Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Huh?!? (Score 1) 85

Just because so many are wrong don't change the meaning of the word. Still, Tesla could have used a more descriptive term for their system - I suspect they went with "Autopilot" since it sounds snappier and more sexy than "adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning with semi-autonomous drive and parking capabilities".

Comment Re:bad driving (Score 5, Insightful) 277

Some, not all, modern autopilots in airplanes can land an airplane provided the the airport is a Cat IIIb or Cat IIIc; i.e.: they require a fair bit of active infrastructure on the airport. In other situations, or with the rest of the installed autopilots in the world, they will only assist the pilot in keeping the planes attitude and heading.
Yet whenever an airplane - be it a small private plane or a passenger jet - crashes when on autopilot, no one is suggesting the pilot is free of blame...

Comment If only... (Score 5, Insightful) 501

...this had been opt-in instead of try-repeatedly-to-opt-out, Microsoft might been able to gain lots of positive press for offering a newer, allegedly safer, somewhat spying OS for free.

As is, with it being rammed down people's downlinks with little or no regards for the users wishes or data-caps, the angry backlash should been predicted and expected.

Comment Re:Penny (Score 4, Informative) 702

Here in Norway we been removing less useful (meaning coins of little practical value) coins for years: - The 1 øre and 2 øre coins disappeared in '74 - The 5 øre and 25 øre coins were withdrawn in '84 - The 10 øre coin ended being legal tender in '92 - The 50 øre coin was withdrawn May 1st 2012. So while I can still recall putting a 5øre coin in my piggy-bank, there is now no coins circulating that is worth less than 1 Norwegian krone... but you know what? The wast majority of Norwegians pay by card anyhow, and the prices has not changed with the smaller coins going away. If you pay by card, you pay the exact amount. If you pay cash, it is rounded up or down to the nearest coin-value.
For those curious; after the retirement of the 50 øre coin, a purchase of 9.49 kroner is rounded down to 9.00 while a purchase of 9.50 kroner is rounded up to 10.00 - unless you pay by card, in which case you pay the exact sum owed. Off course it helps that the VAT is already added to the price listed - what you see is what you pay, but there is no reason why it shouldn't work equally well in places this isn't done (something which always boggles me when I'm visiting the US btw).
The US penny today is worth much less than the half-penny was when it was removed from circulation... yet for some reason people oppose removing the penny.

Comment The simple solution... (Score 2) 126

...would be for Google to stop marketing and selling android phones in Russia. What Russian companies choose to import from abroad is of no consequence for Google.

Speaking hypothetically; how many here believe that the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service would have taken a similar action if a Russian company with ties to the Russian oligarchs did the same thing that Google is accused of? Anyone?

This is just one more step in the Russian regimes current plan to control what Russians can do and see on the decadent Western Internet. It's no secret that Putin and his cohort is afraid to loose the ability to control the flow of information in Russia, and thus control what the average Russian believe. The Kremlin fears a possible colour revolution, and a bit of digging shows that they blame Internet sites (easily available on cheap android phones) outside of Russia for kindling that kind of unrest.

Comment Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (Score 1) 276

The danger is not depressurisation, the danger is damage to the flight control systems, damage to the electrical systems, punching holes in fuel tanks (and probably making a bit of sparking and friction heat while at it), puncturing a landing wheel and the like. There are many, many ways a small hole in a vital part can endanger or even disable a modern airliner. Add to that the danger of a sleep deprived, stressed out person on a red-eye shooting an innocent he believed to be a terrorist, or just that f-ing annoying kid who keeps crying and kicking his seat... Also; seeing as there is no such things as a clear shoot inside the anxiety tube that is an airplane, you are going to hit something (or someone) that would be better off with no holes in it - even if you're firing at a legitimate target.

I much prefer if those who can legally carry check their guns on boarding - over here in Europe at least there used to be (might still be) a strong box up front where you could store such things as guns.

And honestly; if you're so attached to your weapon that you can't be separated from it while flying, perhaps driving might be a better solution for everyone involved?

Comment Re:May I suggest RTFA? (Score 3, Informative) 334

If you had read the article, you would have noticed that “the supply chain no longer has the parts to sustain this weapon long term.” This is because the weapon is old and - from a military point of view - obsolete, so spare parts are no longer manufactured. It'll probably be quite a bit cheaper to re-equip with a newer rifle than to re-establish a Lee-Enfield production line - especially considering they are likely to pick an off-the-shelf rifle to equip a rather small force.

Comment Mistake? Suure... (Score 3, Insightful) 50

Step one: Release a bunch of 'critical' documents by 'mistake'.

Step two: Twiddle thumbs while terrorists / criminals abuse information released in step one.

Step three: Point to attack in caused by step two, argue that DHS should be exempt from FOI Request because 'national security'.

Step four: DHS can do anything they like without the public oversight.

Comment Solar power and diesel generators. (Score 4, Informative) 234

While I can't comment on the third world in general, I saw a lot of solar cell setups for charging cell phones in South Sudan - people even ran solar charging as a business; a solar panel, some car batteries, a black box of electronics and 3 to 5 South Sudanese pound for a full charge.
Also saw plenty of cell towers with solar panels and battery banks, with diesel generators for backup. Not as clean or tidy as plugging into the grid, granted... but it works. Was a life line for me for a year spent down there, and twice so for the people who lives their whole life there.
Just because you can't plug something into a national grid, don't mean you can't get power... often cheaper and more reliable than the grid too - at least in Juba.

Comment Don't sound terrible new or efficient to me (Score 1) 73

An engine drives a compressor, heat is added to the compressed air and it's used to spin a turbine that isn't hooked up to the compressor? In that case it's the bastard child of a motorjet and a turboshaft - and looking at the temperatures involved it's unlikely to be terrible thermally efficient. They might be able to coax enough power out of it to drive a small chopper, and it might be cheaper and/or easier to maintain than a pure turboshaft engine... but somehow I think this will vanish into obscurity pretty fast.

TL:DR version: Two old ideas mashed together, unlikely to be 85% efficient

Comment Communication is the key (Score 4, Insightful) 313

Caveat: I meet my Significant Other online, although not on a dating site.
The benefit of meeting online is that you're pretty much forced to talk, and talk, and talk. It's not like you can take them to a movie and then then make out in the back of the car - instead you'll have to show them that you're a likeable person they would like to spend more time with. Goes double when you're on different continents and all that... before either party gets on a plane both parties needs to be sure that they are comfertable with seeing this person they have talked to for a while. On the other hand, the guy you ran into in the coffee-shop who ask you out to see a movie may be the biggest creep in modern history - and if you let him drive you home he knows where you live :/
TL:DR; Online dating works because you must talk and reveal yourself to the other before meeting.

Comment Re:Quality of years, not quantity (Score 5, Interesting) 1063

Knowing several people in various states in the US, ranging from middle-aged to old... I'm anything but convinced. It seems to me that compared to Norwegians (and most likely to everyone in Northern Europe) you work harder for longer for less pay, and have less to show for it at the end of your life. I don't think that most people enjoys working 60-80 hours a week, knowing that they can't afford to retire... meaning they will work until they drop dead.

To quote a comment that arose over a Christmas dinner a few years ago; "What do you call retired people in the states?" "Greeters at WalMart."

The plural of "stuff I know" isn't data, but in this case it seems like the data is backing up the stuff I know. You don't "pack more into your years" - you're worn out faster by an system built to benefit the rich, and even the rich seems overall less happy than most people I see over on my end.

Comment The secret... (Score 1) 443 do a crime and get away is simple: Don't tell the world about it afterwards - at least not until the statute of limitations have run out.

Granted, the easier solution for a blabbermouth would be not doing the crime in the first place - something I think is an even better idea for everybody when the crime is drunk driving.

Comment Re:Other contries manages just fine without 'penni (Score 1) 362

Still boggles and confuses me - as I'm sure it would anyone who are used to paying the amount listed. I know for a fact that a fair number of visiting Americans are boggled and confused by the fact that we're not adding a sales tax on top of the price during check-out... but they tend to agree it's convenient to do it our way. YMMV off course.

Slashdot Top Deals

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_