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Comment: Old Tech Never Dies... (Score 4, Insightful) 388

by Mashhaster (#39950625) Attached to: Living Fossils: Old Tech That Just Won't Die

It just fades away into obscure applications that most people never know anything about. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say tape is dead, or the desktop is dead, and yet people still use NDMP to back up data from company desktops over fibre channel to LTO tape drives as recently as right now, and still will tomorrow and the day after that.

Comment: Time for some civil disobedience, neh? (Score 3, Insightful) 306

by Mashhaster (#35390576) Attached to: Judge Allows Subpoenas For GeoHot YouTube Viewers, Blog Visitors

I think it's high time for some civil disobedience.

I propose we post the links to the contraband youtube videos, the blog this guy maintains, and his website, and slashdot them. Post them to 4chan, explain the situation, link back to this story, get Anonymous to hit them as well.

Sony wants to subpoena "logs of all viewers and commenters to his YouTube video, visitors to his blog and website"?

Well, good fucking luck with that, because there will be millions of 'em within a week, and the information will be endlessly redistributed and remirrored across the Internet, because information wants to be free, and the tech-savvy community (unlike the general public) still values our civil liberties enough to click on a few fucking links.

The stupid thing is, by going after this guy they're just providing free publicity, as we've seen happen so many times before in such instances.

Comment: Politicians are not rocket scientists (Score 4, Insightful) 342

They should therefore not be attempting to dictate the future of rocket science R/D in the appropriations bills. It's all fine and good to set lofty goals, but leave the nuts and bolts to the nuts and bolts people.

What saddens me is that they're talking about spending ridiculous amounts on human spaceflight, and a comparative pittance on sending up more 'bots. You don't need to look much further than Hayabusa or Spirit and Opportunity to see the potential for real Science to get done is staggering when you don't have to worry about sustaining all those pesky biological systems. IMHO, we should be devoting at least a fifth of the budget to non-human spaceflight and exploration.

Once we know what's up there, we can send the fleshbags.

Comment: Re:!newsfornerds (Score 1) 413

by Mashhaster (#32154658) Attached to: Obama Will Nominate Elena Kagan To the Supreme Court

I don't want to read this kind of stuff on Slashdot. I come here for tech news that has some bearing on the world. This story is specifically about American politics and should have no place on this site.

Slashdot is not exclusively for tech nerds, politics nerds can hang out too.

Comment: Prohibition 2.0/The War on Drugs (Score 1) 391

by Mashhaster (#31402506) Attached to: Ask the UK Pirate Party's Andrew Robinson About the Issues

What are your feelings on the current UK drug policy? Do you feel addiction should be treated as a disease or a criminal matter? Do you feel it is time to legalize personal substance use, to stop fighting market forces with paramilitary forces, and to stop giving the Taliban access to a cash crop (poppy)?

Comment: Re:Not news (Score 2, Insightful) 374

by Mashhaster (#30960286) Attached to: Making It Hard For Extraterrestrials To Hear Us

This is why the Drake equation never did seem to make much sense to me.

Given the rapid advancement of telecommunications technology we've observed, to me it seems entirely possible that a civilization a few hundred or thousand years beyond ours might not even be using a technology analogous to RF transmission. Entanglement, gravitation manipulation, something entirely different?

We can only imagine, because who can say what discoveries the future will hold, but you can be damn sure that a thousand years from now we'll be using something different than we are now. The Drake equation always seem to me to require the presupposition that a far advanced extraterrestrial civilization would be using the equivalent of.. cosmic flag semaphore, or smoke signals.

Comment: Re:Why did she even bother? (Score 1) 515

by Mashhaster (#30757216) Attached to: Attack Part of a Broad Spying Effort

I would argue that reality is different from the perception thereof. I am colorblind, that doesn't mean that the wavelengths of visible light that constitute red and green are one and the same, but I'll never see the difference. There are more examples, but that's a very handy one.

I understand the idea of what you perceive is your reality, but that doesn't change objective reality, what actually exists in the universe. Just because I don't perceive something, doesn't mean it's nonexistent. Just because a million people all share the same hallucination, doesn't mean it ever existed.

Comment: Re:Why did she even bother? (Score 5, Insightful) 515

by Mashhaster (#30753622) Attached to: Attack Part of a Broad Spying Effort

The same reason I heard from my manager at one of the investment banks that went tits up. The same reason we spend billions on security theater.

"Perception is reality."

While on the face of it this is a crass and ridiculous statement, the fact remains that it makes some kind of warped, diabolical sense once you are under a certain level of scrutiny. It becomes more important to look like you're making a difference, than to actually make one. If you are perceived to be adding value and working hard, you can be slacking off all day and still get promoted at the end of the day.

Honestly, it seems to me more like a publicity stunt than anything. Keep the other party from getting more ammo, while making the uninformed feel good and warm and fuzzy inside.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)