Beta
×

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

Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media

Jason Levine Re:Vigilantes (188 comments)

I would add a secondary question to this: If online vigilantism is valid, what are the limits? It's one thing if Person A did Some Horrible Thing and was outed on the Internet. (e.g. If John Smith killed a man and Internet Vigilantes hacked his accounts to release proof of his guilt.) It's another thing is Person A did Some Minor Thing That A Tiny Group Thinks Is Awful. (e.g. If John Smith expressed an unpopular opinion and Internet Vigilantes released detailed information about him to keep him quiet.)

If these were very clear-cut, different actions, there wouldn't be a question, but it's a sliding scale. It's easy to label the ends of the scale as "reasonable" and "not reasonable" but where is the line dividing the two? At what point does "This Internet Vigilantism Is Justified" turn into "Vigilantes Out Of Control." In the case of the latter, there's a well known group that tries to threaten anyone they don't agree with until those people get off the Internet because they see it as "Theirs." I'm sure the group thinks they are fighting the good fight, but most other people just see them as nuisances at best. (It's a sad commentary that I don't want to name the group lest they spot this post and target me. It should be quite obvious who the group is, though.)

8 hours ago
top

Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Jason Levine Re:walk or ride a bike (224 comments)

Tried the new Uber Buggy Whip service. I was picked up by my ride - and by "picked up", I mean harnessed to the front of a carriage and then whipped until I pulled the carriage where I wanted to go.

Cons: The whipping hurt and the carriage was heavy.

Pros: I lost 5 pounds and the bag of oats they strapped to my mouth were tasty.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars. Might use again to help shed those holiday pounds.

8 hours ago
top

In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Jason Levine Re:Don't Compare One Guy Getting Fired... (399 comments)

They aren't comparing his getting fired to Soviet-style punishment. The comparison is to the forcing him, against his will, to "an emergency medical evaluation" in a location that only the police know of and won't release any details about. Making a guy disappear because he's suspected of bad behavior isn't something that's supposed to happen in the US. (That last statement might sound a bit naive. Take it as a goal for how our country should operate instead of the totalitarian method of just letting the authorities do whatever they want for whatever reason.)

10 hours ago
top

In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Jason Levine Re:In Soviet Maryland (399 comments)

The police don't need to act on every tip reported in. If that were the case, they would need to respond to every 911 call that reported that the McDonald's teller gave them a medium fries and not a large like they ordered. You know, because it might possibly become a violent situation and if they don't act they might be to blame.

Even if they did "act" on this tip, all it would warrant might be a visit to the guy's house to talk with him briefly and run some background checks on him. That would have shown that he's a fiction writer and not publishing some manifesto about how he's going to go berserk and kill everyone. Then the author and the police would go their own ways with as little fuss as possible. Forcibly taking him in for "an emergency medical evaluation", not letting anyone know where he is, and releasing statements phrasing everything he did as if he was an imminent threat isn't "acting", it's overreacting. Overreacting never takes down valid threats - at least, not without also taking down a lot of non-threats as well. If they actually, properly "acted", we wouldn't be reading about this because it would have been a routine interview and closing of the report.

11 hours ago
top

In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Jason Levine Set In The Past (399 comments)

Instead of 900 years in the future, he should have set it in the past. Or at least included dinosaurs. You'd never get in trouble for writing about Dinosaurs... Oops, sorry. Forget about that.

In all seriousness, though, school shootings are a problem. However, I'm much more afraid of my oldest son (who begins middle school in a couple of days) getting in trouble for someone mistaking something he says/does as being a threat against the school than I am afraid that someone will walk into the building and kill a bunch of people. (My oldest is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and anxiety disorder. He can tend to be clueless about "other meanings" to the things he says or how people might take offense to certain phrases that he means in an innocent manner. Not a good combination with overzealous administrators who are jumping at the slightest whiff of trouble.)

11 hours ago
top

Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

Jason Levine Re:alien planets (89 comments)

You'd need to talk to an astronomer to find out the reason that astronomers at the time thought planets weren't common. It might have just been because we hadn't detected any and a lack of evidence for something translates into a certain amount of skepticism about whether that thing exists.`

2 days ago
top

Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

Jason Levine Re:Glass half-empty much? (283 comments)

In a previous discussion, I argued that I wouldn't buy a self-driving car if it didn't have a steering wheel. Someone (I honestly forget who) argued with me that unless self-driving cars didn't have steering wheels, they wouldn't be real self-driving cars. When I pointed out that the technology had to be proven before I'd trust it to drive me with no backup system, they pointed out the "Google has driven their cars X miles." I didn't say it at the time, but I suspected that there would be some difference between Google's test drives and real-world driving. Now it looks like I was right.

So I would but a self-driving car once it's ready, but I'd still want a steering wheel for those times when I just don't trust the computer to drive me. It'd be foolish to get into a Consumer GoogleCar Version 1.0 that didn't have any manual steering/braking system.

3 days ago
top

How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Jason Levine Re:This Just In! (111 comments)

No, I'm saying that we don't have one and won't have one if the big ISPs get their way. Municipal broadband won't turn a monopoly market into a free market, but towns should be free to decide to do it if they want.

3 days ago
top

How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Jason Levine Re:This Just In! (111 comments)

I would love a free market for broadband Internet. The big companies that offer broadband Internet, though, don't want one and will use all of their power and influence to keep one from emerging.

4 days ago
top

How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Jason Levine Re:This Just In! (111 comments)

That might be the real reason, but the public reason the big ISPs offer up is "unfair competition" from government - even when the "competition" would be serving an area that the ISP isn't serving. And yet, Comcast and Time Warner Cable claim they aren't competing with each other because they serve different areas.

4 days ago
top

Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

Jason Levine Re:alien planets (89 comments)

At one point, the prevailing scientific theory was that planets were a rarity. Then we found the first exoplanet and astronomers started wondering if they might be more common. By now, with the thousands of exoplanets found, we know that planets are plentiful. We don't know how many Earth-like ones are out there, but many astronomers think that this is more of a deficiency in our planetary detection methods than a rarity of Earth-like worlds. (Bigger planets are easier to detect.)

4 days ago
top

Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

Jason Levine Re: ok, so, what now (89 comments)

Not if you factor in meddling by a certain mad man in a blue box. He makes the math go all wibbly wobbly.

4 days ago
top

Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

Jason Levine Re:ok, so, what now (89 comments)

Exactly. Currently, our furthest space probe is Voyager 1 and that's only 0.002 light years away from us after travelling for 37 years. At that rate, it will take 18,500 years before it travels one light year and over 200,000 years before it travels 11 light years. Even if we could leave right now and cut the travel time in half, we still wouldn't arrive until the year 102,014. To put it another way, we as a species (Homo Sapiens) have only been around for 200,000 years. A probe sent to this closest planet at Voyager's speed, would have needed to have been sent when Homo Sapiens first emerged in order for it to have arrived now.

4 days ago
top

How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Jason Levine Re:This Just In! (111 comments)

It's even worse when the big ISPs are trying to kill municipal broadband in an area they don't serve. Because you can't have the government competing with them in an area that they might, someday, begin to consider serving. Until then, the residents should grovel (over dial-up) at the big ISPs' feet for broadband Internet service.

4 days ago
top

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

Jason Levine Re: Her work (1236 comments)

Thanks. That's the one I was thinking of. And, yes, Hulk is the best. Though Captain America managed to pull off the "here's my rear and chest facing in the same direction" pose. Must be that super soldier serum.

5 days ago
top

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

Jason Levine Re: Her work (1236 comments)

Considering that I'm married with two kids, I've already found a woman who is attracted to me. She's never arched her back and stuck her butt out. And she's certainly never twisted her spine so that I could see both her chest and rear at the same time. Honestly, if she did that pose, I'd be concerned about rushing her to the hospital, not thinking "Boy, does that look sexy."

5 days ago
top

PHP 5.6.0 Released

Jason Levine Re:It's powerful, but.. (116 comments)

I actually like coding in PHP. You can create some really nice applications using it. Then again, you can create really nice applications with just about any server side language if you know what you are doing.

My main beef with PHP is the inconsistency with built-in function names. If you want to replace within a string, you use "str_replace", if you want to split a string into an array, you use "str_split". However, if you want to get part of the string, you use "substr". And if you want to compare two strings, you use "strcmp". If they could get some consistency there, it would vastly improve the language.

5 days ago
top

PHP 5.6.0 Released

Jason Levine Re:Now almost as useful as python was 5 years ago! (116 comments)

How has PHP been given a monopoly on the entire industry? There are other languages out there and many of them are used quite a bit. PHP may or may not be the most popular (I honestly have no stats to tell either way), but even if it was vastly more popular than any other web programming language, it would be far from a monopoly.

5 days ago
top

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

Jason Levine Re:Her work (1236 comments)

Sadly, "perceived slights" can spill over into the real world. For example, there are plenty of stories where people freaked out because a dad was taking photos of his children. Why? Because "man taking photos of child" = pervert! Call the cops!!!!

If you disagree with someone's position, by all means, argue with it (as you appear to be doing), however lobbing death threats and revealing personal information about the person isn't debating their position. It's committing illegal acts in order to scare your opponent into submission.

5 days ago

Submissions

top

What To Do With Old Domains

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  about 10 months ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "While looking to buy a new domain for a website idea I had, I realized that over the years I've purchased quite a few domain names. I'm not a domain hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but 14 domains isn't a small number either. Of those domains, only 6 are actively being used. Many of the others were used for web projects that died out or that never launched. I could let the domains expire or possibly sell them (some might actually take in some cash), but I'm afraid of the domains being grabbed by spammers or other nefarious individuals. Holding onto them is an option, but increasingly I'm wondering why I'm paying annual fees for domain names that I'm not using and likely will never use again.

How do you handle old domain names in your possession that you no longer need?"
top

Best Science Fiction/Fantasy for 8 Year Olds

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "My son is 8 years old. I'd love to get him interested in Science Fiction, but most of the books I can think of seem to be targeted to older kids/adults.

Thinking that the length of some novels might be off-putting to him, I read him some of the short stories in Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot". He liked these but I could tell he was having a hard time keeping up. I think the wording of the stories was too advanced and there was too much talking and not enough action. Personally, I love Asimov, but I think much of it just went over his head.

Which science fiction and/or fantasy books would you recommend for an 8 year old? (Either stories he could read himself or that we could read together over the course of a few weeks.)"
top

Teaching Your Children Computer Skills At Home

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "My son's school district, like many across the country, is facing budget issues. Already, art and music are being cut and two elementary schools are likely to be shut down. (One of which my son currently attends.) My wife recently found out that our school doesn't even have a computer teacher. Nobody's teaching the kids how to use word processing programs, how to browse the Internet, etc. They have "computer time" in which someone watches over them while the kids are allowed to visit PBSKids.org and similar websites.

My son is very bright and computer savvy for a first grader, but obviously I want him to know how to do more than simply load up a website. We've discussed home schooling with varying degrees of seriousness. Even if we don't home school, we might want to supplement what he's learning in school with computer lessons at home. My wife is a teacher and has access to various resources, but I was wondering what resources the Slashdot community might recommend.

How do you teach your children about computers and how to use them? Do you know of any websites or programs that would be appropriate for my first grade son to use? (I've already introduced him to TuxPaint, TuxMath and TuxTyping.)"
top

Theft of Services Claim with Honor System Paywall

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "Towards the end of the day yesterday, I received an e-mail from someone claiming that my company's employees had been stealing his services. I always take claims like this seriously, so I read on. Apparently, his website is called the North Country Gazette. It appears to be a "news" site, but structured like a blog. Each article contains the text: "Free access to The North Country Gazette is limited to one visit, one article, no exceptions. After your free trial, a subscription is needed and without same, your access will be denied. To sign up, see subscription ad on this page. If you have questions, contact us at news@northcountrygazette.org"

The e-mail claimed theft of services because an employee visited two articles without paying. I thought it might be a scam (the threatening tone of the e-mail didn't help) so I visited the site to make sure it was legit. Soon after my one article view, I received a second e-mail calling me "obstinate", telling me to "do your job instead of surfing the internet" and threatening legal action if we visited his site again.

The thing is, though, he doesn't seem to have any kind of paywall in place. No mechanism to detect if a user has viewed an article and stop them from viewing more like other paywalls I've encountered. Just a system to detect when his honor system isn't honored. How seriously should I take his threats? Can someone really sue over theft of services due to three page views (four if you count me accessing his home page)? Can some small text on a website (which doesn't even contain a "pay here" link) really bind you into paying for a subscription? I will definitely be informing my company's legal counsel, but I was wondering if anyone on Slashdot has heard of anything like this?"
top

Killer Sue Wikipedia To Remove Their Names

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "Wolfgang Werlé and Manfred Lauber killed a German actor in 1990. Now that they are out of prison, German law states that they can't be referred to by name in relation to the killings. Therefore, they have sued to get Wikipedia to remove their names from the Wikipedia article about the killings. The German edition of Wikipedia has already complied, but the English edition is citing US freedom of speech and a lack of presence in Germany as reasons why they don't need to remove the name. In a bit of irony, their lawyer e-mailed the NY Times: “In the spirit of this discussion, I trust that you will not mention my clients’ names in your article.""
Link to Original Source
top

Ask Slashdot: Inexpensively Streaming Media?

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Jason Levine (196982) writes "I recently won a Roku box and my family and I have been enjoying watching Netflix movies/TV shows via it. So much so, in fact, that we are considering canceling our cable service. Canceling cable would save us $65 a month. Of course, this would mean the loss of a big entertainment source for my children (age 6 and 2), my wife and me. We have a decent DVD collection, but it tends to be hard to find the right DVD and play it for the boys. (The DVDs are in stacks and tend to get disorganized.) I'd rather rip them to my upstairs computer and stream the video, but I need some help.

First of all, we don't have a large budget to work with. Yes, we'd be saving per month without the cable bill, but my wife won't let me spend thousands on equipment so that we can save $800 a year. That said, our requirements are low. We don't have any HD televisions in the house and don't have plans to upgrade our existing sets anytime soon. So while it might be nice if the solutions can handle HD, there's no need to spend more money on an HD-compatible product.

Secondly, running ethernet cable is out of the question. My wife refuses to let me drill holes in the walls/floor and to be honest, I don't blame her. My wireless network (current router a Netgear WGR614 v5) tends to cut out at times. Powerline networking intrigues me, but the wiring in the house is old and I'm afraid that it won't be a stable connection. Another option I found was ethernet-over-coax. Would I be better off upgrading my wireless network (replacing the router and/or adding an access point somewhere) or going with a powerline or coax solution?

Third, ditching cable would mean we would lose our cable-provided DVR. While most shows we watch would be viewable via Hulu, we would like to still be able to record shows (especially kids shows on PBS) and play them later. What kind of DVR system would you recommend?

Lastly, my desktop computer isn't exactly the newest system in the world. It is 6 years old and, while not underpowered, might not be up to handling some tasks. Would I be better off building or buying a DVR/Media Center box? If so, how much would I wind up paying for this?

Thanks for any advice you can give."
top

Wii outsells 360, PS3, PS2, PSP combined in April

Jason Levine Jason Levine writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jason Levine writes "Ars Technica is reporting that, during the month of April, the Nintendo Wii outsold not only the XBox 360 and the Sony PS3, but the 360, PS3, PS2, and PSP combined. The Nintendo Wii sold 714,200 units. Microsoft's XBox 360 sold 188,000 units and Sony's PS3 sold 187,100 units. The PSP moved 192,700 units and the PS2 moved 124,400 units. In addition, six of the top 10 games sold in April were Nintendo Wii games."
Link to Original Source

Journals

Jason Levine 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>