Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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 Better than a phalanx of BMW (Score 1) 372

The buses roll through my neighborhood many times a day. I've lived here nearly thirty years.

Still, though some residents initially didn't like the buses, the talk now is we'd rather have a dozen buses than all the cars with the concomitant parking hassles. Our housing prices are up, but thanks to CA property tax law, it doesn't change what I pay.

I continue to work at home, with a sub-minute commute time. Sure pity the fools who have to wait outside for a bus in all weather and then blow another 1.5 hours on commute. I say we continue the bussing, have them bring tax revenues into San Francisco & leave the city nice and quiet during the day.

Guess that's why Google, Facebook, etc., etc. are trying to open larger offices in the city.

Comment 1130... get off my lawn (Score 1) 623

I'd bike up to the local Jr High School where there was an IBM 1130 in its air-conditioned room. We'd wait for the operators to reload the OS, and switch the balls on the selectrics and we'd be off programming in APL... 1971. Learned greek symbols at the same time.

'Mad Libs' was my first program. Took home the printouts and poured over them, writing changes in the margins to update the next day.

Anyone else remember "domino" commands, i.e., Quad-backspace-divide?

Comment Got a EE? (Score 2) 543

When dealing with electric vehicles, the problem isn't the "vehicle" part, it's weight, wind-resistance, and battery technology. So, if you're a gear-head, you're probably approaching this backwards.

I've driven 100% electric vehicles for eleven years, and the complexity (as the Tesla folks will tell you) is getting enough electrons into the battery faster enough a) without overheating the battery; and b) without stressing the battery chemistry. This is the problem that (continues to be) worked on by cell-phone, laptop, etc., hardware companies.

So your HUD may be fun, but make sure you've got smart guys working on the battery side.

On the plus side, you're absolutely correct: getting the gas-guzzlers to improve MPG is vastly better (more effective) than getting another 10% out of a Prius.

Good luck!

Comment Resolved for their benefit, not for ours (Score 4, Insightful) 9

What's really scary is that all the elephants are making deals to not sue each other, further isolating themselves from the real harm in software patents. They retain full control of their patents thereby raising the barrier to entry for everyone else. The power is consolidating, my friends, and if you don't have a patent war-chest you'll not be invited to play.

Comment how long does it take to learn how to use a mouse? (Score 1) 333

Note that in the "Silicon Valley Waldorf High School", which is in San Francisco, does use computers and other technologies. The philosophy is more geared towards appropriate technologies at appropriate stages of student development. The Waldorf high school kids don't seem to have problems learning how to use a mouse... (and xbox, and smartphones). So IMHO, having/not-having ipads by fourth grade isn't slowing the kids down: perhaps (perhaps...) they actually spend more time in meatspace.

Comment Re:And no patents (Score 1) 725

I did some translation of B programs into C (a linker/loader) and B is very similar to C. The main language difference, as I recall, was the way structures & pointers were handled. Other than that, a transliteration from one to the other was nearly possible. I'm sure internals were different & stdlib was different, but if Thompson wrote B, then one can easily see his handiwork in C. That being said, I started C & UNIX at Bell Labs over thirty years ago & always loved the simplicity of it all. Thanks Dennis & Ken.

Submission + - Security risk: iPad's glow as you enter password# (

nonprofiteer writes: Earlier this week, a South African security researcher released shoulderPad, an app that’s designed to auto-snoop on iPad users’ passwords by watching their touchscreen keyboards. When a user types on an iPad’s touchscreen, each key glows blue for a fraction of a second after it’s struck, a helpful bit of feedback for any virtual keyboard. ShoulderPad’s image recognition algorithms, based on Open CV’s open source image recognition software, look for that flash of blue. “At any distance, if the blue is distinguishable, shoulderPad can detect that keystroke,” says Meer.

Comment Re:Got one (Score 1) 586

If that happened in these here parts, and if it weren't between midnight and 3 AM, you would definitely not be bored when you slowed everyone behind you to 15 MPH. You'd experience heart-racing, life-in-your-hands terror.

so true -- sometimes even just slowing down to 65mph...

Comment Got one (Score 5, Interesting) 586

not a Leaf, but Toyota's Rav4EV. BEV, 100miles/charge, been driving it since 2002. Seats 4, not 5 & we have a Palm app, not iPhone app. I don't have a fast charge option, so that's cool. One hopes "state of the art" exceeds what Toyota did nearly ten years ago:
  • Air Conditioning "costs" 5 miles per hour of use. Heat costs only a little less than that (No internal combustion engine generating heat, ya know).
  • Bumper-to-bumper traffic isn't a problem: Car uses nearly zero at 'idle'. The worry I have is an unexpected detour which adds 20 miles.
  • Heated windshield costs a few miles per hour of use. Lights, radio, heated seats are nearly free.
  • The "100 miles on a charge claim" corresponds in the real world to driving consistently at about 65 mph, or mixed city/highway driving. Driving at 75 mph decreases distance by ~10%. Driving at 55mph would yield > 100 miles. Driving at 35 mph (constant) would probably yield a +30% distance gain. City driving results in lots of braking & though regenerative, there is loss, so consider 90 miles in the city.
  • On low battery, the car goes into a special "turtle" mode whereby one cannot drive quickly. I've driven an extra 20 miles at about 15 mph in this mode after the gauges registered zero. Was unable to drain the batteries because I got bored trying.

Sure, I use another car for driving vacations, but these battery electric cars are perfect for some of us.

Slashdot Top Deals

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.