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


Forgot your password?

Comment Okay, what about a "more special" directory? (Score 1) 699

A while back I installed Debian on an experimental system for learning more about Linux, and came away feeling a bit lost, because (compared to some other distros) there seemed to be oodles of new config files, scattered everywhere. Trying to keep track of them all was, for me, nightmarish. I wished all the config files were located in a single root-level directory (like "home"), perhaps named "cfg".
Well, if such a thing existed, that directory might be considered too valuable to be allowed to get included in any generic remove-all system command, and could thus be a safer place for the UEFI variables. One could go inside that directory and deliberately erase everything, but the specter of knowing that all the system's config files would be destroyed might give one pause,before daring to actually specify that command.

Comment Re: Actual Reason (Score 2) 729

While the article is correct in pointing out the problem caused by unfair wealth distribution, the cause of the unfair wealth distribution is not China per se. It is the Law of Supply and Demand in action, whenever population grows faster than resource-production. Folks who say the world is not overpopulated tend to focus only on food production, but people need rather more things than just food, and all of them need to be produced at the rate population grows, for wealth distribution to stay fair. I've presented more details about that (and the reverse, that when resource production increases faster than population, wealth distribution goes the other way), here.

Comment Re:Screw that (pun intended). (Score 5, Interesting) 287

I first heard of something like this idea long before the Internet became popular. That old story also mentioned a problem, that when the vas is closed, it bursts. This is why when doctors do a vasectomy, they only tie ONE end of each cut tube (the end that leads toward the prostate, not the end connected to the testicle). This invention actually needs a Y-shaped valve, such that when it is closed, only the flow toward the prostate stops, while sperm can continue to flow out into the body cavity, as if one end of the vas had been cut but not tied.

Comment Curious (Score 1) 69

If a system is set up to require administer approval for installation of software, can this ransomware actually install the core utilities it needs to interact with the Operating System, without the user noticing? I'm quite willing to never install NW.js if that's all I need to, to protect myself from this.

Comment Re:Tough luck FCC (Score 1) 61

Imagine something like a parabolic microphone, except that at the focus of the parabola they put an EMP device, instead of a microphone. The frequencies produced only need to be whatever are able to fry the drone's electronics, and the parabola could cause the pulse to be beam-shaped, so as not to affect things you didn't aim the gun at.

Comment Re:Hobbies (Score 3, Insightful) 167

A true artificial intelligence would be equivalent to a human person --and a human person is not allowed to be owned. So, if the goal is to create a true artificial intelligence, and the result cannot be owned, isn't it simply logical that the creation be done outside the ownership-leads-to-max-profits capitalist system?

Comment Different Interpretation (Score 4, Insightful) 67

We know that the dinosaur group filled most of the world's ecological niches, and when the Chicxulub event happened, a vast number of niches had their occupants wiped out. All we need do is assume that for any species, there is a reasonably constant mutation rate, and most mutants won't survive when there are better-adapted competitors already in a given ecological niche. If the mutant can find a different niche, though, then its chance of survival goes up a lot. So, no need to assume a "burst of evolution" when the simpler explanation is a "burst of opened opportunities", thanks to all those wiped-out competitors.

Comment Re:Try Other Questions (Score 1) 207

Well, depending on the total number of virtual gravitons available, "mostly transparent" might be so close to "actually transparent" as makes an indetectable difference. Some wild-eyed speculations that I've played around with include the notion that if we want ANY type of mass-energy to be directly associated with a rate-of-production of virtual gravitons, then we might most-simply compute it using the wave-particle duality. Pretend each wave-like vibration is associated with one virtual graviton, and a single electron would emit something like 10-to-the-20th-power virtual gravitons per second. If another electron was nearby, how many virtual gravitons per second would need to be absorbed, to account for gravitation between the two electrons? Even granting that the gravitons get radiated in all directions, such that only a portion pass near enough to the other electron to be absorbable, how many ignore that electron as if it wasn't there?
The second of the two links has some algebra in it, and a proposed explanation for how virtual gravitons could be so-rarely absorbable --and it is "interesting" that if a virtual graviton from the Sun had appropriate properties such that it got absorbed by the Earth, those same properties would have not made it absorbable when it reached the Moon! And vice-versa; only those virtual gravitons with properties such that the Earth couldn't absorb them might have properties such that the Moon could absorb some of them. This neatly makes the Earth totally transparent, with respect to Sun-Moon interactions, heh!

Comment Try Other Questions (Score 4, Interesting) 207

We know the theorists want to be able to describe gravitation in terms of Quantum Mechanics. This will necessarily involve hypothetical "virtual gravitons" as "exchange particles" between interacting masses. So:
How do gravitons, even virtual ones, escape a black hole?
How do gravitons from the Sun pass through the Earth to affect the Moon (and artificial satellites) when eclipsed by the Earth, as if the Earth was a zero-size object? That is, the orbits of those bodies don't change just because the Earth sometimes eclipses them from the Sun's perspective.
In a way, just one proposal can answer both those questions, plus the one in the title of this page's article. If gravitons interact very rarely with other particles, including each other, then they can't stop each other from escaping a black hole, the Earth would be mostly transparent to them --AND gravitation would be the weakest force.

Slashdot Top Deals

A good supervisor can step on your toes without messing up your shine.