Beta
×

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

Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

sjbe Legal expectation of objective privacy (165 comments)

However, the argument that when you're out in public you don't deserve any privacy needs to die. The law in most places may not have kept up with technology and its implications

It's not that you have no privacy in public but rather that your expectations of privacy are (and should be) rather limited. You might be noticed or you might not be but you should have no objective legal expectation that your actions will go unnoticed by anyone. As a general practical matter is is basically impossible to provide you with the sort of privacy you might expect in your home when out in public. There are legitimate public safety concerns as well as practical considerations. Are we supposed to avert our eyes because you walked by so that you can pretend you went unnoticed?

2 days ago
top

Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

sjbe Privacy != Seclusion (165 comments)

When someone spies on me electronically, that spy doesn't actually know whether I'm in public or not.

Explain how the airport does not know you are in public when you are standing in a security line and broadcasting a radio signal.

Airports have lots of rooms where I could be that are not public.

You are confusing seclusion with the legal concept of privacy. They are not the same thing. The airport is not private property owned by you. Generally speaking you have no objective expectation of privacy anywhere on the airport grounds so long as your Fourth Amendment rights to unreasonable search and seizure are not violated. It does not matter if you are alone in a room or standing in a public area.

I can't see any justification why the fact that people can see me would mean that people can electronically spy on me.

Nobody is spying on you. You are BROADCASTING your presence. Get a clue. If it bothers you then turn your radio off and it won't be a problem for you.

2 days ago
top

Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

sjbe Put away the tinfoil hat and turn your radio off (165 comments)

No, the privacy implications of this are downright creepy. Because the most unsettling thing is governments and corporations feel they have a right to this information.

If you are in an airport your are IN PUBLIC. Your privacy rights are significantly reduced when you are in public. You have no legal expectation of privacy in public. There is nothing remotely creepy about this. In fact I actually think this is a fairly clever use of the technology which allows people to easily opt out if desired.

And, it's not like you can opt out .. unless you simply don't fly.

There is an incredibly easy solution. Turn off your Wifi. Tada! Problem solved. If you have Wifi turned on then you are quite literally broadcasting your presence to anyone who cares to listen. It's like shouting at the top of your lungs in the airport and then telling everyone you have no way to opt out. YOU are the one broadcasting. It is YOUR choice. If you don't want people to listen then turn off your radio.

2 days ago
top

What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

sjbe Re:What certification means (95 comments)

In addition most companies introduced ISO 9001 in the hopes to improve product and service quality.

Most companies introduced ISO9000 (and similar) because their customers required them to do so. If you are in the supply chain for automotive and want to do business with Ford or its suppliers you will be required to be ISO9000 (or TS16949) registered. Same thing with aerospace and the AS equivalent standards. Some take it seriously and use the quality system as intended but plenty of them just regard it as a pointless bureaucratic hurdle to be circumvented whenever possible.

What most missed is the simple fact that you need to do something with all the data you collected and actually improve the production process.

I don't think they missed that. I think most don't really care because that takes work and costs money. They get the registration so that they can continue to do business and they do just enough work to get that done but no more. There are all sorts of conflicts of interest too. For instance the company getting the ISO registration gets to pick the auditor. If the auditor gets too tough on them the company can (and will) hire a different one. Thus the auditors have little incentive to rock the boat so that they will get paid and the company being audited has every incentive to pick an auditor who will not dig too deeply.

2 days ago
top

What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

sjbe Re:Jaded hipsters (95 comments)

All because he sold questionably valuable software company in the Internet dotcom boom.

There is no question. Paypal is quite valuable - worth billions of dollars. Whether you personally like the product is of no consequence or relevance.

The rest gets easier when you have millions in capital.

Easier != Easy. There are plenty of people with the sort of capital Elon Musk has and damn few of them have accomplished anywhere close to as much. Few have even started one company as successful as Paypal, Tesla or SpaceX much less three.

I mind Slashdot's endless fellating of him more than I mind him.

Then go somewhere else and take your condescension with you. Nobody is forcing you to be here.

3 days ago
top

What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

sjbe What certification means (95 comments)

They get all that done AND do all the technical documentation crap that other people pretend makes their components so expensive.

That's really not that big a deal. Being AS9100 or ISO9000 registered basically involves documenting the stuff you already have to do anyway in order to run your organization well and then actually doing what you document. It's really not all that big a deal. It doesn't mean you produce a good or bad product - it simply means you say what you do and do what you say. Pretty much any company that wants to do business in aerospace is AS9100 certified just like almost every company that works in automotive is ISO9000 (or equivalent) registered.

Anyone who claims that ISO9000 means they produce a good product is either lying or doesn't understand what ISO9000 means. Same with any of the other quality standards.

3 days ago
top

What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

sjbe Jaded hipsters (95 comments)

Yet another Musk fantasy with no hope of becoming reality. Wake me when he DOES something, rather than pie-in-the-sky fantasy.

What have you done that is so spectacular? Go ahead and dazzle us.

Elon Musk has founded several very influential companies, turning those industries upside down in the process. You actually think starting Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX is not impressive? If that doesn't impress you then you plainly don't understand what all that means. You don't have to like the guy but he's certainly earned a measure of respect for his accomplishments.

3 days ago
top

What It Took For SpaceX To Become a Serious Space Company

sjbe A big war chest isn't enough sometimes (95 comments)

Anyone with enough money and willingness to throw that money at a "problem" will be able to compete.

Just because you throw lots of money at a problem doesn't mean you'll ever make a profit. If you cannot make a profit you will eventually go out of business. A bottomless (or effectively so) checkbook isn't necessarily enough. For example Microsoft may never make back all the money they invested in trying to make the Xbox competitive. Sure they "competed" but it was a Pyrrhic victory at best.

3 days ago
top

DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

sjbe There are some actual uses (79 comments)

So, other than some moronic social experiment of "information wants to be free so if you see what's in my fridge what's the harm" ... what the hell would I want one for? What benefit does it give me?

A good question. I've heard a few answers that make some sense, mostly revolving around service and maintentance. I leave it as an exercise to you to determine whether these uses are actually of any value.

1) An internet connected device can notify maintenance services in the event of equipment failure automatically. You could have a service contract whereby the "health" of the machine is monitored by qualified service companies and service scheduled as needed possibly even before failure.

2) It would allow data gathering for manufacturers regarding operating conditions and usage to help improve designs and optimize performance in real time. Perhaps manufacturers could offer an improved warranty in exchange for such monitoring capabilities.

3) Some devices like refrigerators may integrate displays on the door and any time there is a screen there are potential applications for internet connectivity. For example if you use an online grocery service (like Amazon's) you could reorder milk or other items directly from the fridge the moment you realize you need them. You could also display movies or stream music through the fridge for entertainment while working in the kitchen.

4) Monitoring your stove to actually make sure you turned it off. (No I wouldn't allow it to be turned on remotely - just off)

I'm sure there are more. You have to think a little harder about how and why such a thing might be helpful. To make use of internet connectivity you have to completely re-evaluate how you use the device and what features might work well with it. No you probably aren't going to hook your toaster up to the internet but there are actual applications that make sense for some people in certain circumstances.

3 days ago
top

Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

sjbe TV without ads is expensive (126 comments)

According to Nielsen the average person watches: 4 hours and 35 minutes of TV a day.

I *might* watch that much in a week. There just isn't that much worth watching most of the time. I guess I'm an outlier. I cannot fathom why anyone would give a crap about the latest Kardashian family hijinks.

What's really sad is people don't insist on ad free TV, or a 3rd party candidate...

That costs money. Watching advertising just costs time. If you have a lot of money you can trade money for time. If you don't have a lot of money you trade time for money. Simple fact is that most people either can not and/or will not pay what TV would cost if it were not ad supported. Furthermore it's unlikely to ever really be offered because there is too much money to be made with advertising.

People don't support third party candidates because the deck has been stacked by the two major parties to make it almost impossible for any third party candidate to get elected.

4 days ago
top

Delivering Malicious Android Apps Hidden In Image Files

sjbe Pick a valid criticism of Windows-plenty to choose (113 comments)

Windows is at least as fragmented as Android.

Look, I don't like Microsoft any more than most people here but that's just nonsense. You can grind you ax against Microsoft in plenty of ways that don't require making stuff up. It's not like there isn't anything legitimate to criticize about Windows. Your "evidence" that Windows is fragmented involves versions of Windows that were released over 10 years apart. That's not fragmentation - that's just normal development. The fact that Microsoft sells several versions that release different features depending on your license code isn't fragmentation - that's just price discrimination. Microsoft only sells a relatively small number of versions at any given time - FAR less than the number of Android versions available for sale.

There are dozens if not hundreds of companies selling highly customized versions of Android. Want to upgrade to Google's latest code? On most devices you are out of luck unless you want to go to the hassle of jailbreaking. There are even info graphics detailing Android's problems with a horde of different versions and makers.

4 days ago
top

Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

sjbe Rural highways (397 comments)

Every section of road I've ever seen that has stop lights also has speed limits much less than 60 mph.

You need to get out more. I have stoplights on the road I live on where the speed limit is 50mph and there are plenty of rural highways with stoplights and speed limits of 60mph. They're not even remotely hard to find. My daily commute has 10 miles of travel with speed limits of (mostly) 55mph and traffic signals at every major intersection.

4 days ago
top

No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

sjbe Re:Anecdotal evidence from cheap guns (331 comments)

well, we could always ask someone who knows. How about the patent holders for Nylon?

That is one synthetic and quite likely not the most appropriate one. There are plenty of plastics with significantly lower glass transition temperatures. I don't know enough about them personally (I'm not a chemist) to know which might be appropriate for a rifle stock but I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a suitable material out there. HDPE maybe? Nylon is used a lot in higher temperature applications so it might not be the right choice for cold.

If you are going into extreme environments (cold, hot, vacuum, underwater, etc) you are very likely going to need different materials than you do for every day use in what we consider normal conditions. If I'm going to be dealing with temperatures of -40C then one should fully expect to need specialty gear and that obviously could include a rifle stock. I remain unconvinced that there is no synthetic material that would be suitable for a rifle stock in very cold weather.

5 days ago
top

Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

sjbe Re:Pace of innovation (251 comments)

Jobs used to do yearly hardware updates of iDevices with at least one big new feature. Retina displays, Siri, that sort of thing. Apple seems to have stopped doing that now, unless maybe you count the rather underwhelming fingerprint scanner.

Technology released since Steve Jobs died include but isn't limited to: ApplePay, Lighting cables, the iPad Mini, Touch ID (which is NOT underwhelming), larger screens, IOS7 and IOS8, Mavericks, Yosemite, AppleWatch, Healthkit, Homekit, Continuity, 2nd Gen Mac Pro, iCloud, 64 bit Aseries processors, iTunes Match, Family Sharing, and probably more I'm not thinking of off the top of my head. Plus of course various and numerous incremental improvements to their existing product lines.

Now some of these were in development while Steve was still alive but pretending that Apple hasn't done anything since he died is willfully ignoring the facts. Is it enough? Time will tell. But the notion that Apple stopped innovating the moment they threw the first shovel of dirt on Steve Jobs is absurd.

NFC and health apps are a good example of what they do now. Features that have been around for a few years, playing catch-up. I

And yet NFC is barely used and health apps remain poorly integrated with existing technology. I haven't yet seen a single person use a phone for NFC payments in person. I know some do here and there but it's hardly commonplace. Same with phone based health apps that aren't on iPhones. Some people use Fitbits etc but they don't integrate well and the ones that do integrate don't do so any better to Android than to iOS. Health monitoring devices and apps are in their infancy and NOBODY has really cracked that market - not Apple or anyone else.

In fact NFC is kind of a joke because you can only use it for payment, meaning a clunky Bluetooth interface is the only way to transfer small amounts of data between devices and you can't use NFC tags.

I have no idea what you are talking about here. NFC has nothing to do with Bluetooth and is used for different purposes. Saying NFC is only used for payments is hardly damning. That is a huge deal. The company that cracks contactless payments with smartphones is very likely to rake in a ton of money. Apple's new ApplePay service has as good a shot at it as anything I've seen. We'll see if it pans out in due time of course.

about a week ago
top

No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

sjbe Standard parts and ammo (331 comments)

If you have "unfailing reliability" why change it? It's a weapon not a computer.

Several possible reasons come to mind. Using more standard ammunition is probably the most likely reason. Same with parts and repairs. Good as the 303 might be, it might be causing some significant logistical heartburn getting specialty ammo out to remote locations. They can be converted to a standard 7.62 NATO round but it's probably not worth the trouble.

about a week ago
top

No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

sjbe Anecdotal evidence from cheap guns (331 comments)

composite (plastic) stocks do become very brittle in freezing weather (I know having had a Crosman Nightstalker disintegrate in my hands while out ratting just last February) Hardwoods are more stable in pretty much any environment as long as the grain is sealed, than any other material save titanium alloy, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to know what thatd cost.

You're using a very cheap ($100) air rifle as evidence that plastics break in cold weather? Do you seriously think the plastics in that were engineered with any sort of temperature extremes in mind? That thing was produced to be as cheap as possible and you can be sure that they didn't get carried away picking a plastic that can handle temperature extremes. There are plenty of synthetic materials that can handle cold just fine.

Not saying you are necessarily wrong but can you cite any evidence for this statement that is something other than anecdotal?

about a week ago
top

No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

sjbe Not all plastics are the same (331 comments)

However I would be concerned about the opposite. synthetics don't do well in extreme cold either.

That depends very much on exactly which synthetic material(s) you are talking about. Some have chemistry that works great in cold. Others not so much. There is more than a bit of "you get what you pay for" here.

about a week ago
top

No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

sjbe Cheap choice of plastic (331 comments)

Wrong, stock will melt if left under vehicle curved window in summer. I speak from experience.

Then it was an inappropriate choice of material but that is not sufficient evidence to condemn (or recommend) synthetics in general. Most cars are loaded with plastics and they don't melt. If the stock you had melted from the fairly modest heat in a car, then it was a piece of junk to begin with. No plastic on a working tool should melt that easily unless that was the specific intent.

There are plenty of non-exotic plastics with melting points well in excess of 130C (266F), and some considerably higher. Nylon's melting point is 190C for example. I work with many of them routinely. If your car is getting that hot I think some plastic melting will be the least of your concern.

about a week ago
top

No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

sjbe Irrelevant comparisons (331 comments)

If only the hardware that we use in computers could have such a track record.

It can if the use case would remain unchanged for 100 years and that technology improvements would be slow enough. The Voyager probes are around 40 years old and (mostly) still working in very harsh conditions so it clearly can be done. Of course you would be hard pressed to find two products more different than firearms and computers so I'm not sure why this hypothetical comparison was in the summary. The pace of technology improvements in small arms is positively glacial compared with that of computers and the use case is almost completely unchanged. Furthermore firearms are relatively simple devices with precisely one purpose. It's a LOT easier to design a reliable and simple single purpose device than to design a hugely complicated general purpose calculating machine.

about a week ago
top

Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

sjbe Pace of innovation (251 comments)

Apple hasn't really innovated much since Steve left the scene.

I see this a lot and I'm not convinced, especially since the guy has only been in the ground for around 3 years. How much does Apple have to do for you to change you mind? Where is the boundary between what you consider innovative and not. What is your evidence that their pace of innovation has slowed? I'm not saying you are right or wrong but you stated it as if it is axiomatic and I don't think I agree. I don't see any other companies really innovating meaningfully faster when you are talking time scales of 5-15 years which is what matters here.

Apple has historically introduced one or two big products per decade. The original Apple Computers came out in the late 1970s. The Macintosh was created in 1984. The iPod in 2001. The iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 which are really the same device in different form factors. Other products of note were the Apple LaserWriter (first desktop laser printer - Apple dropped the ball on that one) in 1985 and the Newton MessagePad in 1994. (The Apple Watch is too new to decide if it is noteworthy or not) Apple's most grim time financially was during the 1990s when their big bet (the MessagePad) was a flop and they mismanaged the Macintosh. I think people might be confused about their pace of innovation late in Steve Jobs life because they mistakenly consider the iPhone and iPad to be different devices when they really aren't. In fact the iPhone came out to the development for the iPad. They are the same device really.

Companies like Samsung and HTC and others are trying a lot of stuff and most of it is crap but some is good and works. Apple works really hard on a few things and doesn't release as much but their batting average is much better. Neither approach is right or wrong but you have to look at it on a time scale of more than 2-3 years to get a sense of pace of innovation. Realistically we should be having this discussion about 5-7 years in the future.

Product ideas that can move markets the way the Mac and the iDevices have are REALLY hard to come up with. I see some companies like Samsung throwing a lot of stuff out there but most of it is quite unremarkable. I think expectations that Apple would introduce some big market moving product the minute Steve Jobs died is pretty unrealistic. It may turn out that without Jobs the company will founder - they did once before. But we really should wait a few years to see if they really can or cannot come up with their next big success. I think their ApplePay service *might* turn out to be a really big deal but that remains to be seen. I think it is the most interesting new product they've done since the iPad and it certainly could be the most lucrative.

about a week ago

Submissions

top

Creationists Editing Darwin's Origin of Species

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 4 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "Proponents of intelligent design have been distributing an edited version of Darwin's "Origin of Species". The edited version reportedly contains a 50 page introduction written by Ray Comfort favoring creationism. The full original text of the book is included with the new version. Over 1000 copies were allegedly handed out near Washington University in Saint Louis without any notice to or approval from the university. The author reportedly draw connections between Hitler and Darwin so Godwin's Law may need to be invoked."
top

XM Sirius Merger approved by DOJ

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "A year after announcing the merger the Justice Department has given the thumbs up to the proposed merger between satellite radio companies XM and Sirius. The FCC still has to give their approval but historically the two organizations rarely contradict each other on proposed mergers. It will be interested to watch if the merger can stop all the red ink from these two money losing companies."
top

Ziff Davis Files For Bankruptcy

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "Ziff Davis Media Inc., publisher of PC Magazine has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing is reportedly to reorganize the company's capital structure, particularly with regard to subordinated debt. Papers were filed in the US Bankruptcy court in Manhattan. The company's parent Ziff Davis Holdings Inc. also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Full details are available from Bloomberg."
top

Lax TSA Website Exposes Traveller's Information

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "According to a January 2008 report from the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, from October 2006 through February 2007 traveller's who utilized the TSA website to attempt to remove their name from the No-Fly list risked having sensitive data, including social security numbers, exposed due to poor security practices. The contractor responsible, Desyne Web Services was awarded a no-bid contract to design the website. The TSA's technical lead on the project reportedly had a conflict of interest having been a former employee of Desyne. The security vulnerabilities were pointed out by Chris Soghoian, a Ph.D. student at the University of Indiana's School of Informatics. The TSA has since taken action to remedy the vulnerabilities but no action was taken to sanction the responsible parties for the vulnerabilities."
Link to Original Source

Journals

sjbe has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?