Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Comment How about ditch ALL external connections? (Score 1) 403

The only thing I'm using the USB plug on my phone for is charging (I've used it for file transfer but that was mostly as I was too lazy to pair the Bluetooth instead).

With wireless charging options available already, the logical next step would be to create a phone with no external connections. Everything wireless. The only thing I don't have a ready solution for is the SIM card (I don't consider the US way of SIM-less, carrier-locked phones a solution). After that making phones waterproof becomes easy as well.

Next challenge: a touch screen that works under water. Preferably seawater.

Comment Re:What do you expect from an ex-Disney lawyer? (Score 2) 222

Well, maybe, maybe not.

Of course he used to be paid to fight for increased copyright protection for a big company (Disney). That's against him.

On the other hand, having had a solid career in copyright protection, means he knows all the ins and outs of copyright law. Now assuming he's been a very good lawyer (fair assumption considering he made it into a high ranking judge) he'll know the arguments for both sides just as well: that's after all the job of a lawyer. You have to know how to argue your side well, but also the opposing side: that's how you prepare for the opposing side's attacks, and how to defend against that. And that goes for him.

As a judge he's supposed to be neutral and unbiased (as much as a human can be - they may be judges, they're humans, too). As long as he remains neutral and unbiased, he should make a fine judge for copyright cases.

However coming with remarks of who's on the side of the law before the trial even has started, that's bad, and an indication of a biased or prejudiced judge.

Comment Re:A good idea (Score 1) 674

1) It will be much harder to find individuals willing to do certain categories of high risk or menial labor. You would end up having to pay a LOT more.

A much-heard argument this is, and I really wonder how much of it is true.

If you continue to pay the current wages, the basic income is the wage increase. The basic income is supposed to cover the basics: basic housing, basic food, basic clothing. Nothing fancy, just the basics to live a simple life. Now everything above this basic income goes to luxuries. Better housing, better food, better clothing, vacations, nice electronic gadgets. Of course this is simplified, I know, but it is the idea behind basic income.

These jobs (especially the high-risk ones pay a lot more than minimum already) will allow people to afford luxuries. Any job will allow them to afford luxuries. The interesting thing is going to be how wages are going to develop. Will they have to go up a lot, to entice people to take up the job? Can they go down to have the overall income level (basic income + new wage) stay the same as it is now (current wage)? Down part of the basic income amount?

For sure there will be people to take up any job - as long as the money is right.

The basic income changes this game, and I think it's really hard to predict in which way. After all, also other jobs will change wages. More desirable jobs may see their wages cut by as much as the basic income amount, automatically making other jobs more attractive even if those wages remain the same as they are now.

The desire "to take a job, any job" may be less - however you must remember that currently people out of a job also get a state income, a social security or whatever it's called. Much more cumbersome, but nevertheless also a form of basic income. Yet still people take up the menial jobs. Sitting at home watching TV on basic income may be fun for a while, but most people will get bored out of their minds. Some will look for a job, others (like me) will look for other things to do, other business ventures to start.

Comment Re:add a clause. (Score 5, Insightful) 190

It can easily go a step further.

The license is not necessarily exclusive to Epic Records, which means he can license it to other people as well.

So now it may happen that Bob has licensed the same video, and is using it legally, and then Epic Records via Sony tries to sue him over copyright infringement. That's bad not only for Bob, but also for Mitch, as he may get a bad name and can't sell his material any more. Bob will also have no idea what's happening to him, as he knows he properly licensed the video from Mitch, who is not related to Sony, yet it's Sony that comes with the infringement claims.

A big, big mess.

Comment Re:What about GPS? (Score 1) 127

The only way to get a GPS location from a phone is if the phone has the GPS function switched on,

The consumer-available GPS function does not need to be "on" for E911 to get that data.

Interesting, as Android at least does not allow apps to switch on the GPS receiver - it can only send users to the settings, asking the user to switch it on. So either it's a backdoor, or (more likely) they get the location not from GPS, but from the mobile network which can triangulate a phone's location - that failing, as you need to see at least three towers for that, the network can narrow down the search area considerably.

Comment Re:what is a "cell phone ping"? (Score 1) 127

That doesn't mean they'll give out the IMEI to anyone that calls. The above implies that it's the phone owner asking to have a specific IMEI blocked - not sure how useful it is as the thief could just pop in a SIM belonging to another network - while in this case the search team would at first have to be able to get the IMEI number somehow.

Comment Re:what is a "cell phone ping"? (Score 1) 127

they'd have to start digging through my stuff

Which, as I understand things, is a deal breaker with most national telcos.

My telco of course issues my bill. No IMEI written on it. It'll also differ by which nationality those national telcos have - and I don't know about yours.

Not sure if they have my IMEI registered in the first place.

Of course not... then they could pwn you and your freedom loving cellphone.

Dunno what you're trying to say here. My phone is not sold by my service provider, so other than reading my IMEI after I put the sim in and connect, they don't know this.

Comment Re:A new era of /. (Score 2) 127

When you hover your mouse over it, an underline appears, revealing it's a link. I was also at first wondering what those domain names are doing next to the headline. The UI designer really seems to go out of their way to hide the fact this is a link, and they seem to even try to hide the existence of the link by making it green on green.

Comment Re:What about GPS? (Score 3, Informative) 127

GPS is passive. It only receives, doesn't send information.

The only way to get a GPS location from a phone is if the phone has the GPS function switched on, and then starts to send a GPS reading out through another channel - e.g. a WiFi or mobile data connection. In general this requires you to have an app running sending out your GPS coordinates to some server that records this info. Most phones don't have this function due to privacy concerns, and if they do, such records are (or at least, should) not be available to the general public to query.

Comment Re:what is a "cell phone ping"? (Score 1) 127

Other than digging up a command to get the imei from my own phone directly, I wouldn't know how to get it.

Packing? Long gone.

Phone bill? Not written on it (and other people may have a hard time finding my phone bills - they'd have to start digging through my stuff).

Mobile phone company? Well, I hope they don't provide any information about me and my contract over the phone to just anyone that asks. Not sure if they have my IMEI registered in the first place.

Comment Re:You're barfing on the wrong tree (Score 1) 36

Tens of thousands killed in the US-supported civil wars (supported by massive weapons supplies [blablabla]

You want stories about a major airline's IT infrastructure shitting itself? Slashdot is the right place.

You want stories about the latest twitter feud between Katy Perry and the Kardashians? Go on TMZ or

You want to discuss your alleged "US-supported civil wars", Bush's crime against humanity or the plot to discredit Hillary Clinton? Go see Mother Jones or some other left wing website.

To each his own, and if you don't respect that there's other websites for you out there, lookup the website of the Westboro Baptist Church or the various youtube channels supporting ISIS, those people also think they know what matters and what doesn't.

The story is not much about the IT infrastructure, as it is about the number of inconvenienced people and flight delays. Barely a word on the technical side of what went wrong and how it's being solved (which would for most of this tech and IT minded crowd be quite interesting), and what's said about that part is mostly marketing speak. How does this make the story slashdot-worthy? Just because it involved computers?

Comment Re:An article the same day? (Score 2) 36

Wonder why every little issue with aviation is newsworthy.

A couple thousand people delayed/inconvenienced due to computer glitch - headline news! Big problems! Get out the disaster mitigation plans!

Millions of people lost personal information to identity thieves: minor issue.

Tens of thousands killed in the US-supported civil wars (supported by massive weapons supplies - which recently I read are being increased significantly in the wake of Russia's involvement) in the Middle East: no problem, as that's not Americans/Europeans dying, and they're fighting "some evil regime".

Even hurricanes that swamp and knock out parts of Manhattan (without anyone wondering how come the US is so ill prepared against a bigger-than-average rainfall) for weeks, and it's barely as much reported on as a little aviation-related issue.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long