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Comment: Re:Perception (Score 1) 336

by ScentCone (#49156915) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?
He's not talking about the ACTUAL dress, he's talking about the photographic portrayal of a dress is the crappily exposed and presented JPG that everyone is looking at. The dress, as recorded in the JPG, is a barely-blue-tinted light grey, and the black elements have a demonstrably uneven RGB that makes them look gold (because that data represents a color low on blue ... which is to say, it's a golden hue).

Comment: Re:Can someone explain this? (Score 4, Informative) 58

by hey! (#49156569) Attached to: Oracle Sues 5 Oregon Officials For 'Improper Influence'

What they're alleging is that political staffers interfered with the project to help the governor's election chances.

As much as I believe Oracle is the spawn of Satan, if the governor's aides and staffers did that Oracle would have a reasonable complaint. When you sign a system development contract you agree to deliver a system and the client agrees to pay you. If you someone induces your client not to accept a system that meets the criteria, that's what lawyers call a "tort". It's something you can justifiably sue over.

Likewise there are many ways political operatives could potentially sabotage a project, and that'd be actionable too. Any non-trivial development project is dependent upon the client acting in good faith. They have to act as if they want the system. It's extremely easy for a client to cause a project to fail, by raising an endless stream of trivial complaints or by dragging its feet in its responsibilities like acceptance testing or giving feedback. It'd be all to easy for well-placed political operatives to undermine the bureaucracy's willingness to cooperate.

That said, in *this* particular instance the suit sounds like business as usual for Oracle, in other words acting like bastards.

Comment: Re:Where the economic system breaks down (Score 1) 254

by hey! (#49155959) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

Here's the thing about technology prognostication. Timing is everything. Take predicting tablets being a big market success. People were making tablets back in the early 90s and people were predicting that it would take off. But the timing was wrong. It's clear to anyone who saw 2001 that tablets would someday be a big deal, but it took more knowledge than most people have to understand the prerequisites that could make that vision come true (display technology, battery weight and volume, processor performance and consumption, memory density).

This caution applies to dystopian predictions as well. People have been predicting that automation would destroy the economy for hundreds of years by now. Instead automation has increased productivity and raised wages. So it seems sensible to dismiss future predictions of an automation apocalypse. Except we can't.

Reasoning from historical experience is for most people reasoning by vague analogy. But each moment in history has to be looked at on its own terms, because sometimes things have to be just right for a certain scenario to unfold. The devil is in the details. So the idea that automation is going to produce mass unemployment is not certain either way. We have to look at conditions in *this* moment of history and reason specifically. That's hard to do.

Comment: Re:just FYI (Score 1) 76

by hey! (#49155893) Attached to: Banned Weight-loss Drug Could Combat Liver Disease, Diabetes

Well, like Paracelsus said, the dose makes the poison. Or in this case the release mechanism.

Blood concentrations of drugs usually peak an hour or two after ingestion and then taper off depending on the mechanisms the body uses to either break the drug down or excrete it directly (when you're an old Geek, you begin to pick up a lot of this stuff). So it's entirely plausible that the same amount of drug which would be dangerous in an ordinary pill would be acceptably safe in a timed release formulation, particularly if it is quickly eliminated from the body. The concentration in the patients' tissues would never reach dangerous levels. You can think of it as a lower "instantaneous" dose.

Comment: Re:Corporation != People (Score 1) 362

by hey! (#49155827) Attached to: Verizon Posts Message In Morse Code To Mock FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

Corporations are a peaceable assembly of board members and/or shareholders.

This is an interesting, but not quite valid argument. The reason is that corporations are *not* an assemblage of individuals. Associations are. The laws and privileges entailed in being a corporation are different. If associations, partnerships and corporations were the same thing, the rules would be the same. But thery're not. Stockholders aren't financially responsible for the debts of a corporation, nor are they legally responsible for the deeds of the corporation.

I hold stock in a number of companies. Were I a *partner* in the corporations I could walk onto any of the company's properties, because it's *my* property. If I own stock in Target I can't just have a shufti around the back room of the store; it's not my store. It belongs to the corporation.

Also as a stockholder in a number of corporations, when those corporations engage in political activity they are not exercising *my* rights. They don't represent me in any way, nor do I have veto power when I disagree with them. When the Sierra Club speaks out on environmental issues, you can presume they speak for me as a member, because they exist for that purpose, and I joined on that basis. When JP Morgan Chase buys a congressman, they are not speaking for me, even though I hold stock. I'd rather they don't. I bought JP Morgan stock many years ago as an investment. Insofar as they participate in politics they're usually working against my interests.

Comment: Re:White balance and contrast in camera. (Score 1) 336

by hey! (#49155729) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

I've sat right next to people who see the dress differently than me. It's *the same image* on *the same monitor* at *the same time*. So it's not a case of the monitor calibration or the camera white balance that creates the discrepancy, although obviously manipulating those things will change our individual perceptions of the dress. What's interesting here is the differences between people presented with an identical image.

Color doesn't exist in the external world. "Purple" isn't a wavelength of light, it's a kind of "additional data" tag which our brains add to parts of an image that allows us to extract more information from it. Consider the famous "Rubik's Cube" optical illusion where the same square looks either orange or brown based on whether contextual cues make us think it is in shadow or not. There's an illustration here.

The only difference between the Rubik's Cube illusion and The Dress That Broke The Internet is that practically *everyone* experiences the paradoxical sensations of the Rubik's Cube Illusion; in the case of the dress the paradox is in how sensations *differ between people*. The dress image is a kind of borderline case where our brains can "tag" the "pixels" of the image in one of two possible ways depending on what it thinks the context is. Different brains are trained by different experiences to expect different contexts. If we saw the dress being worn and in person, chances are with all that context there'd be less disagreement.

Comment: Re:fees (Score 0) 362

by Shakrai (#49151719) Attached to: Verizon Posts Message In Morse Code To Mock FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

I've already had to turn down a couple of high-prestige projects for some remote stuff because of this.

If they're "high-prestige" why aren't you willing to move? It's not like you own that apartment you're renting. Move out when your lease comes up and make sure you tell management why you're doing it. Good tenants are hard to find, if you complain infrequently and pay your rent on time (less common than you'd think) they'll be sorry to see you go and will listen to your reasons for doing so.

Doesn't solve your problem in the short term but it's more effective for long term change than griping about the problem on Slashdot.

Comment: Re:Stomp Feet (Score 0, Troll) 362

by Shakrai (#49151691) Attached to: Verizon Posts Message In Morse Code To Mock FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

Because corporations bad, mmm'kay?

That's really the crux of it. Any argument against this ruling is immediately shouted down. I posited this question on another forum and received the equivalent of -1, Troll: Why is everybody cheering a ruling that attacks hypothetical problems (the oft discussed "fast lane" has yet to actually happen) while ignoring the actual problems that are impeding innovation? The "killer app" that started this whole argument is streaming video, so ask yourself which of these two things are a greater threat to that: The data caps that are currently being imposed or the fast lane that only exists on paper?

Comment: Re:Corporation != People (Score 0) 362

A corporation is not a person, however that is not what is meant by 'corporations are people', the people in question are the people who start/run/own the corporations. Corporations are 1 or more people that own the corporation and the speech of the person that owns a corporation is limited by government, when government denies that person the right to use his corporation to express his view.

+ - Sabotage in Arizona Shuts Down Internet, Cellphone, Telephone Service Statewide->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Cellphone, Internet, and telephone services across half of Arizona went dark on Wednesday after vandals sliced a sensitive fiber optic cable, according to those familiar with the situation. The incident is raising concerns about the safety of U.S. infrastructure.

“There was a cut that took place on a fiber optic cable that basically runs from Phoenix to Northern Arizona. The line, which is composed of extremely thick cable, appeared to have been cut with a hacksaw"

“The fiber optic cable was encased in metal piping which would have to have been accessed prior to reaching the optics. This indicates the use of a power tool and doesn’t look like ‘vandalism’ but rather like sabotage,”"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Genius. (Score 3, Funny) 201

by hey! (#49149869) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

CEO: This Superfish incident has put our credibility in the toilet. Even corporate customers are looking askance at us now, and we didn't put it on their computers. Suggestions?

Executive 1: Lay low until it blows over.

Executive 2: Hire a new PR firm.

Executive 3: Start a social media campaign.

Genius executive: Maybe we should promise not to do stuff like that anymore.

Comment: Re:Quality of the solution. (Score 1) 150

by digsbo (#49149641) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome
Right. Because people who write complex business applications should also write the compiler, OS, network drivers, and so on, in monolithic one-off projects. That's probably a better way than to break things up and have people focus on smaller-scoped, reusable components. I'm pretty sure Mao tried something like that with the whole economy.

Comment: Re:Romulan Ale (Score 1) 395

by Shakrai (#49149197) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

Last Halloween I got suckered into running a 13k in costume; since the only costume I own is a TNG uniform and one of my friends wore a TOS redshirt it wasn't much of a leap to get smashed afterwards on Romulan Ale. Alas, I found out the hard way that my Playmates Type II Phaser doesn't work on the bouncer at our local pub. He's a big guy, so maybe I just needed to bump it up to maximum stun....

Comment: Romulan Ale (Score 2) 395

by Shakrai (#49149025) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

I've seen a lot of recipes over the years; the one that comes the closest to the effects of the "real" thing is equal parts Everclear, Bacardi 151, and Blue Curacao. It kind of tastes like gasoline but that's part of the appeal, along with pretending it was smuggled across the neutral zone after you've consumed too much of it.... ;)

Comment: I heard the news in the car today. (Score 5, Interesting) 395

by hey! (#49148919) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

It'll be one of those moments I'll remember, like coming into work and being told about the Challenger disaster, or turning on the car radio and hearing the hushed voices of the announcers on 9/11. Like so many people I feel a connection to this wonderful man.

Of course he did more than play Spock; and in the early post-TOS years he was famously ambivalent about his association with the role. But he did something special with that role. It's easy in the fog of nostalgia to forget that man TOS scripts weren't all that great (although some of them were). The character of Spock might have become just an obscure bit of pop culture trivia; instead Nimoy turned Spock into a character that I feel sure actors in our grandchildren's generation will want to play and make their mark upon.

What Nimoy brought to that role is a dignity and authenticity, possibly rooted in his "alien" experience as the child of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. In less sensitive hands the part might have been a joke, but I think what many of us took away from Nimoy's performance was something that became deeply influential in our world views. Nimoy's Spock taught us that there was something admirable in being different even when that is hard for others to understand; that winning the respect of others is just as rewarding as popularity. The world needs its oddballs and misfits, not to conform, but to be the very best version of themselves they can be. Authenticity is integrity.

It's customary to say things in remembrances like "you will be missed", but that falls short. Leonard Nimoy, you will live on in the lives of all us you have touched.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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