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Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

Chelloveck How about an armband phone case? (229 comments)

Have you considered an armband-style case for your phone? It straps the phone to your body pretty much as if it were a watch. You'd have to remember to take your phone out of your pocket and put it in the case when you suit up, but I assume you'd have the same problem remembering to remove a watch and put it back on over your suit.

2 days ago
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"Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

Chelloveck Re:What are they going to do? (230 comments)

Good thing the attack wasn't in July, or we'd have no place to get a Slurpee(tm)!

2 days ago
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Chelloveck Re:News at 11.. (659 comments)

"And hillbillies want to be called 'Sons of the Soil,' but it ain't gonna happen."

2 days ago
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Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

Chelloveck Re:These idiots remain idiotic (387 comments)

That "shadow" system you speak of could in fact be the catalyst we've all been waiting for to push the majority into IPv6 space.

The majority would never even notice if thepiratebay.se, demonoid.pw, or any similar site were to vanish from the official root servers. The majority simply don't use such sites. The minority who do fall into two groups: People who casually download a show every now and then, and people who are hardcore into the whole pirating scene. The hardcore people will simply change DNS providers and use one the MPAA can't touch. And the casual downloaders would only be mildly inconvenienced until somebody puts out a DNS-switcher browser plugin that dynamically picks DNS providers the way FoxyProxy dynamically picks proxy servers.

That said, IPv6 probably would solve this problem. It solves a lot of problems that people don't actually have.

4 days ago
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

Chelloveck Re:A 10,000ft tether? (176 comments)

What would happen if the tension provided by the balloon's lift was removed, for whatever reason?

Why do you want to know? That sounds like the kind of question a terrorist might ask, sonny...

4 days ago
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Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

Chelloveck Re:Balls (176 comments)

BlimpNutz (tm)

4 days ago
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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

Chelloveck Re:As with all space missions: (198 comments)

A circumnavigation of Venus would test our ability to function in deep space, to enter a planet's gravitational influence, to create robust shielding for the higher radiation at Venus's relatively close proximity to the sun, to devise zero-g strategies for long-duration flights -- all of which would bolster us for an even longer journey to Mars.

We've already done most of those things. Function in deep space? We've sent many successful probes all over the place, adding a human payload doesn't change the physics. Enter a planet's gravitational influence? Ditto. Create robust shielding? We need to figure that one out before leaving the Earth-Moon system, and test it on a probe before committing people to it. Devise zero-g strategies for long duration flights? Been working on it ever since Skylab, no need to even leave Earth orbit to study the effects.

None of these things require or even benefit from using Venus as a target, nor does Venus make a good testbed for missions elsewhere. With the Moon or Mars, the problems on the surface are very similar to the problems on the journey: Low pressure, low gravity, exposure to radiation. With Venus the problems are exactly the opposite of those on the journey. High pressure, high heat, corrosive atmosphere. Venus is a pressure cooker full of sulfuric acid. That makes Venus a lousy analog of anywhere else in the solar system, with the possible exception of Io. If we're going to spend the effort on surviving Venus there has to be some reason for it that's unique to that planet. "Practice" ain't it.

4 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Chelloveck Re:Does the job still get done? (660 comments)

I actually think we're at the point where we can start to do this. There's enough wealth to give everyone a living-wage stipend without requiring that they have a job. Enough to cover food, shelter, clothing, and health care so no one ever has to worry about starving or freezing to death, but not enough for a lot of luxuries. To get more, a person needs to work at one of the jobs that automation can't yet do. As automation improves and is capable of taking over more, the line between "necessities" and "luxuries" will shift until, at the extreme when automation can do everything, everything will be classified as "necessity".

There will be people who just don't want to work and are satisfied with the basic stipend. That's fine. I think that most people want to do some sort of job, though. They may not want to the job they have, or may not want to work as much as they currently do, but in general I think people like to have a sense that they're doing something useful. People will find a way to make some luxury money with their hobbies and by doing the things they like to do.

But who will do the dirty work? Who will be the garbage collectors, the janitors, etc? I have a feeling that the current wage structure will be turned on its head. If no one has to do the dirty, dangerous jobs in order to eat we'll have to increase the wages to create the incentive. The person who cleans the toilets might end up getting paid more than the middle manager in the cushy office. This extremely socialist society might finally achieve the free-market ideal in the labor market by giving everyone the ability to say, "Screw it. I'm not getting paid enough for this bullshit."

Yeah, the devil's in the details. This scheme has a hell of a lot of details to work out, and even in the best case I can't see any politically feasible way to get from here to there. I anticipate that we're going to have a very nasty time of it as the pool of workers grows and the pool of jobs shrinks, until the culture grows out of the "Why should I work to pay for them to be lazy?" mentality.

4 days ago
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2014 Geek Gift Guide

Chelloveck Not again! (113 comments)

Dammit. Clicked on an interesting title to find that it's written by Bennett Hasselhoff. This is Slashdot's version of Rickrolling, isn't it? At least this one isn't proposing a convoluted solution to a problem nobody cares about.

about two weeks ago
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Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: The Science of Misheard Song Lyrics

Chelloveck I know those words, but that song makes no sense. (244 comments)

I had a bunch of third-generation copies of cassettes (yes, *cassettes*, dammit!) of Blue Oyster Cult albums back in high school. Never could figure out the damned lyrics. They *sounded* like "mistress of the salmon salt", and "the queenly flux, eternal light", but they couldn't be. Those phrases and most of the others I thought I heard made no sense. But try as I might I couldn't twist the sounds into anything coherent.

Then they invented the Internet, and I could look up the lyrics online.

Fuck.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Design DNA With New Shapes and Structures

Chelloveck Mobius! (47 comments)

I so want to see them make Mobius DNA!

about two weeks ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Chelloveck Re:From Experience (561 comments)

Someone who wants to be offended can find reason to with anything.

  • Barbie's a manager who employs male engineers: "This teaches girls that women need men to do their work for them!"
  • Barbie's an engineer working for a male manager: "This teaches girls that women will always be subservient to men!"
  • Barbie's a member of an all-female engineering team: "This teaches girls that women can't work on an equal footing with men!"
  • Barbie's a member of a racially, culturally, ethnically, and genderally diverse autonomous collective who share all the tasks equally: "This teaches girls that women can only be generalists and never excel in any particular area! Oh, and socialism!"

It sounds to me like the group who should *really* be offended are the computer engineers for being so badly misrepresented. Oh, and Barbie fans because it makes Barbie (not women in general, just this particular woman) look like a freaking idiot. (Going on the descriptions here; of course I haven't read the book. Who needs actual facts when we're surrounded by all this juicy hearsay and speculation?)

And yes, "genderally" is a perfectly cromulent word.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

Chelloveck Re:Call Comcast? (405 comments)

And say, exactly, "Hi, I have a business account. I can't email my customers who use Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail, apparently because those providers are blocking mail originating within Comcast's IP space. This needs to be fixed or your business account is worthless to me and I'll consider it a breach of contract." Work with them. The answer might be to move you to a different block of IP addresses. Or, it might be to forward mail through their servers. There is undoubtedly a solution.

Also, talk to Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail about being blocked. Maybe they can tell you what criteria you're hitting. It may not be Comcast's fault. (I know it seems incredible, but it is a possibility. Really.)

Lastly, if you can't get satisfaction from Comcast but there really is no alternative ISP that works for you, you can purchase email service from hundreds or thousands of different providers out there. Get an account somewhere else and set up your server to forward through theirs.

about a month ago
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Crowd-Sourced Experiment To Map All Human Skills

Chelloveck Re:neat idea, execution seems doomed to failure (70 comments)

I think the whole project is a performance art piece. It seems perfectly designed to stoke the biggest taxonomic flame war that has ever been seen since the day the MP3 "genre" tag was introduced.

about a month ago
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US Weather System and Satellite Network Hacked

Chelloveck We're doomed (76 comments)

Crap! The Chinese have hacked into the weather satellites. Now they control the CIA's Weather Dominator and will be able to make the polar vortex a permanent feature over North America! Oh well, at least this will expose "global warming" hoax that the Obama administration has been perpetrating with it. So much for giving this country the climate of his native Kenya.

about a month ago
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Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

Chelloveck Re:i feel bad for the parents (320 comments)

"You are not looking for me to write a list API, you're looking for me to write much higher level code. If the environment you are using don't provide a list API, you are in trouble."

Speaking as someone who often poses that sort of question in an interview, yes, I know. I sometimes even preface that portion with, "I know that no one should ever again have to write their own implementation of this, but..." No, in the job you're not going to be asked to write elementary data structure code. It's just a tractable problem which can be done in the amount of time available, and makes a good starting point from which to discuss code complexity, time/space tradeoffs, and similar subjects which you *will* need to know in order to do this job.

And you would be amazed at the number of candidates who can't manage even the simple stuff. No, I don't need someone who can write yet another linked-list traversal. I need someone who can do much more difficult things! If they can't even do the sophomore-level stuff then there's no need for either of us to waste any more time. (Seriously, I've been to on-campus career fairs where by the end of the day I just want to tell people, "Pick a programming language. Any language. Write 'Hello, world'." Because I've come across a number of soon-to-graduate CS majors who couldn't even do *that*. I am not exaggerating.)

about a month ago
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New Book Argues Automation Is Making Software Developers Less Capable

Chelloveck Re:Sad.... (212 comments)

Assembly? That's for you mollycoddled youngsters. You don't know how to really program until you've entered raw machine code via toggle switches on the front panel of a CPU you built yourself out of nothing but vacuum tubes and a spool of wire. And don't get me started on macro assemblers! You may as well be using COBOL if you need training wheels that big.

about a month ago
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When We Don't Like the Solution, We Deny the Problem

Chelloveck This research brought to you by... (282 comments)

This research brought to you by the letter "Duh!" and a grant from the Really Freaking Obvious foundation.

I suppose it's good to have a study to back up the obvious. It's just that, according to the study, the people most in need of convincing are exactly the same people who are going to most vigorously deny the validity of the study.

about a month and a half ago
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Net Neutrality Alone Won't Solve ISP Throttling Abuse, Here's Why

Chelloveck Re:Neutrality should be about source and destinati (200 comments)

Right. I don't think many people would argue with QoS policies being applied uniformly across all providers of similar services. Having all video set to a different QoS than all email isn't a problem. Having one video provider set at high priority and another one set at low is a problem.

about a month and a half ago
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Suspected Ebola carriers in the U.S. ...

Chelloveck Re:Zombie Apocalypse (349 comments)

Came here to say just this. And now we know why the CDC was staging zombie apocalypse drills last year. THEY KNEW!

about 2 months ago

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