Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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:Wrong conclusion (Score 1) 134

by Chelloveck (#49153181) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

Living on Mars time is difficult when you're living on Earth and are subject to Earth's day/night cycle.

Exactly this. 24h40m days are exhausting when you're embedded in a 24h day/night cycle and have to mesh with others on that cycle. It's tough being out of phase with your surroundings. On Mars everyone else is on the same cycle you are, and the only contact you have with the 24h civilization has a significant time delay which makes real-time conversation impossible. Give it a few sols and you'll be right on track.

40 extra minutes of sleep per day... Not exhausting at all!

Comment: Reminds me of... (Score 1) 105

by Chelloveck (#49112963) Attached to: "Exploding Kittens" Blows Up Kickstarter Records

The premise reminds me of Unexploded Cow from Cheapass Games. There's a free print-it-yourself version and a $25 deluxe version.

Europe. Summer. 1997. You and your friends have discovered two problems with a common solution: mad cows in England and unexploded bombs in France.

You've decided to bring these two powderkegs together just to see what happens. And you wouldn't say "no" to a little money on the side.

So round up your herd, march them through France, and set them loose behind the Cordon Rouge. If you're lucky you'll come home rich before Greenpeace figures out what you're up to.

Either way, there's something magical about blowing up cows.

Comment: Re:Network layer and education (Score 2) 257

by Chelloveck (#49105877) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Parental Content Control For Free OSs?

I used a transparent squid proxy with access control lists appropriate for the kid and intercepted and redirected DNS queries. (With more than one kid, I needed multiple acls, ymmv.) Initially I limited internet access to specific times and a whitelist and discussed what they were doing daily. Over time and with age and maturity, I relaxed the acl to just record what was being accessed and just reviewed their browsing with them when they made questionable choices.

Pretty much what I did. Block the kids' MAC addresses at the router so the only way to get to the net was through the squid proxy. I didn't filter anything, just recorded the URLs and emailed a daily summary to the kids, my wife, and me. Making a 13 yo boy discuss with his dad (or worse, his mom!) what he was doing on is generally sufficient to get them to become self-policing.

I had hoped that there would be the side-effect of getting them to learn about MAC spoofing or other techniques to get through the firewall, but no such luck. Either that or I taught them to be *really* sneaky about it. If it did teach them that much stealth I'll still count that as a valuable lesson in networking and security.

Comment: Re:Eating lots and of nuts makes you thin? (Score 1) 958

by Chelloveck (#48970517) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Best dietary advice I've ever heard. We've evolved a wide tolerance in living conditions, including diet. However, for most of our history plants have been abundant and meat less so. It makes sense that that's the basic balance that works best for us. Not some fad gluten-free paleo Atkins diet, just a simple "everything in moderation" mentality with an extra helping of veggies. Done. That, and delta weight = calories consumed - calories expended. Nothing magic there either.

Mind you, I don't actually follow any of this advice. IMHO, plants aren't food, plants are what food eats. And they taste icky. But if I were to get serious about my health and weight, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." would be my mantra.

Comment: Re:Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (Score 1) 468

by Chelloveck (#48914813) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

Being a police officer is not meant to be about being a revenue machines on the clock but a peace officer assisting the public in upholding the law and providing a first response emergency service.

Aww, that's so cute. Look everyone, someone who's not completely jaded and cynical yet!

Yes, if police wanted to prevent minor traffic infractions that's exactly what they'd do. However, they typically use unmarked cars or hide their marked cars behind corners, trees, or other obstructions so they can't be seen by oncoming traffic. Then they wait for someone to come zipping by. Cha-ching!

Slightly less cynically, the practice of hiding and pouncing should actually reduce speeders by inducing a sense of doubt. Potential hiding places are everywhere, you'd better drive the limit because you never know when there's a cop back there. In theory it multiplies the effect of a sparse police force. In practice it doesn't work that way because the odds of getting pulled over are still pretty darned low.

Comment: Re:Where can I buy a good trackball? (Score 1) 431

by Chelloveck (#48899371) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

A couple of "large" trackball vendors:

BigTrack -
Kensington -

FWIW, I love my Kensington Expert Mouse. Despite the name it's actually a roughly billiard-ball sized trackball with four buttons and a scroll ring. Two caveats:

  1. I use it with a Mac, and I had to get a third-party driver to map the buttons.
  2. I made the mistake of registering the product. Now I get weekly spam from Kensington despite repeated attempts at unsubscribing. Kensington is permanently routed to my spam folder now.

I got it because I was developing RSI from use of a regular mouse with my right hand. I tried switching to my left, but had trouble training myself to use almost-but-not-quite the same mouse motions. The trackball has a completely different motion from the mouse, so I was able to easily train my left hand to use it. Now I use the left-handed trackball at work and the right-handed mouse at home and haven't had any more RSI issues. (Yeah, using the trackball right-handed probably would have had the same effect, since the motion is different. But at the time my right arm really hurt and it was more comfortable just to give it a rest and train my left to do it.)

Comment: Re:Entitled much? (Score 1) 479

by Chelloveck (#48833191) Attached to: Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

At my work we have an equal number of men's and women's restrooms, and those restrooms are sized to allow the same number of people (so if the men's room has 2 stalls and 2 urinals, the women's room has 4 stalls). This is despite the fact that we have 4x as many men as women working in our facility (it's not a hiring issue, we just don't get the applicants).

We had a similar issue. Way more men than women here, but equal toilet facilities: two four-person restrooms (one for each gender) on both of the floors in the office. Solution? Convert the 1st floor ladies' room into a men's room. Problem solved, right? Except that when interviewing, nothing tells a female applicant "You're not wanted here" like making her go down to the basement to piss.

Thankfully we've come to our corporate senses and restored the upstairs ladies' room.

The end result is that on average men can expect to wait 15-20 minutes before getting an open stall to use, while the women generally will not even see another person in the restroom unless they came in together.

Sounds like you just need more toilets, period. Even in the worst case here I've hardly ever been unable to find an open men's room stall in time of need. Yeah, sometimes I have to go to the one on other floor, but that's life.

Comment: Re:Qualifications (Score 1) 479

by Chelloveck (#48832963) Attached to: Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

Before: "Hey, just got back from working the job fair. Here are 20 resumes, one of which is from a woman!"

After: "Hey, just got back from working the job fair. Here are 5 resumes, one of which is from a woman! Diversity!"

When I go to a job fair, I bring back resumes from all the qualified applicants. The only way I could meet a 20% quota would be to discard enough male candidates to make the ratio fit.

Hmm... You know, it's just a short step from there to a full-blown H1B conspiracy fantasy... "Last year we got 20 resumes from the job fair. This year we only got 5!" "Damn, you just can't find enough STEM workers these days. Fire up the lobbyists and make Washington know we need more cheap-- er, I mean foreign workers!"

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.