Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Poor choice of example (Score 1) 246

by AmiMoJo (#49155881) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

Actually today it is widely accepted (except in the US) that Japan was on the brink of surrendering before the bombs were dropped and they did very little to hasten the end of the war or save lives.

Japan didn't want to enter a war with the US. It knew that winning would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Japan was already committed in its own region. Geographically the US is too large to easily subdue, let alone its vast military strength and huge natural resources. The attack on Pearl Harbour was a desperate move designed to cripple the US navy and if not prevent at least delay a war while the US rebuilt. Japan felt that war with the US was inevitable at that point, but certainly didn't want it and had little interesting in conquering the North America. If they had invaded, Canada would surely have joined the fight.

Once the war started they were hoping that their pacific fleet would win it for them, or at least draw the US to a truce/stand off. Due to some bad luck and the skill of the US Navy that didn't work, and then they were screwed. By the time the atomic bombs were ready Japan was already on the brink of being forced to give up. People were starving, the military lacked many basic resources and couldn't defend Japan against US air attack effectively, nor retaliate. Many people in the government were pushing for a negotiated truce or surrender that allowed Japan to keep its emperor and some dignity. With Russia looking like it might attack from the west it was obvious that the end was near.

The US knew that Germany and Japan had been trying to develop nuclear weapons, but failed to do so. The assumption was that other countries would develop them eventually though, and atomic warfare would be a real possibility. Little was known about atomic weapons and their effects on cities and people, and there wasn't a great deal anyone could do to answer those questions at a time before computer modelling and advanced medical science. Japan was an opportunity to test nuclear weapons and see the results first hand. The Japanese people had already been demonized through years of propaganda, so there would be public support if it was sold as saving American lives. There were two types of bomb available and they tested one of each.

After the surrender US scientists and doctors were sent to the bomb sites to examine them and the people who had been injured. A lot was learned. Some were taken back to the US for treatment, billed as a humanitarian effort but actually more of an opportunity to study the effects and learn how to treat atomic burns with skin grafts and practice facial reconstruction.

Any claim that the bombs saved lives is speculation at best, and not supported by the facts. The horror of what happened is very real. I don't blame modern Americans for it, just like I don't hold modern Germans responsible for the Holocaust or modern Japanese responsible for the atrocities committed during WW2. I find it interesting that people sometimes criticise Japan for not acknowledging what it did enough these days, when the US hasn't even got as far as an acknowledgement for the most part.

Comment: Re:It's almost like the Concord verses the 747 aga (Score 1) 115

by AmiMoJo (#49155771) Attached to: Hyperloop Testing Starts Next Year

$500k actually sounds pretty cheap per seat. Even the lowest estimate of use put forward by critics of the project was 23M passengers/year. To pay for construction in the first year each passenger would need to generate $43 in profit over running costs. Realistically they could charge much less and still turn a profit in a reasonable time.

Japan is currently building a maglev high speed "rail" line between Tokyo and Osaka. 86% of it will be tunnels through extremely challenging terrain. Initial speeds will be 550km/h, rising to around 900km/h in time so somewhat similar to the hyperloop proposal.

The cost in very, very high. Far higher than what the US is paying. It's new technology and it's difficult terrain. The pay-back time is going to be long. Decades before it shows a profit. The thing is, Japan Rail is in it for the long haul. That line will be running indefinitely. The current ones started in 1964, more than 50 years ago. The tickets are reasonably priced and the volume of passengers will be high. It's much, much faster than flying and much, much cheaper. The technology itself is valuable, and will be exported to other countries.

Oh, and pollution is much lower and from flying. It's safer too. There really is very little not to like.

Comment: Re:Ars Technica and #Gamergate (Score 2) 85

by AmiMoJo (#49155201) Attached to: Twitter Adds "Report Dox" Option

The problem with your claims are that they are all based on extremely shakey evidence. Blog posts referencing other blog posts referencing twitter. Youtube videos full of memes and ranting.

Compare that to the IRC logs. Direct evidence from the source. The same logs captured and released by multiple people on both sides of the argument, so their authenticity can't be denied. The content is damming. In fact there is extensive discussion of doing exactly what you have just done. Try to control the narrative. Stick to the message with some pre-packaged links. Try to make it about ethics in journalism. Accuse the victims of all the things GamerGate is doing to them. The logs are complete and the full context can be seen.

If you really want to argue the point then quote and refute the logs directly. Explain why we shouldn't take them at face value, or why the actions of those in the logs are somehow excusable.

Comment: Re:Soshill Justus (Score 2, Insightful) 85

by AmiMoJo (#49152909) Attached to: Twitter Adds "Report Dox" Option

Go have a read of the chat logs. Anonymous kindly published the entire, uncensored log just in case you think that the quotes are cherry picked.

It's clear what GamerGate was now. A small group of people on 4chan, and later 8chan, organising a campaign based on hatred of women. They are quite explicit about that when they think no-one else is listening. All the things they accuse their victims of are the things they themselves were doing. False flag operations, doxxing, sock puppet accounts, attempts to manipulate the media.

It's all there, go read it for yourself.

Comment: Re:Consumers win (Score 1) 200

by AmiMoJo (#49152905) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

Lenovo do make inexpensive consumer models too. It will be interesting to see how long they stick with this.

Norton tried something similar years ago. I think it was around 2009. They released a version or Norton anti-virus that installed quickly, didn't slow your computer down and didn't bug you with endless stupid warnings and demands for upgrades. Within a couple of years they were back to being crapware.

+ - Twitter adds "report dox" option

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Twitter announced that its abuse-report system, which was recently refined to simplify and shorten the reporting process, has now expanded to allow users to report content such as self-harm incidents and "the sharing of private and confidential information" (aka doxing). The announcement, posted by Twitter Vice President of User Services Tina Bhatnagar, explained that December's report-process update was met with a "tripling" of the site's abuse support staff, which has led to a quintupling of abuse report processing. Chat logs recently revealed how Twitter is used by small groups to create vast harassment campaigns, thanks to sock puppet account and relative anonymity."

Comment: Re:Follow the money (Score 1) 135

by AmiMoJo (#49145813) Attached to: Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation?

There are far, far more Android users, so even if each one spends less that doesn't mean you will make less money in the long run. Also, if you are developing apps for developing nations, good luck selling many copies on iOS.

Unfortunately we don't have stats broken down by country. I bet they would paint a very different picture though.

Comment: Re:It's not just the fragmentation (Score 1) 135

by AmiMoJo (#49145801) Attached to: Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation?

Your first link also shows that 90% of iOS apps are free. Clearly most developers think the right price for their apps is $0.

You are also missing the fact that while on average Android user spend less, there are a lot more of them. The ones in developing countries probably drag the numbers down a lot. It would be interesting to see stats for just Europe, say. Also, those developing nations are only going to spend more and more over time, which is why Apple is desperately trying to break into China.

Comment: Re:There's fragmentation on iOS too... (Score 1) 135

by AmiMoJo (#49145783) Attached to: Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation?

Apple actively encouraged developers to target specific resolutions, especially in the early days when the hardware was quite weak. In order for everything to look good they told developers to create graphics for the iPhone and later iPad's specific resolution.

That's why when later models with better screens came out they preferred to exactly doubled the resolution when possible. All those apps written for the old resolution then at least scaled 2:1 and only looked as bad as they did on the old low resolution screens. When widescreen finally came along they letterboxed apps because so many of them didn't scale properly.

It's all because the original iPhone and iPad hardware was pretty low end, so in order to make everything move smoothly and apps look slick they went with monotasking and UIs developed for specific screens. Don't forget that the 1st gen hardware was a Samsung single core CPU running at 400MHz with a mere 128MB of RAM.

Android went with device and resolution independence from day one, and although that meant that early devices were a bit clunky compared to iOS it has paid off in the long run.

Comment: Re: Hard to believe (Score 1) 162

by AmiMoJo (#49145701) Attached to: Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

That's not a very good test. You can run more than one copy of Firefox, but only if you hack around making sure that they don't use the same profile directory etc. In other words, the default install doesn't support multiple concurrent versions running at the same time.

Same with Chrome. Same with Safari. None of them support portable mode with separate profiles and the ability to run multiple copies at once. In fact Firefox used to fail to run if it noticed "firefox.exe" was already running, so you couldn't even run the installed version along side the portable one, or multiple portable installations.

IE is fairly well separated now. Explorer uses a separate HTML engine that is much more limited than IE. Updates for the Windows core HTML engine and IE are separate. You don't need to upgrade IE to keep your Windows installation secure any more.

Comment: Re:Jeez, don't make this harder than it needs to b (Score 4, Funny) 443

by AmiMoJo (#49145575) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

Seems like a lot of effort. I just get a serial cable and press my tongue against the TX pin. Then type "copy COM1:" on the source machine and open up Notepad on the target. By hovering my hand over the keyboard on the target the little electrical shocks from the serial port cause spasms that make my hand type the file out. It's slow and painful but some people like that.

Comment: Re:Old School Kermit (Score 1) 443

by AmiMoJo (#49145565) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

Get a genuine FTDI USB serial port, or better still a real hardware serial port. They still make them on PCI-E cards, and they work just as well as the old ones even at high speeds.

Having said that, the OP states his laptop has a serial port so it should be no problem to run it at 256 kbaud or above with a little error correction and a reasonable quality cable.

Comment: Re:Crazy at the helm (Score 1) 302

by AmiMoJo (#49138011) Attached to: Reddit Imposes Ban On Sexual Content Posted Without Permission

Well, it's a good thing that your opinion of the case determines its merit.

The allegation that she does this habitually or is otherwise unfit / didn't get her position on merit is also an opinion.

It'a also interesting that you accuse me of name calling, when in fact I did no such thing. You mention the patriarchy - YOU mention it, not me. You are reading all sorts of stuff that just isn't there.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?