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


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:No you don't (Score 1) 107

All of those are bad examples, because the latter form factor is better in every way except its ability to fit hardware inside. If you could make a laptop that contained the same hardware as a desktop, for the same price, then it would obviously be better. A decade ago, laptop sales outpaced desktop sales and so the economies of scale started to tilt things in favour of the laptop. As desktops become increasingly niche, the prices will keep going up and a lot of desktops now are just laptops without the built-in screen, keyboard, or battery.

If you take a desktop and scaled everything down so that you had the same amount of storage, CPU and GPU power, and RAM in a laptop form factor, for the same price, then obviously the laptop is better for most people (people who need PCIe slots being the exceptions).

If you took a laptop and scaled everything down so that you had the same amount of storage, CPU and GPU power, and RAM in a phone form factor, then you'll have a very powerful phone, but it won't replace a laptop. There are a lot of things where you can open up the laptop and start working immediately, but the phone will need connecting to an external monitor and keyboard before it's equally useful. Even putting a picoprojector in the phone won't entirely solve that, as you often don't have a useable projection space.

Comment Re:of course the do! (Score 1) 61

That may be less of an advantage than you'd think, because you need to know by about half way through the first season whether it's worth commissioning a second. It's definitely an advantage for longer-running things (if people are still discovering it when you're in the fifth season and starting from the beginning, then it's probably worth a sixth, for example), but it might be a disadvantage at the start of the process.

Comment Inline CSS above the fold (Score 1) 296

Nobody wants to be forced to use a desktop computer to see the whole web page.

I was thinking of a news site that shows photo, headline, and first paragraph to desktop or tablet users, but only the headline and a differently cropped photo to users of 6" or smaller devices. This way you can still fit as many stories into 320x440px.*

The real threat to bandwidth usage is [...] embedded CSS/Javascript in the HTML that can't be cached from page view to page view.

I thought additional HTTP 1.1 requests were more expensive than repeating any styles or scripts that block rendering of the first screen of the document. Google PageSpeed Insights recommends that web authors inline CSS above the fold.

* In CSS, px means roughly 1/2700 of the distance from the eye to the surface, rounded to the nearest hardware half-pixel.

Comment Re:Fruits and vegetables (Score 1) 317

Because herding cattle across a wide area requires managing a wide area. That means more cattle-hands, more moving from place to place, more expending fuel, more maintaining machines, more trying to extinct wolves for eating your cattle (estimate total population in Washington is 90), and, essentially, more wages paid per pound of beef, meaning more cost and higher prices at the grocery store.

I'd rather pay those wages to buy another month of Spotify than employ 40 fewer engineers at Spotify and 40 more ranchers herding cattle and not have anything to replace Spotify.

Comment Re:Taking CO2 out?? (Score 3, Interesting) 146

Actually, with excess nuclear power, we can produce eDiesel. We've got new catalysts and high-pressure processes making eDiesel highly-efficient, about 70%; that means pipelines fed from eDiesel plants placed near nuclear and geothermal power plants would come in slightly less-efficient than electric cars at 15% transmission loss and 85% charging efficiency.

We can stockpile eDiesel; we can use it for airplanes (no way to make those battery-powered); we can generate eMethane or otherwise use eDiesel to run fuel cells, creating liquid fuel electric cars (possibly airplanes, but it's a tough job for an electric motor); we can use it to drive factories which need more power than the grid provides.

Newer tweaks to battery technology are targeting high-surface-area electrodes. Lithium ion batteries grow tin whiskers internally, creating more surface area for reaction, thus higher and longer power output; current research targets new structures and new battery chemistries to maximize this, essentially attempting to create an activated-carbon-style surface as the battery consumes itself. The processes in eDiesel similarly use catalyzed hydrolysis, and it's non-consuming: if we can manufacture high-surface-area electrodes using current or improved catalysts, we can raise eDiesel efficiency. The two efforts are semi-parallel, in that efforts in one give insight to the other, yet they're distinct in significant ways and so can't directly translate.

That means more-efficient batteries and more-efficient eDiesel generation in the future. If the overall efficiency exceeds 85%, eDiesel will beat any electric vehicle: transmission loss is 15%. At the same time, low-cost eDiesel will immediately replace more-expensive petroleum, as it's compatible with current, unmodified gas turbine technology; and eDiesel can feed or be modified to feed hydrogen fuel cells, which provide electricity, giving a method of feeding electric vehicles with a liquid or heavy gas (not hydrogen, which has storage and transport issues) fuel tank rather than a battery.

At the same time, plant and atmospheric petroleum (e.g. eDiesel) products such as polyester, rayon, plastic, and lubricating oil (PAO, Group-3) will sequester oil. Recycling carries costs and complexity; cheap atmospheric petroleum, once expended, can be incinerated for power or dumped into expended oil wells. Deep well dumping provides an attractive option: the expended liquid petroleum becomes a feed stock for later mining and refining, while effectively removing the carbon content from the atmosphere.

This is all stuff that will happen naturally, eventually. eDiesel will scale; a reduction in cost of nuclear, geothermal, and solar will outcompete oil; and refining waste oil into recycled stock will be less-efficient than producing new oil at the point where atmospheric petroleum has become cheaper than oil. The only question is when.

Comment Re:Watches are worn as bling (Score 1) 282

Watch collector/restorer here.

I don't like the huge, fat watch thing either. Nor am I a fan of subdials and other complications for daily wear. And here's the thing: for the most part ostentatiously big, fat, complicated watches are a low-end phenomenon. As you go higher hundreds and then into thousands of dollars, visual complexity shrinks until you are looking at something like a Rolex Milgauss for about $5000. The Migauss is somewhat fatter than I'd prefer because it's very robust -- it's designed for every day use. For dress use, if cost were no object, I'd wear something like a Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, which is 2.6 mm thick and 20.6 mm across. It's small, but the clean design means it doesn't have to be big. For that reason I wouldn't spend the additional $10,000 for the date complication.

Smartphones haven't eliminated the usefulness of wristwatches; they've just eliminated the usefulness of all the gee-gaws on watches for purposes other than telling time. You don't need the day/date complication, and you don't need the stopwatch or countdown timer, that stuff just makes a watch complicated to operate and hard to read. All you need is the hour, minute and second hand. I also make extensive use of a rotating dive-watch bezel for timing things like runs. When I rebuild watches I sometimes replace the face to cover up the day/date complication because it just clutters the design.

That's the problem with watches: it's hard to find a thoughtfully-designed, stripped down watch for under $500. But you can find them. One of my favorite cheap watches is a Casio that costs only $15 on Amazon -- I think of it as a disposable watch. It is very, very cheap in every respect, but it tells time as well as a $5000 Rolex and has similarly clean design. The only changes I'd make would be to improve the lume and remove the day/date complication.

Anyhow, if you showed up wearing a Patrimony I'd be impressed -- not because you spent $12,000 on a watch, but that you'd spent $12,000 on a watch whose value only a serious connoisseur would recognize. If you want to impress the ignorant, go big. If you want to impress the sophisticated, go simple.

Comment Re:But what about "its other content"? (Score 1) 61

I'd say Jessica Jones and Daredevil are both Game of Thrones quality, easily. Jessica Jones had some amazing performances and did a really good job with a somewhat difficult villain with kinda cheesy super powers (mind control). House of Cards is easily one of the best dramas ever made.

People forget that even GoT has some filler and slow episodes. In fact it seems like most of the last season was done on a lower budget with things moving slowly, so that they had more to spend on the two big battle episodes (which were excellent).

Making a Murder and Amanda Knox were both top notch docudramas too, better than anything on broadcast TV in the last decade at least.

Comment Re:of course the do! (Score 1) 61

Netflix also has the advantage of always being able to charge full price for its content, all the time. After the first run of a TV show, it usually goes off the air for a while and then maybe starts getting re-runs at a reduced rate. On Netflix they get paid the same amount if the content is brand new or decades old, and it's never off air.

Must be great for shows that gain popularity by word of mouth. Instead of having to wait for DVD sales because people missed the first few episodes, they can jump in any time and catch up with their friends. Shows don't have to be heavily trailed and hyped up for weeks or months before their premier, and the advertising is even more effective because instead of saying "coming soon, don't miss it" they can say "now available, get your instant gratification".

Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 1) 282

Close. The story is that no-one, including Apple, has figured out how to keep improving smart watches with new features or longer battery life. We seem to have hit the limit after two generations, so it seems unlikely that they will achieve mass market appeal any time soon.

To keep the phone market going Apple has to have a big bit of "innovation" every year, a reason to upgrade. Even if the reason is stupid like downgrading to Apple Maps or removing the headphone jack, it's compelling to enough people. Water proofing a watch just makes people think "wait, the old one wasn't waterproof?!"

Comment Re:In Soviet Russia (Score 5, Insightful) 237

Right. So let's take a look at how this "excerpt the gotcha" plays into that.

Slashdot writes about Zuckerberg:

a later exchange between Sandberg and Podesta showed that Mark Zuckerberg was looking to get in on the action a bit, and perhaps curry favor with Podesta and the Clinton camp in shaping public policy.

Except that the email from Shelly about Zuckerberg very clearly begins:

Mark is meeting with people to learn more about next steps for his philanthropy and social action and it’s hard to imagine someone better placed or more experienced than you to help him. He’s begun to think about whether/how he might want to shape advocacy efforts to support his philanthropic priorities and is particularly interested in meeting people who could help him understand how to move the needle on the specific public policy issues he cares most about

Likewise on the other email from Cheryl. They mention the "She came over and was magical with my kids" re. Clinton. They don't bother mentioning the reason for Hillary's visit, which can be seen in what she's replying to:

To: Sheryl Sandberg
Subject: At a loss for words

Can't imagine your pain, but know that you are surrounded by people who love you. Mary and I are praying for you, the kids and, in our Catholic way also for Dave.

... and the part before the excerpt:

Thank you – means a lot to me that you reached out.

And I like that you are praying for Dave. I have to believe in heaven now.

This wasn't some buddy-buddy campaign visit, this was a "person I know's husband just died" visit. Likewise, the implication that they're supposed to give here is that they know her because of Facebook. No bothering to mention that the reason that they actually know her is because she was Larry Summers' Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration.

Almost anything can be made to look sinister when you take it completely out of context. Which is the whole purpose of these emails.

Furthermore, do you honestly think you couldn't do the exact same thing by picking through the Trump campaign's internal messaging? Do you have any clue how many people of note a major campaign interacts with, how many people work for them, etc? We know given Trumps record on server security that hacking him would have been a breeze, but miraculously nobody bothered. Why do you think that is?

Lastly: take everything you read with a grain of salt. I know everyone's reaction to statements that emails could have been altered (and scattered amongst real ones) is going to be "You just don't want to discuss them!" No, the reason you should take things with a grain of salt is that the other anti-Clinton hacks this year have done exactly that. Leaks posted by the hackers in different places involved cases where they had involved changing the same file to say different things (such as a donation list where they added a donation from Soros to a Russian democracy activist, but had different values for the donation in different versions of their release), cases where files were dated to after the hack occurred, and cases where file metadata showed the changes they'd been making. Salting real data with fake is something that they've been doing this year, so it'd be naive to think that they're just going to stop doing it now. Come on, even the most die-hard Clinton hater is going to be hard pressed to actually believe that the Clinton Foundation has a directory sitting around literally called "Pay for Play".

Yes, the majority will be real. But don't be naive when viewing them and assume that you can just take everything at face value.

Comment Re:Have fewer babies. (Score 1) 139

We need both. The education programmes that reduce the birth rate are proven, e.g. Bangladesh went from around 9 in the 1960s to 2.2 today.

The problem is that there is a huge amount of lag before we notice the world population levelling off. New parents today are from a generation that had more children, and their parents are from generations where 9 kids were the norm. And they are all living longer, so there is more overlap of their lifetimes.

At the current rate we are on target for stability around 11bn people. Most of that growth will be in Africa and to a lesser extend South Asia. It's sustainable IF we have technology like this to make the best use of available farm land.

Slashdot Top Deals

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire