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Comment Re:What kind of person did they study? (Score 3, Insightful) 79

While I find the study surprising it is disturbingly logical. And I expect the article's solution would only be temporary (making random drastic changes to the prompts). Personally when I receive a windows escalation prompt I've already made the decision to run the program and the prompt just gets in the way of that, I already trust the program or I wouldn't have run it in the first place. Showing the prompt after the user has decided to run the program is already too late. The warning should be shown on the icon, if in a gui, and preferably the application should have a list of privileges that it needs, like android, instead of a generic "everything".

Comment Re:Better definition of planet (Score 1, Informative) 196

As far as I'm concerned, if it's gravitation is enough to pull it into a sphere, it's a planet. Yes, I'm happy counting Luna and a bunch of other satellites

Then wouldn't our very own moon be a planet and not a moon by that definition?

Most people are ignorant that Earth's moon has a proper name: Luna, or that the term satellites refers to anything that orbits another body. Man-made satellites have recently become the primary definition of satellite but the original definition is still very much valid.

Another interesting fact: Earth's sun's proper name is Sol.

Comment Re:'right to be forgotten' (Score 1) 95

What if the first thing that shows up in a google search about you is a court filing about someone else that shares the same name as you? Any HR department that takes a google search at face value isn't doing its job.

I think the "right to be forgotten" idea has good intentions but the problem is similar to the RIAA's resistance to the internet. A better reaction would be to give an alternative to people treating search engines and random internet sites as authoritative sources of information and instead give people something that they can trust that includes all relevant information. It could be similar to a credit score or a government run webpage that includes every individual's public information.

Comment Re:They kept it SECRET so lots can be kept secret? (Score 5, Informative) 183

If you read the damninteresting.com article in the expanded summary it mentions that no one knew about it because there was a press strike. Wikipedia confirms that all 3 major New York City newspapers were on strike while the building was being repaired.

The repairs were only "secret" because no one was asking questions about it.

Comment Re:Won't work (Score 1) 342

The problem with requiring someone to hold onto shares for a specific amount of time is that it doesn't prevent HFT but instead adds a barrier to entry. If I buy 5 shares of IBM but then must wait a week before I can sell those 5 shares what prevents me from selling these other 5 shares I bought last week? If there was a company that held several stocks that were readily trade able other people could contract selling the shares & replacing them for a nominal fee. This would be similar to shorting stocks.

One possible solution would be to trade shares on a fixed schedule, ex: every minute but not between minutes. This would provide everyone the same amount of time to react to the information. The difficult part would be deciding between who wins the bids, since time is an unfair determining factor that leaves some other metric like price bid or bidder's history or a random element.

Comment Re:3D printing (Score 2) 251

Actually that makes a ton of sense. Seriously, no sarcasm. I can see people going to a library or other community center and using the cheap 3D printers to make test prints and then going to a business to make an expensive version. Or if you had several prints that you needed to get done then just go somewhere with a bunch of printers and have them printed in parallel there instead of in serial at home.

And if the 3D printing revolution does happen like the fanboys say: the kinko's down the street will still have a better printer then the one I may have at home.

Comment Re:3D printing (Score 5, Informative) 251

3D printing isn't ready for hobbyist level yet, it's still more for early adapters but several of your concerns have been fixed in the past few years.

- The more you're willing to spend on the printer the better quality results you'll get from the printer with less tinkering.
- Windows 8 does have a standard 3D printer driver. Not every 3D printer may use it but you have to admit that there will be some standardization on drivers MS puts out. You'll still need an authoring program, but that's not different then needing a writing program to create a 2D document.

Personally I don't see 3D printers really taking off until there's a "killer app" for them. Until there's something that everyone just needs to print and customize. Something like lego mindstorms or artistic iPhone covers or skylanders. Until that happens most 3D printers will be relegated to knick knacks and smart phone cradles.

Comment Re:It's not arrogant, it's correct. (Score 1) 466

But the connection between providers isn't the justification for the deal with Comcast. Netflix wanted to put their servers inside Comcast's network using their Open Connect Content Delivery Network that you link to. If Netflix had been able to do that then the amount of traffic carrying Netflix data coming into Comcast's network from other Providers would have dropped considerably, which should have saved Comcast money. However according to this LATimes article Comcast wanted Netflix to subsidize the cost of moving traffic through Comcast's internal network.

Basically Comcast feels they're undercharging their customers for the amount of bandwidth that their customers are using but instead of raising the cost of internet access they want Netflix to pay for it since most people are using Netflix.

Comment Re:Not sending history to Valve (Score 2) 511

Checking the MD5 hash is one of the oldest methods of anti-cheat. Nowadays file hashes are signed by a private key and verified locally with the corresponding public key, if the hashes don't match then it's an invalid file. But like I said, this is one of the oldest methods and has been worked around for years. The simplest method is to modify system dlls that the executable depends upon to inject code into the running game. This then leads to signing everything that the executable could depend upon. The next easiest method is to launch the executable, pause execution, overwrite some data/functions, and then resume. This has been combated by having the executable live at a random offset. Instead of the executable living at 0 in memory it could live at position 1024 or 756.

The problem is that all anti-cheat software is essentially DRM and running DRM on am open platform like a PC is inherently problematic.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 0) 578

And why is it that you are owed free content?

And why is it that this content shouldn't be free? It seems to me that the spreading of the spirit of international cooperation and friendly competition should have as few barriers as possible.

I've never cared about the Olympics but I could easily see an argument that access to the Olympic games is a citizen's right. However I am enough of a realist to recognize that money quickly comes into the argument. Organizing the games, advertising, etc costs a lot of money and that the majority of that comes from selling the broadcast rights to different companies. But the price that NBC paid for the rights is tiny compared to the USA Federal budget. The USA could pay the license rights, broadcast the content, and probably break even while still providing access to every citizen.

Then the content would be "free".

Comment Re:"...as we migrate our audience..." (Score 1) 232

I don't hate the current beta site but I do find it unusable. The beta site has made some improvements over the months but I doubt that it will be fulfill the minimum requirements any time soon.

My current complaints:
1. Fixed width and a lot of wasted space. I browse with a window width of 1200 on a PC. The comments end up being around 400 pixels wide, that is a lot of wasted horizontal space. On a tablet I can understand having a dead area around the edges of the screen to help avoid accidental touches but on a PC it's wasteful. Also that side bar is completely worthless once someone has scrolled below it yet it still takes up the screen real estate.

2. The side bar can't be customized. On the classic site I can add/remove different widgets for things that I care about. I realize that the web has moved on since those widgets were first designed so I can understand changing them. But that doesn't mean that I want to have widgets that I actively ignore, I haven't cared about the slashdot poll in years and that's not going to change; also I don't care about what was on the site 10 years ago this day.

3. The comments seem to have bugs. On the main site there are 7 replies to this comment's parent while on the beta site there are only 2 replies. What happened to the other comments? It seems that the only the first 2 comments by date are displayed meaning some +5 comments aren't being displayed which brings the average of the entire comment system down by a significant amount.

4. Make a dedicated forum/thread/story/etc where you engage with community about the new site. Currently people are complaining in the comments of every article because that's the only place they feel like they can vent. Make a dedicated area to talk about the new site design and where the designers explain their design decisions. I know that showing people how the sausage is made is scary and that it will invite a lot of criticism but it also can create a lot of trust.

Comment Going to get worse before it gets better (Score 3, Interesting) 179

As several people have pointed out Amazon appears to be applying the correct sales tax. The fact that the resident of NJ doesn't understand his own sales tax demonstrates how complex sales tax can be. Every state, county, and city can have their own sales tax laws which have to all be correctly applied based upon arbitrary characteristics. A state can have a tax rate of 4% with an additional 3% for prepared foods and then a city in that state could have a 2% tax on sugary treats. What counts as a prepared food or sugary treat? That will vary just as much and may not even follow common sense, tomatoes have even been legally defined as vegetables for tax reasons.

A national sales tax could make a lot things a lot simpler but would force states to relinquish a lot of power as every business that could use the national sales tax instead of the local taxes would. States with high sales tax would see a large revenue drop while residents of states without a sales tax would be penalized. I could see brick and mortar stores jumping through hoops to selectively use the lower tax rate, if the local tax rate is higher then the national one they'd "order" the item for the customer and then "deliver" it from the backroom.

The best solution I can see is if the federal government runs a sales tax database that every retailer can query. The retailer submits the location, price, item, and some relevant descriptors: "luxury", "food", "service", "book" and the API spits back what the sales tax should be for the item. It's then beholden to the states to keep their relevant data updated. The states would be limited in how creative their sales taxes could be as the software would need to support it but the states wouldn't need to cede power to the federal government.

Comment Re:No video in the link (Score 5, Informative) 242

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fSqFWcb4rE

They have a video camera that takes frames faster than light can travel, so they have the technology. Problem is it requires the subject to be ungodly bright.

No. No they don't. They have a "camera" with a very fast shutter speed. Then they take millions of pictures of different laser pulses and stitch them together to create an animation that mimics a single laser pulse.

I know that the comments on youtube are pretty poor and that most people rarely read articles but this is a really cool video and if you can't be bothered to understand what you're looking at then I feel sorry for you.

Comment Re:Digg version 2.0 (Score 5, Insightful) 1191

Try out the comments section before making a judgement.

Slashdot does comments better then 99.99% of the sites out there and while this upgrade may have the same back end the graphical representation of the parent/child/sibling/etc is horrible. It seems that whitespace is the only indication of a parent/child relationship and I can't quickly determine who is responding to what. Following a thread of conversation is gone.

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