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Comment Skynet and terminators? (Score 1) 161

These people must have watched the Terminator series and the "self-aware" AI system Skynet. IMO, the threat of nuclear war triggered by malfunctioning defense computers is way greater. There are several well-documented instances of nuclear near-misses caused by machine failure .

Are machines more dangerous when they become super-intelligent, or when they stay "stupid" and flawed?

Comment Yeah, we're so great that... (Score 1) 414

...the rest of the universe is dying for us to show up.

Aaaah, all those new cosmic markets of unlimited potential, just sitting there,waiting for our neo-liberalism, our lawyers and our banking system All those rivers to poison, life-forms to exterminate...We'll share with aliens everywhere all the greatest recent accomplishments of human civilization: we'll sell them iPhones, have them have Facebook accounts, invite them on Oprah. And if they happen to have lots of oil...well, even better: we'll pretext the presence of WMDs to invade them and introduce them to democracy..

With all due respect, Mr Hawking, please shut the hell up and let us auto.destroy in this planet. The rest of the universe will do just fine without us.

Comment "The 8 stages of Genocide" (Score 4, Insightful) 190

Just read the part about the 8 stages of genocide of this so-called "Genocide Watch" ( )

Unfortunately they focus mainly on religious and ethnic hatred, which doesn't really account for some of the biggest genocides of the 20th century like in Pol Pot's Cambodia, Stalin's USSR and Mao's China, They do mention Pol Pot a couple of times, for the "blue ribbon" symbolism and the "Denial" stage, but miss the root of the problem. Their view is shallow at best, IMO.

It is fashionable to focus almost exclusively on race, religion and nationalism, but ironically, the biggest killings in the past century came from ideologies aiming to unite mankind beyond those "hate" barriers.

"Genocide Watch" would have probably missed those "early stages" of Communism...

Comment History of Apocalyptic days (Score 1) 286

Here's a partial list:

Of course, nobody could let the following years slip by without a doomsday label attached to them:: 1000, Jan 1 (Pope Sylvester II), 1666 (surprise!), 2000, Jan 1.

And of course, the year 2020 is among those future doomsdays. I'm surprised 2222 is not in the list, but not to worry, some "psychic" or religious nut is bound to take that opportunity and get some followers...

NASA is wasting time with this nonsense. If the history of failed apocalypses teaches us anything, is that a large chunk of the world population will always be irrational.

Comment Not a "single gene" (Score 5, Informative) 243

The article is crock. Scientists didn't pretend that "all the difference humans and apes comes down to a single gene", they stated that they discovered a new brain gene that is unique to humans .and they are hopeful to find more of the same to help explain what makes us who we are.

They don''t even say that this gene was the "first" and sprang all the others. All they are saying is that it played a significant role in human evolution, and that it appeared from junk DNA after humans evolved from apes.

Being unique to humans, and being the one and only single difference between humans and apes, are two different things. One is a scientific statement and the other is typical media sensationalist drivel.

Comment No profiling? (Score 1) 222

"The company making the Risk-Profiling Software in question, of course, strongly denies that the software would single people out using factors like race, religion or country of origin. It says that the program works by feeding in data about passengers..."

...which singles people out using factors like race, religion or country of origin.

They can deny it as "strongly" as they want. How else would they get anything remotely relevant without resorting to racial or religious profiling? And would that be useful anyway? Is the hypothetical future "airline terrorist" a real problem, or more of an excuse to make money by Fear entrepreneurs and peddlers?

Comment The problem isn't age, but incompetence. (Score 1) 441

That confirms what my many years of IT experience has taught me. i.e. : The major problem in IT is the wrong people heading IT departments. Too many"Directors", "CTOs" and "CEOs" have no fringing idea of what they're doing or saying.

Those would fall under the "unskilled and unaware of it" label:

I've seen lots of "young dynamic" (sigh) companies hit the bottom because there were no experienced engineer to stir all the young, inexperienced ones in the good direction. Of course those fresh graduates had "more value" to upper management. since they were cheaper and not experienced enough to question their often unrealistic expectations. The best performing companies I've seen had a mixture of old & young engineers.

Comment Really that prolific? (Score 4, Insightful) 44

From the article:"Turns out cyberespionage malware and activity is far more prolific than imagined.".

Really? Who "imagined" that malware activity was not that "prolific"? Did they just defrost those "researchers"?. Seems like these folks are the only ones surprised by the existence of script-kiddies, hackers in the Middle-East, the extent of Chinese state-sponsored cyber-espionage, and the growing hacker communities in Brasil and other emerging nations. Globalization => globalization of hacking. Who would have imagined that....

And the article links to another one ("Scope Of APTs More Widespread Than Thought" ) that goes on:
"There's a lot of cyberespionage happening internationally. This is not going to go away," Kaspersky's Schouwenberg says.

Gee, thanks for the eye-opening, completely obvious, self-evident statement, Shouwie, Here's a question: do you experts stay constantly tuned with what's happening in the world, or do you just wake up one day, burst out of the bubble where you were busy "imagining" things, and discover reality?

Comment Solution: technological progress (Score 4, Insightful) 345

About disappearing stuff, like oil, coffee, etc. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the necessity to have something in place of what is poised to disappear, will drive new technological breakthroughs to meet market need.

By 2080, we'll probably have the technology to mass-produce artificial coffee, as no serious entrepreneur will ignore the potential for profit with the millions of caffeine-starved coffee drinkers looking for a substitute beverage.

Of course, before that, the increasing rarity of coffee will drive prices high, natural coffee will become a luxury, and some will make big bucks.

As for other things still found in the wild right now, natural coffee will be a thing of the past. The following generations will have no notion of it. Eating & drinking entirely artificially-produced products will be the definition of normality, Sad but true. As for coffee lovers like myself, there's a bright side: most of us will be dead by 2080.

Comment Could be worse (Score 2) 204

Just a consequence of the glorification of elite warriors (or killers, depending on the point of view) in the media and Hollywood, and in a society almost entirely based on money. That can put some pressure on maintaining a sense of duty and code of ethics in the long run.

Could be worse. They could be"consulting" for the Mexican drug cartels, as some of Mexico and Guatemala's former special forces already do...

Comment Complex Technology? (Score 0) 109

Am I the only one slightly inconvenienced by the expression "masters of complex technology" for crafting tiny stone blades?

By the same token, the hyperbole-inclined call "Mousterian technological complex" a pretty simple set of stone tools made by Neanderthals...
Right, everything is relative, but still, in historical perspective, none of these even remotely qualify as "complex". Seriously, start with the invention of the wheel, one of the six SIMPLE machines:

Comment Apps need permissions to work (Score 2) 277

The problem I see is that, in order for most apps to do something useful. For example, if you develop an SMS app, besides permissions on reading/writing/editing/sending messages, you will need access to contacts data, phone state and identity. Looks scary, but no SMS/MMS app can function properly without these.

I've been developing a few Android apps and they almost all require some type of "unsafe" permissions to run...except one (a small puzzler game).

Similarly, many apps need internet permissions. You can still look at what the app does, and try to determine if it really needs all the permissions it is asking. But since the problem lies in how do the app creators use those permissions beyond their declared "privacy policy", the only reasonable solution I see, is to install a monitoring app for network access, as suggested by some posters...provided the app itself isn't spying on you...

Comment Haskell IDEs (Score 1) 586

So basically the author claims that, if the language is "good enough", there's no need for an IDE, as for "sane languages" like Haskell,.

But Haskell itself has IDEs in development that do way more than "syntax highlighting" and "parent matching". Examples:
- Leksah (
- .EclipseFP (

There was also talk about a "Visual Haskell " based on MS Visual Studio...I have no beef with Haskell, on the contrary, from what I heard, it seems like an elegant and powerful language. But is Haskell becoming an "insane" language like Java because "IDEs are a language smell"?

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