Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Think about learning as a distro (Score 1) 1345

Knowledge has a series of dependencies. You can't really do quantum mechanics w/o calculus and other higher math, and you can't do higher math w/o algebra, and so on. The problem is that uploading, and validating these dependencies can take many years. In theory conventional education is like the Linux Standard Base, a set of common packages which minimize the amount of dependencies that have to be loaded. Thus, in theory, a high school graduate should be able to handle most forms of non specialized knowledge. College majors and prerequisites are similar in this regard.

Autodidacts are like folks who load every program they use without a package manager. A difficult task which not everybody can do. Also such systems are prone to crashes (massive holes in experience/training)

The problem w/ much of mainstream education is that the 'IT department' is doing things by rote and doesn't really understand packages.

What would be interesting is an educational overlay on wikipedia or the equivalent which would explicitly identify and specify these dependencies.

Comment Re:Minimum mass of a Petabyte (Score 5, Informative) 495

That was my dissertation topic, conventional systems require ~kT per bit (k is the Boltzmann constant = 1.3806503 Ã-- 10-23 m2 kg s-2 K-1 and T is the temperature of the gate in Kelvin) for each read. Quantum systems can access well below that by various trickery (single photon optical computers can reduce this by a thousandfold). In theory a individual photon can hold huge amounts of data in it's state vector before collapse. The trick is making a measurement on enough of these photons to extract the info you need while overcoming shot noise.

Comment Yeah... Great Ideas (Score 1) 123

Umm, Great Ideas From Sigma so far:

Niven said a good way to help hospitals stem financial losses is to spread rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants.

"free and worth every cent"

Give me Charles Stross, John Scalzi, Rudy Rucker even David Brin and we'll talk.

Comment Re:contrary (Score 2, Insightful) 247

Never ascribe to malice what can be accounted to stupidity.

Every time I hear the "Only Responsibility is Maximizing Value for the Shareholders" argument it seems to be coming from executives who are gutting a company to realize great quarterly profits. They then jump clear on golden parachutes as the husk of a company nosedives.

Wise corporations think well ahead, plowing money into research and development, retaining skilled and loyal workers, and cultivating a loyal and fanatical consumer base.

Palm (and Handspring later) used to be the former, producing truly innovative, best in the world products. Now it's the latter, clueless and circling the drain.

Entire segments of American industry have been wiped off the map this way in a manner far more pernicious than any communist could conceive.

Comment Re:Polish researches (Score 1) 101

The Poles worked out the basic algorithm, Bletchley Park provided the technology to practically implement the algorithm in a timely manner as well as deal with changes in the Enigma code as the war progressed (as well as spot errors in the German encryption protocol, and exploit captured codebooks and machines such as when the U505 was captured).

Comment Yes you should Immediately Upgrade (Score 1) 524

To Dennon proprietary ultra premium Denon Link cable. Made from high purity copper wire and high performance connection parts, the AK-DL1 will bring out all the nuances...The AK-DL1 employs high level tin-bearing alloy shielding not typically available in commercial cabling, to eliminate data loss caused by noise. Additionally, signal directional markings are provided for optimum signal transfer. Attention to detail when building this cable was used by employing high quality insulation and woven jacketing to reduce vibration and to add durability.

In fact most computer problems come from running data the wrong way along cables. At $499 for each 1.5m length this cable is a steal. I insist on dennon link cables for a truly nuanced web experience!

Comment Re:Nokia n810 (Score 4, Informative) 426

Amen to that. I've got the 770, n800 and an n810. The n810 wins out for this app due to the keyboard, and the size which is small enough to put in your breast pocket or in a belt holster. WiFi is good and the display is fantastic. Onboard GPS sucks but otherwise an excellent device.

Boot time is a bit long, but power management is sufficient to leave on for a long time.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 600

First off lowering wages is a race to the bottom. Henry Ford paid good wages to his employees simply because he needed a middle class to buy cars. Our relentless gutting of high wage middle class manufacturing jobs is one good reason we are on the brink of a depression.

Second people will pay for good service, if it is actually GOOD service. I convinced my company to switch from Dell to a local PC shop with excellent service and PCs built from top quality components.

In the same manner (as much as it pains me to say it) Apple is able to charge a premium to support better build quality and knowledgeable staff.

Finally, a smart big box will figure out that equipping their sales people with wireless gadgets that allow them to direct difficult questions up to a smaller but well qualified cadre of experts makes sense.

Comment Re:Very tempted to get this (Score 1) 451

Amen to that! My N810 internet tablet is a near perfect ebook reader w/ fbreader and evince installed.
Also my EEE 900a is exquisite as well, once you set the page advance in fbreader to the space key and activate portrait mode the EEE has the same form factor and page size as a trade paperback. Public domain PDFs from Google books work beautifully w/ evince.
I've even pressed an HP Journada 820 into a passable ebook reader.

Both the eee and the n810 have internet access and direct download capability for project Gutenberg and other sources.

Slashdot Top Deals

If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.