Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

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).


Comment: Re:Linked Data, of course (Score 1) 235

by pvanheus (#33258690) Attached to: How Do You Organize Your Experimental Data?

Yes, this! I work in bioinformatics, and while relational DBMSes are used by a large number of projects, the problem you face with experimental data is that its organisation is non-obvious and relationships between different bits of data are not apparent. This means that RDBMSes aren't a natural fit. One of my colleagues has been experimenting with graph oriented databases (specifically neo4j (, an approach which has interesting intersections with declarative programming. In the near future I think much of use will come from being a scientific "data geek", utilising the kind of skills described by Deepak Singh (blog:

Comment: Re:More Clutter in googles interface? (Score 4, Interesting) 41

by pvanheus (#31109488) Attached to: Google Buys AI Social Search Service Aardvark

I also thought that when I first looked at Buzz.... but then I realised that Buzz is actually working off a rather minimalist integration of different websites model. This is actually a good thing - so instead of Facebook's model of providing "albums" and "notes", etc, I can publish a "newsfeed" that features the pictures I upload to flickr, the videos I put on youtube, the blog items I post on blogger, etc. Done right this is much much more powerful than Facebook - and part of "done right" will have to be integrating good ways of finding people - both by attributes such as name and location, and also by "group" - organisational or interest-based affiliation.

Comment: Re:Ban how to host a murder while you're at it. (Score 3, Interesting) 473

by pvanheus (#28539679) Attached to: On Realism and Virtual Murder
Ok so then let's take sexualised violence, a staple of slasher films but also available as "snuff" porn. "Flower of Flesh and Blood" for example involves a woman being drugged and cut apart. Ok, so let's take this to its photorealistic conclusion - a computerised simulation of rape and murder. No problems yet? Is there any point where you'd have a problem? Virtual Nazi concentration camp?

I think the point of the article is simply this: a) take something you find disturbing b) imagination a perfectly realistic simulation of that thing and then imagine the effect on people. I don't agree with the author that a legal solution is correct in this instance but I do think there are psychological and social issues to be faced here.

Comment: Re:Good reason to get shut (Score 5, Informative) 922

by pvanheus (#27122495) Attached to: US Forgets How To Make Trident Missiles is based on news media reports and they themselves state that: "Gaps in recording and reporting suggest that even our highest totals to date may be missing many civilian deaths from violence." How much undercounting that IBC does no one knows. So your figures are, as you say, bunk.

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite." -- Bertrand Russell, _Sceptical_Essays_, 1928