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:Duh, (Score 1) 37

BMW and Benz are Tesla's competitors. Of course Tesla is gonna want to "service" them as little as possible. What did he expect?

Common decency? Having grown a business, I think it is reasonable to think that he had done the normal due diligence, and that he had reasons to expect that existing deals with his customers would be honoured - it's hard to guess without knowing more details. It is not, in fact unusual for companies to have their competitors as customers; I can how it could have been an advantage for Tesla to own the patents and setting the trends for these technologies for a long time, by licensing them to other car manufacturers. I don't think they simply want to cut off all connections - they just want to squeeze them into a deal that pays more to Tesla.

Comment Re:After over thirty years of start-ups... (Score 1) 63

Success is mostly down to dumb luck: being in the right place at the right time. Things like intelligence, talent and ability have a role to play also. You need to be able to recognise the opportunity when you see it, you needs to have the knowledge and skills to exploit it, and you need to have that feeling of "entitlement" - but there are plenty of people out there with all the skills and talent, who don't make it. If you have worked for any length of time as a software developer, you know this is true, because you have seen how few, upper level managers and CEOs are anything more than moderately intelligent.

Comment Re:Tough talk, but not unwarranted. (Score 0, Offtopic) 86

the outright theft of IP, to humanitarian concerns regarding political prisoners, religious persecution, Tibet, freedom of navigation in the Global Commons that is the South China Sea, and including their tolerance for the North Korean situation

I think, in so many ways, that it is more than a little sanctimonious, when the US points the finger at others for doing or having done what the US themselves have done or continue to do. IP theft was common practice in the US until the day when it turned out to be more profitable to protect US companies' own IP rights. The LOTR books were (in-)famously printed and sold in the US without Tolkien's permission, until he somehow managed to put a stop to it. And of course, with the widespread opposition to DRM amongst /. readers, IP rights is perhaps a slightly uncomfortable subject any way?

Political prisoners, religious persecution: no doubt there are cases, where China could be much more tolerant of political opposition without endangering the stability of the country, but I think it is wrong to think that every person called "political prisoner" by hostile agancies are not in fact criminals that ought to be locked up. As for religious persecution: apart from Falun Gong and the Tibetan feudal lords, who is being persecuted for their religion now? If we're talking about American evangelicals not being allowed in to preach about how "communism is against God", then I can't see the problem, to be honest; they are nothing more than political agitators tryng to stir up trouble. And again, can we in the West truly accuse China of any of these things without being hypocrites, in the light of things like Muslim-bans etc?

As for Xizang and the South China Sea, I think it is a well-established principle that whatever you can hold on to, belongs to you; it has certainly worked for the US, I think. And Israel, come to think of it. Do I think the world should be as uncivilised as this? No, not really, but it is.

Finally, North Korea is a growing problem and embarrasment for China, as I am sure they are acutely aware. I can't see how anybody can quickly solve that problem without massive loss of life. Sanctions and withdrawal of Chinese support is only likely to make the situation worse, at least for the country's own people - and their leaders apparently don't care much about that. I think China only tolerates the North Korean leadership's madness, because the alternatives would be worse - for now.

Comment Re:Wonder how much they'll cost? (Score 1) 80

Yeah, well there is always something deeply unsavoury about the way companies try to cash in on a mostly false image of being "green", "healthy" or whatever. Recycling is only ever going to be a superficial excuse for not doing what really should be done: don't produce superfluous rubbish. Just as an illustration: when a 5p charge was introduced on plastic carrier bags in Wales a few years back, it led to a fall in the number of bags used of about 80%. The 5 pence a bag now costs isn't really a heavy burden on people's budgets, so I think it is safe to conclude that this change came about simply because people now think a little bit about whether they need the bag or not - or IOW, at least 80% were superfluous and would probably have gone directly to a landfill. Morale: We can make big changes, even if we give minimal thought to the issue of waste.

Comment Re:Never look up (Score 2) 86

The stereotypical dystopian world where people shuffle around without ever looking up is already here.
We just didn't know that cameras would be the reason.

In light of the now several terrorist attacks on major, public events, I think the majority of people will welcome this. We are not all paranoid about surveillance - I personally tend to look at cameras with positive interest and sometimes wave at the (potential) guy at the other end. Silly, I know, and no doubt you will call me an idiot or worse, but I know what I am and I am self-assured enough to feel comfortable about it, so what what do I care?

When people go to a football match, perhaps bringing their young child, the last thing they want is a group of hooligans ruining it for everybody with their mindless stupidty; or some worthless tosser with a grievance against society, who decides that getting himself killed after maiming and killing a load of innocent spectators, somehow makes sense or earns him brownie points in eyes of God.

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 252

Yeah - why am I not surprised? When I first saw this headline, I thought that this is nothing new; but I think this is part of a coordinated campaign that runs at the moment. I think it was only yesterday I saw another headline saying that salt doesn't cause high blood pressure - despite the fact that the connection is very well established. This is what makes fact-checking so crucial, because there really are these odious interest groups out there, knowingly spreading falsehoods in order to pump up the profits of their employers, and it harms the health and wealth of the entire nation - or now a days, the whole planet. It is remarkable that at present, the only countries that don't suffer from general obesity and cardio-vascular problems, are the ones where the global food companies don't see a profit.

Comment Chinese-European partnership (Score 4, Interesting) 86

There has been a slow, but steadily increasing approach between China and Europe for the last couple of decades, in many ways: trade agreements, Chinese interest in European education and scientific development, even what could be the first, tenuous signs of political alignment. One of the reasons, in my view, is simply that Europe isn't the US - America has for many years employed a very aggressive rhetoric against China, where Europe has been more moderate, and it does seem to have left a lasting impression. On that background, I don't think it is at all surprising that they will build a Moon base together. I think it is great that China shows leadership and determination in this hugely important area; sure, it stings a bit that we in the West aren't in the lead, but I'm sure the Chinese will allow America to take part, when they are ready to commit to it.

Comment Re:Frame Job (Score 1) 130

How do we know the killer didn't wear the fitbit himself for an hour and put it back on the corpse to frame the husband?

Very often in any investigation, science- or criminal-, there isn't one clear "Proof" of what happened, but there are many, independant sets of data that all agree, and which together point to the same conclusion. It is quite possible that each data set is not all that conclusive, when they all point the same way, it would be amazingly hard to imagine that they would all be wrong.

Comment Re:Netflix and chill gets a completely new meaning (Score 1) 18

When can we expect free Marxism lectures there?

Not any time soon, but you don't need them. Whether you believe it or not, you get practical lessons in what Marx wrote every day, from the rich, privileged, global upper class who sit on everything and control power from behind the scenes. Marx didn't think up a huge, revolutionary idea out of the blue - he wrote about what everybody could observe, and those same things are still clearly visible today. And before you jeer back at me, think about this: I'm not asking you to believe my words, I only hope that you will look around you with an open mind and make up your own opinion without fear. I feel strongly that you will reach the same conclusions as I did - and Marx, for that matter.

Comment Re:The Ministry of Truth (Score 2) 116

Fact checking is something every thinking person should do; a fact checker is only ever a tool that makes it easier for people to do so. What you are saying is that making it easier for people to follow up on facts is somehow "censorship". I hope everybody can see how absurd that position is.

Comment Re: The Ministry of Truth (Score 2, Informative) 116

I see they are hooked into fact checkers with a liberal bias. If facts are facts, surely adding a conservative source wouldn't hurt, and would generate identical results.

The problem with that is that what is called "conservative" too often means "in denial". As you say, facts are facts, but the facts tend to drown in the overload of disingenious "conservatism" - as the (only half joking) saying goes: Reality has a strong, liberal bias.

We have for several years now seen the same problem with creationists trying to introduce religious doctrine into the teaching of science in school, under the slogan "Teach the controversy". I think every teacher and scientist would be fine with that, if it was genuinely about teaching the controversy, because scientific theory as it stands today is the result of surviving centuries of fierce controversy. However, what the creationists really mean is, "Let's try to muddy the waters with things like 'Evolution is only a theory'". And it's true, but the point is - creationism isn't even that; a theory is testable, so it can be right or wrong, but creationism isn't testable - it is not even wrong. Same goes for what you call "conservatives": you don't have the courage to present the naked facts and expose them to the world - and accept when you are wrong. Us so-called liberals do.

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 1) 711

I think it is obvious that this case is about petty bullying, nothing more than that; whoever this guy wrote to felt he personally was being criticised in a way that he couldn't tolerate, and he used a petty and narrow interpretation of a law to get revenge. I would expect that if this goes to court, then the guy will be fully exonerated; this is certainly what should happen, since he was not in any material sense trying to practise engineering for fraudelent purposes.

The purpose of protecting certain titles and job descriptions is to protect the public against fraudulent and dangerous malpractice - it is obvious that you should only practise as a medical doctor, if you know what you are doing, and likewise for many other, important areas of life. Bad, legal advice costs serious money and poorly engineerind constructions of any kind can kill people. However, 'engineering' has been diluted to an extreme degree - in popular usage it simply means anything that requires some level of technical skill - hence the term SW Engineer, who rarely is registered with any professional body, and probably in most cases wouldn't be able to, since they don't work with the things you need a formal engineering education for.

Comment Re:What is up? (Score 2) 109

All this hatred against Uber is getting mighty suspicious! What is up with that? A taxi is a just a taxi after all.

Taking an unlicensed taxi simply means getting into a car with a total stranger. Most of the drivers are probably OK, and most of them probably drive reasonably OK cars; but you don't know that. You could be unfortunate and get the serial rapist, the drunk or the guy who drives something that is falling apart, although it looks OK on the outside.

Comment Re:CEO needs to go (Score 4, Insightful) 114

The Uber CEO needs to go. He's what's keeping Uber from being great.

From what I hear about Uber, it seems they in so many ways act and think like criminals, but manage to keep just on the legal side of the law. Mostly. That said, though, they are just an extreme example of all the worst aspects of capitalism: the underhandedness, the ethos that says 'if we can get away with it, it must be OK', the lack of genuine care and consideration for their employees, customers and society, the sense of entitlement take what they want no matter what.

It is really sad, I think - there is a good kind of capitalism, where a clever, hardworking man or woman can grow a business from little more than their own abilities and determination, but the whole concept gets a grubby taint from the likes of Uber.

Comment Re:-facepalm- (Score 1) 108

To save the coral from excessive heat, going for dying due to lack of light for the algae?

I think we are already too far down the tracks to stop the loss of a very significant proportion of the existing coral reefs in the world; temperature is only one part of the problem - overfishing using destructive methods and pollution are two other, major factors. We could probably stop the fisheries and pollution quickly (ie. in a few years - to decades) if there was any political will to do so, but the high temperatures will be with us for a long time, no doubt.

Slashdot Top Deals

Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute.