Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Or: (Score 1) 987

"However, Assange is NOT a journalist. Journalists are supposed to have a sense of responsibility."
That's an interesting distinction. How would you legislate for that? A "sense of responsibility test"? Only people who pass this can publish without fear of conviction?
I'd rather say that anyone publishing is protected as a journalist, and people who have secrets should learn to do a better job of keeping them.

Comment Wrong name! (Score 2, Interesting) 538

One of Wikileaks biggest problems is their name: they aren't actually *leaking* anything - they are publishing other people's leaks. Leaking is legally dubious, but publishing is protected by the concepts like Freedom of the Press in many countries. Calling yourself FooLeaks implies that you commit some kind of crime for a living.

Comment Re:Administration has zero credibility (Score 3, Insightful) 870

According a Guardian report:
Over 3 MILLION people have access to this private network. The big story to me is that if this material is really significant, why is the US so incredibly bad at keeping it secret?

Wikileaks is not some kind of 'superspy' organization with resources and techniques beyond the imagining of say, a moderately competent nation state. If they could get full access to this 'damaging' information, then I find it hard to imagine that China, Russia, France and most of the western world couldn't either.

Either this is really sensitive material and this is a wake up call that giving 3 million people access to a sensitive database is a poor strategy, or it's not that damaging anyway and the US foresaw this possibility and thought the risk/damage was acceptable.

Comment Re:Simple: (Score 4, Informative) 347

If you want an even more amazing view of Stonehenge, here's a visiting tip that doesn't seem to be that well known - if you plan ahead and fill out this form: can get inside the ropes and get within touching distance of the stones at sunrise. You get the place pretty much to yourself *and* the major road running right by the site is completely empty. It's a genuinely humbling experience and you can get views like this.
Yeah, go ahead and write me, English Heritage.
(although I still feel bad about the moment I found I was accidentally standing on a halfburied lintel.)

Comment Lost movies of the 21st century... (Score 1) 222

ack! Too late! "The Hobbit" directed by Guillermo Del Toro is now the great lost films of our generation. I really hope there's a chance of re-attaching him to the project. His lightness of touch with fantasy would have suited this material so well.

Last time I felt like this was the canning of Darren Aronofsky's "Batman: Year One"
which would have been pretty awesome too....

Comment Re:The expense of the interlock... (Score 5, Insightful) 911

Unlike being tired, or having low blood sugar, having an alcoholic drink is 100% avoidable and voluntary in *every single case*. Choosing to drink and drive is choosing to needlessly endanger other people on the road.
These people have already provably shown that they lack the judgement to make good decisions about their safety and those around them. So it seems proportionate to me to require them, and only them, to demonstrate that they have changed their behavior for some reasonable period of time.

This isn't a civil liberties thing, it's using technology to do something that demonstrably benefits society: not punishing, but changing antisocial behavior.

Comment Polonium 210 (Score 4, Interesting) 202

This has been done before: in the investigation of the poisoning of Alexander Livinenko, the traces of Polonium 210 left wherever the poisoner(s) went gave the UK authorities a very detailed trail to work with - one that not only showed the exact teapot used for the poisoning, but also provides a fingerprint of where the Po-210 was produced and at what date.

It's quite a fascinating story:

Simply substitute Po-210 for something not deadly and you have a wonderful tracking mechanism.

Comment Re:Criteria for patent infringment (Score 3, Informative) 265

Thanks for asking! Most people just go ahead and comment...

You are in violation of a patent if you violate any single claim - but!

Typically, you can describe claims as "independent" or "dependent" - in this case Claims 1 and 13 are the independent claims: they don't refer to any other claims.

These are the most important claims. To work out if you're in violation of a patent, read these first. If you aren't covered by either of these, then you aren't violating the patent.

The dependent claims (all the others) build on the independent claims by adding detail of some sort. You can't be in violation just by having the same detail in your implementation: you have to be violating this claim and the independent claim it refers to together.

By the way, most discussions on patents on Slashdot are usually the result of an accumulation of misinterpretations of the way patents work. It's really *only* the claims that matter, and when the other parts seem broad, it doesn't matter at all. Don't get riled up by the background text or the abstract - as people so often do. However, to my eyes, (IANAL) this patent actually is absurd, for once.

Comment For the Apple suggestion box... (Score 1) 484

I have an idea that I'm offering up as a way of making a huge splash and demonstrating a sense of perspective and humor apparently lacking at Apple these days:

Steve Jobs, live on stage at WWDC 2010: "And now, with a very special announcement about a new product we're all very excited about here Apple, may I introduce...

Comment Calm down, y'all (Score 4, Informative) 773

TFA makes it pretty clear that this (on his personal blog) is a thought experiment, not an actual plan he has any intention to follow through. More, he is speculating about moves that Microsoft or others might take to bring Google down and what that would do to the market.

Frankly, it as much use as mine our your random musings on business: the only motivation for it making the Slashdot front page seems to be that this guy coincidentally happens to have a billion dollars.

Comment Re:No. (Score 4, Insightful) 1174

Well, OK, maybe we Brits are a little over-proud of our plugs. A Polish engineer I know called them "an insult to electrical engineers".

But seriously, where is someone explaining why some other plug is superior? In my experience US plugs get bent pins, can be woefully insecure in their sockets (literally dropping out) and the ground-nonground mixing that goes on on powerstrips seems clearly dangerous.

So (excluding British plugs) which plug would you choose to champion? Any?

I know it's not comfortable to admit that the US version of X is not the best in the world, but if you had another option that you preferred, I'd be more convinced.

Comment Re:Probably intentional. (Score 1) 543

I generally agree with you: even the concept of picking the bits of "war" that you "like" strikes me as pretty weird. Surely it can be argued that there's social value in having a game that accurately depicts the horror of war. War is brutal, unpleasant and to be avoided. If we are going to have games about war, I'd rather they reflected that truth.

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman