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Comment One bus... (Score 1) 65

USB charging ports on one bus in Japan. What will they think of next? Devices attached to the seats on which a person can rest their arms? Texturing on the floor to prevent a person from slipping if their shoes are wet? Electrically operated devices affixed to the interior of the bus that emit photons so people can see when it's night time?

Slashdot, please keep us abreast of such groundbreaking advancements!

Comment Here's a secret... (Score 1) 364

I'll let you in on a secret... people (as in the vast majority) don't want 3D in theaters either. The reason it's there is because it's an excuse for even higher ticket prices. Raise your hand if you actually believe people would not see a movie because it wasn't showing in 3D. Anyone? Would you? Would you walk into a theater, and find out that the movie was not playing in 3D, and turn around and leave? Checking my local cinema's showings for tomorrow (it has 8 screens), there is only one movie being shown in 3D tomorrow: XXX: The Return of Xander Cage (PG-13). And that's with a 2D showing mixed in with the two 3D showings.

So when the article says "Despite enthusiasm at the box office", I think that should really say "Despite not utterly failing at the box office".

Comment Google News mobile (Score 2) 55

They've been using it on Google News for mobile now for a while, I can't stand it. Mainly for the exact reason stated in the blurb, which is that you cannot share news stories. Plus it wastes screen real estate with the Google header at the top. Didn't we go through something like this over a decade ago when iframe came out and everyone was wanting to embed everyone else's content in their web page to show ads and otherwise maintain control over the user? Thanks for taking us back to the dark ages, Google.

Comment Illegal? (Score 5, Insightful) 179

I'm curious what aspect of this was illegal. The keylogging itself isn't illegal. If someone buys and installs keylogger software on devices they own, that's not illegal. If someone installs software of that kind on someone else's device, without the owner's permission, then the person who did the installation broke the law. Not the author of the software.

Both articles are vague in that regard, but one states,

intentionally cause damage without authorization

,
Which may mean the software had the capability to erase files or do something harmful besides capturing data.

Unless the software actively multiplied and installed itself without permission somehow, it would seem to me that the customers are (in some specific cases) the guilty parties.

Comment Re:Adobe: Truly solid products (Score 2) 147

Oh it's so much worse than that though. Adobe Reader has existed since loooooong before Android was even conceptualized. How often does the PDF format change that the reader requires lots of active development which is a vector for introducing bugs? Reader should be bullet proof by now. The one and only time I've had a machine infected was a decade ago with Adobe Reader from a website that sent me a PDF that exploited it. I knew exactly the attack vector because the Adobe Reader splash window popped up and went away after a few seconds when I visited a site pushing malware.

Comment Re:Good, but... (Score 2) 432

Obama propped up the status quo in the American auto industry. Whether or not that was a good thing is debatable. Only Ford was healthy enough and managed well enough to not require any government bail outs. The industry did not have an opportunity to self-correct or those brands be sold and taken over by more competent management (no one bailed Hostess out when they failed, and guess what? I can still buy Hostess Twinkies the same as ever.) The fact that Ford is looking firmly into the future of both energy (electric) and transportation in general (Uber and self-driving cars) is a reflection of the leadership that kept them healthy and solvent since their inception.

Comment Re:What type of solar (Score 3, Interesting) 504

You're overlooking the simplicity to the solution. You put the batteries IN the oven, dryer, washing machine, etc. They charge slowly during daylight, and consume from their own batteries on demand, and can have very short distance conductors large enough to consume whatever amperage the batteries can supply with little to no loss. They are already large appliances so accommodating batteries of significant size wouldn't be a problem. If the industry could adapt a standardized battery module that would roll into the bottom of the unit for easy replacement then so much the better.

Comment Makes sense (Score 4, Insightful) 70

Any time a country occupies another's territory they will employ its infrastructure and resources to further whatever objectives are profitable for the invading country. In the past it might be industries such as steel production, fuel production, mining of natural resources, plundering of various kinds of stockpiles, utilizing manufacturing to produce weapons and munitions to further increase the power of the invading country. Just because these days those resources can also take the form of technologies (such as internet bandwidth and processing power) it makes them no less valuable or exploitable.

Comment Re:Solar rated highest in 2016, but... (Score 1) 192

Sorry, I did speak too generically. The point I was intending to get across is that most of the solar being deployed now does not have storage nor inverters capable of meeting demand. For example, say a home has 1,000 watts of solar power and a battery storage array. They may need a 5,000 watt inverter to operate their home, because their peak demand (such as while running a washing machine) will be much greater than what the solar can produce instantaneously. The way power companies are employing solar is to simply feed into the grid when they can, thus they never need more inverter capacity than the maximum the solar panels can produce.

Comment Fake FB accounts (Score 4, Interesting) 93

I run a couple FB community groups that are quite specific. They aren't of interest to anyone outside the community. Fairly regularly I will get requests to join the group from obviously fake accounts. Many have the wrong gender for their name or profile picture. They will have a small random assortment of friends from vastly different nationalities. They will belong to multiple groups in multiple languages. Most of them I report to FB are immediately classified by them as fake accounts and are deleted.

Anyway, I wondered what the point was of these fake accounts. I thought maybe they harvested information (by joining groups they could see who is in the groups and thus attempt to build a graph connecting users). However, now I believe these accounts are created to consume advertising in scams such as this one, and at least some attempt is made to make the accounts appear genuine by having an array of friends and belonging to groups, etc.

Comment Re:Solar rated highest in 2016, but... (Score 5, Interesting) 192

The market is going to do whatever is cheapest. It is now cheaper to get natural gas out of the ground because of fracking, and the reserves available are so massive that it makes sense to invest in natural gas powerplants as they will be supplied with cheap fuel for a very long time. It is also cheap to burn natural gas because it doesn't require scrubbing and other processing of the emissions to reduce pollution.

The price of solar has continued to drop - panels have been way under a dollar a watt for a while now ($0.79 a watt buying 6,000W of panels at a time, and I'm sure power companies get even better deals buying bigger quantities). The way these are now being utilized (just fed into the grid when they can produce power without battery storage, inverters, etc) is very economical for power companies to invest in.

Coal, on the other hand, is relatively expensive and labor-intensive to get out of the ground, even when strip mining. Further, it takes expensive scrubbers to remove pollutants from the exhaust when it is burnt, which further increases the cost to use coal. Both of those factors combined (fracking and solar prices dropping) simply make other sources of energy cheaper to produce and utilize than coal for generating electricity.

If you were to ask the question "Why didn't we start doing this 20 years ago?" the answer is because we didn't have the technology to mass produce solar this inexpensively, and we didn't have the technology to produce natural gas this inexpensively.

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