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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Submission + - Why some people think total nonsense is really deep (

Earthquake Retrofit writes: Wapo has a story about Gordon Pennycook, a doctorate student at the University of Waterloo who studies why some people are more easily duped than others.

"Wholeness quiets infinite phenomena" was one of many randomly generated sentences Pennycook, along with a team of researchers at the University of Waterloo, used in a new four-part study put together to gauge how receptive people are to nonsense.

Those more receptive to bull**** are less reflective, lower in cognitive ability (i.e., verbal and fluid intelligence, numeracy), are more prone to ontological confusions [beliefs in things for which there is no empirical evidence (i.e. that prayers have the ability to heal)] and conspiratorial ideation, are more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine.

Comment Re:Treat it like all other medicine (Score 1) 117

The company's owner claimed that he shouldn't be held responsible because there was no law that the company had to prove that their drug wasn't harmful.

B.S. There should be no need to prove, it is not harmful — prosecutors merely needed to prove, he knew the stuff was poisonous.

And, even if they failed, the wrongful death civil suit should still have bankrupted his company.

So now there is a law. Sorry, don't blame us

Yeah, a typical statist approach to things: "Something must be done. This is something. Therefor it must be done."

But, yes, today "there is a law" — instead of suffering from bad medicines, people suffer from absence of good ones. Wait, did I say "instead"? Sorry, make that in addition to.

Instead of weighting this vs. that, how about we simply recall being a free country — and allow people to take whatever they wish to take? Non-government organizations — themselves competing with each other — can still institute various certification requirements, which pharma-companies would try to fulfill in order to increase their sales. But none of it will be mandatory and the market will become a little bit more free...

Comment Re:So it fails for "almost" everyone? (Score 1) 117

Pass a law allowing or denying the activity.

May we, please, remain spared of laws allowing things — everything, not explicitly prohibited is allowed, and that's how things ought to be.

Himmler and Hitler creaming all over themselves

Though Nazis really did Eugenics a great disservices, there is nothing obviously wrong with it.

"Rich" babies will all be 6' or taller kids with 130+ IQs and the "trendy" bits

Like the children of sports star-and-a-model unions? Or like the children of dedicated parents, spending time and money on sports- and math-classes for the children, their healthy eating and otherwise caring for them? Disgusting, is not it? Let's ban it all — to make sure, no child gets anything better than another... In fact, let's ban everything, that someone somewhere can not afford. In the name of equality, of course — even if the chosen few remain more equal than the rest.

Anyone below this threshold will be filthy poor people who can't afford the "therapy".

Why are you calling yourself — and the rest of us, currently living, "filthy"?!

cosmetic surgery [...] turned into the cesspool

Huh? What cesspool?

Comment Socialist medicine (Score 1) 117

We also have one of the worst health systems in the developed world if you don't have money though

People without means to pay for anything (including healthcare) must — wherever they live — either do without or rely on others for help. There is simply no alternative.

Different regimes make it harder/easier to compel strangers to help you — and Socialist regimes, being the least free, are exceptionally "good" at it, leading to the oft-repeated perception you just cited. But it is hardly a good thing...

The bottom lines (conclusions) are: it is better to be rich than poor. It is better to live in a wealthy nation, than in a poor one. Incidentally, Socialism quickly ruins one's chances of both.

Comment Heinlein's method (Score 3) 117

It will be mostly an incremental process.

Actually, in one of his books Heinlein offered a perfectly ethical, yet very useful approach: genes of the future parents are examined for various traits and the best possible combination is created for the embryo.

So, each kid born carries the gene-set he could have gotten naturally. But it is always the best possible combination.

And just what is "best" — is determined by the parents and the professional performing the procedure.

Submission + - Windows 10 update didn't remove spying utility, Microsoft just renamed it (

colinneagle writes: With the release of Build 10586, or Threshold 2, DiagTrack — the Diagnostics Tracking Service, one of the main culprits in telemetry and other user activity gathering in Windows 10 — disappeared, and there was much rejoicing. However, the white hat hackers at Tweakhound (and confirmed by BetaNews) have discovered that Microsoft merely renamed it to the Connected User Experiences and Telemetry service, which throws people off, along with all the utilities to turn off these services, like DoNotSpy10.

Even sneakier, when you install Threshold 2, Windows 10 resets user preferences, so everything you turned off is back on without telling you about it.

Fortunately, the service can still be manually disabled, and no doubt the anti-spying apps will be updated to reflect this.

Comment Re:as expected... (Score 1) 309

Great, another "girl" ruining software...

The sad state of affairs started under the previous CEO — or even before him. Although libxul is available separately and could be used shared by all Mozilla apps, each one of them bundles its own slightly different tree instead. As a result, the sources available for download are perpetually somewhat behind times — for example, at the time of this typing, firefox is at version 42, but libxul is only at 41.0.2 — because fixes go into an application's fork, instead of the main project.

It would seem to me, that a better manager would've pulled the people working on libxul from all of the application-specific teams — and made the apps use the single shared library. From pure technical perspective, this is, how things ought to be. I'm sure, there are administrative and personal problems, but that's exactly, what the CEO is supposed to control.

But, again, the CEO's sex is unlikely to be to blame — she may (or may not) be mediocre, but this problem is an inherited one.

Comment Separate XUL out (Score 1) 309

I suspect thunderbird still uses XUL and other things...

You "suspect"? No kidding... Both programs (as well as some other, less known ones) are just thin layers on top of libxul.

For years I've been puzzled, why they would not separate libxul out — the way NSPR and NSS are separated out — and make the multiple apps use the shared library instead of the current practice of each app bundling a separate copy of it.

Worse, XUL, actually, is available separately, but all of Mozilla's apps bundle their own, subtly incompatible, subtrees of it.

At some point FreeBSD ports-team considered doing the right thing for FreeBSD-users, at least, but was afraid, Mozilla will prohibit the use of the name "firefox" as a result — as happened to Debian/Ubuntu.

Mozilla is running amok. While driven as a corporation, it does not have paying customers, so we, the users, get the worst of both worlds...

Submission + - CEO Paying Everyone $70,000 Salaries Has Something to Hide (

JoeyRox writes: Bloomberg writes that Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments, may have had an ulterior motive for his widely-praised decision to pay all employees a salary of $70k while cutting his own salary in the process. "It’s a poignant story, one that I almost wrote. Until I realized Price knew more than he was letting on."

Comment Re:Question for Bernie Sanders (Score 1) 248

Probably not going to complain about "the descendants of the same ones that crucified Christ" dominating the world as Chavez did.

Probably. And he may even be nicer to Israel than Chavez was and than his own core constituency are. But that's not something, that has much bearing on economic and other internal policies... And it is those policies — not the anti-Semitism and not the anti-Israel denunciations — that stalled Venezuela's economy (even while oil was still expensive), destroyed its infrastructure, and quintupled the murder rate and other violent crime.

Submission + - Phishing Blast Uses Dropbox To Target Hong Kong Journalists (

itwbennett writes: Researchers at FireEye have disclosed an ongoing Phishing campaign targeting pro-democracy media organizations in Hong Kong that's using Dropbox storage services as a command and control (C2) hub, writes CSO's Steve Ragan. 'The attacks are using basic emails trapped with documents that deliver a malware payload called LowBall,' says Ragan. 'LowBall is a basic backdoor that uses a legitimate Dropbox storage account to act as a C2.'

Comment Re:Question for Bernie Sanders (Score 1) 248

Probably because no one knows and/or cares about Chavez and/or his policies?

That's decidedly not true about Senator Sanders' followers. Whether he is a real Socialist or not, plenty of people, who fancy themselves as such follow him. And Chavez was the world's number one Socialist just a few years ago. Indeed, he was once a special guest of the World Social Forum.

So, no, you aren't going to succeed playing "Chavez who?". You yourself have now replied thrice in this thread, and yet can not point at a single thing, Sanders would do differently from Chavez... Figures...

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas