Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

Comments

top

Samsung Delays Tizen Phone Launch

Dan East Re:Yes it should ship! (97 comments)

Apple didn't come from behind in the smartphone market. They created the market. Microsoft and Blackberry had the bulk of the market share, both based on old OSes that had been stagnant for quite a while with no real innovation. Blackberry didn't even offer a touch screen device yet, and Microsoft's could hardly even be used without a stylus.

Apple introduced revolutionary new hardware - capacitive based multitouch technology - which IMO was one of the primary reasons for the success of the iPhone. The other was an OS UI built from the ground up for touch interface. That was a knockout combination.

So no, Tizen doesn't have much chance unless they can bring revolutionary advancements, either hardware or software, like Apple did (and they brought both at the same time).

yesterday
top

Amazon Fire Phone Reviews: Solid But Overly Ambitious

Dan East Re:Face tracking? (58 comments)

So the phone can display a 3D model of a car, and shift the perspective and scaling of the car as the phone and / or your eyes move relative to it. Dynamic Perspective.

about a week ago
top

A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

Dan East Confusing things together (194 comments)

The research paper discusses two entirely different things: Canvas fingerprinting, and "Evercookies & Respawning", which are two entirely different things. Canvas fingerprinting is just another method of trying to determine which browser the user is running, by looking at differences in the way the canvas renders text and the like. "fingerprinting doesn’t work well on mobile" because of the homogeneous nature of mobile devices - 90% of iOS devices are running version 7.1, for example, so they are all using the same web browser version and rendering code, thus they are going to draw canvas fingerprints exactly the same. Nothing in the research article says anything about canvas fingerprinting being used to track people.

Now the other topic "Evercookies & Respawning" is about tracking users. That is using multiple storage vectors to try and keep users from deleting cookies. For example, using tiny hidden Flash apps which have their own caching, actual cookies, HTML5 persistent storage, embedding unique identifiers directly in the HTML so when the cached page is pulled up the identifier is once again active.

So at this point canvas fingerprinting isn't about tracking, but browser identification. The leap to "A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting", as described in the Pro Publica article:

A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com.

First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.

Well that's completely wrong - the bold text should read "this type of tracking, called Evercookies & Respawning". The persistent tracking has nothing to do with the canvas fingerprinting. It's mainly due to Flash (which also explains why it too is ineffective on mobile devices).

about a week ago
top

California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory

Dan East Which California? (172 comments)

Which California? I hear there are 6 now.

about a week ago
top

Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

Dan East Too long (161 comments)

That memo is waaaay too long. No wonder none of that stuff happened - no one read past the first page and a half.

about two weeks ago
top

Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Dan East Re:Wait for it... (752 comments)

Actually, the FAA told US airlines not to fly over Crimea, because in April Russia claimed they controlled air traffic over that airspace. The FAA told US planes not to fly there because it was a convoluted, disputed mess which could lead to accidents. It had nothing to do with risk of being shot down, and that area does not (or did not until today at least) cover the area over Ukraine where this flight was shot down. That flight path would not have been restricted by the FAA.

about two weeks ago
top

Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

Dan East Re:What is life? What is a virus? (158 comments)

Everything is a continuum. Humans divide the continuum up using acts of selective attention

Your generalization is quite wrong. Humans classify organisms based on the evidence in front of them. Can you show me this continuum between a platypus and some other animal? How does that fit into the "everything is a continuum" that you speak of?

"Species" do not have particularly crisp boundaries in the general case:

Uh, they most certainly have extremely crisp boundaries. Species are classified by the ability of two organisms to breed with one another. There isn't any "crisper" boundary than that. Once two lineages are different enough, it is no longer possible for them to reproduce sexually with one another. That is a quantum leap, a boolean yes or no situation (at least in 99.9% of the cases). Humans have nothing to do with defining that boundary. It is merely what we have observed and appropriately classified.

about three weeks ago
top

Maldives Denies Russian Claims That Secret Service Kidnapped a Politician's Son

Dan East Carding (100 comments)

accused of running one of the world's largest carding operations

What's carding? Like hacked SIM cards or something?

about three weeks ago
top

Study: Why the Moon's Far Side Looks So Different

Dan East Re:Rotation (79 comments)

But really, did the earth stay hot enough for "a few million years" - hot enough to affect the locked side of the moon more than the other?

The moon has no atmosphere, thus radiation from the earth cannot affect the far side of the moon at all. So obviously, even to this day, the earth still affects "the locked side of the moon more than the other". The question is simply how much. The moon and earth were both molten after the collision, so it was not a matter of the earth being hot enough to melt the moon, but merely the earth imparting energy to prolong the cooling of the near side. No matter what, the near side must have cooled slower than the far side - it's a straightforward matter of thermodynamics. One side of the moon was receiving energy from the earth while the other side was not. The near side didn't need to stay so hot it was incandescent, but merely "softer" so that small impacts would heal more on the near side than the far side, and the duration only needed to be long enough to result in some degree of visible difference, which is what we still see today.

The whole thing sounds plausible to me.

about three weeks ago
top

Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

Dan East Pascal (415 comments)

Wait!!! What happened to Pascal?!?!? On a more serious note, Pascal was the premier teaching language back in the day, but it really wasn't used much in the real world. It was a stepping stone for learning C, which is where the real power was at and what "real" applications were developed in. I believe there is less disconnect today between the popular learning languages and what is actually utilized in the real world.

about three weeks ago
top

Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show

Dan East Bizarre (173 comments)

Can things possibly get any more bizarre with Assange? I have an idea. Let's lock Julian Assange, John McAfee and Edward Snowden in a room for a week and see who is left surviving at the end. We can call it Hunger Games - Nerd Edition (my bet's on McAfee).

about a month ago
top

An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

Dan East Re:A purple heart? (192 comments)

Problem is purple hearts are not awarded for self-inflicted injuries.

about a month ago
top

CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Dan East Re:article headline sucks ass (454 comments)

I just burned 80% of my lifetime supply

8 of 9 lives is 0.8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888889% Just sensing the irony as you complained about rounding pi down to 3.

about a month ago
top

CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Dan East Re:So....far more than guns (454 comments)

For example: for the first year after purchasing your first handgun, that's the single most likely cause of death in your life, approaching almost 50% of deaths.

...which indicates that the gun was bought specifically for that purpose in those 50% of handgun suicide deaths. It wasn't the other way around - people didn't die because they happened to have bought a handgun, which is the way you phrased it. They wanted to die, so they bought a handgun. I've owned my handgun for over 20 years, and I've not wanted to die, hence I'm not dead by it.

about a month ago
top

A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

Dan East Appalachians (501 comments)

I live in the Appalachian mountains. As I watch weather radar, observing weather systems come at us from the west, I've seen dozens if not hundreds of times over the years where very powerful, well-defined weather systems (individual cells as well as frontal systems) totally disintegrate as they cross over from flat regions of North Carolina and Tennessee into Virginia, because they hit a literal 1,000 foot wall of mountains. Tornadoes are extremely rare here. A few years ago we had small one that messed up a couple sheds and the canopy over a gas station, and that was the first in decades. So I do believe this physicist is onto something that would be effective. Whether or not it's practical or acceptable to construct such a thing is another question.

about a month ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Best Way to Learn C# For Game Programming?

Dan East C#? (254 comments)

Why C#? Develop your game in C++ using OpenGL ES for rendering. Your code will compile as-is for iOS, Android, Windows, OSX, and others. You will only need a couple hundred lines of native code (java for Android, Objective C for iOS, etc) to handle events and pass execution into your C++ code. My game engine runs on all the above platforms and 99.9% of my code is shared across all of them.

Also, these days many, many developers simply use an existing game engine and only bother with the high level code specific to their game. Mundane stuff like the low level rendering, Audio APIs (which unlike OpenGL ES, differ quite a bit from one platform to another), physics, etc, is ground that's been treaded several thousand times nowadays, and most game developers leave that stuff to the experts in the various fields to handle the nitty gritty. Optimization of those routines is usually where the "expert" part comes into play.

I work with a game designer / artist who implements all the high level game stuff in Lua, and my engine takes care of all the aforementioned "boring" stuff, freeing him up to actually develop games, and not worry about crap like polygon tessellation algorithms and tons of other very boring stuff that would just be a waste of his time.

about a month ago
top

Google Engineer: We Need More Web Programming Languages

Dan East Nothing to do with languages (309 comments)

This has nothing to do with programming languages. It's the entire server / HTTP / HTML / web browser infrastructure he's complaining about. You've got a document format (html), originating from servers (PHP / Java / whatever) with embedded scripts (javascript), which can dynamically modify the HTML document (DOM / DHTML), as well as making additional requests to and from the server ("AJAX"), most recently extended via rich multimedia standards (WebGL, Web Audio API). The whole thing is a kludge that has expanded from HTML into.... whatever this huge mess has become after layer after layer of more stuff thrown on top (HTML5?).

Replacing the one little part of all that, javascript, with some other language, would only make things even more convoluted and complex. What he really wants is Flash and Java Apps. And how well did those technologies pan out as universal cross platform environments in the long run (and no, Java as used in Android does not count, as it only runs inside a single platform called Android). IMO, Apple has done us a favor in rejecting both Flash and Java on iOS. They've given two developers choices. One, feel free to use HTML as far as you're willing to try and push it. Good luck with that beyond anything reasonable as far as interactivity and responsiveness with HTML on a mobile device. Two, create dedicated applications for the target platforms (iOS, Android, whatever).

What this Google engineer is wanting is to be able to create dedicated applications without having to create dedicated applications. He wants to implement something that runs optimally on iOS without having to do any iOS software development. I have news for him... Apple has 100% control over that universe right now, and he will not be getting his way any time in the near future.

about a month and a half ago
top

Chicago Robber Caught By Facial Recognition Sentenced To 22 Years

Dan East Fingerprints (143 comments)

This is nothing more than the type of fingerprint matching that's been going on for many decades. It just puts a name to a person after the fact. Now on the other hand, if he was actively recognized via facial recognition as he was out and about in public and then apprehended, well that would be a different story.

about 1 month ago
top

Astronomers Solve Puzzle of Mysterious Streaks In Radio Images of the Sky

Dan East Re:Reflected EM Waves? (66 comments)

One word: polarization. Man made radio waves for communication are almost always polarized. Further, reflected radio waves are often very polarized even if the source was not (which is why polarized sunglasses reduce glare). They did not see the polarization expected from reflected radio signals. It appears they are actually emitted.

about 2 months ago
top

Evidence of Protoplanet Found On Moon

Dan East Skeptics (105 comments)

And the rest of the article discusses the skepticism of this "evidence". To sum it all up, the evidence is the different ratios of oxygen isotopes found between 3 moon rocks and Earth. Most experts are saying the difference in the ratios should be much, much larger, because of how different the ratios of isotopes are in meteorites and other outer solar system bodies. The difference between the earth and moon is so small that other theories are just as likely for explaining it. The counter argument is that maybe all of the inner planets have the same ratios of oxygen isotopes as one another, and it was an inner planet that struck Earth and basically everything involved was made of the same stuff so the differences are small.

I think that until we have actually measured the ratios from Mecury or Venus, we can't assume that every inner planet is exactly the same in that regard, and thus the "evidence" this study has found is actual evidence one way or another. The only thing we know for certain is all the extraterrestrial material we have analyzed so far from the rest of the solar system has had very different ratios of the isotopes, and so this evidence requires a whole new theory about the homogeneousness of the solar system to be true.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

top

Facebook HTML Escaping Broken?

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "It appears that Facebook's HTML escaping has been bypassed or otherwise hacked. Currently this is being used to embed tags in regular FB posts to display gaudy animated GIFs. However this technique should work for any other HTML tags. The user Facebook Art's wall is the current source of these annoying posts, which other FB users are in turn sharing on their own walls."
top

Zuckerberg's Generosity

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Mark Zuckerberg, billionaire founder of Facebook, has decided to share some of his wealth with dedicated FB users, who were ultimately responsible for his fortune. Each time you enter the following key presses into Facebook (max once per hour) you will receive a $5 credit on your FB account (part of the advertising system):
UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A ENTER
Please repost — it is for TODAY only!"

Link to Original Source
top

Thousands of blackbirds fall from sky dead

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, yesterday blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."
Link to Original Source
top

$1 million to find Toyota acceleration problem

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Amid the controversy over Toyota's runaway cars, the Edmunds.com web site is offering a $1 million prize to any tinkerer who can figure out the cause of the phenomenon. The prize will go to a person who can "demonstrate in a controlled environment a repeatable factor that will cause an unmodified new vehicle to accelerate suddenly and unexpectedly." Edmunds will make details of the competition available later this month."
Link to Original Source
top

Avast! Antivirus reporting massive false positives

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Due to a problem with the antivirus definition update 091203-0 on December 2nd, Avast! Antivirus began reporting that many applications were infected with the trojan Win32:delf-MZG. There are widespread accounts of this on the net, and Avast's support forums have been down for close to 12 hours due to the massive amount of traffic from users seeking more information on the problem. The problem has reportedly been corrected with the 091203-1 update, but many installations may not update automatically in time to receive the update before end users are affected. Avast typically prompts end users when infected items are found, asking them how to clean it. If the user selects "Delete" then software, or the entire OS, could be rendered unusable. The Avast! Blog is still silent on the matter."
top

DVD Saves Firefighter's Life

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Dan East writes "Fire Chief Barry McRoy credits a DVD with saving his life — literally. McRoy was trying to leave a restaurant when two men, fighting over a gun, entered. During the fray the gun went off, and Chief McRoy's stomach started hurting. At first he thought the pain was from the percussion of the shot, since he was so close to the men and they were all enclosed in the small glass foyer together. However, upon reaching into his pocket he found, amongst the shattered DVD pieces, the bullet that had just been fired. In the video still it is clear the disc is a DVD-R, but the brand is not visible."
Link to Original Source
top

Fake Wikipedia edit predicts murder

Dan East Dan East writes  |  about 7 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "In a bizarre twist of fate, a bogus news post to Wikipedia predicted the death of WWE wrester Chris Benoit's wife 14 hours before her body was discovered in a presumed murder / suicide. Police believe Benoit murdered his wife and 7-year-old son before committing suicide by hanging himself in a piece of exercise equipment. The fake news posting to the Chris Benoit article read "Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy". The person responsible for the posting later confessed that his edit was speculative as to why Benoit canceled a scheduled appearance at a wresting event on Sunday. The editor's computer equipment has been confiscated while police try to determine if he was actually involved in the murder."
Link to Original Source
top

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "I volunteered to speak at my daughter's school for Career Day, and have been asked to give presentations to three different classes tomorrow. As a software developer, how can I pique the curiosity of 4th graders, while generating interest in an occupation that will need an even larger workforce in the future? I mainly do application development in the health care arena, but I've also created a 3D game engine, ported Quake and Quake2 to various platforms (Pocket PC), developed backends for a few web sites, and created a number of embedded solutions using microcontrollers. Should I limit myself to the "cool" stuff like gaming so they can at least relate to what I do? If you had to get up in front of a bunch of 4th graders, what would you say?

I know that today children are exposed to computers more than ever in school. Unfortunately, students are not introduced to software development at all in most school environments. When I was in 7th grade (1983) every class spent time in the computer room (full of TRS-80s) and were taught rudimentary programming. Yes, all of us, every single student, had to write software. Even prior to that I learned to program on my TI-99/4A by typing in BASIC programs listed in the monthly Compute! magazine. Children today are taught text editing, how to surf the net, and other very "generic" computer skills, and of course take tests and "play" various learning games on computers. Perhaps I should demonstrate some simple BASIC programming, or what that be too much?"
top

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Dan East (318230) writes "Researchers at Cornell University have determined that moderate strength solar flares can disrupt the GPS system. A graduate student first noticed the effect in 2005, and additional studies have correlated solar flares with reductions in GPS signal strength. The researches express concern over the use of GPS in "safety-of-life" situations like air travel, especially during the solar cycle peak in 2011 and 2012.

From the article:
solar flares are accompanied by solar radio bursts. Because the bursts occur over the same frequency bands at which GPS satellites transmit, receivers can become confused, leading to a loss of signal."
top

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Dan East writes "Bob Dillian, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, bashed modern audio technology while showing an indifference to file sharing. A few key quotes, "There's no definition of nothing, no nothing, just like... static". Regarding illegal file sharing Dillian mused "Well, why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway." Finally, even the physical form-factor of the CD medium is an issue with Dillian, "CDs are small, there's no stature to it". I can't wait to hear his remarks when he learns music can be stored on SD cards."

Journals

top

Mod points...

Dan East Dan East writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I think this is the most mod points burnt on one of my posts so far. Looks like 20 or so mod points were used on one post.

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Normal (2).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

A user had given a moderation of Insightful (+1) to your comment, Re:Make it static., attached to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort. That moderation has now been undone, probably due to the user posting in the discussion after moderating in it. Your comment is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Underrated (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

A user had given a moderation of Overrated (-1) to your comment, Re:Make it static., attached to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort. That moderation has now been undone, probably due to the user posting in the discussion after moderating in it. Your comment is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (5).

Re:Make it static., posted to WikiLeaks Starts Mass Mirroring Effort, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...