Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment I assume they just mean the TV portion.... (Score 1) 156

The Fine Article asks "Where are they going?" and talks about some other services (SlingTV, Hulu, etc.) but that fails to answer the more important question of "How are they getting there?"

Quite frankly in a huge part of the country your connectivity choices are cable modem (fast), DSL or related (kinda fast sometimes depending on where you are), sometimes a WISP (probably slow and expensive), or 4G tethering (you thought cable was expensive?). Fiber is not an option for most of the country and is AFAIK the only thing that can compete with cable for speed.

So, is this all just talking about eliminating the TV portion of your monthly bill from the cable company?

Comment Re:Two types of laws (Score 3, Informative) 299

Also, intent matters when determining guilt.

I suggest you try, "Officer, I didn't see the sign" the next time you're pulled over for running a stop sign.

The traffic code in most cases specifically excludes intent from consideration, but that's an anomalous area in the law. Throughout very nearly all of criminal law, intent is crucial to determining guilt. So while you're correct that "Officer, I didn't see the sign" won't do you any good, your argument is a red herring that demonstrates significant lack of knowledge of criminal law. (It's also worth noting that most traffic violations aren't technically crimes in most jurisdictions, they're civil infractions which is why you may be assessed a fine but cannot be arrested. There are exceptions for very serious violations, including extremely high rates of speed.)

Comment Re:USPS (Score 1, Interesting) 225

First class postage is still under $1 for a letter picked up and delivered door to door, usually in a few days. It's a huge bargain if you ask me.

Of course it is. And it's a huge bargain because the USPS is operating at enormous losses, losing ~$8B per year.

What's UPS going to charge you for a letter? $10? $5?

We don't know because they're not allowed to, unless the letter is "urgent" (overnight or 2-day). I suspect that their prices wouldn't be much higher (if any) than USPS, at least for urban areas. They might even be lower. People who live in more rural areas (like me) would likely pay a bit more, but that seems fair, just part of the cost of rural living.

And then they just drop the letter off at the local post office for delivery to your door usually. Same with FedEx.

That's because it's illegal for them to use mailboxes or to deliver first-class residential mail, thanks to the government-guaranteed USPS monopoly on mail delivery.

Perhaps we could scale back delivery days and save labor costs. Say three days a week to the door and only weekday delivery to P.O. boxes? That would drop about half their labor costs, keep service levels high for those who need it, and perhaps allow the USPS to get back to even instead of loosing money all the time.

That might work. While we're at it we should eliminate the monopoly and allow UPS and FedEx to compete with the USPS on all sorts of shipping, and remove all of the remaining subsidies. Let them all compete head to head on price and convenience, on a level playing field.

Comment Re:nice video, but the launch seems backwards (Score 1) 200

so far, statistically the 1st re-use (2nd launch) have a 0% probability of surviving into orbit

There is absolutely no data about the probability of a reused SpaceX rocket making it to orbit, because it's never been tried. The one that blew up wasn't a reused rocket, it was new.

Comment Re:Everything Trump does is bad (Score 1) 134

If she deleted emails AFTER them being subpoenaed by Congress she would be in prison now.

Perhaps. That's a question for Congress, and the Republican Congress has chosen not to pursue it.

If she deleted work related emails after being subpoenaed by the FBI, as Comey confirmed she did, she would be in prison now.

Clinton claims that the deleted emails were personal, not work-related. The DoJ found that she had the legal right to withhold and delete personal emails. Whether the emails actually were personal, of course, we'll never know. But barring existence of some evidence that they weren't personal, there is no prosecutable offense here.

If she lied under oath to Congress, as confirmed by Comey, she would be in prison now.

Almost nobody goes to prison for lying under oath to Congress. Comey has done it, and didn't go to prison, for example.

Just because there is a different set of rules for her and she doesn't go to prison for committing crimes doesn't mean she didn't commit crimes.

I don't see any evidence that there is a different set of rules. There's a lot of evidence that she is given every benefit of the doubt within the rules, probably more than others would. I suspect that some of that is due to the influence of a Democratic administration, but I think most of it arises from the fact that no one wants to destroy a major party's candidate for president without extremely clear cause. It seems entirely appropriate to allow the voters to hold a referendum on these issues in November... and, frankly, if her opponent were anyone other than Donald Trump voters would destroy her for it.

I should mention that I do not like Hillary Clinton, at all. I'm a conservative-leaning libertarian who generally votes for Republican candidates, so I disagree ideologically with Clinton, and as a person I consider her to be a cold, grasping, schemer. But I dislike the post-factual era that US (and world) politics seems to be entering even more.

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 1) 231

Finally, you can't shave *that* much weight off the car even if you stopped worrying about crashworthiness altogether; you can only make a steel box for 4/5 people so light, and still make it ride nicely, not be noisy inside, have comfortable seats, be able to fit people over 6' tall, etc.

As a first step you could roll back vehicle weights to what they were 40 years ago. You can also shift from steel to lighter materials, and you can eliminate the entire engine compartment (using small hub motors instead) so you can simply chop away much of the existing vehicle. Further, in an autonomous-vehicle world, it seems very likely that individual vehicle ownership will largely become a thing of the past, so you wouldn't have to have a box for 4/5 people except on the occasions you actually have to transport 4/5 people. Of course, the smaller you make the vehicle the less surface you have for solar panels, unless you have something like a highly-streamlined "solar umbrella" which is larger than the vehicle.

As for solar panels, again, no, it's completely impossible. At highway speeds, you need tens of horsepower to overcome air resistance.

Depends on streamlining, and on what "useful speed" means (you said highway speed, not me -- the solar challenge vehicles go much faster than bicycles but not highway speeds), and on how much you can rely on batteries. I know I said "from on-board solar panels" but didn't mean to preclude the idea that the vehicle also has batteries. If the vehicle is parked in sunlight a significant portion of each day to charge the batteries, and it's very light and has very low air and rolling resistance... it may be possible that it can operate usefully without charging from an external source. Or perhaps just without very much external charging.

Also, you're implicitly assuming that the vehicle must overcome air resistance by itself. That needn't be true with autonomous vehicles at highway speeds, which could close up into big trains drafting off of one another. Perhaps the vehicles in the train could even join electrically or physically, so that the lead and trail vehicles don't have to draw down their batteries to maintain speed.

There are options, and I don't think the possibility should be dismissed out of hand. It's a stretch, certainly.

Comment Re:Don't agree with the conclusion .... (Score 1) 231

Electric cars are a fad. The biggest problem is what do you do with all the batteries? Sure you can recycle them, but they will all eventually die. Then what..?

Among other things, EV batteries are going to have a long life as home electricity storage batteries. After a decade or so of use in a vehicle, a battery will have lost ~30% of its capacity. That sucks because it means you have a lot of dead weight to haul around. But it's not nearly as much of a concern to have it parked in the corner of your garage or basement. A couple of old EV batteries would be fantastic for time shifting rooftop solar production to match home consumption. And in that usage model, you should be able to get several more decades of use out of a battery.

And then, recycling... which provides access to high-value raw materials much less expensively than mining.

Comment Re:Don't agree with the conclusion .... (Score 1) 231

High fuel prices punish the people who are already struggling, on tight budgets. If they need to drive a vehicle for any kind of delivery or taxi job (Uber, Lyft, etc.) - it means their costs go up, because they can't just "drive less".

That doesn't mean it shouldn't be done, it just means that it shouldn't be done too quickly or without warning. People can adapt, by moving where they live, by relocating businesses, by switching to telecommuting, by carpooling, using mass transit (which may require transit buildout) etc. (and taxis can simply raise their prices to account for the higher fuel costs -- or switch to electrics). The key is to give people time to adapt, and let them know that they need to.

IMO, we should implement a schedule of federal fuel tax increases. The increases should start very gently, but then get steeper, much steeper, and everyone should know they're coming well in advance. And the taxes collected should be invested in renewable and mass transportation.

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 1) 231

You can't, unless you're proposing to have vehicles that can't go faster than bicycle speed. The size and weight of modern cars stems directly from crash-safety requirements.

Crash-safety requirements are necessary only because cars crash. When we mandate fully-autonomous vehicles, crashes will be reduced to a miniscule fraction of what they are, because they'll occur only in cases of severe mechanical failure or some non-vehicle object on the roadway (big rocks, etc.). Effectively, we'll move the crash safety assurance from heavy steel to lightweight sensor, communications and computing equipment.

I'm not sure if cars can be made lightweight enough to operate at useful speed from on-board solar panels, but we will be able to get much, much closer than we are now.

Comment Re: Other than Brother... (Score 1) 387

OK, I'm going to assume you're talking about the drum unit, DR-420 on those. This is actually what transfers the toner to the paper, the fuser is a separate unit that's likely got a programmed "hey, replace this" at 100,000 pages. On a lot of printers with more expensive toner this transfer roller is actually built into the toner cartridge, which is why those toners are more expensive.

The printer may complain when the drum hits its page count, but it should keep printing with no real issues - you can keep using that drum until/unless you start to see a decline in print quality.

List on the DR420 is a little over $100, so yeah, more than a HL-2240 typically costs but even at the high price I see of $110 that means you got a hell of a deal on the printer at ~$40ish. I'll also note that third-party drum units run $18-25.

In any case, most people who get that model printer are never going to come close to cranking 12,000 pages through a $40 laser printer. In fact, if you've run that many pages through I kind of hope you're using cheaper aftermarket toner, because if not then you should've bought a heavier-duty printer with a lower cost per page for toner. When you're looking for a replacement, check how much the toner cartridges cost per page (price/pagecount), plus any drum replacements and whether it ships with a starter cartridge or a full toner cartridge. Still, at 1.8 cents per page for toner I'm pretty sure that Brother's at the low end of the small printer toner cost scale.

Comment Re:Story's Not Over (Score 2) 204

If I understand this correctly, Akamai threw Krebs out because Akamai could not handle the DDS. This means I'm never sending any business to Akamai because they can't handle it properly. But it doesn't mean Krebs is off the air for long.

For example, I bet Cloudflare would take him on. They've differentiated themselves on the ability to handle DDS.

There's also Google's Project Shield, which is free for journalists.

Comment Re:Do we have to let the winner out of the arena? (Score 1) 56

Why does it boggle the mind? Most of the Android revenue is licensing. Google doesn't have a lot of cost when it comes to licensing.

I think most of Android's revenue is from the Play store, not licensing. In fact, I don't think Google charges anything for the Google apps, and it really couldn't charge anything for Android, since it's open source.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Gotcha, you snot-necked weenies!" -- Post Bros. Comics

Working...