Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment I don't understand (Score 0) 7

One of the simplest existing known attacks involves creating an 8MB TypedArray object in JavaScript. This gives you a contiguous virtual address range, which allows you to generate 9 addresses that will be aliased to the same cache line and therefore where 9 sequential writes will trigger an eviction and a write back to RAM. What made this attack now work on mobile devices?

Comment Re:People probably realized.. (Score 1) 204

I can see a lot of uses for a smartwatch:
  • The Apple watch can unlock my computer when I'm next to it and lock it again when I move away.
  • Apple Pay on the watch looks like it might actually be more convenient than getting the card out of my wallet - on a phone it doesn't.
  • A two-factor auth device that I carry around with me on my wrist sounds useful.
  • Calendar appointment reminders without having to get something out of my pocket.
  • More convenient map / direction display to glance at while cycling.
    • There are probably a lot more. The problem is that current smartwatches are like early-90s Nokia smartphones. All of the basic ingredients are there, but the technology isn't up to the vision. A decent smartwatch would be about 5mm thick, have a battery that lasts a few days, charge via induction from a thing I can leave on my bedside table, have always-available network connection without a smartphone, and be waterproof and rugged enough to survive frequent knocks. Give it another 5-10 years and we might get there...

Comment Re:of course the do! (Score 1) 38

I wouldn't be surprised if there's also a much more direct feedback loop for Netflix-produced content (though HBO is probably similar). Think about how a normal TV show is created:
  1. Someone has an idea. They persuade a studio to fund a pilot.
  2. The studio takes a loss on the pilot and shops it around to TV channels.
  3. The TV channels evaluate it and decide the demographics that will watch it and if a large enough segment of a profitable (i.e. high income, low impulse control) of the population might like it, they commission the series.
  4. The studio produces the series.
  5. The channel sells ads.
  6. If the ad purchasers think that the ads are worthwhile (via a complex indirect feedback mechanism involving tracking sales against projections) then they'll be happy and the studio will renew the show (unless a new show that could possibly make more money in the same slot comes along).

Now compare that to Netflix.

  1. Someone has an idea. They persuade a studio to fund a pilot.
  2. Netflix decides that people might like it and funds the full series.
  3. As soon as the show is available, Netflix records how many people watch it, how many didn't finish an episode, and what the review score distribution is from the subset of people that bother to write reviews.
  4. If it's popular, Netflix funds another season.

Which of these is more likely to produce shows that lots of people want to watch?

Comment Re:Yes, just look at Hillary's lies after lies. (Score 1) 71

Trump is a very special case and he's only recently joined the Republicans anyway. It's almost always a lie unless he's backtracking to change a truly outrageous one into something else. It's the way he does things (and probably why he had to go as far as Russian banks for finance).
A bizzare example was the five (yes that many) explanations for his wife using parts of one of Michelle Obama's speeches. Just admitting it, as was done in the end, would have been less ridiculous than four lies about it. All those lies over something trivial and in hindsight a real indication that there is not a massive difference in policy between the two sides anyway - the same speech works for R or D!

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 1) 460

From where I'm standing it looks like we've taken massive steps backwards since 2000. I worked in an IT startup that wanted a few people with engineering backgrounds and there were quite a few women in the place. I've visited similar places since and see 100% males, 100% anglo-saxon and nerf balls getting thrown all over the place. It turned into a fucking "no girls allowed" grade school club full of people who just want to be friends and do not dare to challenge any shit ideas that anyone in the group comes up. Go Team! instead of making good choices.
Monocultures suck and will fuck you up if you are trying to sell anything outside of your select little club.

Comment Makes some sense (Score 3, Interesting) 71

This might possibly make some sense of my general view that I have about lying, which is that it's not quite as simple as "honest people" and "dishonest people". I'm sure there are some people who are truly dishonest, in that they've thought very clearly about what the truth is and are being intentionally deceptive. However, I know a number of people where I'd be more inclined to say that they're just not really thinking about it.

That might sound weird or a little nonsensical, but what I mean is, there's a certain level of mental activity to "be honest". It's not just about the courage to voice your opinion, but also whether you go through a certain kind of thought process. To give a common example, if you ask your coworker, "How are you doing?" there's a decent chance that person will say, "Good" without even thinking about it. They might be miserable, but it's not necessarily an intentional deception. Maybe you're just being polite, or you don't want to share. Or maybe you're just responding because that's the proper conventional response to the question.

To give a slightly more complex example, if I ask what your favorite movie is, you might just say "Pulp Fiction" even though that's not your favorite movie. Maybe it's a movie that came to mind that you liked. Maybe it was a movie that your decided was your favorite movie well over a decade ago, and you've just used that as your answer when people ask, even though there are other movies you like better. Or maybe you said "Pulp Fiction" just because you thought it was a good answer that other people would agree with.

I used to think that it was as simple as "being honest" or "being dishonest", but I've realized over the years that a lot of times, we just end up giving whatever answer is quick and easy, or the safe answer that won't cause trouble. Some people do it more than others, and I've known a few people for whom communication isn't really about conveying information, but more about social maneuvering. And I don't even mean that it's malicious, since it may be as innocent as just saying whatever will get you to like them and make everyone get along. I think it's not even necessarily an intentional deception, but instead it's more like they're not even thinking about the truth content of their answer in the context of "true" or "false", but more like "achieves the desired effect" or "doesn't achieve the desired effect".

So I'm rambling a little, but I wonder if the amygdala has a role in the evaluation of truth content. If my general thought is correct, it'd be reasonable to think that there's some part of the brain with is being under-used in people who "end up giving whatever answer is quick and easy".

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 1) 460

We can't single out IT and say how sexist and terrible its constituents are when I'm sure there are still much worse places (harassment-wise, etc.) for snowflakes like refineries, steel mills, oil rigs, railroads, heavy equipment repair, and probably almost any other blue collar job where you get dirty or risk your life

I've worked in a few of those places and it appears to me (as a male observer) that those places have become far less "sexist and terrible" than I.T. in general, and the increasing number of women in those places (while declining in I.T.) appears to back me up.

Comment Re: Why does the ESA have a worse record of landin (Score 1) 104

From http://www.spaceflightinsider....

ExoMars project began to materialize in July–August 2009 when ESA signed contracts with NASA and Roscosmos to develop the mission. However, due to budgetary cuts in 2012, NASA terminated its participation in the project. One year later, Roscosmos became the main partner for ESA when the agencies signed a deal obligating the Russian side to deliver launch services, scientific instruments for TGO and landing systems, together with rover instruments, for the mission in 2018.

So that's when the sharing stopped. I can't find the bit where they had to give up on all NASA derived work, it was somewhere else on the internet three or four years ago.

Comment Re:of course the do! (Score 1, Redundant) 38

Netflix knows exactly what people want

Also, they're in a position to care about what the viewers want. The TV networks, meanwhile, are built to care much more about what advertisers and their clients want.

You might expect it's the same thing, since advertisers will want whatever people will watch. However, there are some subtle differences that have big effects. For example, they don't like controversy, so while they're trying to get a big audience, they're also making sure they don't ruffle anyone's feathers. If they're trying to get Walmart or Chick-fil-a advertising money, then there'd better not be anything in the show that could be considered anti-Christian or pro-homosexuality.

There's also a tendency to look for shows that will hit certain demographics who are thought to be likely to buy specific kinds of products. So, for example, a children's show might get cancelled in spite of critical acclaim and high viewership, if it turns out that kids aren't buying the toys and merchandise associated with that show. Two shows with similar budgets and viewerships might have very different fates, depending on whether the viewing demographics are expected to have a lot of disposable income, or to correlate with products that the advertisers want to sell. So networks are going to focus on making teenager shows to market Clearasil, and they need old-man shows to market Viagra. If you're their target demographic that's considered a desirable market, then they're not particularly trying to make shows for you.

There's also another similar problem that that Netflix avoids by having an on-demand viewing model, as opposed to having shows compete for a time slot. On network TV, a show might be making enough money in order to pay for production and make a profit, but it might still be cancelled if a network thinks that another program would make more money in that time slot. This was one of the rumored reasons for the cancellation of both Firefly and Farscape, for example.

All of this is why you see a lot of cheap reality TV that appeals to the lowest common denominator. It doesn't much matter whether the show is good or whether there's a substantial audience on the edge of their seat waiting for the next episode. Networks are just looking for cheap, uncontroversial programs that will make it easy to sell advertising.

Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 2) 204

the Apple Watch 2.0 only really offers waterproofing. no real advances that people would dump another $350+ to replace their 1 year old Apple Watch 1.0

I think this really needs to be taken into account in the whole discussion. The big story is that Apple Watch sales are down from last year?

You have to figure that a large percentage of people who wanted Apple Watches bought them last year, when they were first released. Most people don't usually replace their electronics after only a year. Even with cell phones, they wait 2 or 3 years, and that's about as frequent as it gets. Given that smart watches are mostly being used as watches and to display notifications from your cell phone, it seems possible that the smartwatch upgrade cycle will be less frequent.

Also, the "Series 2" model is ultimately a minor upgrade. It has GPS in the watch, which may be important to some people. It's waterproof and the old one isn't officially waterproof, but was still more water resistant than advertised. It's not thinner or lighter, the battery doesn't last longer, and it doesn't even look different. Some people will want to upgrade after only one year, but I wouldn't expect most Series 1 owners to think it's worth buying a Series 2.

Given that, I would assume that there'd be a big spike of sales when the Apple Watch was first released, followed by a few years of diminishing sales. I even had a theory (which so far has worked out) that Apple would avoid making a lot of small incremental changes every year. Given the novelty of the product, some people probably held off buying it the first year because they wanted to see if the following year's model would show substantial improvements. Now that we've seen only minor improvements for Series 2, that may have lead some of those people to go ahead and buy one, which may explain why their sales aren't even worse.

My basic theory is that Apple has a cycle in mind for how often they'll release major updates with major design changes, and it's basically on the same time frame that their marketing experts tell them that people will be willing to buy a new smart watch. I don't know if that's 2 years or 4 years, but it's not going to be 1 year.

Comment Re:I call BS on "doesn't belong" meme (Score 1) 460

I see far more women in professional roles in mining than in I.T. these days when it used to be the other way around.
The decline is so blatantly obvious that it's hard to see that things like the posts here denying it are anything other than agenda pushing lies.

So, mister team leader "engineer", what is really behind it? Is it anger that you are stuck for years at just being a team leader and not a real engineer and want to keep a group of people that you do not belong to from threatening your position?
The bit about bullying a girl out of the workplace because you did not have the authority to fire here is especially pathetic and sickening. If you had a problem you should have taken it to your superior to sort it out instead of just picking on someone until they left.

Slashdot Top Deals

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.