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


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:Stupidity to follow: (Score 2) 209

There must be a physical life example.

Suppose you have a combination wall-safe.
The police want to search that safe.
So they get a warrant.

Now, what happens if you don't give them the combination to the safe? This must have happened numerous times in the past.

I'm no lawyer, but I googled and it looks like they could NOT make you give up a safe combination; at least in the US.

So I don't see how cell phone password are any different. They shouldn't be able to compel you to give up your passwords.

Assuming they have a warrant, they can definitely try and break into your cellphone, the same way they'd try and break into a safe your refused to give the combination to.

Comment Re:Whiny Fanboy... but he has a point (Score 5, Insightful) 260

Same feeling for me.

Our laws are only enforced if people take actions. Otherwise, the slope keeps getting slipperier.

There could be legit reasons for it. Maybe those joker scenes were in the movie, but were edited out. However if the deleted scenes are a key draw, it could still be valid depending on the case.

Who knows, they might find a smoking gun email where some exec says 'Just keep the Joker scenes in even if we cut them. Those stupid nerds will pay for anything'

Comment Re:Nice propaganda piece (Score 1) 472

This is sadly the state of the discussion.

Perhaps policy was never coherent, but it seems to me that when it comes to trade, the inter-state laws that the US generated decades ago were far more coherent than our global laws.

For example, there was a time when minimum wages were first being introduced. Of course it would be an issue if New York had a $10 minimum wage and Alabama had none. You don't need a PHD to see that many jobs would head to Alabama.
The result were things like the FLSA that basically only applied to company engaged in interstate commerce.

So if you wanted to manufacture goods in Alabama for export ot other states, it had to obey the Federal minimum wage. Theoretically, if you're a local pizza shop in Alabama and never crossed interstate lines, you could have theoretically ignored the Federal minimum wage.
Now convention has seen that we basically all obey it.

But the logic was there. Now, the question I have is if they got this right with respect to trade between states, where was this logic when negotiating global free trade deals? How can we have global free trade without a global minimum wage?

It's an interesting question in my view.

You can find the same lack of coherence with the H1-B visa issue.

There's no doubt there are exceptional people in every country; India is no exception. So by all means countries want them working for their companies. Of course, by their very nature, exceptional people should get a pay premium. So to capture these people, there should be some high salary base. Let's say 2-3X the average salary for a comparable American in the field. So today, it would work out to be say 150k+.

You then have a large number of 'average' people that I don't think you get to claim America can't produce. America can produce an average developer, network engineer...
The biggest gap here that H1B systems have is in certifications.

Not a matter of skill, but companies/people centered around the H1B model know and can practice the certification game. Many of these firms hire people straight out of school in India, then train them quickly to get the certified. This makes them able to say they are qualified for X technology. This is a known investment as they already have customers willing to bring these folks over. Your average American firm isn't doing this and as a result your average people are left to chase certifications and apply manually without essentially a pre-made deal.

This one is harder to handle but I'd say if they haven't tried hiring an American generalist in the field and training them for some time period (6 months) to get whatever certification is required, then this path to H1b should also be blocked.

Comment Re:So basically... (Score 1) 422

I'm Canadian and we saw something similar here.
We used to have 'unlimited plans' but the ISPs could throttle.
Then Net Neutrality rules came in and they became averse to throttling.
Then most plans became GIG limited with overage.
We're starting to see unlimited plans make a return now for some reason.

Now, I haven't read all the regulations on what the text of Net Neutrality means, but I actually think it has made things worse.
It used to be simple pricing for the people and when there was congestion on the network, the ISPs would throttle.

Now, in my view, what Net Neutrality rules should have focussed on was not getting rid of throttling, but on making sure throttling was not anti-competitive.
That is, it should be perfectly fine to throttle heavy users, but not a specific service (iptv, skype...)
It is still unlimited, just not unlimited at maximum speed.

I still love Net Neutrality as a concept, but I really don't like how it has played out in Canada and the USA.
Throttled heavy users should be perfectly acceptable as a business model as opposed to GIG limits and overage charges.
It is sad the regulations have made it otherwise.

Comment Re:This is risky (Score 1) 57

Well, I'm reasonably sure the lawyers at Google have talked to the various media companies.

However they price these deals... is how they price them.

I can definitely see a case to be made though. If you make a service cheap enough for people, they're not going to bother pirating it.

This is the Netflix model. $10/month for a lot of tv and movies and original content. It's low enough that they're getting their money... and its consistent cash flow.

If sharing the cost between 6 people means more people sign up and pay for it, it's all good.

Comment Re:And for contrast (Score 5, Insightful) 482

I've mentioned this to other people. I'm Canadian, but I catch Trump on the news.

Maybe he is lying. Maybe he is a complete buffoon. I really don't know.

What I do know is that he at least addresses people's biggest concerns.

Hilary's reaction is pretty much the same as every modern politician I've seen. Same as the progressives in Canada (Trudeau, Wynn...). It basically says, yes it is tragic, but we live in a globalized world now. At best, they throw in patriotic jargon about education and how we can out compete the other billions of people. And to top it off, they'll keep borrowing and taxing to keep their friends in the public sector and banking sector doing well. We're all just collateral damage.

Meanwhile I caught Trump's famous 'unhinged' mosquito speech and he talks about Carrier air conditioning moving their plants to Mexico and the pain of the workers.

Hey, maybe is just a fascist idiot, but if the mainstream politicians really don't give a crap and normal hardworking private sector people...well...he's looking like the only sane choice; now that Bernie is out; for anyone with such concerns.

Comment Re:How Many AIs Can Fit on the Head of a Pin??? (Score 1) 364

It's not an idiotic question. It is a situation that could come up.

However, it does need to be put into perspective.
As you say, the extreme cases rarely comes up.
As well, will the AI do as good or better than the average human.

Far too often when a new technology comes up, people spend their time worrying about every potential issue with it rather than asking how well does it stack against the current system.

Most people just don't react that well in extreme scenarios.

Here's a strange one I remember being in the news about a woman who stops on the highway to avoid some ducks... causes the death of two people.

Quite frankly, the big gains in safety from autonomous cars aren't going to come from these extreme cases, but from making regular day to day driving safe. Every single one of my close calls or actual accidents has been my stupidity (not paying attention, trying to drive too aggressively when I was younger...)

Whatever the AI chooses in these extreme cases; you can guarantee that a significant number of human drivers would make the same choices; probably even worse ones.

Heck, even leave it as a toggle if you really want to. Err on the side of the drivers safety vs err on the side of potential victims.

Comment Re:Critical public health issue (Score 3, Interesting) 301

Everything has ups and downs.

Is a falling population a tragedy.

Lower costs of education, childcare, probably crime...

The cost of supporting 'old people' in terms of healthcare and retirement based on younger workers sounds like a reason to have more kids... but last I checked, jobs in general are a problem in most countries.

It's not magical young people that pay taxes... it's young people with good jobs.

And if the government is going to be spending money to create jobs for young people and stimulate the economy, are you really in any worse position to just spend that money taking care of old people directly.

You have issues with a falling population. But it's not kind of automatic crises. Certain industries will face problems. There are powerful lobbies as well.... banking, housing, mortgages... that depend on population growth as well.

Comment Re: Omar Saddiqui Mateen? (Score 1) 1718

The issue is not 'religion' causes people to do bad things.

Religion is a 'strong belief' and it is 'strong belief' that causes people to do evil things.

When you have a strong belief, you end up with all the 'bad' things associated with religion.

Many of us have beliefs or preferences, but to a large extent, most of us aren't really that serious about our beliefs. I say that as a good thing.

So many groups talk about oppression or utopias or great struggles, but for the most part, people don't take it too seriously. You can rant about global warming, but most people aren't out there blowing up oil rigs. You can rant about government oppression, but most aren't blowing up government buildings. You can rant about homosexual morality, but most people aren't killing gays.

It is when you really take your beliefs seriously to the point where you can think the end goal justifies some extreme action that evil manifests itself.

Communism as you rightly point out manifested great evil as people took it too seriously as an ideology to bring about utopia. Gotta kill or jail millions of people... just think about the end goal!

I don't know if you can ever get rid of strong belief, but it is where the danger lies. It impacts all sides of any discussion and creates a lot of blind spots. Capitalism, feminism, communism, environmentalism, religion...

People kind of mock the shallowness of people who just want to watch tv or talk about celebrities, or watch sports... the older I get, the more I actually appreciate these people.

Comment Re:Agile What Now? (Score 1) 145

This impacts much more than Agile.
The modern day is amazed at the success at 'science'.

If only we had:
-evidence based policy
-agile projects
-no politics
-transit systems based on reports ...

And 'ideally' it is true most of these are great if you're dealing with competent, well meaning people, honest, cooperative people all operating within that system, you'd get amazing results.

But of course, that is the whole question of humanity isn't it?
If we all operated by those traits, we'd have utopia regardless of Agile or not.

And we don't operate inside that system in isolation.
Business, QA, Product, accounting, portfolio management, sales, architecture, security, finance... are all there. Like it or not, most of that is still project based; much more suited to waterfall and heavy upfront design.

Agile, like evidence based policy or the rest above... cannot and should not be used to escape humanity. You cannot escape politics.You cannot escape 'the public'. You cannot escape You cannot escape the struggles for money and power.

Since developers, like scientists are pretty bad when it comes to games of power/politics (as I am), the result is predictable when you throw in a game of Agile that is essentially, putting you directly in the ring.

You have to have some strong leaders that have created a company of Agile for it to work. Most often this from the company founders building in that way or a really really really strong company wide initiative. If you don't have that, you're going to end up worse than Waterfall. You're going to end up in a mess.

Comment Re:Finally coming back around (Score 1) 96


I find internal marketting is a big reason for this.

My old firm had a web app. It was maintainable and slow.
Nothing to do with the nature of web apps or anything.
The front end requirements were pretty basic (text boxes, lists....)

But the internal marketing became:
We need Native. Native is faster. Native is better.
Basically, the failure to write a good web app was blamed on the technology.

So a whole new division was formed for Android and IOS apps, writing everything native.

Of course, this was hugely costly and became hard to maintain. To top it off, they still had to maintain the old webapp for Windows, BB users.

So a genius decided we should use common components (HTML 5, Angular!). And so we're back full circle with huge parts of the app being rewritten in angular and embedded in webviews. I imagine most of the app will be web within webviews in short time.

Comment Re:Luddites? (Score 1) 1052

It's not so much that people only want so much.
People's wants are virtually infinite.

However our desire to WORK for our wants definitely varies.

For example, the goods and services of what we would call the industrial age are things people really do want to work for. We've seen this pattern in the West and continue to see it in Asia/Mexico... Things like electricity, running water, basic healthcare, supermarkets, roads... are such huge improvements over rural living that most people are willing to work hard for these things. It's why workers are industrializing economies are willing to work 12 hours days in grueling factory work. It's not that it is great. But it's much better than their rural life.

Whereas once you have the goods and services of the industrial age, your desire to work for your wants drops dramatically. The industrial age gets your pretty comfortable.

Who of us is going to work 12 hour days in a gruelling factory 200 km from home so we can get the next iphone? We don't really care that much. We still want the next iphone, but we don't really want to work for it.

What we have in most of the West today is basically discretionary spending. It's an attitude of: While I am making money to live, I might as well get X,Y,Z.

I work a corporate job right now. If I could work a casual laborer job like in a warehouse (as I did in high school) and still live my middle class life, I'd do it in a second. It just doesn't come with the stability needed to pay the mortgage, taxes...

I really suspect, this is one of the reasons most western economies have grown to *love* the housing market. It's the one thing from the industrial age that they can still drive the price up (low interest rates, land scarcity policies, immigration...). And people are willing to work hard and pay for a home in a good area.

Even myself, aside from a home, I really don't spend more on goods than my friends who earn 1/2 of what I do. Did the banks sucker me in? Probably. But like I said, what else am I going to do with the money I am earning? Graduated school and started working at the wrong time. Just in time to see home prices skyrocket (in the Toronto area). So the money goes there and in some investments.

Comment Re:E-bikes will stall for one simple reason: (Score 1) 271

I don't get it either. I know it is illegal, but I still mainly bicycle on the sidewalk (in Canada). I'll go on the road if it is a quiet street, but in general the sidewalk is the best.

Are there possibilities of hitting pedestrians? Probably. When walking, I once had a cyclist bump into my rear end, but not much damage. I can definitely see it though, but a bicycle is simply not a car. Collisions like that are simply not that dangerous. You have to be aware you're driving on the sidewalk.

The other issue that I've heard mentioned is cyclist on the sidewalk are harder to see when cars are backing out of the drive way. That's probably true. I tend to be a little more careful, but again... this would be a relatively low-speed collision. I'll take the risk.

Dedicated bike lanes? Yeah I'll use them, but I prefer them to be next to the side walk instead of a section of the road.

Of course this is a matter of preference. If you're a awesome cyclist can pull of 40 kph on the road and don't want to deal with the side walk. More power to you. I'm sure there are law sticklers out there, but in general, the world continues. Those who want to ride on the sidewalk too. Those who want to ride on the road do too. Unless you're being nuisance, the police largely leave it alone.

Comment Re: So? (Score 5, Insightful) 751

This is absolutely true.

Why are people voting for Trump? They must be uneducated, racist, idiots!

Yep, that's going to have them voting progressive!

Not to mention that modern politics completely ignores huge swaths of the population. When they voice their concerns, they are simply dismissed. It is why Bernie Sanders and Trump are even in the running.

Dare to question free trade as you have lost your job!
Modern politician: That's just free trade. A natural good thing.

Dare to worry about immigration (jobs, services, community).
Modern politician: You must be a racist!

People aren't voting for Trump because they are amazed at his policies. They're voting for Trump because he's the only one (aside from Bernie) actually speaking about issues people want addressed instead of dismissing their concerns.

If progressives/liberals actually began addressing the concerns of people. In the stereotyped Trump supporter case, poor white people, they might get somewhere. Instead probably the only message poor white people hear from the left is... you have white privilege.

Slashdot Top Deals