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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Why would news outlets CARE if it's manipulated (Score 1) 86

engage in actual journalism or something, instead of echoing press releases

It's far worse than that. Almost all "news" is worthless, speculative, time-wasting trivia. Either that, or poorly-informed, badly thought out "opinion pieces". If you're bored on a weekend, try buying a "quality" newspaper, and cut out every article in it that you might honestly be able to say is important for you to know about or that contains reasoned argument supported by verifiable facts. Years of worthless "news" indoctrination makes this a tricky exercise. You might be tempted to think that knowing whether Michelle Obama has visited a school in the Bronx is important, or that a man who got drunk on board a flight to Norway is "news." No. It isn't. It's useless trivia. So friggin' what if Vladimir Putin is riding a quadbike? Why should I care? A self-important "editorial journalist" thinks family life has been eroded by video gaming because a single study funded by Families Against Video Games says it does. Are they proposing any further research on the subject to further test this hypothesis? Are they themselves an expert in the field? No? Then why the hell should I care about their personal opinion? Really - they should just fuck right off and the fact that they are even in print is an insult to anyone buying the paper.

I guarantee you that you will not be able to cut out more than five articles in any newspaper that actually answer the description of informative, actionable, relevant information about things that directly affect your life, or things that you might be able to affect should you choose.Yet we have conditioned ourselves to treat things like who wins an Olympic medal as more important than welfare reform. We're mesmerised by shit like whether Sylvester Stallone's son was a drug addict or not - as if it were something even remotely worthy of our attention. It's not - it's garbage. A total distraction. And a lot of storied that should be in the news aren't because of that.

Comment Re:Why would anyone ever want to run a Tor exit no (Score 1) 96

For the last few years, I've run one of the faster exit nodes in the UK. I think I've had two, maybe three, complaint emails forwarded by my ISP in that time. I just send them to my standard boilerplate, CC the ISP, and never hear back.

Bottom line: anyone wanting to do something really nasty won't use Tor - they'll use something much more suitable for their task, like a botnet for one thing.

Comment If Google and FB can't do it, maybe M$ can? (Score 4, Interesting) 156

I'd be more willing to pay attention to this news if the history of "targeted advertising" hadn't been so wonderfully, idiotically, shit. Perhaps a Microsoft offering like this might just achieve something worthwhile, but I'm not holding my breath. Let's see how the much-vaunted personalisation algos are these days:

I splash my personal browsing habits and general information all over the web (I don't even log out of FB most of the time) yet I have never been aware of anything other than random, pathetically irrelevant ads. As of writing, I have my Gmail open in another tab and I'm looking at an automated mail from Spotify that says "Anna just joined Spotify" - Anna is a friend of mine. Now, what do you think the mighty Google might be selecting, given that it knows lots and lots about me, and reads all my emails numbering tens of thousands? Tadaa!! "How To Declare Bankruptcy" and "Easy Web Site Builder". WFT? I'm not even self-employed, have never been in fact, and tons of my emails deal with subjects such as Apache and MySQL (I maintain a small little server for my friends). Why the hell would I want an easy web site built?

Maybe that was atypical. Let's try another. Here's one from a recruitment agent asking me about a job in user experience (I'm a designer). Google decides to show me these: "Gap Year Placements" and "Doctors in hot demand" - Huh?? I'm not a student!! I'm not a doctor!! Does Google know NOTHING about me after over five years of intensive Gmail use??

I dunno, maybe if I was a one-eyed teenage porno extra or something, I might be seeing relevant stuff in my datasphere, but right now it's just not happening.

Comment Targetted ads? Don't make me laugh (Score 1) 175

I splash my personal browsing habits and general information all over the web (I don't even log out of FB most of the time) yet I have never been aware of anything other than random, pathetically irrelevant ads. Right now, for instance, I have my Gmail open in another tab and I'm looking at a automated mail from Spotify that says "Anna just joined Spotify" - Anna is a friend of mine. Now, what Adsense do you think the mighty Google might be selecting, given that it knows lots and lots about me, and reads all my emails numbering tens of thousands? Tadaa!! "How To Declare Bankruptcy" and "Easy Web Site Builder". WFT? I'm not even self-employed, have never been in fact, and tons of my emails deal with subjects such as Apache and MySQL (I maintain a small little server for my friends). Why the hell would I want an easy web site built?

Maybe that was atypical. Let's try another. Here's one from a recruitment agent asking me about a job in user experience (I'm a designer). Google decides to show me these: "Gap Year Placements" and "Doctors in hot demand" - Huh?? I'm not a student!! I'm not a doctor!! Does Google know NOTHING about me??

If Google can't get this right (and similarly idiotic ads are shoved at me the whole time on FB too), then what hope Intel? It's also a total mystery why anyone who invests in those companies doesn't notice that a cornerstone of their supposed value - targetted ads - is in fact total, laughably dumb, shit.

Comment Primitive (Score 4, Interesting) 48

I'm sure that in 100 years time, people will look back on our understanding of networks, information and culture in the same way as we look back on people's understanding of the body's nervous or endocrine systems 100 before now. This study hints at our lack of knowledge about what the hell is happening.

Comment Re:Business planning (Score 1) 223

My best (worst?) tech support call was an "Our printer's broken." How can you tell? "There's a bullet hole in it."
Ahhh, right, we'll get that replaced then. And I will never work at a bank branch.

Financials have all the fun! I know somebody who used to work (not in IT) in a large securities trading company. If people had a problem with any IT kit there, they would simply smash it up. He saw three people once that had a paper jam or something in a printer. They pushed it over, smashed it up with chairs, and then rang the help desk "Hi, the printer on our floor's not working."

Comment Re:Magna Carta 1297 Section 61 (Score 1) 213

To try and dislodge the oligarchy in charge of the USA, you'd have to take up arms AGAINST a military that receives half a trillion dollars per year. This makes things slightly tougher.

Not to hijack the thread, but isn't this essentially the argument that the NRA make for the Second Amendment? I'm not American, so feel free to put me straight, but what is their argument against the fact that if (for example) the Occupy Wall Street people start shooting congressmen, that they would last about 3 seconds in the face of even a casual counter-attack by the US military?

Comment Re:Simpler approach (Score 1) 298

For ketchup, just put the bottle upside down. Gravity will place all the ketchup at the tip of the bottle.

I'm usually not patient enough to wait for that, so I take the bottle and whirl it around like Pete Townsend a few times. This forces the ketchup into the top of the bottle pretty quickly, and can then be poured out easily.

Comment This is what executors are for!! (Score 1) 402

"... some were willing to help while others required me to fax/mail death certificates and proof of executorship (which I didn't have yet)."

I should bloody well hope they wanted proof of executorship!

Why do so many people think that the problem of getting at a deceased relative's belongings is in any way a new phenomenon? People communicated before email was invented, they had secrets before PGP, and they most certainly used to die with a bunch of loose ends that needed sorting out.

You may WANT to get your hands on granny's Gmail account and grab her stuff as soon as possible, but the basic principle in law - that I am DAMN GLAD exists - is that only those people who have been granted the right to do so by due process should access these things.

FFS it's bad enough the erosion of privacy that's taken place since the net came in without potential criminals or idiots getting their hands on my passwords after I'm dead!

STOP THIS MADNESS!

Comment Re:Why are the Palenstines bad again? (Score 1) 735

"How about 8,000 rockets launched into Israel in the last 10 years?"

Israel, Palestine, they are both as bad as each other. For every Palestinian atrocity you can name, I can name an Israeli one. That game will lead you nowhere.

https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=israeli+atrocites+against+Palatine&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gl=uk#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&client=ubuntu&hs=sXN&channel=fs&gl=uk&source=hp&q=israeli+atrocities+against+Palastine&pbx=1&oq=israeli+atrocities+against+Palastine&aq=f&aqi=&aql=1&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=4447l6253l0l6880l9l6l0l2l2l0l413l1438l0.3.2.0.1l8l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=3dd5bec6e38bb980&biw=1901&bih=854

Sigh.

What's less pointless is looking at whether continued US support for Israel has contributed in large part to the growth of radical Islam and instability of the Middle East in general. Of course, the British started it, but that's no excuse.

Comment Re:Wrong question - contract trumps copyright (Score 1) 56

OK. So apart from the very narrow exception of Fair Use (which doesn't properly exist outside the US very much), and maybe Moral Rights in places like France, contract trumps copyright.

In fact, can you name any significant victory of Fair Use over contract recently? The Estate of James Brown is pretty flush last I checked...

Comment Re:That's my big issue with them (Score 5, Insightful) 1799

What are your problems?

Banking should be a service to industry that facilitates socially useful capital and equity, not be an industry in its own right. The social good derived from (say) derivatives shorting is vanishingly close to zero.

1) What shall we do about them?

(I think this has been articulated rather clearly by the movement to anyone wishing to ask). Re-introduce the Glass-Steagall Act, impose a transaction tax (eg 0.01%) on every trade of any kind performed on the stock markets, and re-balance shareholders' interests against equity build using suitable regulatory legislation.

So - what say you?

Slashdot Top Deals

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov

Working...