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Comment Re:The fine wasn't all of the punishment (Score 1) 192

Of course, the people who suffered because of the destabilization of the markets caused by such cavalier trading algorithms can sue to collect compensation for damages. But the same people who valiant rise to the defense of free markets, and "let people do what they want with their money and if they lose it, its their problem" are the same ones who rail against the trial lawyers and push for "tort" reform to reduce penalties.

Remember this folks, when you are pushing for complete free markets, trial lawyers and courts are the only form of defense against the big players. And once the government has been shrunk small enough to be drowned in a bath tub, will the courts have any power to enforce judgements?

Look at how toothless SEC is against powerful traders. That would exactly be the situation in the libertarian paradise where everyone acts anyway they want, and any harm they cause would have to be proved in court and compensation claimed. In that world taxes are so low and the Government would be so powerless and the courts would be so overloaded, the common man will have absolutely no protection. That is the side most libertarians refuse to see.

Do you wonder what happened after all the Atlases shrugged, ditched the world of moochers and moved to Galt's Gulch? The biggest Atlas there called himself Zeus and screwed all of them.

Comment Re:Forget it (Score 1) 187

Automakers have a heavy mark up on these infotainment systems. And they salivate at the thought of recording and keeping all the info people are searching for. Situation not unlike car makers using proprietary connections to sell their radios and cassette decks at heavy mark up by avoiding price competition with thirdparty products. Eventually they all settled on SAE standard connectors.

Same way, we need to get SAE or some such body, at least nominally independent from the car makers, to specify the interface and the dock and the functions that will be handled by the attached tablet or smartphone.

It is particularly irritating to buy a brand new BMW and then find out their mp3 player can not play my files from the thumb drive and has so many issues pairing with blue tooth phones. Google Nexus 4 is not in the "approved list of phones" for a 2014 model year SUV. It is inexcusable. All the computers (mac, win, android, sansa), smartphones, tablets play these tracks correctly. But BMW claims the files are not strictly standard compliant so it is not their fault they don't play.

If any one of you are planning to buy a BMW, take your own phone and a thumbdrive full of your mp3 tracks. Make sure it plays for at least 20 minutes in the car before you sign the papers. But when the car forgets the pairing after three days, or when the mp3 track issues show up after five tracks, it is difficult to test. Just stay away from BMW.

Comment It is horrible (Score 1) 85

They have a plastic tube coming out of the stomach wall connected to a mylar balloon. It is as shocking as that cow with a glass window in its side that allows the scientist to reach in and take samples of semi digested stuff from the cow's stomach.

Forget the belches and farts, cowshit has enough methane. It is far easier to sweep all the solid waste from the cow to retention ponds, cover it with a plastic sheet and collect the methane. It reduces odor pollution, gets methane fuel, and produces non-smelly organic fertilizer. But alas, now that natural gas prices has fallen to through the floor due to fracking, there is no incentive to do it for fuel. Organic fertilizer and odor pollution abatement are the only incentives for this now.


Video Scenes from the Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire (Video) 16

Slashdot visited Fort Wayne, Indiana, during its 2013 Maker Faire. We brought back videos of R2D2 model makers in all their bleeping glory, Mad Sasquatch Rocketry launching rockets, and functioning home-made jet engines, which no Maker Faire should be without. Since Fort Wayne has a strong industrial history, it is not surprising that this Maker Faire had more industrial-scale exhibits than most maker-type events Slashdot has attended. The noise level in much of the event area was industrial scale, too, which is why this video sounds the way it does. But we love large, noisy machinery, not just computers so quiet you can't hear their fans (if, indeed, they *have* fans), so we're happy to enjoy some good Industrial Sound and check out some of Mark Phenicie's steampunk creations now and then.

Video Predicting the Future of Electronics and IT by Watching Component Demand (Video) 41

A big question college students should be asking is, "What IT and electronics knowledge will be most in demand five or six years from now?" In these fast moving niches, an answer is almost impossible to come by. But what if you were one of the people who supplied raw components to the electronics industry? Wouldn't you have a better handle than most on what kind of devices and components are becoming more popular among prototypers and engineers? And wouldn't watching those trends possibly give you at least a little insight into what the future might hold? Randy Restle, Director of Applications Engineering at component supplier Digi-Key Corporation, carefully tracks orders and tries to determine what's hot and what's not. His reason for doing so is to figure out what Digi-Key should stock in coming months and years. But his insights can also be used to decide what you might want to study or -- if you're already working in the field -- what products you or your company should consider developing. Digi-Key also has an online video library where they feature new products and give ideas of what you can do with them. Even if you're not an engineer or electronics hobbyist, it's fun to see what's available but may not have hit the mass market quite yet.

Comment Documentation is overrated (Score 2) 211

Documentation goes out of synch with the code very quickly. The only thing worse than working on someone else's code without documentation is working on someone else's code with incorrect documentation. The problem is so old Dijkstra allegedly said, "Always debug code, not the comments".

Oh, yeah someone will tell me I am doing documentation wrong. How come "you are not doing agile right" is a valid response but "you are not doing watefall right" is not?

Social Networks

Video Facebook May Dislike the Social Fixer Extension, but Many Users Love It (Video) 176

If you have the Social Fixer extension installed on your Web browser, you can post Facebook comments with line breaks you control with your "Enter" key, and insert your comments with "Tab + Enter." If you want to, that is. If you want to change the color of the blue "Facebook bar" at the top of your screen to puce, go right ahead. Want to have your newsfeed show the most recent stories at the top, rather than "Trending Articles" and "Trending Videos," or hide the "ticker feed" of friends' activities? Go right ahead. Social Fixer gives you the power to do all this, and more. Best of all, everything happens in your own browser. Social Fixer makes no changes to Facebook's servers and is not dependent on Facebook's APIs. Still, Facebook doesn't like some Social Fixer features, and says creator Matt Kruze must remove them if he doesn't want to be banned from Facebook. They've already removed his Social Fixer page from Facebook, so they apparently mean business. The Social Fixer website says it's "a free browser extension that improves the Facebook site by eliminating annoyances and adding lots of great enhancements and functionality." We don't know why Facebook would be against a browser extension (available for most popular browsers other than Explorer) that improves their users' site experience. Maybe someone from Facebook will contact us and let us know. Meanwhile, enjoy our video interview with Matt Kruze (or the transcript if you would rather read than watch and listen). One last note in the interest of full disclosure: Both Timothy Lord (timothy) and Robin Miller (Roblimo) use and like Social Fixer and believe that If you try it, chances are that you'll like it, too.

Comment Next wave of modern technology. (Score 3, Funny) 178

Let us use the 3D printing technology to create papyrus rolls. And use an email to a post-office which will print it and deliver it to the customer's home.

Or we can speak into a smart phone, use an app to convert it to text, send it via SMS, the receiving app will use a synthesizer to read it out aloud. If the receiving phone has stored the profile of your voice, the receiver can actually hear the sender's voice, on a phone, no less! Oh, wait, some already did this. It is called What's App.


Video More From Don Marti About Why Targeted Ads are Bad (Video 2 of 2) 53

The intro for yesterday's video interview with Don Marti started out by saying, "Don Marti," says Wikipedia, "is a writer and advocate for free and open source software, writing for LinuxWorld and Linux Today." As we noted, Don has moved on since that description was written. In today's interview he starts by talking about some things venture capitalist Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins has said, notably that people only spend 6% of their media-intake time with print, but advertisers spend 23% of their budgets on print ads. To find out why this is, you might want to read a piece Don wrote titled Targeted Advertising Considered Harmful. Or you can just watch today's video -- and if you didn't catch Part One of our video conversation yesterday, you might want to check it out before watching Part 2.

Video Longtime Linux Advocate Don Marti Tells Why Targeted Ads are Bad (Video 1 of 2) 187

"Don Marti, says Wikipedia, "is a writer and advocate for free and open source software, writing for LinuxWorld and Linux Today." This is an obsolete description. Don has moved on and broadened his scope. He still thinks, he still writes, and what he writes is still worth reading even if it's not necessarily about Linux or Free Software. For instance, he wrote a piece titled Targeted Advertising Considered Harmful, and has written lots more at that might interest you. But even just sticking to the ad biz, Don has had enough to say recently that we ended up breaking this video conversation into two parts, with one running today and the other one running tomorrow.

Comment Upscale hotel customers get everything free. (Score 3, Informative) 318

Most upscale hotel customers are business travelers and their corporate employer is picking up the tab. They don't even look at the bill. If they do it is to make sure the correct euphemism is used for the porn bill. So in some sense they get everything free.

Again the real big businesses get into large contracts with the hotel chains and they get a different rate. But then the hotels get smart and add "service" fees. And the next round of contract talks things get negotiated. The cycle goes on.

In all our travel, if there is no free parking, free breakfast and free wi-fi, I am not even looking at the hotel. They get filtered out.

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