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Comment: An idea for repurposing prisons (Score 1) 407

by jenningsthecat (#48168407) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

The story before this one is about the best use of data centre space; the juxtaposition made me wonder if prisons might make good data centres. I know adding the wiring and cooling to a building not designed for it might be a challenge, but at least a lot of the security requirements are already present. Just a thought...

Comment: Re:Analog displays are better in some situations. (Score 3, Interesting) 155

by jenningsthecat (#48116291) Attached to: Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)

Digital meters don't have the slow response that d'Arsonval meter movements have, unless extra circuitry is added. The inertia and magnetic delay of old-fashioned electro-mechanical meters naturally filter fast variations in the signal, and can result in a useful reading in cicumstances where the average digital meter produces a garbage reading. Of course, it's also good to know when a signal is noisy or jumpy...

I use digital meters exclusively these days - they're convenient, rugged, light, and have a higher input impedance and better resistance reading capabilities than all but the very best of the old analog FET-VOM's. But every once in a while I wish I had a well-damped analog meter to save me from dragging out the scope.

Comment: We really need a different word for this behaviour (Score 4, Insightful) 721

by jenningsthecat (#48111131) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

In the context of the Internet, the word "troll" used to mean, (according to Wikipedia):

"...a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."

The campaign that Kathy Sierra was a victim of goes far, far beyond this. How does it make sense that one word is used to describe such a wide range of behaviour? It's like calling a violent rapist a 'cad'. Trolls, (in the original sense of the word), are assholes. Auernheimer and his associates exhibited obsessive, psychopathic, downright evil behaviour and attitudes. We should never equate mere assholes and psychopaths - doing so trivializes destructive psychopathic behaviour while making assholery seem much worse than it really is. And the latter is perhaps more dangerous; it gives authorities one more excuse for implementing draconian laws in response to minor social infractions.

+ - McKinsey: Consumers Want Smart Cars - But Fear Them Also->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "The Security Ledger reports on a survey from consulting firm McKinsey & Co. ( that has some sobering data for car makers: concerns about privacy and the possibility of car hacking are major concerns that could dampen enthusiasm for smart vehicles.

The report, “What’s Driving the Connected Car?” ( finds that connectivity features will be a major driver of car sales in the coming years. The survey of 2,000 new car buyers in Brazil, China, Germany and the U.S. found that a quarter of respondents considered connectivity a more important feature than engine power or even fuel efficiency.

Connected (or "smart") car features will become ubiquitous and expected, McKinsey predicts, but won't demand a premium from buyers as they do today.

However, car makers also face a considerable hurdle in convincing the buying public to accept connected car technologies. According to McKinsey, 37 percent of respondents to their survey said they “would not even consider a connected car.”At the root of resistance to connected vehicle technology were ubiquitous fears about vehicles being hacked – which were evident in each country that McKinsey surveyed.

In Germany and Brazil, 59 percent of those surveyed strongly agreed with the statement “I am afraid that people can hack into my car and manipulate it (eg, the braking system) if the car is connected to the Internet.” 53 percent of respondents agreed with that statement in China and 43% in the U.S.

That leaves car makers in a tricky position: trying to satisfy customers who "demand connectivity, have security concerns regarding it, and are only marginally willing to pay for it." Hmm...where have we heard that before??"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Slashdot Response (Score 1) 774

by jenningsthecat (#48094255) Attached to: Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

Slashdot Comments: NOOOO! Why is Lennart taking away my freedoms! I'm switching to BSD. It has gotten pretty clear that a lot of the hatred for systemd has nothing to do with the technical merits...

I have this wonderful big wooden horse on wheels that I'm going to park in your back yard. Pay no attention to the noises coming from inside it. What's that? You don't want it? Sorry, it's already there, and it's now holding up your house...

I agree that "a lot of the hatred for systemd has nothing to do with the technical merits"; but I think it's also fair to say that a lot of the criticism is legitimate. It seems a major portion of the Linux ecosystem is being turned into something like Debian Sid - and a lot of people don't want their toys broken arbitrarily.

Comment: Re:Why do people care so much? (Score 1) 774

by jenningsthecat (#48093883) Attached to: Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

...>systemd brings order and consistency. None of the kernel devs are bothered about the change, and most already use it. Whether you like it or not, it is now the de-facto management for all of the major distros for new installs.

Don't like it? No one cares what you think.

Is that you, Lennart?

Comment: Targeted ads counterproductive? (Score 1) 249

by jenningsthecat (#48083935) Attached to: Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

I've always maintained that a large part of advertising's influence extends way beyond the purchase of specific products. It creates a context and a culture of expectation, desire, and need, such that an advertisement for one product may in fact sub-consciously prompt you to buy another, entirely different kind of product. If advertisers are pissing off buyers with targeted ads for items already purchased, aren't they poisoning the entire advertising ecosystem, both for themselves and for other advertisers?

Comment: The real test of driverless cars (Score 1) 86

by jenningsthecat (#48082397) Attached to: Michigan Builds Driverless Town For Testing Autonomous Cars

The article is pretty short on details, but implies that the only cars in the test bed will be driverless. It strikes me that a better test would be a mix of driven and driverless cars, since that scenario is both more complex and more realistic. Algorithms developed and perfected in a 'simulated' real world stand a very good chance of falling apart in the 'real' real world - after all, public roads aren't going to be *totally* driverless for a long, long time.

+ - Conservative Groups Accuse FCC Of Helping Net Neutrality Advocates File Comments->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Conservative groups opposed to net neutrality have beef with the FCC, claiming the commission helped pro-net neutrality advocates file comments on the subject without similarly helping opponents. In other news out of this camp, it turns out their claims of sending out 2.4 million letters to Congress opposing net neutrality specifically meant getting 800,000 people to send three letters each."
Link to Original Source

+ - Homeland Security settles lawsuit of reporter whose home they illegally searched 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "In a lawsuit settlement Homeland Security has agreed to pay $50,000 and promise to return everything they seized — including confidential files and paperwork that identified Homeland Security whistleblowers –during an illegal raid of a reporter’s home.

Audrey Hudson, an award-winning journalist most recently at the Washington Times, told The Daily Signal she was awoken by her barking dog around 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2013, to discover armed government agents had descended on her property under the cover of darkness. The agents had a search warrant for her husband’s firearms. As they scoured the home, Hudson was read her Miranda rights.

While inside Hudson’s house, a U.S. Coast Guard agent confiscated documents that contained “confidential notes, draft articles, and other newsgathering materials” that Hudson never intended for anyone else to see. The documents included the identities of whistleblowers at the Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard is part of Homeland Security.

The settlement requires the government to return all documents, destroy all notes made from these papers, and promise it did not copy anything. Does anyone believe this?"

+ - Scientists observe elusive particle that is its own antiparticle->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Princeton scientists say they've observed an exotic particle that behaves simultaneously like matter and antimatter, a feat they argue could eventually enable powerful computers based on quantum mechanics. Using a two-story-tall microscope floating in an ultralow-vibration labl, the physicists captured a glowing image of a particle known as a "Majorana fermion" perched at the end of an atomically thin wire — just where it had been predicted to be after decades of study and calculation dating back to the 1930s."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Simple answer (Score 1) 942

by jenningsthecat (#48045859) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Beyond the reason of "I didn't write it", what was wrong with the comment that was already there which asked the same thing, to which replies have actually been left,...

I apologise if my comment was a repeat of an earlier one. If it was a repeat, then I simply missed the earlier comment. I regularly start out to post a comment, see that somebody else has said essentially the same thing, get annoyed that somebody beat me to the punch, then refrain from posting - but I'm not gonna catch 'em all, especially if they were posted while I was still composing mine, or if there are already a lot of comments.

...and is this a sock puppet to the account with the mod point that your comment received?

Nope. I don't do the sock puppet thing, (never have, it's just not my style), and I only have one Slashdot account.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.