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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment Re:Violence! (Score 3, Insightful) 441

It was a war. Shit happens.

No, it wasn't a war. It was a series of heavy-handed, ultra-violent overreactions to minor incidents which themselves were responses to systematic oppression. Military action often does kill civilians, the so-called "collateral damage", but herding groups of unarmed women and children into a building and then deliberately shelling that building to kill them all is not collateral damage; the unarmed civilians were the target.

If you want to understand what's really going on in Israel, I highly recommend you read "Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel", by Max Blumenthal. It's a hard book to read, not because Blumenthal isn't a good writer but because the truth is so horrible. And if you doubt that it is the truth, check the included citations.

Comment Re:Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence (Score 1) 196

What you seem to be missing is that War is a macro-aggressive, acute failure of society. Microaggression is a stealthy, sinister, chronic failure of society that is far more widespread and far more damaging to the long-term health of humanity than is an acute War that has a beginning and an end.

Others have addressed the first major flaw in this argument, which is that killing people is worse than being mean to them.

But there's another flaw, which is your apparent belief that microaggression is something new. It is definitely not. People have always been nasty to each other, and we're significantly less nasty to each other today than ever before. The notion of microaggression is perhaps the best proof: previous generations didn't even bother thinking about microaggression, because it was just normal. Today, we recognize this subtle form of personal attack and work to expose it and thereby reduce it.

You should read the first few chapters of Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature", in which he documents historical evidence of the ways in which people were nasty to each other. He focuses mostly on physical nastiness, violence, but lots of other sorts of nastiness are covered in passing, or obviously implied. Society is much, much better than it used to be. Empathy for strangers is normal today. It wasn't always.

Comment Re:Things are looking up (Score 1) 196

In 1914, there was no entertainment as you imagine.

So radio, films, plays, books, and concerts didn't exist?

Note the correction of the year. 1940 was obviously a typo, the discussion was about 1914.

Radio was demonstrated but not used commercially in 1914. No, films didn't exist. Plays and concerts did, but high-quality productions were pretty much limited to major cities. Books, yes.

books were expensive and rare, etc.

Poppycock, etc.

I have difficulty believing anyone could be so completely ignorant of history. But apparently you are.

Compared to today, yes, books were expensive and rare. Most everything was dramatically more expensive than it is today, in terms of what a person with the median income could afford, and that included books. In 1914 most homes had a small number of books, far fewer than today. But the typical person also had far less leisure time.

Comment USB is a support nightmare (Score 4, Interesting) 275

Unlike ethernet, which is pretty much standard from platform to platform and basically trivial to support, USB code is completely different between linux, OS X, and Windows, and is a mess, API-wise.

I write software defined radio stuff, and after one incredible nightmare getting a USB SDR to work on all three platforms using conditional compilation (I did succeed), I swore off. No more. If it doesn't have an ethernet interface, or a USB-to-ethernet server app compatible with the standard SDR protocols that makes it appear to me as an ethernet SDR, it's not happening.

Luckily, some of the best SDR manufacturers out there have done it right. Andrus, AFDRI, and RFSPACE. And there are some servers that have been built to hide the abortion of USB, but so far they are very much platform-specific, for the very reason I described above.

USB. Ugh.

Comment Re:Things are looking up (Score 2) 196

Things were great in early 1914 too.

* We've lost privacy.
* We've lost 12 minutes per hour of our entertainment to advertising.
* The quality of fruits and vegetables are down for most people.
* There's a growing set of food intolerance diseases- most likely due to issues with the food.
* If we have another widespread war- it's going to be fast and horrific compared earlier wars.
* If we have another financial panic get thru- it's going to be worse than the great depression.
* If a terrorist group gets hold of increasingly cheap bioweapons, it could end human civilization.
* If automation proceeds as expected- our current economic system breaks down as over half the population loses the ability to trade their time and labor for products.

A lot of plates are spinning. We might pull it off. Or things could fall apart astonishingly fast.

We could have had a war break out with Russia just last week via Turkey. And we would have been pulled into it by treaties- just as happened in world war one.

Generally- I agree we are doing better- but things are much more "brittle" than they used to be. We've reduced redundancy and if things go badly over a large area, it will impact ability to get food and power to a lot more people.

So... as the guy falling past the 6th floor window said.... "So far so good!"

Comment Re: Getting a car repair (Score 1) 474

Brake fluid is clear to brown and slick (in my car it's clear).
Power steering is reddish or light brown and thin (in my car it is reddish).
Transmission fluid is reddish or magenta and smells sweet
Oil is amber.

I tell the service rep what happened before and that I'll be checking before I leave the lot. (this is the most important part)
When done, I get the service rep and we pop the hood and check each of the fluids to make sure they look/smell/feel right (this is less important since the car is probably screwed at this point anyway).
"They design the rubber used in the braking system for high pressure sealing. Manufacturers also design this type of rubber for use only with brake fluid. Severe damage results from even the smallest amount of petroleum-based fluid added to the brake system. Oil-based fluid causes the rubber in the braking system to swell and very rapidly deteriorate.

The most common mistake is adding power steering fluid to the brakes*

power steering fluid will swell and deteriorate brake seals
Power steering fluid contamination will cause seals to immediately begin swelling. As the seals swell, they move forward and block the passages that allow the brake system to function. One example is the return ports in the brake master-cylinder. The swollen seal blocks this port and the return of fluid to the reservoir, when we release the brake pedal. "

* this is what happened to me.

Comment Re: Easy solution (Score 1) 474

Well I was going to let it be since someone else who also didn't get the joke down moderated.

But since I got multiple responses while down modded...

It was a joke.

Playing on the idea that the ability to see A cup porn stars is a critical aspect of having a high quality life.

One dead frog at your service*

*This is an idiomatic expression. It refers to having to explain a joke. I am not literally killing a frog.

Comment Re:Allow me to predict the comments (Score 1) 233

Part of it is simply a matter of dongle-count. Yes, ethernet is absolutely needed; yes, the connector should be right there, physically secure. No, USB dongles to provide ethernet won't ever be on my list of things I'm excited to do.

It would be better - a lot better - if there was actual, reliable ethernet hardware on there, and I'd be more than happy to pay a few bucks for it.

The ethernet on the other PI's is not particularly reliable, and that, in my case, is the downfall of the whole enterprise. I have four pis. They all drop their ethernet connections from time to time. It's beyond annoying.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten