Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:GPL is the problem (Score 1) 1075

How did they take your "free software"? Isn't that still available? People here like to point out that you can't steal bits, so the bits of your "free software" must still be in your possession.

The GP never said anyone "took" his software. He said that when

someone else comes along and entangles it with their own proprietary software and adds their own restrictions, then the part that is my contribution is no longer free.

Go back and read the post you're replying to, unless your intent is to attack your own strawman.

Comment That's how it is on Netbook Remix (Score 2) 797

I've been running Ubuntu Netbook Remix for over a year, and until this story was posted, I had not realized the minimize and maximize buttons were gone. Everything is maximized by default (although I turned that off), and if I want to see the desktop, I click the Ubuntu icon in the upper-left. I'm freaked out by this, actually; the thought, "But where are the min/max buttons?!" had never crossed my mind until this point.

Comment Re:This will NO break any encryption algorithms... (Score 1) 318

He's saying that there are other ways to perform public-key encryption without using NP-complete problems, so we could work around P=NP, if that were the case.

Also, it does matter that integer factorization (not "prime factorization"; where did you get that term?) is not known to be NP-complete - since it's just known to be NP-hard, it might or might not be discovered to be feasible if P=NP. Or it might be harder.

Comment Re:I have to applaud the ACLU... (Score 2) 434

A lot of people have the opinion that the ACLU is only about shutting down the speech of Christians/Whites/Men/*insert majority group here.*

Except for when the ACLU protected the rights of Nazis to march through Skokie, IL in 1977, a town populated by numerous Holocaust survivors. I'm sure there are other examples. You may be right, but I can't fathom why people would have that opinion of the ACLU.

Comment Re:What's the deal with the rush of TSA stories re (Score 1) 1135

If you set the metal detector off it's never a "oh, must be your shoes, you can go." It's always, take whatever you have on off, and if you set it off a 2nd time you get the full pat down.

I had a different experience flying out of Dulles last month. It was 5am, and I was barely awake. I set the metal detector off three times - once I forgot the belt, then the coins in my pockets, then for no particular reason whatsoever. I was so tired, I seriously remember thinking, "Remember not to act like a terrorist in airport security." So the red-mustached (I swear to God) man guarding the thing said,

"Sir! I want you to listen and pay very careful attention to what I say."

I nodded. His mustache twitched.

"I want you to hold your hands out straight in front of you," and he helpfully demonstrated. "Now lower them to your thighs and pinch your trousers firmly, and walk through."

So I pinched them up about half an inch with all fingers, then looked up dumbfounded, since there was no way this was what he was talking about. But he nods, and I walk through. I spent the rest of the flight wondering what on Earth the exercise accomplished. Probably my hands blocked a rogue penny in my pockets, but I remember being pretty sure I got everything out.

Actually, he probably realized no terrorist would be stupid enough to try (and fail) to get through a metal detector three times. A terrorist would have passed the dumbass test, and I failed it.

Comment My professor teaches that course (Score 1) 311

A professor I had last quarter, Joseph Phillips, at DePaul University in Chicago teaches a course called "The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence" as a Liberal Studies credit. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Loop, apparently. Despite being ostensibly a Catholic university, DePaul's actually pretty liberal like that.

Comment Re:occam's razor (Score 2, Informative) 973

Were the pilots a bit gung-ho? Yes, they were. That's how you get a soldier past the fact that they're chopping up other human beings. It's a part of soldiering.

Apparently they've gotten past the fact they're chopping up civilians, too. I wish that every soldier felt their heart ripped out every time they opened fire on another human; their only solace coming from a gut-deep knowledge that such an atrocity had to be done. Mindless murder is not a part of soldiering; soldering simply attracts the sort of people who enjoy mindless murder. And those people should be thrown out of boot camp before being ever handed a weapon.

As for the van? Once again, you miss the context. Insurgents in Iraq often arrived in vans to collect wounded, weapons, and ammo to make any dead appear to be innocent civilians. This was well known to the Apache pilot, the gunner, and their chain of command.

I was unaware that making the U.S. Army look bad was justification for murder.

They didn't just "fire wildly" at the van. If you listen to the unedited video, they repeatedly ask their chain of command for a clear to fire. Their commanders were watching the video from two Apache helicopters and a UAV and made the decision that this appeared to be an insurgent group retrieving their wounded and weapons, and gave the order to fire.

Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions bans the killing of medical personnel who are treating the wounded and bans "killing those who no longer pose a threat due to their injuries". ( The van is obviously a makeshift ambulance, even to those in the chopper. They never, ever even try to claim that the van is a threat. Yet they're practically begging for permission to fire on it!

The two men who attempt to load the guy into the van came from the same place the other insurgents had come from, not from the van itself. The guy in the van clearly knew who they were, knew he was in a combat zone (watch him trying to move the van to line it up for a getaway once they were loaded, almost running one of them over) and he made the choice to be there and to put his kids in danger.

"Coming from the same place" is not positive identification of an enemy combatant. And the fact that kids were in the van signifies he never expected a chopper to fire on a van picking up the wounded - mind you, the chopper only fires after the driver has started dragging one of the wounded by the shoulders.

Once the soldiers arrive, they continue to come under small arms fire, even while trying to rescue the wounded. It's a war, hard decisions are made, and "under fire" doesn't necessarily mean they're shooting at you but it could mean your friends are taking fire.

So if your friends are taking fire at location A, you can fire at a makeshift ambulance at location B. It all makes sense now.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 356

Everyone knows this isn't true. Why do you think Comcast still has customers?

Because I live in a 100-year-old building on the north side of Chicago where my options are either Comcast or leaching off the guy who thinks "ismokerocks" is a funny SSID. The cable runs bare along the outside of my building until it punches through a hole that was drilled straight into the original brick. I'm scared to jerry-rig anything else. And yet... I have had every conceivable problem with their service. They repeatedly charge me for equipment that's been installed for months, they double-charge me for the same equipment, they send me bills on random days of the month, their technician was on Facebook on my connection on my time, they charged me for residential and "business-class" Internet simultaneously after being repeatedly assured that it would not happen (I foresaw this and made sure to ask)... Know what I can't do? Take my business to a competitor. Is there a reason Comcast isn't being forced to lease out its infrastructure, like AT&T was?

Comment Re:The Kilogram is not losing weight (Score 1) 546

You scare me a little, because of how knowledgeable you seem to a layman and yet how wrong you are. At the molecular scale, water molecules don't just decide to break up and go their own way willy-nilly... Yes, they do, and it's called equilibrium. This probably the most fundamental concept of high school chemistry. Water molecules continually break into H+ and OH- ions and reform themselves from those ions. You'll find that when perfect equilibrium is reached, the product of their molarities (that's the moles solute per liter solvent) is 10^-7. That's where we get the neutral pH 7 from. Look it up here. Fascinating stuff.

...not the least because both elements involved (hydrogen and oxygen) really don't like being alone (the two hydrogen atoms can go off on their own merry way as a diatomic molecule, but the oxygen will be lonely).

Please stop pretending to know what you're talking about; you clearly have no concept of even ionic bonding. Water would never split that way unless you run a hydrolysis reaction (running an electric current through the water). Water ALWAYS splits into H+ and OH- ions. Read that sentence again; it's important. They are IONIC BONDS. You seem to think they are covalent. When water dissociates (that means splits, see equilibrium above), those ions HAVE to stay in solution. H+ DOES NOT bond with another H+ to form H2. Neither does the oxygen.

Breaking molecular bonds in water takes energy

Really? Then why does salt dissolve in water? EQUILIBRIUM.

Cracking water is endothermic, but so is making it AARGH. Then water would not exist! The heat of formation is ALWAYS the opposite of the heat of decomposition. Please, I'm begging you, take a chemistry course. Your sophomore one does not count, but you obviously slept through it anyway.

and a net change in the number of water molecules, of zero. YES! Good job! That's perfect equilibrium. The grandparent had the right idea about equilibrium, although he failed to realize that since there is a net change of zero, the mass also does not change. Ions do not leave solution, nor does their mass magically disappear.


Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.


This is a fundamental property of water - it is INCOMPRESSIBLE. See here. You know nothing about chemistry. Stop, stop, stop.

Last, but not least: evaporation

Last, but not least: sealed container.

Very easy, actually; the problem is maintaining its purity after it cools down from superheated steam.

Solutes dissolve MORE in superheated water.

I don't know who you are. I don't know much about you. But I do know that you know nothing about chemistry. I know this is /., but STOP. STOP. STOP. People might actually believe you.

Slashdot Top Deals

It is now pitch dark. If you proceed, you will likely fall into a pit.