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


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:Searching (Score 1) 143

by thegarbz (#49502309) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?

Why? As long as it doesn't affect searching why not add features?

Why is it such a problem that if I google "Where is my phone" that it brings up the option to call it along with search results for that search? Why is it a problem that when I type EUR-AUD I get a currency conversion screen along with results to articles and currency converters about the Euro?

Comment: Re:Be able to PERMANENTLY disable instant search (Score 1) 143

by thegarbz (#49502297) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?

I don't agree with this. Certainly results with all search terms should be promoted at the top, but once those run out the rest should be displayed. That allows you to easily find information when you don't know exactly what you're looking for. The term may be misspelt (on the website, not necessarily by user input), or there may be a different term for the same thing and the resulting website gets picked up on the rest of your search omitting the one word that is "wrong".

Comment: Re:I can kiss my Newton Messagepad goodbye? (Score 1) 97

by thegarbz (#49502243) Attached to: Google Adds Handwriting Input To Android

That creates 2 problems, one the GP was alluding to is that the stylus is simulating a "fat soft finger". Maybe there's newer styluses but the ones I looked at a few years ago didn't seem all that hot.

But the bigger problem is identifying the difference between the stylus and your hand. It's not a problem for mobile phone sized devices, but for tablet sized devices it is very reasonable to be resting your palm on the screen while taking notes.

Comment: Re:So much for long distance Listening (Score 3, Informative) 83

by thegarbz (#49502203) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Digital ANYTHING over the air for listening just plain sucks.

If your signal is not perfect you simply don't hear anything. If I am WAY away from an analog broadcast, it might be fuzzy, it might in and out of stereo but I can still HEAR and understand it.

You're assuming the goal of listening radio is simply to understand. For most people it most definitely isn't. There's nothing more fatiguing than trying to understand content through static in the background. Heck when FM drops out of stereo most people typically change the channel, and and many intelligent radios consider the signal lost at this point and look for another station.

This is only one of the reasons why cops and fire fighters hate the new digital radios.

The cops and firefighters have a rosy view of the past. The reality is that modern digital radios have receivers with far greater sensitivities than those analogue counterparts. TETRA or P25 on a power for power basis with older analogue equipment works well over 3 times the distance where analogue becomes unintelligible. The modern equipment is now so good they've started downrating the equipment's power output.

If you have a coverage issue at all then it's never the fault of the radio standard.

Comment: Re:About half (Score 1) 83

by thegarbz (#49502179) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

56 per cent of radio listeners use digital radio every day

What about those who only listen every 2 days?

55 per cent of households have at least one DAB radio

How many people don't have a radio at home at all?

Then there's also the premise that going out and spending 25Euro on a radio sometime in the next two years is a problem. This will be a big non-issue.

Comment: Re:I can kiss my Newton Messagepad goodbye? (Score 2) 97

by thegarbz (#49499081) Attached to: Google Adds Handwriting Input To Android

Not all devices have the same capacitive touch sensors. Devices like the Galaxy Note series of tablets and phablets, or the Surface series, and some of the ASUS VivoTab models have a proper digitizer for styluses.

Hopefully this resolves a chicken and egg issue and we can start to see more of these now.

Comment: Re:Here is a thought (Score 1) 112

by thegarbz (#49498907) Attached to: Drought and Desertification: How Robots Might Help

This! I remember clearly when we went through droughts in SE Queensland. The government was proposing new dams, desalination and sewage treatment.

The public on the other hand protested the desalination and the sewage treatment, and then stuck "No Dams" stickers on the back of their cars. I was all for a government policy that cuts of water to anyone who had that sticker on their car.

Comment: Re:So (Score 1) 166

Of course not. At the time suspension bridges were the cheapest way to safely build such a bridge.

It's not the size, it's the scale. Back then things were built with future in mind. These days it's about solving today's problem and screw tomorrow because we don't want to be seen spending more than we need.

Famously the Sydney harbour bridge in the 30s was built with 8 lanes, 2 trains, and a dedicated cycle track and pedestrian track. These days we solve congestion problems by spending millions to widen a road by one lane, only to have to start the project again when we're finished because in the 5 years it took to widen the road the traffic has increased yet again.

Comment: Re:Lets use correct terminology. (Score 1) 166

by thegarbz (#49498457) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

The CEO being new doesn't narrow things down much in this case.

Maybe the new CEO is getting rid of the bottom performing 20%.
Maybe the new CEO is reducing headcount by 20%.

Either case is common for new management, but both cases are handled very VERY differently from all sorts of legal perspectives.

Comment: Re:Black and White? (Score 1) 584

Whenever I read something about girls-only or boys-only, I like to replace the gender designations with race designations

Sure but first lets do a study on race designation to see if it's worthwhile. In the case of gender it has already been done, and gender segregation appears to be significantly benefit the learning environment.

The key is choice. I would have been supremely pissed if there was only one choice, but there's not.

Comment: Re:Feminism ruins society again... (Score 1) 584

Yeah I know. I totally wanted to go to an all girls school when I was younger, but alas I am male.
But really that was unfair. The local all girls school had far better grades, why shouldn't I be allowed to go there?

Now I have a question for you: Would your sun benefit from going to a programming school setup for an all girls environment taught specifically in ways to maximise female learning?

People are not the same. This is just one step towards personalised learning. Find your son an appropriate school elsewhere, because I guarantee you there will be nothing magical about sending him to this school. If for some reason people don't hire people because they didn't attend this school, then start to worry.

Comment: Re: I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 2) 584

I live in a country where about half of the schools are mixed, and the other half is one of either single genders. Some teachers union (my wife is a teacher I don't know exactly what the source was) did a study and determined that gender segregation benefits girls in terms of academic performance, but hurts boys for the same.

The wife's guess (who has taught at mixed and gender segregated schools) is that boys get competitive around girls, which seems to make some sense.

Comment: Re:Still the worst offender (Score 2) 190

by thegarbz (#49492043) Attached to: Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google

From what I recall the whole reason these blocks were put in place was due to Microsoft not abiding by the terms and conditions that Youtube require i.e. bypassing advertisements on Windows phones for Youtube.

This isn't even a pot and kettle issue, it's a sad bully who's crying that someone hit him back.

Comment: Re:there's a strange bias on slashdot (Score 1) 190

by thegarbz (#49492037) Attached to: Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google

Monopolies are not inherently bad, they just need to be regulated. Monopolies exist in every market and every country around the world both on the local level and the global level. The only time you need to worry is if there's an abuse of disproportionate market power.

Typically the resulting regulation sits on price as a monopoly is likely to drive that up. The second monopoly is on anti-competitive practices against competitors. Given how much I pay Google to use their services I don't really see a problem (yet).

If you don't have time to do it right, where are you going to find the time to do it over?