Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

Moskit You don't, others do. (289 comments)

The problem is not that YOU can overcome car limitations.
The problem is that OTHERS will not - all those lowest-common-denominator- people who will be told that this is a self-driving car will expect it to self-drive in all conditions.

If you don't think it's real, just read stories of how "GPS crashed a car" because some of the lowest-common-denominator drivers switched off their brains and just drove car into a river or off a cliff.
Just wait until a drunk sues car manufacturer because their car crashed or stopped in a middle of road instead of parking safely. Since those cars are going to first appear in USA, their usage will be dictated by famous USA lawyers based on experience of the least smart drivers, not those who understand what such a car can or cannot do.

On a pure technical front what Google does is a technical advancement, but it's not going to be a universal solution. Especially not when advertised as a car that drives itself.

about three weeks ago

Cisco To Slash Up To 6,000 Jobs -- 8% of Its Workforce -- In "Reorganization"

Moskit Re:A complaint (207 comments)

By laying off 6,000 people, they are showing cowardice and a lack of confidence in their existing workforce. They would sooner send 6,000 people to the unemployment line then work work with a known, reliable quantity.

If you have a hardware design (say, cooling) engineer and whole world moves to the new fancy software networking (say, you need a COBOL programmer), it might not quite work to shift existing person to a completely new area of knowledge.
Part of adapting to new conditions is changing what has to be delivered to customers, instead of trying to keep selling them a hammer just because you have a hammer.

As for "replace people with cheaper people", that's the way capitalism seems to work. This is not even enforced from the top by corporations, but from the bottom by customers, who will buy anything that's cheaper, even if lower quality.
Same thing happened in other industries.

Whether this move is shortsighgted or not, remains to be seen in a year or two, when restructurization effects come into force.

about a month ago

Google's Satellites Could Soon See Your Face From Space

Moskit 50cm limit was on selling, not taking photos. (140 comments)

AFAIK this limit was for _selling_ photos commercially, not for taking them. Those satellites could already take photos at higher resolution (25cm or better), they just had to be provided to USA government and noone else.
50cm images sold commercially were probably upsampled from 25cm photos anyway.

Limit was also only applicable in USA (obviously), and was changed to allow USA companies to compete with rest of the world as technologies advance.

about a month ago

Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Moskit Re:Possible factor (752 comments)

Russian military apparently does not participate in ICAO in that area and their weapon systems only recognize friend=russian military, foe=anything else, including civilian.

This crime was done with a russian-made weapon system, as far as is known for now.

about 2 months ago

Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Moskit Re:Back in the day? (502 comments)

And the best hack was the a-ma-zing RealSound system created by Access Software guys (of Tex Murphy fame).

It could even reproduce very good quality speech on that flimsy PC speaker, truly impressive feat at the time.

Soon sound cards got cheap enough and popular, as gamers took over PCs from businessmen/programmers.

about 2 months ago

Alcatel-Lucent's XG-FAST Pushes 10,000Mbps Over Copper Phone Lines

Moskit 10,000 Mbps = 10 Gbps (149 comments)

Metric conversion for those who prefer simpler numbers.

Oh, and that's a furload of Libraries of Congress per time period.

about 2 months ago

Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Moskit Re:Second key (560 comments)

TrueCrypt Hidden Volume.

Oh wait, TrueCrypt is now Not Secure As :-(

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

Moskit Smartwatch on airplane = switch off? (427 comments)

"I am surrounded by time - on my computer, the TV guide, cell phone, clock on microwave, clock on stove, clock on standard phone"

Once you get out of parents basement, time is not everywhere ;-)

It's true though that there will be people who find utility in wearing watches, and those who don't. Enforcing one solution for all will not make people happy - if you don't want a watch on your wrist, why wear it?

Interesting to see whether smartwaches would need to be turned off at an airplane... they use radio for some of functionality.

about 3 months ago

Can Google Connect the Unconnected 2/3 To the Internet?

Moskit They look for new consumers. (99 comments)

Reason Google is behind this drive is that it will allow them (and NSA) to reach more consumers.

Similar to how USA and other countries' corporations were happy to make Iron Curtain fail - not exactly for political/goodwill reasons, but to reach more consumers.

about 3 months ago

Cisco Spending Millions of Dollars Secretly Purchasing New Juniper Products

Moskit Re:Many industries standard: buy competing product (120 comments)

Sounds Turkish or Albanian to me.
I guess car companies will run out of fancy names soon, and people will drive Ford Celkj or Fiat Celkj ;-)

about 3 months ago

Cisco Spending Millions of Dollars Secretly Purchasing New Juniper Products

Moskit Re:Many industries standard: buy competing product (120 comments)

Thanks, missed the beta reference on first read.

Cisco is still more advanced on hardware front, but they lag a lot on software. Standards implementation (even if created by Cisco) in particular, although given how many products they have to cover partially explains those problems.

Juniper usually did "cheap but good enough" trick to gain a lot of ground. Cisco's products were often better engineered, but customers did not care for those better features, or did not understand them, which resulted in Juniper gaining a lot of market share. They have not passed Cisco though (yet) - in 2014 they have about 17% in edge (19% Cisco) and 28% in core routers (62% Cisco).

Markets are in transition anyway (buzzword compliancy), so next 2-3 years will show who got it right. Regardless of checking out competitors' products.

about 3 months ago

Cisco Spending Millions of Dollars Secretly Purchasing New Juniper Products

Moskit Many industries standard: buy competing products. (120 comments)

Company in any area would be pretty silly if they don't buy and check how competitors' equipment works. Car analogy actually works here there - people selling Abcd cars would drive Bghj and Celkj cars, so they can better compare them and advise customers of faults in others.

Even TFA says:
purchasing a competitor's products for testing and reverse engineering is not only a common and accepted practice, but "an important component of entrepreneurial capitalism" in the IT industry. "This is part of what makes markets work," he said. "You're supposed to know how your competitor's products work and incorporate as much as you can to make the next generation of your product better."

Regarding intelectual property Cisco seems far more advanced on hardware level, so obtaining gear from competitor is not really going to move things forward. Article also does not mention (unless I missed it) obtaining equipment which is in developement.
The best way for commercial spying is information exchanged by people - engineers from all those networking Silicon Valley companies know each other, they gossip, they betray secrets. This is how most of information leaks through, straight from the sources, not via reverse-engineering.

You can be also completely sure that Juniper bought Cisco equipment for the same purposes, and so did other companies. Even TFA mentions Alcatel-Lucent buying Cisco. It was an all-out activity.

about 3 months ago

Credit Card Breach At P.F. Chang's

Moskit China is 3rd most visited country. (117 comments)

Given that China is the 3rd most visited country in the world, this is probably not nationwide problem, but also for tourists who have been there and have paid with credit card at this China bistro chain.

It's good that such a problem hasn't happened in one of European countries, or in USA, because the problem would have likely been much bigger due to larger base of people using credit cards.

(here's hopelessly hoping that editors do better job writing "articles" outside their US-only minds)

about 3 months ago

Cisco Opposes Net Neutrality

Moskit Reality of the "internet" architecture (337 comments)

> This means that if ISPs want happy customers and companies want their internet product to work properly, they have to ensure that there's enough room on the entire network to deliver those services adequately.

This is exactly what is running ISPs to ground today.

Companies like Google and other content providers charge end-users directly for their service, and use common-cost Internet to deliver it. Huge increase in traffic (hello MP3, hello video, hello torrents) causes ISPs to inflict costly upgrades of the network to keep the same income from end-users (who expect prices to go down). The same user who is trying to save every penny on internet connectivity will now gladly pay X$ for, say, internet radio service. ISP doesn't see any of that extra income, only increased costs.

The only solution is to share the income and the cost.

Asking ISPs to carry the burden themselves will run them to the ground, or cause market consolidaiton until you have monopoly (similar to what happens in USA).

> Every individual company owning a network will have different priorities.

Concept you described is wrong. It doesn't matter what are those priorities, nobody is proposing to have thousands of priorities. If you read the article this is also not what person from Cisco was proposing directly.

The way it happens in reality is twofold:
- when you get a "circuit", you can pay extra for guaranteed bandwidth. If a video or other content provider wants to have guaranteed bandwidth, they can pay for that, and receive that. All such requests being equal, as long as bandwidth is available. If it runs out, ISP should be earning enough to increas capacity.
- within each content provider traffic you can declare several classes with differing characteristics. Voice will require low bandwidth but top priority for minimum delay/variation. Video will require high or adaptive bandwidth, delay can be higher but with low variation. Content provider can pay for different classes differently, and receive certain bandwidth guarantees for each class.

Both those models exist for a long time (over 15 years) are actively used in existing ISP networks and actively sold - except that whole Internet is usually just one class of service without any specific guarantees.

There should be no problem introducing classes of traffic to the Internet. If video provider 1 wants to pay for lower class than video provider 2, saving money because they think quality should be ok - let that be. If they both pay for the same class, there would be no preference for one or the other though.
This is net neutrality.

Existing networking vendors gear can already (a bit better or worse) carry this out in practice. Obstacle is in financial/political layer - how to make payments for that work on a larger inter-provider scale, including ISPs and content providers.

> Try connecting thousands of private networks with different priorities and different technologies to achieve those and make that work.

> chances that it will ever work are close to zero.

It already works on global scale in the internet, just not on public internet. ISPs have years of practice implementing just that.

> Sorry, no, that's not the *internet* you are talking about Cisco. That's a private network in which some company gets to say what they think is important.

"Public Internet" is already a large private network (collection of smaller ones), where each ISP on the path of the packet can decide whatever he wants to do with it. There is not much public about it in reality.

about 3 months ago

AT&T To Use Phone Geolocation To Prevent Credit Card Fraud

Moskit "Your card was fraudulently used in USA" (228 comments)

It's often the opposite to what's in the summary.

I've travelled in many countries, and the alarms so far were raised overwhelmingly when card transactions were made in USA.

Bank usually calls when the card has been used in USA, as card security in that country is a big fail - no PIN, just signature that nobody can check. Clerks request and pretend to check your ID for name match, but since they know nothing about non-USA IDs, any fraudulent user can show them any bit of plastic with name matching that on card. At gas pumps you are required to enter "ZIP Code" as security measure (lol), and of course none is valid for a non-USA card. Big joke overall, no wonder that card issuer wants to verify those transactions

Another example were rental car companies. When you rented car in European country, they still charged your card through their USA HQ, resulting in transaction blockage or a call from the bank to clarify fraud (card suddenly used in a country far away, known for fraud).

about 4 months ago

Hundreds of Cities Wired With Fiber, But Telecom Lobbying Keeps It Unusable

Moskit They do it in Sweden. (347 comments)

Stockholm (among others) has a fiber network built and owned by the city. It is neutral, and various providers can sell services over it.

Selecting and switching service is simple. Moving patchcord is out of fashion, you just reprogram devices to redirect traffic where it should go - no need for physical action.

This is how this should work. Sadly with various EU laws in effect this model is much harder to replicate now.

about 4 months ago

I Want a Kindle Killer

Moskit Re:Maybe you need tablet, not ebook reader? (321 comments)

Thanks for clarifications!

It looks that you are looking for a device to read scientifical documents/papers, or to learn/study using such books. You are right that e-book readers are not currently targeted at that audience, they are constructed more for either linear reading (e.g. novels) or as a pure reference (bookmarks + search capability).

There is ongoing work on colour e-ink displays, but technology price point is not favourable yet it seems.

Recently I saw a colour e-ink device from Ukrainian company PocketBook. It was either "Color Lux", or a prototype of the next version, and it displayed colours on 8 inch e-ink display. Colours are, obviously, not as vivid as on other types of screens, but they add a very nice touch to what you see compared to shades-of-grey display.
PDF engine also seems much improved over Kindle, it offers a few reflow options for example.

The main problem is price. Those readers costs as much as a tablet, and people prefer to buy tablets and have much more functionality than "just" an ebook reader, even colour.

It seems that currently there are two markets:
- ebook readers (original Kindle-type) with B/W e-ink display, for reading books/novels/poetry/newspapers. They are single-tasked, power-efficient, replace linear reading of books.
- tablets with reader functions (including Kindle Fire and such) that allow for much wider range of content consumption activities. Tablets are also more suited for content creation at the moment.

Neither is as good as paper material for writing notes, making annotations and doing all other things.

In future it might be possible for those two to merge, producing a third category of devices with colour e-ink based touch display and tablet-like content creation/processing capabilities.

This seems to cover what you expect, but it would NOT be a Kindle Killer! This would appeal to a new niche market of people. Kindle type devices will still be used by people who just want to read, and tablet type devices by multimedia content consumers/always connected life.

about 4 months ago

I Want a Kindle Killer

Moskit Maybe you need tablet, not ebook reader? (321 comments)

Ebook readers (the real ones based on e-ink) are good as they are. The less features the better, bookmarks and integration with vocabularies are enough for reading through a book.

If you need fancy stuff - get a tablet, it has features that you mentioned and much more.

about 4 months ago


Moskit hasn't submitted any stories.


Moskit has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>