factual, relevant material about the topic being discussed.

Comment Re:Bullshit.... (Score 1) 128

There really isn't any part of your comment that applies to this situation. Collecting the phone records was a minor and relatively inexpensive program that doesn't have much of anything to do with the rest of their surveillance capabilities. They aren't doing this because of a court order but because of the President and Congress taking action.

Comment USB is a support nightmare (Score 4, Interesting) 151

Unlike ethernet, which is pretty much standard from platform to platform and basically trivial to support, USB code is completely different between linux, OS X, and Windows, and is a mess, API-wise.

I write software defined radio stuff, and after one incredible nightmare getting a USB SDR to work on all three platforms using conditional compilation (I did succeed), I swore off. No more. If it doesn't have an ethernet interface, or a USB-to-ethernet server app compatible with the standard SDR protocols that makes it appear to me as an ethernet SDR, it's not happening.

Luckily, some of the best SDR manufacturers out there have done it right. Andrus, AFDRI, and RFSPACE. And there are some servers that have been built to hide the abortion of USB, but so far they are very much platform-specific, for the very reason I described above.

USB. Ugh.

Comment Re:WHY? (Score 1) 130

Yes, there are still devices that run on pc/104 and other embedded x86 platforms. The older ones still running ROMable versions of DOS.

Z80 support would be nice for me, I'm still using SDCC so I'm still stuck in C land. Of course I'd also like 68hc11 support too, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Sure, some people still use Pascal. Some people still use Java even though it's obvious that Oracle is eventually going to screw it up.

Comment Re:Describes mediocre and bad engineers well (Score 1) 491

A lot of not very good engineers like these absolute answers and like things to be black or white. I run into them frequently. The worst is probably the IT security field, where things are often viewed as secure or not, with nothing in between.

To be fair, either you are dead or not... or the favorite from years ago, you are not just a little bit pregnant. You either are pregnant or you are not.

That being said, managing risk is a numbers game which is where the black and white people fail miserably. Which is essentially what you said. I am just trying to nuance the situation here a bit and point out why the infosec folks that are weak actually are weak.

Disclaimer, I work in infosec.

Comment Re:The dark matter between their ears (Score 1) 164

Why is it that astrophysicists "believe" in time dilation but do not "believe" in space dilation? Time and space is a continuum. They are inseparable as concepts. Energy is composed of spacetime and mass. When creating mass out of energy, spacetime is also created. The amount of mass determines how much spacetime there is; and therefore how much energy was used to create it.

"Length" is not a hardcoded value just as time is not a hardcoded value. There is less "space" at the edge of a galaxy. A flat galaxy that is rotating only appears to be flat due to the interplay of time and space. It is not actually so... from the perspective that we live in.

Comment Re: Imbicycles (Score 3, Interesting) 179

In London, bicycles effectively use about 2MPG of diesel by slowing large numbers of buses and trucks to the position where they are unable to get out of low gear. They are one of the biggest causes of pollution from diesel.

If you got the damn bikes of the road, the diesel vehicles would pollute far less.

And, as for public transport - sure, take your desktop computer, server or laser printer (or even your weekly supermarket shopping) under your arm on London transport in the rush hour. You can post the video on Youtube afterwards.

Comment Re:The dark matter between their ears (Score 1) 164

Correct. The facts don't match the theory. Galaxies could not hang together the way they do if all they consist of is the things we've already observed in the laboratory unless we change the law of gravity [to something enormously more complex - c.f. epicycles] or postulate the existence of something that interacts gravitationally but doesn't interact with light.

Spacetime is a continuum. Yes? Speed changes the perspective of time. Mass changes the perspective of space. No modification of gravity needed and no dark matter needed.

Put simply, there is less space where there is less matter. If you can wrap your brain around time dilation, wrapping your brain around space dilation should be simple.

Comment Tidal (Score 1) 172

Tidal power is the way to go - I presume most people would not include it in hydro - because hydro generally involves piling a lot of water on land where it floods out peasants and causes earthquakes, whereas putting a nodding duck off the west coast of Scotland would have little impact on the environment, a propeller in the current off the south coast of Trinidad would have little impact on fish.

And the sea is a convenient place to dump the waste heat too.

Disclaimer: my data centre only needs a couple of kw,

Comment Re:iFixit is NOT unbiased (Score 1) 242

They only sell the repair kits because reductions in the size of devices got to the point where people rarely had the necessary tools. iFixit's margins are higher on the parts anyway & they'd certainly stop selling them if it weren't necessary for their present business...

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.