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


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

Comment Re:Common (Score 1) 107

The reality is that the tech industry has reached a dead end with the death of Moore's Law.

Is the problem really processing power, though? For a system like this, it seems like there are other problems bound to creep up:

* AFAIK, we still don't have good enough AI to figure out a spacial 3D world from visual input. I know it's still being worked on and there's been progress, but being able to place objects in the real world in this kind of augmented reality requires that the computer can figure out the layout of 3D objects within the real world.
* Even if you can render the graphics and place them appropriately in the world, there's still the problem of designing the UI. You need to create both the visual look of the interface, and figure out which gestures to use for different controls. The interface (input and feedback) needs to be easy and intuitive and provide clear feedback to user interaction.
* You also need to make the gestures such that they're read by the computer reliably-- that is, if I'm supposed to do a specific hand motion to activate a feature, the hand motion needs to be something that the computer will recognize almost every time it is performed, it needs to be distinct enough from other control gestures and natural gestures. Basically, people need to be able to control these systems without constantly activating various controls by accident.

These are fairly difficult problems for computers to figure out, and as far as I know, they're not really a problem of insufficient computing power. That is, as far as I know, it's not like we've developed code that can do these things and a UI that works well, but we need a computer 5x as powerful to run it in real-time. The problem is that we just don't have the design/code to do it.

Comment Reverse auction (Score 1) 212

No, you do it with a reverse auction.

Offer the tickets at an extremely high price initially, and then lower the price with sales feedback until you get closer to the market clearing price.

The thing is, brokers know that the market clearing price is higher than the face value.

If you offered all the seats at $5000 per ticket when they went on sale, brokers wouldn't be able to snap them up on the first day of sale. There's no markup for them.

As you lower the price, you will find people who are willing to pay high prices for in-demand seats but they would still be at prices brokers would be unable to make money on. Some people would be unwilling to buy them at those prices and would wait until the prices reached a level that matched what they were willing to pay. Most of the time this is going to be close to the prices you probably would pay to a broker, but it's going to be above the prices where brokers will be able to arbitrage them.

People will whine that this will make tickets more expensive, which is true -- more expensive than current face value. But it's extremely difficult now to get tickets at face value because the tickets are priced too low, brokers buy them.

Comment Sideways repatriation (Score 1) 261

I think the point is that Apple has effectively repatriated their earnings into the next best thing to US dollars, and done it without paying taxes.

It was one thing when they hoarded cash overseas without repatriating it, at least in some ways they were exposed to some kind of foreign currency risk. But since they've bought Treasuries with it I think to a lot of people it feels like they're beating the system even further.

Comment Re:Will we get simultaneous pairing? (Score 1) 111

I don't think multi-phone pairing with most Bluetooth receivers would be that hard. Nearly all the reasonably modern ones have track skip control and pause/resume functionality. Cars in particular seem to know when a call is coming in since the in-dash display usually shows incoming call status. It doesn't seem unreasonable that the car would just send a PAUSE to the sources playing music if the call came in on another device.

And up to this point, nobody STILL has explained tome whether multi-device pairing/audio mixing is a limitation of the Bluetooth protocol, the hardware/radios or something possible but unimplemented.

Comment Re:Pratchett and Baxter already predicted this (Score 1) 273

I really doubt that in most cases that's a specific concern for women and I would be really surprised if even gynecologists mention this to the typical patient having a couple of kids unless they have some reason to believe it's a risk. Maybe they might check and mention it for a woman having her 4th or 5th child.

I'd be more inclined to believe that women are concerned first of all about cosmetics and then sexual partner perception second, especially if the mother in question is on the young side of childbearing age.

My experience has been that women are really sensitive about "losing their looks" (bordering on narcissism) and other physical changes due to childbirth. While they may not really care whether they are "tight enough" specifically, I would not be at all surprised if it didn't cross their minds. It's one thing to not lose all the baby weight, quite another to not lose the baby weight and be a less sexually fulfilling partner.

Comment Re:What a joke (Score 1) 58

I think you could cure motion sickness with VR. For example, one of the remedies for sea sickness is to go out on deck and see the horizon. Oftentimes during foul weather when seas are most rough passengers are restricted from going outside for safety. If they could jack into a VR view of a horizon corresponding to what their inner ears are sensing, they could be cured.

Comment Re:Pratchett and Baxter already predicted this (Score 1) 273

I'm curious about the vagina stretching.

Is this a self-derived concept, they just assume that having a natural birth will permanently stretch their vagina?

Or is this a learned concept, literally "an old wives tale", with a natural birth mother complaining after having a baby that she noticed her vagina stretched after birth, affecting sex, and future mothers choosing cesarean birth to avoid it?

My personal experience is that it was generally more age dependent that childbirth dependent but not completely consistent even then, with tightness varying without childbirth changes, including women had given birth tighter than women who hadn't of the same age.

Comment Re:Will we get simultaneous pairing? (Score 1) 111

How is the headset/speaker supposed to know which audio stream should be played. Assume you have two phones connected to your car via BT, listening to music from phone #1 and phone #2 gets called. Is the car receiver supposed to figure out which audio to mute and which to play, or just play both streams over each other and let the driver/user pause one?

Mostly that's a logic problem. Usually calls are prioritized over music in bluetooth, so if you were playing music on device 1 and a call came in on device 2, why wouldn't it make sense to pause playing on device 1 and play audio on device 2? That would be the "logical" choice for a relatively dumb playback device, but on a platform like a PC or something with a control plane for configuration choices it could be something that was configurable.

Mute playback on all devices, reduce volume to x% and continue playback, bridge audio to call and set playback to x%.

You could have choices for incoming calls similar to the call waiting prompts now on phones -- ignore incoming, accept and hold current call, or merge calls.

And the last obvious (to me anyway) option would be volume mixing choices for simultaneous audio streams to set levels for each audio device. I may want audio from the PC at 25% but my phone at 100%, for example.

Obviously simultaneous pairing presents some choices and not every device would or even needs to have options for every possible combination, but mostly I think there's default behaviors that would make sense most of the time for simple devices. But IMHO there's no reason not to have more configuration options if the device itself has some kind of control interface anyway.

Comment Re:Will we get simultaneous pairing? (Score 2) 111

I guess I'm asking "why not?"

If two devices can share information about frequency changes, key rotation or whatever, why can't three or more? The assumption is that you go through manual pairing/peering verification on the devices themselves, so there seems to be no reason that the protocols couldn't replicate this data among more than two devices.

Comment Re: Sack of salt (Score 1) 103

What does it matter though if the content to the TV is in 60 Hz, or in some cases even 30 Hz? Sure, the panel might be able to refresh that fast, but either the panel is refreshing the same image 3 times for every time the image actually changes, or the TV is playing some processing games with the incoming signal to interpolate frames that don't actually exist. I'd prefer my display to just be a display myself.

Comment Will we get simultaneous pairing? (Score 2) 111

I mean where I can pair a set of headphones to, say, a phone and a computer at the same time and get audio from both at the same time? Or send the audio from one device to multiple devices at the same time? Two headsets paired to one phone at once?

Is this a hardware restriction of the radios, a limitation of the BT protocol or just the retarded nature of the implementation?

Comment Re:The year after. (Score 1) 171

For example, I've been involved with sales to the IT groups at certain banks, and they have strict checklists where anything connected to or running on their systems must meet 100% of the hundreds of conditions or it's game over. Nothing with any sort of telemetry built in would be getting anywhere near those systems.

I'd guess they'd get told telemetry was optional but would be necessary for certain support functions or turn some automated functions (like software updates) into manual, downtime-required functions.

I've worked with a couple of banks before and it was always amazing how their procedures would turn a 30 minute maintenance task into 6 hours of downtime. We actually negotiated our way out of a project with a bank because they were so hard to work with and I think we even modified our estimating process for anything involving a bank to have double hour estimates for everything with special riders allowing us to quit if they proved too difficult. We just couldn't make money and work within their policies.

Slashdot Top Deals

Congratulations! You are the one-millionth user to log into our system. If there's anything special we can do for you, anything at all, don't hesitate to ask!