Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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 Clever, but not that useful in practice (Score 1) 55

91% success is impressive performance, but it maybe isn't that useful for, eg, spotting suspects on CCTV footage. For example, the London Underground carries nearly 5 million passenger journeys per day. 9% of that is 450,000. So, if we are talking false positives, nearly half a million non-suspects for humans to check every day. To put it another way, it's several non-suspects to check in every single carriage of every single train during peak times. This is why global surveillance often isn't a very good way to catch the bad guys.

Comment Re:On the other hand (Score 1) 342

Yes. But the technically impossible problems were solved, and it has transformed the way people travel over that particular route. My daughter now takes a train from the South of France to London, non-stop, in only slightly more time (city centre to city centre including check-in) than it would take by plane. And tunnels last for quite a long time, so it makes sense to take the long-term view.

Comment On the other hand (Score 5, Informative) 342

The article sounds remarkably like the articles written when the Anglo-French Channel Tunnel project was proposed. Various aspects of the project were allegedly impossible when digging began, including concerns about the nature of the rock under the Channel and that the air in the tunnels would overheat because of the absence of ventilation tunnels under the sea. The project did run over-budget, but it worked, and is still working, and has transformed the way people and freight travel along that route.

Comment Haven't we been here before? (Score 1) 243

All the arguments made for Tizen were made a few years back for Bada, another Samsung "for entry level phones" OS. It worked on a technical level. At one point it was selling reasonably well in some European markets. I have a Bada phone I bought for development. If you're in the US and never saw Bada, it's because it never made it to the US, and now it's history. Really not sure why Tizen is going to fare differently.

Comment C++ is C (Score 1) 641

Modern, best-practice C can be compiled with a C++ compiler. (There are a few gotchas moving in either direction - - but it's not hard to avoid them.) For all its object-oriented impurity and spec-bloat, the one thing I love about C++ is that you can write relatively high-level code when that makes sense, but you always have the option to grapple with all the fine detail when that's useful.

Comment H1B applicants are people too (Score 5, Insightful) 190

The article doesn't seem to point out the obvious explanation, ie that H1B applications contain personal data (of the type Slashdotters are usually passionate about protecting), and that it is good practice not to keep such information hanging around once it has served its primary purpose. There are presumably solutions to the research concerns, such as aggregating the data before it is deleted or collecting the specific data necessary before the records are deleted.

Comment Another cure that is worse than the disease (Score 5, Interesting) 170

This sounds great in theory but, in practice, it's going to be almost impossible to enforce (eg whose definition of 'vulnerable'?) and it would promptly create several new Internet plagues, eg the "Your server has a vulnerability, pay us now to stop us reporting it" spam email.

Comment Re:That's overly simplistic - population density k (Score 3, Insightful) 569

The picture you paint of Europe is a little simplistic too. France has a few large cities, but the tenth-biggest one has less than half a million inhabitants. It has tens of thousands of villages with 1000 or less inhabitants. And you get a choice of cheap ADSL provider in most of those small villages.

Comment Not if, when (Score 1) 466

The answer to "Could someone else make this thing I just made" is always "yes", eventually. We have patents to slow the arrival of the "yes" answer enough so that the first person to do so gets to make a bit of money.

But in this case (and most other cases) there's more than one way to do it and a lot of relevant technology, a lot of which is general car technology. And in every case, sooner or later, the huge company with a huge patent portfolio and huge expertise in manufacturing is going to win the "lowest price point" game... if they want to.

At the moment, the big players don't think there's a big enough market to make it worth their while to compete aggressively. At some point that will change, and at that point GM and other huge companies will develop, licence or acquire whatever technology they need. At the moment, Tesla is selling a niche product. That's great, but it hardly the same as producing electric cars for everyone.

Or, to put it the other way round, does anyone see Tesla scaling production up to anything like GM's level while GM quietly hands them market share and eventually gets out of the car business?

Comment Re:Stack Overflow (Score 1) 211

My experience is that I have to read 10 Stack Overflow responses to find one that gives me a clue to the right answer... and that this is still usually a faster way to find a solution than trying to work it all out myself. It's usually one of the "No, that's wrong because..." post that turns the lights on for me.

Comment Random (Score 1) 458

Smart ISP routers in France come pre-configured with a unique, obscure SSID and a unique, long and obscure WPA key.

Comment Re:Superlatives are superlative! (Score 1) 104

I can't see how this tells them anything useful about price points for retail sale. The people who pledged money are agreeing to buy an untested phone in a year's time. That's way beyond even "normal" "early adopters". To do that, you have to be really passionate about new technology AND be able to pay a premium price for a phone you can't use for 12 months.

I've spoken to several people who, like me, might well have paid if the phone would be shipped today or in a couple of months. But with the timescales in the proposal the "price points" are for venture capitalists plus people with money to spare who just want a slice of a neat idea.

None of this tells us anything about how much they could sell production phones with this spec for in a year's time, and it's pretty much certain that to achieve any kind of market share they'd have so drop prices compared with the ones they tried this month.

Slashdot Top Deals

The power to destroy a planet is insignificant when compared to the power of the Force. - Darth Vader