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Comment Re:I fail to see why this is relevant... (Score 1) 216

I fail to see how this is relevant to the /. audience or how this matters in any meaningful way. It is professional sports after all...quite possibly one to the most useless aspects of our culture.

It is relevant to today's /. because it is a controversial topic that is likely to draw many comments which turn into page views and ad impressions. You must be thinking about the old /. which went away quite some time ago.

Having said that, it is also meaningful to you because you likely pay, via several different avenues such as taxes and cable fees, money to support the NFL.

Comment Re:Changing nature of 911 (Score 1) 80

I don't think that's the intended use at all.

I'm guessing they're expecting texts more like "someone broke into my house, and I'm hiding in the closet", or "my husband is abusing me, and thinks I'm just cleaning up in the bathroom, but I need help", etc. Situations where being discreet is important, situations where people currently try to text 911, and often get no response.

Agreed. I don't think it's intended to replace a 911 call, but to provide an alternative in situtations, such as you provided, when a 911 call might not be practical. Another example would be during a mass casualty event where 911 calls can't get through because the towers are saturated. SMS messages use essentially no bandwidth and would be able to get through, providing emergency services and first responders with additional information about injuries, people who are trapped, etc.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1) 80

What carrier changes you for 911 phone calls? You don't even need a SIM card to make a 911 call.

All of them, but they don't charge the caller. They charge their subscribers. Subscribers are charged a number of vaguely described monthly "fees" like "Universal Service Fee". These fees are supposed to pay for mandated features like the ability to call 911. Another one of these "fees" pays for the the ability to port a number from one carrier to another. These mandated features only get imposed if the carriers get an approved way to bill customers for them somehow.

Comment Open Source? (Score 1) 175

It sounds like they plan on making the extension open source, which is mandatory or the whole thing is a non starter. Furthermore you better be able to match the checksum of the source version to the addons that might be available from the addon repositories for the browsers. We have to be able to confirm that what they say is the code is in fact what we are running in the browser.

Personally I'm not interested in anything that involves uploading my private keystore to a third party, encrypted or not, and without that you lose the main feature, portability, that comes with webmail.

Comment Timothy's Streak Continues (Score 1) 637

Hey Timothy, have you ever noticed that submenu over on the left of the front page? You know, the one that lists the various sections that you can posts stories to? Ever notice that there is one called "Ask Slashdot", which just happens to match up exactly with the premise of this story, not to mention the title. Why don't you do all of us who filter by section a favor and try posting "Ask Slashdot" stories to the "Ask Slashdot" section every once in a while? Thanks

Comment The Next Step in Remotely Controlling a Car (Score 4, Interesting) 53

So this is just a basic attack surface analysis of a networked system. According to the article, the researchers are saying that these vehicles are vulnerable because operational components (brakes, etc.) are on the same network as non-operational components (radio, etc.).

By contrast, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee runs the "cyber physical" features and remote access functions on the same network, Valasek notes. "We can't say for sure we can hack the Jeep and not the Audi, but... the radio can always talk to the brakes," and in the Jeep Cherokee, those two are on the same network, he says.

This does tie in well with and extend their presentation last year where, given access to the car's network, they were able to manipulate its steering and braking systems. The trick will be to subvert one of the remotely accessible systems and then generate the necessary commands on the network in question using that subverted system. Maybe they are saving that presentation for 2015.

Comment Re:assholes everywhere (Score 1) 182

part of the problem is that many homes burn coal for heat, so it isn't just industrial pollution, nor from automobiles, the latter two are present during most of the year, with the former being a problem concentrated in winter.

Strapping a filter over the individual smokestacks would help reduce emissions significantly in that case too, especially over time.

Comment Code Academies (Score 5, Insightful) 150

This is the sort of thing that you can expect when you put developers through a whirlwind coding course. They learn to use library after library without understanding the ramifications of their use. Need an ad network? Slap in a library. Need geolocation? Slap in a library. What you end up with are flashlight applications that want permission to read the low level system log. Then again, that's coding in the instant gratification world that we live and develop in today.

Comment Re:Recompress the coefficients (Score 1) 90

Of course it's possible. JPEG encoding has three steps: cosine transform of each block (DCT), then quantization (where the loss happens), then coding. In JPEG, the coding involves a zig-zag order and a Huffman/RLE structure, and this isn't necessarily optimal. A lossless compressor specially tuned for JPEG files could decode the quantized coefficients and losslessly encode them in a more efficient manner, producing a file that saves a few percent compared to the equivalent JPEG bitstream. Then on decompression, it would decode these coefficients and reencode them back into a JPEG file.

I believe what they meant was that you would not be able to apply a lossless algorithm to the original data stream and achieve greater compression than applying a lossy algorithm. Your composite algorithm is just a more efficient lossy algorithm.

If we look at the original statement from an information theoretic point of view, the GP's statement should be easily understood. With a lossless algorithm, you have to encode all of the original information and restore it. Assuming an optimal encoding, it will still take a minimum number of bits to fully realize all of the original data on decompression. With a lossy encoding scheme, I can reduce the number of bits in the original stream before using the same optimal encoding. With fewer bits to represent it should be obvious that the encoded bitstream will always be smaller.

Comment Timothy Strikes Again (Score 3, Informative) 85

Hey Timothy, have you ever noticed that submenu over on the left of the front page? You know, the one that lists the various sections that you can posts stories to? Ever notice that there is one called "Ask Slashdot", which just happens to match up exactly with the premise of this story, not to mention the title. Why don't you do all of us who filter by section a favor and try posting "Ask Slashdot" stories to the "Ask Slashdot" section every once in a while?
Thanks

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