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!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!



AT&T Stops Using 'Super Cookies' To Track Cellphone Data

real gumby TFA misses the point (60 comments)

The way to end this is not to say, "Would be nice to hear something similar from Verizon" like it's some sort of game.

TFA (and the summary) are silent on the real question is which is, "What right do they have to fuck with my traffic?"

It's like they are asking to be reclassified as a Title II common carrier.

about a week ago

US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

real gumby Re:population control through fear mogering and in (693 comments)

This is a sensible comment. Although I disagree with your conclusion (since they are so rare, almost any precuationary defense is a waste of effort - and I say this as a parent), your reasoning is good.

about two weeks ago

US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

real gumby population control through fear mogering and intim (693 comments)

From TFA:

Suzanne Kennan, a resident who lives across from the school...supported the investment anyway.

‘‘Unfortunately we’re at a point where we have to do something like this,’’

Yes, we're at a point where the level of violent crime is at its lowest in 40 years but apparently a crazy response is needed regardless.

Needless to say, there's no discussion in this article. Simply a visit to the school for the demonstration, a quick chat with the cops, and a thoughtless quote from the neighbor.

I have a kid in school and frankly I think all this pseudo "security" is more dangerous for shaping future civic involvement than the anhistorical gibberish in the history books.

about two weeks ago

Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

real gumby Uhh...I doubt it (252 comments)

These are the same analysts who said that apple needed to make a netbook or they would die (or who each quarter predicted a netbook was coming).

Apple has placed an alternative bet: that the devices can overlap capabilites and responsibilites (e.g. via handoff, or less intensely as with iwork) but have fundamentally different jobs to do, and try to make each do its job well. I don't commute to work in a tank, but some people find tanks useful. The surface, and W8, are neiher tank nor motorbike, and really do neither job well.

Apple changes their mind (and never admits it, as with phablets!) and they also make brain damaged decisions, but there is some method to their madness. Analysts generate quotable sound bites; that is the method behind their madness.

about a month ago

How Spurious Wikipedia Edits Can Attach a Name To a Scandal, 35 Years On

real gumby Re:Journalists have less time... (165 comments)

If you want evidence that current journalism is worse than previous generations, just look at the number of absurd hoaxes that get reported as fact. Back when it took a little effort to gather information, people took it more seriously.

There have always been hoaxes, small and large. I'm just saying I haven't seen any study (though I would hope such a study exists) showing if the quality has gone up or down or is unchanged. My comment (and yours) are simply anecdote.

A sense of declinism (things were better "in the old days") has been a recurring theme for millennia.

about a month and a half ago

How Spurious Wikipedia Edits Can Attach a Name To a Scandal, 35 Years On

real gumby Re:Journalists have less time... (165 comments)

...because they're busy doing what?

At first I read this comment as throwaway snark about listicles and the like, but then it raised for me a pretty interesting question:what evidence do we have that current reporting is less rigourous than it was in the past?.

I recently looked up the newspaper from the day after I was born and found it full of trivial stuff (except my birth announcement of course!) and articles that looked like they uncritically repeated what one source had told them. I am not sure the quality of reporting, in reality, was ever any better than now.

about a month and a half ago

Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

real gumby OK then (302 comments)

So Mr Fyfe, ban what you like within the Square Mile. That should make you popular with the banks!

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

real gumby Re:Job market does not like PhDs (479 comments)

A non-tenured adjunct lecturer became President of the USA, so there's that, too.

True but I have friends who make more consulting in engineering than that guy does. I suspect they have more fun too.

about a month ago

Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village

real gumby Re:What's all this startup trends? (62 comments)

Some startups are still what I consider (and it sounds like you consider) classic startups. Most these days are like TV shows (essentialy the MVP is the “pilot” and then they “get picked up” — run for a little while and then fade out or get bought in an aquihire. In that they are simply a high tech version of starting a corner shop, which is still the most common kind of business around the world.

about 3 months ago

Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

real gumby Turns out the Koch brothers were right (789 comments)

Climate change is not going to kill us all, or anyone, really.
Nuclear war will do it first.

about 3 months ago

Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

real gumby Not Data Caps (341 comments)

Nosir, these are Data Hoodies.

No wait, they’re Data Mufflers. That’s right, Data Mufflers.

Not the same thing at all. In fact we offer them free to our customers. They love them! They aren’t canceling the service (and we know they have a choice) — in fact they call and add new services!

Here’s $50,000, half for you and half for ALEC. Now go run off and get re-elected. I’m off to play golf with Obama.

about 3 months ago

South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

real gumby The school did the right thing (421 comments)

Pet dinosaurs are quite rare. In fact I’ve never seen one. So to kill it is a crime against humanity.

At least this kid had enough remorse to need to admit his crime.

I know his message was a cry for help but the school must pursue criminal action as a warning to others who might kill dinosaurs. Thank God we live in a country that takes “If you see something, say something” seriously.

about 2 months ago

Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

real gumby Oh Boo Hoo (267 comments)

Gosh, some advocates of a competing currency and libertarian fantasy are now cowed by competition? Say it ain’t so!

I’m rooting for some online cash to become viable, but don’t know if Bitcoin will be it (I suspect not since it has the same liquidity / shock issues as gold standards do) but let’s have a bunch of experiments and see what the market says.

about 3 months ago

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

real gumby Re:I don't get it. (541 comments)

I think it’s because what constitutes “intellect” is so ill understood. It is uncontroversial that there is a genetic component — but what that component might be is at this point impossible to determine (since we don’t even know what the result — “intelligence” — means).

Now if we were just talking about suceptability to some disease (and as we learn more, a lot of diseases turn out to be clusters of different diseases with similar symptoms) that wouldn’t be a big deal. But even to strip the emotional/political issues out: this would be at best a premature optimization; to use genetics rather than, say, pulic schooling, as a measure of intellectual ability would be unlikely to lead to a good outcome (using a utilitarian definition of good: the smart people would be able to make stuff and help society in other ways).

about 3 months ago

FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret

real gumby Re:Transparency (139 comments)

Any way you want to measure it, there's never been a more secretive administration in the US. And this from a president who promised "the most transparent administration in history".

When they said “most transparent” they were apparently talking about magnitude, not sign.

about 4 months ago

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

real gumby Re:It's right there! (211 comments)

I was also 5 years old. I didn't really understand what the USA was but all of us were totally space mad (we would draw pictures of rockets and moon landers, but put Aussie flags on them). My parents got a TV just to see it. All of the landings were tremendously exciting. Even Apollo/Soyez was exciting.

I am sure the space program was the reason that as an older kid I thought of the US as the cool place where they just got awesome shit done. And I was quite happy to move to the States, and I live and work here now.

It's sort of sad that my kid considers the US the boring place and prefers to spend his time working in "dynamic" countries.

about 4 months ago

Robert McMillen: What Everyone Gets Wrong In the Debate Over Net Neutrality

real gumby Re:Everybody is wrong... (270 comments)

If your electric company was also a distributor for Anheuser Busch would you object if they charged more for electricity and let the voltage wander when your refrigerator was full of Stone smoked porter instead of Michelob?

Someone with a fridge full of Michelob is suffering enough already. I’d support legislation to cut ‘em a break.

about 4 months ago

X Window System Turns 30 Years Old

real gumby Re:1994-95 (204 comments)

...we had NeXt workstations. I do not remember if they used X11

NeXT machines used Display Postscript not X.

Am I old?

Not at all, though there are some younger people around.

about 5 months ago

Whom Must You Trust?

real gumby Re:Whom you trust ... ? (120 comments)

I think you misread the grammarbook entry.

All but the very end of her description is an unremarkable explanation of the accusative of “who”, which is a perfectly ordinary word.

Only at the end did she write, "This rule is compromised by an odd infatuation people have with whom”. And there she described a pretentious and incorrect usage. This is similar to people using “myself” when they mean “me” (then again, Emily Dickenson did this too).

I find it odd you would consider “whom” an unusual word. It’s certainly more common than, say, “frog”.

about 6 months ago


real gumby hasn't submitted any stories.


real gumby has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?