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 Re:No Thank You! (Score 1) 24

Samsung. No thank you! You put more than enough crapware on your phones as it is and with verizon all that shit is locked down unless I want to root a phone. Please DO NOT put more crapware on my phone.


Can't uninstall it. Can't permanently disable it. All you can do is remember to go in there and force stop on two seperate services every time you reboot the phone, or every time it decides you really want it turned back on and something does it for you.

And it's not just any crapware, it's wireless remote payment crapware. What could possibly go wrong?

Comment Re:Physics says its BS. (Score 1) 203

Learn just a LITTLE physics and you will see that YOU are wrong (and TFA). There is no frequency that does not absorb over atmospheric distances, plus when it hits any solid object. There are only frequencies with LOWER absorption, which is meaningless for these kinds of path lengths.

I've learned a little bit of physics, and while technically true, what you say is misleading. Visible light, for example, doesn't absorb very much in air (yeah sure, there's some). The air is "optically thin" at visible wavelengths, which means more light is getting through from space to us than not: 75% of the energy integrated over all wavelengths gets down here: most of what's not getting through isn't the visible bits (yay for the ozone layer).

So, if they can shift energy to come out at 10 microns, which is in a clear bit of the spectrum almost as nice as around 5000 angstroms (visible light), what they say is right: 10 micron IR radiated upwards is mostly checking out back into space.

Just make sure you're not putting the fancy new film under solid objects, go read about the laws of thermodynamics, solve your favorite radiative transfer equation, and *poof*: cooler thing than you had started with.

Comment Re:Borders. (Score 1) 128

"will occupy a spot that crosses the Cincinnati and Kentucky border" Odd, one's city and the other's a state. And the border between them is a river - hard to build an airport across a river.

I was wondering about that. Not being able to read the paywalled part, my conclusion was: Riverboats are returning! Delivery by paddle wheel, more nostalgic than drones. Seriously though, seems a good move since CVG used to be a Delta hub, but isn't anymore: there's way more airport there than is being used.

Comment Re:Wrong company for the job (Score 1) 292

Interesting that the 3rd generation of SYNC (out since 2016 I think) is based on QNX and appears to very well received.

I have a 2016 Fusion, and its SYNC is indeed adequate. It's responsive, well laid-out, and the bluetooth pairing does what you want it to with no problems. Voice recognition even works. Wish it had Android Auto (apparently the 2017 models do), as exporting processing of navigation and stuff to your phone seems the right way to go.

On the other hand, my 2013 Subaru's system is complete trash. Getting in the car and trying to select my phone to pair to (after my wife has driven it) is eleven-levels deep into a voice menu that has a hard time understanding you. At least it remembers the pairing on restart, but they weren't thinking about two different drivers at all when "designing" this steaming pile of code.

Comment Re:Nicely done video (Score 4, Insightful) 565

Now, people are starting to question the position of the NRA that *anybody* regardless of who they are should be able to procure guns

Not their actual position, although waving blanket, false statements like that around is what passes for political discourse these days. Actual fact: the current background check system was actually strongly supported by the gun lobby: people who are convicted felons or legally declared mentally incompetent don't have second amendment rights. Or many other constitutional rights, say for example, voting. The current argument (causing the House to behave like the dysfunctional third world legislative clique it apparently actually is) is over the "sounds good!" legislation of "people on the terror watch list shouldn't be allowed to buy firearms". Hmm. So, a law in which denies something listed on the bill of rights to people on a secret government list, who can get on that list simply by someone voicing suspicion, with no procedure for getting off the list (or even knowing if/why they're on it)? Pick anything else that's a legal right (voting? free speech? Self-incrimination? Illegal search and seizure?) and swap that in for "gun ownership" in this scenario and watch everyone across the political spectrum freak out. We tried something like this in the 50's with McCarthy when the enemies were Commies instead of Radicals, and are universally ashamed of that fact in hindsight. Of course the NRA should be objecting to this. I'm shocked that the ACLU, for example, isn't too.

Comment Media, meet reality (Score 3, Insightful) 88

A similar meme here in the US: "you can buy a gun on the web without a background check! The horror. Must close that loophole."

Any journalists trying to do this for a story would quickly realize that only is possible if buyer and seller are able/willing to meet physically, otherwise the act of shipping the firearm, which must go through a licensed dealer, gets backgrounds checked. And a physical meetup between individuals is pretty hard to regulate with or without an internet.

Comment Re:Expanded BG checks impractical (Score 1) 819

If you read the article, mainly by looking at the results of passing various laws at the state level. Which is kind of how it should be: we see what works at the state level and (maybe) implement it at the national level.

Would be a good way to do a study, yes.

but... there are no laws in any state which address the question I raised... because it's impractical and can't be implemented, without also bringing along a full firearm registry (which is how they collect sales tax on cars sold between private people, we call then "deeds"). And that's a whole different kettle of fish with way more implications than background checks alone.

So, back to my question: how can the techniques allegedly used in the study actually answer the question they purport to answer? If they used the few particularly fascist locales with complete registration (Chicago, DC, NYC, etc) as a template, that's got so many other variables going on that generalizing it to anything else is kinda stupid.

Comment Expanded BG checks impractical (Score 5, Insightful) 819

This "make background checks mandatory for private sales" thing sounds good, but won't work. It won't work for the same reason that no one pays sales tax at a garage sale: you're supposed to do so, but there's no way for the government to enforce the sales tax laws on people who don't hold a business license.

The existing background check system works because it's tied to firearm dealers' licenses: they've got to do it to keep their business license.

Ironically, during the Clinton administration the feds went on a "too many people have FFLs, let's make them much more expensive and hard to get!" spree. Which now means that many fewer people participate in the background check system, as a result of another initiative that sounded good to people who have a tenuous connection to reality.

For what it's worth, if you do go buy a firearm on the internet, odds are really good that you're getting a background check anyway. Why? Because to ship a firearm, it's got to go from FFL to FFL. And the FFL in your town handling your shipment is required to do a background check.

But, it sure does sounds good to propose such a law: to people who have no clue how things actually work. Which, it turns out, is true of most of the "feel good!" solutions non-gun owners concoct to impose on gun owners. Comes of trying to legislate to match what they see in movies and in cop shows rather than what actually happens in reality. So, I wonder how this study came up with their numbers. Did they just say "hmm, X% of people buying their guns person to person commit a crime, a BG check would magically change that number to 0%"? I suppose it might, if 100% of the people followed the new, easily ignorable law. Considering that they're going and ignoring other, stricter laws to commit their crimes (like, "killing people is illegal"), that sounds rather optimistic.

Comment Re:+2/3, -1/3 (Score 1) 95

Thanks - so why don't the charm and the anti-charm go "poof" ?

They do, sort of: this thing doesn't last long at all.

Consider a much more common particle, the neutral pi meson: just two quarks: quark/antiquark pairs of several possible flavors. Also doesn't last long (8e-17s), but extremely well studied.,

Comment Re:Neutrino study wasn't necessarily bad science (Score 1) 444

That's exactly what scientists should be doing, re-testing long held dogma taking advantage of state of the art equipment. It's a human endeavor, so sometimes they'll make mistakes. The scientists who reported the results presented plenty of caveats, but nobody listened.

Quoting this, as it's an AC zero-karma thing that most will miss, and I don't have mod points today.

This time, AC gets it mostly right. Science is about reproducibility. Opera had a weird result that they didn't understand, so they did what they were supposed to: put it out there for people to crosscheck. For what it's worth, in an emacs buffer open in another window at this very moment, I'm putting the final touches on the paper about one of the results that WAS this crosscheck. (yeah, it's taken us too long to send it to the journal, but it's a) careful, fiddly work that we want to get right; and b) we all know the answer now so enthusiasm for the paper writing process/grind isn't huge).

So, what the parent post got right: this is exactly how science is supposed to work. What the parent post got wrong: everybody (in the field) carefully listened to the caveats. Doing so is how one finds the flaws! Or eliminates possible flaws, as is sometimes the case. It was the media who went tangential on the whole process, not the scientists.

Comment Re:well.. (Score 1) 760

I suspect future earnings potential. A couple hundred acres of good farmland, if cared for, can be used to make the owner money from now till whenever: if they put a lot of work into it, mind you, not like it's just sitting there earning interest. Also, it's a limited edition thing: they aren't making more of it. Well, slowly anyway, geology takes a while.

Something else to consider - the land is likely to be mortgaged to to gills to pay for the really pricey equipment needed to farm these days. Farm equipment makes exotic cars look cheap in comparison (fun non-sequitor fact: saw more Lamborghini tractors on the road in rural Italy than sports cars).

Many of the same arguments on income vs. net worth apply to most small business owners. It takes a lot of $$ to get the infrastructure to run whatever enterprise they're running, and it's enough to support a few jobs. But, it's not particularly liquid infrastructure: cash out the land or the pizza oven or whatever, and no more jobs or production.

Comment Re:Journals and Universities are mostly to blame (Score 1) 320

The structure of University research is a huge part of this. Researchers don't care about truth or quality of their research. They care about keeping their jobs and their pay, which means several things:

Speak for yourself. As a practicing University Researcher, I greatly care about truth and the quality of my research.

I've got a job which pays me to do really cool stuff that I care about. Poor quality research doesn't get me that job: why on earth would I mess with a good thing by doing a bad job?

For what it's worth, I've probably published more papers where the null hypothesis wins than not. Way more work and less satisfying to get a good upper limit, but it is what it is.

Slashdot Top Deals

Take an astronaut to launch.