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Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

ausekilis Re:It doesn't have to get it right (489 comments)

This, entirely this.

I don't know of any large companies that had a mass deployment of Vista, I only know my own personal experience was a jump straight from XP to 7, which happened after 7 had been out for nearly 2 or 3 years. Corporations (and small businesses) need stability, configurability, and to some extent user familiarity. Win 8 may be the most stable thing they've produced yet, but when you have to train 100k+ employees how to get to their email, you're talking a massive expense for little to not real productivity gain. If 10 maintains the AD mass-configuration, with the well-known look and feel, then they may have a corporate winner.

This is the same reason you don't see wide-spread Linux adoption in corporations. The look/feel is just too different for those folks used to clicking on the little blue 'E' for "internet". Combine that with all the "Microsoft certifications" that know "file->add" but not the nuts and bolts of how to actually add a user/group, and you're looking at retraining your entire workforce for a new OS. It seems they would rather pay $100 per seat for a new OS, than get a free OS and suffer $200 per seat in training, not to mention lost productivity.

If MS somehow does manage to screw the pooch with 10, we may see corporations either stick with 7 and weather the storm, or you might actually see some start to look for alternatives.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

ausekilis Re:About time (417 comments)

More robust competition at the local level will raise speeds and lower prices. And one day, one bright, glorious day, I can tell Comcast to take a hike.

You could do that now. Then get all cozy with QWest/CenturyLink, TWC, Cox, etc...

about two weeks ago
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Human Language May Have Evolved To Help Our Ancestors Make Tools

ausekilis Re:Human language has evolved to help our ancestor (154 comments)

It means the connection between your PC and printer has had an underflow of "LETTER". Best fixed by sending another 100 copies of War and Peace to the printer. You know, to get those fat electrons moving down the wire again.

about two weeks ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

ausekilis Re:Kids these days ... (388 comments)

I used to work in a proposal center, where people should know a good deal of the basics... such as using Office and assorted graphics/layout programs. One morning as I'm walking to my desk I see someone on the phone, obviously talking to the help desk, and there is an ominous message on the display:

Non-system disk or disk error. Replace and press any key.

So I ejected the floppy and tapped the space bar. About 3 minutes later I got some of the most intense thanking I've ever recieved. You'd think I'd just saved a years worth of rework for them. I still don't know why they'd bother with a floppy disk, none of the files we worked with would have fit on the dumb thing.

about two weeks ago
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Russia Says Drivers Must Not Have "Sex Disorders" To Get License

ausekilis Re:Transgender Persons (412 comments)

I think this is an incredibly short-sighted look at this. What we are talking about is changing genes, changing neural links, or fundamental brain chemistry (which we kinda do already... see medications). The human brain is incredibly complex and the only way we know to "fix" it is surgery to remove something like cancer, or via medications. To fundamentally change neural pathways or genes would be to fundamentally change the person, with unknown side effects. To suggest we can simply "fix" them ignores some well observed side effects of "traumatic brain injury". Likewise, the brain will adapt in a concept called neuroplasticity, it will rewire a damaged portion to a new section of the brain.

There are people out there who have no choice in the matter. For example intersex individuals, such as those born with 2 X's and a Y, are uncommon, but are out there. We are not necessarily talking gender dysphoria. Rather, we are talking someone who does not strongly express either gender. My understanding is that parents typically want males, so given the choice early on that's what they opt to have the doctor go for (and resulting surgery). Later on in life that may impose gender dysphoria, not because "he feels like a woman", but because his body is actively producing hormone levels of both, perhaps with a leaning toward one or another. This is not some psychological conditioning, this is a fundamental issue with the chemistry of their body. How do you suppose we fix that? A series of invasive surgeries? Years of therapy to "deal with it"?

about three weeks ago
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The Next Big Step For Wikidata: Forming a Hub For Researchers

ausekilis Already done, sorta (61 comments)

This is what the Texas Digital Library aims to do. Though it's not quite one big wiki, it actually is a push to archive and collaborate using various data types and formats.

about a month ago
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US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

ausekilis Re:I think sneakernet floppies are a good idea (252 comments)

For a security sensitive place, like the US govt, I think lack of networking, and using floppy disks to transfer files is a good thing. It is harder to sneak out large amounts of data undetected. Doesn't the Kremlin use typewriters now?

...

Unlike printers, every typewriter has its own individual pattern of type so it is possible to link every document to a machine used to type it.

That's not entirely true. Printers will output small dots intended to be invisible to the naked eye (they're tiny and yellow). This is called printer steganography. While not all of them have been decoded (as of whenever that was updated), the assumption is that the marking can uniquely identify an individual printer and printout by serial and date/time.

about a month ago
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

ausekilis Re:Why not just call them "non-believers"... (719 comments)

...and burn them at the stake as witches? That aught to take care of those pesky people who disagree.

Oh I wish we could do that. We'd be able to solve many problems at once.

about a month and a half ago
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Department of Justice Harvests Cell Phone Data Using Planes

ausekilis Re:4th Amendment ... (202 comments)

I'm curious how and if this applies to that patent fron earlier this year or last year about location-based advertising. Its bulk grabbing of cell phone data to feed you a coupon for something on or near the shelf you're standing by. True, the underlying motivation is different, but the mechanism is largely the same. I happen to be looking at power tools, look at my phone and am fed Sears adds. I'm sure with the appropriate warrant some agencies could listen in, if they arent already.

about 3 months ago
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Department of Justice Harvests Cell Phone Data Using Planes

ausekilis Re:About time for a Free baseband processor (202 comments)

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed

Where exactly does that text say anything about overthrowing the government?

Lets break this down: "Well regulated militia" because there was no standing military. Also, who do you think is actually doing the regulating? Why?"Necessary to the security of a free state" the 'militia' or 'military surrogate' defending its borders/people. "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" you can own a gun if you so choose, and no one can take it from you.

Looking at the time it was written, it was up to the people to defend themselves. There was no military, it wasn't organized yet... our country was a bunch of immigrants looking to start anew. Today the right has been (in my opinion) perverted to the point its about dick waving instead of self defense. Sure, get that hunting rifle and kill a few elk. Have a handgun in case of an intruder. Just don't bitch and moan that you need that semi-automatic rifle for "self defense, just in case Obama comes to your house to take your 9mm". The amendment is not saying the people need to mount a violent uprising because they don't like what the president is doing. It only says you can own a gun, not what you need to do with it.

about 3 months ago
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Intel Drops Gamasutra Sponsorship Over Controversial Editorials

ausekilis Re:gtfo (724 comments)

My right to free speech ends where your rights begin. True, the government shall make no law abridging the right to freedom of speech (e.g. GOV restriction of speech), but in practice that right has been upheld to private sector too. That is exactly why customer clauses prohibiting negative reviews have been found illegal and unenforceable.

Penn and Teller put it pretty well in their first episode of Bullshit. To call someone a moron or an idiot is slander and you're open to lawsuits. To call someone an asshole or a motherf***er is expressing an opinion, and you're pretty much in the clear.

Take it a step further and you're getting into the slander/libel territory. A 14yo brat calling someone a "faggot" I would argue could get into lawsuit territory. If the target was in a position that, should the accusation be true or generally perceived as true, could cause irrepairable harm to that persons livelihood. Teachers, for example, may have a cause to start a lawsuit since along with the label "faggot" (homosexual) is an implied "pedophile".

With regard to this whole "movement", I liken it to Westboro Baptist. They are an incredibly vocal minority looking to stir up crap. They are within their rights to speak their opinion wherever and however they wish, so long as it is not destructive to others. They can picket all they want, but as soon as a rock is thrown through a windshield, they are in the wrong.

about 4 months ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

ausekilis Re:Emma Watson is full of it (590 comments)

It goes far beyond peer pressure. Look around you next time you're in any store and look at how things are marketed toward men and women, girls and boys. For the strongest example, look no further than the toy section. Boys toys are all about building, destroying, superheroes, sports, and other stereotypical toys. Girls toys are more about Barbie, princesses, cooking, cleaning, etc...

I say this as a father of a young daughter. I want her to explore her interests without pressuring her in any particular direction. I also would rather her have toys that encourage her to learn and explore. By and large, that means going to specialty toy shops to find gender neutral toys. Things like K-nex, assorted Legos (that aren't focused on kitchens, princesses and horses), or more science-oriented toys.

To let your kid go to their toy isle and pick out their own is likely to just reinforce the stereotype of women being "princesses", waiting for their prince to come pay for their pampering.

about 4 months ago
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Games That Make Players Act Like Psychopaths

ausekilis Re:Is it possible? (212 comments)

This reminds me of the Prisoner's Dilemma. There's a few different variations of the reward, but the dilemma goes as follows:

You have two prisoners that are each offered a chance at freedom. They are given the choice to either rat out the other or remain silent. If both rat out the other, they both get a longer sentence. If only one rats out the other, they get a much reduced sentence. If they both remain silent, then they get something in between.

Obviously a "psychopathic attitude" would be to consistently rat out the other, despite it also being the only option that has a 50% chance of an increased penalty/sentence. It's not as simple as me-first, there is also logic and planning involved in how to get the greatest gain. This is why you get some players that will help others out, become part of the group, then take the group to the cleaners (e.g. steal all the stuff in the guild bank or whatever).

What nobody seems to be bringing up here is the concept of disassociation that all people have. One reason that some people road rage and scream at other cars is that they do not see that there are other people in the cars, they only see the vehicle. Likewise with some in-game avatar, there is no personal accountability for actions, no concept of personal punishment or social rejection. People behave much differently when they aren't being judged by others in person. There may be some lack of apathy in some players, in others maybe they just genuinely enjoy being a jerk when they won't get their face punched in.I believe that this is a big reason why we get griefers and in-game chat e-peen measuring contests, it's all a sort of virual posturing because there are no repurcussions. You take the same folks and put them in a room and I can all but guarantee the 70-lb 12 year old won't be mouthing off to the 300lb biker.

about 8 months ago
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Is It Really GPS If It Doesn't Use Satellites?

ausekilis Re:Not GPS (298 comments)

Without even reading the article (GASP!) I can tell this isn't GPS, and it isn't a (pure) INS. What they are talking about is a more accurate magnetometer that have been used in stabilizing pure inertial nav systems for years. The idea being that if they cool it down and isolate it (e.g. negate many of the problems a compass has, such as changing direction when near a large ferrous object), that they could pinpoint location based on the Earths magnetic field. There has been some experimentation with this in the civilian space with smart phones using built-in magnetometers to help aide in GPS-limited environments, such as around large buildings or within shopping malls, instead of the built in inertial sensors. I wouldn't call it GPS, though I would call it some "new" form of navigation.

about 8 months ago
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Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators

ausekilis Re:Blizzard Shizzard (252 comments)

A lot of what you say already exists and is somewhat transparent. Here are some examples:

For years they said that cross-realm mail was impossible, that the physical segregation of hardware (despite them all being on the same network) made it impossible. Now we have cross-server group finding in the random queues. We have account-wide mail of account-bound items that are not tied to servers or factions.

The cross-realm character transfer (and faction transfer) are advertised as though they they take at most 24 hours, and some forum posts by Blizzard employees have hinted that it isn't just a switch in a database, that it was closer to taking a USB stick and physically moving character data. If you've ever paid for any of those services, you'll notice that it is typically done in minutes, as though it was done in a lower-priority task as soon as the servers in question had a few free cycles. Or maybe just a simple transact-SQL script.

Hell, they even said for years that there was no way to automatically level a character, that the process was too complex and computationally expensive. Now you have "boosted" 90's running around all over the place. They've also implemented a server-side update stream for pre-patching installations, as well as server-based changes in environments (see phasing).

Of course, this is all just speculation. They could very well still have all the separate servers, complete with little printed labels slapped onto the front of the machines separating Drak'Thul from Doomhammer. 9 years is a lot of time for software development, they might have refined their network code to make all the above that much easier. They might have also upgraded from copper to fiber. They aren't public with their server setups, so who knows what they've got going on.

about 8 months ago
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Google Foresees Ads On Your Refrigerator, Thermostat, and Glasses

ausekilis Re:better question... (355 comments)

We already see this at gas stations, though I wonder where the advertisement offset truly goes. You start pumping gas then all of a sudden this speaker starts in on the wonderful gas station hot dogs and how they're one step shy of caviar served off a french stripper. I'm already paying for the fuel, and paying as much or more then other gas stations within eye-shot, am I really that starved for amusement that the gas pump has to start talking to me for the few minutes I'll be there?

about 8 months ago
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Google Foresees Ads On Your Refrigerator, Thermostat, and Glasses

ausekilis Re:Nope. (355 comments)

Or "Cyan toner low", or "Fuser needs replacement" or any number of other status outputs. Or to make setting the IP address parameters easier. Or to display help to the newb user who needs to change a toner but doesn't know how.

Simple stupid inkjets plugged into one computer don't necessarily need a screen, but a good networked one does.

What, you're too good to program it with punch cards? and you can't tell what "Beep Beep Boop Wrrrr" means?

about 8 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

ausekilis Re:Clearly, we need to SPEND MORE MONEY! (688 comments)

Yes, but where is that money going?

Winston Brooks, superintendent for Albuquerque Public Schools, makes $250k a year as of 2013. APS teachers averaged closer to $43k last year. According to CNN Money the poverty rate (lowest 15% of income) in 2013 was on the order of $51k nationwide. Granted there are some areas that bring up that average, such as Washington DC, New York and California. You can look into the salaries for teachers and assorted staff, but it still doesn't seem to add up to the overall funding line. Money gets tied up into standardized tests and the bureaucracy in managing them. Similarly to large corporations, education systems can (and sometimes do) get top-heavy with assorted C-level personnel that demand an unexplainably high salary for being little more than stamp jockeys.

about 8 months ago
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AT&T Buying DirecTV for $48.5 Billion

ausekilis Re:Well. (173 comments)

This is what they mean when they say they can't be common carriers, it will cut their ability to "upgrade infrastructure". I'm not following how Merger-fest 2014 is somehow giving consumers more choice, however.

about 8 months ago
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Rubik's Cube: 40 Years Old and Never Meant To Be a Toy

ausekilis Re:Did it survive? (105 comments)

I'd attribute the popularity of the SNES in part to the resurgance of classic titles being released in ways like Nintendo's Virtual Console. In addition, those folks that grew up with the NES/SNES would be hitting their 30's now and may already have that good job and are able to go back and buy some of their childhood from their local used game store. I know I've been doing just that this year.

To give some numbers to CronoCloud:
SNES had 784 games.
Playstation 1 had 2,418 games.
Playstation 2 had 3,870 games.
(Side note, N64 had 387 games.)

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Ballmer Realized He Was a Problem at Microsoft

ausekilis ausekilis writes  |  about a year ago

ausekilis (1513635) writes "Toms Hardware has a story (original paywalled at WSJ) about Ballmer's decision to retire early. It wasn't due to his office running out of chairs, rather it was he realized he wasn't as quick to adapt or as adept at the emerging markets (mobile, wearables, etc...). He then decided that for Microsoft to succeed, it would need someone else at the helm. While this is something Slashdotters have been talking about for years, the usual rationale was his missing the boat or just plain inept to the world around him. From the article, it wasn't until he talked to another CEO, who saved Ford Motor Company, that he realized he could change the culture at MS a bit to be more adaptive. Ballmer insituted some changes in how the company was run, and once finished, he realized that he was no longer the right guy for the job. Instead of being captain of the sinking ship, he decided it's time for a new captain."
Link to Original Source
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Windows Phone and Microsoft's Pride turned Desperation

ausekilis ausekilis writes  |  about a year ago

ausekilis (1513635) writes "We've all seen Ballmer's major push for Microsoft into a devices and services company, but just how desparate are they to get into the mobile market? Surface flopped and all the big names like Asus, Acer, and HP are all moving toward the Google camp with both Android and ChromeOS. Elop's bringing of Nokia to it's knees for the summary execution by Microsoft seemed to be an angle for Microsoft to have a leg up in the full production chain of Windows Phones, just like Apple. However, it looks like that isn't enough, since now Toms Hardware is reporting that MS is now in talks with Samsung and Huawei to start dual-booting Windows Phone. How much would MS have to incentivize the OS nobody wants to compete with the free (as in beer) Googlesphere?"
Link to Original Source
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The Decade of Steve Jobs

ausekilis ausekilis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ausekilis (1513635) writes "CNN today has a story outlining the past decade of Apple, and more importantly the contributions made by their CEO, Steve Jobs. They name him businessman of the decade because, unlike other businessmen such as Hilton or Ford who have transformed a single industry, Jobs has transformed four (computers, music, movies, and mobile telephones).

The financial results have been nothing short of astounding — for Apple and for Jobs. The company was worth about $5 billion in 2000, just before Jobs unleashed Apple's groundbreaking "digital lifestyle" strategy, understood at the time by few critics. Today, at about $170 billion, Apple is slightly more valuable than Google (GOOG, Fortune 500). Its market share in personal computers was plummeting back then, and the cash drain was so severe that bankruptcy was a possibility. Now Apple has $34 billion in cash and marketable securities, surpassing the total market cap of rival Dell (DELL, Fortune 500). Macintoshes make up 9% of the PC market in the U.S. today, but that share is increasingly beside the point.

"

Link to Original Source
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Time Warner to Spin off AOL

ausekilis ausekilis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ausekilis (1513635) writes "Ars Technica is running a story that Time Warner will spin off AOL. The interesting part of the story is that both AOL's CEO and Time Warners CEO said effectively the same thing, that AOL will be better off as an independent unit, as opposed to "a cog in the Time Warner wheel". Interesting to note that when they originally merged, the idea was for AOL to be a one-stop shop for all your internet goods. Makes you wonder that if Time Warner had invested in AOL as an exclusive media outlet for movies, TV, music, etc... if AOL would have regained some speed and become the prominent household name it once was, instead of that company that sent us all the free coasters."
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Dell says Windows 7 pricing may be a 'problem'

ausekilis ausekilis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ausekilis (1513635) writes "On Tom's Hardware is a brief article concerning the price for the upcoming Windows 7

The director of product management for Dell's business client product group, Darrel Ward, thinks that the price for the upcoming Windows 7 operating system may potentially be an obstacle for early adopters.

Considering Dell sells Ubuntu-equipped Inspiron 15n for ~$350, and Vista Equipped Inspiron 15 for ~$399, and "If there's one thing that may influence adoption, make things slower or cause customers to pause, it's that generally the ASPs (average selling price) of the operating systems are higher than they were for Vista and XP", it makes you wonder exactly what they hidden "Windows 7 fee" will be on machines later.

Let the flames begin."

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1000s of Vulnerabilities Detected In FAAs Apps

ausekilis ausekilis writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ausekilis (1513635) writes "

A government audit has pinpointed more than 3,800 vulnerabilities — 763 of which are high-risk — in the Federal Aviation Administration's Web-based air traffic control system applications, including some that could potentially put air travel at risk.

The report continues...

And the FAA's Air Traffic Organization, which heads up ATC operations, received more than 800 security incident alerts in fiscal 2008, but still had not fixed 17 percent of the flaws that caused them, "including critical incidents in which hackers may have taken over control of ATO computers," the report says.

Source: DarkReading"

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