US Lab Developing Technology For Space Traffic Control
They are developing software to get better orbital trajectories. We already HAVE software that manages traffic and orbital collision warnings, but the problem is that our orbital trajectory data is too inaccurate for it to be as helpful as it should be.
After 22 Years, Walt Mossberg Writes Final WSJ Column
Over 22 years of experience writing columns, he ends on a 'best of' list. This stupid meme (using the more traditional definition of the word) is so frustrating to witness. I understand why writers do it (because it's easy), but it's depressing to see a good columnist in a respected publication end his career with one.
Embedded SIM Design Means No More Swapping Cards
I can see the utility, but this seems like a security issue. Isn't one of the purposes of the SIM to provide a physical identity chip? Why does it need to be programmable? Shouldn't you just say 'this SIM now has access to this network'?
I probably just don't understand the function of a SIM card well enough to get the significance of this. Can someone clarify? I am not 5, FYI, and I can understand multi-syllabic words.
Watch Out, Amazon: DHL Tests Drug-Delivery Drone
Reference: http://www.thetruckingattorneys.com/carriers/ups/ and http://www.thetruckingattorneys.com/carriers/fedex/
Watch Out, Amazon: DHL Tests Drug-Delivery Drone
How many people are killed, and how much property destroyed, every year by delivery trucks? I will happily trade a few dozen dead Fifi's to take several thousand delivery trucks off the road. Luddites never learn.
There are completely valid reasons to fear and distrust the mass use of drones by governments, and their power to suppress speech and curtail freedom. But this particular use of technology is exactly the kind of progress that saves time, money, lives, and the environment. Last-mile delivery by drone faces many hurdles, both legislative and technical, but it's a very smart goal to work towards that benefits everyone.
I tried to find some statistics, and the best I could come up with were these two links on an 'Truck Accident Attorney' website; I don't know how accurate they are. But delivery vehicles for FedEx and UPS killed 50 people in about two years, with another ~2000 non-fatal accidents. I will guarantee that the drones will have better statistics than that.
AI Reality Check In Online Dating
Considering it analyzes the responses you get, then yes... if you are advertising your bank balance in your profile (likely by proxy, with your profile picture including a demonstration of wealth) then the responses you get will reflect that, and the algorithm will take that input.
Google Books Case Dismissed On Fair Use Grounds
Google is very clearly in the wrong, legally, with their usage. Technically, they are violating copyright flagrantly, and profiting from it. And I am so glad the judge decided the way he did, because despite very clearly being illegal under current law, the end result is very much in the public interest, as well as being good for publishers despite their throwing a tantrum about it.
Largest and Most Intense Tropical Cyclone On Record Hits the Philippines
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck the PI a few weeks ago which cause widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure. Bridges collapsed and many roads are still impassible. The earthquake and hundreds of strong aftershocks serve to intensify the effects of this storm.
In case it is not fully clear... the earthquake exacerbated the effect on human infrastructure and safety. It did not intensify the windspeed or lower the pressure of the storm.
I'm sure 99% of people will read it in this manner, I just want to forestall the 'earthquakes cause superstorms' correlation.
Google Relying On People Power For 'Helpouts'
I've done technical support for 17 years. It would be nice to have this as a side job. I am very good at technical support and remote training... but does that translate into people consistently giving me money? Only time will tell if Helpouts becomes dominated by primarily free amateurs, or if professional paid services maintain a toe-hold in the premium area.
I'd also be interested if Helpouts get some kind of freemium model... will users direct users from a free helpout to a paid one? "Oh, I'm sorry, that problem is beyond my poor free skills. Hey, you should take a look at baitswitch13's Helpout, he is an expert in that!"
Kepler-78b: The Earth-Like Planet That Shouldn't Exist
"Almost immediately" in celestial terms could be 1000 years, or even a million. That's a blink of an eye, but it will happen... it will just usually be over before we look. This time, it's not.
Book Review: The Healthy Programmer
Please show me the proof that Slashvertisement Product 1138 is not yet another failure in dieting books. I would like to see a statistical analysis of at least 100 readers who read the book, and their weight changes over the subsequent year.
What, you say? You just published the book and have no way of verifying this? Then stop making idiotic claims or GTFO.
Have eBooks Peaked?
So what about a paperback... amazing, with costs like that, haw they sell for $6-9. OH WAIT, MAYBE THE NUMBERS ARE MISLEADING!
ByteLight Unveils NFC Alternative Called Light Field Communication
With the abysmal data throughput of most cellphone cameras (~10bps assuming a 30fps video sensor) this can only send the ID of the nearby LED light. This is not equivalent to NFC, which transmits encrypted data directly with the device. As they describe on their site, it is just indoor GPS... your phone uses network traffic, queries the ByteLight server to ask what data is relevant to your physical location (the business pays ByteLight to store this), and sends it to you.
NFC: Method for securely transmitting data over a short distance, primarily for inventory and purchasing applications.
"LFC": Inexpensive method for performing indoor location determination via the cloud, primarily for marketing and tracking applications.
Not anything like each other.
Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview
True. But us Windows 8 users have some nice things, like the much improved copy file dialog and the improved task manager. I still prefer Windows 7 (I use Win8 because I do technical support, and I have to be able to support users with 8), but to dismiss everything new as bad is to be a luddite. Even Windows ME had some... um... maybe I won't go that far.
Google Patents Frowns and Winks To Unlock Your Phone
In many discussions about the problem of facial recognition being used to unlock something, and the weakness to a photo, I have never seen anyone comment about using odd faces or expressions as the unlock. Remember that 'obvious in retrospect' doesn't mean unpatentable. This process is unique and non-obvious in my opinion, as well as being a good idea. It shouldn't be patentable (because software patents = math = unpatentable), but it is at least a good idea.
Google Rolling Out Gmail Redesign
I'm sorry, but labels are superior to folders in every way. I should not have to decide whether an email from my boss about scheduling my vacation time around the needs of a project should go under Scheduling or Project. What about an email that talks about three different projects? Which project do I file it under? Tags/labels are a superior categorization method, and can easily emulate a folder if you so desire.
I do not think Google shits roses, and I'm not sold on their update yet. But arguing that folders (mimicry of a physical location for a digital object) are superior to category labels when it comes to organizing data is ignorant. Content should be tagged not binned, and email is just another type of content.
Ask Slashdot: What Magazines Do You Still Read?
Scientific American still has full articles, without interspersed ads, at a high reading level, on usually interesting topics. They are the only physical magazine I don't mind picking up. I am sad they lost the mathematical recreations section.
Dark Matter Found? $2 Billion Orbital Experiment Detects Hints
Sure thing, as soon as we can make a road that is downhill both ways. Since that is impossible, your idea is impossible. That is completely ignoring all other practical concerns such as 'if gravity can be felt light years away, it would alter the orbit of the sun' and 'if we could create something with measurable gravitational effects spanning light years between stars, then the amount of energy we expend accelerating and decelerating a spaceship is pretty puny (dozens of orders of magnitude puny) in comparison.'
Roadkill Forcing Cliff Swallows To Evolve
I'd like to point out something few people really think about when it comes to animals: they have as much variation in their intelligence as pets and people. We all know some dogs are for smarter than others... so are some chipmunks, crows, cows, etc. Every population has its geniuses.
Point being that just because one chipmunk figured out what a yellow striped line represented, doesn't mean his siblings, relatives, and neighbors understand. Evolution works by selecting against unviable variations... and that means that variation has to exist.
A Quarter of Sun-Like Stars Host Earth-Size Worlds
This is a bit late, but I think you do not understand a simple problem with transit detection: most planetary systems do not orbit in a plane we can detect. To detect planetary transit very close to the star, the range of system planes is pretty high. But the farther out form the star, the fewer and fewer system will EVER occlude from our perspective. Our only way of detecting these systems is by measuring star wobble, and that only detects big planets.
Se we can use this information detecting nearby occlusion as a proxy to estimate how common more distant planets may be, even though they will never occlude in a plane that includes our observation.
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