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Ghostwriter Reveals the Secret Life of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

Dialecticus Re:So? (359 comments)

...goes back long before he chose to jump bail and become a fugitive from justice.

He may be a fugitive from something, but it strains credulity to call it "justice".

about 9 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Dialecticus Beta-Haters ARE the Majority (2219 comments)

Though it's true that those willing to actually speak out about it represent a minority of Slashdot's userbase, that doesn't mean that the many who choose to remain silent don't ALSO hate beta. To assume that those who keep their mouth shut all love beta is a BIG mistake.

If the administration really wanted to know what people think of beta they would run a poll about it. You'll notice that they are not doing this. I find this rather telling. To me, it implies that they don't actually care what we think.

about 9 months ago

20,000 Customers Have Pre-Ordered Over $2,000,000 of Soylent

Dialecticus Couldn't Resist... (543 comments)

Harry: "Oh ho ho! Soylent green!? (laughs)...Didn't even know they made it in green. What do they PAY you?"
John Oldman: "Nothing is too good for my friends."

about 10 months ago

AMC Theaters Allegedly Calls FBI to Interrogate a Google Glass Wearer

Dialecticus "So LONG FOR..."? (1034 comments)

Which did he mean? "So MUCH for our constitutional freedoms", or "So long TO our constitutional freedoms"?

about 10 months ago

If I Had a Hammer

Dialecticus It's a Good Thing (732 comments)

If machines took all the jobs, and there were none left for humans, this would just mean that all the work was being done by machines. If machines are doing all of the work, then there is nothing being left undone, no task that is not already being completed, for if anyone needed anything else done that the machines were not already doing for them, they would attempt to hire someone to do it, which would create a job opening, which would then contradict the original premise that computers had taken all of the jobs.

about 10 months ago

Russian Startup Offers Wireless Remote Controller For Cars

Dialecticus Drones, Anyone? (65 comments)

So basically it's a kit to make your own drone out of any aerial craft you can get your hands on? I wonder how long before someone puts one in a full-size car...

about a year ago

60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

Dialecticus What About Oven Lights? (944 comments)

Does anyone seriously think an LED or CFL could possibly withstand the temperatures inside an oven? They would melt the first time you used it! Only incandescents will work in there, so what do you do when the one in your oven now burns out? Feel like roasting a chicken by flashlight?

Perhaps they'll make an exception for appliance bulbs, but if they do then all we need are lamps with about 3 or 4 sockets so you can get a decent amount of light with a few appliance bulbs. Game, set, and match.

about a year ago

DoD Public Domain Archive To Be Privatized, Locked Up For 10 Years

Dialecticus Copyrighted is the New Classified (183 comments)

As it stands, when a whistleblower leaks government secrets to news organizations and independent bloggers, the whistleblower gets in trouble, but the news can still be reported. Once those same government secrets are copyrighted, they'll still be able to go after the whistleblower, but I expect they will then start using DMCA takedown notices against anyone reporting about the leaks because of the unlicensed duplication of portions of their data inherent in any competent reporting of it. (I know, fair use is supposed to cover things like this, but how long do you really expect that to last in the current political climate? Look at what's happening lately with game review videos on YouTube for an example.)

about a year ago

Anonymous Member Sentenced For Joining DDoS Attack For One Minute

Dialecticus The Crime of Admission (562 comments)

Then wasn't his real crime admitting to being involved? After all, until that point, it could have been someone else using his internet, or spoofing his IP, or that his computer had been compromised and made part of a botnet, etc. And it would seem obvious that the effect on the site would have been no different had he done nothing whatsoever.

about a year ago

Piracy Offers Heavy Metal a New Business Model

Dialecticus You Are Not Special (246 comments)

The audience identifies with the genre, which stands in contrast to genericized genres.

I'm pretty sure that fans of any genre of music think that their genre is special and that all the other genres are homogenous and generic. This is not something special about heavy metal. To paraphrase Tyler Durden, heavy metal is not a beautiful or unique snowflake.

about a year ago

Japan Aims To Win Exascale Race

Dialecticus Power Requirements (51 comments)

Building an exascale computer is all well and good, but we still have to find a way to power the damn thing. How will we generate the necessary 1.21 jiggawatts?

Computers are ESD sensitive, after all, so lightning is right out. Perhaps a stainless steel frame would help with the flux dispersal...

1 year,10 hours

On the subject of robots ...

Dialecticus What Constitutes a Robot? (318 comments)

I have a Hero Jr. and two different models of Armatron. For purposes of this poll, the Hero Jr. probably counts, but what about the two Armatrons? Neither has any computer in them at all, being purely electromechanical in nature and dumb as a bag of hammers. So do I pick option #3 or option #4?

Then again, this is Slashdot, so...option #4 it is. <click>

1 year,2 days

Object Lessons: Evan Booth's Post-Checkpoint Airport Weapons

Dialecticus A Textbook False Dichotomy (208 comments)

Oh, please. Don't pretend that that only options are TSA or no security at all. Back in the day, before the TSA, the airlines were handling security on their own and doing a fine job. It was a measured response, where the level of security suited the contemporary threat level. As a result, the inconvenience to travelers was less, the cost was less, and it was only paid for by people who were actually traveling by plane. Now, with the TSA, you've got airport nudity scanners and inefficient security theater all on the taxpayer dime, so you have to pay for it whether you travel by plane or not. It's worse now by every measure I can think of.

1 year,8 days

Bitcoin (Probably) Isn't Broken

Dialecticus Market Manipulation (78 comments)

I presume this means that whoever was behind the previous bitcoin story has now finished buying them up and wants their value to go back up.

1 year,14 days

WRT trans fats, the FDA should ...

Dialecticus Law of Unintended Consequences (376 comments)

When you ban something, something else will inevitably replace it, and it may end up being worse than what you banned. What I've noticed is that when "partially hydrogenated" (i.e. trans-fats) vanishes from ingredients lists, it's usually replaced by "TBHQ", which is a preservative used to prevent fats from oxidizing. Partially hydrogenated fats are less prone to oxidizing, so when you remove that option they have to replace it with something else, and TBHQ seems to be the cheapest option.

The problem is that TBHQ has its own down sides. Five grams of it is allegedly lethal, and some people can't tolerate even small amounts of it. I am one of them. When I eat even a small amount of food with TBHQ in it, I get panic attacks or worse. In one case my pulse went up to around 240. Since then I've had to be very careful to avoid anything with TBHQ in it, but all these anti-trans-fat extremists pushing regulations for my health don't take into account that they may be killing me by taking away the foods I can eat without winding up in an emergency room.

In short, people know their own situation better than central planners do, and they may have personal issues that make the lack of trans-fats even worse than the presence of trans-fats. Regulating them institutes a form of tyranny of the majority. It's analogous to forcing someone with a peanut allergy to eat peanuts because they're so nutritious and because most people aren't allergic. Don't do that. Instead, just label foods accurately and let people make their own decisions.

1 year,16 days

A Plan To Fix Daylight Savings Time By Creating Two National Time Zones

Dialecticus Re:Sunrise (545 comments)

I've we're going to be ridiculously nerdy and arbitrary we could all just just use seconds since the start of 1970.

Ah, but the start of 1970 in which timezone?

1 year,21 days

D-Wave Quantum Computing Solution Raises More Questions

Dialecticus Why Develop This? (143 comments)

Because *IF* it can be developed, someone will eventually develop it, and probably sooner rather than later. Technological advances depend less on creative genius and more on previous technological advances. It's like how radar was developed simultaneously by about a half-dozen different nations, but they were all trying to keep this supposed strategic advantage secret from one another. It's not that it was a coincidence, but rather that the time was right, and the pieces were all in place.

Isn't it better to develop a quantum computer first, so that you know to stop using vulnerable forms of cryptography? Anything else is just sticking your head in the sand. Failing to develop it yourself will not stop the other guy from doing it.

about a year ago

D-Wave Quantum Computing Solution Raises More Questions

Dialecticus Question: How Quantum Is It? (143 comments)

Answer: It's *SO* quantum that even the issue of whether or not it's quantum exists in a superposition of states!

about a year ago

Sensor Characteristics Uniquely Identify Individual Phones

Dialecticus This Is Why I Live In A Centrifuge (69 comments)

The tricky bit is remembering to change the speed setting every morning...

about a year ago



New NASA Model Refutes Global Warming Alarmists

Dialecticus Dialecticus writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Dialecticus (1433989) writes "According to an article by Lewis Page at The Register, NASA says that most theoretical models of global warming fail to take into account the cooling effects of how plant life would react to higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere. NASA's new model reportedly indicates that even something as extreme as a doubling of current CO2 levels would only result in a 1.64 degree Celsius increase in overall global temperatures, with temperature increases over land being even less than that. The article does not specifically mention whether increased photosynthesis would have a natural regulating effect on CO2 levels due to the commensurate increase in the rate of naturally occurring carbon sequestration."
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