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Xbox One Set To Launch On November 22

devnullkac Anniversary (184 comments)

It is also the same day that the Xbox 360 launched in 2005.

It's also the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK... coincidence? Actually, yes, I'm pretty sure it's just a coincidence.

1 year,18 days

The Return of Surveillance Camera Man

devnullkac Retaliation (188 comments)

A lot of the retaliation by his, er, subjects is physical and likely an illegal escalation. I think a simpler response is to produce a mirror or better yet a camera-disabling laser pointer. But then, he holds the power of edit, so any truly effective responses won't make it into the videos. There's a lot of creative people in Seattle, and I'd like to see those "outtakes" which didn't produce the effect he was going for.

about a year ago

Officials Say NSA Probed Fewer Than 300 Numbers - Broke Plots In 20 Nations

devnullkac Relevant? (419 comments)

When a number comes out of that lock box, it's just a phone number ... If they think that's relevant to their counterterrorism investigation, they give that to the FBI. ... the FBI has to go out and meet all the legal standards to even get whose phone number that is...

I do not understand how he can tout the uselessness of the number that pops out of the "lock box" and then gloss over how its relevance can be determined before the FBI seeks to learn anything more about it.

about a year ago

Israeli Army Retweeting 1967 War As It Happened

devnullkac Fog Of War (317 comments)

It would be most interesting if the tweeting team managed to dig deep enough into the historical documents to recreate the fog of war that blankets all such events, announcing and then retracting as reports arrived at HQ (or whatever).

Full realism would be uninteresting since no real HQ would tweet everything it thought it knew at the moment it knew it. But then, perhaps using declassified documents, we could recreate what it would be like to work at the top levels of a Twitter-based government with Top Secret initial and revised reports and guesses bouncing around, seeing how little time people really had to make decisions that put thousands or millions of lives at risk.

about a year ago

Most precise measuring tool I've used ...

devnullkac Accuracy and Precision (328 comments)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but precision and accuracy are not the same thing. They are complementary ideas, to be sure, but they should not be confused: <pedantic probable-correctness="75%">precision indicates how close the measurement is to other measurements of the same phenomenon by the same instrument, while accuracy indicates how close the measurement is to the actual value</pedantic>.

about a year ago

Planetary Resources To 'Claim' Asteroids With Beacons

devnullkac Back it up (221 comments)

Absent international treaty or a national law (assuming their competition can be assailed in the court system), anyone with a plan like this will be forced to defend their claims the old fashioned way: by force. Will the beacons have probe-disabling lasers on board? The article doesn't say. But my guess is that the cost of getting a defense system on the rock is the same as the cost of getting mining equipment on it.

A better defense plan is to scan 10 times as many rocks as you normally would and leave beacons on all of them. Then develop either stealthy or very fast mining tech for phase 2.

about a year and a half ago

Can You Do the Regular Expression Crossword?

devnullkac Inversion (115 comments)

And here I was thinking the crossword clues would be as normal, but the answers in the grid would themselves be regular expressions.

about a year and a half ago

How the Super Bowl Will Reach US Submarines

devnullkac OPSEC (142 comments)

I sure hope they're doing something obvious like fuzzing the feed over those classified channels. I'd hate to see an opponent get an opportunity to attack the crypto when there's a 4 hour-long known plaintext transmission.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Where Are the E-Ink Dashboards?

devnullkac Re:Black white or grey (242 comments)

My favorite part of the practical applications they present is the security camera pointed at the billboard. Presumably the tech is expensive enough that someone might just scale the tower and steal it.

about a year and a half ago

When Was the Last Time You Used a Landline Phone?

devnullkac Bad Timing (329 comments)

The most common interpretation of "this month" and "this year" would have them meaning the same thing. Perhaps if this was the New Year's Day poll, we could get the first four answers all meaning the same thing!

about a year and a half ago

Researcher Warns That Military Must Prepare For "Mutant" Future

devnullkac Arms Race (179 comments)

So many jokes, so little time...

  • Can a soldier with 4 arms be more devastating on the modern battlefield? How about 6?
  • Perhaps the submitter meant to suggest that arms will replace legs as a means of racing across the battlefield?

about a year and a half ago

Virus Eats School District's Homework

devnullkac Sick (321 comments)

You can't just put "[sic]" next to any random string of characters and expect the reader to understand. What the hell is "whiel boosting creativity" supposed to mean, anyway? Maybe I'm slow this morning, but it took me 5 minutes to see the "while". Brackets can help readers stay engaged [and] informed [while] improving understanding, but this time they failed us.

about 2 years ago

With NCLB Waiver, Virginia Sorts Kids' Scores By Race

devnullkac Misleading Headline: Rates not Scores (622 comments)

The headline is misleading. The actual pass/fail line for each student is unchanged. The state is changing what it considers an acceptable aggregate rate of passing for groups of students, choosing race as the criterion for grouping. The stated rationale is that students of different races have different starting points, so it makes sense to seek different final achievement levels. But even if you accept that approach, it seems lazy to use race as a surrogate for academic starting point.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Stands In the Way of a Truly Solar-Powered Airliner?

devnullkac Power Availability (590 comments)

Airlines need to be extremely flexible and solar powered operations could only be conducted during daylight hours. In addition, unless there was a lot of excess capacity in the generated power, they likely could not operate near dawn or dusk or in cloudy conditions.

about 2 years ago

Rare Photos: Gnu Crashing a Windows 8 Launch Event

devnullkac Closer inspection? (313 comments)

On closer inspection? More like "The person with an enormous mascot mask - which, on closer inspection, vaguely resembled a gnu."

about 2 years ago

Researcher Reverse-Engineers Pacemaker Transmitter To Deliver Deadly Shocks

devnullkac Re:Function creep...? (216 comments)

I think you're close. You need a secondary access method that requires direct skin contact near the device in order to bypass the front-line wireless security. Same concept as how most people will protect wireless access to their home network, but rely on physical security to prevent someone replacing their router: if someone can get close enough to get physical access, you'll know it and know to stop it before it's too late.

about 2 years ago

Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN

devnullkac Sure (957 comments)

Sure, we can have international blasphemy laws... just as soon as someone figures out how to live in a way that never offends anyone anywhere in the world. Everyone that pushes for this sort of thing always seems to think it's perfectly natural for everyone to think they way they do and so criminalization would be easy to enforce. Nevermind that that their very way of life may be blasphemous to others in the international community. You want to criminalize blasphemy in your own nation? Have at it. Bash your own populace until they're a homogeneous mass. Don't expect the rest of the globe to fall in line so easily.

about 2 years ago

Meet DARPA's New Militarized Earthworm

devnullkac I for one (83 comments)

I for one welcome our new earthworm, uh erm, underlords.

more than 2 years ago

Meet the Robisons and Their Low-Cost RepRap Kit (Video)

devnullkac Trusting Trust (67 comments)

Do RepRap machines, as open as they are, suffer from Ken Thompson's Trusting Trust problem? I suppose once the integration is sophisticated enough to incorporate the controller software in the replication process that it could, for example, recognize any tumbler-style lock device being printed and surreptitiously modify the design during printing to include support for a special master key. Is there a lower-level analog to the compiler problem that involves only subtle changes to the hardware elements?

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Scans Chats and Posts For Criminal Activity

devnullkac Liability (483 comments)

I suspect this policy creates a liability problem for FaceBook. If I am the victim of a crime and discover that part of its planning was done via FaceBook but they failed to notice or report it, I could perhaps sue them for failing to stop it.

more than 2 years ago


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