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:WTF are they proposing to improve exactly? (Score 2) 91

Consider that Whatsapp has no information about the content of any messages sent between users, so any content within the messages that are sent cannot be harvested to generate any kind of targeted advertising, the *only* thing that they have are names and phone numbers, and who is sending messages to whom, with no basis for understanding why beyond anything that might have been communicated out of band directly to Whatsapp. So since Whatsapp has no information about its users that can be used to actually generate any kind of "improved advertising experience" for its users, the assumption that this is what they actually are trying to do cannot possibly be correct.

Do you not remember the fight against the NSA's bulk metadata collection program?

Metadata is very powerful for mass surveillance with the facade of improving advertising experiences.

I don't care whether it's a sovereign government or a corporation. Mass surveillance is wrong.

Comment Re:Lead free solder to blame??? (Score 0) 222

I'd mod you up if I could. It's a classic case of ready, fire, aim.

The dominant lead-free used to day is SAC - which leaches copper into the ground, and has its own environmental problems.

The bottom line is we can't fix the environmental problems of e-waste by changing the type of solder. Lead is a bit player in the toxicity of e-waste. As long as countries are allowed to ship e-waste to third world countries, you're poisoning people.

These third world countries do not have the tools to safely recycle e-waste. Making one small part of the process less toxic is a drop in the bucket compared to the overall toxin exposure.

Banning leaded solder and patting themselves on the back for "solving a global problem" shows the extent of the hubris involved.

If the EU actually cared, they'd have mandated that their e-waste couldn't be exported to countries incapable of processing them safely. The EU does have the tools and funding to recycle e-waste safely.

Comment Re:KDE-Look a ghost town (Score 1) 511

Agreed. The default themes for KDE are so good most users (myself included) feel any need to modify them.

The designers who slaved over KDE's default themes are top-notch professionals with world-class skill.

I sure as hell don't have the design chops to improve upon it.

And by the look of what I see on, neither does anybody else.

To use a car analogy: user-contributed themes are now about as polished as the teenager who bolts a plywood wing and plywood fender extensions to his subcompact car.

Sure, it looks different than stock, but he's going to have a hard time convincing anybody he didn't ruin his car

Comment Re:So let me get this straight (Score 1) 188

This is what, the 10th season of this show?

Every year AMD boasts next year's chips are going to beat out Intel.

Every year AMD fanbois get frothy at the mouth because Intel will finally get what they have coming.

And every year, two things happen:

- AMD overestimated the speed of next year's chip by a wide margin
- AMD underestimated Intel's performance by a wide margin

I'm rooting for AMD, but they talk a much bigger game than they play.

Comment Re:So let me get this straight (Score 0) 188

If the paltry performance increases from skylake continue on their -E platform then AMD won't have anything to worry about next year.

Except for the fact that AMD had to downclock and handcuff the Broadwell chip to even compare it on a clock-per-clock basis.

Having approximately equal performance per tick is meaningless when your competitor is able to run 20% more ticks in the same time period.

Comment Re:Yeah, but Broadwell-E 8-core procs run at 3.2GH (Score 1) 188

Matching it clock for clock is a HUGE step forwards.

And here I thought we had finally dispelled the notion that clock speed was all-important.

What matters is throughput per unit of time. It doesn't matter if they get throughput by using higher clock speeds or by more work per tick.

AMD is still being beaten badly at throughput.

Comment Re:I wish they could do that for news... (Score 1) 330

You are experiencing false nostalgia for a golden age of journalism that never existed.

Indeed. Joseph Pulitzer - the guy the "Pulitzer Prize for Excellence in Journalism" is named for is most famous for yellow journalism.

The "yellow" referred to the color of the paper, which was literally the cheapest they could use; the headlines were carefully crafted to sell a newspaper. These days, we call the practice clickbait.

Think about that for a second: The guy whose name has become associated with the best in journalism was really a pioneer of clickbait.

Never forget: journalism exists to do two things: Make Money, and help people feel "connected". Having facts straight helps with both, but are not a requirement if you're willing to reduce your audience. Very few people even care to know the whole story - give 'em a reason to feel superior, and they'll eat it up.

I wouldn't be surprised that the modern "myth" of honest journalism originates from comic books -- Peter Parker, Lois Lane, and Clark Kent.

If I look at actual historical journalism... it's a smear fest.

Comment Re:Autopilot is a glorified cruise control (Score 1) 277

This is what drives me nuts about planes. How can a radio altimeter ever be trusted? That is completely fucking batshit.

* I've used LIDAR systems, and they are limited. Laser altimeters have trouble penetrating weather, and can easily cause permanent eye damage to people on the ground.
* Ultrasonics are only useful at very close range, and low speeds (high frequency sound attenuates rapidly over distance, doppler shift issues). Totally useless for planes.
* While we're at it, barometers are an imperfect solution, because air pressure changes enough from one mile to the next to be dicey when landing. That's why they use radar altimeters for landing.

Commercial aircraft do have multiple redundant systems, and they are designed to be reliable in every kind of weather.

The problem isn't the aircraft: It's the cheap-ass airlines unwilling to maintain the systems the aircraft has. It's capitalism at it worst: The race to the bottom leads to detached management deciding the only "problem" is the plane is not flying (and making money). The plane is allowed to fly because while one system has failed, "it has two backups that work, get 'er done".

It's a reasonable economic decision. It's more profitable to just pay the fines and legal settlements and keep flying.

Their crew and customer's lives don't matter in their equation.

So, of course, they bitch that government regulations (whose whole point is to keep people alive) are driving them out of business.

The regulations are there because it's well known that the airlines are quite willing to commit negligent homicide and call it an "accident".

Comment Re:Not a big deal (Score 1) 373

It would tremendously reduce the strain on his kidneys, liver and similar aging organs.

Even if that is true, it effectively enslaves him to the process, and subjects him to a massive risk of serious infection. As soon as he misses a treatment, his organs will suffer a huge shock, and may fail.

It's bad enough to require pharmaceuticals to continue living. You can carry drugs with you, so it's not as big of a problem if you have some disaster strike. But rooms filled with equipment and fresh blood -- that's harder to transport.

Comment Re: r.i.p. mobile... (Score 1) 153

It'd be nice to see ARM being able to play in the HPC field.

The battlefield is littered with the bodies of those that have tried before... I know I worked with Calxeda when they were trying to crack into supercomputers with their 40-core systems.

At the end of the day, the flops/watt was considerably better with Intel's Xeon (and much better with Xeon Phi). But that was 2012...

Submission + - Second Tesla Autopilot Crash Under Review By US Regulators (

An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal and many other publications are reporting that U.S. auto-safety regulators are currently reviewing a second crash that occurred while Tesla's Autopilot mode was activate. The Detroit Free Press reports that a Michigan art gallery owner told police that he survived a rollover crash that happened when his Tesla Model X was in self-driving mode last Friday. The newspaper didn't disclose any additional details regarding what led up to the accident and whether or not the driver was to blame. Last week, it was reported that U.S. regulators were investigating Tesla after a fatal crash occurred involving a vehicle using the Autopilot mode. Tesla said in a statement after that incident, "This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated." They also said Autopilot "is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times."

Slashdot Top Deals

"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."