×

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!

Comments

top

The Joys and Hype of Hadoop

Xyrus Re:Well No Shi... (49 comments)

This also assumes the data and the domain you're trying to apply Hadoop to are ones that Hadoop can effectively be useful for. A lot of PHBs and such are pretty ignorant when it comes to the problems that Hadoop can be applied to

9 hours ago
top

Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

Xyrus Re:Offensively arrogant (378 comments)

Does anyone remember a country called the United States of America? I seem to remember something about freedom and liberty and certain inalienable rights.

I wonder what happened to that country.

about a week ago
top

Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

Xyrus Re:Yes, still dangerous (409 comments)

Alpha rays are not dangerous, as such, because your skin can shield you, yet alpha emitters are very dangerous because if you ingest or breath-in a small particle, there is very high probability that you get cancer later - sometimes many years later - on.

Er...no. A small particle does not give you a high probability of developing cancer. Your probability of developing cancer is based on the amount of radiation your exposed to. The smallest I could find mention of was 1 mSV/yr for 20 years would increase your chance of getting cancer by .1%. This about the same radiation exposure you'd get working in the Rotunda building for 20 years (Uranium decay in the granite).

Then of course, there's the alpha emitters you eat everyday in the form of potassium from bananas, salt substitute, and other potassium based compounds.

There are a number of factors that go into whether or not one will develop cancer from radiation exposure.

about two weeks ago
top

Stars Traveling Close To Light Speed Could Spread Life Through the Universe

Xyrus Re:Cubic gigaparsec ... (184 comments)

With these kind of huge sizes, I think it's more like a gigabuttload, or as the layman would say, a Kardashian.

The Kardashian is an antiquated measurement. The Minaj is the new international measurement, equivalent to roughly 10 Kardashians.

about two weeks ago
top

Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Xyrus Re:cost/price per kW hour comparison is nonsense (516 comments)

A solar installation is an investment. The proper analysis is return on investment. Current actual price before credits and rebates for a 4kW rooftop (16 panels, abt 25 m^2), installed, is about $16,000. This includes a substantial profit for the installer -- it should be available for less in a competitive market...

It isn't the cost of the hardware that's preventing wider adoption. It is the completely ridiculous cost of installation which can easily double to triple the price. A number of states won't allow you to install your own panels and then hire an electrician to finish connection to the grid. You have to get a "certified" installer.

As an example, a 5KW system costs around $9000. The estimate I got for installing the system was $23,000, an additional $14,000 for installation. This is literally for a single day of work. In comparison, to get my whole roof replaced took 2 days and ran me about $8000 total.

If I were allowed to install my own panels, it would take me and a buddy about a day to do, and then have a certified electrician come in and finish wiring everything up. Total cost would be beer, pizza, and about $1000 tops for the electrician. But I'm not allowed to do that, so I either get fleeced by a lease or get gouged by the installation companies. No thanks.

The profit margins must be pretty damn sweet though. Easy money.

about a month ago
top

The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Xyrus Re:Ok... just turned two score, but... (438 comments)

Maturity: That point in your life where you look back and realize exactly how completely fucking stupid you were.

about a month ago
top

When We Don't Like the Solution, We Deny the Problem

Xyrus Re:Senator James Inhofe (282 comments)

Inhofe is now the head of the senate environmental commitee that oversee 100% of all climate change legislation and policies in the US.

He wrote a book 305 page book entirely on the subject of global warming. The name of this book is "the greatest Hoax".

http://www.amazon.com/Greatest...

To paraphrase Stephen Colbert: If Harry Potter didn't have enough magic for you, read this book.

about a month ago
top

The Effect of Programming Language On Software Quality

Xyrus Re:Emacs! (217 comments)

I don't care what they say, software written with Emacs is way better than software writen with Vi!

Ha! Like I'd listen to you! You still refuse to open your eggs from the little end!

about a month and a half ago
top

Ebola Nose Spray Vaccine Protects Monkeys

Xyrus Not to worry! (198 comments)

With the republicans in charge, you won't be the only scientific group that doesn't have any funding! You'll have lots of company.

about a month and a half ago
top

UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

Xyrus Re:Look at the IPCC track record first (695 comments)

The IPCC more recent third assessment from 2001 has much improved projections, and we can again compare them to reality 15 years out. The 2001 assessment has error bars included and a decade more research and refining behind it. If you compare it as well, you see today's temperatures DO fit within the error bars projected 15 years ago by the IPCC, albeit barely. Of course, they are way, way down on the lowest end of the error bars.

What the above tells me is that reality has shown the IPCC has consistently been overestimating the amount of warming to be expected.

The problem here is that your focusing on atmospheric temperatures, which only tells a small part of the story (this is also only 15 years which still has too much noise to make any reasonable comparisons, 30 years is typically used). Most of the heat is stored in the oceans, and it was recently discovered that the heat the oceans were storing has been underestimated. That's where the heat has been going.

In other words, the science says don't panic just yet.

Only the idiots are panicking. The scientists are explaining their results and the potential impacts. Few seem to want to listen. Oh well.

about a month and a half ago
top

Reactions To Disgusting Images Predict a Persons Political Ideology

Xyrus Re:are conservatives just showing more reaction? (330 comments)

Obvious differences indeed - I'm guessing the REPUBLICANS's brains lit up in the areas associated with MAKING the mess, and DEMOCRATS' brains in the areas with hope that they might be able to clean it up?

FTFY. The republicans in this country aren't any more "conservative" than the democrats are "liberal". Also, an F-MRI of the current crop of republicans would show zero activity. Or at least that's the impression I get whenever I see a scientists go before a panel of congressmen. The fact that the congressmen on the SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITEE don't even understand basic concepts that most 4th graders understand tells you all you need to know.

about a month and a half ago
top

Verizon Launches Tech News Site That Bans Stories On US Spying

Xyrus Re:Meaning (145 comments)

SugarString.com is USELESS and should be ostracised as a propganda site, NOT a news site.

In fact, it should be legally barred from calling itself a "news" site.

Well, if Fox News gets to call itself a "news" site then that's sets a pretty low bar to clear, don't you think?

about a month and a half ago
top

Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

Xyrus Re:Mo-tiv-a-tion (583 comments)

This is always the problem with people imagining horrifying artificial intelligences that will snuff out humanity. To do that, you have to be motivated to achieve that end.

Not really. A self-sufficient AI could easily come to the conclusion that humans (and life in general) should be eradicated from a number of different avenues of thought. An AI could be incredibly subtle and patient about doing it as well. Humans aren't really good with subtle or patience, especially if the actions seem to be perfectly good and well reasoned.

about 1 month ago
top

Study: Past Climate Change Was Caused by Ocean, Not Just the Atmosphere

Xyrus Re:NASA disagrees (185 comments)

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014...

Of course NASA is used to doing this.

The ocean below 1.24 miles hasn't warmed. The ocean above that has, and it turns out it has warmed more than originally thought: Link.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2...
Doubled CO2 means under 2 degrees warming

"8th December 2010 13:24 GMT - A group of top NASA and NOAA scientists say that current climate models predicting global warming are far too gloomy, and have failed to properly account for an important cooling factor which will come into play as CO2 levels rise."

Yes, because a news site without links to the actual published research or subsequent scientific discussion is to be taken at face value. However, it didn't take much Googling to find that the so-called study being referenced in the link was authored by none other than Judith Curry, a well-known climate crank. Her work has been scientifically eviscerated many times over. In other words, she has no credibility.

The latest research, done by several different scientists at several different institutions over the past couple years seem to be averaging around 4C. The AR5 centered around 3C.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/ear...
""Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time," says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data. "

Why would a 150 year melt cycle be "right on time" in warming world? Never mind somebody made the headline "Unprecedented melting of Greenland ice".

How can a cyclical even be unprecedented?

Again, you are mixing journalistic sensationalism with actual science. That being said, irregardless of the event, Greenland is experiencing rapid mass loss. There have been multiple papers on the subject.

I believe Mr. Hansen left shortly after this. I could be wrong but I think it was around that time.

This had nothing to do with why he left NASA. HE RETIRED. He mentioned his retirement several years before he actually left. He worked there for 46 years. Now he's following his passion as the director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University's Earth Institute.

about 1 month ago
top

NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

Xyrus Re:Why dont they screen doctors before they come b (372 comments)

What I don't agree with are the people who are using things like Malaria and HIV statistics to try and show how the media is playing up this issue.

You may not agree with it, but that is exactly what they are doing.

Both are less serious and more controllable diseases with much bigger sample sizes.

I don't even....

As/if more Ebola cases arise, the contractions will increase exponentially and they'll stop comparing this to "more serious diseases".

Not happening, at least not in countries with reasonable sanitary practices. Ebola is difficult to catch, and it has a high mortality rate. These two factors prevent it from becoming the next big pandemic. To wit, the guy who was first diagnosed in the US was in Dallas, a city of 1.5 million people. Out of those 1.5 million people, he infected two, and they were the nurses who were directly caring for him.

Yes Ebola is lethal, but so is EEE and yet I don't see you in a panic about EEE (and that's spread by mosquitos). You're far more likely to get EEE than Ebola (along with a whole host of other diseases). You're more likely to die falling out of your chair while reading this than die from Ebola.

What I don't understand is why they are letting doctors who work on Ebola patients back into teh country without being screened?

There are people arguing to shut down all travel from West Africa, even if that's too much in your opinion, at least screen these doctors.

Customs: What was your reason for leaving the country?
Doctor: I was treating patients with Ebola.
Customs: Due to national security, we can not let you into the country until you've been tested and cleared.
Doctor: But I have plans to go bowling in Brooklyn in about week!
Customs: You're retarded.

Chances are, the conversation wouldn't happen like that and the doctor would be understanding of the situation.
So why aren't we just doing that to begin with?

Because it would be ineffective. As has been mentioned numerous times, it's easy enough to lie and/or take a circuitous/non-documented route. Screening for possible Ebola victims would be about as effective as screening for terrorists: UST (Useless Security Theater).

about 2 months ago
top

Pentagon Unveils Plan For Military's Response To Climate Change

Xyrus Re:LOL. 'Climate change' indeed. (228 comments)

What's really happening is climate destabilization. It really doesn't take a lot to destabilize the climate system; plus or minus 2 degrees is enough to bring on the heat or cause an ice age. But the real kicker is you don't even need to cause the whole delta. You only need to push the climate past a tipping point and the positive or negative feedbacks do the rest.

The climate is just like any other thermodynamic system. You add or remove energy from the system, it's going to destabilize until it reaches a new balanced state.

about 2 months ago
top

Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

Xyrus Re:Robots? (421 comments)

Very few of the people who are now dead licked it. Yes, the media loves fear stories and it's overblown, but you're underblowing it.

Incorrect. The practices of the most affected countries is the equivalent of "licking" it (drinking the water used to wash the dead). Combined with a mistrust of health workers/modern medicine/sanitation practices it's a wonder why it hasn't spread farther than it has.

about 2 months ago
top

Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

Xyrus Re:No worse than AIDS, are you kidding? (421 comments)

AIDS doesn't cause contagious blood, spit, diarrhea, and vomit to go everywhere. Ebola does.

AIDS doesn't infect health care workers who are treating patients unless there's a needlestick or sexual contact. Ebola does, with alarming frequency. Even if you DO have sex with someone with AIDS, it's not 100% that you'll get AIDS.

AIDS can't be spread by sneezing or coughing. It's possible Ebola *is*.

In terms of contagiousness, Ebola seems 10x worse. It's like saying "smallpox is no worse than chickenpox". Maybe if you put them both on a logarithmic plot and back up 50 feet!

--PM

The 1918 influenza outbreak killed an estimated 25 million people in it's first 25 weeks, and killed an estimated 50 million in the course of the year. It infected over 500 million people in total.

The regular yearly flu kills anywhere from about 4,000 to 40,000 people a year in the US and infects many many more.

And yet, you don't seem to be panicking about that.

Heart disease kills a million a year. Cancer kills about half that. Car crashes kill about 40,000 a year.

And yet you don't seem to be losing your mind over it.

In fact, there's a whole list of things that are more likely to kill you on a day to day basis and Ebola is right down there around lightning strike, terrorist attack, and getting hit with a meteor.

Perspective. It helps.

about 2 months ago
top

The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola

Xyrus Re:A travel ban is only prudent and necessary (478 comments)

Well, since you seem to be content in wrapping yourself in tin foil you don't have much to worry about, do you?

Try sticking to the facts. If Ebola was anywhere close to how bad you're trying to make it most of western Africa would look like a mass grave. Strangely, it doesn't. Even with their piss poor conditions, poor sanitation, and customs which actively encourage the spread of the disease the numbers of infections has been small and limited almost entirely to the region where the outbreak started.

The current outbreak began in December of 2013 and has infected approximately 8400 people and killed about half of them.

By comparison the 1918 influenza pandemic during a similar period of time infected approximately 500 million people, with 25 million people killed in the first 25 weeks of the outbreak.

I don't see any reason to get whipped up into a frothing panic over Ebola, which is what you and the news cycle seem to want.

about 2 months ago
top

BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

Xyrus Re:Alternative headline (429 comments)

As opposed to the bittorrent user(s) who are pushing everyone else out of the way and preventing their access?

Its one thing to do so with permission from the network owners .. its another thing to wade in and beat up on people just so you can get what you want.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

No, but the second wrong sure makes you feel better.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

Xyrus hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

top

Yesterday, I got modded a troll...

Xyrus Xyrus writes  |  more than 9 years ago

In my response to the PA kids who were threatened with felony class 3 charges, I stated a simple truth: The kids broke the law, now they have to deal with the consequences.

Those who modded me troll did so out of ignorance, did it "for the children", believe the punishment does not fit the crime, or believe the school "had it coming" because of crappy security.

Out of all these reasons, only one has even the slightest bit of merit: the punishement does not fit the crime. All the rest are ludicrous.

The first one: Ignorance. This is the the typical knee-jerk slashdot reaction made by those who do not RTFA. Felony charges for messing with school computers? OUTRAGE, how can you support this?

Quite simply because they were using state computers and illegally altering them by bypassing security measures. The fact that they're teenagers is irrelevant. What if this has happened on the schools main servers and the teens were placing porn in teachers directories? What if they started messing with their disciplinary records or grades? What if they were doing this on a bank's system?

In short, where do you draw the line.

A lot of responses claim that the felony charges will ruin the kids lives. Again, this is sheer ignorance. Prosecuting felony charges is expensive, and pressing felony chrages on teens has often been a delicate point. Of course, the sensationalistic media coverage fails to mention this.

In reality, it is extremely unlikely that felony charges will be brought against these teens. In fact, school disciplinary action will probably be all these kids get. Worse case scenario, the teens get convicted of a misdemeanor and have to do some community service.

As far as their records go, their juvenile records are sealed once they hit 18 (or expunged, depending on what the state policy is).

The above addresses the "for the children" crowd as well. In addition to that, I have little sympathy for teens who continue to do things that they know are wrong.

One response I received was that these kids shouldn't be punished for being curious. And if that were the case, then I would agree. But that was not the case.

These kids didn't figure out the admin password and say, "Oh, this should be brought up to the school". They used it and distributed it to deliberately go around the restrictions that they agreed to abide by. It was wrong, they knew it, and continued their activities.

Which brings me to the last, and possibly most idiotic response: "It's the school's fault for having crappy security on the computers".

And I suppose that it's the woman's fault for being raped because she's hot. Or it's the homeowner's fault for getting burgled because he only had a regular lock on the front door. I'd like to see someone use that type of excuse in court.

Just because the security was weak doesn't give these teens the right to circumvent the restrictions. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.

So now we come to the last response, the one that is arguable: the punishement does not fit the crime. As I stated earlier, it's unlikely these teens will see anything other than school disciplinary action, since no administration data was compromised. The kids did not have access to the school's main server.

Any judge would see that this is at most a minor offense. That is why we have judges. To interpret the law and deal out appropriate punishment when those laws are broken.

Sure, PA state law may make what they did "technically" a felony, but it is the judge who decides whether or not that is the case. In this case, it was the media acting as the judge which is never a good thing (just look at Faux News).

I agree a felony charge does not fit the crime here, but as of right now THERE IS NO PUNISHEMENT DECIDED YET. If a judge does decide to follow through on the felony charges, then we can talk about unjust punishments. Until then it's just a bunch of media driven bruhaha.

In the future I hope when people respond they will stop, read, and think before modding instead of responding with "OMFG you're a troll!".

But then again....this is slashdot.

~X~

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?