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


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Trump is a criminal idiot (Score 1) 369

It almost worked with Ronnie Reagan

If you think John Hinckley, Jr. was acting out of a sense of patriotism, then you're the fucking idiot. Hinckley was a batshit-crazy "Taxi Driver" wannabe who was trying to impress the object of his obsession, Jodie Foster. He considered killing Jimmy Carter, then switched to Edward Kennedy, before finally settling on Reagan.

Comment Re:One *hundred* words per minute? (Score 1) 58

Now multiple that by about 20. That's how many characters you're actually going to generate with your 180 words per minute.

For the purpose of calculating typing speed, a "word" is 5 characters in length, including spaces and punctuation. 180 typed words per minute is 900 characters per minute, or 15 characters per second. That's superhuman typing speed, but not all that impressive for speech.

Comment Re:Decimate? (Score 1) 114

Decimate: Kill one in every ten That doesn't sound very useful.

That's the ancient meaning, but it isn't quite complete the way you've stated it. It's actually, "to select by lot and kill every tenth person". But since the 18th century, the usual meaning is "to destroy a great number or proportion". Common synonyms are exterminate, massacre, eradicate, and annihilate.

Comment Re: Revolution (Score 1) 127

Weren't the 70s a time of extremely high fuel prices and high interest rates?

Fuel prices definitely jumped. To nearly a dollar a gallon for regular gas. Fuel costs more now than it did then, but not 6 times more (the change in the purchasing power of a dollar from then to now). Mortgage interest rates peaked at around 18% (4.5x higher than today), but home prices were much, much lower than they are now, so even with high interest rates, the cost of home ownership was lower relative to today. I couldn't find a source that related prices in 1970 to prices within the last few years, but this one says the US median cost of a home in 1970 was $24,640, compared to $450,990 in 2004 (18x).

When you look at inflation, you have to account for what's inflated in cost. If fuel costs less but food costs more, that's a lot worse than fuel costing more and food costing less.

The comparison of 1970 to 2014 in terms of "dollar purchasing power" is, of course, some sort of average that is difficult to apply to individuals. If you have a lot of mouths to feed, then food prices are dominant. If you're single and have a long commute and drive a gas hog, then fuel prices are significant. If you're trying to buy a house in the middle of a housing bubble, then home prices are a big deal. If you're a hermit living in the middle of nowhere and raise your own food, then nothing matters much.

Comment Re:They could have done better with the data (Score 1) 343

See, that just goes to show you how risky it is to use a phone while driving... AC managed to accidentally tap both the Preview AND submit buttons before they finished typing!

Slashdot has a preview button?

Try using the desktop view. There's a link at the bottom of the front page.

Comment Re:I find this thoroughly unsurprising (Score 1) 343

First, I seriously doubt 90% of people are reading text messages while driving 50 miles an hour.

I hope you're right. I can attest that in So Cal many people are reading and typing text messages on the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass, where the average speed is around 6 mph. On the bright side, it does make it easier to find gaps to change lanes into when it's time to move to the right as you slowly approach your exit.

Comment Re:I find this thoroughly unsurprising (Score 1) 343

And what about the cops that constantly drive using their mobile phones? I see it all the time.

I can't speak for other jurisdictions, but in California, perAssembly Bill No. 1785, which took effect on Jan 1 of this year, emergency services personnel operating emergency services vehicles are exempt from laws concerning mobile device use in vehicles.

Here's the full text of the new law:

23123.5. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device unless the wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in that manner while driving.
(b) This section shall not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in the vehicle.
(c) A handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device may be operated in a manner requiring the use of the driver’s hand while the driver is operating the vehicle only if both of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) The handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield in the same manner a portable Global Positioning System (GPS) is mounted pursuant to paragraph (12) of subdivision (b) of Section 26708 or is mounted on or affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road.
(2) The driver’s hand is used to activate or deactivate a feature or function of the handheld wireless telephone or wireless communications device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.
(d) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.
(e) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using an electronic wireless communications device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.
(f) For the purposes of this section, “electronic wireless communications device” includes, but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, a specialized mobile radio device, a handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, a pager, or a two-way messaging device.

Comment Re:How to make your Rights illegal. (Score 1) 249

That in itself would be a very interesting result and not something I can see the average american agreeing with.

Interesting? The interesting part would be finding the average American still gives a shit enough to do something about protecting the Constitution.

A lack of action against unconstitutional actions that take place every day tends to imply that The People are agreeing with it.

It's pretty difficult for the average American to "do something about protecting the Constitution", other than supporting political candidates who appear to support it; just to make it more unlikely, most politicians theses days are too busy pandering to their bases' self-interests to concern themselves with Constitutional matters. Having said that, I just wanted to point out that the categories Ballmer is tracing spending to are quotes from the Preamble, and not the legally binding parts of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is never going to overturn a law because it violates "promote the general Welfare" or "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity".

Comment Re:Posterity NOT prosperity (Score 1) 249

It's "secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity," not 'prosperity.'

Correct. It's also from the Preamble, which neither confers nor restricts any rights or powers. Constitutional Law begins with Article I. The Preamble is a statement of the purpose of the Constitution, but it's not legally binding.

Slashdot Top Deals

Work continues in this area. -- DEC's SPR-Answering-Automaton