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Comment Re:Weirdly specific statement (Score 1) 33

The significance of this is Elon Musk, who is the self-driving Uber of dot.com billionaires and is the hero of our times.

Well, I knew Steve Jobs well enough, and have met a few civilian astronauts and a bunch of other rich people. None of the others seem to have done so much for the long-term future of the human race as Musk has in leading the path to more affordable spaceflight.

Comment Re:Sixty Years Ago... (Score 2) 33

Well, it beats making them into the world's most complicated airplanes as with the space shuttle. SpaceX has proven that they can do vertical landings of the first stage intact onto both land and a seagoing barge; after a trip out of the atmosphere and to about 1/5 of orbital velocity but not into orbit. They plan to do a parachute-less vertical landing of the Dragon capsule after a heat-shield re-entry. That turns out to be far less expensive and complicated than a space plane. It does turn out we need a lifting body for much larger vehicles. It still doesn't have to be a plane, though.

We don't need wings.

Submission + - Princeton Researchers Announce Open Source 25-core Chip (princeton.edu) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Princeton announced at Hot Chips this week their 25-core Piton Processor (http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S47/19/67G69/?section=topstories). The processor was designed specifically to increase data center efficiency with novel architecture features enabling over 8,000 of these processors to be connected together to build a system with over 200,000 cores. Fabricated on IBM’s 32nm process and with over 460 Million transistors, Piton is one of the largest and most complex academic processors every built. The Princeton team has opened their design up and released all of the chip source code, tests, and infrastructure as open source in the OpenPiton (http://www.openpiton.org) project enabling others to build scalable manycore processors with potentially thousands of cores.

Comment Re:ALT+LEFT (Score 1) 141

There's already an accessibility feature known as StickyKeys. Activated by pressing left shift five times, especially during video games. When active, you can press alt once, then press the left arrow.

If a user finds pressing backspace more convenient, then said user should be able to enter preferences and define the hotkey manually - something that should have been a core feature of browsers by now.

Comment Re:Is this so hard (Score 1) 110

Obligatory Critique*:

Their plan proposes a

(X) technical (X) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting [telephone] spam. Their idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to their particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
(X) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(X) Users of telephones will not put up with it
(X) Telcos will not put up with doing this work for free
( ) The police will not put up with it
( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
(X) Many telephone users cannot afford to lose business or miss critical calls
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid phone numbers in their lists
(X) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business
(X) If a spoofer gets their number banned, you would be unable to call for help
(X) Authorities could abuse it to suppress viewpoints they dislike
( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest telephone numbers
(X) Organization's phone trees and other legitimate telephone uses would be affected

Specifically, their plan fails to account for

(X) Monetary incentives for telcos to conduct as many calls as possible, billing both parties
( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(X) Lack of centrally controlling authority for callerID
(X) It would break telephone connectivity even for correctly dialed numbers
( ) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all telephone numbers
(X) Asshats
(X) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
(X) Huge portions of existing telco equipment base cannot be retrofitted
(X) UnWillingness of users to activate optional teleco services
(X) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(X) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
(X) Technically illiterate politicians
(X) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
(X) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
(X) Huge categories of political, charitable, etc. calls that many users want prohibited
(X) Huge categories of political, charitable, etc. calls that many users don't want prohibited
(X) Huge categories of political, charitable, etc. calls that politicians don't want prohibited

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(X) Ideas similar to theirs are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
(X) Any scheme based on opt-in is unacceptable
(X) phone connectivity should not be the subject of legislation
(X) Blacklists suck
(X) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
(X) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
(X) Sending telephone calls should be allowed for the good guys (opinions vary)
(X) Why should we have to trust you and their servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
(X) Temporary/one-time telephone numbers are cheap
(X) I don't want the government approving/disapproving my telephone calls
(X) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(X) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn their
house down!

*I shamelessly borrowed this form from the first place I found a copy. If you know the original author, please reply to credit him.

Comment Median Income (Score 1) 282

By 2020, 80% of adults on earth will have an internet-connected smartphone.

In the U.S.*, operating a smartphone for a year (to say nothing of purchasing one to begin with) costs well north of $50x12=$600.

The median per capita income worldwide is something like* $2,920.

Even if the 50% of world adults above the median all bought smartphone service, he'd need to get another 30% of adults from below the median to reach his 80%. Those people would be spending something like* 20% of their yearly income on this. No way.

*To be sure, this post uses several approximations (U.S. data plan costs, Gallup's income methodology, etc.), but 80% is a still a fantasy.

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