Beta
×

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

DEA Program "More Troubling" Than NSA

T Murphy Re:Interesting (432 comments)

I'm pretty sure in other countries they allow the evidence, but (are supposed to) prosecute the officer who broke the law. I don't recall though exactly how it works - our "fruit of the poisonous tree" idea means anything gathered afterwords gets thrown out, it is possible some countries just allow this additional evidence.

If I trusted our justice system to prosecute law enforcement for breaking the law, I would favor admitting some/all of the evidence, as it is hard to see a guilty criminal walk free due to an incompetant investigator, but so long as law enforcement tends to be above the law I like our "throw it all out" method more.

1 year,21 days
top

Norwegian Town Using Sun-Tracking Mirrors To Light Up Dark Winter Days

T Murphy Re:I am glad I don't have to do this... (143 comments)

That depends... if your house has a furnace and an air conditioning unit, your main concerns are having a well insulated house, and having some means of reducing the impact of solar heat load (the sun generally hurts more in the summer that it helps in the winter). If you have heating and no air conditioning, you'll have a warm house in the winter, but your house might not cool down very well in the evenings during the summer.

about a year ago
top

NASA Wants To Bring Back Hunks of Mars In Future Unmanned Mission

T Murphy Re:do it before I'm dead of old age (82 comments)

I see this mission as a stepping stone. We've recently proven that Mars once had flowing water, so there could be a lot to learn if we can look into the planet's history. Mars has ice caps - I am curious what we could glean from ice cores (and core samples of Martian soil). Such samples would be much harder to extract and transport back to Earth, so retrieving rocks first would help us work towards that.

about a year ago
top

Tech Companies Looking Into Sarcasm Detection

T Murphy Re:Missing the point (167 comments)

They are just trying to measure public opinion by sorting comments into "positive" and "negative". They can already sort out most of the negative comments, their shortfalling is false positives due to sarcsm. If their purpose was to censor negative opinion, then they would already be censoring all those non-sarcastic posts they don't like.

In other words, I have no clue how you got modded up because your argument makes no sense.

about a year ago
top

Own the Controversy! Blackbird DDWFTTW Up For Auction!

T Murphy Re:can someone explain this (266 comments)

Your force balance is off- work = force x distance, and at the point of contact with the ground, the wheels are moving at 0 relative velocity. This means any friction between the ground and the wheels does 0 work (aka it is not a factor in your force balance). Instead, the balancing going on is the forward push generated by the propeller and the backwards drag from the air on the vehicle (this drag is 0 when the vehicle is moving the same speed as the wind, and increases as it gains speed from there).

about a year ago
top

Schools Scanned Students' Irises Without Permission

T Murphy Problem? (342 comments)

Without a percieved benefit, I agree that the school should not be taking iris scans of the students, but I have to ask: what is the threat posed by the school doing this? What freedom is being given up here?

I could try to piece together an argument, but I would rather hear from someone that feels strongly about this.

about a year ago
top

Testing an Ad-Free Microtransaction Utopia

T Murphy Re:No actual money is involved (248 comments)

Most users of this will probably fall in one of three categories: those who actually stick close to what they would actually spend, those who pay more or more frequently than if using real money, and those who wouldn't spend any real money. Given this is on a voluntary basis, I doubt that many users would be erratic about using it, or otherwise substantially from one of the three profiles I'm expecting (if you were forced to use it, or using it only for a reward at the end, you might be more inclined to abuse the service).

While it would be silly to treat these numbers as directly representative of what you would see with actual money, it should provide some useful information if you take it with a grain of salt as there should be some correlation with real usage. It would be especially useful if later a limited test is done with real money and compared with these results, as it would be hard as-is to guess how much less would be donated with real money.

about a year and a half ago
top

Dr. Robert Bakker Answers Your Questions About Science and Religion

T Murphy Re:Well That Was a Depressing Read (388 comments)

The *whoosh* is on you.

Bakker was trying to disprove the idea that science would be better off without religion. Given religion most certainly has come in conflict with science at various points in history, it is implied his examples must show religion helping the advancement of science. So when he brings up examples of religious people conducting science, the only way for it to help his argument is if he is suggesting that their religious work directly contributed to their scientific work. Otherwise he is just giving us examples of religion being neutral to science, which is just as well demonstrated by any scientist that wasn't known for their religious work.

In other words, Bakker falled to prove his point, leaving us to conclude that, at worst, science would be where it is today if there were no religion (as that is the best his arguments seem to demonstrate).

about a year and a half ago
top

Evidence For Comet-Borne Microfossils Supports Panspermia

T Murphy Re:Why is this not an even bigger story? (169 comments)

I know! Everyone is right! You see, life started on Earth, but then a giant meteor smashed into earth, which happened to send some rocks into space that had bacteria on them. That meteor was so big, it wiped out all life on Earth, so years later when some of those rocks landed back on Earth, they became the source of all life we see today.

about a year and a half ago
top

Ohio Judge Rules Speed Cameras Are a Scam

T Murphy Re:Not true. (984 comments)

As you approach a stale green, you should be thinking about where that line is between stopping and running the yellow. That way, in the event the light does change, you already know what you plan to do (and if you decide to stop you can ease into your braking to better warn the driver behind you).

about a year and a half ago
top

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Approaches

T Murphy Whoosh! (94 comments)

I sure hope the NASA video includes the sound the asteroid makes as it goes by.

about a year and a half ago
top

Driver Trapped In Speeding Car At 125 Mph

T Murphy Re:It's called the key (1176 comments)

My brother has controls like that. Just a few weeks ago the lever somehow got messed up, and even when accelerating (pushing the lever), it would also apply the brakes (which should only be when pulling the lever). Driving the car to the shop that installed the equipment was not fun, I hear.

I'm certainly glad my brother merely had the reverse of this guy's problem.

about a year and a half ago
top

Retail Copies of Office 2013 Are Tied To a Single Computer Forever

T Murphy Re:Who cares? Anyone like Office anymore? (464 comments)

It is far easier to look through the tabs on the ribbon to find something than it is to go through the old menus. At first I didn't like the ribbon, but now that I am used to it, I have found going back to office 2003 to be unusable. I don't know why you think having a couple more tabs is something to complain about, I think most people can figure out whether "mailings" would have the feature they are looking for. While some features have detailed popup menus as before, it is rare that I need to use those. It is much easier to go from one tab to another to find something, than to try and look through the dropdowns and find all the menus you can access from there.

Sure, some rarely-used features may be hard to find if they are not located on the ribbon, but I've done enough hunting through the old menus to know it's no worse in that respect.

I agree that the ribbon falls well short of its potential in Word due to 'Styles' taking up all that space, but even with that handicap I find it more useful.

about a year and a half ago
top

Tesla Motors Battles the New York Times

T Murphy Re:Fault Irrelevant: Shows Flaw (700 comments)

Until charging stations are more ubiquitous and charging is faster, electric vehicles might do best in 2-car households so you have a gas-powered car as needed.

about a year and a half ago
top

USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

T Murphy Re:powers of ten - or powers of randon numbers? (909 comments)

And there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 365 days in a year (give or take). Make the switch to measuring time in powers of 10 if you think it's inherently better.

about a year and a half ago
top

Atheist Blogger Sentenced To 3 Years in Prison For Insulting Islam

T Murphy Re:Really? (412 comments)

How much of those donations to churches go on to charitable causes? Sure, plenty of it goes to keep the building operational and pay the priests, but many churches also do charity of some form.

about a year and a half ago
top

Grim Picture of Polar Ice-Sheet Loss

T Murphy Re:More arid land then? (412 comments)

You mean arable? Arid land is desert (which Antarctica already is).

about a year and a half ago
top

Grim Picture of Polar Ice-Sheet Loss

T Murphy Re:If you really cared about them warming is good (412 comments)

There is not a single life that will be lost from AGW, even if your worst case is true. People would just gradually move out of coastal cities. But all the proposed reactions to AGW to try and slow it down or stop it will end up starving a lot of people

So changes to growing seasons, rainfall and flood patterns have zero risk of killing people or causing starvation, and humanity can deal with such changes with little more than a shrug, but replacing a coal plant means certain doom?

about a year and a half ago
top

Bradley Manning (WikiLeaks Source) Given Hearing After 2 Years In Jail

T Murphy Re:Who cares (369 comments)

Whether or not you agree with him, parent is not a troll.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

top

Studies Link Pesticides to Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 2 years ago

T Murphy writes "Neonicotinoid pesticides, designed to attack insects such as beetles and aphids, have been shown to harm bees' ability to navigate back to the hive. While initially assumed safe in low enough, non-fatal doses for bees, two papers have shown that may not be the case. Although the studies don't directly study the Colony Collapse Disorder, the scientists believe these pesticides are likely a contributing factor."
Link to Original Source
top

Proposed Mercury Ban Threatens Vaccines

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 2 years ago

T Murphy (1054674) writes "Although in the draft stages, a treaty being pushed by the United Nations Environment Programme has a blanket ban on mercury. While the ban would stop the use of mercury in paints or pesticides, it currently has no exemptions to allow for minute uses, such as in thermisol which is used as a preservative in vaccines. The next meeting to discuss this treaty will be at the end of October."
Link to Original Source
top

US Senate Votes for Repeal of Ethanol Subsidies

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

T Murphy (1054674) writes "Although the measure is not expected to become law, a senate vote 73-27 in favor of repealing ethanol subsidies and tariffs means a lot for future legislation. The White House stands opposed to changes in the subsidies or tariffs, so they will likely go untouched before they expire at the end of the year. Even so, this is a strong indication that such government support for ethanol will be reduced if not eliminated. The response to the senate vote has been mixed, from corn prices falling, to the World Bank encouraging lower food prices, to concerns over reduced funding for alternative energy, to supporters of such budget cuts."
Link to Original Source
top

SCOTUS Adds Exception to 4th Amendment

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

T Murphy (1054674) writes "The US supreme court has ruled 8-1 that police may enter a residence without a warrant if, upon knocking, they hear sounds suggesting evidence my be getting destroyed. The ruling was made over a case where police pursuing a drug suspect into an apartment building knocked on the wrong apartment when they smelled marijuana smoke. They heard people moving and assumed evidence was being destroyed, so they entered and arrested the defendant for drug trafficking upon finding cocaine. Justice Ginsburg, alone in dissent, raised a concerning question: “How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?”."
Link to Original Source
top

US dialysis care more expensive and less effective

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

T Murphy (1054674) writes "A report describes US dialysis care — America's "trial run" of universal health care, as costly, ineffective, poorly run and overrun by profit-seekers. America's mortality rate of dialysis patients is around 1 in 5, while the report describes Italy's care with only 1 in 9 patients dying, despite Italy spending less per patient. It has become common practice at many dialysis centers not to have doctors on hand, and maybe one nurse, opting for minimally trained technicians handling more patients than safely recommended. The report describes various problems with clinics, from making medication errors to negligent sanitation practices leading to infections, coupled with poor response from Medicare to address these problems. Despite the poor conditions, the two largest chains combined have posted record profits of over $2 billion. The report puts much of the blame for all of this on Medicare for poor planning and oversight, especially their practices of offering a flat fee (letting clinics pocket the difference when cutting corners), and the way medications are reimbursed above cost, encouraging over-use of medication. Although Medicare is starting to push for improvement, the changes aren't the complete overhaul the US needs to catch up to dialysis care in other countries."
Link to Original Source
top

US Supreme Court Expected Political Ad Transparanc

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 3 years ago

T Murphy (1054674) writes "The Supreme Court, when ruling that corporate and union political donations were allowed under free speech, assumed the source of the donation would be disclosed immediately under current donation laws. Due to loopholes, this has not been the case, eliminating the hoped-for transparency the Supreme Court ruled to be vital to democracy. Justice Kennedy, who sided with the majority on the ruling, has been called naive for his expectation that there would be greater transparency. In the meantime, campaign spending for House candidates alone is expected to reach $1.5 billion."
Link to Original Source
top

If everyone had to pass a 101 course it should be:

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

T Murphy (1054674) writes "If everyone had to pass a 101 course it should be:

Basic science and math
Skepticism
Logical arguments
Driving
Manners
Grammar/Communication
Computers
Shurikens"
top

Candy Linked to Violence in Study

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

T Murphy (1054674) writes "A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry links daily consumption of candy at the age of 10 to an increased chance of being convicted of a violent crime by age 34. The researchers theorize the correlation comes from the way candy is given rather than the candy itself. Candy frequently given as a short-term reward can encourage impulsive behavior, which can more likely lead to violence. An alternative explanation offered by the American Dietetic Association is that the candy indicates poor diet, which hinders brain development. The scientists stress they don't imply candy should be removed from a child's diet, although they do recommend moderation. The study controls for teachers' reports of aggression and impulsivity at age 10, the child's gender, and parenting style.

The study can be found here: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/195/4/366 but full text is behind a paywall."

Link to Original Source
top

Wind farms can interfere with Doppler radar

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

T Murphy writes "Wind farms can appear like storms or tornadoes on Doppler radar when placed too close to the radar. Tornado alley is a good area for wind farms, and good terrain for the turbines is also ideal for Doppler radar. With many new farms being constructed, the problem is growing. A false tornado warning was issued in Kansas by a computer, although canceled by a meteorologist aware of the problem- there are fears that false positives will grow. Worse would be a tornado ignored as a wind turbine. While meteorologists are trying to work with wind farm owners to shut off the turbines during bad weather, they have no control over the placement or operation of the turbines. Efforts are being made to improve detection technology to avoid further problems."
Link to Original Source
top

Best thing before sliced bread?

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  about 5 years ago

T Murphy writes "What was the best thing before sliced bread?
-The wheel
-Bacon
-Caffeine
-Unsliced bread
-Serif fonts
-Cowboy Neal
-Towels"
top

If you discovered a new law of science...

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

T Murphy writes "If you discovered a new law of science, you would name it after:
-Yourself
-Loved one
-Hero/Mentor
-Fictional character
-Highest bidder
-Nemesis"
top

ACLU sues over patents of breast cancer genes

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

T Murphy (1054674) writes "The ACLU has filed a lawsuit, claiming patents on genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are unconstitutional. The suit is against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Utah-based Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation. Mutations in the genes are linked to breast and ovarian cancers. The ACLU goes on to say the patents limit the medical options for patients, as Myriad charges for tests and must grant permission for others to look at the genes. Myriad even claims the rights to future mutations of the BRCA2 gene. The ACLU hopes to use this case to invalidate all patents on genes."
Link to Original Source
top

Does TPB make money off of copyright infringement?

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

T Murphy (1054674) writes "I know the court decided they don't, but regardless of what laws say, do people consider TPB to be making money off of copyright infringement? To me they are, since the site is intentionally set up to help people illegally copy media and they have ads and merchandise. Arguments about what is legal are irrelevant, only your (logic-supported) opinion counts."

Journals

top

3 rules for better posts

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 4 years ago 1. Assume other slashdotters aren't idiots. People want to read what insight you have, not how you find yourself so much smarter than this other guy, and on the occasion you are wrong you don't look so bad.
2. Balance your post, concede to the other side a little. On occasion a succinct post won't have room for this, but anything more than 2 sentences has space for a little give and take (see what I did there?). At the very least, it helps people understand your position better, and helps them follow rule #1.
3. If you aren't sure about something, say so, and maybe ask a good question. Nothing moves conversation better than a good question, but too many people on slashdot are too concerned with showing off what they know to ask a question that shows how much they don't know. People will occasionally mod up good questions, especially when it prompts an insightful answer.

This somewhat violates rule #1, so I apologize.

top

/. pet peeve #1

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Most posts assuming the parent an idiot are just misunderstanding the parent. If people would read posts with the assumption the author is not an idiot, and that they are reading the post wrong (or the post is badly worded) we could avoid a lot of flaming. Of course, there are plenty of people out there who just want to be annoyed (or superior, or both), so as soon as they get an excuse, they go with it and start flaming. Yes, there is the occasional true idiot, but more often than not the person calling the parent an idiot looks worse.

top

If life gives you lemons...

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 5 years ago If life gives you lemons, stop buying GM*.

*Substitute with car company of your choice.

top

Just a thought

T Murphy T Murphy writes  |  more than 5 years ago In general, oil-rich areas have authoritarian regimes. Therefore, Sarah Palin is an authoritarian dictator.

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>