Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Overage charges have been their business model (Score 1) 36

For some time I used a Verizon 3G mifi hotspot for general net access. One month I went about 1 gig over my 5 gig plan and it doubled my bill. I called customer service and they generously offered to cancel that particular charge, but I when Itold the guy (who was not in India, BTW) that if it ever happened again I'd have to drop the service, he had nothing to help me. A week later he actually called me to let me know they had added a cool feature which would send me a text when I was near the limit to warn me, but I reminded him that the mifi isn't really a phone and the only way I could use it to read SMS messages was to physically plug it into my computer's USB port, which would temporarily disable it as far as using it for internet access. Oops. Sure enough it happened again and despite my deep abiding hatred of our local provider today I have a cable modem.

Comment Re:Do Processing unit makers build alikes? (Score 4, Informative) 127

This is actually the way real computers were built in the 1950's and most of the 1960's. Integrated circuits weren't invented until the late 1960's, and integrated microprocessors in the mid-1970's. Before that if you had a computer, it was built like this (or even more primitively, with vacuum tubes and delay lines for memory). Although this video doesn't mention it the Megaprocessor is actually a clone of the 6502, based on the reverse engineering of that chip which was done by the visual6502 people. Actual discrete transistor designs were a bit more streamlined to reduce the discrete component count.

The people who built early microprocessors mostly didn't bother emulating them first because they had a lot of experience with discrete design; processors were not mysterious to them and they had confidence that they knew what would work. The 6502 was in fact laid out entirely by hand directly in MOS masks, not more abstract circuit diagrams, and had to be reverse engineered in our day because no record remained of how its fine features worked.

Comment Oh, .NET isn't going away (Score 1) 359

Like VS6 too much real work was done with it for it to go away any time soon. But it's now abandonware. MS obviously isn't interested in keeping it up to date any more. All the versions that still work will probably continue to for some time, just as you can still run VS6 apps. (Actually, VS6 apps run better than older .NET apps today, having way fewer dependencies.) But expect things to start breaking, add-ons to stop being supported and working, and expect no help from MS when these things happen. They're on to the next shiny thing. .NET isn't it any more.

Comment We told you so, suckers (Score 0) 359

Back when Microsoft stabbed the VS6 community in the back some of us told you you would be fools to migrate to .NET, because Microsoft had proven themselves to be an untrustworthy company which will sell you out for a chance to pimp their latest not even very good product. Well it's taken 13 yaers but welcome to the club. They almost sold you guys out with Silverlight as the supposed dev tool for Metro, but the howls of outrage deterred them and then Metro flopped. But hey, no 64 bit for you guys either. Sucks to be us Microsoft platform devs. Hey, there's always web development...

Comment Just a consumer version, not really new (Score 4, Informative) 153

Businesses have used these things for years, especially for heavy trucks but my company sedan has one. My company gets a healthy break on insurance rates because it's there, and they get a nifty web interface where they can pull up everyone's real-time location. Some people find it intrusive but it's kind of hard to complain since it's their car and they pay for the gas. The reporting does include sketchy errors, so it's best not to trust the warning reports too much unless there's a clear pattern. It doesn't always know the real speed limit and sometimes the GPS thinks you're in a very different place than you really are.

Comment Structuring has been a crime since the 1980's (Score 1) 510

The USA PATRIOT act did not even change this much, except for some changes to the reporting requirements for banks. Doing $9900 transactions to avoid the reporting has been a crime since the reporting requirement itself, because it's money laundering. Like civil forfeiture it's a disgusting but well established facet of the Failed War on Some Drugs. As for lying to a federal agent that's been a crime for even longer. There is nothing remotely controversial about the pickle Mr. Hastert finds himself in.

Comment Additional Equally Banal Comment (Score 3, Interesting) 172

The key to this is that Mooney is "transforming" Prince's "work" in exactly the same way he "transformed" hers. If her use is infringing, so is his. The "transformation" of simply making a large printout isn't going to fly. Copyright doesn't depend on the size or transmission method.

Comment Well that's not quite the point (Score 1) 175

The video isn't embarrassing and is publicly available, but it's not "me." There is no way I would have ever deliberately selected a pre-dawn windscreen shot of the bridge I drive across in the morning as the avatar to represent my identity for completely unrelated email. In fact, without the context of the video it's kind of a puzzle what the picture represents at all. Considering the number of reasons people upload videos to YouTube, randomly selecting a shot to use for this purpose is an incredibly stupid and invasive thing to do.

Comment A Data Point (Score 5, Interesting) 175

In case anyone wonders just how teh GOOG might use your photos behind your back...

My wife uses gmail. I don't and have never had a google account, have never uploaded a photo to them or to any other web photo service. One day my wife asked me "What's that picture with your email, the Causeway?"

A long time ago, before Google bought them, I created a YouTube account and uploaded a couple of time-lapse videos of my commute across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. And my contact email for that account was my yahoo email account. So apparently, when I sent my wife an email the Google gophers went scampering for an avatar, and having nothing else took the sample still for one of my YouTube videos and pasted that at the top of my incoming email.

I'll leave it to others to speculate on just how this could have gone wrong. I could probably fix it since my old YouTube account has apparently been grandfathered in to a g+ or whatever account now, but I'm leaving it as is to remind me never to trust them with anything sensitive.

Slashdot Top Deals

The most important early product on the way to developing a good product is an imperfect version.