top Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?
I live in Arizona where we don't fuck with it, but it makes me rethink local times vs times in other states when I need to call someone. It was a stupid idea that never made sense from the beginning. Let's drop it.
top Favorite clickbait hook?
"What doctors don't want you to know" is true! Doctors absolutely HATE having their patients raving about some worthless (and possibly dangerous) bullshit they found on the Web! It means a lot of time has to be wasted trying to convince Mr. Jones that foofooweed extract will not cure his cancer.
top Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'
Okay, I'm a geologist. It happens that I live in an intermontane basin filled with alluvium, and I know the water table is about 30 feet down at my location. If I were so inclined, I could take a couple of wires or a willow stick, walk around a bit for show, then "find" a place. I'd tell you to dig 30 feet and you'll find water - and I'd be right. The knowledge this takes is not that hard to acquire, especially if you want to work in a specific region. I suspect many of the "professional" water dowsers are simply doing that and making a buck from credulous buyers.
That said, I have seen people do some freaky things with dowsing rods. As a scientist I have to doubt any mystical source, but I admit having had a few WTF moments courtesy of one old fellow I used to know. He would find ore veins - where I knew they actually were, and he couldn't have because I hadn't shared my survey findings. But guess what? Ore veins do affect both the magnetic and gravitational fields. I don't completely discount an ability by some people to detect that - after all, some birds apparently do.
top Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory
The universe is a sphere only 20 meters across. It looks bigger, but that's an illusion. It's done with mirrors. Large objects like the Earth fit in it because the universe is bigger inside than it is outside.
top FTC To Trap Robocallers With Open Source Software
Me too. Rachel is still a constant nuisance. Maybe it's a ghost...
top My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...
Yep, I've yet to have one last a year. I've gone through 20 or so in the last 3 years. It doesn't seem to matter whether I buy the cheap ones or the most expensive. Within a month or two they go yellowish, then quit soon after. I've also had 3 explode, throwing glass shards all over the room. That isn't much fun. Oh, I guess there IS one that has lasted. That one never gets turned off, and while it's very yellow, it's still working. Maybe running them 24/7 is the answer, but then there isn't as much power savings. Looked at LEDs in the store, but none of them has light that's even close to satisfactory. The choice seems to be blue or yellow, and I hate both.
top One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983
We still used them in 83 where I was. We had to code by hand on coding forms, then we had to make our own punch cards on IBM Model 29s. The target system, an IBM 360, had a tempermental card reader that would sometimes spew the cards all over the place. Gathering them up and resorting them was a real treat. But we did get to see if it compiled on the spot. Whether it gave the desired output, well that was another matter.
top Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code
I spent a decade as a coal miner in my youth. I even earned a license as a blasting supervisor. And I can code. I don't code for a living, but yeah, I can code. I find the implication that coal miners are somehow too dumb to learn anything else mildly offensive. Many coal miners are the product of a family that has done the same work for generations, and just kind of inherited the job. Same with farmers. But that doesn't mean they are incapable of doing anything else.
top Crowdsourcing Confirms: Websites Inaccessible on Comcast
Yes, I recently installed a new router and just let it make its own connection. Soon I had DNS problems, which reminded me that I had switched to Google DNS on the old router for that very reason. A quick fix solved the problem. My ISP is Cox, not Comcast, but they also seem to have a very flaky DNS service.
top Old cellphones, in my household ...
They have quite a bit of gold inside.
top Citizen Science: Who Makes the Rules?
$50 per pint, and it's technical grade. I used to get a case of 4 5-liter jugs of top reagent grade for ~$90. But even so, it's illegal to possess it here.
top Citizen Science: Who Makes the Rules?
Not just hobby chemists either. I'm a geologist with a minor in analytic chemistry. I used to have an assay lab where I could run samples for qualitative analysis. That's in the crapper now. You have to jump through hoops to get things like con nitric acid, and just forget anything like potassium cyanide. And if you do manage to get supplies, they make you a target for a raid any time the local cops get a bug up their ass. So no more lab.
top A Year After Ban On Loud TV Commercials: Has It Worked?
I have Cox, and by far the loudest and most obnoxious commercials are THEIRS! They have this guy who screams everything, goes COX BUNDLE!! over and over, etc. It does annoy me, sometimes to the point of grabbing for the mute button.
top Where Does America's Fear Come From?
I think you're exactly right. The Bush Administration used 9/11 to gain the level of
power and control that allowed them to pass the Patriot Act and create the DHS with all its Draconian aspects, and now the Obama Administration is either unable or unwilling to change it. Do you want to fight terrorism? Well, you don't gain a damn thing by giving the terrorists what they want! Their name says it all - their goal is to put their enemies in FEAR of them. By running scared and giving up our freedom in the name of 'security', we have given them a major victory. It needs to stop. We the people need to MAKE it stop. Because where we are heading is ever deeper into the swamp, and in that swamp there lies nothing but mud and snakes.
top Protests Mount In New Zealand Against New Surveillance Laws
Yes, and the idea that they "don't look at it" is not really true either. Every piece of collected data is sifted by computer algorithms that look for key words, etc. If any are found, a flag is set. That qualifies as "looking at it" IMO. Now, the system probably produces so many flags that they still can't actually read all of them. If I had that problem, I would sort the flagged data into arrays so I could look for patterns. If the same person gets flagged a set number of times, or the flags show something like keyword X
and keyword Y, then his stuff gets read by a real person. The problem with that is that the message content would have to be kept so it could be examined if needed. Simply stated, I do not believe only metadata is kept. It would be useless if it couldn't be put into context when something odd is detected.
top Nvidia CEO: We Are Working On Next Generation Surface
Really. Outlook will make all the difference for sure. Just like a wax job will fix a car that doesn't run.
top Reject DRM and You Risk Walling Off Parts of the Web, Says W3C Chief
Movie studios should remove their garbage from everywhere, and we should stop paying them money that they use to shaft us with.
top Records Labels Prepare Massive 'Pirate Site' Domain Blocking Blitz
Absolutely. I buy nothing from these jerks.
about a year and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: What Video Games Keep You From Using Linux?
I recently retired from 23 years in US Government service. The federal agency policy forbids the use of open document formats, and nothing produced in OO or LO can be used. So I agree, MS Office would have to run. And not via some emulator that causes everything to slow to a crawl. As for games, I tend to install and uninstall crap constantly. Right now I'm playing Gnomoria and Plants vs Zombies, but neither will keep my attention very long. So I'd say the most important thing is to make installation easy - like point-and-click easy for those of us who don't really like troubleshooting failed dependencies. I can do that, but it isn't my idea of fun.
top Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order?
I should clarify that I use my *NIX boxes as network file servers, not workstations. FreeBSD offers me the best performance and easiest setup in a mixed environment, plus they run reliably unattended for months on end and have good security that is not a pain to manage.
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