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Comment Re:Everybody List What You Think Went Wrong (Score 2, Insightful) 467 467

It has happened over and over and over again, and seems to be the hallmark of this decade in tech: take a working project...

...and that's where I have the problem, because really, I think D2 is terrible, and D1 is far too ridden with bugs and limitations that exist because /. was once running on a 386 in Malda's closet over a 14.4 modem.

Of course, there's a good case to be made that the existing code base should just be fixed, namely:

- Remove sillier numeric limits for D1.
- Unicode. It's 2015, there's no excuse. Page widening is not a problem with CSS's max-width. - Some CSS clean up.

Which would probably not take anything like as much time as Beta was going to, but, oh well...

Comment Re:Everybody List What You Think Went Wrong (Score 4, Insightful) 467 467

1. The complaints about beta I felt were misplaced. They shouldn't have made the beta default for anyone (and perhaps they should have refined it just a little more first...) but I think Slashdotters seriously overreacted to what was an easy to opt-out of test of a new UI. (And frankly, with D1 broken - thanks Pudge - and D2 horrible, I was looking forward to someone doing something about the /. UI.)

2. I'm pretty sure that if they'd covered GamerGate in depth, you'd - based upon what you've written here - been so unhappy you'd never have come back.

3. I go the other way - there was a failure to ensure discussions wouldn't be derailed by trolls and anti-diversity fanatics, especially in the aftermath of a somewhat extreme anti-diversity campaign in one corner of tech. Slashdot's articles were of interest to some of us, unfortunately the massive wave of abusive moderation and anti-diversity crapflooders meant we couldn't have an adult discussion about the issues.

Where we agree however is that, much as I'm reluctant to attack anyone by name, the types of articles that were posted by Haselton were never right for Slashdot.

Haselton wasn't even the first time they did this. Real Slashdotters remember a guy called Jon Katz who Malda brought in largely to introduce original commentary - just like Haselton. It was a disaster. Slashdotters became increasingly annoyed by the posts, just as with Haselton.

Why did Slashdot do it again? No idea. I'm guessing they thought it might be worth a try again, perhaps thinking it was Katz, not this kind of commentary, people disliked.

As an aside, when I used to blog more actively, people (nobody working for Slashdot I might add) asked me if I should offer to write similar pieces for Slashdot et al. Leaving aside my appalling writing skills, this is why...

Comment Re:If you have physical access... (Score 1) 78 78

It doesn't really mean that, though that helps. It means that at some point you must have had a way to inject your software onto it. That might mean physical access to the computer. Or it might mean physical access to the operating system image before it was loaded onto the computer. Or it might mean physical access to the bespoke software image before it was loaded onto the computer.

One scenario, for example. You work for a company that produces software to control lottery random number machines. You insert, suitably obfuscated, code working on this principle into the software before release. The code is audited, but as all eyes are on modules relating to the retrieval and display of the random number, your code is largely ignored and just assumed to be poorly written, not evil, per-se.

Your accomplice then gets a job as a janitor at SuperMegaBall HQ, one of your clients. They're able to use a cellphone to extract the secure login credentials, which you then crack, and said accomplice is then able to gain full access to the computer with the credentials and upload a software update that'll give you the numbers you want.

This is so foolproof I could work as the scriptwriter for "Scorpion". *kills myself*

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 2) 443 443

> Because they predict things up to the level of accuracy that we can currently measure, within the very limited energy and size domains we have access to. That's all there is to it.

Fixed that for you.

When you can predict particle behavior inside a black hole with planck-length precision, or you can model gravity at the galactic scale without relying on unobserved "dark matter", I might be as confident as you that our current understanding is rock solid.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 2) 443 443

> Modern physics is never incorrect.

And you, sir, have just turned science into religion.

The whole reason science is superior to religion is that it openly admits that it may be incorrect, and allows for itself to be corrected. It is, as you correctly outline, an iterative process that approaches truth over time. But part of that process is accepting that any truth may be overturned by new evidence. And while Einstein didn't "disprove" Newton, he did show flaws in the theory which meant that it was, in a very small way, wrong. And that's fine. Claiming it was "extended" and not "wrong" is playing semantics and makes you sound like a religious apologist.

The more comfortable we are with being wrong, and the process of refinement, the better scientists we are. The more we claim that some aspect of science is "never incorrect", the more dogmatic we are and the science suffers.

The predictions of modern physics are phenomenally accurate in many domains. But we haven't run tests in nearly enough domains to claim perfection yet. And we've no need to be defensive about it. Science is the only way to the next truth, and that's good enough for me.

Comment Re:Why the controversy? (Score 2) 443 443

You're confused, an ion engine is a type of rocket. The problem with this type of drive is too much thrust is claimed for the amount of energy expended. You really can propel something with photons, whether microwave or light, since photons have momentum. But it's to the tune of a newton per 300 megawatts; in other words a fiendish amount of power to get a very small amount of thrust. Our universe is perverse like that.

This "physicist" Tajmar has made all kinds of absurd unreproducible claims and experiments of making gravity wave effects with superconductors and similar. In short, a self-deluded person trying to be the next Einstein when really he's more snake-oil purveyor.

Comment ah, Tajmar eh? (Score 4, Informative) 443 443

Tajmar made a lot of hoopla over ten years ago about making gravitomagnetic waves orders of magnitude more powerful than GR predicted; some were claiming we were on our way to artificial gravity or a warp drive by his bold claims. Of course, his experiments could never be duplicated. Since then, he's been trying to make waves (ha!) with other dubious claims of making gravity effects by electromagnetic means and such.

Take anything he claims "confirmed" with a one hundred pound bag pinch of salt.

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