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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

ljw1004 Re:Weakest US President ever (566 comments)

Oh I'm sure Russia will affect America. But I what I asked was this:

"Is there a clear course of action in this conflict that will be best for America in the future?"

No, there isn't a clear course of action. It's not obvious which actions would make the situation better and which actions would make the situation worse.

3 days ago
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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

ljw1004 Re:Weakest US President ever (566 comments)

* Gaza can send thousands of rockets targeting Israeli citizens and they won't even say a word.

Affects Americans right now? -- no. Is there a clear course of action in this conflict that will be best for America in the future? -- no.

* Iran can make nuclear weapons and they won't even say a word.

Affects Americans right now? -- no. Is there a clear course of action in this conflict that will be best for America in the future? -- no.

* Russia can take over Crimea and they get bashed harshly with... a speech.

Affects Americans right now? -- no. Is there a clear course of action in this conflict that will be best for America in the future? -- no.

*ISIS can take over Iraq and kill thousands and they won't say a word.

Affects Americans right now? -- no. Is there a clear course of action in this conflict that will be best for America in the future? -- no.

Now here's a bullet point that you didn't mention:

* Ubiquitous healthcare for Americans

Affects Americans right now? -- YES! Was it a clear course of action that will be best for America in the future? -- YES!

3 days ago
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Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

ljw1004 Won't affect the majority of customers (271 comments)

At first I read about Verizon throttling their "unlimited data plan" customers and I got concerned.

But then I read that the throttling will NOT affect the majority of customers who are paying over the odds for an unlimited data plan that they don't actually need. That's good. So long as they're not affected, things are okay. Please go ahead with your plans, Verizon!

4 days ago
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Autonomous Sea-Robot Survives Massive Typhoon

ljw1004 Re:Is this an achievement? (47 comments)

I don't think WaveGlider is a submersible. It's a surface-vessel, with solar panels!, and with energy-generating fins in its keel. Wikipedia explains: "The Wave Glider is composed of two parts: the float is roughly the size and shape of a surfboard and stays at the surface; the sub has wings and hangs 6 meters below on an umbilical tether"

http://imgur.com/nfdHsn2

So yes, it's impressive as heck that the WaveGlider survived a typhoon. The float part of it will be tossed around like crazy on top of the waves. It will stay tethered to the float part underwater. The tether will be yanked every which way.

about a week ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

ljw1004 Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (285 comments)

I've never come across a fair, statistically meaningful measure of how "good" a teacher is.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Refutes Report On iPhone Threat To China's National Security

ljw1004 Re:noone trusts their cya legalese (134 comments)

It looks like it's impossible for Apple to issue an honest denial, because...
http://www.zdziarski.com/blog/...

there are actually back-doors specifically built into iOS devices -- back doors not used by any Apple software on the device, not usable by genius-bar or any user-benefitting scenario, but still that make it possible for "someone" to get at a lot of the personal data.

Quote: "Why do we need a packet-sniffer running on 600 million personal iOS devices?"

Quote: "com.apple.mobile_file_relay - exposes much personal data - very intentionally placed and intended to dump data from the device by request"

Quote: "Apple has worked hard to ensure that Apple can access data on behalf of law enforcement.

I think the reason "anything can be picked apart" is because Apple DO create backdoors for the benefit of government, but for PR purposes they want to appear to deny it.

about two weeks ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

ljw1004 Re:When "free" isn't free (394 comments)

This runs into the problem of cluck-bait... Stupid zero-content fluff pieces but with headlines that entice you in (e.g. Upworthy, HuffingtonPost) but then you discover that they're stupid. If I had to pay even 1c before seeing the content (and discovering that I'd been duped) then I'd start to get angry, and start to refuse to pay for more sites. Even on legit sites like BBC News, by "internet attention span" is satisfied by about half way through the article, so something long enough to be a good preview is ling enough for me not to need to pay.

about two weeks ago
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Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

ljw1004 Re:Freemium vs DLC (139 comments)

I seem to recall reading something like 1% of customers generating 98% of the in-app purchases, as a general trend across the industry. Can't remember where I read it though.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Refutes Report On iPhone Threat To China's National Security

ljw1004 Re:noone trusts their cya legalese (134 comments)

so you basically want apple to make a flip phone.

No not at all! Where did you get that from? (and actually, even back in 2002 I remember having WAP and IMAP on my phone, so they also divulged my location).

What I want is (1) for Apple to continue to be truthful, (2) for the "don't let app/webpage feature use my location" to be trustworthy with respect to apps and to all the various ways that location can be deduced (bluetooth, wifi, cellular, GPS), and (3) for COMPLETE disclosure of the other times when the iOS system keeps a record of those location-related metadata things, and of all the times when the iOS system uploads or indirectly implies information from these.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Refutes Report On iPhone Threat To China's National Security

ljw1004 Re:noone trusts their cya legalese (134 comments)

I'm not sure if this is a moving goalposts or no real scotsman issue. How can apple issue a denial that would satisfy people like you? Surely anything would be picked apart.

"Whenever you access an online service, that online service will know your approximate geographical location to city level, and also the intervening network infrastructure (cellphone towers &c.) will know. This is common to ALL mobile devices. Also, whenever your device is set to connect to networks (cellphone, wifi, bluetooth, ...) then those networks also know your approximate location. Again, this is common to all mobile devices.

Beyond that, your iPhone internally knows your location through various means (GPS, cellular triangulation, wifi base station names). However, all location information from these sources (including information which might indirectly allow your approximation location to be deduced) is UNAVAILABLE to apps unless you specifically opt to allow them to have the information. Therefore, apps are unable to pass the information on to any third party.

Other than apps, your iPhone also includes system software. If you chose the following settings [...] then the iPhone keeps no historical logs of location information or metadata. Additionally, the iPhone itself never allows any location data to leave the iPhone, except when you connect it to a computer via iTunes."

I don't know about everyone else, but this would satisfy me!

about two weeks ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

ljw1004 Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

The nature of this particular question seems very naive. I suppose that you haven't been shot at much!

It's a semantic question to determine if your numbers for "shot at city" and "into city" are referring to the same thing, or to different things.

The [200] number comes from a few sources.

It sounds like, from what you say, the only number comparison that gives a meaningful idea of IronDome effectiveness is "count of audible intercepts" vs "count of audible impacts". All other numbers are incomensurable.

[You have heard+felt 4-5 rockets hit the ground] and [have heard] above 150 [aerial intercepts] by now

Those are the key numbers. You indicated that you believe that all of the aerial intercepts were of rockets that were going to head into your city. And you believe that the 4-5 rockets on the ground were in the city (which we can assume IronDome also tried to hit). Therefore, from your numbers, and based on your beliefs, you think IronDome is able to hit 97% of rockets.

You also indicated that you think your hearing of aerial intercepts isn't as effective as your hearing of ground impacts. Therefore the number might be higher than 97%.

The Israeli army says the number is slightly lower than 90%, so your numbers are in the same ballpark - http://thebulletin.org/iron-do...

In the frustrating interview with NPR, the expert said "5% or lower". But it wasn't clear, and Siegel didn't think to ask, whether this was referring to the chance of stopping a rocket that they intended to stop (which is what you're measuring), or to the chance that a single interceptor would stop a single rocket. I can't tell whether IronDome fires multiple intercepts per incoming rocket or just one.

about three weeks ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

ljw1004 Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

Of the two hundred or so rockets shot at my city in the past week, we had our first casualty yesterday: an 80 year old woman was injured when a rocket fell outside her house. So far as I know (by hearing the different booms of both successful hits and Iron Dome intercepts) this was only the fourth or fifth rocket to get past the Iron Dome into the city. I'll ask my daughters tomorrow morning: they are the ones keeping score of the booms that they hear.

You're post was interesting but had so many unfounded logical leaps that the conclusion about Iron Dome effectiveness doesn't follow. I'd be fascinated if you could reply, including your daughters' tallies, but with a precise accounting...

(1) Out of two hundred or so rockets shot "at" your city, how many were on a trajectory that they'd actually have landed "in" your city? Not many because they're so wildly inaccurate? Or most because your city is large?

(2) You mentioned 200 hundred rockets shot at your city. Is this the sum of the tallies of "two different kinds of boom" you mentioned, or does the number come from a different source?

(3) Is the low casualty rate better explained by a high intercept rate by Iron Dome? Or by the inaccuracy of the rockets coupled with the fact that statistically a high proportion of possible landing targets wouldn't hurt someone? Or by the fact that so many people in your city sensibly seek shelter? Or by the fact that the rockets are fairly rudimentary and don't pack much explosive and are unlikely to do damage unless they randomly score a hit almost on top of someone? I suspect that the other factors are dominant and the low casualty rate is therefore not a good guide to the effectiveness of Iron Dome.

(4) If by sound you distinguish an IronDome hit from a rocket that hits the ground, do you assume that all "ground" hits land in your city?

(5) In your tallies, you said you heard 4-5 rockets hit the ground. How many did you hear intercepted by Iron Dome?

(6) Do you think the range of your hearing hit-the-ground and hit-by-IronDome are equivalent?

about three weeks ago
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Tired of Playing Cyber Cop, Microsoft Looks For Partners In Crime Fighting

ljw1004 Re:No-ip isn't shady (113 comments)

The point is a free service being abused is expected. It is not as if noip encouraged abuse and were paid by abusers.

Expected: That the owners of no-ip should continue to make their own profits from advertising revenue, and a bunch of legitimate users should continue to get free dyndns service, and the benefit to these two groups comes at the expense of a wider pool of internet users who suffer from malware (and at the expense of unpaid volunteers to police no-ip since they're not spending enough resources to do it effectively themselves).

Does that sound like a fair trade to you? Not to me. Count me out.

about three weeks ago
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Tired of Playing Cyber Cop, Microsoft Looks For Partners In Crime Fighting

ljw1004 Re:No-ip isn't shady (113 comments)

I think No-ip sound very shady...

April 2013: the OpenDNS blog reported that no-ip was the second most popular dynamic-DNS site for malicious software. http://labs.opendns.com/2013/0... -- No-IP responded that they have a very strict abuse "policy", and they want other people to help by reporting violations of the TOS to them. They also scan daily and filter by keyword. http://labs.opendns.com/2013/0...

February 2014, the Cisco blog reported that no-ip had risen to be the worst offender: http://blogs.cisco.com/securit... -- No-ip again responded that they have a strict abuse policy, and they want other people to report violations of the TOS to them, and they scan daily and filter by keyword. http://www.noip.com/blog/2014/...

Were no-ip doing a good enough job at policing themselves? It doesn't sound like it to me, not at all. It sounds like they have a decent "policy" but don't go out of their way to enforce it, their daily manual scans aren't up to what's needed, their keyword filters are easily bypassed. They can sound hurt all they want that OpenDNS and Cisco and Microsoft wrote public blogs or took action rather than reporting the individual offenders to No-IP first. But the fact that No-IP does so badly, and got worse, shows they weren't taking adequate action themselves.

You say they're "very responsive" to reports of abuse. But honestly, if their strategy for combating abuse rests SO HEAVILY upon volunteers to report abuse, and their strategy hasn't been working so far, then they have a bad business model.

Disclaimer: I work at Microsoft, but in an entirely unrelated division (I'm on the VB/C# compiler team).

about three weeks ago
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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

ljw1004 Re:And when the video feed dies... (468 comments)

And when you're flying at night and can't see anything out the windows -- what then?

And when you're flying in clouds, or taking off in thick fog, and can't see anything through the windows -- what then?

about three weeks ago
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The Internet of Things Comes To Your Garden

ljw1004 We don't need a complicated technical "solution" (66 comments)

I've been using this wonderful device for controlling drip irrigation:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ...

The user interface is brain-dead simple. The dial simply has 17 settings, for
1: Daily for 2 minutes
2: Daily for 5 minutes
3: Daily for 10 minutes ...
7: Every other day for 5 minutes
8: Every other day for 10 minutes ...
12: Every third day for 10 minutes
13: Every third day for 15 minutes

That's it! There isn't an option for "2 minutes every 3 days" because -- guess what -- gardeners don't actually need that level of control! It just has a laser focus on a simple user interface that will be good for 99% of residential customers.

Would my life be better if I had to change the batteries in the irrigation controller every 5 days to power its wifi? Or if I had to run mains power and Ethernet cabling out into the garden for it? Would my life be better if I had a fiddly iPhone/Android app with more settings pages than I'd care to use, maybe a cloud-based controller like my Nest? Do I ever go on holiday and wish I'd changed the watering schedule before departing?

NO.

about 1 month ago
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A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

ljw1004 Re:maths (501 comments)

The author coated it at $160mil / mile

It might be really cheap and thin, e.g. Eiffel Tower with venetian blinds to block the wind when needed?

about a month ago
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Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

ljw1004 Re:Good bye source compatibility (636 comments)

Are you sure about the "metro"? Name is dead, but I was under impression that all new windows "apps" had to be written in C# against a new SDK that has neither binary nor source compatibility with Win32/posix/C/C++. I'd be glad to be wrong

You're wrong! You can write Windows Store apps in C++ just fine. This C++ can use win32, posix, STL etc just fine. (however, all apps run in a sandbox, so some win32/posix functions aren't as powerful as normal, e.g. the sandbox doesn't let a Windows Store app enumerate files on the hard disk outside of the files it's allowed to touch).

You can also write Windows Phone apps in the same C++. So a mobile app developer could write their core in posix platform-neutral C++, and have it portable across Android+iOS+Windows. I know a few who do.

Of course posix doesn't have anything to do with windowing systems or touch, and win32 APIs (e.g. gdi32.dll, user32.dll) don't apply to windows store or phone apps since they don't have GDI or the traditional windowing system. So your C++ code will invoke new WinRT APIs to access the new functionalities. WinRT is perfectly compatible with posix/win32 APIs. Indeed, for some functionality (e.g. audio), you're REQUIRED to use win32 APIs because they're not exposed in WinRT.

Here's some example code that shows how you'd mix the new WinRT APIs to get hold of sandbox-specific stuff, and then interop with traditional posix APIs. It also shows how the asynchronous nature of WinRT APIs combine with the synchronous traditional posix APIs:

        auto f1 = Windows::ApplicationModel::Package::Current->InstalledLocation;
        create_task(f1->GetFolderAsync("Assets")).then([this](StorageFolder ^f2)
        {
                create_task(f2->GetFileAsync("Logo.scale-100.png")).then([this](StorageFile ^f3)
                {
                        auto path = f3->Path;
                        FILE *f = _wfopen(path->Data, L"r");
                        byte buf[100];
                        fread(buf, 1, 100, f);
                        fclose(f)
                });
        });

about 2 months ago
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WikiLeaks: NSA Recording All Telephone Calls In Afghanistan

ljw1004 Re:Surprised Assange has no idea what censorship i (241 comments)

Sounds like you just logically disproved the existence of "self censorship". Or maybe you don't consider it to be a kind of censorship, despite its suggestive name...

about 2 months ago
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Pedophile Asks To Be Deleted From Google Search After European Court Ruling

ljw1004 Google has commented (370 comments)

Why does it say that google hasn't commented?

It has. It told the press about these cherry-picked examples. Straight from the PR textbook.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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What's up with no-ip?

ljw1004 ljw1004 writes  |  about a month ago

ljw1004 (764174) writes "In April 2013, the OpenDNS blog reported that no-ip was the second most popular dynamic-DNS site for malicious software. No-IP responded that they have a very strict abuse "policy", and they want other people to help by reporting violations of the TOS to them. They also scan daily and filter by keyword. In February 2014, the Cisco blog reported that no-ip had risen to be the worst offender, and no-ip again responded that they have a strict abuse policy, and they want other people to report violations of the TOS to them, and they scan daily and filter by keyword. ... Were no-ip doing a good enough job at policing themselves?"
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Drug halts decline in Alzheimer's disease

ljw1004 ljw1004 writes  |  about 6 years ago

ljw1004 (764174) writes "Alzheimer's disease: researchers are divided on whether it's caused by "beta amyloid" (a peptide found in alzheimer brains) or by "tau protein" (normally used for cellular scaffolding, but can aggregate of control and destroy neurons). Today in Chicago a new drug has been anounced which stops tau aggregation and appears to have halted alzheimer-related decline in 300 clinical trial patients. Do you have friends or family who appear to be dementing? Here is an online questionnaire, part of one used in the clinical trial to diagnose dementia. (disclosure: I made the online questionnaire, and my father is one of the scientists behind the drug.)"
Link to Original Source

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