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!



Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

Dahan Re:$230 (529 comments)

I thought I recalled it being built into firefox.

It is: Tools -> Add-ons, Plugins page, change the Shockwave Flash plugin to "Ask to activate". You can also configure per-host exceptions by clicking the globe/padlock icon in the address bar -> More Information -> Permissions tab.


Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's

Dahan Re:Remember Microsoft Windows? (195 comments)

It used the FreeBSD networking code. This doesn't mean windows is fast and it's sort of specious. BSD has tricks in the Kernel to make I/O faster that pretty much anything else.

No it didn't. A few utilities that nobody used (e.g., the commandline ftp.exe, which doesn't even support PASV mode) were ported from BSD (not even FreeBSD), but the TCP/IP stack in Windows was not from BSD.

about two weeks ago

"BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

Dahan Re:Still better than Firewire (205 comments)

>not using a computer that has an IOMMU


about three weeks ago

Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Dahan Re:Hmm (299 comments)

If the amount of radiation didn't even kill the guy, it sounds like razing the building and securely storing all the towels that touched him is a bit overkill.

...And by "a bit" I mean the other thing.

Perhaps it didn't kill the guy because the substance that was emitting the radiation was transferred from his body into the towels that touched him?

about a month and a half ago

Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Dahan Re:Safety margins (299 comments)

Yes but they also put a strong odor in it. So 1 ppm smells really bad, you would be gagging at 500 ppm.

Why would anyone put a strong odor in benzene? I've never heard of that being done. Benzene already has an odor--a fairly nice one, actually.

about a month and a half ago

Apple Kills Aperture, Says New Photos App Will Replace It

Dahan Re: Aperture-specific plugins... (214 comments)

the "cloud" version of Photoshop is out of the question, because I sometimes work in the field where there is no internet.

"Cloud" is just a marketing term that can mean a wide variety of things. In the case of Adobe Creative Cloud, it means you're licensed on a subscription basis, and need to connect to Adobe's servers periodically to verify that your subscription is still active. It doesn't mean you run Photoshop in a web browser--it's still installed on your hard drive like traditional programs. As the FAQ says, "No, the desktop applications in Creative Cloud, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, are installed directly on your computer, so you donâ(TM)t need an ongoing Internet connection to use them."

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

Dahan Re:Not a problem (146 comments)

I don't know why you had such a problem. There are many GSM carriers that offer SIM/pre-pay, and have for as long as I can recall.

Agreed. He doesn't say exactly when his last trip to the US was, but AT&T and T-Mobile had prepaid SIMs "a few years ago". I don't know if there are any airport shops that sell them (seems like there would be), but as you say, they're readily available in various stores outside the airport.

However, AT&T's prepaid plans suck for tourists... if you have a smartphone (and seeing that this is /., I bet OP does), AT&T will make you get a "smartphone" plan, which starts at $25 for a month of service, and doesn't actually include any data--that's an extra $5 for a measly 50MB. T-Mobile has prepaid plans that I think would work better for a short-term visitor, e.g., perhaps their $3/day unlimited plan.

But I think the best prepaid plans in the US for visitors come from "MVNO"s--basically companies that resell access to either AT&T's or T-Mobile's network, such as Airvoice or Ultra. Unfortunately, their SIMs tend not to be available in actual physical stores, which makes buying their service impractical for a visitor.

about 2 months ago

San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

Dahan Re:Levi stadium situation (404 comments)

Despite sounding like a good idea, apparently in real life the margin on parking is so low that you can't really do it on a part time basis and make it worth your while. It's not that they are doing it wrong, their business model is to simply privatize the profit and socializing the liability and risks (e.g. city maintenance and self-insurance costs) not unlike a big-bad-bank...

FWIW, most of the office buildings around the Texas Rangers baseball stadium in Arlington turn their lots into pay parking on game days. (And for games at the Cowboys football stadium too, even though that's a bit of a longer walk from the office buildings).

about 2 months ago

IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

Dahan Re:Massive conspiracy (465 comments)

You should also, you know, READ the original TIGTA report, too. It is very enlightening, even with its admitted flaws. For example, the targeting was still a very small part of the total applications, and the "Tea Party" targeting was also less than a third of all targeted applications.

Read it already, and you're misstating what it says. You seem to be referring to Figure 4 on page 8--that's showing that of the applications that went for special review, about 1/3 looked like they were from "Tea Party" groups. That doesn't really say too much about whether Tea Party groups were targeted or not; of course there will be other applications that look borderline and need more review. What does show that they were targeted is that in a random sample of all applications, all Tea Party-looking groups were selected for special review. In other words, if you're not a Tea Party group, you only get special review if there's something worth reviewing. But if you are a Tea Party group, you're definitely getting reviewed. If you had read the report, you would have seen that it specifically mentions that the IRS made the same argument you made, and the report refutes that argument:

Figure 4 shows that approximately one-third of the applications identified for processing by the team of specialists included Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names, while the remainder did not. According to the Director, Rulings and Agreements, the fact that the team of specialists worked applications that did not involve the Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 groups demonstrated that the IRS was not politically biased in its identification of applications for processing by the team of specialists. While the team of specialists reviewed applications from a variety of organizations, we determined during our reviews of statistical samples of I.R.C. 501(c)(4) tax-exempt applications that all cases with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were forwarded to the team of specialists.

about 2 months ago

Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

Dahan Re:So when will the taxi drivers start protesting? (583 comments)

The tips are generally shared amongst some of the staff.... that portion of the staff makes shit wage, minimum wage law doesn't apply to them.

No, minimum wage law does apply to them: "If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference."

It's actually most white-collar employees (e.g., software developers such as myself) who are exempt from the minimum wage laws (and overtime too)... see this page for the full list of exempt employees.

about 3 months ago

Cox Promises National Gigabit Rollout; Starting With Phoenix, Las Vegas, Omaha

Dahan Re:Don't trust the Wall Street Journal (129 comments)

Are there any of the major companies that aren't doing Fiber to the Press Release? Karl Bode has a hateboner for AT&T, but if you look at it objectively, Google's doing the same thing. Fiber in Austin! But where and when? Not here, and not right now--probably not for another year. Unlike AT&T's so-called FTTPR, which is currently available in the Austin suburb I live in.

about 3 months ago

US Navy Develops World's Worst E-reader

Dahan CmdrTaco says (249 comments)

No wireless. Less space than a Kindle. Lame.

about 3 months ago

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Loses Deep Sea Vehicle

Dahan Re:Either... (93 comments)

Put 1090 atmospheres or add 1125 Kg/cm^2... Not everyone is using an archaic unit system. Actually, only very few are...

Pretty sure kg/cm^2 is even more archaic than psi. Has that been in common use past the 1970s? The current newfangled unit of pressure is the pascal, which is N/m^2.

about 3 months ago

RightsCorp To Bring Its Controversial Copyright Protection Tactics To Europe

Dahan Re:RightsCorp (196 comments)

But yes, restaurant wait staff often don't even get the minimum wage. Disgusting, isn't it?

They do in the US. If their wages plus tips ends up being less than the minimum wage, federal law requires that their employer pay the difference, so that they end up getting the minimum wage.

about 3 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Dahan Re:No, thank you. (865 comments)

This. My wife's car is completely keyless. She has to have the fob to open the doors or turn it on. This past winter she came out of work and couldn't get into her car let alone turn it on because the battery in her fob died. Fortunately it was at work and she had a warm place to go back to and call me to bring her the spare fob. If she had been somewhere without such recourse when it was -15 wind chill she very well could have died.

My Chevy Volt has keyless entry, remote start, and a keyless start option, but it still has a physical key. If the battery in the Fob dies I can still get in it. My old Chevy Impala I kept a spare key in my wallet. It wouldn't start it, but would open the door or trunk in case I locked the keys in the car or I could get to the emergency supplies I kept in the trunk.

You name the model car you have, and your old one. Why don't you name the one your wife has that's apparently a deathtrap in the winter?

Because if we knew, we'd link to the documentation showing that there is in fact a physical key inside the fob that can be used to unlock the door.

about 4 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Dahan Re:I don't like the control it takes away from you (865 comments)

Q: How do you turn the car off in an emergency - e.g. stuck accelerator pedal?
A: You can't just press start/stop, as the vehicle speed sensor inhibits the button, so you can't turn off the ignition whilie the vehicle is moving. This isn't even in the manual. However, pressing and holding start/stop for 10 seconds will cause the ignition to turn off completely. This is a surprisingly long time in an emergency. In fact, in several "unintended acceleration" episodes, the drivers said they tried to turn off the push-button ignition, but couldn't turn it off.

Karnal was talking about Lexuses--maybe this is a recent change, but you only need to hold the button for 3 seconds to turn the engine off. Or press it 3 times in a row. See, for example, page 484 of the 2012 ES 350 Owner's Manual. It's similar in Nissans... hold for more than 2 seconds, or press 3 times within 1.5 seconds (page 6-2 of the 2013 Altima Owner's Manual.

about 4 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Dahan Re:.... don't see the issue with your plan? (865 comments)

If you have to push the brake pedal down all the way to trigger the 'keep cranking until start' mode, you couldn't pop-start since the car wouldn't be moving :)

If the starter works, why would you want to pop-start the car? The idea is that the starter isn't working, for whatever reason. So you press the button twice to switch the ignition to "ON" mode, put the transmission in 2nd gear, step on the clutch, get a friend to push your car (or roll it down a hill), then slowly release the clutch. No brakes are involved. This page has some more details on the process.

about 4 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Dahan Re:I don't like the control it takes away from you (865 comments)

In Nissans and Toyotas with push button ignition, hold down the brake and press the button to crank. IIRC, it keeps cranking while you're holding down the button, although I haven't really tested that much, since I don't want to keep the starter engaged for too long once it's actually started. If you don't actually want to start the car, don't hold down the brake; just press the button to run accessories. Press it one more time to turn everything on.

I don't know if you can push-start a manual with this system, but it seems like you could.

about 4 months ago

US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

Dahan Re:Security through Antiquity? (481 comments)

We still manufacturer magnetic thin films on flexible media, for the last few 3.5 inch floppies and other purposes, and I'd imagine that you could get away with putting a very low resolution magnetic pattern on film capable of a much finer one (though not the reverse)

Not necessarily--not all magnetic thin films are the same. Ones capable of storing a higher density of magnetic patterns have a higher coercivity (i.e., it takes a higher magnetic field strength to change the magnetization). The write heads in drives designed to write on lower coercivity media aren't strong enough to write on the high coercivity media. Which is why you can't use a 5.25" HD (1.2MB) floppy in a DD (360KB) drive.

about 4 months ago

Previously Unknown Warhol Works Recovered From '80s Amiga Disks

Dahan Re:Editorializing (171 comments)

Of course a 3.5" floppy drive can damage a disk. The head is in contact with moving media. Should it damage the disk? No. CAN it damage the disk? Certainly.

Which is why they cleaned the floppy drive before putting the disks into it. "The primary concern was damage to the disks during the reading process. While impossible to eliminate without using extremely expensive equipment well beyond the reach of involved parties, it was believed this risk could be minimized by using a recently cleaned and tested floppy drive for copying ..." -- from the report detailing what they did.

Not sure why there seems to be this assumption that because they made an "image" of the disks, they must not have used a regular Amiga floppy drive. These days I often make images of hard drives... I don't take the platters out in a clean room and use some special microscope to do it. I plug in the drive as normal and use software. Similarly, they imaged the floppies by using a regular Amiga floppy drive, albeit connected to a fancier floppy controller card that can even image disks that may have errors.

about 4 months ago


Dahan hasn't submitted any stories.


Dahan 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>