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Comment The *real* question... (Score 1) 30

The real question here, which shouldn't even need to be asked but does...

Which of these plans is the least-limited version of "unlimited"? I've already discovered that Verizon won't offer their plan for 4G access points (even though I can buy a five year old sacrificial phone and tether to it 24/7). AT&T apparently doesn't allow tethering at all (which I thought the FCC had previously spanked them for, but, no surprise they went for a "Hail Mary" pass after this past January).

So, which of these plans really will let you use it as close to unlimited as possible? I have no delusion any of them will actually give me the upper possible limit of a solid 42.8Mbps for 13TB/month, but will any even realistically let me use 3-5Mbps sustained for a few hours a day, with 50+GB/month total?

Comment Good luck with that. (Score 1) 337

"I want a program that shows what our competitors' pricing will be tomorrow. Sort it so both name and price are always in ascending order. Email the output as plain text to the following 27 people, but only Joe and I should have the ability to edit it. Make the keyboard give a mild electric shock to managers in stores more than 10% more expensive than their regional competitors. And it should run exclusively in The Cloud, but not require internet access for any of its functionality."

I wish I was joking.

Comment Re:Let's go even further! (Score 1) 181

No upper management. And no board. Now that is a scary thought. How would companies run without people in charge? We need someone there don't we?

Well, the Swedish approach was to look at the individual job responsibilities of the CEO, and determine if all of those functions could readily be absorbed by other people or bodies within the company (where they weren't already overlapping - and sometimes conflicting - anyway). So if you want to go ahead and do the systematic hard work, there's nothing that prevents you from figuring out which positions could (or should) be eliminated, with their responsibilities reallocated to other staff.

Of course, it's waaaaay easier to just go the observational humor route and declare "Hey, everything is so much better in the office when the boss is away, amiright? Let's get rid of 'em all!" So, kudos for that contribution.

More seriously, I see a couple of obvious gaps that you would need to fill, right off the top. For one, you need to develop some mechanism for larger-scale strategic direction. In the Swedish company discussed, that role was filled by the company's board of directors. For another, you need to have some sort of framework for handling civil and criminal liability issues when someone eventually screws up. Where does the buck stop, ethically and legally?

Comment Obligatory Clarke - Lab Grown Meat. (Score 5, Interesting) 126

Food of the Gods. (Arthur c Clarke)

Itâ(TM)s only fair to warn you, Mr. Chairman, that much of my evidence will be highly nauseating; it involves aspects of human nature that are very seldom discussed in public, and certainly not before a congressional committee. But I am afraid that they have to be faced,; there are times when the veil of hypocrisy has to be ripped away, and this is one them.
You and I, gentlemen, have descended from a long line of carnivores. I see from you expressions that most of you donâ(TM)t recognize the term. Well, thatâ(TM)s not surprising-it comes from a language that has been obsolete for two thousand years. Perhaps I had better avoid euphemisms and be brutally frank, even if I have to use words that are never heard in polite society. I apologize in advance to anyone I may offend.

Until a few centuries ago, the favorite food of almost all men was meat-the flesh of once living animals. Iâ(TM)m not trying to turn your stomachs; this is a simple statement of fact, which you can check in any history bookâ¦

Why, certainly, Mr. Chairman, Iâ(TM)m quite prepared to wait until Senator Irving feels better. We professionals sometimes forget how laymen may react to statements like that. At the same time, I must warn the committee that there is very much worse to come. If any of you gentlemen are at all squeamish, I suggest you follow the senator before itâ(TM)s to lateâ¦
Well, if I may continue. Until modern times, all food fell into two categories. Most of it was produced from plants-cereals, fruits, plankton, algae and other forms of vegetation. Itâ(TM)s hard for us to realize that the vast majority of our ancestors were farmers, winning food from the land or sea by primitive and often back breaking techniques; but that is the truth.
The second type of food, if I may return to this unpleasant subject, was meat, produced from a relatively small number of animals. You may be familiar with some of them-cows, pigs, sheep, whales. Most people-I am sorry to stress this, but the fact is beyond dispute-preferred meat to any other food, though only the wealthiest were able to indulge this appetite. To most of mankind, meat was a rare and occasional delicacy in a diet that was more than ninety-percent vegetable.

If we look at the matter calmly and dispassionately-as I hope Senator Irving is now in a position to do-we can see that meat was bound to be rare and expensive, for its production is an extremely inefficient process. To make a kilo of meat, the animal concerned had to eat at least ten kiloâ(TM)s of vegetable food â"very often food that could have been consumed directly by human beings. Quite apart from any consideration of aesthetics, this state of affairs could not be tolerated after the population explosion of the twentieth century. Every man who ate meat was condemning ten or more of his fellow humans to starvationâ¦

Luckily for all of us, the biochemists solved the problem; as you may know, the answer was one of the countless byproducts of space research. All food-Animal or vegetable-is built up from a very few common elements. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, traces of sulphur and phosphorus-the half-dozen elements, and a few others, combine in an almost infinite variety of ways to make up every food that man has ever eaten or will ever eat. Faced with the problem of colonizing the moon and planets, the biochemists of the twenty-first century discovered how to synthesize and desired food from the basic raw materials of water, air and rock. It was the greatest, and perhaps the most important, achievement in the history of science. But we should not feel too proud of it. The vegetable kingdom had beaten us by a billion years.

The chemists could now synthesize and conceivable food, whether it had counterparts in nature or not. Needles to say, there were mistakes-even disasters. Industrial empires rose and crashed; the switch from agriculture and animal husbandry to the giant automatic processing plants and omniverters of today was often a painful one. The danger of starvation has been banished forever, and we have a richness and variety of food that no other age has ever known.

In addition, of course, there was a moral gain. We no longer murdered millions of living creatures, and such revolting institutions as the slaughter house and the butcher shop have vanished from the face of the earth. It seems incredible to us that even our ancestors, coarse and brutal though they were, could ever have tolerated such obscenities.
And yet-it is impossible to make a clean break with the past. As I have already remarked, we are carnivores; we inherit tastes and appetites that have been acquired over a million years of time. Whether we like it or not, only a few years ago some of our great-grandparents were enjoying the flesh of cattle and sheep and pigs-when they could get it. And we still enjoy it todayâ¦

Oh dear, maybe Senator Irving has better stay outside from now on. Perhaps I should not have been quite so blunt. What I meant, of course, was that many of the synthetic foods we now eat have the same formula as the old natural products; some of them, indeed, are such exact replicas the no chemical or other test could reveal any difference. This situation is logical and inevitable; we manufactures simply took the most popular pre-synthetic foods as our models, and reproduced their taste and texture.

Of course, we also created new names that didnâ(TM)t hint of an anatomical or zoological origin, so that no one would be reminded of the facts of life. When you go into a restaurant, most of the words youâ(TM)ll find on the menu have been invented since the beginning of the twenty-first century, or else adapted from French originals that few people would recognize. If you ever want to find your threshold of tolerance, you can try an interesting but highly unpleasant experiment. The classified section of the Library of Congress has a large number of menus from famous restaurants-yes, and white house banquets-going back for five hundred years. They have a crude, dissecting-room frankness that makes them almost unreadable. I cannot think of anything that reveals more vividly the gulf between us and our ancestors only a few generations agoâ¦

Yes, Mr. Chairman-I am coming to the point; all this is highly relevant, however disagreeable it may be. I am not trying to spoil you appetites; I am merely laying the groundwork for the charge I wish to bring against my competitor, Tri-planetary Food Corporation. Unless you understand this background, you may think that this is a frivolous complaint inspired by the admittedly serious losses my firm has sustained since Ambrosia Plus has come onto the market.

New foods, gentlemen, are invented every week. It is hard to keep track of them. They come and go like womenâ(TM)s fashions, and only one in a thousand become a permanent addition to the menu. It is extremely rare for one to hit the public fancy overnight, and I freely admit that the Ambrosia Plus line of dishes has been the greatest success in the entire history of food manufacture. You all know the position; everything else has been swept of the market.

Naturally, we were forced to accept the challenge. The biochemists of my organization are as good as any in the solar system, and they promptly got to work on Ambrosia Plus. I am not giving away any trade secrets when I tell you that we have tapes of practically every food, natural or synthetic, that has ever been eaten by mankind-right back to exotic items that youâ(TM)ve never heard of, like fried squid, locusts in honey, peacockâ(TM)s tongues, Venusian polypodâ¦.Our enormous library of flavors and textures is our basic stock in trade, as it is with all firms in the business. From it we can select and mix items in any conceivable combination; and usually we can duplicate, without to much trouble, any product that our competitors put out.

But Ambrosia Plus had us baffled for quite some time. Its protein-fat breakdown classified it as straightforward meat. Without too many complications-yet we couldnâ(TM)t match it exactly. It was the first time my chemists had failed; not one them could explain just what gave the stuff its extraordinary appeal-which, as we all know, makes every other food seem insipid by comparison. As well it mightâ¦but I am getting ahead of myself.

Very shortly, Mr. Chairman, the president of Triplanetary Foods will be appearing before you-rather reluctantly, Iâ(TM)m sure. He will tell you that Ambrosia Plus is synthesized from air, water, limestone, sulphur, phosphorus, and the rest. That will be perfectly true, but it will be the least important part of the story. For we have now discovered his secret-which, like most secrets, is a very simple once you know it.

I really must congratulate my competitor. He has at last made available unlimited quantities of what is, from the nature of things, the ideal food for mankind. Until now, it has been in extreme short supply and therefore all the more relished by the few connoisseurs who could obtain it. Without exception, they have sworn that nothing else can remotely compare with it.

Yes, Triplanetaryâ(TM)s chemists have done a superb technical job. Now you have to resolve the moral and philosophical issues. When I begin my evidence, I used the archaic word âoecarnivore.â Now I must introduce you to another: Iâ(TM)ll spell it out for the first time: C-A-N-N-I-B-A-Lâ¦.

Comment Re:stay warm and safe in your bubble (Score 4, Interesting) 361

Which is why they want kids to "learn computers" in Kindergarten.

...And keep failing miserably.

No doubt, the earlier we expose kids to real programming (as opposed to the drag-and-drop programming equivalent of the old Radio Shack "hundred-in-one electronics projects" kits that keeps touting as some sort of mythical progress), the higher quality programmers we'll eventually turn out; but that doesn't mean you'll see a substantial increase in the number of people who can, and can stand to, code.

Early exposure might mean a few more people realize they have what it takes to code, but programming is hard, despite all the rose-scented farts Google, Microsoft et al keep encouraging us to sniff. The vast majority or people have neither the aptitude nor the patience to ever master the relevant skills.

Comment Re:Failure of Big Science (Score 1) 457

youre right its not symmetrical.
you are hte one with the extraordinary claim.
therefore the burden of proof is on you.

as for the "plenty of failed predicitons" have at it. name one.
we'll debunk if one by one as you cite sensationalized journalism (ie, not a scientist) or nonexistant claim as you make them.
the overwhelming majority of claims have in fact come true.
and you are full of shit.

Comment Re:Failure of Big Science (Score 1) 457

no, you're hte one spouting bullshit unspported by the mountain of data.
you cite something real.

climate science in favor of AGW has reached the 2+2=4 stage: its so well grounded, so well established, it no longer carries the burder of proof.
proving simple shit over and over for shit trolls is a waste of time.

youre hte one with the claim that flies in the face of the mountain of evidence: you provide the citations.
otherwise fuck off.

Comment Re:Failure of Big Science (Score 1) 457

the science is settled.
your inability to grasp it doesnt change that.
nor did anything you stated prove or disprove anything.
and if youre going to link to hoover you might as well link to national enquirer, it has about the same level of scientific accuracy.
probably slightly higher.

Comment Re:Americans Against Scary Dams (Score 1) 457

its an earthen damn.
erosion is its enemy.

if the level every got so high that the outflow from the spillway was insufficient the emergency spillway, even though it would erode, was located such that it would be controlled and less impactful than if the dam face itself went.
but that why its for emergencies ONLY.
further the erosion of hte emergency spillway would be timed so that the level of the lake would be lowered before the erosion of hte emergency spillway became its own hazard.

it does NOT create another emergency by design.
this emergency came about from a lack of maintenance, where the emergency spillway has been allowed to erode by other means, and not been repaired.
so that NOW if it were used it could potentially be undercut before the lake levels reach safe levels, causing further erosion and a rapdily deteriorating situation.

again, i say it clearly: the emergency spillway DOES NOT create another emergency by design.

the problem stems from a lack of maintenance and repair.

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