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


Forgot your password?
Polls on the front page of Slashdot? Is the world coming to an end?! Nope; read more about it. ×

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 366

by arglebargle_xiv (#49807681) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

Their current plan is to wait charged particles to affect electronics so that it forces a reboot.

That's a pretty desperate plan, I realise that single event upsets in space are a non-uncommon event, but man, this is really last-resort stuff, the terrestrial equivalent of which would be "there may be a lightning strike in the vicinity which would glitch the electronics and cause a reboot". Sure, or there may not, in which case you're screwed. As the OP said, how was this not caught in testing?

Comment: Re:What a shocker (Score 1) 54

Cities like Denver, Munich, Tokyo and Belfast have known about this for years. By cleverly putting miles and miles of landscape between the airport and the city, sound levels over the city have been significantly reduced. When it comes to cutting down on noise, nothing beats huge... tracts of land.

Comment: Re:Screenshots? (Score 1) 236

by arglebargle_xiv (#49773257) Attached to: Microsoft Tries Another Icon Theme For Windows 10
Not really, they (or at least the GUI as a whole) look more like a pre-alpha release of Motif before they added the styling. Dear Ghod, what are they smoking in Redmond to think I'd want my desktop to look like something drawn by a 10-year-old? Looks like Stardock will have another profitable few years ahead of them.

Comment: Re:This one will be easier (Score 1) 129

by arglebargle_xiv (#49765779) Attached to: Microsoft Reportedly May Acquire BlackBerry

I think this may be release 2.0 of the Microsoft-aided business plan. It used to be:

1. Found startup doing something Microsoft doesn't do.
2. Wait to be bought out by Microsoft.
3. Profit!

Now it's:

1. Wait till your cellphone company is in its death throes.
2. Wait to be bought... well, you know the rest.

If you work for a cellphone vendor I guess you know it's time to dust off your resume when you hear rumours that you're being bought by Microsoft.

Comment: Re:Linux-based? (Score 1) 175

That's what I thought too, and then there's the "smaller than a Word document", which is a bit like saying "shorter than a piece of string". I've seen embedded "OSes" that fit into less than 10K, but they're more like task switchers than any kind of OS, and certainly don't have auto-config and who knows what else they're claiming. I suspect this announcement may end up, on closer investigation, to be a badly mistranslated statement about toilet paper production in the next five-year plan.

Comment: Re:Double-speak (Score 4, Insightful) 119

It's also easy enough for Mozilla to claim you won't be locked into any ecosystem because they don't have one. For Android at least the ecosystem is what makes it so valuable (for Apple I'm guessing it's about 50% cool electronic jewellery and 50% ecosystem).

I didn't buy my Android phone to make a social statement, I bought it because of the Android ecosystem. The ecosystem is a feature, not a flaw.

Comment: Re:The trick... (Score 1) 246

The problem is that the term "psychopath" doesn't mean quite the same thing in colloquial use as it does is psychological use. It's a bit like debating whether food is "Organic," at least a few years ago before the FDA created guidelines, between a member of the general public and a chemist. Even to a psychologist it has a very broad definition and is not a specific diagnosis, but to a psychologist the term "psychopath" means what most members of the general public think is "sociopath."

Sure. I didn't want to go into that much detail though because it would have ended up as an essay, psychopath/sociopath is the general-public term while psychologists talk about personality disorders with a severity rated on a standard diagnostic like the Hare Psychopath Checklist (PCL-R). Simplifying that down for public consumption to "Joe is a psychopath/Fred is a sociopath" loses quite a lot of detail. For people interested in this, read "The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson, for a more technical discussion try Bob Hare's "Without Conscience". However, no amount of reading can really prepare you for your first encounter with an actual psychopath/sociopath, it's like a rabbit encountering a cute doggie and not realising it's facing down a timber wolf.

Comment: Re:The trick... (Score 4, Interesting) 246

Suspected psychopaths can be identified through other traits, however if they're sufficiently high-functioning it typically takes a forensic psychologist and a bit of time to resolve. So you have to have both suspicion that someone is a pathological liar and access to a trained person to sort things out. So on the one hand it doesn't make them magically immune to investigation, but it does require different resources than standard police techniques. FBI staff for example do get some training in this area, but you need to have experience interviewing actual psychopaths to prepare you for dealing with them, it's one thing reading about them but quite another experiencing them in person.

(Incidentally, if people think Hannibal Lecter when they hear "psychopath" then think again, although he had some psychopathic traits (grandiose sense of self), he was really just yet another Hollywood-ised mad killer. The character from Wolf of Wall Street is probably the closest Hollywood has come to an accurate portrayal of a psychopath).

Comment: Re:Why you should care (Score 1) 154

by arglebargle_xiv (#49671427) Attached to: Windows 10 the Last Version of Windows? Not So Fast.

Buy a new machine? That'll be a new Windows license because OEM licenses are not transferable. I can see a cash cow there as healthy as it's ever been, so long as they can retain their number 1 position in OEM machines.

New machines are a pretty small cow (maybe a rabbit or something) because they're only getting OEM volume-license prices rather than full retail for a member of the public upgrading their machine. Depends on the volume I guess, but you have to shift a lot of licenses at OEM volume prices to match the profit from a retail license sale.

Comment: Re:Not yet statistically significant (Score 1) 408

I expect the number haven't been publicized, because they are still to limited to have any significance

There's actually lots more data out there, I mean my wife has had plenty of accidents and it's never her fault either. There's bounds to be more like that out there...

Comment: Re:Why you should care (Score 0) 154

by arglebargle_xiv (#49670515) Attached to: Windows 10 the Last Version of Windows? Not So Fast.

It sounds to me like Microsoft doesn't even have a clue what they're doing with Windows.

They do seem to have lost the plot, first a version of Windows so bad they skipped an entire major version number to distance themselves from it, and now it looks like they're killing off their cash-cow upgrade cycle where everyone has to go out and buy version n+1 every few years because Bill^H^H^HSteve^H^H^Hwhoeveritisnow says so.

Make headway at work. Continue to let things deteriorate at home.