Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re: Interesting (Score 1) 291

by RockDoctor (#48672187) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

Why on earth would you need to fly somewhere to apply a software update ???

Just as one hypothesis : air-gapped location. Materials go in (and the bill of lading etc are scanned with a bar code scanner), product goes out with a printed book of certification. Orders, plans and designs come in on hardware of considerable obscurity making it really difficult to get a virus into the system.

tldr version : Stuxnet ; NSA.

Comment: Re:from the what-until-they-get-a-load-of-this dep (Score 1) 291

by Immerman (#48668381) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

Ah, but state those rules out loud (assuming you are already confident as to what they are) and the comma or its lack will almost certainly be apparent in your speech, at least to an astute listener. Which is also the reason I use it sporadically in "and" conjunctions as well - in that case the alternatives are usually roughly equivalent, but may have subtly different implications. I write like I speak, and commas appear in the places where I pause to separate concepts. It may not always adhere to the formal rules, but is usually clearly comprehensible. I think.

Which raises the question: how to write a sentence to proactively state that you do in fact mean for "draw and discard" to be a discrete concept?
If I say "I have one pile each for for my carrots, lettuce, , macaroni and cheese.", does that clarify that I do in fact have three piles*? The english language would well benefit from an equivalent to mathematical parenthesis, or perhaps something somewhat more expressive. Conciseness in language is not something that should have to depend on the normal usage of language being concise - it never will be. For maximum utility and adoption it should be something where the various common permutations can be seamlessly dropped in to a casual conversation where conciseness is useful, before disappearing again into the rough-and-tumble realities of casual conversation.

* Yes, I do consider .", to be the correct punctuation - how else would you unambiguously characterize the way that sentence should be read?

Comment: Re:In other news: (Score 1) 91

by RockDoctor (#48666373) Attached to: Major Security Vulnerabilities Uncovered At Frankfurt Airport

And the only reason the risk is higher for longer flights is because, well, they're longer, so there's more time for something to possibly go wrong.

Every flight consists of at least three phases : take-off, cruise and landing. The large majority of airplane crashes occur in take-off and landing phases, and relatively small numbers in cruise (some while taxiing too, but they're mostly survivable - airframe damage only).

If you re-work the statistics in terms of take-off, cruise and landing, then the numerical advantage the long distance flights have in terms of deaths per passenger-kilometre decreases a lot, leaving flying rather more comparable to long-distance train travel. Both still considerably ahead of driving, even if you neglect all the starts and stops of most road journeys.

There's a reason that airlines indirectly quote the deaths per passenger-kilometre figure - it makes them look better. Deaths per passenger journey wouldn't be anything like so good. (still relatively good, but not as good.)

Comment: Re:OH NO. WE ARE ALL DOOMED! (Score 1) 91

by RockDoctor (#48666341) Attached to: Major Security Vulnerabilities Uncovered At Frankfurt Airport

Hint hint: guns go through the air all day long by accident.

[Citation needed].

To the best of my knowledge, there's never been a problem with carrying knives, clubs and all sorts of other weapons on a plane as long as they're in hold baggage. The only time it would be an issue would be if you carried the weapon in your carry-on baggage or your pocket. And I simply do not believe that happens by accident. Anyone in any of the parts of the world where I routinely travel (not America, granted, but that's not even 5% of the world), simply would not own a gun to travel with it, accidentally or not.

Are you seriously proposing that people accidentally leave a gun in their carry on baggage, coat pocket or wherever (0.01% of passengers, if not fewer) AND the X-Ray and metal detector systems also fail to pick it up (say 5%, for relatively large chunks of metal).

Frankly, I simply do not believe you.

Comment: Re:That seems strange (Score 1) 185

by RockDoctor (#48666241) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

I think there's probably a reasonable argument to be made that a move to a foreign location, even one nominally more "native" than a zoo, is a definite hardship on an animal who has become habituated to a specific environment.

Now, if the "zoo" in question is a 10x10 concrete room with bars, then maybe the quality of life in a larger and more natural (in the sense of less confinement and concrete) environment is worth a temporary disruption.

One of the specific points in the writ is that "Sandra" (yes, he is a she ; suggesting that some commentators above haven't RTFA) exhibits distress at being watched in it's cage by humans, and actively hides.

OTOH, that she does have materials with which to hide suggests that she's in something less brutal than a concrete box. which does not diminish her apparent suffering in the slightest.

To quote an old comic song on a related theme, "Design for Living" :
Mr Swann : "Our boudoir on the open plan has been a huge success."
Mr Flanders : "Now every where is so open, there's nowhere safe to dress."

Comment: Re:Lest we forget (Score 1) 225

by RockDoctor (#48666151) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

Georgia (U.S.) which was also a British penal colony.

As were many of the other American colonies, until some bunch of terrorists insurrectionists rebelled against their seigneurs and closed off that dumping ground for the rejects of society. Only after that did Britain start to export trouble-makers to the Great Sandy.

If I remember my "Moll Flanders" (by the satirist Swift, admittedly) at least Maryland and Virginia were also penal colonies, at least in part. Though it's been a few years since I read that deeply debauched tale of theft, murder and incest. (Not that I'm promoting it at all - just an exemplar that the reading habits of the nation haven't really changed that much over the centuries.)

Comment: Re:from the what-until-they-get-a-load-of-this dep (Score 1) 291

by RockDoctor (#48666133) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

Flooding their market with junk books devalues the market as a whole.

If you're the sort of person who relies on the likes of Amazon (high volume, low-margin pile-it-high-and-sell-it-cheap merchants) as your personal arbiter of taste and relevance, then yes you'd devalue your market. However, by taking Amazon as a reviewer of books, you've already suspended your judgement to a high degree.

A couple of weeks ago I was pointed to Amazon by a friend who'd written a new book (not, by about 10 books, his first publication, but I think his first with Amazon). Amazon would only admit to the existence of a Kindle version - which I might have considered if it were a manual or a text-based book. But for a book allegedly rich in my friend's generally excellent photography of his several month's travelling in Patagonia and southern South America, a screen simply isn't the appropriate format.

So, eventually, Amazon, by pushing their Kindle version lost about £10 of trade in Kindle editions, and the ink-on-paper publishers got about £70 for the print editions (of the photo book, and the accompanying travelogue book) ; way to go, Amazon!

The wife and I noted their efforts to force us off getting discs form Lovefilm and onto downloading shit off their website somewhere. Nope ; not interested ; account cancelled and a pits-on-polycarbonate account opened with a different provider. Oh dear. What a pity. How sad. Never. mind.

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll invite himself over for dinner. - Calvin Keegan