Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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

Comment Re:Only a fraction of US munitions... (Score 1) 199

People often make the argument that some individual terrorist/liberation movements are "special" in that they are driven by a core ideology which is irrational and has no connection to the real world and that the only solution is to "nuke them".
Every liberation movement arises from an injustice which has the support of a broader group of people. ISIS would not be able to recruit anyone if it were just an irrational ideology. It draws from a large group of people who see some injustice. ISIS then magnifies and distorts that injustice to radicalize people to do all of the "irrational" actions.
If you look at all liberation movements, they have this same characteristic. Small conflicts gave rise to movements (here's a long list of liberation/terrorist movements ). There are also larger movements such as the Nazis in Europe where a very large group of people were suffering economic injustice, chose a scapegoat and performed "irrational" atrocities on a large scale. The voters for Trump in the US were similar. They perceived economic injustice; Trump provided a few handy scapegoats (Mexicans, Chinese, etc.) and they made an irrational vote to elect a charlatan who promptly betrayed them.
It doesn't really matter that in each of these cases, the scapegoats were "innocent" and that there were other real causes of the injustice.
All of these movements can be countered by addressing the injustice. This will dry up the source of recruits and the popular support for the movement. Bombing only makes things worse.
However, often it will be difficult (or impossible) to address the underlying injustice. For instance, in the US, the neoliberal capitalist system which is creating economic injustice is so well entrenched that it will be extremely difficult to change. Similarly, the multiple complex injustices in the middle east are probably beyond the ability of anyone to address. That does not mean that bombing is the answer. Probably the best the US (and the West) can do is to try to remove themselves as a target by leaving the area and stop meddling in areas where we have no understanding or appreciation of the complex dynamics.

Submission + - Neuroscience Does Not Compute (

mspohr writes: The Economist has an interesting story about two neuroscientists/engineers who decided to test the methods of neuroscience using a 6502 processor. Their results are published in the PLOS Computational Biology journal.
Neuroscientists explore how the brain works by looking at damaged brains and monitoring inputs and outputs to try to infer intermediate processing. They did the same with the 6502 processor which was used in early Atari, Apple and Commodore computers.
What they discovered was that these methods were sorely lacking in that they often pointed in the wrong direction and missed important processing steps.

Submission + - Zuckerberg sues hundreds of Hawaiians to force property sales to him. (

mmell writes: Apparently, owning 700 acres of land in Hawaii isn't enough — Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has filed suit to force owners of several small parcels of land to sell to the highest bidder. The reason? These property owners are completely surrounded by Zuckerberg's land holdings and therefore have lawful easement to cross his property in order to get to theirs.

Many of these land owners have held their land for generations, but seemingly Mr. Zuckerberg can not tolerate their presence so close to his private little slice of paradise. Landowners such as these came to own their land when their ancestors were "given" the land as Hawaiian natives.

If successful in his "quiet title" court action, Mr. Zuckerberg will finally have his slice of Hawaii's beaches and tropical lands without having to deal with the pesky presence of neighbors who were on his land before he owned it. Who knew that Hawaiians were just another kind of Native Americans?

Submission + - Galileo satellites experiencing multiple clock failures (

elgatozorbas writes: According to a BBC article, the onboard atomic clocks that drive the satellite-navigation signals on Europe's Galileo network have been failing at an alarming rate.

Across the 18 satellites now in orbit, nine clocks have stopped operating. Three are traditional rubidium devices; six are the more precise hydrogen maser instruments that were designed to give Galileo superior performance to the American GPS network.

Submission + - NASA Mission Asteroid for Metals Worth Ten Thousand Quadrillion Dollars

randomErr writes: NASA wants to uncover the mystery behind the asteroid “16 Psyche.” that may contain a priceless treasure trove of minerals. “We’ve been to all the different planets, we’ve been to other asteroids. But we’ve never visited a body that has been made of entirely metal,” said Carol Polanskey, project scientist for the Psyche mission. Now NASA, led by researchers at Arizona State University, plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to orbit 16 Psyche – an asteroid roughly the size of Massachusetts, made of iron and other precious metals. The mission’s leader estimates that the iron alone on today’s market would be worth $10,000 quadrillion.

Submission + - Financial Services Company Automates 17,000 Low-End Jobs Without Layoffs (

An anonymous reader writes: Financial Services company Accenture claims that it has automated 17,000 back-office jobs without laying off any employees, instead anticipating the switch and retraining the staff early into higher-difficulty roles. The company's CEO Richard Lumb, who has recently presented a report with an uncommonly optimistic vision for how AI and automation can benefit companies and workers, said "Over the last 18 months, automation replaced 17,000 jobs in back office processing. But actually, we haven’t laid those people off. We are fortunate enough to reskill and reposition them."

Submission + - U.S. scientists officially declare 2016 the hottest year on record (Again) ( 1

mspohr writes: From the Washington Post:
"In a powerful testament to the warming of the planet, two leading U.S. science agencies Wednesday jointly declared 2016 the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set just last year — which, itself, had topped a record set in 2014.

Average surface temperatures in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2015 and featured eight successive months (January through August) that were individually the warmest since the agency’s records began in 1880."

Comment Re:Only a fraction of US munitions... (Score 1) 199

The US has been occupying the middle east since WWII to protect our "strategic" oil reserves. Robert Fisk chronicles this in detail in his 1400 page book "The Great War for Civilisation, The Conquest of the Middle East".
The history of western powers sending armies to the middle east goes back much further. The British had a terrible time chronicled in the book "The Great Game" by Peter Hopkirk which goes back to the early 19th century.
For some reason, the West just does not learn.

Comment Only a fraction of US munitions... (Score 3, Insightful) 199

Our Nobel Peace Prize President dropped 26,000 bombs (real bombs, not little hand grenades) last year on various brown people (even though we are not at war).
This effort by ISIS is a pittance in comparison.
BTW, has anyone considered that it might be preferable to address their grievances rather than just bomb them?

Slashdot Top Deals

In a five year period we can get one superb programming language. Only we can't control when the five year period will begin.