Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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: Inside Job at Sony? (Score 1) 177

by Jerome from Layton (#48648711) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony
Two indicators come to mind. First, Korea used to be known as the Hermit Kingdom. Today, that title accurately describes North Korea, a country with limited communications links which suggests that they would need a lot of "outside help" to pull off this stunt. Second, the depth and breadth of the attack appears to be so massive that it almost looks like everything on their servers was copied and carted out. If they actually did this from outside, the Russian hackers must be green with envy. An additional thought: If you have this kind of capability, why blow it on a small target? For comparison, look at the Allies' preparations for D-Day in 1944 and notice how we cloaked our capabilities and methods. As I'm writing this, Leo Laporte, the Computer Guy, came on the air making the same points. Way to go, Leo.

Comment: Ben Franklin or War Hysteria-Time to End It. (Score 1) 613

by Jerome from Layton (#48298249) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?
Ben Franklin was the first person that I know who suggested it as a way to add daylight hours at the end of the day. Then, the idea remained dormant until The First World War when it was adopted by both sides to increase production and save illumination fuel. One origin of the term "Wartime". It kicked in again for WW-II, of course. Then, somebody added two months to it during the "Energy Crises" in the mid-Seventies which had mothers escorting their children to the school bus with flashlights due to the darkness. Crazy! When I was flying, it didn't matter because my watch was set to Zulu and never changed. So far, three places don't buy into this foolishness. NE Indiana, Arizona, and Hawaii. The idea of dropping it like yesterday's garbage has been proposed in Utah which would align us with Arizona. Time to call my legislators and do some suggesting.

Comment: Re: Nature (Score 1) 113

by Jerome from Layton (#47897971) Attached to: Liquid Sponges Extract Hydrogen From Water
So was the outer skin. You can see the burning edge in the shot that shows the tail on the ground with the front drifting down. The fabric was doped with iron oxide to protect the fiber from light. Then it was given a top cover with powdered aluminum to keep the fabric from heating in the light. Very logical except that the end result was a craft coated with Thermite from nose to tail.

Comment: Re:But what IS the point they're making? (Score 1) 342

Think of where that lime came from. Some parts of the CO2 cycle involve natural sequestration of the gas into the earth. This is where limestone, marble, stalactites, stalagmites, etc. come from. By the way, "lime" is Ca(OH)2 which reacts with CO2 to form a bicarbonate (soluble) and then the carbonate (spots on your car after washing). Thank the volcanoes for liberating this life giving gas into the atmosphere; otherwise the life forms on earth would be way different.

Comment: Re:name and location tweeted... (Score 1) 928

Here in Utah, somebody complained about their "service" on Yelp. Then, he received a billing notice on his account because the fine print in his contract included a anti-disparagement clause as well as the usual "arbitration" crap. He refused to pay and the next step by the contracting agency was to place adverse entries on his credit record and the fight was on. This story is now about four years old but there was a recent update story about it in the local newspapers.

Comment: Re:Nitrogen? (Score 1) 1198

Nitrogen is slow asphyxiation and that could be a problem. Carbon dioxide has a rapid onset at concentrations over 10% with the first symptom being a "blackout" because the retina is the first thing to shut down (personal experience from reaching into an ice chest for an ice cream cone ) followed by other things shutting down (the brain and CNS, then the rest of the body). CO2 stimulates respiration which makes it work even faster. The drawback, if it matters, is the decedent looking like a smurf.

Comment: Re:Time to move into the Century of the fruit bat. (Score 1) 1198

But, it does guarantee that he won't do it again. Three Strikes, Mandatory Minimums, Megan's Law, and the proliferation of Concealed Carry laws resulted from some truly egregious crimes by repeat offenders back in the Seventies and Eighties. Those crimes also caused a lot of states to keep their housekeeping laws in effect. Housekeeping as in "take out the trash".

Comment: Where Is It? MH370 (Score 1) 233

Most of the large trucking companies track their rigs 24/7 using a system similar to On-Star. There is at least one world-wide cellular phone system (Iridium) operating and there may be more. In any case, an aircraft as expensive as a Boeing 777 rates a tracking system. I would suggest a simple periodic reporter that would activate anytime an engine was in operation. They would all use the same channel was a common format [Aircraft ID, GPS Location, Altitude in Flight Level format]. The transmission length would be about one second and sent once every fifteen minutes. The system could be common access meaning anyone could see the moving spread sheet and, because a lot of people could use it, losing the data would not be a problem. Obviously, it would show up on the Internet. So, for example, you are in San Francisco and wondering where Flight 11 is? Visit the site and enter AA-11. You would see a list of the locations and altitudes starting with the latest and going back at fifteen minute intervals all the back to Boston Logan Airport. Where is the plane now? Draw a 125 mile circle around the last position and start looking.

Comment: Settled or resettled? (Score 1) 497

by Jerome from Layton (#46435243) Attached to: Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"
Phlogiston was proposed as an explanation of why a fire would stop even though fuel was still present. Then, Priestly and Lavoisier explained the properties and function of oxygen. So, did this kill phlogiston? Not quite; see thermodynamics (2nd Law) and physical chemistry (free energy) which brings back part of the phlogiston explanation. So, the Global Warming / Climate Change people have two interesting things to deal with: Yes, carbon dioxide can act as a "greenhouse" gas. But, why is it that carbon dioxide increases are leading events prior to ice ages as revealed by the ice and sea bottom mud cores? This is why that science is still about as settled as the San Andreas fault.

Comment: There's Another Alternative (Score 1) 564

by Jerome from Layton (#45809505) Attached to: PC Makers Plan Rebellion Against Microsoft At CES
Fire Fox has an OS that runs on portable devices. So far, they haven't brought up the idea of using it to run a PC. I'd like to see them do it since my XP system will be a "Death Panel" candidate in about four months. Meanwhile, we will continue to be held hostage to the MS "Alternation": OK-crap-OK-crap as in WIN 95, WIN 98 (better), Me (crap), XP (better), Vista (whale poop), WIN 7 (pretty good), now the Eight Ball. Hopefully, my employer will skip 8 and wait for 9. Yes, I'm dreaming; it's a government agency.

Comment: Edinburgh or East Anglia? (Score 1) 552

by Jerome from Layton (#45785405) Attached to: Sun Not a Significant Driver of Climate Change
Opened the story. Where's the meat? No tables or graphs. How did they get solar data from before 1600 when celestial observations became serious? They don't explain the Medieval Warming Period. Toward the end of that era, the French were considering a duty on English wine. After roughly 1250 CE, they had other concerns, like getting warm. What volcano caused the Little Ice Age that lasted about 600 years and changed diet and drinking patterns? What happened around 1850 to cause things to abruptly get warmer? Yes, volcanoes do matter. Blame Indonesia for all three of them. One of them almost wiped out the human species (genetic bottleneck). Another one caused the Year without a Summer (1816). Krakatoa lead to the Great Blizzard of 1888.

Comment: Re:Not the same... (Score 1) 211

Agreed. Not all technology is equal. Nuclear weapons are "special" for a multiplicity of reasons as the Iranian experience is showing us. They've been working at it for years, but they're not "there" yet and there is a lot of visible trappings that are eating away at their GNP. On the other hand, drones can be cheap and simple or huge and complex or anything in between. Other people have compared them to the flint lock which lead to the individual weapons which also have that huge variation of models ranging from the rail car guns to tiny pocket pistols. Expect these things to multiply like rabbits.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.