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Comment Re:I think I'm too old for this **** (Score 1) 408

I'm 62 and way way to old for this.
I wonder how much of this social network rage is due to the age of the individuals.
I've developed a number of compartmentalizations in my life and I don't want to merge them all together.
When you're young you may only have 2: family & school friends and you might be idealistic enough to think that you can merge them or that your family is too dumb to look at your social network.
Then you add your work compartment, and then your spouse's compartment and then your children's compartment and then your religious compartment and then your non-school friends compartment and then your lover's compartment and then your hobbyist compartment, etc. etc.
With this many compartments you don't really want all these people to know everything you do or a way for them all to get into contact with each other. Not that the world would end if they do, but why open yourself to comments and probing on stuff that isn't anybody's business except who you choose it to be.
I suppose one could try to keep some compartments insulated from others but for some people that is too much bother or risk.

Comment Re:Duh? (Score 1) 633

Sharing things with people has two components: what it does for the giver and what it does for the receiver.
Most people recognize from life experience that the giver usually expects something back even if only a thank you.
That is part of the motivation not just "altruism". I pose that pure altruism, where the giver expects nothing back, rarely exists.
I further pose that a file sharer who takes somebody else's work and gives it away for free is expecting somebody else to think well of them for giving it away. This happens only in the mind of the giver, of course, because they don't know for sure what the receiver is doing, but it still makes the giver feel good. If all the receivers accepting the gift send an email to the sharer saying s/he is a jerk, then it is unlikely the sharer would continue his/her work.
Sharing something on the internet that you got yourself for free is probably nothing but upside in terms of emotional payback, unless the RIAA comes knocking.
Sharing something you bought yourself is less likely to continue unabated but there is still that mental expectation of a payback.
File sharing as altruism? I say file sharing as cerebral j/o. But it does feel good. I've tried it!


Submission + - Android Developers making money? (

ChuckG writes: From the web posting:
'Developing for Android is rough. Sure, it's a huge, surging market that is quickly overtaking the smartphone industry. That's all good, and it means money for Google, cellphone carriers and the device manufacturers. However, the developers are still hurting in the end, this despite the rising popularity of the Android OS.'

Everything has it's pluses and minuses. Are there slashdot developers that are making money on Android that would like to contradict this story?


Submission + - Sy Hersh on Cyberwar (

LeelandGaunt writes: Seymour Hersh has recently done an admirable job of deconstructing Cyberwar in the New Yorker. What he finds is a phalanx of government officials (and former government officials employed by high-end strategic consulting firms) wielding conveniently vague definitions to benefit the bottom line. As Hersh observes, “Blurring the distinction between cyber war and cyber espionage has been profitable for defense contractors—and dispiriting for privacy advocates.”

This article focuses, in particular, on the alleged threat to our power grid. Hersh offers a voice of reason amidst a cyclone of think tank spin and ominous sounding scare stories. He comments that “There is no documented case of an electrical shutdown forced by a cyber attack. And the cartoonish view that a hacker pressing a button could cause the lights to go out across the country is simply wrong. There is no national power grid in the United States. There are more than a hundred publicly and privately owned power companies that operate their own lines, with separate computer systems and separate security arrangements. The companies have formed many regional grids, which means that an electrical supplier that found itself under cyber attack would be able to avail itself of power from nearby systems.”

As one researcher from San Francisco put it, when it comes to our societal infrastructure, we’re probably our own worst enemy.


Submission + - Google's Gingerbread Man Has Arrived

Daetrin writes: Last weekend Google received the next statue in the sweets-themed series that commemorates the major updates of the Android OS. In the past this has meant that the release of the next SDK was right around the corner. However this time there's some doubt as to what the version number will actually be. Many sites (including Slashdot) have assumed that "Gingerbread" was synonymous with "3.0", but now there's some evidence that everyone may have jumped the gun and the next version will actually be 2.3.

Today's Children Are Officially Potty Mouths 449

tetrahedrassface writes "When the Sociolinguistics Symposium met earlier this month swearing scholar Timothy Jay revealed that an increase in child swearing is directly related to an increase in adult swearing. It seems that vulgarity is increasing as pop culture continues to popularize vulgarities. The blame lies with media, public figures, politicians, but mostly ourselves. From the article: 'Children as young as two are now dropping f-bombs, with researchers reporting that more kids are using profanity — and at earlier ages — than has been recorded in at least three decades.'"

Ray Kurzweil Responds To PZ Myers 238

On Tuesday we discussed a scathing critique of Ray Kurzweil's understanding of the brain written by PZ Myers. Reader Amara notes that Kurzweil has now responded on his blog. Quoting: "Myers, who apparently based his second-hand comments on erroneous press reports (he wasn't at my talk), [claims] that my thesis is that we will reverse-engineer the brain from the genome. This is not at all what I said in my presentation to the Singularity Summit. I explicitly said that our quest to understand the principles of operation of the brain is based on many types of studies — from detailed molecular studies of individual neurons, to scans of neural connection patterns, to studies of the function of neural clusters, and many other approaches. I did not present studying the genome as even part of the strategy for reverse-engineering the brain."

Icelandic Company Designs Human Pylons 142

Lanxon writes "An architecture and design firm called Choi+Shine has submitted a design for the Icelandic High-Voltage Electrical Pylon International Design Competition which proposes giant human-shaped pylons carrying electricity cables across the country's landscape, reports Wired. The enormous figures would only require slight alterations to existing pylon designs, says the firm, which was awarded an Honorable mention for its design by the competition's judging board. It also won an award from the Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Architecture competition."

Stats Show iPhone Owners Get More Sex 397

An anonymous reader writes "According to OK Cupid's survey of 552,000 user pictures iPhone users have more sexual partners than BlackBerry or Android owners. By age 30, the average male iPhone user has had about 10 partners while female iPhone users have had 12. By contrast, BlackBerry users hover around 8 partners and Android users have a mere 6. As the blog's author's wryly observe: 'Finally, statistical proof that iPhone users aren't just getting f*@ked by Apple.'"

Comment Re:Charles Barkley on being a Republican (Score 1) 780

Hands-off approach to business yes, but hands on approach to one's private life, sexuality, religion, access to information, etc., etc. I.e. more freedom for the wealthy conformist and less freedom for the poor or non-conformist.
The average standard of living of all but the uber rich has declined not increased since the Reagan years started.


Cutting Umbilical Cord Early Eliminates Stem Cells 139

GeneralSoh writes "Delaying clamping the umbilical cord at birth may have far-reaching benefits for your baby, according to researchers at the University of South Florida's Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair — and should be delayed for at least a few minutes longer after birth. This new recommendation published in the most recent Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (14:3) notes that delaying clamping the umbilical cord allows more umbilical cord blood and crucial stem cells to transfer from mama to baby."

Comment Re:From TFA (Score 1) 173

I think what he was saying was that Linux (in the larger sense of GNU/Linux/open-source) is trying to do something that has already been done. It isn't original in the sense of creating something nobody had thought of before. It may be able to do the underlying architecture better and cheaper but it hasn't done the desktop metaphor well enough to make a dent in the Apple/Microsoft market.
Now comes Android, another attempt to do something that has already been done. Lot's of back-slapping congratulations on the ability to copy but none for originality.

Comment Re:Subjectivity presented as fact (Score 2, Interesting) 945

Now I'll admit I'm a Mac fanboy (in a good sense) and an M$ hater (in a bad sense) but this comment really clicks with me.

I've found iTunes frustrating to use and I've found movement of data between iTunes, GarageBand and iDVD obtuse when first learning it. In one application the files are in one place in another application they are in another kind of place and you have to go dig through menus to import the files. Once you've learned it, it works but it is far from intuitive. I think that Apple software has been skating on the edge of unfriendly lately altho there are certainly startlingly innovative interfaces being created by them.

I've been a programmer for 40 years and I'm f*ing tired of continuously battling computers. That's why I switched to Macs a while ago at home. When I'm doing my stuff at home, I don't want to have to worry about some bleeding registry or parameters buried in some /etc file that I can't find or read. But when I'm at work, I don't want to have to dig through a hierarchy of menus, dialogs and "Advanced" buttons to find out where to change something. When configuring system software on an M$ machine I don't know whether to laugh at the incompetence of the creators or cry in my frustration. On a Mac it is marginally better but still convoluted. Since I don't have to do it so often on a Mac, it doesn't hurt as much.

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