Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 514

Imagine for a minute that certain drinks with no added salt / sugar were forced to have a label (WARNING: Conatains electrolytes). Or perhaps some like (Contains Di-hydrogen monoxide). How many ignorant people would change their buying patterns based on that? What benefit would this provide for your average consumer?

That's the issue here. Today the anti-GMO argument is "Well, if there's nothing wrong with GMOs, then why don't you label them?" If labeling is enforced, then 10 years from now the anti-GMO movement will be saying "Oh yeah, well if there's nothing bad about GMOs, why are they forced to label them?"

Comment Re:Hey Uber- pay up! You are BREAKING THE LAW! (Score 1) 210

Cab prices are high and fares are inflated because of artificial scarcity via taxi medallions. That's the real issue here. This is why you wait over an hour on a late weekend night, or 3+ hours on new year's eve for a taxi. Cab drivers either have to buy a medallion at a ridiculously inflated price (via a 2nd mortgage or something) OR they have to lease one out from $$richowner$$ who makes money by doing absolutely nothing (at the expense of every cab patron, who pays slightly more).

And look at who is profiting - DIng! It's the senior executives and investors of these parasitical companies.

. Oh, the irony in your post. I'm surprised you didn't mention the "parasitical senior executives of craigslist taking away jobs from pawn shop owners that can't support their families".

If you're going to criticize anything Uber does, it should be the blatant disregard for local regulations that put taxis at a disadvantage. Force them to adhere to the same standards that taxis have to do (passenger insurance, proper bookkeeping to ensure drivers pay income tax, sales tax if applicable on fares, etc..) Once they're all on the same playing field, then there's nothing legitimate for taxis to complain about.

And finally, your "race to the bottom of the wage barrel" doesn't really apply here. If prices drop and your average uber driver makes less, then the consumers and passengers benefit! If the level field is completely even and your average cab fare is much lower, then the cab drivers were making far more than they would have via normal supply and demand . The only losers are those that own the medallions (and the taxi drivers who provide shitty customer service; who are forced to clean up their cabs, play music that the customer wants to hear, and clear their cars more frequently. Boo hoo).

Comment Re:read it and weep (Score 1) 247

Read it and weep. TTIP and TISA yet to go. This was all planned back in 1985 when the Masters of the Universe began the Narrative and implemented several measures to discourage women from tech careers.

I don't know about you, but I don't think He-Man and his crew sought to discourage women from employment in certain fields. His actions appeared to be fairly progressive for the mid-80's. After all, his twin sister had basically the same job in a male-dominated career of villain foiling and he seemed perfectly fine with that.

Comment Re:Oh sigh (Score 1) 585

No, YOU are talking about harassment. Harassment != Offense. Comments or actions that aren't directed towards specific individuals or organizations don't qualify as harassment. Read the link here; this isn't about harassment. Colleges and campuses are classifying statements like "I believe the most qualified individual should get the job" as offensive microaggressions. As soon as anyone becomes offended by a statement, then it's censored.

That's the issue we are talking about here. Harassment still isn't tolerated on campuses, and it's not the topic of conversation here.

Comment Re:Didn't generalize sufficiently (Score 1) 330

You're right in that air conditioning is technically a subset of refrigeration, but I don't think that air conditioning really revolutionized society (or disrupted) in the same sense here, so that's why it's not included or mentioned here. Having air conditioning is more of a luxury, being able to enjoy a slightly cooler room in the heat. Having a small compartment between -20 and 5 degrees radically altered socialization, commerce, food preparation, etc..

Comment Re:Gun Control... (Score 1) 822

My thoughts are that, the "Ban all the guns" group is wishful thinking. That ship has sailed, and if you try to ban guns, then only outlaws will have guns, and I don't think that's any good.

I like your points here, and i generally agree here with your stance here for toddlers (or basically, someone acquiring a gun that's not qualified to handle one). But I can't really agree with that stance on "only outlaws will have guns", especially when it comes to school shootings or a rampage of a similar nature. Yes, your criminal organizations and inner city gangs will still have their guns, but we could still reduce the number of mass shooting instances by making it more difficult to acquire them in the first place. Or alternatively, make it more difficult to acquire more powerful guns; semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles, etc...

The people involved in these mass shootings aren't exactly the most socially proficient - if they couldn't just run to a gun store or pawn shop and pick something up easily, how else would they acquire one? They don't exactly have connections to the black market. They couldn't just order one online (with restrictions in place on these types of weapons). Are they going to ask their classmates, hoping they don't rat them out? Making guns more difficult to own could result in higher instances of potential shooters getting caught before the shit goes down, or discouraging them from trying in the first place.

Comment Meaningless question (Score 1) 153

Are games art? Well they definitely contain art and require some creative input and material. So maybe Zork or other text-based games might technically not count as art; call it adventuring or role playing or something? It's like asking if an art gallery itself, is technically "art" (Not really? Sort of? Maybe? but it contains artworks).

The most important question is, who cares whether video games technically count as art or not? I could take a dump in a styrofoam container, cover it in rainbow sprinkles, put some edgy label on there like "GMO free" or "Monsanto", and sneak it into an art gallery - and people would be convinced it's technically "art". The existing definition is so vague, that's it's practically meaningless.

Comment Re:Still confusing. (Score 1) 278

What I learned from this article, was that the metre was the initial arbitrary unit that formed the basis of the metric system (I think). The relationship is that 1kg of water = 1 liter = 1 cubic decimeter. But one of these had to come first, and as a result of an arbitrary unit. If a kilogram was slightly heavier or lighter, then that would have altered our metric measurements of volume and weight by a slight amount too

Another poster here mentioned that the meter was originally intended to be 1/10,000,000th of the distance from the pole to the equator, but it's been redefined twice, and now it's supposed to be X number of wavelengths of an line of krypton-86 . And then finally, this was redefined again in 1983 as the distance light travels in 1/299792458 of a second.

What I don't get it, shouldn't the kilogram have been defined and redefined then as the weight of a cubic dm of water each of these times then too? Why is there an attempt to base this on Avogadro's or Plank's constant?

Comment Re:Canada (Score 2) 278

No, they won't all bow down to banks and corporate interests. This isn't Republicans vs Democrats in the US.

The Conservatives support the TPP, that's obvious. The NDP does NOT - not sure where you get the idea they're bought by corporations. In the recent provincial election in Alberta, the top 70 corporate donations went to one of the two right wing parties (PC, Wildrose). NDP was the only party to claim they'd raise corporate taxes. Granted, that's at the provincial level but the party ideology doesn't differ that much at the federal level.

It's unlikely that the Conservatives or NDP will win a majority government at the federal level, so the TPP being enforced will mostly depend on the stance the liberal party takes. Right now, Trudeau's not giving a solid answer on the TPP, just stating "will need to evaluate it". The pessimist in me thinks they're probably going to support it (but they don't want to publicly take a stance yet - and to be fair the dealings are highly secretive so that's a fair statement to make). But it's really up in the air as to whether it'll be passed.

Comment Re:Well my mum still calls a vacuum cleaner a hoov (Score 1) 262

Maybe because iPads and Surface Pros have just a wee bit more to do with current tech than a Hoover? Of course, maybe you don't realize that an article about tablet branding might be more appealing than vacuum cleaner branding on a site attempting to display "News for Nerds"

Comment Re:Oh, I see. (Score 1) 179

This is an unbelievably stupid analogy. NSA and government data is accessible by a handful of people. People that can make your life miserable, because now they can blackmail you, or a politician, or just about anyone with that content. But if your misdeeds of the past are available via a quick google search, then anyone can find out that information and no one has power over you.

Try to imagine what would happen if a few corrupt government or NSA individuals had exclusive access to the Ashely Madison leaked info, instead of it being splattered all over the internet. And for the sake of argument, we have a lot more high ranking senators, governors and congresscritters with that information on that list. The NSA would fucking own them, and none of them would dare speak out against mass surveillance for the rest of their term. Maybe they're blackmailed into payment by some underlings working there. Powerful govt organization gets even more powerful. Hell, they're probably doing this now.

Comment Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 379

Really? If I buy a Turbo Supra Mach 6 Extreme cartridge pack from Europe, and try to place a razor on a handle I bought in North America, then not only does it not fit (for the intended, actual model), but it bricks/disables the handle until I hire a certified technician to fix my handle for $600 / hr?

Comment Re:Two arrests in Denmark for Murder Time (TM) (Score 1) 244

That's an excellent point that I failed to identify, thank you for bringing that up. While the analogy doesn't account for the fact that it's possible people could use the Popcorn Time for a legitimate purposes, the argument at this point is what threshold of legitimate use would you consider this legal or legitimate? If the primary use of a feature is for illegal purposes (like bitcoin, silk road, TPB) then it's reasonable to expect law enforcement to shut down those avenues of business for the greater good. So while only a trivial percentage of book owners of The Anarchist Cookbook (as another commenter mentioned) may actually build a bomb, that percentage is significantly higher for torrent sites (which are almost universally designed for illegal files, like 95% or more).

If a road was being used to smuggle good and law enforcement determined that 90% of the vehicles using the road were for crime-related purposes, they'd barricade that road up. The 10% that legitimately used the road would have to suffer as a result of the road closure, and while that might inconvenience them - it has to go for the greater good. Now if you're looking at Popcorn Time, that appears to have a similar use rate for pirated content - if 95% of Popcorn Time use is for pirated material, then it's hard to justify its existence as a legal means of finding a tracker for legit videos. Sort of like Silk Road. Anyway, the original point was that there's a distinct difference between teaching the English language and specifically providing step by step instructions on how to use software with a high likeliness of use for illegal material, and somehow that gets a +5 insightful

Comment Re:Is there a law? (Score 1) 244

In order to kill some civilians / infidels, follow these steps...

1. Combine (insert materials here) to make an effective bomb
2. Transport bomb via (specific technique) as to not arouse suspicions
3. Have an alibi of some sorts, (this) is a good one
4. Pick (specific day/time) for maximum effectiveness
5. Detonate bomb!

Hey, don't arrest me, I'm just exercising my free speech here! There's nothing legally or morally wrong about the information my website has to offer, so fuck off you socialist bastards! Also, maybe your analogy fails because while everyone that knows how to drive knows how to speed, not everyone necessarily knows how to bomb a marketplace, download illegal material, or do anything else illegal and thanks to you and you're "information wants to be free" mantra, you've just made the world a worse place?

Comment Two arrests in Denmark for Murder Time (TM) (Score -1) 244

You may recall Murder Time, the software that allows users to input data / variables and suggests the best way to murder someone without getting caught. It fell afoul of the law quite quickly, but survived and stabilized. Now, out of Denmark comes news that two men operating websites related to Murder Time have been arrested, and their sites have been shut down. It's notable because the sites were informational resources, explaining how to use the software. They did not actually murder anyone themselves, they were not involved with development of Murder Time or any of its forks, and they didn't host the software. "Both men stand accused of distributing knowledge and guides on how to murder people and are reported to have confessed."

Can we stop acting surprised or outraged when law enforcement officials make arrests based on people hosting "informational resources", when said "informational resources" are specific instructions on how to break the law or commit a crime? Seriously. If I host some "information" site on how to plan a proper kidnapping, build and plan a bombing, transport slaves, hire a hit man, purchase some CP, or even something as relatively insignificant as pirate/play music or movies - do you honestly believe you should be legally exempt from such "informational resources"? The crime of distributing knowledge and guides on how to obtain illegal content online seems reasonable for any of those other horrid crimes I mentioned - if you can't discern between doing what these two did and simply teaching someone else the English language, maybe your moral compass needs some alignment.

Slashdot has an unhealthy number of libertarian-leaning individuals who tend to think they should be able to say or post whatever the hell they want, but as long as they're not actually committing a crime themselves, they should be absolved from all responsibility (legal or moral). That's fairly evident any time Silk Road or TPB comes up, always people there to rush to their defense of their existence with a "but we didn't actually do any bad stuff!" excuse. If that's you, chances are you've probably never been financially, emotionally or physically hurt by someone else's "informational resources" that were specifically targeted at you. Maybe it's time to re-think your principles and realize that "information" that supports or promotes illegal activity should be taken down, regardless of how severe the crime is. Having said that, this is fairly petty in terms of severity of their information, and I hope they don't get more than a slap on the wrist for hosting that information.

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.