Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Er, no, that isn't the story (Score 1) 382

The moral of the story here is that people who aren't law enforcement are really, really, epic bad at being judges of character.

I see no evidence that the police are immune from epic fails in judging character, or are indeed better at it than anyone else. But they do have a lot of experience with *investigations*, and that counts for something.

Comment Re:Bush (Score 5, Insightful) 923

If you folks on the right had asked one of us *liberals* back in '08, we'd have told you Obama wasn't one of us. He's essentially what would have been a centrist Republican thirty years ago. These were people, like Bob Dole, that we liberals didn't agree with, but could respect and work with. In fact, "Obamacare" pretty much follows the private sector oriented reform plans of Bob Dole. If Obama were a liberal he'd have gone with single payer, and negotiated tough price concessions with pharmaceutical manufacturers (which is the source of America's runaway heath care spending). You'd have seen banks regulated or broken apart, and criminal investigations in response to the financial crisis of '08, not an attempt to put the system back together again the way it was before the crash.

In fact Obama is very much the kind of president Dole would have been: an economic pragmatist, a diplomatic multilateralist, and an aggressive user of military force where he perceives an imminent threat to national security.

If you want to stop state intrusion into private affairs, you've got to stop being afraid, and convince others around you to stop being afraid. The more fear there is in the political climate, the more impunity the government has in its actions.

Liberals got behind Obama in '08 for the same reason we got behind Obamacare: we backed the best alternative achievable in a climate of fear -- a climate, by the way, that makes the state internal security apparatus feel empowered to do anything it wants in the search for terrorists.


Google Pressure Cookers and Backpacks: Get a Visit From the Feds 923

An anonymous reader writes "Massachusetts resident Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which raises the question: How'd the government know what they were Googling?"

Comment Re:Failed Marketing (Score 1) 251

I've seen gaming headsets that mix two audio sources (is yours the PS3 headset?), but I haven't found wireless earbuds available that do that (thinking more about it, it seems my problems are only with wireless earbuds (I've had sets from two manufacturers)).

I use the Sony SBH20 wireless earbuds: http://www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/accessories/stereo-bluetooth-headset-sbh20/ Seems to work fine. I haven't had any problem with mixing up devices, but I'm pretty careful about turning off BT whenever I don't use it to save battery. So I turn on the headset (or keyboard), then turn on BT on the device I want to use. Then turn both off once I'm done.

Comment Re:Failed Marketing (Score 1) 251

I've got two Bluetooth devices; A Microsoft Wedge portable keyboard, and a Sony headset. Both trivially paired with both my Nexus 7 and Tablet Z (and my phone, for the headset) and are instantly available whenever I turn BT on on either device. The headset can connect to two devices at once too, which I guess is useful if you're, say, taking a call while playing a game on the tablet.

This is the first time I've heard of bluetooth devices that pair with only one device at a time.

Comment Re:All the RT's fault (Score 1) 251

I don't think much of your marketing strategy -- after all, do we have any *evidence* that people want [note 1] to run their desktop windows apps on a tablet? That said, I think it's better than Microsoft's strategy. If you enter a crowded market, you've got to offer something other vendors don't have. Dumping money on advertising in an attempt to generate excitement seems hopeless when people are already divided into two camps; iPad or Android. Plus, you don't want to further confuse customers by giving them too many choices to make in your own line.

For years Jobs showed the industry how to do this: streamlined product introductions that focus on stand out features.

note 1: By "want" I mean "are willing to pay for", not "think is a pretty neat idea". Years in business have taught me the neat ideas are common as muck, but ideas that people pull out their checkbook for are very rare indeed.

Comment Tracked down the report (Score 4, Informative) 196

Available here.

A quick scan indicates it does not say exactly what news reports are claiming it does. The title gives a hint: "TSA Could Strengthen Monitoring of Allegations of Employee Misconduct".

The media (including /.) has seized on one fact out of the report, that the number of misconduct investigations has increased about 27% (not 26% as reported), and erroneously concluded that the rate of misconduct at the agency has increased by 26% (e.g. the title of this /. piece). This conclusion is not necessarily *wrong*, mind you, but the data in the report simply doesn't give us any basis for drawing it. For one thing, one of the main criticisms of the report is that the TSA is not tracking the *outcome* of investigations. For all we know the increase is the result of a higher rate of investigation, or even the increase in the agency's head count.

The whole point of the report is that the TSA has been so slapdash at tracking investigations of employee misconduct it doesn't know the degree which employees are violating policies or even the law. Consequently nobody really knows whether the rate of misconduct has gone up or down. That's damning enough to be going on with.

Comment Re:Think of the children (Score 1) 283

School does not exist as a vocational training facility for industry. It should train people to be productive citizens. Over the long term that means fundamental skills. By "fundamental" I don't mean "introductory", I mean skills upon which *other* skills can be built: to analyze, to imagine, to communicate and *to learn*.

In terms of computer skills, students should be used to adjusting to doing things different ways, because changes in the software on the market will force them to do that. They should be able to create a problem-solving strategy and execute it with the tools at hand, rather than let the tools at hand dictate their capabilities.

After all, which Windows should they train to use? Windows XP? Windows 8? By the time they hit the market Windows 10 might be the current MS standard, and people may well be using operating systems targeted to non-desktop form factors as much or more than Windows.

Comment Re:Serious Rethinking (Score 1) 156

I can imagine a minor use for this kind of thing: Have appliances disclose operating conditions, such as energy used, detected faults and things like that. Our fridge is already doing some cool stuff locally, without a net; it keeps track of when during the day we open it and when we don't, and goes into a lower-energy mode when we're unlikely to open the door for a long while. Makes a noticeable difference in our power bill.

But in practice, any such system will of course be maker-specific, demand a particular version of Windows/OSX/iOS/Android, and be completely locked to a vendor application that is buggy, incomplete and with an UI that is epic in its awfulness.

Comment Re:I have tried insects before (Score 2) 655

Like anything else, the gustatory qualities of an insect depend on how the insect is prepared. You wouldn't care for a raw shrimp, and you wouldn't care for a raw silkworm either. For that matter you probably wouldn't like raw chicken.

Crunchy ants straight from the mound is a taste many people might never acquire, but it doesn't mean you can't use your culinary skills to transform them into something else. For example there are forest people in India who grind stinging ants into a paste and make it into a spicy chutney. You wouldn't know that you were eating insects if you weren't told. For that matter the crunch of a big ant might be just the thing in a confection where you'd otherwise use puffed rice.

Then there is just getting used to the texture and the fact that you're eating bugs. I know people who are researchers who eat handsful of live crickets as a snack because they've got hundreds of pounds of them in their lab, and they like the crunchiness. A lot of people have exactly the same kind of difficulties you are reporting the first time they try raw shellfish, but once you get used to it there are few things tastier than a raw oyster on the half shell with a squeeze of lemon.

Trust me, a raw oyster doesn't have the texture Americans associate with meat.


What's Stopping Us From Eating Insects? 655

Lasrick writes "Scientific American has a really nice article explaining why insects should be considered a good food source, and how the encroachment of Western attitudes into societies that traditionally eat insects is affecting consumption of this important source of nutrients. Good stuff." Especially when they're so easy to grow.

Slashdot Top Deals

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings