×

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!

Comments

top

This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

martin-boundary Re:QWERTY Keyboard (275 comments)

I remember, in the 80s, some of the kids at school had smart watches with a keyboard on them. And yes, the keys were basically little round buttons 1mm in diameter, and you had to use your nails to press them. I think they were made by Sharp, maybe.

3 days ago
top

This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

martin-boundary Re:It was a "joke" back then (275 comments)

You don't need 4K^2 pixels. Your "retina" can't see them anyway, apparently. At least if you're hardware is "iPC" compatible.

3 days ago
top

Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

martin-boundary Re:Outrage fatigue (230 comments)

So. It has come to this. John Titior was right!

about two weeks ago
top

Google Glass Signs Deal With Ray Ban's Parent Company

martin-boundary Re:fuck me (125 comments)

If selling your search terms to advertisers were not in the business model, how much would you be willing to pay for Google? $50 a month? $100?

About 1/3rd of my internet bill, eg $20 per month. Lots of telecoms companies can survive on that amount. But given that I've been around the internet before Google even existed, I'm perfectly capable of imagining alternatives that don't require paying Google $100 to come up with products and services I don't use.

about three weeks ago
top

Google Glass Signs Deal With Ray Ban's Parent Company

martin-boundary Re:fuck me (125 comments)

I'm no fan of Apple, but they NEVER spied on people as their primary business model. Google are a fucking nest of spies, pardon my French. They once were the luminaries who pulled the world wide web from a mess of near unsearchable data into an ordered scalable whole. Then they bought Doubleclick, and Doubleclick blackened their hearts and swallowed them whole, from the inside out. RIP Google of old, and FOAD.

about three weeks ago
top

Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome

martin-boundary Re:Just for a browser? (240 comments)

This is exactly how Microsoft fought the browser wars in the 1990's. By introducing deliberately incompatible, piecemeal and nonstandard ways of doing things, and making them defaults on Windows. Google does the same on Android and ChromeOS. Microsoft had Windows on every PC, except Apples. Google has Android on every smartphone, except Apples. You might ask, why should the Free Software Community care? Well, it used to be that Android was basically a linux distro. Linux distros are nice, because the user can replace anyting he likes and make everything just so. That works because the free software isn't just gratis, but has the kind of license that promotes collaboration, and a community of devs and users. Google have horrible licences, and want to replace existing software that runs unchanged on lots of OSes and architectures with their own, then bundle it with Android. In this way, you end up with an OS that runs proprietary software nobody except Google can change (realistically), and runs on every piece of hardware you can buy in stores (except Apples). It spies on you, and rams ads down your throat. And the ubiquitous Free Software we became used to in the internet boom years will become less available, since it won't run on the hardware people will want to buy.

about a month ago
top

Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

martin-boundary Re:Conflict (125 comments)

Part of the conflict has nothing to do with being the most knowledgeable on the subject, but actually raising the subject in the first place. For example, some unknown startup might write its own entry as an advertising vehicle. Of course, they're the most knowledgeable about the subject - themselves - but the subject isn't notable in the first place. It's just a thinly veiled ad for the company.

Similarly, intelligent design is an uninteresting, unimportant subject compared with accepted science facts. Obviously, intelligent designers are the most knowledgeable about their own claims, but they shouldn't be contributing articles about themselves - that would just be adverts for their cause - making their cause seem bigger and more important than it is to attract new followers and stay in the news.

There's an argument to be made that new articles about a company should be *creatable* only by third parties without a connection to the subject, who can judje if creating a page is actually meaningful or desirable. Most companies, especially the unknown ones, would then never get an article. Only once an article about a company already exists does it make sense for that company to submit edits for facts.

about a month ago
top

SpaceX Wants To Go To Mars — and Has a Plan To Get There

martin-boundary Re:Good (236 comments)

It's about time America started acting like America again.

I dunno, making grand plans and all that is great, but after the *actual* work gets outsourced to China, how do we know they'll be *really* wearing USA T-shirts when they step on Mars on our behalf?

about a month ago
top

Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

martin-boundary Re: i interpret it to mean (497 comments)

The aether was never proven to exist in the first place. It was always an untested assumption, mathematically convenient, which the Michelson Morley experiments contradicted. Therefore it was proven to *not* exist, and later scientific experiments haven't contradicted this *non*existence.

You appear to confuse convenient abstractions, whose truth or falsity must await a decisive experiment, with scientific laws that have already been tested. The latter, once tested, do no change, and are not repealed. The former are undetermined, until a test addresses them for the first time.

All your so-called contradictions are of this type. It's an easy mistake for non-scientists to make, because scientists often write about assumptions as if they were fact, just to explore their consequences. But every scientist keeps a mental table of what's been experimentally verified, and what's as yet undetermined.

about a month ago
top

Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

martin-boundary Re:More or less (497 comments)

Just to clarify, they are only definitions in the theoretical sense, if you happen to be doing applied mathematics. If you happen to be in a physics lab, with physics equipment, performing actual experiments, then Newton's laws become nontrivial and deep statements about the nature of reality that you are experiencing.

about a month and a half ago
top

Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

martin-boundary Re:More or less (497 comments)

No, the point is that the GP got it wrong. It's OK to make authoritative statements, but you'd better get those statements right, or else someone's going to point out what a fool you've made yourself out to be.

And that's Science too, BTW.

about a month and a half ago
top

Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

martin-boundary Re: i interpret it to mean (497 comments)

The philosophical underpinnings of science have advanced since then and the term law is no longer used.

By whom? Postmodern philosophers who live on the sidelines of Science and write papers about epistemological impossibilities? There used to be a philosopher called Zeno who believed that motion is impossible. The world ignored him.

Richard Feynman had a great quote that's quite apt in this regard: "Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds".

If you're a scientist doing actual Science today, then Laws exist. In fact, plenty of Laws exist. Plenty of Settled Science exists. There's always room for improvement, and plenty of things we don't know, but the new things we learn cannot contradict the past things we already learned. They can only polish the details.

To take an analogy. Past laws of Science are like a movie (representing reality) shown in DVD resolution. New Science can increase the resolution of the same movie to 1080p. You'll see more details more clearly, and you'll recognize how the old DVD resolution was sort of fuzzy in some places. But the movie remains the same, it's just more precise.

about a month and a half ago
top

Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

martin-boundary Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (465 comments)

This is exactly what Apple are asking for is this case - proof of ownership, and the standard legal verification of the will.

Then either TFA is not truthful, or you're wrong. According to TFA, Apple are asking for a court order to prove that the mother was the original owner.

Reading TFA's summary, "We've provided the death certificate, will and solicitor's letter but it wasn't enough". "were asked to provide written consent for the device to be unlocked".

Anyway, this horse is pretty much dead by now, there's little point in beating it further.

about a month and a half ago
top

Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

martin-boundary Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (465 comments)

Now assume that I inherit my father's estate and I add a stolen safe into the possessions, also made by SafeCo. What happens if they unlock that for me without a court order?

If it's a stolen safe, it's not yours. (I assume it's not your late father's since if you inherit it it would be yours). So it's registered with someone other than you or your late father's. So SafeCo don't need a court order to know not to unlock it.

Now assume that you inherit your father's estate and one of those possessions is an ipad, made by Apple. Now it's up to Apple to unlock your ipad, since they have your father's details on file, so you have a right to it.

No need for a court order either way, just common sense.

about a month and a half ago
top

Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

martin-boundary Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (465 comments)

And turning them off doesn't take just consent, but also a password.

And *that* is both bad and irresponsible engineering. Now you're getting it.

about a month and a half ago
top

Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

martin-boundary Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (465 comments)

What is all this garbage? It was locked with the owner's consent. The owner unfortunately did not think to leave the keys with her bequest.

What, do you have, like, comprehension issues? The _owner_ has not given consent to the device being locked. The _owner_ is alive, having inherited the device from a dead relative.

It's wrong for companies to build into their devices methods that automatically and effectively brick them when some conditions are met which byass the owner's wishes. It's destruction of property, pure and simple. Are you such a fanboi that you don't see how customers are being screwed? If so I pity you.

about a month and a half ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Sort?

martin-boundary Re:Non-deterministic sort (195 comments)

You're confused about bucket sorting and radix sorting. You may also want to look at probabilistic and randomized algorithms. However, the important point is that best of class algorithms for sorting are already known, and always beat ad hoc methods devised by the uneducated. Given that sorting is rather boring to anyone but a collector or fetishist, there's no excuse for not using the proper algorithm.

about a month and a half ago
top

Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

martin-boundary Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (465 comments)

No, locking someone's device without their consent is a bug. It shouldn't happen, and Apple is in the wrong for engineering a system which locks the device automatically without the owners's consent.

It's pretty simple. And yes, I know that it seemed like a good idea at the time to the idiot engineer who came up with this "solution". Lots of ideas seem good until the flaws are discovered.

It's still not the family's problem. I hope they sue.

about a month and a half ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Sort?

martin-boundary Re:Non-deterministic sort (195 comments)

Except of course _successful_ sorting is trivial - all it takes is someone to carry through their favourite method until the end.

Smart people however use the CS sorting algorithms, and not some random, changed partway through, invented on the spot method. And that's because smart people know that the classic CS sorting methods have the optimal complexity among all comparison based sorting algorithms. There simply aren't any better methods that take less work, if you're going to compare iterms pairwise. BTW, there's a proof of that statement in Knuth, but this comment is too small to quote it in its entirety.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

martin-boundary hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

martin-boundary has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...