Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: Disturbing the Mice (Score 0) 195 195

These sweeping generalization stories flow like water after EVERY baby step in technology. From long before the paperless office myth, to high level stop lights that were going to eliminate rear end collisions and now HUDs each new technology faces it's microsecond of judgement when the lame stream media decides whether to evangelize or condemn it with little, if any, evidence.

The actual truth is ANYTHING you do to change "normal" for the average person will have a wildly disproportionate impact on immediate studies -- until people get used to it. High level stoplights are the quintessential example. Somewhat well constructed studies showed a holy grail sized impact from this wild new thing no one had ever seen before; within 3 years they were little more than light pollution.

OF COURSE your, not really statistically valid, "random sample" will demonstrate people are staring at the new bauble. This proves less than nothing at all. Most of the time it gives a VERY false impression of long term results. We are addicted to instantaneous results being nowhere near fast enough, but for any hope of a valid study you'd have to leave the mice with their toy for a year before you START the study.

One of the reasons "science" has fallen into disrepute and distrust is because the modern "scientist" is a political creature that doesn't really have any idea what the scientific method is, or means. He also never learned basic statistics. But he is a GRAND MASTER at filling out Grant Requests and producing the results desired by the Grantor.

Comment: Beginning of the end or End of the beginning (Score 0) 387 387

Bringing a unified GUI to the PC fundamentally changed the device.

The icon based launcher meant the user didn't have to learn names and what they did. Just look for the picture of cards and she could be playing Solitaire.

Similarly the menu bar and WYSIWYG lowered the skill requirement such that just about anybody could accomplish "something" with a computer. It also let a lot of people that should be running cash registers at McDonalds become bookkeepers. I suspect Excel has bankrupt a LOT of small businesses.

But you can't put the genie back in the bottle.

Comment: I need a ship (Score 1) 422 422

This is just utterly mystifying! There are continuous claims of temperature rise and counterclaims ranging from cherry picking data to outright forgery. Etc etc etc the battle for hearts and minds ranges.

BUT this is very different. Now both sides are claiming to have real world facts showing a delta in measurements. Alarmists say they have data showing Antarctic ice disappearing while the other side claims to have data showing it is at near historic high levels. One side or the other is PROBABLY lying. Although we shouldn't completely discount the possibility that it hasn't changed at all.

Figures don't lie but liars figure.

Comment: This makes no sense (Score 1) 152 152

I assume this solution would be based around the app providing bogus passwords if you enter a bad master password. I suppose that would be something you could do for foiling the petty pickpocket or keystone cop. But surely any attacker that actually plans to succeed will use a cryptographic attack against the data store, not poke random keys on the UI.

I have wondered before if security could be improved by storing an encrypted file inside another encrypted file, ideally with different schemes. But from a serious attacker standpoint I don't really know what I'm talking about. It sounds good, but probably would only prove vaguely annoying, rather than mega-secure.

Comment: Where to spend $200 billion (Score 1) 515 515

PER-HAPS this white elephant will be built. But there is absolutely no guarantee. Will bankrupt California be in a position a decade from now to still be pouring money into this hole? Current estimate is $68 billion. Thus if the Boston Big Dig has taught us anything, assuming you were a complete moron and didn't know it already, $68 billion is a hopeless pipe dream that will be no better than 50% of the final cost ASSUMING everything goes letter perfect.

If it were to be completed my guess, which is FAR better than theirs but still only a guess, is for $225 billion with construction completed in 2042. 400% over budget on money and 100% over budget on time. That sounds historically accurate.

One has to wonder what sort of road they could build for $200 billion, or even $100 billion. I envision I5a I5b I5c I5d; each of them 12 lanes with automatic switching so each 50,000 cars would travel a different road. Couple this with I5e and I5f dedicated to self driving cars traveling at 150 MPH and the california bullet train looks like a bigger dinosaur than the F-35-never-to-fly-in-combat USAF boondoggle.

And all this leaves out the fact that in the next 50 years there will probably be some big earthquake that damages the line. Creating a huge infrastructure item with a single point of failure is just plain stupid. Say it all works. It won't. But say it does. Say they ignore primary transportation and funnel all the gas taxes into this thing to the point they have to close I5. Now when anything from earthquake to terrorists to sinkhole breaks it for 6 months, or maybe 18, what the hell are you going to do?

Comment: Wounded Not Dead (Score 1, Offtopic) 232 232

The Linux ecosystem is already severely wounded, possibly mortally so, by systemd's attempted coup. The operating system loses most all practical advantages because of this malware - I will literally go so far as to say if I have to have Linux with systemd I don't want Linux. I might as well just run Windows. They are both black boxes of unknown function and unrepairable, not to mention unfindable, vulnerabilities. So why bother with the down sides of Linux if it has no up side?

At this point I am evaluating BSD vs Windows 10; BSD is winning. Hopefully Linus will never allow these evil monsters to commit their viruses to the kernel. That will be game over for Linux.

Comment: Drug ALL The Children (Score 1) 407 407

So basically bombing developing children's minds for a decade or more to make the more receptive to the state indoctrination is an important psychotherapy. But an adult voluntarily using the same drugs to further their personal goals shows once again how America is barbaric and discriminates against workers etc etc etc etc.

Got it. Thank you Comrade Marx

Comment: Once again Correlation != Causation (Score 1) 291 291

And for all those researches that failed Introduction to Statistics - what you utterly failed learn is Correlation does not imply (and sure as hell does not prove) Causation.

I don't do any drugs legal or otherwise. But I do so despise disingenuous douchebags spraying their political agenda all over the internet.

Comment: Typical Government Solution (Score 1) 460 460

Typical bureaucratic thinking. They created the problem by removing the crew's responsibility to protect their aircraft and replacing it with an impenetrable vault door. MANY failure modes were easily foreseeable 13 years ago. From suicidal pilots, to simple medical emergency, and a dozen others this was a stupid idea from people that didn't know what the hell they were talking about.

Now rather than remove the problem, they want to double down on Central planning and control. Given the current bleeding edge state of the art technology and adding best case advancements over the next 10 years, I think I'll drive - and possibly buy an armored car to do that in as well because it is going to be raining airplanes. The one certainty is whatever their next plan is, it will be worse than the last and make us look back at 2 suicides in a decade as "the good old days".

Comment: Free gas and barely noticeable tremors (Score 4, Funny) 166 166

So if I understand this, the price of Natural gas is down, what, 80%? And now places where mostly no one lives have hundreds of itty bitty tinny tiny tremors so small that the people, that don't live there anyway, can barely detect them without specially calibrated scientific instruments. Also figure into the equation that the nearly free natural gas has allowed us to decommission coal burning plants left and right and is even threatening the economic viability of nuclear fission.

Notwithstanding the absolute fact that relying solely on a single source of power is dangerous and stupid, this seems like a pretty freaking wonderful tradeoff! Granted the media panders exclusively to the eco-terrorist agenda and anything other than a rare earth exhausting solar panel, or a bird extincting windmill is unmitigatedly evil in their narrative. But for those of us that rather like living in the first world, with reliable power at record low prices, this seems like a glass half full sort of story.

Comment: 4 words (Score 2) 140 140

Freedom of Information Act

If they really could hide wholesale violation of millions of people's 4th Amendment rights behind a civil NDA contract it is seriously time for new federal felony laws with MANDATORY prison times for every government employee involved in the conspiracy to block FOIA releases. Of course obviously if it were something they wanted to do they would brush civil contracts aside just like they do criminal laws now.

I have about decided that the magic wand of "National Security" should be rescinded as well. All this secrecy is doing FAR more harm to American citizens than the wholesale release of EVERY national secret ever possibly could.

Comment: Not just for Corvettes anymore (Score 2) 221 221

$1200 for tires?!

No. $1200 for A Tire.

You too can have the same experience as the USAF when their $85 million fighter is brought down by a guy with a rifle. Except it will be your $1200 tire flattened by a $0.0006 roofing nail. Same principle though. Welcome to the firstworldproblems club. Hope you brought that black AMEX card.

Comment: Repeating all our worst ideas (Score 1) 55 55

When I was a kid the doctors were actually doing the same thing. They gave me a book to read with alternate red and blue words and red/blue glasses to wear. The idea was to strengthen your lazy eye. What it does do is trains you in the weird ability to consciously control which eye you are looking out of. This has the unfortunate side effect of severely impairing your 3d vision / depth perception.

Whenever I mention those glasses to doctors today they grumble sub-vocally and get this disgusted look on their face like I was talking about blood letting using leeches. The proper treatment for mild lazy eye is prescription glasses. For severe cases surgery is required.

There is very little future in being right when your boss is wrong.