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

Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

Sockatume Re:I take offense! (157 comments)

I think that these stereotypes about alien lizards are getting out of hand. All we ever hear about is the baby-eating, and never the fine and nuanced cuisine that goes into it.

yesterday
top

How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

Sockatume Re:Conspiracy (201 comments)

Quite the opposite; I was thinking of the contented Western middle class* - the scholarly class if you will - that's so settled into its world of aspirational brands, entertainment media and convenience that it has forgotten that its forefathers used to be politically and socially active.

Shit, people dependent upon the "welfare state" can't even change jobs without checking whether it clashes with the terms and conditions of their funding.

*I believe the American expression would be more like "upper middle class"

yesterday
top

How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

Sockatume Re:We can't live without these things? (201 comments)

To be blunt, politicians. Everyone who agreed with the establishment and supported the ongoing maintenance of a solar storm readiness plan would get to be the bozo whose big scheme sat there wasting money, and only once in a while would any of them get to play hero.

yesterday
top

Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Sockatume Re:I will invest in that. (166 comments)

Twenty years without turning a meaningful profit isn't a clever part of a long-term strategy, it's an entire ongoing business model. Even if Amazon wanted to turn the switch and start making money hand over fist somehow, it would take them decades to transform the kind of business they're in.

Amazon, as it exists now, will never be a wise investment.

yesterday
top

Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Sockatume Re:surpising (166 comments)

I'm not sure that's true any more. One of the biggest businesses they were trying to compete, entertainment media, with has gone digital and despite their best efforts they're only remotely competitive in the books area. If their goal was to kill off retail stores and then dominate physical media delivery, it looks like they missed the boat by five years.

yesterday
top

How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

Sockatume Re:FUD filled.... (201 comments)

I'm sure they've thought of that eventuality. Probably something involving an engineer-sized hamster wheel strapped to the axle and a cat-o-nine-tails.

yesterday
top

How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

Sockatume Re:Conspiracy (201 comments)

Nothing calms people down like cutting off all their entertainment, food, and sanitation. ;) If I was going to take over a country I'd offer them all cheap energy, bountiful food, and as much entertainment as they could consume.

Some would say that this has already happened.

yesterday
top

How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

Sockatume Re:FUD filled.... (201 comments)

A solar storm isn't like a local EMP happening everywhere at once. It has a much lower intensity. It affects things like power grids is because they're spread over an enormous area, so the induced currents add up, but it won't even tickle systems that are disconnected from that grid.

yesterday
top

Comet To Make Close Call With Mars

Sockatume Re:First pass (43 comments)

Can I take a moment to talk about how mind-crushingly vast the Oort cloud is? It doesn't begin until something on the order of 100 times the orbit of the furthest known dwarf planets, and then it goes out about a quarter of the way to the nearest neighbouring star. It's so far away that, being composed of inert space junk, we have no direct observational evidence of its existence. I mean, space is big, big to the point where thinking hard about Jupiter makes my temples ache, but the Oort cloud is something else entirely. And that's just an object on a planetary system scale!

yesterday
top

Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

Sockatume Re:Your next supercar. (128 comments)

Most people buy supercars for the aesthetic allusions to cutting-edge technology, not because they genuinely benefit from the disk brakes, carbon fibre, or exposed engine parts that accomplish that allusion. I mean, they even put that stuff in vehicle ranges that genuinely have no need for it, because it's part of the "performance" style. I dare say that if golf ball dimpling (probably strategically deployed on particular parts of the chassis) starts appearing in, say, F1 racing - where efficiency is a differentiator - then it'll become a popular part of the supercar look.

yesterday
top

For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Sockatume Re:Men (169 comments)

Logical, but probably not the case; surveys matching career stage and field put the male-female wage gap on the order of 10%, which is in line with these results. (I forget the exact amount; it's likely to be a little more.)

2 days ago
top

For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Sockatume What about non-computing/engineering fields? (169 comments)

The STEM label mushes together computing fields and engineering, which have high pay and demand for jobs, with the sciences, which to be completely honest with you don't pay that great and have about a twenty to one candidate to job ratio. What would the result be like if we split them, I wonder?

2 days ago
top

Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

Sockatume Re:Why do we bother? (109 comments)

I'm not saying that Kinect did this already, but I'm going to heavily imply it with the first clause of this sentence.

2 days ago
top

Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

Sockatume Re:Just wow. (109 comments)

It's a SIGINT network without borders. Welcome to the globalisation of national security.

2 days ago
top

Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

Sockatume Re:Odd Conclusion (134 comments)

If by "astroturf" you mean "readers genuinely confused by a tersely written article and report", then yes. Why are Slashdotters so quick to conclude that Slashdotters are all corporate shills? You would think that Slashdotters of all people would know that Slashdotters aren't.

2 days ago
top

Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities Increase 100%

Sockatume Re: Eh? (134 comments)

Shouldn't that be worded "vulnerabilities will have increased 100%, assuming this trend continues" and not "vulnerabilities have increased 100%"? At any rate I'm sure you're right that it's what the article author meant.

2 days ago
top

Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

Sockatume Re:The only solution... (167 comments)

From your sarcasm, I'm going to assume that you'd rather that AIDS was characterised as a disease of gay people and minorities who should therefore be ostracised, it wasn't spoken about, and where its very existence was denied?

That's what happened in the 1980s and it caused the fucking problem in the first place.

2 days ago
top

Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

Sockatume Re:EVD (167 comments)

It's a technical term, so in its actual context it's very clear. As for lay accounts, they will generally explain what it means.

2 days ago

Submissions

top

Google confirms indie musicians must join streaming service or be removed

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about a month ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "In a statement to the Financial Times and reported by the BBC, Google has confirmed that it will remove the music videos of independent artists unless they sign up to its upcoming subscription music service. Many independent musicians and labels have refused to do so, claiming that the contracts offer significantly worse deals than the likes of Spotify and Pandora, and that Google is unwilling to negotiate on the rates it offers artists. A Google spokesperson indicated that the company could start removing videos within days."
top

Google using Youtube threat as leverage for cheaper streaming rights

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 2 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "According to a press release issued by WIN, a group representing independent musicians, Google is threatening to de-list musicians' videos from YouTube if they do not agree to the terms for its unannounced streaming music service. The template contracts issued to musicians are described as "undervalued" relative to other streaming services, and are not open for negotiation. The press release was issued by WIN but rescinded when Google agreed to further discussions; The Associated Free Press and The Guardian have published stories based on that original release."
top

Climate scientist distances himself from "suppression" story

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 2 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Prof Lennart Bengtsson of the University of Reading, who made waves last week by comparing the environment in climate research to McCarthy-era America, has distanced himself from the Times story that popularised his remarks. In a statement, Prof. Bengtsson explains: "I do not believe there is any systematic 'cover-up' of scientific evidence on climate change or that academics' work is being 'deliberately suppressed', as the Times front page suggests. I am worried by a wider trend that science is gradually being influenced by political views. Policy decisions need to be based on solid fact. I was concerned that the Environmental Research Letters reviewer's comments suggested his or her opinion was not objective or based on an unbiased assessment of the scientific evidence.""
top

Climate journal publishes referees' report in response to "witch-hunt" claims

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 2 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "The resignation of Prof. Lennart Bengtsson from an anti-global-warming think tank has triggered widespread outrage in the British tabloids, with the University of Bristol Professor blaming his departure on a "witch-hunt" environment amongst climate scientists and the rejection of one of his papers. The UK's Times quotes a passage from the reviewer comments in support of this, in which it is claimed that the paper was rejected for being "unhelpful to their cause". In response, that journal's publisher has taken the rare step of publishing the referees' report in full. The report describes Bengtsson's paper as a "simplistic comparison of ranges from AR4, AR5, and Otto et al [data sets], combined with the statement they they are inconsistent", "where no consistency was to be expected in the first place" and therefore is not publishable research. The referee adds a number of possible areas of discussion which would allow Bengtsson to make the same data into a publishable paper, but warns that publishing it in its current state "opens the door for oversimplified claims of errors and worse from the climate sceptics media "."
top

Skepticism grows over claims that MH370 lies in the Bay of Bengal

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 3 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "The latest episode of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Mediawatch program addresses GeoResonance's claims to have found the lost Malasia Airlines MH370 in the Bay of Bengal. They attribute the company's sudden prominence to increasing desperation amongst the press. Meanwhile, the Metabunk web site has been digging into the people and technology behind GeoResonance and its international siblings, finding noted pseudoscientist Vitaly Gokh and a dubious variation on Kirlian photography."
top

Did GeoResonance locate MH370 using "spirit photography"?

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 3 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "GeoResonance has leapt into the papers this week having claimed to have found missing flight MH370 in the Bay of Bengal. The Australian company claims to perform prospecting and munitions searches using secret Russian technology, with a web site boasting that they can "carry out a search for any substance". A recent press release clarifies that their technique "analyses super-weak electromagnetic fields captured by airborne multispectral images". However if you search for the patents listed on the company's site, Ukranian no. 35122 and 86496, you'll find the research described as a "method of radiation and chemical processing of analogue aerospace photographs" which closely resembles old-fashioned Kirlian photography. This process is well-known in the paranormal community, where it is used to take images of spirits and auras. Look up the writer on that second piece and you'll find him explicitly selling the technology as Kirlian-derived. You'll also find other companies in Eastern Europe selling technology ostensibly based on the same patents or other Kirlian techniques."
top

Indie Game Jam show collapses due to interference from "Pepsi Consultant"

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 4 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Would you like to see a half-million-dollar TV show in which four teams of indie developers and Youtube personalities compete to create amazing videogames? Tough luck, because GAME_JAM from Maker Studios has spectacularly imploded. Although a lot could go wrong with this kind of show, the blame isn't being levelled at game developer egos or project mismanagement but the heroic efforts of one Matti Leshem, a branding consultant brought in for Pepsi. After imposing Mountain Dew branding rules that even banned coffee from the set, his efforts to build a gender divide amongst the teams culminated in the competitors downing their tools and the projection collapsing. Accounts from Adriel Wallick, Zoe Quinn, and Robin Arnott are also available."
top

Italian researchers demonstrate "powerloader" suit

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 5 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Researchers in Italy have demonstrated a powered exoskeleton that can lift 50kg with each hand, as demonstrated in video with the BBC. The "body extender" from the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa has been developed for applications like disaster relief, and is just one of many strength-augmenting systems being developed for use in rescue, military, and medical applications. While neither the researchers nor the BBC make the comparison to the Powerloader in the movie "Aliens", I mean come on, look at it."
top

MtGox files for bankruptcy protection, confirms rumours

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 5 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "The beleaguered MtGox bitcoin exchange has officially filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo, as reported in various news sources via AFP. According to the Wall Street Journal (paywalled; see The Verge for re-reporting) Bitcoin held an impromptu press conference that addressed recent rumours. They state that they have over $60m in liabilities against just $30m in assets, and confirm the loss of over $500m worth of Bitcoins, split between customers' balances (750,000 BTC) and company assets (100,000 BTC)."
top

Google Apps licence unsurprisingly forbids forking, promotes Google services

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 5 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "If you want to ship a phone with Google's apps on it, you need to licence them. A copy of the OEM licencing agreement from 2011 was recently leaked, and Ars Technica provides a summary. Amongst the rules: a company licencing Google Apps can't act in a way that would fragment Android, but must also maintain the platform's open-ness; most of Google's services must be included; Google apps must be defaults, and placed within a couple of clicks of the default home screen. No surprises but it's interesting to see the details laid out."
top

Zynga purchases mobile game/animation tech firm NaturalMotion

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 6 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Zynga, the controversial Facebook and mobile games firm, have announced that they are to acquire NaturalMotion for $527m in cash and equity. Zynga hope that their acquisition's successful brands and development software will reverse their own post-Facebook decline, announcing 15% job losses within Zynga in the same statement. UK-based NaturalMotion made its name in animation technology (used in Grand Theft Auto 4 and Bioshock Infinite), and published sports and horse-related iPhone games until it acquired CSR Racing developer Boss Alien in 2012. Despite the acquisition, the company will continue to publish games under its own name."
top

Great Firewall of UK blocks game patch because of substring matches

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 6 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Remember the fun of spurious substring matches, AKA the Scunthorpe problem? The UK's advanced "intelligent" internet filters do. Supposedly the country's great new filtering regime has been blocking a patch for League of Legends because some of the filenames within it include the substring "sex". Add one to the list of embarrassing failures for the nation's new mosaic of opt-out censorship systems, which have proven themselves incapable of distinguishing between abusive sites and sites for abuse victims, or sites for pornography versus sites for sexual and gender minorities."
top

Obama's NSA snooping changes will transfer oversight to FISA courts

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 6 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "President Obama will announce later today that although the NSA's data collection operations will continue, the actual information will be moved to a new "private entity". The NSA and other security agencies will then need permission from the FISC, also known as the "FISA Court", to access it. That body, which famously snooped upon Verizon's entire call database, will then evaluate whether access should be granted."
top

NSA collects full text of 200m SMS messages per day

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 6 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Leaked documents from GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, indicate that the NSA has been accumulating a database of the full text of SMS messages, so that they can be mined for personally identifying information, travel plans, bank information, and the like. The archive targets the population in general rather than known suspects, a feature that GCHQ highlights as a major advantage."
top

Secret Italian stem-cell treatment protocol leaked; concerns raised about safety

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 6 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Secret documents evaluating the stem-cell treatment offered by Italy's Stamina Foundation have been leaked to the journal Nature. The reports raise concerns about the failure to screen for pathogens, that the procedure disagrees with fundamental stem-cell science, and that parts of the clinical protocol were copied directly from Wikipedia. The leak also includes the extensive gagging clauses placed upon those evaluating the treatment's efficacy."
top

Chinese firm can now produce 500 cloned pigs per year

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 6 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "According to an article published by the BBC, Chinese firm BGI has refined cloning procedures to the point where they can produce 500 pigs per year, performing two embryo implantations per day with a 70-80% success rate. Much of the operation is concerned with producing genetically-engineered animals for research. The biotech firm's other work includes million-individual-scale animal and plant genetic sequencing."
top

Behind the scenes of WiiU software development

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 6 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Digital Foundry has published an article from an anonymous but trusted developer outlining the challenges of developing for the Nintendo WiiU. The piece confirms some common perceptions of Nintendo, such as their attitude to thirdparty developers, and presents a few surprises, such that network code wasn't made available to outside developers until the console was almost on sale."
top

Standardised laptop charger approved by IEC

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 7 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "The IEC, the standards body which wrote the phone charger specification used in the EU, has approved a standardised laptop charger. While the "DC Power Supply for Portable Personal Computer" doesn't have a legal mandate behind it, the IEC is still optimistic that it will lead to a reduction in electronics waste and make it easier to find a replacement charger. Unfortunately the technical documentation does not seem to be available yet, but previous comments indicate that it will be a barrel plug of some kind."
top

Disney pulls a reverse Santa, takes back Christmas shows from Amazon customers

Sockatume Sockatume writes  |  about 7 months ago

Sockatume (732728) writes "Since 2011, Amazon Instant Video has sold a series of Christmas shorts from Disney called "Prep and Landing". Unfortunately this holiday season, Disney has had a change of heart and has decided to make the shorts exclusive to its own channels. Showing an abundance of Christmas cheer, the Mickey Mouse company went so far as to retroactively withdrawn the shows from Amazon, so that customers who have already paid for them no longer have access. Apparently this reverse-Santa facility is a feature Amazon provides all publishers, and customers have little recourse but to go cap-in-hand to a Disney outlet and pay for the shows again."

Journals

Sockatume 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...