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Comment Re:Great System (Score 1) 225

This is for two days. It's not likely even the ultra rich are going to buy a new Mercedes specifically to bypass this rule when the maximum in fines they'll suffer will be EUR35. Not unless Europe has seen some significant deflation lately and EUR34 is the cost of a brand new Mercedes.

Comment Re:Banish cars from the city center (Score 2) 225

I used to walk half way across Reading, in the UK, from Sainsburys in the city center to my flat, carrying four or more bags of groceries. Older people had little carts, resembling carry on bags (the type with a slide out handle and two wheels) you'd see in an airport, to do the job.

And in the event I really had too much weight in those bags to contemplate walking that distance, I'd take a bus.

Why would you think you'd need a magical transportation device for more than one grocery bag?

Comment Re:Way ahead of you (Score 1) 225

One issue with public transportation in the US (not so much in the EU) is that everyone assumes that the primary incentive to get people to use it must be cost. As a result, it's usually run on an absurdly low budget, given revenues are only a fraction of costs, and inevitably it ends up not being terribly useful. Which means few people ride it, at any cost.

If you want public transportation to be popular, you need to make it useful. Make it useful enough, and people will use it, even if the prices are similar to, or even higher than, other forms of transportation.

One Parisian above claims that it takes an hour and a half to cross the city to get from one suburb to another, while it takes 20 minutes by car. That, to me, is a sign that there aren't enough buses filling in the gaps. Here in Martin County, Florida the "bus system" appears to be designed to turn tax money into jobs, rather than provide a useful service, with buses spaced an hour apart, taking an inordinate length of time to cross the county, only offered during daylight hours, and providing no effective county to county service. If they ran every ten minutes, with express buses linking to nearby county systems, I'd probably use it, because I hate driving.

On a wider scale (yes, I know this isn't directly comparable, it's to demonstrate the point about usefulness vs price), Amtrak's Acela Express charges passengers orders of magnitude more per mile than, say, the Silver Meteor. It also carries 10-20x as many passengers. Why? Because it's useful. It links major population centers with an hourly service, rather than linking minor towns and cities with a once-a-day service. So people are willing to pay big money to travel on it. Which is why it makes double what it costs, as opposed to the Meteor which makes half of what it costs.

Build a useful service and they will come. You don't need to make it free. In fact, making it free is probably the worst possible thing you can do.

Comment Re:Bluetooth Headphones (Score 1) 331

Plus Bluetooth on Android (may be true of iOS too, no idea) is fairly bug ridden and crappy. I've seen three relatively recent Android phones that crash if they try to connect to our minivan's BT system. Googling for "bluetooth share has stopped" (the error message the phones give) show this is a common problem and has been for some years. Looks like the 4.x series was the last version of Android that had remotely stable Bluetooth support.

You'd think, at the very least, Samsung would hold off until Google can put out a half way stable Bluetooth stack.

Comment Re:Fitbit is next (Score 4, Funny) 183


Who on their right mind is going to spend hundreds of dollars for some minor functionality?

Back in the 1980s, I remember thinking "If only there was a way to have my girlfriend (at the time) send me her pulse so I could feel her love on my own wrist in real-time. Of course the technology wasn't there, and wouldn't be for some time, so I had to settle for her bloody heart in a jar and 25 years in a psychiatric hospital.

Comment Re:Yeah (Score 1) 74

Yep. I have a friend who worked for a now-defunct ad placement firm. They hired people specifically for the purpose of figuring out ways around ad blockers. Of course that was dumb, because for people who are determined not to be tracked and force-fed ads, that simply makes them more determined to find ways to block things.

Comment Re:There are Ads on YouTube? (Score 1) 74

I recently went to renew my /. subscription because it has been some time since I last had. They are no longer offering subscriptions, not sure if it's temporary or not. One of the nice things with it was the option to turn off ads. I still run uMatrix and uBlock Origin on the site but still wanted to support them.

So it seems like they may be going straight for an ad & tracker supported model.

Comment Re: Yeah but... (Score 1) 202

That's why DVR users aren't thieves - in the end, the programming they like gets cancelled, so in the end they just hurt themselves in the long run.

That assumes they would have watched the same shows with ads. I can honestly say that I wouldn't, because in 2001 I canceled my cable completely because I found US TV unwatchable because of the ads. It wasn't until four or five years later that I "came back", and that was a combination of my soon-to-be wife wanting TV, and me requiring we have a DVR as part of the package.

What we're actually seeing now, as a result of the effect the DVR has had on the industry and the opportunities the Internet provides, is a massive, unprecedented, move to subscription TV. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, are all producing their own TV programming, with quality as good as the broadcast networks, and networks like HBO are broadening the ways in which their content can be obtained. Meanwhile even the broadcast networks are finding people buy their shows if they put each episode up on Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, etc, immediately after broadcasting them.

Did we screw ourselves? Nah. I think we're getting what we asked for. And for the most part, we're getting what we wanted as a result.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 100

I never said that, and responded to your other post explaining that I never said that. If you want to insist I did say it, please copy-paste from my post.

OK, if you say so. That makes about 90% of your original post completely irrelevant to any point you were trying to make. You could have just said "Congress passed the latest law that applied to this in 1952, and this appears to be at odds with how I interpret it", but instead you wrote some enormous history of how SCOTUS totally misunderstood Congress's intent in 1885 and Congress stepped in and rewrote the law, even though that has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in hand.

My insults to them were an explanation of why they voted 8-0 and issued an opinion that only had 5 substantive pages and punted the creation of any test to the Federal Circuit: they really don't care much about patent law. This was to address your contention that, because they're "deeply divided" on Constitutional issues around, say, privacy or the federal-state divide, it's highly unusual for them ever to agree on something (that happens to entirely unrelated to those issues).

You're implying that this isn't normal. SCOTUS doesn't usually write long essays on all the possible things it wants to overturn, and nearly never prescribes how a lower court should resolve them. This is a fairly standard case of a trial participant appealing a ruling over a technical error, and SCOTUS agreeing with them, explaining why, and telling the lower court to rethink.

And it doesn't take more than five pages to explain "You're doing it wrong, you should be basing profits on the articles of manufacture, like the law says you should, rather than the entire finished product."

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 100

. I said they're disregarding the explicit language of a long-standing statute and previous Congress-slap of the court, and replacing it with "you want a test? Go make one up."

Absolutely untrue, and after you made a big song and dance about how they're somehow reversing Congress's wishes, it's hard for me to take seriously the notion you were never arguing that.

Flip over a carpet sometime. You'll see a standard mat that the fibers are woven into that is the same, regardless of design. That mat is a substantial part of the carpet, literally holding it together.

Nobody's arguing any different. If there's a practical way to separate the components of a carpet into articles of manufacture (and they must be items you'd make separately) in such a way that only one part violates the patent, then only that one part violates the patent, and the damages can be assessed. That's entirely within the keeping of the 1952 act, which explicitly codifies the "Article of manufacture" language.

but it's not necessary to redefine article of manufacture.

Sotomayor isn't redefining anything. The term has always had a meaning. Congress's intent is preserved by this ruling. The reason all eight justices agreed that this was the original intent, and original meaning of the term, is because legally it is.

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