Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Many games sold online in US are shipped overseas (Score 4, Informative) 47

On Saturday April 15, 2017, BeauHD said:

It's no surprise that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch... But managing to sell more copies than consoles that can actually play it? That's what's happened in the U.S., amazingly -- Nintendo just announced that it sold 906,000 Switch consoles in March along with 925,000 copies of Breath of the Wild.

Many people around the world buy their games from US based online stores when that game is not readily available from their local game store... These sales will have been recorded as US sales, even if the product might have ultimately been shipped overseas.

The iPhone exhibited a similar phenomenon during 2007-2009 when it was not yet readily available around the world. Apple reported significantly higher US unit sales than AT&T was reporting new subscribers - even though the phone was network locked to AT&T in the US - that was because many iPhones were being purchased in the US for use on other (often overseas) networks (after being jailbroken).

Comment A10 and Snapdragon 821 already faster than MacBook (Score 2) 80

Intel hasn't given us specific information about the specs and speeds of its first Compute Cards, but you can expect the fastest ones to approach the performance of high-end fanless laptops like Apple's MacBooks.

As impressive a feat as this might appear, at first, one must remember that Apple devices running last year's A9X are already faster than the Apple MacBook running Intel's equivalent processor, according to the latest GeekBench numbers - So, I fully expect that newer devices running Apple's A10 or Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 (that are slightly larger than a credit card due to some additional features that Intel's compute cards lack, such as a touch screen, gyro, motion, barometric, gps, cdma, gsm, lte, wifi, dsp, hsm, etc.) to already be a lot faster than Intel's fastest Compute Cards (assuming that the MacBook remains the benchmark performance).

I think that what Intel's Compute Cards will have going for them will be accessibility, programability, price and the ease of interfacing them to custom devices for developers... That is what Intel should be emphasizing. Vending machines, signage displays, self service kiosks, home automation hubs, assembly line robots, etc. do not need lots of computing power... but they need reliability, availability and dependability with minimal human intervention in some of the harshest environments, every single day of the year.

Comment There is more to this than meets the eye (Score 2) 38

"For people who choose to integrate ride sharing apps with iOS Maps, location data must be shared in order for you to request a ride inside the Maps app..."

I wonder if all the other apps that use the Apple Maps integration, such as Lyft, OpenTable, and Yelp, also exhibit the same behaviour of changing the location tracking setting from "While using the app" to "Always"? Furthermore, if Siri integration can pass the location information to the ride hailing app just in time as it is invoked, why can't Maps integration accomplish the same feat? Finally, while I understand why Apple Maps would need location tracking to be set to be "Always" to accomplish some of its magic, why isn't this being reported as such... instead of misreporting it as being the app using Apple Maps integration that has its location tracking setting to "Always"

Comment Re:Even worse (Score 3, Informative) 88

The bigger issue is that anyone who leaves their laptop unattended for a short period of time can have their laptop stolen, and the thief can actually gain access to it.

This is not true... as the article clearly states:

Swedish hardware hacker Ulf Frisk has created a device that can extract Mac FileVault2 (Apple's disk encryption utility) passwords from a device's memory before macOS boots and anti-DMA protections kick in.

Therefore simply leaving your laptop unattended is not going to automagically disable the built-in anti-DMA protections that kick in during the boot up process and enable a passerby with PCILeech to steal your password and access your encrypted disk.

To gain access to your MacBook, the attacker needs to have the PCILeech plugged into a Thunderbolt 2 port when the computer is first switched on to perform a cold boot and you need to be running an unpatched pre-16C63a build of macOS and you need to login with your password at that very moment while it is plugged in. The prototype PCILeech is much bulkier than a spy camera and has to be plugged into the computer (and its own power source) while you are logging in in order to extract the password from memory... so it is highly unlikely that you are not going to notice this big external hard disk-like looking device plugged into your computer when you return from a bathroom break.

However, immunity from the PCILeech hack is free and easy... just upgrade to macOS 10.12.2

From the Article:

"The solution Apple decided upon and rolled out is a complete one. At least to the extent that I have been able to confirm," Frisk said. "It is no longer possible to access memory prior to macOS boot. The Mac is now one of the most secure platforms with regards to this specific attack vector."

Comment Tea-Party, Alt-Right, Hard-Right... ...Neo-Right!? (Score 1) 736

Far-Right, New-Right, Tea-Party, Alt-Right, Hard-Right... What's Next: Neo-Right!?

Bloomberg reports that hard-right groups are lining up to back misleading websites and fake journalists who attack Musk's business empire.

Throughout history, the English world has referred to political or social groups that espouse populist ultraconservative and extreme nationalist ideologies as far-right groups or parties. But, recently I have observed an explosion of new terminology being invented to try to distinguish the multitude of far-right groups - all of which share the same ultraconservative, ultranationalist rejection of modern egalitarianism. It is almost as if far-right groups are jostling for position to see who can pronounce themselves to be at the furthest right of the left-right socio-political ideological spectrum.

It may be that if one splits hairs, one may identify unique characteristics that distinguish the different groups' neoreactionary philosophies - and many people will point these out to confused detractors like myself. Far-right groups have as much right to exist and espouse their ideological views as any other socio-political group... but, for the sake of clarity, lets stop inventing completely new terminology to describe how much further to the right one group may be than the ones that came before it.

Never since the formalisation of the struggles for independence, self determination and emancipation by the long suffering subjects of British, French and Portuguese colonies have we seen the emergence of so many political and social "movements" as we have seen in recent far-right politics of America. Calling one's social, political or pressure group a movement, no matter how well funded it is, does not automatically bestow upon it a mark of legitimacy if it is not borne out of the organisation of legitimate grass-root and civil societal formations that will sustain it as a movement long after the big cheques stop flowing because the socio-economic issues that are the fuel of real movements very rarely follow the ebb and flow of the electoral cycle. So, enough already with the "it's a movement" when referring to the shiny new vehicle a particular group may be using to rally its supporters behind its latest socio-political ideological project.

Okay... I'll get off my soapbox now and shut up.

Comment Not all 1,440 pieces of content would interest you (Score 1) 87

1,440 articles, videos and other pieces of content would be too much for any one person to try to read or watch in a single day.

It is also highly unlikely that any one person could be interested in all the articles, videos and other pieces of content, in all the categories and sub-categories offered by the Washington Post. So the real number of articles, videos and other pieces of content published that one would want to read would probably be mush much smaller

Comment Re: Trying to get shot? (Score 1) 678

I don't think that it matters... we are talking about innocent people who were later found to have done nothing to deserve death, rather than people who the police had legitimate cause to seek to apprehend... people who did not seek a violent confrontation with the police, but got one nevertheless.

I think that what you are getting at is something that my mother used to say to me when I was a kid... the friends one associates with, the way one presents themselves through dress, demeanour, etc., the neighbourhood that one hangs out at and more, all go towards other people's characterisation of you as an individual. If you hang out with your friends who sell drugs in a crime ridden neighbourhood, you are going to have more encounters with the police, regardless of race. The question is: is there a greater likelihood that one of those encounters might spiral into a violent and possibly fatal encounter because of one's race.

Comment Re:Trying to get shot? (Score 4, Informative) 678

This is the problem with selecting a single element of detail out of a body of data and using it to make an argument that completely ignores the rest of the data.

If you look at the data in its entirety you will realise that no race, sex, or whatever is immune to being killed by the police... especially if you charge at the police with a knife or point something that may look like a firearm at them... the police will shoot you no matter who or what you are - this is just Darwin's theory of natural selection in action - weeding out the stupid gene so that it hopefully does not multiply, regardless of race.

However, if you look at all the data... not just the part that support the argument that you have already decided you want to make... all of the data... you will see that from time to time innocent men and women, black, white and everything in between, are sometimes killed needlessly by police. Sometimes it is an error - a civilian crossing the street in the middle of a shoot out with criminals - sometimes it is a cop who has had a bad week and that innocent person just happened to in the wrong place at the wrong time when the police officer lost control of their faculties. Regardless of the reasons, if you look deeper into the data... once again all of the data at the same time, not individual strands separated from the rest of the data... you will see that all too often, when this happens... when an innocent person is killed by the police... there is a disproportionate probability that that innocent person is going to be a black male than any other race or sex.

This is not a point of view to be debated... this is a matter of fact as evidenced by the publicly available data - we can debate why this might be the case, but not whether or not it is happening... that would be disrespectful to all he innocent people, of all races, whose deaths at the hands of the police make up the data we are discussing.

Now lets go out and celebrate one more gangster, murderer, rapist, etc who was stupid enough to go toe-to-toe with the police... and is now six feet under pushing daisies. We should not forget that sometimes the officers may not have had an alternative option that would safeguard life and property at the time or may have already exhausted non-lethal options at the time they took the lethal action.... sometimes.

Comment Re:Trying to get shot? (Score 5, Informative) 678

The Guardian has been running a live counter of people killed by police in the US. The site is pretty haunting... showing a picture of the deceased as a normal smiling person before they died. While statistics can be projected so as to further any agenda, even a racist one as you rightly state, the raw data - without any biased analysis or interpretation - speaks for itself: 1145 people were killed by police in the US last year, and if you were black, you were 2.5 times as likely to be killed by the police as a white person.

But this is only part of the story... the Guardian counter allows you to click a link in the image of each person killed by the police to read about the circumstances under which they were killed, and it is clear that the vast majority of these people (regardless of race, ethnicity or sex) were out looking for trouble when they met their demise - criminal intent knows no racial or genetic boundaries - and maybe many of these people got what they deserved.

I think that the issue that many people take umbrage of is the clear disparity in which police handled the 226 unarmed people they killed in 2015. Once again, many of these so-called unarmed people were not innocent in their endeavours at the time they had their untimely encounter with the police. However, what the facts tell us is that if you were an unarmed black person and had a violent encounter with the police in 2015, you were 3.8 times as likely to be killed by the police as a white person. This includes people such as Keith Childress who failed to drop an object in his hand when instructed to do so by the police - the object turned out to be his cell phone, and one might understand why he might have hesitated flinging that onto the floor - as well as Leroy Browning who allegedly reached for a deputy's firearm during a physical struggle, prompting officers to open fire; Keith did not deserve to die while Leroy probably got what he deserved.

Comment "We don't consider customers cargo" - Jaguar (Score 1) 24

In June 2015, Wolfgang Epple, head of research and development at JLR, was widely quotes as saying that JLR will never make a self driving car:

Speaking through its head of research and development, Wolfgang Epple, JLR says customers should not expect an autonomous car from them as it has no plans to manufacture cars that drive themselves for one reason: They view owners of self-driving car or people who ride in them as cargo and don't consider their customers as such. ''We don't consider customers cargo. We don't want to build a robot that delivers the cargo from A to B"

I wonder what changed in the last 6 months.

Comment Who will watch the watchers? (Score 2) 179

Chaum is also building into PrivaTegrity another feature that’s sure to be far more controversial: a carefully controlled backdoor that allows anyone doing something “generally recognized as evil” to have their anonymity and privacy stripped altogether.

Whoever controls that backdoor within PrivaTegrity would have the power to decide who counts as “evil” - too much power, Chaum recognizes, for any single company or government. So he’s given the task to a sort of council system. When PrivaTegrity’s setup is complete, nine server administrators in nine different countries would all need to cooperate to trace criminals within the network and decrypt their communications.

So... my question would be... Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? who will appoint, monitor and document the decisions of these administrators and if necessary revoke their anointed status as the determiners of what is or isn't acceptable evil (e.g. is sharing a commercial movie evil enough to attract the attention of "the nine"... how about a casual statement calling for the non-constitutional overthrow of a government... clearly child porn would be considered evil, but what would the cut off age be, 16, 17 or 18... would planning to blow up a public facility in a western country be more evil than threatening to blow up a public facility in a country already mired in a civil war)? Will they be accuser, prosecutor, judge and jury? who will take cases to them and which legal system will apply... can they be sued in the event that they err? what will keep them beyond reproach and will their decisions be made public? will it be possible to appeal their decisions?

Lots of questions and no clear answers.

Comment The Problem is Special Relativistic Time Dilation (Score 1) 330

Any ship embarking on interstellar travel in the near future using any of the first two methods (a generation ship using conventional propulsion or a hyper speed ship using fuel, thrust or time improvements) is likely to be beaten to the destination by a explorers leaving earth hundreds of years later using superior interstellar travel technology.

Although a generation ship carrying massive amounts of fuel and a gigantic solar sail could boost up to speeds of hundreds of km/s, it could still be thousands of years before such a ship reached even the nearest star system... and then it would have to expend vast amounts of stored fuel to slow down, slip into a suitable orbit around the local sun and commence a search for potentially habitable planetary bodies, with no hope of ever being able to generate sufficient thrust to move on to a further star system, should the first prove to have no suitable planets to settle on.

Consider the rate of communications, propulsion, etc. advancement that would have taken place in the intervening 5000- odd years between the departure of interstellar explorers leaving earth over the next 100 years and those leaving earth, say, 2-3000 years from today. How would our present day explorers even communicate with earth using 5000 year old communication technology - heck, it would be tough to communicate with just 100 year old technology, let alone 5000 year old relics. And suppose the mission was successful... later and technologically more advanced departures travelling in the same direction would have to make first contact decisions not too dissimilar to the ones we make today about isolated peoples such as isolated tribes in the Amazon rain forest - only it would be more similar to travelling back 5000 years to the bronze age - round about the time when Stonehenge was built and Papyrus invented.

Future propulsion technologies, would not fare much better. The more efficient the propulsion technology, the faster the rate of travel. This might appear to be the answer, except that special relativity would mean that while time slowed down for the travelling explorers, hundreds or even thousands of years could pass here on Earth for a few years of time for our hyper-speed interstellar travellers. So, while interstellar travellers travelling at hyper-speed could reach their destination in a single life time, they too could be beaten to the punch by a later departure hundreds of years later (or just a months days later in time passed aboard the interstellar ship).

That special relativistic time dilation thingamajig can be a bitch!

Just my thoughts and observation

Comment Re:who gives a shit? (Score 5, Insightful) 291

It matters because 100 years from now, people will want to know in much the same way we want to know the people who gave birth to much of our present day civilisation... the Newtons, Marconis, Teslas, Edissons, Berners-Lees, Da Vincis, Graham Bells, Franklins, Einsteins, Pasteur, Curies, Wright Brothers and lots more.

Bitcoin may not still be around in 100 years, but the distributed ledger and crypto currency genies are never going back into their bottles and they will transform the world as we know it in more ways than the internet and world wide web has. The concept of centralised control over the generation, storage and transmission of tokens of value is unravelling faster than the centralised control and distribution of information and knowledge has.

It matters because 100 years from now people will want to know more than a pseudo name... they will want to know to who Nakamoto really was, where he lived, what inspired him, what he ate for breakfast, and all the other stuff that make our modern day legends more than myths.

It matters because if we do not solve this mystery in our lifetime, the genius of Nakamoto will remain a myth forever.

Slashdot Top Deals

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow