Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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:Compare the Right Stats (Score 1) 375

Well, if you want anecdotes, the only car I've ever seen catch fire wasn't in an accident at all. It wasn't even moving. A pizza delivery driver left his car running at the curb while he brought the pizza we ordered to our door. As we were paying him, flames started shooting out of the hood. He ran to the car, had enough time to grab one thing out of it as smoke was pouring into the cabin, and then the interior caught fire as well. The whole car was engulfed in a matter of seconds.

Comment Re: If they were connected, that would be "online" (Score 1) 60

Which was why he was suggesting replacing the expensive, monopoly controlled, centralized infrastructure with a decentralized, cheap, user-maintained system that doesn't require digging trenches and laying fiber.

Now, you can argue the merits of such a system with regards to bandwidth and long-distance links, but the concept is a valid one.

Comment Re:National vs. Commercial Interests (Score 1) 540

When I go to sleep, there's a reasonable chance that, when it is time for me to wake up, there will be breathable air outside, temperatures will be livable, water will be plentiful enough, food will be somewhat easily obtained.

There is also a non-zero chance that your furnace will malfunction and asphyxiate you with carbon monoxide, or one of many electrical appliances will malfunction and catch your house on fire while you sleep, or that someone will break into your home and murder you. Yes, even sleeping is risky here on earth. Yes, there are more risks to living there.

We make choices about risk all the time. Some people enjoy the thrill of extreme risks, like jumping out of perfectly good airplanes with one mechanical device between a happy landing and a mess of bloody broken body parts, and we don't generally consider them insane.

Imagine your fridge breaking in June and having to wait until April for a replacement fridge.

That's why you have multiple redundancies in critical life support systems. What does the ISS do? It's not like we can overnight supplies to them via fedex. The lead time will be longer for Mars since the actual flight time of resupply ships would be longer, but that simply means factoring in some additional levels of redundancy into the system.

Comment Re:Clean and simple (Score 1) 484

From the time Vista was in beta, there was a *lot* of criticism that all that translucency and blur would make items in the foreground difficult to read, that it provided no actual user interface benefit, and that it was just there to look pretty in the store and wow people into buying computers with Vista. Yes, there were also complaints about the driver compatibilities and UAC, I know. This article is about the UI, though, and that's all I'm talking about.

Personally, my sub-$400 laptop with lame Intel integrated graphics that I bought before Vista came out ran Glass just fine. I didn't get what all the fuss was about. Aero was actually what finally got me to stop using the Classic theme like I had all through the XP era, and I'm pretty happy with Win7.

Comment Clean and simple (Score 4, Insightful) 484

All I have to do is set the window border color to a nice light blue, drag the task bar to the top of the screen, and I'll feel like I'm back using my Amiga from 20 years ago. Which isn't a bad thing, really.

What I find funny is that everyone bashed XP's big rounded edges and colorful themes as being cartoonish. Then Vista came around, and everyone railed against Aero for being a pointless resource hog, adding eye candy without functionality. With 7, everyone complained it was just a service pack for Vista, because there wasn't a big huge interface change. Now, they decide to overhaul it to be a simpler, cleaner interface, without the frivolous flair, and everyone hates against that too.

Comment Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 233

The day when civilians have the same capability to do harm that the military and intelligence communities do, things will go very, very badly.

Right, because if they did, then civilians might rebel against an unjust, unpopular, non-representative government.

Oh, wait. That's actually a founding principle of the USA: the government should be afraid of the people, not the other way around. The only way to ensure that is to make sure the people have the ability to overthrow the government and it's military forces, should the need arise.

Comment Re:Awesome but... (Score 1) 282

So we built this computer controlled car from scratch and we programmed everything ourselves, but we know the physics involved very well and have done a lot of software simulations, so we're confident that we can accelerate this car to 125 miles per hour and bring it to a stop in 3.7 seconds to a point exactly 1.5 inches from a target. Would you like to volunteer to be our stopping post, for our very first time we've ever actually tried this car outside of a simulator? I'll even give you a remote control panic button if something goes wrong, although we haven't ever tested that before either.

Keep in mind that there are six people on the ISS, and before it's cleared to get within even a mile, it has to check out many brand new hardware systems that have never been used and prove several abort procedures to show NASA that it is safe to approach and dock. Although NASA has had a hand in testing and review of this stuff, everything about it is brand new and could fail spectacularly. They've got a pretty busy schedule over the next few days, it isn't just sitting around waiting for it to "catch up" with the station.

Comment Re:Most won't notice (Score 1) 329

My household has 7 in all, and there is rarely a time when any of us are home that we aren't playing Minecraft, WoW, LoL, SW:TOR, streaming Netflix or YouTube in HD, listening to Pandora, etc. My daughter, with a multi-monitor setup, will play on LoL while watching Netflix and videochatting on Skype at the same time, for hours on end. I've topped the 250GB cap every month since December, and have gone as high as 300GB. I am the type of user that the current cap* and this new tiered plan is targetted at, and frankly, I think it is fair.

My mother-in-law also has Comcast, and she turns on her computer and checks her email maybe a couple times a week. She helps give Comcast the statistic that the "average" user consumes less than 5GB per month. She also pays almost the same as I do per month for her internet.

*: Oddly, I haven't heard a peep out of Comcast about exceeding their cap, probably because I'm paying them over $200 a month for a bundled plan with things like a landline that I don't ever use, but had "just in case," and cable service that isn't even hooked up to any TVs, but that I keep so we can watch HBO shows on-demand online. I'm already planning to ditch the phone and TV service completely, and just pick up seasons of a handful of shows on blu-ray. Once I can find that last set top box I have to return...

Comment Re:Autism (Score 1) 1007

FYI, a much more typical immunization efficacy would be 80% after a few years. And they can have serious side effects and complications, even without there being any credible link to autism. The autism argument made me research the literature on immunizations and make my own clinical judgement of risks versus benefits for my children. (For what it's worth, my youngest two who have not been vaccinated are the ones who have the most aspergers/autism behaviors of any of my kids. If you ever need some anecdotal evidence to counter the anecdotal arguments otherwise, there you go.)

Comment Re:Surely that's not the correct way to parse it? (Score 2) 474

Yes, this means it is currently against the law in Arizona to use profanity during a phone call with the intent to threaten, annoy, offend, etc. Since I am in Arizona, and since it says later on that either endpoint of the telephone call can be the violating location, it will apply whether I'm calling you or you're calling me, regardless of where you are from. It also makes it illegal to repeatedly place anonymous phone calls that disturb the peace or privacy. This by itself doesn't seem too bas, as it only applies to a direct, end-to-end communication medium, and does have some merit considering stalking and sexual harassment.

If this is signed by our most esteemed idiot of a governor (no profanity or threats against life or property, I should be safe), this will apply to electronic communications in any form, instead of just phone calls. So, if I read a forum posting you wrote that has profanity and I think it was intended to annoy me, you could be breaking the law. For example, writing "people who play WOW are losers" would be okay, but writing "people who play WOW are fucking losers" would be illegal.

Slashdot Top Deals

Old programmers never die, they just become managers.