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Comment Re:Poor Mattthew Garrett (Score 5, Informative) 88

I stopped working on Ubuntu because decisions were increasingly being made internally rather than anywhere that volunteer contributors could influence them. The "Click here to instantly break your mouse" thing was just the final straw. There's a component to the story that involves beer and a hilarious reply vs. reply all error on an iPhone, but I don't remember it being about anyone siding with Scott - there's a picture somewhere of me deactivating my Ubuntu membership a few minutes after sending https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2008-February/025141.html , which hardly gave them time to.

Comment Re:100 GBit isn't large (Score 2) 93

Not our fault your office is located in South Africa.

I have many offices. Some have 100mbit connections coming out their ears (Tokyo, HK, Singapore, Washington). Others struggle to get 10 (Kabul, Nairobi)

Beiruit is probably the only office which can't get 10mbit connection. The average is far higher.

Comment Re:100 GBit isn't large (Score 1) 93

10 Mb/s upstream is not that unusual these days. And many botnets are way bigger than 10000 bots. Even if each bot has just 2 Mb/s upstream, you only need 50000 Bots. And botnets are not limited to infecting computers on home user connections. Infecting 100 servers on 1 Gbit/s connections is also enough.

Certainly isn't, I've got that in my office in South Africa, which as far as the internet goes is about as backwater as you can get in a G20.

Comment Re:Energy itself as currency. (Score 3, Interesting) 532

Of course people soon became tired of lugging tons of batteries around with them - and having to stand in line to get them charged up at the end of every work-day. Also, measuring the amount of charge transferred between your battery and that of the supermarket when buying a pound of carrots was always a matter of some dispute. Hence there came to be standard batteries with numerical displays on them to show how much charge remained. Places called banques sprang up where you could leave your batteries and read out their charge remotely. Exchanges allowed you to discharge your batteries *here* and to use an exactly equal amount of energy to charge up those of someone on the other side of the planet who wished to provide you with some physical goods. The inconvenience of physically storing all of that electricity made it more efficient for the banques to supply it to people who needed it, in exchange for electricity in return in the future. Over time, nobody was ever sure that the amount of electricity held in the banque was as much as the banque claimed to have stored - or owed to it.

Pretty soon, a shorthand word for "total amount of electricity" was needed - and that quirky unused '$' symbol on everyone's keyboard came to stand for some arbitrary amount of the stuff.

Comment Been all-electronic for a while now. (Score 1) 532

I realize a while ago that it had been a very long time since I last used a dollar bill or a coin - so I looked back through my banking records to see when I last used an ATM (which is a reasonable approximation for the date when I last needed cash for anything). I was surprised to see that it was almost two years ago. I also looked back at my checkbook...same deal. Haven't used that in two years either.

For me at least - electronic money is already here.

    -- Steve

Comment Re:I do not understand why this is a story (Score 1) 740

You totally missed the part about not within our current technical ability.

No, not within the laws of physics.

There's nothing stopping us running a tube through the earth from one side to another, removing the air, and using a laser to cut down on latency.

We'd have to disprove relativity to use quantum entanglement as a means of communication

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=612 et. al

Comment Re:Could have been worse than Ctrl + Alt + Del (Score 1) 665

Thanks to university where I had to switch between terminals using US keyboard layout and PCs using UK I learned pretty quickly that @ and " switched places. \ was a pain, but not as bad as ~ or `.

My current laptop has US keyboard set because it has US keycaps (and Cyrillic for some reason) but every other device in the house with a keyboard (8 and counting) is UK. Doesn't bother me at all.

I don't mind the fact that US keyboards are wrong (:p), it's the fact the only way to enter \ on this type of setup is to hit the Alt-numeric keypad

Comment Re:I do not understand why this is a story (Score 1) 740

Well, if we're speaking in theory, they could know instantly if they have a quantum entangled radio. (also not within our current technical ability) In practice, the rate set at exacly 1400 would not be known to them for another 7ms. Thus: "Insider Trading at the Speed of Light"

You can't use quantum entanglement to transmit data faster than the speed of light.

Comment Re:I do not understand why this is a story (Score 1) 740

(B) As someone else mentioned, it's 180,000mps.

Yes, I missed the m. 186 miles per millisecond.

(C) Electricity does not travel as fast in wires as light does in a vacuum.

Correct, but then light does travel fairly fast in a fibre (about 120miles per ms), and nobody uses coax for long distances anymore, certainly not traders that value every microsecond.

At 596 miles, the speed of light is indeed 3.2ms. Add in switching delays, etc. and you get closer to 5ms, and that's assuming fiber.

I don't understand what else it would be. Unless the U.S. is a network backwater, there's fibre. A dedicated fibre connecting two devices will be less than that.

But ALL of this is really beside the point. The knowledge that they were going to do it was presumably public. And even if not, and it was "insider" knowledge, it's still beside the point. Because they traded too early. 7ms advantage today is a significant advantage for HST.

You're right, obviously it was insider trading. However trading after the knowledge has become public is not illegal. When does the knowlege become public? At 14:00 in Washington, but is it the speed of the fastest propagation? The slowest?

How about this, you have a system in washington waiting for the message. As it comes out, you send a 2 bit unique number to indicate up/level/down, this is sent via shortwave. You can send 10bits per millisecond via shortwave (9600baud). That's 0.2 ms, plus the speed of radio waves in the atmosphere, plus a bit for refraction. I could see you could get it in well ahead of 7ms, probably under 4ms.

The question is, if I know something, and act on it after it's made public, when does it become public?

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