New Computer Model Predicts Impact of Yellowstone Volcano Eruption
I just heard Phil Plait talking about coronal mass ejections wiping out satellites and the power grid, and possibly small electronics as well. That's my current favorite non-asteroid doomsday scenario. No direct danger to life or limb, it just takes out everything that makes modern civilization work. Hilarity ensues.
New Nigerian ID Card Includes Prepay MasterCard Wallet
When buying something expensive (like a home solar array) the salesman wants a credit check up front to know that you actually have some chance of paying for it. If you can't afford it he's not going to waste his time talking to you. If you can afford more he knows to push hard for an upsell. It's a shitty way of doing business, but that's how it's done.
Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"
The world's going to perish in fire when we finally get full adoption of IPv666.
Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?
I have both Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, and I prefer Apples to Apples. The gameplay of both is essentially the same but CAH derives most of its humor from being as scatological, gross, and kinky as possible. I understand why that appeals to people, I just generally prefer the tamer "good clean fun" version that can be played with kids and grandparents.
Or you can mix the two and play Apples Against Humanity.
California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels
It's such a shame that humanity lost both electrical fuse and seatbelt technologies sometime between the 21st and 23rd centuries.
Robo Brain Project Wants To Turn the Internet Into a Robotic Hivemind
Is it just me, or does it seem like a bad idea for an artificial intelligence project's web site to so prominently feature graphics with circles labeled "HAL"?
Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation
The article is pointless. Okay, Google is trying to replace the current "controlled" road test with a simulator. The article goes on to say how wonderful simulators are. So what? It says *nothing* about the current regulations. What are they intended to test? Are they done once per model? For every firmware revision? Every individual vehicle? Are they meant to be fully exhaustive or are they more on the order of the driving test a person must take to get a license? Without knowing what the current tests are there's no way to judge whether a simulator is an adequate substitution.
Pure personal speculation: I suspect that the main goal of the testing requirement is to give a warm fuzzy feeling to a non-technical person. It lets them see a tangible object responding to tangible threats. It probably puts the car through a series of common scenarios and some uncommon but easily imagined dangers, so the non-technical human can see the car dodge obstacles and walk away confident that the robot responds like a human would. If that's the case, a simulator will never be sufficient since it's not really a test of the car's performance, but a test of the human's confidence in the car.
BBC and FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite
Don't worry, I'm sure it will regenerate soon enough.
Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software
For complex uses... it depends on the niche. Certainly for software development, Linux wins for basically everything except native and .NET Windows apps. For other uses, I will grant you, the professional-grade applications are not available (even if they run in Wine). But I'm not an artist. I'm a developer.
I agree that you should use whatever OS runs the apps you need. Here's some anecdotal evidence to throw into the discussion:
I work in a software shop with probably 100-200 developers. Our software runs on Linux, but on specialized hardware so far removed from the desktop that you might as well consider it an embedded system. Compilation and debugging is all done on the target machines. Some people do their edits on the target machine, others prefer to edit locally and copy to the target to compile. We have no IDE and no particular reliance on office suites or anything like that. As long as you have an ssh client you're golden.
So, the choice of desktop OS has absolutely no bearing on development here. Everyone gets a laptop. You have your choice of Apple or Dell hardware (both with pretty similar specs) and any OS you want. Of the entire population of developers, roughly 75% use Macs with OSX; 20% use Dell hardware with Linux or (Open|Free|Net)BSD; and 5% use Dell hardware with Windows.
There you have it. For one small sampling of developers where the desktop machine is purely personal preference, the desktop environment of choice is OSX.
News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban
If you approve of something, then you cannot tolerate it because tolerance implies disapproval. It's part of the definition.
tolerate: allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that one does not necessarily like or agree with without interference
It's not our fault that you can't read a dictionary, or refuse to accept the meanings of words. Look inward.
Look inward yourself. You missed a very important word in that definition: "necessarily". The definition says that it's not necessary to like or agree with something in order to tolerate it. Your approval is not needed to tolerate something, but it's not prohibited either.
After all, it's not our fault that you can't read a dictionary, or refuse to accept the meanings of words.
News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban
When you ask for meaningful evidence of misogyny on slashdot (or wider society) you only underscore your blindness to the problem. You shouldn't need anyone to point out examples, because an intelligent person would be able to find a discussion and skim it.
Wow, did you really just say that? Because that sounds exactly like the stereotypical line used by a woman when she is mad at her boyfriend/husband: "I shouldn't have to tell you why I'm mad! You should know why I'm mad!"
The response, "I shouldn't have to tell you the problem, you should already recognize the problem." never helps advance the discussion. If you don't tell someone what's wrong and why it's a problem how can you ever expect them to change their behavior?
Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?
Well of course they sound the same. That just proves that your speakers are crappy. You need audiophile speakers, a tube amp, monster cable, and a wooden volume knob to really appreciate the difference. Go buy all that, then come back and tell me you can't hear the difference. And if that doesn't work, burn the clips to a CD and color the edge with a green marker. That'll do it for sure.
Bezos-Owned Washington Post Embeds Amazon Buy-It-Now Buttons Mid-sentence
It's not different. I find the ticker thing mighty annoying, too.
Email Is Not Going Anywhere
You really have to admire the cojones on the cell providers. They take the part of the service that costs them the absolute least to provide and charge a premium for it. They somehow managed to convince the public that a 140-byte, non-realtime, unidirectional text message is as valuable as a minute of 8000 bps bi-directional realtime voice data. Brilliant, gentlemen, brilliant. *slow clap*
Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone
I don't mind shooting up some virtual people, I want to be as far away from real war as I possibly can be.
Yes, as an adult, you realize that. But would you have realized it as a child? Probably not, if the only experience you had with guns and death was video-game based.
I was a child in the 70s. We didn't have video games then, but we did have nasty brutish violent cartoons. We had concerned citizen groups whining "Think of the children!" right and left, but I don't remember anybody getting an anvil dropped on them because they saw it in a cartoon.
Games are just the modern replacement for cartoons in the same tired argument. Give kids some credit. They really can tell fantasy apart from reality.
Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp; How Would You Go About It?
Sure as hell doesn't serve the end-users.
Murder Suspect Asked Siri Where To Hide a Dead Body
"We find the defendant not guilty, your honor, on the grounds that the prosecutor is a dipshit."
Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?
Or, it's a test. My wife sometimes needs to hire clerical workers. The help-wanted ad she posts end with "Fax a resume to...". I looked at the ad and said, "Fax? Who has a fax machine any more? You should give them an email address!" She says no, the instruction to fax is intentional. She wants someone who can A) follow directions; and B) is resourceful enough to find a fax machine. This is not a high barrier to entry; think of it as the FizzBuzz of office help. In fact, that's exactly what it is, a way to weed out the absolute dregs before you start.
I'm not saying that filling out an awkward online form is necessarily a test for a tech job, but it may be... Can you follow directions? Can you restate your prior job responsibilities in a format other than your prepared resume? And, let's face it, they're asking you to do the data entry of basic information such as name, address, phone, etc. Key-punch operators are a thing of the past. Nobody's paying people to copy hand-written information off of paper and into the database anymore. If you're such a prima donna that you won't fill out the form, why should I even consider hiring you? Asking for a mailed application simply on the grounds that "your web site sucks" (even if it's true) only makes you look conceited and arrogant.
(Full disclaimer: My company's online job application sucks. It's not a test, it's just a poor purchasing decision that was made by a different department. I've argued to make it better. Still, it's not impossible to get through as evidenced by the fact that we have people successfully applying every day. If you can't or won't make the effort you're probably not someone I'm going to want to work with anyway.)
Wiring Programmers To Prevent Buggy Code
The story has a good premise: Can we measure the programmer's emotional and cognitive states to predict when they're more likely to produce buggy code? That's a fair question. Where it loses it is when it jumps from that to the assumption that difficulty (and thus concentration) is the mental state in which bugs are produced. Hopefully that was just a case of the reporter missing the point.
Hotel Chain Plans Phone-Based Check-in and Room Access
Never say "the risks seem obvious." They're not, obviously -- demonstrated by the fact that at least one company thinks it's a good idea. So why don't you state what you think is obvious and we'll have something discuss?
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