Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 0) 142

I don't know how China managed to melt so much arctic ice, leading to the absurd situation that just a couple days before the winter solstice this year I went on a hike through the snowless mountains in Iceland among chirping songbirds digging for worms. All I have to say to China about this is: Best. Conspiracy. Ever. Well played, China. Well played.

Comment Re:News from other countries... (Score 2) 44

Well, when it comes to space budgets....

NASA: $19,3B
ESA: $5,8B
Roscosmos: ~$2B/yr
JAXA: $2,0B
CNSA: $0,5B official / $1,3B est.
ISRO: $1,2B

It's not just US bias that leads to most stories coming from NASA. NASA really does spend the most on space research and exploration, by large margins.

Still, the public perception is that NASA's budget is far more than it actually is.

Comment YouTube as a criminal enterprise? (Score 3, Interesting) 91

Here's a simple trick. Search for some popular show on YouTube, such as "Bill Maher Real Time" and then select the filter for "Upload date". Your results will include lots of pseudo-pirate computer-pwning hits.

These accounts are created constantly on YouTube and this has been going on for many years. A typical account will have lots of videos that are supposed to be the popular shows, but each video just says YouTube blocked the video and promises the suckers that they can get the actual videos by following the links and installing the software to pwn their computers into zombie networks. Generally annoying, but it especially bothers me that a lot of these videos are popular with children, and targeting innocent children strikes me as a higher level of EVIL, even for the monster that the google has become.

There are some obvious countermeasures, but rather than implement any of them, YouTube has chosen to tolerate, perhaps even encourage, this situation for some years. My conclusion is that YouTube believes they are deriving profits from supporting these criminals. (Perhaps they're selling them bandwidth?) I don't think google employees are naive and innocent as the children who are getting victimized, and it would make me a bad person to hope that their own kids click on the links.

Just reading Googled , another history of the google with emphasis on the "Don't be evil" thing. I think that google needs to hire a chief exorcist.

Comment Re: Note that what's large... (Score 4, Informative) 82

Venus has multiple "tropopauses" and "stratospheres", depending on how you define them. The atmosphere is like a layer cake with multiple convection zones (like Earth's troposphere) separated by areas of dynamic stability (like Earth's stratosphere). And again, ~50-70km is an awfullly long way from the surface, and surface winds are weak. But, there's a lot about Venus that we don't understand.

Comment No mention on NHK in Japan? (Score 1) 82

Just watching another news program and sort of disappointed it didn't get any coverage. The last few days had quite a bit of coverage about a new and quite small orbit-capable rocket, though the payload is quite small, on the order of 3 kg. There were several stories before the launch, and then some reports of the failure. (The early reports suggest a telemetry failure?)

Comment Note that what's large... (Score 3, Informative) 82

.... is the size, not the intensity. The air moves only slightly faster or slower than the surrounding atmosphere as one passes through the wave.

They weren't expected on Venus, though. Venus's surface is dozens of kilometers down, thick and "soupy" there, transitioning to thinner layers above. It was surprising to see that surface features that far away, in a fluid that can compress, would still make clear phenomena like gravity waves in the high atmosphere.

Comment Re:Not an alternative to Linux, an alternative to (Score 1) 277

There was a nice comment by the writers of "Silicon Valley" about attending TechCrunch Disrupt and seeing a sea of Macbooks. The *perception* is that the majority of top startup developers are all Mac OSX users. Microsoft wants to change that. To Surface Books if possible, but wouldn't give a rats if they were running ThinkPads, Dells, HPs or whatever running Windows OS. If Microsoft can get some of that that TechCrunch Disrupt audience to shift across, they change the perception of Microsoft in a very important demographic. Maybe they get a few more of that audience using Azure over AWS. Maybe a few of them start using other Microsoft services where it makes sense, rather than the default perceived attitude of that audience being to avoid MS products like the plague.

Comment Not an alternative to Linux, an alternative to OSX (Score 5, Interesting) 277

Computers running OSX have substantial developer mindshare. Microsoft wants those developers using Windows PCs. Putting WSL/Bash on Windows so that it's a credible alternative to the 'nix tools available on OSX gives those developers one less reason to avoid using a Windows based OS.

Comment Re:That's not how it works... (Score 1) 221

I quite agree with your opening, though I would go farther. I would even say that good ideas are plentiful, practically an inexhaustible resource.

The rest of your reply shows a highly fractured interpretation of what I wrote, but I'm getting quite accustomed to people twisting things to their own mental convenience (and on my interpretation I've largely discounted your reply as unrelated to what I actually think, even if I wrote unclearly (which I doubt)). On Slashdot that twisting often involves burning straw men arguments. I certainly don't think "complete" is equivalent to "perfect". Or perhaps I should just agree with you that there is no "perfect", even in project proposals. No skin off my nose since it has no relation to my suggestion. Well, on second thought I admit it would be nice if the project proposals were perfect, but I certainly have no such expectation. I think the metric of sufficient goodness would be that enough people want to support the project. (One obvious response to a proven lack of funding is to improve the proposal and try again.)

Perhaps it would be better to suggest that my presentation could be taken as a constructive suggestion to improve some of the flaws in crowd funding? At least all of the crowdfunding websites I've investigated suffer from problems that might be addressed by this approach to adding accountability. The problem I have with that suggestion is that I'm approaching the problem from the perspectives of modular software design and cost recovery, with various tweaks such as the metric of a successful architect or lawyer applied to programmers who choose to adopt it. There is quite a bit of research that supports the claim that people enjoy their work more when they have more control over it, and even though some people claim they care only about the salary. (There's also a chronological problem in that most of my suggestion predates my first encounter with Kickstarter.)

Or maybe you are upset that I reject the purist (and non-monetary) philosophy of Stallman? Sorry, but I don't think a pledge of poverty is the only way to be a better person. (Amusingly enough, one part of my suggestion was strongly influenced by a constructive email exchange with rms himself, but so far there is no credit to be shared. Actually, based on that exchange, he'd probably reject it.)

As I see it, the real problem is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer, but only in the literal sense. The idiomatic interpretation is quite misleading. These days I have become so casual I just find it amusing to watch the world spin along its increasingly crazy course. #PresidentTweety, for example.

Not sure if you regarded it as a constructive suggestion about hiring contractors, but if you are so wealthy, then I'm glad to send you my congratulations. Even more so if the congratulations would get some money donated to some cause that might make the world better.

Comment Re:Gender change as collateral damage? (Score 1) 354

Your point being? No connection that I can figure out to my comments or my concerns, but I guess I can count your rudeness to other people as additional evidence of your troll status.

I regard this so-called discussion as pointless and closed, and I'll dismiss further comments as some form of masturbation along the lines of your deep concern with other people's sexual problems.

Slashdot Top Deals

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton