Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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

Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

SerpentMage Re:You dorks (388 comments)

Exactly you nailed it. For those that say that the ads have become manipulative, sorry but how are they different than old TV? Sure we have Tivo like apps but the reality is that commercials have always been in your face. It is just that on the Internet we have become used to non-invasive free Internet (as in free beer). The fact that this has changed does not surprise me in the least. Don't like it, do like the parent poster said, don't vist the site. Or better yet fork over money so that sites don't need ads.

4 days ago
top

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

SerpentMage Re: Now thats incentive (564 comments)

Exactly! I have been telling people that machines will not wipe us out because they will become as stupid as we are.

Don't believe me? Here is my argument. Humans actually are very intelligent. I am not saying that some are more intelligent than others. I am saying we as a species are rather intelligent. However, it is that intelligence that gets in our way. When humans look at a problem they see answers. If the problem is science then the answer is relatively simple and we have devised ways to ensure our errors do not get in the way.

But here is where the tricky bit comes in. If the problem is not entirely scientific and involves the interactions of humans, or interactions of any living beings (eg human to environment) then our decisions become stochastic; Same basis results in completely different results. This is not due to the lack of knowledge. TRUST ME it is not. It is due to people weighing certain aspects heavier than others. We all do this. You would think that we all come to the same conclusion, but we don't! It is this stochastic behavior that machines will have as well.

For when machines become "aware" they will see the facts in different lights than say other machines. It is only natural because machines cannot store all information about everything. They, like humans, will have to optimize, prune and figure it out. Thus they like us will make stochastic decisions! I am even thinking that machines will turn into the Monty Python Holy Grail missions, and even though that sounds silly it will.

Of course machines might have more capacity than humans, but even there I am skeptical because humans will have brain implants and be cyborgs and the cycle of lunacy will start all over again. IMO the most accurate representation of the dilemma of humans and machines is the Matrix. Watch it closely and see what its basis is.

about two weeks ago
top

Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

SerpentMage Re:the real question is... (228 comments)

Yes spoken like a Myhrvold minion!!!! And of course HIS way to cook steaks is perfect and the ONLY way to eat it...

I eat my steak rare (have since I was a teenager) and let me tell you it is edible. You have to pick the right meat everything works out. This is the kind of garbage that Myhrvold spews out. IMO it is quite arrogant to think he *has* the answer. You want to know who can cook slices of meat? French people! I also don't buy the sous vide argument because it really depends on the cut of meat.

about three weeks ago
top

If Immigration Reform Is Dead, So Is Raising the H-1B Cap

SerpentMage Re:No, they're replacing. (341 comments)

Actually no the unemployed white guy would not pick lettuce. Let's take Switzerland as an example, that's where I live. A very difficult job is farming in the alps. It is literally back breaking work. The realities of the situation is that people don't want to do this job because it is too difficult and pays too little. Due to the way that these farmers work they get subsidisation from the government. Sidenote the farmers are needed since they maintain the alps. I am not joking, the alps which look so "pretty" is due to all of the people literally mowing the grass, cleaning the fallen trees and so on.

The end result is that the farmers rely on 1/3 foreigners since most Swiss don't want to do this work. It is too hard and pays too little. Thus the comment of the gp is very true.

For the white guy to pick lettuce the wages would have to be so high that EVERYBODY will pick lettuce, thus resulting in lettuce becoming unaffordable.

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

SerpentMage C# and VS are obviously linked (359 comments)

I have used both VS and Intellij and quite frankly Intellij is much better. With VS you have to buy, download and install plugins to get the same sort of functionality as Intellij.

about three weeks ago
top

Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

SerpentMage Re:Winter is coming (461 comments)

One year? I think not... Try about a decade of subsidisation. Actually Germany has not shifted to solar. What they have done is added solar and as a result driven down the price of electricity to such a point that the taxpayer subsidises about half of the solar power.

Here is how solar in Germany works. You have a fixed payment you get, and let's call it X. If the power of electricity drops below X to say Y then the taxpayer is on the hook for X - Y. Normally this should be temporary. But because Germany is over producing by a large amount electricity the price of electricity is quite a bit lower. Meaning that X - Y becomes significant. But it gets better. that difference is a tax and if it is applied to say an electrical intensive industry they get a rebate because they become uncompetitive. Right now there are oodles of companies that have applied for this rebate. MEANING the bagholder is the tax payer.

So the moral of the story is, sure if you overload with taxes and subsdizations things work out peachy. Just don't ask the taxpayer if they are happy. Oh wait, the internal consumption of Germany sucks!

about a month ago
top

Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

SerpentMage Re:more pseudo science (869 comments)

There ya go!

http://news.nationalgeographic...

While the records are not to a quarter of degree C, they are close enough IMO for knowing what is going on with our climate. And these records that go back to the 1300's, yes 1300's are pretty detailed. But hey keep denying what is going on, keep sticking your head in the sand...

about 3 months ago
top

Why Robots Will Not Be Smarter Than Humans By 2029

SerpentMage Re:Kurzweil is an idiot with Super Powers (294 comments)

You are missing an important detail here. Humans are very very smart, the problem is that we all think we are smart. I have heard about this Kurweiler thing for quite a while and have to say he is dead wrong and let me explain why.

Humans are smart because they can optimise. There are two ways to digest information; bitmap style, or vector graphics style. Most humans do learning vector graphics style. It allows us to process huge amounts of information with the cost of inaccuracy. This does not mean we cannot process information bitmap style, and indeed there are humans who do, namely autistic. And I don't mean pseudo autistic, I mean Rainman autistic. There is this artist who can look at any sight and create a photo copy of it on a piece of paper. The cost of bitmap is that other functions are put out of order.

Kurzweil from what I am guessing is thinking this is a hardware issue. I say no it is not a hardware issue for our human brains are optimised to process huge amounts of information. It is a conflict of information issue that causes us to be both smart and stupid at the same time. For if we all reached the same conclusion we as a human race would have died out many eons ago.

When two people see the same information they will more often than not come to different conclusions. This is called stocastics, and it is what causes strife among humans. Some humans think God came in the form of a fat man, others think he came cruxifiyed, and yet another came in a beard and head piece. I am not mocking religion, what I am trying to point out is that we all see the same information, yet we all wage wars on who saw the right image.

Thus when Robots or AI gets as intelligent as humans, the machines are going to be as fucken stupid as human beings. They are going to wage the same wars and think they all have reached the proper conclusion, even though they are all right and wrong at the same time. The real truth to AI has already been distinctly illustrated in a movie that gets rarely quoted... The Matrix! Think hard about the battles and the wars and the thoughts. They all represent the absolute truths that each has seen and deemed to be correct. YET they are slightly different.

I will grant Kurweiler one thing the machines will have more storage capacity, but then I ask what is there stopping us from not becoming part machine part human? I say nothing...

about 4 months ago
top

Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?

SerpentMage Re:No (627 comments)

Sometimes I press the submit button too quick. The exception to the rule are HurriQuake nails...

about 4 months ago
top

Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?

SerpentMage Re:No (627 comments)

Learning the language with a notepad is IMO a really bad idea. I will give an analogy that I think is appropriate.

I am renovating our houses. In the past you would use a hammer and nail to assemble the wood. These days you don't. You use a cordless power drill with screws, and glue. I was talking to my sister and in Ecuador they do as well as their areas are earthquake prone.

My point here is, would you teach somebody to build a house with hammer and nails? Answer no, because it is a passe art. Now before you all start jumping on me on houses built with nails, that is to save costs. Anybody who wants a quality house will use screws and glue. Likewise notepad, VI, emacs are passe arts. Good at the time, but not usable anymore.

about 4 months ago
top

Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

SerpentMage Re:It's about time. (731 comments)

I was about to write this as well. We have been using pins for credit cards in Switzerland for the last 10 years...

about 5 months ago
top

Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down?

SerpentMage Re:Your task: explain how Net Neutrality stops thi (298 comments)

Oh good god, you don't need subsidies to have 10+ ISP's. You are mistaking that to have choice you need 10 lines running into your house. The problem at heart is one of who owns the lines and who owns the data over the lines.

Take electricity for example. You can have multiple companies feed in the electrical system, and pay for a particular company because the carrying costs is identical for each company. The problem and this is where the true monopoly lies is the last mile. The company that owns the cable into the house is the one dictating the charges. And we continually fail to address that issue.

Adam Smith in his papers addressed this issue quite clearly. His opinion was that the government was not to own the monopoly, but that the government was to dictate a trust owned by the private market. This means only one cable will run into your house. However, the costs for that cable is split evenly across all companies. The concept for the most part is implemented in Switzerland and Germany. Namely the government dictated that other providers can run data across the cable that enters your house. Thus then you do get 10+ providers without government subsidies.

Now before you squawk "oh Switzerland and Germany are not that big as America" I am going to refer to the fact that I have a house in the mountains and it has 15 Mbps Internet access. This house is in what North Americans would call the boondocks. At our house in subburbs we have 150 Mbps access. I accredit this to growing the pie, not allowing a single company to own the pie.

about 6 months ago
top

Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

SerpentMage Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (197 comments)

The US has like in your comments always had a checkered past when it came towards certain "non-freedom" acts. I think we could agree that all countries have certain tendencies. However, and this is the big however, there were always moments when the Americans stood up and said enough is enough. I am not saying it cannot happen again. What is different this time is that you have an America divided and polarized. Look at voting, that is absolutely insane.

You are either an MSNBC friend and hater of Fox news or vice versa. Fox news spreads the propaganda and calls it the news. Yes yes the "left" is doing this as well. You have movements in the US where and this is really funny in a sad way, that it is legal to shoot somebody and kill them because they "looked" at you the wrong way (I am looking at your Florida). It is acceptable to wave a machine gun around and accumulate rounds and rounds of bullets.

Take a step back remove the American flag, the cheering and so on. What would this be representative of? I will tell you a third world developing country run by a pseudo dictatorship. Americans are not willing to step up and admit this. Sure there are some that say things need to be changed, but they as in America on the whole doesn't want to change. It is always the "other" person who has to change not them. EXCUSE ME the "other" person is you.

Call the hippies lazy, dirty, smelly, etc. BUT they did change America and in many aspects for the better. Where are the Americans willing to stand up now? Oh yeah they are being branded as idiots and lazy slobs and one step away from Nazi-dom because they don't like having a two tier bus system. Again step back remove the constitution, remove the flag and think hard about what the country compares to. I always say if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, its an effen duck.

BTW I am not happy or shadenfreude as I am a foreigner. I am actually quite sad and disappointed for I like America... America the concept is a very nice place...

about 6 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

SerpentMage Re:It might be an unpopular opinion... (822 comments)

Quick question what about the General who lied through his teeth when questioned by Congress and the Senate? Remember he LIED... Snowden did not lie, he just uncovered what was the truth.

Many think that Snowden is the culprit here, but frankly he is not because if it was not Snowden it would have been somebody else. The problem is the NSA was too zealous in its gathering techniques. It was only a matter of time before somebody would have said something.

about 6 months ago
top

Detroit Wants Its Own High-Tech Visa

SerpentMage Re:Why should Detroit get special treatment? (398 comments)

You obviously don't know your own car makers do you? I grew up in North America, but live in Europe. Want to know a dirty little secret? I can get reliable low gas requirement AMERICAN cars in Europe. Around 1999 we bought a Jeep Wrangler and then took it to Canada. Since it was NORTH AMERICAN built we could import the car without problems. What was interesting was that the Jeep dealership who had to do some minor changes spent nearly 1.5 hours inspecting the car. We thought something was wrong and asked how come they took so long. Answer, "your Wrangler is Awesome it has so many efficiency features and electronics that I have never seen on sale here."

I recently had a discussion about this with an American and the problem is not the American car makers, but Americans. They want from their American car makers BIG FAT engines with BIG FAT chassis. Americans are not willing to go for the reliable low gas requirements cars because they are "wimpy" cars. The cars I drive here are American built and they are not wimpy. They might not have 600 HP, but who the frig cares since it is not that useful anyways. And even less useful in America...

Go figure, eh!

about 6 months ago
top

Schiller Says Apple Is the Last PC Maker From the Mac Era, Forgets About HP

SerpentMage Re:Marketing guy says something untrue? (474 comments)

Huh Slashdot was better back then? Really? Colour me pink! I was there in the early days and it is still pretty much the same. Albeit the best improvement that was made is the rating system.

about 6 months ago
top

Schiller Says Apple Is the Last PC Maker From the Mac Era, Forgets About HP

SerpentMage Re: still exist, but... (474 comments)

And how is this relevant? BTW did you know that PC's way back in the days of Mac used standard components? It is only Mac that uses stupid custom components giving them some of the worst repair ratings in the industry.

about 6 months ago
top

FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

SerpentMage Re:Lincense wars in... (1098 comments)

Excuse, but how is the GPL better than BSD in keeping knowledge?

Let's do a mental game here:

1) If a project is not updated then both GPL and BSD remain open source so long as you can find the sources.

2) If a project uses either GPL or BSD and does not make changes then you use those sources so long as you can find the sources. And no a company is not going to keep a link to the sources till the end of time. They will keep that link until the product is EOL. After that they don't care anymore hence information will be lost.

3) If a project uses either GPL or BSD and makes modifications then you might be able to find the sources. I say might in both cases because it depends on how the sources are used. Remember just because a project uses GPL does not mean you will see the modification. It depends on how it is used. Companies have no problems jumping hoops to avoid showing source code. Thus you will have the sources so long as you can find the sources.

Do you see the pattern here? GPL does not ensure freedom. If anything it assures that companies will jump hoops before giving out the sources. Hence I prefer BSD because at least then the end user will get a decent product that has a piece of software that is properly integrated.

about 6 months ago
top

Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

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

I like capitalism, really do. I am a free market kind of guy who is a big fan of the stock market. BUT YOU SIR are a jerk who likes crony capitalism because it serves their purpose!

The free market allows me to buy or sell products according to how I see fit. If the European companies don't like to sell to people who will, in their eyes, see it as an abuse of their products so be it. You can disagree with them, and can even call them idiots! However, don't call them busybodies, and don't say they are making a mockery of civil liberties. For it is their civil liberty to be an idiot (at least in your eyes.)

about 6 months ago
top

Why Do Projects Continue To Support Old Python Releases?

SerpentMage Re:Offline side-by-side Python (432 comments)

I am going to have to agree with anonymous on this. Sure you think that nothing can go wrong. BUT if it were, will you be there to figure it out? Are you going to fix it? Probably not because you are already working on the next version of whatever you are working on. And that will be bleeding edge and your answer will be "upgrade it" and all will be fixed. Seen this quite often.

Let me ask what about the permissioning of /opt? Who owns it? http://askubuntu.com/questions/169314/default-permissions-for-opt-directory

Ah yes... So what this means is that if somebody screws around the system and changes the paths you app might break. Or maybe somebody saw a new version of python and decided to link to it. Yes whoever does that needs to be take outside to the woodshed, but it does not stop the task from happening. The problem is not that you can manage things, but whoever gets the box after you and they don't understand.

BTW if I ever have to get into such a situation my best approach has been to install everything under a specific user (meaning into their home directory). That way the user cannot break the app, though the user can have their app broken. That to me is a much better compromise and easier to pinpoint when things do go wrong.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

top

Character Traits of High School Shooters

SerpentMage SerpentMage writes  |  more than 4 years ago

SerpentMage (13390) writes "In a Swiss German newspaper a german researcher has identified a number of character traits from 125 different teenage shooting rampages across the planet

1) Video games (though the researcher is not saying to ban them)
2) The rampage is planned in detail over a longer period of time
3) The shooter has pathological traits with social issues
4) For the most part the shooter had easy access to weapons (though the researcher questioned if lack of access would slow them down)
5) Almost all of them happened in small towns (this one the researcher was not sure if it is a statistical outlyer or if there is a real question mark)"

Link to Original Source

Journals

SerpentMage 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>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...