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


Forgot your password?
Trust the World's Fastest VPN with Your Internet Security & Freedom - A Lifetime Subscription of PureVPN at 88% off. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Breakthrough in Alphabet's Balloon-Based Internet Project Means It Might Actually Wor (recode.net) 81

Loon, the balloon project that aims to deliver internet to parts of the world that lack reliable connectivity, announced this week that due to advancements in the machine learning software, it can now deploy fewer balloons to provide greater connectivity. From a report on Recode: The Loon balloon project is part of X, the experimental division of Alphabet, Google's parent company. Now in its fourth year, the engineers at Loon say their new machine learning techniques significantly shorten their timeline for launching the project. Initially, engineers proposed that the Loon balloons would float around the globe and that they would have to find a way to keep the balloons a safe traveling distance apart and replace a balloon that drifted from an area that needed connectivity. Now, the team says they've found a way to keep the balloons in a much more concentrated location, thanks to their improved altitude control and navigation system. Loon says that balloons will now make small loops over a land mass, instead of circumnavigating the whole planet.

Comment Re:So what? Google should have expected that (Score 1) 95

They don't suck at everything; they just suck at managing. Its because they think their excellence in academia and theory means they don't have to learn from lessons in real life. They're constantly reinventing the wheel when it comes to business and human resource management.

Comment Re:Makes no sense (Score 1) 95

Its common sense. There's almost no amount of money that Google can throw at their autonomous car lead developers that can match a tech startup. It implies there's an amount of generous salary that will discourage developers from going startup. But Google hires alpha developers who understand what it means to be a successful startup.

I really don't even believe Google is the cutting edge of autonomous car development. I'm guessing its Tesla, because they have the closest thing to a functioning autonomous car. Its probably a story planted by Google and other leading autonomous car companies that just want to drive down the salaries they currently pay to their employees in this field. At this point, Google is probably holding back progress, because they want a surefire profitable model without going through all the regulatory and civil litigation its going to require to roll it out.

Submission + - Google's New Compression Tool Uses 75% Less Bandwidth (thenextweb.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google just released an image compression technology called RAISR (Rapid and Accurate Super Image Resolution) designed to save your precious data without sacrificing photo quality. Claiming to use up to 75 percent less bandwidth, RAISR analyzes both low and high-quality versions of the same image. Once analyzed, it learns what makes the larger version superior and simulates the differences on the smaller version. In essence, it’s using machine learning to create an Instagram-like filter to trick your eye into believing the lower-quality image is on par with its full-sized variant. Unfortunately for the majority of smartphone users, the tech only works on Google+ where Google claims to be upscaling over a billion images a week. If you don’t want to use Google+, you’ll just have to wait a little longer. Google plans to expand RAISR to more apps over the coming months. Hopefully that means Google Photos.

Comment Re:Does it really matter? (Score 1) 286

I look at computer languages as a designed tool to best express what the programmer wants accomplished. If the programmer has to conform to the tool, or recreate the wheel every time they program something, or have to relearn how to do things in the language in order to do something useful, then its not a good tool/language. C has the ability to interface with assembly, and it has some higher level abstractions which makes programming easier than assembly. But for a 1K chip, you probably have to discard stuff like stdio just to get code to fit in that space. And while its easier to get a C programmer to do something useful for that chip (because at least they know C), that C programmer will probably have to learn a boatload of esoterica (ways of doing things) for that environment to be an effective developer. If the programmer is the least bit sloppy, the C compiler will allow a completed binary to be larger than the available working environment. Therefore, C is not a language defined to help a programmer create code while the language helps manage the environment's constraints. (I wish I knew what the term was...) Ideally, there should be language for 1K chip environments to significantly ease development, but I guess assembler would be the only alternative that could fit the bill (unless you can use FORTH).

Comment Re:Does it really matter? (Score 1) 286

Regardless of C falling in popularity (if legitimate) it's unlikely to be buried any time in the next 50 years given its use in the core of everything from OSs to 1K microcontroller firmware.

Just like COBOL, although I still think that COBOL programs will decline in percentage of business computing as time passes. As a sidenote, I find it sad that C is used in 1K microcontroller firmware. Where would it payoff in either space efficiency or developer "friendliness"?

Comment Keep the receipts! (Score 1) 303

You may have blown it if you're not going in as an independent contractor (which you'd at least need to be an S Corporation). But a lot of what you're describing that you would like to do can be written off your federal taxes. If the employer is paying for all of this, then they're the one that gets the tax break. Talk to your tax preparer (who also would be "useful" for an S corporation. But a real small business tax guy, not some dork at H&R Block).

Comment Re:Only Fixed by Resigning (Score 2) 410

You are a fool, or a clever public media spin doctor. No one thinks /u/spez is going to modify their posts. But they are totally aware that government or corporate psy ops departments are capable of modifying or burying their posted speech, in order to manipulate a public consensus. That's why no one believes a corporate product forum when its known they delete negative statements against a product or the company. Tough luck reddit shareholders.

Slashdot Top Deals

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst