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Comment Update: Testing EnergyStar by GAO resulted in: (Score 2, Informative) 154

GAO submitted a few non-existant products to test the EnergyStar program. Some notable results:

Gas-Powered Alarm Clock:
Product description indicated the clock is the size of a small generator and is powered by gasoline.

Product was approved by Energy Star without a review of the company Web site or questions of the claimed efficiencies.

Geothermal Heat Pump:
Energy use data reported was more efficient than any product listed as certified on the Energy Star Web site at the time of submission.

High-energy efficiency data was not questioned by Energy Star.

Product is eligible for federal tax credits and state rebate programs.

Computer Monitor

Product was approved by Energy Star within 30 minutes of submission.

Private firms contacted GAO’s fictitious firm to purchase products based on participation in the Energy Star program.


Self-certified product was submitted, qualified, and listed on the Energy Star Web site within 24 hours.

Product is eligible for federal tax credits and state rebates.

Comment Another outrage article (Score 0) 154

Every other "outrage" article on Slashdot has had a reasonable explanation.

It's happened so many times that we shouldn't even bother looking into them any more - they are so often wrong and too trivial to worry about.

Perhaps the EnergyStar program didn't actually do anything, but took up federal money. (Like that axed Obama-era justice standards group that didn't do anything useful.)

Perhaps it was being run by the wrong agency, and was perceived as overreach outside of the agency's jurisdiction (like that net-neutrality law).

Perhaps it held virtually no value to the consumer, by adjusting the standards to meet the industry products instead of the other way around (such as the drive to give more of America access to "broadband" internet).

Perhaps there were better and cheaper alternatives in the free market.

Historically speaking, this is almost certainly a non-issue.

It's most likely fake news intended to provoke outrage in the reader.

Submission + - Second parchment manuscript copy of Declaration of Independence found (

Okian Warrior writes: Two Harvard University researchers announced Friday that they have found a second parchment manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence in a tiny records office in southern England.

The only other parchment copy is maintained by the National Archives in Washington, D.C., researchers Emily Sneff and Danielle Allen said in a statement.

The newly discovered document — which the two have dated to the 1780s — was found in the town of Chichester archives, and is believed to have originally belonged to Duke of Richmond who was known as the “Radical Duke,’’ for the support he gave to Americans during the Revolutionary War, the researchers said.

Comment I have to wonder (Score 2) 369

Well Trump is consistent in not doing any of the things he had campaigned to do.

Scott Adams notes out that people watch the same scenes and think they're viewing a different movie.

Looking at the anti-Trump rhetoric on this thread, I'm starting to wonder if that's literally true. It's gotten so blatantly obvious that I'm starting to wonder about the basic sanity of some people.

1) Bomb the shit out of ISIS
2) Build the wall (ongoing)
3) Withdraw from TPP
4) Suspend immigration from terror-prone areas (ongoing)
5) Rework health care (ongoing, 2nd round coming up)
6) Rework the tax code (ongoing)
7) Require for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.

I don't agree with everything he's done, but you have to allow that he's done or in the process of doing at least *some* of his campaign promises.

And he's been in office for just under 100 days and there's lots to be done, and he's getting some of it actually done while running the country.

How do people come up with these alternate scenarios?

Is cognitive dissonance so powerful and so real that people literally make scenes up out of whole cloth?

I am astonished.

Comment Hateful readers will abuse this. (Score 1) 146

I think there are two problems, not enough people are marking these as 'spam', and we as readers aren't submitting enough of the articles appropriate for the site.

The problem with this is that if you submit several articles that are marked as spam, slashdot will lock your account. Vicious readers use this effect to harass legitimate submitters.

This happened to me - I was locked out from having several legitimate articles marked as SPAM, but then Slashdot management reversed the lockout. Now I'm 'kinda jaded about submitting articles.

I have to wonder how many legitimate submitters have been locked out... and got disheartened or felt there was no way to appeal or were driven away by the bad users.

Comment You're right (Score 1) 44

So that's like what, "up to" 0.000001% of them?

Also, if you're going to blatantly rip off Star Trek, at least rip off the good stuff. The ipads and the handheld communicators and the touchscreens every-fucking-where and the obtrusive diversity and social justice are great and all, but we've made practically zero progress toward warp drive or transporters, and the vague, fumbling gestures in the direction of holodecks are so far unimpressive at best.

You're right. This was an ill-advised project that didn't even *try* to duplicate anything interesting from the star trek universe.

Furthermore, it's practically useless because it only diagnoses common ailments, and not very many of those either.

It's not like self-driving cars: It'll never be improved upon - at least, not to the point where it diagnoses even a small fraction of the total number of diseases, and it will never be more accurate in the things it *does* diagnose than a real human doctor.

I don't know why people even bother trying these sorts of things.

They could have done so much more. I mean, warp drives would have been sooooo much more useful!

Comment Medical tricorder (Score 2, Informative) 44

The competition appears to be for a medical tricorder.

(There are legitimate science tricorder projects as well.)

Fifty-ish medical conditions is a very good start, and I can only imagine that adding more and different sensors will allow such a system to discriminate between more conditions in the future (do these devices ask for human input of symptoms or history?).

Of course, we could never get these approved for use in the USA - the 3.8 million noted in the article would only be a drop in the bucket compared to the costs of certification. If a single drug costs $2.5 billion for certification (and hearing aids cost $5000 and up), imagine how much it would cost to certify an autodoc for 50 diseases!

But this should work quite well in developing countries.

Comment Further point... (Score 2) 606

As a further point on home assistants, someone at Hackaday suggested that if you want to burgle a home, try shouting "Alexa, unlock the front door!" through the letter slot.

I'm totally expecting some wag with a really loud car stereo system to drive through a high-price neighbourhood playing a loop of that.

Comment A lot to chuckle about (Score 2) 606

The article over at Hackaday has a good summary of the situation:

The friendly Burger King employee ends the ad by saying “Ok Google, what is the Whopper burger?” Google home then springs into action reading the product description from Burger King’s Wikipedia page.

Trolls across the internet jumped into the fray. The Whopper’s ingredient list soon included such items as toenail clippings, rat, cyanide, and a small child. Wikipedia has since reverted the changes and locked down the page.

Google apparently wasn’t involved in this, as they quickly updated their voice recognition algorithms to specifically ignore the commercial. Burger King responded by re-dubbing the audio of the commercial with a different voice actor, which defeated Google’s block. Where this game of cat and mouse will end is anyone’s guess.

My response on reading that: "Bwa ha ha ha!"

There's a lot to chuckle about.

Comment Every little thing (Score 0, Troll) 281

On the plus side, illegal immigration is at the lowest it's been in 2 decades, the economy is up by 20%, and we made a strong-but-measured move in Syria which has garnered praise from many world leaders.

It's fine to carp about every little thing the president does, but no one really expects the president to please everyone all the time. I'm against a fair number of the littl'er policy changes (such as abortion policy), but I also realize that several small issues can be compensated by one or two really big issues.

For example, our strong but limited response on Syria will have a positive effect on relations and negotiations with Iran, N. Korea, and China. Limiting illegal immigration should eventually bubble up into more jobs, and at the same time we're concentrating on illegal-immigrant violent criminals and ignoring illegal immigrant students.

I'm happy to trade some of the smaller problems for bigger ones.

I think the US is in a good place right now.

(And then there's the very real question of whether this is fake news, which has been patently true for about 80% of the shocking(!) revelations posted on this site. How long has this commission been around, and have they done anything of any note? Or is it just another example of government waste?)

Comment Google image search (Score 0) 113

I'll never understand the rationality behind the google image search features. Or some of the "advanced" features on their text search.

Search for images and the page initially shows a fair number. Scroll down looking for the thing you want, and suddenly you trigger a 2nd pack of images to be loaded, scroll down some more and you trigger a 3rd set.

This means that if you *don't* find the image you want, you have to wait while the 2nd pack loads... except that it could have been loading while you were looking at some of the top images. I don't know why making the person wait for the 2nd pack is in any way useful.

Additionally, when the new pack loads it resets your position in the page and jumps the display somewhere. If you're actually interested in an image at the end of the first pack, you can be looking at it and suddenly the page jumps somewhere else.

I'm sure making the user wait and suddenly yanking the image of interest away is useful somehow. I just can't see how.

Comment Clearly hate speech (Score 4, Funny) 233

Steering people to a platform where they get used to being censored is the entire point of Web 2.0, isn't it? What, do you want people to learn how to host their own webpages again? Luddite.

It's clearly hate speech, and should be deleted for that reason.

You wouldn't want people to be able to shout hateful things on the internet, would you?

And besides, it's not the government that's doing it, it's a private company. They can censor anything they want because they're not bound by the constitution, and people are free to leave twitter and start their own social media service.

Also: Gab.aio is a free-speech twitter alternative. Check out their humor channel sometime - it's actually funny!

Comment Purpose of solemnity (Score 4, Interesting) 366

Given the tragedy that occurred comments like yours are juts appalling!

People died here!

The only purpose of solemnity is control.

Once you get people to be solemn in extreme cases, over time you can slowly get people to agree in less compelling situations.

Eventually, everything becomes serious, everything is "not a joking matter".


Well... yes it does, actually.

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