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


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:Rose tinted glasses (Score 1) 509

That's a fairness problem though, not a problem with maximizing resource utility. True, if you had been born with a million dollars, you might turn out to be better at resource allocation than some people who now actually were born with a million dollars. But if you were really good at investing, you could start out with a small amount and turn it into a fortune.

Comment Re:MS used to ban people for useing there own hdd' (Score 3, Informative) 204

And the video game companies already lost the legal battle to prohibit people from using their trademarks as an unlock; if you make that the unlock, then you simultaneously give everyone permission to use it for that purpose.

Specifically, in the case Sega vs Accolade.

Comment Re:Rose tinted glasses (Score 1) 509

Effective? Capitalism gives resources to those who do well with their resources. If you make a good investment, if you allocate your resources well, then you will make money and have more resources. If you poorly manage resources, your poor investments lose money and eventually you won't be around to allocate resources anymore.

Giving money to poor people is equitable, but it's certainly not effective at resource allocation. Poor people don't make capital expenditures, they consume which is an inefficient long term strategy.

Comment Re:Too good to be true. (Score 1) 140

This seems to be an incredible invention that will be a game changer. Passive cooling on the order of what this article talks about would seem to be too good to be true. If it is true these guys should be filthy rich soon.

Well the article certainly lacks critical sense:

And because it can be made cheaply at high volumes, it could be used to passively cool buildings and electronics such as solar cells, which work more efficiently at lower temperatures.

Cool solar cells.... by blocking the sunlight *facepalm*. Also I'm thinking how big a deal is the "not blocked by the atmosphere" really, I mean it's not like heat reflected of a little building significantly changes the ambient temperature. And finally production cost is one thing, but how it works in real dust-covered conditions and if it can survive being exposed to the weather all year long is another matter. I don't think it's quite as revolutionary as the article might suggest.

Comment Re:do you want $100+ oil changes at the dealer shi (Score 1) 204

Anyone that owns a performance car has been paying $100 oil changes at even a quickie lube for a while now. MY dealer oil changes are $160.00 If I buy the oil and filter myself it comes out to be $65.00 to do it in the driveway.

I'm guessing that you have not owned a car and taken it in for an oil change cince 1980? Even my Honda Civic was $70 for an oil change just yesterday at a Valvoline quick lube.

Comment Re:During the 70's or 80's... (Score 2) 204

Except you cant use Microsoft WORD to write anything that says anything negative about Microsoft.... it's in the EULA.
Oh and they own your docx files because it is in their format.
Oh and you had better read the EULA of their Visual Studio as to what they own of yours.....

Nothing has changed except that they hide it better in a wall of text written by the scummiest people on the planet. Intellectual Property Lawyers.

Comment Re:Terrible Idea (Score 1) 204

Ebay always sides with the buyer, open the case and ebay will simply refund the money paid if returning the item is too difficult. in international cases from china ebay wil even say, "here is your money, keep the item" because if the auction is marked "no returns" that means that the seller does not want it back for any reason at all even damaged so the buyer can get a refund and keep the item.

If he did not open a case with ebay then he is either very stupid or just started using ebay.

Comment Re:Not really a success for the AI (Score 1) 71

No, this is like a self-driving car that only works in GTA because it has a pipe into the hard data for locations of obstacles and other vehicles etc.

Wouldn't that still mean you've reduced an AI problem into a computer vision/identification problem? Like making a video recording of a chess board and saying if we could identify where the pieces are, we'd know what to play. I imagine the computer could look at the framebuffer and "derender" the picture back into game state a lot faster than a human, then feed that into the same algorithm. Would that really be meaningfully different?

Comment Re:They did it to themselves (Score 5, Insightful) 204

When you make HUGE price tags to repair items, people are going to repair it themselves. I previously worked for Lenovo/Asus repair depot. To replace an LCD was over $300. Part on eBay is about$60 takes maybe 10 mins depending on the model. So when you flease the customer long enough, they attempt it themselves because the $300+tax or buy a new one for $400. Most think I'll give it a shot for $50.

I think the biggest issue for any repair shop is they can't deliver "I'll give it a shot" service. If it doesn't work, people aren't very likely to pay you $50 or even believe you really tried at all. If it turns out something else is broken too, they won't be very happy being stuck with a bill and a still broken machine. In fact you could end up in an argument about what was broke or if you broke it. If you do it yourself as a last-ditch attempt before throwing it in the trash you got nothing to lose, but deliver it to a repair shop and the customer will never accept that. They want a quote and a repaired machine for that price and you're burdened with the risk of delivering that. If those parts on eBay turns out to be faulty or shoddy knock-offs that don't quite work right or have quality issues that could become your problem too. Also if bad shit happens shortly after it comes from your shop they'll try to blame it on your repair, whether it's actually correct or not.

All of this starts amounting to quite a bit of overhead, if someone comes in with a machine you probably can't make an off the cuff estimate. First you have to figure out roughly what's wrong, what parts costs, the time you'll spend and the risk you're taking then give a quote based on that. And very often the customer will say it's not worth it and go buy a new machine and that time is lost. And then you'll have customers who want time estimates or worse yet guarantees and you have supply chain issues you'll spend time dealing with customer complains and they might haggle or cancel their business and you might get stuck with the bill. And you will have all the ordinary business overhead of having a shop, maintaining an inventory and billing system, taxes etc. and people that don't ever come to collect or pay. And if you're shipping you will spent time wrapping and unwrapping, collecting and delivering, dealing with transport damage etc.

I have some friends that are in the construction industry, they say pretty much the same. If you take away all the overhead, preparation and cleanup and just look at the time the handyman actually does this craft the hourly rate looks bizarre. But after dealing with "everything else" it's not like they walk away with that much per hour worked. It's the cost of doing it as a business, if they were just working on their own house they could do it way, way cheaper. It's simply a matter of trust and risk management, like I rented an apartment from an ex-classmate some years ago. Even though we weren't exactly friends he'd much rather rent to me than to some stranger, simply because he knew I'd be a no fuss tenant. The money is in easy business, dealing with complex and unique situations lie half-broken machines is often unreasonably time consuming and thus expensive. Getting a "known good" one off the assembly line often wins on simplicity.

Comment Re:Not a problem at all (Score 2) 866

There are dicks everywhere. People of all religions, ethnicities, colors, and even financial backgrounds don't like and/or trust other people who are not like them.

Well yes, but using extremes can often lead to a sort of moral relativism where everybody is equally bad even though one is a fringe movement and the other a mainstream sentiment. I'm sure there were a few black supremacists, but nothing like the KKK. I'm sure some Jews hated the Nazis, but nothing like the Holocaust. I don't know if it's been listed as a fallacy but the appeal to indifference certainly should be, like they were probably just as bad as us. No, they probably weren't.

Comment Re:Not really a success for the AI (Score 5, Insightful) 71

No, the purpose of AI should be that it can problem solve and adapt to a situation as well, or better than us. With an unfair reaction benefit it can actually problem solve worse, yet still win simply because it has an external advantage. That doesn't sound like a win for AI to me.

If a self-driving car can drive better than you because it's got 360 degree vision, millisecond reaction time and the capacity to focus on ten different factors at once is that "cheating"? I think that's a matter of perspective, limiting it to the wheel's turning rate and the pedals' actuation force sounds like unreasonably hampering the performance. Maybe that's not a "fair" fight, but I'd say we probably want the computer to play to its strengths and not mimic our weaknesses.

Comment Re:git was written when SHA-1 attacks were publish (Score 1) 179

If you think that SHA-3 somehow magically makes everything more secure for verifying data have not been modified in transit (e.g., installer gets corrupted while being downloaded) because you replaced all the SHA-2 hashes with SHA-3 hashes on the installer download page which is served over insecure HTTP, then I suspect you may not fully understand what threats you are trying to protect against.

The point is that if you're trying to use a hash instead of a checksum, it'll actually work as advertised. If you only care about random bit flips CRC32 will work very well and be much faster than MD5 or SHA-1. If you're doing major overkill you might not care that a hash doesn't function as a hash because you don't actually need a hash but that's no reason to use a bad hash. You should either use a good hash or use a lesser solution that doesn't pretend to make promises it can't hold.

Comment Re:And you should learn to read before replying. (Score 1) 140

The postal workers, who ship mail for a living, really should have advised him better.

That's like saying the people taking orders at McDonald's make food for a living. While there's of course exceptions I generally assume retail clerks don't have any real experience with any other part of the business than pointing out where things are, pushing the products and accessories the company wants to sell and working the cash register. The real skilled people are often working somewhere else, the front line staff is often temps and extras or quite happy with jobs where they don't have to think so hard. Not that I really blame them, but I'd rather set my expectations low and be positively surprised instead of the other way around.

Slashdot Top Deals

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (6) Them bats is smart; they use radar.