Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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

Comment Re:I agree (Score 1) 121

I have had a Blackberry for the last couple of years. Yes, Android applications work when they work. But if you want to use an app that depends on Google Services, you have to jump through a million hoops. Sometimes apps just crash. And since it's an emulated environment, the average blackberry hardware is just too weak to maintain acceptable performance.

So yes, it's "just Java", but there's more than that. As much as I hate Android, I had to switch, it just wasn't worth the effort.

Comment Germany should take note (Score 2) 48

Here in Germany credit cards are still seen as an exotic and luxurious item, and most transactions are conducted by giving direct access to your bank account. Sign up for a phone plan? Give them your bank account. Sign up for internet? Bank account. Buy on Amazon? You guessed it, bank account.

An extremely popular payment method is Sofortüberweisung, where you authorize a bank transfer at checkout. I am not sure what would happen if someone would intercept this payment and add a couple of zeroes to the amount, as technically you have authorized the transaction with your two-way authentication.

Comment Aerodynamic design? (Score 3, Interesting) 127

I'm not an engineer, but I always wondered why trains tend to be designed like a wall. Only high-speed trains are actually wedge shaped to be aerodynamic.

I would imagine that a subway train, acting like a "piston" would work better if it were more aerodynamic and not have to overcome a lot of pressure within the tunnel.

Can anyone explain the reasons behind this design?

Comment Hopefully data only (Score 4, Insightful) 96

As long as voice isn't enabled I don't have a problem with that. I recently tried wifi on a long haul flight and was quite impressed with the speed of the service. I can see how people might want to have data connection up up in the air (albeit one has to see the extortionate roaming prices airlines will come up with!).

But voice? No thank you. It would quickly become a safety issue because passengers would assault each other.

Comment Tenure-hunting discourages risk (Score 4, Informative) 203

I have been working in research (chemistry) for 10 years, half in academia and half in industry. In my time in academia, it was all about putting together enough results to scrape a paper together, nevermind whether the "promising results" were benchmarked against shitty "state-of-the-art".

In my current industry job, I have been asked to prepare a 5-year plan with high ambitions, and I am free to explore any path to the final goal without (reasonably at least) restrictions.

Unfortunately until non-tenured researchers will need to publish as much as possible without actually delivering important results, this will not change.

In my opinion the peer-review system is not perfect, but it's the best thing we have. I have found many reviewers whose comments have been genuinely beneficial to making my papers stronger. Others barely read the manuscript and rejected it because it encroached on their turf, or didn't cite them enough.

In my opinion the peer-review should be changed to a double-blind system: the reviewer should not see name and affiliation of the authors, and judge the work as it would grade an undergrad paper (i.e. harshly). Like this I believe the signal-to-noise ratio in journals would increase, and only good papers would get published. At that point, I'd be willing to accept impact factor as a measure of worthiness of a publication. Until then, it's just friends judging friends, with nobody wanting to piss off anybody else. Minor revisions, congratulations, you're published.

Comment Re:Graceful Failover ? What Graceful Failover? (Score 1) 164

That was also my question when I RTFA. It says that the Intel drive entered some sort of "read-only" mode, and that at that point the drive was still OK. Then a new write cycle was forced (how?), and the drive committed seppuku and became unreadable.

Which is it? Can I be confident that my SSD will fail to a gracious read-only mode? All my ~ is in RAID1 and backed up so I'm not worried, but it'd be nice to be able to just copy the / from a read-only SSD to a new one when the time comes.

Comment Re:FIFA blew it (Score 1) 90

Would anyone think selecting any African nation as a site for the world cup is a good idea? Brazil was a bad idea for similar reasons. "Bad Neighborhood."

Did you notice where the previous World Cup was held? That's right, South Africa. Which arguably is even "worse" than Brazil. Yet the World Cup happened, few if any tourists were mugged, raped, quartered and shot. People visited the country without particular hassle.

While I agree that World Cup and Olympics have now transcended their function and are a cesspool of waste and corruption, denying them to poorer countries is not right. These are global events, and they deserve to be hosted globally. If then the local governments make fool of themselves, let them, and let that be a lesson for the future.

Comment Publishing in flashy journals is killing quality (Score 1) 106

In my field (electrochemistry) the last 5/10 years caused a great deal of researchers to move away from the "traditional" journals (Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Solid State Letters, Electrochimica Acta) to the flashier, more general publications (ACS and RSC publications, mostly). These journals are more widely read, so their impact factor is much higher. But most of their content is also mostly irrelevant, and since the public reading them is not a real expert in my field, what is important is to show pretty pictures, more than actually advancing the research.
I am lucky enough to do real research in industry, so that IF are not superimportant, but I feel that most journals have a very low signal/noise ratio and it's increasingly difficult finding relevant papers, after scratching a little under the surface of the claims made in the abstracts.

Comment Re:Media center (Score 1) 246

The biggest issue I have with DLNA is that it wildly depends on the receiving device.
Streaming through the PS3 allows for high quality content, while streaming directly from my DLNA enabled TV caused the signal to be strongly degraded, I guess because the TV doesn't have enough horsepower to handle the larger stream.

In any case, good riddance.

Slashdot Top Deals

CChheecckk yyoouurr dduupplleexx sswwiittcchh..