×

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

Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

NF6X Re:VR a bad idea? (535 comments)

I think VR is a great idea, but now that FB has bought Oculus VR, Oculus VR is dead to me. I will not buy their products now or in the future, and if I already had one, I'd smash it. That's how much I love FB.

about three weeks ago
top

Minecraft Creator Halts Plans For Oculus Version Following Facebook Acquisition

NF6X Re:for occulus it's the better deal (300 comments)

Indeed. Now I'm glad that I didn't act on my brief curiosity about applying for work at Oculus VR when I heard about some interesting engineering job openings that they posted a while back. I wouldn't want to work for Zuckerberg. Now that FB owns them, I have lost all interest in ever buying their products. Oculus VR is dead to me now.

about three weeks ago
top

Fake PGP Keys For Crypto Developers Found

NF6X Re:The chain of trust is broken. (110 comments)

And in this case, the fake key has zero signatures whatsoever. If it had any, they would either be a blob of also-fake unconnected keys, or someone proving his guilt this way.

Just to be pedantic, a fake key may also be signed by a real, correctly-identified individual who had no intention of subterfuge, but who isn't careful about whose keys he or she signs. Of course, once discovered, that person should from then on be distrusted to validate other keys just as much as somebody who deliberately tried to deceive others.

A scarier but less likely possibility would be a malicious actor who creates a forged key for some other person, and then attends key-signing parties where they present forged identification in order to receive legitimate signings of their forged key. It'd be hard to get away with this if the target is an individual with a well-known appearance, like a Schneier or a Wozniak. But if the target is somebody who is just known online by name and not by their physical appearance, then it might not be hard to get legitimate signatures on the forged key by real, well-trusted individuals who simply had no prior knowledge of the target's real appearance. I wouldn't know "the" Gavin Andresen who maintains Bitcoin code from "a" random person named Gavin Andresen, or even an impostor with a good forgery of a government-issued ID card. I've never seen a picture of Gavin that I can recall, so I have no idea of what he looks like.

about a month ago
top

Fake PGP Keys For Crypto Developers Found

NF6X Re:Transitivity of trust (110 comments)

Just because you trust somebody doesn't mean you trust him or her to trust others.

Very true! If I meet a person face-to-face, they hand me their PGP/GPG public key, and they show me plausible-looking picture ID that matches the identity that their key claims to represent, then I can mark their key in my keychain as one that I'm confident is not a forgery. If they are otherwise a stranger to me with no well-known reputation, then I can register in my keychain that their signature on somebody else's key doesn't count for much. Or if they are a well-known person with a reputation of being very careful about whose keys they sign, I may register in my keychain that I tend to trust keys that they have signed. The web of trust system is pretty well configurable.

I may also sign their key with mine to let other people know that "I, NF6X, consider this key to belong to the individual it claims to belong to". You may or may not consider that to be of value, depending on how well you know me and what you think of me.

This seems to be a reasonable model to me, and I think it's better than the "one CA to rule them all" model used for things like SSL certificates. It's difficult to scale the model well, though. I don't know of any other PGP/GPG users near me and I began using these systems long after I graduated from college where I might have had many more opportunities to sign others' keys and have mine signed. So, I'm not part of the web of trust, and I'm unlikely to become one unless I go out of my way to travel to a key-signing party to meet some well-known and reputable people. The few people with whom I exchange PGP/GPG-encrypted traffic are strangers to me, and I have no way of being strongly confident that they are who they say they are.

about a month ago
top

RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

NF6X Re:Poor management (423 comments)

If an employee didn't ask every customer about a cell phone AND a satellite dish they were fired. Even before that turnover was like a fast food place.

And no, I don't want to buy an extended service plan for the audio patch cord that I'm going to cut one end off of and mount a different connector on as soon as I get home, thank you very much. No, really, I'm positive.

about a month and a half ago
top

RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

NF6X Re:Electron Hobbyist store. (423 comments)

Their components are substandard manufacturer rejects (best I can tell) that they package in small quantities and sell for 10X the price.

In my opinion and experience, that was true back in the 1980s, too. I bought components there at the time because I didn't know of any better option near me, and I didn't even know that I should be searching for a better option. It's not like I could order parts online from Digi-Key. I didn't know that it's possible to buy hookup wire whose crappy insulation doesn't flee in terror from an approaching soldering iron. I didn't know about ring lugs whose plastic insulation is tough enough to survive crimping without breaking off. I had one of the cool TI sound generator chips they carried, but one of the functional blocks never worked right. I thought that the way to buy capacitors was in a bulk pack of 50 random values.

They did have some excellent products like the set of Minimus 7 speakers that I still have, and my first exposure to computers and programming was my TRS-80 Color Computer. Radio Shack played an important part in my earliest experiences with electronics and computers, but I began looking elsewhere for most electronic components and supplies once I learned how to find higher-quality parts. Now I only shop for components there when I want something Right Now.

about a month and a half ago
top

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

NF6X Re: Resurrecting Technocrat.net (2219 comments)

Very interesting. I used to use MH with an emacs front end for email, before I grudgingly switched to flashy bloated graphical email readers since nobody seems to be able to send plain text email like civilized gentlemen any more.

about 2 months ago
top

Russia Bans Bitcoin

NF6X Re:Message to Dice about Slashdot Beta (207 comments)

A community is a group that holds common values. If you want to propose that slashdot viewers are a community, what are the common values that bind all of the viewers?

Bitching. Bitching is the common value that unites us. ;)

about 2 months ago
top

Russia Bans Bitcoin

NF6X Re:Timothy confirms Slashdot Classic will be gone. (207 comments)

I think we should mark yesterday, February 6, 2014, as the day that Slashdot died.

Yesterday may be the day that the coroner declared the victim to be dead, but the fatal disease was contracted when Dice.com bought Slashdot. Slashdot is a vibrant community built around a tainted well, and Dice.com is the entity that poisoned that well.

about 2 months ago
top

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

NF6X Re:And that's exactly what I asked for. (2219 comments)

*from Dice Inc. "Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero. "

Also if you were curious why the redesign looks like it does, check out the other dice sites. It appears they are going for a bland unified style across sites. http://news.dice.com/ is especially telling of what the future of /. may hold.

Thank you for sharing that quote from Dice.com. That makes it clear that Dice.com really does just think of Slashdot participants as an audience. Their motivations with respect to Slashdot are just to get ad revenue and to use us to lure eyeballs to Dice.com. We are not a community to them; we are a tool to be exploited to further their goals.

It is now clear to me that the problem is not that the folks running Slashdot aren't listening. The problem is that they don't care. Or at least, their bosses don't care. They aren't going to "see the light" and abort the Beta travesty because they want us gone. The folks who are outraged by Beta breaking what brings us to Slashdot are not the passive viewers that Dice.com wants. We are not relevant to Dice.com's goals. We don't come here to view ads. We don't even come here to read the posted stories, except as triggers for the discussion that follows. Dice.com does not want the core Slashdot participants; they want to use the Slashdot name to lure the cloud of passive Slashdot viewers to suckle at their corporate teat.

This suggests to me that Slashdot as we know it is already dead. It is a community built around a tainted well. The well became tainted when Dice.com came along and shat in it, and I don't see how the well can be purified other than by Dice.com leaving and taking their shit with them.

Boycotting Slashdot isn't going to change Dice.com's mind about these Beta changes. It's time to leave Slashdot and move to a new place.

about 2 months ago
top

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

NF6X Re:Resurrecting Technocrat.net (2219 comments)

And I personally would be happier reading something with the absolute minimum of Javascript except perhaps in the submission editor.

I'd go farther than that and say that if it's not possible to read and participate in discussion effectively in a text-only browser like Lynx, then the site is too encumbered with unnecessary crap. Ok, I wouldn't actually read it in Lynx; I'd use my browser du jour like I would for any other random site. But the point is, it's the discussion content that is important, and any window dressing is only acceptable to the extent that it doesn't get in the way of consuming and creating the discussion content.

If Javascript allows optional features like collapsing comment threads, then that would probably be beneficial to many contributors. But the JS needs to be optional, and the site needs to gracefully degrade to a still-usable state for any visitor who cannot or will not enable JS.

I haven't put a lot of thought into this yet, but my first impulse is to say that a new Slashdot site that was basically like Usenet of old with some form of moderation and the ability to embed URLs would be quite nice. There are probably fatal sucking chest wounds in that idea, but I'm just throwing it out there for discussion.

Does "Slashdot 2.0" even need to be a fixed web site? Could something distributed like Usenet be implemented to work well on today's Internet? Perhaps digitally signing messages would be the new delineator between non-anoymous posters vs. Anonymous Cowards, with each participant being able to choose whether they wish to view anonymous posts or not, killfile non-anoymous posters who annoy them with spam or other unwelcome postings, etc.? Again, these may be stupid ideas. I liked Usenet greatly back in the prehistoric times when I used it, though I may have forgotten a lot of shortcomings that annoyed me at the time, and it may not scale at all well to today's much larger and much more diverse online community.

about 2 months ago
top

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

NF6X Re:I Already Told You (2219 comments)

Your picture pretty much sums up my opinion of what is wrong with a lot of web sites nowadays. I really loathe the cancer of 2 or more column web sites that cram all of the content down one little ribbon of space with crap and/or empty whitespace on one or both sides, and often don't even scale the content for viewers who are using much larger or smaller windows than the designer anticipated. When I set up my own Wordpress site so modernize my old static HTML web site, I found that most of the themes and templates forced a 2+ column design and usually also forced a static content width. It was hard work to put together a single-column design that made somewhat efficient use of space and scaled up and down reasonably well. I may have still gone a bit overboard on the graphic fluff.

Beta is utter crap. It will kill Slashdot.

about 2 months ago
top

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

NF6X Re:And that's exactly what I asked for. (2219 comments)

I'm out of mod points, so I'm posting to say that I'd mod the parent +1 Insightful if I had any. I'm a relative newcomer with my high-6-digit UID, but I'll certainly follow the old guard to a new site if Slashdot continues down this path. And if there's no new site to take over, then I'll simply leave.

about 2 months ago
top

Where Old Hard Disks (with Digital Secrets) Go To Die

NF6X Re:Using encryption is the better option (128 comments)

A quick search for "miniscribe" on Youtube turned up the Miniscribe 3212 and Miniscribe 3650 as a couple of examples. Unlike my first Miniscribe hard drive (whose model number I don't remember), these ones appear to have optical sensors for track zero mounted on the outside of the stepper motor. Mine simply had a mechanical stop that the drive noisily buzzed against at power-up. But at least it wasn't a brick for the year or two that it lasted before failing.

about 3 months ago
top

Where Old Hard Disks (with Digital Secrets) Go To Die

NF6X Re:Have some fun (128 comments)

An AR-15 will destroy a hard drive just fine. I think that even regular soft-point hunting rounds would easily penetrate an old 5.25" full-height hard drive. I suppose that something with better range would be preferable if I found a need to destroy hard drives from more than 300 yards away...

about 3 months ago
top

Where Old Hard Disks (with Digital Secrets) Go To Die

NF6X Re:Using encryption is the better option (128 comments)

My first hard drive was a 20M 3.5" full height SCSI drive made by Miniscribe. It not only had a stepper motor to position the heads; it also simply jammed the heads against a hard stop to find track zero to save the expense of an optical sensor. I don't recall the model number. That piece of junk didn't last too long.

about 3 months ago
top

When Cars Go Driverless, What Happens To the Honking?

NF6X Re:There is no need to honk. Ever. (267 comments)

Very seldom, if someone fell asleep at the traffick light, I give it a very short blip.

Awesome. So you are an asshole. That thing is not there to wake people up, but to avoid accidents.

Right! That's why I never honk to wake up somebody in front of me at a traffic light. I just ram them. It's the polite thing to do!

about 3 months ago
top

Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

NF6X Re:If that wasn't crueal and unreasonable... (1038 comments)

If we were so concerned about humane execution we would use the guillotine.

I'm not sure about that. It's been debated whether a person decapitated by guillotine remains conscious for some period after their head is removed. There seems to be conflicting information about this, but I don't think it's clear that beheading by guillotine renders the victim immediately unconscious.

In contrast, execution by electric chair looks pretty gruesome to spectators, but I think I've read that since the current is passed between the victim's scalp and an ankle, the current flowing through their brain polarizes all of the neurons within milliseconds. Their body may be convulsing and smoking, but is their brain functioning at all while it's happening?

about 3 months ago
top

First Survey of Commercially Viable Asteroids Estimates Only 10 Are Worth Mining

NF6X Re:Baseballs... (265 comments)

Mining is the act of removing very small amounts of valuable minerals from large chunks of rock.

Bringing them HERE means the tailings all end up in earth orbit.

That would only be true if we brought the entire asteroid to earth orbit and then began mining it. If and when it is ever practical to mine asteroids, we would process them in place, bring the valuable stuff to earth surface, and leave the tailings in the same solar orbit they're already in.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

top

Fake "Speed Enforced By Drones" Signs on California Freeways

NF6X NF6X writes  |  about 9 months ago

NF6X (725054) writes "CBS station KPIX reports that somebody has been installing counterfeit traffic signs on California bay area freeways, warning motorists of drone-based speed enforcement. They are professionally-made reflective metal signs of comparable style and quality to official traffic signs, and in some cases are even mounted with tamper-resistant hardware. The signs show the familiar silhouette of an MQ-1 Predator drone launching a weapon. According to KPIX, California Highway Patrol denies that they operate any drones, and states that the signs are fake."
Link to Original Source
top

UCSD Lecturer Releases Gun Owner Geotagging Application

NF6X NF6X writes  |  about 9 months ago

NF6X (725054) writes "UCSD Lecturer Brett Stallbaum has released an Android app called Gun Geo Marker to allow people to "Geolocate Dangerous Guns and Owners". The app description states:

"The Gun Geo Marker operates very simply, letting parents and community members mark, or geolocate, sites associated with potentially unsafe guns and gun owners. These locations are typically the homes or businesses of suspected unsafe gun owners, but might also be public lands or other locations where guns are not handled safely, or situations where proper rights to own or use any particular type of firearm may not exist."

I question how the motivation behind developing this app differs from, say, developing an app to allow others to publicly geotag homes of people believed to belong to a particular religion or political party."

Journals

NF6X has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...