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!



Ask Slashdot: Dealing With the Business Software Alliance?

numbski Re:Yeah. (519 comments)

Um...they're not the police, don't let them in. Unless there's a court order, tell them to buzz off.

more than 3 years ago

Frustrated Judge Pushes For Solution In Google Books Case

numbski Re:Like Music (134 comments)

Thanks for making me read that in Stephen Merchant's voice.

more than 3 years ago

Roundabout Revolution Sweeping US

numbski Re:Really bad idea. (1173 comments)

It tends to be senior citizens that make roundabouts problematic. They'll sit there and wait until it's 100% clear to go, which could take a very, very long time, depending on the volume of traffic.

I appreciate them, especially on motorcycles. In most places, they'd be just as good to put one way on a blinking yellow and the other on permanent green 90% of the time.

more than 3 years ago

Mozilla Releases Thunderbird 5

numbski Re:Who uses Thunderbird? (154 comments)

I will likely run my own mail server until the day I die or the technology becomes obsolete. It's my mail, hands off.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Brands WebGL a 'Harmful' Technology

numbski Re:Microsoft should know... (503 comments)

I look at it this way - if everyone but them supports it and uses it, they will have their hand forced into supporting it. Otherwise you'll have more javascript "go download a *real* browser to use this site/webapp" and more exodus from IE.

more than 3 years ago

Unlocked iPhones in US For $649

numbski Re:Data plan cost the same (334 comments)

Been using my iPhone(s) on T-Mobile since day 1. I have Wifi at home, and I have an "iSpot" from clearwire that gives me wimax when I'm not at home. Still far cheaper than AT&T. :)

more than 3 years ago

Crowdsourcing Analysis of the Palin Email Trove

numbski Re:This is /., not Digg. (284 comments)

Upvote? Reddit is better these days anyway. :P

more than 3 years ago

Could Apple Kill Off Mac OS X?

numbski Re:Stupid! (577 comments)

My knee-jerk is really simple - if it's jailed, I don't want it. End of story.

more than 3 years ago

Using Averages To Bend the Uncertainty Principle

numbski Re:...and they concluded? (112 comments)

No. They have finally made the Heisenberg Compensator so they can subsequently uncouple it and free Moriarty from the holodeck. Duh.

more than 3 years ago

Duke Nukem Forever Goes Gold

numbski Re:Going back to 1998... (277 comments)

Oh hush, grandpa. Based on your uid you joined the site back in 1972.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon Gags On Gaga

numbski In soviet russia... (180 comments)

...Lady Gaga gags on you? Soviet Russia might be better than I'd first thought!

more than 3 years ago

AppleCare Reps Told To Skirt Malware Questions

numbski Re:What's the big deal? (389 comments)

I would argue that it's worse now. Apple users are trained to hand over their sudo password on command. Ubuntu users aren't much better.

more than 3 years ago

Rumors of Higgs Boson Discovery At LHC

numbski Re:Higgs boson has arisen? (225 comments)

I've never read or seen any of Twilight. Methinks your IQ was already halved for having recognized the connection.

more than 3 years ago



Extra-dimension space for the layman?

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 4 years ago

numbski writes "So my wife recorded an episode of Through the Wormhole that gave a very simplistic look at the concepts of quantum particles, along with string theory and 11 dimensional space. Driving home from work the following day, part of what they were talking about clicked for the first time. The concept of 11 dimensions has always been funny — thinking of "other dimensions" as other places you could go, where the aliens live, all sci-fi stuff. Mathematically speaking, it's never really been spelled out to me, and in fact popular culture never even really bothers to try, and neither did through the wormhole, so I figured I'd ask the masses if there *is* a good site that brings you up to speed on the math.

As of right now, my perception of it is to visualize the universe that we know as being 2 dimensions instead of 3, plus time. That would make our universe (sort of) look like a playing card viewed head-on. We only see 1 card (universe) — length+width, and the passage of time. In reality, there are infinitely many "universes" stacked behind that one. If you were the king printed on that top card, you could never see outside of your little length+width universe. It would appear to span infinitely in all directions where all directions == up, side-to-side, and down. Time passes, but you have no perception outside of that.

The reality is that for every particle, point in space, or pixel, if you will (where any line is made up of infinitely many points in space ran right up against one another) — there is an infinite match of two dimensions. Like this:

(l x w) (L x W)

For every point in length (l), there is a matching point of length (L) in the other dimensions, and an associated width (W). In turn, for every point of width in our dimension (w), there is also an associated L and W. So we have:

lL, lW, wL, wW

Four dimensions, plus the extra-dimensional space that separates each card in the deck, preventing one from realizing the other, plus the passage of time. That's six dimensions, and easily visualized by us. My thinking is that you simply do the same math for 3 dimensional space, understanding that there is simply no way to visualize it. Any attempt to do it is going to be constrained to our visualization of 3D reality, and be inaccurate. The math is then this:

(l x w x h) (L x W x H)

That gives you 9 dimensions, plus the extra-dimensional space that separates them, plus time. 11 dimensions.

Is this even close to right? Can someone shed a light on this to those of us that aren't theoretical physics nerds? ;)"

Link to Original Source

Locating an ultrasonic sound source?

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 5 years ago

numbski writes "A neighbor of mine approached me a couple of days ago in tears. She has a 6-year old puppy that she says has been "going nuts" since last Thursday anytime the dog is at home. She took the dog to the vet, and he appeared fine. Took him home, he resumed the behavior, which was worse when he was outside. She called the vet back, and he suggested that there might be a an ultrasonic sound source, similar to a dog whistle that has been introduced that she cannot hear, and it's driving the dog crazy. She had taken to going door to door asking if anyone had installed any new electronic fences for their own pets.

Having some experience with wireless broadband technologies, the first thing that came to mind was to find a spectrum analyzer that deals with the appropriate frequencies. According to Wikipedia:

The frequency range of a dog whistle is largely out of the range of human hearing. Typically, a dog whistle is within the range of 16000 Hz to 22000 Hz with only the frequencies below 20000 Hz audible to the human ear. Some dog whistles have adjustable sliders for active control of the frequency produced.

The trouble with this is that I could not find a spectrum analyzer that works in that range. I downloaded some mp3's to get a feel for the frequencies in question, and I remembered that there are some devices marketed at businesses and restaurants to deter teenagers from gathering that could overlap these frequencies, and also we just hit a massive heat wave here in St. Louis — so many air conditioners may have fired up for the first time this year — it seems like any device might inadvertently vibrate in that range.

So in the interest of helping the lady out — anyone out there know what I might use to nail down the potentially offending noise?"


Microsoft Changes XBox Live's Terms of Use

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 5 years ago

numbski writes "As I'm sure you're all aware, the new "XBox Experience" is now upon us, and along with the new dashboard comes a new Terms of Use. Interesting tidbit I've found so far (before agreeing to it):

You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features (for example, voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions)of fered through the Service. These communications may be monitored; however, we cannot monitor the entire Service and make no attempt to do so.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of it — on one hand, I can see a CSR poking in on someone that has been consistently rated "Abusive Language", but then — you can effectively be wire-tapped without a warrant this way too. Not that I honestly think XBL voice chat gets used in that manner, it certainly is plausible, and there's not protection against it in the Terms of Use that I can see."


Former Astronaut Dr. Ed Mitchel claims ET's exist.

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 6 years ago

numbski writes "As improbable and difficult to believe, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the 6th man to walk on the moon, and holds the record for the longest moon walk has gone the UK radio show Kerrang and stated publically that aliens do exist, and that several contacts have been made. A former member of MOD, Nick Pope corroborates the story. Dr. Mitchell even states during the interview, without question, that this is not a hoax. Difficult to believe, and based on the contents of his Wikipedia Entry, it seems that he has gone from 90% certainty to complete certainty, and that he claims to have previously been cured of cancer by a distance healer. I could not help but think that this was at least worthy of discussion, as this isn't a redneck in a corn field. This is a man with a doctorate from MIT."
Link to Original Source

US to participate in pre-emptive nuclear strike?

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 6 years ago

numbski writes "I'm pretty sure I have the section wrong, but I couldn't find the right thing to put it under. My apologies.

I'm stunned at what I'm seeing, but apparently President Bush has agreed to participate in a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran, during a meeting with Israel's opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu. There was a joint news conference held hitting on the "finer" points of the meeting.

It's the end of the world as we know it apparently."

Properly shielded computer speakers?

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 6 years ago

numbski writes "I feel like a fool. Almost 10 years ago exactly, I bought a pair of Altec Lansing speakers that were inteneded for a computer, and included a subwoofer on sale. The sound, for what they were, was pretty awesome, and it became my bachelor pad soundsystem for several years onward. Fast forward, it comes time to finally fix up my Arcade Cabinet, and I figured it sounded good enough, that I'd use it in there, which involved tearing it apart, and mounting my the controls in the cabinet. To replace the speakers on my PC, I went out and found a newer set of Altec Lansings. They looked to be just a newer revision of my old ones, only silver and black to match my mac. Perfect, right? old speakers were apparently VERY well shielded. These new ones I have too keep turned off almost all the time! They react to my cell phone, my VOIP desk phone...heck, anything that remotely resembles an electromagnet. :( I'm wondering a few things here — is there a way to effectively shield the speakers I have? Do I need to shield the speaker wires, and finally, when it comes to shopping for speakers, is there a way to know ahead of time what is shielded, what is not, and are there some "known good" models that won't flip out at cell phones, VOIP phones, etc?"

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 7 years ago

numbski writes "On December 13, 2004, the NFL announced an exclusive license with EA Sports that essentially put the $20 NFL2k series off of the market and allowed EA's Madden series to dominate not by being better, but being the only game available for realistic professional (american) football simulation. EA went around and bought up the NFL license, the Arena Football League license, NCAA, and even some more obscure ones, to guarantee that they never had to compete in that genre again until at least 2009.

As of yesterday however, Visual Concepts, the maker of the 2K Sports series of games,announced All Pro Football 2K8. Details are few and far between at this point, but we do know that it is coming this summer, and that it will be VERY customizable. There's an inteview with Visual Concepts Presiden Mark Thomas over at Gamespot regarding the announcement."

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 7 years ago

numbski writes "Byron Farrington, the man who cheated people out of thousands of dollars by perpetrating credit card fraud in Missouri and Iowa by claiming he was setting up 802.11b on cell phone towers for broadband use, and that "if you can get cell phone coverage, you can get this service!" has been sentenced to over 5 years in prison, 3 years of probation, and a quarter mil in restitution. Crime doesn't pay kids!"

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 7 years ago

numbski writes "According to the Washington Post: An international group of ecologists and economists warned yesterday that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if steep declines in marine species continue at current rates, based on a four-year study of catch data and the effects of fisheries collapses."



We need a Slash-torrent Firefox Extension

numbski numbski writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I need to get this idea out of my head and down on paper (so-to-speak), as it has been driving me nuts all evening.

We need someone to develop a firefox extension that affects Slashdot's rendering a bit, integrates with RSS, and can execute actions in the background when the user is away. It goes something like this:

I wish to submit a story to slashdot. I include a few links, and most of them are on webservers that in no way could handle the load of a slashdotting. Before I submit the story, I run a spider on my story text (perhaps built into the extension?) that downloads the text of the page, and any IMG tags on the page. Should probably have an option to either ignore or allow any flash or other binary filetypes (.avi, .mov, .exe, etc). When indexing, it pulls down that content, and packs it all into a single binary file, perhaps a simple .tar.gz (.bz2?), and then from there creates a .torrent file for that binary package.

With the advent of trackerless torrents, that may be the last of the work, otherwise this will need to be made availabe on a tracker site. A multitude of these exist currently. Now we simply need to convince slashdot to allow a hidden tag included in the story submission, perhaps <torrent:http://trackersite/file.torrent>

For those using the extension regularly, the extension will ping slashdot's RSS feed once every 30 minutes. For each story containing the hidden torrent tag, it will automatically join the torrent for that story. The torrent will save locally, and unpack to a directory specified by the user, and associate itself with the sid from which the link was retrieved.

When the user goes to view the slashdot site, the rendering will be intentionally altered. Stories that have not yet completed the torrent download should have an altered background color (customizable by the user?) and perhaps some additional text notifying the user that the download is not yet complete. Ones that are completed could have a pretty icon added to let you know that the links are all available.

When the user clicks the links from the altered story, it will actually point to the files on the local hard drive, and using some simple regular expressions should take care of image loading and linking off to other sites from there.

The important thing is that the story submitter include ALL urls pertinent to the story. If you have a 5 page story, you must include all 5 url's in the spidering process.

This process will also download plain text banner ads. I'm not too concerned about this however. When rendering the page later, if someone has adblock enabled, they still won't appear, and the original content owner can't really complain that we're filtering ads from their site. Besides, we're taking a load off of their server. ;)

If done correctly, this would work for all slashcode sites. It requires minimal cooperation from slashdot themselves. Allowing a single new, hidden tag to be allowed in the story submission process. If they don't wish to cooperate, this could STILL be worked around. Basing things on the originating url ( as opposed to for example) and the sid of the story. Then we would need to have a centralized off-site tracker to organize things, or at least a few 'known good' locations to immediately go look for the torrent files.

You could also set up an automated spider to create our binary torrent file 'ex-post-facto' by pinging the RSS feed, if no torrent is available, define the scope (which urls to include), create the torrent and away we go.

I'm not saying the above is neccessary 'easy', but it is most certainly obtainable, and I have to think very worthwhile. If done correctly, everyone using the plugin becomes a seeder, and you don't have to worry about seeders becoming leeches, unless they close the browser out entirely often, and if they're doing that, they're robbing themselves of the benefit of the plugin to begin with.

Really, this is just extending the idea of podcasting, or the RSS+Bittorrent for broadcasting idea to slashdot to completely put to rest the slashdot effect, once and for all. Those using IE will be SOL. :P Actually, we may still put it to bed because now the number of people hitting the original site will be significantly reduced. The only real impact of course will be that the server logs of the one running the original site might now think that all of their users use IE, and that Firefox just dropped off of the map entirely or something. :\

Whatever the case, I think this is the right answer to finally solve the problem. I didn't know where to put this, so I'm putting it here, and I'll probably copy the URL to this posting into every slashdot post I make for a while. Perhaps I can draw enough interest and enough coders familiar with Firefox extensions that this can come to life. The only language I know is perl, and at least last time I checked, perl wasn't the right tool for the job for extension coding. :(

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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>