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


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:Nasa? (Score 1) 67

NASA can be pronounced as a word and so can be treated like a noun, while BBC cant. Technically this should apply to NATO as well, but fuck it, that's the English language for you.

Comment Re:H3D (Score 1) 347

I own a blad, but there is no way I can afford this back (yet). Nor would it be justified for the shooting I do. That said, if Nikon would offer backs that would fit their older cameras I would be in the market, especially if they were <$1000 and FX sensor size, even if "only" 6 to 10 MP.

Dear Nikon:
I want a digital back for my F3HP and my 90s please.

The only way this will happen is if Canon does it first. Let's be realistic, there is no reason for Nikon to shit all over it's most profitable, sub $1k market with a support-intensive, low margin piece of gear.

Comment overstated (Score 1) 421

The implications of such a result are overstated:

* It's easy to construct markets in which finding the optimal solution is NP-hard, and many real-world problems are already of that form--for example, any economic decision that involves an NP-hard optimization problem.

* Participants already don't find optimal solutions even given infinite computational resources simply because people lack the necessary information to find optimal solutions to begin with.

* NP-hardness is nearly useless in characterizing the difficulty of real-world problems anyway. Being NP-hard doesn't mean that problems of interest are necessarily hard. And many problems in P don't have practical algorithms for large problem instances.

It's interesting that simple 2 person games can be hard as well, but that doesn't fundamentally change what was already known: markets often don't function optimally because of computational limitations.

Comment Re:Train Wreck (Score 1) 318

Human error? You missed the bit in TFA stating "The drivers can relax until they wish to leave the road train, at which point they signal their intention to the driver at the front." I would assume 'signal' != leaning on joystick by accident

Mechanical error? You missed the bit where you think a driver behind could avoid a wildly spinning car. An extreme mechanical failure is causing a rapid departure from a tight knit train is also unlikely to impact the car directly behind it anyway. More likely to leave car 3 wondering why there's suddenly a big gap in front of it, and a hole in the hedge.

Comment uh? (Score 1) 301

In which companies is the same person doing both jobs?

Very small ones I suppose, so even there the big boss would know what is more important in the overall picture.

Comment Re:Free will bit (Score 1) 229

The heart of the problem is a definition power play.

WTF are you talking about? Since the discovery of the uncertainty principle, we've known that classical determinism was crowd sourced from day one (via statistical mechanics).

Even without quantum indeterminacy, there's still algorithmic indeterminacy.

Chaitin's constant

We know we might be wrong. The machines don't know that.

If this is what free will amounts to, I don't see the day coming when the computers are beating down the doors saying "I want me some of that."

OTOH, I don't see any reason why a computer can't be programmed to make addled contributions to slashdot given the magnitude of the available training corpus.

Comment Re:Do or do not: There is no moderation. (Score 1) 978

First, because farmers can't use certain very safe and developed pesticides, they have to use older and much more toxic varieties. Not to mention the actual amount of pesticides residue you eat a year has less cancerogenic substances than a cup of coffee. The thing is, the human body is very resilient and such exposure just doesn't matter.

Care to provide any supporting information for your assertion that organic farmers use "older and much more toxic" pesticides? Talk about pure bullshit...

Here's what the EPA has to say about it.

As for the issue of pesticide residue, I'm sure that the amount of pesticide residue for a given piece of produce usually falls below some FDA threshold, and I'm sure that washing produce helps even more. The point I was trying to make, though, was not that pesticides are eeeeevil. They have their place in agriculture, but there is growing evidence that they are being overused. In short, heavy use of pesticides (and fertilizers) is not sustainable agriculture.

When you need to dose the shit out of your plants (killing pollenating insects and doing other harm to the biosphere) to keep them from being eaten alive, you're doing it wrong. Your crops are too dense. When you need to pour on the fertilizer to make up for the fact that you've pulled all the nutrients out of the soil, you're doing it wrong. It's not sustainable. You're reliant on Monsanto for your engineered seed + RoundUp and Saudi Arabia for your petro-based fertilizers.

My concern is not based in some wooly-headed "o noes chemicals" fear. I would sign up to have a neighborhood-sized pebble-bed nuke plant next to my backyard if I could. I just believe that we can choose better ways to do things.

Actually, organic foods would definitely taste better when you're feeling morally superior. However you cannot taste the difference in a double-blinded test. Especially because YMMV, and the big problem to discerning the difference in taste is that when you *know* you're getting organic you attribute any goodness as organic, and when you *know* you're getting non-organic for all untastyness ou blame the non-organic origin of the food. You don't get better nutritional value, and especially for your money it's quite a bummer. Just buy better beef without regard of it being free-range or not.

If you don't eat junk food, then you'll get 99% of the health benefits of any food switch. Last 1% you can get if you have a local farmer that supplies you with good food every day, but that's practically impossible.

As I thought I made clear in my original post, my motivation for buying Organic food is not specifically for a perceived superiority in taste. High-quality produce is high-quality produce regardless of whether or not it's Organic. Meat, on the other hand, is a whole other ball of wax.

As an example, the "free range" chicken breasts I buy are far and away superior in taste and texture to the premium conventional breasts I buy every once in a while (depending on which grocery I get to). I usually make a chicken vindaloo several times a month (sometimes twice a week if we're fixated), and my wife can always tell when I've bought the Perdue chicken. I'd be willing to believe that it's simply a matter of freshness, but given the consistent discrepancy I'm not so sure. I know that often the factory chicken producers inject their meat with saline to plump it up, so maybe that's it... Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that one set of chickens is crammed into a pen so small they can't turn around and fed growth hormones their whole (short) lives, and the others are allowed to develop somewhat normally. I dunno. I don't really care -- I'm willing to pay more for chicken that tastes good.

As for steak... Have you ever had real grass-fed steak? The marbling is totally different. There's tons more flavor without needing to dress up the meat. If you haven't tried it, try to find some (e.g. at Whole Foods or a real butcher). Anyhow, I'm happy to pay more for the hunks of red meat we get once a month or whatever, knowing that I'm supporting sustainably-produced and local beef (Wolfe's Neck Farm).

My point, again, is not that I think progress is evil or that we should all return to hunter/gatherer society or something. I just think that if more people choose to support sustainable agriculture, it will be better for all of us in the long run. But I know that for some people "sustainable" or "organic" are watchwords for hippy libruls smokin' dope and trying to take away guns or whatever.

Comment Re:This is just baffling! (Score 1) 549

It has to be political

It is most definitely political and he's been making noise around the world about this for a few months.
It's not just google that he is complaining about, it's the BBC as well. He's attempting to make the internet look like a den of pirates and thieves and then prompt governments to nobble it so that he can make money.

Comment Re:The problem is not an efficient algorithm (Score 4, Informative) 421

I'm not saying one should not take human behavior into account, but at least they should get the boundary conditions right, and one of those is that our resources are limited.

That does not mean that additional wealth cannot be created without infusion of additional resources.

I know it's counterintuitive for most people with a "hard science" background... I struggled with it as an undergrad. But economics is not a zero-sum game. I give you $150 and you give me an hour of labor. We've both benefited by the trade. If we are really acting freely, we've both benefited (or we wouldn't have engaged in the trade), so we are both wealthier than we were before. This is the fundamental basis of perpetual economic growth... given a free market* in which to pursue trades, wealth increases as trades are made.

* Free as in some-kind-of-approximation-of-an-ideal-free-market, not free as in no-legal-restrictions-on-activity.

Slashdot Top Deals

Space is to place as eternity is to time. -- Joseph Joubert