Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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: There's more than that (Score 1) 320

by DingerX (#49128029) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP
It also is, as Mr. T. said, an ancient practice that was well respected before modern science. Mind you, there have always been astrological crackpots, those who don't apply it scientifically, but just make stuff up. And, yes, the inference is "the sun's position in the sky has a direct and obvious effect on existence below the sphere of the moon; the moon's position in the sky also has an influence, although less strong (think: tides); therefore, the position of the other celestial spheres - mercury, venus, mars, jupiter, saturn and uranus - against the sphere of fixed stars, notably the constellations of the ecliptic, should have an influence.

Of course, it doesn't quite work that way. The inference is false, and the whole thing collapses.

Comment: Re:Head on? (Score 1) 134

by DingerX (#49103787) Attached to: Homeland Security Urges Lenovo Customers To Remove Superfish
And only a month after the first public posting of the vulnerability, in their own forums.

Some guy accurately describes the vulnerability, complete with screenshots showing a Superfish-signed online banking page, and posts it to the public Lenovo Security-Malware support forum, and they take no public action for 29 days; yet around the same time, they stopped installing the software on new machines. Only when it's a scandal do they first make statements that are designed "to defuse the situation", which, in this case means trying to convince their owners that their dangerously compromised and possibly already-exploited machines are safe, and then (perhaps when someone points out that such statements are only going to increase the price tag from the inevitable class-action suit) do they start behaving properly.

So, no, that's not a speedy response. As a company selling a product, they are ultimately responsible for everything that product contains. They have a duty of care to make sure that the goods they are supplied do not place their customers at risk. If one of their trusted partners wants to load a Root CA onto their machine, it better have a good security case for it. "Used by major commerce sites", for example, is a good reason; "allows us to break SSL" is a bad one. Ignorance is not an excuse. If Lenovo is not loading up their machines with all the crap they put on it and auditing their installed certificates, they are not doing their duty to the customer.

If Lenovo tells people their machines are secure, when it has known for a month at least that they weren't, it is making things worse for itself. Saying they don't read their own public support forums, or that the information didn't get to the right person doesn't amount to an excuse so much as an admission of guilt. Claiming that PR flaks are there to give these kinds of messages slanders the job of spokespeople: specific people are assigned precise messages to communicate to the people exactly to avoid statements that would open them up to litigation.

Right now, we don't know of any security compromises that occurred via Superfish. We may never hear of them, but that doesn't mean that they never occurred.

Right now, Lenovo seems to have their best PR approach underway: release the uninstallation tool, contact every anti-virus provider on the planet, contact everyone who registered a product with them, and then shut up and start saving pennies for the settlement.

Comment: Re: So? (Score 1) 271

by DingerX (#48339433) Attached to: Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland
So they have video of the abduction, they have the victim, they have the place where he held and abused her, and you think, after the police made public appeals for information, any judge is going to toss the whole case because the car dealer installed a tracking device? They didn't discover the crime subsequent to installing a tracking device. They had a crime and a life in danger.

Comment: Re:Dear Intel (Score 1) 724

by DingerX (#48058329) Attached to: Intel Drops Gamasutra Sponsorship Over Controversial Editorials
Marketing works on the principle that those jerks share, if not the same zip code, at least the same corporate culture as engineering. And the turnaround between when they observed the situation, when they made a decision and when we got to see the effects of that decision is several years shorter than engineering. So, yeah, I stand by what I say, and, hell, I'll add: I do not own stocks in any electronics hardware company, but I feel that shareholders should examine the performance of Intel in this case and see it as a predictor of where the company will be in four years.

In any case, if their marketing guy is a such a rube as to be roped in by this, is it absurd to imagine that their 2018 CPU will be powered by an E-Cat?

Alright, to finish things off, here's what someone who actually paid his dues, going out in a blaze of glory for pointing out Games Journalist Corruption, has to say.

I know, nobody's reading this. Well, hopefully someone at Intel is; and if you are, here's another post by that editor so horribly offensive because of her gurl parts that you publicly sided with a lynch mob. This one is on ethics, a word, to judge by their recent actions, so unfamiliar to your colleagues, that I wouldn't be surprised if the SEC levied historical fines against your company.

Comment: Re:Dear Intel (Score 1) 724

by DingerX (#48050889) Attached to: Intel Drops Gamasutra Sponsorship Over Controversial Editorials
Yeah, screw Intel. If those morons can't see that this is not a fight where they can associate their brand with either side and win, then they obviously can't make decent engineering decisions either. And it counts as taking sides to pull their ads in reaction to editorials about an internet hitmob masking misogyny behind a self-righteous insistence of "ethics". Yeah, sure, it doesn't bother these same people that games journalists get flown across the world by big games companies, put up in a hotel and presented their game with complete tech support. These guys aren't the ones vociferously complaining when their favorite reviewers give a game 9/10, even when the stupid-ass DRM code means that nobody can play it for a week after release. But, sure, some angry dude claims his ex slept with a journalist, who didn't cover the game, or some woman dares to point out the way in which games we all love make women uncomfortable, and suddenly, the press is corrupt for shoving feminism down peoples' throats.
So, screw Intel. Or, to use the language they clearly prefer, assrape and teabag those assholes.

Comment: Re:Complex question. Simple answer (Score 1) 363

by DingerX (#47840971) Attached to: Bill Gates Wants To Remake the Way History Is Taught. Should We Let Him?
Uhh... Europe? I know quite a few humanities Ph.D.s who are teaching in high schools out here.

Seriously, when I was in a public HS, we had high school teachers with Ph.D.s, in the STEM classes (well, okay, not the TE part). In the humanities, we had people with M.S. in education, and no clue what's going on. You want to know why history sucks in High School? The teachers were those students who got straight Cs in history at the university and an education degree.

Comment: Complex question. Simple answer (Score 2) 363

by DingerX (#47840547) Attached to: Bill Gates Wants To Remake the Way History Is Taught. Should We Let Him?
If you made computer science a mandatory subject, and then required that the students be taught to type in, line-by-line, the source code for libreoffice, then what was taught in the course would not be incorrect. It wouldn't be computer science either.

The counterargument here is that "Big HIstory" focuses on a grand narrative without approaching the methodologies used to construct such narratives. Historians try to teach methods, and specifically ways to approach texts and to construct arguments from them about the past; they try to get students to look at histories not as "correct" or "incorrect" (although they can also be that), but rather as someone's attempt at interpreting the data in a way relevant to us.

The fact that most High School history classes suck and feature some nutcase rattling on about pet theories and spewing lists of crap for students to memorize has nothing to do with what history teachers want, and everything to do with the fact that "Coach of a High School Sports Team" is not a full-time job, and most schools have more coaches than gym teachers. So they gotta teach something, and that education degree means they can teach whatever they want; a Ph.D. in history is not so flexible, and (thanks to union rules) costs cash-strapped schools more money to hire.

Comment: Re:Wait until SP1/SP2 before buying ? (Score 1) 304

They don't do SPs any more. Calling them "Mandatory Updates" allows them to get around any promises they made regarding SPs. Oh yeah, and this update? I'm not affected, since my machine is still unable to install the mandatory update.
WTG Microsoft. You should be glad that platforms are not part of your core mission.

Comment: Re:Wha? (Score 1) 204

by DingerX (#47437909) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture
Yeah, "Flatten the structure" means, at some level, have fewer bosses responsible for more employees. "Increasing communication" means having more bosses responsible for fewer employees. Doing both together means firing the people the CEO's entourage doesn't like.

reduce time it takes to get things done by having fewer people involved in each decision; = fire people.

quantify outcomes for products and use that data to predict future trends; =If it doesn't sell in the first quarter, kill it. Predict the market by abandoning lethargic products and jumping on the winner. You know, like how the massive Kinect 1.0 sales led to the dominance of the XBone. On the other side, when PlaysForSure fails, replace it with the Zune Store, when that fails, replace it with the next. Then fire the whole team, except for the useless ones. Put them on the next iteration of Windows Phone.

and increasing investment for employee training and development. =hire more of the consultants who write buzzkill press releases. Note it didn't say "increase our emphasis on employee training and development" or "find new ways to enrich our employees' skills and competencies", but rather "increasing investment for" -- "buy new things with this ostensible goal".

Comment: Re:It true !!!! (Score 1) 711

by DingerX (#47159165) Attached to: Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'
Context? Nobody watches in context. If he makes two "light digs" at Android, that's your story. Apple just went from the "industry leader", telling people what they want, to the "industry reactor", telling them what they don't want. It doesn't matter whether it's only a few seconds of a keynote, or whether it's true or not, it fits the narrative.

Master your own narrative or be a victim of other's. Isn't that the lesson here?

I know, you can't hear me over the thumping base of your Beats headphones.

Comment: If by "middle of the pack" you mean "back" (Score 1) 390

by DingerX (#46118789) Attached to: IE Drops To Single-Digit Market Share
You know, if you look at their performance numbers, as well as those for reliability, standards compliance and memory footprint, they come in second-to-last, with Opera last; of course, when you compare IE to the chromium-based Opera Next, and not plain Opera, then IE still is 2x worse than the others.

Comment: Interface also sucks on a touch screen (Score 2) 513

by DingerX (#46026941) Attached to: HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8
Here's what I don't get: When I work with a phone or a tablet, I usually hold the screen at a certain distance, so that all the information displayed therein is on a fixed arc of vision. When I work on a PC, I sit in front of a screen. That screen may be big and far, or small and close, but, generally, it occupies more of my vision than a mobile screen does. It is therefore more tiring to scan items displayed all over the screen, which is why interface design (before Windows 8 screwed things up) put list-information and menus in part of the screen. To spray it across the whole screen is fatiguing. But Microsoft never understood that people have screens that are physical sizes and not fixed arrays of pixels. Hell, Windows 8.1 gives me a great choice on my 13.3" full-HD touchscreen: either have Windows do a crappy scaling job to make the screen look like a blurry 720p screen, or render everything properly, but at a resolution where the interface's touch points are smaller than the accuracy of anyone's fingers.

Windows 8.1 has some great things: it's really fast, for one. But Metro sucks, the touch-screen implementation sucks, and all that useless corporate "change for change's sake" sucks. Building software is different from selling clothes (or building hardware). Interfaces don't have "fashions", and retraining operators every three years makes your product less relevant than having them be dependent on your idiom since forever. Just ask Adobe.

Comment: Re:Have you seen the PCs they're selling these day (Score 1) 564

by DingerX (#45921785) Attached to: PC Shipments In 2013 See the Worst Yearly Decline In History
Speaking as someone who just bought a Haswell convertible, the only problem is Windows 8. I've got a touchscreen convertible with an SSD and eight hours of battery life, and I don't want that horrible abortion of an OS.

Okay, it turns out that you're right. I don't understand the convertibles thing either. Why would you want to do that with Windows? The best, by far coolest, reason I've found is that I can have a laptop where the keyboard isn't attached to the screen, so I don't kill my back, and the screen can be put in profile mode, so I can work on full pages. Good grief, this fad is the sorriest excuse for something hip since the baby boomers started the SUV craze ("Finally, a car I don't have to lean down to enter").

Yes, for a Tablet, I use a Tablet (and with a 7.7" AMOLED screen, like they used to make back in the old days); for a desktop, I use a desktop (with a Model -May God Continue to Bless America- M keyboard, and an embarassment of screens. But for something portable, I've got this convertible monstrosity.


Well, a low-velocity body-computer bag-ground impact wiped out my Windows 7 netbook. That's why I buy 'em cheap. And, Windows 8 wiped out any cheap Windows 7 netbooks. That's why the drop off. Sure, I HAD to buy a portable computer. Otherwise, why the hell would I spend money on that abomination unto the Lord known as Windows 8 (or 8.1 -- "8+ iterations and we still haven't figured out that pixels don't correspond directly to use visibility").

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.