×

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

NRA Joins ACLU Lawsuit Against NSA

ajs Re:So it has come to this (531 comments)

Are you asking for evidence of donation or of the ACLU doing far more good than the NRA? Both seem to be odd questions.

The NRA claims that protecting gun ownership protects civil rights by empowering the individual to defend themselves against the government (we'll ignore, for a moment that nothing could be further from the truth, and everyone in this nation, armed or not is a heartbeat away from a smart bomb at their breakfast table, or that you can be financially and socially ruined without ever having the opportunity to shoot back). Let's take the NRA's claim at face value and assume that they are 100% correct.

They still only defend the status quo. Having a gun doesn't undo the erosion of rights due to the corrosive influence of the re-election cycle in Washington. The ACLU seeks to actively move the line of civil rights back to where it started, and hopefully even a bit further through the courts and activism.

Now, the ACLU and the NRA happen to disagree over the interpretation of the 2nd amendment (FWIW, I think that was the stupidest call the ACLU ever made) but even when they disagree they're still nominally working toward the same goal (the ACLU isn't trying to prop up the gun industry, but I'm talking about implied goals, here), so it's pretty easy to judge which of them objectively makes the most progress...

about a year ago
top

Feedback On Simcity Gets User Banned From EA Forums

ajs Re:It's the same for Blizzard. (386 comments)

Steam might play in offline mode. More often than not this is not the case

I've never had a problem, but then I have been using Steam heavily only for the last few months.

What I can say is that Steam isn't DRM anymore. Yes, that's one function that they serve, but Google isn't search anymore either. Successful businesses build on what they start with and go far beyond it. Steam is doing just that (well, Valve).

Just being able to install games on every platform that they support, not just the one that I bought is a huge win, but add to that the universal access to saved games (in games that support it, of course) and the upcoming Linux-based console... they're no more a DRM company than any other gaming platform. They're a gaming service provider.

about 2 years ago
top

Linux Nukes 386 Support

ajs Re:Fond Memories (464 comments)

I never knew anyone who regularly made the distinction between "line printer" and "dot matrix printer" when talking about "line printer ASCII art". Sure, line printers were their own thing, but when used as an adjective, it was always synonymous with DMP. Now get off my lawn, or I'll rant about how ttys are actual teletype machines, and not just a damned serial port!

about 2 years ago
top

The Coming Internet Video Crash

ajs Where are these caps? (419 comments)

I just downloaded a 10.8GB beta version of the Rift expansion and then spent the evening watching Netflix. Where are these caps people talk about?

more than 2 years ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Depressing Sci-fi You've Ever Read?

ajs Re:Does Ayn Rand count? (1365 comments)

I think the modified version of the quote is from The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel. Specifically the "childish daydream" vs. "childish fantasy" wording...

more than 2 years ago
top

Copyright Isn't Working, Says EU Technology Chief Neelie Kroes

ajs Suggested solution (314 comments)

A long time ago, I proposed a solution, but no one listens to me. My take is that there are three problems: 1) copyright term is so long that the intended benefit to the commons is rendered moot 2) different types of work (such as software and books) and even different works within a single medium have radically different periods over which they reap the rewards for their creators 3) copyright holders aren't artists and artists are largely screwed over by the copyright holders.

Any plan that solves for those three problems will bring a world of benefit.

about 3 years ago
top

Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google Chase 'Got Milk?' Patents

ajs What you don't understand (250 comments)

Most lay-people don't understand that the requirements for new patents have changed. It used to be that patents had to be innovative. Not so, any longer. They now need to abuse the patent system in innovative ways. Also, you are required to cite prior art in the form of a haiku, making citing specific patent numbers quite difficult.

about 3 years ago
top

Scientists Develop Super-Slippery Material

ajs Re:I wonder... (298 comments)

The marketing department needs to get on that. For right now, unstickyable object vs. sticks-to-anything tape just doesn't have the cachet that unmovable object vs. the unstoppable force does, but with the proper market penetration, we think we can capture a good chunk of mindshare within 8-10 years.

It's "slick vs. stick." It'll be what every kid wants for Christmas.

about 3 years ago
top

Scientists Develop Super-Slippery Material

ajs Re:I wonder... (298 comments)

You can't insure against the universe-ending explosion! You would never be able to collect!

You just have to go through Lloyd's of Alternate-London...

about 3 years ago
top

Diaspora Co-founder Dies At 22

ajs Re:Let this be a lesson (312 comments)

Mostly because it's being used in the same way as "think of the starving children in Africa". Of course there are people that are much, much worse off than us but if any comparison should always be towards the lowest possible bar then you'll lose every time. Particularly if you throw in history on how growing up today is much better than most children through history, probably including your own parents and grandparents. After all, most people - certainly kids and other young people you identify with - do have their health.

Also it's sometimes used as a poor man's equalizer, it doesn't matter that you're Steve Jobs you can still die a long drawn out death of cancer. In that yes your health is important and your health can't really be bought for money, but just because there's a variable you can't control doesn't mean poor and (good|bad) health beats rich and (good|bad) health. It's a just a way to mentally put a few people in the (rich, bad health) below you (poor, good health) in the feelgood hierarchy.

If this is intended to make you feel good about making poor choices, then carry on.

However, I'll tell you now that most people under 30 are typically living in a dream world. "Poor health" is a concept to most such "youngsters." When I was that age I'd been ill and I'd been injured, and I thought I understood. But, now, with the mild aches and pains of age creeping up on me slowly, I realize how big that gun is that I'm looking down the barrel of. Poor health isn't about being hit by a taxi-cab at 9 and getting my skull fractured. It's not about getting walking pneumonia at 19 and having to walk a mile to the hospital for treatment. It's about being in pain (or even just discomfort) and knowing that you're going to feel that way for a very, very long time, if not the rest of your life.

Not that I'm that bad off. I have a few minor aches and pains that are the sign that my body has stopped being forgiving about trivial injury. But it does put some things in perspective.

about 3 years ago
top

Boston Dynamics' PETMAN Humanoid On Video

ajs Re:T800 (70 comments)

Yeah, the "Respiration, sweating," etc. threw me off too. My guess, based on the rest of the article is that the requirement isn't that it sweat and breathe, but that it not produce more moisture or heat than a human under the same exertion. That would allow it to use equipment that was tested with humans such as weaponry, testing equipment for dangerous environments or bomb-defusing tools. For example, if it threw off lots of heat when walking, it might not be something you want to use for bomb disposal...

about 3 years ago
top

Hackers Briefly Controlled US Government Satellites

ajs Re:Not this time: (261 comments)

Sigh. I guess you've never been to Paris, huh? What is the name of that place, ahh yes, Place Charles de Gaulle, there's a big monument there. They call it the arch something. The arch of surrender I think. It symbolizes all the times the French have run away, and all the battles they have lost, around the entire globe, right? Why do they still speak French from the Caribbean, across Africa, to Indo-China, I wonder?

Still, it can't help that they're cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

Get over it. It's a Simpsons reference. I promise not to jump all over you when you claim you can create a time machine by sticking a fork in a toaster.

more than 3 years ago
top

Hackers Briefly Controlled US Government Satellites

ajs Re:Pardon me, but (261 comments)

That's still misuse. You might be entirely justified in your actions, but it's other than the intended use. From the point of view of Chinese hackers (I'm suspicious of always attributing these attacks to the Chinese...) what they're doing is a patriotic act, but it's no less misuse.

more than 3 years ago
top

Throwable 36-Camera Ball Takes Spherical Panoramas

ajs Re:Smile! NO DUCK!!!!! (140 comments)

You're missing the point. This was a tech demonstration, not an end-user finished product, you can see that in the end credits (VTFV replaces RTFA, I guess). Yes, the stitching is hackish, but that doesn't matter. The proof of concept is brilliant, and I could easily see this kind of thing taking off. Even without stitching, it gives you the ability to take pictures of the surrounding area from a reasonable height, anywhere. I could see this being really useful at concerts and events where you want a picture over the heads of the crowd. You could just stitch together the forward-facing three views to get a nice, standard-looking panorama without having to orient the device to "face" in that direction.

more than 3 years ago
top

TSA Groper Files Suit Against Blogger

ajs Re:Gee no bias here. (699 comments)

"supposedly sullying the otherwise good name of a checkpoint smurf."".

Really? You read that far? I suspected bias when I read "TSA groper". :P

It's not something Slashdot invented. Google gives 2,450,000 hits on the terms "TSA smurf".

But let me say one thing that I'm sure some people will be unhappy with: bias doesn't matter in reporting.

I don't watch Fox News because their reporting sucks, not because they're biased. I don't watch most left-leaning shows for the same reason. Back in the day, before he decided that shock was better publicity than reporting, I watched Rush Limbaugh's TV show (yeah, I'm that old) because he occasionally did some excellent investigative journalism. It would have to be fact-checked, and you had to ignore the invective, but at its core were stories I wasn't seeing elsewhere, and which, on further investigation, proved to be valid and useful (sometimes leading me to conclusions that Rush would not have been pleased with).

So, bias doesn't matter. Is this story informative? Is it sensationalized beyond the point of having any value? Yes and close, but not quite is my take. The fact of the matter is that there's no evidence either way. The woman in question could have gone to an ER and requested a rape kit. There would be some evidence of the invasion. If she didn't, then she might well be lying, but that's not for us to decide. The important issue isn't the woman vs. the man, it's the fact that the TSA is in a position that elicits such concerns (and the rest is for a court to decide).

more than 3 years ago
top

Samsung and VMWare Bringing Virtualization to Android

ajs Re:Battery life sucks (135 comments)

And if the market forced battery life to be a priority, then we'd get the same battery life we had on slower devices, but the big drains are high-contrast, high-resolution screens and fast processors; both of which continue to be the driving market forces.

more than 3 years ago
top

Samsung and VMWare Bringing Virtualization to Android

ajs Re:Practical use? (135 comments)

It would sure seem to make for some nicely hard to detect root kits. Your trojan can spin up a VM where it will be harder to detect as a rogue process inside the main OS. Have fun with that!

It would be pretty hard to do this. You would have to find a way to control the virtualization layer from within a guest OS. That's been the holy grail of defeating desktop virtualization security for a long time, and while there are occasional bugs discovered, I'm not aware of anything that's been exploitable enough and pervasive enough (e.g. unpatched versions) that there's been an active exploit in the wild.

I admit, I haven't followed the topic for a while, so fill me in if there are examples of such.

more than 3 years ago
top

Samsung and VMWare Bringing Virtualization to Android

ajs Re:Practical use? (135 comments)

that would be if virtualization was actually as good of a protection as physical phones, which it isnt

Can you cite a source? I'm pretty sure I've never seen that comparison performed in the wild.

more than 3 years ago
top

Samsung and VMWare Bringing Virtualization to Android

ajs Re:Practical use? (135 comments)

Billing isn't the issue. Typically, you see the two-phone thing in sales, IT and highly regulated environments. For example, if you work for a drug company, you must not allow users to store any corporate data on a hand-held device unless the company has complete control over it. This isn't the company's call, it's the FDA's. Why? Because that data is subject to retention policies that are related to drug testing rules, and you have to be able to guarantee that you can produce the information again on demand.

So, imagine the poor user who just wants to be able to control their own phone. They don't want to go through 2 layers of authentication just to tell Pandora to switch to a different station, but if they disable that authentication, their work email and contacts will all delete themselves.

Instead, you have isolated environments with something like this article's topic, and you toggle between them for work and personal use. Nice and easy, and IT doesn't get to tell you how to manage your personal phone.

more than 3 years ago
top

Samsung and VMWare Bringing Virtualization to Android

ajs Re:Wiping phones etc (135 comments)

Exactly correct. Could someone please mod parent up?

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

top

WoW Releases Final Wrath Patch Tomorrow

ajs ajs writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ajs writes "World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion was staggered into 4 phases. The fourth and final phase, patch 3.3, is slated to be released tomorrow, December 8th. This patch is significant in that it will be the first introduction of one of the most anticipated new features in the game since PvP arenas: the cross-realm random dungeon as well as the release of new end-game dungeons for 5, 10 and 25-player groups. The ultimate fight against the expansion's antagonist, The Lich King AKA Arthas, will be gated as each of the four wings of the final dungeon are opened in turn--a process that may take several months. The next announced patch after 3.3 (presumably 4.0) will be the release of Cataclysm, the next expansion."
Link to Original Source
top

Next World of Warcraft expansion: Cataclysm

ajs ajs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ajs writes "There has been no official announcement yet, but a number of moves by Blizzard Entertainment seem to indicate that the next expansion for World of Warcraft will be titled Cataclysm. Speculation began when Blizzard trademarked Cataclysm recently and then later when a test server briefly popped up with the word "Maelstrom" in its name. If true, the name would fall neatly into the WoW lore and expected expansion list. The Cataclysm is another name for the Great Sundering, an event that created a swirling vortex of water and mystical energies (the "Maelstrom") that has appeared on the world map in-game since release. There are also indications that early design work included some of the islands in this area, which has long fueled anticipation of a Maelstrom-based expansion involving the former Night Elf noble, Azshara, queen of the Naga and the Goblins whose main city is in the south seas."
Link to Original Source
top

World of Warcraft 2.3, Zul'Aman and the Lich King

ajs ajs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ajs writes "World of Warcraft isn't the same game that it was even just six months ago, and it's changing again with the announcement of the upcoming changes in version 2.3. The major updates this year have been the release of Burning Crusade (the game's first expansion); the 2.1 patch which modified every class and trade skill and improved spam-prevention; and now 2.3 which is updating the player-vs-player battlegrounds, adding a new raid dungeon called Zul'Aman and "reviewing" every class for game balance in preparation for the release of Wrath of the Lich King "soon", as Blizzard is fond of saying. 2.3 looks to be clearing the way for the raised level cap (to 80) in Lich King as well, by increasing the rate at which new players can level from 20 to 60, and adding over 60 new quests to the middle of that range."
top

Nimoy may be the star of the next Trek film?

ajs ajs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ajs writes "Moriarty, over on Ain't It Cool News is running a column about the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie. In it, he discusses some theories about where the movie is going, but doesn't reveal his sources. He claims that Nimoy's Spock, not the younger versions of the original Trek trio, will be the primary star of the film; and that the movie will make some very substantial changes to the Trek lore in a way that is internally consistent with what went before, but opens up many more options for future franchise films or series. If he's right, there are some pretty substantial spoilers in the column."
Link to Original Source
top

ajs ajs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ajs writes "The recent reporting on sea-level changes has often made the leap from observed rising sea-levels to predicted rises in sea-levels to so-called "doomsday" scenarios without a great deal of context. A recent article about rising antarctic sea levels on Scientific American's site has a fairly good discussion of the three different measures and how they relate. It also points out that observations currently map to the upper-end of the, "18-59 centimeters (7-23 inches) this century," predicted by the IPCC, but that the primary concern is that this could lead to a sudden melting of much larger amounts of inland ice, and could result in changes of meters (100 million people live within a meter of sea-level) that are not accounted for in current estimates."
top

ajs ajs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ajs writes "Ain't It Cool News is reporting that Preacher is now confirmed as an upcoming HBO series. For those that are unaware, Preacher was a mid-90s DC comics series that followed the exploits of a Texas preacher who becomes embroiled in a supernatural power strugle involving angels, devils, shadowy church organizations, John Wayne, his ex-girlfriend and his Irish drinking buddy. In concept, it's a bit like The Wizard of Oz as done by Tarantino and Troma Films. How or if HBO will sanitize it for TV is not clear."
top

ajs ajs writes  |  about 8 years ago

ajs writes "As previously announced, "Babylon 5: The Lost Tales" is a direct-to-DVD project based on the popular series from the mid-1990s. Lost Tales first DVD, titled "Voices of the Dark" has now begun production. As usual, J. Michael Straczynski and Doug Netter will be running the show with Straczynski directing. The characters, President John Sheridan (Boxleitner), Captain Elizabeth Lochley (Scoggins) and the technomage Galen (Woodward) are returning. The Lost Tales is an anthology series of sorts with two movies (previously three) per DVD starting in 2007. Straczynski has commented on Usenet that a more CG-intensive installment is coming in the next batch, featuring the character of Michael Garibaldi (Doyle)."
top

ajs ajs writes  |  more than 8 years ago

ajs writes "Perl 6 has been a long time in coming, and it's not here yet but version 6.2.13 of Pugs was released today and the goal is now much closer. The Pugs sources actually contain two implementations of Perl 6: Pugs itself which is written in Haskell and v6, a Perl 6 to Perl 5 translator/emulator that allows you to mix Perl 6 and Perl 5 code. On the minus side, there has been very little work done on performance at this stage, so Perl 6 is still slow. On the plus side, most major language features are now supported, and the complex interaction of inline grammars or "rules" (a major step forward for old "regular expressions"); lazy lists; runtime object traits and mixins; and many other complexities are now in fairly good shape for continued development."

Journals

top

Contest to re-design my name generator

ajs ajs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I'm running a contest to re-design the UI for my random name generator. I don't expect to get as many submissions as Slashdot did when they solicited entries for a re-design, but I figure some aspiring Web designer wouldn't mind having their signature on my site as a resume item.

top

Googling the Vote

ajs ajs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I've been tracking Google's stats for some 2008 Presidential Election-related searches in an effort I've been calling "Google the Vote". The results have really helped to keep me in touch with how the election is shaping up. My blog entry on the topic is titled, "Using the Web to predict elections." I touch on a few ways that people are tracking Web-based data for the election such as Google Trends and Intrade.

I really do think that the Web is going to become a more and more accurate predictor of elections over the years, and eventually live-polling will be an antiquated and moot factor.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?