Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:That's not the only way it's inferior (Score 1) 201

by plopez (#48681869) Attached to: Newest Stealth Fighter's Ground Attack Sensors 10 Years Behind Older Jets

The problem is that if it takes 20 years to build an airplane that design will be obsolete by the time it gets deployed. So upgrading just increases costs. Why did it take 20 years? Isn't that a bit excessive? Why doesn't the software work? Why could it not fly in the the rain for God's sake? Why are we replacing a platform like the A-10 which is an example of a good dedicated design with a Swiss Army knife approach.

The last major attempts for a "one size fits all" muti-role fighter was the f4 which resulted in the services abandoning the approach in favor of the F18, F-15, and A-10. Like a bad penny the multi-role fighter concept just keeps coming back. We are ending up with a plane that does everything and will not be able to do any of it particularly well.

Comment: Re:Didn't they announce it? (Score 2) 159

by tlambert (#48680407) Attached to: N. Korea Blames US For Internet Outage, Compares Obama to "a Monkey"

Didn't the US say they were going to try and get North Korea's internet access cut?

It was suggested by "security researchers".

Sadly, it took more candy than they had on hand to bribe the 12 year old in Des Moines, Iowa to stage the BGP attack against the 4 routers necessary to take North Korea of the Internet, so it was several days until the attack went forward.

Comment: Wanting to charge for WhatsApp was predictable. (Score 2) 47

by tlambert (#48679519) Attached to: India Faces Its First Major Net Neutrality Issue

Wanting to charge for WhatsApp was predictable. In fact, I predicted it.

Globally (and a large chunk of it was in India), the SMS carriers lost about $9B to WhatsApp. This is why Facebook was willing to pay $18B to acquire it, since they wanted leverage over the carriers in those countries to force Internet access, because Facebook lives or dies by Internet access of its users. It's the same reason Google has so many initiatives to extend Internet access everywhere.

The carriers have lost a large chunk of their SMS revenue, and Skype is converting a lot of their voice traffic to Internet traffic, and they are therefore losing money on that too. So they want to add fees for use of Skype to make up for origination, connection, call completion, and time-on-call fees which are going away as Indian users are discovering that if they have Skype to talk to people internationally, and the other person in India that they want to talk to has Skype to talk to people internationally, why, they can use Skype to *talk to each other* and cut out all the middleman fees for virtual circuit switching services.

Telecom companies are quickly becoming the vendors of dumb pipes, with their only service level differentiator being what diameter of pipe you are able to get. And they very much do not like this. This is why we have things like data caps with huge overage charges, and video services that the carrier gets paid by the video, and it doesn't cost you against your data cap, but if you use someone else's video service, it costs you.

And so they are fighting net neutrality tooth and nail, because their revenue streams are drying up.

The really, really ironic thing is that if the telecommunications company had deployed these technologies themselves, they could have fit them into their existing tiering, and kept the majority of the profits that are now flying out their window. They would have had a reduced income stream, to be sure, but they would have had it, instead of it going to some third party.

Expect Microsoft and Facebook to spend heavily to defeat these measures.

Comment: Re:False Summary - Haigh Agrees with Knuth's Thesi (Score 2) 135

by plopez (#48677437) Attached to: Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

" far more important event than being the iPod/iPhone taskmaster"

I am actually going to argue that point with you. From an applications POV; IPods, IPads, iPhones, and OS X took the capabilities of Unix, and a host of other technologies, and leveraged them into something with a huge impact on social order, business, art, and science. Having Unix at the ready was important. But creating those products took the power of Unix into a whole new realm.

By analogy, knowing 2 Ca3SiO5 + 7 H2O ---> 3 CaO.2SiO2.4H2O + 3 Ca(OH)2 + 173.6kJ is important.

Taking that and using it to create a transcontinental highway system is also very important.

Comment: Re:Knuth is right. (Score 1) 135

by plopez (#48677383) Attached to: Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

"Ignorance of mathematics isn't the cause of stupid laws and policy around technology..."

I agree somewhat but I think ignorance allows bad policy to exists. Some of what you hear coming from hucksters would, IMO, be akin to repealing the laws of gravity or building a warp drive. I am very skeptical of things such as facial recognition, trawling email to stop terrorist attacks, data mining, anything that handles data which is not ACID compliant, missile defense, and AI (AFAIAC it will never truly exist) though reflection is nice to have.

CS and the principles behind it are often so abstract that many people are not even aware of when they are lying.

"Flattery is all right -- if you don't inhale." -- Adlai Stevenson