Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



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

Comment Re:As a European... (Score 4, Insightful) 271

... I have a hard time with the typical US notion of free speech and no censorship.

To those of us whose parents or grandparents had to live and suffer through WW2, I is pretty much unthinkable to allow someone to deny the horrors of the concentration camps and all things associated.

We didn't sacrifice a million casualties and $4 trillion in treasure for your political ideals and way of life, we sacrificed them for our political ideals and way of life, and that includes unfettered freedom of speech.

Comment Re:Billing address? (Score 1) 107

Maybe getting the card numbers (card, code, expiry) is just phase I of weakness with limited applicability for in-person transactions. Nobody asks my address at the electronics shop when I have a $800 TV in my cart.

And perhaps they have other databases that allow them to correlate incomplete card numbers with names and addresses to create useful online transactions where they info can be asked.

IMHO, the only useful solution to this is two factor RSA-style authentication. Go ahead and know all the card info, but unless you can guess the random digits it would be worthless. Pity that fraud doesn't cost VISA and merchants can build most of their costs into product pricing.

Comment Re:No safe-guards? (Score 1) 107

Why not just build 2 factor authentication into the card itself? They could offer a card with an in-built RSA token or a way to use a smartphone app for cards without token hardware.

Something tells me this is something we should have, but given the sparring and profiteering over getting chip enabled terminals in the US (I'm STILL swiping at many terminals). I suspect that it's not the two factor part that keeps it from happening but the terminals and merchant software costs combined with a bunch of middlemen who figure that fraud deterrence for merchants and consumers isn't their problem since they make merchants eat it, who then make consumers eat it in higher prices.

And then there's the spreadsheet guys, who predict transaction fee revenue drops from failed transactions and doom-and-gloom of lost sales pitched to merchants.

Comment Re:3D editing is hard (Score 1) 256

I think 3D modeling software is a big reason 3D printing hasn't been the home revolution.

I've been using computer based 2D drawing software since MacDraw in the 1980s and have used it for drafting home improvement projects, woodworking projects and floor plans. I've downloaded Sketch-Up a few times and always found myself baffled quite quickly, even tinkering with generic rectilinear shapes.

And even drawing some boxes or other regular geometric shapes doesn't get you very fair in a world of tapered curves, irregular shapes, etc, let alone the same needing accurate scale and tolerances down to the millimeter.

And it's not that it's impossible, either, but it's got a wicked learning curve over 2D just doing the drawings let alone the phase where you have to consider how you design will actually be output by the thing making it.

Strangely it's almost the blade-and-razor model in reverse. In theory, they should give you the razor handle (the easy to learn 3D design software) for free so that you'll buy the 3D printer and supplies, but I suspect that in terms of cost, the easy to use 3D modeling software is the actual expensive part and the 3D printer should be the cheap part. It's kind of like 2D design software -- an annual contract for Adobe Creative Cloud is almost more expensive than a decent color laser printer.

Comment Re:Because it's not software (Score 2) 118

I thought Henry Ford was a visionary because of his business model -- an assembly line that could mass produce cars for everyone -- not because he necessarily innovated the automobile concept itself.

Musk's advancement mostly seems in the electric drivetrain, less so in the business model. He wants to do direct sales, but while it runs against the grain of the existing car sales business, existing regulation and low production volume make it appear less than revolutionary, especially when many products are sold directly buy their maker.

Comment No surprise at all, just abuse vs hope (Score 5, Insightful) 118

The survey ranking of the top 3 winning technology leaders is no surprise whatsoever. One of them is revolutionizing the EV, energy, space and transport sectors with a large number of leading technologies and hence gives people great hope for the future, while the other two are best known for their profiteering and abuse of the public. It's hardly a contest.

If you want to be known as a technology leader then you shouldn't be a leeching middleman as everyone will hate you, and rightly so. And if you do something technical then you should do it well, instead of doing it absolutely appallingly on purpose because that gives you greater profit --- I'm thinking of Amazon product search here, which is undoubtedly the worst search system that has ever been implemented in online shopping (advertising unrelated things in disguise). Prime Video has a similar purpose, mainly a vehicle for Amazon to put non-Prime content in front of you and make you pay for the privilege of their direct advertising. Oh and Bezos, you really shouldn't be abusing your employees either, it's bad karma.

Regarding Facebook, there's not a lot to say in terms of technology because all the company does is provide a website which monetizes and hence abuses people, so you have to scrape the barrel to find anything technical at all to say about them. One example of FB tech is that their techies release some fine open-source packages behind the scenes (only programmers hear about this though), but this is incidental to FB's primary product which offers no technical leadership at all. In fact they've given us technical regression since FB has closed off much public communication into a walled garden. Zuckerberg offers no hope at all.

So there we have it, not really a contest among those three. I'm sure there must have been other worthy companies in the surveyed 700, but among these three corporate leaders only Musk deserves to be called a technology leader. The other two should be filed under "Abuse for profit".

Comment Re:You should *NOT* be projecting.... (Score 1) 63

I think there are fair arguments about not distracting other drivers. But one thing nice about this vs. a HUD is that it actually projects imagery onto the surface you're supposedly to be looking at -- you want to focus on the road in front of you generally so seeing directional markings there is completely natural and doesn't require a change in visual focus or the distraction of having to look through a HUD's imagery to the road beyond.

Some potential ideas to make is less distracting for others -- don't display markings when another car is within a distance where they may easily see them, display markings such that they're oriented/displayed in a way meaningful to other drivers or communicate that they should be ignored. I drive through intersections many times a day with turn arrows and lane markings not relevant to me and I don't get confused.

I also wonder if there's some way of projecting them with a light color, pattern or polarization that's made more visible by filters laminated into the originating car's windshield, especially if it managed to do it such that other cars windshields acted as passive filters due to their polarization.

I think it's a great way to put information exactly where it belongs for driver visual focus. Distraction to other motorists *could* be a problem, but overall people are already visually attuned to ignore markings that are backwards or don't apply to them and their direction of travel. Roads have all kinds of markings already and nobody complains about excess street markings. And it may be possible to project them in a way that makes it difficult for other drivers to see them at all.

Comment Re:Better up the Military Budget (Score 1) 324

A wall won't stop them, but it will slow them down enough for people behind the wall to shoot them dead.

Don't be naive, if refugee/migration pressures are this severe do not think of a second that the people with will demand the invading hordes without be stopped by any means necessary.

I'm of the opinion that it's happening already. We argue around the margins about immigration, pretending it's about jobs, racism or some other bullshit but I think at the heart of it people really are nervous about long-term resource access. It's low level and you can easily rationalize away any kind of urgency about it, but I think the level of news coverage about refugees into Europe, the noticeable increase in Hispanic populations in the US over the last 10-20 years, etc is invoking something of a panic mindset.

We laugh about Trump's wall now for all the obvious reasons but it wouldn't surprise me at all if fortifying the border specifically against mass refugee influxes doesn't become something more than a fringe idea.

Comment Re:DEA already has rescheduled and overruled itsel (Score 1) 148

I'm on board with most of that, but if economics was a good enough explanation we wouldn't have seen the DEA making opiates much harder to obtain -- more intensive prescription databases to get doctor shoppers, more intensive audits of prescribing physicians, and the rescheduling of hydrocodone from III to II. The irony, of course, is that it has jacked up street prices and moved many low-level pill users accustomed to uniform dosing to street heroin, which despite DEA enforcement has become cheaper than made-in-the-USA pills, and with all the worse addiction and overdose outcome you'd expect.

I'm more inclined to think that the DEA was largely a political creation designed to attack the counterculture of its founding era, using criminalization of LSD and marijuana as an excuse for law enforcement action. This I think goes a long way towards explaining the DEAs aggressive moves against any substance with recreational value.

Comment Re:DEA already has rescheduled and overruled itsel (Score 4, Interesting) 148

Given that the FDA's purpose is to approve drugs for their therapeutic value, why don't they have the ability to overrule the DEA? Why does the DEA have the authority to block access to drugs with a compelling case for therapeutic value to the extent that you can't even perform research to prove their therapeutic value?

I mean, I can't escape the (only slightly) tinfoil hat explanation that they do it to perpetuate and expand their power and ensure they have a near immutable list of banned substances to justify their power and budget. And of course they hang onto marijuana as schedule I because it provides the vast bulk of "illegal" drug use, and complete legalization might usher into public consciousness the idea that the entire premise of the DEA is suspect.

It seems highly likely that most drugs with a recreational potential are likely to have some kind of therapeutic use as well. I guess we're just fortunate that opiates, amphetamines and tranquilizers had a long and mostly irrefutable clinical history of therapeutic value before the DEA existed or they would have long ago scheduled them away.

Slashdot Top Deals

The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.

Working...