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


Forgot your password?
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:Complete overreaction, TSA style (Score 2, Insightful) 157

At aircraft speeds, isn't flying into a drone a significant risk? What if it hits a window? Unlike birds with fragile bird bones, those things are flying hunks of metal caging and lithium batteries...

And don't birds fly away from wildfires anyway? Why would they linger in the smoke?

Comment Re:STOP USING FACEBOOK (Score 1) 82

The problem is, most people -- especially the Slashdotting type -- don't have that many real friends. It's not like you get rid of Facebook and you suddenly spend that time with the 5 good friends you have. It's more like you just lose your 30 kinda-friends and spend your time replying to pointless trolls on Slashdot.

Especially if you're younger and moving around for jobs and and SOs and the such, a lot of your friends from school are left behind and you can only easily reach them online.

And event planning? Forget trying to coordinate anything for more than 2 or 3 friends over anything except Facebook groups. Just ain't gonna happen.

Comment Re:So Amazon can use my hardware to listen to me? (Score 1) 47

Privacy isn't everything. Amazon has a useful ecosystem of products. Alexa connects to my Amazon account for purchases (need more toilet paper), to my Kindle and Audible accounts (read me a book at home, continue listening in the car or reading in the cafe via Whispersync), to Pandora (great for background music) and Spotify (active listening), to the Nest thermostat at work.

The regular Alexa hardware has the best mic array I'd ever used, and she understands me very well compared to a single-mic cell phone. It probably wouldn't be as good with a homebrewed solution. Alexa just fucking works. "Play my station from Pandora". "What time is it?" "Who won the game last night?" that kind of thing. Its always-on listening capability is great, especially since she can hear you clearly from across the room by doing sound processing with the multiple pics.

I mean, it's Amazon. They already have my credit card info and 20-year purchase history anyway. Who cares if they store recordings of my voice? The personalization is more than worth it, the same way Netflix recommendations or Pandora suggestions are useful sharing of data.

As for paranoia, no American company can keep your information private from hackers or the US government anyway. That battle was lost decades ago and it's time to stop being in denial... might as well suck it up and enjoy the conveniences of transparency.

Comment Re:Ad Blocking (Score 1) 159

When you block an ad and the website doesn't get paid, it only costs them a few cents of bandwidth to serve it to you anyway.

If you block an ad and the website still gets paid anyway, it'll cost the advertiser anywhere from $1 to $3+ for every false click, less but still quite a bit for every false impression. Soon, they'll refuse to pay the website any further because they get no return on their massive advertising spending.

The status quo is a carefully balanced arms race. They know that some portion of visitors use an adblocker, but they're not really losing that much money to them and don't go too far out of their way to stop that (except Forbes).

If you imbalance that too much, websites are going to die or start charging users. The cost of a fraudulent click/impression is tens to hundreds of times more than the cost of serving up a page.

Comment Re:Is it called ad block plus? (Score 1) 169

Adblock plus does not accept any money to exclude any sites.

That is completely and utterly wrong. It says so right on their website. 10% of Adblock Plus's "Acceptable Ads" sponsors are on the paid whitelist. To be very clear, companies can pay Adblock Plus to be excluded from blocking as long as they still abide by the Acceptable Ads policy.

This has been around for years, and is nothing new.

Comment Tortured analogy... (Score 3, Interesting) 41

What the hell is a "virtual camera in the cloud" and "network DVR"? It's a fucking packet logger, for chrissakes! I thought it meant a shared TiVo or cloud storage of traffic cameras or some bizarre thing like that. No, it just fucking logs packets.

Would "Startup offloads network traffic analysis to the cloud" really have been that difficult? Fuck these unreadable clickbaity confusing headlines.

Comment Re:Comp Sci requires good Math skills (Score 0) 317

Why is math so important? They've been telling me that ever since grade school, but as someone who ultimately never took more than Algebra and never took any logic classes, I was still able to get a full-time programming job and many part-time ones before that. Granted, it's a tiny company paying nowhere near Silicon Valley wages, but if CS is to be open to all students, most future CS jobs will be like that: commodity coders writing small-business pages and apps, not the Next Big Thing. Most of the money isn't in some amazing new tech anyway, just collecting data and selling to advertisers: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. A few people at those companies might do serious R&D and AI algorithms, but a whole bunch more are doing less interesting things.

If you're not in game physics or science, what's all the fancy math for? I've never needed to do anything more than addition/subtraction/multiplication/division and maybe some very basic statistics.

Maybe it's a matter of semantics? I think what Obama meant by CS is more just "basic programming", meaning how to write a basic script or a PHP page or something, not writing 3D game engines or managing pointers and stacks and all that.

There aren't that many high-end, tough physics/engineering/CS jobs to go around. Commodity coding is just going to be another basic business skill, the way everyone is expected to know how to use basic Word and Excel. It's not that hard to take that a step further and produce Visual Basic business apps. You don't need fancy math for that...

If they spent less time on skills most of the population will never use and more on things like civics and politics, shit, maybe the populace could actually effect socioeconomic change in their favor instead of switching one menial task for another, one megacorp for another. There will be nothing glorious about coding in 15-20 years, and everyone will know the basics, and they'll still go home poor and wonder why they're stuck writing invisible code for shitty employers and getting yelled at by angry customers who think their job is trivial because they've all learned basic programming too. Whoop-dee-doo.

CS/engineering/physics/etc are false saviors for this country's much deeper economic injustices. We sell our children delusions, making them believe each and every one of them could become an astronaut/president/engineer/computer scientist when the vast, vast majority of them will go to work every day working a meaningless job earning pennies to enrich a few majority stockholders they'll never see... and we wonder why they grow up cynical and apathetic?

Comment Re:Good Way to Explain this Kind of DRM to the Unw (Score 2) 55

Meh, it's not that big a deal for most games. Onlive worked, albeit with a little bit of lag. Maybe not great for shooters, but for most action/puzzle/etc. games (especially controller-driven ones that don't require super precision) it was totally playable.

If your internet connection is good enough for Netflix, Onlive offered a similar experience (slightly worse, since you can't pre-buffer a game like you can a static movie) but still playable. It was a godsend when I didn't have a gaming-capable computer in college.

For $10 a month, it was a great way to try out many lesser-tier games, or for AAA games, pay $2 for a couple hours of full gameplay to see if it's something I'd like to pay full price for.

As someone who's built and played on high-end gaming PCs for the better part of two decades, streamed games are an interesting niche that I hope will open up more use cases. They are unlikely to replace mainstream desktop gaming, but maybe they can find a niche in there somewhere between mobile and consoles, both of which are already far weaker than desktop PCs but still have plenty of players and games.

Comment Re:Didn't Like Eich (Score 1) 192

To be fair, with the amount of influence corporations have on government, their CEOs are proxy policymakers. It matters a lot what their social views are because they, much more than individual citizens, determine the future of our country.

If we remove campaign "contributions" and jail politicians who accept corporate bribes, sure, let the CEOs believe whatever they want. Until then, corporations directly manipulate social policy. Thus, influencing corporate personalities via boycotts or public shaming is the only real power the average Joe has as a customer-citizen. You have more of a chance of getting a corporation to give a damn -- because you can choose whether to pay them -- vs getting the federal government to directly give a damn about you.

So elect the right CEOs, support the right companies, and they will in turn lobby on your behalf. If you don't believe me, look at how who actually steers progressive change in US politics -- it's the big tech companies, mostly left-leaning, fighting against Old Money. Citizens don't matter. Only CEOs do.

Slashdot Top Deals

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson