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


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Good grief... (Score 1) 672

by N!k0N (#49110573) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

Let's be clear here a computer science or masters degree teaches you not one whit about how a computer works in terms of physics or chemistry. subjects aren't even really touched unless you decide to pick them up.

There's a very clear line where a computer begins, and that is at the gate level, and/or/not. Below that, it doesn't matter what materials you use (except for efficiency purposes). You can use transistors, or you can use relays, or water pipes.

or redstone ... but that tends to be hard to come by, so best to build in "creative" rather than "survival" mode. ;)

Comment: Re:Might as well have the doomsday popomatic (Score 2) 145

by N!k0N (#48874027) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Could Move

What the hell does that even mean? Does it mean we only have 5 minutes left to live? or fifty years? or an additional five thousand years? The claim isn't even falsifiable, since it's not anchored to any specific meaning whatsoever.

"Midnight" = Imminent global thermonuclear war (or, these days "catastrophic climate change")
"x Minutes to Midnight" = Indicator of how close international tensions are to breaking (or, "catastrophic climate change" -- however they define that).

Thing is, I will agree that the clock's usage is pretty awful -- it's updated infrequently enough that it can only be considered as an indicator of the tensions for the few days before and after the actual update. For example, the Cuban Missile Crisis - arguably the closest humanity has come to total annihilation - was resolved in between updates to the clock, and as such did not effect a change to the clock in 1962.

Comment: Re:Only one theater (Score 1) 580

by N!k0N (#48626913) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'
<quote><p>To be fair, they wouldn't have to attack 18,000 theaters to achieve the desired effect. One or two would be quite sufficient. I still don't think the release of the movie should be stopped, of course. At the very least, have it up on Netflix and Amazon Prime asap. Or even better, put it up as a DRM-free download straight from Sony. That may be the best PR move Sony could make at this point.</p></quote>

Migt be DRM Free ... but it'll still be riddled with all the best rootkits in their arsenal.

Comment: Re:really? (Score 1) 134

by N!k0N (#48580235) Attached to: Facebook Offers Solution To End Drunken Posts
<quote>So, a bot will be giving advice to drunk college freshmen to act reasonably...

Sure, we all know how well it works when you (as a real human who cares) say to someone: "Dude,don't do that please, it's stupid, you're drunk and you're gonna regret it"...</quote>

"Shutup and hold my beer. This is gonna be awesome!"<br/>
(2 hours later, in the ER) "So ... 'awesome', huh?"

Comment: Re:May not take apart? What? (Score 1) 175

by N!k0N (#48018913) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

...I could easily swap batteries if needed, and this were in the days when one charge actually would last for days in difference from today where users look for apps and tweaks to conserve battery power just to make it last from morning 'till evening. One would expect that with smartphones and their relatively poor ability to hold a charge this would be even more important today....

Or perhaps back then, when the only thing you did with your phone was call someone, and the most battey-taxing displays were 2" square, had 256 colors, and were on for a grand total of 30 seconds before you made a call has something to do with the fact that the batteries "lasted longer". Has nothing to do with having "relatively poor ability to hold a charge" but everything to do with "hey, I'm just gonna play a few rounds of Angry Birds while I'm waiting for them..."

I mean, seriously, my standard battery in the GS4 is 2200 mAh -- nearly double the one in my old flip-phone (IIRC, ~1200 mAh) ... just because I only "get" 2 hours of having the phone run flat out doesn't mean the battery is at fault ... It just means that, running flat out, the phone requires about 3.6v @ 1 amp to run, and the battery can supply that for just about 2 hours before running dry.

Comment: Re:How is that possible? (Score 1) 127

by N!k0N (#47655381) Attached to: DEA Paid Amtrak Employee To Pilfer Passenger Lists

I'm surprised their are passenger trains at all in other parts of the country... Here in PA, Philly I think is the only city with passenger train service through Amtrak. Oh sure, we have lots of rail lines (I drive over 6 sets of tracks every day), but those are exclusively industrial transportation and not passenger lines...

Amtrak runs over CSX/NS/UP/etc.-owned trackage with infinite-length trackage rights (i.e. ability to travel over "foreign" rail) due to the US government taking over the (failing) passenger rail service from the former large railroads (NKP, PRR, NYC, etc.) in 1971.

Amtrak says they have service to Altoona, Ardmore, Coatesville, Connellsville, Cornwells Heights, Downington, Elizabethtown, Erie, Exton Greensburg, Harrisburg, Huntingdon, Johnstown, Lancaster, Lantrobe, Lewistown, Middletown, Mount Joy, North Philadelphia, Paoli, Parkersburg, Philadelphia (30th Street), Pittsburgh, and Tyrone. Granted that most (if not all) of these stations probably have service at some godawful time, like 0300, due to proximity to NYC, and the schedule between NYC and Chicago (1 train daily, leaving at approx 1800, and arriving at the other end at approx 0600 the following morning).

Innovation is hard to schedule. -- Dan Fylstra