Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:But... (Score 4, Insightful) 341

I hate replying to myself, but since we don't have a way to edit...

The ones with the cameras have the power. Governments with CCTV have power. Corporate overlords with CCTV have power.

Protesters recording police abuses have power if they record it, but if they don't record it usually they lose.

Activists recording business abuses have power when challenged since they can expose problems, but no recordings and they find themselves sued to oblivion.

Drivers in Russia with dashboard cameras have power when people jump in front of their vehicles.

When the people have the cameras, they have the power. Sadly many individuals equate cameras with power so they feel powerless when they see another individual with a camera. Just give everybody cameras, let them record everything. Power to the people, and all that.

Comment Re:But... (Score 1, Interesting) 341

In public, I want ubiquitous recording BY THE INDIVIDUALS.

If I'm in a club, I want a few cameras running. Inevitably there are fights, and if we can get viewpoints from five different individuals it could clean up a lot of problems.

If I'm out dealing with a drunk, I want a few cameras running. If anything goes wrong we can get viewpoints from several angles to prove innocence against accusations.

If I'm dealing with a difficult client, I want a few cameras running. Let's have both of our viewpoints and more besides. If I did something wrong let me know, show me so I can fix it.

I'm a photographer who insists on having someone present when I shoot women alone, I really want a few cameras running. I once had baseless accusations against me, and a few cameras would have cleaned things up quick.

If I need to interact with police for anything from a speeding ticket to an arrest, I want a few cameras running. If I'm guilty, I am content to have those cameras show my guilt. If I am innocent, I want those cameras to prove not just to the court, but to show the media, to show facebook, to show youtube.

There is a HUGE difference between government run CCTV, corporate overlords monitoring our movements, versus individuals who can use recordings to preserve what they see for any use.

Individuals with cameras in public? Bring them on. When everybody (not just the authorities) have the cameras running the world will be that much better.

Comment Re:Petition to Stop Wasting Tax Money on Petitions (Score 3, Insightful) 245

True, and well-worded, but I think it's a bunch of handwaving. If he truly believed in an open internet, he'd do something about this more than just saying: "I'm gonna let them handle it"

You must be new to this whole "government" thing.

In general they do nothing. And in general that is actually the best response.

Usually when they do take fast action it is the wrong action. The kneejerk reaction laws are written by organizations that have their own aggressive agendas, they provide them to the legislators during an emergency under the promise that the bad provisions can be corrected later... but they seldom are.

The correct course, even though it is slow and tedious and painful, is for Congress to act deliberately.

Even in the best of times trying to force Congress to pass a law that benefits the people is nearly impossible. Often it requires a massive upswelling, grand marches and presentations and events that are daily on the news until the congress-critters realize they must take action or lose their jobs. In the worst of times, like today, even that wouldn't work since they cn trivially deflect the most severe upheavals with "We worked on a bill but the other party shut it down".

Examples of that were the civil rights movement, the Vietnam and Korean war protests, more recently we have the occupy movement and the tea party movement. It takes considerable force to make congress move, and even these multi-million member groups tend to produce only slight changes in government.

Sadly, the correct action is also the action we are least likely to see. It may not be the one the nation wants, but given the national attitudes and apathy, it is probably the one we deserve.

Comment Re:Still abusive (Score 1) 511

It is actually pretty funny from a distant and abstract view.

When most companies dig through your machine, evaluate records and browser caches, and otherwise dig through the garbage that is sure to exist, most people start screaming about privacy rights, corporations and governments intruding in personal lives, and the huge potential for abuse. Assertions that it is only to catch the bad actors are usually dismissed by the crowd.

Valve does exactly the same thing, searches through your machine, digs through all the garbage, and has the potential to collect quite a lot of incriminating details. Assertions that it is only to catch the bad actors are followed by ... mostly acceptance.

0.000876% -- the 570 bad actors that scanning 65 million Valve user accounts has identified.
0.0142% -- the "around 1,000,000 Terrorist Watch List names in March 2009" relative to the number of people the NSA spies on.

So... I guess that means Valve is spying on 65 million people with even less effectiveness than the NSA spying? Or maybe this make it less bad somehow because Steam is voluntary? Maybe we can vote with our wallet! That means go back in time over the past decade, choose someone else to buy the games from, locking us to their platform instead, and... wait...

Comment Re:To long, didn't check. (Score 1) 189

Doesn't seem any worse than a Zero Knowledge Proof system.

Even if we cannot prove it formally, systems like this can put together a system with a very high probability of being correct if we simply test their results. If you can get multiple automated proof systems to claim it is impossible, and you trust the automated proof systems with a moderate degree of certainty, you can trust the results with about the same certainty.

For many problems, having something "statistically proven" is good enough.

Comment Re:riiiight (Score 4, Insightful) 361

No, it has not always been this way! In fact when Akamai first started out ISP's were housing their cache boxes for free because it was cheaper to pay for the bit of power and AC for them then it was to pay for additional upstream bandwidth. Also Tier-1 ISP's have ALWAYS carried traffic in a neutral way and without charge to each other (you've been here long enough that you should know what tariff free peering is). These deals aren't about the costs, providing peering points for traffic is relatively cheap, this is about the last mile providers abusing their monopoly/duopoly positions to rent seek.

Comment Re:Seriously? What has happened to Slashdot? (Score 1) 401

But now we get childish anti-science potshots making it up to score 5, Informative? What the heck happened? Has Slashdot been taken over by commenting shrills paid by the Koch brothers? Or did all the intelligent Slashdotters simply leave long ago? If so, could someone please tell me where they went?

Natural ebb and flow.

Site is new and has mostly insiders. SNR is high. Site gets popular. Hordes arrive. SNR drops. Signal moves to clearer channels.

It is often mentioned that the Slashdot heyday ended around 2006. Much of the signal moved over to reddit. Observe that reddit went from a great ratio of insightful stories and insightful comments in the past to having today's home page mostly filled with meme-style images but occasionally containing intellectual content, very much like modern slashdot. Some of the individual moderated sub-reddits maintain a high SNR on a single topic, but the broader intelligent community vanished a few years back.

These days go for industry-based and credential-based discussion boards. IEEE and ACM both offer fairly broad geek news coverage with open discussion after the stories.

Comment Re:Ahh Kerry... (Score 1) 401

Sounds like you are falling for an obvious diversionary tactic. Kerry is in Indonesia. Indonesians are pissed at the USA for spying on them. Kerry decides to talk about climate change and lobs around hyperbola like "weapon of mass destructions threating your way of life!!11ONE!!!1"


We should all take action for climate change. Don't let the horrible practices of the nations of the world interrupt it.

Do what you can for climate change!

(I recommend igniting your nearby forests. After all the forests are gone there will be plenty of evidence for climate change.)

Comment Re:How to kill a market (Score 1) 191

The savings aren't enough, I looked at getting my wife a smaller vehicle to replace her minivan as we really only need the size and third row seating for the 2-3 weeks a year where we're traveling long distances. Renting a minivan for 2 weeks costs more than the fuel for her current vehicle for the entire year.

Comment Re: Use Cisco instead... (Score 4, Informative) 76

Uh, no. You just read the *headlines* on Snowden articles and not the details, didn't you?

Backdooring Cisco or Juniper equipment required physical access or someone to upload a Trojan firmware.

Huawei has a *remote upgrade* feature that allows remote firmware programming. They are very..."user" friendly.

Comment Re:-_- (Score 1) 329

Someone did the math the last time this came up on slashdot and the fires per vehicle produced were about 1/3rd of average for Tesla vs the general pool of vehicles, but the counterargument was that Teslas were much newer than the average vehicle and so it wasn't necessarily a good comparison. I doubt anyone outside of an insurance company's actuary department has enough data on similar vehicle rates to know for sure. All I know is that a Tesla went through a brick wall at a high rate of speed and the driver got out and watched a fire consume the vehicle some minutes later, having crashed a normal car into something much less substantial at a fraction of the speed that tells me everything I need to know about the Teslas safety design.

Comment Re:Why the hype? (Score 1) 274

Nope, no trespassing signs can't help you legally, and in fact can hurt you. If someone is injured on your property and it is marked no trespassing the courts may assume you knew you had a hazard on your property and were trying to keep people away via signage instead of proper methods. It's incredibly stupid but it's the way it is.

Submission + - BitCoin suffers flash crash after MtGox pintpoints bug ( 1

Golgafrinchan writes: MtGox, which on Friday suspended all withdrawals, issued a press release today wherein they discussed a bug they have discovered in BitCoin. MtGox states that the bug is not specific to MtGox; it affects all transactions where BitCoins are sent to a third party. Following the press release, BitCoin plummeted from roughly 700 USD/BTC to 102, before rebounding back to over 600 minutes later.

Below is the non-technical explanation provided by MtGox: A bug in the bitcoin software makes it possible for someone to use the Bitcoin network to alter transaction details to make it seem like a sending of bitcoins to a bitcoin wallet did not occur when in fact it did occur. Since the transaction appears as if it has not proceeded correctly, the bitcoins may be resent. MtGox is working with the Bitcoin core development team and others to mitigate this issue.

Comment Re:Beta is illogical (Score 0, Offtopic) 401

I bet the /. beta team are all smokers.

It isn't logical to completely destroy the essence of a popular website just to try to extract some extra money from it, but destroy it in the process.

Kinda like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs just so you can try to extract the eggs quicker. Sorry, but you may find the essence of the site dies in the process.

Slashdot Top Deals

The number of computer scientists in a room is inversely proportional to the number of bugs in their code.