top Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?
Which editor should we use?
top UN to Debate Use of Fully Autonomous Weapons, New Report Released
If a robot killed arbitrarily, it would be difficult to hold anyone accountable.
Not like now, when every time that an Afghan peasant is killed in error, heads roll.
top Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them
There is always the possibility that one of these tribes will have a sickness that will wipe out the rest of the world. Or at least 80% of it.
top Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts
What BitCoin is, is a money laundering vehicle. You buy bitcoins electronically with funds in a country, you sell them two seconds later in other country, for more or less the same price. You have not only extracted the money from the country, but deleted most traces of property. You probably have made a payment without looking like that, just with an e-mail.
The wild changes of valuation help you explain your sudden wealth, which is a problem when you get money from drugs or bribery. Hint: most bitcoin millionaires are really money launderers at big scale, their wealth suddenly legal by way of the bitcoin wizardry. They are taking advantage of the computer illiteracy in governments, but as the scheme is used by more and more people, the loophole is being slowly closed.
As for the closed exchanges, they most likely are stealing the bitcoins themselves, safe in the difficulty of anybody proving anything within such convoluted software schemes, specially when the damages are to people of so many different countries, with their own reasons not to raise too big a fuss about it.
top Facebook To Buy WhatsApp
Try Threema. Fully encrypted. But not free. And nobody you know will have it, most likely.
In any case I wonder at so much money paid for an app to which the telecom operators can put an end to in 2 weeks, just by dropping to 0 the price of messaging. Risky, I'd say.
top Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?
I mean, a Designer that watches what you do, and is very interested in your behavior. Has set some rules that you must obey, but won't communicate with you. It's everywhere, can see the past and the future as a single continuum, can change reality, it's omnipotent but has chosen to limit It's own power.
No, nothing seems to check.
top Ask Slashdot: Which Encrypted Cloud Storage Provider?
I'm curious. I've always thought that encrypting a lot of files individually (as opposed to as a block) would open you to attacks based on the content of well known files (example configuration files, etc.) that you may add to the lot. That is, if the attacker has knowledge of the content of a couple of files, could he derive the keys for unencrypting the rest?
top I wish my car could...
I wish for a mounted Death Ray, or better, a Disintegrator, or better, (as both of them could be too silent for my taste) some sort of space-time-cruncher that throws everything ahead of me into a vortex of doom. For the rush hour.
top Obama Administration Overrules iPhone Trade Ban
Rather, he emphasized that because the patent in question was now a widely held technology standard, banning the products in question would be too disruptive to consumers and the economy
That argument could be used to sooooo many other patent litigations, and somehow never is, except when the affected part is a big American company.
top MS Office Tablet Delay Gives Google a Real Chance, and Not Just Google Apps
You could try the Samsung Note tablet, with pencil. In the Notes app you can write formulae (although mainly math, which can be even resolved), squares, etc, and be recognized (mostly) by the software. Probably it won't be yet useful for you, but perhaps you want to keep an eye on it.
top Build a Secret Compartment, Go To Jail
I used to think like you. Then I thought about what the Pharma industry would do if drugs were free ("Buy Kudkerless, won't cure your cancer, but sure will make you forget about it"), and now I'm for prohibition. I've thought about a middle ground and cannot find it. If you legalize, billions of research dollars would go to devise ways of addicting us to some chemical. You have to put the line somewhere or face a dystopian future.
top EU Car Makers Manipulating Fuel Efficiency Figures
Fuel efficiency tests are for comparison purposes. If all makers cheat equally, comparisons are still meaningful. When legislators set an standard, they'll probably take that into account and make the standard a bit tighter.
top SpiderSense Suit Delivers Superhuman Perception
as important a superpower as slinging webs
That's pure trolling, baiting us to come shouting that the webs of Spiderman ain't no superpower, but a device. I for one won't fall into the trap. At least I won't shout.
top Discovery Increases Odds of Life On Europa
Reporting from Europe. Can confirm life.
top A New Version of MS Office Every 90 Days
And about how long will take them, between Office file format changes that render them incompatible with previous versions? That's the most exciting feature of Office updates, and all customers look forward to these special moments. That's the thing that should happen every quarter to keep people involved in Office and shouting: For Innovation!
top Future Fighters Won't Need Ejection Seats
Now the weakest link will be the comm link. Not sure which one I prefer.
However, I suppose the future points that way. Next step, as a further method of savings, I suggest outsourcing of piloting to India. Then, after a time, when everybody has unmanned fighters, it'll be seen as a waste to really go to the cost of building the fighters. Wars will be fought virtually in probably the same Indian subcontractor war room, elbowing telecom service personnel and telemarketers. The loser will demolish some buildings and bridges in its own country, and promptly surrender to the winner.
top Oxford Tests Self-Driving Cars
...till the first foggy day.
about a year and a half ago
top COBOL Will Outlive Us All
It takes a week for a programmer to learn COBOL. A month at most to be proficient. Of course depending on dialect and environment, it can take more to be productive, but that's true also for COBOL programmers coming from other backgrounds. That means there will be no big shortage of programmers as big companies can train in-house in a matter of days.
The problem with COBOL is that it will erode your sanity with mindless repetition and superfluous verbosity. If you are put to make COBOL programs, make a generator for the most common tasks. It won't save you perhaps such a big amount of time, but it'll make life more interesting.
about a year and a half ago
top Surface Pro Sold Out; Was It Just Understocked?
And Nexus 10 too. How long is it to be "Temporarily" out of stock? I guess until there are better options on the market and nobody is interested anymore. It seems like a curious marketing system, but hey! I'm no MBA.
about a year and a half ago
top Racism In Online Ad Targeting
If they detect that you are a woman, a much higher percentage of tampons ads appear. Simply insulting! If they detect that you are old (by having a name like Grover, for example) they will bomb you with ads for nursery homes. There is no end to it! It's almost like if they were targeting the ads to what their databases say your interests will be. They should call it targeted advertising then!
about a year and a half ago
First, is a quote, of course, I wish I could write like that. There is no place in the
.sig to name the author or work, or in fact to put a "those" before "virtues" (as I more accurately translated it at first). It's from Margerite Yourcenar, the first woman in the Académie Française. The book is "Memoirs d'Hadrien" (Memories of Hadrian). I copy from Amazon: "Written in the form of a testamentary letter from the Emperor Hadrian to his successor, the youthful Marcus Aurelius, this work is as extraordinary for its psychological depth as for its accurate reconstruction of the second century of our era. The author describes the book as a meditation upon history, but this meditation is built upon intensive study of the personal and political life of a great and complex character as seen by himself and his contemporaries, both friends and enemies. Marguerite Yourcenar reconstructs Hadrian's arduous early years, his triumphs and reversals, and his gradual reordering of a war-torn world."
Well, one of these meditations is the one I copied. I read it in the original french, liked it too much (having been hit in life several times by those "great, general views"), and much later wrote it as my
.sig. So I may not remember it word by word, by the idea is that. So "Rome", of course, is the city but more to the point the emperorship.