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How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

vidnet Re:How parallel does a Word Processor need to be? (449 comments)

How parallel does a Word Processor need to be?

Don't forget the complementary question, "How fast does each individual core have to be to run a single threaded Word Processor at an acceptable speed?"

Imagine if instead of 4x 3ghz Xeons you had 4,000x 486s or 4,000,000x 286s.

about a month ago

Major Security Vulnerabilities Uncovered at Frankfurt Airport

vidnet Weapons and dangerous items? (1 comments)

Another source gives "nail scissors" as an example of a dangerous item smuggled past security.

Until they list the actual guns, bombs and machetes smuggled past security, I'll assume that this was a momentary lapse in the airport's fear mongering and security theater division.

about a month ago

Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

vidnet Re:Oh great (549 comments)

"rrrybgdts" is a nursery rhyme. It doesn't even have to be written on a sticky.

This is a really bad way of choosing passwords.

The number of verses of songs, nursery rhymes, poems and paragraphs that people would tend to think of probably number less than a million.

Your particular example has 946 hits on Google.

about 4 months ago

Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

vidnet Re:Because... (253 comments)

CPUs have been fast enough for the mainstream users for 30 years now. It's by definition: nothing becomes mainstream if it's not "good enough".

Screencasting/bluetooth as a desktop replacement is still far too slow. LZMA takes seconds per megabyte. IDEs run like molasses. Video editing is awful. Offline voice recognition sucks. Heavy web apps are laggy. Stitching a photosphere takes minutes.

Let's not stop now.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

vidnet Re:Nokia 3310 (635 comments)

You're talking about how you come off as less geeky because don't have a smart phone, all while carrying a tablet around everywhere?

I don't think you have to worry...

about 5 months ago

Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

vidnet Re:This is telling (365 comments)

"And you can get a keyboard for it, and OF COURSE, it runs Microsoft Office"

'Cause THAT'S what people do with tablets...

It's what they did with the MBAs they're trading in, and it's what people can do with a tablet that isn't just an electronic etch-a-sketch.

It's sad that people are carrying around devices with multicore CPUs, several GB ram and storage, wifi and HD screens, and they still have to say "sorry, I can't -- I didn't bring my computer"

about 7 months ago

Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

vidnet Re:That is not the whole truth (370 comments)

They tend to take a bit longer to finish a project, but that project is usually of higher quality and better architecture

How much of the speed difference would you say is directly attributable to younger people unwittingly cutting corners on edge case handling and infrastructure?

about 7 months ago

Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

vidnet Re:No steering wheel? No deal. (583 comments)

What kind of judgement calls are more likely to be useful in an accident situation?

1. Solving hard ethical dilemmas, such as swirving to avoid a baby carriage at the cost of running over an elderly person.

2. Out-of-the-box ingenuity, such as ramping off of the guard rail and balancing on two wheels to avoid the accident.

3. Stomping on the brakes as early as possible.

Human judgement definitely excels at 1 and 2, but in all honesty, I think 3 is the most practical. It also happens to be the one a computer would be best at.

If you exchange the 1 second human reaction time for a 1ms computer reaction time, you will go about 18km/h (11mph) slower when you hit something, dramatically increasing your and their chances of survival.

Obviously I know that you personally would be able to deftly maneuver to avoid the accident and that you'd react way faster than 1 second because you're always alert and a better than average driver (and it's not illusory superiority, because you'd have to be an idiot to believe you're good when you're average).

However, you're just one incredibly good driver, while there are a hundred million average ones. Statistically, it makes way more sense to opt for the 11mph reduction in impact speed.

about 8 months ago

Why Mobile Wallets Are Doomed

vidnet Re:WTF does it do for me? (272 comments)

why is paying by phone so much better than with plastic?

Why is paying with plastic so much better than by phone? Here's a transaction I had yesterday at Toys'R'Us:

1. In line, I unlocked my phone and found my loyalty card
2. The cashier pointed a scanner at my phone and read it
3. I already had the phone unlocked in my hand, so I touched it to the payment terminal.

What would I have gained by putting down my phone and taking out and swiping my credit card instead?

about 9 months ago

Firefox OS Will Become the Mobile OS To Beat

vidnet Re:Still waiting.... (205 comments)

This is not an insightful, quirky observation about modern, overengineered gadgets that try to do everything but fail to do anything well.

It's a tired and overused rant being perpetually parroted by people who don't even want what they're asking for.

If you were actually looking for such a phone, you'd have done a simple web search and found plenty of phones in the $30 range with over a month of standby time, like the Nokia 105.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

vidnet Re:Are you a creepy guy who wants to video tape pp (421 comments)

You shouldn't try to find $1500 worth of value in the current product. If there was, they'd be selling it to everyone.

Take a look at a list of apps and see if this is a technology you'd find fascinating, and decide based on whether you have the time and resources to invest into exploring it.

Glass today is basically like Internet access in 1994. Slow, expensive, flawed and of no practical value -- but interesting and fun for those with the time and interest to tinker with it.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

vidnet Re:There are several good indie titles (669 comments)

try and guess when the game is trying to throw me for a loop by suggesting an action that I should not be doing.

So a game about making decisions should not present you with decisions you shouldn't make? Have you considered watching a movie instead?

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

vidnet There are several good indie titles (669 comments)

There are some good indie games these days, like Gone Home; Papers, Please and Sir, You Are Being Hunted.

Gone Home does a very fine job of interactively telling a story by searching through an abandoned house.

Papers, Please is a puzzle game about ethics and paperwork, which is much more interesting than it sounds.

Sir, You Are Being hunted is a procedurally generated stealth/survival game, in which you're trying to sneak under the noses of armed gentlemen robots.

about a year ago

Multivitamin Researchers Say 'Case Is Closed' As Studies Find No Health Benefits

vidnet Re:supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults (554 comments)

A $12 bottle of multivitamins every two months is a heck of a lot cheaper than fresh produce

You're saying that as if the two are in any way equivalent.

about a year ago

1.2% of Apps On Google Play Are Repackaged To Deliver Ads, Collect Info

vidnet Re:All or nothing approach is silly (131 comments)

pop up a request to access the other permissions at the time when they are needed

Because that worked so well for Vista?

about a year ago

Google Is Testing a Program That Tracks Your Purchases In the Real World

vidnet Re:Dear Slashdot... (160 comments)

You're either confused or trolling.

This is not some fine print hidden in the bowels of the EULA, that you accept just by using a cell phone.

You have to explicitly enable the feature. When you do, there's a popup that says, and I blockquote:

Allow Google's location service to collect anonymous location data. Some data may be stored on your device. Collection may occur even when no apps are running.
Agree | Disagree

If you Agree, this feature is one of the things your anonymous data is used for.
If you Disagree, you can still use positioning, it just doesn't use Google's server side assisted positioning and anonymous user data.

about a year ago

Google Is Testing a Program That Tracks Your Purchases In the Real World

vidnet Re:Dear Slashdot... (160 comments)


they are gathering the exact same information, and unlike the NSA, don't have any rules restricting their use

The article:

Google gets permission to do this kind of tracking when Android users opt in

Do you really not see a difference between an experimental, opt-in location system and an international, clandestine spy program?

about a year ago

Stolen Adobe Passwords Were Encrypted, Not Hashed

vidnet Re:Am I imagining it? (230 comments)

I believe that users should have some responsibility in not divulging their passwords to third parties, yes.

Users gave away their gmail and facebook credentials to Adobe, without Adobe even requesting them. What kind of stewardship is that from the user?

Do you honestly believe it's fair for both users and services that any breach or malevolent admin in any service the user ever visits will compromise the entirety of the user's online identity on all services?

We should not be allowing and especially not encouraging this. Browser level, two-factor oauth everywhere.

about a year ago

Google Relying On People Power For 'Helpouts'

vidnet Re:Google Answers reimagined (57 comments)

Let's try to sell this from a slashdotter's angle:

Imagine having a rash from sitting on a filthy chair in your basement, showing it on camera to a certified physician, and then have two bag of cheetos and some fungal cream delivered hours later.

Normal people, meanwhile, sometimes do pay money for various services that don't necessarily require physical presence. It's arguable whether they should or not, but they do.

These include personal trainers and dietitians, IT support, psychologists, life coaching, pet trainers, travel agents, and (sadly) alternative medicine, feng shui advisors and psychics.

With some guarantee of legitimacy, also psychiatrists, some medical services, law and real estate.

I can actually see this being useful.

about a year ago


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