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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:because its simple (Score 1) 1003

I haven't seen anyone comment on the distraction of GPS systems. Of course, they also get you where you need to go quicker so reduce your time on the road looking for your destination. But still listening to the thing and trying to follow its instructions can be at least as distracting as having a conversation with a passenger or using a hands-free phone.
I mean there is no question people do all kinds of stupid things and I can hardly believe people using phones with one hand while they try to park their car or back it out of a tight spot. But I think to claim hands-free is more of a distraction than a conversation with a passenger is a stretch. At a minimum, it would depend on the circumstances. Someone having a simple conversation on the phone with both hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road could certainly be less distracting than a screaming argument with a passenger.

As an aside, my favorite distracted driving story is about a friend of a friend going to work and seeing the woman behind him doing her makeup in the rearview mirror in stop and go traffic. A few minutes later the guy stops the car in traffic and the lady rear ends him. He looks back and sees her pulling her lipstick out of one of her nostrils.

Comment Re:In other words, (Score 1) 220

Tower Madness is a good Tower Defense game. Moxie 1 and 2 word game (although Moxie 1 is now on Facebook, too). Peggle is good, but I think I actually prefer it on the old click-wheel ipod. Star Wars Trench Run for the total Star Wars geek (raises hand). Some of the high end racing games are good too, but I kind of suck at them.

I've gotten a ton of games free from the Free App A Day site and FreeAppCalendar and others like it. I just check them once a day and see if they have anything good. Also got HarborMaster and SpyMouse (my kid likes that one) free from Starbucks. Not sure if they are worth full price, but I play them from time to time.

Tower Madness I got for free originally, but happily have bought in game extras since I have gotten way more than a dollar worth of fun out of the game.

Comment Re:Mods (Score 1) 205

I don't know about buying it in a heartbeat. But I totally agree that this is a brilliant way to take a stupid copyright dispute that hurts both parties with legal bills and turns it into a great marketing opportunity for both companies. If I were on either side of this, I would hype it like crazy. Trash talking press conferences with nose to nose photo ops... the works. Is Don King still around? Gamers will eat this stuff up. Hard to say if it would translate directly into game sales, but they say any kind of publicity is good publicity. And gaming companies settling disputes with gaming contests just feels so right.

Comment Re:And look who has the most (Score 1) 937

I'm not disagreeing with you. But why are we limiting ourselves to thinking just about cars? A cost effective electric generator for homes and businesses would be a game changer calling into question whether we even need an electrical grid. As I understand it, homes are often terribly energy inefficient and a big percentage of electrical power is lost in transport through the grid. Aren't there some big benefits there, too? Particularly if the generators needed weren't quite compact enough for current vehicular engine compartments. Either have one per home, or even just replace transfer stations with larger thorium generators and reduce the distance the power has to travel.

Comment Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (Score 1) 950

I guess the only good thing about it for him, is that this is the first I have heard of doing such a serious crime with clearly inconsequential gain just for the jail health care. The public and even the authorities might actually have some sympathy with him for his plight. So, even if he gets essentially thrown "out" of jail, he might be able to make some money selling his story to the media. Of course that won't work for the next guy who does this and doesn't even make the news. That guy is just screwed.

Comment Re:I've cracked it! (Score 1) 466

Well, our words are made up of individual letters that by themselves have no particular meaning. But you have to learn them first before you can read words. I always thought the culture in that episode just had another level to learn before most language made sense. Perhaps if he was marooned with one of their children, they could have chatted away easily.

But yeah it was just a show.

Comment Re:It could also... (Score 1) 602

I didn't know the strike had that effect on the Dead Zone and 4400. Dead Zone was drifting away from interesting to me at the end. But 4400 that was a great show. Each season had a powerful concept arc that really drove the story forward, I thought. When you think of trying to do an X files type show or the like, it is challenging to come up with big story arcs that you can do from year to year but still add something to the episodic shows in the middle. You can go full on vision like Lost where it is mostly mapped out ahead of time. Or like 4400, each season had a big arc that also drove the shows in between. The first season you are just trying to find out what happened to the 4400 people. The season finale basically tells you. The next season drives on from there exploring the impact of the 4400. They had good arcs about the reaction of the government, the organizing of the 4400. Different factions, key characters growing in power and importance. Major changes to the status quo of who has powers and what that means. Right up to the last episode.

I miss that show.

Comment Re:Rather simple fix (Score 1) 185

Yes, I was also thinking you could use the length of time as an added decision point. When a particular choice is being made the user would have to wait a second or two before entering it. Anything before that wouldn't work. You have the user choose how the time sensitive entry would work beforehand and give very few clues on the screen when it is happening.

For example, I could set things up so that when I'm entering my password, the last two keys have to be separated from the others by a timespan of between two seconds and four. It wouldn't help if someone was watching you do it, but it would help obfuscate how smudges are read after the fact to guess a password. Nothing about the smudges should indicate when they were pressed. I guess if you were doing some heat signature analysis for the fading heat of the finger press, you might be able to glean that. But that seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through and you would need full access to the device shortly after its use to even do that.

Comment Re:I would congratulate them too (Score 1) 198

My own story is somewhat more embarrassing. I think it is safe to say, there are plenty of things about networking that I don't know. So, when I had to decide how to setup my own WiFi, I referred to a copy of 2600 I had that detailed instructions on hacking WiFi networks. Whenever the article said that getting around some security feature was out of the scope of the article, I made sure I turned that feature on. I'm sure a really good hacker could get in anyway, but at least he/she would need something better as a reference than the article I had read.

That part worked fine. But this year we had a big snowstorm (East Coast). The power went out for a while one night. When it came back, I discovered during shoveling breaks that the WiFi was down. So, one day I want to check my email and I search for local WiFi networks. I found an unprotected one. Unencrypted and still with the default SSID and everything. Just sad. So, I logged in, checked my email. Read the headlines on CNN.com and logged out. Smugly, I thought I should figure out which neighbor it is, so I could warn them.

The next day, I login to the router to fix my WiFi and I can't get in. My admin password doesn't work. The password was reset to the default password. It turns out the unprotected router was mine! It must have gotten reset during the power outage and I guess subsequent power surge.

Comment Re:Two senses of "closed." (Score 1) 850

Yes, but isn't that the point? We don't have any right to "technological liberty" from the company's perspective. I mean would this whole discussion even be happening if Apple were some small company and the ipod and iphone were niche products without a large user base? I don't think anyone would care that they required using their products (macs and sdk) to write code for their other products (ipods/iphones). Developer's want to write code for their products because they are so widely adopted and offer the capability to use a lot of the functions of the device. And they have an advantageous model for marketing and making some profit from that code. So does Android now, but I think it is safe to say the iphone sdk opened up a lot of possibilities first.
(Feel free to correct me, if I am wrong on all that.)

So hypothetically... If Apple's products were a niche market and they could do what they want, is it fair to expect them to change because they were successful and became popular?

I didn't get the heat that people felt about this argument at first, but some of that is because I already have a mac. If I was looking at developing iphone apps and had to buy one just for that, I now see how that would upset a developer.

Still though, big picture it seems to me that Apple has created a market for itself by controlling hardware and software more tightly and ensuring greater reliability and usability in their desktop/laptops. Shouldn't we have all assumed they would want to do the same thing for their mobile products?

I'm not a fanboy of Apple and I'm not excusing all the PR spin they used in this argument. But I'm not sure where this expectation comes from that Apple should do what angry developers demand of them. When that means developers moving to a development pattern where they have no control or even influence.

I don't know, someone convince me I should be more ticked off about this.

It occurs to me that Adobe and Apple might have been able to resolve all of this with some agreements to have Adobe adopt all new iphone features in their products in a timely fashion and Apple working with Adobe to give them some lead time for new developments in iphone/ipad etc. Then a little coordination to prevent "flash crashes" and save battery life. But then neither one would have complete control. And maybe the unwillingness of either company to give that up is what this thing is really all about.

Comment Re:It Hurts (Score 1) 320

The almost complete lack of errors and corrections in the text strongly suggest that it's nonsense rather than any kind of encoded message.

Granted, I know next to nothing about this controversy or Medieval history. But before conveniences like the printing press I believe it was pretty common to write out a draft and then copy very carefully the final version without errors. If someone could throw out any pages they made a mistake on, it wouldn't be too hard to come up with an error free manuscript given enough time and attention to detail. Even if the whole thing was done on some kind of prebound book, if someone had alot of practice making careful copies like this and went slow enough, an error free manuscript doesn't seem too far fetched to me.

That's not to say it isn't nonsense, but I don't know that the error rate is that strong an indicator.

Slashdot Top Deals

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?