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US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

91degrees Is there no demand for the cargo version? (290 comments)

Surely the 747-8F has a use. Apart from a few specialised planes designed for unusual shaped loads (like the Beluga and Guppy) there aren't any larger cargo planes yet, and there doesn't seem to be huge demand for the freight variant of the 380.

Even if demand does pick up, a lot of people like the front loading option.

yesterday
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Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

91degrees Re:Science and politics are orthogonal (496 comments)

What I mean is that it's a lot harder for someone who owes their job the the democratic process to argue this without comint across as a hypocrite.

about two weeks ago
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Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

91degrees Science and politics are orthogonal (496 comments)

The point to the vote wasn't to establish the science. It was to provide an argument to politicians that this issue is real. Poltiicians don't understand science so the argument they use is political.

A senator may well want to argue that the science is wrong. It's a lot harder to argue that democracy is also wrong.

Of course we don't like this. Slashdotters like science. Many of us are scientists. This is a terrible way of carrying on, but the important issue is we deal with the environment. If we need to back up our scientific argument with a political one, so be it.

about two weeks ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

91degrees Re:What Kind (385 comments)

The thing about a String type is that it's a common means of sharing data, but there are dozens of incompatible implementations. Qt uses QString, I remember using a regex library that uses a UnicodeSting type, and I've worked with more than one toolkit that uses its own custom string class. Mixing and matching these can be a headache.

Complex types are less of an issue because they're a lot more specialised. You're more likely to want to read a value from a widget input field, parse it using a regex and then use the result in a third library than to do the equivalent with a complex number. I'll grant you, this is more of a perceived problem with std::string than a fundamental issue with C++ but still, I rather like the fact that any Java library I use will use java.lang.String if it needs a string.

about two weeks ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

91degrees Re:What Kind (385 comments)

No built in string. Complicated templates mechanism. A lot of C legacy crud. Antiquated #import system (the main issues is that this can lead to horrendous build times). Not sure if these are better in D, but they are problems that it would be nice to address.

about two weeks ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

91degrees Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (687 comments)

Do you feel the same way about "men's rights activist"?

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

91degrees Re: betteridge's law of headlines (489 comments)

Because Newton discovered it. Ian Betteridge mentioned the headline thing in 2009 and thought he was being original.

about two weeks ago
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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

91degrees Re:betteridge's law of headlines (489 comments)

Why does Betteridge get the credit for this? It's been a rule for a lot longer than he's been around.

about two weeks ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

91degrees Re:what state are they in? maryland? (784 comments)

May be my perception, but I think the parents in the safer areas are the ones who are more likely to be anxious about their precious kids. I'd be a lot more surprised if this happened in a rough part of Detroit.

about two weeks ago
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UK Prime Minister Says Gov't Should Be Capable of Reading Any Communications

91degrees Bit late isn't it? (329 comments)

There must be hundreds of online message boards that support SSL and private messages, and operate outside of UK jurisdiction. Technically this would include facebook, except they're a bit too chummy with governments to actually protect this stuff. And if I PM a bunch of people on a forum about crochet or whatever it's not even likely to be flagged as suspicious behaviour.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

91degrees Re:Modem connection tones (790 comments)

Didn't realise there was a different sound if it doesn't connect at 56k. What should I be listening for if I ever have to connect to the internet in the 1990's again? Is it that change in pitch after about 17 seconds in this recording or something else?

about three weeks ago
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MI5 Chief Seeks New Powers After Paris Magazine Attack

91degrees We already knew this was a possibility (319 comments)

This was a possibility before. It's still a possibility. Crime happens. We know this. We'll never get 100% crime free. We just have to do the best we can, balancing the risk against other factors such as civil rights and cost.

It's unlikely that anything short of 100% surveillance would have prevented this, and the last islamist extremist attack in the UK was a nutter armed with a car and a machete. Is there really anything MI5 could have done to prevent that?

about three weeks ago
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UK Government Department Still Runs VME Operating System Installed In 1974

91degrees Does it still work? (189 comments)

If so, why fix it? What are the tangible benefite of a new system?

about three weeks ago
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Is Kitkat Killing Lollipop Uptake?

91degrees Why do I want to upgrade? (437 comments)

What would using Lollipop do for me that whatever version of Android I'm currently using not? Is there a major benefit?

about three weeks ago
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Over 30 Uber Cars Impounded In Cape Town

91degrees Re:Give Uber a dictionary (160 comments)

South Africa isn't a libertarian, pure capitalist state. You do need to be licensed just to charge someone for a ride.

about three weeks ago
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Indiana Court Rules Melted Down Hard Drive Not Destruction of Evidence

91degrees Did the court say that? (181 comments)

The court denied this motion suggesting that because the hard drive failed, there was no evidence to destroy in the first place.

Okay I skimmed the article, but I couldn't find a comment suggesting that.

It seems more that there's no evidence that the defendant wilfully destroyed evidence. The plaintiff wanted the court to assume that there was harmful evidence on the hard drive, simply because the defendant had thrown it out. The defendant on the other hand threw it out simply because it was dying, and had no idea that it might be relevant in the litigation.

about a month ago
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US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

91degrees Re:Seriously? (252 comments)

Well, I was using floppies well into the 90's. CD-ROMs were nice for large chunks of data but until I had broadband, sneakernet+floppies was usually a lot more efficient. Really the modern replacement is USB sticks, although they're not quite cheap enough to give away as floppies were.

about a month ago
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Doxing -- Something To Expect More of In 2015

91degrees Re:That is not doxing (171 comments)

Do you need that? Seems very specific. I was generally referring to those groups that are opposed to the likes of 4chan and 8chan. I guess I can use google to find some harassment by anti-gamergaters if you really want it.

Milo Yiannopoulos receives a dead animal,
Threatening phone calls
One person claims to have been fired, and another had someone complain to their boss
Threats against a gamergater's family

Quite honestly I find the whole thing depressing. #Gamergate has a lot of people talking about corruption in the games industry, but way too many of its members fixated on loud, pointless people. Anti-gamergate has this bizarre conspiracy theory that somehow 4chan, 8chan, and a large number of female and ethnic minority gamers, journalists and even a few outspoken feminists are working together in the cause of "misogyny", for its own sake.

People with a political agenda have grabbed both sides of the debate and made it about unrelated political issues.

about a month ago

Submissions

91degrees hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Of course it's a troll

91degrees 91degrees writes  |  more than 10 years ago Well, probably, but there's usually a germ of truth in what I say.

Either that or I'm not trolling, but felt like ranting. Or making a joke.

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Why computers need driving licences

91degrees 91degrees writes  |  more than 12 years ago I was recently sent an email by a friend about stupid computer users. One of these people had broken his CD-ROM drive trying to use it as a cup holder. One of them had tried to use the mouse (The plastic device that you use to move the pointer around the screen) as a foot pedal.

My friend seemed to find this funny. I found it disturbing. We have people spending several thousand dollars on a piece of sophisticated equipment, that they have no idea how to use. It's not just this though. The shear volume of unmitigated dross on the Interent is screaming for us to regulate it, if only to make it possible to find something useful.

I think people should have to take a driving test for their computers.

This may seem like a strange suggestion, but this is simply because you aren't used to the idea. When the driving licence was first proposed for cars, people were horrified at the prospect. Now, if you even consider suggesting the abolision of the driving test, people with react with equal or greater horror.

A computer can after all be every bit as dangerous as a car. Used incorrectly, it can be used to attack commercial and government websites that are essential to the running of the free nations of the world. Even those who don't have any illegal intentions could unwillingly be allowing criminals to hack into their machines, and the evil hackers could use them as a springboard to get into other computers, making the owner of the computer an unwitting acomplace to a criminal act.

It is illegal to export powerful computers to over 100 countries. Yet these same countries do have low power computers. These can be used to hack into more powerful computers, that can be used to hack into the powerful computers that we have in the democratic world, and these can be used to hack into the extremely powerful servers that run our nation. People need to be taught to prevent this sort of attack from happening. We should not allow people to put these at risk simply because they don't know how to secure their computers.

We should expand this into restrictions of the types of computers that should be used on the internet. Now, many people here believe that Microsoft Windows should be the only operating system that people shuld use, but I feel that as long as they could ensure basic security was implemented, other operating systems should also be considered. Obviosuly we should make sure that these are rigourously tested, and at a cost to the manufdacturers. We insist on basic crash tests for cars after all. Once again, I'm sinmply suggesting that we apply the same rigourous standards to computers

This would have several benefits.

Old operating systyems such as the MS-DOS found on the early pre-Pentium machines can be decertified after they reach a certain age. This will keep the slower machines off the net, speeding up the internet for the rest of us.

After all, surely people should not be entitled to modify their computers in dangerous ways. Some people have REMOVED the Windows operating system that came with their PC, and replaced it with a free operating system in order to avoid having to pay for their software. I'm surpirised that this is still allowed. Nobody allows us to put spikes on the front of our cars, or replace the wheels with sawblades. Why should we be allowed to do the same to our computers?

Finally it will reduce the cost of our computers. Part of the cost is the cost of technical support. If they didn't have to train qualified people to answer so many questions, the cost of Windows would plummet.

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