Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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

Comment Re:I went the other way (Score 1) 41

Hated the iPhone 6 and 7, so I bought the Asia-only iPhone 5 SE with 64 memory.

Small, fast, long battery life, fits in my pocket.

Fashion is knowing that nobody wears watches anymore. And big phones are a sign you're wasting cash.

The iPhone SE is not Asia-only. It's worldwide. It's an interesting Apple experiment trying to see if the demand for large screen phones is because people want large screens, or because the good phones had large screens and people didn't really care for having huge screens. Given the SE does remarkably well (It exceeded Apple's expectations), it looks like people want a good phone, and many people don't necessarily want huge screens on them.

It was hard to tell - Android phones had it so larger phones had better specs and few to none were making small screen phones with high end specs. Plus there is a legitimate market for large screen phones.

Comment Re:... what? (Score 1) 37

Why is it an OS function to take 3D pictures of things?

I want my OS to provide basic functionality and then let me decide what toys to put on top of it.

Because then the OS can present a unified interface for 3D scanners to applications. It won't matter if your scanner was based on dual cameras, or an old Kinect, or a new Kinect (old = pattern distortion, new = time of flight), etc. etc. etc. Any application who wants to take a volumetric image can simply ask for one and not worry about the underlying details.

Relying on 3rd party applications leads to odd fragmentation issues where Scanner A only works with programs A, B, and C, while Scanner B requires program D, and gonig from D to A requires programs E and F to convert formats. Or you end up with what happened to scanners that led to the TWAIN standard.

Comment Re:PRO hardware needs to come back they killed (Score 1) 195

PRO hardware needs to come back they killed so much like.

Which would basically end up being a rounding error in Apple's revenues.

The pro machines never sold well. The Mac Pro had laughable sales,a s does the Mac Mini. Apple really kept them along because of the small by very vocal community who can be guaranteed to buy a few thousand units.

And if you say Apple keeps sucking at the specs, well, Apple is limited by what Intel has. The Mac Mini i7 dual core is the only processor using the same socket as the i5 processors and the Mini doesn't sell enough to justify having two different motherboards for it.

Desktops don't sell well, period - Apple started selling more laptops than desktops around 10 years ago, and the PC market has been mirroring the same.

Comment Re:Ah, minimialism (Score 1) 479

Lenovo did this with their X1 Carbon a while back too. What is the obsession with removing functionality? Sure, Mac users probably don't use the Escape key too much, let alone the function keys. However, Esc has always been the equivalent of Cancel on MacOS and Windows dialog boxes, and terminal-based applications still use it.

No, they didn't, actually. The Esc key was still a real key, it was must moved left of the 1, where the tilde/backtick key is. That was moved to some place beside Ctrl I believe. Kinda like how UK layouts have a huge Enter key and mover the pipe/backslash beside the right Ctrl key.

Comment Re:Unicode? Can you speak it? (Score 1) 49

Shouldn't need to replace anything, just not mangle it in the first place. Assume that all text is potentially UTF-8 and life becomes a lot easier. In practice it hardly makes any difference to how code is treated providing you don't truncate text in the middle of a code point or make bad assumptions such as byte length == number of displayable characters. If it's getting mangled it is probably because a script or database is changing the character encoding somewhere along the line.

Slashdot already supports Unicode.

Yes, they do support it. The reason why it doesn't appear to work? They have a whitelist of characters that are allowed.

Why? Because unicode is complex. A character is one or more Unicode codepoints. This consists of a base character itself, plus one or more adornments you can add (accents, emphasis marks, etc). A lot of these adornments can be used to seriously screw up the rendering of the webpage - most common in the past when it was abusing the left-to-right and right-to-left text formatting codepoints. But the modern day one is to abuse the adornment codepoints that can end up making a character thousands of pixels tall and repeating it over and over again to make a mass block of ... black, similar to the pattern you see on the security envelopes. And depending on how your browser is, some of those adornments will invade outside the container and over other people's comments.

And that doesn't even include the ability to overload the browser's text cache and crash browsers.

If you want to see an example, a popular trick in the /. world is toe fake your moderation score using the RTL characters. Google for "5: erocS" to see plenty of examples. Before they implemented an output filter, it would look like "Score: 5" and the real score would look like "1- :erocS".

In fact, abuse of Unicode continues on sites that support it, norminally by piles of trolls.

TL;DR: Unicode is supported, but abuse of it resulted in the site employing a whitelist of allowed characters.

Comment Re:Monopolies are bad (Score 1) 70

Brick & Mortar businesses' response has been to cut back selection. Just TRY to find good precision screwdrivers locally, for example. Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, smaller hardware chains, etc - no dice. Frys has some decent sets but they're not here in the northeast so they aren't an option.

That's because retail space is expensive. So the stores have to basically sell through volume in order to compete with the likes of Amazon. So they'll only stock the most common items people buy in large quantity. Chances are most shoppers are online-savvy so more niche items like precision screwdrivers will be online only rather than occupy a bit of the shelf that they could use to sell something that moves quicker.

The savings from not having a B&M location mean cheaper prices (sure there's a warehouse, but a warehouse can be located in a cheaper area, often where shipping infrastructure is good versus easy accessibility for customers). Sure there's shipping but if you ship enough and have a warehouse near the shipping center, your costs are very low

Back in the day when the only way to get stuff is your local store, carrying a lot of stuff made life convenient. Now that everyone is shopping online anyways, as s store your best bet is to optimize for stuff that moves and that people need to buy repeatedly (like consumables).

Comment Re:Stateful Encryption Solutions (Score 1) 86

Instead of waiting 10-20 years and then suddenly finding out, oh crap, some government has finally has built a quantum computer powerful enough to crack RSA/ECC? /blockquote

While vulnerable to a quantum computer, practical quantum computers aren't even close. To break RSA-2048 for example would require a 2048-bit quantum computer. We're currently around... 5.

The real issue is everything around the quantum computation - the set up and readouts limit number of bits because as we increase bits, the amount of time before they decohere falls dramatically. And once they decohere, your result is meaningless.

So even if you managed to set up all 2048 qubits to the starting state (superposition), the system falls apart before the algorithm starts as the system is just too unstable.

D-Wave may have hundreds of bits, but that's for quantum annealing, which is a tiny subset of quantum computing problems available, of which factoring is not one of them.

And that's RSA-2048. Which I believe is obsolete, and everyone is recommended to go with RSA-4096. And this is because advances in traditional computing have made the time to crack from lifetime of universe to something still absurdly large.

Comment Re:Useless for any occasion (Score 1) 424

Seems like it would be useful in an environment like a gun range where you aren't relying on it for safety.

A) as another poster noted, the whole reason you go to a gun range is to get more better at shooting the guns you have, so that if you need to (or want to) use them for real later - either quickly like self defense, or more methodically like hunting - you know how well you can aim with them, what realistic distances are, how much kick to absorb or correct for...

B) Which leads us to a fingerprint scanner being a disaster in a crisis situation like a home invasion, you don't have the time for that nor want to rely that a gun you might have not touched for a while still has power enough to enable the fingerprint scanner. Similarily if you go hunting, it would REALLY REALLY SUCK to travel for hours to find out your fingerprint friend has no power or just decides that environmental conditions mean your fingers are now invalid.

So said fingerprint scanner gun would never be a gun you would use in real life, making it pointless to shoot at the range,

You mention hunting - is it really a quick draw sport where if the reader takes an extra few seconds to recognize you, it's a critical failure? Sure maybe you might have to pick a new target, but I wouldn't call it critical.

And what about shooting for FUN? You know, recreation? I never plan on having a gun at home, or using it for self-defense (the stats are against me anyhow - as in guns at home typically end up killing the owners more often than the intruders).

This is what's wrong with gun culture in America. Everyone seems to assume the only purpose of a gun is self-defense. True, you can use guns in this manner, and guns are often used in this manner (see: military). But I'm willing to bet they're used far more for both recreation and hunting. Everyone seems to believe that a gun is purely to kill someone, and no one can seem to wrap their heads around the idea that there are plenty of people who don't want to do that at all, or who are smart enough to realize that self-defense is probably the worst possible use for most people.

Hell, even arming the populace makes it a more dangerous world - wasn't there a sniper at the University of Texas Austin campus back in the 60s? Everyone raced home and got their rifles, and the end result is there were more deaths from friendly fire than deaths caused by the sniper. In fact, a police officer who took down the sniper was nearly taken down himself from one such equipped student.

And why do you want to go to a gun range and fire off a gun? Why not? Why do people run for fun (they're not planning on doing a marathon)? Why do people race cars on tracks (they're not going to join the F1 or other race league)? Or play instruments, or do dozens of other activities, by the end of which they can be better than a professional.

Maybe it's time to drop the self-delusion and just admit they're fun to use and mastering anything doesn't have to be for any end goal, other than the challenge of mastering it.

Comment Re:Reason (Score 2) 105

The number is to make account recovery possible in the event you've forgotten your password. The assumption is that attackers won't have access to your phone. That assumption is violated if your telco will transfer your number to the attacker's phone, of course.

And the good folks at NIST have already commented that phone numbers are a bad authentication method and should never be used for the second factor.

Because of exactly this - a phone number is not necessarily under control of the phone you think it is. There are many reasons why a phone number might not lead to the phone you expect, so you should never just trust a phone number.

Comment Re:Walmart also uses direct solar (Score 1) 57

This. Commercial PV panels are about 18% efficient at converting solar energy into electricity, and the best fluorescent bulbs are about 15% efficient at converting electricity into light (the rest becomes heat). So if you install PV panels to power your lights, you're only converting about 2.7% of the sunlight hitting your solar panels into interior light.

Fluorescent lights are around 80% efficient (similar to LEDs). Incandescent lights (traditional light bulbs) are around 15% efficient. It's why you can replace a 60W light bulb with a 13W CFL.

Comment Re:Ultrahd? (Score 1) 71

I seem to recall Sony positioning the Playstation as a media machine. First and foremost they advertised it as one of the best and most widely available bluray players when it first came out. The first bluray player to conform to the new specs of the day, and it was cheaper than most off the shelf bluray players too.

That was the PS3. The PS4 Sony realigned it as a games machine. Re-watch the introductions and you'll see Sony demoing games, while Microsoft demoing everything BUT games in the first introduction (the second introduction they showed games).

Remember, PS4 is "winning", so Sony doesn't want to fix what isn't broken.

Comment Re:Ultrahd? (Score 1) 71

How bout he explain why there is no Ultra HD blu ray drive in this thing? And how the $300 xbone s has one?

Because the PlayStation is a games machine. Not a media machine.

The reason why when the PS4 was first introduced, it was shown gaming, while whent he Xbone was introduced, it was the media features being demonstrated.

The Xbone plays games and media and Microsoft positioned it as something you use for everything in the living room. The PS4 is solely a games machine.

And given the PS4 is doing well, why should Sony innovate in that aspect? Don't fix what isn't broken. The Xbone is selling not so well, so Microsoft needs to innovate to increase sales. So far, it appears to work.

Comment Re:Hollywood loves reboots (Score 1) 199

Now bout we re-boot how TV is served up today and go back to not having the words in the corner of the screen, animated things while the show is on, and lighten the commercial load to what it was like in the 60's?

I think you're mistaken. Perhaps you mean the 80s?

Because in the 60s ads were everywhere. Most TV programming was sponsored by some company or other. "Today, Tide laundry detergent brings you ..." followed by lots of product placement ads for Tide. Let's just say they made sure you know who paid for the programming and that you really should be buying Tide and nothing but Tide. So maybe the 30 second ad might not have existed as we know it today, but it's basically programming intermixed with ads... for one company. It's also the era of the jingle which they played to get you thinking of them continuously.

Comment Re:The same government that wants backdoors (Score 2) 90

The NSA... the agency responsible for keeping government secrets actually secret... can't keep its own systems secured. This same government wants unfettered access to all encrypted systems, and already has the ability to tap any phone anywhere in the US from the comfort of their living room sofa. Not scary at all. Nope.

We don't know this.

We don't know how he got access to the files - perhaps he was authorized to? Remember, Snowden's files were everything he had a legal right to access in the course of his employment.

So if he was gathering the data he had access to, well, there's not much anyone could do to restrict him - there are legitimate reasons why he might be doing the things he did.

Plus, he could gather stuff off stolen computers too - despite the well learned nature of most of the NSA employees (it's a geek fest, effectively), they still do really stupid security things including leaving their computers unsecured and all that.

Hell, the NSA IT department must be hell to work for - try to implement any sort of security and you'll have people wanting your badge because they're smarter and more educated than you and know way more about security and to reverse whatever change it was. (You know the folks - they all brag about how much smarter they are than you and will never do anything stupid...).

Comment Re:Who pays for apps? (Score 1) 53

Are you iOS or Android. Android has more free apps available, a larger % of iOS apps require money.

I wonder how much this has to do with China using older apple devices whereas most people in the west have moved on to Android now. Is Apple still big in China?

Too much piracy on Android to make money selling apps on the platform. It's why the vast majority of apps on Android are free and are loaded with ads that rape all your data from your phone.

iOS users generally pay for apps, so developers get compensated directly by selling apps and thus have less need to sell ads. Plus the platform makes it harder to rape the user's data from it, so ads don't make as much money.

And China generally gets the newer iPhones. Androids are a dime a dozen (the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world are in China, like Xiaomi and LeEco). China generally has a larger proportion of users with Androids than the US (US is generally 40-50% iOS, while China is probably closer to 10% or less. Worldwide, iOS is around 20%). The Chinese generally view the iPhone as a luxury device, so yes, Apple is still big.

I suppose the bigger surprise is that someone managed to make a lot of money despite the Chinese typically pirating anything and everything, with pirate Android App Stores a particularly nasty source of Android malware. (Most Android malware spreads heavily amongst Chinese Android devices through sideloading pirated apps as well as the pirate app stores)

Slashdot Top Deals

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.