Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:"Cultural arrogance" (Score 1) 109

by AmiMoJo (#48647179) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

It's not a clear cut "freedom of speech" issue as some are making it out to be. The situation is a difficult one, and people's lives are on the line. Upsetting the DPRK in this way is not likely to improve things. So, while legally the right to make and release such a film exists, morally it's more questionable.

I'm not drawing a conclusion, I'm just trying to explain how it isn't a simple free speech or appeasement issue. Try to imagine being someone living near the border in South Korea, as many millions of people do. You might wish people took account of how delicate the situation is before acting.

Comment: Re:"We didn't do it. Shutup or we'll do it again." (Score 2) 109

by AmiMoJo (#48647139) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

The article you linked to doesn't have any references, and sounds like it is based on an extremely poor translation. Looking at the official DPRK news agency, they don't seem to mention it:

What the do say is that if they were to retaliate it wouldn't be a terrorist attack on innocent movie-goers, it would be a military strike on the leadership. That seems to match what the badly translated CNN statement says, i.e. that they wouldn't attack some random corporation or civilians, they would attack the leadership who they hold responsible.

The entire narrative of the DPRK is based on this idea that the majority of Americans are innocent, if deluded, and should be freed from the control of their masters. Without going in to how close to the mark that might actually be, it's basically a reflection of the US narrative on regime change.

Comment: Re:"Cultural arrogance" (Score 5, Insightful) 109

by AmiMoJo (#48647055) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

The Chinese do have a point here. First the US attacks other countries with cyber weapons like Struxnet and hacking on a quite astounding scale (thanks for informing us, Snowden). Then it gets in a huff when others attack its movie industry, and tries to take the moral high ground.

They also have a point about insulting the leaders of other countries. Obviously in the west we have no problem with it, we do it all the time and to our own people. Considering the delicate nature of the relationship between North Korea and the US making this kind of film doesn't seem like a very smart move. Yes, freedom of speech and all that, but free speech is not free from consequences. Expecting the North Koreans not to react, expecting it not to affect the US-DPRK relationship is naive at best.

Comment: Re:Fundamental failure of process design (Score 2) 188

by AmiMoJo (#48645889) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

You have to differentiate between a safe but damaging shut down, where there is no risk to human life, and an unsafe shutdown. You use a car analogy parts of the body work are designed to fail in a way that destroys them, but keeps the occupants of the car safe. Industrial systems are often designed on the same principals.

More over, it is very difficult to design any kind of complex machine that can never fail in a way that damages it. Even if it can be done, often it doesn't make economic sense to since the cost of a very low number of failures is likely to be lower than the cost of preventing them. Insurance is a better option, and in this case if their security had been up to scratch it wouldn't have happened in the first place.

Comment: Re:of course it wasn't NK (Score 2) 230

Apperently we Americans are better at it, as *everything* coming out of North Korea lands as bombastic humor.

Believe it or not, most of what comes out of America sounds the same to the rest of the world. It's been toned down since Obama got in, from the height of the War on Terror (TM). More generally all the rhetoric about the US being the greatest country on earth and the daily pledge of allegiance that school kids are forced to recite seems awfully similar to what certain other countries do, which is probably no surprise as much of it was originally a over-reaction to Soviet propaganda.

Comment: Re: of course it wasn't NK (Score 1) 230

They gain more by claiming that the Americans are idiots who make wild accusations, and offering their technical assistance. At the same time their primary goal, stopping the release of the film and drawing attention to their displeasure with it, has been achieved.

Comment: Re:And OJ offers a reward to find the real killer (Score 2) 230

On the other hand, we know for certain that the US has launched cyber attacks against other countries. They hit Iran with Struxnet, for example, and are suspected of various other attacks. We know that the NSA has infested many, many systems. We know that their British partner agency, GCHQ, hacks other countries on a regular basis.

Any complaints from the US are at best hypocrisy. It's hard to believe US intelligence after all the lies of the past, so I'd say it's equally likely that North Korea is telling the truth. Would be a nice bit of misdirection by the hackers.

It will be interesting to see what the US does. Any retaliation would open it up to similar retaliation over its own hacking.

Comment: Re:Stealing (Score 1) 133

by AmiMoJo (#48641305) Attached to: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and the 50-Year Copyright Itch

Time to fight back. Write a computer program that produces music automatically using some algorithm. Allow some trivial amount of control so that the user can claim it is a musical instrument, like a synthesiser. Release over 9,000,000 limited edition (1 copy) albums, and then sue every artist working for Sony for copyright infringement on every new work they release. One of your millions of tracks is bound to sound like theirs.

Comment: Re:Ethics? (Score 1) 545

by AmiMoJo (#48636149) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

It's a terrible summary. Here's what happened:

Zoe Quinn's jilted ex boyfriend made a blog post accusing her of stuff. There was a vague accusation that she slept with a journalist in return for good coverage of her game, but it turned out to be untrue. That didn't stop GamerGate repeating the lie over and over and over again though, and using it to justify their "corruption in gaming journalism" angle.

Anita Sarkeesian made some videos about how women are often portrayed poorly in games. GamerGate went ape shit over this and accused her of all kinds of things, most notably defrauding her Kickstarter backers (note that she delivered the promised videos) and of organizing a vast false-flag operation against herself. There has been a little bit of thoughtful criticism of her work, but most of it is just ranting. She largely ignores the rants, except for documenting them to use in her talks.

So basically GamerGate is based on a lie that is still being perpetuated long after it was debunked (see the other comments), and rage against women pointing out that games could do a little better when it comes to female characters. When asked about the corruption angle most GGers steer away from Quinn now, but point to articles about how gamer culture has become toxic because apparently disagreeing with them = corruption.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 643

by AmiMoJo (#48635535) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

So we are both in agreement that focusing on extremists isn't helpful.

As to specific steps, you could look at what European countries are actually doing. You seem to be mis-informed, the EU is moving forwards quite rapidly on these issues. For example, the EU noticed that consumers have been suckered in to thinking that moar power = better when buying vacuum cleaners, when actually the best ones are fairly low power and efficient. To fix that they introduced limits on wattage and a rating system where they independently test every model and put the results on the box. Similar measures will be introduced for other appliances, and limits will be tightened to keep manufacturers improving things.

You may think that more efficient vacuum cleaners isn't a big deal, but it really is when you look at the amount of energy they use.

Germany is leading all other countries by re-building its grid and moving to renewable energy on a very large scale. There is a lot of FUD about high prices (they are not the highest in the EU, and unlike other countries that just give that money to shareholders at least Germany is investing it in improving their infrastructure and making electricity into a public utility again) and outright lies about massive increases in coal use. The real end result is going to be very significant and beneficial to Germans though, and keep in mind that they are only about 1/3rd the way through their plan (end date is around 2023).

Also note that quality of life in Germany is going up at the same time. Better houses that cost less to run, less reliance on imported gas and Russia, lots of new jobs and opportunities in the renewables industry, less pollution. In the end their energy will be cheaper too. German industry is still a powerhouse as well, with more exports than China.

Comment: Re:Pebble? (Score 1) 228

by AmiMoJo (#48634393) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

6. Current weather

I never really understood this feature. I can look out of a window to see the current weather. What I want to know if the future weather, but every random smart device gives me information that I already have to hand. I can see if it is raining now, what I'm interested in is if I should take an umbrella for later.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 0) 643

by AmiMoJo (#48633955) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

The people you describe are not the mainstream environmental movement, and focusing on them is just distracting people from from what actually needs to be done. Few people are suggesting we reduce our quality of life or return to an agrarian society in order to fix climate change. In fact, the push is for a better quality of life with less pollution, better buildings, less of our income spent on energy and heating/cooling etc.

All I ever see from US media and commentators is screaming and ranting in both directions. What it boils down to is extreme frustration that the US is incapable of doing what other countries are doing for political reasons (mainly hatred of anything remotely socialist) and FUD from those who are making vast amount of money by polluting and releasing CO2. It's all corrupted by money and each side keeps upping the ante, taking more and more extreme measures to further their goals.

Meanwhile Europe is getting on with it. Well, parts of it, anyway.

Riches: A gift from Heaven signifying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." -- John D. Rockefeller, (slander by Ambrose Bierce)