Slashdot: News for Nerds


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!



Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike the Pentagon Papers

shma Re:What a load of crap (696 comments)

"I just witnessed a murder!"

"Who cares? Murders happen every day. It shouldn't surprise anyone that there are murders in this country."

"But isn't it your obligation to take down in the evidence I have in order to help catch the criminal?"

"Not my problem. Come back when you have a juicy crime to report. Something exciting, and maybe titillating, like a rape charge or a kidnapped showgirl. Then we might do something about it."

more than 3 years ago

EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks

shma Re:"Stand up for the cause"? (267 comments)

My mistake, I didn't realize Murdoch became a naturalized American citizen. Nevertheless, virtually every foreign newspaper has at some time published editorials trying to influence American policy, and every news organization in the world that is worth a damn has released classified documents at some point.

more than 3 years ago

EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks

shma Re:"Stand up for the cause"? (267 comments)

Releasing a stream of illegally-released classified information from a democratic nation?

Your poor wording aside, it is not illegal to publish classified documents as decided by the Supreme Court in New York Times Co v United States. Leaking classified documents is only a crime for government employees.

Too bad people can't see this for what it is: a foreign national releasing illegally-obtained classified information in a coordinated effort to deliberately try to influence public opinion and US policy.

Other than your claim that Assange obtained the documents illegally, which I just showed to be a complete lie, that description applies equally well to Rupert Murdoch, but I don't see you calling for his arrest.

not the government that works on behalf of the people

If you had bothered to read even a fraction of what Wikileaks put out you wouldn't be so ignorant as to make the claim that the US government works "on behalf of the people".

It results in an environment where closed and repressive societies have an advantage in the information realm over open and democratic societies.

Did it even occur to you that you just spent your entire post attacking someone who has done nothing illegal and arguing that the media should shut up and only publish whatever information the government decides they should? Sounds like you would enjoy living in a closed and repressive society to me.

more than 3 years ago

Swedish Court Orders Detention of Wikileaks Founder Assange

shma Re:Argghhh (298 comments)

With the mixed signals Sweden is sending, he should be careful. They could say they want him tonight, but by the next morning they might change their mind.

more than 3 years ago

As smart-phones go, my phone is ...

shma Re:Not mine! (519 comments)

"I believe they forgot an option or two:
7. Smarter than Slashdot editors"

That's the 5th option.

more than 3 years ago

Climategate and the Need For Greater Scientific Openness

shma Re:Pot/Kettle (701 comments)

I was responding to a post about the review's conclusions, not the scientific validity of the proxies, so obviously I didn't respond to McKitrick's claims. Don't insult me because I'm not discussing the topic that you so desperately want to debate. Start a new post if you can't stay on topic.

"If they were intentionally misleading the public, why would they omit the data from a later publication with much wider circulation?"

A report for the WMO has a wider circulation than NATURE, arguably the most prestigious science journal in the world? Are you kidding me?

The later publication contains all the information necessary to find the original articles. Anyone who actually deserves the label 'skeptic', instead of 'blind-faith conspiracy theorist' would have looked up the original articles by Mann and other to see how the proxy data was used to make the graph. Are you actually arguing a cover-up of data that is publicly available in the most prestigious journal in science? What kind of cover-up involves covering up material that is already in the public domain? If people like McKitrick are too damn lazy to check sources that's a mark against them.

about 4 years ago

Climategate and the Need For Greater Scientific Openness

shma Re:not cleared (701 comments)

"Intentionally supplying misleading figures is scientific misconduct"

Yes, it is. Except the report did not claim anywhere that it was intentional. Nor was it, considering that the dropping of tree ring data was made explicit in the original paper where the graph was used:

In one of the most notorious leaked e-mails, Jones, referring to the WMO report graph, described how he had "just completed Mike's trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years". Jones was referring to the fact that climatologist Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University in University Park had used direct temperature measurements to reconstruct temperatures over the past 20 years or so in a graph in an earlier Nature paper [2]. However, while Mann and his colleagues had clearly labelled which temperature lines were derived from direct measurements and which referred to proxy data, the graph submitted by Jones for the WMO report did not.
- UK climate data were not tampered with

If they were intentionally misleading the public, why had the same graph already been published with the missing information?

"What does bother me is the attempt to pass off the results of incompetent software engineering as valid science."

The evidence of your post tells me that the misrepresentation of facts doesn't seem to bother you at all.

about 4 years ago

Cell Phone Cost Calculator Killed In Canada

shma Re:Free press (214 comments)

Unfortunately, most of the newspapers in Canada are owned by one company, CanWest Global, which has exerted its editorial control over city papers so they match the the political leanings of its owners (first helping the Liberal party, now the Conservatives).

more than 4 years ago

Musician Lobby Terms Balanced Copyright "Disgusting"

shma Re:"Shamelessly buy votes?" (319 comments)

In their world, politicians acting on voters wishes is 'buying votes', while lobbyists using the promise of campaign contributions to get favourable legislation passed is 'Democracy in Action'.

It's the same kind of logic that makes 30 copies of crappy pop songs worth over a million dollars.

more than 4 years ago

Entanglement Could Be a Deterministic Phenomenon

shma Re:"Backwards" Causation (259 comments)

This act of preventing a future event is known as "bilking" and is a pretty sound argument against time travel. However, bilking is impossible for entangled particles.

I'm talking about backwards causation as a general principle.

On macroscopic scales not much changes since backward causes are limited...

Says who? What is the definitive study of backwards causation? I'd like to see some sources which claim that violating causality would not cause experimental problems. What about simple particle physics experiments where we are working on microscopic scales?

Moreover, sometimes science and mathematical calculations are hard. But that's the way the world is and the simplicity of calculations can't stand against the reality of observations. Calculation difficulties have been around since the three body problem.

You're not understanding my point. I didn't say the calculations or experiments would be difficult. I said that in any experiment where future events would have to be taken into account, you couldn't make definitive statements about your results. If I do an experiment to show A causes B and future events can also cause B, there is no way for me to state definitively that a seemingly positive result is caused by A and not some future event I can't control for. This is what makes causality so essential for science.

more than 3 years ago

Entanglement Could Be a Deterministic Phenomenon

shma Re:"Backwards" Causation (259 comments)

Particles are just as likely to be influenced by future interactions as they are by past interactions

This seems to be a poor understanding of time reversal symmetry. Particle physics works if you run time forward, or if you flip its sign and run time backwards. But that does not mean the same thing as what you said above. You can look at an experiment with each event in reverse, but you can't, for instance, say that event 2 was caused by event 1, but event 1 was caused by event 3. It only can follow the laws of physics if the causal order is 123 or 321.

The idea of 'backwards' causation has obvious major problems. First of all, you run into causal paradoxes. But more importantly, if the outcome of your experiment rests on future events, how can you do science? Every result becomes meaningless because you don't know if a future event caused it.

more than 3 years ago

Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?

shma Re:des (1100 comments)

Um, we HAVE been seeing this cooling trend for a few years now, which is why misanthropic environmental hate groups have been trying to scrub the phrase "Global Warming" from the public lexicon and replace it with "Global Climate Change."

What the fuck are you talking about?

It's the same stupid bullshit I heard in 1999. Every time year X is cooler than year X-1, the same idiots come out claiming we're 'through the peak' and global warming is over. Do they know that regular global cycles act on top of global warming? Do they understand that two data points is not a trend?

Honestly, the fact that stupid shit like this gets +5 informative just shows how ignorant this community is when it comes to climate science.

more than 4 years ago

Obstacles Near Emergency Exits Speed Evacuation

shma Re:but small exit ways can lead to death e2 nightc (199 comments)

They are not suggesting making the exit smaller, they are suggesting that an obstacle is placed further from the door to reduce the number of paths to the door and keep the number of people trying to push through the exit at any given time to a minimum. See Fig. 18 in the arXiv paper if you want to look at a diagram of this.

Interestingly enough, these results seem to have been known for a while (probably based on anecdotal evidence). I distinctly remember my fluid mechanics teacher telling our class almost exactly the same thing in 2006, explaining that a crowd headed for the exit behaved in similar ways to a fluid trying to pass through a small opening.

more than 4 years ago

Initial Tests Fail To Find Gravitational Waves

shma Re:Linearization (553 comments)

The equations describing gravitational waves do result from a simplifying approximation of Eintstein's equations, but it's the sort of simplifying approximation that really has to be quite accurate in many circumstances.

In fact, IIRC, it is the exact same approximation often used when looking at EM radiation from a source: the approximation is that the source is small, localized and far away from you.

more than 4 years ago

New Company Seeks to Bring Semantic Context To Numbers

shma Google Works Fine (264 comments)

Their example fails because they chose a number that has no significance on its own without including a unit of measurement. If you search 58.44 grams, instead of just the number, you get plenty of relevant results. And look at what happens if you take a famous unitless number from chemistry and do a google search. Again, plenty of good results.You can try it with the speed of light as well. A search for 3x10^8 yields nothing, but 3x10^8 m/s gives you the Wikipedia page for Speed Of Light. And as far as I can tell, Google gives you good results for useful numbers in Mathematics like the golden ratio. So I don't see what the problem is.

more than 4 years ago

Murdoch Says, "We'll Charge For All Our Sites"

shma Re:suicidal. (881 comments)

Hey, as long as they include this kind of hard-hitting news, I'm sure there will be some people who will pay for a subscription.

more than 4 years ago

The Music Industry's Crisis Writ Large

shma Re:Decimated... (554 comments)

Main Entry: decimate
Function:transitive verb

3 a: to reduce drastically especially in number (cholera decimated the population)
b: to cause great destruction or harm to (firebombs decimated the city) (an industry decimated by recession)

more than 4 years ago

The NSA Wiretapping Story Nobody Wanted

shma Re:Mis-information modded 'Informative'? (144 comments)

So you would consider allowing someone to sue a telecom for allowing the government listen in on his or her phone conversations to grandma more important than the new protections put into the bill, namely requiring warrants for any American that happens to be wiretapped and putting the court back in the loop for said warrants?

More bullshit. It was already illegal to spy on Americans without warrants, you idiot. That's why the Telecoms BROKE THE LAW when they allowed Bush to tap phones without warrants. That's why they needed votes from spineless politicians like Obama to grant them immunity.

about 5 years ago

The NSA Wiretapping Story Nobody Wanted

shma Re:Mis-information modded 'Informative'? (144 comments)

Do you even read the fucking articles you post before you lie about what they say? Or even the damn title?

Obama's surveillance vote spurs blogging backlash:Sen. Barack Obama's vote for a federal surveillance law that he had previously opposed has sparked a backlash from his online advocates, who had energized his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Money Quote:

The Senate voted Wednesday on the bill updating FISA -- which had a provision to shield telecommunications companies that had cooperated in the surveillance. Obama joined the 68 other senators who voted to send the bill to the president's desk.

I don't give two shits about what failed amendments he voted for. In the end he was asked to vote on a bill that offered immunity for telcos and he did. If he cared the least bit about keeping the telecoms accountable, he would have voted against the bill itself. End of discussion.

What's even more frightening is that they modded you informative when it's public record that he voted to strip the immunity provisions out although the amendment failed.

What's frightening is that there are 4 people who modded you up without reading the article you posted.

about 5 years ago



Poll shows 39% of Americans believe in evolution

shma shma writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shma (863063) writes "Results from a poll by Gallup asking Americans whether or not they believed in the theory of evolution show that only 39% of the country believes in evolution. One in four Americans said they did not believe in evolution, and 36% said they had no opinion either way. The way an individual answered was strongly dependant on education level and church attendance."

Update for previous story

shma shma writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shma (863063) writes "This is an update for the story Dodd, Feingold To Try and Filibuster Immunity Bill .

UPDATE: The vote was delayed due to unresolved business over a separate bill (H.R.3221), but went ahead at around 6pm. The cloture motion passed with 80 senators approving and only 15 dissenters. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has expressed his desire to hold a vote on the bill before the July 4th holiday. Without strong opposition, the bill itself is expected to pass the senate by Thursday night."

Dodd, Feingold to try and filibuster immunity bill

shma shma writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shma (863063) writes "Wednesday morning the senate has a scheduled cloture vote to cut off debate on the FISA bill which grants retroactive immunity to telecoms who engaged in warrantless wiretapping. Senators Russ Feingold and Christopher Dodd have pledged to try and filibuster the bill, but require the vote of 40 senators to keep the filibuster alive. The article states that a similar "threatened filibuster failed in February, when the Senate passed a measure that granted amnesty and largely legalized the President's secret warrantless wiretapping programs." Should they lose the cloture vote, the bill is all but assured of passing. A proposed amendment stripping the immunity provision from the bill is also expected to fail."


shma has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Create a Slashdot Account