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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Banksters (Score 4, Insightful) 116

Well it turns out that the US justice system is one such that people have to actually violate a law to be tried and convicted, not to just make someone on Slashdot mad. So, if you think a banker should go to jail, then let's hear the details: Who is it, what law did they break, and what evidence do you have of this? Also remember it had to be illegal at the time they did it. If new laws were introduced later in response to what happened, those don't count, the US Constitution explicitly prohibits ex post facto laws.

"They caused the economy to crash!" is not a valid answer, and also shows a rather large amount of ignorance of the situation (if you think the downturn had a singular cause, you need to do more research).

This whining gets a little old. People cry that "the bankers" (or "banksters" in your case) should go to jail but yet never seem to be able to cite specifics. That to me says you don't actually know of any laws broken, you are just mad and think that you're angry should be reason enough to convict someone.

So, if there are specific cases you think should be prosecuted, then don't whine about "banksters" as some large group, any more than someone should whine about "hackers" as some large group. Post those specific cases. If not, then maybe spend some time reconsidering your position.

Comment Though the question will be backhaul (Score 1) 269

Offering gigabit to endpoints isn't that hard. Gig Ethernet is cheap these days, GPON is likewise cheap for metro type situations. However, you can hook all the endpoints up at gig but if your backhaul to other providers isn't good, then it doesn't matter. You can have "gigabit" but only to other nodes on the network.

So that'll be the real question is what kind of bandwidth they can buy to hook this network up to. That'll determine if it is really fast internet to homes and businesses or just a big LAN with slow 'net access.

Comment Re:Ya well (Score 1) 453

You wouldn't think so, but I'm amazed at the ignorance of some law makers. Gun laws just seem to be some of the worst. I've never encountered a country who's gun laws I've looked at (not that I've looked at all of them or anything) where I've said "Ya, those all make sense." They always have some silly shit. Canada can't feel bad there.

My point on the military was just that law makers have a resource they can consult. They can find weapons experts on the government payroll to ask questions. However those who want gun restrictions usually don't, they design them on their own, and they often end up being stupid and ineffective since the person doing it knows nothing about firearms.

Just the way it goes, it seems, in Canada, the US, and elsewhere.

Comment Ya well (Score 4, Insightful) 453

Seems to be how weapons laws go. It is rare to find a country with gun laws that are entirely sensible. I think part of the reason is that when restrictions are enacted, they are often written by people who hate guns and thus know very little about them. They then never trouble themselves to consult with their military or the like to get some information. So, you get a silly law.

Comment Yep (Score 4, Interesting) 550

I have no problem with Metro on a touch screen. I think it works as well as anything else I've used, better than the stock Android UI. Turns out those big tiles are really nice when you are batting at things with big, imprecise fingers. You don't want to try and operate the Windows desktop UI in touch, it doesn't work well. There are old tablets that do just that (people forget there have been Windows tablets since the XP days) and they are painful to use without a pen. Your fingers just aren't precise enough for the desktop UI.

So makes good sense on a tablet. The issue is trying to ram it in to a desktop OS. There is doesn't make sense. You have a nice precise mouse to use. It just takes up space and occludes your work. With a mouse and keyboard, it is a bad interface.

What they should have done (not that it would have helped the surface, there's no tablet market, there's an iPad market) it had the Metro UI for Windows RT, and not for Windows 8. Windows 8 should then have been able to run Metro programs in a resizable window. That way the tablet is usable, the desktop is usable, and it can run tablet programs, if needed.

In fact, turns out 8 is real nice when you do just that. You pick up Stardock's Start 8, which gives you a start menu instead of start screen, and Modern Mix, which takes Metro apps and puts them in a window instead of full screen. It works really great then.

The problem isn't with the UI, it is with where it is used.

Comment The thing is (Score 3, Insightful) 550

Most people have no use for a tablet. It is a device that is an inbetween that they don't need. They have a smartphone, so that is a small, low power, device for browsing the web n' such that travels with you everywhere. They then also have a laptop (and sometimes desktop) for when they need more serious stuff and to do thing actually productive (touch screens are not useful for most kinds of creation, even simple creation like writing an e-mail).

Well a tablet is a device in between those two. It runs a phone OS and is only maybe a little more powerful, but is much larger. Ok... so that does what for you precisely?

Now in some cases, people have a use for them. The medical profession is a particular one I can think of, using them to replace paper charts. But for most home users, they are a gadget without a purpose.

However, that is not a problem for the iPad (at least not for now) because it is a fashion accessory. It is trendy to have one. People ran out and bought them not because they said "Man this solves a need I have," but because they said "OMG that is so cool, I want one!" Utility was never a concern, they wanted to have it because it was the nifty thing to have.

Thing is, that works only for the iPad. That means there's an iPad market, not a tablet market. Other tablets aren't "cool by association" particularly MS stuff, since they've NEVER been able to pull off the cool/fashionable thing. So the Surface is going to sell for shit because there's just not a market for it. People look at it and say "Why would I want that?" since there's not the cool factor.

If there was a reason to own a tablet on a large scale, maybe they'd have a chance, but since there isn't it isn't going to go anywhere.

Comment It is but... (Score 1) 139

It might not be real. I can see the reason companies want to clarify the process is because they feel it has been misconstrued. The public opinion seems to be the "splitter" thing, like the NSA can just get any and all information at the companies on a whim, without telling anyone. So people are mad, no surprise. However what if that's not the case, if the companies are telling the truth? Maybe it is something more like the NSA has a line to these companies, and can make requests and the companies, upon deciding it is a valid request, can send them the data directly down that line? That's rather different.

So perhaps that's more what is going on. The program isn't quite as scary as people believe it is, and companies want to tell people how it really works, but can't without breaking the law.

Who knows at this point.

Comment And so far (Score 1) 382

It has never been used. Remember this is all just part of the Emergency Alert System, the thing radio and TV has had forever. It is just integrated in to phones now, since more people are using those. The president has always had the ability to issue an alert on radio and TV. The FCC 'owns' the public airwaves, they can demand their use, if needed.

So far, even during 9/11, there has never been a presidential alert. So clearly they save it only for the really, really, big things, hence why you can't turn it off.

Comment Re:Also (Score 1) 814

One of the big problems was going revolvers to automatics. Revolvers tend to have a really heavy trigger pull. A DA trigger pull can be 15 pounds or more on a revolver. So the cops got used to poor handling. They'd put their fingers on the trigger all the time. Heavy enough that it is hard for bad handling to cause a discharge. Then they changed to Glock's which have a 5.5 pound pull, normally. Then the problems started happening because of the bad handling.

The NYPD's solution, rather than train their officers how to use their fucking guns, was to have Glock make a heavy trigger spring. It is called the "New York" trigger http://glock.com/english/options_triggerspring.htm.

Comment Yep (Score 2) 814

If these things were so amazing, you'd think the police would use them. After all, they aren't in a situation like the military, where you might need to use somebody else's weapon, and it IS an occasional problem where the police have their own weapons taken and used against them. Plus it sets a good example.

So they should be all over them, right?

Ya well, not so much for the reasons the original poster detailed. Reliability is a big one. You'd have to prove the reliability of the system, in a bunch of trials and demos before people would be convinced. It would need to be real reliable too, around the same reliability as the mechanical systems (guns do jam sometimes). If a given weapon has a reliability of 1 problem in 5000 rounds and your smart system causes problems at a rate of about 1 in 50, there's going to be little interest.

Remote issues would be another one. The system would need to be demonstrated to be hardened against remote interference. The last thing the police would want is some electrical system that could disable guns remotely, and even worse, silently. You can harden against that, but it would need to be done and demonstrated effective.

Price is another real concern. How much is something like this going to add to the cost of a gun? I could easily see it being a few hundred dollars. For example have a look at something like an EOTech weapon sight. That's an electronic sight, runs on batteries, that is designed to survive the rigors of battle (the US military uses them). They are $400-700 roughly, depending on options. So, not hard to believe an electronic safety gadget might cost the same. That can double, or more, the cost of many firearms. That is going to be a rather hard sell to people.

If someone can demonstrate a cheap, reliable, solution, well then I can see there being interest in it, at least in some cases. However I've yet to hear of one. As such, no surprise nobody is buying.

Comment Also (Score 1) 814

It could lead to LESS safety with guns. So with a smart gun people could say "I don't have to worry, it is a smart gun!" and not handle it as safely.

Guns are NOT dangerous devices, what they are is powerful and unforgiving. Dangerous would imply something like a lion, that might just attack for no perceivable reason. A gun only goes off when the right set of circumstances are met.

For example, want to have no chance of a gun firing? Simply remove the ammunition. If there's not a round in the chamber then there is no way it can fire, period, without that being changed.

Slashdot Top Deals

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro