Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:So what next? (Score 1) 72

by gstoddart (#48917337) Attached to: FCC Fines Verizon For Failing To Investigate Rural Phone Problems

Or maybe refund the money they've been given to maintain it, or the subsidies to expand it.

Sorry, but the telecom companies have been handed huge piles of cash to maintain this stuff ... that they've sat on it and failed to invest in all of their infrastructure is their damned problem.

They weren't given that money to only invest in the most profitable stuff ... they were given it to invest in the entire system so that it was there for everybody.

Greedy, shortsighted corporations don't need to charge more to pay for that stuff ... they need to use the money they've been given/have been charging for what it was for in the first place.

Mostly I think they've been lining executive pockets, and bribing politicians so they can keep doing the same crap.

Comment: Re:stone tablets (Score 1) 185

by gstoddart (#48917093) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

OK hotshot, how sure are you that the medium those *wonderful* answers are stored on hasn't deteriorated, resulting in us looking back on bad advice?!

Assume it will, or that it already has. Which, has more or less been in all those answers which came before.

Buy 4 HDs ... back everything to all four, keep two at home, and keep backing up to them, put the other two in another physical location. Periodically rotate one of them.

If you have at least two backups of very recent vintage, and two of an slightly older vintage ... you're constantly making new backups.

Over time, assume even the ones you're still using.

In other words: Hint: The consensus recommendation was to pick at least two different media, and store them in a least two different geographical locations, then migrate to different media as technology improves.

Which is precisely what the GP said.

Don't assume you've made a static backup which will suffer from neither bitrot nor obsolescence. Plan accordingly.

This is literally a decades old strategy. The more important the data, the more discrete copies you keep, and the more regularly you do it.

Comment: LOL ... (Score 1) 78

by gstoddart (#48916941) Attached to: Opera Founder Is Back, WIth a Feature-Heavy, Chromium-Based Browser

Firefox users who likewise prefer a browser with more rather than fewer features (but otherwise want to stick with Firefox) might also consider SeaMonkey, which bundles not just a browser but email, newsgroup client and feed reader, HTML editor, IRC chat and web development tools.

LOL ... 1997 called, they want their browser back.

More seriously, where does Opera/this Vivaldi thing fall on the privacy end of the spectrum? Is it ad supported? Is it full of crapware?

If it isn't secure or trustworthy, WTF is the point? The last I saw anything from Opera was an Opera mini ... and it seemed to be quite the opposite of a privacy oriented browser, precisely because it seemed full of ads.

I want the "advertisers and sponsors go to hell" browser, do we have that?

Comment: Multiple redundant backups ... (Score 1) 185

by gstoddart (#48916827) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

External HDs are cheap these days.

Set up a robocopy script to backup to an external. drive Periodically backup to a second external HD.

Periodically cycle the external HDs into your safe-deposit box at the bank.

Accept that every few years your external HDs get cycled out due to age.

Don't try to make some permanent archival solution which will rely on technology in the future working ... keep them active and in the air. Two local copies, and possibly as many as two remote copies.

I think your specific medium over the long term is less meaningful when you can buy a 3TB external HD for under $100 .. especially if archiving those files actually is valuable for you.

Nowadays, it seems like redundant, offline backups for stuff you deem important enough is fairly easy to do.

The advantage of a robocopy is it will only copy what's changed, so your static data doesn't add too much.

Comment: Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 4, Insightful) 200

by gstoddart (#48916601) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Economics isn't an ideology.

Bullshit, it sure isn't objective science, it's models, based on dubious assumptions which aren't reflective of anything other than the beliefs of the person who made them, and then using mathematics of dubious quality to "prove" what your ideology tells you.

Are you retarded or just ignorant?

Are you an asshole or a douchebag?

I'm saying that when people say "if you cut taxes it will stimulate the economy", that is a purely ideological position, not grounded in objective fact. And economics serves no purpose if it isn't down to implementing policy, which is inherently idological.

And again, it is like you are saying physics cannot be a science because there is many unproven theories that coexists.

No, I'm saying physics still boils down to actual objective reality, and in no fucking way shape or form does economics do that, and never has.

Frankly, you are an idiot.

Frankly, you're an asshole who thinks too highly of his own opinion.

So far you've failed to offer anything intelligent, just the cowardly ad hominem attacks of a worthless moron with nothing new to add.

So, I'll tell you what, here's a piece by someone who has a fucking Nobel prize in "economic science".
One problem with economics is that it is necessarily focused on policy, rather than discovery of fundamentals. Nobody really cares much about economic data except as a guide to policy: economic phenomena do not have the same intrinsic fascination for us as the internal resonances of the atom or the functioning of the vesicles and other organelles of a living cell. We judge economics by what it can produce. As such, economics is rather more like engineering than physics, more practical than spiritual.

There is no Nobel prize for engineering, though there should be. True, the chemistry prize this year looks a bit like an engineering prize, because it was given to three researchers - Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel - "for the development of multiscale models of complex chemical systems" that underlie the computer programs that make nuclear magnetic resonance hardware work. But the Nobel Foundation is forced to look at much more such practical, applied material when it considers the economics prize.

The problem is that once we focus on economic policy, much that is not science comes into play. Politics becomes involved, and political posturing is amply rewarded by public attention. The Nobel prize is designed to reward those who do not play tricks for attention, and who, in their sincere pursuit of the truth, might otherwise be slighted.

Why is it called a prize in "economic sciences", rather than just "economics"? The other prizes are not awarded in the "chemical sciences" or the "physical sciences."

Fields of endeavour that use "science" in their titles tend to be those that get masses of people emotionally involved and in which crackpots seem to have some purchase on public opinion. These fields have "science" in their names to distinguish them from their disreputable cousins.

So, seriously, fuck off and grow up.

Economics is descriptive how what complex systems involving humans do. But is is NOT measuring some innate natural properties of how that actually works.

As soon as economics goes from measuring and describing, and steps into applying policy .... it utterly ceases to be a science.

Comment: Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 2, Insightful) 200

by gstoddart (#48915699) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Not claiming I have the answers ... but I'm flat out saying the economists who tell us WTF the economy is doing and why are so completely full of shit as to be laughable.

Economics isn't a science, it's fucking ideology.

The idiotic policies of Alan Greenspan almost directly led to the housing bubble ... and even he admits his notion of "free money" was idiotic and wrong.

Economics is NOT a fucking science and never has been, it's intrinsically linked to politics and ideology.

People who claim it is some kind of objective science are either lying to us, or to themselves. Science doesn't yield different outcomes based on your political leaning.

Comment: Re:Cannot WAIT for the Greece Summer Sale! (Score 1) 200

by gstoddart (#48915589) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Grappa is Italian, you're thinking of Tsipouro -- even if they're mostly the same thing.

And you're only about the 4th person that I've ever encountered besides me who will admit to liking grappa -- I know old Italians who wince at the mention of it. :-P

Comment: Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 4, Insightful) 200

by gstoddart (#48915485) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

You know ... looking around what has happened in the last few decades ... I think being a trained economist makes you eminently unqualified to run an economy.

Economics is as much ideology as it is "science" -- what you think will happen depends on what you believe happens. Economics is not some intrinsic natural law.

It seems like trained economists are just as likely to fuck up an economy as would be trained monkeys -- because at the end of the day you have shockingly little control over things, and probably less of an understanding that you claim. Let's not start pretending that economists actually know anything about the economy. They know what their ideologically driven view of economics tells them to they know.

I think calling economics a "science" is a complete joke -- because it's not.

Of course, the biggest thing facing Greece is they can't wave away their debts and their problems -- never been certain the austerity program was going to work for them, but they basically drove themselves into the ground and won't get out by telling Germany et al "thanks for the money, now piss off".

When you have no cash, and nobody is willing to give you credit ... this new government seems to be living in a fantasy if they think they can just make that all go away.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 173

by gstoddart (#48914617) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

I suspect you could also use an unregulated trebuchet to launch something over a fence

LOL ... somehow the idea of a medieval siege engine bypassing some of the most sophisticated security sounds utterly hilarious.

One would hope you couldn't set such a thing up and not have anybody notice.

Otherwise, that could seriously change "modern" warfare. "Umm, general, they seem to be using things made of rope, wood, and stone ... none of our technology seems to have any effect."

Hehe ... I'm going to laugh about that the rest of the day.

Comment: Re:Visible from Earth? (Score 1) 104

by gstoddart (#48914347) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

It's just going to be a point of light at its most visible. At an altitude of 22,200 miles you're not going to see much of it even with a telescope.

Well, I was more thinking a point of dark -- as in, can it, from the perspective of an Earth-bound observer, block out stars behind it?

At that diameter, I assume it's got a larger apparent diameter than most stars would.

Comment: Cyber terrorism ... (Score 5, Insightful) 78

by gstoddart (#48913627) Attached to: Researchers Tie Regin Malware To NSA, Five Eyes Intel Agencies

If we did it, it's cyberterrorism. If they do it, it's law enforcement.


These clowns are entirely willing to undermine the security of every computer on the planet to get their grubby fingers into everything.

We need products which keep these guys out, and these guys need a serious beat down in the courts to limit what they can do. A few of them probably should be hung for treason.

Morally, every black hat should be targeting these agencies to cause as much damage to them as possible -- because the damage they're doing to our freedoms is immeasurable.

Thanks, America, for leading the charge in fucking up the planet.

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)