Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Why Koch and not Soros? (Score 5, Informative) 238

by Odin's Raven (#43948571) Attached to: What Charles G. Koch Can Teach Us About Campaign Finance Data

Is it because the Koch is considered evil by the left while Soros is a saint?

Seriously, did you even read the article? (I know, I know, this is /., what on earth am I thinking.) That's a rhetorical question, of course - you wouldn't ask the question you asked if you'd read the article. Then again, that seems to also be true of quite a few people who replied to you, so you're hardly alone.

Koch is the subject because an earlier article, by the same author, had listed Koch as one of nearly 600 people who appeared to have exceeded campaign contribution limits. Turns out this was incorrect - an error due in large part to the disasterously poor state of data on contributions by major donors. The whole damned article is both exonerating Koch and explaining where the original analyis went wrong. It's about Koch because Koch's company took the time to contact the author, work with him to identify where and how some of the erroneous data came about, and help set the record straight. If one of the other nearly 600 donors listed had done the same, this follow-up article might easily have been about someone other than Koch.

It's got nothing to do with "evil", "good", "bad", etc, except inasmuch as the FEC data is manifestly "bad", and woefully inadequate for even the FEC themselves to determine who may be breaking campaign finance laws. If you want to get upset about the article, get upset about the real point - that nobody has sufficient information to tell whether major contributors on either side of the political aisle are breaking the law. (And there were plenty of Dem donors in the original article if you take the time to read it. I apologize in advance to you that Soros wasn't on the list. Well, that's not true - there's two Soroses (Sori?) on the lists - just that <Jedi>these are not the Soroses you're looking for</Jedi>)

So untwist your knickers, grab a beer, chill out, then try actually reading the article.

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 1) 136

by Odin's Raven (#43661059) Attached to: Box With Hidden Camera Travels Through the Mail

Can we get the guys at Atheist Shoes to do the same :)

I know, I know - somewhere out there some wannabe genious is chortling to themselves saying "Silly /.er, won't the only cameras they get back be the ones in boxes that were actually delivered? If the box goes missing, the camera inside the box will also go missing!"

Fie upon such notions, I say - fie! This is what your so-called "classical" physics leads young and impressionable minds to believe. Alas, the sorry state of education these days. Woe unto you, sad people with your childish "linear time" and "cause and effect" view of the world. Truly, I weep for the youth of today.

As anyone with even a cursory understanding of quantum mechanics knows (and I speak from experience, for I myself am possessed of a quite cursory understanding of QM), once a package has entered the US Postal system, it can only be described in quantum mechanical terms. True, once it has been delivered you can ascertain its position, thereby collapsing its waveform. But prior to delivery, packages are in a superposition - simultaneously both potentially deliverable and potentially lost. Until the package is observed by the recipient, it's impossible to say with certainty what its current state is. It may be on the delivery truck on its way to your house. It might still be at the post office, possibly propping open the door to the break room for a week or two. It may have fallen out of an airplane in a freak decompression incident and landed in a corn field in Kansas. Oh poor limited "classical" minds - your package either "lost" or "delivered". Marvel at the vast vistas of non-delivery available to the quantumly trained! Our undelivered packages exist in an infinite array of intrigue and adventure, potentially scaling Everest, going 10 rounds in bare-knuckled fisticuffs with a half-man half-shark mutant, sitting under a pine tree at the Time's Square Macey's Christmas display window - all these and more, before potentially appearing on our doorsteps.

Still, there remains the so-called "Atheist Shoe Paradox" - how do you track the journey of a camera in a box when the box has yet to be delivered? Again, with a cursory understanding of quantum mechanics, the answer is obvious. One camera is insufficient. You need two cameras. And two cats. Cats, as we all know, have special quantum mechanical properties. So, attach a camera to the collar of each cat. Next, vigorously rub the cats together, so that they become quantumly entangled. (If they are long-haired cats, they may also become physically entangled, which is undesirable - based on my own experience, I recommend sticking with short-haired felines for quantum experimentation.) Place one cat in the shoebox, seal it (but remember airholes!), and bring it to the Post Office. The second cat remains at your home. (Or, given the possessive nature of cats, you now remain at the cat's new home.) Since the cats were quantumly entangled while wearing cameras, you can now use the camera on your resident cat to view the pictures taken by the camera on the shoebox cat. Voila! Paradox avoided and problem solved.

Solutions like this come from thinking outside the box, even if what you're thinking about is inside a box.

Comment: Re:Some other relevant stories (Score 2) 270

by Odin's Raven (#43530219) Attached to: Crowdsourcing Failed In Boston Bombing Aftermath

Don't forget, the Post also claimed 12 dead. For about 18 hours.

To be fair though, they got three of the victims' names right. They were only wrong about Elvis, JFK, Amelia Earhart, and the 6 space aliens accompanying them having been killed. (And The Post *did* print a retraction the next morning, noting that 3 aliens had been slightly wounded by debris but were recoving fine in a secret government hospital located in a forgotten branch of Boston's subway system, whereas the remaining aliens and celebrities had departed hours earlier to visit the White House and drink beers on the veranda with President Obama.)

So just lighten up about The Post already. It's not like they just make stuff up and slap it onto their front page without doing basic fact-checking.

Comment: Re:This is why homeopathy is better than science (Score 1) 205

by Odin's Raven (#42986655) Attached to: Flu Shot Doing Poor Job of Protecting Older People This Year

Either I touched a nerve with the homeopathic community or the mods don't understand the subtlety of sarcasm.

They're homeopathic mods, and they actually genuinely liked your comment. It's just that they think they need to dilute its score to increase its rating. This kind of confusion is common in their community. (Withdrawing all but a penny from their bank account so it'll earn interest faster. Licking a steak and then throwing it out so they won't have to eat for the rest of the week. Doing one rep with a paper clip to bulk up their muscles. Etc etc etc.)

Comment: Re:buy a security system + cameras (Score 1) 770

by Odin's Raven (#42972259) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Starting From Scratch After a Burglary?

Because pitchforks are tools, mainly made to shovel manure. They are only clumsy, makeshift weapons. Guns are built to propel projectiles at high velocity against a target, which makes them quite clumsy, makeshift tools for anything else

Boy, I say, boy - I've got just two words for you:

Pitchfork Gun

Best of both worlds - moves manure like a demon (just make sure the safety is on or your muck might land in the next county), but someone tries raiding your moonshine still and *blam* - high-velocity pitchfork through the gut.

Comment: Re:Er... (Score 1) 159

by Odin's Raven (#42822267) Attached to: UK Court: MPAA Not Entitled To Profits From Piracy

How can it be receiving the proceeds of the crime before the crime has been committed? If the robber bought the map from the proceeds of the bank robbery, then why does he need to buy the map?

Why is this so hard to grasp? The robber is a time traveler, who is on his way to rob a bank when he gets lost and realizes he's also forgotten his wallet at home. Fortunately future-robber travels back in time with bags full of stolen cash, allowing present-robber to grab a few bucks and buy a map, which in turn allows present-robber to find his way to the bank, rob it, and then send himself back in time to meet now-past-robber and loan him the money.

Serioulsy, any shopkeeper who fails to check cash with a chrono-anomaly scanner is just asking for this exact kind of trouble.

Comment: Re:Sensationalized headline, once again (Score 4, Funny) 114

by Odin's Raven (#42366487) Attached to: USAF Taps ESPN To Compile Drone "Highlight" Video

C'mon guys. Just a little bit of a clue?

Slashdot Taps WWN To Compile Article "Highlight" Stories

Slashdot has a problem: Its submitters send in hundreds of random links (I almost said "articles.") And most of it is dozens and dozens of sentences long, many with words of more than one syllable. Slashdot needs to distill something vaguely related to a few of those words that will generate page hits, and nobody does that better than Weekly World News, the "alien dingo Elvis impersonators ate my JFK love-child baby" organization. Slashdot officials have asked WWN for help in analyzing the 3,141,592 words collected just this year. What we really need in times like this is George Gilles de la Tourette. "Let's go to the story, pick up maybe three words out of it - USAF ESPN drone - and fill in the rest with whatever other random words come to mind."

Comment: Re:Some minor deficiencies (Score 1) 438

by Odin's Raven (#42159481) Attached to: How Does a Single Line of BASIC Make an Intricate Maze?

3. There is a loop

Timothy: Do not try and code the loop. That's impossible. Instead...only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Timothy: There is no loop.
Neo: There is no loop?
Timothy: Then you'll see, that it is not the code that loops, it is only yourself.
...
...
...
Neo: WTF?!?

Comment: Re:Not how statistics works (Score 4, Funny) 576

by Odin's Raven (#41923695) Attached to: All of Nate Silver's State-Level Polling Predictions Proved True

...that's not how statistics work either. A result does not alter the underlying probabilities.

That's only true for dusty old fuddy-duddy classical Newtonian statistics. These days quantum statistics is where it's at. Everyone knows that reading poll results can fundamentally alter data, even data that wasn't tabulated for that specific poll. (Something to do with bell curve entanglement and the spin/charm of pundits - gets kind of technical at that point.) Why just yesterday I glanced at a USA Today that someone had left behind on the subway, saw the usual 57-color pie chart about whether readers thought giraffes tasted great or were less filling, and next thing I knew the first president of the USA was George Washington instead of Herbert Whistlefjord.

Comment: Re:Why is porn protected in the first place? (Score 1) 339

by Odin's Raven (#41853013) Attached to: $1,500,000 Fine For Sharing 10 Movies On BitTorrent

What useful arts and sciences does it promote?

What useful arts are promoted by other protected works like Plan 9 From Outer Space, Dumb and Dumber, It's Pat, broadcasts of football games, and every talking head on every 24-hour news channel? From an arts standpoint, is Operation Desert Stormy truly inferior to any random 2 hour rant by Glenn Beck? Yes, one has poor directing, an incoherent plot, rambling dialog, and truly terrible acting - while the other is arguably superior in all those areas but also happens to show naked people having sex.

If we extend protection to Battlefield Earth in the hopes that it will also encourage works like Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, then is it truly different from protecting Gigli or even Anal Whip-Sluts Volume 23 in the hopes of getting, say, Caligula?

Comment: Re:Guns (Score 1) 213

by Odin's Raven (#41520169) Attached to: The Explosive Growth of 3D Printing

The world will not be a better place when everyone and their dog can download and print their own guns.

I'll tell ya this much - the day that dogs can download and print their own guns is the day we're gonna find out if all that "man's best friend" stuff is for real.

"Fetch the stick boy, fetch the stick!"
"No. *ka-click* You fetch the damn stick."

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop

Working...