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:Does it work better than a tree? (Score 1) 195

It's pretty damn difficult to achieve efficiencies as low as photosynthesis in the wild so it probably does. Then again, it's pretty damn difficult to achieve efficiencies as high as photovoltaics so it is very unlikely for this technique to ever match that.

(Note the inevitable consequence: growing crops indoors under photovoltaic powered lamps that emit frequencies that are actually usable for photosynthesis is more energy efficient and sustainable, today already. The future of agriculture is not very pretty: we need to replace our agricultural lands with solar cells and move food production indoors...)

Comment ATM's are unsafe anyway (Score 4, Interesting) 105

Even without this technology, your fingers will leave a heat mark on the ATM keys long enough for a malicious person to take a picture of it with a thermal camera. Therefore, when I use an ATM machine, I always hold my fingers over a subset of keys to warm them up while waiting for the excruciatingly slow computer in the thing to do its job. That probably sufficiently masks the thermal print left by actually entering my PIN. Furthermore, I have developed a habit of pressing on the keypad frame as if pressing a key on the pad to fool lurkers. That would probably also protect against the smartwatch appraoch. It's rather easy to protect against such attacks, just introduce sufficient noise.

Note that most ATM machines allow pressing random keys while they're not ready for input. You might also want to press random keys during that time.

Comment What's the alternative (Score 1) 262

If given the choice between my medical data being on a server in a hospital or whatever managed by a grumpy sysadmin who also needs to take care of peoples desktops or stored on a server that happens not to be in a hospital, managed by people that do only that, I'd go for the cloud hands down.

However, one should be picky about the country and jurisdiction of your cloud. I suggest not to store your medical data on a US server (or a US company server) if you're not in the US.

Fear of the cloud is a bit like fear of flying. "OMG I'M NOT IN CONTROL", totally ignoring reality.

Comment It's futile (Score 1) 301

Not using your real name is futile. It's likely easily extraced from the Facebook dataset, even if you don't have an account, so not having an account is futile too. The question is not whether you have an account, the question is whether your friends and family are going to upload pictures and mail/phone addressbooks that include you. Don't worry, most of them will.

Comment Re:Unfortunate but not unreasonable (Score 1) 91

[quote]Nobody blinks an eye when the EU demands patient records and other 'protected' confidential data being held solely in Europe, but being financial in nature, all of a sudden that's overreaching?[/quote]

The EU does not demand that. The EU demands that information is well-protected (which may in turn mean that you should keep it out of the US). It does not forbid data to leave the EU at all. Turkey does.

[quote]All I can say is if you're a multi-national without the ability to data partition geographically, whatever your business is in, you're just welcoming a pain in the ass now or in the near future.[/quote]

How the hell do you expect that to work? Paypal facilitates international transactions. In order to comply to the approach you're proposing, they would have to keep data about all international transactions in at least two countries. In a world where every country acted like Turkey, there would be no international transactions.

It's not just overreaching; it's ridiculous incompetent idiot behavior.

Comment Re:GM coral (Score 3, Interesting) 145

There's much more going on than "some research". Australia is actively breeding coral that is adapted to future conditions (lower pH, more CO2, higher temperatures) and is planning on releasing the results in the wild. I got this from the documentary about the Great Barrier Reef on Discovery Channel, but this article also describes it:


Comment Re:How about... (Score 1) 455

They're not semi-sober, they're sober but respond to somewhat arbitrary tests. I wouldn't consider it acceptable to bother the up to 10% of the population that smokes weed with that.

That's why where I live (stoner country .nl) tests that merely display a correlation with being under the influence instead of clear proof are not legal.

Note the resemblance that using such tests shows with judging people on other arbitrary aspects of their appearance. It's just not right, especially not in areas where using weed is not illegal.

Comment Re:Brakes? Tires? (Score 1) 555

I have never heard of tire dust being considered a major health risk.

Where I live (.nl), in many places near houses, speed limits are much lower than the road design allows, in order to keep the fine dust in check. Since the advent of clean diesels, the majority of that comes from tires. Tire dust has always been a major health risk, containing irritants, allergenics and carcinogenic compounds and more. There's nothing new here, nevertheless everbody acts surprised :p

Comment Washing machines and cellphones (Score 1) 397

The BBC used to run a documentary - "Electric Dreams" - about a family that lived like people did in each decade of the past century. It clearly showed that the washing machine was the real life changer, the number one reason running a family no longer was an actual full time job. It should without any doubt be on the top of this list, well above the refrigerator.

To myself, the cellphone would be the number one life changer, not the smartphone. It's not so much carrying a computer around that makes the huge difference, it's being able to communicate with anybody at all times. I find it almost inconveivable how much time we used to spent making appointments and waiting for each other at meeting points. Going into town or to a concert of festival used to start with making appointments. Now you just go there and meet up. Even though we now do all that using smart phone features, it was the cell phone that was the game changer.

Comment Re:Horrible Music (Score 1) 196

I find the when my guitar gently weeps video quite awkward. Prince is on stage the whole time but he isn't in the shot until all of the sudden, he steps forward and the spotlight is pointed at him. Also, the contrast between the guitarist soloing in the first half of the song and Prince was too extreme, to the point of being embarrassing. Also, I think, apart from his own awesome work that isn't available on social media, his cover of Radiohead's Creep show of his skills much better:


Slashdot Top Deals

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. - Fyodor Dostoevski