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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Saw it last night in 3D (Score 1) 240

I'd have had them exploring a cave at the beginning of the novel. Watney's in the lead, and he falls into a crevasse. They're all roped together, but for some reason the rope failed to hold.

Watney is more or less uninjured, and only about 15 feet down. The rest of the astronauts could rescue him, but only if they go back to the ascent vehicle for the necessary climbing supplies. If they do that, they'll miss the launch window and will all be stranded.

Now that would be a hard scene to write, and even more disturbing to read, but it would kick things off with some interesting dark drama and interpersonal dynamics. Especially when Watney realizes that somebody cut his rope...

Comment Re: Sure you will. (Score 4, Interesting) 217

Bullshit. No OS is "well made" enough that it will never need security updates. Not Windows, not MacOS, not Linux, not *BSD.

This is why it's really, really important for OS providers to maintain a trustworthy update service. If they use it for advertising purposes, or sell it out to various government agencies, or allow incompetent personnel to push "test" updates to the entire planet, it's no longer trustworthy. That means their OS itself is no longer trustworthy, if in fact it ever was.

Nobody at Microsoft seems to have the first clue how important Windows Update actually is, and how important it is not to screw with it. Windows Update is Windows, not just in a de-facto sense but as a vital corporate strategy. It's time they started acting like it.


Scientists Show Human Aging Rates Vary Widely 285 writes: Ever notice at your high school reunions how some classmates look ten years older than everybody else — and some look ten years younger. Now BBC reports that a study of people born within a year of each other has uncovered a huge gulf in the speed at which human bodies bodies age. The report tracked traits such as weight, kidney function and gum health and found that some of the 38-year-olds in the study were aging so badly that their "biological age" was on the cusp of retirement. "They look rough, they look lacking in vitality," says Prof Terrie Moffitt. The study says some people had almost stopped aging during the period of the study, while others were gaining nearly three years of biological age for every twelve months that passed. "Any area of life where we currently use chronological age is faulty, if we knew more about biological age we could be more fair and egalitarian," says Moffitt. The researchers studied aging in 954 young humans, the Dunedin Study birth cohort, tracking multiple biomarkers across three time points spanning their third and fourth decades of life. They developed and validated two methods by which aging can be measured in young adults, one cross-sectional and one longitudinal. According to Moffit the science of healthspan extension may be focused on the wrong end of the lifespan; rather than only studying old humans, geroscience should also study the young. "Eventually if we really want to slow the process of ageing to prevent the onset of disease we're going to have to intervene with young people."

Comment Re:Not a surprise (Score 2) 109

It's precisely that kind of distorted talk that makes it clear that you and groups like Amnesty aren't really interested in anything but tearing down the West.And THAT sort of tactic IS exactly like that which was promoted by the Soviet Union (i.e. those evil communists).

And it happened there precisely because nobody spoke up against it when they still could have.

Comment Re:that's right (Score 1) 352

That's probably what the algorithm should return, just to avoid the possibility of offending anyone. Just label any photos of intelligent hirsute bipedal mammals as "Hominids" and call it a day.

Who knows, maybe the term will even catch on in the larger culture. "Machine learning" doesn't mean we can't learn from our machines.

Comment Overqualified (Score 0, Troll) 43

For example, one must apply to the Ministry of Communication to be accepted into the UIC and the application form asks about membership in political organizations like the Communist Party or Young Communists League along with technical qualifications

From the article: "... Stallman submitted his application without citing any formal association with the Communist Party, but instead described his pioneering work with the FSF and authorship of the GPL. Unexpectedly, however, his application was declined. When asked to comment on Stallman's rejection, a UIC official responded, 'What kind of organization does he think this is? We're Communists, not a bunch of (expletive deleted) radical ideologues!'"

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.