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Comment: Re:Why is Red Hat going to the mat on Digital Agen (Score 4, Informative) 21

two obscure commissioners on a "Digital Agenda" committee no one here has ever heard of?

European Pirate Party is certainly pro-open source and has made some comments:

Oettinger and Ansip are like night and day,” said Julia Reda, an MEP with the European Pirate Party, which focuses on internet regulation. “I am very pleasantly surprised by [Ansip's] level of understanding. He didn’t say anything outrageous in any case, which is a huge improvement over Oettinger.

Source: (if this appears paywalled, try via Google).

Comment: Re:Empirical Data Trumps Information Theory (Score 1) 211

by paavo512 (#47875079) Attached to: Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

Information does travel through space at a velocity faster than c - see the EPR paradox, which was subsequently questioned by Bell, and then experimentally tested by Alan Aspect (sorry I don't know the correct French spelling for his name).

Based on the evidence, quantum information does seem to travel faster than c.

Given the paradox of the wave-function collapse within the Copenhagen interpretation of QM (once a particle is measured it takes on a definite set of properties, which means that the wave-function must collapse everywhere simultaneously) it suggests that quantum information is transfered instantaneously.

This most probably shows that the wave-function-collapse interpretation does not have much to do with the reality and is just an artifact of the theory. There are other interpretations which do not involve such mysterious collapses and provide smooth transition from quantum to macroscopic level. The logically most consistent one is the many-worlds interpretation (

Comment: Re:I have to wonder (Score 1) 239

by paavo512 (#47374031) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches
The implementation of this Google policy seems quite strange. The article "BBC - Peston's Picks: Merrill's mess" can be found via, it is the first (non-advertised) hit in When searching via a Google site in Europe (, the title "BBC - Peston's Picks: Merrill's mess" does not appear in the search results, but there is an entry:

Forbidden - BBCõlgi see leht
29.10.2007 - All weekend, wave after wave of schadenfreude has been crashing on the head of Stan O'Neal, the chairman of Merrill Lynch. After Merrill ... BBC News - Have Your Say

When clicking on this title (,d.ZWU ), the original article appears! So, effectively Google displays the result, but says it is forbidden to read it? I'm baffled.

+ - Scientists Study Permian Mass Extinction Event as Lesson for 21st Century

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "About 252 million years ago, cracks in the Earth's crust in Siberia caused vast amounts of lava to spill out and blanket the region with about 6,000,000 cubic kilometers of molten material—enough to cover the continental US at one mile depth — and triggering a huge change in climate that caused a mass extinction event that killed roughly 90 percent of life on earth. Now Helen Thompson writes in the Smithsonian that a team at MIT have focused their efforts on this major extinction event, which marks the end of the Permian period and the beginning of the Triassic period and their results suggest that the die-out happened a lot faster than previously thought. Their initial results suggest that the extinction event spanned 60,000 years, a mere blink of an eye in geological time. The shorter time scale means that organisms would have had less and less time to react and adapt to changes in climate, atmospheric CO2 and ocean acidity. Failing the ability to adapt, they died. Other mass extinction events have also been narrowed down to short timeframes. The asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period only took about 32,000 years. A similar study of another mass extinction triggered by volcanic eruptions at the end of the Triassic period suggests it lasted less than 5,000 years (PDF). Despite the fact that all of these extinction events were caused by different things, the ecosystem collapse happened very quickly. "Whatever the causes of the extinctions may be, and it looks like there are very different causes for some of them, the biosphere may collapse in very similar ways once it gets beyond a tipping point," says Doug Erwin. Some scientists see the end Permian as a lesson for the 21st century (PDF) and say that understanding the conditions leading up to, within, and after a mass extinction event may help us to avoid human-induced ecosystem collapses in the future. As Erwin puts it, "you don't want to start a mass extinction, because once a mass extinction begins, the prognosis is pretty grim.”"

+ - Android Porn Browser Called Jerky Launched to Bypass UK Porn Filters ->

Submitted by DavidGilbert99
DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes "Following on from the success of his Go Away Cameron extension for Chrome allowing users bypass any blocks put in place by UK ISPs late last year, developer Steven Goh has launched Jerky, a "porn browser" app for Android which he says will allow you to visit whatever site you want without anyone tracking your movements or browsing history"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Tyranny (Score 1) 252

If every website must comply with every law in every country where the website can be seen [...]

Wikipedia donation requests are very targeted. I saw the donation request while browsing in my corporate VPN (the gateway to internet happens to reside in GB) and wanted to donate some money, but the system did not allow me to enter a credit card address outside of GB, so I gave up. When browsing at home, I have never seen a donation request, probably they think there would be no point in putting one up for my country.

Comment: Too rigid (Score 1) 876

by paavo512 (#46193951) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

At a minimum wouldn't that eliminate time dealing with syntax errors?

It seems to be a general concept that if one cannot make any mistakes using a system, then the system is not flexible enough to achieve anything interesting. And syntax errors cannot be clearly distinguished from semantic ones, when you make a system where every combination of tokens is syntactically valid, then there will be either a lot of semantic errors (think of writing machine code directly - almost any bit pattern is a valid opcode, so no syntax mistakes), or the system would be too rigid to be useful.

+ - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

Submitted by s.petry
s.petry (762400) writes "What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."

Comment: Re:Touch-screen desktop PCs are a fad (Score 1) 513

by paavo512 (#46024741) Attached to: HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8

For example, there could be two ways to reboot your PC:

1) Pull the side-window thing over, go to Settings, then Power, then Reboot

2) Click Start, click the Arrow beside Shutdown, then click Reboot

Why so complicated? I press:

3) [Windows] [Right-arrow] [Space]

This used to be Windows-U-something, but OK.

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta