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!



Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

aclarke Pinched nerves (474 comments)

I'm pretty good at ignoring pain, but when I had a pinched nerve in my neck, I was lying on the ground, writhing in pain, practically screaming. It was terrible. Three days later I was in surgery. I'm not sure that level of pain deserves breaking out the Spinal Tap Scale, but it's the worst pain I've experienced in my life.


Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

aclarke That's just understood (509 comments)

If I got a 3% (or really > 1%) discount using cash, I'd probably use it. As it is, I usually don't get that discount so I use my credit card, where I DO get the discount.

In cases where I'm buying from a person I know well, or a business i paritcularly want to support, I'll often pay cash to help them out a little extra. If I'm buying from BigCorp, I'd rather give myself 1% than give them 2%.

I would imagine that most of us understand this concept, that the money used to pay for rewards are coming from the fees that the credit card companies charge vendors.

about a week ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

aclarke Small enough, track workouts without phone present (427 comments)

I'm considering replacing my iPhone 4 with something bigger, as my eyes are getting worse. If I get a larger phone, I'm not going to want to take it with me as much when I'm running or skiing. Give me something that can still track my workouts without my phone being present, and isn't stupid large and I might consider it. It also needs to be reasonably inexpensive, durable, waterproof, and have battery life long enough that it won't always be out of batteries when I go to wear it.

about a month ago

Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

aclarke Re:invisible hood is "beyond criticism" (172 comments)

Do you actually drive off-road? This addresses a real issue, which is how to safely straddle obstacles in the road to protect your undercarraige. You may only see Land Rovers driven by "soccer moms", but they are one of the few companies producing vehicles that can genuinely be driven off-road.

I'm a curmudgeon driving an '80s Land Rover completely devoid of computers, but I have a large and increasing amount of respect for the capabilities of new Land Rovers.

about 4 months ago

Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

aclarke Rocks (172 comments)

The other advantage is where you place an obstacle under your vehicle. If there's a large sharp rock, you want to drive over it such that it doesn't rip open your differential, for example. Now, all modern Land Rovers have independent suspension, but you still want to be straddling obstacles in the safest way possible.

about 4 months ago

3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

aclarke Parts are too small (251 comments)

Anything I can think of wanting to spend the time designing and printing is too big to fit in hobbyist printers. I thought about printing a replacement dash for my '80s Land Rover. Clearly even breaking that into pieces it was going to be too big for most printers. Then I looked at the cost of having it made, and decided I'd rather just go to a metal shop and have them bend something up for me out of stainless steel or aluminium.

Then I just puit my crappy old dash back in.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Moving From Tech Support To Development?

aclarke Work for free (133 comments)

Way back a long time ago I graduated from university with an engineering degree unrelated to programming. By that point, however, I had decided that I wanted to be a software developer. This was the mid '90s, and I took a job with an un-funded startup for equity and no pay. From there I worked at a friend's company doing Perl, again for no pay but I crashed with my friend and he paid for my food. So in that sense it's not that different from your situation.

Things are different now, as there are plenty of sites where employers offer contracts for unreasonably low wages. You could start bidding on those, and take some smaller projects and complete them. There's also the option to put your time into some sort of labour of your own love. Write some sotware that demos well, and bootstrap yourself up from there. A lot of companies would be happy to hire an enthusiastic junior Java developer with demonstrated experience that they had the drive to accomplish themselves.

Just do everything you can to pick up as much experience as you can. Keep a positive attitude, and work on all the "soft skills" like listening to your boss and coworkers, doing what you say you're going to do, communicating effectively, etc. With a year or so of this, you should find yourself very employable, assuming there are jobs where you're looking.

about 4 months ago

Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

aclarke Re:Audi have been doing this for years (521 comments)

The current Defender has aluminium body panels, but a steel ladder chassis and bulkhead. I imagine that the new one, whenever it comes out, might be all aluminium since that's the way Land Rover's going with their other vehicles.

about 7 months ago

Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

aclarke Range Rover (521 comments)

It's true that Ford sells probably 10x as many F150s as Land Rover sells Range Rovers. However, Land Rover is probably selling about 50k Range Rovers a year (vague number as I couldn't find specifics). They saved 700lbs off their previous model by going to all aluminium. Sound familiar? The 2014 Range Rover Sport is also aluminium and they are moving all Jaguars and Land Rovers in that direction.

Land Rover currently runs the world's largest aluminium body shop, so they're hardly a "niche manufacturer". It's great that Ford is going this way with the high-volume F150, and they are breaking new ground in that they are going to produce MORE aluminium vehicles than other manufacturers. However, because many of the engineering challenges have already been solved by manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover, it's a shame that none of the referenced articles even mention the word "Rover".

about 7 months ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

aclarke Re:My spider sense in tingling.... (634 comments)

I don't remember exactly, but they were gone maybe 3-5 hours including cab rides.

about 9 months ago

Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

aclarke Re:Seat weight (466 comments)

Why shouldn't I expect you to keep your seat upright? I have no problem making a trans-continental redeye flight with my seat upright. It's not what I'd call "comfortable", but it's not "comfortable" with the seat back either.

I could contend that if you want a more comfortable seat with reclining room, then YOU should be the one buying the more expensive seat.

I also make allowances for the fact that a larger person is going to want more reclining space than a smaller person, and what time of day/night it is. My point remains though, if you're 5'1 and the person behind you is 6'4, you should take that into consideration before you put your seat all the way back, right after take-off, in the middle of the afternoon.

about 9 months ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

aclarke Re:My spider sense in tingling.... (634 comments)

We had a similar experience (sort of) in the UK earlier this year. We had a 4 day stopover, and my daughter was sick with a fever and throwing up after getting off the plane. My wife took her to the emergency room, where she received top-knotch care from sympathetic and helpful medical staff. She received prescription antibiotics, and the entire process cost us a total of £0. Healthcare in the UK is free for children, whether they are citizens, residents, or visitors. We were really impressed and appreciative. Thanks, UK taxpayers!

I imagine that there's some limit, like maybe only emergency room visits are covered for visitors or something like that. Still, the process was simple, the staff were helpful, and my daughter got what she needed and she was fine as soon as the antibiotics kicked in.

about 9 months ago

British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

aclarke UK (634 comments)

That's an interesting post, but did you notice that the article is talking about the NHS? Regarding advertising, in the UK, states that "The Regulations prohibit the issue of any advertisement to the general public which is likely to lead to the use of a prescription only medicine (POM)."

Since you're talking about the US, that's an idea you Americans could take and run with. Once you've done that, we can all start dealing with the pharmaceutical industry's marketing towards doctors.

about 9 months ago

Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

aclarke Seat weight (466 comments)

I've wondered for a long time why airline seats are so (seemingly) heavy. It seemed like a no-brainer that they'd be spending money on lighter weight seats. So, I was really surprised upon reading the article that the guy from Recaro said that 5 years ago, their seats weight about 29 lbs. That's surprisingly light for a seat that size and apparent heft when you look at them. Even more incredible is they've managed to save a further 9 lbs off that with their lightest current seat.

At 6'4 I'm pretty protective over my legroom. In my opinion they should improve coach by just not allowing reclining seats. I know that will never "fly", but it really pisses me off when some 5'1 person in front of me reclines their seat all the way back into me once the plane takes off. I just pretend the seat is back in its upright position, and if that means they get bumped every two minutes, they can just move their seatback forward. I guess it's only going to get worse. Or, I have to get a lot richer and start flying in a more expensive class.

about 9 months ago

Square Debuts New Email Payment System

aclarke Re:Interac (240 comments)

That's because you're Canadian (I assume). Try to think like an American, because they don't use Interac.

about 9 months ago

NSA Scraping Buddy Lists and Address Books From Live Internet Traffic

aclarke It shouldn't matter, but it does. (188 comments)

If this is the case, why is it that most of these articles use phrases like "many of them belonging to Americans"? If it doesn't matter, why is the point made? The answer, of course, is that it does matter. That is, it matters to American law. For reference, see and highlight the word "Americans".

Speaking as a non-American, I think it shouldn't matter whether I'm American, Austrian, or Azerbaijani. We're all human and we all have the same rights. I find it offensive when I read these articles and there's always the "including Americans" tagged onto the article headline, like somehow it's OK if it's done to non-Americans. I realize it wouldn't be much different if any other country had been caught with their pants down. It's just that in this case it's the US (again).

about 9 months ago

The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying

aclarke Dialing 1 before a long distance number (318 comments)

This one could be considered the opposite of the rant in the tarticle. Why in Canada with Bell on my land line am I NOT ALLOWED to dial 1 before a local number, yet I HAVE to dial 1 before a long distance number? I DON'T CARE if it's local or long distance! I can afford the $0.04 per minute or whatever. Just let me make the call without having to hang up and dial again with or without the magic prepended 1.

At least my mobile phone just tells me it's local/long distance and puts the call through anyway. It's an improvement.

I switched from Bell to TekSavvy for my home phone a few years ago. I thought TekSavvy might make this problem go away then but it didn't.


about 10 months ago

What the Insurance Industry Thinks About Climate Change

aclarke No they can't. (385 comments)

No they can't really. The article is really about the reinsurance companies. These are the companies from which the insurance companies buy their insurance. Insurance company X maybe doesn't have $10B in the bank to underwrite all their policies. They may be bringing in $100M per year in policies, and pay $75M per year to underwrite their policies from reinsurance company Y. Note that I'm not in the business and I'm pulling these numbers out of a hat.

An established company is probably running similar risk numbers to everyone else and reaching similar conclusions. An upstart insurance company betting against global warming and offering lower policies is unlikely to have the cashflow to purchase their more expensive reinsurance. They're also the ones most likely to need reinsurance as they don't possess any significant assets to underwrite their policies themselves.

about 10 months ago

BlackBerry Confirms 4,500 Job Cuts, Warns of $950 Million Loss

aclarke Re:Die already Blackberry (120 comments)

I live in the region, and right now I'm glad I work for a startup based in another country. There's going to be increasingly fierce competition for those open positions around here over the next few years. Of course, I'm good enough that it wouldn't matter to me personally ;-)

We'll see what, if anything, it does to the real estate market.

about 10 months ago

Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

aclarke Re:No. (466 comments)

That's been the problem with GM for as long as I can remember. They make cars that (they think) people want to buy.

The problem is, that people in general aren't thinking of the future. Most of us aren't very bright, and we want something big and shiny that we thought was pretty cool a few years ago when we first saw it. We also don't consider the true cost of our purchases, only thinking of the up-front costs. Most people when it come down to it also hate cars and hate driving, and don't really care directly about safety or fuel economy. So, GM ends up with vehicles like the H2 and the Escalade EST which are essentially automotive dinosaurs from a company that hadn't yet realized they were extinct.

GM needs to be (slightly) in front of the market if they truly want to be successful. Sadly, that just isn't their way.

about 10 months ago



Canadian computer security professional arrested

aclarke aclarke writes  |  more than 4 years ago

aclarke writes "CBC News reports that Byron Sonne, a Toronto-based computer security specialist, has been charged with explosives and weapons offences in what police are calling a G20-related arrest.

According to The Star, Internet strategist and CBC contributor Jesse Hirsh said he met Sonne once in May when both men attended a Surveillance Club meeting, a monthly gathering of professors, artists and activists "interested in the democratic regulation of surveillance technology and practice," according to its website.

Hirsh also said Sonne told a May meeting of activists and professors that he planned to monitor police chatter about the G-20 summit and post it on Twitter. He also said he would buy items online to attract police attention.

"He was trying to essentially provoke a response," Hirsh said. Hirsh said Sonne wanted the public to know "the extent to which the $1 billion plus security bill was being spent here." Sonne appeared in court June 23, although a publication ban has been placed on that appearance."

aclarke aclarke writes  |  more than 7 years ago

aclarke (307017) writes "From CNET: CNET editor James Kim, his wife Kati, and his two daughters, Penelope and Sabine, are missing. We're hoping and praying for their safe return, and we'd like your help. If you have any information about the Kims' whereabouts, please call the San Francisco police at 415-558-5508 during business hours and at 415-553-1071 after hours. You can also contact the Portland Police Bureau's Missing Persons Unit at 503-823-0446. For more information, including photos of James and his family, please read the story."


aclarke 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