Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:high tech mind tricks (Score 1) 115

Right. I am a Mexican. I laughed when I read the summary's Mexico's cash-strapped hospitals (copied straight from TFA)... Yes, our public health care system is cash-strapped. Our private hospitals? I don't think a first-world hospital has much to offer than what we do here. Although the article mentions very poor regions in Guerrero state (South), I really doubt the described case happened there.

This says a lot about the state of the health care system in the USA, but as a US citizen who has traveled to Mexico for medical care at a private hospital, I can say that the quality of care and the cost were far better than what we could get here in the states. My wife and I traveled to Mexicali to have an elective surgery performed by a doctor who was one of the top surgeons in the world for this particular procedure, and the cost of flights, hotels, a "mini vacation" in Baja California, plus the hospital bill was LESS than our insurance deductible had we stayed in the US. I train pre-nursing students for a living, and am very familiar with our health care system, and I'll just say that I was very impressed with the whole experience. We even had a chance to meet many folks from California who traveled across the border regularly for routine procedures, including one family who told us that they drive all the way from Los Angeles every 6 months for dental checkups. I admit I'm very ignorant of Mexico's public hospital system, but when you have a whole "medical tourism" industry that attracts a steady steam of patients from the states, does not speak well of the current health care system in the US...

Comment It's the "Me too!" approach to UI design (Score 4, Informative) 489

The problem is that there's a glut of "UX" designers convinced that if someone else has successful, and you copy the superficial hallmarks of their design, you'll be successful too. Take Facebook's "infinitely scrolling" page design for example - suddenly you have every damn app and website using an infinitely scrolling layout, even things like weather apps where the information is finite and is best presented using another paradigm such as tabs. Combine this with the prevailing attitude that if less is more, then even less must be even more, and you get the current mess we're in now.

This is not only the case with the current "flat" design epidemic ("Apple went flat and look at how successful they are! If we go flat we'll look modern and we'll be successful too!") but in many other elements that have been taken to an extreme at the cost of usability and accessibility:

- The use of razor thin fonts
- White text on monochrome, pastel backgrounds
- The loss of critical UI elements like scroll bars and button outlines, because apparently they just clutter things up
- The use of "hamburger" mystery meat menus
- Loss of status bars (which attempted to at least give some idea of percentage completion of a task) in favor of things like dots that twirl, spin, and dance in circles

Comment Re:And those who used his services? (Score 4, Interesting) 91

...I can't help but wonder if the orgs that were customers of Brundage will have any certifications they gained by using his recycling business revoked and if they will be fined for not meeting attainment goals retroactively.

I would certainly hope not. I am responsible for small scale hazardous waste collection at my workplace - mostly metals like lead and cadmium as well as toxic organic compounds - and I can say that the process of disposal is heavily documented with a clear paper trail. When the waste is picked up and removed from the premises by the waste contractor, I have to certify that each container holds what the label says it does, then once the waste has been treated I get mailed a manifest certifying that it has been safely transported to the processing facility and properly disposed of. So long as I've correctly identified the waste (say, I haven't tried to pass off a mercury compound as some other metal) once I receive the paperwork stating that the contractor has done their part, I'm legally off the hook as to what happens to the waste, since without actually observing the processes at their facility (and being able to understand what I'm seeing) I have no choice but to take it on good faith that the waste was treated legally.

Comment Re:Talk is cheap. (Score 1) 307

Exactly. Smartphones have been the major "emerging" consumer tech of the last decade, and there's been plenty of room for innovation and market growth. Various devices within the tablet/netbook/laptop spectrum have been able to benefit from advances in mobile tech as well, but the desktop PC is basically a mature product that hasn't seen any defining innovation over the last 15 years or so. Sure speeds and capacities have improved and ports have changed a little, and we've seen the adoption of things like SSD, but today's desktop computer is essentially the same as what we had back in the 90's.

So rather than focus long term on the "mature" PC market, Apple has chosen to go full steam ahead into mobile innovation. The thing is, businesses and power users will always have a need for desktop computers, even if the profit margins are much lower than for mobile.

Comment Re:Still no real photos of the whole Earth.... (Score 4, Informative) 85

That's because of the way the images have to be captured. A photograph that records the wavelengths our eyes can perceive would produce an image obscured by things like cloud cover, and it could take many passes over many days before you luck out and happen to snap the picture on that one clear day that isn't cloudy. So, the satellite makes one pass and captures multiple images in infrared and other wavelengths that penetrate clouds, moisture, particulates, or smog. Then, all of those data are compiled into one composite image and converted to colors that more closely match what our eyes would perceive.

This is done not only to produce an unobscured image, but also because the information that we can gleam from various wavelengths is more useful. For example, parts of the spectrum like microwave or infrared can be used to determine vegetation density or even distinguish different species of plants, or can indicate things like heat absorption of different surfaces or ice thickness. That stuff can't be done with visible light alone.

Comment Re:Wait until they find out (Score 1) 113

Big display, keyboard, docking station... So, a PC then?

My laptop can do all these things, so can my phone and my tablet, but the big thing holding me back from just hooking up a display and keyboard to the iPad and using it for hardcore work is the OS and software. Until we get phones and tablets that allow users to run more than just gimped "app" versions of everything, they won't completely replace the PC.

Comment Re:Karma (Score 3, Interesting) 393

Contrary to popular belief, not all of California is arid desert. The trees TFA is talking about are not cultivated crops or or ornamental trees planted in urban/suburban areas, they are pine and Sequoya trees naturally occurring across thousands of square miles of subalpine forest in the Sierra Nevada region and in the hardwood/conifer forests found in the Pacific Coastal Range. Some of these ares receive far more than 80 inches of rain in an average year, and many of the affected trees are hundreds of years old.

As for the most populous areas in the state being desert, I could be pedantic and point out that potential natural vegetation in LA, San Diego, and the bay area would be predominantly chaparral, grassland, and coastal sage scrub, but I do get your point. However, those aren't the parts of the state that TFA is concerned with.

Comment Read/write speed? (Score 2) 98

Maybe I missed this, but do they give any indication of whether speeds will be on par with the other cards in their Extreme Pro line? Having dabbled quite a bit in digital photography, I've been in situations where even 90 MB/s is enough of a bottleneck that the camera can't store images as fast as it can capture them. In sports or wildlife photography, shooting 4-5 images a second in raw format, with file sizes being in the 20-30 MB range, fast write speeds are critical. I ended up ditching all of my older, slower SD cards because having to wait 2-3 seconds for each image to save (once the camera's buffer was full) is painful.

Comment You have that backwards (Score 1) 233

That's not true. I suffer from motion sickness, and it has nothing to do with what your body feels (your sense of touch). It results from a discrepancy between motion detected by your inner ear and changes in your position and orientation as perceived by your eyes. Darkening windows is absolutely the worst thing you can do, as it prevents any opportunity to seek relief by visually orienting yourself to the exterior environment. Some of the worst cases of motion sickness I've ever experienced were times when I've been in boats with no, or in airplanes at night when everybody lowers their window shades. The back row of an MD-88 is the worst place I can sit since there is an engine mounted in place of the window - I get sick every time, but I have no trouble sitting in the next row forward.

Comment But what would the adapter connect to? (Score 4, Informative) 495

Maybe they could get away with this on the base Macbook or Macbook Air, but it's just asinine to remove the 35mm jack from a Pro device. Unlike phones, these are widely used for content production and A/V presentation in venues like concerts, schools and churches. Do they really expect these users to hook up an adapter to use Bluetooth, USB, or thunderbolt for audio out to professional equipment? You might not notice any reduction in sound quality while using bluetooth or a dongle to listen to music in your car, but you WILL notice it when amplified on a speaker system in a venue that seats 1000 people.

Comment Re:It's because the game has no long term goals (Score 1) 194

Doesn't this just make it unlikely for people to want to play Ingress?

Not really; I've been playing for several months now and I've noticed that 95% of the players don't really care about the storyline. It's all buried on various websites with DAYS worth of video and media, so most new players don't take the time to read the backstory - and I've never been able to find a "cliffs notes" version.

But things DO get interesting when the outcome of anomalies (big, meetup style competitive events that are held all over the world) affects gameplay dynamics. The Enlightenment (one of the two teams) won the last event, and one of the "characters" was killed (we think...) but the end result was that one particular item stopped being available at portals. Now both teams have to be very strategic in how they use their remaining supply of that item, and there are theories that it hurts one side more than another... when things like that happen, it definitely keeps the game more interesting, because team strategy has to evolve.

Comment Re: Good! (Score 1) 614

I assume you are just trolling, as most of that list is entirely superficial. Not being able to instantly stream the entertainment medium of my choice is NOT a burden! I'll argue that these items are true burdens that the baby boomer generation doesn't have to face to the degree that subsequent generations do:

- The cost of a college education can saddle graduates with decades of debt.
- Cost of living is far outpacing wage increases and career advancement opportunities.
- Graduates are no longer certain that they'll be able to find a stable job in the career path of their choice.
- Families are finding it impossible to maintain their standard of living on a single income (meaning spouses often hold jobs instead of staying home to raise kids).
- Health care / insurance costs are skyrocketing.
- With all the baby boomers retiring, there is more pressure on Social Security to provide money that was promised to this generation... and this money comes right from the paychecks of the current workforce.
- I won't even get started on the shifting cultural attitudes of fear and xenophobia that lead to a "nanny state" mentality that tells me I cannot raise my kids in the same carefree manner that I enjoyed as a child in the 80's... no, I have to constantly worry that my kid might get expelled for holding his chicken nuggets the wrong way.

Slashdot Top Deals

"We are on the verge: Today our program proved Fermat's next-to-last theorem." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982