Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:All that Tesla has to say back.. (Score 1) 219

I agree, but our cruise controllers don't hold our steering wheels so we can check our phones, like many people are doing. It's also not just Tesla, BMW and Mercedes also have their own system, Citroen had enough sensors in their cars to do this since before 2010, that's why I think there should be no steering wheel control features unless the car was actually self-driving and didn't expect the user to be alert and take control, no level 2 vehicles, using the NHTSA classification. We are already easily distracted, if we add more automation they will relax even more, that's why I think there should be no middle ground, either the car actually drives itself or it needs your input at all times.

Comment Re:All that Tesla has to say back.. (Score 4, Insightful) 219

That was a car without the "pedestrian detection" option... The owner, a bit of a moron, for some reason thought it was a standard feature and decided to test it on a group of volunteer fellow morons...

Regardless of that Volvo spokeperson's intentions, they are right, hinting that you are using an "autopilot" will make idiots do stuff like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

I don't see a problem equipping cars with the current automatic collision avoidance systems and leaving it at that, but autopilots for cars should be "black and white", either completely self-driving or completely manual, no automatic steering input at all. Period. Tesla's system will make people like that Volvo guy in the previous post do very stupid things, like the Tesla driver in this post.

Comment Re:If I can't fix the FPU in my Pentium III... (Score 1) 381

But in MOST modern cars cars you will not replace, as in my example, an electronic steering column lock with an aftermarket one, you would also have change the keyfob reader, trip computer and ECU (at least in my car). The same way that if you install a properly pre-programmed touch id scanner the phone will work just fine.

My point is that I don't understand why all the hate for the phone to lock when a device that is protecting your data is bypassed. Sure, they are being assholes for not providing a way to unlock the phone, even if it would erase all your data in the process, but it's Apple, they make very cool stuff and are known for locking their stuff up as tightly as possible, that's why it isn't for me. If they decided to lock every component, including LCD, digitizer, speakers, back covers, batteries (they could easily do it), I would agree, but it's probably a critical security component, and after that iCloud shenanigans they are probably a bit paranoid.

I'm not discussing the merits of their HW implementation, and I concede that locking stuff up after the replacements worked fine for several weeks is just wrong, but it's Apple, why the surprise? Consumers have a choice between shiny and locked or a bit less shiny and open, take your pick and don't be surprised if your brand new iPhone comes with proprietary connectors and can't be repaired or if your 50USD smartphone doesn't come with iOS. If you bought a 900USD phone and can't spare 150USD for a repair after the 2 year warranty is over you probably should have bought a cheaper phone in the first place.

Comment Re:If I can't fix the FPU in my Pentium III... (Score 1) 381

Technically they do brick the car, that's why you need the tow truck :D

And you can't take it to any shop, you need to take it to a shop with the correct hardware for your manufacturer, the same with the iPhone (well, I know that with the iPhone you are stuck with the prices of a single chain). I do agree with you that the repair procedure should not be available just to Apple, hence my " the manufacturer should be forced to ship a card with the device HW codes so repair shops can reprogram paired parts". On the other hand, the software apple uses to reprogram those components might allow people to do other stuff they don't want (like unlocking iCloud locked devices). I'm not an Apple customer at the moment, so I don't really care that much about the issue, but after Apple's response to the iPhone 4 antenna problem (essentially "ahahah, deal with it!") I don't expect they will change the "Touch ID scanners need to be replaced by authotized apple technicians" policy.

Comment Re:If I can't fix the FPU in my Pentium III... (Score 1) 381

Well, as far as analogies go, you turned your hyperbole right to 11, didn't you? :D

This is a complicated matter and the apple fingerprint sensor isn't certainly the first to make a compromise between security and repairability, just look at car security devices that are paired to each other like key readers and electronic steering wheel locks.

I don't own an iPhone, but as far as I know, the Touch ID scanner is a security device and, even if it's a low security one, they need some confidence that the sensor was not compromised, so I guess it might be a good idea to refuse non-compliant parts. I concede that completely disabling the phone AFTER it was working fine for a long time with the "fake" button is a total dick move, but if Apple argues that those devices were improperly repaired they are technically correct (still dicks).

Maybe in cases like these the manufacturer should be forced to ship a card with the device HW codes so repair shops can reprogram paired parts, the same way we use our car security code cards provided by the car manufacturer at the time of purchase to program keyfobs in locksmiths that are not affiliated with the manufacturer?

Comment Re:Stray radiation (Score 1) 36

As far as I know, those machines usually use linear accelerators to provide the radiation beams, that means the technicians don't get exposed when they are inside the treatment room when the machine is not operational or being serviced. The dots in the screen look like laser dots to me, they wouldn't have the machine turned on with the door open, and in that picture there are violet dots as well.

Comment Re:Aaaaaaaaannnnnnd (Score 1) 106

But that was not a sensor issue or reliability problem, the sensors work perfectly fine, it is an extra piece of code that does the cheating. Besides, there were all the other articles where Bosch already claimed they alerted VW that the feature in question was to only be used as a test mode during development. I guess we'll wait and see.

Comment Aaaaaaaaannnnnnd (Score 1) 106

Another article without absolutely no additional information regarding either the VW scandal or self-driving cars.

"Sensor manufacturers, for instance, may be untruthful about their abilities or, more likely, reliability." Is the author implying that before VW's scandal everyone trusted their suppliers blindly?

Comment Nothing new on the article (Score 3, Insightful) 153

I think the explanation as to why diesel engines create more nitrogen oxides and how the EGR works was simple and on point, but the conclusion not so much. I drive a diesel myself, but it is a 2006 model, it doesn't have adblue injection, my exhaust system only has a catalytic converter and a particle filter (and an EGR, of course). Even though it is an old model, like most cars since then it has more than enough sensors to do what VW did: individual wheel speeds for the ABS, steering wheel angle for the ESC, multiple sunshine sensors, front and rear suspension angles for the headlight height control, multiple temperature and pressures sensors on both the intake and exhaust, multiple flow rate sensors, mass air flow sensors, multiple sensors in the cooling system etc.

That's why I find the article a bit thin on new information, I'm certain the embedded engineers at Bosch/Delphi/Siemens/etc. could have done that with far less information that a more modern car has.

Did they all knew about it? Probably. Did they made hardware efforts to cheat? I don't believe it yet, that's the point of cheating, "passing" the test without having to add new hardware, there is plenty of data that can tell you if the car is really moving or in a test chamber.

Comment Re:Don't learn from the past. (Score 1) 66

Mobile phones have very powerful magnets in their speakers and they don't usually cause problems like that, do they? Maybe they have very good mu-metal shields in the sepakers.

That is valid concern but, as far as I know, magnetic cards are mostly being replaced with smartcards or RFID, that might not be an issue in a couple of years. I've not used the magnetic stripes in my cards in a long time, the ICs are so cheap and functional that using smartcards or RFID instead of magnetic stripe is a no-brainer in most applications.

Comment Re:Mikrotik (Score 1) 427

Agreed, Mikrotik routers are awesome, you simply can't go wrong with them. They are also very cheap.

Out of curiosity, my last purchase for the office was an EdgeRouter from Ubiquity. It was a pain to configure, it took me a couple of hours to configure dual wan, but this thing is fast, really fast. 5 gigabit ports, all of them capable of delivering PoE (passive). It doesn't have wifi, though, but that's where the PoE comes in handy to power the AP. AFAIK there is no alternative firmware, though...

Submission + - Surgical Snakebots Are Real, And Heading For Humanity's Orifices (popsci.com) 1

malachiorion writes: Last week marked the first use of a surgical snakebot—the Flex system, from MA-based Medrobotics—on living human beings. It wriggled down two patient's throats, to be specific, at a hospital in Belgium. That's neat, and could mean an interesting showdown-to-come between this snake-inspired robot (invented by a Carnegie Mellon roboticist), and the more widely-used da Vinci bot. But this is bigger than a business story. The next era in general surgery, which involves making a single small incision after entering the anus or vagina, instead of multiple punctures in the abdomen, might finally be feasible with this kind of bot. This is my analysis for Popular Science about why instrument-bearing snakebots wriggling into our orifices is a technology worth rooting for.

Slashdot Top Deals

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein