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:Underwhelming achievement (Score 1) 674

Actually, you are wrong about the buzz in. It gives the humans an advantage. The reason is that Watson has a mechanical buzzer that it presses. So the only advantage would come from reacting faster. However, the rules state that you can buzz in only after the host has finished reading the clue. If you buzz in earlier then you are penalized by .25sec. Jeopardy is prepared for hearing disabled people, so they have a signal indicating that the host has finished reading. I presume this is what Watson uses. However, I'm certain that humans process intonation as well and can anticipate when the host will finish. So they have a better chance to buzz in first if they decide to buzz in.

Comment Re:Why would Verizon care? (Score 1) 481

> If it's not illegal, then they'll probably have to adapt their process to take care of the problem.

That is exactly what Wikipedia might be doing: block Verizon customers from editing Wikipedia. They take care of the problem... At that point it will become Verizon's problem as perhaps a number of their customers will complain loudly. And a solution is that Verizon updates their TOS and then kicks out the vandals. Even if something is not illegal, it may be against the TOS, so Verizon can terminate the connection. Of course, so many things are against the TOS, that they can terminate almost anybody's connection :-(.

Comment Re:Why shouldn't Apple remove apps by owner reques (Score 1) 717

> Isn't the definition of insanity repeating the same action and expecting different results?

Why would it be insanity? They are aware of the fact, do not expect different results, saddened by it, but that does not alter the fact that they, the authors have a say how their work can be distributed.

> If you want to end DRM, you need to support Apple since they are the only large company who has worked to end DRM and had some success. You need to keep things like VLC alive in the app store, so that users will be more tempted to use non-DRM downloads and consume them on modern computing devices.
> But instead, the FSF is playing into the hands of the media companies by keeping things like VLC player out of the mainstream and attacking the only company with the same goals of ending DRM.

I beg to disagree. Apple has worked to end DRM when it is not *their* DRM and when it harms their business. They protect their own DRM as much as they can. In fact, in this very case the app store's distribution/license rules are the restriction and not what the app may play. Also, I don't see the logic in why would VLC in the app store tempt users to use non-DRM downloads. Non-DRM downloads play on anything (provided the codec is supported).

> Nice work FSF,

Indeed. I like it when they force companies to abide by the license terms.

> this is seriously making me re-think my yearly donation...

That is your decision.


Android 2.1 Finally Makes It To Droid 132

MrSmith0011000100110 writes "The lovely people over at AndroidCentral have broken the announcement that Android 2.1 is finally coming to the Motorola Droid, with actual proof on Verizon's Droid support page (PDF). I don't know about my Droid brethren, but I'm pretty excited to see the new series of Android ROMs for the Droid phone that are based on a stock Android 2.1. As most of us know, the existing 2.1 ROMs can be buggy as hell and either running vanilla 2.1 or a custom ROM; but this phone is still a tinkerer's best friend."

Submission + - Apple wants your birthday

laci writes: Apparently now you cannot buy anything from Apple online unless you supply them with your birthday.

I just tried to buy an iTunes certificate only from the Apple Store. It accepted my login, then I was presented with a screen saying that "Sign In Successful. To allow you to reset your password in the future, please supply the information below." And that information was a security Q/A I make up and the month/day of my birthday. I consider this as privacy invasion, especially since they don't ask for the year they can't even use it to enforce age restriction. So I called customer support to ask for a way to get around it. I was told that it must be supplied, but it will be used only for security purposes (sure...) in case I need to reset my password (not true, since at I was able to reset the password without the extra info). What is more, I was informed that if I supply false information that is grounds for account termination.

Comment Re:change of contract (Score 2, Interesting) 438

> They very conveniently lost the original order (where I disclosed exactly what I required, down to what networks I will announce)

You are in luck then! Take them to court. If you have your copy (you *do*, right?) and they can't produce a copy, then I can't imagine how you could lose. And you can demand lots of compensation. Afterall, this may drive you out of business, so 10 years worth of salary+benefits for all your employees + penalty + lawyer's fees is the minimum.

Comment Re:What's wrong with you people? (Score 1) 341

I have yet to see a serious, insightful post about this story. A little googling turned up pics and data although I confess that I don't know what 16 kwh / 100 KM works out to in MPG.

If 1 kWh costs $0.2 then it costs you $3.20 to drive roughly 60 miles. A moderately efficient combustion engine car woud use 2 gallons of gas which costs $3.3 at current average prices. However, you can use cheaper electricity since you'd recharge during the night. A lot depends on how much maintenance this car will need.


Slashdot Top Deals

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry