Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:Does Zoning Abrogate First Amendment? (Score 1) 224

I'm not sure the 5th works either since they're not "taking" the property they're just restricting what you can do with it.

A legal technicality. Mere possession is perhaps the least significant part of ownership. The essence of a property right is that the owner gets to decide how the property will be used. Of course, others get to decide how their property is used, so whatever action you want to take has to satisfy the rights of everyone whose property is involved, not just your own. However, when some authority figure tells you that you aren't allowed to use your property in a way which would not infringe on anyone else's rights, they are misappropriating your rights as the property owner for themselves. That is a "taking", and if the impact to the value of the property to the owner is significant enough (50% for sure; perhaps even less) it should be treated as a form of confiscation of the property for public use.

To put this in the form of a reducto ad absurdum: One could restrict the use of property to the point where the nominal "owner's" only legal options are to leave the property to rot (while still paying property taxes and other fees on it) or "donate" it to the government. Legal semantics aside, how would that be any different from simply taking the property? Lesser restrictions are merely a difference of degree, not kind; a partial taking is still a taking.

Comment Re:Constitutional Rights (Score 3, Insightful) 347

That means if the FBI wants me decrypt any of my documents they can show my lawyer a search warrant otherwise they can FUCK OFF.

Even with a warrant, it has never been the case that a person could be compelled to translate the content of a document (a journal, for example) written in a private code. If you possess some form of codebook then they can force you to produce it with a subpoena, but that's pretty much as far as it goes.

A search warrant means they get to search your property, with or without your permission. You have no obligation to help them find what they're looking for, much less help them make sense of it once it's been found.

In any case this is less about individual warrants and more about preventing the manufacturers of popular electronics and software from making truly secure storage of personal data easy and ubiquitous. Encryption by default represents significant security benefits for the population at large, whereas its absence will have little or no impact on actual criminals beyond a bit of inconvenience. I can only conclude that the FBI is, perhaps unwittingly, taking the criminal's side on this issue—criminals stand to benefit more than anyone else from insecure systems.

Comment Re:Technology does not work that way. (Score 2) 347

The best possible permutation is where criminals are in total darkness, while the most incorruptible members of law enforcement, after obtaining a legitimate warrant, are in a brightly-lit room.

Even assuming you could find such a paragon of virtue to trust with everyone's secrets, which I highly doubt—and which is not your call to make—this has been tried. Many times. It simply does not work. If there is a back door into everyone's encrypted data, it will be available not only to these impractically idealized members of law enforcement for the objectively reasonable and impartial enforcement of universally agreed-upon laws, but also to criminals and others with less noble intentions. It's much the same problem as a large conspiracy: the more people that have access, the easier it for the back door to fall into the "wrong" hands; and a back door you can never use for reasons of security might as well not exist. It will get used, frequently, and it will leak, and when it does it will put everyone's private data in jeopardy. (Except for the real criminals, of course, who took care to speak in their own private code and/or encrypt all their data with an unbreakable and trivial-to-implement one-time pad—which won't be discovered until after the warrant has been issued to decrypt the files with the government's master key.)

Comment Re:What's the complaint? (Score 2) 65

Do you even think it's reasonable to prioritize your torrent packets the same as your neighbors VOIP traffic?

Generally speaking: yes. Two customers with the same service plan shouldn't be treated differently based on the content (or port numbers) of their packets.

With that said, if the ISP wants to give each customer a limited amount of dedicated high-priority bandwidth based on the DiffServe IP header field, and let customers decide for themselves how to allocate it, that would be perfectly fine.

Comment Re:Translation : ISPS are only CC when it suits th (Score 3, Interesting) 26

ISPs are not all equivalent. AT&T is a telephone company, and the telephone companies have always been considered common carriers, even when they branched out into providing DSL, and later fiber. Cable companies, on the other hand, are not traditional common carriers, and that status, too, has carried over into their respective Internet services.

Being a common carrier does not mean that the ISP cannot make a distinction between local and non-local traffic. This is not that different from charging extra for long-distance service, which was very common among the common-carrier phone companies before VoIP made most voice calls "too cheap to meter". It does mean that the ISP does not get to pick and choose the type of traffic they will carry, which should rule out things like DPI filtering or restrictions against running servers.

Comment Re:free choice (Score 1, Insightful) 296

Yeah, they're perfectly free to go back to dire poverty and hunger if they want.

No, they're free to provide for themselves without any help or hindrance from Apple or Pegatron. If that means "dire poverty and hunger" that is only because this is the natural state of the universe; if you want anything else you have to provide it for yourself, either individually or working together with others voluntarily for mutual benefit.

If they choose to work at Pegatron they do so because, despite what anyone else might say about the pay or conditions, they feel that this is their best option. Pegatron has no inherent responsibility to provide for anyone beyond what they mutually agreed to in the terms of employment. The workers' conditions—in the aggregate, including any who were laid off—would not be improved by Pegatron (or Apple) losing customers due to non-competitive pricing, or by losing investors due to non-competitive returns.

If really you want to improve their lot, the most effective strategies would be to increase competition for workers by reducing (not increasing!) the barriers to entry for new businesses, to encourage free trade, and to lift the restrictions on immigration to areas with higher standards of living.

Comment Re:For the percentage impaired... (Score 1) 85

This is more a matter of how the phrase should be read, as jargon, and not how the phrase will be (mis-)understood by the general public in casual conversation.

As a writer, if you can't count on a technically-minded audience, you're (unfortunately) best served by avoiding relative multiples entirely, as well as relative percentages at or above 100%. Unlike "two times faster" or "330% faster", there is no confusion, generally speaking, about how to read "three times as fast" or "430% as fast".

As a reader, in the absence of evidence of the author's intent to the contrary, if you encounter the phrase "X times faster" or "X% faster" I believe you should treat it as equivalent to "(X+1) times as fast" or "(X+100%) as fast".

I understand that linguistic relativism is in vogue at the moment, and even agree with it to an extent. The point of having language is to communicate, after all, which implies that the meanings and customary use of phrases are not fixed in stone; they change depending on the speaker, audience, and context. However, by the same token, I think prescriptionism is warranted in cases like this one for the sake of preserving our ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Ambiguity serves no one, and we don't need another inconsistent way to say "X times as fast", whereas maintaining the regular structure of the language ("X00% = X times" and "X faster = original speed plus X", regardless of context) helps to reduce the reader's cognitive load, leaving more energy for the real content. While there is no inherently right or wrong way to design a tool, some tool designs are more fit for purpose than others, and the same is true for the tools of communication, i.e. languages.

Comment Re:I'm getting old. (Score 1) 145

I understand your concerns, but these adapters are basically just wiring and physical supports. There are hardly any electronics involved (perhaps a discrete voltage regulator, judging from the images). If you would be willing to trust a non-OEM SATA cable and mounting bracket then I wouldn't see any reason not to trust a non-OEM M.2 to SATA adapter.

There are some higher-end models which provide a full 2.5" enclosure for your M.2 drive for $20-30, if you want the extra peace of mind.

Comment Re:I'm getting old. (Score 1) 145

I get the M.2 format's advantages, but I don't understand why they wouldn't offer the same drives in SATA packaging.

If you need the SATA packaging to fit existing hardware you can get M.2 to SATA adapters for $8-10:
Oley Laptop SSD NGFF M.2 to 2.5" SATA 3 PC Converter Adapter Card
AD905A SATA III 3 to M.2 (NGFF) SSD 7+5 pin Connector Converter Adapter Card

Here's a higher-end dual-M.2 to SATA adapter with integrated hardware RAID for $40:
Ableconn ISAT-M2SR 2.5" 7mm SATA III to Dual M.2 SATA SSD Adapter with Hardward RAID

Has anyone heard of NAS or SAN devices that now feature rows of M.2 slots instead of SATA sleds?

They don't appear to be commonplace yet, but here's one example:
Qnap 4-Bay M.2 SSD NASbook with Built-In 4 Port LAN Switch

Comment Re:For the percentage impaired... (Score 1) 85

Can you link to something authoritative so I can cure my ignorance?

Sorry, I didn't find anything definitive either. However, it follows from the normal use for ratios less than unity. The only difference is the magnitude. Taking "two times" to be equivalent to "200%", and "1/2 times" (or simply "1/2") to be equivalent to "50%":

50% as fast (as the original) = 1/2 (times) as fast = 0.5 * original speed
100% as fast = one times as fast = 1 * original speed
200% as fast = two times as fast = 2 * original speed

50% faster (than the original) = 1/2 (times) faster = (0.5 * original speed) + original speed
100% faster = one times faster = (1 * original speed) + original speed = 2 * original speed
200% faster = two times faster = (2 * original speed) + original speed = 3 * original speed

The expression has two parts. The first can be either "X%" or "X times", both relative to the original amount. If the second part is "as fast" or "as much" (etc.) then this is the final result. If the second part is a relative term like "faster" or "more" then this implies addition, and the first amount, after multiplication, is the difference between the result and the original amount.

Few would disagree with the statement that "50% faster" is equivalent to "150% as fast", and not "50% as fast", but for some reason many become confused by "200% faster" when the formula is exactly the same.

Comment Re:Light years (Score 1) 218

This raises a question: Why do astronomers use irregular units like "light years" and "parsecs" instead of the SI units and prefixes used in every other scientific discipline? Is it just a matter of custom, like the use of English(-ish) units in the U.S.? The SI units would not be any more awkward to work with, and would avoid the need for complex conversions:

distance from Earth to the Sun (1.00 AU) = 150 Gm (gigameters, G=10^9)
distance to Proxima Centauri (1.3 parsecs) = 40. Pm (petameters, P=10^15)
estimated size of the universe (46 billon light years) = 44 Ym (yottameters, Y=10^24)

Comment Re:For the percentage impaired... (Score 1) 85

Sorry, but "330% faster" is indeed 3.3 times faster, or 4.3 times as fast. "4.3 [times] faster" is actually 5.3 times as fast. You're off by one, and GP is correct.

Let's try it this way: "100% faster" and "1 times faster." Do you see how your statement is provably false, now?

Sorry, but the AC is right. "100% faster" = "1 times faster" = "2 times as fast".

"X times as fast" = X * original speed
"X times faster" = original speed + (X * original speed)

Comment Re:Depends (Score 1) 85

... "as slow" would seem to need to be a comparison to a value measured from a reference point ...

"slowness" = 1 / "fastness" (a.k.a. speed)

Say that an object is moving at 5 meters per second. Its "slowness" is, equivalently, one second per five meters, or 0.2 seconds per meter. "50% faster" would be 50% * 5 m/s = 2.5 m/s faster than 5 m/s, or 7.5 m/s in total. "50% slower" would be 50% * 0.2 s/m = 0.1 s/m slower than 0.2 s/m, or 0.3 s/m in total, or 3.333... m/s.

(Intuitively, "50% slower" means that it takes 50% more time to cover the same distance.)

"Twice as fast" = 2 * 5 m/s = 10 m/s.
"Half as slow" = 1/2 * 0.2 s/m = 0.1 s/m, or 10 m/s.

"Half as fast" = 1/2 * 5 m/s = 2.5 m/s.
"Twice as slow" = 2 * 0.2 s/m = 0.4 s/m, or 2.5 m/s.

Slashdot Top Deals

"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to create him." -Arthur C. Clarke

Working...