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Comment: Re:Troll v Troll (Score 1) 129

by Pfhorrest (#49801747) Attached to: Professional Internet Troll Sues Her Former Employer

It kind of makes me wonder how effective this kind of shilling actually is.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone change their mind because of an argument, on the internet or otherwise. Ok, not anyone every, but the rare occasions I've ever seen of anyone ever having their mind changed about anything involved people who were already very open-minded critical thinkers, being presented with well-reasoned and nuanced arguments, and even those are rare.

Can the kind of mindless name-calling that passes for "argument" in most forums actually change anyone's mind, much less the kind of closed minds that tend to engage in that sort of conflict in the first place? What's the payoff for a big organization to engage in that sort of thing at all?

(Then again, I also frequently get spam that does not mention any products or contain any links or attachments or even complete sentences sometimes, which seems to completely defeat the point of spamming, yet it's been going on for years and years anyway at someone's expense...)

Comment: Re:Propaganda trolls propagandize propaganda artic (Score 4, Insightful) 129

by Pfhorrest (#49801497) Attached to: Professional Internet Troll Sues Her Former Employer

Unless they've been deleted somehow (Slashdot wouldn't do that, would they?), none of the posts prior to yours in this thread appears to be pro-Russian propaganda-trolls. There's a Stalin/Putin comparison (with a OT subthread ranting about Dice), a OT rant about Dice, an "In Soviet Russia" joke, a post distinguishing internet trolling from plain old propaganda (with an OT subthread ranting about Dice), and an AC calling trolling an artform. What's pro-Russian in there?

Comment: Re:Exodus (Score 1) 565

by cayenne8 (#49801385) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?
Actually, easier than all this.

First let's take the government OUT of the business of preventing people from doing stupid things or hurting themselves.

I think we've long been thwarting natural saving people from their own stupidity.

1. Make suicide legal. If someone wants to off themselves, why not let them? The ultimate in freedom of choice.

2. Legalize ALL drugs. If someone wants to smoke crystal meth all day long and shoot heroin by night to sleep...let them. They won't be on the longevity list long.

3. Longevity is not a right. If you work hard, save and can afford it...then you get it, but the govt doesn't subsidize the lazy and stupid to live overly long lives. You may get foodstamps, but that doesn't entitle you to longevity treatments. That comes out of YOUR pocket.

4. People that want to gang bang and shoot each other for territory, etc....give them territories to do so, and let them go with impunity. We almost pretty much do this now, it just isn't officially sanctioned. Let idiots kill themselves for stupid shit. Just contain it away from nomal citizenry.

Comment: Re:'Doze mode...? (Score 1) 82

Which is quite a coincidence, because my new Windows phone is actually quite good at not draining the battery when I'm not doing anything. The other day I was still at 95% battery by the end of the day because I was too busy to use my phone. My old Android phone on the other hand would easily go through 25-50% of it's battery in a day, even if I didn't use it for much. Most of the time I would plug it in at the office because if I didn't, it would be below 20% by the end of the day.

Comment: Re:Doesn't get it (Score 2) 271

I don't think you can fix this problem by trying to teach more people how to program. Making students take math classes every year hasn't helped solve the problem of not having enough mathematicians. High level math is just something that is beyond the cognitive capabilities of most people. I'm not ashamed to admit that it's above my cognitive capability.

Programming, and more specifically, actual software development, as opposed to just being able to write a few simple functions like one would use in Excel, is also something that I believe to be outside the ability of a large percentage of the population. You can try to teach programming to everybody, and that may bring the number of programmers up a bit and salaries may go down a little bit, but it's not going to solve the fundamental problem which is that most people will never be able to write software.

Comment: Re:No kid should be forced to code ... (Score 1) 271

I think the difference is that writing is an important skill to have even if you aren't going to be writing novels. My life would be so much easier if people writing emails could just compose a few simple sentences that are easy to understand.

Programming on the other hand doesn't seem to be all that useful unless you want to actually write computer programs. And I say that as somebody who is a programmer. It's definitely not something that everybody needs to know how to do. There's so many other skills that students are lacking in. Trying to add another subject which will only help a tiny fraction of students seems like a bad idea.

Comment: Re: C is not what YOU think it means (Score 1) 213

by Pfhorrest (#49794555) Attached to: Ways To Travel Faster Than Light Without Violating Relativity

Other people have already said this, but they're buried in replies to replies so I'll say this up here where it's more noticeable:

The practical upshot that a human can get to anywhere in the universe within their lifetime given enough fuel to keep up acceleration is correct, but from no frame of reference will you appear to have travelled faster than a beam of light.

In your traveling frame of reference, it will appear that the distance you travelled got smaller. That's why you can reach places that seemed too distant to reach in your lifetime before: because they don't seem so distant once you're on your way there.

In the rest of the universe's frame of reference, it will appear that you aged more slowly. That's why you can reach places that seemed too distant to reach in your lifetime before: because your lifetime got prolonged once you were on your way there.

In either frame of reference, when you get where you're going, you will still find that a beam of light sent at the same moment you departed will have arrived at your destination before you, and thus in neither frame of reference did you outrun the light. You just either aged more slowly or travelled less distance, depending on whose frame of reference we're talking about.

In a photon's frame of reference, there is no distance between anything and no at all time elapses to travel it. Given enough fuel you can get arbitrarily close to that and so travel to arbitrary locations with arbitrarily little aging along the way, and so get anywhere in your lifetime. But light can always do that better than you still.

Comment: Re:And all 9 Android/MIDI users were happy (Score 1) 99

by CastrTroy (#49793803) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

I think that MIDI support in and of itself is fine, but Android has so many other things that would be useful to so many more people. How about mounting network drives so that you can access them in every application. How about integrating Google Drive so that applications can access files without the application developer having to write code specifically to handle it?

Comment: Re:And who's going to pay for it? (Score 1) 260

Not as far as I'm concerned. The last space race meant we just build very large things that already existed. We basically built really big rockets. Rockets have been around for centuries. We also used computers for navigating the rockets. But computers advanced on their own without the need for the space race to really push them. We developed some pretty interesting materials and technologies to make the rockets lighter, and to make sure they didn't burn up on re-entry. But we didn't actually come up with any solutions that made it significantly easier to lift mass out of earth's gravity well. It still requires huge amounts of energy (and therefore money) to lift things into space.

Comment: Re:And who's going to pay for it? (Score 1) 260

You're still looking at a very long time to turn around and come back. Apollo 13 was only a 5 day mission, and their oxygen system problems happened 56 hours into the mission. They were only 15 hours from the moon when they encountered problems. Turning around was a relatively simple thing to do in this case. When your turn around point is 5 months away and something goes wrong, you have to have the materials on board to fix it. You don't have the option of just aborting the mission early and coming back home.

Comment: Re:Not sure why this article was written (Score 2) 91

by CastrTroy (#49793195) Attached to: Cloud Boom Drives Sales Boom For Physical Servers

What it really means is that it makes many have access to servers that never had them before. Before all these cloud servers showed up, if I wanted to have a place to backup my files to, I would buy another hard drive or backup to DVD. Which means I bought 0 servers. Now with cloud storage services, I just back my stuff up to the cloud. I'm using a certain percentage of a server.

A lot of things that require servers just didn't used to get done, because it wasn't feasible to buy your own personal server for yourself if you aren't going to utilize a significant portion of its resources. But with cloud services, even if you only need 1% of a server, you can still do that task because it's now possible to buy very small pieces of processing and network time.

Comment: Re:And who's going to pay for it? (Score 4, Informative) 260

This is what people don't seem to get. Even getting people to Mars is a much bigger task than just launching a single rocket. The round trip time for a Mars mission is around 2 years. You have to send everything you need along for the ride. All the food that the astronauts need to eat on the ride will need to be brought along with them. I've seen some numbers (can't find the link now), that even a single Mars mission would require 30 launches of supplies from the earth. There's also no ability to bail out like they did with Apollo 13. Once they are on their way there, there is no possibility of turning around. Even when you get there, you have to wait about 6 months for the planets to get into the right alignment for the trip home.

The ideal voice for radio may be defined as showing no substance, no sex, no owner, and a message of importance for every housewife. -- Harry V. Wade