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Comment Same could be said for color TV (Score 2) 65

> I think it's because it doesn't help to tell stories.
> But if you are tempted to use it to "make the image more realistic" then maybe you just don't have a good story to tell in the first place.

Color TV is to "make the image more realistic". Color isn't needed to tell the story. Yet nobody wants to buy black and white. Color is all anyone makes, nobody shoots TV or movies in black-and-white. The problem with 3D is the glasses - without the glasses, 3D would be a nice enhancement, much like color.

Comment Ownership split between 300 heirs (Score 2) 156

As someone else said, Zuck's always been an asshole, long before he had money. In this case, the headline is utter bull, Zuck's doing something else assholish today, but the legal proceeding isn't what the headline claims.

As the article says, there are four half-acre parcels, owned by more than 300 descendants of the people who lived there 150 years ago. That is, each little parcel has about 80 owners, several of unknown whereabouts.

There's no chance anybody is going to track down all 300 descendants and get them to all agree on *anything* - selling or anything else. So the land sits there, of no use to anyone. The legal filing allows Zuck to pay the 300+ descendants for land they probably didn't know they had any ownership interest in, and weren't making any use of.

Why does it matter to him? It doesn't matter much, but consider if you owned a big house, but someone else owned the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, and had the right to come in to the house to get to their medicine cabinet. That of course affects resale value, and it's just weird.

Submission + - Neuroscience Does Not Compute (

mspohr writes: The Economist has an interesting story about two neuroscientists/engineers who decided to test the methods of neuroscience using a 6502 processor. Their results are published in the PLOS Computational Biology journal.
Neuroscientists explore how the brain works by looking at damaged brains and monitoring inputs and outputs to try to infer intermediate processing. They did the same with the 6502 processor which was used in early Atari, Apple and Commodore computers.
What they discovered was that these methods were sorely lacking in that they often pointed in the wrong direction and missed important processing steps.

Comment Two different numbers, yes (Score 1) 139

> The plane's length and its landing speed aren't necessarily equal.

Yeah I wasn't saying they were.

> That said, it's amusing that the first plane I looked upâ"the 767â"the landing speed is up to 199 MPH, and that does just happen to equate to almost exactly half a second. :-)

The 777 is also about the same speed, so half a second to travel 150 feet.

Comment That depends, some can land the plane unassisted (Score 1) 139

> People misunderstand what an autopilot does.

Pilots are supposed to be *prepared* to take over, but a class IIIb system can land the plane in zero visibility. Well, *technically* it's not supposed to be zero, but the plane is 200 feet long and you're supposed to have 150 feet of visibility. In other words, you can see only half a second in front of you. Some autopilot systems can pretty much fly the plane without pilot input - much more so than Tesla's system. Heck even on a DJI (toy), the autopilot can take off, fly to preset waypoints, come back, and land. The operator is supposed to be watching as it does this.

With Air France flight 447, it seems to me the crew a) didn't know how to fly the plane with conflicting airspeed indicators and b) didn't communicate with each other - at one point the POC and the co-pilot each thought they were flying the plane. Also, the stall warning turning *off* due to an extreme stall was a problem. I'm not sure that the autopilot had much to do with any of that. Given the conflicting readings, nobody was able to fly the plane properly - not the pilot-in-command, not the copilot, and not the autopilot.

Submission + - Zuckerberg sues hundreds of Hawaiians to force property sales to him. (

mmell writes: Apparently, owning 700 acres of land in Hawaii isn't enough — Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has filed suit to force owners of several small parcels of land to sell to the highest bidder. The reason? These property owners are completely surrounded by Zuckerberg's land holdings and therefore have lawful easement to cross his property in order to get to theirs.

Many of these land owners have held their land for generations, but seemingly Mr. Zuckerberg can not tolerate their presence so close to his private little slice of paradise. Landowners such as these came to own their land when their ancestors were "given" the land as Hawaiian natives.

If successful in his "quiet title" court action, Mr. Zuckerberg will finally have his slice of Hawaii's beaches and tropical lands without having to deal with the pesky presence of neighbors who were on his land before he owned it. Who knew that Hawaiians were just another kind of Native Americans?

Submission + - The Mind-Reading Gadget for Dogs that Got Funded, but Didn't Get Built (

the_newsbeagle writes: Crowdfunding campaigns that fail to deliver may be all too common, but some flameouts merit examination. Like this brain-scanning gadget for dogs, which promised to translate their barks into human language. It's not quite as goofy as it sounds: The campaigners planned to use standard EEG tech to record the dogs' brainwaves, and said they could correlate those electrical patterns with general states of mind like excitement, hunger, and curiosity.

The campaign got a ton of attention in the press and raised twice the money it aimed for. But then the No More Woof team seemed to vanish, leaving backers furious. This article explains what went wrong with the campaign, and what it says about the state of neurotech gadgets for consumers.

Submission + - Google Uses Its Search Engine to Hawk Its Products (

schwit1 writes: A Wall Street Journal analysis found that ads for products sold by Google and its sister companies appeared in the most prominent spot in 91% of 25,000 recent searches related to such items; and 43% of the time, the top two ads both were for Google-related products.

The analysis, run by search-ad-data firm SEMrush, examined 1,000 searches each on 25 terms, from "laptops" to "speakers" to "carbon monoxide detectors." SEMrush ran the searches Dec. 1 on a desktop computer, blocking past web-surfing history that could influence results.

The results show how Google uses its dominant search engine to boost other parts of its business and give it an edge over competitors, which include some of its biggest advertising customers.

A Google spokesman said the company has "consciously and carefully designed" its marketing programs not to affect other advertisers.

The Journal's analysis highlights a rarely discussed apparent conflict of interest in the $187 billion digital-advertising industry: The leading sellers of online ad space, including Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp., also compete with their customers for that space.

Google searches for "phones" virtually always began with three consecutive ads for Google's Pixel phones. All 1,000 searches for "laptops" started with a Chromebook ad. "Watches" began with an Android smartwatch ad 98% of the time. And "smoke detector" led with back-to-back ads for internet-connected alarms made by Nest, a company owned by Google parent Alphabet. In all instances, the stores these ads pointed to were also owned by Alphabet.

Comment Re:Let's all thank Google. (Score 4, Insightful) 88

I think the grandparent's comment was about the openness of the platform. Siri and "OK Google" are both available on the lock screen. The key thing here is a 3rd party company's ability to put their own helper on the lock screen, not voice activation from the lockscreen.

And I do applaud Google for building a product where 3rd parties can do such a thing, but I'm also concerned about their moves to lock down Android by incorporating everything into gapps, blocking competing products like Amazon Underground, etc. We'll have to wait and see if Google tries to block Microsoft from putting Cortana on the lock screen...

And yes, slashdotters are usually for open platforms and against tracking. Therefore, they often rail on Apple for their closed platform and Windows 10 telemetry for its tracking. It seems like an open platform against tracking would please most slashdotters... I think you'll find many of them like LineageOS, whether they use it or not...

Submission + - Alberta Man Turns Table on Laptop Thief (

jbwiebe writes: Cochrane’s Stu Gale couldn’t believe his eyes when a notification popped up on his computer telling him someone had logged on to his recently stolen laptop.

The B.C.-based 51-year-old computer security and automation expert couldn’t let the opportunity to try to find out something about the apparent thief pass him by, so he attempted to remotely log on to the pilfered laptop.

Comment Why go public instead of notifying the FBI? (Score 1) 87

Surely the FBI is trying to find out the identity of the criminal who created this botnet. Why would Krebs go public with it, instead of going to the authorities? At the bottom of the article, it says "The FBI officials could not be immediately reached for comment." What does that mean? "could not be immediately reached?" Why was he doing this investigation alone? And why did the author of the botnet release the source code?

Comment Not really, different countries are different (Score 1) 159

> But don't you think it's interesting that historically Apple products have cost more in the UK than in the US even after taking VAT into account.

Not really, at least not "interesting" in any kind of mysterious way. Transportation costs are different, taxes are higher in the UK, etc. Since the US tax structure is different from every other country, technically Apple is supposed to pay taxes on UK revenue in both the UK AND the US. So just The tax differences alone could easily make a 10% difference in the total price paid (separate from being included vs being added in the advertised price).

The stuff the government pays for isn't "free", I'm not surprised it costs money.

> It seems that currency moves only cause Apply to raise prices, not to lower them.

Yeah nominal prices tend to go up over time, not down. That's inflation, and it's much better than the alternative, deflation. In theory, Apple could reduce prices on Tuesday due to exchange rates, after increasing them on Monday due to inflation, but that would be a bit silly since you end up with the same price by neither increasing it on Monday nor decreasing it on Tuesday. Instead, most retailers periodically increase nominal prices to reflect current costs, including inflation and all other factors.

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