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 The mistake was in the audience (Score 2) 92

I have a few months experience with one of these phones and it's pretty good. The biggest mistake blackberry made wasn't in engineering, it's that they tried building an iPhone/Galaxy competitor at an iPhone/Galaxy price. What would've been better (and what I hear is coming down the line) would be something cheaper targeted at business customers who care about productivity and not flashiness. Blackberry cannot win the flashiness competition.

Before the phone was released to all carriers I went to a T-mobile store to ask about it and the store representative actually laughed at me for being interested in a phone made by blackberry. Also, the representative at the store I eventually bought my phone from actively tried to sell me a samsung, despite my coming in for the blackberry specifically.

Unfortunately, the name is also stupid... they should've just kept it at "venice" that whole privilege/privacy thing is a turn-off.

I see lots of posts here saying things like "I want a physical keyboard." So do I. That's why I bought this phone. In a market economy, we have to vote with our dollars. The problem is that this vote costs a lot of dollars.

Comment Just flush your pipes then (Score 5, Interesting) 101

One thing the article does not mention is the reason for pre-flushing is to ensure the sample is coming from water in distribution, not water that's been sitting in the lead pipes you have in your home or your connection to the city (which is very common in older cities). While Flint performed pre-flushing, they also made sure to test around the lead sites, it's not clear that is what is happening in these 33 cities.

So, if the testers flush when collecting samples, perform the same flush before drinking tap water, that way you know you are drinking water at the levels measured. The most common objection I hear to this suggestion is "What a waste!" However, when you consider that water may not be safe to drink, you're not actually wasting drinking water. If you really are concerned about that water, you can save the water for plants and/or cleaning purposes. Watering your lawn is huge waste of water, running some water to clean pipes is not.

What people should be worried about are endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), e.g. from birth control pills and hormones used in factory farming. To my knowledge, no city currently has the ability to test for or filter out EDCs. If the lead tests are coming back clean after flushing, that's great because it's easy to fix: just flush your lines before drinking. EDCs, not so much.

Source: I know many who work for the water department, including chemists at the testing labs at one of the 33 cities listed in the article.

Comment Re:Yawn (Score 4, Insightful) 49

As a service provider, Google is not equivalent to those other researchers.

The article didn't say, but it would be interesting to know if dates/times were anonymized out (they aren't in the datasets I've seen). With Google calendar and gmail, it's pretty straightforward to deanonymize a rather large set of those patients.

EMRs are becoming more prevalent and some patients start using email for communication (not always that best, but you know it happens). It sure seems like that whole "let's offer an email service" can be quite the treasure trove for this and other kinds of information.

Comment First past the post is bad here... (Score 1) 338

The main problem is that first past the post voting supports this two-party situation as a stable equilibrium through tactical voting, etc...

Political parties, as others have pointed out, are private entities (and therefore can nominate candidates however they please). The problem is that the US government is virtually guaranteed to be controlled by one of those two private entities and it is in neither parties' best interest to fix that problem.

Comment Re:I remember this as a child (Score 3, Insightful) 132

Let's say he brought the rifle and maybe even shot the actual shuttle. The news report would be "shuttle engineer goes crazy, shoots at shuttle, launch delayed" And, for the sake of this story let's say that NASA never attempts a launch in kind of cold again. He would just always be a crazy guy that shot at a shuttle.

As a lot of us know firsthand, this is the kind of job where if everything is going well no one knows that you exist... how many times do we warn management of risks and then things turn out okay anyway? Even with a 99.9% probability of failure, that 0.1% chance of success is still a possible outcome.

Either way, he seems like a great guy who tried to do the right thing. It's a shame that he was ignored and even had to consider taking drastic actions. Despite his doing exactly the best he could, I know if I were in his shoes I would be second-guessing everything I could've done - not an easy burden to bear.

Comment Pay-per-click is a broken model (Score 3, Interesting) 287

If I see an ad for something, it had served its purpose. If a buy a Honda partly because of an ad I saw two weeks ago, but didn't click on, it still worked. Maybe the idea of measuring clicks is that clicks and ad effectiveness are well correlated... but I'm too lazy to find any studies.

Comment Realisitically, if anywhere... (Score 1, Insightful) 310

I know many are saying we should go back to the moon first... and we probably will, if anywhere. It makes sense for all the reasons the other posters listed. But, NASA isn't 100% responsible for calling the shots... and as James Cook said, "Never underestimate the incompetence of government."

Comment Yes (Score 2) 82

If it is a needed tool for work, the company should provide it. I have many coworkers whose only phone number is their work phone, only laptop work laptop, etc... It may seem like a convenience, but when your employer has the ability to always contact you because you use that cell phone for personal purposes, it's not so convenient.


If in this case a population of 57.12 million has 9390 cases of cancer => 164 cancer cases per million for the at-risk population. Now compare that to the side effect rates of 245.1 and 155.7 per million for the vaccines in question.
I didn't read the study, so I'm just using the numbers posted by AC, but it appears that these numbers are close enough that what matters how intense something must be to be recorded as a side effect. A headache? Rash? Death? This needs to be considered along with the 39% mortality rate for the cancer population (not to mention all the pain, heartbreak, and suffering that everyone, including the survivors endures).

Comment Economy? (Score 1) 207

My biggest concern with AI is the same concern with automation: our economy is built on the assumption that labor is a scarce resource. With increasing automation, that assumption is rapidly breaking down. As higher and higher level tasks require less and less people society is in trouble unless we can somehow modify our economic system to account for that breakdown.

Slashdot Top Deals

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller