Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 110

by Jason Levine (#48672759) Attached to: App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"

In which case, the police can get a warrant to request the real name/address from BitLit. Either way, I don't see too many people writing their names in bookstore books in order to get a free eBook. Not when other piracy methods likely offer a more anonymous method of getting them.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 110

by Jason Levine (#48672063) Attached to: App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"

To get copies of in-copyright books, you need to deface the copyright page. If you can do that in a book shop without having to buy the book, then you live somewhere with very tolerant shopkeepers

Or, if you write your name in books in the bookstore without the shopkeeper seeing, you're also essentially confessing to the crime. The police will know each and every book you "claimed."

Comment: Re:Motive (Score 1) 232

by Jason Levine (#48670947) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

I wouldn't mind at all if North Korea were suddenly free and part of South Korea. Almost everyone in North Korea would be far better off. However, doing so by military force is utterly INSANE.

Even if China didn't intervene, the fact that millions of South Koreans live within artillery range of the border with North Korea means that in a shooting war with North Korea we'd probably be looking at tens to hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties just for the South alone, and probably as many or more North Korean civilians just from economic hardships and displacement - and that's leaving out the North's ballistic missles, nukes/etc. So even if the worst case scenario doesn't occur, the minimum expected result is already horrific enough that no sane person would want to pursue it.

There would also be the North Korean people to consider. Even if we somehow freed North Korea from "Dear Leader" tomorrow, the North Korean people have been fed a steady diet of pro-North Korea propaganda for their entire lives. Following their leader is all they know. If North Korea came to America to "liberate" us from our government and install a North Korea style government, they would meet with resistance. (Our government isn't popular or perfect. But it is orders of magnitude better than NK's.) Even if we magically freed the North Korean people tomorrow, they would likely resist their new-found freedom as much as possible. It might be decades before they were used to freedom.

Comment: Re:Action movies are boring. (Score 1) 323

Maybe an animated series would be the best option. Not to mix Star Wars into a Star Trek thread, but I'm really liking what they're doing with Star Wars: Rebels. It's an animated series set just before the Rebellion began. The heroes are a group of "criminals" (as branded by the Empire) performing some shady actions while trying to do good and hurt the Empire. We know the big picture of where this Universe will head (Star Wars 4 - 6) and we know some big things that won't happen (our heroes won't bring down the Empire at all), but we don't know where the characters in this show are going which ads suspense. Any of the characters could die in any episode. Probably not (at least not so early in the series), but they could.

Imagine a similar Star Trek series that told the story of a crew of space pirates, smugglers, or something. A group that's morally ambiguous at best. A group that does good according to their view and who disagree with the Federation. You could vary stories from Them Vs. Federation tales (where each side could win the mini-conflict), visiting strange new worlds (but not with Federation rules in play), etc. This could be a very interesting series. (Not that I'm holding my breath as the current direction of Star Trek seems to be Big Stuff Blowing Up In Space.)

Comment: Re:more NOS and less lense flare (Score 2) 323

This one is going to be 100mph

But if the Enterprise goes 100mph, it'll be going really slowly.

Maybe that's it. Star Trek 3 will be the first movie shot entirely in slow motion. (Don't worry Futurama fans. Star Trek 3 will be a crossover with Baywatch.)

Comment: Re:Security and Performance? (Score 1) 288

by Jason Levine (#48662259) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

I don't think all attempts to educate the users will be successful. However, if $HOTEL posted signs saying "To connect to our Wi-Fi network, connect to $OFFICIAL_HOTEL_WI_FI_NETWORK_NAME. Connecting to other networks could leave you vulnerable to $SCARY_SOUNDING_CONSEQUENCES", then they should be liable for users connecting to the wrong Wi-Fi network and having passwords/credit card numbers/etc stolen. The hotel chain doesn't need to take proactive measures of blocking all other Wi-Fi networks just in case those are malicious (and including the ones that the guests set up themselves using their cell phones). This a clearly a money grab with a security front analogous to a cheap Halloween costume.

Comment: Security and Performance? (Score 5, Interesting) 288

by Jason Levine (#48661473) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

Looks like the hotels are claiming this is security and performance related.

Mobile hotspots can be used to “launch an attack against [a hotel] operator’s network or threaten its guests’ privacy” by gaining access to credit card numbers or other personal data, the hotel group said in its petition.

Maybe. If the mobile hotspot is called "Marriot Free Wi-Fi" but is operated by someone collecting information on anyone who connects. Then again, this could happen anywhere. This is why you don't connect to strange wi-fi networks. If you must connect to your hotel's wi-fi network, make sure you're connecting to the right one, not just one with the same name. The solution here is guest education (post signs about which Wi-Fi network to connect to, etc), not running a jammer to block everyone else's Wi-Fi signals.

Multiple outside Wi-Fi hotspots operating in a meeting room or convention center can hurt the performance of a hotel’s Wi-Fi network, the group said.

My off-the-shelf router handles multiple wi-fi networks just fine. I connect to my Wi-Fi and my performance isn't degraded because my neighbors run Wi-Fi networks of their own. A hotel should be able to invest in the infrastructure to provide their own Wi-Fi that will work regardless of whether or not I turn my phone's Wi-Fi hotspot on.

The "security" and "performance" claims are garbage. The real reason is that they want to be able to sell you their Wi-Fi service for a ton of cash and it's hard to do this when you can bring your own Wi-Fi network in with you. As gurps_npc pointed out, if we let them do this, how long until they block all cell phone signals because it interferes with the "security and performance" of their phone system?

Comment: Re:Us, not them (Score 1) 183

by Jason Levine (#48659373) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

My objection to injecting animals to alter them to produce more meat for humans doesn't translate to an objection to injecting humans with vaccines. I'm firmly pro-vaccine. Vaccines are given to prevent disease. The injections animals are given are only intended to change their natural course of development so as to have their bodies produce more meat that people can eat quicker. These are two very different kinds of injections.

Comment: Re:Hahahahahahahahaha LOL (Score 1) 430

by Jason Levine (#48655189) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

My wife's grandfather died of Parkinson's. His body slowly betrayed him and simple acts like putting one foot in front of the other became more and more difficult. At a certain point, dementia set in and he would talk to us like it was 50 years ago. When he finally died, we were actually relieved because he was suffering at that point.

Cancer and it's ilk are scary, but Alzheimer's - where you slowly lose everything that makes you you and might be aware of it yourself at the beginning - and Parkinson's - where you slowly get trapped in your own body - are horrible ways to go. I hope that whoever comes up with a cure (or even a good treatment) to these gets a giant sack full of money.

Comment: Re:Slashdot sociopaths... (Score 1) 183

by Jason Levine (#48655103) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

I'm not an expert, but I'd hope that they wouldn't just dump the orangutan into the wild and say "Good luck" as they drove off. There has to be sort of a middle-ground between zoo and the wild that the orangutan can live in to get acclimated. Perhaps a gated in area that is guaranteed to be predator free where her handlers can keep an eye on her and make sure she knows how to forage for food, etc. Then, when she's used to this, slowly introduce her to the wild.

Comment: Re:Slashdot sociopaths... (Score 2) 183

by Jason Levine (#48655071) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

Most zoos nowadays (at least the ones I've visited) don't have the animals just sitting in metal cages for people to gawk at. The animals have mini-habitats to roam through, have appropriate items to play with, and food to eat. They have medical care (sometimes better than humans get). Yes, they don't have the freedom to roam that animals in the wild have, but they trade that off for freedom from predators.

Besides, zoos often help support efforts to conserve species and people like protecting animals they've seen. If you see a rhino and then hear there are only a thousand left because they are being hunted for their horns, you might kick in some dollars to a conservation effort. If the zoo simply had a poster of a rhino, you wouldn't be likely to donate anything at all.

As to whether I'd like to live my life how zoo animals live theirs? I'm not sure. I'm not going to pretend that zoo-life is completely idyllic, but it also isn't horribly abusive anymore. (At least not in modern zoos. If there's an "old timey animals in metal cage" sort of zoo, get the animals out of there now.)

Comment: Re:Us, not them (Score 1) 183

by Jason Levine (#48654917) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

I'm of the opinion that, if you need to kill an animal for food, clothing, etc, that's fine, but you shouldn't make it suffer while it's alive. So killing a chicken to eat it is fine. Keeping it in a tiny, dirty cage all its life while it is force-fed and injected in order to make it plumper is not fine.

You also shouldn't kill an animal "for fun." So shooting a deer in the woods is fine if you take it back and use the venison. Shooting a deer in the woods just because you like killing things is cruel behavior. (A teacher of mine used to tell the story of the time he shot a bird for fun and his father made him cook and eat it. He didn't shoot anything ever again unless he intended to consume it.)

Interchangeable parts won't.