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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

FatLittleMonkey The fucking fuck (294 comments)

Ridley Scott is one of my favourite directors and aliens is one of the best movies ever made

Ridley Scott directed Alien. James Cameron wrote and directed Aliens.

4 days ago
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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

FatLittleMonkey Re:Why do I care what Harrison Ford thinks? (294 comments)

as he has managed to pick some some pretty good movies to be involved with.

He's also picked some absolute shockers. And the ratio of gems to shit seems to fall over time. Most of his recent work, even in otherwise good films, seems phoned in.

4 days ago
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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

FatLittleMonkey Re: Why does this need a sequel? (294 comments)

Do you realise how many layers you're adding just to preserve a theory that both the author of the original story and writer of the damn screenplay said wasn't valid? Just give it up.

The analogy drawn between Deckard and the replicants was meant to show the dehumanisation of his job, his life, that he needed Rachel in order to become "human" again, not that he was a super-secret special replicant allowed to roam freely in violation of the very law enforced by the agency that is employing him.

4 days ago
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Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

FatLittleMonkey Re: Why does this need a sequel? (294 comments)

can we PLEASE have the word replicant added to slashdot's dictionary?

Errr, slashdot doesn't have a dictionary. Your browser does. Right-click the highlighted word, "add to dictionary". Bam! Done.

4 days ago
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French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

FatLittleMonkey Re:Doesn't matter even if the publishers win... (687 comments)

While I see your point, all of those certification schemes you see on products (whether "dolphin safe" or "heartsmart" or "sustainable forests"), those companies had to pay to join. The money is, generally, used to verify that the company is compliant with the scheme's goals.

This is no different. It's an attempt by Eyeo to find a balance between dangerous/intrusive ads and allowing content providers to earn a living. But doing so has costs, so if your company wants Eyeo to grant you an exception because you are a responsible advertiser, you need to pay for that extra service.

You don't want to receive something for nothing, do you? Surely the irony would kill you.

about two weeks ago
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French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

FatLittleMonkey Re:Doesn't matter even if the publishers win... (687 comments)

Humans want all of it, for free, and now. If they can't have it under those terms, blaming "stealing" on the providers is only half of the story.

Meanwhile, Patreon, Kickstarter, Indiegogo...

about two weeks ago
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US Treasury Dept: Banks Should Block Tor Nodes

FatLittleMonkey Re:Initially, I worried (84 comments)

A compromise would be to let customers indicate whether they want or need to use anonymiser services (wither TOR or conventional proxies). Much like customers who do/don't use their credit cards overseas. Very very few customers would choose this (or even understand the option), so it wouldn't reduce the protective effect compared to a blanket ban on TOR.

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

FatLittleMonkey Re:Are they really that scared? (460 comments)

This seems very common in the US. The weird, almost religious belief in the "efficiency of business/inefficiency of government" that legislators choose the worst possible combination of business and government. All the loss of control of out-sourcing a monopoly, while retaining all the stupidity and corruption of bureaucracy.

The weirdest thing is that this hatred of "government" seems to come, without a trace of irony, from politicians.

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

FatLittleMonkey Re: Are they really that scared? (460 comments)

Problem is what if there is a reason where solar generation is interrupted for a period that is longer than the battery storage such as a week long winter storm? Or perhaps a hurricane that damages the solar panels? In a black swan event, are the solarists(?) going to be content with decision to be disconnected to the grid and powerless for what could be a prolong period OR would they be setting themselves up for a "humanitarian crisis"?

How is that different from the "white swans" that we see all the time? Week long winter storms that take out power lines with ice build-up (while preventing repair crews from getting out), or hurricanes that take down power lines across an entire region, or even pull major power stations offline.

about two weeks ago
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Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby

FatLittleMonkey Re: Paradoxes Be Damned (334 comments)

it seems unreasonable to assume that a highly advanced civilization intent in colonization would invest the economic resources and risk the political or social resources to do so very distant to their own world when much closer, viable options are a possibility.

However, after those first nearby colonies have developed, some of their population will have an economic, political, religious/etc interest in setting up their own colonies slightly further out. And some of those colonies will spawn others yet further out...

Exactly as humans spread around the world by foot and canoe.

And with FTL it would only take a few tens of thousands of years to expand through the entire galaxy, even if colonies developed fairly slowly (by human standards.) Without FTL it would only take a few tens of millions of years.

[And realistically it would happen faster. Colonies which develop quickest are those more culturally likely to seed further colonies. And the fastest developing of those would be the first to seed the next round. The process would be self reinforcing. The culture of colonising would be amplified each round.]

about two weeks ago
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Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby

FatLittleMonkey Re:Paradoxes Be Damned (334 comments)

This galaxy is frippin' BIG. Even with practical FTL, it could take a long time for an intelligent species to spread through the galaxy

Time is also big.

If it takes 1000 years on average to colonise and develop a new planetary system to the point where it's willing and able to spin off its own colonies, and each successful colony produces just one child colony every thousand years (allowing for failed colonies, colonies that don't further colonisation, etc), it would take just 38 thousand years to colonise all 200 billion stars in this galaxy.

Even allowing for a practical limit of 1% of the speed of light, if it is even possible to reach another star system, you can colonise the entire galaxy in just a few million years.

If just one civilisation in the last few billion years had a culture of colonisation even a fraction as much as humans do, the entire galaxy would have been colonised, even without FTL. And colonised repeatedly, in thousands of waves, exploiting every niche. We simply wouldn't have had a chance to exist.

and it's plausible that such an advanced civilization wouldn't really be interested in what happened on planets.

All of them?

Not a single faction from a single alien civilisation is interested in other early intelligences? We study dolphins and chimps. We study parrots and ravens. Hell, there are researchers who study ants, lichen, plankton...

about two weeks ago
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Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby

FatLittleMonkey Re:That's my belief as well (334 comments)

Even leaving aside the major question of quite how intelligent life actually is (spend an hour or 24 watching "fail" vids on Youtube),

- Advanced tool use, up to and including electronics and networking,
- Cooperation/communication, allowing a global information network and the standards required for web/video.
- Symbolic logic, to use the OS/browser/smartphone/tablet... even amongst the simplest users.
- Advanced socialisation, not only establishing in-group/out-group, but abstracting that to online entities.
- Humour, which requires strong social awareness, and, in the case of "fail" videos, dissociative empathy.

It all suggests a reasonably intelligent species, with at least pockets of high intelligence.

Hell, even Youtube trolls require high level social skills for the recursive opponent modelling (just not quite high enough.)

about two weeks ago
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Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby

FatLittleMonkey Re:Paradoxes Be Damned (334 comments)

the aliens went away to wait for us to evolve into something interesting.

All of them?

Every faction from every alien civilisation in the entire galaxy all unanimously decided to go away for thousands of years, even though their own rules (according to your scenario) allow them to interfere.

There are 200 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. If intelligent life can appear on just 1 in a million, that's still 200,000 civilisations right now. And that doesn't include the civilisations that rose and fell over the last 8-10 billion years since metallicity became high enough in the galaxy to support planets.

If even a single alien civilisation enjoys/wants/requires colonisation, and interstellar travel is as easy as you believe, then our whole solar system would have been colonised billions of years ago; and more likely colonised again and again and again, hundreds of times, every few million years as new civilisations rise and fall.

[People just don't comprehend how big these numbers are. Star Trek has a lot to answer for.]

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

FatLittleMonkey Re:U2F (247 comments)

Assuming that a basic English vocabulary has 30,000 words, four-word passphrases allows just 30k^4 combinations. That's the equivalent of a system that requires a 5 letter lower-case non-dictionary password. You get more combinations from just two random upper/lower/numbers/punctuation characters.

about two weeks ago
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Every Weapon, Armored Truck, and Plane the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

FatLittleMonkey Re:Why only to police? (191 comments)

So, why are they only giving these to police?

It's probably worth pointing out that these are not "given" to police. They are "loaned".

Therefore police depts that accept this gear are required to pay for maintenance (which on some of the vehicles can be more than the value of the vehicle) and are forbidden from selling them if they become surplus to requirements.

about two weeks ago
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The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

FatLittleMonkey Re:... Everything? (528 comments)

If they got the accounts system, (which seems likely, given that Sony seems to have put every subsystem on the same network, employee medical records on the same network as raw film files) then any electronic receipt for purchase of items for office lunch rooms could include the model numbers for the sinks.

about two weeks ago
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UK Police To Publicly Shame Drunk Drivers On Twitter This Christmas

FatLittleMonkey Re:Slander? (256 comments)

slander needs to be false

Not in most jurisdictions, including the UK. Malicious release of information can be libellous even if the information is truthful. (And on the flip side, falsehoods aren't necessarily slander.) I think there's also a "public interest" requirement under EU privacy rules which the UK complies with.

However, in this case, the police will have an exclusion somewhere in the law because they will be allowed to create a "public record", such as the old police blotter. Which gives them a giant loophole to selectively and maliciously target what and how they report in order to turn it into an extra-judicial punishment (as in this case).

about two weeks ago
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UK Police To Publicly Shame Drunk Drivers On Twitter This Christmas

FatLittleMonkey Re:Knee-jerk... (256 comments)

For starters, it's a record of the police's activity.

No, it's a selective record of what they want to release. There's no uniform reporting requirements, it's not an official record, it's solely at the discretion of the Met's own PR gimps.

They are not going to tweet anything that embarrasses the Met, nor anyone who is protected, no insiders will be shamed. For DUI'd politicians, influential businessmen and off-duty cops, whether they end up on the name'n'shame roster will be purely a political decision - whether they are considered "friend" or "foe". Similarly, if some researcher or NGO uses the Twitter feed to show, for example, a statistical bias in arrests, then from then on the PR gimps compiling the Twitter feed will simply filter the cases to fit whatever "balance" is deemed acceptable to their higher-ups (note: doing nothing to change the actual target rates).

You either make it an official record of every qualifying incident, at a central .gov.uk site (not using a social "play" site like Twitter or Facebook), where reporting conforms to uniform requirements and there are set legal and civil penalties for misuse of the register, or you do none of it.

Selective reporting is inherently unsound.

about two weeks ago
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UK Police To Publicly Shame Drunk Drivers On Twitter This Christmas

FatLittleMonkey Re:Knee-jerk... (256 comments)

Generally this is a bad idea, since it will take you from "maybe get out of this with a warning" into "they will throw everything they can at you even if they can't get you for speeding".

Holy shit, your country sucks.

about two weeks ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

FatLittleMonkey Re: Dumps, you say? From the anus? (523 comments)

Texting here means writing text to paper

Ah, yes. We call that "printing", which is clearly much less confusing.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Fight you own muscles to create force-feedback on smartphones

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Researchers in Germany have developed a device that allows users of portable devices, such as smartphones, experience force-feedback from games using just their own muscles... and a small EMS device. When stimulated by a painless electric pulse, the player's arm moves the device in whichever direction the game commands. The player then fights the movement with their other muscles, creating a strong sensation that the device itself is bucking in their hands. According to the developers, users found the sensation much more realistic than traditional vibrotactile feedback. (Should make PvP more interesting too.)"
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Multiple minds smooths your ship's path

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "My mind to your mind... my thoughts to your thoughts... Researchers at the University of Essex have shown that combining the output from two non-invasive "brain-computer interfaces", computer-interpreted EEG signals, led to a much clearer signal of the subjects' intention than the output from a single subject. To test this idea, they had two subjects try to steer a simulated space-ship at a target planet, by thinking of one of eight possible directions. While a single user could achieve 67% accuracy, this jumped to 90% when two minds were combined. Researchers believe the technique also compensates for individual lapses in attention, and thus may have applications in real-world space missions."
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How do you give a ticket to a driverless car?

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "New Scientist asks a Bryant Walker Smith, from the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, whether the law is able to keep up with recent advances in automated vehicles. Even states which have allowed self-driving cars require the vehicles to have a "driver", who is nominally in control and who must comply with the same restrictions as any driver such as not being drunk. What's the point of having a robot car if it can't drive you home from the pub while you go to sleep in the back?"
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Whitehouse Petition to sell Texas to pay off US Debt.

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Amidst the flood of petitions on behalf of States demanding to be allowed to secede from the US, inevitably came the trolls suggesting that the US at least make some money out of the deal. Sell Texas to Mexico and use the money to pay down the US debt. Still in single digits at time of writing, but well worth supporting for the lulz."
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You can't print a gun if you have no 3d printer

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "You may recall Cody Wilson's project to create a 3d printed gun, mentioned previously on Slashdot. Well, the Defense Distributed project has suffered a decidedly non-technical setback, with printer manufacturer Stratasys revoking the lease and repossessing the printer (presumably prying it from plastic models of Cory's cold dead hands.) According to New Scientist the manufacturer cited...

his lack of a federal firearms manufacturer's licence as their reason for the repossession, adding that it does not knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes.

"

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If U R readng ths, I M already dead.

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "A particularly nasty text scam is doing the rounds in Australia. Police say that hundreds of people have reported receiving text messages reading: "Sum1 paid me to kill you. Get spared, 48hrs to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody, death is promised... Email me now killerking999@yahoo.com", or variations on the theme. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's Scamwatch site, also details the threat messages.

(No reports yet of anyone managing to troll the scammers.)"

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MS damage washed away by stream of young blood

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "A new study on mice suggests that damage caused by diseases like Multiple sclerosis, as well as natural ageing, can be reversed by an infusion of stem cell rich blood from younger mice. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that erodes the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord, and can result is serious disability. Similar effects occur naturally with ageing. Via New Scientist:

White blood cells called macrophages from the young mice gathered at the sites of myelin damage. Macrophages engulf and destroy pathogens and debris, including destroyed myelin. "We know this debris inhibits regeneration, so clearing it up is important," says team member Amy Wagers of Harvard University.

Here's a direct Link to the paper, if you have academic access through the paywall.."
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Harnessing the energy of Galloping Gertie

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "You've all seen the footage of Galloping Gertie, the infamous Tacoma Narrows bridge. This is due to a type of turbulence called Wake Galloping, caused by airflow creating lift on the lee-side of cylinders (or cables on suspension bridges.) Now researchers in South Korea have developed a way of harnessing the turbulence to generate electricity. Their device works most efficiently at wind speeds too low for conventional wind turbines."
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Multicellular life found at 3.6km under the crust

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Researchers from Princeton University have discovered nematodes at depth of up to 3.6km in three gold mines in South Africa, likely feeding on the radiation-consuming bacteria also discovered by the same team. Carbon dating their environment confirms that the 500 micrometres long critters have been there for at least 3000 years and are not a recent contaminant. The finding means that unexpectedly complex ecosystems occur deep underground, increasing the chance that complex life may have survived on Mars according to Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, "The significance was that you could imagine an ecosystem existing in the subsurface of a planet that didn't have a photosynthetic biosphere, like Mars," he says.

Until now, it was thought such an ecosystem could be made of bacteria only. But Onstott's new findings have completely changed that. "These nematodes are grazing on microbes. So now you could imagine that if animal life had ever developed on a planet, and the surface of that planet became lifeless," Pilcher explains, "you could imagine that animals could coexist with microbial ecosystems all powered by radioactivity."

"

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Can computers be used to optimise the US tax code?

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Science Fiction author, David Brin, wonders whether the US tax code, described by President Obama as a "10,000-page monstrosity", could be dramatically simplified. No, he's not trying to get support a libertarian wet-dream "Flat Tax", this is about using computers to... shuffle the existing system.

"I know a simple way the sheer bulk of the tax code could be trimmed by perhaps 70% or more, without much political pain or obstructionism! ... it should be easy to create a program that will take the tax code and experiment with zeroing-out dozens, hundreds of provisions while sliding others upward and then showing how these simplifications would affect, say, one-hundred representative types of taxpayers ... Let the program find the simplest version of a refined tax code that leaves all 100 taxpayer clades unhurt. If one group loses a favorite tax dodge, the system would seek a rebalancing of others to compensate. No mere human being could accomplish this, but I have been assured that a computer could do this in a snap."

With all the talk about Open Government, perhaps the computer code currently used in tax modelling could be released to the wider community, leading eventually to a Folding@Home type project."

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Can't get enough Will & Kate? Now meet their k

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Prince William and Kate Middleton met while attending the University of St Andrews, so it seems... appropriate... that the Perception Lab at St Andrews would have a go at predicting the appearance of the royal couple's future "heir and a spare".

New Scientist also tries its hand at some evolution-centric royal fan-fic.

Oh, and feel free to participate in Perception Labs' experiment."

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South Australia to drop MA15+ video game rating

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "While its former Attorney-General Michael Atkinson actively campaigned against an R18+ rating for video games in Australia, the new South Australian Attorney-General John Rau says he will abolish the MA15+ rating in SA after the introduction of an R18+ rating. To better differentiate "between what adults can get and what children can get", games will be rated G, PG, M, and R18+.

"I will push for the South Australian position on MA15+ games to be adopted nationally, but if it isn't, I'm prepared to go it alone," he promised, calling the MA15+ classification "dangerous".

"Besides," Rau says in an interview to Gamespot, "if the latest surveys about the average gamer being a 32-year-old single male who sits at home and plays games all day are correct, then what I am proposing is not going to have much impact at all." Ouch.

All of this follows a review of the classification system in general, so Rau may be reflecting a more general move away from MA15+ in all media."

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