Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


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: MBAs are so predictable (Score 1) 361

by Phics (#49313379) Attached to: OEMs Allowed To Lock Secure Boot In Windows 10 Computers

I wonder if this is where Microsoft tries to figure out how to skirt anti-trust issues and incent OEMs into locking their systems.... kick-backs, under the table finagling, etc. The real question is this - if Microsoft is so altruistic and trustworthy, why allow a system to be locked to just one OS in the first place?

Comment: Re:DVD (Score 2) 251

by Phics (#48916311) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

He didn't really ask for cheap. He asked for the best chances of survival. Unless the lockbox is airtight and humidity/temperature controlled, your cheap DVD media could degrade over time.

The jury is out on how long it would take for optical media to degrade to the point of data loss, as many tests seem to yield varying results depending on the quality of the media used, but depending on the kind, (writeable vs rewriteable, etc), the general consensus seems to be that the survivability of most optical media in average room temperature and humidity is several decades, (citations obviously would be handy, but I'm not up for finding them). Archival grade optical media is your best bet if you head down this road, and it's not necessarily cheap.

Flash media may be even more volatile than optical media. Without power, minute leakages over time will lead to the loss of data, possibly within months or just a few years. (Again, citation needed.... I have the flu, so research this yourself to confirm... this is just a guideline for investigative consideration).

Tape media may still be a good bet, and probably better than magnetic HDDs. Tapes are small, store lots of data, and are pretty resilient.

I wonder how long they require/expect the data to last for? Years? Decades? Generations?

Comment: Hatred of Gnome (Score 1) 267

by Phics (#48094065) Attached to: GNOME 3 Winning Back Users

I think Gnome 3 is the New Coke of the DE world. It wasn't so much that it was a horrible idea... taste tests seemed promising, and change is good, right? It just seems to be what happens when makers 'mess' with a product. Now that they've reintroduced Gnome 'Classic', (see where I went with the Coke thing?), people are simmering down a bit and reluctantly muttering, "Oh, well.... that's okay then, I guess. Watch it - we've got our eyes on you!"

Where it's nothing like New Coke is that the Gnome developers get to mess with the formula while they try to, (often unsuccessfully), balance needs and vision, (whose vision?). In this case, I think the vision preceded the needs department for a lot of people. I actually like the standard Gnome 3 interface, but I also see how it pissed a lot of people off... especially with earlier versions.

Comment: Re:Again? (Score 1) 200

by Phics (#47908209) Attached to: New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

Yup. Maybe. But it also doesn't sound like Snowden is naive either, and he was willing to risk doing all of those things you mentioned and more. He still had his job when he took confidential info from the NSA, and he has taken his risk of getting 'fired' to a whole new level.

It may not have happened right away, but he must have at some point knew a cover up would have been the result, and if he was clever enough to evade the NSA with all that data, he was also clever enough to leave some insurance behind. Perhaps I'm wrong.

Comment: Re:Again? (Score 2) 200

by Phics (#47907597) Attached to: New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

Assuming he is an intelligent man, and also assuming he knows that cover-up and concealment is a matter of course at the NSA, I presume he would have sent them securely from an outside network, perhaps through a network he hoped the NSA couldn't touch. Or better yet, he left the evidence hidden in plain sight, somewhere within the NSA where he could point to it later. If I was Snowden, I'd be paranoid as heck when covering my own behind. He had to have known they would lie about anything that made him look good in the aftermath.

Comment: Re:Half story (Score 1) 35

by Phics (#47641589) Attached to: Online Tool Flagged Ebola Outbreak Before Formal WHO Announcement

If it can make these kinds of predictions without a tonne of false positives, then we have something we can call a tool - otherwise it's just a more efficient but no more reliable form of gossip and rumour.

Science and medicine use 'tools' that typically have false positives or negatives all the time in order to help rule things out or determine possibilities. The measure of how helpful a tool is does not always hinge on accuracy. Weather forecasting would be a pointless exercise if what we wanted was more than 'gossip' and 'rumour', or what I'm going to call 'conjecture'. Using EEGs to help diagnose seizure disorders frequently offer false negatives - that doesn't mean a wise neurologist will discard test. Using a d-dimer test doesn't tell you that you have a DVT, it merely indicates the possibility, and a positive result suggests that more investigation is warranted.

Predictions highlight points of interest in a landscape that might otherwise look chaotic or homogeneous. Nothing wrong with calling this a tool.

Comment: Re:The caps are electrolytic (Score 1) 111

by Phics (#46365807) Attached to: Intel's New Desktop SSD Is an Overclocked Server Drive

His point was that the general capacitor quality these days is a bit dubious. Of course there are premium brands in all electronic components.

Well, I don't know.... his point sounded more like, "Oh, remember those awful Firestone tires from 2000? I'm never using tires again - they all just blow out. Tank treads all the way for me."

Nothing wrong with solid caps, but the premise for the argument is a little weak.

Comment: Re:I'm waiting for the (Score 4, Insightful) 115

by Phics (#45620229) Attached to: First Images of a Heart Injected With Liquid Metal

They have a term in medicine called "contraindication". Basically, when there are contraindications, (downsides), the risks and benefits of a treatment are weighed, and if the benefits outweigh the potential complications, it might be worth trying regardless. Test subjects sign on for trials because they feel the risks are acceptable. The AC may not fall into this category, but that doesn't mean (s)he's wrong if they don't choose to 'sign up' to have this done unnecessarily. I wonder if you'd have had a similar reaction if someone suggested injecting a fungus into the bloodstream... sounds horrifying, but how many lives has penicillin saved?

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin