Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Google Maps speed limit - how accurate is it for you? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I have lived a ways down a back country road since before there was any such thing as Google Maps. In the last few months, I have noticed a very rapid increase in the number of drivers going 35 mph on a road that has a posted speed limit of 45 mph and most people travel 55 mph. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why until one day, when I was testing out some new equipment, I observed that Google has a new feature of displaying what it thinks is the posted speed limit for where users are driving.

My biggest concern is that my local government really, really loves to lower speed limits so it can set speed traps. This road, which is long and straight with large shoulders and only a few driveways (more like gravel roads), used to be 55 mph (an "End 35 MPH" zone), but has, over the years, been taken down to 45 mph, and a similar nearby road from 50 mph to 40 mph. I have never in my life seen a road that gets surveyed as frequently as these roads, so I'm concerned that the increased flow of drivers going 10 mph below the speed limit is going to result in a further reduced posted speed limit.

My second concern is the number of tailgaters that get jammed up behind these people. This will eventually result in an accident, as the road-sign-ignorant artery-cloggers likely are going to slam on their brakes because Google also has the destination driveway in the wrong place or wrong side of the road, or they spot a deer near the road, or a squirrel jumps in front of them, etc.

I suppose if I want to do anything about this, then I should figure out how to help Google with the development of their product, else suffer the consequences. Always obliged to do Google's ground-level product development for them.

I was just curious if anyone else has this problem of the speed limits in Google Maps being too low? For me, it isn't just the one road that is inaccurate. I drove around and found that Google likes to give speed limits that are 5-15 mph below the posted speed limit, except in the most heavily trafficked areas.

Submission + - News Windows 10 upgrade automatically selected. (

An anonymous reader writes: I just discovered that a Windows 10 upgrade is automatically selected by Windows 7. I have been very careful about reviewing all updates before installing, so when I went to shut down my computer and saw that it was ready to install an update, I immediately checked to see what it wanted to install. The only checked update was the Upgrade to Windows 10 (and there were many other updates available, including Office security updates). I assume this is something new as I have been carefully reviewing every single update that Microsoft wants to install and I have hidden all previous Windows 10 upgrade updates. It is annoying to no end that I must be so paranoid about even simple task, such as shutting down my computer.

Submission + - Jury orders Gawker to pay $115 million to Hulk Hogan in sex tape lawsuit ( 4

An anonymous reader writes: "Gawker took a secretly recorded sex tape and put it on the Internet." And now they are paying for it, dearly. Also notable is that there doesn't seem to be anyone interested in defending them, as even the Twitter community (if it can truly be called that) has come out strongly in favor of the ruling against Gawker. Maybe they should have at least made more friends? They did make $6.5 million in net income in 2014 and their Wikipedia article states that they were last sold in 2009 for $300 million, so while they may not be put out of business, it seems likely they will at least be change hands, and soon, with the jury ruling $55 million for economic injuries and $60 million for emotional distress. I think that's jury-speak for "body slam."

Submission + - But are they getting rid of Vine Reviews? (

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon recently announced that they are overhauling their review system. As previously covered on slashdot, many of the reviews from Vine Reviewers are a joke. Ever since reading that article, then the reviews on the book linked to in the article, then following the removal and then reinsertion of the poor reviews, along with Amazon's treating the slashdotted book as if it had been the target of bury brigade, rather than determining whether the reviewers had simply caught the attention of a community that actually understood what the book was about and attempted to alert Amazon customers to the issue, I've started paying close attention to products that have Vine Reviews, and I have to say that this component is possibly the worst of any review system.

A recent example that I came across is Amazon Vine Reviewer cortezhill. I saw a 5-star book review that was nothing but content quoted from the book, followed by "--- excerpt from book's Introduction." I only had to browse to page 4 of the user's reviews to find a review that was not a glowing 5-star review of an item. This is simply the stupidest part of any review system I have ever heard of: send people free stuff and receive positive reviews. Isn't this what review apparatus is supposed to protect against? Amazon's keeping it provides complete transparency on their objective.

Submission + - Using Nonsense Math to Trick Non-Math Majors (

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes: "Abstract from a paper titled "The Nonsense Math Effect," by Emmo Eriksson: Mathematics is a fundamental tool of research. Although potentially applicable in every discipline, the amount of training in mathematics that students typically receive varies greatly between different disciplines. In those disciplines where most researchers do not master mathematics, the use of mathematics may be held in too much awe. To demonstrate this I conducted an online experiment with 200 participants, all of which had experience of reading research reports and a postgraduate degree (in any subject). Participants were presented with the abstracts from two published papers (one in evolutionary anthropology and one in sociology). Based on these abstracts, participants were asked to judge the quality of the research. Either one or the other of the two abstracts was manipulated through the inclusion of an extra sentence taken from a completely unrelated paper and presenting an equation that made no sense in the context. The abstract that included the meaningless mathematics tended to be judged of higher quality. However, this "nonsense math effect" was not found among participants with degrees in mathematics, science, technology or medicine."

Submission + - InTrade bans U.S. customers. (

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes: "In an announcement dated Monday, Nov 26, 2012, Dublin based InTrade stated "that due to legal and regulatory pressures, Intrade can no longer allow US residents to participate in our real-money prediction markets." The Washington Post reports that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a complaint in federal court against InTrade for "illegally facilitating bets on future economic data, the price of gold and even acts of war," demonstrating just how far the long arm of U.S. law can reach."

Submission + - Analysis of CRU Files Concludes They Were Leaked ( 3

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes: Through an analysis of the files themselves, and not their content, Lance Levsen concludes that the CRU files were leaked. Here is his conclusion:

"It is most likely that the FOI Officer at the University put it on an anonymous ftp server or that it resided on a shared folder that many people had access to and some curious individual looked at it.

If as some say, this was a targeted crack, then the cracker would have had to have back-doors and access to every machine at UEA and not just the CRU. It simply isn't reasonable for the FOI Officer to have kept the collection on a CRU system where CRU people had access, but rather used a UEA system.

Occam's razor concludes that "the simplest explanation or strategy tends to be the best one". The simplest explanation in this case is that someone at UEA found it and released it to the wild and the release of wasn't because of some hacker, but because of a leak from UEA by a person with scruples."

The significance being that a leak indicates a worker unhappy with the integrity of the organization. Or someone who likes ot make big messes.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Don't discount flying pigs before you have good air defense." -- jvh@clinet.FI