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Uber is Getting Serious About Building Real, Honest-To-God Flying Taxis ( 90

An anonymous reader shares an article: When Uber first announced its crazy-sounding plan to explore "on-demand urban aviation" -- essentially a network of flying taxis that could be hailed via a smartphone app and flown from rooftop to rooftop -- the company made it clear that it never intended to go it alone. Today, as it kicked off its three-day Elevate conference in Dallas, Texas, the ride-hail company announced a slew of partnerships with cities, aviation manufacturers, real estate, and electric charging companies, in its effort to bring its dream of flying cars a little closer to reality. Uber said it will be teaming up with the governments of Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai to bring its flying taxis to those cities first. It is also joining forces with real estate firm Hilwood Properties in Dallas-Fort Worth to identify sites where it will build takeoff and landing pads, which Uber calls "vertiports." It has signed contracts (or is in the midst of contract negotiations) with five aircraft manufacturers to work on the design and production of lightweight, electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. And it launched a partnership with an electric charging company called ChargePoint, to develop charging stations for Uber's flying taxis.

Comment Re:Free still means freedom to some of us (Score 1) 237

I worded my original post very carefully so that I wasn't saying what the word "free" does or does not mean, or should mean, or what other people should think, or anything like that. I'm not sure people are looking at my actual wording - I think they are reading something extra into what I said that isn't there.

Comment Re: So what makes Ubuntu different from Fedora? (Score 1) 227

...or they want a working system out of the box. Fedora requires adding the rpmfusion repo in order to have a robust selection of programs - ones that are readily available on Ubuntu. This extra step is opaque and difficult to discover for inexperienced end users. This has always been a problem with Red Hat based distros, they don't or won't provide a robust default package repo so users have always had to turn to third parties.

Comment Re:Free still means freedom to some of us (Score 1) 237

I found this headline confusing, because when I started out here on Slashdot many of us used "free" to mean "available under a license that preserves your freedom to view source code, modify, and redistribute for any purpose" rather than merely "gratis."

Well, no. Free still means both gratis and libre. When the word appears at the beginning of a sentence like that, it's difficult to tell which meaning is intended, because the opportunity to capitalize it for emphasis vanishes. You don't get to define the word for the world, and it would be stupid if we were to use the word so differently from everyone else. That would isolate us and make us even less relatable.

"Free Software" means what you want free to mean, but only among nerds. "Free" can mean a lot of things. One of them is libre, and you will find very few takers for changing that, because it would be dumb.

Well, I didn't argue that the word has only one correct definition, and I certainly agree that many of us including myself aren't very relatable, and those of us who use/used "free" to mean "libre" are certainly less so.

Everything I said is a statement of fact: some, but not all of us, back in the day used to use "free software" to mean something specific, and I got confused when I saw this headline because I briefly thought that's what it meant. Times sure have changed here if I'm the only one that's true for, and that gives me a bit of nostalgia for Slashdot back in the day, warts and unrelatable nerds and all.

Comment Free still means freedom to some of us (Score 0, Troll) 237

I found this headline confusing, because when I started out here on Slashdot many of us used "free" to mean "available under a license that preserves your freedom to view source code, modify, and redistribute for any purpose" rather than merely "gratis."

There doesn't seem to be a license or source code available, so I'm thinking the article just means available with no charge.

Submission + - Investigation Finds Inmates Built Computers, Hid Them In Prison Ceiling (

An anonymous reader writes: The discovery of two working computers hidden in a ceiling at the Marion Correctional Institution prompted an investigation by the state into how inmates got access. In late July, 2015 staff at the prison discovered the computers hidden on a plywood board in the ceiling above a training room closet. The computers were also connected to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's network. Authorities say they were first tipped off to a possible problem in July, when their computer network support team got an alert that a computer "exceeded a daily internet usage threshold." When they checked the login being used, they discovered an employee's credentials were being used on days he wasn't scheduled to work. That's when they tracked down where the connection was coming from and alerted Marion Correctional Institution of a possible problem. Investigators say there was lax supervision at the prison, which gave inmates the ability to build computers from parts, get them through security checks, and hide them in the ceiling. The inmates were also able to run cabling, connecting the computers to the prison's network.

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