×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

Mal-2 Re:Fundamental failure of process design (195 comments)

For three hundred years people were able to run them furnaces without the aid of computers just fine. But after the 'puter takes over, you can't do anything without it, even if the damn thing goes south... I'd say it's not a very good design.

If by "just fine" you mean having a small fraction of the throughput of the modern machinery. The automated systems can be (and thus are) run at damn near peak capacity at all times, which means that when they do fail, it will inevitably be at the worst possible time -- because it's always the worst possible time. The trick lies in determining whether this increased cost of failure is offset by the increase in production. From the widespread adoption of such processes worldwide, it would appear the answer is a resounding "yes".

yesterday
top

Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Mal-2 We did this long before. (596 comments)

As someone then living in Studio City but working in Santa Monica, we all knew how to use the residential streets to get around blockages of the 405. Mulholland (which is very much residential) to Laurel Canyon, for example. We told each other about them. I personally knew five or six alternates.

This may be spreading the word among people who don't try things on their own, but it's been a problem for the residents for many years. They do all sorts of things, from speed bumps to parking their cars in the narrowest (legal) places possible to slow down traffic. We would still use these routes.

4 days ago
top

Hollywood's Secret War With Google

Mal-2 Re:Shocking! (176 comments)

Actually what I find most awful about CSI shows is the notion that police investigations are akin to unbeatable magical formulas. If investigators zero in on a suspect, almost inevitably that suspect is guilty, and found to be so by incredible technologies used by beautiful people in sci-fi like laboratories.

Actually, for dramatic reasons, a good fraction of the shows feature chasing after a red herring, or narrowing in on one suspect who turns out to be either an accomplice or merely connected to the actual perp (without actual involvement). Boyfriend taking the rap for girlfriend who killed someone, mother accused when actually one of her kids did it, etc. If they started in the right place every time, it would be boring.

about a week ago
top

'Revolving Door' Spins Between AT&T, Government

Mal-2 Re:We don't care. We don't have to. (61 comments)

Take a look at the technician in the background. Does he look familiar? He should. It's Al Franken.

Too bad he didn't go on to be elected to the Senate or anything like that.

about two weeks ago
top

The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

Mal-2 Re:Sigh (567 comments)

I've had people hand me a camera to take a picture of them, and then look at me funny when I hold it sideways. I don't always, nor do I by default (there is no default, every image is different), but if you have, say, two people and you want to get them head to toe, you can use a lot more of the sensor by rotating the camera. If a composition lends itself to square formatting, I'll usually shoot it both ways and sort it out later.

I can only hope that when I return the camera after shooting in Portrait, they look at the result and say "hey, now I get why he did that".

As a first approximation: one person - portrait. Two people standing - portrait. Two people seated or three people standing - depends how closely bunched they are, and whether their clothing and/or foreground is significant in the picture. Three or more people seated - generally landscape.

about two weeks ago
top

The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

Mal-2 Re: Have Both (567 comments)

You can use the ClearType Tuner to find a happy medium. I have dealt with this problem (I have a landscape monitor on the left, portrait on the right) by running the tuner on the portrait monitor. What works there also works pretty well on the landscape monitor. I haven't even forced it as close to color-agnostic as it'll go, I think I still have two "levels" of sub-pixel addressing on (out of six) and it really doesn't hurt the portrait monitor. I will notice a slight color fringe around long, vertical letters if I stare at them really hard (that is, if I want to see it), but otherwise it works just fine. Being able to use sub-pixel addressing on one monitor and standard anti-aliasing on the other would be better, but since that's not an option, this compromise does work.

As a side benefit, it is much more difficult to discern where sub-pixel addressing starts to fall apart because of colored text and/or backgrounds.

about two weeks ago
top

Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

Mal-2 Re:Fuck all these people (127 comments)

"national socialism"

You mean fascism?

That's what I was getting at, yes, just using a deliberately deceptive term I thought would be immediately recognized.

about two weeks ago
top

Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

Mal-2 Re:Fuck all these people (127 comments)

I'm not arguing that the state should own everything and that private ownership should be abolished, but there are things that are best cared for by society as a whole - the state is only one of several possible candidates to represent society's interests.

This makes your desire socialism rather than communism. Socialism is maligned by much of the popular media here as well, on the (quite correct) belief that the huddled masses don't understand it and will do as they are told by their betters, but that doesn't make it the same thing. What reigns currently is more akin to "national socialism", corporations in bed with and eventually owning the government.

about two weeks ago
top

The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

Mal-2 Re:The real solution is really much simpler. (205 comments)

Problem: when companies buy off the shelf, they get something NOW. As soon as they spend the money, they get a product. If they invest, they get a product... when? Next week? Next month? Next year? This is why most places don't develop, they just buy and stack. It costs more most of the time, but you always get SOMETHING.

about two weeks ago
top

Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Mal-2 Re:Squarer is better. (330 comments)

I do rotate a monitor (2048x1152 rather than 1080p), and there is another problem you aren't accounting for: the vertical "sweet spot" of TN panels is much smaller than the horizontal sweet spot. This means that in Landscape mode, the separation between your eyes doesn't matter much, but in Portrait mode, it can become quite significant. The result is that the display looks different to each eye, which can be a very disorienting effect. The only position where this more or less goes away is dead on axis, where the angular difference of each eye matches. The color shift is still different, but at least the brightness and contrast roughly align.This can be quite troublesome though, as I'm talking about a head shift of an inch in either direction making the display go from dead sharp to flickering rapidly between single-eye images. I don't know about you, but I don't sit that still.

about a month ago
top

Cameron Says People Radicalized By Free Speech; UK ISPs Agree To Censor Button

Mal-2 Report every press release from the government. (316 comments)

Make this such an onerous burden that the ISPs are forced to either withdraw their support, or just censor everything that is flagged without checking it. To do this, report everything that is remotely political as "extremist" and "radicalizing". When the politicians themselves are the targets of their bad law, they just might take a hint.

about a month ago
top

Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

Mal-2 This is hardly new. (138 comments)

Defense contractors have been leasing parts of Moffett for ages, there's nothing new about this. Google probably wants a nice, big, pre-paved space to test their driverless cars.

about a month ago
top

The Largest Kuiper Belt Object Isn't Pluto Or Eris, But Triton

Mal-2 Re:Clockwise Question. (61 comments)

Phobos is in a similar situation despite having a prograde orbit: it's low enough that it orbits faster than Mars rotates (appearing from the surface to cross the sky in the opposite direction as Deimos), so the tidal drag that is pulling the more distant and slower-orbiting Deimos into an even higher orbit is pulling Phobos into a lower one.

In other words, Phobos orbits below the level of an areosynchronous orbit and outruns its own tidal bulge, which means this tidal bulge pulls back on it. (I just wanted an excuse to use the word "areosynchronous".)

about a month and a half ago
top

Birds Found Using Human Musical Scales For the First Time

Mal-2 Re:Who wrote that birdcall? DMCA that chirp! (80 comments)

Bach was promoting well temperament, NOT equal temperament. Well temperament was much closer to equal than the meantone that preceded it, closing up the wolf interval Eb to G# and making all keys playable. It did not make them all equal. Keys far distant from C were still more discordant than F-C-G-D.

It's also true that while it's possible to formulate an equal temperament in terms of beats per second between fifths, this depends on having a uniform starting pitch (like our modern A=440), which ALSO did not exist in those days. "A" could be anywhere from 390 to 460+, depending on which town you went to. (Anywhere from a whole tone flat to a semitone sharp.) A tuning regime using beats cannot survive such variances.

Equal temperament didn't become prominent until late in the 19th century. Well temperaments for keyboards were still the standard, and instruments not limited to fixed pitches (including voices) still have a tendency to drift toward 5-limit Just Intonation, even when playing with equal-tempered accompaniment. Barbershop quartets even use 7-limit JI. Solo lines and melodies not doubled by fixed-pitch instruments tend toward Pythagorean (which is really 3-limit JI) -- which I suspect is also what the birds are doing.

about a month and a half ago
top

Birds Found Using Human Musical Scales For the First Time

Mal-2 Re:Pretty sure (80 comments)

I would guess these birds would use Pythagorean or Just Intonation, not a well temperament. Even meantone is significantly bent from the natural harmonic series in order to close up the thirds in the keys close to C, and well temperaments come even later and are much closer to equal temperament than is meantone.

Birds probably don't worry about modulation on a twelve-note keyboard. There's no reason they need to be consistent even if they do transpose. A doesn't always have to be 440.

about a month and a half ago
top

Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

Mal-2 Re:Chuck Yeager called it (594 comments)

He was right about the first half of his prediction (twice over, in fact). He was wrong about the second. It only forced a hiatus of a few years, it didn't end anything except perhaps the boondoggle of compromises that was the shuttle program in the first place.

about 1 month ago
top

Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

Mal-2 Not worth it... to whom? (594 comments)

First, anything the 1% wants to do that involves passing money around between them, rather than picking the pockets of everyone else, is their business. That's not to say we should let them externalize costs onto us -- if parts of it are falling on populated areas, that's not cool. If hydrazine is getting into the water table, or even poisoning an unmonitored (but still important) patch of ocean, that's not cool either. But billionaires spending money for a chance so see the edge of space? Fuck it, let them.

Also, what is acceptable risk to you, isn't to everyone else. Anyone who flies an "experimental craft" is at a substantially greater risk of dying than the average person. So long as the risk is theirs, again, let them. They know the risks, and do it anyhow. Some of them are old and have a bucket list, and don't think the risk is all that substantial in light of the fact that they're mortal regardless.

Lining Branson's pockets isn't my idea of a good time, but it's not my decision whether others want to.

about 1 month ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

Mal-2 Re:Grrr (613 comments)

Fuck Pennies!

No no no, you've got it all wrong. Ass pennies.

about 1 month ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

Mal-2 Re:Who cares if it makes sense,,, (613 comments)

Someone of Native American descent once told me, "only white men could think you can make a blanket longer by cutting a foot off one end and sewing it to the other."

Sounds like a perfect description of DST to me.

about 1 month ago
top

Physicists Identify Possible New Particle Behind Dark Matter

Mal-2 Re:My house of cards, taller than your house of ca (103 comments)

These days, the data comes from high-energy interactions, and often involves highly improbable events. If you don't already know what to look for, you will have to slow down and analyze every event. If you do know what to look for, you can dial up the frequency of events tremendously, paying close attention only to the ones that surprise you in some way. This cuts observation times from well beyond human lifespans, to a matter of a year or two. It makes them practical.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

Mal-2 hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

top

It's time to send Congress home.

Mal-2 Mal-2 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Hello, Washington? It's the 21st Century calling. You're less important than you thought.

There is no reason why all 535 members of Congress need to live and work in Washington, DC, disconnected from their constituency. There is also no reason why Representatives should spend upwards of a quarter of each term campaigning and commuting -- or worse yet, ignoring votes entirely. It's time Congress came home to us, the People.

My proposal is simple, and it needs just three words. Let Congress telecommute.

The benefits of this would be enormous, and the costs minimal -- except to the lobbyists, who currently find it quite convenient that they can bend everyone's ear since they're all in one place at one time. Each Congressman should have to live and have an office in the District he or she represents. This office could be owned by the Federal government, as that would certainly simplify matters whenever the seat changes hands, but it is not strictly necessary for this idea to work. All that is necessary is a data link back to Washington. The original concept of Congress centered around 18th century communications -- that is, Pony Express at best. In theory, we could have sent Congress home when the telegraph came into vogue, but that's understandably a bit impersonal. The earliest this idea would have been practical is when the telephone system allowed for 435 people to be on the same line at once -- which had happened by the 1960s at the latest. Still a bit impersonal, even if they could watch proceedings on TV and phone in their comments and votes.

But what's the excuse now? If there is anyone representing a district that has no reasonable data access, then they can be exempted to live in a nearby district that has such provisions. They'll still be a lot more accessible to their constituency than they are now. It will also mean a lot more to people when their Representative lives a couple miles away (as will generally be the case in urban districts) rather than a couple thousand miles away. The fact that they aren't going to talk to their Representative on any given day is irrelevant, what's important is that they feel like they CAN.

Senators should probably operate from the state capitol, unless they REALLY don't like each other. (It happens!) Or, they should live wherever they choose, within the state they represent, and furnish an office and data connection at their own expense if they prefer.

top

Nietzschecraft confirms: God is dead

Mal-2 Mal-2 writes  |  more than 5 years ago It is now official. Nietzschecraft confirms: God is dead

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered religious community when IDC confirmed that God's market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all worshippers. Coming on the heels of a recent Nietzschecraft survey which plainly states that God has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. God is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Altar Boy comprehensive plooking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Randi to predict God's future. The hand writing is on the wall: God faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for God because God is dead. Things are looking very bad for God. As many of us are already aware, God continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

JHVH-God is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core followers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time JHVH-God followers L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: JHVH-God is dead.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

AllahGod leader Muhammad states that there are 7000 worshippers of AllahGod. How many followers of JHVH-God are there? Let's see. The number of AllahGod versus JHVH-God posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 JHVH-God worshippers. Jah posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of JHVH-God posts. Therefore there are about 700 worshippers of Jah. A recent article put JHVH-God at about 80 percent of the God market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 JHVH-God worshippers. This is consistent with the number of JHVH-God Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, JHVH-God went out of business and was taken over by Baha'iullah who sell another troubled religion. Now Baha'iullah is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that God has steadily declined in market share. God is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If God is to survive at all it will be among religious dilettante dabblers. God continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, God is dead.

Fact: God is dead

top

Mal-2 Mal-2 writes  |  more than 10 years ago

This is /. I'm not ashamed of it, and I'm not proud of it. The whole thing is not an issue to me, it's irrelevant, and I see no reason why my reading /. should be dragged into the discussion at all! The fact that we've been massacred personally for thousands of years is neither here nor there, so can we at least agree on one thing -- namely, not to waste our time discussing whether to post to /. or not.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?