Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:It could work securely (Score 2) 192

"Do not duplicate" keys are not protected by just being labelled, they are physically a different shape (often with patented curves and bends), and genuine blanks can only be bought by registered locksmiths who have signed an agreement with the manufacturer not to duplicate keys without proof that the customer is authorised to duplicate that key.

  SOME "do not duplicate" keys are like that - but they're a minority because they're expensive and a PITA to manage (like most proprietary systems). Many more are just ordinary keys, the same kind you find at any hardware store or home center, stamped with "DO NOT DUPLICATE". And you can get those copied trivially at the same places you can find the unstamped blanks.

Comment Book publishers shot themselves (Score 1) 330

Here is the problem. Publishers jumped in with Amazon on their DRM. This meant is did not matter who made the better eBook reader, who gave the publishers a better deal, most of us were not going to have a bunch of incompatible books. So Anazon has their book reader, and software to allow us to read it on many different devices. Is there a nook app for Kindle? I don't know. But there is a Kindle app for everything else. So Amazon controls the market. And most of the time has the best price. I don't buy so many books though because it is DRM and used books are cheap. I used to buy new books, but I like reading on my kindle, and I don't have to buy books to read later, I can but them as I want them, and knowing they could go away makes me want them les.

OTOH, because music is DRM free, I can buy it from anyone and play it anywhere, and back it up nicely. So I buy music. Movies are still heavily DRMed like books, and can't just be played, so I tend to buy few of those. DVDs with regions and such killed the movie, really.

The point being that publishers gave the industry away to Amazon who uses books the way a supermarket uses milk. To drive traffic, not to make a profit. So books are becoming less valuable and, because of DRM, someone like B&N who has an interest in keeping books valuable has no leverage to do so. Yes, lack of DRM would have meant lower sales, but at least there would have still been an industry.

Comment Re:Worked at IBM (Score 1) 135

If they tell you you're being laid off, but you still need to do the training of your replacements, you likely only get any severance package they're giving you if you comply.

Does your agreement typically say anything about the quality or effectiveness of the training? Because I'll train my local-job-destroying replacement, but he might end up with some interesting ideas about needing to regularly "git filter-branch" as part of routine builds, and about how everyone is doing unversioned server-side configuration these days.

Comment Re:Creepy libertarianism (Score 1) 80

Who cares if the market is not there yet? We will get nowhere in any field if we let details like that stop us.

That has to be one of the most (though likely unintentionally) hilarious things I've read all day - and the rest of the week will have to work hard to top it. Asteroid miner wannabees are in the same situation as someone setting up to injection mold iPhone cases in 1897 - it's not that the market doesn't exist, it's that practically none of the enabling technologies exist (for the case or the phone) and that someone lacks the capital to create them let alone even the foggiest clue what they actually are.
It's not a chicken-and-egg problem, it's a delusion and cluelessness problem.

Comment Re:Like maybe Google Shopping? (Score 4, Informative) 230

Right. Google Shopping was originally a price comparison service. There was no charge for being listed. Then it was changed to an paid ad service. All the links on it changed to Google ad links. Our Ad Limiter browser add-on, which hides all but one Google ad per search result, then started limiting the number of shopping results displayed. We finally allowed more ads to show through on explicit Google shopping pages.

Now, Google Shopping results have changed again, so that they look like real search results. They even have additional Google ads, with the light tan background. But in reality, every result on a Google Shopping page is a paid ad.

Comment Google Voice is just Grand Central (Score 1) 172

Google Voice is just the old Grand Central service. Google has done very little to it since they bought the company.

  • It's horribly inefficient of network bandwidth. You have to read several megabytes of data to find out that you have no new messages.
  • The phone numbers used are purchased from some third-tier phone reseller that doesn't have good access to the US phone number database. So some carriers don't recognize Google Voice numbers as accepting SMS.
  • The interface to the service uses both XML and JSON on the same page, and any program that talks to it must parse both. "Conversations" have unique IDs, but individual messages do not, and it's tough to extract new messages exactly once. You have to page through screen after screen of stored messages, and explicitly archive inactive conversations to declutter the output.
  • All those problems have been outstanding for years.

If you want to deal with phone and SMS messages from a program, look at Twilio. It's not free, but it actually works.

Comment Re:Creepy libertarianism (Score 1) 80

Asteroid mining would sell raw materials and water to other space ventures, private or public.

That's a nice theory... But the elephant in the room is the fact that there aren't any such ventures currently. Nor are their likely to be any of sufficient size to support an asteroid mining venture for decades, if not centuries.

Slashdot Top Deals

"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to create him." -Arthur C. Clarke