Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Time to abandon normal phones? (Score 2) 217

Mine is whitelist capable, but that's too restrictive for me. I don't know what number my pharmacy will be calling from to confirm a prescription and I don't want to maintain that growing list of numbers. During the last election cycle I got 1-2 calls a night for about 2 days. By then all the major call centers had been blocked and I stopped getting harassed by pollsters and politicians. I even have a few entire prefixes blocked out due to high spam calls coming from that area code. My only complaint is that it is too easy to accidentally add a good number to the blacklist. I've added myself a couple of times. Easy enough to fix, though.

Comment: Re:Time to abandon normal phones? (Score 1) 217

Get one of these:

The only downside is that if you enable blocking of no caller ID, Unknown, 000-000-0000, etc, it will block legit calls if the caller ID doesn't show up fast enough. I LOVE mine. I was getting 2-3 calls per night with 5ish more per day on the machine. This stopped them. All of them. If one gets through, I push the big red button and it hangs up and adds them to the block list.

Comment: Re:What's next? (Score 2) 292

by dead_user (#48652477) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens
Chapter breaks allow for a reader to be able to step away from the novel knowing they haven't left a cliffhanger on the next page. Think of it like a scene change in a movie. I can't stand just picking some random place to stop reading a book because I have to go. If I decide to quit reading in the middle of a chapter, I check to see how much is left. If it is just a page or two more, I'll finish the chapter.

Paragraph breaks let my brain codify smaller chunks of data for parsing more efficiently than long run-on paragraphs. It just works better.

Comment: Re:Yes, it's click-bate, but... (Score 1) 165

When I was much younger, I left an electric range on warm for days. I never noticed until I set a box of rice krispy treats on the warming burner and left them for hours. It was a small apartment and counter space was a premium. I often stored flat things on the range to save space. Needless to say, I don't do that anymore. Since then, I've always had a certain paranoia about leaving the range on. Now I have gas, so no worries.

Comment: Re:Yes, it's click-bate, but... (Score 2) 165

1. Buy a new phone.
2. Get a new sim with your current number on it.
3. Restore last backup to new phone.
4. Profit!

I know all the important numbers I usually call since Siri's name recognition isn't really reliable enough to use. I usually just dial by saying "dial 555-7654"
At college in '93 someone in the computer science building connected the Coke machine to the net. You could telnet in and get the current temp with an ascii art representation of how many cans were loaded in each slot. Totally useless, but totally awesome. I had it programmed into TinyFugue so I could check and see if the Dr Pepper slot was full at 3 AM just by hitting F8 when I was mudding in the lab on Muddog. And now I feel old.

While I don't NEED my stove to be internet aware and firmware upgradeable, it would be cool if it could be polled to check the burner status or if it sent me an alert if it had been on for longer than is sane so I don't burn my house down. The market can dictate what is and isn't useful. I doubt you'll see too many connected blenders. I guess we'll see!

Comment: Re:Misleading-AOL is free (Score 1) 54

by dead_user (#46874441) Attached to: AOL Finally Admits They Were Hacked
My 78 year old boss's AOL account was hacked a few weeks ago. It started receiving 40-50 undeliverable returns every 4-5 hours in batches. I know it was using a strong password because I set it myself a few weeks before that. I was able to use the obvious breach as a way to finally get the AOL account turned off. Believe it or not, he was still paying 24.95 a month for AOL access. Nevermind the fact that we run our own email server and I can point an alias anywhere he wishes. I think for him it was like an old friend. Forget that all the people he corresponds with use his new account and he's just looking in from time to time to sift through the spam. He knew he hadn't used the account in years, but he'd had it since he'd had a personal computer. Sometimes it's hard for people to just let go.

Personally, I've had too many email addresses to get attached to one.

Comment: Re:Romans (Score 2) 266

by dead_user (#46364751) Attached to: 3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean
Boat keels are usually made of lead. In order to counter the weight above CG, massive amounts of weight are added to the keel as low as possible. Sailboats use more lead per foot than powerboats but powerboats and vessels such as barges are absolutely massive. Boats are basically massive Weeble Wobbles.

Being at the lowest part of the vessel and constantly in the water, keels are prone to blistering, leaching, and sometimes they just fall off. All this is just left in the sea. The other amazing thing is the amount of copper these boats go through. Most bottom paints are 50-75% copper. All the copper is leached out in about 2 years in southern climes, 5 years in northern. Most 35' sailboats take 1.5 - 2 gallons per bottom. That's 30 lbs of copper per sailboat every two years. Gone. Wow. A typical boat also eats about 5 pounds of zinc a year in sacrificial anodes, but zinc is cheap, so who cares.

Comment: Re:That's a great plan... (Score 2) 197

by dead_user (#46327239) Attached to: US Carriers Said To Have Rejected Kill Switch Technology Last Year
It's not remote-erase that we're talking about. It's remote-brick. Make it useless. Of course there will always be a market for second-hand screens, but the primary value is the motherboard, which if it becomes worthless makes it less likely that they will steal your phone in the first place.

Comment: Re:Nutritional value ? (Score 1) 225

by dead_user (#46291473) Attached to: Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years
Wait a minute... the food was supposed to go IN the green bag?! That would explain a LOT. The way the instructions read (past tense) to me, both the heater, water bag, and the food were supposed to be in the box together, but not all in the bag. Based on the sizes of the pouches I guess I assumed too much. Obviously you could bend the sides over to make it fit, but I just didn't think you were supposed to. Hopefully I will never have a reason to try the heat packs out again! It is nice to know though. Thanks

Comment: Re:Nutritional value ? (Score 1) 225

by dead_user (#46282361) Attached to: Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years
In all honesty, I think the failure of the heaters was more likely an issue of me not knowing a few simple things about the process. I was never sure if I was adding enough or too much water. The bag says fill to the line, but should the bag be FULL of water or should you hold it tight and just basically wet the carbon packet? I never got it right, and at 20 minutes a shot it wasn't many tries before I said "fuck it" and heated it on the stove in 10 minutes. That, and the heater packs kept setting off the carbon monoxide sensor in my temporary digs. ;)

Comment: Re:Nutritional value ? (Score 4, Interesting) 225

by dead_user (#46263583) Attached to: Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years
I can assure you the seals on the MRE's are airtight. After Katrina I went through about 5 cases of them myself. The entree's seal is about 8 mils of rubbery but laminated aluminum backed plastic. They have those curls cut in the end that make you think it should be a tear-able edge, but all that happens is the plastic stretches a little. I never had a problem once the knife came out though. Those MRE's are as well sealed as the tires on my car. The M&M's and Skittles were in their standard packaging. The little packets of gum were hard as rocks, and were rumored to contain a mild laxative. I can't speak to that, as I spat them out the instant I stuck them in my mouth. Nasty. I still have a collection of really tiny Tabasco bottles. One with every meal, you know.

The pasta dishes were by far the tastiest. The chicken cacciatore in particular was quite good. The tomato based sauces were all pretty ok, but they just tasted a little off. Metallic, maybe. The meat entrees suffered a little bit more by the processing. Anything beef was better by than anything pork. The "pork ribs" was a large piece of jerky-style pork pressed into a childs rendition of a Mc-Rib and stored in this weird transparent BBQ sauce preservative. Ewwww. The crackers and packets of peanut butter and jelly were completely normal. The "bread" depended on where the MRE was manufactured. The ones that came from the midwest were better. The bread was a thick fig-newton shaped bar of pressed bread. Ugly as sin, but it tasted OK. The MRE's that were made in the east had bread that was shaped like a bread icon but tasted like cardboard. The only thing that was truly inedible was the omelette. Trust me, trade the omelette for an extra pack of the sport-drink.

The chemical heaters didn't really do that good of a job heating the food. I suspect that with time, the aggressiveness of the reaction fades a bit. I'd just boil a pot of water and drop the whole entree packets in to heat them up.

Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you'll be surprised at how little you have. -- Ernest Haskins