Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:This seems batshit crazy. (Score 1) 189

by Kjella (#49627173) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

Would the government need a warrant to compel your mother to turn over all the letters she's sent to you over the years, so they can retro-actively track your location in an attempt to link you to crimes?

Not sure the analogy is good as the content, yes obviously. If you're a fugitive from the law but they suspect your mom is secretly sending you letters do they need a warrant to read the mailing address? Probably not, a court order will probably do since it's information that the post office obviously must have in order to deliver it, just like the number you dialed.

Comment: Re:This seems batshit crazy. (Score 1) 189

by Kjella (#49627151) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

It is still a BS ruling. If I am in my own home making a phone call (I don't have a land line) I definitely have an expectation of privacy; location, content, and otherwise. Existing law already says that.

The "privacy of your own home" only extends as far as you keep your actions private, if you post home videos on YouTube they don't get the same protection as you have against the police planting a spy camera in your house. When you make a call, you're volunteering information to the phone company about where you are and who you'd like to call, you don't get any extra expectation of privacy from doing it from your own home.

Comment: Re:...eventually put people on mars...my butt (Score 1) 127

by Kjella (#49624715) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Reaches Martian Day 4,000 of Its 90-Day Mission

I can understand why you say we won't colonize Mars the way we don't colonize Antarctica, but going there? We've already had people travel through the vacuum of space exposed to cosmic rays to land on a barren rock and take off again. The latest estimates is that a Mars round trip will give you about 5% lifetime risk of dying from cancer, it's far from a deadly dose. We've had people living in zero-g for 437 days straight, we have people isolated in Antarctica for several months of solid darkness and cold. There's really nothing to indicate Mars is so inhospitable that we can't go, if we want to. It might not make sense to go because of the billions we'll need without much tangible returns but in practice we probably could.

Comment: Re:The /. groupthink is strongly against manned mi (Score 4, Insightful) 127

by Kjella (#49624507) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Reaches Martian Day 4,000 of Its 90-Day Mission

Still, I have to point out that this amount of research could have been done by a motorized human in half a day. For a rough estimate, look at the path the rover traveled in these 4000 days:

And the entire project with two rovers and five extensions has cost $944 million. The SLS program will cost tens of billions to develop and even then a launch would eat over half the budget, before you actually have any crew capsule, lander, habitat, return craft or scientific equipment. If you really did an apples-to-apples comparison on the same budget, you'd realize we're getting a very good bang for the buck.

Comment: Re:The 30 and 40-somethings wrote the code... (Score 1) 537

by Kjella (#49614525) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

I find it most ironic when I watch people chase technology like phones. They have a smartphone. It has X features and does Y things. They only use it for 10%X and 15%Y, but immediately upgrade to the new phone that has 150%X and 140%Y capabilities when they're still only going to use ten to fifteen percent of the capabilities.

So? I might be a shitty photographer, but I'm going to be less terrible with a better camera and smarter auto modes. I'm sure there's many ways I haven't taken full advantage of my computer, I've still upgraded it every so often. Phones advance at a fairly rapid pace even if users don't.

Comment: Re:EEO bullshit (Score 3, Insightful) 537

by Kjella (#49614305) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

2015:

This is one of the biggest bullshit laws I've ever seen. Let's say I don't want to hire you because you're old. EEO laws simply mean that I can't say it in your face that you're old. Instead, i send you the standard HR rejection e-mail and we're all good. Sight, I hate seeing my tax $$ going to waste drafting these stupid laws.

1965:

This is one of the biggest bullshit laws I've ever seen. Let's say I don't want to hire you because you're [black]. EEO laws simply mean that I can't say it in your face that you're [black]. Instead, i send you the standard HR rejection e-mail and we're all good. Sight, I hate seeing my tax $$ going to waste drafting these stupid laws.

You're right, certain bits hasn't changed much...

Comment: Fluff piece (Score 1) 65

by Kjella (#49614083) Attached to: Accessibility In Linux Is Good (But Could Be Much Better)

GNU/Linux distributions provide great advantages over proprietary alternatives for people with disabilities. All the accessibility tools included in Linux are open source, meaning their code is readily available if you want to examine or improve it, and cost nothing.

Because disabled people are so looking for a DIY solution. I'll give you the one about cost, but aids for the disabled are usually sold or given away far under their actual cost due to ideal organizations, corporate PR, government aid and so on unless you're making a business specifically for the disabled.

Developers who do not depend on assistive technologies tend to forget - or don't know - that a disabled person might want to use their application, read their web page, and so on. ... The problem is not necessarily that developers do not care.

Oh please, the open source community is 95% driven by scratching your own itch. Very few do any real effort to make it easier for other people to use in general, disabled or not. Which of course doesn't mean that we're heartless bastards, we do care that there are children starving in Africa and a blind guy who can't use your app. Just not enough to ever get around to it.

Rather, it's is that accessibility is highly specialized and requires someone with knowledge in the area, regardless of platform.

Yes, but it's usually not rocket surgery if you care enough to explore it. The few times I've dabbled in it I've found that often takes a lot of effort that doesn't benefit anyone but the disabled, the way a wheelchair user needs a ramp where a step works fine for everybody else. Or in other words, even if you know what you're doing it still takes time, that I certainly wouldn't want to spend on a hobby project.

Comment: Re:human overpopulation (Score 1) 146

by Kjella (#49608117) Attached to: Empty Landscape Looms, If Large Herbivores Continue to Die Out

Essentially, we need Africa to become more economically developed as soon as possible, and when that happens, it's almost certain that they'll follow the same trends that we've seen in happen in other developed countries: stabilizing populations and more serious efforts to protect their natural resources and environment. Unfortunately, we can only encourage these countries to protect their natural assets, but there's really nothing we can do short of that.

1. Well large land animals are an important source of tourism. Tourism is a huge source of income for many poor countries in Africa, like for example it's 12% of the GDP in Kenya. Most governments want to protect them and is willing to accept aid, it's individuals that want to poach them for personal gain. Which basically means they'll take funding, equipment, personnel, anything you're willing to give really. Granted, they'll probably not care so much about CO2 emissions or whatever. Then again, neither do Americans.
2. The reason the poachers are being so successful is because they're well funded from abroad, they're not fighting against the poor man in the street but heavy criminals propped up by first world technology. We can do a lot to try cutting off this supply, catch the smuggling, prosecuting the buyers, tear down the organizations and so on. It's organized crime, just not in a shape we see much of in the western world.

Comment: Re:bad statistics (Score 2) 235

by Kjella (#49606387) Attached to: Chrome Passes 25% Market Share, IE and Firefox Slip

Maybe because Net Applications is the only counter that tries to correct for known skewed sampling. Net Applications uses CIA internet usage data (how much of the population in each country has access to the Internet) to estimate absolute numbers for each country based on the measures distribution and the "Internet" population number. Net Applications is perfectly honest and upfront about this.

And yet if I look at StatCounter's map function, showing the leading browser in each country Chrome leads in most of the world. IE only leads in Japan, South Korea, Swaziland (pop. 1.1mio), Greenland (pop. 55000) and Antarctica (5000 visitors). Firefox has a few strongholds like Germany, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Iran and a bunch of countries in Africa, but the only place IE is ahead of Chrome in second place is Iran (pop. 78mio). With Chrome winning on walkover in Europe, South America, North America, Africa and Oceania and taking massive wins in China, India and Russia I don't see how any possible weighting of StatCounter's numbers would put IE on top.

Comment: Re:Pretty much no service providers catch things.. (Score 1) 234

They finally kicked me over to another department (tech guys I think) who found that a previous tenant, years earlier, had the emergency only (life-line) service. It had been "disconnected" in the system in every way as far as billing and such were concerned, but wasn't actually physically disconnected. The tech guys were finally able to fix it. (...) This is a case where you'd think their system would be able to detect that calls were being placed by a residence that had no service. Nope.

I don't know how it is in the US, but here in Norway you can dial our equivalent of 911 from any cell phone, connecting to any tower in range regardless if it has service or even a SIM card and I assume landlines work on the same principle. That the service was "disconnected" just means they don't have any obligation to keep it working, but they're not going to block any 911 call ever, I don't know if there's a law but the bad publicity would be a disaster. So this is probably by design and a feature, not a bug but customer service was probably not aware of this.

They might not even have access to the raw call log, since their user interface probably revolves around services and calls tied to a service. After all how often do you have a phone line with no service dialing 911 - because that's the only place you can reach - then calling customer service complaining that the call came through? This was a 0.01% corner case and I'm not surprised they thought it "impossible" and had to escalate to someone with real knowledge of the inner workings of the physical network.

Comment: Re:Cost of Programmers Cost of Engines (Score 1) 125

by Kjella (#49600521) Attached to: Should Developers Still Pay For Game Engines?

And by "real programming project", you mean a bloated project with dozens of programmers wasting their time arguing and figuring out how to work together? With good tools, one or two programmers can produce software that's better than a dozen programmers. And good tools should support exactly doing that: greatly reducing the requirement for people on a project.

I can beat a dozen clueless developers, I can't beat a dozen people like myself. If you can there's something horribly wrong with your cooperation, communication and coordination skills. Most of us work on systems that are bigger than one man can build and maintain and if I tried to get my paws into every corner of the system I'd only be the whirlwind trashing things on my way through for the rest to clean up. I've reached my natural scope at the level of detail that I work, if I wanted to increase the width more I'd have to reduce the depth going into design and architecture rather than the finer points of making it work.

Comment: Re:Poker is a lot more complex... (Score 1) 88

by Kjella (#49599443) Attached to: Humans Dominating Poker Super Computer

And the corollary to this is that if you play like range => bet, a good opponent will easily spot bet => range. Unlike chess where it always make sense to make the same play in the same position, it's crucial in poker to play the same hand in different ways. Of course you need to make the "correct" play most of the time, but it's when you set up a play where you have an unlikely hand like raising with garbage but hitting the flop or triple-barreling a monster your opponent thinks is a bluff that huge pots go your way.

This is particularly fun when you see bluff meet bluff and they both think "The only way I can win at this pot is to bet and bet big", you can have huge pots with total air and it's all about who blinks first while when you finally get the aces maybe you get no action whatsoever. They say it's about a 1/3 chance to hit something on the flop, that means in a two-way showdown 1/9 hands are something vs something, 4/9 will be something vs nothing and 5/9 nothing vs nothing. That means you'd better win quite a few of the hands where you don't hit the flop, if you just surrender them uncontested a pro will walk all over you.

Comment: Re:39/100 is the new passing grade. (Score 4, Interesting) 174

Assuming there is some actual effect being investigated, one reproduction will not get you to 'good' levels of surety about the effect. To hit '95%' - you're going to need likely over ten reproductions.

One study != one sample. Each study should have enough cases to make it statistically significant. The problem is related to issues with the sample population or systematic flaws in what you're measuring. To bring it into the realm of physics, if we do a high school gravity experiment and ignore air resistance we can make as many tests as we like, check for measurement uncertainty in our clocks and whatnot and put up some confidence intervals that are still horribly wrong. It's very hard to isolate and experiment with one tiny aspect of the human psyche and most of the problem is the result is nothing but either a statistical fluke or quirk with the people tested that doesn't generalize to the general population.

Comment: Re:K Bye. (Score 1) 224

by Kjella (#49593359) Attached to: Grooveshark Shuts Down

Note the "as part of a settlement agreement ..." part - which indicates that shutting down operations isn't the end of it for them.

It might not be all of it, but I'm pretty sure it's the end of it. Nobody settles half a case, particularly not when you bend over like this. The only reason Grooveshark would agree is if they got an exit opportunity where they could fold their hand and walk away from it, presumably because the other side's lawyers found there was nothing more to be gained from the company and piercing the corporate veil or pursuing criminal convictions wasn't possible or not worth it.

Money is the root of all wealth.

Working...