Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: The unintended consequences of privatization (Score 2) 163

by cutecub (#35472408) Attached to: Flickr Censors Egypt Police Photos

Because the censorship covered by the First Amendment deals only with the Government.

Exactly. In the US, Republicans and Democrats alike have embraced outsourcing of government services to private companies as a means of saving money.

But what we've lost as a result is accountability, regulation and Redress. No one seems to have considered the consequences of splitting up the Public Square into a million little private squares, each setting its own rules and standards. Or, perhaps, they have considered the consequences and then gone and done it anyway.


Comment: Doctor Who is Gallifreyan for Deus ex machina (Score 1) 762

by cutecub (#34594516) Attached to: Stargate Universe Cancelled

personally I love the absurdity of their story lines. It just wouldn't be Doctor Who without it.

I agree with you its the absurdity that makes Doctor Who.

The problem I have with the rebooted Doctor Who is that the plots make absolutely no sense - even within the framework of the show. Its like the writers continually write themselves into corners that they aren't clever enough to write themselves out of. So... they just keep letting "impossible things happen."

My favorite counter-example: the movie Time Bandits. That film was totally absurd, just like Doctor Who, but it all made sense. You never got the feeling the writer was messing with you.


Comment: You're being silly... (Score 1) 473

by cutecub (#34452938) Attached to: People With University Degree Fear Death Less

Its true that Science can't prove, in the mathematical sense, the non-existence of God simply because you can't mathematically prove a negative. But that's true of everything in Science, including crazy ideas such as Gravity, Electromagnetism and Kepler's laws of planetary motion.

The old trope, "Absence of proof is not proof of absence" misses the point. Absence of Evidence IS Evidence of absence.

So, it makes perfect sense to me that people with a higher level of education ( people with more evidence ) would see less need for God or a prescriptive religion.


Comment: Add Software Patent Examiner... (Score 1) 314

by cutecub (#33902450) Attached to: Webvention Demanding $80k For Rollover Images
... to the list of worst IT jobs.

Can you imagine spending your day reading nonsense like:

Contexts are selected and combined into new information structures called alternates, which are combinable with contexts into preferred situations. The preferred situations in turn are combinable with the foregoing components into meta-situations.

I mean, it sounds like the output of an unholy mind-meld between a scientist and a marketing manager.


Comment: NPR's On The Media reported on this recently (Score 1) 136

by cutecub (#33576402) Attached to: EFF Says 'Stop Using Haystack'
Unlike most news and analysis programs, "On The Media" actually took some responsibility for their role in hyping this story:

The other guilty party here is us, and by us, you do mean us, among everybody else [LAUGHS] in the media. We aired an interview with Heap back in May, and we were quite impressed with his story. You say that Heap has proved to be catnip for the media. Why do you think his narrative is so appealing?

That's an admission you don't hear too often in the press, oblique though it was.



Icelandic Company Designs Human Pylons 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the anthropomorphic-power dept.
Lanxon writes "An architecture and design firm called Choi+Shine has submitted a design for the Icelandic High-Voltage Electrical Pylon International Design Competition which proposes giant human-shaped pylons carrying electricity cables across the country's landscape, reports Wired. The enormous figures would only require slight alterations to existing pylon designs, says the firm, which was awarded an Honorable mention for its design by the competition's judging board. It also won an award from the Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Architecture competition."

Plagiarism Inc. 236

Posted by samzenpus
from the cheating-is-easy-money dept.
Here's an interesting article on the life and times of 24-year-old Jordan Kavoosi, who has made a business of plagiarism. His Essay Writing Company employs writers from across the country, and will deliver a paper on any subject for $23 per page. In addition, his company will get it done in 48 hours, and he guarantees at least a B grade or your money back. From the article: "'Sure it's unethical, but it's just a business,' Kavoosi explains. 'I mean, what about strip clubs or porn shops? Those are unethical, and city-approved.'"

Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs" 571

Posted by samzenpus
from the mr.-terrorist-wizard dept.
formfeed writes "Police were called to a house in Omaha where a 14-year-old made some 'dry ice bombs' (dry ice in soda bottles). Since his mom knew about it, she is now facing felony charges for child endangment and possession of a destructive device. From the article: 'Assistant Douglas County Attorney Eric Wells said the boy admitted to making the bomb and that his mother knew he was doing so. The boy was set to appear Tuesday afternoon in juvenile court, accused of possessing a destructive device.'" She's lucky they didn't find the baking soda volcano in the basement.

Comment: If we can't get CGI characters to act human... (Score 4, Interesting) 264

by cutecub (#31726300) Attached to: Android Copy of Young Woman Unveiled In Japan
...then we sure as hell aren't going to be able to get robotic characters to act human.

CGI animators, in some sense, have a much easier task then the roboticist. Its much easier to program a full musculature into an animated character than to physically build a robotic one.

The difficulty of all this is exemplified by Robert Zemeckis' dismal "Polar Express" and "A Christmas Carol". Even when capturing hundreds of control points on the faces of the actors, you're still left teetering on the edge of the Uncanny Valley.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Avatar" were more successful because they did complete surface capture of the actors faces rather than point-capture.

Which gets back to the difficulty of making robots appear human. Its the same problem, magnified 1000 times by the fact that, in essence, you have to pack the equivalent of a millions of "control-points" into the robots face.

Not an easy task.


"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite." -- Bertrand Russell, _Sceptical_Essays_, 1928