Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:AI is always "right around the corner". (Score 1) 564

My greatgrandchildren may just live to see the day when the computing field accepts that AI just isn't going to happen!

Probably you're right. On the other hand, I had lunch the day before yesterday with a man who built a circuit board that helped a man take back off from the moon after landing on it. And it certainly wasn't something he expected to happen when he started his career working on the first hi-fi speakers. Striving for better computers isn't a bad thing. We just shouldn't hold our breaths.

Comment: Re:Christmas is coming early this year (Score 1) 702

by arkenian (#47401177) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes
So the thing is... this isn't really new. I can remember back long before there even WAS a TSA, back when laptops were the hot new portable device . . . And security would often ask you to power it on. And if its battery was dead, you could plug it in first. I agree it can be a bit of a problem because batteries often get used up in the course of travel, and I'd be interested to see how security actually handles it. I traveled just a few days ago, and they certainly weren't requiring EVERY passenger to demonstrate their devices. Also: When first going through security, I very rarely have a problem with my phone being dead because, you know, I'm just STARTING to travel, not after a long day of it. (Although I won't say never. It has happened)

Comment: Re:that crazy old IRS (Score 1) 208

by arkenian (#44692047) Attached to: X.Org Foundation Loses 501(c)3 Non-Profit Status

My allegation was that the IRS chose to be stricter with than it is with other nonprofits.

3 years of silence and then a sudden tax exempt revoke is a very cagey response to 3 years of not filing any tax returns.

The IRS shouldn't have waited that long without sending notice.

The fact that the feds and the corporations are in bed elsewhere is also a good reason to at least suspect underhandedness on the IRS's part.

Actually, that's pretty normal for the IRS. The IRS is not, actually, much in the habit of giving warnings. It takes them a while to get around to things, and once they do, its pay-up-or-else (or revocation or whatever). They aren't well enough funded to bother with warning notices, or hearings, etc. If you disagree with their finding, there are things one can do and an appeals process, but generally they don't initiate such things except in certain categories of audit issues.

Comment: Re:Who else should comment on your games? (Score 1) 381

by arkenian (#44591165) Attached to: Biggest Headache For Game Developers: Abusive Fans

I work for Microsoft.

I have never in my life received an actual death threat, and I have a feeling the products I work on are used by more people than what play Call of Duty. It's not a matter of "just ignore them", it's more of a matter that this kind of reaction can be received for any work of mostly non-offensive (not all of CoD applies here) art.

More likely, its just that people don't know who you are. Game Development shops have a bit more cult of personality about them, as they tend to have credit screens like movies, not like office products. I can assure you that if you, say, work on exchange, you have had many people wish you dead, just most people don't know how to inform you of their desire ;)

Comment: Re:Gotta have a plan (Score 2) 330

by arkenian (#44535779) Attached to: The Science of 12-Step Programs

People suspect that many things work and sometimes they are wrong.

"'no experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA" in treating alcoholism." (

Well controlled scientific studies are great at answering these questions.

and for some things, its very hard to set up an ethical and moral controlled scientific study. In a case like this the best you can do is try to study people who have already elected for various treatments. And the 'anonymous' part of AA (and various other programs) just complicates it all. "Unequivocally demonstrated" is a difficult bar to meet when its not actually legal to set up a properly controlled experiment. Don't get me wrong, I haven't reviewed the literature either way, and don't have an opinion on the effectiveness of AA. Just want to point out that actually achieving a clean methodology and such to study things that screw with people's lives is quite difficult.

Comment: Re:That's fine (Score 2) 234

by arkenian (#43634939) Attached to: Fedora 19 To Stop Masking Passwords
Because many organizations have weird and bizarre rules for passwords that are not based on actual truth of what makes a secure password. My current favorite is 16! Characters, no words, at least 2 each of special characters, numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters. i.e. so long that NO ONE can remember the things if they're truly randomized. Although they're supposedly switching that particular circumstance over to token-based.

Comment: Re:What do you mean "we"? (Score 1) 469

by arkenian (#43154535) Attached to: Is It Time To Enforce a Gamers' Bill of Rights?

I'm pretty sure you can add in the costs accrued due to lost work and legal fees to your small claims suit, so point one is moot.

So, I can't speak for your state, but in maryland it states in black and white that you CANNOT be paid for your time, and that legal fees are only a maybe. And the official website on the subject goes to some effort to basically point out that for small amounts, it may not be worth the time to pursue the court option. Small claims is not really an option to resolve this except as a matter of principle.

Comment: Re:Nope. (Score 1) 309

by arkenian (#43077959) Attached to: The Pirate Bay Claims It Is Now Hosting From North Korea

Only innocent til proven guilty in criminal cases. Also, who is Bradley Manning, who is Kevin Mitnick... The US is one of very few western countries that has a large part of the country speaking against health-care. The US tortures people. The US pretty much ignores all international treaties, that would have them do something.

The US is not a great country when it comes to human rights.

Ummm. Just for the record, the US has one of the best records in the world for obeying the treaties THAT IT SIGNS AND RATIFIES. Better, in fact (though I can't remember the citation) than most other western nations. Granted, we also sign far fewer of them than, say, the average european nation. But I am not aware of a single treaty we are a signatory to that we can be said to ignore (even the torture thing, we carefully crafted the 'enemy combatant' legal justification within the treaty for our actions. It could, I grant, be argued as thin -- although probably not, the geneva convention is a lot narrower than people make out, especially if you view it in its proper historical context -- but we expended a lot of effort on it.) Most of the treaties we HAVE ignored (Kyoto protocol, world court, etc. etc.) we are not parties to, even though, admittedly, in many cases we had a great deal to do with their construction.

Comment: Re:Haha (Score 1) 437

by arkenian (#43013773) Attached to: World's First Bitcoin ATM

I presume you are referring to US Dollars.

From the perspective of anyone outside the US, Bitcoin is a safer bet than the USD, although the risk is of a somewhat different nature: Bitcoins can go up or down. The USD only goes down, and there is no obvious reason why the rate of decline should not accelerate rapidly. (Ask around in a few African countries if military threats can prevent currency decline - many have tried the tactic, and none have seen it work!)

This is true, except one key point: USD investments pay interest, bitcoins are just like stuffing gold (but way more volatile) in a high-tech mattress. So a USD investment may not necessarily go down, and is generally likely to hold about par, whereas a Bitcoin can go up or down.

Comment: Re:Unexpected consequences of paywalls. (Score 1) 700

by arkenian (#42876953) Attached to: Tesla Motors Battles the New York Times

but who's to say some guy driving to Boston from South Carolina, wouldn't like to make a brief drive through Manhattan. After all, it's within the range guidelines.

Speaking as someone who drives from washington to boston on a semi-regular basis, I go to great pains to avoid "drive through Manhattan" and everyone else I know who does this feels the same way.... In general, though, if what you want is a car to drive from washington to boston, an electric car is not yet a smart choice. If what you want is a car to drive 10 miles (or even 50) to work every day and go grocery shopping . . . it could be a great choice.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.