Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:What Bullshit (Score 1) 389

Artificial life forms could be resistant to many kinds of accidents. All they have to do is keep an offsite backup of their mental state and restore to new hardware after the accident.

There's no reason to think that every form of high-speed data transfer must be susceptible to viruses.

Comment: Re:Don't be passive, DO something (Score 1) 312

by gronofer (#48537091) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electronics-Induced Inattentiveness?

I don't think games are the answer. Sure you can concentrate on a game for hours on end, but games are designed to be addictive and hold your attention. You can't expect that experience to translate to any real-world activity, and the game will just be an additional distraction.

I don't see anything wrong with queuing up a few web pages to read because they load slowly, as long as there's a good reason to be reading those pages in the first place.

Comment: Re:Haters gonna hate (Score 3, Informative) 187

by gronofer (#48536421) Attached to: Microsoft Introduces<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Core

Never say never. But how about they stop extorting royalties from software patents first? That's pure evil by many programmers' standards. I'd also like to be clear that they are no longer in the business of inventing "standards" that are intended to make their own products incompatible with anything else. I see that their office software still doesn't use the Open Document format by default.

Comment: Re:So what qualifies? (Score 4, Informative) 489

by gronofer (#48182743) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

However the Communcations Act of 2003 is interpreted, is seems. See Wikipedia:

Malicious communications

Section 127 of the act makes it an offence to send a message that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character over a public electronic communications network.[8] The section replaced section 43 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 and is drafted as widely as its predecessor.[9] The section has controversially been widely used to prosecute users of social media in cases such as the Twitter Joke Trial and Facebook comments concerning the murder of April Jones.[10]

On 19 December 2012, to strike a balance between freedom of speech and criminality, the Director of Public Prosecutions issued interim guidelines, clarifying when social messaging is eligible for criminal prosecution under UK law. Only communications that are credible threats of violence, harassment, or stalking (such as aggressive Internet trolling) which specifically targets an individual or individuals, or breaches a court order designed to protect someone (such as those protecting the identity of a victim of a sexual offence) will be prosecuted. Communications that express an "unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humor, even if distasteful to some and painful to those subjected to it" will not. Communications that are merely "grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false" will be prosecuted only when it can be shown to be necessary and proportionate. People who pass on malicious messages, such as by retweeting, can also be prosecuted when the original message is subject to prosecution. Individuals who post messages as part of a separate crime, such as a plan to import drugs, would face prosecution for that offence, as is currently the case.[11][12][13]

Revisions to the interim guidelines were issued on 20 June 2013 following a public consultation.[14] The revisions specified that prosecutors should consider:

whether messages were aggravated by references to race, religion or other minorities, and whether they breached existing rules to counter harassment or stalking; and
the age and maturity of any wrongdoer should be taken into account and given great weight.

The revisions also clarified that criminal prosecutions were "unlikely":

when the author of the message had "expressed genuine remorse";
when "swift and effective action ... to remove the communication" was taken; or
when messages were not intended for a wide audience.

Comment: I hate to say it... (Score 1) 366

by gronofer (#48165761) Attached to: Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Seeing as most 'potential' human beings never make it, I don't quite share the moral dilemma in choosing the best of the best.

Raising not only humanities average intelligence but much more importantly the lower end seems a phenomenal gain to me.

You are assuming that parents would choose the embryo with the highest IQ. I'm wondering if a lot of people wouldn't be more likely to pick the one in the middle, because they don't want their child to be a "nerd".

Comment: Re:Is this counting Apple's new encryption scheme? (Score 1) 210

by gronofer (#48122347) Attached to: Snowden's Tough Advice For Guarding Privacy
I'm not sure whay "key" means in this context. If I encrypt a file archive, I need to enter a pass phrase, preferably over 20 characters and not easily brute forceable. This pass phrase is they key, as far as I know. What is the equivalent on Apple's devices? Are they encrypting with a 4 digit pin?

Comment: Re:But amateurs can't keep up any more... (Score 1) 68

by gronofer (#48053775) Attached to: UK Copyright Reforms Legalize Back-Ups, Protect Parody
Somehow I think society would survive without new big-budget productions like Lord of the Rigs et al. The benefits from making all of the world's information readily available, by no longer treating it as property, would far outweigh that loss. However the question is somewhat academic, since it seems that there's roughly zero political interest in any country that I know of for trying out alternatives to ever increasing copyright terms and ever more draconian attempts to enforce it.

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop