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!



Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Steps Down

OakDragon Re:DING DONG! (138 comments)

Tsk - it's called Myanmar Shave now.


Developing the First Law of Robotics

OakDragon Re:Similar to "Runaround" in I, Robot... (164 comments)

I have not yet read "Runaround". The story reminded me of the Star Trek: Voyager episode, Latent Image

The Doctor eventually discovers a conspiracy by the crew to keep him from remembering events that led to the holographic equivalent of a psychotic break. The trouble started when a shuttlecraft was attacked, causing several casualties. The Doctor was faced with making a choice between two critically injured patients - Ensign Jetal and Ensign Kim - with an equal chance of survival, but a limited amount of time in which the Doctor could act, meaning that he had to choose which of the two to save. The Doctor happened to choose Ensign Harry Kim; Jetal died on the operating table. As time passed, the Doctor was overpowered by guilt, believing that his friendship with Harry somehow influenced his choice

3 days ago

Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

OakDragon Re:Actually a good thing. (215 comments)

I agree. Some kind of prototype for computer games, or (physical) card, board, RPG, etc. games, should not be an undue burden.

about a week ago

Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

OakDragon Re:um, ok. (100 comments)

Maybe if it's a noble gas.

about a week ago

Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

OakDragon Re:In other words nobody is born smart (269 comments)

I thought one of the most remarkable studies was the one that showed conjoined twins tend to live in the same city. That blew me away.

about a week ago

Book Review: Architecting the Cloud

OakDragon Re:Words (75 comments)

They're verbing again.

about two weeks ago

Welcome To Laniakea, Our New Cosmic Home

OakDragon Re:A body in motion etc. (67 comments)

It replaces the new grouping in much the same way Einstein replaced Newtonian mechanics.

No it does not and that analogy is complete bullshit.

Don't waste your precious analogies on Slashdot; they'll only be torn to pieces.

about two weeks ago

U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

OakDragon Re:I like... (643 comments)

I like the idea, but this is not a federal government issue.

about three weeks ago

Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

OakDragon Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (247 comments)

Yeah? Well you guys may have the LHC, but our cutting edge tech is run out of a trailer!

And it may turn out to be a simulated trailer.

about three weeks ago

New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

OakDragon Re:Here's the rub... (215 comments)

And it's an HP.

about 1 month ago

Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives

OakDragon Re:Take the , (180 comments)

Henny Youngman : Take my , please!

about a month ago

Samsung Buys Kickstarter-Funded Internet of Things Startup For $200MM

OakDragon Re:$200MM (107 comments)

I think it's a Slashdot editor trying to spin 500rpm in an office chair and publish articles at the same time.

Or 500RPMM.

about a month ago

Hotel Charges Guests $500 For Bad Online Reviews

OakDragon Re:Good (183 comments)

I hated paying the $500, but it was totally to BURN them with my review!

about a month and a half ago

Hotel Charges Guests $500 For Bad Online Reviews

OakDragon Re:Libertarians, discuss! (183 comments)

Take it easy there, Hit Girl!

about a month and a half ago

Barry Shein Founded the First Dialup ISP (Video)

OakDragon Re:Uh... (116 comments)

And when it finally happened, that's the day that the Internet transformed from something great into the ghetto of spam, scams, and ads that it is today.

Another great invention for the masses ruined by the masses.

about a month and a half ago

A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

OakDragon Re:Wow ... (419 comments)

Just like hacking* into the system in an 80s movie:



* I know "cracking" is the preferred word among hackers; I just cannot bring myself to use it.

about 2 months ago

A Credit Card-Sized, Arduino-Based Game Device (Video)

OakDragon Re:For the love of VIDEO... (33 comments)

What kinda chip you got in there, a Dorito?

about 2 months ago



YouTube issuing "report cards" on carriers' streaming speeds

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  about 2 months ago

OakDragon (885217) writes "In the shadow of the "Net Neutrality" debate, Google's YouTube has created a service to report on your carrier's usage and speed, summarizing the data in a "Lower/Standard/High Definition" graph. You may see the service offered when a video buffers or stutters. A message could display under the video asking "Experiencing interruptions? Find out why." Find your own provider's grade here."

'Selfie' taken during stroke helps doctors diagnose mini-stroke

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  about 3 months ago

OakDragon (885217) writes "A Toronto woman had the presence of mind to record herself, using her smartphone, as she suffered from a bout of semi-paralysis. She had suffered the same symptoms two days earlier, and had gone to the hospital; but by that time the condition had passed, and doctors sent her home. However, using the smartphone video, doctors later diagnosed her with a transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke. The diagnosis was confirmed with an MRI."

Sinkhole Swallows 8 Vehicles inside Bowling Green KY Corvette Museum

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  about 7 months ago

OakDragon (885217) writes "A sinkhole about 40 feet wide — and 30 feet deep — opened up inside the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY early Thursday morning, swallowing eight vehicles that were sitting inside. At least one of these cars is one of a kind, and due to its location the fire department allowed its removal. The sinkhole is remarkable in that it has left the surrounding ground which supports the circular structure intact, although that assessment may change up on investigation. Security footage from inside the museum shows the collapse as it happened."

Man Indicted for Attempting to Blackmail Mitt Romney for $1 Million in Bitcoins

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  about a year ago

OakDragon (885217) writes "A Franklin, Tennessee man has been indicted for his attempt to blackmail Mitt Romney. Michael Mancil Brown allegedly claimed his intent to release some of Romney's pre-2010 tax documents unless one million dollars was converted to Bitcoins and deposited into an account which he specified. Demand letters were sent to Republican and Democrat Party offices in Tennessee, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (whom he claimed to have stolen the documents from). Pricewaterhouse Coopers denies that he ever obtained such documents. Brown was also attempting to "sell" the documents to others (presumably the Democrats or other interested parties) for the same amount. And yes, he was apparently well aware of the Dr. Evil reference."
Link to Original Source

Spider that Builds It's Own Spider Decoys Discovered

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  about 2 years ago

OakDragon writes "A newly discovered species of spider — apparently of the genus Cyclosa — has been discovered in the Peruvian Amazon. The spider builds an elaborate decoy out of web, twigs, and other scraps, that appears to be a much larger spider. The spider will even cause the decoy to move, marionette-style, by shaking the web."
Link to Original Source

Kickstarter Introduces New Hardware and Product Design Project Guidelines

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  about 2 years ago

OakDragon writes "Kickstarter has introduced some more stringent guidelines and requirements specifically for the Hardware and Product Design categories. These new requirements are laid out in a blog post called "Kickstarter Is Not a Store." Simulations will now be prohibited. Video cannot show a proposed product, action, etc. — only a real product and what it does at the time. Product renderings and other simulated illustrations also will not be sufficient — the project creator will have to have photographs of a real prototype."
Link to Original Source

Neutrino message sent through ground

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

OakDragon writes "For the first time, scientists have used neutrinos – the exotic fundamental particles that routinely pass right through Earth – to send a message through the ground.

Because neutrinos so rarely interact with other particles, they are extremely difficult to detect. The detector, called Minerva, contains layers of different materials, including carbon, lead and iron. As the neutrinos pass through it, occasionally a neutrino will collide head-on with the nucleus of one of these atoms, creating other particles that are visible to the detector."

Link to Original Source

Fox to "paywall" shows for 8 days

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 3 years ago

OakDragon (885217) writes "For those who are used to watching Family Guy, Glee, or The Simpsons online the day after the shows appear on TV, get ready to be mad. Fox and Hulu will be putting new shows behind a paywall for 8 days, starting August 15th. However, Hulu Plus subscribers won't have to pay — and neither will those who prove they are cable or dish subscribers. The latter authenticate DISH Network customers at first, but "other cable and satellite providers will be 'coming soon.'""
Link to Original Source

Mark Helprin Thinks Copryright Law Too Weak

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 5 years ago

OakDragon writes "In 2007, Mark Helprin wrote what he thought was a mildly controversial opinion on an esoteric in the New York Times: he was in favor of strengthening copyright laws in order for authors to better protect their work. Within a week, there were hundreds of thousands of blog posts and comments criticizing his stance. A recent Wall Street Journal quotes his opinion: 'manifestation of the collective versus the individual, of central direction versus local decision, of concentrated powers versus dispersed powers, of the large corporation versus the sole proprietor, of the combine versus the artists, of the industrialist versus the smallholder.'"
Link to Original Source

"Scaled-Down" Solar System Found

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

OakDragon (885217) writes "Using gravitational microlensing, astronomers have discovered a planetary system that is roughly analogous to our own Solar system's relationship between the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn. The star, OGLE-2006-BLG-109L, is about half the mass of our Sun, but the planets found are closer to it, hence the "scaled-down" description. Gravitational microlensing has turned up a handful of planets previously, but this is the first time conditions were just right to show the existence of smaller planets."
Link to Original Source

The 10 Most Ridiculous Inventions Ever Patented

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

OakDragon writes "Move over and Microsoft: (remember "Cracked?" It's back, in web form) presents their picks for the ten most ridiculous patents, including an "animal toy" that we might call "a stick.""

Botnet stumping for Ron Paul?

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

OakDragon (885217) writes "Ron Paul's main support springs from the Internet. I suspect many Slashdot regulars support him (at least among those the support Republicans). But could some of his supporters be, let's say, less than human? Some researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham say that a flurry of emails supporting Paul is the work of botnets. The Wired story says:

Some participants in the online political world have long suspected Paul's technically sophisticated fan base of manipulating online tools and polls to boost the appearance of a wide base of support.

Don't everybody speak up at once, now..."

Cassette Tapes Linger in a Post-CD World

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

OakDragon writes "Twenty years after its obituary was written, the cassette tape is stubbornly clinging to life. Even though their production has plummeted from the early 90s, the last cassette maker in North America — Lenco-PMC — claims their factory will produce 22 million cassettes per year for the next several years. The market for cassettes now? Audio books for the blind (where Braille labels on CDs intefere with the slot-fed players), court recordings, and religious recordings."

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

OakDragon (885217) writes "An Associated Press story relates:

Wearing Superman pajamas and covered with his Batman blanket, comic book illustrator Dave Cockrum died Sunday.

The 63-year-old overhauled the X-Men comic and helped popularize the relatively obscure Marvel Comics in the 1970s. He helped turn the title into a publishing sensation and major film franchise.


Cockrum and Wein added their own heroes to the comic and published "Giant-Size X-Men No. 1" in 1975. Many signature characters Cockrum designed and co-created — such as Storm, Mystique, Nightcrawler and Colossus — went on to become part of the "X-Men" films starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry.

On a personal note, it was Cockrum's generation of X-Men that ultimately made me interested in the comics. Flashier artwork came later — John Byrne, et al — but Cockrum's steady hand guided the X-Men well. (And, yes, my choice of topic 'X' was intentional. :)"

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

OakDragon writes "The DNC sent a 'helpful' warning to the RNC regarding a security flaw found in a Republican National Committee recruiting website. By changing an ID number in a URL, a user's email can be uncovered. In a press relase, the DNC reproduced the letter they sent to the RNC, which said in part that "...nor were you 'hacked' — this flaw was found through normal usage of your website and any user could do the same..." RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt denied the suggestion: "Our Web site is completely secure.""

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  about 8 years ago

OakDragon writes "In this case, "ethical" means the company making the claim, Advanced Cell Technology, didn't destroy the original embryo. A study published in Nature promises a method of extracting stem cells from an embryo without destroying it. Could this render a very controversial subject a moot point? Of course, there's no pleasing some people. "Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of pro-life activities at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, says Lanza's methods are unacceptable for several reasons, including the fact that the experiments leading to his recent advance — although done to develop a technique that would preserve embryos — actually destroyed embryos in the process.""



More? Less? Hotter? Colder? Global warming's gotcha covered!

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  about 7 years ago Noted and posted without comment:

Since the late 1960s, much of the North Atlantic Ocean has become less salty, in part due to increases in fresh water runoff induced by global warming, scientists say.

- Michael Schirber, LiveScience, 29 June 2005

The surface waters of the North Atlantic are getting saltier, suggests a new study of records spanning over 50 years. They found that during this time, the layer of water that makes up the top 400 metres has gradually become saltier. The seawater is probably becoming saltier due to global warming, Boyer says.

- Catherine Brahic, New Scientist, 23 August 2007


Scorching flames from the Boy Scouts' campfire

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I knew when I saw the subject "Boy Scouts Introduce Merit Badge For Not Pirating," things would get ugly very quickly. This is the Boy Scouts, after all, and we know their crimes include being religious and homophobic, among many others. Predictably, Republicans came up rather quickly (thanks to the recent Foley scandal), and a thread branched off discussing Bush, Gitmo, Iraq, and even former President Clinton. I did want to reply to some of the posts, but there were too many to get my point across. Also, I didn't feel like burning karma. So I am addressing a few points in my Slashdot journal. Those that stumble across it can take it for what it is, and post their own comments if they like.

I would like to say first that I was scandalized by Clinton's affair, but not in any Victorian "goodness-I-have-the-vapors" sense. I believe in the sancity of marriage, and I was mad because Bill Clinton had not only lied to the country (both on TV and under oath), but presumably had broken his oath to his wife as well. (I admit I am not familiar with the Clintons' particular wedding vows.) I was not offended as a Bible-thumping Christian "fundie." (I was raised Christian, but am now kind of a take it or leave it, non-churchgoing fellow - pretty average for my part of the country.)

From Clinton's lies we progress to Bush's pack of lies. Or so they say. Look, everyone lies. That's not in question, to my mind. Successful espionage programs and covert operations require leaders to engage in some kind of deception as a cost of operating.

The problem is that Bush's political opponents claim that he's told some really big lies that drew an innocent nation into a war. What actually happened was that Bush laid his case, which was our best knowledge to date, before Congress and the American people. People complain of "cherry picking" the information. Has it ever occurred to them that Bush calculated - and accepted - the worse-case scenario? But I am tired of this point, as I am tired of most Bush bashing. He does deserve criticism, and he doesn't care to take it. I have nothing more to gain by defending him.

Last, a few things about Iraq. Some are making great hay about the 650,000 (supposedly) civilian deaths since the war began. I agree with those who say even the lower end figures are appalling. Not one civilian should have to die, and even the majority of Saddam's army do not deserve death. Our soldiers don't deserve to have their vibrant lives cut short.

I do have problems with that number, however. The originators of the study conducted interviews in a very small sampling. (These interviews can be extremely dangerous, after all.) Also, there is no attempt to explain who caused these deaths. (Indeed, by not talking about it, the press and the authors of the study seem to be attempting to accuse the US armed forces of mass murder.) The vast majority of slain innocent civilians are killed by insurgents, illegal militias, Al Queda, and other foreign combatants. Last, there is no attempt (and perhaps no way) of identify civilians who are actually unlawful combatants, those fighting without being part of a regular army.

If Iraq is a mistake - and although you may think otherwise, the history here is still too young to tell the whole tale - it is a mistake worth making. We may grow weary of this war, and withdraw away from the world. But the world will not leave us alone. We will be fighting Islam for many years to come. You may be shocked and appalled to hear me say that - it appalls me - but it is what I've come to believe. Islam was founded by a murdering warlord, and it shows no sign of moderating. It is a violent religion that punishes mercy and forgiveness. (That is not to say that it could not evolve into something else; there is no sign of that happening, however.) Americans can run from this war, but future terrorist attacks will take more and more blood, until the nation, reluctantly, unleashes more and more destruction against radical Muslims. It's sad and a shame, but that's just the way I see it. Am I wrong? I hope I am, on this.


Tagging beta - wtf,no,yes,maybe

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  about 8 years ago

By now, some slashdotters should be aware of the tag system that is in beta. (If you don't know, just look at any story; the tags appear under the story's description.) As of now, only subscribers (and a few users) can add tags to a story.

It may be my imagination, but the tagging already seems to be losing some steam. Tags appear less quickly, or not at all. And of the tags that are present, only about half would be actually useful. Let's look at some recent examples.

This is fair enough. (FUD stands for Fear, Uuncertainty, Doubt, and has a rich history among geeks and nerds in the IT world.) But it seems for every fud tag, a notfud is found. Useful?
This one just seems to long and unwieldy to be a good tag. It's more like an in-joke or something.
Here's a real beaut - if you're looking for articles concerning the internation space station, this tag helpfully says "not here!"
That may be, but you can do better. Useful tag for those that like looking out for lame news stories.

Then we have tags that directly respond to the article description, often to rhetorical questions with the write-up.

yes, no
Really, what good is yes or no as a tag? Like fud, you are likely to find both together, which makes it doubly useless.
Usually given in the "hanging's too good for 'em" spirit, it is pretty lame as a tag.
For those that like reading about stuff they already knew, and how!

So how about some useful tags?

  • microsoft, linux, ...
  • security
  • apple, ibm
  • biotech, space, ...
  • google
  • ...others?

And one last question: how do we use the tags presently? Or will that come after the beta period?

EDIT NOTE: When I wrote this, I was unware that only some Slashdot members could participate in tagging.


I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC

OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 8 years ago

When I first saw the "I'm a Mac... and I'm a PC" ads (produced by Apple), they got under my skin a little. At the time, I figured that I was the only one, being a curmedgeon-in-training. So I was a little surprised to see so many negative blog entries about those commercials.

The ads aren't exactly back-firing on Apple. I have no idea what the internal data looks like, but there is no outrage among the critics. People just find the ads a little off target, and perhaps a little lame. I think the main reason is that the PC guy is so likeable. People who think of themselves as geeks and nerds actually identify more with him, even if they dress more like the Mac guy.

What could Apple have done better? This is just my opinion - and they probably market-tested the commercials several different ways - but I think they should have made the PC guy a little bit older, a little bit louder, and a little more full of himself. I think this would have reinforced the idea they were trying to convey: PCs are all business, and little else. A PC will tell you what to do, not the other way around.

What do you think?



OakDragon OakDragon writes  |  more than 8 years ago Hi. In case you're wondering, I am on a Karma-burning mission. I am racing to the bottom. This post was the straw that broke the camel's back. I tried to respond to what I considered a snide, false accusation regarding the President and his supposed "lies." I gave 4 references to support my position, instead of just saying "you looozer!!!" And what did I get for my efforts? -1 Troll.

Now, I could have seen "Flamebait," maybe. But Troll? So, I'm just burning my bridges, enjoying the ride, and trying to be banned from /.

Be sure and help me out, and mod me as Troll whenever you can!

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>