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Comment Re:About as useful as touch screens for amputees (Score 1) 161


Oh no, a system makes an improvement, but not a perfect, 100 percent improvement, so what, lets throw out the improvement it *does* make?

It's not an improvement across the board. It's likely not an improvement at all, if you are listening to elevator music to make you calm enough to drive in the first place, and suddenly there's a startling "BRAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT!" that could just as easily come out of the ambulances horn, but didn't, it came out of your radio.

Also: call me back when it can turn an off radio to on, or force your stereo away from whatever you're listening to, over to the FM band so the ambulance can scream at you more than the flashing lights, siren, and horn are already screaming at you.

Also also: so I assume the computer in self driving cars will now listen to NPR most of the time so that the FM radio will alert the car's driver -- a computer that apparently likes "Lake Woebegone Tales" -- will "hear" the ambulance.

Comment Re:Mac OS based espionage malware (Score 4, Insightful) 60

It doesn't. Someone has to authorize it with the admin password.

Is this based on anything, or are you just guessing?

The article makes it clear that in order to extract and run the malware, you have to extract and install other malware named "Java".

This "Java" is apparently malware developed by a large database company in order to install security holes in otherwise secure computers, and is so named to trick tired programmers into believing that they are installing coffee.

Comment About as useful as touch screens for amputees (Score 1) 161

As of 2004, there were ~530,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Sweden (Encyclopedia of Deafness and Hearing Disorders, p.197.)

So basically 5% of the population isn't going to hear the radio announcements, even if they have their radio on. Which they probably don't, or it's tuned to Sirius Satellite or plugged into their iPod/iPhone.

About as useful as touch screens for amputees whose prosthetic hands can't capacitively couple with trackpads or iPhones...

Comment Not to be too impolite about things... (Score 1) 86

Currently, that means smarter robots in space. Like Curiosity. Astronaut, like slide rules, are quaint but obsolete technology for space travel.

Not to be too impolite about things... but I kind of don't really give a sh*t about you putting a box with blinky lights on Mars. I have one of those in my closet, it's called an "Arris WiFi Cable Modem".

Unless there are people there to watch it blink, it might as well be a frigging brick.

I watched every damn Apollo launch. When I started school, and there was a launch, I had a note from my mother the next day: "Stayed home to watch the launch". I was always given makeup tests, but since 1/3 of the kids stayed out for the same reason, they eventually interrupted classes for the launches, even if they were "uninteresting" ones.

Who the heck stays home from school to watch the live video of a launch for a little box? Pretty much no one. If you care (which you likely don't, because no one cares about a brick), you watch the video later, on YouTube.

I think one of the reasons SpaceX tried to "stick" the water landing was that no one had done it before, and so the intent was to get people excited about watching things again.

It didn't really work, because it wasn't that exciting, after they blew the first one up.

Send a human to Ceres: my nieces and nephews are going to be staying home and watching the launch with me, even if I have to hog-tie their mother. They will also be watching the approach and landing on the asteroid itself.

Send humans to Phobos, or Mars itself: same thing.

Humans doing things is exciting. Robots operating as they are designed to operate is intensely boring.

The ESA robot mission to Mars has a malfunction? Who gives a crap. Apollo 13 has a malfunction? OMG, I don't know how I did it, but I'm pretty sure I was away like 76 hours straight, glued to the screen.

The incrementalists can all go scr*w themselves: If you all want to take "baby steps" to get from point A to point B, like NBill Murray in "What About Bob?": feel free to fund it yourself.

If, on the other hand, you want to make a "giant leap for mankind", we'll get behind you with the $$$.

P.S.: You can also fund yourself for a "giant leap for a brick"; no one cares if you put a Raspberry Pi on Mars. Really.

Comment Re:512TB? Why? (Score 1) 125

If you have a small address space then you need to write code that manually pages / caches the working set for an algorithm from storage. If you have a large address space then you use an interface similar to mmap and address the large dataset directly. It makes the code easier to write, and means that the paging / caching can be handled in hardware, where there are opportunities to speed it up.

Comment We already learned to walk... (Score 4, Insightful) 86

It is important to learn to walk before you attempt to run. In case you cannot wait, we'd be happy to strap your ass to rocket and send you to the nearest star. Please write often, we'd love to hear how it is going.

We already learned to walk... you're probably a millennial who was not there on July 20th, 1969 when we took our first steps. That almost 50 years ago this year. Guess what we were learning to do in 1919, 50 years before that? We had just completed the first non-stop transatlantic flight.

50 years before that, the biggest deal in 1869 was closing on the funding for the Beach Pneumatic railway... and it was 10 years before Edison demonstrated his electric light bulb in Menlo Park.

We are sitting around these days, mostly staring at our belly button lint. But we are proud of ourselves, for using robots to do it. It turns out it's the same belly button lint that was there in 1969.

We seem to be saddled with an overabundance of one of:

1. Caution
2. Roboticists, sucking the funding out of everything interesting
3. People with sticks up their asses

Pick one, but we should have a colony on the moon already, if not Mars (at least a Phobos base for the asteroid mining fleet).

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