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Hackers' Shutdown of 'The Interview' Confirms Coding Is a Superpower

Attila Dimedici This story makes no sense (203 comments)

The actions of all of the major players in this story make no sense based on the known facts. The threat by the hackers to cause a 9/11 style attack if the film was released had no credible support (at least known to me). I know lawyers are risk adverse, but it is hard for me to imagine how Sony could legitimately be a target of lawsuits if the attack actually happened (not that such suits would not be filed, merely that Sony should be able to easily get them all bundled into a few cases and dismissed).
The conspiracy theories which have been created to explain it fail to do so. The motivation they ascribe to those making the hard to explain actions are believable, but it is hard to believe that the actions taken would have the desired results.

8 hours ago
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Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

Attila Dimedici Re:highly tendentious language (187 comments)

What you say would be true if we were talking about sample letters put out by organizations funded by George Soros or Tom Steyer, but these are not like those. No, these sample letters were put together by organizations which got a small amount of money from organizations which got a small amount of money from the Koch brothers. Everybody knows that the Koch brothers are truly evil, unlike George Soros, who unrepentantly collaborated with the Nazis as a teenager, and everything with even a remote connection to them is therefore evil.

2 days ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

Attila Dimedici Re:Vinyl refuses to die too (269 comments)

You obviously have never heard of the Amish, or of those who make money offering carriage rides.

about a week ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

Attila Dimedici Re:The real issue is... (269 comments)

Other posters address the issue of repair-ability. But I will point out that while computers (and related devices, such as Ipods) may soon be something that people rarely, if ever, upgrade (and therefore there is no significant market for making them upgradeable), that does not address the issue the poster you replied to made.
That poster asked the question, how does a "boutique" vendor compete once they have turned their product into a commodity? They are going to discover they have the same problem which Schick and Gillette have. They both spent a lot of time and money convincing men to buy disposable razors. Then they discovered that it was hard to compete when a razor was something someone bought and threw away after a week or two. They are now spending large amounts of money to convince people to buy their razors with replaceable blades.

about a week ago
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How One Man Changed the Ecology of the Great Lakes With Salmon

Attila Dimedici Re:Wrong conclusion: not "unintended consequences" (118 comments)

That would make sense, except, why would you throw fish into a pond so that you can catch them again next year to eat them? It takes several years before a new born fish is large enough to eat. So, if you are stocking a pond you are either doing it with fish that are already large enough to eat (or close to it), or you are willing to wait a few years before you are expecting to catch them. BTW, if you want to suggest that your uncles would have thrown the ones they caught that were too small that year, to catch them again next year, they were taking a very large risk, since fish that small risk a significant fine if you are caught with them by the game commission.

about two weeks ago
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How One Man Changed the Ecology of the Great Lakes With Salmon

Attila Dimedici Re:Wrong conclusion: not "unintended consequences" (118 comments)

I would recommend that you reword your statement to "...were never intentionally stocked..."

The word "stocked" contains within it the connotation of being done intentionally. Since, the general theory about how fish get into a landlocked body of water is that from time to time some fish eggs stick to the legs of waterfowl and rinse off/hatch in a different body of water. I have never heard that referred to as being stocked.

about two weeks ago
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How One Man Changed the Ecology of the Great Lakes With Salmon

Attila Dimedici Re:Wrong conclusion: not "unintended consequences" (118 comments)

Well, yes, that is certainly a possible (and I think likely) explanation. My point is that the evidence suggests that the lack of diversity the poster I replied to is likely NOT the result of the massive stocking program which he postulated.

about two weeks ago
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How One Man Changed the Ecology of the Great Lakes With Salmon

Attila Dimedici Re:Wrong conclusion: not "unintended consequences" (118 comments)

You are missing my point. Some of these ponds were never stocked by anyone, yet they have fish in them. As I said, I know this because I know the people who built the ponds and continued to own the land the ponds were situated on when fish were found in them.

about two weeks ago
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Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

Attila Dimedici Re:Panic! (325 comments)

Why do we hear about incidents with drones but not about incidents with RC aircraft?

Because "drone" is the word which the news now uses to describe RC aircraft. The reason they do that is that "drone" sounds much scarier than "RC aircraft".

about two weeks ago
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How One Man Changed the Ecology of the Great Lakes With Salmon

Attila Dimedici Re:Wrong conclusion: not "unintended consequences" (118 comments)

because you can find the same fish in tiny, isolated ponds that don't show up except on detailed topographical maps. Even the neighbors seem scarcely aware of these ponds, but at some point maybe a hundred years ago the federal government planted fish there.

The problem with your theory is that I know for a fact that those same fish show up in ponds that did not exist a hundred years ago. For that matter I know that those fish show up in ponds that the federal government (nor any other organization) ever planted fish in. The reason I know this is that I know the people who built the ponds and owned the land they were situated on when fish started to appear in them. And yes, some of these ponds now have fish in them, even though no one put them there and there is no way for fish to swim there from elsewhere.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

Attila Dimedici Re:Who cares... (346 comments)

I'm sorry, but the only difference between a liberal and a totalitarian is that the liberal says, "You are free to do whatever you want, as long as what you want is what I think you should want."

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

Attila Dimedici Re:Hard to say (346 comments)

From other sources we learn that the staff resigned over the fact that he fired the top editor for the magazine by announcing his replacement on Gawker. This action followed bringing in a new CEO who acted in ways they interpreted as having no respect for the traditions of the organization (there is, by the way, a difference between deciding that traditions need to be changed and disrespecting those traditions).

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

Attila Dimedici Re:Who cares... (346 comments)

You have a good point. The U.S. considers those who espouse totalitarianism to be outside of the main stream. Once you enter into the realm of supporting totalitarianism, we no longer consider it worth our time to discuss how you disagree with someone else who supports totalitarianism. Whereas most of the rest of the world considers the political spectrum to run from totalitarianism on one end to totalitarianism on the other, with the distinction being how that totalitarianism is run and who runs it.

about two weeks ago
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DOJ Launches New Cybercrime Unit, Claims Privacy Top Priority

Attila Dimedici Re:So let me see if I get this right. (61 comments)

I see, you read that wrong. Privacy is one of their top priorities. The problem is that you think of privacy as a good thing. They, on the other hand, view privacy as a bad thing. So, privacy is a top priority for them. That is making sure that you have as little as they can possibly manage.

about two weeks ago
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Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU

Attila Dimedici Re:is it really bad in the first place? (342 comments)

The thing is that while people constantly talk about the problems with older drivers, the statistics indicate that it is young drivers who are more likely to be a problem than older drivers. My recollection is that older drivers are not statistically more likely to be in an accident than drivers in general. The fact of the matter is that most people, as the impairments that come with age start to affect their driving, begin to drive less and more carefully, until they stop entirely when they believe they can no longer do so safely.

about three weeks ago
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Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU

Attila Dimedici Re:is it really bad in the first place? (342 comments)

Marijuana distorts your depth perception and causes your brain to take longer to process information. Both of these things are significant impairments when driving, but generally not significant when playing a musical instrument.

about three weeks ago
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The Driverless Future: Buses, Not Taxis

Attila Dimedici Re:Buses are already better. (257 comments)

It all depends on how you value the various variables involved. The problems with all public transportation can be summed up with the following list:

  1. 1)One must get from where one is to where the bus stops
  2. 2)One must get from where the bus stops to where one is going
  3. 3)The bus is unlikely to take the most direct route from one's starting point to one's destination
  4. 4)The route from one's starting point to one's destination has a significant probability of involving multiple buses
  5. 5)One must plan one's trip around the bus schedule, even if that requires spending significant amounts of time where one has nothing constructive to do
  6. 6)Because of 3 and 4, a trip by bus is likely to take significantly longer than the same trip by automobile
    1. None of these mean that public transportation is a bad choice. For many people these things represent acceptable trade-offs for the problems with driving your own care. However, they do mean that public transportation is not better for everyone.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

Attila Dimedici Re:Federal law has an effect, too (413 comments)

Well, since John Dean no longer had access to the inner circles of Republican strategy after Nixon, how would he know? I actually know who John Dean was. There is no way that anyone who was doing what John Dean claimed the Republican strategists were doing would have talked to him about it after he spilled the beans on the plots he had been involved in while on the Nixon team.
You know it is interesting that you say you reached your conclusions by reading the WSJ. I reached my conclusions by listening to what various politicians said they believed and watching the actual results of their policies...and the results of the policies they said would lead to disaster. For example, Democrats said that welfare reform, passed by Republicans and signed by Bill Clinton (with a promise to "fix" it after he was re-elected) would result in single mothers and others dependent on the programs it effected ending up homeless and starving. In actuality, it turned out to lift large numbers out of poverty. Or for another example, just look at Detroit.
As to what happens when Democrats are in charge of the government, When Ronald Reagan was President median African American incomes rose by 84% as opposed to 68% for whites. Under Obama, the median income for African Americans has dropped 10.9%, while that for non-hispanic whites has dropped 3.6 %. I'm sorry, but when one looks at the results of the policies implemented by Democrats vs those implemented by Republicans one realizes that the Democrats are still the same as when they founded the KKK.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

Attila Dimedici Re:Federal law has an effect, too (413 comments)

So, you are saying that, by desegregating the schools in the south, the Republican Party under Richard Nixon was demonstrating its racism?
I would suggest that you examine the results of the policies of both the Republicans and the Democrats to determine which party is truly racist. Democrats pursue policies which trap minorities (and others) in poverty while increasing the wealth and power of those who already have it. When Democrats control the government, the gap between white and black income almost invariably widens. When republicans control the government it usually narrows.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

Attila Dimedici Re:Federal law has an effect, too (413 comments)

When did the Republican Party become the party of racism? Was it when they supplied the necessary votes to pass the Civil Rights Act by voting for it in higher percentages than the Democrats? Or was it when Richard Nixon implemented the "Southern Strategy" of actually enforcing the desegregation of schools, especially in the South?

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Poll shows that 75% prefer printer books to ebooks

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  about a year ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "In a new Rasmussen poll, 75% of American adults would rather read a book in traditional print format than in an ebook format. Only 15% prefer the ebook format (the other 10% are undecided). The latter is a drop from the 23% that preferred the ebook format in Rasmussen's 2011 poll. In addition, more say they buy their books from a brick and mortar store that say they buy books online (35% from brick and mortar, 27% online). I suspect that the 27% who buy online buy more books, but these results are interesting and suggest that the brick and mortar bookstore is not necessarily doomed."
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Ask Slashdot: What is the Best Email Encryption Gateway for a Small Business?

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "I am in the process of implementing a Email Encryption Gateway for my company. I checked with my various contacts in the industry and came away with Voltage as the best solution. However, as I have been working with them to implement a solution, I have been sadly disappointed by their lack of professionalism. Every time I think I am one question away from being ready to pull the trigger, I discover something that my contact with them had not mentioned before that has to be ironed out by the various stakeholders on my end. So, my question for Slashdot Users is this, what is your experience with implementing an Email Encryption Gateway for your company and who what solution would you recommend?"
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Reports of Mis-registered Votes In Early Voting

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "There have been several reports of voting machines changing for Mitt Romney to votes for Obama in several states that have Early Voting, Ohio, North Carolina, Kansas. So far, I have not seen any reports of voting machines doing the opposite. Is this just user error? Or happenstance? Or is this the case of someone fiddling with the calibration of the voting machines to favor their preferred candidate? If it is just random error, why are all the reports just showing votes being changed in one direction?
I am not ready to declare that this is voter fraud, but these are the types of stories that people need to pay attention to if voter fraud is to be stopped."

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It's a Small Galaxy After All

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "Word has just come out that Disney is buying LucasFilm for just over $4 billion and that it intends to make new Star Wars movies, ultimately a new one every two to three years.

I will let that news sink in for those of you hearing this for the first time.

Okay, I’m just thinking out loud here.

My first reaction was horror. I joked on twitter about “Herbie the Love Bug as R2D2 and “Lord Vader, we have received reports that the Apple Dumpling Gang is on the ice planet Hoth.”

But then I thought, “Who cares?” it’s not like Disney could do more to sully the franchise than Lucas already has. I mean, so what if Justin Timberlake plays Luke Skywalker and Johnny Depp plays C3P0? And what’s the big deal if Jar-Jar Binks gets his own sitcom on ABC?"

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Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "The U.S. Supreme Court is going to be hearing a case this fall that could overturn the "first-sale" doctrine for goods not manufactured in the U.S.. The back story (which I think has been discussed on slashdot before) is that a Thai student at Cornell discovered that textbooks were sold significantly cheaper in Thailand than in the U.S.. So, he set up a business where his family bought textbooks in Thailand, shipped them to him in the U.S., where he sold them on Ebay. John Wiley and Sons sued him for copyright infringement. A lower court ruled in favor of the publisher."
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Department of Justice Defends Warrantless GPS Tracking

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "The U.S. government told a federal appeals court Thursday that it still has the right to place Global Positioning System tracking devices on cars without obtaining a search warrant—despite a January Supreme Court ruling that the warrantless installation of such a device violated the Constitution. Another article on the subject points out that despite claiming that a warrant is not necessary the Justice Department has instructed agents and prosecutors to obtain one going forward. Is the Justice Department correct that since the Supreme Court did not explicitly say that this particular usage of GPS tracking without a warrant was unconstitutional they have leeway to do so? Or should the Justice Department be staying away from constitutional gray areas in order to be sure that they are not violating it?"
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House Appropriators want to limit public availability of pending bills

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "The House Appropriations Committee is considering a draft report that would forbid the Library of Congress to allow bulk downloads of bills pending before Congress. The Library of Congress currently has an online database called THOMAS (for Thomas Jefferson) that allows people to look up bills pending before Congress. The problem is that THOMAS is somewhat clunky and it is difficult to extract data from it. This draft report would forbid the Library of Congress from modernizing THOMAS until a task force reports back. I am sorry that I cannot write a better summary of these articles, but I think this is an important issue about improving the ability of people to understand what Congress is doing. I am pretty sure that the majority of people on slashdot agree that being able to better understand how the various bills being considered by Congress interact would be good for this country."
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Study Says That Beer Makes Men Smarter

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "Researchers at the University of Chicago say that men are better at solving brain teasers when they have had a couple of beers than when they are stone-cold sober. They discovered that at .07 blood alcohol level men were better problem solvers than when they were sober. Additionally, they found that men were better at solving problems in groups of three rather than in groups of two.
How many of you already knew this?"

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Court Ruling Opens Phones to Warrantless Searches

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "This article is rather alarmist about the way this ruling opens the door for warrantless searches of cellphones. However, the police in this case only went so far as to determine the phone numbers of the cellphones. They then used that information to obtain a warrant for the call histories of those phones. This does not seem overly intrusive to me and the judge in his ruling seems to me to say that deeper searches of the phone without a warrant would be inappropriate (although he does not draw a clear line as to what qualifies as a deeper search)."
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A Honda Civic Lesson

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici writes "Eric Peters makes the case that hybrids have been over-hyped. His argument is that in order to sell people on hybrid cars, automakers have emphasized the energy efficiency of hybrids in ideal conditions and failed to tell people that in most ordinary driving conditions they will not come close to meeting the numbers given. He refers to a recent case where an individual has chosen to forego membership in a class action law suit and has instead chosen to go to small claims court. He suggests that there is a significant chance that she will win there and that this will open up all of the manufacturers of hybrid vehicles to similar lawsuits.
The article was on a rather partisan website so I am curious as to what factors he has chosen to overemphasize to make his case? Or what factors he has chosen to ignore to the same end? I know that slashdot has a large contingent of hybrid and EV supporters who are well educated on the subject (as well as a large contingent of those who are not so well educated)."

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World-first hybrid shark found off Australia

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "This story talks about the discovery of the first known hybrid between two shark species. The article itself is an interesting hybrid of junk science views of both Global Warming and evolution. It implies that the sharks are planning ahead by "evolving" through interbreeding with another species of shark in order to deal with the changes brought on by global warming. More importantly, it completely ignores the question of whether they will be more capable of being equiped with lasers than either of the parent species"
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A World Without Schoolteachers

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "I came across a an article this morning that suggests that the Nook and the Kindle have changed things in such a way that schools are becoming obsolete. His premise is that the ideal way to teach children is by a tutor. Schools arose because those who were not well enough off to afford tutors pooled their resources to hire a tutor (teacher) for all of their children. Schools further developed because they offered the opportunity for society to indoctrinate children in the values society considered important. Until today, the indoctrination has become more important than the education.
The author's premise is that the Nook and the Kindle have allowed large amounts of written material on many different subjects to become accessible enough that parents can tutor their children at a price that just about everyone can afford."

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Google's Privacy Problem

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici writes "In this article, Daniel Gellenter talks about the various ways that Google uses to keep track of your location. He discusses an new Android app, Lattitude, that installs as part of a system update and how Google lets you know about it with an email that many people will overlook as spam. He then talks about how difficult it is to disable this app. He further talks about the other ways that Google tracks the location of Android users."
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Ask Slashdot: What do Slashdotters think of Herman

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici writes "What do slashdotters think of Herman Cain's candidacy for President since he is arguably one of us (he has a Masters Degree in Computer Science)? This would quite possibly make him the first Presidential candidate with an understanding of technical issues. I wonder, does anyone know what his position is on patent reforn?"
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Tilburg professor faked data in at least 30 academ

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici writes "A professor at Tilburg has been caught using fake data in over 30 scientific papers. His latest paper claimed that eating meat made people anto-social and selfish. Other academics were skeptical of his findings and raised doubts about his research. Upon investigation it was discovered that he had invented the data he used in many of his papers and there is question as to whether or not he used faked data in all of his papers. This is why so many people have trouble taking social and behavioral sciences seriously as science"
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Story claims that Slashdot is dying

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "This article says that slashdot is among once popular sites that are dead or dying. It lists 8 sites that it says are dead or dying. Certainly, Myspace is dead and some of the others are dying, but is slashdot? Is it just a matter of time until slashdot is no more? Is that why CmdTaco is leaving?"
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Massachusetts plans to keep track of where your c

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "Massachusetts wants to establish a database with the information gathered by license plate scanners installed in police cars. The scanners will scan license plates of every car the police car passes and transmit that information (along with the location) to a database that will be made available to various government agencies. The data wil be kept indefinitely."
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