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!



Toyota Sudden Acceleration Is Driver Error

Avalain Re:Bandwagon effect (930 comments)

Notice that all the problems happened at around the same time. It's not a constant failure rate.

It's entirely possible that a couple of drivers did have a stuck throttle due to a floor mat or other issue. This made the news. Then a bunch of other people thought that this would be a great way to make money on a class action lawsuit by faking the same problem. It doesn't have to be a defect or bad drivers, just a bandwagon effect of people trying to scam money in tough times.

It doesn't even have to be people who are trying to scam the system. If, for example, a young, relatively inexperienced driver (read: child) borrows a car from another driver (read: parent) and crashes it because they hit the gas instead of the brake, well, the perfect excuse is just sitting there in the news. Why wouldn't they jump on a chance to shift the blame?

more than 4 years ago

Dragon Age 2 Announced

Avalain Re:Still waiting on the BioWare / Illusion merger. (183 comments)

I side with more temporal consequences in my gaming like coming back to find everyone dead because I took to much time.

Same here. In fact, this is the reason that I tend to stick to the main storyline. I mean, here you are, racing the clock to get somewhere before the bad guys destroy the world, but instead of heading there directly you decide to take some time off and help an old lady get rid of rats in her basement. This really just kills the feeling that your character is part of the world with real world constraints. As an example, I'd love if after Lothering you only had time to go to 3 of the 5 next locations before the other ones were overrun.

more than 4 years ago

Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums

Avalain Re:I see you, You see me (833 comments)

Well, not sure about everyone else, but the moderators and CMs are going to be going by their real names.

more than 4 years ago

Apple Announces iPhone 4

Avalain Re:I don't want it, it's human blood stained (1184 comments)

You'd better stop buying almost every single product in every single store then since nearly all of it is made in China or some other country with similarly low wages. I don't know how anyone can be shocked about Chinese workers getting paid a low wage, it's very common knowledge & the reason everything is made there in the first place. Are you swearing off all Chinese made products? If not you are a hypocrite. Foxconn also makes non-Apple devices & products. Are you going to swear off buying these too?

Extending this a bit, if you don't swear off all Chinese made products you're a hypocrite, but if you do swear off all Chinese made products you are effectively doing your part to weaken the Chinese economy which of course keeps those wages low and people poor. 113 euros a month is pitifully small to us, but in China it's (probably) a living wage. No they can't afford much in the way of luxuries, but they're doing much better WITH that job than without a job at all. In fact, all of the Chinese made products and companies like Foxconn are actually helping to create the largest middle class in China in modern history.

more than 4 years ago

Google PAC-MAN Cost 4.8M Person-Hours

Avalain Re:Competition (332 comments)

Well, the whole point was that if you tell someone to draw a "something"-man, they will be more likely to draw a male than female. Perhaps "fireman" was a bad example. Mailman is maybe a better choice since it is a job performed much more often by women. In this case it makes sense to choose a name that is more politically correct. You know, like Personman.

more than 4 years ago

"Doomsday Clock" Moves Away From Midnight

Avalain Re:Second Thought (287 comments)

Nah, I think it should be moved to about 6 minutes to Noon.

more than 4 years ago

US DOJ Says Kindle In Classroom Hurts Blind Students

Avalain Re:Amazon should love this precedent (492 comments)

Well, that isn't really a fair comparison. The tape player only has 5 static buttons that the blind person has to learn which are easy to remember and switching tapes can be done using touch only. I could run a tape player as a child with my eyes closed. There was no on-screen menu and the navigational controls were simply fast forward and rewind. In fact, a walkman was so simple that someone could swap tapes with one hand without taking it out of their jacket pocket.

The Kindle requires more than that. Context specific buttons and a menu screen mean that a blind person would need a lot of practice before they would be able to navigate around on one, if they could even manage at all.

more than 4 years ago

US DOJ Says Kindle In Classroom Hurts Blind Students

Avalain Re:Amazon should love this precedent (492 comments)

And from TFA...

"he Kindle DX has the capability to convert text to synthesized speech, but the device does not include text-to-speech functionality for its menu and navigational controls, the DOJ said in a press release. "

more than 4 years ago

Has a Decade of .NET Delivered On Microsoft's Promises?

Avalain Re:Java Is Victorious (558 comments)

Well, actually it's YOUR faked comparison. You said "Go to or and do a search on Java/J2EE/JEE versus .NET/C#.". So he did. He's being a bit tongue-in-cheek and obviously you missed it.

more than 4 years ago

EU Accepts Microsoft's Browser Choice Promise

Avalain Re:Finally! (336 comments)

Well, all users that don't care or don't understand are going to pick one of the first 5 browsers. The other 7 are going to be initially hidden and no one who doesn't care is going to bother scrolling down. (Ok, "no one" is a little strong. I'm sure there are some people who will do it).

Actually, I have a feeling most of the users who don't know what they're doing will look for "Internet" and find "Microsoft INTERNET Explorer".

more than 4 years ago

Dad Delivers Baby Using Wiki

Avalain Re:A geeks geek... (249 comments)

...and a mullet.

What does your hair style choice have to do with anything?

more than 4 years ago

Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought

Avalain Re:So many extinction level events yet we linger (451 comments)

Well, first of all the only events that you listed which could potentially make the human race extinct is the meteor(ite) and gamma ray burst. All of the other ones will have major consequences but aren't going to destroy human life on the planet.

the Yellowstone volcano is fascinating; it hasn't exploded for 640000 years and, perhaps coincidentally, it normally erupts every...640000 years. So we're due for another one at anytime. It's pretty scary to think about except that it could be off by 10-20 thousand years. So it could blow up tomorrow (it's already showing warning signs) or it could be another 10000 years. That's about twice as long as all recorded human history which means we'll have plenty of time to "become spacefaring people".

A large enough impact event could certainly destroy life as we know it. The last one was 65 million years ago (ok, it's up to debate if the K-T was because of a meteorite, but let's say it is for the sake of argument). There is a huge span of time between these events. In fact, it's such a large amount of time hardly anyone can really comprehend how long that really is.

As for a grb, well, the chances of one originating close enough to us and being pointed in our direction are also very very low. They estimate we should get one once every billion years or so. Again, that is a long time.

So really, what is the point of living in fear? It may happen tomorrow and we don't have time to do anything about it anyways. In this case hiding in your basement isn't really going to help and neither is any amount of money we spend on space travel. It's more likely that something as monumental as this is going to hit us anywhere between the next 10000 to tens of millions of years from now. Space travel IS advancing, albeit slowly when compared to a normal human lifespan. In 10000 years, though? I think we'll get off the planet in time.

more than 4 years ago

Between last big computer upgrade and the next ...

Avalain Re:The option exists (408 comments)

I am, and I did!

more than 4 years ago

Computer Games and Traditional CS Courses

Avalain Re:I program games. (173 comments)

I'm a CS university grad and even though I did a database course in school, the practical database knowledge I acquired in that course was almost non-existent. I only realized how little I actually knew when I looked back at how much I learned in my first 3 months of work.

more than 4 years ago

Aging Nuclear Stockpile Good For Decades To Come

Avalain Re:Easy solution (160 comments)

I was thinking we could give them our nukes so that they can fix them up for us.

more than 4 years ago

Calling B.S. On Amazon's Taxation Arguments

Avalain Re:Taxes: a good thing? (762 comments)

Well, that was a good debate but these posts are just getting too long for me to keep up. I guess I'll just add a couple small things.

I grew up in areas where there are effectively no police presense, and everything WAS the same.

So did you grew up here? I can't really believe we're still arguing this point. If police were truly useless then the jails would be empty. They aren't. Maybe the police aren't as effective as you feel they should be. Maybe you truly think that everyone can actually defend themselves from everything ranging from murder to fraud. I'm pretty sure you will never change your mind no matter what anyone says. It doesn't really matter, though, since most of the rest of the world throughout human history disagrees with you. So the police will still be around to give us speeding tickets and take our police reports before promptly ignoring them.

Oh, and how does wealth centralization happen? Oh right, big goverment corrupted by big money.

There was wealth centralization in post-industrialized Britain where the government took a very hands off approach. It's not caused by big government corrupted by big money. It's big money being corrupted and wanting more big money. Ok, here's an example of what you're saying. Big money corrupts the government and forces them to get rid of the BBB. So you say wouldn't it have been better if we got rid of the BBB so that Big money isn't able to corrupt the government and remove it?

As for the rest of your posts, I'm fairly certain that nothing will change your mind on anything and so I'm just going to give up.

more than 4 years ago

Calling B.S. On Amazon's Taxation Arguments

Avalain Re:Taxes: a good thing? (762 comments)

Yes, because the vast majority of people AREN'T going to be breaking in. Most people are honest. And I never said I never needed them, I said they were useless. Big difference. They didn't stop vandelism in the neighborhood. They didn't stop theft. They didn't stop an assult in a park nearby. And what do they say when they get a report? "Sorry, there's not much we cna do." But they can pull you over for speeding.

I'll go one further for you and mention that Police are not legally responsible for stopping crime. So they don't stop a theft. However, they do catch the person (ok, obviously not all the time) and put them in jail so that they don't steal something else, which limits the number of thefts. Sure, the vast majority of of people are not going to be breaking in. But if there was nothing stopping someone from breaking in then those select few could break into every house in the neighborhood in a relatively short period of time. Wait. So there is a big difference between "never needing them" and "useless"? Isn't needing something that is useless an oxymoron? Your problem is that you're thinking like everything would stay exactly the same without some sort of policing presence.

So let the parents pay for eduction. The problem now is that since almost everyone has a HS diploma, its worthless. The same is rapidly becoming true for college degrees. Of course, I really have to question, what right does anyone have to reproduce when they can't take care of their child properly? Seriously, if parents can't afford it, why are they allowed to have kids in the first place? I dont' think they are.

I can't really argue with people having the right to reproduce, but this isn't a realistic solution. You could never restrict peoples' right to reproduce without causing a riot. Then again, what right does a person have to live if they can't afford to eat? A HS diploma could be worthless in terms of competing for a job, sure. But allowing everyone to go to high school isn't. Plus, on a national scale an educated workforce is a large bonus. Remove education for anyone but the rich and see how many drooling retards you will suddenly have to deal with.

Its not my fault people are born poor; its their parents fault. Notice though I didn't say get rid of all of government, just the useless parts (which are quite a bit). People should know how to defend themselves, not be relying on a 3rd party THAT WON'T BE ABLE TO PREVENT IT ANYWAY. Just so you know, I'm not rich, I have ONE car, ONE small house, and because a third of may pay is taken to pay for drooling retards that would rather sit on their ass and collect welfare, MY LIFE IS MORE DIFFICULT. I know it may be hard for you to believe, but normal people that are making ends meet now are quickly being squeezed out by people like you, that think others are entitled to benifit from MY WORK. Oh, and you're not a physcologist, so please go fuck yourself. At the end of the day, everyone acts in their own self-interest. People work to make themselves happy, and there's nothing wrong with that. Nobody would give to charity if it caused them some kind of physical pain. In other words, everyone's actions are inhertently selfish.

Yes, I know you didn't want to get rid of all government. Just the parts that don't concern you. No, it's not your fault that people are poor. It's their parents. And the parents before, and the parents before them. It's not your fault that someone is given a crappy lot in life with little chance to succeed. People should know how to defend themselves? How, exactly? Should everyone be packing guns? Because a self-defense class isn't going to help my wife stand up to a 230lb guy. Glad to hear that you only have ONE small house and ONE car. Same with me. In fact, I probably also pay a larger percent in taxes than you do since I don't live in the US; but lets just assume it's roughly equal.

You think the middle class is being squeezed out by the poor? I'm going to assume you think I'm poor. Or by "people like me" you mean people who lazy and live off welfare so that they don't have to work? Either way I'd have to disagree. First, people on welfare don't make a lot of money. I'm actually ok with this because there just isn't a better system (or at least no one has come up with one). If you give too much welfare people will STOP WORKING. But if you give too little there's no point to giving any at all because they will just starve to death anyway. If you give none, though, a lot of people would be in a lot of trouble and not because they're lazy. Things happen to people. Life sucks. Imagine the family of 4 with a single income. Then the wage earner is killed in an accident and didn't have life insurance. That family is going to need a buffer before they can get back on their feet. Second, I'd say that salaries not keeping up with inflation and wealth centralization have more to do with the middle class being squeezed out.

Yes, people are inherently selfish. That's why so many government programs exist. It's a required check and balance to man's selfish nature. (uh...this sounds super lame but hopefully it gets the point across)

Of course I assume that you wouldn't help someone out if given a choice. Your very first comment is "No, and I don't really care about the other citizens... just an FYI.". You follow this up by saying fuck the school children who are starving. Where the hell do you live if the government comes with guns to collect your taxes?

It really bothers me that people like you can't see the long term benefits less government would make. I'd have more money, as would you, which means everyone has more disposable income, leading to a stronger economy where people CAN make it, where they CAN AFFORD to pay for thier own kids education. I'd donate more if I had more disposible income, but I don't, because after all the taxes, there really isn't much left. And yes, some people will be stupid and end up at the bottom. I'm ok with that... we still need ditchdiggers too, after all.

You'd donate more if you had more disposable income? FANTASTIC! Obviously I was wrong about you. I have a question, though. Have you ever had a raise or moved to a higher paying job? If so, what did you do with the extra money? Did you donate more? If the answer is 'yes' then that's great. For most people the answer is 'no' (even for me to tell the truth). You said it yourself. People are selfish. They aren't going to donate more. They are going to spend more.

Ok, so less government means that you pay less taxes, so you make more money. Same with me. But that does not mean everyone has more disposable income. It means that certain people will have more disposable income, but what about everyone else? Not everyone is in your situation. Maybe let's look at this on a larger scale. Case in point: why didn't the government let the banking industry collapse? The government basically took all the taxpayers money and gave it to companies who were too stupid and greedy to invest well. Why not just give all the taxpayers back that money and let the banks collapse? That would mean you everyone would have more money, right? Except that they DID let the banks collapse back in 1929 and somehow people didn't do so well.

more than 4 years ago

Bing Gains 10% Marketshare

Avalain Re:I'm not sure I believe those numbers (514 comments)

You can't really compare traffic source percents in to how many users actually use what search engines. Your site may and most likely does rank differently in each search engine, and like you said the democracy of your visitors also affects.

You mean demography, right?

more than 4 years ago

Engineered Bacteria Glows To Reveal Land Mines

Avalain Re:Pitch (248 comments)

Except that it doesn't really work that way. Plus, if you DID want to think about it that way you can say the bacteria has already realized that if it glows in the presence of explosives then we will grow large batches of the stuff to spray on the ground. If it decides not to grow then we will just destroy it and make another batch.

more than 4 years ago

Total number of conventional, paid positions I've held:

Avalain Re:Define "Conventional" (357 comments)

And yet you're still going to answer 2-5 because after having 5 different careers you wouldn't consider that paper route you did as a 12 year old as "conventional".

I'm not sure about the idea of more than 5 jobs being unstable. I heard somewhere (yes, citation needed) that the average person has 7 different careers in their lifetime. Of course, the average person hasn't lived their whole lifetime yet, which would drop the number of careers down to the 2-5 range. Also, I think there is also a general sliding rule to the concept of a "conventional" job. You wouldn't consider small jobs that you did for 6 months 30 years ago, but those same jobs would be considered conventional to someone who is 20.

more than 4 years ago


Avalain hasn't submitted any stories.


Avalain 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>