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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

Maow Re:What has happened to Slashdot? (425 comments)

The information age is over. The age of lies has started.

Been saying it myself for a while:

The "Information Age" has become the age of mis-information and dis-information.

about two weeks ago

Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Maow Re:A truly smart person ... (391 comments)

Not true. I work with EE faculty, and a number of them can't seem to grasp the concept that the being a brilliant engineer doesn't automatically confer one with expertise in diverse other areas such as patent law, accounting, videography, etc.

I'll agree and add a couple more topics that engineers often make fools of them self in: politics and climate science.

And, to be fair, it's not just engineers that suffer this; it's any highly trained individual who lacks humility.

about 2 months ago

Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

Maow Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (178 comments)

1. I'm not interested in being brow beaten by some fool more interested in winning an argument then in addressing the argument.

If you're going to keep attempting an ad hominem then I'm going to simply not talk to you. And then what will you have accomplished?'re going to get asinine...

Jeez, pot meet kettle.

To top it off, he addressed your points quite well and it appears that it's you that seems intent upon winning an argument with your long-winded reply, which, of course, doesn't specifically and concretely address the issues raised by the person you're replying to.

Funding to reproduce coming from same institution? So they'll have half the money for original research then. And the suckers tasked with the reproduction won't be advancing their own careers under the Publish (original, ground breaking work) Or Perish model used today.

Like it was stated, in a fairly appropriate analogy, reproducing others' work is akin to re-writing a new software project - in software dev, it's a losing game.

In science it's important, but like in software dev, the boss isn't interested. And while the result may be beneficial, it's hard to convince people that it's a rewarding career move to play catch-up to others' work.

Having said all that, I think we all agree that reproducibility is important -- question is, how to go about it as the current system kinda disfavours it in all but the most important projects.

We need to implement specific, concrete changes -- having grad students do some of that is a good idea, but not sure if it'll completely solve the issue.

But laymen will at least understand what has and has not be verified. That is important. Science cannot be something only scientists understand any more then the law can be something only lawyers understand.

Laymen will never understand cutting edge science (unless they're quite keen on the topic at hand - a miniscule minority), and any layman that thinks they understand the law as well as lawyers generally get their arses handed to them should they attempt pro se representation.

Specialization in complex fields is natural.

about 3 months ago

Why Amazon Might Want a Big Piece of the Smartphone Market

Maow Re:Drive amazon services? (61 comments)

+1 Interesting

(accidental Troll mis-mod being undone with this post)

about 4 months ago

First New Generic Top Level Domains Opening

Maow Re:For all the USA haters on Slashdot (198 comments)

"Inventing the Internet" gives you the same rights over the international Internet as "inventing the English language" gives over English speakers.

I think I lost your point. Are you saying that England has the right to decide if it's spelled "colour" or "color" in the US?

Perhaps you're playing stupid on the Internet, or maybe you're just thick, so I'll spell it out for you.

If the USA wants to spell colour "kulor", England can't stop them.

England "invented" English. USA can do with it what they want.

USA "invented" the Internet. The world can do (or ought to be able to do) with it what it wants.

I believe that is what the +5 Insightful AC above you was getting at.

about 9 months ago

FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital

Maow Re:The real motive (218 comments)

No unions? Sign me up!

Yet conservatives may be shocked to learn that their idol Reagan was once a union boss himself. Reagan was the only president in American history to have belonged to a union, the AFL-CIO affiliated Screen Actors Guild. And he even served six terms as president of the organized labor group. Additionally, Reagan was a staunch advocate for the collective bargaining rights of one of the world’s most famous and most influential trade unions, Poland’s Solidarity movement.

And Reagan said this regarding unions:

By outlawing Solidarity, a free trade organization to which an overwhelming majority of Polish workers and farmers belong, they have made it clear that they never had any intention of restoring one of the most elemental human rights—the right to belong to a free trade union.

So you modern conservatives even make Ronald Reagan look like a leftist. And guess what? He was no leftist.

That ought to give you reason to consider your blind partisanship, but something tells me that would be highly unlikely.

about 9 months ago

Google Buys UK AI Startup Deep Mind

Maow Re:Voice assistant (113 comments)

No they weren't. Cellphones were cool from the start. At least, around here anyway. Everyone wanted one. The problem with glass is the same with bluetooth headsets. People ware them even when they're not using them... which makes you look like a douche. Once Google has these embedded in regular glasses this will stop being an issue.

Agree with the first part, but on BlueTooth headsets - what's one supposed to do with them, take them off and pocket them? That risks losing them. I leave mine in place, even when turned off, when I'm out and about. 'Cause I know I'd lose it otherwise.

Maybe it helps that I grew up in a household where hearing aids were worn by a family member, so having something in the ear was normal. On the other hand, I hated wearing ear buds for the longest time, 'til I recognized the usefulness of them.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

Maow TCP packet create, xfer, or receive (533 comments)

I imagine the creation of a TCP packet would mostly use a very similar routine regardless of the platform OS or hardware.

Or maybe the transferring of a packet.

about 9 months ago

New Class of "Hypervelocity Stars" Discovered Escaping the Galaxy

Maow Re:Maybe they're not stars.... (150 comments)

A million miles per hour is not all that much.

All the galaxies in our neighborhood are also rushing at a speed of nearly 1,000 kilometers per second (2,236.936 miles per hour) towards a structure called the Great Attractor, a region of space roughly 150 million light-years away.

I think they're calling them fast based on the relative speed to the galaxy that they're being ejected from / passing though.

Astrophysicists calculate that a star must get a million-plus mile-per-hour kick relative to the motion of the galaxy to reach escape velocity.

The diagram in TFA seems to indicate that these stars are not originating inside the galaxy, which to me raises the question, from whence do they come?

This image makes it appear the stars are mostly passing through the disk of the galaxy. I may be reading too much into the length of the coloured lines though.

about 9 months ago

Canada Quietly Offering Sanctuary To Data From the US

Maow Re:U.S. courts 'extradited' Canadian bank records? (184 comments)

That court case did nothing of the sort - it was a court case against a local US bank subsidiary asking for records of other subsidiaries in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands.

I came in here to address this issue.

An interesting quote (emphasis mine) from the linked-to case:

The nationality of the Bank is Canadian, but its presence is pervasive in the United States.[18] The Bank has voluntarily elected to do business in numerous foreign host countries and has accepted the incidental risk of occasional inconsistent governmental actions. It cannot expect to avail itself of the benefits of doing business here without accepting the concomitant obligations. As the Second Circuit noted years ago, "If the Bank cannot, as it were, serve two masters and comply with the lawful requirements both of the United States and Panama, perhaps it should surrender to one sovereign or the other the privileges received therefrom."

Over all I do hope that more data is moved to Canada (hence more jobs here), and the Canadian governments, federal and provincial, strengthen their determination (and regulations) to keep sensitive citizens' data out of the USA.

How about a nice, fat trans-Canada fibre optic cable, all within our borders? I imagine the spending on the advertisements for the "Canada Action Plan" would've paid for a good deal of it...

about 9 months ago

Australian Icebreaker Tries To Get Through To Stranded Antarctic Research Ship

Maow Re:Ah....and please tell me what your definition o (188 comments)

A projection is.

In my definition, it is "if I have x, y, z, and it continues on path q, I can project that it will continue to do so with a given accuracy". But as soon as I open my big fat mouth and say that "q will be such", I've changed from a projection of a model to a prediction. And when ALL of those predictions are wrong and revised.

That's where I think you're mistaken; they don't say, "q will be such", they state something more like, "if q continues to be such, we expect ___ with an X% level of confidence" (ya know, like scientists tend to do).

I found this IPCC glossary:

Climate prediction

A climate prediction or climate forecast is the result of an attempt to produce a most likely description or estimate of the actual evolution of the climate in the future, e.g. at seasonal, interannual or long-term time scales. See also: Climate projection and Climate (change) scenario.



Climate projection

A projection of the response of the climate system to emission or concentration scenarios of greenhouse gases and aerosols, or radiative forcing scenarios, often based upon simulations by climate models. Climate projections are distinguished from climate predictions in order to emphasise that climate projections depend upon the emission/concentration/ radiative forcing scenario used, which are based on assumptions, concerning, e.g., future socio-economic and technological developments, that may or may not be realised, and are therefore subject to substantial uncertainty.

Finally, the IPCC projections are criticized for being, if anything, too conservative in their projections. Time and time again they've said X in Y years and in Y - Z years X is seen to be having an effect. And when something stupid does come out (Himalayan glaciers melting in 30 years), they correct it. Ya know, like scientists do.

Also, don't confuse media headlines with IPCC projections, just like you can't expect to see realistic scenes of IT in movies.

And please, check out the link a few posts above that points to the Ars Technica story where the comp sci prof has a look at the models - he was impressed - they're pretty good. Or, "all models are wrong, some are useful" and climate models are useful.

about 10 months ago

Australian Icebreaker Tries To Get Through To Stranded Antarctic Research Ship

Maow Re:Two standard deviations more (188 comments)

If climate models were accurate, their predictions would be accurate. All of the models have failed on their predictions. This means, they are inaccurate and are not accurately reflecting the real world model.

They don't make predictions, they make projections; if you can't get that right, you're worse than the climate models.

Similar to confusing weather with climate.

Newtonian physics doesn't make accurate predictions (at relativistic speeds, for example), but it's still accurate (enough) for models. Or was Isaac Newton a "physicist" instead of a physicist because he didn't cover all cases?

about 10 months ago

Australian Icebreaker Tries To Get Through To Stranded Antarctic Research Ship

Maow Re:Two standard deviations more (188 comments)

But I can't prove anthropogenic climate change with anything but a computer model... and I've made too many computer models in my day for that to be very convincing.

Have you seen climate models, or do you just deny the ones that you don't like due to your standard of "truthiness"?

Ars Technica covers climate models nicely: (see page 2)

Steve Easterbrook, a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto, has been studying climate models for several years. “I'd done a lot of research in the past studying the development of commercial and open source software systems, including four years with NASA studying the verification and validation processes used on their spacecraft flight control software,” he told Ars.

When Easterbrook started looking into the processes followed by climate modeling groups, he was surprised by what he found. “I expected to see a messy process, dominated by quick fixes and muddling through, as that's the typical practice in much small-scale scientific software. What I found instead was a community that takes very seriously the importance of rigorous testing, and which is already using most of the tools a modern software development company would use (version control, automated testing, bug tracking systems, a planned release cycle, etc.).”

“I was blown away by the testing process that every proposed change to the model has to go through,” Easterbrook wrote. “Basically, each change is set up like a scientific experiment, with a hypothesis describing the expected improvement in the simulation results. The old and new versions of the code are then treated as the two experimental conditions. They are run on the same simulations, and the results are compared in detail to see if the hypothesis was correct. Only after convincing each other that the change really does offer an improvement is it accepted into the model baseline.”

about 10 months ago

Why Don't Open Source Databases Use GPUs?

Maow Re:Use SQL Server (241 comments)

Don't use open source db. Use SQL Server for security and speed.

I agree, simply because I'm paid 50 cents to post this.

How much were you paid?

about 10 months ago

Canadian Spy Agencies Deliberately Misled Courts

Maow Re:And as usual... (62 comments)

And as usual no individuals will be held personally accountable for this. Perhaps a general censure will occur, or a mocking speech stating that they didn't do anything wrong thinly veiled as an apology.

Canadians often mock America but it seems that you guys have achieved banana republic status too.

Sorry, that's petro-state.

Too cold for bananas up here.

about 10 months ago

Next-Gen Windshield Wipers To Be Based On Jet Fighter "Forcefield" Tech

Maow Re:What happens when it can't keep up? (237 comments)

Solution: Don't drive a McClaren in those conditions. You'll just have to take the Bentley, or the Rolls Royce.

You don't drive a Bentley or a Rolls Royce... Your chauffeur drives the Bentley or the Roller. So it doesn't matter how the windscreen is kept clean as you will be riding in back, far away from such irrelevancies.

As it should be.

The windscreen is kept clean by the butler strapped to the bonnet / hood and operating a squeegee.

Of course.

about 10 months ago

Theo De Raadt Says FreeBSD Is Just Catching Up On Security

Maow Re:Say what ?! (280 comments)

... if, say, the military or state department actually follows the NSA's suggestions, there's a decent chance that those suggestions are pretty close to as good as it gets ...

Are you saying that NSA hasn't yet created enough havoc, that you wish the State Department and the Military to join NSA in making even more violations to our Constitutions ??

When he said suggestions (not examples), I think he meant something like the NSA's Information Assurance recommendations.

Check it out, it's quite informative (+5 Informative).

about 10 months ago

Chinese Lunar Probe Lands Successfully

Maow Re: They have the money to do this (250 comments)

Posting AC because I modded you up. I'm just turning 49. My earliest memory is being woken by my dad to watch Neil Armstong descend that ladder on out tiny B/W TV. That memory shaped my life.

It's with sadness that I don't recall that specific event, though the parents assure me that I was watching.

I do recall other, related events though, just not the big one.

Also, posting AC will remove your given mod points, unless perhaps you logged out altogether.

Easy to test: check score on some post, then give it a unique moderation. Check the score to ensure it was recorded. Post a reply as AC. Check score again: your mod will be gone.

about 10 months ago

Google Cuts Android Privacy Feature, Says Release Was Unintentional

Maow Re: Meh (324 comments)

Better battery consumption? Optimization? There are lots of reason to update an application.

I'd add to that bug fixes for obscure hardware as new bug reports are filed.

But I also agree with a poster above and below - once I have a working app, I skip the upgrades generally.

about 10 months ago



Edward Snowden says NSA engages in industrial espionage

Maow Maow writes  |  about 9 months ago

Maow (620678) writes "Snowden has been interviewed by a German TV network and stated that the NSA is involved in industrial espionage, which is outside the range of national security.

He claims that Siemens is a prime example of a target for the data collection.

I doubt this would suprise AirBus or other companies, but it shall remain to be seen what measures global industries take (if any) to prevent their internal secrets from falling into NSA's — and presumably American competitors' — hands."

Link to Original Source

Gory images, videos posted on website are art, jury decides

Maow Maow writes  |  about 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "The website was part of a personal project by [Remy] Couture designed to raise the bar of his make-up and special- effects work. Couture, who is self-taught, sought to bring a psychopathic killer character of his own making to life.

Couture described it as a sort of "fake diary of a serial killer," complete with his own universe inspired by horror movies and literature. But there was no victim in the case — all of the works were staged with willing actresses and a combination of fake blood, latex and silicone to create lifelike, horrific images.

The trial heard that Interpol received a complaint in 2006 from a user in Austria. The scenes were deemed so realistic that a pathologist in Europe couldn't rule out that a homicide had actually been committed. Montreal police began their investigation in early 2009.

Police officers who testified had doubts that Couture's work was real homicide, but still engaged in an elaborate sting operation with police posing as clients looking to do a gory photo shoot around Halloween.

"My objective was to create horror, plain and simple," Couture told the court.

It seems one cannot fault the police for the initial investigation, since we've now seen a Montreal snuff film posted on-line become the first indication of (an infamous murder)."

Link to Original Source

'Rogue (wandering) planet' spotted 100 light-years away

Maow Maow writes  |  about 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes ""This object was discovered during a scan that covered the equivalent of 1,000 times the [area] of the full moon," said study co-author Etienne Artigau of the University of Montreal.

"We observed hundreds of millions of stars and planets, but we only found one homeless planet in our neighbourhood."

This planet appears to be an astonishingly young 50-120 million years old.

The paper is published at

Here's hoping the Mayan End-of-World-2012 people don't seize upon this as some kind of impending rogue planet on a collision course with Earth, but one can expect it'll be bantered about on such forums."

Link to Original Source

B.C. woman sues Apple over iPhone data

Maow Maow writes  |  about 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "A B.C. woman is suing Apple Inc. alleging the company has violated the privacy and security of users of its iPhones, iPads and iPods that are using the iOS4 operating system.

(Yeah, IOS4. Continuing:)

Amanda Ladas, of Surrey, has filed the lawsuit under the Class Proceedings Act in Supreme Court of B.C. Ladas’s claim alleges that in addition to the violation of security and privacy, Apple has “engaged in deceptive acts or practices” that entitle her and anyone who joins the suit “to aggravated, punitive and/or exemplary damages.”

Ladas said in a release Tuesday that she is concerned that, without her permission, anyone with moderate computer knowledge can find out where she’s been.

According to a report by digital forensics technologist Francis Graf, whose report is filed with the lawsuit, Ladas’s iPhone 4 contains location data, going back approximately one year, which was easily accessible using free tools readily available on the internet."

Link to Original Source

Samsung Galaxy Nexus ban overturned by US appeals court

Maow Maow writes  |  about 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "The US Court of Appeals has overturned a ban on sales of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus phone, in a blow to Apple in the ongoing battle between the two rivals.

It said the district court in California, which had issued the ban in June, had "abused its discretion in entering an injunction".

Link to the decision.

I always wondered why the pure Google (Nexus) model was banned, and why Google didn't file an Amicus Curae filing in that suit..."

Link to Original Source

Mozilla Firefox browser upgrade (v 16) taken offline due to vulnerability

Maow Maow writes  |  about 2 years ago

Maow writes "The latest version of Mozilla's Firefox browser has been taken offline after a security vulnerability was discovered.

Users who had upgraded to version 16 were advised to downgrade to the previous safe release until Firefox developers released a fix.

Indeed, checking the Firefox download URL, it shows version 15.0.1.

Expect an update tomorrow."

Mozilla Firefox browser upgrade (v 16) taken offline due to vulnerability

Maow Maow writes  |  about 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "The latest version of Mozilla's Firefox browser has been taken offline after a security vulnerability was discovered.

Users who had upgraded to version 16 were advised to downgrade to the previous safe release until Firefox developers released a fix.

Indeed, checking the Firefox download URL, it shows version 15.0.1."

Link to Original Source

Google Nexis QC problems? Phantom keypresses & loose screen

Maow Maow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "In what could shape up to be a big PR blow for Google, it appears there are multiple Quality Control issues with the new Nexis 7 tablets.

Reports of "loose screens" have begun occurring almost since the devices first arrived. Some users have complained that the touchscreen glass is slightly lifted around the edge of the device. In some cases that means that light seems to "bleed" into the display of a page, while others have said it means the screen actually moves.

I have noticed that the glass on the left side is separating from the case When you look at it from the side you can see the glass sticking up a bit and when you push it back down you can hear the adhesive grab on then it lets go

Possibly more damning is the video of a tablet accepting "phantom" keypresses. It's registering letters (mostly "J") when there is obviously noone touching the screen."
Link to Original Source


Quality Control issues with Google's Nexus 7

Maow Maow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "As someone with no interest in purchasing a "fondleslab", this is still somewhat sad news: It seems there are issues arising with the Nexus7 such as phantom-typing: a video at primary link showing the keypad actively accepting key presses with no user's hand nearby. Also a video showing the screen separating from the housing. Apparently it also allows light to leak from the edges.

Complaints are multiplying online about quality issues with the new Google Nexus 7 tablet, with a number of people complaining about "loose screens" which bleed light from the edges or move when touched.

This looks like an impending PR disaster for Google."
Link to Original Source


Canada's Supreme Court ruling scraps fee for downloading music

Maow Maow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "Canada's Supreme Court has issued 5 rulings regarding copyright today.

The Supreme Court today scrapped the royalty paid to songwriters and music publishers for downloading music but maintained the tariff for the streaming of music.

Gamers might be interested in this part:

The court also overturned another lower court decision that allowed SOCAN to collect a tariff when video games are downloaded over the internet."

Link to Original Source

Canada's Internet Surveillance Bill: not dead after all

Maow Maow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "Despite a recent story claiming that Canada's Bill C-30, covering internet surveillance, has died a "lonely" death, the minister responsible claims otherwise.

"Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is denying reports that the Harper government intends to quietly shelve its controversial online surveillance bill, C-30. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning, Toews insisted the legislation was moving ahead."

This is the bill that you either support, "or you stand with the child pornographers.""

Link to Original Source

Blackberry maker RIM says co-chief executives step

Maow Maow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has said its co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down in a shake-up.

Chief operating officer Thorsten Heins will replace them starting Monday."

Link to Original Source

Security firm settles Ohio woman's privacy lawsuit

Maow Maow writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Maow writes "An Ohio woman who sued a Vancouver company for releasing to police explicit images from her laptop has accepted a settlement only a short time after the judge rejected a motion to dismiss.

One thing never made clear (to me) was: did they intercept her email and instant messages, or take the web cam shots themselves, coincidentally at the same time she was naked-chatting with her boyfriend.

One thing made explicit in aforementioned link is that charges of is that "But charges of receiving stolen property were quickly dropped.""

Link to Original Source

Is Shroud of Turin a medieval fake?

Maow Maow writes  |  about 5 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "Scientists who recreated relic insist experiment proves cloth a forgery:

Scientists have reproduced the Shroud of Turin — revered as the cloth that covered Jesus in the tomb — and say the experiment proves the relic was man-made, a group of Italian debunkers claim."

Link to Original Source

GameStop drops Microsoft's Zune

Maow Maow writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Maow (620678) writes "GameStop, which operates in Canada and other countries through its EB Games brand, has decided to stop selling Microsoft Corp.'s Zune digital music player because of a lack of demand.

Microsoft earlier this month announced it had sold two million Zunes since their launch in November 2006 ... Apple in its most recent quarter sold 10.6 million iPods, or more than five times Microsoft's cumulative total over a year and a half."

Link to Original Source

RCMP investigator says eBay trying to hide scam pr

Maow Maow writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Maow (620678) writes ""RCMP investigator says eBay trying to hide scam problem
Calgary man loses $20K after eBay sale hijacked" is reporting that an eBay auction page has been hijacked. A Calgary man has lost $20,000 in the scam.

"When Duraj complained to eBay, the company wrote him a letter saying someone had temporarily taken over, or hijacked, the seller's page, and that he would have to contact police and the FBI."

If this gets out, I imagine it would scare a fair few people from bidding. At least on big-ticket items."



You've chased away InsightIn140Bytes

Maow Maow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Um, this isn't meant as a "submission", but a journal entry. I haven't posted to a /. journal before; hope I get this right...

Mr Ratzo,

I've noticed that one user named InsightIn140Bytes has posted only through the end of the day (roughly) since your epic takedown of his shillness.

Very good work.

Seems he's back though: now as user DCTech.

Since their posts are remarkably similar yet there's no overlap, one (well, me) must assume that they're the same person.

Thought I'd mention it, cheers.

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