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


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

Comment Strangely, cheaper = more secure in this case (Score 3, Informative) 20

It is very strange that while Samsung phones that me and my wife used to have had were not updated much (especially the non-flagship devices), from the moment I tried the cheap Chinese Xiaomi I've been enjoying continuous updates to all devices, from flagship to budget (and this, along with other reasons, is why I am sticking with Xiaomi for the time being). E.g. your phone will be running Android 6.0.1 whether you have the latest flagship (Mi 5), or the previous flagship (Mi 4) or the flagship before that (Mi 3 from 2013) or their cheapest device from 2 years ago (Redmi 1S) etc. And all these cost 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the equivalent Samsung/LG etc.
So, in this case buying "cheap Chinese" means you are the most protected from such issues. Yes, I know Xiaomi does not sell to most countries, I had to order it from a Chinese e-tailer who had an EU warehouse. And if you order from a Chinese e-tailer, whatever brand the phone it is almost guaranteed to be full of adware and spyware so your first move would be a clean install. Which is surprisingly easy on a Xiaomi, in fact you don't even have to use a PC - you can just go to the Xiaomi website to download the latest version, rename the file per the instructions, reboot in recovery mode and clean-install it! They even have dual boot - keeping a clean OS in case you screw up your regular installation.
Sorry for the "ad", but I can't believe I have paid up to $600 in the past (or more if we include phones my company has provided me like the iPhone 6 Plus), when a $200-$250 phone has proved better IMHO in both hardware and software...

Comment Product category compared to specific models (Score 4, Insightful) 358

You can't just arbitrarily take the sum of all the models that a company has produced in a category and compare it to specific models in other fields. Try comparing the iPhone to 3M's all types of post-it notes, who has sold more units? If you want Apple to win that comparison by going "by value" you are worse off, since most car manufacturers trump you, even if you just go by "model" as this BS topic does and not the total of cars that a manufacturer has made. Oh, and, by the way, and "Corolla" is just a model line when we say "brand" we usually refer to "Toyota".
If you want to get more serious, you can find products that sell more both in units and value. E.g. Coca Cola sells in a week, about as many bottles of Coke as Apple iPhones have been sold in history and it is just a matter of how many years back you have to go with Coke bottles to reach a greater overall value in Coke than iPhones...
And it gets even worse than that. Even among phones, the iPhone is not that remarkable in *numbers*. The lowly Nokia 1110 sold 250 million units. This is far above any single iPhone model. In fact, some of its directy predecessors each sold more units than all or most iPhone models (e.g. the 1100 also about 250 million, the 3210 over 150 million, the 3310 130 million etc). Similar to the iPhones Nokia made phones that were very similar in looks and software and differed only in the model number, so if you can sum up all iPhones you can sum up a line of Nokia phones and come up with more than a billion.
Why not just stay at the fact that the introduction of the iPhone was a paradigm shift that shaped the entire smartphone market and it continues to be one of the most popular platforms to this day? Why do you have to make up such BS headlines?

Comment A journalist does not know what is going on? (Score 5, Insightful) 318

A journalist (of the WSJ no less) has no idea what is going on in their country? That's what was the most surprising to me. I mean, I knew about the 100-mile border rule and I am neither a journalist, nor a US citizen. I thought the US journalists are in on it with the government by not drawing attention to the slowly eroding US constitutional rights, but in this case it is not some conspiracy, the journalist is an idiot. Where idiot here is also used in the original meaning from the ancient greek (no unicode to list it here) which was referred to people who were not interested in the affairs of the State.
If a journalist whose job is to know stuff exactly like this, is surprised to find something like that out, what hope do the people in the US realize that they have let them take away their rights one by one?

Comment What's the difference? (Score 1) 258

Currently in the UK I can buy regular pasteurized milk which can be homogenized or not and lasts about a week, or "filtered" but still regularly pasteurized milk (e.g. Cravendale) which lasts 2-3 weeks. What's the difference with this new process? I seems to still require the regular pasteurization and adds an extra heating to get the same effect as the "filtering". Note that I use quotes since I don't know what this filtering entails, so the question is whether this new process has any advantage over that filtering, or is the story just to advertise a new (I assume patented) way to achieve the same effect?

Comment Re:Where did the money come from? (Score 1) 160

Say you receive $1,000,000 from selling drugs. You can't just go around spending it because you can't explain where you got it. In fact, in the US the police can outright confiscate money and you have to prove they came from legal sources. So, what do you do? You open a laundermat and you start spending your $1,000,000 on it in various ways that either require some "interesting" accounting, or paying undocumented salaries, buying equipment with cash etc. However, whatever income your laundermat makes is perfectly legitimate and you can spend without worrying.
Laundering money costs of course. E.g. your laundermat business will appear in the books for example as having a $20k/week revenue, $10k/week expenses for $10k/week earnings, when in fact you are pumping in another $20k/week in undocumented "dirty money", effectively making 1 clean dollar for every 2 dirty ones and before the year is over you will have converted your "hot" million to a "clean" half a mil.
You can also find someone who does this for you through their business, so you give them undocumented dirty money and they "pay" you for "services" with less, but "clean", money.

Comment VZW is right in this case (Score 1) 421

OK, I am the first to say VZW is the worst, but in this case people can't complain. They were stupid enough to sell "unlimited" data, so they would now be in the wrong if they made the "unlimited" have a limit (yes, they would love to do just that of course), but instead they are just deciding it makes no financial sense to them to keep these customers on. Similar to how you decide VZW makes no financial sense to you and you drop them, a company can do the same (following the terms of the contract), the aren't obliged to give you what you want, so in this case they are right to do that instead of finding a more sneaky way to limit or charge you.
And 100GB is of course quite a lot of data, if you want that much data of your mobile connection, sorry, nobody will give it to you cheaply.
In fact, it goes the other way around, they are giving you increasingly faster mobile connections (at least in cities, forget more rural areas), without making data cheaper. You simply have less time to run your connection at full speed, before you hit your data cap - in the most common max speed / included data combinations you can max out monthly caps in just a few minutes. No, it makes no sense, the only things that would actually help customers are signal coverage and some modest 3G in places where you currently have no signal or just GPRS/Edge, plus some reasonably priced data packages, and the only thing really advancing is max speed at a sweet-spot in the city...

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 183

What do you mean? We are talking here about the fastest in the quarter mile, which it does at 9.87 sec. The Tesla P85D does it in 10.9 sec, so this is faster than the Tesla in that respect (and others, e.g. 0-100kph is 3s vs Tesla's 3.2).
Of course the Tesla is a production car and not some modified for drag racing awkward vehicle, which make its feats impressive, but it doesn't mean the summary is wrong.

Comment Big ST fan here (Score 4, Interesting) 161

I am a big ST fan and while TNG is still my favorite I even like the reboot movies (yes they are not "Trek" in the traditional sense, but the actors & dialogue are good entertainment). So I was quite happy to hear about a new series... Then they published the fan film guidelines and suddenly it all turned sour for me. Sure, I always knew Paramount/CBS are doing it for the money, but performing what is analogous to kicking their fans in the face? And I was never a big fan of fan-made films, but I always took it for granted that they added value to ST not take away from it...
Nope, the way I feel right now I'll just re-watch my already paid-for TNG, TOS etc disks and hope someone else will make some decent non-ST sci-fi.

Comment Re:I don't think that's enough (Score 1) 99

I'm not an graphics expert, but I'm gonna guess that's not nearly enough?

No, you certainly are not a graphics expert. I am not either, but at least I know that scenes are not composed and rendered for each pixel. So, when you go from 1080p to 720p which has 2.25 times less pixels, you never get 2.25 times more frame rate. It depends heavily on the game of course but at best you get something less than 2x, while at worse something like a 25% frame rate benefit.
So you don't need 4x the performance for 4x pixels and 2.3x may be enough. More accurately, it will have to be enough, because developers will know that's what they have to fit.

Comment If they want to solve it... (Score 4, Interesting) 187

If they want to solve it, they just need to issue a pardon. I mean, other people steal millions via various (much less "direct") means and just hide for a few years for the statute of limitations and they are free (rich) men. For this guy, who I'd say really "worked" for it, they started prosecution in absentia so that he can be caught at any time in the future.
We don't care about the $200k he stole - in fact the cost of the investigation should have run up multiple times that - but the public wants to know if he made it! And whether it will be shot with IMAX cameras!

Comment I have one... (Score 1) 29

I have one, and since I am writing what looks to me right now to be the 8th post here, 12.5% of posters have a Xiaomi!

On the more serious side, I ordered mine (I live in the UK) from a Chinese seller who has a warehouse in the EU, and I know a few other people who ordered the same way (whether they are in UK, Greece, Netherlands etc).
Specifically, I bought the Mi4 a year ago for a little over $200, i.e. less than half the cost of other flagship phones with comparable (or sometimes less) specs. Naturally, it came full of bloatware/spywhere, on a Xiaomi you can actually open a browser, download a clean image from the manufacturer website, restart and have it clean-install just like that, not even need of a PC. Oh, and it has dual-boot, keeping a "clean" OS version in case you run into trouble.
Overall it blows away my previous Samsung (which still cost more than the Xiaomi last year, even second hand!!) in every aspect, including - believe it or not - manufacturer support, since you have immediate access to each (of the frequent) new version of the OS for what it seems like at least some years after release of a Xiaomi phone. It is an amazing value and I don't think I'll ever spend much more than $200 on a phone again...
Caveat: Chinese resellers will install spyware (not only on Xiaomi), so clean install once you get a phone!

Comment Re:GloFo 14nm vs TSMC 16nm (Score 1) 144

The numbers. RX 480 is 5.7b transistors at 14nm, GTX 1070 is 7.2b at 16nm. Both engineering teams are top in their field, I doubt anybody seriously dropped the ball on architecture. And so far there are no reports of glaring deficiencies of the 14nm process. The nVidia part is clocked 35% higher. So: more transistors, higher clock speed, larger process, but the same or less power consumption? Doesn't add up, not even close. This leaves measurement error or as the likely explanation.

There is no measurement error. This has already been proven by various publications, some measure power on the rails, others power on the socket, you can't mess up that kind of measurement, it is very simple. The RX 480 with less transistors, less clock speed, less performance for most things uses the same power as the GTX 1070, and I am asking why? I guess only insiders would really know why, but my one guess was some sort of issue with the 14nm process, hence my question.

Slashdot Top Deals

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.