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. ×

Comment Re:What about infertility? (Score 3, Informative) 251

Sorry but that is currently impossible to test because their are insufficient babies born from IVF that have actually reached adulthood to really analyse that.

I would note that Louise Brown has had two children conceived naturally and her sister Natalie has had four children all conceived naturally. For those ignorant of the facts Louise Brown was the first IVF child in the world and her sister was the fortieth born four years later.

Note that shows the low levels of IVF babies being born in the early years of the technology and why there are too few IVF born adults to really conduct any study into their fertility.

Comment Re:Intel 10nm != Other Foundry 10nm (Score 2) 102

Basically Intel and by extension x86 won in a large part by exploiting a FAB advantage. That FAB advantage is over, and the chip architectures that managed to survive have an opportunity to come back from life support. So the likes of Power, Sparc, MIPS and ARM now have a chance to compete on a level technological playing field with x86.

Coupled with the increasing use of open source which also negates the value of the x86 instruction set lock in then interesting times indeed.

Comment Re: Sweet (Score 1) 329

Right you are talking out your backside there on the Sony front, speaking as a Z1 Compact owner, with a sister with a Z3 Compact and her husband with a Z5 Compact.

Basically Sony have been doing waterproof with a 3.5mm jack "something" for decades, and the phones are no different. Everything *before* the Z5 had a cover for the microUSB and a magnetic charging connector.

The Z5 ditched the magnetic charging connector (which is a shame) and introduced a fully waterproof microUSB connector that does not need a cover.

Then after being first to the market with waterproof, they ditched it as everyone else started doing it. Way to go Sony not.

Comment Glitchless streaming. (Score 3, Interesting) 157

Can you name one thing that your customers actually want that is actually being prevented by network neutrality regulations?

Glitchless streaming.

Streaming (things like audio, video, phone calls) requires relatively small and constant bandwidth (though compression adds variability) but isn't good at tolerating dropouts or variations in transit time. When it does get dropouts it's better to NOT send a retry correction (and have the retry packet risk delaying and/or forcing the drop of another packet).

TCP connections (things like big file transfers) error check and retry, fixing dropouts and errors so the data arrives intact, though with no guarantee exactly when. But they achieve high bandwidth and evenly divide the bandwidth at a bottleneck by deliberately speeding up until they super-saturate the bottleneck and force dropouts. The dropouts tell them they've hit the limit, so they slow down and track the bleeding edge.

Put them both on a link and treat the packets equally and TCP causes streaming to break up, stutter, etc. Overbuilding the net helps, but if the data to be tranferred is big enough TCP will ALWAYS saturate a link somewhere along the way.

Identify the traffic type and treat their packets differently - giving higher priority to stream packets (up to a limit, so applications can't gain by cheating, claiming to be a stream when they're not) - and then they play together just fine. Stream packets zip through, up to an allocation limit at some fraction of the available bandwidth, and TCP transfers evenly divide what's left - including the unused part of the streams' allocation.

But the tools for doing this also enable the ISPs to do other, not so good for customers, things. Provided they chose to do so, of course.

IMHO the bad behavior can be dealt with best, not by attempting to enforce "Network Neutrality" as a technical hack at an FCC regulation level, but as a consumer protection issue, by an agency like the FTC. Some high points:
  - Break up the vertical integration of ISPs into "content provider" conglomerates, so there's no incentive to penalize the packets of competitors to the mother-ship's services.
  - Treat things like throttling high-volume users and high-bandwidth services as consumer fraud: "You sold 'internet service'". Internet service doesn't work that way. Ditto "pay for better treatment of your packets" (but not "pay to sublet a fixed fraction of the pipe").
  - Extra scrutiny for possible monopolistic behavior anywhere there are less than four viable broadband competitors, making it impractical for customers to "vote with their feet".

Comment Re:Plasma (Score 1) 102

Your assuming the replacement cost is the same as the purchase cost. For almost any IT thing I have ever seen in the last three decades the replacement cost is *ALWAYS* lower than the purchase cost. The idea that a 4k OLED TV will cost the same in 8 years time as it does today is a frankly ludicrous suggestion.

I would love to buy and OLED TV, problem for me is the smallest sized ones are still way to big for my lounge.

Comment Re: Going to be dead on arrival (Score 1) 104

If gas turbines are so great remind me why their are diesel versions of the T-80, and that the T-84 and T-90 which are it's successors are all diesel?

So the reality is that the gas turbines are not really a good solution for tanks. It's like the overlapping wheels of Tiger tanks. Yes better performance in theory, but the real world pokes it head in and you are better off with a simpler more reliable design.

Comment IQ and attention to detail are different things. (Score 1) 168

"How hard is to remember to unload your weapon before packing it?" I guess there's no I.Q. check for firearms purchases, maybe there should be.

IQ and attention to detail are different things.

Also: Even the best-trained, most reliable, gun user can have a lapse when in a hurry, as in when packing for a flight.

That's why firearms training stresses redundancy, with rules like "A gun is loaded as soon as you put it down and look away". Or "Don't point (even an "unloaded") gun at anything you don't want to destroy."

The phenomenon is referred to as "a visit from the Ammo Fairy". That entity is similar to the Tooth Fairy, but instead of leaving a coin under you pillow it leaves a round in your chamber. B-)

Comment I have read much of it, as I would an encyclopedia (Score 3, Interesting) 379

My wife and I each had a copy of the first three volumes when we married. Yes, there are female computer nerds. B-)

I first encountered it when assigned one of the volumes as a text back in 1971. Of course the class didn't consist of learning EVERYTHING in the volume. B-)

I use it from time to time - mainly as a reference book. Most recently this spring, when I needed a reference on a data structure (circular linked lists) for a paper. I've found it useful often when doing professional computer programming and hardware design (for instance, where the hardware has to support some software algorithm efficiently, or efficient algorithms in driver software allow hardware simplification).

I don't try to read it straight through. But when I need a algorithm for some job and it's not immediately obvious which is best, the first place I check is Knuth. He usually has a clear description of some darned good wheel that was already invented decades ago, analyzed to a fare-thee-well.

I only see him about once a year. He's still a sharp cookie.

Comment They let the ban on propagandizing citizens expire (Score 4, Informative) 324

Three and a half years ago the US government, under the Obama administration, let the ban on propagandizing US citizens expire - and immediately began writing and spreading "fake news".

From an FP article dated July 14, 2013:

U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News to Americans

For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. governmentâ(TM)s mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.

So the only thing new here is US citizens noticed one of the government's renewed, official, domestic propaganda operations.

Slashdot Top Deals

The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that the car salesman knows he's lying.