Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Thirst Toast (Score 1) 197

Fair enough, but does the rest of what I said carry any merit? I find the "odds of life forming" a bit of a meaningless argument. At best it just says it couldn't have happened under known theories, but not that it couldn't have happened 'undirected'. We simply don't know enough to make that sort of claim yet.

You expected a soulless pedant like myself to keep reading after the part I objected to?

I think you're quite right about the difficulty of determining the probability of life forming somewhere else in the universe. The counterpoint to that though is that it really doesn't matter how low it is because the universe is THAT big.

Really though, I was just getting the asinine pedantry out of my system.

Comment Re:Kids (Score 1) 393

False comparison--you are confusing the fact that your kids make you happier than anything else you DO HAVE with the nonfact that you are happier than you would be without them.

If you did not have kids your life would be radically different. You would have things you DO NOT have now. That your kids make you happier than anything else you have now DOES NOT imply that you would not be happier without them. IIRC there are studies that have shown people without children are in fact happier than those with children.

Comment Re:Good one Youtube (Score 2) 450

I'm not arguing for gun control. I'm saying that

"I don't have the balls to defend myself effectively, so it's necessary that we restrict any people who might have the balls to defend themselves effectively!"

is pure flamebait, i.e. a post made to intentionally provoke angry responses from the people you're referring to.


The weak want to depend on a subservient police force to protect them. The strong understand that they cannot rely on a police force

is more flamebaitery combined with more than a little masturbation: I'm so strong because I know I can't trust the cops! Fuck yeah! Ugg! Ung! Urk!

Not relying on authority to protect you may be wise, but it has nothing to do with strength or weakness, and your bizarre faux-nietzschean romanticizing (which is hilarious in sad sort of way) will never make the two related.

I'm actually opposed to most gun control measures (not out of any pro-arms principle, so much as a skepticism of the value of gun control legislation). That doesn't mean I won't call out flamebait for what it is.

Comment Re:Thirst Toast (Score 1) 197

Isn't that wrong because you're ignoring how lotteries usually operate, which is to pick a winning combination out of a limited set

I'm not aware of any lottery that functions this way. As another poster said, raffles work that way, not lotteries.

Powerball (for example) draws numbers from the total possible set of values. If no one has that number, then the lottery continues (and the pot grows as people buy more tickets). Moreover, there are usually (essentially always) multiple players with the same number in a lottery. Lottery numbers are not one-use. Many pots are won by several people with the same number.

Comment Re:They're hiding... (Score 1) 197

It's not a meme. It's a valid point. We're basing all our assumptions on the lightspeed barrier on our current knowledge of physics.

Yes. And our then-current knowledge of physics said that sound-barrier was breakable, and it was correct. The comparison of the sound-barrier problem to the light-speed barrier problem is stupid and anyone making it displays either their ignorance of the history of science, their shallow mindedness, or both.

Is light-speed exceedable? Maybe, but the present situation is NOT comparable to the situation with the sound-barrier in the 1950s.

Comment Re: memo to hardware producers (Score 5, Insightful) 215

Right, instead of fucking up Windows (which they could have already done) they fuck up your firmware, and you honestly think end users would even know the damned difference. Pass the pipe please.

Maybe you should stop smoking that, it's damaging your critical thinking skills.

The users are not the one receiving a message in this scenario. The manufacturer is the one receiving the message. It works like this:

1) Unethical hacker writes virus to brick Samsung laptops.
2) Thousands of Samsung laptops get sent in under warranty for repair because they inexplicably (from the users' perspective) stopped booting.
3) Samsung bean counters notice that UEFI models have an unacceptably high rate of failure under warranty.
4) Samsung bean counters decide to kill UEFI models.

Comment Re:"migrating German code comments to English" (Score 4, Informative) 249

Then again, English is a pretty strange Indo-European language. It has a lot of complexity where it doesn't really add anything, like the plethora of irregular verbs, or the many words that end with the letter e for historical reasons, despite it not being pronounced for centuries. And in other areas, the simpler rules of English come at the cost of expressive ability. Almost non-existent verb conjugation makes things simple, but it also requires 3 words to say "we will run" as opposed to a heavily conjugated verb like "correremos".

Compulsive linguistic fetishist chiming in here:

The "irregular verbs" are not irregular in English (at least, not if you're referring to the stem changers; there are some true irregulars but not many). Swim-swam-swum, sing-sang-sung, etc. (and several other varieties of stem-changers) are ALL regular. They were mislabeled as irregular by 19th century prescriptivist grammarians who didn't know what they're talking about (and who thought that Latin was "perfect" and that any deviation from Latin represented grammatical corruption). The "irregular" verbs are Anglo-Saxon strong verbs. They follow clear, regular patterns and pre-date the influence of Norman French.

Spelling peculiarities are a product of the (relative) freezing of orthography with the invention of the printing press. This is not a linguistic issue, it's one of editorial culture. We COULD have changed spellings as pronunciations changed (and other Indo-European cultures did change their orthography as pronunciation changed in the centuries since the invention of the printing press), but for political reasons have not. It has nothing to do with the language itself (other than the fact that freezing orthography tends to retard language change).

Verb conjugation was not nonexistent in Anglo-saxon words (your "irregular verbs"), and its slow disappearance is the result of Norman influence. Conjugation in Anglo-Saxon was a stem-change, not an inflection. Initially, the only nonconjugating words were borrowed from Latin and Norman French. Over time, because of the prestige status of Norman French, those words became the new normal in English, and old strong verbs begun to lose their conjugations. As an example, it used to be Climb-clamb-clumb, not Climb-climbed-climbed.

Your "we will run" vs "correremos" point about the Spanish being shorter is silly. The English version is 3 syllables and the Spanish is 4. So which is actually shorter to say?

English is weird for an Indo-European language because it is actually a hybrid of the Germanic and Romance branches. This hybridization stripped out incompatible features between the two source families.

Comment Re:Why this dilution? (Score 1) 249

You forget the part where Oracle left OO.o in limbo for several months (?someone with a better memory and less beer may remember the exact timeline better than I do) after deciding not to develop it further before handing it off to Apache. THAT was what gave LibreOffice its momentum because no distro wanted to ship an EOLed office suite. By the time Oracle finally handed it off to Apache the damage was done.

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