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Communications

Anti-Defamation League Declares Pepe the Frog a Hate Symbol (time.com) 356

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TIME: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has declared a popular internet meme depicting a cartoon frog to be a hate symbol. Pepe the Frog's beginnings were unoffensive: he is the creation of comic book creator Matt Furie, who featured the frog as a character in the series Boy's Club beginning in 2005. The character subsequently became a beloved meme, often called the "sad frog meme" and shared with a speech bubble reading "Feels good man" or "Feels bad man." But recently, as the Daily Beast reported in May, the character has been co-opted by a faction of Internet denizens who decided to reclaim it from the mainstream, and began sharing it in anti-Semitic contexts. "Images of the frog, variously portrayed with a Hitler-like mustache, wearing a yarmulke or a Klan hood, have proliferated in recent weeks in hateful messages aimed at Jewish and other users on Twitter," the ADL wrote in a statement. "Once again, racists and haters have taken a popular Internet meme and twisted it for their own purposes of spreading bigotry and harassing users," wrote ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.

Comment Re:Consumers (Score 1) 296

Try bandcamp.

Here, I'll start you off with some premium grade-A smokey music. Nope, that's not marijuana (though if that's your thing, it should still work out for you). Inhale again and you'll realize it's mesquite. I suppose the two are similar, because smelling this music gives me the munchies, except I don't wanna settle for anything less than slow-fuckin'-cooked brisket.

United Kingdom

UK's Top Police Warn That Modding Games May Turn Kids into Hackers (vice.com) 153

Joseph Cox, writing for Motherboard: Last week at EGX, the UK's biggest games event, attendees got a chance to play upcoming blockbusters like Battlefield 1, FIFA 17, and Gears of War 4. But budding gamers may also have spotted a slightly more unusual sight: a booth run by the National Crime Agency (NCA), the UK's leading law enforcement agency. Over the last few years, the NCA has attempted to reach out to technologically savvy young people in different ways. EGX was the first time it's pitched up to a gaming convention; the NCA said it wanted to educate young people with an interest in computers and suggested that those who mod online games in order to cheat may eventually progress to using low level cybercrime services like DDoS-for-hire and could use steering in the right direction. "The games industry can help us reach young people and educate them on lawful use of cyber skills," Richard Jones, head of the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit's 'Prevent' team, told Motherboard in an email. "Through attendance at EGX and various other activities, we are seeking to promote ethical hacking or penetration testing, as well as other lawful uses of an interest in computers to young people," Jones said.
Operating Systems

Windows 10 Now On 400 Million Active Devices, Says Microsoft (thurrott.com) 153

Microsoft announced today that Windows 10 is now running on over 400 million active devices. This is up from 300 million as of May, and 207 million as of end of the March. The company says that it deems devices that have been active in the past 28 days as "active." Microsoft added that this 400 million active devices figure include tablets and phones as well as Xbox One consoles, HoloLens, and Surface Hubs running Windows 10. Paul Thurrott adds:Microsoft last provided a Windows 10 usage milestone on June 29, when it said that there were 350 million active Windows 10 devices. At that time, I noted that the Windows 10 adoption had accelerated from the previous milestone, hitting an average of almost 29 million new devices per month. But 50 million additional devices over three months is a much slower pace of about 17 million per month. This is the slowest rate since Windows 10 was first announced. Again, no surprise there: Windows 10 was free for its first year, and over that time period it averaged roughly 31.25 million new devices per month (if you assume a figure of 375 million after one year, as I do). Does this mean that Windows 10 will see fewer than 20 million new devices each month, on average, going forward? No, of course not. There's no way to accurately gauge how things will go, given that most future devices will be new PCs purchased by businesses or consumers, or business PCs upgraded to Windows 10.

Comment Re:The "average" consumer? Of course not. (Score 5, Insightful) 277

The "average" user has no idea and that's why they put IOT shit on their unsecured network in the first place, duh.

The average user has no idea that there is something like "IoT" and that it is in any way different from the rest of "the internet". All they know is that it is "smart" to have an app on your phone that can turn on the heating and tell you the fridge is empty, and a TV that seems to understand what you want to watch, or a smart meter that tells you (and the utility company) how much gas and electricity you use up to the last minute. They won't know or care about the security implications until it goes badly wrong.

Comment Stirring the shit? (Score 1) 246

Although one Democrat criticized the extension by arguing that nuclear power "does better in a socialist economy than in a capitalist one, because nuclear energy prefers to have the public do the cleanup, do the insurance, cover all of the losses and it only wants the profits."

I remember in the beginning how refreshing it was to find Slashdot, where you could quite often find intelligent discourse about technical subjects and where Linux was often portrayed in a positive light at a time when the consensus in the IT industry produced such catchy phrases as "You get what you pay for" and other goodies. It feels quite disappointing to see that we are now becoming little more than a sort tabloid outlet, whose main editorial line is to post anything that stirs up controversy, because that attracts more commentators, who we can sell as potetial eyes that look at our adverts.

I've picked out this particular sentence, not because I feel that socialism needs defending, but because it once again portrays Americans as being stereotypically crude, uninformed and astoundingly stupid. So, is there actually 'one Democrat' that spews out this sort of tripe about socialism? Probably - just as there are Republicans and Americans of any denomination, who tend to hold a similarly uninformed view of the world. And for that matter, people from any nation. I happen to know quite a few Americans - and I have only ever come across 1 in the flesh, who matched the sterotype; to compare, I know loads of Britons that appear to be functionally braindead.

As for the comment on itself: the behaviour desribed matches very closely what we have grown up to expect from businesses, especially big businesses, under glorous Capitalism: acid rain, dead rivers, corrupt companies paying corrupt researchers (they don't really deserve being called scientists) to tweak their results, pollutants poured out in the environment with the excuse that "it hasn't been proven that these chemicals, which cause deformities in frogs are harmful to humans" - and so on. Plus, of course, they do all they can to avoid paying taxes, so who gets to pay the bill for cleaning up the mess for their reckless profiteering? Societies all over the world are still paying the bill for the tobacco industry's profitmaking - they make money from selling a drug that is proven to cause cancer, but they don't pay the expenses for cancer treatments, nor do they compensate for the loss of production or any of the other significant costs associated with their business. All in all, I think it has absolutely nothing to do with socialism when the public has to foot the bill for the mindless greed of Big Capitalism.

Comment Re:This isn't really that hard to understand (Score 1) 654

The problem with climate science is that it's so difficult.

No, it is actually VERY VERY SIMPLE.
1. To show that CO2 has an effect on heat, get two glass jars. One filled with CO2, and one filled with air. Shine an infared lamp (or even just sunlight) on both jars. You can measure that the CO2 jar absorbs more heat, because it's hotter than the air jar. This principle has been known and well-understood for over 100 years, and you can demonstrate this in an elementary-school classroom.

2. To show that human industrial activity releases a shitton (ie. enough to affect the whole world's climate) is also relatively simple. Get in a plane, and fly over the Los Angeles basin. Just look at the carpet of constantly running automobiles, as far as the eye can see across many hundreds and hundreds of square miles. Wrap your brain around this happening 24x7, week after week, month after month ... for decades. Get on Google Earth, and look at the land-area we're talking about; and multiply that by all the major cities of the world. This is completely non-mathematical, but very easy for most people to visualize, if they've ever had the opportunity to fly over any urban sprawl area and just watch it happen. Maybe with a little observation of a car exhaust, and how the engine works, and what kind of volume of gasses it puts out while it's running. Also think about jet engines, and the volume of gas they put out as they're running, and think about the tens of thousands of flights happening right now, and every single day: again, 24x7. Non stop. For decades.

These two simple observations are obvious and plain enough that it affected me on a gut-level. No math required. It's plain and obvious. Not at all subtle.

Now: to observe the actual effects on the world, is not so easy. One way is to look at photos, over decades, of glaciers that have receded. If you've been alive for 30+ years (or longer), you know damn well that even though we've had a couple of harsh winters, it's certainly not like it was when we were kids. If you ask older people, they can tell you that things have definitely changed. But this effect is subtle enough that even the very old people who remember Minnesota winters 70 years ago, don't seem to be able to grasp how very different the climate there is now.

Comment Attack the Economic Position (Score 1) 654

They have very convoluted and complicated arguments against Climate Change.

On the Economic side, you hear that the Carbon Tax, and funding for research into renewables (and smart grids, and mass energy storage, and electric cars, and etc); will have a net positive effect on the economy. Yet when you're talking with a denier - they're arguing that any tax is going to cause economic devastation and abridge everybody's quality of life and standard of living, and that shutting down all the fossil fuel jobs will leave millions unemployed. Nobody questions this claim (in the newsmedia), and rarely are the economic arguments compared or scrutinized. This is also an important point that needs to be made to climate change deniers. Where renewable investment has been made, where carbon taxes were enacted, positive, measurable benefits have been observed. Most mainstream economists actually agree with this, but those arguments are silenced in the mainstream newsmedia.

Comment Re:Stupid (Score 1) 51

Name one country that doesn't mind its military bases being photographed every couple of months and being published for anyone to look at.

If Google is photographing your bases and publishing it, the problem isn't that they published it. The problem is that Google was able to successfully photograph it.

If Google can photograph your base, then your adversary can too. And Google is almost certainly doing things in the nicest way possible, obeying laws, not generally willing to put up with planes being shot down as merely an inevitable cost of business, etc. A real adversary doesn't have those constraints.

Attempting to censor Google is symptom-treating, and really, it's to a comical degree. It's way out there; this isn't merely "slightly stupid." This totally reeks of closing barns doors after horses have gotten out... except that there will be an update in a few months and of course they'll want that blurred too,because they still haven't closed the barn door. It's more like they just don't want people talking about the barn door, that they have already decided they're never going to close.

YOUR HORSES ARE OUT, NUMBNUTS!!! WE ARE LOOKING AT YOUR BARN DOOR BECAUSE IT'S HYSTERICALLY FUNNY THAT YOU KEEP LEAVING IT OPEN, not because we want to steal your horses, which aren't in the barn anyway. If the horses were really still in the barn, then you would have shot down the photographer.

Comment Re:Incoming liberal asspain (Score 1) 852

And maybe what both parties need to get out of the trench warfare that they currently have as well.

Maybe, but maybe not.

The parties only hear two language: votes and money. Whatever they're doing, appears to be working for them (contrary to what you suggest, that they change). You write that it's bad, but on election day I think they are going to hear that what they did was good.

You're giving a treat to the dog (and saying "bad dog") every time he barks, and kicking him (and saying "good dog") whenever he sits and cutely wags his tail. Guess what kind of dog you're going to have.

The only good news I'm seeing in this election, is that somewhere around 10-15% of voters have finally decided to stop actively supporting and approving them, compared to single digits in previous years. But a strong majority still approves, applauds, and rewards.

I think the election night numbers are going to show: Clinton and Trump were excellent choices, America's top two favorites. Prove me wrong, America. I don't care what you say to me; I'm watching to see what you say to them and everyone else.

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