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. ×

Comment Re:TalkTalk (Score 1) 33

Exactly - TalkTalk are right down the bottom of the list. They spend their money on X Factor advertising rather than considering to maybe offer decent service.

We have a lot of choice of providers here in the UK. The biggest providers are almost always the least good ones, and switching is pretty easy (not quite easy enough, but it's not too hard). TalkTalk doesn't even have 'other offerings' that might get you to stay If you're a BT, Sky or VirginMedia customer you might think twice about switching because it might affect your TV service, but that's not an issue with TalkTalk. There's literally no reason to be their customer if they've pissed you off more than once.

Comment Re:How many goddam drones ... (Score 1) 44

You'd imagine they could get construction data from the local government office who authorises the work to take place, no? I'm not saying super-detailed information isn't going to be good for maps, but some problems are largely solved already.

FWIW, maps that can take traffic conditions into account, can tell you which lanes you could be in (as opposed to "keep left" or "keep right") and has some way of saying "just get me off this goddam road" would be great. I only use Google occasionally, and so far it can't manage these things very well at all. If apple can do better, then maybe they're in with a chance.

Comment Re: Oh, god damn it. (Score 1) 1066

The problem is, a lot of people are 'adapting' by putting air conditioning into their houses. Once, we built houses out of stone and lime, and painted them white, and drew the curtains during the day. Now you can have a house made out of wood, paint it any colour you like, have the sun shining in and have a lower temperature inside, even on the hottest days of summer.

One method has a low carbon output but high up-front cost, the other has a high output, but lower up-front cost. One takes a small amount of 'adapting', the other takes almost none. I'd say we're a lot less adaptable than we might appear.

Comment Re:And the hits keep on coming ... (Score 1) 1066

...Trump wants to build infrastructure. There are only so many roads around his towers and businesses, and once they're all resurfaced, there won't be much left to do. A few extra tornadoes and hurricanes will make sure there's plenty to keep the construction industry busy and his policy safe.

Comment Re:Better idea (Score 1) 143

A lot of UK prisons are pretty small - they're often located in reasonably built up areas, and a lot of them have roads running around their perimeters (fun fact: I once scoped out a student house who's front door faced the back wall of a prison). As such, if you want to fly a drone:

1) You don't need GPS - if you happened to be able to throw uncommonly far (and knew the layout over the wall rather well) you could probably just do that. As it is, a drone with a camera would be plenty.
2) You can rock up in a car (extra bonus points for using a stolen one), fly your drone, drop off your contraband, fly the drone back and drive off. There's no way any sort of radio tracking could keep up with you - you'd probably be there for a maximum of 15 minutes.

This also raises other issues - if you happen to live near a prison, you might legitimately want to fly your drone in your back garden. There's a good chance of 'collateral damage' with the no-fly zone. I doubt anyone would be able to argue they 'need' to have a working drone at their house, but it could open up some problems nonetheless.

So... given you don't need GPS to drone-deliver to many prisons, but you really would need GPS to fly over some of the larger, more controversial government sites, one's left wondering if prisons really are the reason for this proposal.

Comment Re:blacklists (Score 1) 351

The flaw in our legislation in this regard is "fit for purpose" - the purpose of a webcam is to take pictures/video and present them on PC/phone or whatever - in that regard they are fit for purpose.

If IoT devices had to additionally state "reasonably safe for internet use" or some such, then you could argue these aren't fit for purpose, but until then you're flat out of luck. Whilst our consumer protections are pretty good (compared to other western countries), they're not really setup for problems such as this. I'm sure our government will find some way to enact some privacy/rights infringing "solutions" to those problems soon though :-(

Comment Re:Phone (Score 1) 246

However eager the British Government are to extradite him to the US, he hasn't committed any crime in the UK, and so can't be arrested for anything, let alone extradited. However, he's alleged to have committed (serious) crimes in Sweden. The Swedes have asked he be sent there for show-trial, and thus he's hidden in the embassy until it can be resolved. Even if he'd been picked up ready for sending to Sweden, the Brits would still have had no grounds to send him to the US without major international fallout (with the Swedes, especially).

IMHO, Assange is a bit of a twat. However, whatever's going on with him is far too fishy to be as clear cut as a lot of people seem to think. Additionally, wherever there's a fishy smell in the proceedings of the UK, the US is frequently involved somewhere in the background. We're something of a puppet, but for some reason we think the puppeteer is in Europe.

Comment Not much need of AI? (Score 1) 76

Getting from point A in London to Point B doesn't really need AI per-se. It's at worst a heuristics problem, and at best it's simply procedural.

Eg. getting from Bank to Mansion House is best done on foot - but that can be known by various factors:
  - The distance from any platform at Bank and any District/Circle line platform at Monument (ostensibly the same station, but my god the walk between them is a long way)
- The distance from any platform at Bank and the street
- The distance of the exits at Bank (of which there are many, over quite a wide area) and the exits at Mansion House (of which there are a couple, either side of a wide road)
- The speed people walk, and the levels of congestion in the walkways at one or both stations (which can be approximated by time of day)

I guess you could get fancy and throw in the current weather conditions, and maybe road traffic conditions, and the time it takes for the pedestrian crossings to change to "green man" (although jay-walking is okay here, so you probably don't have to wait that long every time). You could also improve the resolution of the time estimates by looking at which carriage the person was in when they arrived at the station (and on which line), and thus how far they were from the platform exit.

So to navigate you really don't need much AI. There are (albeit complex - but only as complex as you like) definitive answers. Of course, putting voice rec and natural language processing on the front of it makes it an AI project, but it's just "AI operates a website" because there are already London navigators available.

Not to belittle anyone's work here, and it's good to see someone using London as a playground, but I'm wondering what's actually been achieved here?

Comment Re:Fitting (Score 1) 43

...and I think we know Microsoft AI just simply will not be the next big thing. If Pets At Home decided to create an AI division they could probably come up with more winners than Microsoft will.

All they're really doing here is re-arranging the deck chairs. They're on a ship that looks like, smells like and swims like the Titanic. It's just a matter of time until someone looks over the edge and sees the name painted on the side.

Comment Fear Factory (Score 2) 332

In Bowling for Columbine there's an animated video describing how scared Americans are (of just about anything). The number of bunkers screams fear to me - I'm sure there are a handful of such bunkers in the UK (or Europe, generally), they're mostly for politicians who must survive nuclear war, because only cockroaches will survive (apparently). I seriously doubt there's more than a couple for private citizens (and most of those are just swimming pools in the basement).

What's the point? I mean, if there's a nuclear war, you're better off just letting the galactic dice decide your fate. For low-level issues, such as no food for a few months, you're going to need to live in a tiny bunker for the entire duration. The rest of us will all just be mucking-in together to work out ways to collectively survive it. Sure, someone will come and steal the potatoes I'm growing in my back garden, but they can't steal all the potatoes in the neighbourhood. Besides, why steal them when you can just ask and we'll give you some?

Comment Re:Print Innovation (Score 1) 111

They're buying Samsung because Samsung are soooo good at software. The marriage of those crappy devs and HP's massive bloatware is just what the industry needs!

We have an HP all-in-one 'pro' printer at home. It's actually pretty good, but the scanner stopped working the other day, just saying "cannot connect to server". Some googling turned up some settings clearing and rebooting, but nothing worked. Just one comment said "it could just be HPs servers are down". Thankfully there were some workarounds (shockingly, the Windows10 integration worked really well, so we used that instead).

Why does my scanner need HP's servers? It scans, and emails the results - how hard it that? How much 'innovation' do we need here? All that shit about being able to email stuff to your printer to print it - sorry, don't need it, especially if it's dependent on something I can't control. If I could configure which mail server it pulled from, that would be one thing, but the 'magic' in the thing is what makes it so supremely hard to use.

Slashdot Top Deals

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner