top Google challenges us on the Future of Energy
The whole problem with switching to "alternative" energy is that doing so isn't economical. If fossil fuels start really having supply side problems and the price goes up, that's one way to get competition moving. The other is to drive the costs of alternative sources down, or find new cheaper alternatives. I have a feeling neither of those is going to happen though. What will happen is we will continue to develop better emissions capturing technologies, until the net emissions of fossil fuel powerplants and even vehicles are near zero -- while efficiencies continue to rise as fuel costs do.
We already have diesel + aero technology (that does not suck, performance wise) that can achieve 100mpg.
The problem isn't with vehicle technology, it will continue to evolve. The problem is with power generation on a national scale. I don't think we'll ever get there without nuclear. The hippies are just going to have to get over their irrational meltdown fears, and their waste storage misconceptions.
top Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba
This is a bias that I can't remember the name of right now, but it boils down to a person not believing that people can create a machine that "truly" thinks/feels because they don't understand what drives those aspects of themselves. The whole argument in the link reduces to the so called
"Chinese Room", which itself is just a version of Solipsism that draws the boundary between biology and technology (well actually Chemistry and technology, in Searle's case) rather than between one individual mind and another.
If I can't prove to you that Watson "thinks", then likewise you can't prove to me that you "think." Such arguments get us absolutely nowhere in the realm of scientific endeavor, which is why we have the concept of a Turing Test to begin with.
Claiming a thing cannot be conscious or exhibit understanding simply because you fully understand (and can predict) that things behavior isn't a scientific or logical argument. It stinks of an argument driven purely out of fear that determinism might be correct.
top Opensource game rejected from Debian for authors social beliefs
I'm a "conservative" by the lay definition, yet even I understand the difference between "being allowed to contribute to opensource" and "having your contributions accepted for distribution by a third party." Where is it written that any open source project must accept all contributions made to it, or that projects are not "allowed" to discriminate against contributions or contributors for any reason they like? It's certainly hypocritical for left-leaning people to discriminate that way, but hypocrisy from the left is hardly something new.
top Mozilla Launches Browser Built For Developers
that Moz/FF is still focusing on stupid features that are already covered by other tools, rather than fixing their memory leaks and other bugs. Hopefully we'll get another pointless UI facelift soon too, I've finally adapted to the last one.
top Texas Ebola Patient Dies
Can you "back any of this up?"
Every viral disease considered to be airborne spreads through droplets. They don't fly around the air like birds. Chickenpox, smallpox, and the flu are all considered airborne diseases
Coughing up blood on someone isn't airborne. Sneezing or coughing on them is. If you can catch Ebola this way, then it is airborne. They are probably saying it's not just to keep the panic level down.
about a month and a half ago
top Fixing Steam's User Rating Charts
What we really need is something like Pandoras system. Something where my own ratings, as a user, are factored in. If 10,000 random users rank a game as 9/10 but I thought it was a 3/10, we obviously disagree on some things. Match me against people who review similarly to me if you want to help me find games to buy. Use the statistical algorithm as a fallback.
about a month and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?
Would +1 this if I hadn't burned them all yesterday.
The admonishment about not writing down passwords is really about not putting them on your monitor/screen with a post-it note, or leaving them somewhere they can easily be read/seen/stolen. Keeping them on a scrap of paper in your wallet/purse is fine.
The parent should keep a copy at home as well, for the inevitable instance when jr's paper gets lost or goes through the wash.
top Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album
top Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?
I use it at home between my cablemodem and the rest of my network.
I use it at work to protect the corporate network.
Can get access to the work VPN remotely via both pfsense/pfsense VPN that's always on, and VPN client into pfsense from elsewhere.
Runs like a champ in VMWare too, with a small footprint.
top When Scientists Give Up
Stop the presses, we need to run this new story!
top Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding
Spoken like.. someone who isn't a rider.
Helmets are 'disposable' gear. If you damage it in a crash, you toss it. If you drop it down the stairs, you toss it. If there is *any* doubt in your mind that it's 100% intact, you toss it.
I'd rather not toss the GPS, computer, and the rest of the techno gear out with it. Drop the price and release it as a 'retrofit kit' and I'm in. Until then, I'll keep buying 'normal' helmets (which these days offer integrated speakers and mounting for bluetooth dongles for GPS/phone/etc).
top How Dumb Policies Scare Tech Giants Away From Federal Projects
who's gonna build the new bidding website for the new program?!
top Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?
A few years ago I would've called this ludicrous. I've been using FreeBSD for almost 20 years now and the idea of something like systemd (and the horrorshow it's become) making it's way into the base system was laughable. These days, I'm not so sure. Every release seems to take the system one step closer to exactly what you describe, with occasional steps the other direction (such as llvm/clang replacing gcc). I doubt FreeBSD will use systemd any time *soon* but one day, it might. By then bsdinstall will probably have been replaced with something even worse as well, and I will have moved on to some other flavor.
top Programming Language Diversity On the Rise
Github as a yardstick for language usage tells you nothing beyond what the most popularly used languages for github hosted projects are. Publicly accessible github projects at that.
top Siphons Work Due To Gravity, Not Atmospheric Pressure: Now With Peer Review
Oh thanks a lot. After reading this I tried pouring coffee into a donut hole to make a sort of coffee+donut breadbowl and it just made a mess instead. Topology fail is right!
top Mozilla Scraps Firefox For Windows 8, Citing Low Adoption of Metro
Oh Mozilla.. though you're already wasting enough time implementing crap nobody wants in Firefox, how can you ever HAVE time if you don't TAKE time?
top Why San Francisco Is the New Renaissance Florence
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
top Why San Francisco Is the New Renaissance Florence
top HTTP 2.0 May Be SSL-Only
I'd sign up for your newsletter if the connection was identified differently. Allow self-signed certs by default, but change the browser security 'color' thing from blue/green to yellow -- or even red if there is no non-encrypted traffic allowed.
CA certificate signing does serve a valuable function, one that is entirely defeated if there is no indication that a cert is self signed.
top If Java Is Dying, It Sure Looks Awfully Healthy
Pascal, Turbo Pascal, Delphi (Object Pascal)? Nowhere? I did professional Delphi development for roughly 10 years for companies of every size. Their IDEs were, and still are, a step beyond anything else, and when you had to get applications out the door quickly, it was Delphi or VB.
The most visible brand, Borland, screwed up a lot of things. Embarcadero has been doing an admirable job bringing the product up to date and, slowly, back into the public eye.
It's still very much alive. The current version can do cross-platform development for just about any mobile device (Win, iOS, Android), producing native code. Delphi (and Java, for that matter) are about as dead as the BSDs, which is to say, not. It's used in basically the same sort of way; quietly, behind the scenes, making things work that you don't think about day to day.
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