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Comment Biting hand that feeds you, 2.0 (Score 1) 390

Libraries could just take the easy way out and not purchase ANY books (real OR imaginary) from publishers whose eBook library licensing terms they consider to be unreasonable. When people stop seeing real the publishers' real books at the library, the loss of free advertising will hurt more than the loss of revenue from sales of imaginary books. Libraries need to wise up and realize that they are the ONLY showrooms for publishers now that real book stores are going out of business left and right. In a couple of years, they will have the power to put individual publishers out of business.

And to everybody who said "eBooks won't fuck up the whole world of reading," a big hearty "I told you so."

Comment Geological Process? (Score 1) 90

MESSENGER revealed an unexpected class of landform on Mercury and suggest that a previously unrecognized geological process is responsible for its formation. I'm not an astrophysicist. Doesn't "Geological" refer specifically to Earth? The "Geo" comes from "Gaea," the Greek personification of Earth. Mercury would be something like "Hermeticological" I would think. I got this from a sci-fi book (one of Heinlien's, if I recall correctly), so don't jump on me if it's incorrect.

Comment Lawsuit pending for Bethesda Elder Care in MD (Score 1) 332

In other news, software giant Bethesda Softworks LLC has go ahead with its pending lawsuit against Bethesda Elder Care in Bethesda, MD. The software corporation claims that the patients of the assisted care facility are at risk of confusing their residence for an open-ended role playing environment, citing such similarities as both having features in common like "air" and "ground."

Bethesda Softworks, LLC President and CEO Vlatko Andonov said the following in a press release last Thursday:

Look, we're not here to pick on the little guy, but this is a serious problem. We've already heard reports that seniors have been hospitalized due to confusion with the potion-making abilities. We're working on a way to make the poision/potion indicator more accessible to people who are color blind or have other vision issues such as cataracts. And last week, Mr. Gershowicz was found over five miles away from the facility on a stolen horse. I mean, the man was about to enter a troll cave with ceremonial armor. CEREMONIAL- can you believe that? And his save-on-hit skill was only like 120 with buffs. These are prefectly nice old men and ladies, but they do not belong in a world focused on "aesthetic presentation and open-ended adventuring."

Andonov went on to explain that his corporation is the clear and undisputed trademark holder for the term "elder" and warns that other infringing parties such as the Box Elder School District in Utah will be facing similar litigation in the near future.

Comment No technological basis, just $$$ (Score 1) 661

This is no different from iOS devices not supporting Flash, or allowing any app that does support Flash or other embedded programming environment.

Microsoft has already said they will not allow non-validated Metro applications and won't allow distribution via any method other than their app store.

Sound familiar? By not supporting Flash (or other plug-ins), they make sure nobody can develop for their platform without them getting a cut. It's weird how Microsoft jumped on that bandwagon, especially after all the digs at Apple for doing exactly the same thing.

Comment All "Metro" Apps Go Through App Store??? (Score 1) 538

This is a stupid idea. It was a stupid idea on the i-whatever devices that Apple sells, and it will be a stupid idea on Windows. Say I want to develop and use an application that I write myself. For myself. On my computer and nobody else's. Now I have to get Windows' approval to "sell" it to myself? I'm heading out to buy a couple of copies of Windows 7 (which I actually kinda like) in case I get a new PC sometime in the future and it comes with Windows 8. That way, I can wipe the disks clean and do a fresh install of a slightly less crippled OS.

Submission + - Which weighs more, 1s or 0s? 1

tillerman35 writes: Pick a a type of storage device (hard drive, thumb drive, RAM memory chip, CD, DVD, BRD, whatever), and set every bit possible to 1, within the limits of how the device works. Would it weigh more than it would if you set all the bits to 0? Obviously if there's a difference, it wouldn't be large even if the storage device could hold terabytes. I'm not sure it would even be measurable. But in theory is there a difference, however small?

Comment This crap is why we have "Math Explorations." (Score 1) 677

I'm all for "math is cool," and "let's explore," but this guy seriously torques me off. My kids are currently suffering from the influence of people like him. They have taken the basics out of math and substituted this useless "math explorations" curriculum. Other folks have written better criticisms, but suffice it to say that the vast majority of kids don't benefit from all this "exploration" and "visualization" and the ones who do would have had those epiphanies anyway without any help whatsoever.

The BETTER way is to stick to the basics and train teachers to recognize kids who have a mathematically artistic talent and then remove them to an environment where it can flourish. That's tough for a couple of reasons. First, those kids might not actually get good grades. The author of TFA is entirely correct that the basics bore them which results in inattention and lack of motivation. Second, when they ARE good, removing them will lower the overall test scores of the class. Since teachers' pay and bonus structures are based on their students' test scores, there would be a strong monetary motivation to intentionally fail to recognize them.

Assuming that those two problems can be overcome (big assumption there), you continue to train the "artistic" kids in the basics, but only just enough to get by. The rest of the time, you motivate them in a way that would make the author of TFA happy.

The problem is, people have this wonderful but sadly mistaken belief that ALL kids can benefit from artistic mathematics when in fact most can't. Compounding the problem is the bizarre theory that teaching the artistic mathematics will somehow magically result in the basics becoming trivially easy. It doesn't. And unfortunately, our kids have to fail spectacularly in order to teach the education system this simple fact. "Luckily," that's what they're doing in droves.

Comment Not immoral to block ads. (Score 1) 615

There is no difference (other than media) between an ABP filterset and a set of pages custom-cut to fit over a particular edition of a newspaper or magazine and block the print of all advertisements therein, leaving non-advertisement text and pictures visible via cut-outs.

Let's say you obtain said magazine and page-by-age place the "PABP" (paper ad-block plus) "filters" such that you can read the entire magazine without ever setting eyes on a single advertisement. Is this illegal? Immoral? Unethical? I can't see how it is. Doesn't matter if the magazine is sold or given away for free. Once you get it, it's yours and you can look at any part of it you like.

In the paper publishing world, delivery of the "substrate" media (the magazine, newspaper, etc) is exactly equivalent to delivery of the advertising media. They cannot be separated. The advertiser, therefore, knows that his message has been delivered and counts on its positioning and his own unique presentation to make it eye-catching enough that the reader notices.

In the electronic publishing world, some genius decided to separate the advertisements from the content. Where previously it would have impossibly difficult to block the ads (who is patient enough to make a paper cut-out for every page of a magazine and carefully place it so that only the articles' text shows through?), now blocking is only a matter of applying a series of regular expressions. But the same principle applies. Once you've downloaded the "substrate" content (i.e. the pages hosting the advertisements), you are under no obligation follow any of the links. It's YOUR bandwidth, not the advertisers. If anything, the advertisers are stealing from YOU when they download commercial media without your consent.

The real problem is this: Advertisers are lazy. They are faced with a new type of media and are unwilling to invest the time and money to fully integrate the advertising with the "substrate." It's not impossible, and it doesn't have to be expensive. Look at the Hemmingway mock-prose competition that gets held every year. The contestants are required to incorporate the name of the sponsor in every submission, or the submission is disqualified. And for the price of a few trophies and a little PR, the sponsor of that contest gets amazing amounts of advertising.

Unfortunately, really integrating advertising with its "substrate" media takes a lot of thought and effort. So basically it boils down to a bunch of stupid lazy individuals who would rather point fingers at "evil users" than do their jobs. Sorry, fellas. The Whinery Tour starts every hour on the hour. Queue up under the sign with the picture of Sour Grapes.

Comment Update: Top Quark Cancels Account (Score 2, Funny) 194

Rueters, Batavia IL: Citing a weak nuclear force and inability to provide satisfying quantum entanglement, a local Top Quark has cancelled his account and given up on finding a paired partner. "I feel like I'm decaying into something strange. I'm down all the time. At the bottom of my barrel. It's sort of like I'm never quite sure of where I am, or where I'm going, or at least not both at the same time," said the disappointed fundamental particle of creation. representatives say they tried to talk the depressed 31x10^-33year-old, but were unable to convince him to keep his account active. "We don't offer refunds, but we did him an additional 6 femtoseconds to find that scintillating someone."

When interviewed, the parents of the particle, also expressed disappointment. "We were hoping he'd find a Jewish girl, get married, maybe give us a little boson someday. Where did I go wrong?" sobbed his mother. "He'll be fine, honey" said the quark's father, comforting his wife. "After all, we had to go through 20 billion collisions to find each other, didn't we?" The father, a well-respected lawyer and his wife, a homemaker, live in Hackensack but speak to their son regularly.

Looking at his latest matches, the Top Quark sighed. "Mom and Dad are so different. He's a proton, she's so totally anti-proton. I don't know. If they could find each other, why can't I find anybody?"

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