Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



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

Comment Re:No return trips? (Score 1) 489

Ever heard of Apollo 11? Yeah, that was pretty much a suicide mission. Nixon had several speeches prepared to deliver to the nation covering the myriad of possibilities for failure.

Apollo 11 was not a suicide mission. It was dangerous as all space missions are, and the astronauts were heroic, but Nixon's speeches were simply a matter of planning for contingencies so that in the event that something went wrong they wouldn't be caught unprepared.

A mission where success is physically possible, and especially when estimates for a safe return exceed 50%, is not a suicide mission. Sending people to Mars without sufficient resources for them to return or subsist on the planet indefinitely -- that's a suicide mission. Give them enough fuel and the mechanisms required to return to orbit and make the trip back to Earth? That's a dangerous, but still ultimately survivable mission.

Comment Re:With his own money? (Score 1) 489

sending people to a dead rock to try to see if they can survive is fine for a Bear Gryllis episode

Yeah, as much as I'd like to see Bear figure out how to drink his pee in a space suit, before filming could commence they'd have to send a crew over to build a Marriott on Mars. Probably isn't worth the hassle.

Comment Re:Other People's Playlists (Score 1) 64

I'm surprised so many people want to listen to playlists that somebody else made.

It's the new radio. Even when I used to make mixtapes and mix CDs in school, I'd eventually get tired of listening to the same things and turn to the radio to get some variety.

I love the idea of a radio station -- a curated playlist that fits within a general theme and evolves over time. That's what I'm very often looking for in music, and it's why I still listen to the radio in my car. I get tired of single albums or trying to manually create large and diverse playlists. It's also why I use still Pandora. I have a few stations which seem to work fairly well, although it does seem to get pretty repetitive, and I'm wary of adding new seed artists due to fears of ruining what I've got currently.

That said, I abhor advertising and don't tolerate it in any quantity. I can subscribe to Pandora but when a radio station starts playing ads I change stations. If all of my usual stations are on commercials, I mute the volume and enjoy the silence for a while. At least mixtapes never had that problem (well, unless you forgot to hit the Stop button while recording! :)

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 64

So, serious question: What do other people hear? Are there lots of ads? Is this a regional thing?

Ad-blockers like Adblock Plus usually block all visual and auditory ads on Pandora's free version. I used to listen to it all the time and see or hear an ad, but after a couple of months I decided to subscribe because I want to support companies which offer a service that isn't subsidized by advertising. I've paid for Pandora for about 3 years now.

My question is what this means for existing customers. I pay $4 per month now, since I was an existing subscriber when they moved to $5. Will we be included in this move to the new system at our current price, or will it increase?

Comment Re:Propose 'A' Technology? (Score 3, Insightful) 199

The path from a neutral Internet to the one Comcast execs dream of at night is a slippery slope. Even embracing partial steps towards that end will lead to yet more, as the specific cases are generalized down to something so vague and weak that any ISP can use it to assign whatever priorities they want to whatever traffic. It will go from "user controlled fast lanes" to "dynamic fast lanes" to "ISP curated fast lanes" to "ISP controlled fast lanes for the sake of general network health".

No one will care that their netflix packets are prioritized lower than their voice packets, since netflix streams and voice needs to be near real-time.

Latency and throughput are very different things. NetFlix does not need to be "real-time" -- it only requires enough throughput to build up a buffer big enough to smoothly play content and handle network variations. Voice calls are very different. They require very low latency and cannot be buffered.

No application bandwidth limiting, just prioritization.

I agree, but we already have that and you even named it. Quality of Service and Class of Service have already largely solved this problem. The only people saying that this kind of prioritization is the same thing as provider or application level throttling (fast and slow lanes), or that QoS will be illegal under Net Neutrality laws are the big telecos and their paid shills.

Once you open the door to "fast lanes" even a little bit, that's it. The level of neutrality will fall over time until it's another fondly distant Internet memory -- kind of like anonymity and the Fourth Amendment.

Comment Re:Mostly... (Score 1) 178

Vinyl, on the other hand is analogue and as such requires a stylus contact to read the grooves which will eventually wear out the media.

Not true, in the latter days of vinyl, they developed a laser stylus now commercially available which doesn't touch the media

I was skeptical, assuming that this would largely negate the claimed advantage of analog vinyl over digital CDs, even with an absurd sampling rate, but following the link farm page to the real article suggests otherwise:

One of its biggest appeals for audiophiles is the fact that its electronics are entirely analogue – the signal is not digitised as part of the signalling and playback process.
[...]
The LT player's five lasers – one on each channel to track the sides of the groove, one on each channel to pick up the sound (just below the tracking beams), and a fifth to track the surface of the record and keep the pickup at a constant height

Sounds fancy. Whether that's worth $20,000, well, YMMV.

Comment Re: Worse and worse (Score 5, Interesting) 440

Or, you know, it's to prevent viruses and other such garbage that has plagued windows for years and years, to be able to boot up with windows by masquerading as a driver?

Actually the GP is right, and Microsoft calls it out themselves:

To play back certain types of next-generation premium content, all kernel-mode components in Windows Vista and later versions of Windows must be signed. In addition, all the user-mode and kernel-mode components in the Protected Media Path (PMP) must comply with PMP signing policy.

Besides, the only way to install kernel mode drivers is to be running as administrator. If malicious code is allowed to run on your computer with administrative credentials, you're already screwed in any number of ways. Installation of a kernel driver is just one avenue.

I see nothing wrong with this.

I see everything wrong with this. Microsoft is now dictating what software can be run on my computer. That alone is enough of a reason to vehemently reject this, but think also of the F/OSS software impacted. There are plenty of software tools out there which run a driver as part of their operation and not all of these will want to or be able to get their drivers signed.

I have been trying to decide lately if I'll ever bite the bullet and move from Windows 7 to Windows 10, or if I'll start looking migrating to Linux. The decision just got a lot easier.

Comment Re:Serious question (Score 1) 195

Well, here's the thing. What do you need adblock for? If you're not going to whitelist advertiser domains, they're not showing up in the first place.

Most, but not all advertising is displayed via Javascript. AdBlock is useful for blocking static images and element hiding rules are nice for just removing text ads or other annoying elements of webpages. There is also the case of allowing domains to execute scripts (temporary or trusted) to make pages functional. AdBlock takes care of any ads that would be displayed as a result.

But yes, NoScript easily takes care of 60-70% of it and AdBlock helps clean up the rest. I don't think Ghostery is necessary with them (or even a good idea, given who owns it).

Comment Re:BASH (Score 1) 375

Windows now runs Linux binaries.

Hopefully it works better than last time.

You can run an entire Linux DE now naively under Windows

Well, according to Wikipedia, the new Windows Subsystem for Linux cannot run graphical applications. I guess you can get around this by running a separate X server for Windows. I used Cygwin's X server years ago with good results but it looks like some people have had trouble getting more complicated applications to work.

On the bright side, maybe this means we can finally install systemd on Windows 10! One can only imagine what their combined powers are capable of.

Comment Re:The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 2) 1145

If you haven't figured out, the founding mantra of the USA is "equal opportunity, not equal outcome".

But UBI has nothing to do with equal outcome. It's about a minimum outcome, and takes the place of a myriad of support programs we already have in place to give people something to fall back on when they've got nothing else. Social Security, food stamps, unemployment, tax credits, etc -- these programs are already funded via taxes (yes, social security is more like mandated retirement planning) and would be eliminated with a UBI program. The savings in administrative overhead alone would be enormous.

encourages mediocrity and abuse

I think few people would be content with nothing more than the UBI, but if they are, then so be it. As for abuse, how can you abuse something for which everyone is eligible?

Venezuela as the latest example

This is a meaningless comparison. The Venezuelan economy has little in common with that of the US. As a single data point, in 2013 its GDP per capita was about $14,000 while the US was $53,000.

I'm not saying that a UBI is a surefire good idea, but it also shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand as a replacement to our current welfare systems.

Comment Re:So what is YOUR plan? (Score 4, Insightful) 406

I'm completely fine with investigating ISIS sympathizers

How do you identify ISIS sympathizers without violating people's rights? Or do you just take the route a disturbing number of politicians have and legislate away annoying things like the Fourth Amendment, and put everyone under mass surveillance? And then, even if you do find someone who sympathizes with ISIS (perhaps even through an open confession), what would you do about it?

There's no law against having dangerous or stupid opinions (as evidenced by the "presumptive Republican presidential nominee", a phrase I'm getting all to tired of hearing). As long as someone doesn't take action themselves, or encourage others to do so, they're free to tell the world they think ISIS is just peachy keen and doin' Allah's work.

Regardless, this stale bullshit Newt is spewing is just another step on the road to the Thought Police. Reading something, even batshit religious propaganda, should never be a crime, no matter how long we've been at war with Eurasia.

Slashdot Top Deals

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

Working...