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Comment Re:They need more censorship (Score 1) 84

Well I didn't get banned for my opinions. I got some assholes but I just blocked them like an adult.

So, you went through the trouble of getting in line for a account, then signing up for an account, then logging in, before enjoying your freedom of speech?

So why not sign up for a Slashdot account and login so your opinion can be taken for more than pure horseshit? You know, like an adult.

Comment Don't just think "change"; think "rate of change". (Score 1) 130

I have known or at least met many environmental luminaries in the course of my career, and as one of them put it: I = P*S/T -- that is to say environmental impact is proportional to population and standard of living, but is inversely proportional to technology.

So the key to avoiding a dystopian future is to keep the rate of technological improvement greater than the rate of population growth. The way to do that is to invest in people. Societies who have lower infant mortality rates have lower birth rates; societies with better education are more innovative.

Will the future way we do things look radically different from today? Yes! Just as the way we do things today look radically different from the past. Change happens in both the environment and human society; it's inevitable. The question is whether it happens at a rate organisms and people can adapt to, and in particular whether we make a conscious decision to direct that change or have it forced upon us.

Comment Re:In Seattle... (Score 1) 202

You would think Seattle, WA (home of Microsoft, etc) would have a virtual cornucopia (sp) of broadband options??

Microsoft isn't in Seattle, it's in Redmond. Seattle might as well be Forks as far as MS is concerned.

From what I've read about the situation, it's only Seattle that has such horrible internet service. All the other cities there are fine: Redmond, Tacoma, etc.

Comment Re:Less Space than a Nomad. (Score 2) 324

Most people bitch about their cell phone battery life but that hasn't led to Apple doing anything but making their phones thinner and their batteries smaller.

Well WTF do they expect? If they bitch and complain, and then run out and pay top dollar anyway for a device they bitch and complain about, why would the vendor bother listening to their complaints?

Comment Re:Low end? (Score 2) 165

I swear to god Apple is like a "stupid" tax.

Not exactly. Taxes are involuntary: you're required to pay them whether you want to or not. No one is forcing anyone to buy an Apple. People do this entirely willingly, just like they happily and willingly buy or pay for things like cable TV (including premium sports channels), church tithes, horrifically expensive handbags or designer clothes like from Coach or Gucci, Jeeps, or Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Comment Re:Positive development (Score 1) 165

The abundance of one species does not a healthy ecosystem make. I have a friend whose family owns a 1700 acre island off the coast of New England. It used to support an enormous white tail deer population -- and not coincidentally it had a plague of ticks, because everything in nature is food for something else. You would not have wanted to visit there back in the 1970s because the tick problem was insane. Everyone in his family has had Lyme disease, which also feasted on the swollen deer population.

Then in the 1980s the Western Coyote made it to New England, and a pack swam out to the island. In a single season they took down most of the deer herd, and now the island is a pleasant and sanitary place to live. And this is not some kind of odd aberration; this is how ecology works. If you disturb an ecosystem (say by killing off all the native timber wolves), weed species take over and they end up riddled with disease.

Weed species the ones who by sheer luck can live in conjunction with or off of large human populations. In a healthy ecosystem they may be cute, but an ecosystem dominated by weed animals can be nightmarish. I know lots of natural science geeks, and for the most part animals don't scare them. I once went for a walk with a girl who picked up a rotting coyote head and put it in her jacket pocket. She was TA'ing an anatomy course and wanted to show it to her students. But even she wouldn't go near a racoon, because unchecked by predation suburban raccoons are chock full of leptospirosis, salmonella and roundworm -- not to mention rabies. Those diseases can and do cripple, even kill people.

A world dominated by weed species would be quite horrible to live in.

Comment Re:More condoms less climate change (Score 1) 165

People per se have almost no impact on climate. It's what people do and how much in aggregate they do it.

Environmentalists are often stereotyped as pessimists, but really most of the people I know who've dedicated their careers are optimistic that technology can address many environmental problems. Sure, they'd like to see the global population stabilized, or even somewhat reduced, because that makes the job of preserving the environment much easier. But they actually believe the sustainability problem can be licked, even without reducing the global population by much.

I'll give you one example of how an actual environmentalist thinks. I was at a meeting with the sustainability director of a major sportswear manufacturer, and he was describing the research they were doing into improving the recyclability of polyester fleece clothing. He made the point that scale is critical to assessing the environmental impact. For a small band of hunter-gatherers, wild animal pelts would be the source of clothing with the least impact; wool would have intermediate impact; a chemical plant that reprocesses coke bottles into polyester resins would have a ridiculously large impact. But if you are making hundreds of thousands of garments, the impacts are actually reversed: the chemical plant has the least environmental impact. Once you turn those bottles into fleece you can continually recycle those molecules into more fleece. He describes recycling as "living off your environmental income instead of your capital."

Environmentalists -- by which I mean the people who are actually working on solutions to environmental problems -- generally believe that even with a large population we can make use of the products of ecosystems without disturbing the equilibria that sustain those systems. As one civil engineering environmentalist I know put it: I = P*S/T ; impact is proportional to population and standard of living but inversely proportional to technology. You can reduce the environmental impact of home heating by reducing the number of people; or you could do it by people getting used to being colder. But you can get the same result by insulating your house and heating it with renewable energy.

It's actually the anti-environmentalists who are the pessimists; they don't believe in people's ability to adapt, and they anticipate nothing but suffering from trying to do anything about problems. Their version of "optimism" is to discount any evidence that problems exist, or to convincing themselves if we do nothing everything will work out for the best.

Comment Re:AOL AND Yahoo!!!? (Score 1) 27

I don't know about where you live, but where I live (a more rural area about an hour from DC), Verizon is king, as it is in most rural areas I know of. Verizon has, hands-down, the best cellular coverage in rural areas. Of course, they also have the very worst service, and the most astronomical prices. But people in rural areas happily pay it because they're unwilling to put up with less-than-stellar coverage from the other telcos.

Personally, I have a Sprint phone with Ting and it works well enough. I'm not willing to pay $150/month more just for better coverage. Sprint's service is "good enough", and doesn't cause me any problems.

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