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Comment: Re:Mirrors (Score 1) 60

by Carnildo (#46689391) Attached to: How To Build a Quantum Telescope

No, modern telescopes use mirrors instead of lenses for two reasons:

1) Once a lens gets more than about a meter across, it starts deforming measurably under its own weight (and the direction and amount of deformation changes as you shift the telescope). A mirror can be supported across its entire width and does not have this problem.

2) A lens experiences chromatic aberration, causing different frequencies of light to focus at different points. You can reduce (but not eliminate) this by using achromatic doublets or other optical tricks (such as absurdly long telescopes), or you can take the easy way out and just use a mirror.

Comment: Re:According the Actual Paper... (Score 1) 199

by Carnildo (#46666367) Attached to: P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

Hmm... the Incomputatibility of the Universe, maybe this is an avenue for proving the the Universe is not a simulation?

No, assuming the paper is correct, it merely proves that either P = NP, or that the universe simulation is running on a computer more powerful than a Turing machine.

Comment: Re:Lower the river, obviously (Score 1) 168

by Carnildo (#46392715) Attached to: Damming News From Washington State

The author is correct, but he expressed it in a very awkward way: below Wanapum Dam is Priest Rapids Dam, and below that is the Hanford Reach, a free-flowing section of the river. If Wanapum fails, the Priest Rapids reservoir needs to absorb the entire flood; releasing it will cause flooding in the Hanford area.

Comment: Re:It looks like a very nice library (Score 1) 216

by Carnildo (#46371893) Attached to: Wolfram Language Demo Impresses

A programming language with primitives like:

"Compile a list of all European Capitals"

sounds like a damned powerful language to me.

To me, that doesn't sound like a very powerful language, it sounds like a language with a huge standard library. Power comes from things like making

"Compile a list of all European capitals, but I don't consider Iceland to be part of Europe"

easy. If it's hard to step outside the limits of the standard library, it's not a powerful language.

Comment: Re:leaded gas (Score 1) 266

by Carnildo (#46365103) Attached to: 3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean

I never understood why leaded gasoline was cheaper than unleaded back when both were for sale. They actually added the lead.

Because "unleaded" is a misleading name. There have been three major types of gasoline over the years:

1) Raw gasoline: unmodified crude-oil distillates. This is one of the original automobile fuels, and had a varying octane rating; this made building high-performance engines difficult.

2) Leaded gasoline: crude-oil distillates with Tetraethyl lead added to raise and stabilize the octane rating.

3) Unleaded gasoline: crude-oil distillates with additives other than tetraethyl lead used to raise and stabilize the octane rating.

Comment: Re:Isn't TOR outdated? (Score 2) 109

by Carnildo (#46365039) Attached to: Tor Is Building an Anonymous Instant Messenger

it's said to be vulnerable to timing attacks esp. by those same entities with extremely large means. So why isn't this news about anonymous IM on a garlic routing network or something?, either switch to a new network or upgrade TOR and call it TOR 2.0 or TOR 1.1 or something but please, something has to be done.

There are networks that protect against timing attacks, but the nature of the protection makes them unsuitable for IM or other near-realtime communication. Basically, they operate by having nodes send constant-size data blocks on a regular schedule regardless of how much data needs to be transmitted. This increases latency -- sometimes to hours or days -- and puts a cap on the amount of data the network can transfer. It also wastes bandwidth when the network is operating at less than full capacity, since blocks with random noise need to be transfered to keep lulls in activity from being visible.

Comment: Re:So, will a 2005-era routers get a firmware upda (Score 1) 264

by Carnildo (#46291443) Attached to: Routers Pose Biggest Security Threat To Home Networks

Let's say the IoT existed in 1994 & you bought a new Kenmore IoT fridge running Linux 1.x. Fast forward to 2014--who today is doing anything with the Linux 1.x kernel? Nobody--including Kenmore support engineers.

In 1998, I purchased a computer running Windows. Shortly afterwards, I installed Linux 2.2 and a webserver on it. Strangely enough, the computer is still working, is running a modern kernel with full support for the hardware, and somehow managed to avoid being pwned at any point in the intervening 15 years.

The nice thing about open-source software is that you generally don't need to run obsolete software on ancient hardware. That Kenmore IoT fridge would probably run a Linux 3.x kernel without problems, as long as the software was genuinely open-sourced.

Comment: Re:What's the difference? (Score 1) 462

by Carnildo (#46250929) Attached to: Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

This. I'll never understand why when someone "thinks they're the opposite gender" we don't try and fix their mind to match their body but instead are willing to send them through some incredibly dangerous and life-shortening medical procedures to do the exact opposite.

Because it doesn't work. In the century or so between when gender dysphoria was identified and when gender reassignment surgery became practical, any number of techniques to "fix their mind" were tried. None of them had any measurable success rate, and most of them resulted in the patient committing suicide within a few years of starting treatment.

+ - Slashdot Beta: Because They Hate You 3

Submitted by boolithium
boolithium (1030728) writes "People on here are missing the point of the Beta roll out. The elimination of the existing user base is not a side effect, it is a feature. Slashdot as a brand has value, but as a site has limited commercial appeal. The users are the kids at the lunch table, where not even the foreign exchange students want to sit. Nobody ever got laid from installing NetBSD.

Once they are finished with their nerd cleansing, they can build a new Slashdot. A sexier Slashdot. A Slashdot the kids can dance to.

They aren't ignoring you. They are exterminating you."

+ - A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic 19

Submitted by unitron
unitron (5733) writes "Dice wants to make money off of what they paid for--the Slashdot name--, or rather they want to make more money off of it than they are making now, and they think the best way to do that is to turn it into SlashingtonPost.

They should take this site and give it a new name. Or get Malda to let them use "Chips & Dips".

Leave everything else intact, archives, user ID database, everything except the name.

Then use the Beta code and start a new site and give it the slashdot.org name, and they can have what they want without the embarrassment of having the current userbase escape from the basement or the attic and offend the sensibilities of the yuppies or hipsters or metrosexuals or whoever it is that they really want for an "audience"."

+ - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

Submitted by s.petry
s.petry (762400) writes "What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."

+ - Ask Slashdot: What's there to like about the BETA?-> 7

Submitted by Narnie
Narnie (1349029) writes "I come to /. not for the nearly interesting pseudo-tech articles, but for the lively, self-moderated discussion. Today I'm bit surprised to see every discussion summarized to fuckbeta. Popping up all over the place there's discussions about beta and even alternatives being revived and created. As I tend not to RTFA, I haven't sampled the beta myself. So, I ask you guys, what's there to like about the BETA and what's there to loath?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Slashdot users give new beta design a huge Bronx cheer 2

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Alice Marshall reports that:

Slashdot users are extremely unhappy with the new Slashdot Beta design. The comment section of every single post is devoted to dissatisfaction with the new design. ... ... The thing to keep in mind about community sites devoted to user generated content is that the users generate the content.

"

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