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Comment Re:General Tso's chicken is "chinese" food (Score 1) 111

in Japan, curry (which is insanely popular, apparently) is considered "western food". Neither assumption is correct.

Japanese curry is an import from the UK, not from India, which gives it its Western credentials.

Said curry is gaining popularity in the UK. For the uninitiated, in both places it's commonly sold under the name "katsu curry" which is a direct corruption of the English word "cuts" (katsu curry is served as sliced chicken with breadcrumbs in a mild curry sauce with white rice). This isn't an exhaustive definition, the curry can be sold with things other than sliced breaded chicken.

There are two slightly odd/amusing things about this. The first is that in England, "katsu" is treated as an exotic foreign word. It really isn't (see above), it's just that Japanese has no phoneme for "cu-" as in "cut", nor "ts", thus it's impossible to say "cuts" in Japanese. The temptation to use "ku-" doesn't work because in Japanese, that's pronounced more like a short "coo-" as in "cooking." The second odd thing stems from the first: having no idea what "katsu" is supposed to mean, it gets interpreted as being the overall flavour. Hence, various food shops that know nothing about Japanese cuisine such as Greggs (a mass-market bakery) are selling nonsensical products such as "katsu bakes," which appears to be some sort of pastry containing chicken and curry powder but otherwise bearing no relation to katsu curry nor indeed the curries created in Britain, upon which katsu curry is based.

Disclaimer: I am a Japanophile who has worked in Japan, and I'm from Birmingham which considers itself the curry capital of the UK.

Comment Clippy Strikes Back (Score 2) 130

Abovitz and his team imagine virtual people (or animals or anything else) as digital assistants -- think Siri on steroids, except with a physical presence that makes her easier to work with and harder to ignore. Ask your virtual assistant to deliver a message to a coworker and it might walk out of your office, reappear beside your colleague's desk via his or her own MR headset and deliver the message in person.

I'll buy them for my entire department if it means I can inflict Clippy on other people.

Comment Putin just out-tyranted Tsiolkovsky (Score 4, Insightful) 1028

Russian media report that the missile will weigh up to 10 tons with the capacity to carry up to 10 tons of nuclear cargo.

The story here is that Russia has escaped the tyranny of the rocket equation, and designed a missile that is 100% payload and apparently 0% fuel.

Comment Good enough for the CIA (Score 1) 47

politicians and journalists in some countries could be put in grave danger if their communications on popular messaging apps were compromised.

Skype was good enough for the CIA to be discussing top-secret operations in real time when they were filming Homeland, so it ought to be secure enough for anybody.

Comment Michael Gove (Score 4, Informative) 106

Several cabinet ministers previously wore the Apple Watch, including former Justice Secretary Michael Gove.

This ought to be enough to ensure no British politician ever wears an Apple Watch ever again.

For our friends around the world who aren't aware, Michael Gove has the unique distinction of pissing off literally everybody during the Brexit referendum. He told a bunch of lies while campaigning to leave, while supporting Boris Johnson as a potential future Prime Minister. After the vote he then stabbed Boris Johnson in the back by declaring his own intent to run for leadership which was never going to win popular support, even from Brexiteers. Add in that he profoundly unpopular in education and justice (he was minister for both) and you have an individual who makes a worrying ambassador for your brand.

You'd be better off with a celebrity endorsement from Ebola.

Comment Huge relief (Score 1) 208

"... the majority of new websites already go through testing when they are hosted to make sure that a site is intact and that files and content are free of viruses."

I did not know this about websites and I, for one, will sleep much easier tonight knowing that the majority of websites have been tested to be free of STDs.

Thanks, Andrea!

Comment This One Weird Trick Improves Your Multitasking (Score 1) 106

You should be wary of sample sizes of 1, but you asked for anecdotal evidence so here goes: I have multi-tasked various daily activities for the last 27 years, and I have found that taking a total break of roughly 8 hours every day helps. I come out of this (usually night-time) break period more refreshed than before and I find I don't need as much caffeine after the break.

What do I do with this break? Not only do I shut my eyes but I also lie down in a darkened room. I even lower my heart rate and activate specially developed wave modes in my brain that offer a combination of mental restfulness and reinforcing the learning that has taken place during the day. The really cool thing is that even new-born babies know this one weird trick to increase your energy levels - cosmetic surgeons everywhere don't want you to know this trick to look younger and feel more energetic!

But hey, I'm just some guy on the internet - you should take my anecdotal advice that such breaks are better than caffeine with a pinch of salt.

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