Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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: Civilization IV had a quote... (Score 1) 299

Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child which carries the heavy burden of genetic disease.

But not yet please. I have two issues: First, We still don't know enough to prevent unintended consquences or complications. We could edit-out one problem and accidently edit-in another.But one day, in the not-so-distant future, perhaps another generation or two, yes - definately. We should erradicate all heritable diseases.

The second thing, I would draw the line between correcting errors/curing diseases and between creating eugenic supermen. Please no Gattica-style selection of socially prefered traits to create a dis/u/topia of ubermenchen and untermenchen.

The quote was from Bob Edwards who until a few years ago was host of NPR Morning Edition. (BTW, the quotes in the game were all narrated by Leonard Nimoy, which was super cool)

Comment: Major Version == Major Changes (Score 5, Informative) 199

by HighOrbit (#49046617) Attached to: Torvalds Polls Desire for Linux's Next Major Version Bump
I thought the point of a major version (not necessarily in the Linux kernel, but software generally), was to signal a major change that either:
  • includes ground-breaking new features
  • includes serious archtectural reworking
  • breaks backwards compatibility

If the changes are merely incremental bug-fixes and minor feature additions, stay with minor versioning. Otherwise, you are not versioning; you are branding (viz: Windows 8... which IIRC is version 6.2)

Comment: Probably China (Score 4, Interesting) 412

by HighOrbit (#48972083) Attached to: Major Retailers Accused of Selling Fraudulent Herbal Supplements
I RTFA and the links and I didn't see any mention of the source manufacturor, but If I had to guess, I would guess they were made under contract in China and labelled with whichever distributor was buying today's production run.

US FDA/USDA-style regulatory enforcement and quality controls are practically non-existant in China. Just look at the great melamine scare a few years ago where they where bumping up the "protein" level of ingrediants by adding toxic melamine (see and

All imports of food/drug or ingrediants from china should be banned out-right.

Comment: Red Cross is the Responsible Party (Score 1) 300

by HighOrbit (#47751355) Attached to: Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video
The Red Cross is the international organization responsible for monitoring conduct of belligerents, documenting ,and reporting war crimes and atrocities. The ICRC ought to be publizing this far and wide as an example of the shameful savagery it is.

From Wikipedia: "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland and a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate. State parties (signatories) to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 (Protocol I, Protocol II) and 2005 have given the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts. Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants."

Comment: eliminate subluminal classic channel (Score 1) 202

by HighOrbit (#47130045) Attached to: Scientists Find Method To Reliably Teleport Data
Perhaps I'm missing something here, but I really want my Ansible. So the classic channel is required to report observed measurements at the origin to compare against, but they say they can deterministically set the state? Sooo..... why not do this to eliminate the need for the sub-luminal classic channel, if they can deterministically set the state at the origin. Operate on a clock cycle and deterministically set the state to an expected ground state at a certain point in the cycle. When a read operation measures something other than the expected value, that counts as an information transmission. In otherwords anything not 0/blue is read as a 1/red. Say 4 ticks per cycle. First tick, zero state/0/blue. Second Tick, origin flips a bit (or not). Third Tick, destination reads the bit knowing anything not 0/blue is a bit flip. Fourth Tick both sites reset to zero. The key is that on the third tick, the destination will always expect to read 0/blue, so anything else is a transmission.

Comment: Re:Very Bad Precedent (Score 3, Interesting) 225

by HighOrbit (#47038329) Attached to: US To Charge Chinese Military Employees With Hacking
That opens the door to politically motivated prosecutions of civil servants who carried out a policy you just disagree with. Again, there are special crimes against humanity that everybody gets held responsible for, but do you really want to prosecute a worker-bee at the IRS because you disagree with an 'unjust' tax policy?

Comment: Very Bad Precedent (Score 4, Insightful) 225

by HighOrbit (#47038113) Attached to: US To Charge Chinese Military Employees With Hacking
Except for the special cases of crimes against humanity and "non official cover" spies, soldiers and civil servents should not be held criminally liable for doing their jobs or executing policy set by their superiors. Since we don't want our own military and government employees charged with 'crimes' for carrying out their duties, this is a very bad idea because it sets the precedent.

Comment: Confederates (Score 1) 310

By what right did the US Government kill all those confederates at Antietiam and Gettysburg? The US always maintaned and stills maintains that they were US citizens. What about their due process rights? Shouldn't they have all been served warrants and had their day in court before they were killed? Maybe their families have a right to sue for violation of civil rights.

Oh wait, they were bearing arms in open rebellion and making war on the Republic.

Same deal here. If you openly wage war, even against your own state, you can be killed. I'm not even sure why a "justification" beyond that is required. Why do we let lawyers cloud our minds with nonsense and sophistry?

Comment: Public Work should not be "proprietary" (Score 0, Troll) 348

by HighOrbit (#46790043) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email
If he works at a state university, he is a public employee. Public employees working for hire on public research paid for by the public should have no "proprietary" exemption to FOIA for papers related to the public work for hire. Asking for their work under FOIA is not an "assault on public universities and their faculty"; it is accountability for public officials.

Another question is about the scientific integrity here. If the data is true and supportive of his assertions, he should WANT to publish it. There is no legitimate reason to want to hide scientific data.

Show the papers and the data, unless of course you have something to hide.

Comment: Big Government = rent seeking & crony capitali (Score 3, Interesting) 423

by HighOrbit (#46759491) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings
Well just another instance of Big Government and regulations equating to rent seeking & crony capitalism.
  1. - Create Condition - convoluted tax code
  2. - Fix condition you created with Government money- Federal paid assistance to file taxes
  3. - Claim you're helping the little guy
  4. - Profit!

Here is another example - Food Stamps (aka SNAP) and Agriculture policy. You might think food stamps exist to help the poor, but you'd be wrong. Food stamps are part of the AGRICULTURE spending bill, not the health and human services bill. The idea is to stimulate buying of "surplus" agricultural produce by subsidizing poor people who can't aford to buy it. But the dirty secret is that the agrculture policy of price supports both stimulates over-production for some crops and under-production for others while keeping prices high and making food LESS affordable for the poor. With food stamps the agribusinness interests can now sell the 'surplus' created by the price supports (government money) at artificially high prices to the poor (with government money), all the while with the political overhead cover of helping "family-farmers" and the "hungry children".

  1. - Create Condition - Pay yourself Government money to artifically inflate prices (agricultural subsidy)
  2. - Fix condition you created with Government money - Funnel yourself even more Government money by subsidizing purchase of your artificially high priced goods (food stamps)
  3. - Claim you're helping the little guy
  4. - Profit!

+ - Microsoft Announces Windows 8.1 Update

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "As expected, at the Build 2014 event currently taking place in the Moscone Center, San Francisco, Microsoft has announced the first update to Windows 8.1. Albeit the update has leaked before, it now has become official. It comes with improvements especially for mouse and keyboard users, such as the minimize button that now works inside modern Windows apps. Also, switching between Win 32 and modern apps is now also possible form a single place. The Start center comes with a the PC Settings tiles and the power button. Right mouse click features have also been added to the Start screen. Also, the Windows Store will be redesigned in the coming days. Windows 8.1 Update will be made available on April 8, ironically, when support for Windows XP is discontinued."

+ - Latest US export: fracking around with local democracy in Poland->

Submitted by rysiek
rysiek (1328591) writes "The village of urawlów in eastern Poland has fertile soil and beautiful landscapes. It is also positioned directly above Poland's largest aquifiers. Soon another element will pop-up — fracking rigs, courtesy of Chevron.

For the past two years a small but dedicated community of people have opposed and protested Chevron's planned shale gas exploitation in the area, on the grounds of the environmental effects, including possible aquifier contaminations and damage to local landscape. Of course, they also support Exxon Mobil executive Rex Tillerson's fight against fracking rigs in his own back yard (Google Translate).

Chevron responds with legal action, with the support of local authorities. The protesters, who are so far quite effective in blocking Chevron's local activities, demand transparency the right to decide their own fate."

Link to Original Source

+ - MH370 now confirmed as having gone down in the South Indian Ocean->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The British space company Inmarsat have performed some heavyweight and novel engineering, analysing the doppler shifts of their satellite communications signals, to provide a separate analysis of the small dataset of information from the doomed airliner. They announced today that they "have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.."

They go on to say that they did not detect any of the claimed altitude changes which are believed to have indicated human intervention along parts of the off-flightpath route. According to them, the aircraft turned off its planed route and flew steadily towards the south — in the direction of the nearest airfield. but it did not land there, and continued towards Antarctica.

The most likely explanation which is consistent with this news item is a sudden cockpit fire, as happened with a similar EgyptAir 777. Such a fire might allow pilots time to adjust course, but might drive them from the cockpit before any communication could take place, and might also cut power to automatic reporting services like TACAS. If the crew and passengers then succumbed to fumes or hypoxia as the fire burned through the aircraft skin, MH370 would just continue on the preset course.."

Link to Original Source

+ - NVIDIA Releases Working Open-Source Driver For Tegra-K1 3D Graphics->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Building on earlier open source patches is working hardware support for the Tegra-K1's GK20A graphics engine courtesy of NVIDIA. These new Linux kernel patches paired with a slightly-modified Mesa make the high-end ARM chip able to run shaders and render triangles so far, but it is not clear how far NVIDIA will take this open source driver for the Tegra-K1 chip when they already have a working high performance proprietary Linux driver."
Link to Original Source

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce