Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Sketchy track record, not involving politics (Score 1) 390

I don't claim that I've proven Snopes to be wrong. I even agreed with their conclusion in the case I mentioned. But it does make me wonder how much other feedback they've ignored over the years, and it gave me the strong impression of "we're never wrong"-ism. When they write about other subjects where I can't turn to an expert sitting next to me at dinner to check their conclusions, did someone try to correct their facts on those subjects, too? I don't know. At least Wikipedia gives you a history of edits if you're interested in digging into them.

Side note: I don't know if Snopes has a political bias. They might, or it could be that they ignore factually incorrect "different opinions". They wouldn't have to be flaming liberals to say "the Earth is more than 6,000 years old". Either way, I want to make it clear: I have no intention of weighing in on their politics. I don't know enough about it to have an opinion.

Comment Sketchy track record, not involving politics (Score 5, Interesting) 390

They have an article debunking the myth that Marilyn Monroe had six toes. As part of the evidence against this, they wrote:

One doesn’t simply get up and start trotting around after having a toe removed — the missing digit affects one’s balance, and it takes some time to adjust to the change and “relearn” how to walk.

The problem is that isn't true. My wife is a podiatrist who amputates toes routinely as part of her job. I discussed this with her and she said that the whole "relearning to walk" thing is in itself a myth, and that even people who have their big toes removed generally do just fine in no time. Try it yourself: walk across the floor with your big toe pulled upward so it doesn't hit the ground. Easy, right? And that's the big toe; a vestigial extra-pinky toe hanging off the side would contribute almost nothing to balance or your gait.

I wrote them with this information. They replied, quite defensively, that I was wrong and that she did not have six toes. Uh, yeah, I totally agree! I still think they should have removed the invalid evidence that contradicts expert testimony. If you're proving that "1 + 1 = 2 because cats have wings", and I tell you cats don't actually have wings, it doesn't invalidate your premise but it does suggest that you'd want to update your proof.

Comment Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 161

Modern cruise missiles have a radio link, often via satcom, that is up almost the entire flight. Many can be re-targeted until they self-destruct.

With handfuls of devices communicating via a very difficult-to-access network, you can have some reasonable security. But what happens when you have many devices operating within "reach" of attackers?

Comment Re:Inevitable (Score 4, Interesting) 161

There already are sentry guns, so we already have killer robots. But note that they are stationary. That limits their potential to do harm. Making mobile killbots is a whole other thing.

It's highly true that we cannot make a network completely secure and also use it at this time. It's just too complicated. Killbots have to be stupid. If they are autonomous, the only way to "make sure" nobody else is hacking them and using them against you is to have them sever their radio connection after accepting an order, and to not accept any further communications. And lo, the oldest form of killbot is the cruise missile.

Comment Re:Capacity planning (Score 2) 194

An experienced event planner would likely have made the situation worse. At a typical event,

An experienced event planner would have seen atypical events, that's what makes experience valuable.

An intelligent person would have asked cellphone companies to deploy temporary cells for the event, or even had some partner come in and blanket the park with free Wi-Fi. It could have been an opportunity. Instead, it was a disaster.

Comment Re:A knife is dangerous.. (Score 1) 97

California bans some types of knives entirely, such as a knife that is balanced and can be thrown,

Wrong, and also wrong. You cannot sell throwing knives in the state of California, or carry them, but you can own them and keep them at your home and transport them in the trunk of your vehicle. The knives which are banned entirely are those designed specifically for concealment, like lipstick knives, or cane swords; spring-loaded knives, like switch blades; and also butterfly knives, which yes is a stupid restriction, as is the restriction on switch blades.

Slashdot Top Deals

Quantum Mechanics is a lovely introduction to Hilbert Spaces! -- Overheard at last year's Archimedeans' Garden Party