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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:chain of custody (Score 1) 53

Apple may have to come very clean about how this works or it may not hold up in court.

I doubt it is intended to hold up in court. More likely the idea is to provide the phone's owner (perhaps in conjunction with the police) with information about who took their phone, so that they then know where to look to find more solid evidence.

Comment Re:Democrats too (Score 2) 67

Here's cash flowing into the Clinton Foundation from corporations benefiting from selling dual use technology [nypost.com] (private and military uses) to Russia.

In case you haven't noticed, most of our "dual use" technology has been shared with the Russians for a long time already. For example, the decimal number system.

In some instances, we might even consider ourselves better off if the Russians did choose to adopt our technologies, such as fail-safe command and control systems responsible for nuclear weapons (supposing our technology is actually better; I suspect the Russians have had 8" floppy disk drives for quite a while already).

Just about any improvement in the Russian commercial space would probably trickle down to the Russian military (trickle down seems to work much better in some directions than others). Are we still in the middle of a 1950s-style total economic blockade? Not that I've heard. Our bigger technical battles are with countries who have not yet produced thousands of nuclear warheads.

In summary, all of this is all a lot of hand-wavy durf, durf, durf.

Point to a real technology and describe an actual scenario where the Russian military benefits, and then explain how the Russian benefit A) is a serious NATO concern, and B) wasn't going to happen anyway sooner rather than later. Having met that bar, then maybe this issue will start to seem important to people outside your particular Kool-Aid enclave.

Hint #1: you might need to avail yourself of sources other than wnd.

Hint #2: just about every dollar given to a politician comes from someone with an interest who wants something.

Arguably the Saudi's and their Wahhabist agenda have done more damage to American foreign interests over the last thirty years than anything the Russians have done. That line of thinking would probably lead you straight back to the Bush Foundation.

Bush's Newest Secret: Who's Funding His Library?

In this piece, Mother Jones at least displays the decency to tar the Democrats and the Republicans with the same brush.

Comment Re:Who would have guessed? (Score 4, Interesting) 244

Government procurement contracts pretty much preclude the government obtaining goods and services on the open market. Instead it must rely to a large degree on contractors and vendors who have the capability of handling all the special paperwork and requirements.

So if you're on a procurement committee you don't have much choice. Once you discard the vendors who (a) can't absorb the amount of money to be spent on schedule and (b) jump through the statutory federal contractor hoops, what you're left with is a rogues gallery of usual suspects.

Comment Maybe VR would work better? (Score 1) 82

I hate to be the guy who suggests that the US military spend yet more taxpayer dollars on the "next new thing", but perhaps some of their problems could be addresses by replacing their current simulators with VR headsets and PCs?

Their current approach seems to be largely the "cave" approach, where the trainee sits inside a room by himself and images are projected on the walls around him. That's fine as far as it goes, but doing it that is by its nature expensive and takes a lot of space, which means not very many people can be using the simulator at once, which limits the military's ability to train groups of trainees how to co-ordinate their behavior with each other.

Replace that with a networked gaming PC and an Oculus Rift (or similar) for each trainee, and I think you could provide a similarly immersive experience to a lot more people simultaneously, for about the same price.

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 1) 218

Well, I'll be the counter-anecdote, then. When I bought my iPhone6+, after about two weeks it started to compulsively touch itself. For example, I could be looking at a Google Map (not doing anything, just looking at the phone while it sat on the table), and suddenly the map would spontaneously scroll from my location in LA to somewhere in Utah, all on its own; as if it had received a touch event somewhere way off the edge of the screen. Similar strange spontaneous behaviors would occur in all other apps (and even on the "Desktop") at random times, every few minutes, and it was enough to drive anyone crazy.

I took the onanistic iPhone6+ back to the Apple store back for a replacement, and so far the replacement has had no problems (knock on wood).

Comment self-response addendum (Score 2) 337

Penn Jillette on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, And Why He's All in on Gary Johnson — 2 August 2016

I watched this video yesterday. There a fabulous exchange 24:30–30:00 on truth and naievity.

You go through a period when you're sixteen, seventeen, eighteen when truth really obsesses everybody. And then I think you're supposed to kind of sort of grow out of it. And I didn't. It really remains of complete interest to me. ... I'm not bothered at all by people being wrong. ... I have such a naive point of view, to almost not believing it, that people can have information and represent the opposite of that. I just find that so appalling and, in a certain way, fascinating.

Once upon a time I would have ventured that most Slashdot readers would want to view this. It had me thinking about my own life 1985–1995 where I watched the software industry turning into a train wreck, where every seventh train car is painted bright orange and lettered in an ominous Area 51 black stencil font "patch Tuesday", with sparks flying off wheels seized (and reseized) for so long they resemble lopsided pentagons.

I used to think to myself "surely these are just temporary conditions due to the extreme rate of expansion of the software industry, and it will all settle back down to sanity as we crest the exponential growth phase". But no. Like Jillette, I was a die-hard naievitarian. Lesson learned.

Comment sloth is eternal (Score 1) 337

The default behavior is to treat the field as whatever you've told the spreadsheet that it is. By default, every cell is set up for numeric data types. ... The problem is misuse of tools, not a problem with the tool.

A process of "five whys" applied to the present discussion immediately reveals "default numeric" as bad policy in academic research.

A sane default would be "untyped" or "exactly as entered" which shifts sins of omission into sins of commission, this being far more compatible with the culture and standards of scientific journal publication than what Microsoft originally chose, mainly for the convenience of boutique-reseller power demos. Also, the more collaborative the environment, the more important it becomes to enforce a strong-typed, sin-of-commission data model.

This is all covered in the first week of Graybeard 101 as taught with slate tablets back in the stone age. I was there in 1985. Microsoft has had wool in its ears since forever. Still doesn't make it right, does it?

Furthermore, anyone who really cares about data pipeline integrity writes an export function from the derived format back to the raw input format, until they come out exact, or every difference is adjudicated and signed off, which is incorporated into an automatic validation task which can be repeated at any point in time for the life of the project.

CRAN Task View: Reproducible Research

LaTeX was originally written in the early 1980s by Leslie Lamport at SRI International.

Leslie Lamport won the Turing Award in 2013 for his uber graybeard rectitude, if anyone cares to notice. Douglas McIlroy made his seminal contributions in 1968 (Bill Gates was thirteen, but perhaps he was already set in his ways). John Backus delivered his Turing Award lecture "Can programming be liberated from the von Neumann style?" in 1977, which inaugurated the modern tradition in functional languages (Bill Gates was then twenty-three).

Competence is hard. Sloth is eternal. We continue to seek a third way.

Comment Re:Good luck (Score 1) 183

Politicians are always the same. All they do is appeal to whatever they see as the current mentality that will get them (re)elected.

There's a name for politicians that don't do that -- they are called "non-politicians". You don't get to govern if you can't get into (or stay in) office.

There's a clear Darwinian-style process at work there.

Comment Simple answer: (Score 1) 187

Charge for the non-security feature updates -- maybe even do it through the app store. Customers have to pay for updates one way or the other, so you should be able to sell a competitively priced phone and then make just as much money selling fewer physical phones and more software updates as you would under the status quo. That'd be good for the environment too.

The one sticking point is, as always, the carriers. They'd much rather you trade in your perfectly good phone for another one whose price is rolled into a contract extension. I'm convinced that Verizon on several occasions deliberately botched upgrades to force you to buy a new phone with more RAM.

Slashdot Top Deals

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."

Working...