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Comment Re:How is this different than the economics of dec (Score 2) 318

I guess the difference here is that a $100 quadcopter with a $100 brick of C4 and a $5 detonator on it is a real threat. And if I can spend $205 on a threat that you need to spend $3M to prevent (or suffer hundreds in thousands in damage, if you don't prevent it), then I'm going to very quickly win any war of attrition.

Comment Re:Do the right thing - stand against Trump's bigo (Score 1) 952

"If I gave you a bowl of Skittles and three of them were poison would you still eat them?"
"Are the other Skittles human lives?"
"Like, is there a good chance, a really good chance, I would be saving someone from a war zone and probably their life if I ate a Skittle?"
"Well sure. But the point ..."
"I would eat the Skittles."
"Ok, well, the point is ..."
"I would GORGE myself on Skittles. I would eat every single Skittle I could find. I would STUFF myself with Skittles. And when I found the poison Skittle and died, I would make sure to leave behind a legacy of children and of friends who also ate skittle after Skittle until there were no Skittles to be eaten. And each person who found the poison Skittle we would weep for. We would weep for their loss, for their sacrifice, and for the fact that they did not let themselves succumb to fear but made the world a better place by eating Skittles.
Because your REAL question, the one you hid behind an inaccurate, insensitive, dehumanizing racist little candy metaphor, is: IS MY LIFE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF MEN, WOMEN, AND TERRIFIED CHILDREN?
And what kind of monster would think the answer to that question is yes?"


Comment Sedation (Score 5, Interesting) 164

I would pay a premium if an airline were to offer sedation flights. Receive an injection at the boarding gate. Get loaded into a tiny coffin. Wake up in the arrivals lounge of the new airport.

The airline saves money on food, air hosts, and can stack the passengers in like cordwood. I don't have to deal with crappy airline flights. Everybody wins, and the question of cell phone calls becomes moot.

Comment Re:Fewer stops, not more, and flat rate payment (Score 1) 400

Damn, I would love this. Student UPASS (universal bus pass) for my city is roughly $80 for a 4 month term. It's less than half the price of buying monthly passes, because it's a non-refundable, non-negotiable fee. Every student at both universities in town pays it.

According to recent financial statements, oeprating costs for 2015 were $80M, with fare-box revenue of $33M. In a city of 500,000 residents, our public transit taxes would have to go from $94 per person to $150 per person to make it free to use all of the time (modulo increases in costs due to higher use). That's like, the price of taking a date to the movies and getting popcorn.

Comment As a Canadian (Score 1) 311

I don't actually end up seeing the cost of any of these items. My government-supplied health care pays for all of them. Except, I suppose, the dental x-rays, but those are covered by my workplace dental plan.


I suppose if we're talking about making medical technologies less expensive, I'd lobby for adding prescription medication to the government-funded health care plans. Prevention is much less expensive, and currently, low-income people can go see a doctor for free, but they cannot afford the medication that will keep them out of the emergency rooms.

Comment Passenger Weight Limits (Score 3, Insightful) 373

I've read through the early comments here, and I see a lot of vitriol for "obese" people, and statements that people should only be allowed a weight limit of 100kg, or worse, 200lb, beyond which there should be extra charges.

Go to hell, each and every one of you that supports that idea. I'm 6'3", and my body fat percentage hovers around 15%. I _sink_ in fresh water. And I weigh 240lbs, before any luggage is included. I am healthy and fit. I already suffer with airline seats that are far too small for my frame, with my knees in the back of the seat in front of me, and the headrest sitting firmly between my shoulder blades. And now you have the temerity to think that I should pay _more_ for the privilege of flying, because you think people that weigh more than 140 pounds are fat and unhealthy, and it's their own fault?

Get real.

Comment Re:We've only got ourselves to blame (Score 1) 381

Couple at-will employment with the fact that health insurance is employer-provided and private insurance is devastatingly expensive, and basically employers can hold employees ransom.

Even if someone does have transferable, marketable skills, it will likely be a number of months before they land a new job and complete enough of the probationary period to qualify for benefits. A broken arm during that period will cost you $10,000 if you're not insured. God forbid you have to deliver a baby, because then you're looking at a six-figure medical bill.

Comment Alert! (Score 1) 226

With a bit of creative interpretation, it does. For example, you could mimic the beta-decay electrons in nuclear piles:

1. Start out traveling at almost c.
2. Slam into a medium with a refractive index > 1.

For a brief period of time, while your body is being vaporized by the impact, and before Cherenkov radiation robs you of your kinetic energy, you will be traveling faster than light.

Comment Re:Taxes? (Score 2) 224

Downloading of copyrighted music files is legal in this country, because we pay a tariff on blank media.

However, the tariff only goes to pay for music. Downloading of any other form of copyrighted material is not covered by the tariff. This includes television shows, movies, video games, ebooks, and even audio books.

So you're partially correct, yes. But not totally, and not applicably to what people think of when they talk about downloading these days.

Comment Re:Foundation Repair (injection) (Score 1) 94

You're kidding, right? They fix cracks in concrete now by injecting hydraulic cement. Exactly the same delivery process, except the crack is then sealed as soon as the cement dries, and it uses an existing, inexpensive substance.

I don't think anyone is complaining that injected hydraulic cement is not strong enough, or doesn't fill all of the gaps.

Comment Text of the Bylaw (Score 1) 152

Here's the actual text of the bylaw:

Il est interdit à toute personne de provoquer, dâ(TM)insulter, dâ(TM)injurier, de blasphémer ou de molester un agent de la paix ou un officier municipal dans lâ(TM)exercice de leurs fonctions.
Constitue une infraction au présent article des propos tenus sur Internet ou sur lesréseaux sociaux.
(rÃg 0556-2015, art.2)

And my attempt at a translation:

It is prohibited for any person to provoke, insult, injure, blaspheme, or molest an agent of peace [officer of the law] or a municipal officer during the exercise of their duties.

It is an infraction under this section for remarks to be made on the Internet or on social networks.

So, the municipality of Granby has made it illegal to say "God damn it, mayor" on Facebook. Honestly, even discounting the online portion of this bylaw, I think it's unreasonable. And I suspect many of you agree. But remember, Quebec (and especially some of the smaller towns in Quebec) are much more devoutly Catholic, with over 70% of the province identifying as RC.

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