Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


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:Really? (Score 1) 126

Since you're in the security team, could you comment on why Android requires you to set up some sort of lock security just in order to have a VPN configured (even if it's not in use)?

That never made any sense to me. I believe it assumes corporate use of a VPN, which makes sense that it should be secure (you don't want an unidentified party with free access to your company's internal network), but for many users it's just a way to encrypt potentially unsafe connections, such as when you're connected to some random WiFi hotspot while travelling.
And even if you assume a sensitive VPN, the user has the option of not saving the password, so that any attacker would be unable to connect to it anyway.

In any case I don't think it's the VPN setting's position to be enforcing security on domains outside of its control. That'd be like Android forcing me to set a PIN just because I have the Facebook app installed - "you probably have private data in that app, so we're protecting you from yourself".

Comment Re:Stop posting opinions in TFS! (Score 1) 54

It doesn't actually happen that often. It may seem like standard fare because of confirmation bias, but if you scan the articles on the main page, they're mostly neutral in tone.
It's annoying when it happens because I (and I assume most people) don't come to ./ for news, I come for the discussion. When the summary does this, it steers the discussion so hard that it destroys the whole point.

Comment Stop posting opinions in TFS! (Score 3, Insightful) 54

The more militant among us will read that as "It's not enough getting a free ride off of developers building great software, we want to shove our roadmap down their throats and get them to work harder for us — without having to pay for it, of course." That might be a bit harsh, but none of the companies on the page are exactly well known for cooperating with the projects they use, with Google being one of the worst offenders by forking both Linux and WebKit.

This part of TFS is superfulous to the news item and actually degrades from the piece.
It steers the discussion away from the actual news and towards the submitter's pet peeves (notice how he made sure to mention Google by name).

jralls should really save his opinions for the comment section, or if not, the editors should've forced him to.
Now the entire comment section for this article will essentially be a huge subthread for that guy's inflamatory comments.

Yeah yeah, I know this is par for the course for /. and that's the part that really sucks.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 406

Take your hands off the wheel at the peril of yourself everyone around you

That's just the point. You're not supposed to take your hands off the wheel even when using lane assist. In fact, most brands' systems will shut off if you do so for more than a few seconds.

I also disagree with this "paying full attention" mantra. For normal highway driving you don't need to always pay full attention. If you did, you wouldn't be able to drive more than 1h per day as you'd be exhausted from checking every minute detail of your surrounding driving conditions.
Instead, highway driving is mostly about keeping a minimally safe level of attention to things around you while being in the position to act if anything goes amiss. I don't see it being any different except that you have to care about less of the boring stuff while you do so (checking for speed, keeping your distance to other cars, keeping the car centred in the lane).

My experience riding shotgun or having others ride shotgun with me is that even passengers tend to keep that minimal level of attention to the road and warn the driver if necessary. I don't see why I'd be more distracted than that behind the wheel.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 406

Absolutely. Anything that *almost* removes the need for you to be behind the wheel is an accident waiting to happen.

I disagree. This guy is obviously an irresponsible driver, so any amount of control he has over the car will be too much.
If he allows the car to drive itself to get some kick, what makes you think he'll drive safely when he's in full control of the car?

Even if you remain in your seat, what are the odds that you'll remain alert and aware of the surrounding traffic after the 100th commute where it proved completely unnecessary to do so?

I can't say without having tried any of these systems, but my experience with cruise control has been that it takes me longer to become tired during a trip, meaning that I'm usually more alert.
I imagine that using these systems will be similar to when you ride shotgun: you're still paying attention to the road, except you have the full power to intervene if you think it's necessary.

I, for one, think that this will be a benefit for most drivers and for safety on the road. At least I'm not ready to say otherwise until I try it for myself.

Comment Re:Is that a thing? (Score 1) 82

Google cannot eject Samsung from the Android market. In fact quite the opposite Google for mow is reliant on Samsung. In fact tomorrow Samsung could produce an Android phone without Google like Amazon and Microsoft...

No, they couldn't.
Samsung has had their own Android store for a while, and despite their success selling hardware, nobody wants to use their software, and developers don't want to publish in their store.

If Samsung dropped the Google Play Store, they'd suddenly see their software library become very limited and their (soon to be ex-) customers very unhappy.
Especially now that their sales are starting to go down. The other Android players are catching up.

Similarly, Google can't drop Samsung since they represent such a huge portion of the Android market. These two companies are interdependent, whether they like it or not.
Kind of like how Apple for a long time had to use Google maps, and even today still has Google as the default search engine (or at least I think they do).

Comment Re:Physical keyboards make no sense anymore (Score 1) 544

Except ....your last sentence doesn't apply to the historical users of slide phones: People who send emails for a living. They may need that keyboard at night.

I don't see how a good keyboard case wouldn't work in that scenario.

I also do not agree with your reasons for why they are not produced - your suggestions have been refuted elsewhere in the comments - For examples, the keyboards have been very reliable and rarely fail.

Some of them are great. Others have had hinge problems, the keys have bad tactile feedback or are too close together or have otherwise been panned by reviewers, and other assorted problems.
The reality of manufacturing is that the more components you add, the more likely one of them is to cause problems. This is especially true for moving parts.

Look, I'm not saying you don't have a valid reason to want a modern smartphone with a physical keyboard.
It's just that having been briefly involved with mobile phone manufacturing, I understand the realities of mass-manufacturing complex devices with increasing variability between models to satisfy market requirements.

Unfortunately for you, your market segment is just too small to justify the problems caused by adding a physical keyboard.
Hence my suggestion that an external keyboard might be a good halfway solution. Just like my phone doesn't come with a car holder, so I got one separately for when it's needed.

You could also say that the market isn't really small just nobody is even trying to satisfy it, which may be a valid argument but it seems to me that some manufacturers will try to sell such devices from time to time and it's telling that they don't follow up on those efforts.

Comment Physical keyboards make no sense anymore (Score 1) 544

There are a few reasons why hardware keyboards have been phased out in favour of touchscreen-only:

- They're more expensive to produce
- They're more likely to break
- They force manufacturers to produce individual versions for each country they want to sell in (and make it harder to move stock between countries)
- They add bulk
- They're not easy to get right, and a bad keyboard will break your product
- Software inputs have improved greatly (swipe, voice input and predictive dictionaries have all become excellent) and are extremely flexible

If you really want a physical keyboard you can get a small bluetooth keyboard. Some of them are even available with custom covers for a lot of phones, so it's all together in the same package.
It seems for me to be the best of both worlds. Taking the phone on a business trip where you need to type a lot? Take the keyboard with you.
Going out at night? leave it at home and get by with the touchscreen.

Comment Re:Is this new? (Score 1) 702

To give the screeners their due, they let me go after a few minutes - after I'd heard their complaints about the potential radiation doses they and the passengers were receiving from the backscatter X-ray thingers

You're a much luckier man than me.
When I refused to go through the cancer machines and opted for the pat-down, they had me wait for over 10 minutes.
They knew I was with other friends (who decided to risk a dose of radiation to save on a minor inconvenience - we had plenty of time) and decided to be as annoying as the law would allow them to be.

Didn't learn my lesson though. I'm not stepping into one of those machines if I have a choice, thankyouverymuch.

Comment Re:Is this new? (Score 1) 702

DSLR, sorry I wasn't specific enough :-)

Come to think of it, I've also had trouble with my old external HD. It was one of the old huge ones which required an external power supply, and it was checked almost without fail (they took it to a separate machine to check for explosives).
I've also had trouble with a sandbag stand for my GPS holder, but usually I'm just asked to show it to them and they know what it is once they see it.

Comment Is this new? (Score 1) 702

Is this a new rule?
I've been asked before to power up my SLR when going through the security check.
It never happened with any other device, so I always thought it was some particular feature of the SLR which made it seem like evil stuff to the scanners.

I believe this already happened in Europe and Asia, so I can't say if they weren't doing this in the US before.
In the paranoid minds of the Airport security personel it actually makes sense. From a scan it's impossible to distinguish legitimate circuitry from bomb or plane-hacking components.

Not that I agree with the general airport security apparatus. I wish it were more like taking a train, or a bus, but I digress.

Comment Re:Carbon neutral aviation biofuel ... (Score 1) 160

There are other advantages to electric engines besides the pollution aspect.
For one, they're much quieter, which is one of the major problems with modern air transportation. The engines are also a lot simpler, reducing maintenance costs and risk of failure during flight.
Electricity is also a much more versatile form of energy than combustibles, since we know how to generate it from almost every other energy form.

Imagine a hybrid electric plane. You could charge it at the airport and take off on battery power. Then recharge the batteries during flight and land on electric power again. Just by doing that you enormously decrease air and sound pollution near urban areas.
It might even be feasible to install solar panels in the plane surfaces to get a bit of extra efficiency going (not sure it'd be worth it, just throwing the idea in).

Or install a wind turbine at the back - the faster you fly, the more energy you generate! :-)

But seriously, the use of electric engines to power aircraft is the most interesting knowledge coming out of this prototype. I doubt that Airbus can contribute much to the current research on battery storage, but electric flight might be advantageous even if you're powering it with gas generators for the most part.
As technology evolves, you start to rely less and less on the generators until you can remove them completely.

Comment Re:Hey Tim (Score 2) 274

Every adult in Switzerland has an assault rifle, but (almost) none of them have any bullets to go with it.
You see, the assault riffle is issued when you finish the military training, and you're supposed to maintain it until the day when the country gets invaded and the government distributes the rounds through the populace.

As to your other point, you may not be able to stop the flow of illegal products, but you sure as hell can make it inconvenient enough that only people who really want it can get it, at a risk to themselves.
Most of the gun injuries in the US today can be attributed to either accidents or heat-of-the-moment exchanges. In most of those situations guns simply wouldn't be available if firearms were forbidden.

Slashdot Top Deals

Like punning, programming is a play on words.