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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:Here's a suggestion for a verdict (Score 1) 188

by preflex (#49192559) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

You [wouldn't] even have to look for GPL violations in products anymore, corporations will do that for you in the products of their competitor, hoping to kick them out of the market that way.

Great idea!

I'm concerned my competition is sucking up all of my users with their superior product and marketing. So, naturally, I was wondering: How can I discourage users from using my competitors product?

That's it! I should force my competitor to make his product free! The users will come flocking straight to me. Brilliant!

Comment: The best I've been able to come up with (Score 1) 223

by preflex (#48983405) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Gaining Control of My Mobile Browser?

All the mobile browsers are absolutely fucking horrible. Firefox mobile is the best, but it also sucks.

On Android, I use XServer-XSDL, an Ubuntu chroot (Debian doesn't build chromium for armhf anymore), and desktop Firefox + Grab-and-Drag, or Chromium+umatrix. This also sucks, but it sucks less than anything native. YMMV.

+ - Ubisoft revokes digital keys for games purchased via unauthorised retailers->

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "For the last several days, some users of Ubisoft's uPlay system have been complaining that copies of games they purchased have been revoked from their libraries. According to a statement issued to a number of gaming websites, Ubisoft believes that the digital keys revoked have been "fraudulently obtained". What this means in practice is unclear; while some of the keys may have been obtained using stolen credit card details, others appear to have been purchased from unofficial third-party resellers, who often undercut official stores by purchasing cheaper boxed retail copies of games and selling their key-codes online, or by exploiting regional price differences, buying codes in regions where games are cheaper to sell them elsewhere in the world. The latest round of revocations appears to have triggered an overdue debate into the fragility of customer rights in respect of digital games stores."
Link to Original Source

+ - Is Spacetime Countable--And Why It Matters?

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "One of the big problems with quantum gravity is that it generates infinities that are hard to deal with mathematically.They come about because quantum mechanics implies that accurate measurements of the universe on tiny scales require high-energy. But when the scale becomes very small, the energy density associated with a measurement is so great that it should lead to the formation of a black hole, which would paradoxically ruin the measurement that created it. So physicists have invented a technique called renormalisation to get rid of the infinities. They assume there is a minimum scale beyond which nothing can be smaller, the so-called Planck scale. This limit ensures that energy densities never become high enough to create black holes. This is equivalent to saying that space-time is not infinitely divisible. Instead it must be discrete, or as a mathematician might put it, countable. In other words, it is possible to allocate a number to each discrete volume of space-time making it countable, like grains of sand on a beach or atoms in the universe. Many physicists are uncomfortable with this ideas and now they may have an alternative. A small group of cosmologists are developing a new theory of gravity, called shape dynamics, in which spacetime is infinitely divisible and so uncountable . This ignores many ordinary features of physical objects, such as their position within the universe. Instead, it focuses on objects’ relationships to each other, such as the angles between them and the shape that this makes (hence the term shape dynamics). These angles and shapes are scale invariant--they are the same whatever scale you look at them. And that's why spacetime in this model is infinitely divisible. It's early days for shape dynamics but a growing number of theorists have high hopes for the theory following a recent proof that special relativity is its mathematical equivalent."

Comment: Re:Plot synopsis (Score 1) 138

by preflex (#48877727) Attached to: Simon Pegg On Board To Co-Write Next Star Trek Film

Suddenly an alien probe starts microwaving Earth's oceans. To save Earth, Starfleet instantly promotes Kirk to double-plus-admiral and gives him an experimental portable time travel module, which he uses to take the enterprise back to 1980s Earth.

No, it won't be 1980's Earth. It will be 2010's Earth. Doing the 1980's would cost more, and have fewer opportunities for product placement. Do you remember the blatant Nokia marketing in Star Trek XI? Kirk, as a child, driving a 'vette, blasting the Beastie Boys, and taking calls on his clearly-branded Nokia cell phone (ringtone and all). They could make a whole fucking movie out of that shit.

Star Trek used to give me hope for the future of humanity. It was a vision of the future where mankind had outgrown capitalism, racism, and petty politics, and were free to explore the universe simply because it was there. Each new planet was an opportunity to learn about ourselves, and grow even more civilized as we learned to interact with alien cultures peacefully. Spock acted as a foil to Kirk, demonstrating that if we can reconcile our desire to do good with cold, unflinching logic, we can bring truth, justice, and liberty to the whole of the galaxy.

Now it seems the message is "We will gladly shit upon all your values to make a quick buck. Spock is having a temper tantrum. Fuck you. Buy more shit."

Comment: Re:When they log into Facebook's server (Score 1) 323

Furthermore, when the adminstrator logs in to the student's account, FB's advertisers are actually harmed. They paid good money to show ads directed toward the school-age bully who lives in Illinois demographic. When someone other than the registered user logs in, that money is fraudulently wasted.

It's actually in FB's interest to sue and push for criminal charges. They've got an advertising business to run, and if people other than the registered user are logging into accounts, that lowers the value of their ads.

+ - The Paradoxes That Threaten To Tear Modern Cosmology Apart

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Revolutions in science often come from the study of seemingly unresolvable paradoxes. So an interesting exercise is to list the paradoxes associated with current ideas in science. One cosmologist has done just that by exploring the paradoxes associated with well-established ideas and observations about the structure and origin of the universe. Perhaps the most dramatic of these paradoxes comes from the idea that the universe must be expanding. What’s curious about this expansion is that space, and the vacuum associated with it, must somehow be created in this process. And yet nobody knows how this can occur. What’s more, there is an energy associated with any given volume of the universe. If that volume increases, the inescapable conclusion is that the energy must increase as well. So much for conservation of energy. And even the amount of energy associated with the vacuum is a puzzle with different calculations contradicting each other by 120 orders of magnitude. Clearly, anybody who can resolve these problems has a bright future in science but may also end up tearing modern cosmology apart."

+ - Facebook Will Let You Flag Content As 'False'->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "If you're tired of seeing fake or misleading news articles posted by your friends to Facebook and then spreading like wildfire, you might be in luck. In a system that's something like Slashdot comment moderation on a grand scale, you'll now be able to flag a story as false. Links that have been flagged this way by many users will appear less frequently in people's newsfeeds, or with a disclaimer attached."
Link to Original Source

Comment: It's actually a nice feature. (Score 5, Informative) 93

by preflex (#48859557) Attached to: Steam Broadcasting Now Open To Everyone

I've found Steam's broadcasting feature to be quite handy for getting a handle on the basic mechanics of games with a steep learning curve, such as Crusader Kings II. If you tell a player you're watching him for the purposes of learning the game, he will often slow down and explain his actions.

I also like to watch FTL. It's fun to be a back-seat starship captain, and many of the players like it too, as having an extra set of eyes and ears can be helpful for catching things you might overlook: "Uhh, dude ... Your ship is on fire ... ".

Comment: Re:Three times smaller!!! (Score 1) 180

by preflex (#48841613) Attached to: Tiny Fanless Mini-PC Runs Linux Or Windows On Quad-core AMD SoC

Nope. You're also wrong about the development of the language. Care to cite something?

"He who bestows his goods upon the poor shall have as much again, and ten times more."
John Bunyan (1626-1688).

Goods + 10 x Goods = 11 x Goods

This has not changed in the last 350 years.

This document, titled "Common Errors in Forming Arithmetic Comparisons" might help. See "Seven Common Errors" number 6.

Confusing ‘times as much’ with ‘times more than’: If B is three times as much as A, then B is two times more than A – not three times more than A. The essential feature is the difference is between ‘as much as’ and ‘more than.’ ‘As much as’ indicates a ratio; ‘more than’ indicates a difference. ‘More than’ means ‘added onto the base’. This essential difference is ignored by those who say that ‘times’ is dominant so that ‘three times as much’ is really the same as ‘three times more than.’

Or how about this one, from The Economist magazine's style guide:

Take care. Three times more than x means four times as much as x."

Perhaps you might be interested in the style gude from the Institute of Physics.

"Five times as much" does not mean the same as "five times more than" (i.e. six times as much) –the first is multiplicative, the second additive.

English speakers really only started getting sloppy with this in the last 100 years or so.

If you're wrong once, and then you're wrong two more times, how many total times are you wrong?

At this point, it's pretty obvious that you are the troll.

Comment: Re:Three times smaller!!! (Score 1) 180

by preflex (#48838711) Attached to: Tiny Fanless Mini-PC Runs Linux Or Windows On Quad-core AMD SoC

"If I type this sentence two more times, how many times will I have typed it when I am finished?"
Well, so far, I've typed it once.

"If I type this sentence two more times, how many times will I have typed it when I am finished?"
Well I typed it one more time! I have typed it twice!

"If I type this sentence two more times, how many times will I have typed it when I am finished?"
Now i have typed it two more times! I have typed it three times!

Get it?

Comment: Re:Three times smaller!!! (Score 1) 180

by preflex (#48838557) Attached to: Tiny Fanless Mini-PC Runs Linux Or Windows On Quad-core AMD SoC

"Times" does only indicate simple multiplication. It's the comparative element: "bigger than" that is the source of the confusion. "Times bigger than" does not represent the proportion of the size of object A to object B, it represents the proportion of object A to the difference between object A and object B.

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