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Comment Re:Sounds like he was arrested for shooting. (Score 1) 1056 1056

In general anything that creates a hazard for bystanders would be a bad idea. So even if there isn't a specific ordinance against shooting bows-and-arrows in the city limits, I'm sure the authorities would take a dim view of your clout shooting into your neighbors' yards.

What there should be is a legally mandated remote radio kill switch anyone can trigger that will cause the drone to land, or in the case of the more sophisticated models to return to base. If the switch worked within say a 50' radius it'd pretty much only work on drones buzzing your residence.

Comment Re:You just described SoylentNews. (Score 2) 546 546

I would mostly agree with parent. Soylent is fine execpt the community isnt big enough so the comments are barely there or worth reading, the name is kind of bad and the stories are routinely just old enough to be yesterdays news on Slashdot or Hacker news.

Their Twitter feed, which is where I get my news feeds, also puts these really annoying lame "from the deptâ attempts at humor in the tweets instead of just the title of the story and the link:

Razer Acquires Ouya Software Assets, Ditches Hardware from the kicked-down dept

They will even thorten the title to make room for the utterly stupid âoefrom theâ.

The best solution to replace Slashdot would probably be if Hacker news grafted the classic Slashdot look, commenting and moderation system on to their generally good stories and great community.

Comment Re:Whistle blower (Score 4, Insightful) 580 580

There is a high probably no Sunday talk show would have let him speak once they found out what he was going to say. They are all owned by giant media conglomerates you know. They wouldnt risk the wrath of the Federal government. Pretty sure Snowden went to Greenwald because he was one of the few journalists with the balls to do the story. The Guardian was hammered by the UK government for running it.

Remember when the CEO of Qwest defied the NSA plan to tap all data and phones lines after 9/11. The Federal government pulled all their contracts from Qwest, hammered their stock and then put him in prison for a phony securities rap. Qwest was a rare corporate hero among telecoms, long since swallowed up by CenturyLink who are just as bad as all the rest.

Comment Repressive State Apparatus Doubles Down (Score 5, Insightful) 580 580

He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he's running away from the consequences of his actions.

I received the email about whitehouse.gov's response and, to my mind, Monaco's statement doesn't veer one degree from goal of punishing Snowden as an warning to others, rather than protecting him as a whistleblower.

When Monaco and the rest of the Whitehouse talk about "hid[ing] behind the cover of an authoritarian regime" they all should look in the mirror.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 2) 478 478

> Because they predict things up to the level of accuracy that we can currently measure, within the very limited energy and size domains we have access to. That's all there is to it.

Fixed that for you.

When you can predict particle behavior inside a black hole with planck-length precision, or you can model gravity at the galactic scale without relying on unobserved "dark matter", I might be as confident as you that our current understanding is rock solid.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 2) 478 478

> Modern physics is never incorrect.

And you, sir, have just turned science into religion.

The whole reason science is superior to religion is that it openly admits that it may be incorrect, and allows for itself to be corrected. It is, as you correctly outline, an iterative process that approaches truth over time. But part of that process is accepting that any truth may be overturned by new evidence. And while Einstein didn't "disprove" Newton, he did show flaws in the theory which meant that it was, in a very small way, wrong. And that's fine. Claiming it was "extended" and not "wrong" is playing semantics and makes you sound like a religious apologist.

The more comfortable we are with being wrong, and the process of refinement, the better scientists we are. The more we claim that some aspect of science is "never incorrect", the more dogmatic we are and the science suffers.

The predictions of modern physics are phenomenally accurate in many domains. But we haven't run tests in nearly enough domains to claim perfection yet. And we've no need to be defensive about it. Science is the only way to the next truth, and that's good enough for me.

Comment Re:I have no fear of AI, but fear AI weapons (Score 1) 294 294

Well, robbery would be a bit tougher than general mayhem. In the foreseeable future you'd probably need a human in the loop, for example to confirm that the victim actually complied with the order to "put ALL the money in the bag." Still that would remove the perpetrator from the scene of the crime. If there were an open or hackable wi-fi access point nearby it'd be tricky to hunt him down.

This kind of remote controlled drone mediated crime is very feasible now. It wouldn't take much technical savvy to figure out how to mount a shotgun shell on a quadcopter and fly it to a particular victim (if you have one). That's a lot less sophisticated than stuff terrorists do already; anyone with moderate technical aptitude could do it with off-the-shelf components. I'm sure we'll see our first non-state-actor controlled drone assassination in the next couple of years. Or maybe a hacktivist will detonate a party popper on the President or something like that.

Within our lifetime it'll surely be feasible for ordinary hackers to build autonomous systems that could fly into a general area and hunt down a particular victim using facial recognition. People have experimented with facial recognition with SBCs like the Raspberry Pi already.

You can forbid states from doing this all you want, but as technology advances the technology to do this won't be exotic. It'll be commonplace stuff used for work and even recreation.

Comment Re:Same likely holds true... (Score 1) 253 253

The same thing could likely be said of all obtrusive advertising: it is a nuisance not a benefit.

They aren't exactly the same, because interstitial ads aren't just obtrustive, they're interfering. You can't simply mentally resolve to ignore them; if you want to continue you've got to either follow the ad or find a way to dismiss it. This presents the user with a Hobson's Choice: physically respond to the ad, or go back.

A lot depends on how motivated you are to get at the content. If it's something you've clicked out of idle curiosity, you'll back away. If it's something you really want to see you'll fight your way through. Since so much traffic on the Internet is driven by idle curiosity, the 69% figure doesn't surprise me at all. What would be interesting is to disaggregate that figure by types of target content.

Comment Re:There's Very Few Things (Score 3, Insightful) 80 80

You are conflating a world that is becoming warmer with a world that just *is* warmer. It may be true (I take no position) that a world that is 4-5 C warmer is better for certain classes of poor people (e.g., subsistence farmers). But a world that is changing rapidly is a calimity to poor people tied to the land, especially in a modern world with national boundaries and private property where you just can't pick up and move like our paleolithic ancestors would have.

Comment Re:No surprised in good ole Mass... (Score 4, Insightful) 155 155

In other words, "if you make the government pay for it, people will complain about raising taxes" is a feature, not a bug. That's the point--the government should make it obvious that it is taking the money, so the public can decide whether it's really worth it. And sometimes they won't.

The likely outcome of leaving a mostly able-bodied populace to decide whether providing transportation to the disabled is "worth it" is precisely why such matters are and should be handled by the government which, ostensibly, promotes the common good.

Comment Re:If it's not _real_ bacon? (Score 1) 174 174

This guy is entitled to use the word "plant" as he will, but it doesn't agree with modern systematics. For example he calls "kelp" a plant, but it is taxonomically closer to the parasite that causes malaria than it is to land plants.

"Macroalgae" is a multi-phyletic category, including eukaryotes of the Archaeplastida group that includes red algae and green algae and the land plants that evolved from green algae, and of the super-group Chromalveolata that includes red tides, brown algae (such as kelp or Plasmodium). Green algae and land plants are grouped together under the kingdom "Plantae" in modern taxonomies.

So "seaweed" as a category includes organisms which are (cladistically speaking) closely related to land plants (green algae like sea grapes or sea lettuce), middling-related (red algae like nori or carageenan) and not very closely related at all (brown algae like kombu/kelp). Of course all organisms are presumably related to some degree.

The seaweed in question is a kind of dulse, a red algae. It's more closely related to land plants than a brown algae like kelp would be, but less related than sea lettuce. Red algae are specifically not included in the Kingdom Plantae. However, layman are free to call whatever they want a plant, even if it's in fact something else entirely, the way they call any small arthropod a "bug", even through true bugs are one of the 75,000 species in the order Hemiptera (out of over a million insect species).

Comment Re:If it's not _real_ bacon? (Score 1) 174 174

Technically it's not a plant. Its a macroalgae and thus belongs to an entirely distinct taxonomic kingdom from plants and animals. Of course halakhically it probably counts as a plant because Jewish law isn't based on modern scientific concepts.

Many years ago some of my wife's friends inhabited a kosher apartment near her engineering school that had been passed down through generations of orthodox students. A dispute arose over whether a particular bowl was glass or pottery. Finally they called in their buddy the material science major for a scientific ruling. "It's neither," he said. "It's ceramic." Which was technically accurate, but irrelevant to the question of whether it could be kashered.

Like punning, programming is a play on words.

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