Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Microsoft Debuts Minecraft-Themed Coding Tutorial

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
theodp writes: In a few weeks, writes Microsoft Corporate VP Mary Snapp, "millions of kids and others will participate in an Hour of Code, a global call to action to spend an hour learning the basics of coding. Today, it's my privilege to announce that Microsoft has released a new Minecraft tutorial for Hour of Code, called Hero's Journey." The release of the new Code.org-touted flagship Hour of Code tutorial -- the third since Microsoft purchased Minecraft Maker Mojang for $2.5B in 2014 -- comes as Microsoft celebrates Minecraft: Education Edition reaching a milestone of 2 million users.

Microsoft boasts that nearly 70 million of its Minecraft Hour of Code sessions have been launched to-date, which is certainly impressive from an infomercial or brand awareness standpoint. But does [adding a Scratch block to] move a Minecraft character forward 7 times on an $800 Microsoft Surface offer all that much more educational value than, say, moving a peg forward 5 times on a $10.99 Pop-O-Matic Trouble board game?

Tech Companies Try Apprenticeships To Fill The Tech Skills Gap

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader jonyen writes: For generations, apprenticeships have been the way of working life; master craftsmen taking apprentices under their wing, teaching them the tools of the trade. This declined during the Industrial Revolution as the advent of the assembly line enabled mass employment for unskilled laborers. The master-apprentice model went further out of focus as higher education and formal training became increasingly more valuable.

Fast forward to the 21st century, where employers are turning back the page to apprenticeships in an effort to fill a growing skills gap in the labor force in the digital age. Code.org estimates there will be a million unfulfilled tech jobs by 2020.

jonyen shared this article by IBM's Vice President of Talent: IBM is committed to addressing this shortage and recently launched an apprenticeship program registered with the US Department of Labor, with a plan to have 100 apprentices in 2018. ... Other firms have taken up the apprenticeship challenge as well. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, for example, has called for creating 5 million American apprentices in the next five years.

An apprenticeship offers the chance for Americans to get the formal education they need, whether through a traditional university, a community college or a trade school, while getting something else: On-the-job experience and an income... Right now, there are more than 6 million jobs in the U.S. that are going unfilled because employers can't find candidates with the right skills, according to the Labor Department.

IBM says their apprentices "are on their way to becoming software developers in our Cloud business and mainframe administrators for technologies like Blockchain, and we will add new apprenticeships in data analytics and cybersecurity as we replicate the program across the U.S."

"Ninety-one percent of apprentices in the U.S. find employment after completing their program, and their average starting wage is above $60,000."

Could a Helium-Resistant Material Usher In an Age of Nuclear Fusion?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Researchers working with a team at the Los Alamos National Lab tested a new way to build material for nuclear fusion reactors, "and found that it could eliminate one of the obstacles preventing humanity from harnessing the power of fusion energy." schwit1 quotes Science Alert: A collaboration of engineers and researchers has found a way to prevent helium, a byproduct of the fusion reaction, from weakening nuclear fusion reactors. The secret is in building the reactors using nanocomposite solids that create channels through which the helium can escape... Not only does the fusion process expose reactors to extreme pressure and temperatures, helium -- the byproduct of fusion between hydrogen atoms -- adds to the strain placed on reactors by bubbling out into the materials and eventually weakening them...

In a study published in the journal Science Advances, the researchers overview how they tested the behavior of helium in nanocomposite solids, materials made from thick metal layer stacks. They found that the helium didn't form bubbles in these nanocomposite solids like it did in traditionally used materials. Instead, it formed long, vein-like tunnels. "We were blown away by what we saw," said Demkowicz. "As you put more and more helium inside these nanocomposites, rather than destroying the material, the veins actually start to interconnect, resulting in kind of a vascular system."

The article points out that nuclear fusion generates four times the energy of nuclear fission.

Betteridge's Law Applies Here

By careysub • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is an interesting development in materials science, but helium diffusion weakening of containment vessels is pretty far down the list of critical problems standing in the way of producing commercial energy from fusion any time this century.

The key obstacle, even more important than the fact that no power producing fusion reactors have yet been built, nor are likely to be in the next 30 years, is that they will not be able to compete with other sources of electricity. Fusion power is going to be much more capital intensive than fission power plants that already have trouble competing with other sources of electricity due to their construction costs. No new material for a container wall is going to fix this.

Re:So fusion power in 20 years, right?

By careysub • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I’m been hearing fusion is only 20 years away for at least 30 years now.

It is worse than that. The time until we get fusion power is a monotonically increasing function of calendar year. In the early 1950s, when Project Sherwood was started, it was highly classified because it was thought that it would produce fusion power so soon (i.e. less than a decade) that it would be a valuable military technology. By the late 1960s they were talking about it being achieved in 20 years. By 2000 the timeline had grown to 30+ years.

In 2014 the projection for DEMO, the ITER follow-on, which is described as a system that would bring us to the "threshold of a prototype fusion reactor", i.e. short of being an actual prototype fusion power reactor, which in turn is short of being an actual commercial power reactor, was projected to start operating in the 2040s, i.e. at least 30 years, if no further schedule slippages occur. Currently, PROTO, the actual prototype fusion power reactor is not envisioned before the 2050s and likely later, which brings us about 40 years, and we still aren't talking about an actual commercial power plant. Allowing for the established 20 year cycle for each iteration of a major fusion reactor project, we might get that commercial power plant in 60 years. But it will be too expensive to compete with other sources of power.

Is some other new fusion design going suddenly break us out of this pattern? There is no law of nature against it, so it is possible. But literally hundreds of fusion schemes have been investigated, and without exception every concept has proven much harder in practice than on paper (or computer). Engineering by press release does not cut it (Lockheed Martin I am looking at you), until an actual demonstration unit is operating with predicted performance all claims on new breakthroughs should be ignored.

What is this bologna?

By Maury Markowitz • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

> helium -- the byproduct of fusion between hydrogen atoms -- adds to the strain placed on reactors by
> bubbling out into the materials and eventually weakening them

The problem with fusion is that it generates relativistic neutrons that displace atoms in metals and cause them to become brittle. This not only weakens the materials but makes some critical materials like the superconducting magnets rapidly turn into scrap.

While the helium -alphas actually- also present problems, they are not the same thing at all. The damage rate from such events is orders of magnitude lower than the neutron damage. And the idea that letting them just bubble out will remove them from the fuel at a fast enough rate makes me LOL.

The idea that this somehow fixes anything is so utterly ridiculous that it simply puts the black hole that is modern fusion research into stark perspective.

Re:Betteridge's Law Applies Here

By Maury Markowitz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

> and insurmountably too expensive due to physics

It already has, and everyone knows it. It's not just fusion, it's fission too. If you have neutrons in the first loop, you are uneconomical. Period.

The cost of a modern fission reactor is around $10/Wp. Of that, about $6/Wp is the generation loop. Only about $1 to $1.50 is the actual reactor itself.

So in other words, the lowest possible price you can build a [fission|fusion] plant for is about $6/Wp. And that's without the reactor.

A wind turbine that produces the same amount of power costs about $1.25/Wp. Because the wind doesn't always blow, to make the same amount of energy you need three of them. So a generator using wind turbines that produce NNN power will cost you about $4.50 complete, whereas for $6 you still only have a cooling loop on your nuclear plant.

The power companies have been telling the labs they won't build these things since the beginning. The Stellarator D study in 1958 produced a machine that was 500 feet across and twisted like a pretzel. The power company liaisons working on the report told them there was absolutely no way anyone would ever build such a thing. The physicists basically said "who cares" and went back to their physics, saying that since the physics didn't work then the study was dumb anyway.

That pattern repeated itself dozens of times over the next 30 years. Every so often someone would think they were getting close to a working design, and they would do a commercial design effort. And every time, the power companies would tell them in no uncertain terms they were smoking pure hopium. GE threw in the towel in 1965 when they did their own study that said the same thing. The largest one I know of is the Bechel report from ~1975, and once again the same outcome - no way anyone would ever build one.

Everyone in the field is aware of this. It's gotten to the point that if you bring this up they either yell at you (literally, had this happen to me) or do the equivalent of "LA LA LA I CANNOT HEAR YOU!". It's astonishing to watch.

Facebook Open Sources Its Network Routing Platform Open/R

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook will open source its modular network routing software Open/R, currently used in its backbone and data center networks, which "provides a platform to disseminate state across the network and allows new applications to be built on top of it." An anonymous reader quotes TechCrunch: Facebook obviously has unique scale needs when it comes to running a network. It has billions of users doing real-time messaging and streaming content at a constant clip. As with so many things, Facebook found that running the network traffic using traditional protocols had its limits and it needed a new way to route traffic that didn't rely on the protocols of the past, Omar Baldonado, Engineering Director at Facebook explained... While it was originally developed for Facebook's Terragraph wireless backhaul network, the company soon recognized it could work on other networks too including the Facebook network backbone, and even in the middle of Facebook network, he said. Given the company's extreme traffic requirements where the conditions were changing so rapidly and was at such scale, they needed a new way to route traffic on the network. "We wanted to find per application, the best path, taking into account dynamic traffic conditions throughout the network," Baldonado said.

But Facebook also recognized that it could only take this so far internally, and if they could work with partners and other network operators and hardware manufacturers, they could extend the capabilities of this tool. They are in fact working with other companies in this endeavor including Juniper and Arista networks, but by open sourcing the software, it allows developers to do things with it that Facebook might not have considered, and their engineering team finds that prospect both exciting and valuable.

"Most protocols were initially designed based on constrained hardware and software environment assumptions from decades ago," Facebook said in its announcement. "To continue delivering rich, real-time, and highly engaging user experiences over networks, it's important to accelerate innovation in the routing domain."

EFF Beats 'Stupid' Patent Troll In Court

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An Australian court can't make a California advocacy group take down a web page, a U.S. federal judge just ruled on Friday. Even if that web page calls a company's patents "stupid." Courthouse News reports: San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation sued Global Equity Management, or GEMSA, in April, claiming the Australian firm exploited its home country's weaker free speech protections to secure an unconstitutional injunction against EFF. Kurt Opsahl, EFF's deputy executive director and general counsel, hailed the ruling as a victory for free speech. "We knew all along the speech was protected by the First Amendment," Opsahl said in a phone interview Friday. "We were pleased to see the court agree." Opsahl said the ruling sends a strong message EFF and other speakers can weigh in on important topics, like patent reform, without fear of being muzzled by foreign court orders.

The dispute stems from an article EFF published in June 2016, featuring GEMSA in its "Stupid Patent of the Month" series. The GEMSA patent is for a "virtual cabinet" to store data. In the article, EFF staff attorney Daniel Nazer called GEMSA a "classic patent troll" that uses its patent on graphic representations of data storage to sue "just about anyone who runs a website." The article also says GEMSA "appears to have no business other than patent litigation."

The judge granted EFF a default judgment, saying the Australian court's injunction was not only unenforceable in the United States but also "repugnant" to the U. S. Constitution.

Gotta wonder,

By jenningsthecat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

if the outcome would have been the same had the firm in question been American rather than Australian. I have the impression that US courts are much more likely to condemn such overreaches when they are foreign than when they are domestic.

Re:Gotta wonder,

By HornWumpus • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Loser pays own bill plus the lower of the lawyer bills to opposing counsel. Unless lawyers themselves and self representing, then idiot pays other side's bill.

Otherwise big money will be toxic to sue.

Re: Gotta wonder,

By sabri • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This was all about telling a foreign country to shove their court orders that try to tell Americans what they can and cannot do in the US.

The most important part of this ruling is this:

The judge granted EFF a default judgment, saying the Australian court's injunction was "repugnant" to the U. S. Constitution.

The term "repugnant" was not chosen arbitrarily. It's a legal term used when litigators attempt to "domesticate" a foreign judgement in the U.S. This is a process where a U.S. court will recognize a foreign court's judgement as equal to and enforceable in the U.S. California law says:

a court in California is not required to recognize a foreign-country judgment if any of the following apply:

(3) The judgment of the cause of action or claim for relief upon which the judgment is based is repugnant to the public policy of the State of California or the United States.

In other words: while this judgement was delivered by a federal judge, no California court will recognize any Australian's court award of monetary damages based on this verdict.

Disbar the lawyers.

By WCMI92 • Score: 3 • Thread

There needs to be much more of that. Lawsuits like this shouldnâ(TM)t be brought and the way to discourage them is to take away the milk.

FOSS Community Criticizes SFLC over SFC Trademark War

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Earlier this month Bruce Perens notified us that "the Software Freedom Law Center, a Linux-Foundation supported organization, has asked USPTO to cancel the trademark of the name of the Software Freedom Conservancy, an organization that assists and represents Free Software/Open Source developers." Now Slashdot reader curcuru -- director of the Apache Software Foundation -- writes: No matter how you look at it, this kind of lawsuit is a loss for software freedom and open source in general, since this kind of USPTO trademark petition (like a lawsuit) will tie up both organizations, leaving less time and funds to help FOSS projects. There's clearly more to the issue than the trademark issue; the many community members' blog posts make that clear.

GNOME executive director Neil McGovern
Apache Software Foundation director Shane Curcuru
Google security developer Matthew Garrett
Linux industry journalist Bryan Lunduke


The key point in this USPTO lawsuit is that the legal aspects aren't actually important. What's most important is the community reaction: since SFLC and Conservancy are both non-profits who help serve free software communities, it's the community perception of what organizations to look to for help that matters. SFLC's attempt to take away the Conservancy's very name doesn't look good for them.

Bryan Lunduke's video covers the whole case, including his investigation into the two organizations and their funding.

This is what happened to the Rutles

By boudie2 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
In 1970, Dirk sued Stig, Nasty and Barry. Barry sued Dirk, Nasty and Stig. Nasty sued Barry, Dirk and Stig, and Stig sued himself, accidentally. It was the beginning of a golden era for lawyers.

Plaintiff created the defendant, no name objection

By raymorris • Score: 3 • Thread

It's interesting to note that the Software Freedom Law Center helped create the Software Freedom Conservancy. SFLC staff probably came up with the name "Software Freedom Conservancy", so they'd have a tough case to make in court now.

In trademark law, one must either defend your name, or lose rights to it to the extent that you didn't defend it. "Defend" could include granting explicit permission for someone else to use it. You can't just ignore someone using a variant of your name for years, then sue them later, after they've already established a reputation under that name.

It seems SFLC has a VERY weak case unless they have a written agreement with SFC tying the use of the name to specific contract terms, such as what activities SFC was created to do. I don't think they have such a contract. Even if they do, their more likely remedy would be suing for breach of contract.

Where are the SFC Member Organizations?

By Bruce Perens • Score: 3 • Thread

Software Freedom Conservancy has at least 46 member projects for whom they hold property as a corporation, provide a corporate veil against liability for the project and its develoers, provide legal advice, and act as a tax-exempt organization on behalf of the projects (a 501(c)3) so that the projects can receive donations which the donors write off of their income to reduce their overall tax load by a portion of the donation.

This is a big deal for the projects concerned.

So, where are those projects? Why do I not yet see the project's official comments on behalf of SFC, but only a few personal comments from projects that are not SFC members? Why haven't they grouped together and all signed a letter to the community in support of SFC?

Please wake up, folks.

Re:All software is free, all that is free is mine

By Bruce Perens • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Actually, the appeals court in Oracle v. Google ruled that APIs could be copyrighted. We were previously interpreting based mainly by the finding in CAI v. Altai. As a result of the new finding, I do not believe that dynamic linking works as an insulator between GPL and proprietary software. There will be more litigation and maybe this new ruling will be overturned, or maybe not. I always felt that dynamic linking of proprietary and GPL was risky and never advised my customers and their attorneys to do it.

The point about having a build environment is that the AGPL3, which you use, is a sharing license, and if you only share unbuildable software that is in general an attempt to avoid what the license requires. There is not any rule saying you have to provide a Windows build environment, but you are supposed to provide all of the Makefiles, etc., and whatever internal tools you built that are necessary for compiling and installing the software. These are generally things that make a manufacturer-specific installable BLOB file.

Nobody is compelled to use GPL code. If sharing and license compliance is going to be a problem for your business, you are not part of the target user community of the developers, and please don't build it into your proprietary product.

People who have problems understanding this stuff are welcome to contact me privately at bruce at perens dot com. I don't charge and sometimes there is complexity and implication that I can clear up for you.

Is Firefox 57 Faster Than Chrome?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes TechNewsWorld: Firefox is not only fast on startup -- it remains zippy even when taxed by multitudes of tabs. "We have a better balance of memory to performance than all the other browsers," said Firefox Vice President for Product Nick Nguyen. "We use 30 percent less memory, and the reason for that is we can allocate the number of processes Firefox uses on your computer based on the hardware that you have," he told TechNewsWorld. The performance improvements in Quantum could be a drink from the fountain of youth for many Firefox users' systems. "A significant number of our users are on machines that are two cores or less, and less than 4 gigabytes of RAM," Nguyen explained.
Mashable ran JetStream 1.1 tests on the ability to run advanced web applications, and concluded that "Firefox comes out on top, but not by much. This means it's, according to JetStream, slightly better suited for 'advanced workloads and programming techniques.'" Firefox also performed better on "real-world speed tests" on Amazon.com and the New York Times' site, while Chrome performed better on National Geographic, CNN, and Mashable. Unfortunately for Mozilla, Chrome looks like it's keeping the top spot, at least for now. The only test that favors Quantum is JetStream, and that's by a hair. And in Ares-6 [which measures how quickly a browser can run new Javascript functions, including mathematical functions], Quantum gets eviscerated... Speedometer simulates user actions on web applications (specifically, adding items to a to-do list) and measures the time they take... When it comes to user interactions in web applications, Chrome takes the day...

In reality, however, Quantum is no slug. It's a capable, fast, and gorgeous browser with innovative bookmark functionality and a library full of creative add-ons. As Mozilla's developers fine-tune Quantum in the coming months, it's possible it could catch up to Chrome. In the meantime, the differences in page-load time are slight at best; you probably won't notice the difference.

Re:Browser speed is not the issue

By tsa • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I had the same problem. But FF has a fix for this. Find the Help tab in the menu, then click on Troubleshooting Information. This opens a new tab, which has a button in the upper right corner called Refresh Firefox... Click that. Then FF starts doing some magic and after a while it's finished and your problem is over. At least, it worked for me. You need to re-set a few settings but nothing spectacular as far as I could see.

Re:Read Firefox's privacy policy. It mentions Goog

By Teun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
There's that little difference between can send and will send...

Who cares if it's faster?

By quonset • Score: 4 • Thread

The people who whine about slowness and memory leaks are the same ones who would leave their car running day in and day out then complain it's using too much fuel.

As to the "new" Firefox, it looks like something from Soviet Russia. Ugly squared edges, no logic as to why useful items are hidden and have to be sought out, doodads which serve no apparent purpose other than they can be done, and of course the in-your-face, blaring advertisements when you open a new, blank tab, though they can be turned off once you figure out how to do so.

57 is a case study in shiny for shiny's sake.

They still don't get it

By hyades1 • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm so tempted to use profanity to describe the jackasses at Mozilla for what they've done to Firefox. Very few of the millions of people who now call themselves "former Firefox users" will come back. That includes me. I'm certainly not a spokesman for this group, but I bet my situation is very much like theirs.

'Way back at the beginning, I did not choose Firefox because it was the fastest browser out there. I chose it because it gave reasonable performance, used tabs, and offered all kinds of interesting add-ons that put me unambiguously in charge of my on-line experience. Before long, I had my browser configured exactly the way I wanted it. Life was good.

So did I stop visiting the Firefox add-ons site? Hell no! It was both fun and interesting to see what some clever person had come up with that I might want to try...often things I'd never have thought of on my own. Test driving was incredibly fast and easy, and if I didn't like an app or got tired of it, I could get rid of it in seconds.

This was what I loved: I had a core browser that was reliable and fast enough for my purposes, and that I used when I actually needed to be productive. And I had an endlessly-fascinating toy that let me try out interesting, fun things whenever I wanted. When Chrome came out, I gave it a try...why wouldn't I? It was fast, alright. And utterly soulless. I uninstalled it after only a week.

So then the a-holes at Firefox decided they wanted to be Chrome. Even worse, they started screwing around with my GUI, apparently for sport. Classic Theme Restorer could only do so much. But that was only the symptom, not the disease. The disease was the Chrome obsession. And look at them now. "Add-ons" is now a dirty word. But oh my, they're the fastest (maybe).

So here we are today. The people who ruined Firefox are proudly trumpeting that they've turned it into an even faster Chrome. Good luck with that. I didn't want Chrome in the first place. I don't want it now. And I especially don't want a Chrome wannabe that reminds me every time I launch it what I have lost.

So thanks, Firefox, but I think I'll stay with Pale Moon as my regular browser, and Epic as my main backup. If you ever manage to buy back your soul, give me a call.

a user report: Firefox on Linux

By morethanapapercert • Score: 3 • Thread
I've had Firefox 57 for two days now and can share my experiences thus far:

I use Firefox and Chrome regularly, leaning heavily towards Firefox because I was quite satisfied with the add-ons I had for it. Pretty much 100% of my recreational browsing is on Firefox.

1) Yes, Firefox IS much faster to load and navigate to my usual websites. However, sites heavy with the usual endless third party scripts, ads and so on remain occasionally frustratingly slow. However; I have always attributed that to poor design choices and lack of network optimization on the part of those third party content delivery networks. (I'm using Ghostery, but no other ad-blocking software on purpose.)

2) Page rendering is MUCH faster. I think this is the biggest factor in perceived browser speed. Easily matching Chrome and actually surpassing it on image heavy sites like imgur.

3) The add on ecosystem has a long way to go to catch up to what previous versions of Firefox had available. To preserve speed, function and reliability, Firefox 57 has a much more modular arrangement. That means ALL previous add-ons will not work in Firefox 57. In addition; what add-ons that do exist do not seem to be nearly as powerful as the add-ons I used previously. That may be due to the modular design not allowing as much control of Firefox by add-ons, it may be because there simply hasn't been time for third party developers to come up with equally powerful replacements.

4) Firefox has a pretty slick system for handling the deprecation of old add-ons. After updating, when you go to the about:addons page, you'll notice that none of your old addons are visible, but there is a link at the top you can click to view them. Clicking one of your greyed out addons takes you to the get more addons page and usually shows you a pretty good replacement. (9 of the 12 addons I love most had acceptable replacements, learning curve aside) The diversity of addons, as I said, just isn't there yet. So if you have one of the lessor known, less popular addons, you probably won't be able to replace it.

5) There are many very popular addons where the original developer is unavailable or as announced that their addon will not be, or cannot be, rewritten for the new Firefox.

6) The themes situation frankly sucks. Simple themes, ones that basically change the colour of the address and menu bar space are still there and old ones you have will still work. But "complex themes" (what I call REAL themes, ones that change the icons used for buttons, bookmark folders, shape and dimensionality of tabs and so on flat out do not exist. From checking out Mozillas pages on 57, it seems that, as it stands now, Firefox 57 is simply not capable of supporting them. Mozilla does say that complex themes are something they are working on and plan on making available later. Personally, I don't want to make the address/menu bar space simply some colour, or use some wide, narrow image as a simple background. I want themes that help visually distinguish tabs, themes that accentuate the skeuomorph effect. I find this makes it easier to see and mentally manipulate. For me a browser is a tool and a tool doesn't need to look pretty and should never never never try to look pretty at the cost of ergonomics. For now, this is a total loss in my book.

Overall, I do like Firefox 57 and have no plans on reverting to an older one. I am however, going to keep spending a lot of time working on it until I can regain the look and above all function I prefer.

iPhone X Owners Experience 'Crackling' or 'Buzzing' Sounds From Earpiece Speaker

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
MacRumors reports: A limited but increasing number of iPhone X owners claim to be experiencing so-called "crackling" or "buzzing" sounds emanating from the device's front-facing earpiece speaker at high or max volumes. Over two dozen users have said they are affected in a MacRumors discussion topic about the matter, while similar reports have surfaced on Twitter and Reddit since the iPhone X launched just over a week ago. On affected devices, the crackling sounds occur with any kind of audio playback, including phone calls, music, videos with sound, alarms, and ringtones. The issue doesn't appear to be limited to any specific iPhone X configuration or iOS version.
"The speakerphone for an $1100 phone should be at least as good as it was on the iPhone 6 and 7," complained one user, "but instead, it's crackly, edgy and buzzy."

"I believe we all knew the iPhone X would be highly scrutinized," writes Slashdot reader sqorbit, "but the reported problems appear to be stacking up."

Over two dozen users affected!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Of the millions sold.

Haste makes waste

By QuietLagoon • Score: 3 • Thread
It seems as if Apple has been in too much of a rush lately. The iPhone was pushed out too quickly. It should have been held back, like the Apple's home eavesdropper^H^H^H^H^H^H speaker.

Re:That...

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

You're listening wrong.

Overestimating

By mr100percent • Score: 3 • Thread

Well over 10 million iPhone Xâ(TM)s shipped, but since there were 24 posts on a forum it must be a systematic problem with the entire line (as the headline and article imply)? Come on.

Study of 500,000 Teens Suggests Association Between Excessive Screen Time and Depression

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Depression and suicide rates in teenagers have jumped in the last decade -- doubling between 2007 and 2015 for girls -- and the trend suspiciously coincides with when smartphones became their constant companions. A recent study places their screen time around nine hours per day. Another study, published on Tuesday, suggests that suicide and depression could be connected to the rise of smartphones, and increased screen time. Around 58 percent more girls reported depression symptoms in 2015 than in 2009, and suicide rates rose 65 percent. Smack in the middle of that window of time, smartphones gained market saturation.

In Twenge's new study, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, the researchers looked at two samples: a nationally representative survey by ongoing study "Monitoring the Future" out of the University of Michigan, which is administered annually to 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, and the Centers for Disease Control's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, a sample of high school students administered by the CDC every other year. (Both surveys began in 1991.) Altogether, over 500,000 young people were included. The study authors examined trends in how teens used social media, the internet, electronic devices (including gaming systems and tablets), and smartphones, as well as how much time they spent doing non-screen activities like homework, playing sports, or socializing. Comparing these to publicly available data on mental health and suicide for these ages between 2010 and 2017 showed "a clear pattern linking screen activities with higher levels of depressive symptoms/suicide-related outcomes and non-screen activities with lower levels," the researchers wrote in the study. All activities involving screens were associated with higher levels of depression or suicide and suicidal thinking, and activities done away from a screen were not.

I need to get outside now and then.

By ruddk • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I figured it was just because I was an old fart that I appreciate being "offline" now and then. :D I know that when I have been working too much and spending too much time inside and/or "connected", I need put the phone in airplane mode, get out and get some fresh air and do something, otherwise my mood drops. It was just above freezing last night and I felt sort of down, but I went on a bicycle ride for 2 hours with the phone turned off. It is really doing wonders for my mood and lets not ignore the pleasure of getting back home to a hot shower and a comfy couch afterwards. :D I have opted out of a job where I needed to be available and on call. We did get paid for that and I recently had a weekend where I had to be on standby, and it reminded me that it was annoying and not worth the money. I was biking in my local forest and all the time had to remember to not go further away than I could be home and logged on at work within an hour. I deleted my Facebook account almost a year ago. After weighing the pros and cons of doing it, I came to the conclusion that it wasn't an worthwhile "investment" of my time and attention as it didn't really improve my life quality that much. There were a few benefits of staying connected to people and getting updates about things in the local community but all in all, it was mostly robbing my time. Also, Facebook's website, app and features(like notifications) have been constructed in such a way that they are "teaching" you that you have to check it all the time. If you don't do that, it will "ping" you that someone you know did something and you should check it out. If you decide you don't want that, they also won't tell you when someone is contacting you directly.

Re: That old saying about correlation and causatio

By Jzanu • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Wow the idiocy here is amazing. You should realuze research uses more sophisticated techniques than you learned in fresher statistics. Have you any understanding of structural equation modeling as a research method? They incorporate causality.

Re: That old saying about correlation and causatio

By sheramil • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Also, does an increase in teen suicide rates ever correlate with a decrease in adult suicide rates?

Yes. Teens who commit suicide rarely go on to become adults who commit suicide.

I get depressed...

By GerryGilmore • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
... just watching people walk around with the damned things glued to their face. Crikey - you can't even have a normal conversation anymore with anyone!

Re:The teenage years are depressing

By Zontar The Mindless • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Good for all the teenagers that committed the bravery of suicide, this world is a system fucked over by parental aliens and parental adults that can't handle the physical and neuro physiological freshness of the teenage animal.

You're the one who's fucked up, if you can write misanthropic crap like that with a straight face.

Get yourself some help, please.

Walmart Says It's Preordered 15 of Tesla' New Semi Trucks

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Soon after Tesla unveiled its new electric Semi Truck and Roadster 2.0, Walmart says it has preordered 15 of the trucks. The Verge notes that the deal was "likely in the works before Tesla unveiled its new truck to the public." From the report: The pilot is planned for the U.S. and Canada. Five of the preordered vehicles will be for Walmart's U.S. business, and 10 will be for its Canadian routes, the company said. Walmart's fleet has about 6,000 trucks. "We have a long history of testing new technology -- including alternative-fuel trucks -- and we are excited to be among the first to pilot this new heavy-duty electric vehicle," the company said in a statement. "We believe we can learn how this technology performs within our supply chain, as well as how it could help us meet some of our long-term sustainability goals, such as lowering emissions." Musk said the truck would enter production in 2019. JB Hunt Transport Services, a 56-year-old company based in Arkansas, also reserved "multiple" new Tesla trucks as well.

Re:Hate Tesla

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Did I mention that their current hardware doesn't even do basic stuff like auto rain sensing and 360 degree cameras. The Model X is an amazing car in many ways, but also lacks stuff that is standard on cars costing 1/5th as much. The promises of firmware updates that take years to come are not a substitute.

It makes me wonder how many engineers they have working on it when they can't get this basic stuff finished.

Re:Hate Tesla

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

As a Model S owner, I have mixed feelings as well.

The car is incredible. I've driven 80k+ miles since 3/2014 and it drives as good now as on it's first day. No degredation of the battery, acceleration is still like a rocket, and the only things that broke down were a single tail light and something to do with the windshield wiper fluid (maybe the line was clogged). All of which was covered by warranty. Still on the original brake pads. Tires wear out, but so far they're covered by Michelin tire warranty.

On the other hand, they definitely need more software engineers working on the screen apps. There are easy things they should be able to add to the navigation and music apps that I've been waiting literally years for.

They said the focus on the software side is autodrive, but along the way they should at least give us some easy/visible upgrades.

Re:Hate Tesla

By Kjella • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Well it's refreshing to have a CEO that actually dares to have big, bold, idealistic visions. And by that I don't mean someone like Jobs who'd hype their current product but you'd have no idea where Apple was going 3-5 years down the road. In fact, the stretch goals are so high and so far out he doesn't run the risk of running into the Osborne effect but are more like guiding stars than any actual plan or roadmap.

I mean the marketing pamphlet for SpaceX could have read "Providing cost efficient satellite and ISS launch services through refurbished rockets" if it was run by a bean counter. Instead it's like "We want to build a BFR and colonize Mars", that's the vision. Somehow he's made it a success story to make some impossible goal and then coming up short is expected. Like now it's months of turn-around time to relaunch a "flight proven" rocket, he says lets do it in 24 hours. He's relaunched a rocket once, he says we'll make rockets that launch hundreds of times.

I think in terms of getting a team together and solve the engineering difficulties it's great. Why are we doing this, to shave a few bucks of NASA's budget? Nah. And we're not going to design something that's fundamentally unworkable for the long term goal, maybe we need a stopgap solution but we're stretching for that Formula One pit stop. Few things bring out such smug geek/nerd satisfaction as pushing the boundaries and announcing "They said it was impossible, so we did it".

For the customers though, I'd say Musk's companies are notoriously unreliable company with timelines and grand designs and promises that aren't really grounded in reality. If their current products do what you want them to do, by all means go ahead and buy it. But if you're waiting for something that's on the roadmap don't hold your breath. I got suckered into that Model 3 hype and pre-ordered... and then I started thinking WTF I'm waiting years for a car I know hardly anything about on a schedule I can't control, then I canceled. I decided I'd rather pick from the cars that are on the market when I need it.

Re:Walmart?

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
They've taken the deposit from their advertising budget, most likely.

Re:kids dying in the middle East the biggest subsi

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The *ultimate* subsidy is the US sending our kids to die in the middle East, due to oil. There's no way gulf war I happened if some sub Saharan country invaded another resource poor country.
[...]if musk can show we might be able to wean the US offa oil, I'd much rather subsidize that then our children getting killed by an IED.

Here's the problem: we already have the technology to replace 100% of our transportation fuels with biofuels from algae. You use solar thermal heat pipes to move seawater into the desert, and then grow algae on thermal raceways with solar paddlewheels. The lipids become green diesel and the remainder is processed for Butanol. Unfortunately, green diesel use actually went down due to the EPA's reduction of the renewable fuel requirement in 2014 (and through to today) although the EPA blamed it on "Limitations in the ability of the industry to produce suffcient volumes of qualifying renewable fuel, particularly non-ethanol fuels" — though this is a completely transparent lie, since they were making more before the EPA cut back the target. As for Butanol, we would have been able to buy it already if not for a patent dispute between Gevo and Butamax. The patent in question was developed in part at a public university, therefore it was developed in part with our money, but it is held by BP and DuPont's shell company Butamax who has been suing Gevo for years to prevent them from selling us Butanol fuel.

So yeah, go Musk, go EVs, but we are not using petrochemicals to fuel our vehicles because we have to. We are doing it because Big Oil is a branch of government, lying betwixt Congress and the rest of society.

A Stable Plasma Ring Has Been Created In Open Air For the First Time Ever

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter mrcoder83 shares a report from Futurism: Engineers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have been able to create a stable plasma ring without a container. According to the Caltech press release, it's "essentially capturing lightning in a bottle, but without the bottle." This remarkable feat was achieved using only a stream of water and a crystal plate, made from either quartz and lithium niobate. The union of these tools induced a type of contact electrification known as the triboelectric effect. The researchers blasted the crystal plate with an 85-micron-diameter jet of water (narrower than a human hair) from a specially designed nozzle. The water hit the crystal plate with a pressure of 632.7 kilograms of force per centimeter (9,000 pounds per square inch), generating an impact velocity of around 305 meters per second (1,000 feet per second) -- as fast as a bullet from a handgun. Plasma was formed as a result of the creation of an electric charge when the water hit the crystal surface. The flow of electrons from the point of contact ionizes the molecules and atoms in the gas area surrounding the water's surface, forming a donut-shaped glowing plasma that's dozens of microns in diameter. Caltech posted a video of the plasma ring on their YouTube channel.

Measurements!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

"generating an impact velocity of around 305 meters per second (1,000 feet per second)"

Ok, the actual science was done measuring meters per second, the press release rounds it to a nice round number of 1000f/s for American audience, and then that rounded number is converted to a quite exact figure of 305m/s.

In the actual paper, the experiment was done with a wide range of velocities. Over 200 m/s was required velocity to generate the effect.

u haz grammer

By zifn4b • Score: 3 • Thread

made from either quartz and lithium niobate

1) Either quartz or niobate? 2) Quartz and niobate? 3) Either quartz and niobate or _____?

WTF /.

By drewsup • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I submitted this FOUR DAYS AGO, with links to the Caltech aticle!

kilograms as a unit of force...

By CrimsonAvenger • Score: 3 • Thread

They're not. Get over it.

SI has a perfectly good unit of force (the newton). It will be really great when SI advocates actually start using SI, rather than bastardizing it with things like "kilograms of force"....

Re:"kilograms of force"

By ortholattice • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
What is curious is that they needed precisely 632.7 kilograms of force per centimeter [sic], to 4 significant figures. Even more remarkable is that this evaluates to almost exactly 9,000 pounds per square inch (8999.1 psi to be precise).

The House's Tax Bill Levies a Tax On Graduate Student Tuition Waivers

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Camel Pilot writes: The new GOP tax plan -- which just passed the House -- will tax tuition waivers as income. Graduate students working as research assistants on meager stipends would have to declare tuition waivers as income on the order of $80,000 income. This will force many graduate students of modest means to quit their career paths and walk away from their research. These are the next generation of scientists, engineers, inventors, educators, medical miracle workers and market makers. As Prof Claus Wilke points out: "This would be a disaster for U.S. STEM Ph.D. education." Slashdot reader Camel Pilot references a report via The New York Times, where Erin Rousseau explains how the House of Representatives' recently passed tax bill affects graduate research in the United States. Rousseau is a graduate student at M.I.T. who studies the neurological basis of mental health disorders. "My peers and I work between 40 and 80 hours a week as classroom teachers and laboratory researchers, and in return, our universities provide us with a tuition waiver for school. For M.I.T. students, this waiver keeps us from having to pay a tuition bill of about $50,000 every year -- a staggering amount, but one that is similar to the fees at many other colleges and universities," he writes. "No money from the tuition waivers actually ends up in our pockets, so under Section 117(d)(5), it isn't counted as taxable income." Rousseau continues by saying his tuition waivers will be taxed under the House's tax bill. "This means that M.I.T. graduate students would be responsible for paying taxes on an $80,000 annual salary, when we actually earn $33,000 a year. That's an increase of our tax burden by at least $10,000 annually."

Re:This has been tried before

By Solandri • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Tuitions have skyrocketed because of the wide availability of government-backed loans (i.e. the government promises to repay the loan if the student defaults on it). This has caused lenders to loan money to students like candy because there is no risk to them. The students are then flush full of money, so the schools simply take advantage of it to raise their tuition and sop up the extra money. This extra money has mostly gone into paying for unnecessary administrators.

Government directly backing universities does not cause this problem. The money goes straight to the school, so there is no incentive for them to raise prices for students. Quite the opposite in fact, since they're now getting additional money from another source and thus can lower tuition.

Supply-side government incentives and demand-side government incentives have these different effects on the market. Politicians should really think about these effects (or in many cases learn about them since they seem completely ignorant) before implementing government subsidies.
  • Giving students easier access to money to pay for school is a demand-side incentive. What should happen is the increased demand causes more universities to be built, and the increased competition lowers prices (tuitions). But schools are not commodities. Schools with good reputations are in higher demand, so increasing the availability of money just makes more students apply to these schools. Demand goes up, supply stays constant, price goes up.
  • Giving money to universities is a supply-side incentive. The government can even add conditions to receiving that money, like requiring tuitions not exceed a certain % of the median family income.

The U.S. college and university economics are so screwed up right now because of these student loans, grants, and scholarships, that the only solution I can see now is to aggressively shift money away from those programs and into public universities (with the stipulation that the public university keep tuitions reasonable). If you're poor, you'll still be able to go to college, but it'll be a public university, not a private ivy league college. Then wait for that additional funding to increase the reputation and competitiveness of public universities. That increased competition plus funds drying up for private colleges will force them to go on a diet, shedding those unnecessary administrators and reducing other costs, so they can lower tuition.

I'm also pretty close to decided that loans for students are a really bad idea. Loans basically allow you to time-shift money from your future into the present. Since students have their entire future earnings potential ahead of them, this is a massive amount of money that loans allow schools to tap into. Without any loans (or at least publicly funded or supported loans), students will only be able to pay what they can currently afford, and tuitions will fall to match their ability to pay out of pocket.

Re: In college courses they teach that taxes are

By fluffernutter • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It's not robbing rich people. Maintaining a civilization costs money, someone has to pay for it. Rich people have benefited the most from it, so why shouldn't they pay more?

Seems like it.

By wonkavader • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Normally I'd think that neither leftists nor rightists want to discourage people from pursuing graduate degrees. Now I'm not so sure. If only the rich can afford to go to school, then only the rich will profit from the rewards of education. Is this what Rs want?

It doesn't seem to make sense -- one would think that uneducated people cost the system more money than they return. But the more I look at our education system, the more I think that it is indeed the case that the rich want to keep the poor and middle class from getting an education.

This tax bill includes a removal of the ability of teachers to deduct a few hundred bucks spent on school supplies for their work. Talk about going out of your way to make things hard for little gain. Seems crazy to suffer the political penalty for doing this unless they really believe that publicly available education should work poorly.

Re: Barter

By werepants • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Definitely not. Trump is, first and foremost, an authoritarian, the exact opposite of a classical liberal. Classical liberals like JS Mill, John Locke, and Thomas Paine provided the inspiration for the American experiment in democracy.

Authoritarians like Hitler, Stalin, and Trump revile free speech, education, science, and empiricism. Divine authority cannot tolerate questioning. It requires unassailable certitude and ignorant compliance from the masses. So we can expect this new wave of Trumpism to make education, especially at advanced levels, a primary target.

Great job citrus boi

By volodymyrbiryuk • Score: 3 • Thread
After the war on drugs and the war on terror comes the war on science. Congratulations.

'Robots Are Not Taking Over,' Says Head of UN Body of Autonomous Weapons

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Robots are not taking over the world," the diplomat leading the first official talks on autonomous weapons assured on Friday, seeking to head off criticism over slow progress towards restricting the use of so-called "killer robots." The United Nations was wrapping up an initial five days of discussions on weapons systems that can identify and destroy targets without human control, which experts say will soon be battle ready. "Ladies and gentlemen, I have news for you: the robots are not taking over the world. Humans are still in charge," said India's disarmament ambassador, Amandeep Gill, who chaired the CCW meeting. "I think we have to be careful in not emotionalizing or dramatizing this issue," he told reporters in response to criticism about the speed of the conference's work. Twenty-two countries, mostly those with smaller military budgets and lesser technical knowhow, have called for an outright ban, arguing that automated weapons are by definition illegal as every individual decision to launch a strike must be made by a human. Gill underscored that banning killer robots, or even agreement on rules, remained a distant prospect.

Drone Anyone?

By Jim Sadler • Score: 3 • Thread
Send the fool a drone with a small explosive charge and maybe he will change his mind.

Headline appreciation moment

By Gibgezr • Score: 3 • Thread

Can we all just pause and appreciate that headline for a moment? I mean, I was both so pleased and so disturbed all at the same time. We truly live in a wonderous era.

Intention?

By seven of five • Score: 3 • Thread
For robots to "take over," don't AIs first need intention? ie. goals and a motive?
As far as I know, software's still just a tool with no more self-motivation than a screwdriver.
Given that, it's all about who owns the tools.

I'm not worried about robots taking over

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm worried about a small group of asshole humans using them to oppress me and everyone else for eternity. Right not the aristocracy has to treat a small population well or they get disposed. Robots eliminate even that.

Yeah I get it...

By MikeDataLink • Score: 3 • Thread

Ladies and gentlemen, I have news for you: the robots are not taking over the world. Humans are still in charge

That sounds exactly like what someone would say right before the robots actually take over. :-)

Verizon: No 4G-Level Data Caps For 5G Home Service

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Verizon recently announced that its upcoming 5G home internet service will not have the kinds of data limits you expect from current wireless services. It will reportedly be able to handle the average data load of a FiOS customer, and it won't be throttled down to 4G gigabyte caps. PC Magazine reports: Verizon has been trying out its new 5G home internet service for months. In a tour of its New Jersey lab, we got a closer look at the 5G antenna setup we saw at Mobile World Congress in February. It's a silver device the size of a paperback book, which connects to a Wi-Fi router with a display. You're supposed to put in a window facing Verizon's 5G service tower. In the test lab, engineer David Binczewski (below) showed us how the company is still working through the challenges of high-frequency, short-distance, millimeter-wave 5G -- most notably, how to penetrate various materials. In a chamber designed to test new 5G devices, he held up a piece of wood between a 5G emitter and a receiver, and we watched the signal fuzz out a bit on a nearby equipment screen. During a roundtable, VP of network support Mike Haberman, some other Verizon folks, and the assembled journalists agreed that an average data cap in the vicinity of 180GB/month would satisfy the average consumer. That's far more than Verizon's current 4G traffic management limit, where folks who use more than 22GB get sent to the back of the line if a tower is congested.

5G - Full of promise, but still years away

By ffejie • Score: 3 • Thread
There's a lot of promises being made about 5G. Most of them are not just hype, but many will not be possible once the standard is in place, and some of the real world deployment scenarios are figured out.

I think the telcos are going to figure out how to get fixed mobile broadband working. There's too much to lose if they don't. They've fallen way behind on broadband access (except for areas where Verizon invested in FiOS) and the cable companies have taken a huge lead. T-Mobile specifically has so much to gain, because they don't have a current broadband presence.

It's likely that especially for rural areas, this will be a game changing moment. There will likely be three or four truly high speed options for internet in places that might not even have one today.

Internet demands are going to continue to grow. 30 Mbps in 2020 may feel like 5 Mbps today. Usable, but pokey. Unusable if you have multiple devices (or users). A typical "heavy usage" household in 2020 might have demands to stream 4K Netflix/Hulu on a TV (~15Mbps), concurrent with a 4K YouTube feed (user #2) (~15Mbps), and life streaming kind of appliances (think Amazon Echo Show on steroids). (~5 Mbps). If you're doing any kind of file syncing or web browsing concurrently (user #3), you're going to get squeezed out. By ~2022, I would not be surprised if the working definition of "high speed internet" is 100 Mbps. Is 5G going to deliver that? For everyone?

Meeting the needs of yesterday... tomorrow!

By hawguy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Verizon: Meeting the needs of yesterday... tomorrow!

While a 180GB data cap *might* be reasonable today, I regularly exceed that with regular Netflix streaming.

A 4K stream uses around 7 - 10GB/hour, so 180GB means 18 hours of streaming/month, or around a half hour a day.

8K TV's are already available, and they'll use at least twice the bandwidth.

Next generation speed - next generation caps

By RhettLivingston • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The speed is higher, the cap is higher. Whoopie.

It is interesting that they discuss caps that would be OK with an average home user today. They won't be OK with an average home user by the time this comes out. Therefore, they are already planning on a network capacity designed to justify caps and gouging. The basis for the whining we'll hear 5 years from now is already in place.

NVIDIA Launches Modded Collector's Edition Star Wars Titan Xp Graphics Card

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA just launched its fastest graphics card yet and this GPU is targeted at Star Wars fans. In concert with EA's official launch today of Star Wars Battlefront II, NVIDIA unveiled the new Star Wars Titan Xp Collector's Edition graphics card for enthusiast gamers. There are two versions of the cards available -- the Galactic Empire version and a Jedi Order version. Both of the cards feature customized coolers, shrouds, and lighting, designed to mimic the look of a lightsaber. They also ship in specialized packaging that can be used to showcase the cards if they're not installed in a system. The GPU powering the TITAN Xp Collector's Edition has a base clock of 1,481MHz and a boost clock of 1,582MHz. It's packing a fully-enabled NVIDIA GP102 GPU with 3,840 cores and 12GB of GDDR5X memory clocked at 5.5GHz for an effective data rate of 11Gbps, resulting in 547.2GB/s of peak memory bandwidth. At those clocks, the card also offers a peak texture fillrate of 379.75 GigaTexels/s and 12.1TFLOPs of FP32 compute performance, which is significantly higher than a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. In the benchmarks, it's the fastest GPU out there right now (it better be for $1200), but this card is more about nostalgia and the design customizations NVIDIA made to the cards that should appeal to gamers and Star Wars fans alike.

One word...

By Spasmodeus • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Moychandising!

Yeah... no

By oic0 • Score: 3 • Thread
In 10 years it will be just as worthless as the standard one. Even while its good no one will know or care that you have it. About the only place you'll get to show it off is in your signature on forums. Might as well just lie and say you have one rather than pay the $1200 to feel justified in your signature bragging.

Collectable and video card? Really?

By sandbagger • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This makes as much sense as a 14.4 USR Collectable Modem or floppy drive, or CRT. Computer subsystems might gather dust in a museum but aren't going to be tooled around with like old cars.

This is just Disney doing a Scott Adams and sticking a logo on anything that has a shape. I never thought I'd say it, but this makes me think of Lucas as comparatively tasteful.

Unexpected costs?

By BladeMelbourne • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Do you have to pay EA extra to unlock all the GPU cores before playing Battlefront II?

Credit card

By Myria • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Does the video card come with a slot to insert your credit card for Nvidia DLC?