Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!



Lost Beagle2 Probe Found 'Intact' On Mars

Tim the Gecko Re:On odd artifact of affect... (130 comments)

Colin Pillinger interview transcript (PDF):

We've had lots of cats that have wandered off and... but that was the thing about the name, everybody congratulated us on the name Beagle 2 as inspirational, until after it didn't call in and we had all manner of e-mails, texts, telephone calls, letters saying didn't you realise that Beagles are the worst dogs you could possibly have to let off the leash - they run off, they chase something, they don't come back when they're called, they only come home when they're hungry and they show no sign of remorse.

about two weeks ago

Best current live-action TV show based on comics?

Tim the Gecko C-SPAN has some good programs (148 comments)

Q&A had an interesting interview about "The Birth of a Nation" recently, and there are a lot of good in-depth interviews about recent books. Probably not "based on comics" though...

about two weeks ago

Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

Tim the Gecko Re:Alogrithms (292 comments)

Hurrah pour Robur-le-Conquérant ! s’écria une voix ironique.

Robur-le-Conqérant by Jules Verne has over 1000 hyphens.

about a month ago

Twitter Use By Romney and Obama In 2012 Highlight the Speed of Social Media

Tim the Gecko Re:Take a look at who you elected/reelected (47 comments)

Democrats, Republicans... anyone who thinks there's actually a difference between them is a dumbass.

It does seem to matter when it comes to picking Supreme Court Justices. Nobody would claim that Alito and Scalia are interchangeable with Kagan and Sotomayor. Are you really saying it doesn't matter who chooses the next few justices?

And this has an impact on a lot of real world issues: http://www.newyorker.com/magaz...

There is also the five-finger speech. It generally comes when a new clerk asks, in dismay and outrage, how a majority of the Court has arrived at a decision he or she feels is flagrantly unjust. Justice Brennan holds up his hand, wriggles his five fingers, and says, “Five votes. Five votes can do anything around here.”

about 2 months ago

Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Ends Hibernation To Start Mission

Tim the Gecko A thousand KBOs discovered, not dwarf planets (77 comments)

The article confuses Kuiper Belt Objects (more than one thousand discovered), and dwarf planets. To quote Wikipedia: "The IAU recognizes five bodies as dwarf planets: Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake".

2015 will be a great year for looking at two of these. As well as New Horizons, there is also the Dawn probe on its way to orbit Ceres.

about 2 months ago

Preferred Type of Game?

Tim the Gecko Second person to vote for card games here (171 comments)

Card games sound the coolest, making you think of movies, smoke, poker, baccarat, Bond, etc.

Sadly my vote was for solitaire on the Nexus 7...

about 2 months ago

Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

Tim the Gecko Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (433 comments)

Diffidence is "modesty or shyness resulting from a lack of self-confidence". I think you mean "deference".

about 2 months ago

Scientists Discover Diamond Nanothreads

Tim the Gecko Elevator in the sky with diamonds (79 comments)

You wouldn't guess from the summary that the article title is "Going up! Cosmic elevator could reach space on a cable made of diamonds".

about 2 months ago

World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

Tim the Gecko Re:Fuck them sideways with a rusty chainsaw! (118 comments)

..in-car devices that insurance companies use to monitor policyholders' driving

Over my dead body. *find tiny cellphone antenna* *SNIP*

If you're a clever insurance company you ask people if they want tracking in return for lower premiums. If your competitors are charging $300, you make the "no" people pay $315 and the "yes" people people pay $285. Then all the bad drivers and all the people concerned about privacy go off to another insurance company. Given the success of Facebook and Twitter, it looks like only 0.001% of the population cares about privacy. Therefore 99+% of the people who move across to your competitors are probably not very profitable anyway. Win-win!

So it's saying "yes" or "no" to the tracking device that is the important part, not the driving data. As long as you have enough blinky lights (and a few real 3G connections) so people think they might be monitored, then you are golden.

about 4 months ago

2 Mars Missions Set For Arrival, Both Prepare for Orbital Maneuvers

Tim the Gecko Re:a collision wouldn't surprise me (65 comments)

For somw reason, it wouldn't surprise me if these two craft collided, despite being the only two approaching the entire planet. It just seems that any time a government spends a lot of money to do anything, it normally ends with a fail worthy of Monty Python .

There's a lot of exciting stuff happening right now. The Dawn mission is on its way to get a close look at Ceres in April next year. Rosetta is sending a lander onto a comet (which is about to do the exciting thing for comets - i.e. go near the sun). New Horizons is going to fly past Pluto next July. There are two rovers exploring Mars. Not to mention Cassini, Messenger, etc. You can be negative if you like, but I think these missions are pretty amazing.

about 4 months ago

Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

Tim the Gecko Re:$230 (611 comments)

...OK...where do I sign up?

You can sign up for our flat rate Gold Plan at $1000, or the Silver Plan where we will nickel and dime you until you pay $2010 per year, or the Bronze Plan where you will get some carefully selected ads in return for a lower fee of $500.

This service brought to you by your trustworthy ISP.

Notes: (1) You may occasionally see ads, (2) Ads you don't see will still count against your bandwidth cap, (3) We hate you.

about 5 months ago

Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

Tim the Gecko Re:IPv6 How will it happen? (146 comments)

How do you [Slashdot users] see IPv6 transition actually happening?

Will each internet user have dual stack?

Yes. They will have a dual stack with the IPv6 address being used for a bigger and bigger proportion of traffic. Meanwhile IPv4 will probably traverse some NAT.

Once IPv4 is the minority of traffic (many years in the future), it will turn into a legacy PITA to administer separately. But that is a while away.

IPv6 is much more complex, how will companies support users who barely understand IP addressing when IPv6 is going to seem like a long string of meaningless characters?

Those 30% of Comcast customers aren't calling a helpdesk and reading out hexadecimal digits. If DNS is working they will say things like "www.facebook.com". If DNS isn't working then they can't fix it by reading out or typing those "meaningless characters".

Do you see something like a dynamic IPv6 to IPv4 DNS/NAT translator to hide IPv6 complexity from the user a viable solution?

Not viable. It wouldn't help more than a single digit percentage of users anyway.

about 6 months ago

Facebook's Emotion Experiment: Too Far, Or Social Network Norm?

Tim the Gecko Re:I think it's fine (219 comments)

Facebook uses psychology to make minor changes in our happiness... Something must be done!

Soda companies use psychology to sell huge buckets of sugar water... Hands off our soda, Mayor Bloomberg!

about 7 months ago

Microsoft Runs Out of US Address Space For Azure, Taps Its Global IPv4 Stock

Tim the Gecko Re:So after years of panic... (250 comments)

"Years of procrastination" might be a better description than "years of panic". Putting off action is my favorite strategy too, but I've heard it doesn't work forever.

about 7 months ago

FCC Looking Into Paid Peering Deals

Tim the Gecko Re:If it's paid (37 comments)

This is the common definition:

  • Settlement free peering: Doesn't take money from you. Advertises their routes to you. Advertises your routes to their customers.
  • Paid peering: Takes money from you. Advertises their routes to you. Advertises your routes to their customers.
  • Transit: Takes money from you. Advertises the whole Internet routing table to you. Advertises your routes to their customers and peers.

You will see that there is no technical difference between settlement free and paid. It's the same router configuration. The money flow is just the end result of the poker game of which peer needs the other more.

about 8 months ago

Do Embedded Systems Need a Time To Die?

Tim the Gecko Re:Or you could just you know... (187 comments)

ipv6 (which no consumer ISP is supporting, not even comcast who was running trials)

As of December last year, more than 25% of Comcast customers can get native dual stack broadband - see http://www.comcast6.net/

about 9 months ago

Who controls the HVAC at work?

Tim the Gecko My freezing summer (216 comments)

A few summers ago I was in the cube where the air conditioning sent in the cold air. Unfortunately the cube with the temperature sensor was occupied by a guy with a space heater. As the aircon pumped in more and more cold air I ended up taking warmth breaks standing outside in the summer sun. Finally, after a long negotiation between my neighbor and the HVAC guy, sanity was restored.

about 9 months ago

Traffic Optimization: Cyclists Should Roll Past Stop Signs, Pause At Red Lights

Tim the Gecko Re:Many polite people (490 comments)

Thanks for this. Another year-round commuter here, and I get nice weather most of the time even in winter. I love your positive attitude, and it's sending me out on my Sunday morning ride in a much better mood. It will be even better if I don't see any driver looking down at his or her phone.

about 9 months ago

New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

Tim the Gecko Re:Might look like less of a (477 comments)

Looking at your mod score of zero I'm feeling whatever the French call Schadenfreude.

about 10 months ago



Tim the Gecko has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?