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!



Do Gadgets Degrade Our Common Sense?

Rick Genter Gadgets enable those without common sense (311 comments)

I don't think people are losing common sense. I think that new technology enables people who never had common sense to try to accomplish things that they wouldn't have even tried before.

more than 3 years ago

'Motherlode' of Data Seized At Bin Laden Compound

Rick Genter Re:My bet (718 comments)

His real name was Obi Wan Laden.

more than 3 years ago

Stargate Universe Cancelled

Rick Genter Re:good (762 comments)

The "Wormhole drive" was introduced in series finale of SGA and allowed Atlantis to travel from Pegasus to the Milky Way in seconds - normal hyperspace travel took three weeks.

And yeah, NO SF show has ever addressed the "how do you find a starship in a galaxy" problem (Star Wars, Star Trek, SG, BSG, whatever).

more than 3 years ago

Stargate Universe Cancelled

Rick Genter Re:good (762 comments)

That's because Groening and Cohen and math/science geeks...

more than 3 years ago

Stargate Universe Cancelled

Rick Genter Re:good (762 comments)

traveling into the future is, from a narrative standpoint, fucking boring.

Actually, Futurama handled this really well. Just go forward until you loop through the next Big Bang cycle. Then stop moving forward when the new universe it up to the point in its history where the old universe was and where you want to change things. Oops! Missed Hitler; quick, fast forward to the next cycle!

more than 3 years ago

Stargate Universe Cancelled

Rick Genter Re:good (762 comments)

Not to be a total geek, but:

In SGA, the "Pegasus Galaxy" is supposedly about 3 million light-years from the Milky Way Galaxy.
In SGU, the Destiny is supposedly 7 *billion* light-years from Earth, or ~2300x as far.

So the Wormhole Drive would have to run for hours instead of seconds....and as we all know, the dipolarized unobtanium that powers it goes supercritical if used for more than 30 seconds and destroys the universe, so SGU *obviously* couldn't have used that... ;-)

more than 3 years ago

How Big Is Your Primary Display?

Rick Genter 17", but... (375 comments)

My primary display is 17" running at 1920 x 1080, but that's because my system is a laptop (MacBook Pro). My second display is 23" also running at 1920x1080. And then I use Spaces to set up 9 virtual dual-displays. Does that make it 360"? ;-)

more than 4 years ago

Proximity Sensor Presents Latest iPhone 4 Issue

Rick Genter This is an iOS 4 problem, not an iPhone 4 problem (446 comments)

I have an iPhone 3G. I updated my iPhone to iOS 4. Now I have the same proximity sensor issue; I was on a conference call the other day and kept hearing a beep before I realized that my face was pressing the "3" on the keypad. I had to hold the phone like Steve does in order to make it stop ;-).

more than 4 years ago

A Look Back At Bombing the Van Allen Belts

Rick Genter Great headline (237 comments)

My favorite part of the NPR article was the sub-headline: "Discover It, Then Blow It Up".

Kinda sums it all, doesn't it?

more than 4 years ago

Jupiter Is Missing a Belt

Rick Genter Re:Oops! (187 comments)

It's just a glitch in the Matrix.

more than 4 years ago

Halo 2 Online Preservation Effort Ends

Rick Genter Re:And I thought... (201 comments)

You can still compile and run FORTRAN programs--in fact, if you run Linux, you might have a FORTRAN compiler installed and not know it (I'm in Windows, so I can't see if I do right now).

Hmm.....let's see:

[rgenter@at41 rgenter]$ f77 --version
GNU Fortran (GCC 3.2 20020903 (Red Hat Linux 8.0 3.2-7)) 3.2 20020903 (Red Hat Linux 8.0 3.2-7)
Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

GNU Fortran comes with NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
You may redistribute copies of GNU Fortran
under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
For more information about these matters, see the file named COPYING
or type the command `info -f g77 Copying'.
[rgenter@at41 rgenter]$

Yup. FORTRAN, check. :-)

more than 4 years ago

How Old Is the Oldest Computer You Regularly Use?

Rick Genter Re:14 years and counting (543 comments)

You're right; I'd forgotten (it's been a few lifetimes). From dmesg:

[some stuff snipped...]
Initializing CPU#0
Detected 448.980 MHz processor.
Console: colour VGA+ 80x25
Calibrating delay loop... 894.56 BogoMIPS
Memory: 253148k/262144k available (1340k kernel code, 6548k reserved, 999k data,
  128k init, 0k highmem)
Dentry cache hash table entries: 32768 (order: 6, 262144 bytes)
Inode cache hash table entries: 16384 (order: 5, 131072 bytes)
Mount cache hash table entries: 512 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
Buffer-cache hash table entries: 16384 (order: 4, 65536 bytes)
Page-cache hash table entries: 65536 (order: 6, 262144 bytes)
CPU: L1 I cache: 16K, L1 D cache: 16K
CPU: L2 cache: 512K
Intel machine check architecture supported.
Intel machine check reporting enabled on CPU#0.
CPU: After generic, caps: 0383f9ff 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU: Common caps: 0383f9ff 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU: Intel Pentium III (Katmai) stepping 03
Enabling fast FPU save and restore... done.
Enabling unmasked SIMD FPU exception support... done.
Checking 'hlt' instruction... OK.
[more stuff snipped]

I think it replaced my previous system, which was a 200MHz Pentium Pro, and that's where I got the old MHz wonder this system seems so fast ;-).

more than 4 years ago

How Old Is the Oldest Computer You Regularly Use?

Rick Genter 14 years and counting (543 comments)

I have a 14-year-old Dell tower with a 200 MHz Pentium III, 256 MB of RAM and a 100GB HD (that I added much later, obviously). I use it as my home CVS, web and database server. Running Linux, of course.

more than 4 years ago

If Everyone Had To Pass A Particular 101 Course, It Should Be About...

Rick Genter Tough choice (1142 comments)

Any of the first three (Math & Science, Skepticism, Logic) make a good answer. I chose Math & Science just because I'm appalled at the lack of basic Math & Science knowledge exhibited by Joe and Jane Sixpack.

more than 4 years ago

A Hyper-Velocity Impact In the Asteroid Belt?

Rick Genter Re:Probably not (114 comments)

Those who moderated the parent "Insightful" should be meta-moderated as either "Clueless" or "Humorless".

more than 4 years ago

Music While Programming?

Rick Genter Another Dilbert-esque policy (1019 comments)

This policy sounds like something from a Dilbert cartoon. The boss must be particularly pointy-haired in this case.

more than 4 years ago

Sci-Fi Shows and Movies Should Stop...

Rick Genter Re:This, that and the other. (708 comments)

I'm still waiting for SHO to make a good scifi show. They tend to have a fairly good track record with other shows.

You mean like Stargate SG-1, which spent its formative years on SHO?

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Interns Still Feel the Love

Rick Genter Re:$6k? (293 comments)

Did you *read* the summary? It was $4,600 to $6,000 per month.

about 5 years ago


Rick Genter hasn't submitted any stories.



Rick Genter Rick Genter writes  |  more than 10 years ago

As the title says, it's past time for humanity to grow up. I've been feeling this for a long time (years-to-decades), but it's come to a head recently for me on three topics.

One: Daylight Saving Time. The arguments for changing the clock include saving energy, slight health benefit (correlating fewer accidents with a higher overlap of daylight hours and waking hours), and "Americans like it better because they can do more in the evenings."

All of these arguments center around people centering their clocks around their lifestyles. This, to me, is a sign of immaturity. It shows self-centeredness: adjust everything to me, rather than having me adjust. What if the schedule I like doesn't work well for others? The result is what we have today: a fractured system that varies, not just from country to country, but state to state within the US, and even within states in the US (e.g., Indiana).

Two: Legislation to protect people from themselves. In particular, I'm thinking here about speed limits. Speed limits are arbitrary, and in my opinion punish "good" drivers while trying to protect "bad" drivers. I would much prefer to see a system where there are no speed limits, but where speed is considered a factor in the cause of accidents and people who cause accidents are cited/punished appropriately. A sign of maturity is accepting the consequences of one's own actions. I should be allowed to drive fast if I am willing to accept the consequences of my driving, including causing accidents.

Three: this whole campaign against terrorists, starting with airport security. I have a pacemaker. Because of this, I am required to be hand-frisked at airports. The quality of search that I am subject to varies widely based on who does it, and it is ridiculous that I be searched in any case, since I am not a terrorist. I know: they don't know that I am not a terrorist. While that is true, I still feel that I am being punished because I have a medical condition. If we, as a society, feel that we need to protect ourselves from ourselves with respect to terrorist actions, I'd rather see everyone subject to the same level of scrutiny - uniform treatment. I'd also much rather see a technological solution; hand searching is not robust nor scalable.

To me, each of the above situations demonstrates a level of immaturity in human society. For at least sixty years we've had the means to mass exterminate our population without any means to protect against such actions. Without demonstrating improved maturity, I fear that we won't survive much longer as a species.

I look forward to the day that we will no longer require self-policing.

(Forgive the rambling nature of this post - I've had very little sleep in the past week. I should have waited until I was better rested to write this entry, but it's been nagging at me for a while now and I needed to get it out.)


Rick Genter Rick Genter writes  |  more than 10 years ago

On a whim I've decided to start using the Slashdot journal feature. I'm starting with the congestion of life.

I really want to need less sleep. There are so many projects that I want to work on, and there just are not enough hours in the day. If I could recover the 7 hours a day I lose to unconsciousness, I feel that I could get so much more done.

Would someone please invent the magic elixir that alleviates the need for sleep?

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>