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Comment: Re:Not that impressive! (Score 2) 91

by mrvan (#46821461) Attached to: The $5,600 Tablet

I would guess that there is a big difference between "guaranteed to survive a 1.2m drop onto concrete" or even "99% chance of surviving the drop" (which is probably what they offer) and the anecdotal "I dropped shit from longer distances and they were fine".

My S3 was seriously damaged by a much smaller drop. You can be lucky or unlucky with such devices. Military doesn't like that :)

Comment: Re:re; You Should? (Score 4, Interesting) 535

by mrvan (#46821073) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

I'm a scientist, but not in astrophysics or a (remotely) related discipline.

At some deep level, I "doubt" the big bang theory because it seems to me that it is not something that can really ever be tested, simulated, experimented with, so we have n=1 observational data at best, and building causal theories on n=1 observational data is tricky; and on another level I "doubt" the theory because I don't know the literature or even really understand the phenomenon and I have no clue what the scientific evidence for and against it are. "They" say that it is the currently accepted theory, but what does that even mean? Why would I not doubt it?

All that said, I don't believe that the theory is false, I just accept that "other scientists" know what they are doing so as a body they are probably right if they accept a model. But I don't like accepting things on authority, I like understanding why something would be the case, and I don't have that understanding for big bang theory.

[at least with other "grand theories" like tectonics or evolution I have some understanding of the process involved and the evidence that lead the scientific community to accept it (e.g. the magnetism 'bar code' for tectonics) and it can be observed somewhat in real life (the functioning of current species, the shape of continents. And let's not even talk about flat earth, young earth, intelligent design and other complete hogwash]

Comment: why does a decoder need execheap? (Score 5, Interesting) 212

by mrvan (#46434357) Attached to: <em>Portal 2</em> Incompatible With SELinux

Why does a decoder need execheap? Is there some sort of optimization that causes the processing and data to be not separated? It sounds like an invitation for all kind of exploits (which is presumably why it is banned by execheap).

Also, is there a reason to use a specific MP3 decoder? Is it because of licensing, or are there technical reasons?

Comment: Re:Absolutely (Score 4, Interesting) 212

by mrvan (#46420931) Attached to: Fedora To Have a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" For Contributors

Maybe it's a stupid question, but can't you "launder" code by routing it through a third nation and recommitting the code from there?

What is the export restriction on anyway? The bits? The IP? And does it extend to any derived work of an export restricted IP burdened work? Because if any piece of code on which any citizen of a restricted country has copyright, I'm pretty sure the linux kernel would contain at least one line, meaning all android phones and most routers, servers etc would be illegal?

Also, DADT sounds really stupid as company policy. I don't know a lot about US law, but in the Netherlands corporate liability extends if the management knew or was in a position to know that law was breached, and having policy to conceal such breach is good evidence that management was in a position to know. Any US lawyers care to comment?

Comment: Re:Levelles design (Score 2) 253

by mrvan (#46344223) Attached to: Blizzard To Sell Level 90 <em>WoW</em> Characters For $60

Vendetta Online has a system of license levels which unlocks content, but combat success is 90% skill and 10% equipment (after the first couple of levels which probably take an experienced player less than an hour). Smart use of low level ships/weapons in the hands of a skilled player will kill a relative noob with top-notch gear every time.

What I'm trying to say: levels aren't really the problem, making "level" the most important determiner of success is the problem.

Comment: Re:Like it matters? (Score 1) 255

by mrvan (#46302311) Attached to: Ubuntu 14.04 Brings Back Menus In Application Windows

I use xmonad as window manager, which AFAIK is not installed out of the box on any distro but on ubuntu takes me around 2 minutes to set up (using existing .files). I use it mainly for programming but also some gaming, but I never have bleeding edge hardware.

I figure I could just as well use debian or mint, I don't really think I would notice any difference as long as the package repository is reasonably stocked. I use ubuntu because it is my first linux experience that I used for more than a week, and because of the enormous amount of support, stupid forum questions with non-stupid answers, etc. It helps if an answer to a problem is directly applicable.

Genuine question: Besides the desktop environment, are there any real differences between all the Debian derivatives?

Comment: Re:And how will they bring him to justice? (Score 4, Informative) 325

by mrvan (#46276317) Attached to: N. Korea Could Face Prosecution For 'Crimes Against Humanity'

Even ignoring the problem of getting him from power, ICC has no jurisdiction as Korea isn't a signatory and the UN security council is needed either to refer the case to the ICC or to create an ad hoc tribunal. Even if China might as some point decide to stop propping up its neighbour, it is not very likely that they will allow them to be tried in court.

Comment: Re:Boycott (Score 2) 250

by mrvan (#46175681) Attached to: The Bitcoin Death Star: KnC Plans 10 Megawatt Data Center In Sweden

Hmm, that is kind of stupid, but that should be easy to solve, no?

The 'moderate' link/button is also stupid, but that's quite minor.

One of the lessons I learnt last year is "never change more than one thing at the same time if it can be avoided". Why did they not just change the ui, keeping the system intact, or change the system, keeping the ui intact? Then, if the new system works, they can always change the ui...

Comment: Re:Boycott (Score 2) 250

by mrvan (#46175301) Attached to: The Bitcoin Death Star: KnC Plans 10 Megawatt Data Center In Sweden

Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system

Warning: stupid question ahead!

Okay I've seen beta and browsed for about 5 minutes. I seems to me like a fairly trivial redesign from something that is ugly (but feels like home) to something that is just plain ugly. Below the articles are the familiar comments with mod points in a tree structure that most of the time doesn't make a lot of sense, and a way to filter on comment quality (moderation). I don't see how this is so difficult from the current system, so I probably missed something somewhere.

  Can you explain how it is breaking the discussion/moderation system?

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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