Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Agreed. Gas vehicles have hit physics limit (Score 0) 775

It is definitely a hit piece.

About 5 years ago there was a study from a couple of Boston University professors of the Energy Return on Energy Investment for texas Oil.The most stunning thing was that when you include refining, and once run through a ICE engine, the EROEI is less than 1. Thats right, a car engine could not drive the pump that pulls it out of the ground after going through the refinement process! American crud is a net loser.

This means that when it comes to USA oil, it is energy subsidized by coal power. Which is fine, as gasoline is a convenient form to store energy. But it is important to understand that the EROEI on global oil has steadily declined over the last 100 years.

Fundamentally the ICE engine is limited by physics. It will never get more than 25-30% efficient. Whereas the electric car can achieve 70-80% easily, and is only limited right now by technology. And as the EROEI of these fuel stocks decline, this will become increasingly important.

Comment Re: Citation Needed (Score 1) 354

While others here are correct in saying that there are better languages (True), and they can do many of the same things with other server side tools (True), there is one thing that client-server javascript brings to the table that is unique:

You can write a single code base that can float between client and server making it a single platform. So if you make a design change, you can run parts of your code on the serve side, or client side without a whole re-architecture or re-write of the system.

Because of the single "platform", there are whole client-server system frameworks like meteor and derby that can put you far ahead of cobbling your own pieces together.

Because of the single "platform", it empowers commercial app developers to expose the UI, but hold some code chunks back, so their proprietary code isn't exposed.

Comment Re:Revolutionize or "more eco-friendly"? (Score 2) 322

Indeed, this is nothing new.

Most concrete ready-mix suppliers cut their portland cement by around 20% with Fly Ash , another pozzolan. It makes better, cheaper concrete. This is well known. However, the more Portland Cement you replace with pozzolans, the slower the cure.

The markets skew towards high-portland content concrete is largely dictated by the desire to strip forms as soon as possible. With portland, forms are striped in 24 hours. WIth high pozzolan content concrete, the forms often need to be in place for upwards of a week.

Comment Re:The Post-PC world is a little shaky (Score 1) 607

Hmmmm... Seen the market stats recently?

Jobs statement years ago that mobile is Cars, and PCs are truck was extremely visionary. We can see that Apple and others have produced mobile devices at a huge ratio over PCs in the last couple years. While I don't need a tablet because I use a laptop extensively, I am aware that I as an engineer, am a truck user. While for every on of me, there are 10 other people who only need to surf the web and check their email, and write an occasional document on their tablets.

Still, while cars have out numbered trucks for 80 years, trucks are still important... and profitable.

Comment Re:Is it me (Score 1) 607

It is just you. I agree with the other commenter that you are seeing what you want to see.

But, there is a general trend away from skeuomorphic design and towards a modern design ethos. This can be seen with iOS, android, window mobile 8. Both have a place. Apple created the modern mobile device market, and used skeuomorphic design broadly to ease people into a new environment in a familiar way. It was a very appropriate approach, and had its time and place. However a modernist approach can convey more information than skeuomorphic design, which can be limited by it physical paradigm.

One can argue that the market transition has occurred, and moving to more functional design concepts can occur without losing the market behind. But I don't see any copying here, per se other than modern design is the current fashion. But arguably Jony Ive is the most iconic design in driving modern computer design for the last decade, so it should be no surprise that his UI design follow his fashion, as is everyone else's.

But frankly Android? No. A touch of WIndows mobile? Maybe. However, where windows mobile went extremely flat, losing most visual cues, iOS was highly skeuomorphic at the other end of the spectrum. iOS has a modern semi-flat design that still maintains a lot of visual cues, while leaving behind the skeuomorphic trimmings. But, from what I've seen, Windows mobile should commended for their unique approach, android has never been much more than a poor copy of iOS, with poor design that look like it was made by guy who'd rather be using a command line. And Samsung, who really owns the Android market, their TouchWiz UI design is mind-blowingly awful.

Comment Re:Slashdot misunderstands value of patents (Score 1) 84

"Apple US should be making money (and paying taxes) on the patent royalties, but they don't. "

There is no "should". How to structure a corporate umbrella in the EU to deal with 30 countries different tax rules, but in a small region, has no bearing on the USA or how US operations are taxed. Either a company choses move the money into the US and get a tax penalty, or they leave where it is... why do you think it must come back? Because it was designed there? That seems like concocted reasoning to me.

What if a product is partially designed in the USA, China and Germany? It really is irrelevant, isn't it? Apple, like many companies, has their innovations patented in many countries with institutions in each that receive local royalties for local patent jurisdictions.

There is no clear path of how to operate in a 100 countries, each with differing tax rules and corporate structures, and see that one country somehow deserves more than the others because it is more awesome, or has mock congressional hearings, or the top brass live there.

Comment Re:Slashdot misunderstands value of patents (Score 5, Insightful) 84

You fundamentally misunderstand the "double-irish" corporate structure. See (

Apple does not avoid any USA taxes for profits from sales or patent royalties in the USA. This type of corporate structure avoids having bring profits back from other countries and get taxed again in the USA.

I'm a liberal, and it seems completely reasonable in a global marketplace, for companies to get taxed in each country of operation, not where the headquarters happen to be located.

This seems to be one of those memes like Al Gore said he "invented the internet", that everyone repeats, and knows to be true... but is completely false.

Comment Re:Pot. Kettle. Black. (Score 1) 213

Sorry, I didn't mean to implicate you specifically.

However, if you read the forums both here in throughout the web, it is clear the google & samsung are sinking lots of money into paid astroturfing. My impression, is that Apple is relatively naive when it come to these tactics.

While I think Apple still has the key innovative figures in product design, the loss of Jobs has huge implications for how Apple needs to represent themselves in the media. Jobs was such a larger-than-life figure that these anti-marketing tactics, just wouldn't stick. Now Samsung is building an aura of cool around a bunch of gimmicky features like "wave-to-answer" backed by a huge media and astroturfing campaign to vilify Apple. Its just wild to watch.

Comment Re:Pot. Kettle. Black. (Score 1) 213

I don't think Kudos are deserved at all.

Short memories at work here. When the iPhone 1 was released, it was a clear game changer... there was no doubt by even the most jaded of industry watchers. Was it fundamental science? No. But it was a synergistic approach with a whole new set of design thinking around how mobile devices should work that created a result unlike anything else on the market, and which changed the market forever. Those innovations were rapped up in a bunch design patents by Apple. Yes they sound silly when decomposed (rounded corners), but how else do you protect a design concept?

Samsung (and google) could have avoided Apples design patents by innovating their own design approach rather than directly and shamelessly coping Apples devices. Microsoft deserves some respect here, because they did spend time coming up with a different design approach for Win 8 mobile that wasn't a rip-off of Apples hardware, UI and look and feel. This isn't patent trolling, as Apple is protecting shipping products and only wants one thing: for Android to not copy them. Microsoft did it, Google and Samsung could to.

Samsung has SEP and Apple has SEP. Samsung is clearly abusing their SEP position in this case. Apple has stated that they won't use their SEP patents as a weapon. They are taking a principled stand.

There is no irony here Samsung, is a bad actor in both accounts. When I see comments like these, it make me wonder how much money google and samsung have sunk into astroturfing.

Comment Re:Does anybody else find it funny... (Score 1) 213

Totally not true... Apple pays taxes on all of it US activities, at a high rate of 31%. They are the single largest taxpayer in the USA.

They don't pay any taxes on business outside of the USA, because well, IT IS OUTSIDE OF THE USA! When did people decide that products made and sold and profited in one country should be taxed in another country?

Heck, we don't even pay sales tax across state lines. Why then should a company pay income tax on activities outside the borders of the countries in operates in?

Comment Re:Profit (Score 1) 227

You numbers are *way* wrong.

Look at the tax policy center historical data:

The top quintile dropped from 27.1% in 1979 to 23.2% in 2009. The top 1% dropped from 35.1 to 28.9%.

And this is just tax bracket, it says nothing of all of the loopholes that the wealthily employ to drop their actual rates to 20% and below. (

Slashdot Top Deals

1 Mole = 25 Cagey Bees