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Comment Re:fallacy (Score 1) 100

IIRC, the Farmer's Almanac claims to have a method for making predictions. Could be. AFAIK, their method is proprietary.

I've long suspected their editorial staff assembles in a Pub a few weeks before the printer's deadline and throws darts while the soberist attendee takes notes. But they could have more rigor. Or maybe throwing darts works.

Comment Re: No it can't (Score 1) 100

"If a significant majority of the solutions show one phase instead of the other, it suggests that there is some predictability of the feature (in this case, the NAO) despite the uncertainty and errors from the initial conditions."

There is, however, some chance that the models share some common incorrect assumption. They don't agree because they are correct, but because they are similar to each other. The Literary Digest effect -- sort of.

Or they may simply agree by chance.


Feds Walk Into a Building, Demand Everyone's Fingerprints To Open Phones (dailyherald.com) 326

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes the Daily Herald: Investigators in Lancaster, California, were granted a search warrant last May with a scope that allowed them to force anyone inside the premises at the time of search to open up their phones via fingerprint recognition, Forbes reported Sunday. The government argued that this did not violate the citizens' Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination because no actual passcode was handed over to authorities...

"I was frankly a bit shocked," said Andrew Crocker, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, when he learned about the scope of search warrant. "As far as I know, this warrant application was unprecedented"... He also described requiring phones to be unlocked via fingerprint, which does not technically count as handing over a self-incriminating password, as a "clever end-run" around constitutional rights.

The Media

Journalist Cleared of Riot Charges in South Dakota (nbcnews.com) 68

Her video went viral, viewed more than 14 million times, and triggering concerns online when she was threatened with prison. But a North Dakota judge "refused to authorize riot charges against award-winning journalist Amy Goodman for her reporting on an attack against Native American-led anti-pipeline protesters." An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes NBC News: Goodman described the victory as a "great vindication of the First Amendment," although McLean County State's Attorney Ladd Erickson told The New York Times that additional charges were possible. "I believe they want to keep the investigation open and see if there is any evidence in the unedited and unpublished videos that we could better detail in an affidavit for the judge," Erickson told the newspaper.
The native Americans "were attempting to block the destruction of sacred sites, including ancestral burial grounds," according to a new article co-authored by Goodman about her experiences, which argues that "Attempts to criminalize nonviolent land and water defenders, humiliate them and arrest journalists should not pave the way for this pipeline."

Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban On Personally Identifiable Web Tracking (propublica.org) 148

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: Google has quietly changed its privacy policy to allow it to associate web tracking, which is supposed to remain anonymous, with personally identifiable user data. This completely reneges its promise to keep a wall between ad tracking and personally identifiable user data, further eroding one's anonymity on the internet. Google's priorities are clear. All they care about is monetizing user information to rake in the big dollars from ad revenue. Think twice before you purchase the premium priced Google Pixel. Google is getting added value from you as its product without giving you part of the revenue it is generating through tracking through lower prices. The crossed-out section in its privacy policy, which discusses the separation of information as mentioned above, has been followed with this statement: "Depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google's services and the ads delivered by Google." ProPublica reports: "The change is enabled by default for new Google accounts. Existing users were prompted to opt-in to the change this summer. The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on your name and other information Google knows about you. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct. The move is a sea change for Google and a further blow to the online ad industry's longstanding contention that web tracking is mostly anonymous. In recent years, Facebook, offline data brokers and others have increasingly sought to combine their troves of web tracking data with people's real names. But until this summer, Google held the line." You can choose to opt in or out of the personalized ads here.

Comment Re:'Genuine' is how luxury brands protect themselv (Score 1) 190

Knockoff items are poorly made, badly insulated, and are a fire hazard. They often don't meet spec, so they don't perform as well.

If you want to make a knockoff item, Apple can't stop you, but they DO want to stop people from thinking they're buying Apple cables, which ARE tested and manufactured to a higher standard. Apple is presumably willing to stand behind their products and take the flak if they're bad (I had a laptop charger replaced under a recall), but they can't be expected to stand behind the product of someone else using their branding.

So the problem really is on Amazon's end, because they're the ones giving worldwide distribution and implicit authenticity to these fake products.

I've bought cables from Anker that were MFi certified, and they were cheaper than Apple's and just as good (maybe better? Time will tell). It's not that Apple doesn't let other people make cables, but they're expected to meet spec.

Anyway, your post is basically garbage. Yes, we all know that Apple is in some respects a Veblen good, but their products *do* actually have sufficient merit that ordinary people are willing to buy them.

Comment Re:They both look the same from here (Score 1) 10

Wow, where to start with this one.

The claim that monarchies are legitimate so that makes them non-fascist is total bullshit - those monarchies didn't just naturally evolve - there was a lot of blood spilled in the process.

Oh shut up. Now you're picking random potentially totalitarian things out of the air as if Fascism is a generic term of really bad totalitarian governments.

Monarchies are a completely ridiculous diversion and no, they're not the same. They're not even the same type of thing. Fascism is an ideology, not a constitutional system of government. And nobody would argue that monarchies are "legitimate" so that makes them "non-fascist", because the term has no meaning here. Are fascist governments not "legitimate"? I'm pretty sure Mussolini was the legitimate leader of Italy until the Italians found a new use for meathooks.

Nor is this a discussion of totalitarianism, and we're not trying to define totalitarianism. We're discussing Fascism, a specific ideology, created by Benito Mussolini in the 1920s, and expanded upon by Adolf Hitler and others after that.

Europe in the 1920s and 1930s is precisely relevant to defining Fascism. That's when the first Fascists appeared. And almost from the beginning, Mussolini was adamant about "protecting" the "Aryan race". Between his own rhetoric, and Hitler's influence, this culminated in the Manifesto of Race on the Italian side. I don't need to tell you what it culminated in on the German side.

If you reject the inventor of the term "fascism" as being somehow unconnected to his own ideology, and decide to ascribe completely unrelated movements and constitutional systems (!!!) to Fascism purely because they're totalitarian, then again you're just plain not addressing the term.

And to circle back to the topic, I called Trump a fascist. Not a communist. Not a king. Not a totalitarian. Not a dictator. A fascist.

He's a racist who demonizes and dehumanizes non-whites, and scapegoats them for America's "problems". He has contempt for democracy. He directly and actively promotes violence against his political rivals. He wants to use the law to punish those who oppose him, from politicians to the free media.

I don't like Clinton, but she's none of those things. And you have to be those things to be a fascist.

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