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+ - The Individual Midnight Thread 40

Submitted by unitron
unitron (5733) writes "Trying to figure out time zones is starting to make my brain hurt, but apparently in a bit over 6 hours somewhere on the other side of globe from Greenwich the Week of Slashcott will begin, as Midnight arrives for anyone in that zone, and then it travels west, where I will encounter it in about 23 hours.

So if we can get this thread out of the Firehose, I was thinking that, as the 10th arrives for us in our respective locations, we could leave here what may be our final farewells to Slashdot.

Until Midnight, this is our meeting place, our City Hall, our town square.

(and yes, our playground)

After that I'm not sure where we can congregate to discuss how the Slashcott's going and whether it's time to move on.

I'm going to jump the gun and lay claim to "So long and thanks for all the Karma", and perhaps someone could do a Bob Hope and re-write the lyrics to "Thanks for the Memories".

In the meantime, a bit of housekeeping.

An AC beat me to the week-long boycott idea by a couple of hours, and suggested the date range of the 10th through the 17th.

As part of a group of people familiar with the concept of beginning a count with 0 instead of 1, I really should have spotted the mistake of putting 8 days into that particular week.

So, should Slashcott Week end as the 17th begins, or do we give Dice a bonus day?"

Comment: Re:For all the USA haters on Slashdot (Score 1) 198

by Maow (#46137559) Attached to: First New Generic Top Level Domains Opening

"Inventing the Internet" gives you the same rights over the international Internet as "inventing the English language" gives over English speakers.

I think I lost your point. Are you saying that England has the right to decide if it's spelled "colour" or "color" in the US?

Perhaps you're playing stupid on the Internet, or maybe you're just thick, so I'll spell it out for you.

If the USA wants to spell colour "kulor", England can't stop them.

England "invented" English. USA can do with it what they want.

USA "invented" the Internet. The world can do (or ought to be able to do) with it what it wants.

I believe that is what the +5 Insightful AC above you was getting at.

Comment: Re:The real motive (Score 1) 218

by Maow (#46137419) Attached to: FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital

No unions? Sign me up!

Yet conservatives may be shocked to learn that their idol Reagan was once a union boss himself. Reagan was the only president in American history to have belonged to a union, the AFL-CIO affiliated Screen Actors Guild. And he even served six terms as president of the organized labor group. Additionally, Reagan was a staunch advocate for the collective bargaining rights of one of the world’s most famous and most influential trade unions, Poland’s Solidarity movement.

And Reagan said this regarding unions:

By outlawing Solidarity, a free trade organization to which an overwhelming majority of Polish workers and farmers belong, they have made it clear that they never had any intention of restoring one of the most elemental human rights—the right to belong to a free trade union.

So you modern conservatives even make Ronald Reagan look like a leftist. And guess what? He was no leftist.

That ought to give you reason to consider your blind partisanship, but something tells me that would be highly unlikely.

Comment: Re:Voice assistant (Score 1) 113

by Maow (#46084957) Attached to: Google Buys UK AI Startup Deep Mind

No they weren't. Cellphones were cool from the start. At least, around here anyway. Everyone wanted one. The problem with glass is the same with bluetooth headsets. People ware them even when they're not using them... which makes you look like a douche. Once Google has these embedded in regular glasses this will stop being an issue.

Agree with the first part, but on BlueTooth headsets - what's one supposed to do with them, take them off and pocket them? That risks losing them. I leave mine in place, even when turned off, when I'm out and about. 'Cause I know I'd lose it otherwise.

Maybe it helps that I grew up in a household where hearing aids were worn by a family member, so having something in the ear was normal. On the other hand, I hated wearing ear buds for the longest time, 'til I recognized the usefulness of them.

+ - Edward Snowden says NSA engages in industrial espionage-> 2

Submitted by Maow
Maow (620678) writes "Snowden has been interviewed by a German TV network and stated that the NSA is involved in industrial espionage, which is outside the range of national security.

He claims that Siemens is a prime example of a target for the data collection.

I doubt this would suprise AirBus or other companies, but it shall remain to be seen what measures global industries take (if any) to prevent their internal secrets from falling into NSA's — and presumably American competitors' — hands."

Link to Original Source

+ - Chinese Moon Rover Said Early Good Bye

Submitted by hackingbear
hackingbear (988354) writes "The Chinese moon rover, Jade Rabbit, encountered abnormality in control mechanism before its planned sleep during the 14-day-long lunar night. In the form of a diary, the Jade Rabbit said, "The shi-fu ("kung-fu maters", meaning the scientists and engineers) are working around the clock trying to fix the problm and their eyes look like rabbit's (in red due to fatigue), but I may not be able to survive over this lunar night." (translated, original in Chinese.) The rover. landed on moon on Dec 14 and was designed to operate for three months, vowed to continue the mission with Chang'e 5 in 2017."

+ - Gone are the days when somebody could learn to be a sys admin at home! 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "After looking at many job boards it seems that most of the jobs require knowledge of "professional" VMs and cloud based services. The man/woman sitting at home does not usually "play" with VMs like how a real company would use VMs. The man/woman sitting at home usually does not have access to cloud services and would usually have to pay a considerable sum to "get cloud services" to learn about them. No more sys admin at home! In the "old" days you could learn about SCSI and IDE and networking and learn to program in say Perl or PHP — these would get you in the door at many companies. Not anymore!

Is this just my opinion? What does /. think?"

Comment: Re:Maybe they're not stars.... (Score 4, Informative) 150

by Maow (#45914417) Attached to: New Class of "Hypervelocity Stars" Discovered Escaping the Galaxy

A million miles per hour is not all that much.

All the galaxies in our neighborhood are also rushing at a speed of nearly 1,000 kilometers per second (2,236.936 miles per hour) towards a structure called the Great Attractor, a region of space roughly 150 million light-years away.

I think they're calling them fast based on the relative speed to the galaxy that they're being ejected from / passing though.

Astrophysicists calculate that a star must get a million-plus mile-per-hour kick relative to the motion of the galaxy to reach escape velocity.

The diagram in TFA seems to indicate that these stars are not originating inside the galaxy, which to me raises the question, from whence do they come?

This image makes it appear the stars are mostly passing through the disk of the galaxy. I may be reading too much into the length of the coloured lines though.

Comment: Re:U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? (Score 1) 184

by Maow (#45907711) Attached to: Canada Quietly Offering Sanctuary To Data From the US

That court case did nothing of the sort - it was a court case against a local US bank subsidiary asking for records of other subsidiaries in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands.

I came in here to address this issue.

An interesting quote (emphasis mine) from the linked-to case:

The nationality of the Bank is Canadian, but its presence is pervasive in the United States.[18] The Bank has voluntarily elected to do business in numerous foreign host countries and has accepted the incidental risk of occasional inconsistent governmental actions. It cannot expect to avail itself of the benefits of doing business here without accepting the concomitant obligations. As the Second Circuit noted years ago, "If the Bank cannot, as it were, serve two masters and comply with the lawful requirements both of the United States and Panama, perhaps it should surrender to one sovereign or the other the privileges received therefrom."

Over all I do hope that more data is moved to Canada (hence more jobs here), and the Canadian governments, federal and provincial, strengthen their determination (and regulations) to keep sensitive citizens' data out of the USA.

How about a nice, fat trans-Canada fibre optic cable, all within our borders? I imagine the spending on the advertisements for the "Canada Action Plan" would've paid for a good deal of it...

Comment: Re:Ah....and please tell me what your definition o (Score 1) 188

A projection is.

In my definition, it is "if I have x, y, z, and it continues on path q, I can project that it will continue to do so with a given accuracy". But as soon as I open my big fat mouth and say that "q will be such", I've changed from a projection of a model to a prediction. And when ALL of those predictions are wrong and revised.

That's where I think you're mistaken; they don't say, "q will be such", they state something more like, "if q continues to be such, we expect ___ with an X% level of confidence" (ya know, like scientists tend to do).

I found this IPCC glossary:

Climate prediction

A climate prediction or climate forecast is the result of an attempt to produce a most likely description or estimate of the actual evolution of the climate in the future, e.g. at seasonal, interannual or long-term time scales. See also: Climate projection and Climate (change) scenario.



Climate projection

A projection of the response of the climate system to emission or concentration scenarios of greenhouse gases and aerosols, or radiative forcing scenarios, often based upon simulations by climate models. Climate projections are distinguished from climate predictions in order to emphasise that climate projections depend upon the emission/concentration/ radiative forcing scenario used, which are based on assumptions, concerning, e.g., future socio-economic and technological developments, that may or may not be realised, and are therefore subject to substantial uncertainty.

Finally, the IPCC projections are criticized for being, if anything, too conservative in their projections. Time and time again they've said X in Y years and in Y - Z years X is seen to be having an effect. And when something stupid does come out (Himalayan glaciers melting in 30 years), they correct it. Ya know, like scientists do.

Also, don't confuse media headlines with IPCC projections, just like you can't expect to see realistic scenes of IT in movies.

And please, check out the link a few posts above that points to the Ars Technica story where the comp sci prof has a look at the models - he was impressed - they're pretty good. Or, "all models are wrong, some are useful" and climate models are useful.

Comment: Re:Two standard deviations more (Score 1) 188

If climate models were accurate, their predictions would be accurate. All of the models have failed on their predictions. This means, they are inaccurate and are not accurately reflecting the real world model.

They don't make predictions, they make projections; if you can't get that right, you're worse than the climate models.

Similar to confusing weather with climate.

Newtonian physics doesn't make accurate predictions (at relativistic speeds, for example), but it's still accurate (enough) for models. Or was Isaac Newton a "physicist" instead of a physicist because he didn't cover all cases?

Comment: Re:Two standard deviations more (Score 2) 188

But I can't prove anthropogenic climate change with anything but a computer model... and I've made too many computer models in my day for that to be very convincing.

Have you seen climate models, or do you just deny the ones that you don't like due to your standard of "truthiness"?

Ars Technica covers climate models nicely: (see page 2)

Steve Easterbrook, a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto, has been studying climate models for several years. “I'd done a lot of research in the past studying the development of commercial and open source software systems, including four years with NASA studying the verification and validation processes used on their spacecraft flight control software,” he told Ars.

When Easterbrook started looking into the processes followed by climate modeling groups, he was surprised by what he found. “I expected to see a messy process, dominated by quick fixes and muddling through, as that's the typical practice in much small-scale scientific software. What I found instead was a community that takes very seriously the importance of rigorous testing, and which is already using most of the tools a modern software development company would use (version control, automated testing, bug tracking systems, a planned release cycle, etc.).”

“I was blown away by the testing process that every proposed change to the model has to go through,” Easterbrook wrote. “Basically, each change is set up like a scientific experiment, with a hypothesis describing the expected improvement in the simulation results. The old and new versions of the code are then treated as the two experimental conditions. They are run on the same simulations, and the results are compared in detail to see if the hypothesis was correct. Only after convincing each other that the change really does offer an improvement is it accepted into the model baseline.”

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long