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Comment Maccarran airport post-DefCon? (Score 1) 169

Sheeeeeit. You want to get a bomb on a plane? Just fly out of Maccarran after DefCon is over. I stay until the end; by the time I fly the out (with all my exposed-wire-paraphenalia) TSA's collective mind is more completely blown than usual. They don't even look twice.

There's always some lovely stories at the talks about attendees' experiences at their origin airports, though. I can't imagine what those guys must think.

And, to all you naysayers: Forrest M. Mims is indeed the man, and quite famous. Just because "kids today" aren't forced to learn analog basics before doing hardware hacking stuff and *you* haven't heard of him doesn't mean squat. (See also: Steve Ciarcia).

Comment The media self-selcts for idiots, that's why. (Score 1) 294

I have noticed, through the years, an interesting thing about the mass media: *every* time I read something about a topic in which I'm very knowledgeable, it's inevitably wrong. And I don't mean geeked-out minutae wrong, but fundamentally flawed in some way.

Journalism is a very non-technical (non-scientific, non-statistics) degree program. Furthermore, it yields a very low paying job. It's *highly* competitive- so the salaries suck, especially with the move to news that's more entertainment than not, and all the Homecoming kings and queens types want to be on the TeeVee. Why on Earth would any geek want to put up with that crap? And be paid poorly to boot? I also have a theory that the idiots that pay a bunch of money for a degree with crappy salary prospects are being funded by their parents, who apparently don't know any better either- or have enough money that they don't care. So we wind up with a bunch of people that haven't struggled financially, or worked hard to attain a tough science degree- is it any wonder that we have a generally Leftist media?

I'm sure there's some out there that really care and want to be the next Woodward or Bernstein, but unless you're talking about JAMA or or a trade rag, forget quality science reporting.

Comment NO! None of you have the target audience correct! (Score 2) 190

From the RPi foundation's mission statement:

"But we felt that we could try to do something about the situation where computers had become so expensive and arcane that programming experimentation on them had to be forbidden by parents; and to find a platform that, like those old home computers, could boot into a programming environment. "

The point of the thing is to be a cheap platform for learning programming and principles of Computer Science. They go on to say that the multimedia capabilities were added to make it interesting to kids that weren't interested in a purely programming oriented device. I have to think the GPIO capability is basically for the same reason, although they don't mention it explicitly. I believe the charter was expanded at some point to include third-world students.

*ALL* the RPis require a power supply, SD card, cables, mouse, keyboard, etc. The only thing the Zero really lacks compared to (some of) the other versions is Ethernet and multiple USB ports. AND ITS $5.

The fact that the Pis have become attractive to hackers doesn't make your needs paramount. If you're using them for embedded system development and it's such a pain in the ass to move cables around, you have enough money- if you don't already have most of the crap in your closet- to buy two complete setups. (I do, with 2-3 each of the various versions of Pi). It's not that expensive.

RPis absolutely fulfill their intended purpose, even if the single core models are a little pokey. While pushing things beyond their envelope is admirable and What We Do, you can't really complain if things get a little sketchy outside of expected operational modes.

Comment Re:Hipsters fight over limited supplies of juice (Score 1) 554

Hee hee hee... I've noticed this phenomenon myself. An idea occurs to me that I may start doing:

1. Put "hybrid" or similar sticker on car
2. Purchase standard orange extension cord
3. Park in green spot
3. Plug one end in charger, stick other end under hood / up through bottom of car, whatever

Free close parking!

Bonus if you carry rechargeable gadgets with you (laptop, etc) that you hook up to charge off the free juice.

Submission + - All of Feynman online! For free! (sciencealert.com)

thermowax writes: Rejoice, physics geeks and well-read and well-entertained people! "The Feynman Lectures on Physics have been made available as part of a collaboration between Caltech and The Feynman Lectures Website, and io9 reports they have been designed to be viewed, equations and all, on any device." If there's anyone out there who hasn't already heard of Richard Feynman, he's one of the best physics lecturers ever to stand behind a podium. On a more modern note, it's further illustration that the basics of the core sciences hasn't changed (tired of buying new textbook editions, anyone?) and hopefully another example of how online learning will relieve traditional universities of their stranglehold on degree programs.

Submission + - Yet another kid's homebrew electronic gadget gets him arrested (washingtonpost.com)

thermowax writes: ‘They thought it was a bomb': Ahmed Mohamed, Texas 9th grader, arrested after bringing a home-built clock to school he had whipped up to show his teachers what he could do. It's bad enough that our legal system is too stupid to understand things like this, but it sounds like they violated his Constitutional rights pretty severely. Furthermore, I doubt that they'll ever admit that they were wrong and delete the incident. And apologize? Hah.

Comment A complete mess (Score 1) 676

Others have stated similarly, but as someone who has been responsible for classifying material, *you* are responsible for classifying it appropriately- and you always err on the side of caution. You have to classify each paragraph, and if necessary, each sentence. This is a big deal. And , as someone else mentioned, this does taint the entire server. Google "classified spill" for lovely details.

Comment The individual consumer?! (Score 1) 46

Well, security controls sure as fuck should be placed in the hands of the individual consumer- because our esteemed Government has shown themselves to be woefully incompetent at protecting our data. My SF-86 is now floating around out there somewhere.

The idiocy of the average individual is at least roughly the same as our government. I've had it with these clowns.

Comment Re:Black employees. Hmm. (Score 4, Interesting) 256

If there's some Great White Conspiracy to keep the black man down, neither I nor anyone I know are part of it. Indeed, all my cohorts (including the black ones) say the same thing- something along the lines of, "Shut up, raise your kids well, buy your beer, and don't annoy your neighbors". I don't know what's so groundbreaking about that.

I also notice that you've focussed on my second point, while ignoring the first. Care to comment? I have intimate experience, as well as reading about it all over the place- it's not a melanin thing. Black people come to the US from all over the world and do well. It's US black culture that is to blame.

Furthermore, you whipped out the "racist" card, so here we go: shut up and behave. This may take a while to result in change... but isn't this what everyone should be doing anyway?

Comment Black employees. Hmm. (Score 4, Informative) 256

Look: I graduated from high school in 1985- far before the intarwebs were cool. I was a geek because I *wanted* to be, societal pressures notwithstanding.

I was bullied on a daily basis. The source of the majority of this bullying was blacks. An Asian friend of mine, years later- in college- mused about his similar experience.

I guess this can go two ways:
1. Black culture can finally start to view academic accomplishment as "cool".
2. Black culture can realize that the smart kids are in charge, and they'd better adapt or learn to enjoy life in the hip-hop ghetto they've made.

Sorry. Not my monkeys, not my circus, not my problem.

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