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Comment: Re:Only works if the teacher isn't the one in thre (Score 2) 470

by Quince alPillan (#46668989) Attached to: It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

Well, he was partially right. Some of voodoo magic is chemical or potion based. See for example zombie powder which is actually a combination of drugs (one to induce a coma in a death-like state and another to make the person pliable and open to suggestion in a trance-like state).

Now if he was talking about voodoo dolls and curses? No, that's bunk. They only work on people that fully believe in it, giving a huge placebo effect that has been scientifically researched and documented. In fact, one scientist when confronted with someone "cursed" and suffering from a life threatening placebo effect had to "uncurse" the man, "curing" him by convincing him he wasn't cursed any more. It wasn't the curse itself that was killing him, but his belief in the curse was so strong that his brain was shutting down his own body.

Announcements

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds! 2219

Posted by timothy
from the there-would-be-this-picture-of-a-cat dept.
We've had only a few major redesigns since 1997; we think it's time for another. But we really do take to heart the comments you've made about the look and functionality of the beta site that houses Slashdot's future look. So let's all slow down. Right now, we're directing 25 percent of non-logged-in users to the beta; it's a significant number, but it's the best way for us to test drive this new design, to have you show us what pieces need to be fixed, and how. If you want to move back to Classic Slashdot, that path is available: from the Slashdot Beta page, you just need to select the "Slashdot Classic" link from the footer (or this link). We're committed to keep you informed of the plans as changes are implemented; we can't promise that every user will like every change, but we don't want anything to come as a surprise. Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready. And — okay, we've got it — it's not ready. We have work to do on four big areas: feature parity (especially for commenting); the overall UI, especially in terms of information density and headline scanning; plain old bugs; and, lastly, the need for a better framework for communicating about the How and the Why of this process. Some of you have suggested we're not listening; on the contrary, some of us are 'listening' pretty much full-time. We're keeping you informed of this process, because we're a community and we want to take everyone with us. But, yes, we're trying something new. Why? We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience. We want to give our current audience the space where they are comfortable. And we want a platform where we can experiment with different views of both comments and stories. It's not an either/or. It's going to be both. If we haven't communicated that well enough, consider this post a first step to fixing that. And in the meantime, we're not sorry to have received a flood of feedback, most of it specific, constructive and substantive. Please keep it coming. We will be adding more specific info here in the days to come.

+ - Alternatives to Slashdot post beta? 8

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Like many Slashdotters, I intend to stop visiting Slashdot after the beta changeover. After years of steady decline in the quality of discussions here, the beta will be the last straw. What sites alternative to Slashdot have others found? The best I have found has been arstechnica.com, but it has been a while since I've looked for tech discussion sites."

+ - Slashdot BETA Discussion-> 60

Submitted by mugnyte
mugnyte (203225) writes "With Slashdot's recent restyled "BETA" slowly rolled to most users, there's been a lot of griping about the changes. This is nothing new, as past style changes have had similar effects. However, this pass there are significant usability changes: A narrower read pane, limited moderation filtering, and several color/size/font adjustments. BETA implies not yet complete, so taking that cue — please list your specific, detailed opinoins, one per comment, and let's use the best part of slashdot (the moderation system) to raise the attention to these. Change can be jarring, but let's focus on the true usability differences with the new style."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Box with blinking lights... (Score 2) 102

by Quince alPillan (#46039305) Attached to: ShapeShifter: Beatable, But We'll Hear More About It

Funny you should mention this. I used to work for a company that actually made one of these boxes (blinking lights and all) out of painted plywood and put important sounding labels on it like "Main AC", "Generator", "Battery Backup", "Firewall", and "Rack A/B/C" with a simplistic diagram of how the power management system actually worked. They installed it into the server room and hooked a bunch of thick cables to it but didn't actually do anything (the lights were powered by AA batteries).

Occasionally marketing would bring customers (read: CEO/CFO, etc) into the server room to show them the blinking lights to prove that the system was "top notch" and monitored 24/7.

It was later replaced by a wall of monitors showing Nagios graphs that didn't actually measure anything important.

Comment: Re:9.1 (Score 1) 1009

by Quince alPillan (#45961255) Attached to: Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

Which was completely true. I was also running Win2k as well, but something to keep in mind was that DirectX / Direct3D wasn't ported to WindowsNT and there were a lot of drivers for video cards and sound cards that wouldn't work with the NT kernel. Win2k was the first NT kernel OS (quickly followed by XP) that had 3D driver support and that was pretty sketchy until XP came out as the new consumer flagship OS and drivers would actually start to work. Win2k was an awesome OS, but it was meant for businesses and corporations, not home users. Home users were intended to use Windows 98 SE (released the year before Win2k) and Windows ME (which was released after Win2k).

Comment: Re:Strategic investment? (Score 2) 141

by Quince alPillan (#45749387) Attached to: BlackBerry Posts $4.4 Billion Loss, Will Outsource To Foxconn

"We think that by giving you money, you're either going to be a legitimate competitor again and give us a great return on our investment or else we're going to get our money back when we chop you up into pieces because we own you. You're on limited time to do either."

In other words, someone gave them a loan. How badly BB got shafted by that loan is determined by how desperate they were when they took it. BB either paid them in stock, which means voting power over the company's assets when / if it folds, or else they owe them money and their patent portfolio will be sold to them when BB goes bankrupt to pay the debts.

Comment: Re:And if we did this to China, would it be news? (Score 1) 215

by Quince alPillan (#45748199) Attached to: China Rejects 545,000 Tons of US Genetically Modified Corn

Yes, it probably would be news. The "Chinese Drywall" scare in 2007/2008 made the news for a few weeks as well.

The only reason this made Slashdot was because its related to GMO. GMO tends to be a hot button for nerds because a fair number of misinformed people will malignly knee-jerk in response to GMO, while people who are more likely to understand GMO tend to be okay with minimal variations or even approve wholeheartedly.

After all, if you disapprove of all GMO, you shouldn't eat orange carrots or else you'll be hypocritical.

Comment: Re:say what? (Score 1) 383

by Quince alPillan (#45695323) Attached to: NSA Has No Clue As To Scope of Snowden's Data Trove

The issue isn't that they don't have logs. The issue is that they have no idea who he was when he got the documents. He used his sysadmin privileges and social engineering (read: Give me your password and I'll fix your problem) to get access to a bunch of accounts and passwords that didn't belong to him over a long period of time. They have no way of differentiating between him and legitimate users.

Comment: Re:Upsetting the Apple Cart (Score 3, Insightful) 371

by Quince alPillan (#45517967) Attached to: FDA Tells Google-Backed 23andMe To Halt DNA Test Service

The FDA has a point, though. If the test isn't accurate and gives false negatives or isn't clear about what the results really mean, it can lure people into overconfidence and that can be dangerous if they really are at risk for one of the diseases.

Granted, they probably wouldn't have known about these conditions in the first place, but if, as an example, the rest of their family is known for heart disease due to a genetic defect and they get a false negative, they might be overconfident in their chances for heart disease, leading to possible death because they didn't go to a doctor to get checked out.

Comment: Re:I left them all behind for Minecraft (Score 4, Informative) 555

by Quince alPillan (#45495373) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: MMORPG Recommendations?

I'll agree with the AC. Minecraft with friends has been a lot more fun than the stress of end-game raid night and there are enough creepers, endermen, and lava to keep that thrill of danger going. You can even add mods to make the game more to your flavor of game.

If you're looking only to MMOs, though, my suggestion is to wait a bit. The Elder Scrolls Online is coming out in 2014, as well as Everquest Next and Everquest Next Landmark.

Both games seem promising, with ESO bringing back PVP themes from Dark Age of Camelot in addition to a promised solo focus and EQN/EQNL promising more of a sandbox game with raiding rather than a themepark game like WoW.

Small is beautiful.

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