Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Its called mass transit (Score 1) 168

Smaller cities need working bus systems that aren't starved for money in order to be useful.

Look at it this way: shared cars (with robot drivers) are a way to get the flexibility needed to scale down to possibly accomplish what you just said.

It's a tiny bus with a flexible schedule. It's less efficient than a larger vehicle full of passengers, but more efficient than a larger vehicle with two passengers, or everyone having to drive their own car. It's another tool on your toolbelt, for addressing certain-size problems. And it happens to be an extremely popular size.

Comment Re:Yep (Score 1) 96

Once a site DOES take responsibility for the posts - filtering, banning, controlling - then they logically would become responsible for the content therein

Would you consider Slashdot to have taken responsibility for the posts here? Moderation exists, but they aren't the ones who do it. Seems like it'd be the moderators, not the host, who would lose safe harbor. (But they aren't hosting anyway, so there's no safe harbor to lose.)

Comment Re:Simple math... (Score 1) 339

Nah, we're stupid. .. Millions of people play the lottery .. Ditto casinos

Millions do it, but do most do it? I think gambling is just a niche, for some (far less than half) fraction of the population. That just tells me some people are stupid, not "we're stupid."

Heh, googled it. All the top results are about addiction. Anyway, it looks like around 1/6 to 1/4 of people gamble. That's much higher than I would have guessed (I thought it'd be more like 1/20 or something like that), but nevertheless, telling me a quarter of the population are fuckwits, doesn't tell me the average person is a fuckwit.

Also, about the fuckwittery: I think some (most? I hope) people who gamble, know they are losing money and that the house must necessarily make a consistent profit off them. They're doing more than gambling; they're buying something. I don't value what they're buying, but they do. Perhaps they like being around gold wallpaper, and enjoy drinking the "free" drinks that they're buying. (Am I stupid for buying electricity that I feed to the computer I play games on, even though I never win electricity back?)

Leadership is different; unlike gambling, it's something that you have to tolerate. It's very hard to have a life free of leaders.

Imagine there were a law that you are required to gamble! So you go looking for the least-worst game. (Craps, I guess?). Eventually all the non-gambler-type personalities are playing craps, because they're forced to. Then the craps houses have to compete, so one of them offers "free" drinks, another one offers a subtle rule change that you have to analyze carefully, and another one has cool animated wallpaper. Are you sure, even as a non-stupid person, you're going to get that choice right? Will you even remember what value you're trying to optimize? There's a law that you have to lose money, so are you trying to minimize that loss, or are you maybe trying to find the one with the best drinks, or the least travel time from your house? The more the houses compete, the more complex the problem will get. Eventually you will be up against people who a very good at making the choices be hard. You'll be thinking travel costs you $0.180 per mile when it's really $0.188, or drinking "free" drinks that are worth $2.91 to you, but they got their cost down to $2.78. You'll think their Fizzbin game's Tuesday rule is an advantage, but actually it puts you up against better players, and two of them (which two?) are agents of the house.

Comment Re:Simple math... (Score 1) 339

I don't think it's because we're stupid. I think it's just because we're not super-smart. (And good thing we're not, because then we'd be up against some amazing liars!)

You are probably a bad-ass motherfucker at something, and possibly several things, the more Rennaissance-Man-like you are. But you can't be an expert at everything (you just can't). So you're going to fall back to less-impressive (but still .. sorta decent) heuristics, both when you try to do those things, and also when you try to figure out if someone else is good at those things.

Your heuristics can be deceived. You probably have some countermeasures against that, too, but just like the topics themselves, the meta-topic of judging other peoples' expertise, isn't something that everyone can be a bad-ass motherfucker at. And sometimes the person deceiving you can be a bad-ass motherfucker at deception.

An average leader candidate ought to be able to trick an average person about half the time. Now throw in a dynamic selection process, where more persuasive candidates move forward ahead of the less-persuasive ones, and well-vetted leader candidate ought to be able to deceive a majority of people.

We, average-skill deception-detectors, are faced with the some of the best deceivers.

Comment Re:Why are they so expensive? (Score 1) 755

So by your logic here, new cars should cost less than less-equipped models from four decades ago.

No, that's not analogous to what he said. He's saying more-equipped new cars cost more than less-equipped old cars. Your 2017 Corvette costs more than your 2002 Civic.

You can take advantage of technology two ways: you can makes things cheaper while preserving (or maybe even moderately improving) its features. (This is what most of us experience with our computers. Your 2017 computer might actually cost less than your 2002 model, while being better, too)

Or you can keep asking more of it, where your advantage is that you can get more, but the catch is that it costs the same-or-more than the previous stuff. (This is what you might experience with a huge computer upgrade, where you replace a 15-year-old Athlon socket A machine with a quad-socket Haswell Xeon motherboard. It's a vastly better computer, but also, it costs more.)

And he's saying the military has chosen the latter approach. They are getting fancier instead of cheaper.

You theoretically could have cars get cheaper over time thanks to tech too, but there are other factors which prevent that from happening. While a 2017 car could cost less than you paid in 2002, it's required to have (this is not a mere market force) more safety features, improved fuel efficiency, Big Brother monitoring system and Denial of Service swit-- shit, I'm not supposed to mention that one. And then there's generic inflation on top of that too (which computers have happening too, but the other cost reductions more than cancel it out).

Comment Re:Boldly? Daring? (Score 1) 86

You know how when you're playing Joust, you sometimes attack the Unbeatable(?) Pterodactyl in mid-air? (Not taking advantage of the conditions where it sometimes flies at a conveniently-placed level where you can stand on a platform and automatically kill it, but where you actually have to hover carefully.)

This can be a boldly daring act, even if you're playing in an air-conditioned bar at 4:30pm on a hot spring day, with a pint of your favorite American IPA on a little table next to the machine (at just the right temperature, its hoppy scents wafting), while a song by Kyuss or Fu Manchu plays in the background and you reflect on how, despite all your problems and uncertainties about the future, life isn't really all that bad. (Sip drink here.) It's not boldly daring to be playing Joust, especially under those conditions, but attacking the Unbeatable(?) Pterodactyl in mid-air is boldly daring within the context of the game.

Similarly, orbits with higher-than-usual collision chances can be boldly daring, within the context of the space probe mission.

[Beer commercial.] Life is hard. Boldy dare to try ours! [/beer commercial]

Comment Re:Why... (Score 1) 247

Those pigs aren't going to knock themselves over, dude. What do you do, just let 'em sit there unmolested, while the birds burn up inside, consumed by their rage?

And when an enemy air defense is down due to being upgraded, how do you dragon them?

Comment Re:Intel NUCs? (Score 1) 102

Amazon doesn't give a fuck what you build out of the stuff they sell you, or what software you install on it. That's your problem. What they do care about, are certain keywords or meanings being in the product description.

The water pipe is for tobacco only, and the grinder is for culinary herbs. The hammer is for nails (not skulls -- don't even mention skulls). And the multimedia player is obviously only useful for lawfully acquired media.

If another party sues Amazon for something they sold you, Amazon's legal department is going to say you misused it. Amazon is not responsible for the perverse thing that you did to the totally innocent thing they sold you, which was never intended to be used for what you did.

Comment Strings (Score 1) 94

How dastardly! These CIA hackers wrote a program that takes the "Copyright 2011 CIA" strings in executables and replaces them with Chinese copyright notices!

On the other hand, it's nice that the CIA was putting origin-identifying strings into the binaries in the first place (so they exist to be removed or changed). If I were running a spy agency, I'm not sure I would have thought to do that.

Comment Re:Solution (Score 1) 200

Police should start pulling over and ticketing drivers who are on their phones while driving. .. It would be a great source of revenue

There's a lot of common sense here. Ask any mayor about crime, and he'll tell you he has only so many police officers; there just isn't the manpower. But ... but .. it would fund itself!

Now go read the conflict of interest thread from a story last week. There's a lot of common sense there too. And having the fines pay for the enforcement, would give an incentive for police to lie about whether or not someone was using their phone. (And no, phone records don't solve the problem, because talking to someone else is just one increasingly-insignificant use case of these little PCs.)

What to do?

Slashdot Top Deals

"Virtual" means never knowing where your next byte is coming from.