Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Polls on the front page of Slashdot? Is the world coming to an end?! Nope; read more about it. ×

Comment: Hard Drive Bracket (Score 1) 57

by jbeaupre (#49824941) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Your Most Unusual Hardware Hack?

I was missing the hardware to mount a 5 Mb hard drive (yes, 5 Mb) in my XT. Didn't want it sitting directly on the case (cable length, vibration, possible short, etc), but really wanted that upgrade. My French-English dictionary was sitting nearby, so it became the support "bracket".

My mom used that computer many years for checking email (she did upgrade to 2400 baud), but one day it needed a repair. She said the guy was a bit surprised to find a library in a PC.

Comment: Re: America next? (Score 1) 136

by circletimessquare (#49824915) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

it's a continuum in all countries

1. the naive, who believe what the official channels say

2. the genuinely critical and intellectually honest

3. the hopelessly cynical. too much automatic distrust is not intelligent, it's actually a personality disorder hobbling in the same way naivete is, to automatically reject all info, even something that might be true

the point is, in the west, those who are genuinely critical have more information sources to peruse, and therefore are better able to find out the truth. in controlled environments, places where fear dominates, the critically minded have less chance to find the truth and, as you say, often wind of hopelessly jaded and cynical and don't believe anything

this is weakness, not strength

Comment: Re:Thorium (Score 1) 124

by Firethorn (#49824621) Attached to: Cool Tool: The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Calculator

Well, Windscale was never used for civilian power production. I think nearly all of the reactors designed for weapons production were far less safe than nearly any civilian design.

Not to mention polluting. When anti-nuclear power nuts start going off, they'll often start listing all sorts of nuclear waste disasters 'waiting to happen'. Thing is, 99% of the time they're not talking about nuclear power waste, but from the government's weapons programs. Which, as you say, were run horribly.

Comment: Re:Let me put my skepticism hat on... (Score 1) 124

by Firethorn (#49824565) Attached to: Cool Tool: The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Calculator

To expand on this point, 'nuclear waste' consists of a number of different elements and isotopes. Generally speaking, the only isotopes that have half lives long enough to still be producing radioactivity after 100k years are also useful as fuel.

So you reprocess/recycle the waste, extracting those elements for another pass through the reactor. The remaining isotopes tend to be 'hot' - IE highly radioactive with short half lives.

Short half lives mean it's 'cool' orders of magnitude sooner.

Comment: Re: America next? (Score 1) 136

by circletimessquare (#49824517) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

there is propaganda and there always will be. but in a more free speech environment, you breed more critical minds, because you expose the minds to more bullshit. as opposed to walled gardens in countries with less free speech, which breeds weak minds

that's all i'm saying. the west is not perfect and never will be. it's just *better*

and people like you seem to think because you can't get perfection, then everything is the same. but it's not the same. therefore your criticisms are useless

more free speech means more critical minds. that actually means something. if you rejec tthat as useless, you only announce yourself as naive

Comment: Re:America next? (Score 2) 136

by circletimessquare (#49824483) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

it's a continuum. the west falls for plenty of bullshit. it's just that, on the average, the west falls for less

every single example of the west falling for shit you just gave me, can also be shown in countries with less free speech. and they fall for *more*

the perfect is not the enemy of the good. if you gauge all countries against an ideal perfection of a populace of everyone being perfectly rational critical minds, which does not exist and never will, then your criticisms are useless

the west simply edges out countries with less free speech because they train more critical minds. the west is not perfect and never will be. it's just that, until countries that now have very little free speech get more, the west will simply do better than them, not perfect

Comment: Re:America next? (Score 1) 136

by circletimessquare (#49824301) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

there are no absolutes anywhere. it would be easy to find a person more level headed in russia and china than some people in the usa. but i'm talking about trends and averages

i'm talking about the media environment and what it does to a critical mind. an environment where anything goes means that critical mind is exercised more, exposed to more bullshit and gets more sophisticated and powerful

but a walled garden, where a government controls more of what is officially (and unofficially, as the existence of government troll brigades shows) said, you breed uncritical minds. that muscle is simply less developed because it is worked less

it's a continuum. the west simply edges out other countries on the continuum

i'm not denying that the usa has plenty of hysterical, propagandized morons, and plenty of uncritical minds. it does. a lot of them self-select and out of prideful ignorance choose to live in an ideological bubble where only ideas that support their prejudices is allowed.. *by them*, not by their government. they self-select to remain ignorant. if they hear something that challenges their beliefs, they immediately reject it

but the existence of such losers is an unchanging baseline across all countries: the propagandized fool. you can't do anything about such uncritical minds, and every country has them

we're talking about another population here

there will always be a regular crop of some people who are still intellectually honest and will seek out alternative narratives and alternative sources of news. such people in the west will simply find that a lot easier, and so there will be more critical minds in the west than in countries with less free speech protections. because such intellectually honest minds in more authoritarian countries will not find it as easy to find alternative views, they are trapped. and so they will not develop, and they will fall back into fear and propaganda. their government is purposefully creating a general population of uncritical, weak minds. it's a colossal weakness. the effort is just too hard (and sometimes dangerous) for those *initially* intellectually honest to see more critical views, more alternative views, because their government makes it hard, in countries with few free speech protections. and so such people, who would be the best minds in those countries, fall back into fear and propaganda, and never develop. not so in the west

in the west, the self-selecting propagandized morons will never seek out views that challenge them, yes, but we're not talking about such useless people, and such people exist in all countries

on the average, amongst all minds, not just closed ones, more free speech protections means you are breeding more critical minds, simply because such minds exist in a media environment in the west where they can be challenged more and better develop that muscle

Comment: Re:What about the cost for enrichment waste? (Score 1) 124

by Firethorn (#49824233) Attached to: Cool Tool: The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Calculator

Isn't that included in the price of the fuel? I don't think that the EPA and it's equivalents in other countries are going to be letting them off. That's a bit like asking 'What about the waste from refining copper?' when it comes to wiring up your house.

I also believe that the amount of 'nuclear' waste that people are worried about is minimal.

That being said, some reactors like the CANDU don't need enriched fuel.

Comment: Re:America next? (Score 3, Insightful) 136

by circletimessquare (#49824035) Attached to: Professional Russian Trolling Exposed

the USA has better free speech protections. therefore, nonsense on the internet has less power

i am certain there is organized political trolling in the USA as well, by the government and by organizations with agendas, but it is less effective in the west

countries with less free speech protection (like china and their 50 cent bullshit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5... ) will rely on this sort of organized trolling as a means of persuasion and control, domestically and internationally. more than the west, simply because the west has less need to manipulate these whisper campaigns because nonsense on the internet has less power because are exposed to it more in a free speech environment and are more resistant to it. they simply have better trained more critical minds

the governments of authoritarian countries fear provocative opinions more, therefore they engage in this sort of nonsense more, because they view controlling people's opinions as important. their people wind of living in a walled garden of controlled opinion with less options to consider, and a state that officially endorses and pushes weak minded opinions and fear. the west simply doesn't give a fuck. the opinions and lies of random morons on the internet is exactly that, and most people can see that for what it is. you have to live in a paranoid insecure state to give much credence to inflammatory bullshit from random whispers on the internet

in the end, it weakens these countries, because you are breeding people with weak, easily manipulated minds. people in the west simply have better and more healthy bullshit meters. simply because when you can say anything, people do

expose a socially and psychologically normal person to 4chan for a month, and what do you get? a crackpot? no, a jaded experienced mind that can see bullshit coming from a mile away

exposure to the kind of thinking and commentary that resembles mental illness, amongst the more rational choices of speech, gives one a more critical eye and healthy skepticism. the ability to see the difference between credible words and manipulated words

but in countries where paranoid schizophrenic theories are actually supported and endorsed by the government's official media agencies as a means of control, you breed people to live in panic and fear. weak minds. it's a shame to weaken people's minds like this. russia, china, iran, etc., reap a side effect of their manipulations: a general population more susceptible to idiocies most westerners (not all) would easily reject, simply because westerners (even though some choose to stay within ideological bubbles and never consider other sides out of prideful ignorance, some personality types are universal, but limited) can, and do, see other sources of narrative, good or bad

Comment: Re:Missing option (Score 1) 139

by KGIII (#49823935) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison, and ...

I'm saying you can't sentence someone based on things you allege they did but never charged or proved.

Snark: Evidence would suggest otherwise or you would not be complaining.

Reality: They can, they do, that evidence is supposed to be weighed less though. It is used to show the character of the convicted offender. I am not saying this is right. I am saying that your belief that they cannot is erroneous.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." -- Karl, as he stepped behind the computer to reboot it, during a FAT

Working...