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How Baidu Tracked the Largest Seasonal Migration of People On Earth

shilly Presumably passenger journeys, not people (48 comments)

As others have said, 3.6bn people can't be travelling. I guess they must be counting individual, substantial journeys, but they don't say, which is a bit rubbish. I noticed that this number was unsourced, which also seemed a bit rubbish.

about a month ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

shilly Re:left/right apocalypse (495 comments)

Mod parent up for this sentence alone: 'Climate change isn't the end of the world, but it is the end of "life as we know it".'

That is the point, exactly.

about 1 month ago
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Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

shilly Re:left/right apocalypse (495 comments)

"People keep saying "the science is settled!", but when has that ever been a mantra in the scientific world before?"

Erm, all the time, actually. The whole point of science is to be able to know something about the world, and act on that knowledge. We know enough about semiconductors to build computers, for example. There's plenty we don't know about semiconductors, but we know enough to act.

The notion that all scientific knowledge is merely conjecture, based on the facts as we know them but continuously open to being disproven, and therefore not a basis for action, is rhetoric gone wrong. The openness of a piece of scientific knowlege to being disproven is not an on/off binary state. If you were to discover some facts that appeared to show that semiconductors don't in fact work the way we thought they did, and have this completely different mechanism of action, we would question whether the facts were real, and if they did ineluctably lead to that conclusion, etc etc. We'd question even harder if you told us that the facts appear to show that computers can't work at all.

about 1 month ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

shilly Re:Good for them (558 comments)

There may have been Oxford grads, but there was also the estimable Ross Anderson from cl.cam.ac.uk and his team.

about 2 months ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

shilly Re: Good luck with that. (558 comments)

That's because you've got a system that optimises only for speed, with security a very poor second. The aim of more modern systems has been to optimise for both speed and security. Chip-and-PIN is quite fast, and is widely used in Europe eg for grocery shopping. But contactless pay is taking over in the UK for low value purchases in high volume shops such as lunchtime eateries and, now, the Tube. Worker bees and commuters value the speed, but also want decent security.

about 2 months ago
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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

shilly Re:Lol... (296 comments)

And? Is there a problem with that, morally? If so, can you please articulate it?

about 2 months ago
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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

shilly Re: It helps to actually use the thing. (296 comments)

A "girly" UI? What, are you eight and stuck in a playground where that's actually a cutting insult? Grow up.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

shilly Re:Yo Semite (355 comments)

With that finely honed wit, I think it's fair to say that the Catskills would never have come calling for you...

about 2 months ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

shilly Re:Apple Pay vs. Google? (355 comments)

Strikes me as a clever and interesting idea

about 2 months ago
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Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

shilly Re: Telsa's lobbiest crashes (294 comments)

It's excellent rhetoric, but it's rubbish policy. If we elected governments that imposed no restrictions on the production of anything, then we are allowing the unrestricted trading of every product imaginable: polonium, abuse images, human body parts, unsafe cars, to name just a few examples. Many products cause harm in their production, or cause harm in their usage. And your ability to sue the, say, auto manufacturer who sold you a dud is a bit restricted if you're in a vegetative state. Thus, we elect governments who impose regulations to mitigate the harms.

Ayn Rand's libertartian wank-fantasy would be a pretty horrible place to live (and die).

about 2 months ago
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Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

shilly Re:Telsa's lobbiest crashes (294 comments)

You don't need legislation to deal with this.

The hassle of a repair will figure into people's purchasing decisions. Other businesses will spring up, who make money from facilitating the repair process. Etc

about 2 months ago
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Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

shilly Re:*sigh* ... Lack of problem. (279 comments)

Where is "there"? The whole of Africa?

Are you proposing that you can create an impermeable land and sea border for the whole of Africa? A border that can be maintained in the face of the breakdown of multiple societies due to the combination of Ebola, other current and very severe problems in these countries eg Boko Haram, malaria, etc, and the economic embargo you're effectively imposing through the border?

Yeah, well, let us know how that works out for ya.

about 2 months ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

shilly Re:Hoax (986 comments)

Why do people talk so definitively when they are verifiably wrong about stuff (and why do they get moderated informative)? "Nobel prizes are never given posthumously" is just not true. You only have to look at the Nobel Prize Foundation's own website to see this:
"From 1974, the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation stipulate that a Prize cannot be awarded posthumously, unless death has occurred after the announcement of the Nobel Prize. Before 1974, the Nobel Prize has only been awarded posthumously twice: to Dag Hammarskjöld (Nobel Peace Prize 1961) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt (Nobel Prize in Literature 1931).

Following the 2011 announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, it was discovered that one of the Medicine Laureates, Ralph Steinman, had passed away three days earlier. The Board of the Nobel Foundation examined the statutes, and an interpretation of the purpose of the rule above lead to the conclusion that Ralph Steinman should continue to remain a Nobel Laureate, as the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet had announced the 2011 Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine without knowing of his death."

I would also be interested to see if you can point to any actual rules that stipulate the Nobel Physics prize may not be awarded for pure theory.

about 2 months ago
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Texas Ebola Patient Dies

shilly Re:21 day incubation period... (487 comments)

What would a trivial dismemberment look like? Losing only your little toe?

about 2 months ago
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Texas Ebola Patient Dies

shilly Re:The Conservative Option (487 comments)

What the fuck are you talking about?

1. Ebola has already reached several large West African cities.
2. "Down there"? Are you on Mars?
3. Reaching a city does not inevitably mean pandemic. Cases were reported in Lagos, which is really quite a large city what with its population of 5m+, and yet containment and tracing worked and the city is Ebola-free once again.

about 2 months ago
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Texas Ebola Patient Dies

shilly Re:The Conservative Option (487 comments)

All that indignation and yet you don't appear to know why a 72 hour quarantine is not hugely helpful for a disease with a 2 to 21 day incubation period.

about 2 months ago
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Texas Ebola Patient Dies

shilly Re:The Conservative Option (487 comments)

We should neither over- nor under-play the issue. Ebola is relatively hardy, it is spread through sweat and saliva which can be sprayed through the air, prevention is not at at all as simple as practising basic handwashing hygiene (there's a reason people wear full protective gear), etc etc.

about 2 months ago
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Texas Ebola Patient Dies

shilly Re:The Conservative Option (487 comments)

You're right about the virulence of course, but you're correct in evolutionary terms. It won't kill 100% of us. But plenty of infections kill a material fraction of their host population from time to time, ie 5%+. Hundreds of millions of deaths would be a bit of a problem even if it were nowhere near an extinction event.

about 2 months ago
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A Garbage Truck That Would Make Elon Musk Proud

shilly Re: At last a good idea (174 comments)

You're conflating lots of things.

Addressing your first paragraph:
The point at issue was whether reallocating some roadspace from autos to bikes would be a good thing to do, not whether the climate of the US made it inherently unsuitable to ride a bike at all in (a contention I find pretty risible, to be honest). Nor was it a debate about whether or not cycling was inherently risky due to autos, whether in Manhattan or anywhere else. In fact, and pretty obviously, the whole point of cycle superhighways is to encourage cycling by reducing this risk. And I wasn't claiming that this risk was eliminated in Manhattan, I was simply saying that there are in fact routes in a major US city where auto space has been reallocated to cycles. Nor was I claiming that the amount of space reallocated needed to be large. You don't in fact need that many major bike routes with reallocated space in order to effect significant benefits for many cyclists. TfL studies go into this point in some detail, should you be interested. I am well aware of what CityBikes are, given that Boris bikes are common in London, and work on a very similar model.

Addressing your second:
Closing off streets has not happened yet. It is contentious but it will happen (and has happened in NYC too). The congestion charge is not material for cycle superhighways. The two policies are mildly synergistic, but there is no cause and effect. The tube is also not material for cycle superhighways. On culture: well, sure. But you said it was impossible in your first reply to me, not merely that it was difficult.

I don't think it's impossible, as you have been arguing. I do think that it's difficult, that it requires an effort of political and cultural will that is largely lacking, and that it doesn't work everywhere. But it could still be worth the effort.

about 2 months ago
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A Garbage Truck That Would Make Elon Musk Proud

shilly Re: At last a good idea (174 comments)

Well, it will work in London, England, where there are several million people living. It works in many European cities already. And it works in New York City, where there are lots of Class 1 Bikeways. So many tens of millions of folks already have access to these. I'm sure retrofitting may be very challenging in some places, but London is not an especially easy place to do it either, including for several of the reasons you cite (eg our roads date back a lot further than colonial times) and we're managing. So I don't see why you're wanting to dismiss this out-of-hand.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Apple's European partners for iPhone

shilly shilly writes  |  more than 7 years ago

shilly (142940) writes "The Grauniad is reporting that Apple in on the verge of choosing its European partners. It looks like O2 / Telefonica for the UK and Spain, T-Mobile for Germany, and Orange / France Telecome for the French. Retailers apparently lost out to the operators in their bid for direct sales."

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