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Comment Re:Great System (Score 1) 237

This is for two days. It's not likely even the ultra rich are going to buy a new Mercedes specifically to bypass this rule when the maximum in fines they'll suffer will be EUR35. Not unless Europe has seen some significant deflation lately and EUR34 is the cost of a brand new Mercedes.

Comment Re:Banish cars from the city center (Score 2) 237

I used to walk half way across Reading, in the UK, from Sainsburys in the city center to my flat, carrying four or more bags of groceries. Older people had little carts, resembling carry on bags (the type with a slide out handle and two wheels) you'd see in an airport, to do the job.

And in the event I really had too much weight in those bags to contemplate walking that distance, I'd take a bus.

Why would you think you'd need a magical transportation device for more than one grocery bag?

Comment Re:Way ahead of you (Score 1) 237

One issue with public transportation in the US (not so much in the EU) is that everyone assumes that the primary incentive to get people to use it must be cost. As a result, it's usually run on an absurdly low budget, given revenues are only a fraction of costs, and inevitably it ends up not being terribly useful. Which means few people ride it, at any cost.

If you want public transportation to be popular, you need to make it useful. Make it useful enough, and people will use it, even if the prices are similar to, or even higher than, other forms of transportation.

One Parisian above claims that it takes an hour and a half to cross the city to get from one suburb to another, while it takes 20 minutes by car. That, to me, is a sign that there aren't enough buses filling in the gaps. Here in Martin County, Florida the "bus system" appears to be designed to turn tax money into jobs, rather than provide a useful service, with buses spaced an hour apart, taking an inordinate length of time to cross the county, only offered during daylight hours, and providing no effective county to county service. If they ran every ten minutes, with express buses linking to nearby county systems, I'd probably use it, because I hate driving.

On a wider scale (yes, I know this isn't directly comparable, it's to demonstrate the point about usefulness vs price), Amtrak's Acela Express charges passengers orders of magnitude more per mile than, say, the Silver Meteor. It also carries 10-20x as many passengers. Why? Because it's useful. It links major population centers with an hourly service, rather than linking minor towns and cities with a once-a-day service. So people are willing to pay big money to travel on it. Which is why it makes double what it costs, as opposed to the Meteor which makes half of what it costs.

Build a useful service and they will come. You don't need to make it free. In fact, making it free is probably the worst possible thing you can do.

Comment Re:Bluetooth Headphones (Score 1) 334

Plus Bluetooth on Android (may be true of iOS too, no idea) is fairly bug ridden and crappy. I've seen three relatively recent Android phones that crash if they try to connect to our minivan's BT system. Googling for "bluetooth share has stopped" (the error message the phones give) show this is a common problem and has been for some years. Looks like the 4.x series was the last version of Android that had remotely stable Bluetooth support.

You'd think, at the very least, Samsung would hold off until Google can put out a half way stable Bluetooth stack.

Comment Re: Yeah but... (Score 1) 204

That's why DVR users aren't thieves - in the end, the programming they like gets cancelled, so in the end they just hurt themselves in the long run.

That assumes they would have watched the same shows with ads. I can honestly say that I wouldn't, because in 2001 I canceled my cable completely because I found US TV unwatchable because of the ads. It wasn't until four or five years later that I "came back", and that was a combination of my soon-to-be wife wanting TV, and me requiring we have a DVR as part of the package.

What we're actually seeing now, as a result of the effect the DVR has had on the industry and the opportunities the Internet provides, is a massive, unprecedented, move to subscription TV. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, are all producing their own TV programming, with quality as good as the broadcast networks, and networks like HBO are broadening the ways in which their content can be obtained. Meanwhile even the broadcast networks are finding people buy their shows if they put each episode up on Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, etc, immediately after broadcasting them.

Did we screw ourselves? Nah. I think we're getting what we asked for. And for the most part, we're getting what we wanted as a result.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 100

I never said that, and responded to your other post explaining that I never said that. If you want to insist I did say it, please copy-paste from my post.

OK, if you say so. That makes about 90% of your original post completely irrelevant to any point you were trying to make. You could have just said "Congress passed the latest law that applied to this in 1952, and this appears to be at odds with how I interpret it", but instead you wrote some enormous history of how SCOTUS totally misunderstood Congress's intent in 1885 and Congress stepped in and rewrote the law, even though that has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in hand.

My insults to them were an explanation of why they voted 8-0 and issued an opinion that only had 5 substantive pages and punted the creation of any test to the Federal Circuit: they really don't care much about patent law. This was to address your contention that, because they're "deeply divided" on Constitutional issues around, say, privacy or the federal-state divide, it's highly unusual for them ever to agree on something (that happens to entirely unrelated to those issues).

You're implying that this isn't normal. SCOTUS doesn't usually write long essays on all the possible things it wants to overturn, and nearly never prescribes how a lower court should resolve them. This is a fairly standard case of a trial participant appealing a ruling over a technical error, and SCOTUS agreeing with them, explaining why, and telling the lower court to rethink.

And it doesn't take more than five pages to explain "You're doing it wrong, you should be basing profits on the articles of manufacture, like the law says you should, rather than the entire finished product."

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 100

. I said they're disregarding the explicit language of a long-standing statute and previous Congress-slap of the court, and replacing it with "you want a test? Go make one up."

Absolutely untrue, and after you made a big song and dance about how they're somehow reversing Congress's wishes, it's hard for me to take seriously the notion you were never arguing that.

Flip over a carpet sometime. You'll see a standard mat that the fibers are woven into that is the same, regardless of design. That mat is a substantial part of the carpet, literally holding it together.

Nobody's arguing any different. If there's a practical way to separate the components of a carpet into articles of manufacture (and they must be items you'd make separately) in such a way that only one part violates the patent, then only that one part violates the patent, and the damages can be assessed. That's entirely within the keeping of the 1952 act, which explicitly codifies the "Article of manufacture" language.

but it's not necessary to redefine article of manufacture.

Sotomayor isn't redefining anything. The term has always had a meaning. Congress's intent is preserved by this ruling. The reason all eight justices agreed that this was the original intent, and original meaning of the term, is because legally it is.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 4, Insightful) 100

Nope, you're just wrong about what they did. I explained here, but to summarize:

Your claim: they went back to 1885 and changed the profitability criteria to "incremental value added by patent."

What they actually did: they said that the profits due to the infringed upon party need to be those applying to the component that was sold, rather than the whole of the smartphone.

To put it another way: If Samsung makes $200 on profits per a $1000 phone, and would have made $199 in profits if it didn't have rounded corners, and case makes up 5% of the total cost of the phone, then:

In 1885 (we agree): Samsung would pay $1 per phone to Apple.
In your interpretation of the law: Samsung should pay $200 per phone to Apple.
Eight supreme court justices: Samsung should pay something similar to 5% of $200, eg $10 per phone (or a similar formula.)

Your insults to the Supreme Court Justices are noted and hardly do your case credit: they may not know much about technology, but this case wasn't about technologies, it was about the criteria needed to measure compensation. You bet Scalia's fat dead ass they all know the law on that better than anyone else.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 100

You're misrepresenting the opinion. The opinion is not "Oh, let's go back to the incremental value added by the patented technology as the yardstick for profitability", it's "Let's recognize that this device is made up of separate parts ("articles of manufacture"), and only one part violates the patent. The profits that need to be turned over to Apple are those applying to that component."

What's the difference?

In the carpet's case, 100% of the carpet violates the patent, regardless of whether you compare it to a beige carpet or not. In the phone's case, the phone has a case, a screen, electronics, and so on. Only the case, for example, violates the rounded corners patent.

Reading the opinion, they're not just making up that criterion. The "article of manufacture" concept is long standing in the patent world, and it would certainly mean a complete shake up of patents if patents ceased to apply to components, and only to the whole of a completed product. (Whether that's a good or bad thing I'll leave to the lawyers.)

This hopefully explains why 8 justices who rarely agree on anything outside of which branch of Applebees to have lunch at all agreed with one another this time.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 3, Insightful) 100

I'm finding it somewhat improbable that an 8-0 decision would be made on a deeply divided Supreme Court with justices having dramatically different views of the constitution if there's such a compelling case in opposition to the decision they made. Can you put forward a theory that explains why all eight justices rejected this argument?

Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 5, Insightful) 787

Slashdot is a forum where the majority of users are IT professionals, our brains able to deal with some unbelievably complex problem solving that people outside of IT consider a type of magic. Most of us have been hailed as geniuses by our friends and family.

Stray outside of IT related issues however, and the comments here vary widely from occasionally insightful to completely idiotic. You know it. I know it. Everyone here knows it.

And it's not just us. From Thomas Edison to Richard Dawkins, remove them from their field(s) of expertise and they end up being advocates of really shitty ideas.

The point is Carson is intelligent in his field, but that doesn't make him qualified in anything else. I'm not saying it precludes him from being smart in other fields, but it explains why in many areas he's said some really dumb stuff.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Some post election clarifications 16

1. No, Liberals were not "in a bubble". Our reaction isn't because we were surprised by the Trump victory, we knew there was a chance of one, pretty much every liberal I knew in a swing state voted for Clinton because we knew how close it was. Our reaction post election is horror, not surprise. Insofar as we expected a Clinton win, it was because the opinion polls seemed to suggest that. Those of us who trusted Nate Silver knew there was a one third chance of Trump winning.

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