Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



John Carmack's Oculus Connect Keynote Probably Had Samsung Cringing

An Ominous Coward Click bait headline (88 comments)

Samsung cringing? Because Carmack referenced hardware limitations of the current display technology that anyone who could follow his speech either already knows or could have gleened from reviewing the basic specs? And the display technology is still is (or is equal too) the best available in industrial quantities?

It's not like he said "Company X's displays are so much better, it's stupid we didn't go with them." That might have induced some cringes. The actual speech? Not so much. It was interesting enough for the technical material, don't try to spoil it with melodramatics.

about a month ago

Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

An Ominous Coward Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (460 comments)

No, because if that is what the poster was referencing, "going on a tear" was actually saying "guys, don't do that", with the context being: sexual propositioning a stranger in an enclosed space in a foreign country at 4 AM after having just listened to the person you're propositioning give a presentation that included discussion on how the constant sexual propositions she received at these conferences made her uncomfortable.

THAT in turn led to her receiving a never-ending wave of abuse, including rape and death threats, and including having one of the most prominent male voices in the movement insultingly state that women in the west shouldn't complain about sexism because women in Islamic countries have it a lot worse.

It was after all THAT, that she, quite rightly, started going on a tear.

about a month and a half ago

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

An Ominous Coward Re:Whelp. (139 comments)

You can always take the So Long and Thanks for All the Fish view:

Mrs E. Kapelsen of Boston, Massachusetts was an elderly lady, indeed, she felt her life was nearly at an end. She had seen a lot of it, been puzzled by some, but, she was a little uneasy to feel at this late stage, bored by too much. It had all been very pleasant, but perhaps a little too explicable, a little too routine.

With a sigh she flipped up the little plastic window shutter and looked out over the wing.

At first she thought she ought to call the stewardess, but then she thought no, damn it, definitely not, this was for her, and her alone.

By the time her two inexplicable people finally slipped back off the wing and tumbled into the slipstream she had cheered up an awful lot.

She was mostly immensely relieved to think that virtually everything that anybody had ever told her was wrong.

Or the obligatory:

about 3 months ago

Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

An Ominous Coward Whelp. (139 comments)

Time to remake Jurassic Park. And while he's at it, Speilberg can change all the guns to flashlights!

about 3 months ago

Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

An Ominous Coward Re:Go Greenlight (200 comments)

How are the two major parties equally scummy when by your own statement the Republicans made things ten times worse than the Democrats?

about 3 months ago

Interviews: Juan Gilbert Answers Your Questions

An Ominous Coward 360 degree eye-roll (18 comments)

"Now, this would require the manufacturers to agree on certain controls, but itâ(TM)s certainly doable."

Manufacturers opening up the vehicle bus, the network responsible for the actual core operation of the car, to cell phone apps? Laughable.

about 4 months ago

Mysterious X-ray Signal Hints At Dark Matter

An Ominous Coward Re:Doesn't jive for me (100 comments)

It's the ambiguity of language that's at fault here. The key to the sentence you mentioned is "like normal matter". Normal matter absorbs electromagnetic radiation, increasing its energy level, and drops back to lower energy levels by emitting electromagnetic radiation. Thus, normal matter interacts with light. This is a different physical process than the emission of light due to decay of the particle itself.

And while we haven't pinned down dark matter by any means, it's much more than a stab in the dark. For one, there are known particles--neutrinos--that do not interact via the electromagnetic force, so the idea of unknown particles with the same property isn't unrealistic.

Then, there are clues from many different directions that point to something consistent with matter that interacts gravitationally but not electromagnetically. These include calculations concerning the total matter in the universe, galaxy cluster formation, the rotational speed of stars on the out edge of galaxies, etc.

about 4 months ago

Mysterious X-ray Signal Hints At Dark Matter

An Ominous Coward Re:Doesn't jive for me (100 comments)

The hypothesis is not that the X-Rays are interacting with this type of dark matter. It is that the decay of this type of dark matter generates X-Rays.

about 4 months ago

Yahoo Stops Honoring 'Do-Not-Track' Settings

An Ominous Coward Re:Surprise, anyone? (300 comments)

Commercial search engies must skate a fine line between fair use and copyright violation. There is at least some potential that ignoring robots.txt could land them in legal trouble.

At the moment, lacking contrary legislation, user-identifiying information that is transmitted to a server is considered property of that server owner. If there was legislation defining that information as property of the user, much like Canada (among others) defines metered electricity usage information as belonging not to the utilites but to the resident, then Do-Not-Track might have some teeth.

Even then, though, it's probably a lot harder to legally demonstrate a violation of that setting than showing a search engine has cached a page it wasn't given permission to cache.

about 6 months ago

New Home Automation?

An Ominous Coward Zigbee (336 comments)

Zigbee's the best option for home automation ecosystem. Zero-conf mesh networking for great range even through walls/floors, and lower power so all these devices don't bust your electricity bill. And if your utility installs a smart meter with home-area networking, it'll probably be Zigbee, so smart appliances can get usage and price data from there.

about 10 months ago

Android KitKat Released

An Ominous Coward Re:KitKat? (358 comments)

An agreement with both Hershey, for the US, and Nestle, for everywhere else.

about a year ago

Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses

An Ominous Coward Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (435 comments)


Customer: All your power supply units are no-name, inefficient Chinese or Vietnamese crap with high failure rates. Can't you stock some decent equipment?

Local Computer Store: I've got mine. Fuck you.


Customer: All you have here is NYT best seller list schlock, New Age Oprah garbage, and Christian testimonals. Can't you stock some decent science fiction or popular science books?

Local Book Store: I've got mine. Fuck you.

about a year ago

The NSA's Own Guide To Google Hacking and Other Internet Research

An Ominous Coward Re:How about a link to the downloadable book? (45 comments)

All PDF readers have their exploits, no reason you can't make one document that targets them all. That's why I trained myself to read PDF in binary. Yes, obviously it's a bit challenging but there's something immensely satisfying about being able to visualize the document based on the raw input and, until the NSA gets into wet-ware hacking, it's the one reader technology that's guaranteed to be perfectly sa.... MUST. INFILTRATE. PUTIN. ADMINISTRATION.

about a year and a half ago

Does All of Science Really Move In 'Paradigm Shifts'?

An Ominous Coward Re:Kuhn Paradigms (265 comments)

Depends on if we want to include cultural norms as part of how the world works. Consider the experience of moving across the country for a job or to attend university. Even with communication technologies that have parallels in the Internet age (POTS, Fax, and the postal service), there was definitely the cultural expectation of weakening social bonds with your parents and completely breaking social bonds with all your peers. You'd only see your parents occasionally for holidays, and quite likely would never see anyone from high school again. That's just the way the world worked.

But thanks to widely deployed IP networks we not only have incremental improvements on old technology (mobile phones with no long-distance charges and telephone numbers that follow you, instantaneously delivered email) but also new tools such as video chat, media sharing services, and social networks. There are real options for maintaining long-term social bonds, options that did not previously exist. For single, childless persons, major relocations are not really a big deal anymore. That's arguably a big change in how people view the world working.

about 2 years ago

Barack Obama Retains US Presidency

An Ominous Coward Re:Tweedledee won ! (1576 comments)

In your opinion, do you think an Al Gore administration would have led us into war with Iraq?

about 2 years ago

Misunderstanding of Prior Art May Have Led to Apple-Samsung Verdict

An Ominous Coward Re:split. (503 comments)

Yes! Because whether or not that person is actually a murderer is something to be determined by an unbiased jury. If a jury member in incapable of putting aside their fear of murder, if he or she is willing to find against anyone simply because they were accused of murder, that is an unacceptable bias.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Is the Rise of Skeuomorphic User Interfaces a Problem?

An Ominous Coward Re:Bad Design (311 comments)

Some minor tweaking and it's an SD card icon, all good.

more than 2 years ago

Would You Pay an Internet Broadband Tax?

An Ominous Coward Re:Universal service. (601 comments)

From my reading of the FCC's Internet Access Report, that analysis came from people with >200 kbps connections. Basically, for ISPS advertising broadband service, how many are meeting the new requirements. That figure does not indicate how many people only have the option of dial-up.

more than 2 years ago

Republican Platform To Include Internet Freedom Plank

An Ominous Coward Re:Look at ninety percent of the effort towards go (459 comments)

I can choose to go to another bank. That choice cannot be taken away.

Of course it can be taken away; the big bank can acquire the little bank. Just like how a lot of people left AT&T for T-Mobile, so AT&T tried to acquire T-Mobile. Fortunately we have an administration that respects consumer rights and put good people in charge of the regulatory agencies, so that attempted acquisition was blocked.

more than 2 years ago


An Ominous Coward hasn't submitted any stories.


An Ominous Coward has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?