Beta
×

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!

Comments

top

Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Anubis IV Re:This actually makes perfect sense. (105 comments)

Wow. I had no idea. That is really cool.

Now I'm wondering where I got it in my head that the orbiter was fully-loaded when it was placed on the crawler, since I could've sworn I had heard that. Well, regardless, it appears I either heard wrong or am misremembering. This is one of those times that I absolutely relish being corrected, since I get to learn something neat. Thanks!

yesterday
top

Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Anubis IV Re:This actually makes perfect sense. (105 comments)

Are you suggesting that a freak occurrence like a sea breeze may be occurring at a coastal location like Cape Canaveral, Florida? And that it may have even reached as far inland as the VAB, which is where the ISS capsule would have been loaded into the shuttle's cargo bay? And that the VAB, which has the largest doors anywhere in the world so that fully-loaded space vehicles can be carried out on the crawler transporter in one piece, may have allowed such contaminated air to get inside?

Absurdity and nonsense! Surely they would've planned for something like that!

Which is all to say, I quite agree with you, since it seems like the most obvious time and place that sea life could have been deposited on any of the equipment. After all, they spend days or weeks inside the VAB, which is one of the largest buildings by volume in the world. So large, in fact, that rain clouds have formed inside, and that water has to come from somewhere...such as the nearby ocean water that contains plankton.

yesterday
top

Research Unveils Improved Method To Let Computers Know You Are Human

Anubis IV My only question: does it work at Google-scale? (91 comments)

The nice thing about current text-based CAPTCHAs is that they can be applied to any website, whether large or small, and require very little input or tinkering from individual web administrators. The other nice thing about this is that they have an infinite number of possible variations, what with the different ways you can transform text.

This new idea would work great for a small site that will never be a target of a directed attack, but we already have hundreds of different CAPTCHA variations that can be used for that sort of thing. I use a simpler but similar idea on one of my sites, where I have new registrants drag words into matching categories that I set up. I've had zero bot registrations since I set it up a few years back, and a number of comments from actual users that love the system.

But if you apply something like what I use or this new idea to a site like Google, the folks trying to break in will inevitably code up algorithms to handle each of the finite number of minigames they set up with their finite number of items in them, rendering the whole thing pretty useless. The only way to get infinite variation out of it is to start applying image transformation to the items being used so that they can't be as easily identified, and if you start doing that, you're right back where we are now.

2 days ago
top

Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

Anubis IV Re:Database? (371 comments)

In most locations where engineers are accredited (i.e. the developed world), there are laws, code, or other rules specifying exactly who is allowed to use the term "engineer" in their job title, since the title itself is oftentimes regulated for the safety and benefit of the public. Most of those places make specific exceptions for certain non-accredited individuals to use the title, including many "real engineers".

In fact, if I recall correctly, in my home state the sentence of the engineering codes that explicitly allows software developers to use the term "software engineer" is the same sentence that allows non-accredited "real engineers" to use the term, such as engineering school graduates who haven't taken the P.E. and may never do so, but are working in the engineering profession.

The joke here may be that "software engineering" is an overused term, but it's not in the way that you think. Software Engineering is an important branch of Computer Science (or else is a separate field of Applied Computer Science...I'm not going to argue that distinction here) with major research being done, both in academia and in industry. For the people practicing in that field, the title is a perfect fit, and what they do is most certainly a form of engineering.

3 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

Anubis IV Re:Switch to linux / OsX. (319 comments)

Yeah, it probably is due to that effect. The only time I've ever had an infection was on a Mac OS 9 box, which got infected via a downloaded file that was loaded onto the computer via floppy disk. I've seen a handful of OS X trojans and whatnot (though haven't been infected by any), but from what I've read in reference material, they're FAR less common than they were back in the Mac OS days, despite the fact that OS X is significantly more popular and significantly more accessible to black hats than its predecessor. As I recall (there used to be a Wikipedia page on the topic...don't know if there still is or what it's called), the difference between the two is something like two to three orders of magnitude.

3 days ago
top

Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

Anubis IV Re:Not Government (450 comments)

Completely agree. This is an issue with Internet culture that will doubtless be addressed over time as mores, etiquette, and other principles catch up with the new generations of communication that lack the societal repercussions for bad behavior that are present in the old. Much of it is likely simply the result of a lack of supervision on the part of parents. Previously, their poor parenting had little immediate impact on the outside world, but now, with kids having unfettered and unsupervised access to the outside from within their own home, they're able to misbehave in ways that would have never been tolerated in public before, and the ones they're impacting have little ability to do anything about it. In turn, that misbehavior brings out the worst in adults, creating a cycle that perpetuates itself.

The way we'll eventually address it is the same way we've addressed it in real life: make it socially unacceptable to be a jerk. You can be one, and you may get benefits out of it in the short-term, but there will be long-term consequences for those actions. How we will disincentivize it is something I do not know, but I'd imagine it may make inroads under the guise of replacing the need for memorizing passwords. For instance, perhaps Google or someone else will finally manage to establish the universal login system they've all been trying to do for nearly a decade, and then could tie it to some sort of a reputation system (and yes, I'm aware of how broken and/or breakable most of the current reputation systems are...I'm imagining right now). Sites could choose to adopt that login system or not, since there will always be a need for anonymity and a desire to have a place where one can let loose without having to worry about the consequences, but it may help to make the most commonly accessed sites more readable.

5 days ago
top

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

Anubis IV Re:Cheaper drives (183 comments)

I'm in complete agreement.

about a week ago
top

Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body

Anubis IV Re:No, he didn't. (158 comments)

It is, yup, but I haven't heard anyone mentioning him having jailbroken his device, and given that jailbreaking is pretty rare outside of the tech community, I wouldn't bet that he had done so. If you find out anything to the contrary though, I'd be interested in it.

about a week ago
top

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

Anubis IV Re:Cheaper drives (183 comments)

I'm honestly in the same boat. Apple TV (third gen), 2011 Mac mini (hoping they announce an update once Broadwell arrives), iPhone 5s, and used to own an iPad 2 (I plan to get an Air 2 when they come out since I didn't replace the iPad after I sold it). I too love my Apple products, but hate the odd markups. I learned long ago to go cheap on RAM and upgrade it yourself, and I even set up my own Fusion Drive on my 2011 Mac mini by installing an SSD to go with the HDD and having some fun in Terminal, but you can't quite do anything like that with their mobile devices, unfortunately. At least not very easily.

about a week ago
top

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

Anubis IV Re:Cheaper drives (183 comments)

Not really. If you do a price comparison between comparable models from other manufacturers at the time that their products launch, they generally compare very favorably, more often than not (at least in the last few years) coming out as the cheaper option, at least when it comes to Macs.

That said, when you're buying an Apple product, you're buying a complete package that likely has more in it than you want or need: stuff that you're paying for but will never use. Other manufacturers typically either permit more customization or have a wider array of products to choose from, allowing you to pick a cheaper option that is equal or better in the technical specs that matter to you. But at that point, you're no longer comparing comparable models, so the fact that they're cheaper doesn't say anything about whether or not Apple's prices are outrageous.

Apple products are expensive, but that's because they're aimed at the premium end of the market. Whether or not they're outrageously expensive should be judged on the basis of how they compare against similar models, and, in general, they compare quite well, suggesting their prices aren't outrageous at all.

about a week ago
top

Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body

Anubis IV Re:No, he didn't. (158 comments)

What actually happened is that the police forensically recovered that image from his iPhone 4...which isn't even capable of using Siri, since Siri is exclusive to the 4S and above. The image was apparently from the Facebook cache on his phone. Moreover, contrary to many of the reports, he isn't even the roommate of the victim.

The reporting on this issue has been rather appalling, and many of us have seen the same or similar screenshots and may have even had them cached on our phones as well, since they were circulating around the Internet back when Siri first came out. I even recall seeing a few YouTube videos making the same joke.

Whether or not he's guilty, I have no clue, but it's fairly safe to say that he likely didn't use his iPhone 4 to ask Siri anything at all, let alone where to hide his roommate, given that his phone couldn't even use Siri and he wasn't roommate with the guy that needed to be hidden.

about a week ago
top

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

Anubis IV Re:Cheaper drives (183 comments)

I don't believe they make those claims explicitly, no, though they do tend to source higher-quality components, in general.

When it comes to SSD quality, most of the distinctions would be in terms of the controllers that are used (which will play a large factor in reliability and speed) and whether it's an SLC, MLC, or TLC (single-, multi-, or triple-level cell) design. SLC has one bit per cell, MLC most often refers to two bits per cell (though it technically refers to more than that as well), while TLC has three bits per cell. 2-bit MLC and TLC are the most common in consumer-grade SSDs, with TLC becoming more common in the last year or two (e.g. Samsung 840 EVO).

about a week ago
top

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

Anubis IV Re:Cheaper drives (183 comments)

I love my Apple products, but let's be honest: their storage prices are outrageous. If we calculate the value they place on each GB based on the difference in prices between models that have different amounts of storage but are otherwise identical, the lowest they ever go with SSDs is $1.56/GB (which we see in their laptops and high-end iPads). For lower-end or mid-range iOS devices, the prices are as high as $6.25/GB (for the $100 16GB->32GB step up) or $3.13/GB (for the 32GB->64GB step up that costs $100).

So, suggesting they are $2/GB seems fair to me, even if it doesn't universally apply across all of their products.

about a week ago
top

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

Anubis IV Re:Cheaper drives (183 comments)

Yeah, I was reading this and thinking to myself, "haven't they been under $0.50/GB for awhile now?" Just yesterday I was speccing out parts for a new PC, and the prices for SSDs went as low as $0.35/GB. They're still roughly an order of magnitude more expensive per GB than HDDs, but they're starting to get cheap enough that the difference is mattering less and less.

about a week ago
top

Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners

Anubis IV Re:I don't get it (220 comments)

Whenever I get a new phone, the first thing I do is wrap it in a plastic protector to protect the body.

To point out the obvious, with the statement I just quoted, you've effectively self-identified yourself as someone for whom the distinction wouldn't make a bit of difference, so it's not surprising that you don't understand why it matters to most people. In many ways, I envy you, since it means that your purchasing decisions are likely much more straightforward.

The reason why metal matters is because of how things look and feel in one's hand when not using those plastic protectors. As the summary said, metal is considered a "premium" material, and with good reason, since its various properties make it more interesting to hold. Plastic, in a word, is bland. At its best, it's rounded, smooth, and boring to touch. There's nothing wrong with it, but there's nothing inherently pleasurable about it either. In contrast, metals can be cool to the touch or hold onto heat so that they are warmer than their surroundings, immediately making them more interesting to come in contact with. When chamfering is done right, your fingers naturally gravitates towards those lines and run along them (it's uncanny how everyone who doesn't use a case seems to do it without thinking, in fact). Likewise, bead-blasted surfaces retain the smoothness of plastic, while at the same time ditching the tackiness that your fingers have with plastic. Plus, metal can be manufactured to much tighter tolerances, creating a sturdier feel, and when it's done right, the wear and tear that metal takes can add character (to be fair, we don't see this sort of design happening in the smartphone industry), whereas I have yet to see the plastic for which that is true.

TL;DR: As the summary said, metal is a premium material. Some of us are suckers for that stuff.

about a week ago
top

Every Day Is Goof-Off-At-Work Day At the US Patent and Trademark Office

Anubis IV Re:Shenanigans (326 comments)

Thank you for calling them out on it. Reading it, it sounded suspicious to me, but I had no context on which to judge it effectively. Wish I had some mod points for you.

about two weeks ago
top

Long-Wave Radar Can Take the Stealth From Stealth Technology

Anubis IV Re:Semicolon (275 comments)

Or they could say "but" after the comma. That still leaves the "to" that should be "too" and the "steath" that should be "stealth", and those were just the most obvious ones. I wouldn't doubt that there are more (nor would I doubt that I made mistakes in reporting theirs, as always seems to happen).

about two weeks ago
top

The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

Anubis IV Re:Crapfinity (224 comments)

He said he switched to OTA, so he likely dropped a pricy cable TV plan at the same time he dropped them as his ISP, hence the savings. After the special deals as a new customer expire (i.e. 12 months into the 24-month contract), several of Comcast's TV plans exceed $150, so even if he was paying the same for Internet with DSL, he could be saving $150 simply by having dropped cable TV for OTA.

about two weeks ago
top

Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

Anubis IV Re:Sorry but why is this news? (267 comments)

So, your model is from 2007, right? All of the 2009 and later ones support Mavericks, and the 2008 ones could use a 64-bit boot loader. 7, nearly 8, years is a good run for a laptop, particular one aimed at non-professionals.

Even so, yeah, compared to most Macs, you kinda got screwed, but that was sorta to be expected, given that they were going through the Intel and 64-bit transitions back-to-back. I more or less kept a death grip on my ancient PowerBook when all of that stuff started, upgraded to a last-model used PowerBook as the transition was well underway, and then finally bought a new Mac again after they were using the Intel i-series, since I was confident that I wouldn't see as many arbitrary cut-offs at that point. And I really haven't. It's been good.

about two weeks ago
top

Man-Made "Dead Zone" In Gulf of Mexico the Size of Connecticut

Anubis IV Re:How big is it? (184 comments)

The Mariana Trench is also a "cauldron of death" due to its similar lack of oxygen, but we don't talk about it in that way because the species that can't survive there simply don't live there to begin with. It sounds like the same would be true here, so I'm unclear why the shellfish would need to be escaping at all. Are the algae blooms seasonal? Because, if not, and this is a permanent dead zone, any life that was in it is long gone, and you don't need to worry about new life trying to escape it, because it isn't there anyway.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

Anubis IV hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Anubis IV has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>