Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:click-bait? (Score 1) 628

We are the stronger species, we win. Empathy is evolutionarily expensive.

I'd say that empathy is so evolutionarily valuable that it's the fundamental reason we are the stronger species.

It seems very likely that we evolved the capacity for empathy because people who have it are more effective at understanding the points of view of others, which is a pre-requisite to the more effective forms of cooperation. It's clearly our ability to cooperate which makes us the dominant species on the planet because as individuals we're pretty weak and ineffectual compared to other megafauna.

Of course, it's only really empathy for others who are likely to be willing to cooperate with us that is evolutionarily useful. This extends beyond our own species, though, and encompasses animals whose companionship or service we value (think dogs, horses). You'll get better service from a horse that you treat well, and you're more likely to treat it well if you can empathize with it. But our brains don't distinguish degrees of utility that finely, so many animals get empathy from us, largely in correlation to how easy it is for us to identify with them. Dolphins, with their obvious intelligence, sociability and playfulness, generate strong empathic responses in people, even though as marine animals they're quite different from us.

Comment Re:Of course, that would miss the point (Score 1) 120

But that's not where the profit is. That's not what's going to take AMD into the mid-21st century. If AMD sticks to that line of thinking, it'll go the way of Cyrix... and for exactly the same reason. AMD can't invest in a new fab plant because its cash reserves are too low, whereas Intel's pile of gold just keeps growing.

Dude, this already happened back in 2009 when they first spun off and later sold out of GlobalFoundries.

They are trying to claw their way into the mid-range market and undercut Intel.

Again it sounds like you dropped out of a time machine from 2009, when Thuban was aging and Bulldozer was supposed to be AMDs ace in the hole. Since then AMD has done nothing but dodge Intel selling all-in-one APUs using their graphics division and special case architectures for consoles, supercomputers, ARM servers and everything but going head to head with Intel. Their flagship CPU is still a Bulldozer refresh from 2012 built on 32nm, they've got nothing to compete with for systems that use no graphics (CPU crunching) or dedicated graphics (on board graphics irrelevant).

AMDs own roadmap shows there's no replacement coming in 2014, the only thing you'll get are Kaveri APUs. And the only thing selling them are the GCN graphics, otherwise they're almost out of the CPU business. Xeons now rule totally supreme over the once so good, but horribly aging Opterons. Sadly you're projecting what you'd like to happen with what is happening, AMD is not turning to fight they're running looking for something else to turn a profit on. It might be the best (or only) remaining choice for AMD, even if it sucks for us.

Comment Re:Which shows that people don't understand (Score 2) 846

The fundamental problem with proxy reconstructions is the premise that the collector can determine exactly *what* caused the proxy data. Tree rings (which appear frequently in the search results) presume a thin ring means less water. Could mean less light, a blight, a locust swarming and other things as well. Things that will not leave a trace. Proxy cherry picking is another problem. If two nearby trees show different indications, which to use?

Comment Re:Make organ donars have priority access to organ (Score 1) 518

Actually, this solves nothing. The vast majority of people will never need an organ replaced, and it is something they just don't think about.

Well, I think "If you're in a terrible accident and needed a organ transplant, would you like to be at the top or bottom of the recipient list?" will get more attention than "If you die in a terrible accident, woul you like your organs to help save other people?" Of course a lot could probably be achieved by simply making it required to say yes or no when signing up for a health insurance, which seems a rather natural time for it.

Comment Re:I don't mind metered internet usage... (Score 0) 479

Would you like metered television too? No longer broadcast to you 24/7, now you get to watch 90 minutes a day, and after that you have to pay? Would that make sense to you?

Dude, TV is metered and it's called ads. The TV companies love couch potatoes, the more people watch ads the more money they make.

Bandwidth is already rationed by setting speed levels.

Bandwidth is poorly rationed by setting speed levels. Most people just want really fast Internet in bursts, buy a new game on Steam and you want it downloaded ASAP. I'd have no problem with say a 100Mbps/1TB line, those who want to keep it capped 24x7 can pay for their 300+ TB worth of bandwidth themselves.

People rationing bandwidth at night by not using any isn't going to save anyone anything. It's just dark fiber.

Which is why at least some of the services with caps offer free nightly bandwidth like midnight to 6AM, because their goal is to lower the afternoon peak. On unmetered Internet there's no incentive to conserve bandwidth even at peak times and those peaks define the dimensioning capacity. And that one costs lots of very real money. Or just trying to archieve the Internet adding a huge base load on the system, heightening all other peaks.

The main reason people prefer the flat rate connections is predictability in price and predictability in performance. Yes, you might find that you have to kick your torrent-downloading teen off the net to get your bandwidth back, but he won't have "used up" your Internet of the month nor will your bill be higher. Around here they still have caps on mobile data plans, they all work so that after the cap the speed is reduced to a crawl and you many pay for another block of bandwidth. Seems fair to me, even though "unused" spectrum also in theory doesn't cost them anything.

Comment There doesn't seem to be a "market" (Score 5, Insightful) 479

From TFA (heresy, I know):

He goes on to explain that EBTC has 1,057 customers as of Dec. 31, 2013, and serves a 165- mile area. That means customer density is roughly seven customers per square mile. (...) Since 2009, he says, the FCC has decreased access charges by $285,004 and Universal Funding by $282,228, for a total of $566,232 or $531.68 per customer.

These are people in rural areas, where it's not very profitable to deliver service in the first place. Public funding is going down, actual bandwidth going up, a little fiber laid down in the dotcom days is growing old and they're in a short squeeze. These prices smell more of desperation than gouging, it can't be easy to break even with those numbers. I doubt any competitors will move in to take over this gold nugget.

Comment Not "just as great", much greater (Score 2) 53

Insiders don't pose "just as great" a risk, they're by far the bigger risk.

Nearly any attack vector usable by an outsider is also usable by an insider, but the converse is not true. This means that insiders are the primary risk to consider, in fact insiders are almost the only risk you need to think about. "Almost" because attack vectors aren't the only consideration, you also have to look at motivations and capabilities, and it may be that external attackers have motivations or capabilities that insiders do not. In most contexts, though, if you can protect against insiders, addressing the remaining external risks will be trivial.

My day job is about securing a substantial database of very sensitive information, in a commercial context that has highly capable insiders. Insiders are, to a first approximation, the only attackers I think about. This sometimes annoys people who really want to say "But I can be trusted!" (but mostly are smart enough not to actually say it).

In my previous job, I was a security consultant, working with many fortune 500 firms, and the same viewpoint was the right perspective nearly all of the time there as well. Of course, most clients didn't want to hear that, because protecting against insider threats is generally hard, tedious and unsexy.

Slashdot Top Deals

The bogosity meter just pegged.