Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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:Pros vs Cons (Score 1) 549

Good points, however, brake systems and steering systems, while having some level of power assist in most vehicles, is still largely mechanical. You still have mechanical steering that would still work and the brakes still have hydraulic fluid that would still push the pistons in the calipers even without power assist. It would require more physical strength to steer or brake, but both systems would work. Try turning your car off (safely, while driving slowly) in a parking lot and see for yourself.

And this technology probably wouldn't work on any vehicle that predates ECUs. So you get anything from the 1970's or earlier (maybe a few in the 80's) that couldn't be stopped. Savvy folk would probably decide to add some shielding to the ECUs, but whether that would work remains to be seen.

The article also states that they tested at 15mph. What happens when you're doing 95mph or more?

So now this technology is out there and it gets into the criminal's hands. Ostensibly, they could drop these out the window of their car and have it shutdown police cars. Or armored trucks.

Time for me to get an extra large tinfoil hat for my car.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Communication Skills for Programmers? 1

An anonymous reader writes: As a new developer at a young-ish software company, I've been told my communication skills need some work. I'm not painfully introverted or socially inept, but I get lost in my work and only contact people if I need something from them or they ask me a question. Traditional advice isn't relevant to casual, less hierarchical companies — I don't have to hold my tongue when someone is wrong or worry about formalities. But I do need to connect with people professionally, since my team members and managers decide my perf and advancement. How do you keep colleagues abreast of your work without having exponentially many needless conversations?

Submission + - Curved Smartphone Screens Aren't a Gimmick (

Boycott BMG writes: Recent discussion on /. about the Samsung and LG curved displays seems to dismiss them as mostly gimmicks, but in an article at Displaymate Dr. Raymond Soniera explains one of the advantages of curved displays: altering the reflections. From the article:

Reflections from a Curved Screen

The concave screen shape on the Galaxy Round cuts down on reflections from the surrounding ambient light two ways: first, by reducing the screen’s 180 degree opening angle, which eliminates reflections from some ambient light coming from the sides. Second, from specular mirror reflections off the concave screen, because the curvature directs reflected ambient light coming from behind away from the viewer’s line of sight. This is very important because you want to minimize the amount of ambient light that is seen reflected off the screen.

Curved Screen Magnification

But the most interesting and important result of the slightly curved Galaxy Round screen is that it magnifies the sizes of all of the objects that it reflects, just like a concave mirror that I mentioned above. As it turns out, that substantially cuts down on the interference of light reflections from ambient light in three ways:

Submission + - Amazon's Secret Plan For Same Day Delivery (

lipanitech writes: The vision goes well beyond just groceries. Groceries are a Trojan Horse. The dirty secret of Amazon is that it really doesn't distinguish between a head of lettuce and a big screen TV. If Amazon can pull off same-day grocery delivery in NYC, it ostensibly means consumers can order anything online and receive it the same day. By logical extension, that means Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is on the cusp of rendering every retailer on earth obsolete.

Comment Stiffer penalties for drivers (Score 2) 1651

As an experienced bicyclist and mortorcyclist (I put several thousand miles on each every year), I have had my share of close calls with motor vehicles over the years. Last summer alone, I had two friends that were hit by cars and an acquaintance that was killed. The driver that killed the cyclist got a small fine of less than $200US. She and her husband were riding on a tandem bicycle, close to the right shoulder on a country road. The driver hit them so hard, that it sheared both seatposts off the bike. It was mid-morning, the sun was out, the riders were riding as close as possible to the shoulder and for some unexplained reason, the driver in his shiny corvette killed one and seriously injured the other.

Rather than giving out small penalties (seriously, less than $200 for a death!), we should be making examples of drivers that commit this kind of mayhem. Put them in jail or make them pay a substantial fine (how much is a life worth?). We need to be prudent about it, so we don't penalize drivers for something that's the fault of a cyclist.

For the record, I have had my share of run-ins with drivers, while riding my bicycle. I'm a Lance "wannabe". I clip in. I wear a helmet. I wear the silly spandex kit. I have had soda bottles, coins (mostly handfuls of pennies), trash, and cigarette butts thrown at me. I have been yelled at, honked at, and sworn at (for a while I thought my name was "get your ass on the sidewalk") on so many occasions, I wouldn't attempt to count. Yet I still ride (this year, over 3000 miles). This is the whole rotten apple thing. You get a few drivers that do some really stupid things, and the rest try to give you plenty of room.

I mitigate some of the risk by riding defensively. I don't give drivers the opportunity to hit me. I ride a lot of suburban and rural roads, which by nature are less trafficked. If a car is coming from behind me and another car is oncoming on a two-lane road, I take the lane to prevent the car behind me from passing. I use hand signals to let cars know what I'm doing, and if I have one stuck behind me on a curve in the road, I'll wave them around when it's clear to go. OK, I blow stop signs when there are no cars. I ride two abreast. I ride at breakneck speeds down hills (whee!).

Down to brass tacks
1. The government shouldn't force me to wear a helmet. I agree, but I choose to because I've done the risk analysis and figured it's worth the expense and since I've forgone hair, it doesn't mess with my 'do.
2. There should be stronger penalties for drivers that though neglect or malice, severely injure or kill cyclists. They should be made an example of (just like texting drivers have been of late).
3. If you don't think you need a helmet, then you probably don't.

Submission + - SPAM: best free antivirus

stephenthangaraj writes: Earlier when i was using windows xp I always worried about viruses and i used to search for many free anti viruses during that period. In that case this particular free antivirus review will help you to find best antivirus for your windows P C. Antivirus or anti-virus software is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware, including but not limited to computer viruses, computer worm, Trojan horses, spyware and adware, dialer, key logger and rootkit infections.
Link to Original Source

Comment Exotropia (Score 1) 404

My wife was born with exotropia (weak muscles in her eye) that prevent her from watching 3D TV or movies, you insensitive clod! A few surgeries when she was a child improved it, but not to the point where she had binocular vision. The sad fact is that when she was in debate in high school, she got lower scores because she wasn't looking at the judges (insensitive clods!).


Submission + - The $25 Computer: Lego for a Digital Age? (

pbahra writes: "A computer the size of of a pack of cards, yet powerful enough to run full-scale applications, and even provide high-definition, Blu-ray quality output is being designed by researchers in Cambridge. It will cost just $25. Called Raspberry Pi, think of it as Lego for the digital generation. According to Robert Mullins, co-founder and lecturer at Cambridge University’s Computer Science department, the computer is aimed mainly at school children to help them enjoy computers and have fun programming. “We wanted something that had a kit, or toy, feel to it,” he said. “We wanted to make it cheap enough so that even if you only have pocket money you should be able to buy one.”"

Submission + - Affordable 3D Printer (

simcop2387 writes: A new start-up is promising to have RepRap compatible printers in a unique design allowing the printbed to be expanded easily, while still being far simpler and cheaper than previous designs. Made to be put together and up and printing within two hours, compared to days with some of the other RepRap printers. This one promises to be very interesting for the entire community by bringing the cost in time and money down to affordable levels.

Comment Tough choices (Score 1) 735

In 26 years, I've worked for 6 organizations and have held a variety of positions from server admin to senior developer. So loyalty means a lot to me.

Certain factors have to weigh in to the desire to make a change, because the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence.

Adequate challenge - I have to feel that I am challenged. I could never be a button pusher, I have to feel that I'm utilizing my skills and constantly learning and developing new skills. Do I get to use new, cool technologies or are we in the dark ages? I have told nearly every manager, director, and

o Job satisfaction - Do I like my job or dread waking up in the morning because I know I have to go back to that place?

o How I was treated by the company - Do they treat me well? Are there perks like working at home a day or two a week? Does the company constantly screw with their employees? Do they work me like a dog or respect me enough to allow me to retain (some) sanity? Do they respect their employees?

o Stability of the company / profitability - How stable is the organization? Are they going to be here tomorrow or are they slashing everything to try to stay in business? Is senior management accessible and open to the state of the company? Is management properly involved?

o Salary - I like money. I would like to have a million dollars, take it all in singles, put it in a pool, and take a swim. If I have to sell my soul and work like a dog for an idiot boss in a crappy company, it's not worth it.

o Other factors - Commute, perks like flexible schedule, work from home, vacation, and decent hardware (like a good laptop).

Consider what your dream job is. Is your dream job the place you are at or the place that is recruiting you? Is the new job a stepping stone to greater things or just a lateral change? Can you make your existing place of work your dream job?

At the end of the day, the person you work for is you. Loyalty is important, but you don't need to stay so loyal as to stunt your career. Consider your options carefully. Talk to management, see what kind of plans they have for you. If you aren't satisfied, then the decision is easier to make.

Good luck to you in your decision.

Comment Outsourcing the US (Score 1) 250

So let me get this straight. The US sends jobs overseas to India when we have high unemployment. Wouldn't the country be better served by using domestic talent, allowing them to spend their hard earned money in our stale economy? Perhaps we need a domestic policy that gives priority for the US government to give jobs to qualified Americans. Make any contractor do the same.

Take a step further, kill the outsourcing bug by offering companies tax incentives to hire domestic talent. I'm sure there isn't a dearth of talent or people that want jobs within our borders.


Submission + - BiPod Flying Car Makes (Short) Test Flights (

Zothecula writes: The team at Scaled Composites pulled out all the stops to realize the final design of the company's founder and former CTO, Burt Rutan, ahead of his retirement in April earlier this year. In just four months, the Scaled Composites team went from beginning the preliminary design to the first flight of the "BiPod", a hybrid gasoline-electric flying car that grew out of a program to develop a rapid, low-cost electric test bed using as many off-the-shelf components as possible.

Comment Potential development nightmare (Score 2) 555

When I look at version releases like 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0, I think of these as major game changing releases that introduce new features, better performance and compatibility. If you assume that these are big releases, then it becomes prohibitive to small teams like mine that support 20+ ASP.NET websites to fully vet out the new release and ensure compatibility. If Mozilla is just trying to artificially keep their product fresh by releasing 5.0 as an incremental upgrade, and not bringing anything new or greatly improved to the table, then it's just an annoyance that can be more easily dealt with.

Regardless, on my systems, I'll take the wait-and-see approach, let the rest of the world deal with the problems and wait for my favorite addons to be updated before I upgrade.

Comment Re:In my corporate environment.... (Score 2) 1307

... Not to mention, potential HIPAA issues.

Working in IT for 25+ years now, I know working with IT can sometimes be difficult. When I get requests like this, my first reaction is to work with the customer to establish need, ROI, and other requirements. Most likely, your IT department probably has the resources to make this work without much expense at all (i.e., small VM) and could look at your situation and apply a solution that benefits your entire organization rather than just one or two people. Frankly, I would make you take it off the network and provide a solution that IT controlled. Regardless of what you say is on the box, how do I know that you aren't running some warez or porn farm or hosting some video game server? Your job is to head your clinical division within your organization, not implement solutions on the same shared network that everyone in your organization would use.

The IT Tech is giving you a bigger break than I would give. Running it up the chain to his management would likely result in a big fat NO from the CIO.

Slashdot Top Deals

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle