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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:Results? (Score 5, Funny) 61

by I'm not god any more (#49357831) Attached to: Hoax-Detecting Software Spots Fake Papers
1. The first thing SCIgen should do is to incorporate SciDetect, to make sure that their random papers pass the SciDetect test.
2. SCIDetect should then improve their algorithms, and SCIgen should again take a snapshot of SciDetect source code and incorporate it.
3. Run this loop a few times and what we'll have is some serious papers
4. Profit!!!

Comment: Re:Parts (Score 1) 190

by I'm not god any more (#49031839) Attached to: Smartphone Theft Drops After Spread of Kill Switches

I'm glad the fact that phones being disabled has helped slow down device theft, but I don't think it will go away anytime soon, just because the demand for parts is always there.

Are you suggesting Apple make their new phones non-user serviceable? I can't imagine Apple moving in that direction. Well, maybe not until California mandates that into law too.

Comment: Re:Incredible Cheater! (Score 1) 204

by I'm not god any more (#48926291) Attached to: Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

I've noticed that they take a fairly liberal definition of "chess", as they simply discard certain rules, such as en passant pawn capture or castling moves, which are pretty important chess moves. It's a bit hard to argue that this is really "chess" if they just decide to leave out inconvenient rules ("chess lite?"). I probably wouldn't complain about other ommissions such as the 3-repetition rule, but castling?

Even so, a very cool accomplishment in micro-optimization techniques.

The game is also a cheat by performing illegal moves. This is not something that counts as a chess program. Queen takes pawn, K moves next to queen - that's a fail.

results in:

Comment: Re:Just stars or whole solar systems? (Score 1) 184

If they have planets, of couse. And if you could intercept and move on to one of those planets, you could observe a much longer chunk of time go by in the rest of the universe. That would be fascinating for any astronomer.

At a third of the speed of light your time dilation would only give you a 5% increase in your time duration. So, not so fascinating. You'd be better off increasing your life span by becoming a eunuch (13.5 extra years of life) - well, maybe on second thoughts you might not be better off after all

Comment: Re:I wish I'd thought of that (Score 1) 221

by I'm not god any more (#48251527) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

Perhaps because, in the USA, don't you physically change the licence plate every year? In the UK the licence plate is permanent and is all that the police nornally need to know. You could physically and illegally change the number plate for a false one, but so you could change my VIN in the windscreen - only looks like a strip of metal stamped with the characters.

You get to drive your new car off a USA car dealer's lot without number plates. You get the plates a month or two afterwards.

Hence why you see lots of cars on the road without number plates. Cops get mad if they can't give you a parking ticket - hence the need for visible VINs.

Also, if you have personalized plates - you get to keep your plates, so your old car's new owner needs to get new plates.

+ - Amazon Chase VISA won't support Apple Pay->

Submitted by I'm not god any more
I'm not god any more (613402) writes "The Amazon App does support touch ID to verify login when using 1-click purchase. So, I can see why Amazon does not need Apple Pay to streamline its App or website — except, of course, brand new customers without Amazon accounts — those guys won't be able to simply swoop in anonymously using Apple Pay to order/ship stuff without setting up an account with a single Touch ID click/press.
I'm sure Amazon will change their decision if they find themselves financially worse off. It might be hard for them to figure that out — i.e. comparing lost sales against lack of customer data mining info."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Why Not???? (Score 1) 366

by I'm not god any more (#48159287) Attached to: Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

In all honesty, why aren't we already doing this? The problem with the world is dumb people. If we can selectively breed out dumb people, how would the world be worse?

Cardboard tasting Tomatoes: that's why.
If you start selectively breeding just for intelligence, you may end up losing other traits. And no, I'm not suggesting our children will start tasting like cardboard. Perhaps that really hot blonde over there is dumber than you, but would you want to hit it?

Oh, the cardboard tomatoes don't taste bad just due to the lack of sugar:

Comment: Re:This is insane... (Score 1) 76
It's been around for over ten years. It provides disposable numbers. Each new number is locked into a single payee, and you can update/set the expiration date and credit limit for these numbers, so you never have to reveal the "root" CC number - not even for recurring bills .
I don't think you can change the name on the card or the billing address.

Comment: Here's some constructive criticism (Score 1) 2219

by I'm not god any more (#46180813) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
The beta looks much like the mobile version, and that sucks big time.

Here's some tips about that settings gear icon behavior:
1. have a freaking separate radio button that sets: "and higher" or "and lower" or "exact".

These next 2 points are for the mobile version:
2. I don't want to waste all that screen real estate on text that says "Filtered due to preferences". WFT! I have a whole screen of "Filtered due to preferences", "Filtered due to preferences".
3. If you really want me to know that I've filtered out 200 comments then put that at the bottom, I don't want 200 "Filtered due to preferences" interlaced throughout the comments I've filtered for.

+ - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

Submitted by s.petry
s.petry (762400) writes "What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."

+ - Disney pulls a reverse Santa, takes back Christmas shows from Amazon customers

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "Since 2011, Amazon Instant Video has sold a series of Christmas shorts from Disney called "Prep and Landing". Unfortunately this holiday season, Disney has had a change of heart and has decided to make the shorts exclusive to its own channels. Showing an abundance of Christmas cheer, the Mickey Mouse company went so far as to retroactively withdrawn the shows from Amazon, so that customers who have already paid for them no longer have access. Apparently this reverse-Santa facility is a feature Amazon provides all publishers, and customers have little recourse but to go cap-in-hand to a Disney outlet and pay for the shows again."

+ - Exponential Algorithm in Windows Update Slowing XP Machines->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "An interesting bug regarding update dependency calculation has been found in Windows XP. By design, machines using Windows Update retrieve patch information from Microsoft's update servers (or possibly WSUS in a company setting). That patch information contains information about each patch: what software it applies to and, critically, what historic patch or patches the current patch supersedes. Unfortunately, the Windows Update client components used an algorithm with exponential scaling when processing these lists. Each additional superseded patch would double the time taken to process the list. With the operating system now very old, those lists have grown long, sometimes to 40 or more items. On a new machine, that processing appeared to be almost instantaneous. It is now very slow. After starting the system, svchost.exe is chewing up the entire processor, sometimes for an hour or more at a time. Wait long enough after booting and the machine will eventually return to normalcy. Microsoft thought that it had this problem fixed in November's Patch Tuesday update after it culled the supersedence lists. That update didn't appear to fix the problem. The company thought that its December update would also provide a solution, with even more aggressive culling. That didn't seem to help either. For one reason or another, Microsoft's test scenarios for the patches didn't reflect the experience of real Windows XP machines."
Link to Original Source

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982