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!



Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

coofercat Re:Black box data streaming (503 comments)

There's a difference between doing something as a service that you're paid for by others and something you do for yourself. Having taxi drivers, or lorry drivers or whatever recorded is different than having private car drivers recorded.

I'm not saying your point is wrong, but it's more complex than you make out. You do make a good point about the data only being accessible in an accident situation, as opposed to in some non-event that the government decides is important enough call an "emergency requiring that we listen in".

4 days ago

Fossils of Cambrian Predator Preserved With Brain Impressions

coofercat Body armour? (45 comments)

If you're one of the first predators, why would you need body armour? (and no, I didn't RTFA)

5 days ago

Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek To Control the Internet

coofercat "amplif[y]" sanctioned messages on YouTube" (117 comments)

This is why the volume of ads is higher than the programmes they're in. Damn you GCHQ, I don't want your new soft drink, I want my freedom from tyranny!

about a week ago

German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

coofercat Re:foolproof (243 comments)

In other news, they're also dusting off all their old bottles invisible ink, newspapers with holes cut so you can see through while 'reading' and that box of old fake moustaches and noses from the basement. From now on, be on the lookout for anyone reading a paper from the 1960s sporting a massive nose neighbour. Extra points if they're writing into a notebook with a pen that appears to have run out of ink.

about a week ago

Want To Ensure Your Personal Android Data Is Truly Wiped? Turn On Encryption

coofercat Re:Still a problem .... (91 comments)

The better solution is to use a Windows Phone. You can be sure no one will want to buy that on ebay ;-)

about a week ago

The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

coofercat Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (364 comments)

I have no idea what I'm talking about here, but how many "modern air wars" have there been in (say) the last 50 years? The Falklands war is one - how many more have there been? How many do we expect in the next (say) 50?

It seems to me that conflict is getting smaller. That is, it's less about taking over entire continents and more about killing a few people at the train station to get in the media and get some fear going. AFAIK, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan used some air support, but there was no "air war" as such (maybe some people trying to shoot down planes, but that's entirely different from dog-fighting).

That said, if another state of reasonable size was to decide it wanted another state's land, then things scale up quite quickly. However, how much of that really causes "air wars"? The issues in Ukraine suggest that the implications of state-based action is more financial than it would be military.

When the Eurofighter project was in full swing, I wondered the same thing - I mean, how many times do we think we're going to need such a thing? That said, it came up with (what looks to me at least) as a pretty cool aircraft with some cool tech inside it. Shame it's all classified :-(

about two weeks ago

UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

coofercat Re:What if... (353 comments)

I always fancied "fuck you copper, this is a fit-up - I ain't going canary!". Speaking of which, my work computer's just told me my password is about to expire... ;-)

about two weeks ago

Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

coofercat Re:Dubai has bigger problems (265 comments)

The real problem is the people in Dubai don't like the Flintstones. Thankfully the people in Abu Dhabi do.

about two weeks ago

Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

coofercat Re:Maybe something sensible? (94 comments)

We can expect millions of euros spent on months and months of wrangling to try to keep the most corporate-sponsored parts of the plan to be kept in whilst wording them in such a way that they don't look so corporately sponsored. All the features that the ordinary people of Europe might want will be watered down in wording that looks like it's all good but actually gives no power to those clauses.

If you want shitty legislation, you've really got to pay for it. If you want good legislation, look elsewhere :-(

about two weeks ago

The Billionaire Mathematician

coofercat That's nothing! (96 comments)

I'm a mathematics genius too. I counted all my money, and I've managed to amass 23 billion pounds, just in my wallet (and that's after I bought lunch). That doesn't include all the money in my penny jar at home and the stuff that's down the back of the sofa. If we add all that, I'm pretty sure I'm the second richest person in the world.

about two weeks ago

How Japan Lost Track of 640kg of Plutonium

coofercat Solution (104 comments)

Whenever I lose something, I go back to wherever I last saw it and retrace my steps. Have they tried that?

about two weeks ago

Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

coofercat Re: Whoops (239 comments) the BBC? All you need to do is search there instead of Google: Or even frikkin' Bing:

And there is the ridiculousness of this law. It's not about "being forgotten" it's about breaking Google's market dominance. Either way, it's complete bullshit and should never have been made into a law.

about three weeks ago

Encryption Keys For Kim Dotcom's Data Can't Be Given To FBI, Court Rules

coofercat Re:"cannot" (149 comments)

They SAY they could do that, but they can't tell the truth.

about three weeks ago

Microsoft Backs Open Source For the Internet of Things

coofercat Re:History! (136 comments)

So when we get to step 2, do I get an extra bedroom and a garage/workshop?

about three weeks ago

Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing

coofercat Re:One non-disturbing theory (304 comments)

One place I worked had some branded water bottles made up for some event or other. Some of them didn't get used and got put in a cupboard for a year or two. When we found them, just about all of them had sort of "over inflated" a bit (and were past their use-by date). Given they were in the office, it seems unlikely they got heated to such an extent that the contents would have expanded that much purely due to temperature. I'm not qualified, but I'd imagine they'd begun to degrade, releasing a bit of gas into the water and reducing the structural integrity of the bottle allowing the "over inflated" look.Needless to say, no one was keen to try drinking any of the water ;-)

about three weeks ago

How To Make Espresso In Space

coofercat Re:Short black with one (192 comments)

Creamer is made using the other 'cows' in the field that aren't busy making the (real) milk ;-)

about a month ago

Why the Moon's New Birthday Means the Earth Is Older Than We Thought

coofercat Re:Age of the earth (98 comments)

Day 0 - Our sun is puked into existence, with a shit-tonne of rubble floating around it.
100 million years later, a big rock hits earth - thus earth must have been there, so we know earth was made on or before 100 million years after the sun. Previous measurements of our atmosphere from rocks suggests this to be true.

French people look at all the observations, and saw that the calibrations were a bit off, and then worked out that collision took place 60 million years earlier than previously thought. Therefore, the earth must have formed 60 million years earlier than first thought, and been solid and "finished" enough to be able to produce the moon from the impact. That suggests the earth was formed in 40 million years, not 100 million years - that makes quite a difference to our understanding of how planets are formed. From the French perspective, this means the FSM didn't have as many RTT days in his contract as was previously thought, and possibly worked many of the days we now consider public holidays too.

about a month ago

New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

coofercat No problem - Deny access to the SD Card (249 comments)

I just found out last night that my Galaxy Note 8 can't write to it's SD card any more (after a KitKat update). This also is some brain-dead move by Google to make my tablet "more secure".

What it's actually done is pissed me off so much that I'm now going to spend the time rooting the thing. I can understand limiting apps to certain areas of the system, but giving them 100% unfettered access to the internal storage, and deny just about anything from the SD card isn't it.

I'd like to be able to see the list of permissions an app needs (in groups, if you like), and then deselect any I don't think it should have - if an app I don't like the look of wants to use my SD card, then I should be able to turn it off. I know this is possible with a rooted system, so it seems that's the only way to go for me (particularly as I quite like being able to use my SD card that Samsung took the time to bundle with my tablet).

If my phone asks me to upgrade to kitkat, I'm gonna say no. I'm sure that doesn't make me more secure. I'm sure rooting my tablet isn't really Google's idea of "more secure" either. Assuming I'm right about that, then they should find a way to let me override their brain-dead missteps.

about a month ago

Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

coofercat Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

So what you're saying is that we're VHS, and killed off the early, but actually superior, BetaMax?

about a month ago

Mars Base Design Competition Open To Non-Scientific Professionals

coofercat Re:Boycott makerBot (94 comments)

It's a long way from brilliant, but all my designs are now on - which I see is starting to get some really interesting stuff posted (far better than any of the tat I've come up with! ;-).

It's run by Ultimaker, so in theory vulnerable to the same problems as Thingiverse, but Ultimaker are quite responsive to their user base, so may do as we've suggested and create a foundation to run it instead. They're also a much smaller company, so don't expect quick turnaround as they're resource constrained, or indeed for this to be any sort of problem for some years yet (although YMMV).

The other good thing about Youmagine (and Ultimaker) is that they're European, and so not hamstrung by US patents, or indeed the litigation thereof.

about a month and a half ago


coofercat hasn't submitted any stories.



About Coofer Cat

coofercat coofercat writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I'm a chap from London, UK, trying to make his way through this ole' life as best as possible.

I've been a sysadmin for most of my professional life, mostly playing with Sun systems, latterly more Windoze and Linux though. I'm quite good at "getting things to work" - that is, making things work they way they ought to.

At the moment, I'm working for my own company, Pre-Emptive Limtied. It's a small company that makes appliance based products, the first of which is a search engine. We make use of open source products and "glue" them together with a bit of development and a proprietary administration and usability layer.

In my spare time, I can often be found boozin' in pubs, or scaring off the opposite sex. I've also got a blog.

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