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Comment Re:Actually, the truth is somewhat different. (Score 1) 1033

But I do see the puppies' point. Write a creative, innovative, well-written book? Get an award, unless your political tone or personal politics are right-wing.

And yet Brandon Sanderson, current leader of the Sad Puppies, actually won a Hugo just two years ago!

Write a good yarn with spaceships and ray guns and wizards and shit? No award.

Funny, seems to me like the last several winners (at least for Best Novel) have all been good yarns with spaceships and ray guns and wizards and shit. (Where "and shit" is defined as other classic SF elements like time travel.)

* 2014's Ancillary Justice was a classic space opera full of spaceships and rayguns. I actually approached this one with caution, because I'd heard people say it was all about gender politics, and I don't like being lectured to, even by people I agree with. I'm not a fan of preachy SF, even when it's preaching for my side. To my surprise, the only thing even resembling "gender politics" was an artificial creature pretending to be human who had a hard time figuring out when to use "he"vs. "she", because artificial creatures don't have sexes. It reminded me more of my own troubles trying to remember whether a table is male or female in Spanish than anything to do with politics.I was very pleasantly surprised by this one!

* 2013's Redshirts was a lighthearted comedy parodying Star Trek. Yes, John Scalzi is the Puppies nominee for Most Evil Writer Evar!!1!, but this was a fun, easy read, without a whiff of politics. (And it won the same year that Sanderson won, so I think it's pretty hard to say that the voters were choosing authors based on their personal politics.)

* 2012's Among Others was a pastoral fantasy set in 1970s Britain. It did have a message, but not exactly a political one. The protagonist was a young girl who discovers she has some magic powers and can see elves and stuff. And she's a huge nerd who reads science fiction every spare minute, and goes on and on and on about her favorite authors, like Heinlein and Asimov and other greats of the era (some of whom are not well remembered today). So, the message was:old SF is good! I actually found it a little too preachy on the topic, and I suspect that the message did help it win the award. Still...not exactly what the Puppies seem to be talking about though. In fact, I suspect they'd thoroughly agree with the message, if they were willing to read something written by a gu-u-ur-ul. :)

* 2011's Blackout/All Clear was a story about time-travelers studying WWII London, who get stuck. Connie Willis is a great writer, and, while this was a bit dark, it was still a page turner. The only message I saw was "Nazis are bad"; something I think few people would disagree with. (If you do disagree, please don't tell me. I want to retain some faint faith in humanity.)

I have to go all the way back to 2010 to find something that even had a strong political element. There were two winners that year. The Windup Girl was a post-disaster technothriller, full of fancy biotech, and insofar as it had a message, it seemed to be pro-science / anti-politics. The right probably hated that the disaster was climate change, but the left probably hated its positive portrayals of GMOs. (And the Slashdot crowd should love its anti-patent message.) As for The City &The City, well, yes, China Mieville is an extreme uberleftie, but the main message I saw in this book was:life under a Soviet-style dictatorship sucks. Which is not exactly something I'd expect the Puppies to disagree with. :)

Write complete dreck but make the main character a genderqueer half-Mexican half-African American differently-abled merperson? Award!

Huh. I must have missed that one. Was it one of the short stories? I'm willing to bet it's not Sanderson's 2013 Hugo-winning Novella, though. :)

Alastair Reynolds has only been nominated once and has never won.

Yeah, tastes differ. I'm not a big fan of Reynolds' work myself. It was decent, but didn't make me want to go back for more. There's plenty of authors I love who haven't gotten nominated, though, so I'm vaguely sympathetic. The difference is that I assume that this is a matter of differing tastes, rather than some grand political conspiracy. Especially since I'd have to imagine a conspiracy that hates both the left and the right, to explain all the authors on my list! :)

Comment Re:Actually, the truth is somewhat different. (Score 1) 1033

Spite? Sure. (Though anger might be a more appropriate term.) Politically motivated? I'm sure some were, but a whole lot of people were simply pissed off by the abuse of the nominating process. If I'd been voting, I would have been just as tempted to vote down a far-left slate out of spite (if there'd been one) as I would have been to vote down the far-right slate. As far as I'm concerned, the bad behavior here was creating a slate and persuading people to vote for those specific items sight-unseen rather than voting for what they honestly liked. The politics of the people who did it is irrelevant. And bad behavior deserves to be punished, no matter who does it.

As far as I'm concerned, a bunch of political fanatics of some flavor or other tried to shit on an award I admire and respect and have occasionally voted in many times over the last several decades. I like science fiction, I don't give a crap about political fanatics of any type, I think those assholes got what they deserved, and I'd say exactly the same if they were SJWs instead of SIWs.

Comment Re:Worst. Summary. Ever. And a lie to boot. (Score 1) 1033

What about it? Did you even read that article you just linked to? (Thanks for the link, btw. It was interesting.)

Yes, a linguist was interested in the language play in the book. Which was amusing, and Lecke has admitted that it took a surprising amount of work to pull off. It was still just about gendered language, not some diatribe about how all genitalia are equal. One of the trickiest parts about learning a Romance Language (French, Spanish, Italian) for an English speaker is learning which nouns have which gender. Is a table male or female? How about a computer? A rock? A spaceship? A time machine? Lecke took it one step further, and gave us a creature who wasn't used to assigning gender to anything, and had it struggling with the gender of words in the same way people often do when learning a new language.

Note the conclusion of the article you linked to:

For an extraterrestrial intelligence, parsing which gender-related features are important in which society can be tricky, but Breq's overall sense of confusion is not unique. With more than 6,000 languages still spoken by us humans, we're all aliens right here on Earth.

How is that evidence of some evil attack on maleness? Different amounts of gendering in language is confusing to a non-native speaker! That observation is hardly some some sort of social justice warrioring.

And it was still a minor part of the story, and exactly 0% of the plot. So, again, whatcher point?

Comment Re:does anti-sjw = deranged violent prick? (Score 1) 1033

The Rabid Puppies (Day's group) got more items on the ballot than the Sad Puppies, so they're really the more appropriate group to discuss.

That's the entire point of the Sad Puppies and Vox Day's Rabid Puppies -- that a group of people are pushing political litmus tests on this award behind the scenes.

And, if that were true, then the voters should have been happy to finally have some non-political choices to vote for, and the puppies should have swept their way to victory. That's not what happened, though, is it?

In fact, if that were true, the puppies should never have been able to get on the ballot in the first place, as io9 pointed out. All those evil conspiring nominators would have rallied to nominate more of those evil SJWworks that are Destroying America!!!! And if there weren't enough of them to do that (the obvious excuse), then how did they manage to show up for the actual vote? The whole freakin' "liberal conspiracy"thing just doesn't fit any of the available facts. Maybe...just maybe, its time to consider alternative theories, like, maybe a lot of other people simply have different taste than you do! Or honestly don't give a frack about all this political BS.

Frankly, when Ilook at the last several winners, Icannot figure out where the liberal politics is supposedly hidden in those works.Nor the high-falutin' snobby literary qualities. The authors (other than maybe Jo Walton) are pretty political, but I'm not seeing that in their works. And most of them were page turners.

Comment Re:Worst. Summary. Ever. And a lie to boot. (Score 2) 1033

If one of the works you think was "focused on sexual identity or preference" was last year's winner, Ancillary Justice, that's a ridiculous claim (though I've heard plenty of people claim it), and I can only assume you didn't read the work. It was a classic space opera, with a protagonist who was a biological war machine, suddenly stuffed into a human body, who frequently got confused about all sorts of human things, including gender. That's it. That's pretty much all the "sexual identity" issues it raised. An artificial creature trying to pretend to be human, which sometimes gets confused about when to use "he" vs "she" when speaking to humans. It was close to 0% of the plot.

And yes, this was enough for the hair-trigger politically correct idiots of the right to start tearing out their hair and claiming that it was trying to destroy science fiction and make us all girly-men.

Comment Re:There's truth on both sides here (Score 2) 1033

No, it's because the overwhelming evidence was that they didn't vote for books they liked. They voted for books they were told to vote for, blindly following a slate, instead of voting for the their own preferences. I suspect that many of them never even read the works they nominated. They didn't have to—their great leader, whose ass they have their heads firmly wedged up, told them to vote for it, so they did.

Comment Re:Lovely summary. (Score 2) 1033

Except that there was a winner for Best Novel, which is all that 97% of the world cares about when the term "Hugo"is bandied about.

Also, lets not forget that when the Whiny/Syphilitic Puppies nominated something that was actually good (Guardians of the Galaxy), the voters went ahead and gave it a Hugo. Makes it pretty hard to avoid the conclusion that the voters decided the Puppy's crap was...crap.

And yeah, I hate politically correct bullshit too. I hate it whichever side it comes from. "Oh no, the Hugo voters picked something that offends me--they must be controlled by an evil liberal cabal! We must destroy them!" That's politically correct bullshit, and I despise it.

Comment Re:Tell the old dogs (Score 1) 392

And yet, when big companies want to do "heavy lifting" of their data, what are they most likely to turn to? That's right. Linux. Linux is used for everything from tiny embedded systems to the world's largest supercomputers and databases. If you're actually loading hay bails, you're more likely to be using Linux than Windows, both to control the bailer, and to keep track of worldwide distribution of hay. (At best, you might be using some Windows to act as a semi-smart terminal, to get a view of those small devices and big databases running Linux. But there's a steadily increasing chance you'll be using Linux-based Android or Unix-based iOS instead.)

Comment Re:Tell the old dogs (Score 1) 392

RIght--a system developed by IBM, Google, Intel, Oracle, and a whole horde of other corporations is a "hobbyist" OS. I'm sure the many billions of dollars that IBM alone has poured into Linux development were just for fun. (Not to mention the team of developers they put on OpenOffice after Oracle dropped the ball there, in case you were going to say something about "server-only".)

Have you just come out of a dozen years in suspended animation? Because I can't think of any other reason for such a ridiculous statement.

Comment Re:Running malware on Linux .. (Score 1) 113

Think worm-like, not virus-like. Things which hijack the already-running browser process, either directly through something like javascript or plugins, or through code hidden in malformed data that takes advantage of library bugs to smash the stack and hijack control (although this latter approach has been made much more difficult of late).

Comment Re:All URLs are going to Google (Score 3, Interesting) 113

Debian just looked into this, while considering how to appropriately hack FF into Iceweasel. The URLs are hashed, and a partial hash is sent to Google. Google then sends back a list of dangerous URLs (if any) which match that partial hash.

One can quibble about how long the partial hash should be (too short, and you waste time and bandwidth downloading lists of false positives all the time; too long, and Google may be able to start inferring which sites you're visiting by looking for patterns), but overall, it seems like an excellent compromise between the contrasting needs of security and privacy. Debian ultimately decided to keep the feature, and keep it enabled by default, which says a lot to me. But, of course, you can disable it in either FF or Iceweasel, if you're unhappy with it.

Comment Re:wft ever dude! (Score 4, Insightful) 215

For the moment, I think we can limit ourselves to the number of atoms in the solar system. One rough estimate is that there are 10e29 stars in the universe. If the atoms were divided up approximately evenly between these star's systems, then there'd be 10e82/10e29=10e53. So we have one IPv6 address for each cluster of 10e15 atoms.

Except! I've heard it estimated that about half the matter in the solar system is in the sun, and we don't want to use up the sun to build computers, because we need it to power the computers. So, 10e14 atoms per IPv6 left to work with.

So the question before the audience is:can you build a device that implements an IPv6 stack and a minimal radio transmitter that allows it to communicate with other, similar devices, using only 10e14 atoms? If so, or if it can be done in less, then we may have a problem*. Otherwise, I think we should be fine for now.

(To give you a rough estimate of what you're working with:10e14 atoms of silicon would mass about 46 nanograms.)

Submit your solutions to :)

* Although the problem may not be manifest until we convert the *entire* Earth, core and all, into these devices, along with all the other planets, and colonize the Oort cloud, and do the same there. :)

Comment The real question... (Score 2) 112

Ok, so he's the CEO of a big company that makes robots--among many other things. So I really have to wonder if he's actually as clueless as this makes him appear, or if he's cynically trying to convince stupid people that they should by his company's pseudo-friendly robots?

Or is there some third option I'm overlooking?

I mean, he might as well say, "robots must be designed to answer the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything." That's just about as plausible, given the state-of-the-art. (And then he could try to sell us speaking robots that can say "forty-two".) :)

Comment Testing developers. Developers. Sheesh! (Score 1) 698

This was a study of developers. Developers are not exactly typical users. Developers like things like vi and EMACS. And, in fact, developers can already buy keyboards with (for example) caps lock switched with control. (If they care, and are too lazy to remap their own keys.)

Do a broader study of general computer users, and then maybe we'll talk. (No real skin off my nose anyway, since if you design a keyboard layout Idon't like, I'll just remap it to be the way I do like. 'Cause I'm a developer.)

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith