Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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 Re:Bandwidth caps are BULLSHIT (Score 1) 229

I wonder if they are bullshit. Hear me out, I agree on the surface they don't make sense. The company is selling a service that is shared among its users. Let's say for argument, they have a 100MB pipe. They could limit this to 4 users at 25MB/s each, but to break even, this would cost each user $300 per month. OK, competitively that doesn't make sense. So they watch user patterns, and see that a typical user wants 50MB/s, but only uses the 50MB/s twice a day, for about two hours. So, based on this typical pattern, they come up with a new plan - you can have 50MB/s, and because I am guessing you will only use it 2 hours a day, I am going to oversubscribe the channel by 10X. If everyone acts in a predictable pattern, I can deliver the 50MB/s rate and charge 1/10th the price - $30 / month. Now, I have a great service at a great price. Along comes a guy who has a need to pull all 50/MB/s for 24 hours a day. Oops, that blows my whole model - I am now way over subscribed, and providing poor service. What could I do about this? Well, I could put a total cap on the usage, so you can really only use about what I expected - 50MB/s for a couple hours a day. You can't be a data hog, or if you are, you have to pay for it.

To me this is analogous to people who complain about ads on cable TV. The argument goes - I am paying for Cable, I shouldn't see ads. No, that is close, but not right. A cable company could charge you enough to pay for everything, they could pay for everything through ads, or they could split the difference, and charge you less and show fewer ads.

So, TLDR: Data caps are ridiculous if we are paying for dedicated bandwidth. I don't think most of us are, we just assumed we are. I think we would be shocked at what the price would be for dedicated bandwidth.

Full disclosure - I don't work for an ISP or cable company. I have no idea if their profit margins are reasonable or not, I don't think that is actually relevant to the argument of whether data caps are reasonable or not. That goes to the argument of whether the price including caps is reasonable.

Comment Re:Editorializing... (Score 1) 408

I think this is a case of crappy reporting more than bad cars. The google cars alone have more than 700,000 miles of autonomous driving experience now, and we can compare that to national averages. Figuring the accident rate per million miles is very hard for the type of incidents reported, since most of these won't factor into incidents reported to police or other official counts. New York does an estimate of reported and non-reported, and last year it was just over 4 per million vehicle miles. That would mean Googles cars should have experienced about 3. So is 11 high? Yes. But it sounds reasonably promising for technology that has not been released yet. I would expect we saw higher numbers when things like cruise control or anti lock brakes were still in the development phase (even late testing like these vehicles are) when they were tested in conditions where needed. Another factor is Google cars are tested in the San Francisco bay area, that happens to have the highest rate of death or injury due to vehicles, which would indicate it is a tough place to drive. I am not ready to jump in one either, but I don't think this will be a light switch - we will see cars with 'autonomous cruise control' first that you switch on in good conditions, and it will just get better and better. My current car has adaptive cruise control and maintains my distance in traffic and I just steer. This is just another step on that curve.

Comment Re:Reliability, reliability, reliability. Left han (Score 1) 1013

I 100% agree that we should look into non-lethal alternatives. I'd rather accidentally shoot my daughter with a taser when she sneaks in after curfew and watch her crap her pants than shoot her with a pistol and watch her bleed out.

Giving teachers tasers may be a bad idea though. "Johnny, if I have to tell you to be quiet one more time... ". Teachers have a difficult job at least as far as maintaining sanity goes. Let's not give them that satisfying of an alternative to keep those brats in line.

Comment Re:How about lining power wires (Score 1) 65

I think we are barreling off toward the silly on the ideas front, but if you restrict it to HV-DC lines, a single cell usually puts out .5-.6 VOC, so you just need to string 400,000 of them together and voila, you are pushing power in. That has to be seriously small surface area even aggregated across miles of line. Anyone want to do the math?

Comment Re:Can't agree more (Score 1) 1651

I have an anecdotal evidence case that I think shows the difference pretty well.

At the Olympic trials a number of years ago, two riders in a breakaway crashed near the finish line. They were about 700 yards in front of the peloton. A spectator stupidly ran out to try to help them up and out of the roadway.

He was hit by a cyclist in the pack. The spectator just kind of rolled backward and hit his head, the cyclist literally flew through the air and landed head first into the curb. His helmet split in half, but he got up and walked away. The spectator did the fish in the middle of the road for about 5 minutes until the ambulance picked him up and took him away. Is this proof that a helmet would have saved the spectator, no. But I am pretty confident the cyclist would not be getting up after hitting a curb at 15+ MPH head first.

Helmets make a huge difference if you get into this type of accident. However, I tend to buy into the posts point - if you aren't riding in a pack, the odds of going down at the speeds where a helmet will help is probably low enough to make it an acceptable risk. (personally I ride with one at all times, getting clipped by a car mirror, not hit by the car directly seems the most likely possibility where I ride).

Comment Re:There are already ample laws available... (Score 2) 444

Your point is valid, but you may have jumped a bit hard on the poster. .223 is not the problem, but AR-15s which are usually chambered for .223 or 5.56 tend to attract the people he is talking about. Because they look like the military equivalent, people who want to act that way tend to get them and outfit them accordingly. What sucks for the rest of us (I shoot a Remington model 700 .223) is that non-gun people and therefore lawmakers lump the all weapons of that caliber together and then they somehow become 'bad'.

Rather than just rant, let's try to help people better understand the differences so when the next bill comes along they won't make bad assumptions.

P.S. I am not specifically against ARs either. There are some really nice shooting competitions based on them. As is always the case, its the people not the weapons that are the issue.

Comment Re:No you shouldn't. (Score 1) 444

I think you are making a core miscalculation of the good intent of your fellow man. In theory your idea is dead on, in practice its just dead. There are violent people among us, who will use violence to take things from you or make you do things you don't want to do. It takes two peaceful people to have peace, but if one wants violence, both have to do so or the peaceful one will suffer. If you are peaceful and I want to punch you in the face, you can defend yourself or get punched. You cannot force me to be peaceful with you.

P.S. Like you, I love guns and shoot regularly. However, I do not keep one for personal protection. My thinking is the odds are I will kill a relative or friend under mistaken identity before I will have the opportunity to use it for legitimate defense. However, this is colored by the fact I live in a very safe area with almost no violent crime.

Comment Re:useless aspect ratio (Score 1) 341

/. is not representative of the typical consumer. While you may not watch TV, most do. Sports and other non-geek oriented broadcasts are still most accessible via cable / sat.

There was much bitching on twitter about the broadcast of the Olympics a) not in real time, and b) not streaming. The VAST majority of consumers didn't care. This was the most watched Olympics ever. ( and ( These viewers watch TV.

Comment Re:That *niche* market. (Score 3, Insightful) 283

Bravo. Well said.

Can someone who is better at wordsmithing than I please come up with a meme that says we would all appreciate it if you only post when you actually know something about the subject?

Sorry to get off topic, but in the past year it seems that the people who post here are more armchair quarterbacks than actually in the field with something intelligent to add. Is this the Reddit crowd coming over here?

If you have something to add, please do so, but try to include some facts with the post instead of just "IOS is more secure" or "Good luck with that".

Comment Re:Isn't Mono dead? (Score 2) 351

Mono (Xamarin) is now more about a way to write mobile apps once, and have them run on both iPhone and Android with minimal porting. If you are a .NET shop (my company is), this is a good way to get efficient use of programmers rather than forcing them to context switch between C#, objective C and java. We have been very happy with the performance of several mobile apps developed on this platform, and have plans for more.

There doesn't seem to be a perfect option to write cross platform, and this does require some porting, but it seemed the best option when we evaluated the alternatives last year.

Comment Re:New stores will be called "Just warranties". (Score 1) 407

Nice post, actually. I think everyone assumed this was the case, but there is something people enjoy about getting angry on the internet.

What I would like to see is a 'backdoor' for people who do know what they are doing, like fleet sales for cars. If I come in the front door, I get full service. If I come in the back door (let's say a self service web portal in store - I pick up the cable I want, scan it at the terminal) and I get your best price with a reasonable margin and no negotiating. I buy it, and walk out - no up sell. You will still get hosed on the big ticket items you sell below margin, because as you noted the internet already does this to you. If Best Buy's price matches tiger direct or amazon, I'd gladly buy in town. Best Buy should have the purchasing power to make this a profitable endeavor. Amazon has local store inventory too, its just not in warehouses they let you browse in.

Slashdot Top Deals

Take an astronaut to launch.