Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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:Yes (Score 1) 397

The cell network can't tell if you're preparing a text message, only if you sent one. Actively using a phone is largely dependant on the phone's state, not the networks. Especially with smart phones. I can read comics, play games, watch videos, and if they are stored locally on the phone, the network would be unable to tell you. I'm pretty sure if I wrecked someone elses car that I would kill all the processes on my phone, may initiate a wipe to factory settings.

Submission + - Alcohol smoking new fad, still stupid ( 1

ruin20 writes: Apparently people believe that pouring alcohol over dry ice causes alcohol vapors to be released and that inhaling the smoke can get you drunk. I fail to see how this is possible. I can only explain the intoxication as mild CO poisoning and the high experinced from lower O2 in the blood. Perhaps you can explain it...

Comment Re:Unfettered free market = Jesus (Score 1) 702

I disagree. What got us into this meltdown was bad regulation. A Free market does not mean a market without rules and regulations. It means a market that is free from active outside government interference. The system went so horribly bad because in part, government created and allowed people to preform shady and underhanded lending practices and then convinced people that they were safe because the market was regulated. Uncle Sam has for the past 60 years tried to turn the stock market and housing market into savings tools for the masses and has distorted them from their original intent. They told the american people that it was safe to buy a house and created programs to help low income people purchase houses as a way out of poverty. And they claimed that it was safe because it was regulated. Then it hiked the long term interest rate while keeping short term rates low, which increased the amount of 5/1 and 7/1 ARM loans that then catastrophically failed across both prime and sub-prime markets. people blame the subprime market because it is mostly ARM and not fixed rate but the failure rate of ARM loans across both prime and subprime were the same. Then when the industry executed its contingency plans it realized that all the promises made by the regulators that this was safe were wrong. You would like to go back to this model? Regulation dilutes the value of reputation and makes entities whose intentions are less than honorable seem trust worthy. It increases the cost of entry to the market and therefore increases the minimum profit margin required to run a successful business. It almost always favors incumbents and limits the ability to enter the market and compete on value and values. it may stop the bleeding of a broken system but also prevents the wound from healing. There is as science to developing systems that self regulate. In order to do this you need transparency and clear penalties. The end customer needs to understand what they are getting into and bad business practices have to be cost prohibitive. Instead we get regulation where individual regulators are making inconsistent calls on how companies do business and that is not a good solution. I think that there needs to be a combination of regulatory reform and competition incentives in order to solve the teleco problem. Incentives have to be given to build out networks and more attention has to be paid in the M&A space to incumbents acquiring start ups for purely anti-competitive reasons. And lastly municipalities have to stop signing exclusive deals and start standards based access to right-of-ways which are the primary barrier competition in the teleco field.

Comment Re:What is confusing? (Score 1) 336

If google maps lead people to drive off a cliff I would applaud them for helping eliminate people too stupid to realize that even if the map tells you to drive off a cliff that its still not a good idea. And I don't pity people who run apps from an untrusted source and get burned. I understand where you're coming from but the reason this software is being distributed is because people want the functionality. Don't send a C&D, come up with your own solution which should be that much better being it's authorized and verified with all the cozy protections from coming with the google brand attached.

that's the real problem, cyanogen is becoming a better brand than google, and that's what they're trying to stop.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 425

N. Dakota and Germany may appear to be on the same latitude, but that doesn't mean they get the same amount of sun. weather conditions and topography play a large part in that. And since germany imports the majority of their panels, it would make sense that they would have a surplus, since they didn't pay the generation costs. Since the repayment period is close to 20 years on solar panels in that latitude. that means that GW that you so proud of caused 20 GW of pollution at some point of time.

I'm a free market capitalist, and as such, understand why this is a bad idea. There are internal and external costs to a product, and the free market has been shown to be a very good regulator of internal costs (cost of product to the user) but not very good at external (cost of product to society). Therefore it's the governments job to come up with a way to internalize those external costs (pollution and health hazards in this example) in the form of taxes or other disincentives.

the problem is that with cap and trade, you don't take an integrated approach to the problem. it doesn't change the equation. truly clean tech is cost effective over the life cycle. the problem with clean tech is it's capital intensive, requiring a company to save before adopting and what cap and trade does is harm the ability of companies to come up with that capital.

I'm not against a pollution tax. but I think it should work based on inspections and targeted cuts. if a company can cut their output and demonstrate it has taken measures to reduce emissions by x%, then they don't have to pay. otherwise tax by output. Then the dirtiest players pay the most making them the most motivated and everyone still needs to clean up. Cap and trade only focuses on making direct pollution costs high, but as long as some power is generated from fossil fuels, being wasteful with clean energy consumes resources that would otherwise go offsetting production by non-clean sources.

so again it's unfair. Just cause I live in AZ or Cali where there's an abundance of clean power, doesn't mean i should be able to use as much as I want. Two companies running at the same efficiency consuming the same power should not be taxed differently. cap and trade doesn't effectively internalize the expense cause it doesn't focus on cutting consumption. and until we have a policy that does that, it's going to have negligible effect.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 3, Interesting) 425

you can't just say "oh well then they'll be motivated to make an investment in solar and wind" and that will solve anything

solar and wind are not blanket solutions. in places like North Dakota, a solar panel never repays the energy it takes to make it! it does nothing for the environment then! You can't put solar panels in Alaska where it's dark half the year round. And wind turbines might have problems in the winter.

goes back to my point, it's HARD to implement those technologies in those states and with a cap and TRADE system clean states tend to benefit ALOT by selling excess credits to states in the bread basket. it's not about the environment. it's about one state with a ton of money trying to screw a bunch of other states who are less fortunate. It's one thing if they had alternatives, but wind and solar don't work everywhere.

this plan takes money from the states that need the most development in terms of clean energy and gives it to the states that need it the least, which is a very inefficient way of doing things! Now the states not only have to pay a tax, but develop technologies that work with their climate, and do so with less resources then were available before the plan. my opinion? what will happen is they'll end up switching to bio fuels and drive the price of food way up, because they don't have other options. Then we all lose.

Comment Re:The thing about a carbon tax... (Score 1) 425

Most greening techniques are capital intensive, solar takes 5-10 years for ROI, LED bulbs require about 5 years as well. Insulating your home, replacing your windows, it all takes money up front. so although I agree mother nature doesn't care if you have a job, it might be more effective to get the economy out of the quagmire it's in before trying to green it.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 2, Interesting) 425

no we don't have one. the reason why it's been defeated every time is that the proponents of the bill (typically California, Washington, Arizona, Nevada) receive a large portion of their power from hydroelectric power. So they have renewable sources available. Essentially this is a tax on the breadbasket states who have less clean resources available to them, and who's economies are based more on industry then the states on the coasts. It's been proposed several times, and several times defeated. Cap and trade makes sense if alternatives are more evenly distributed, but unfortunately they're not.

Comment Shiny package managment system? (Score 3, Insightful) 83

Isn't an "app store" just a shiny package management system for small programs? 99% of linux distros have this already. What, we need to skin it prettier and put it on the web? That should be easy enough. I don't know why we need to copy something from apple when the idea creating a repository for programs and working out interdependence started in the *nix environments. Getting useful usable programs onto the computer is the main barrier for adoption. Cost has nothing to do with it, they'll put out the cheapest item that will sell. If linux won't sell netbooks, then they won't use it.

Comment Re:So can you sue Google for finding my ISO files? (Score 1) 289

Technically, there's nothing in the law against it despite DCMA safe harbors.

Ever since the Grokster case got settled, courts have been ruling for "contributory infringement" on a I-know-it-when-I-see-it type basis. Usenet actively promoted the fact that it had lots of infringing content and used that as a selling point in it's business model. And despite disagreeing with the model, they are EXACTLY what is pictured and depicted as "contributory infringement". Until we can reverse it, if your going to run a file sharing site or network, then don't advertise you're doing so.

Comment Re:What about epigenetics? (Score 3, Insightful) 78

We're not looking for a complete work up here. Genetic testing becoming more available and consumable is a good thing as it should spur development in the industry. Additionally there are a lot of conditions for which people can have genetic predisposition and knowing that predisposition may change their treatment and behavior in ways that may actually save money. Being able to better focus and tailor one's individual medical care is a good thing and will hopefully lead to long term cost savings. I hope genetic testing for serious, long term disabilities that can drive up end of life care becomes common place as it could be used as a mitigation for rising cost of treatment.

Comment Re:Massacre or fight for freedom (Score 3, Informative) 99

Ok, so he hung 200 people publicly a year. From 1991 to 2003 is 12 years so 2400 people.
Then add a conservative 5000 (Probably closer to 10000 since many of the injured died of complicationis) from the Halabja poison gas attack and we're just getting started. That was just one part of the Al-Anfal Campaign where he killed roughly 100,000. That's just violence against the Kurds which is the most well documented. And the hangings don't account for the shootings and killings post Gulf War when he quelled the Shiite Rebellion. Body count puts the Iraq war collateral damage total at about 100,000. So in fact we haven't killed as many Iraqis as Saddam.

Motivations for war aside, the operation has been exceedingly poorly executed, and may be inexcusable. But lets not delude ourselves into thinking "Well, Saddam wasn't that bad". He was worse.

Slashdot Top Deals

Anything cut to length will be too short.