Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Tools make it easier to accomplish tasks. (Score 1) 98

by plover (#48948717) Attached to: Can Students Have Too Much Tech?

I don't think this is related to the difference between special purpose use, or general purpose use. I think the problem is like anything else in education - parental involvement will increase children's learning. If the parent works with them to learn how to use the device, I'd bet their scores would go up, similar to a parent who reads to their child or helps them with math homework.

If the parent says "I don't have to teach them anything, the school gave them a computer for that", or "I can't teach them how to use the computer because I don't know how to use it", that child's education is going to suffer. Being computer-illiterate might simply be the current excuse for parents to ignore their children.

Comment: Re:TERRIBLE (Score 1) 105

by plover (#48942369) Attached to: Fixing Verizon's Supercookie

Verizon is completely nuts if they don't think there will be a backlash!!!!!!!!

From who? Thirteen enraged nerds on Slashdot? Their average customer doesn't understand the difference between their phone and their browser; they certainly won't get up in arms over a "super-cookie".

Verizon could easily afford to piss off every paranoiac on the planet, and they'd still have so much money they'll need to buy another dump truck to haul this month's profit to the bank. They have no real reason to change, so I'd recommend a strategy other than OMGPANIC!

Comment: Re:Is Encase worried yet? (Score 3, Insightful) 36

by plover (#48942249) Attached to: US Army Releases Code For Internal Forensics Framework

Yeah, the more I dig into it, the more it looks like an investigative tool than an evidence analysis tool. That's pretty cool, but as you say, it looks a lot like Wireshark. Still, when you're facing an unknown attacker, it may not hurt to have a couple different views on the problem.

Comment: Re:Majority leaders home district (Score 1) 172

How could Soviet propaganda reach the US, or the Americas (excluding Cuba)?

If you are at all interested in the actual answer, The Sword and the Shield is an absolutely fascinating book that answers your question. It was written by Vasily Mitrokhin, a senior historian for the KGB, who brought over thirty years of KGB mission records to the British after the fall of the Soviet Union. He discusses "active measures", which were propaganda campaigns designed to fracture public opinion and cast the US position in a questionable light. This includes really awful and regrettable things, like AIDS being formulated by the US Army at Ft. Detrick, those kinds of lies. Many of these rumors started by agents were spread to CPUSA members, who had members on college campuses around the country.

For a more entertaining version of how the Soviets influenced America and operated on her soil, I recommend watching 'The Americans' on FX network. Set in the 80's during the height of the cold war, the plotlines in the show are based roughly on actual events documented in the book, and from other sources of KGB history.

Comment: Re:Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (Score 1) 461

by plover (#48925715) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

That's not the case here, and it's irrelevant. When I noticed the discrepancy between my camera's reported speed and my speedometer, I then compared it with a GPS-based speedometer app in my iPhone. The iPhone and car speedometer were in perfect sync. The camera-indicated speed was indeed extremely low, and so low that I have to think it was made deliberately wrong in order to provide misleading information in court, to fight in jurisdictions where such things are overlooked.

Let's say I was in court for some kind of accident, and I was going 70 MPH in a 60 MPH zone. The video recording of the crash shows the camera says 60 MPH, so it never comes up that I'm partially at fault because I was speeding. The other party in the crash is screwed by faulty evidence.

Comment: Re:Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (Score 1) 461

by plover (#48913523) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

I was recently doing 29 and a mobile trap claimed I was doing 35. Fortunately I have video camera evidence from the car to prove that I wasn't, but it means I have to go to court and argue it.

You might want to check your camera before heading into court. I have a gray market cam from that under-reports speed by a wide margin (it displays about 60MPH when my speedometer shows 70); when I use the viewing app they provided, it shows the GPS-plotted path on Google maps, and it shows my true speed.

You want to be sure it's accurate because there is no benefit to you in angering a judge by presenting incorrect evidence.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 4, Insightful) 392

Me too. It's a hell of a lot harder to bug every man, woman, and child in the west than it is to intercept and crawl their communications. Having them have to actually spend time, effort, and money and risk discovery to obtain information makes it far far less likely that they will collect it just because they are able to. It's a check on their power that's sorely needed.

I came here for this exact sentiment. Spying has always had a component of risk of exposure, and that is needed to keep spying at a small scale. Drift net sieving of all our communications is the abuse.

Comment: Re:To Protect and Serve Cancer (Score 1) 290

by plover (#48863013) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

That's even cooler than I thought. I knew high power radar was responsible for some bird deaths, but they were directly exposed to very high power radiation. I didn't know about the army tech statistics, so thanks! (And would you happen to have a citation to it I could use?)

Comment: Re:To Protect and Serve Cancer (Score 2) 290

by plover (#48858341) Attached to: Police Nation-Wide Use Wall-Penetrating Radars To Peer Into Homes

Highly concentrated beams of radio waves are known to cause cold pizza to become hot.


It takes a lot of RF exposure over a very, very long time to increase your chances of getting cancer by a statistically detectable amount. Despite decades of data, (and several very poor quality, highly-biased studies) there is still not a clear correlation between cell phone exposure and brain cancer*. During the course of a police action, the device will likely be on for a few seconds while they recon the inside of the building. For that to cause harm over that short amount of time, it would have to be emitting many kilowatts or even a megawatt of energy; and not only would the resulting burns be ridiculously painful, your heart would short circuit and your eyes would probably boil and explode. Cancer would be the least of your worries.

* If there was a link, cell phone usage is so prevalent across the globe that we should be able to trace a perfect curve that matches cell phone usage to brain cancer mortality statistics. But there isn't even a hint that brain cancer rates are changing due to phones. Toxins? Pollution? Asbestos? Smoking? Volatile Organic Compounds? All those have traceable curves that map exposure to human diseases. Cell phone exposure? Zero.

If a thing's worth doing, it is worth doing badly. -- G.K. Chesterton