Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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

Comment Re:So, really seems to be "ride-sharing" (Score 1) 25

That's what Uber was supposed to be until they became an international taxicab company

Are you sure about that? The company was launched under the name UberCab, and as far as I can tell it was a car-hailing app from the beginning. I can find no evidence it was ever a carpooling app.

It seems to me that the challenge with an actual ridesharing app is getting to critical mass. You need enough cars participating that anyone looking for a ride is likely to find someone to pick them up most of the time. That's something of a problem for a car-hailing app like Uber, but not as much because it depends only on there being a driver in the vicinity... with actual ridesharing you need to find a driver that is close enough and is going to the same place (roughly). And is willing to add a little time to their journey to pick you up and drop you off.

I suppose if they can get a substantial percentage of the Waze userbase to participate, it should work. I might do it.

Comment ///M is for Motorsport (Score 1) 175

but in general, yes, it means Performance. :)

I agree, at this point the i for injected is somewhat a leftover. They have a pretty long history at making cars, and have stuck with it.
I actually haven't kept up with their model for the past 10 years or so. I've had a few BMWs. A 1988 528e sedan (5 series, e = efficient instead of performance), a 1997 318i sedan (3 series, 1.8 liter), and a 1988 M3. -- that one is special. :)

Yes, they haven't always strictly held to the naming convention, but you know basically what you are getting. If you say a BMW 3-series, you have a general idea what it is. The years for a model are designated by a generation you may hear about... e.g. E30 (3-series from 1982-1994) or E28 (5-series from 1981-1988). It's a pretty good system, and scales much easier than names do. But it can get pretty abstract. I have never heard of the model you mentioned.... but I would guess it is a 2-series (smaller than the 3 series, so likely a coupe - whereas the 3 is either coupe or sedan), not sure about the engine but you covered that... and xdrive I would guess is all-wheel-drive. They used to put an x in the badge for that back in the 80s.

Comment Re:Gut check (Score 3, Interesting) 48

As an IT person for over twenty years, I still pain at this cloud presence. Who owns your data? Google, Amazon, Microsoft?

What, specifically, are you afraid will happen?

I can see being worried about handing your business data to a service provider who may be a competitor, but are you actually competing with any of these? And would they really get enough value from looking at your data to justify the immense damage to their business if they were caught spying on customers in violation of contractual obligations? Not likely. I suppose I could see Wal-mart refusing to host their data on AWS because there's a clear competitive conflict, and Wal-mart is big enough that Amazon might want to spy on them, but those cases are pretty rare, I think.

If your concern is about data loss if the provider goes belly up or has severe problems (e.g. a data center burns to the ground) then (a) your fears are pretty misplaced with respect to AWS, Azure or GCE, and (b) you should be keeping backups regardless of whether you're running your own systems or using a provider. If your concern is about downtime, your fears are really misplaced. The big cloud providers are much better at that than you are.

I know a number of small and mid-size companies that have never operated their own data centers, or even had colos, and are extremely happy with the way that works. It makes them able to respond to changes in business much more quickly and keeps their overhead low, especially during the early phases. Sign up a huge new client and need to double your capacity? Log on and fire it up (assuming you've architected for scalability). No need to worry about floor space or purchase orders or installation schedules. Lose a huge client or find an optimization and need to cut capacity by 30%? Log on and shut it down. No need to figure out what to do about the idled equipment or floor space. These companies find it's much better to stay focused on what they do well, writing software and selling services, rather than staff up big organizations to manage data center operations.

One significant (~600-person) and quite profitable SaaS company I know doesn't own *any* computing hardware. Their computing equipment is completely BYOD, employees use their own laptops, tablets and phones (with reimbursement, so I suppose their accountants might argue they own some stuff, technically). When they had to move buildings recently (due to growth), they simply leased a new building and told everyone (those who don't telecommute) to show up at the new location the next week. The new building had cubicles and wired and wireless Internet in place (w/redundant providers), all part of the lease. They did contract some movers to haul boxes of personal items from the old building to the new one, including developers' large monitors. The CEO likes to joke that he could move the entire company to a beach-side resort in Belize and they could all continue working without the slightest interruption, as long as the resort had good Wifi.

That's a bit extreme, and there's no doubt that that level of flexibility isn't free, but it's not as expensive as you might think. Moreover, if your workload is very static, and your IT department is solid and smooth-functioning, and labor costs in your area are low, it will cost more to pay a cloud provider than to do it yourself. Or if you have particularly-sensitive data to manage (and actually know how to manage it... something that is *rarely* true in my 15 years' experience as an IT security consultant), you may need to have your own hardware. But for many, many companies, the cloud is cheaper, faster, more flexible and more secure.

Comment Re:Kaby Lake (Score 1) 73

Is still Skylake Refresh. Slightly tweaked GPU (software mostly, I suspect) slight clock boost, and new chipset. My expectations for IPC increases are 0%, or maybe 3% if they bothered to create a new wafer. Trust me, Kaby Lake will underwhelm.

IPC changes are none. Because the architecture is the same. They can get 5-10% higher frequencies on the same power envelope, but MHz to MHz it is CPU wise identical to Skylake.

Comment Re:SubjectIsSubject (Score 1) 352

Not sure why you think those are related. Operationally, Apple has only 5,000 employees in Ireland and a lot more in other places, so money needs to be pushed around. From a tax perspective, the cash in the Irish subsidiary are retained earnings, and repatriating them is necessary in order to distribute to shareholders... who are subject to US taxes.

Apple Ireland is not the subsidiary, Apple US is a subsidiary of Apple Ireland. Apple is on paper an Irish company for the discussed tax benefits, not American.

Comment Re: Good (Score 4, Informative) 352

But if Ireland broke its treaty with the EU, why punish Apple for following the law as it stood at the time? Punishing Ireland would seem fairer.

They are not punishing Apple, there is absolutely no punishment levied against Apple. Apple is just asked to pay what they owe Ireland with no damages or punishment added on top.

Comment Re:Don't pay attention to the article and lie (Score 1) 137

Not sure if you're trolling or just displaying average ignorance from not reading the article, but if autopilot disengages the car will slow to a crawl and not go "careening out of control".

A better solution would be to pull over to the shoulder (safely changing lanes if necessary), and slow and stop there. Slowing to a crawl in traffic on a busy (but not jammed) freeway is very dangerous.

Comment Same as it ever was (Score 3, Insightful) 119

Flashback to the 80s: Worker productivity temporarily increased when they took away copies of "PC Week" tabloids and stopped people from running "Tetris". Workers eventually found other ways to kill time.

Flashback to the 90s: Worker productivity temporarily increased when they didn't let people access the World Wide Web and stopped people from running "Doom". Workers eventually found other ways to kill time.

Flashback to the 00s: Worker productivity temporarily increased when they didn't let people access Napster and stopped people from running "Quake III". Workers eventually found other ways to kill time.

Comment Re:We Americans should hit Apple with an European (Score 1) 192

what really happens is that Apple Ireland, which pays essentially zero taxes, claims sales volumes for markets outside of ireland, knowing that regulators cannot easily disprove that Apple Ireland is not just selling absurd numbers of apple products

Not quite.

Regulators can easily tell how much revenue was generated in a given country from sales in that country. But profit is the difference between revenue and cost, and it's easy for Apple to artificially inflate the costs of the various subsidiaries. It could do this by jacking up the price the subsidiaries pay for the products they sell, but the more common approach is to license IP, such as trademarks, for amounts of money chosen to ensure that the subsidiary makes no profit, or even generates a loss where that is advantageous.

That way, the profits can be realized in a locale with low taxes, like Ireland. This does mean that all of the cash flows to those low-tax locations, and that it's then difficult to move it elsewhere (e.g. to the US) without getting a big chunk eaten up by the taxes in the destination country. This is the primary reason why the tech companies that use this Ireland scheme keep huge piles of cash (like Apple's $200B), rather than paying out dividends.

Comment Re:RAID is not backup (Score 1) 356

Must be nice. I backed up over 12 GB Sunday night, and that was only one week worth of incremental backups for my personal laptop. Over my DSL connection (soon to be retired), that would have taken two days.

That is negligible. I mean, it's not like you have to sit there and watch it. Just start it in the background... maybe limit it to use only a percentage of your bandwidth to avoid making everything else suck, and let it run.

That time difference makes the difference between me being willing to back up regularly and never backing up.

And as a result, if your house burns down you'll lose everything.

Obviously, YMMV, but I would imagine that somebody with multiple terabytes of personal data is probably either a photographer or videographer, and therefore has the same sorts of nightmare backups that I do.

Photographer. Amateur, though, so I don't generate gigabytes every week. Only some weeks.

Slashdot Top Deals

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