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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

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: the primal fundamental reason boys do computers (Score 1) 779

by Simonetta (#48962939) Attached to: WA Bill Takes Aim at Boys' Dominance In Computer Classes

Boys have an inherent fascination with the concept of using symbol manipulation to change the functionality of physical machinery. By changing how machines work by typing words and code. Boys are absolutely obsessed with the concept that you can create machines that do what you tell them to do by changing mere symbols (which is what source code is). It is a way of creating life from dead objects by using 'magic' symbols. Religions are based on this. Programming is a type of religion. Boys are very much into this.

Girls, on the other hand, are absolutely fascinated by their ability to create actual living, thinking, unique human beings with their own bodies. They don't need magic symbol manipulation to create artificial life from physical objects. Their bodies create life from their interactions with other life. The lives that girls create can't be controlled like the robots or machinery that boys create, but their human-life creations are infinitely more complicated than what the boys can do.

This is the basic primal fundamental reason why boys are much more attracted to computers and science. Boys spend their lives and careers trying to gain and master the life-creating abilities that girls are endowed with at birth.

Comment: Get real, my friend (Score 1) 153

by Simonetta (#48648707) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

Get real, my friend. Stuxnet was designed to prevent psychotic religious fanatics from developing nuclear bombs. There is no real question as to whether the Iranians would use any nuclear bomb under their control to murder 100,000s of Jews in Israel. They have said that they will do it in so many words over and over again in their internal religious sermons. To the foreigners they're a little more diplomatic.

    The American-Ashkanzim alliance is the most productive alliance between peoples in all of history. We, as Americans, will never just sit back and watch fascist demented assholes like the Iranian mullahs murder thousands of Jewish people as we did in the early 1940s.

    There is no comparison between using hacking to destroy nuclear proliferation and using hacking to suppress an embarrassing Hollywood comedy movie. Anyone who thinks that the two are equal is a fool.

    You're a smart person if you're on Slashdot. Don't be a fool.

Comment: Old Castro fan calls B.S! on Cuban internet (Score 3, Interesting) 115

by Simonetta (#48648657) Attached to: Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

I'm an old Castro and Che fan from the 1960s. . After having met and talked with many Cuban exiles of my own age who have arrived in my city over the years, I now realize that the entire Cuban revolution was bullshit Things suck there. They are always getting worse. I call bullshit on Cuban government's proposal to 'allow' internet access to its citizens. That country is run by fascist assholes. They will never all access to the internet to ordinary citizens. Only Cuban 'stasi' goon-squad assholes and their trusted weasels will be allowed to view Huff Post or Slashdot.

Comment: Subtitle Sunglasses (Score 1) 71

by Simonetta (#48630349) Attached to: Ars Reviews Skype Translator

This speech translator is trés cool.

For a while I've been bugging techies with my conception of 'subtitle sunglasses'. These would be 'ordinary' glasses that would have microphones and nano-technology CPUs inside the frame. The microphones would hear the speech of the person that you are looking at (who is speaking a foreign language), translate that speech into English, and display the text of the translation onto the bottom of the user's frame. Like subtitles in a foreign movie for those of you who have ever seen a subtitled foreign movie. Many Germans haven't. The power to operate these 'subtitle sunglasses' would come from the generators creating electricity from the movement's of the user's head.

I challenge teckies to approximate how long in the future it will be before this kind of product is available for purchase in the $500 range.

One unusually aspect of Moore's Law is that we can project when a product like this will be actually available. We take the cost of making any science fiction concept using today's technology and use future-value calculations of accounting to project a future price time-frame given that the price of the technology will fall by half every 18 months.

Another trick is to use this example as a crude intelligence IQ test. Claim that the Japanese have actually developed 'subtitle sunglasses' but they only translate English into Japanese. Claim that you have been able to obtain a secret advanced prototype of such glasses. Give an ordinary pair of reading glasses to a person and claim that these are actual real 'subtitle sunglasses' that have tiny speakers that create synthetic spoken sound inside the ears. Invite them to try them on. When they put on the glasses, start speaking in Japanese (learn a few phrases well beforehand). The time that it takes them to realize that you are completely bulllshitting them is an indication of how intelligent they are. Hope that they don't get violent.

Comment: My toenail holds my music collection (Score 1) 433

by Simonetta (#48596101) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

I have a 64G SD card that holds 8000 songs that are about 4 minutes each at 250KBPS MP3. This SD card is the size of my toenail. It costs about $15. The same amount of recorded sound on vinyl records would take up about 140 cubic feet of space.
Did I forget to mention that I can plug my 8000 song music collection into your computer and a few hours later, my music collection is my any your music collection and it costs you $15, should you decide to store said collection on a medium the size of a toenail. An 800 album vinyl music collection would cost about $12000.

There are idiots out there who would argue that the nearly in-perceivable audio difference between a 250KBPS MP3 music collection and a vinyl collection is worth $12000. They are trustafarians with young perfect ears who don't have to worry about paying rent, food, and childcare on a $40000 salary.

Unless you actually are one of them, you should never take anything that these people say seriously.

Comment: To hell with taxis... (Score 2, Interesting) 295

by Simonetta (#48595955) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

I had to pay $60 for an eight mile (12 km) taxi ride from the Portland Oregon airport to downtown because the idiot public transit system there stopped running from the airport at 11:25pm. All the flights from the East coast and Midwest USA leave in the late early evening and arrive between 11:30pm and 1:00am. The local public transport system (TriMet) spends millions of dollars each year telling people how wonderful they are, but they can't even get one single bus an hour on this most important route of the city: the airport to the downtown.

To hell with taxis, and especially to hell with Tri-Met!

Anything that improves the basic transport needs of any 21st-century city is welcome!

Comment: Space Loonies (Score 1, Informative) 219

by Simonetta (#48144409) Attached to: When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

Manned space flight was a government program that has been determined to be
too expensive and too limited in returns to be continued at its former funding
levels. We have serious problems now that we didn't have then, and few people
believe that throwing hundreds of billions of dollars into space will solve
them. Grown-up people who have to make hard and realistic decisions about our
public funds and resources have decided this. NASA and Tom Swift-space buffs
can't accept it. Sorry, guys, but it's time to get real.

      Sure, politicians will continue announce great new projects like manned Mars
missions. But then they will quietly de-fund them to nearly nothing a year
later. They don't have any choice. Money that would have been spent on these
projects has already been spent; and it's gone. Get used to it because it is the
way that things will be from now on.
    The permanent, endless war and 100 million obese, stupid Baby-Boomers are all
that we got for it this massive misallocation of resources. It's all that we're
going to get. This is the great tragedy that is America and what it could have
been, but isn't and now never will be.

    People born into 20th-century America are prone to economic fantasy because
they have lived their whole lives inside one. What they don't realize is that
their country and their government is broke. There is no trillion dollars for
space exploration. There is no trillion dollars for anything left anywhere in
the USA.

    Money is not a physical good. Money is basically created out of nothing. If
this conjured money doesn't in turn create real wealth, it disappears back to
nothing by means of inflation. Space exploration does not create wealth by
itself. It is a combination of heavily-subsidized unfocused research and
technological stunts done for national prestige. NASA engineers never
understand this. They don't study economics, and they don't understand
economics.

    There won't be hundreds of billions of dollars spent on space in the coming
years because there was already a trillion dollars spent on a Iraq-Afghanistan
war that accomplished nothing. There was a trillion dollars spent on
maintaining the fantasy that some Wall Street banks and investment firms are too
big to fail. There was a trillion dollars spent giving $600,000 mortgages to
janitors. There were many trillions of dollars spent on federal government
budget deficits.

    All these trillion-dollar misadventures didn't create any wealth. And
therefore, the money disappeared. America was rich in the past, now it's not.
There were great sums of money in the past for funding giant government
projects, but there aren't going to be any giant projects in the future. The
trillions of dollars that space enthusiasts believe could and should be spent on
the glorious future in space and its endless possibilities for the betterment of
humanity don't exist anymore.

      Space-cadets love to talk about the need to venture beyond the moon in order
to save humanity from a soon-to-be dying Earth. But this is not science
talking, it's a personality disorder. These guys assume that because their
scientific prowess has created tools and techniques that can destroy the Earth,
then they have a right, and even an obligation, to do so. They confuse rockets
with penises and hydrogen bombs with testicles.

      These guys are not clear-eyed, sober engineers; they are death-worshiping
fascists. They are transparently insane, and you shouldn't pay serious attention
to them. They are left-over 'Dr. Strangelove' techno-psychopaths from mid-20th
century. They're pissed because 'little-minded people' wouldn't let them burn
the Earth and rule the ashes. Fortunately, their time has gone and they don't
have the political power that they did fifty years ago.

    We live in a different age now. This is the era of limits. Understand this
and we will prosper in new and unexpected ways. Learn to differenciate fact
from fantasy and leave the fantasies to the Hollywood movie-makers. Space
Exploration is a 20th-century quasi-religion that has begun to manifest itself
as a mental disease among those people who continue to believe it too strongly.
Don't let that happen to you.

Comment: Better password (Score 1) 549

by Simonetta (#48134541) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

I suggest that you use the initials of all the people that you had crushes on when you were in middle school. You won't forget them, and brute-force cracking software is unlikely to detect your password.

  For example, if you had crushes on Carly, Janis, Gina, Wanda, Jane, Janet, Joan, Julie, Sally, Cindy, Alice, and Farah, then your general password would be: cjgwjjjjscaf. Which is a wonderful password. [You can't help it: you're a hopeless romantic.]

Unfortunately, nitwit system admins are requiring people use passwords with numbers and "special characters".
Which brings us to the number one rule of passwords: Always Let The User Pick Their Own Password!
Rule number two: Never force anyone to change their password if they don't want to!

If you are serious about having unbreakable passwords, then forget all this number and special character nonsense and allow backspace to be a character in the password that your user chooses.

One more thing. If you're not guarding hydrogen bombs, then you don't really need hydrogen-bomb-level password security. You don't minimum 10 unique_characters_plus_numbers_and_special_character passwords for your kitten video website.

Comment: Primal difference between Man and Woman (Score 1) 342

by Simonetta (#48065027) Attached to: Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

There is a primal difference between men and women that is applicable to software engineering.
Software writing is basically the manipulation of symbols to change the operation of physical machinery. This definition can be extended to mean that software creates functional machinery through the manipulation of symbols (text typed on editors that is compiled into machine-controlling patterns of 1s and 0s).

Men get a primal Promethean thrill and ego boost from creating machines from symbols.

Women get the same thrill and primal sense-of-purpose from creating new living human beings (i.e. babies), instead of machinery.

This, I believe, is the subliminal reason that so few women go into the software development field.

Comment: a solution in search of a problem (Score 1) 75

by Simonetta (#47855337) Attached to: Book Review: Architecting the Cloud

Until such time that the tech community of the world can and will effectively deal with (i.e. either convince to stop misbehaving or just kill 'em) all the brilliant psychopathic programmers in their mist that create malware and viruses that defraud millions of people, then it is plain madness and criminal negligence to encourage people to entrust their data to some unknown and unmonitored external entity such as the 'cloud'.

Until that time, safe and productive cloud computing is just a fantasy. It's a solution in search of problem. Avoid it.

Comment: JJ meets his Waterloo attacking high tech (Score 0) 514

by Simonetta (#47570623) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

JJ meets his Waterloo when he barges into the electronics lab. Even the black people in the electronics/high tech biz are about as far away from being black as you can be. All fifty of them.

For 400 years, the Afro-american community has been desperately breeding a certain type of individual. A type of person who can survive slave work and still pass their inherent africaness into the next generation. After 20 solid generations, they created the 'African-American'.

The technology industry is almost as old (if you see the industrial revolution and beginning of science as part of the tech industry). It too has created a certain individual type: the nerd.

The A-As and the nerds are about as far apart as people can be. All the characteristics bred into one group were bred out of the other group. They can barely talk to each other, even when they speak the same language.

The tech industry hires two types of people: nerds and people who support the needs of nerds. And since the tech industry is one of the most important industries in the world today, (along with food production and high finance) , they get to choose who they will pay to work for them.

The only reason the nerds will hire black people is as office pets. And then only the ones who know the difference between flux and a capacitor. And the ones "just know" without being specifically taught that you can type "ST7735R" into Google when you want to get the 250 page manual of a thin-flat-transistor screen. And who would never bring up the subject of "mah dih'que" in the workplace. Not too many people like this around, and the ones that are, are already working in the high tech biz.

So let's just redirect our conversation to the vast legacy of great JJ jokes that have written over the past half century. Old standards like:

Q: What's this? fee foh fii - fii fee foh foh A: JJ's telephone number (from 1977)

-or, the more esoteric,

JJ visited the Middle East and met with Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat. After the meeting, JJ was overheard saying to himself: "...been a long time since I said 'Yah, sir' to anyone".

Comment: Not exactly needed (Score 1, Interesting) 62

by Simonetta (#47258669) Attached to: A Seriously High Speed Video Camera (Video)

A 700 frame per second camera really isn't needed by very many people. It doesn't matter if a new design reduces its price by an order of magnitude.

What we need is the opposite: a very cheap camera with very high resolution and a very low price. Then we can put them on light poles and get good high-resolution courts-evidence-quality images of the people who are running out of nowhere to attack you, beat you senseless, and stealing your $500 bicycle when neighborhood is quite 100% gentrified yet.

At the present we have low-res video of "people" doing this, but they are rarely have enough resolution to positively identify the attackers.

Same with 'Flash mobs' that come into a store in groups of dozens, grab handfuls of stuff off the shelves, and just walk out in a large group.

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

by Simonetta (#47218297) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

The chances of advanced technological lifeforms developing is nearly infinitely small, and the distances between the ones that actually do develop are so great, that they never contact or even become aware of each other. Life forms on earth that are far in advance of humans are based on intelligence that evolved into post-biological form before one of the 100 million year cycles that periodically destroys all life on earth.

Comment: Re:Disable player chat (Score 4, Funny) 704

by Simonetta (#46547715) Attached to: Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming

" His GDC talk focused on 'misogyny, sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia and other types of social injustice.' "

      Boy, this one is a challenge. Wish I had Will Shortz here to help. But I'll do the best I can:
Capital Crime: Example in a game comment:
misogyny You dumb fuck, you fight like a girl
sexism You dumb chick, you don't fight worth a fuck
racism You fight like a white boy.
ethnocentrism You fight like a French white boy.
    nationalism You fight like a French white boy. USA, fuckin' A!
  ageism You fight like an old French white boy. USA, fuckin' A!
ableism You fight like an old French white boy in a wheelchair. USA, fuckin' A! ,
homophobia, You fight like an old French faggot white boy in a wheelchair. USA, fuckin' A! ,
  transphobia You fight like an old French faggot white boy in a wheelchair who dropped her dick on the floor. USA, fuckin' A!
  queerphobia You fight like an old French faggot white boy in a wheelchair who dropped her dick in his boyfriend's asshole. USA, fuckin' A!

Did I miss anything?

Comment: Took the words right out of mouth (Score 1) 89

I was going to write exactly the same thing as the comment above.

A bunch of pissants in a country like India that think that they can shake down Google for f-ing $5 BILLION dollars are living in the the 20th century when power was defined by being a country with a flag, a UN seat, an airline, and a president-for-life.

Things are different now.

Especially for a country like India, which is run by corrupt IIT graduates who live on delusions of being a super-power with a moon base and don't have a clue about how to deal with having 500 million people living in abject poverty around them.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

Working...