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The Single Vigilante Behind Facebook's 'Real Name' Crackdown

evilsofa Re:multi-culturalism (305 comments)

Personally, I've found that having a two word last name is enough to confuse many systems.

You should see the violence and mayhem that an individual with the name A O (first name A, last name O) wreaks upon an HMO patient data file system for which some long-departed pre-millenial programmer decided there should be a three-character minimum for the combined name field.

about 4 months ago

Experiment Shows Stylized Rendering Enhances Presence In Immersive AR

evilsofa Borderlands (75 comments)

This made me think immediately of the Borderlands games, which uses a black outline shader. Lots of PC gamers turn off the black lines (which are separate from the cell shading, by the way) but I left them on because I liked them, for reasons I couldn't ever explain very well.

about 4 months ago

NASA's Space Launch System Searches For a Mission

evilsofa Divorces are declared for more launches than that (53 comments)

We're going to pay how much for three times a year? This should be three times a month, ramping up to three times a week. What good is three launches a year?

So you're looking for a mission that can be accomplished with three launches a year. How about you launch a drawing board up into space, design yourself a pair of brass balls, and make something that will make them clack more than once a month? We'll have no trouble coming up with missions for you then!

about 5 months ago

How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

evilsofa In your typical American household (260 comments)

In your typical American household with 1.5 parents and 1.5 children, you'll have 1 computer and one phone for each adult and child. That adds up to 3 computers and 3 phones, or 6 devices - and as I type this, "5-6 devices" is just barely beating out the "more than 10" category in the poll.

/That third computer is a multibooter for sure
//and the third phone is in and out of jail all the time

about 5 months ago

Fixing a 7,000-Ton Drill

evilsofa Re:Why not buy another one? (101 comments)

This particular TBM cost $80 million:
They're spending $125 million to fix it. It seems plausible that dismantling it from behind and assembling a new one in place would have cost more than $45 million (plus $80 million for the new TBM).

about 6 months ago

Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

evilsofa How to turn off Java's junkware install prompts (436 comments)

1. To prevent junkware prompts during the initial install, download the installer from oracle instead of java.com, because the oracle installer does not have the junkware prompt:
(searching for "java oracle download" will get you there)

2. To prevent junkware prompts during the updates, disable Java Sponsors.
A java.com FAQ claims that in 7u65 or later, you can find a "Suppress sponsor offers when updating Java" option in the Java Control Panel's Advanced tab, but I have never seen it there, possibly because I have issued the regkey fix. To do that, save the following text to a file titled "disable-java-sponsers.reg" and double-click the file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



The answer of "Don't install Java at all, problem solved" is great and I wholeheartedly recommend it for those who don't need to run it, but there are many who have no choice and must run it for work, banking, Minecraft, etc. Using the regkey fix is great to prevent clueless family (grandparents!) and friends who need to run Java from accidentally installing the junkware.

about 6 months ago

Apple Kills Aperture, Says New Photos App Will Replace It

evilsofa Microsoft did exactly the same thing (214 comments)

If you think that Apple is trailblazing the neuterization of an in-house picture editor into a slide-show presenter, look at how MS transitioned what was Microsoft Digital Image in 2006 to Windows Photo Gallery 2012.

I would guess that both Microsoft and Apple lost the ability to offer competent tech support for the complicated features of photo editors, and decided to let Adobe handle that.

about 7 months ago

China May Build an Undersea Train To America

evilsofa Here's the Alaska-Canada Rail Study (348 comments)

Alaska, Canada and the US did a feasibility study in 2007 for connecting Fairbanks and Anchorage to the US by rail:


The Phase I report there refers to a "Nominal US$11 billion investment". This is only for connecting Anchorage to the US by rail. There has been no followup on this since 2007 that I am aware of. There are 521 miles of utterly undeveloped and unpopulated terrain between Nome and Fairbanks that includes 65 miles of mountains, 185 miles of wetlands, and the Yukon river. Just building a road between Fairbanks and Nome was estimated to cost $27 billion in 2010.

My family's small business in Fairbanks would inevitably be very much involved in any project to build railroads anywhere in Western Alaska, and there has been absolutely no indication that either the Alaskan government or the US government has ever had the slightest interest in building so much as a dirt road in that direction, much less a multi-continental railroad.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

evilsofa Sanyo Toasty Oven (702 comments)

A long time ago (30 years ago? 40? I'm not sure) Sanyo made a toaster that does not break by design: the Sanyo Toasty Oven. My parents have one and I remember using it as a child. They still have it, and it still works, 30 or 40 years later. I plan to ask them to leave it to me in their will. There's a Sanyo Toasty Oven SK-7S on amazon which looks a bit different from the original that my parents have, but it's out of stock, and some Sanyo Toasty Plus ovens on some Asian shopping sites, but all of them are out of stock too.

about 9 months ago

The "Triple Package" Explains Why Some Cultural Groups Are More Successful

evilsofa Superiority, insecurity but no impulse control? (397 comments)

It seems to me that what America lacks now is impulse control. By that I mean the obesity epidemic, the drugs epidemic, and most particularly the debt epidemic (consumers and government both). What happens when you've got superiority, insecurity but no impulse control? The fall of the Roman Empire?

1 year,3 days

AMD Considered GDDR5 For Kaveri, Might Release Eight-Core Variant

evilsofa Latency vs bandwidth (120 comments)

DDR3 is low latency, low bandwidth. GDDR5 is high latency, high bandwidth. Low latency is critical for CPU performance while bandwidth doesn't matter as much. On video cards, GPUs need high bandwidth but the latency doesn't matter as much. This is why gaming PCs use DDR3 for system RAM and GDDR5 on their video cards. Video cards that cut costs by using DDR3 instead of GDDR5 take a massive hit in performance. The XBox One and PS4 use GDDR5 shared between the CPU and GPU, and as a result have the rough equivalent of a very low-end CPU paired with a mid-range GPU.

1 year,10 days

Elevated Radiation Claimed At Tokyo 2020 Olympic Venues

evilsofa Here's the letter and data (164 comments)

This appears to be the letter and the data that started all this:


Perhaps the most crucial part of the letter is this:

"Just before the Fukushima power plant accident, the mean value of the atmospheric radiation in Tokyo was estimated as 0.04 Sv/h, and radioactive Cesium was almost non-existent. Therefore, atmospheric radiation value above this level can be regarded as the effect of the nuclear accident."

Is that a valid assumption?

about a year ago

Ship Anchor, Not Sabotaging Divers, Possibly Responsible For Outage

evilsofa The real reason why the divers cut the cable (43 comments)

So I ask myself, "Why would those divers cut a cable that is already cut?" And the theory I come up with is that the owners of the ship whose anchor cut the cable didn't want to get into trouble for it, so they hire some stupid divers to go cut the cable, then call the cops on the divers. Problem solved: the ship owners can now deny everything and blame the saboteurs for cutting the line. Explains everything, including the wildly improbable part where the divers get caught in the act.

about 2 years ago

Global Warming Has Made the North Greener

evilsofa My mother's garden has earthworms (398 comments)

My mother's garden has earthworms. This may seem unremarkable to you, but she has been living in Fairbanks, Alaska for over 40 years now and last summer was the first time she has ever seen earthworms in her garden. The climate is supposed to be too cold for too long for them to survive in the wild.

I have other relatives who live in Denali Park, Alaska, in the midst of the Alaska Range and near the tallest mountain in North America. Over the past 4 or 5 decades, they have been watching the treeline creep hundreds of feet up the sides of the mountains.

about 2 years ago

Researchers Convert Phones Into Secret Listening Devices

evilsofa Person Of Interest (59 comments)

Don't worry, Harold and John will stop listening when you get hot and heavy with your date.

more than 2 years ago

Why Can't Industry Design an Affordable Hearing Aid?

evilsofa Re:Simple (549 comments)

As a sound engineer I find a lot of hearing aids have had major features removed. I'm always getting more and more people who have aids that have no induction loop ("T") setting. Some now come with bluetooth, good for your mobile phone but not easy to pair to a PA system, kiosk or POS.

I was born severely deaf, have worn hearing aids for my entire life, and found the induction loop kind of useful but not great with the old analog phones, back when anyone still had them. Otherwise, the loop was good for hearing funny buzzing sounds in certain locations. I have never in my life encountered anything else that employed them like what you describe. Now I just take out my hearing aids and use a good $40 pair of IEMs on my iPhone when I want to make a call, and that's a thousand times better than the induction loop ever was.

As far as Bluetooth goes, in my experience it sucks. I now use a pair of good $40 IEMs when making calls or listening to music on my iPhone or watching TV, and they sound great, a thousand times better than the induction loop ever did.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?

evilsofa Kristine Smith (1130 comments)

Pick up Kristine Smith's Code Of Conduct, and you'll be in for a very pleasant surprise. Then you'll want to get the other four books in the series: Rules Of Conflict, Law Of Survival, Contact Imminent, and Endgame.

more than 2 years ago


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