Beta
×

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!

Comments

top

NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

silentcoder Re:my thoughts (335 comments)

>This virus is well established in humans now in this outbreak, whereas before it was mostly a zoonosis (caught from animals). Mutations will now be being selected by their efficacy in prospering in us, not in the original host(s).

Indeed, where you're wrong is thinking that's a BAD thing -that's exactly what we, as the humans, WANT.
Almost every mild ailment we get from a virus today was once a plague far scarier than ebola.
They are mild ailments now because we, and the virusses, have both been evolving toward that. A virus that kills it's host, kills itself too - it's bad for a virus to be lethal at all and no virus is lethal because it's evil, they are lethal because they are not evolved to us as hosts *ENOUGH* - so they end up causing lethal harm to their hosts which kills them too.
In the medium to long term - the virusses whose hosts live longer, get spread to more people so they both outlive and outbreed the virusses whose hosts die sooner.
In other words on a sufficient timeline evolution of viruses always selects for REDUCED lethality.
If ebola is evolving for human hosts already, then it's likely to become progressively easier to survive with each generation and in due time, getting ebola will be ranked somewhere alongside catching the common cold.

yesterday
top

NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

silentcoder Re:my thoughts (335 comments)

> Knowingly and needlessly risking one's life is squarely in idiot-territory.

No, your SENTENCE is squarely in idiot-territory.
Heroism evolved for a very solid reason: it's a survival benefit. It probably originated with "if I save my child, my genes live longer than if I save myself" but it expanded into what we know because it's a good thing. It's the difference between self-interest and ENLIGHTENED self-interest.
The more doctors offer to help in Liberia, the less people in Liberia get infected. The less people in Liberia get infected, the fewer potential people spreading it to other countries. The fewer people spreading it to other countries - the smaller the chance that somebody he loves will be affected (which has a very strong overlap with: people he has an evolutionary/genetic stake in).

Humans are, and can be, a lot more than evolution but evolution generally REMOVES tendencies that are bad for survival, heroism exists in all human cultures and across all ages, sexes and classes for a reason: it's an evolved survival mechanism.

yesterday
top

BitTorrent Performance Test: Sync Is Faster Than Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox

silentcoder Re:Is it open source yet? (123 comments)

This may be the most /. ever example of the bravery/stupidity conundrum.

2 days ago
top

Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

silentcoder Re:The Force is weak in this one (255 comments)

If they aren't worth anything, then why are they employed ?
Or are you suggesting that we should bring back slavery because some workers are, according to you, only worth having for free ?

2 days ago
top

Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

silentcoder Re: Politics (383 comments)

How cute. I get accused of a strawman for responding TO a strawman and the accusation itself CONTAINS a strawman.
I didn't disagree with the main point of the post- so I would have had nothing to GAIN by a strawman, he's RIGHT about what he said about the USA, he was just wrong to talk about Africa by a few paltry stereotypes. I thought I'd remind him that this is hardly true - since Africa is massive and there really IS no common threads to it. Sure there are countries that have had dictators and countries that have had coups - but this is not a typically African thing since there's no such THING as a typically African thing - the idea is ludicrous - there are literally THOUSANDS of cultures and languages on this continent with very little in common.
Do you seriously think there can be anything sensible in thinking as if Egypt and Kenya are similar ?
Let alone Kenya and Nigeria - which are on opposite sides of the continent, share NO common languages (unless you count English), have very little cross-trade and no shared cultures and completely different histories.
Those countries are FURTHER away from each other than the USA is from Crimea !

And my country has never had a dictator. We did have colonial voting restrictions for a lot of our history but those were scrapped in 1994 and we have had only ELECTED leaders from a parliamentary democracy for 20 years.
We may complain about those leaders sometimes, but they are beholden to a constitution they won't dare touch (which is considered the most liberal in the world - moreso than the American one) and even the worst of them haven't been anything close to dictators. Frauds and thieves yes, but YOU have plenty of those yourself.

You try to school me about liberty when you no literally NOTHING about the place you have such strong opinions about ?! You may as well be making declarations about the political situation on the fourth planet orbiting alpha centauri since you're about equally ignorant on both topics.

2 days ago
top

Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

silentcoder Re: Politics (383 comments)

Wait, are you saying Michelle Bachman and the others I mentioned are NOT republicans ? Or are you denying that the policies they push are republican policies ?
Because if the latter - then that raises the rather odd question of why the hell the republican party keeps electing them ?
If your REPRESENTATIVES are not representative... that's a bit of a problem isn't it ?

2 days ago
top

Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

silentcoder Re: Politics (383 comments)

That description seems rather odd when its used of the party that elected Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Todd "legitimate rape" Aiken, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin (this list is highly incomplete but extremely representative). Civil liberties ? Sure if you only live by our moral interpretations. Freedom ? Sure if you mean religious freedom for one religion only. Small government - yes to the extreme where government is opposed even in the things that it's provably the only good solution (like healthcare) but not when its actually supposed to be kept out like women's reproductive systems, who you choose to fuck or who you can marry. And free market ? Only if you define that as corporate well fare and cronyist plutocracy. Of course on that last one the dems are exactly the same. Actual liberals would cut that overblown military budget (by about 70% which will still leave you comfortably spending 3 times as much as all other countries combined) before cutting anything else... Never seen either party propose that. Political spectrums aren't relative. The dems policies are just about identical to rightwing parties around the world. Obama is indistinguishable from Angela Merkel: widely considered the most conservative German leader in decades. Her party (which is considered highly conservative) follows almost exactly the same policies as the dems do. The reps arent right wing they are authoritarian, theocratic, anti-science nuttjobs.

2 days ago
top

Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

silentcoder Re: Politics (383 comments)

Just one problem. Moderate dems imply the existence of liberal dems and there aren't any. You have a rightwing party called the Democrats and a bat shit insane party called the Republicans. The only actual liberal in DC is Bernie Sanders and he is an independent.

3 days ago
top

Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

silentcoder Re: Politics (383 comments)

Africa is not a country. Its a continent you can fit the USA, China, India and the entire EU into with room to spare. Generalization like yours is just as inaccurate. I live in an African country and our infection rates are actually lower than the US (3 there 1 here and he was a traveler who got it in Liberia who died in quarantine here). Hell our quarantine protocols are probably stricter than yours because we don't have many libertarians so nobody thinks personal liberties extends to risking public safety.

3 days ago
top

Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

silentcoder Re: Hoax (986 comments)

History is also littered with those who believed great discoveries belong to all humanity eschewing patents in favor of minimizing the cost and maximizing public benefit. From Benjamin Franklin to Jonas Salk. None of them ever ended up poor. They generally didn't get rich either but they did get to see a better world and die happy as true heroes.

about a week ago
top

Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

silentcoder Re: Great! (549 comments)

Github and clones have this in place for repo management. It would certainly be feasible to use for site logins.

about two weeks ago
top

Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

silentcoder Re: What? (549 comments)

Grab a good old fashioned dictionary. Flip it open somewhere. Close your eyes. Poke at the page. Open them. Choose word under finger.
Repeat four times.

Or any of a dozen other ways.
We know humans suck at random so if you choose this method also teach a technique to use physics for better randomization.

Hell the site could choose four random words from the aspell dictionary (for bonus points use all the other languages with a matching character set) and just inform the user "your password is" and it would be more secure than most chosen passwords (especially if presented in a manner that prevents copy and paste) the biggest problem there is that the password will be visible onscreen in clear at some point which is a peeking risk but there are ways to mitigate that.

about two weeks ago
top

Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

silentcoder Re:Don't worry guys... (338 comments)

That's a valid point, though there is a counterpoint. Right now if I had to list it - the single most awesome feature of my xbox one compared to the 360 probably *depends* on that core they keep reserved !
What is that feature ? Proper task-switching.

It got really annoying on the 360 how, in the vast majority of games, you couldn't actually QUIT a game without rebooting the entire console ! The X-button would almost always only give you power-off options, and the game menus rarely had a quit button (ACII - I'm looking at you, great game but I hated that).

This is seriously annoying when you are playing more than one game, or if your console is shared with the rest of your family and they aren't all playing the same game you are.
On the Xbox-one, the X button always brings you back to the main menu - and WITHOUT quitting the game, so you can switch out and access other apps or features and then switch back and continue gaming. This is great if you want to check if a friend is online quickly and invite them to join your co-op run for example.

If you do start a new game it will exit out of the last one but that's fine by me since the whole reason I hated the previous versions approach was that switching to another game required rebooting the console and going through that arduous login, load-up, connect sequence every time.

about two weeks ago
top

Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

silentcoder Re:More childhood (338 comments)

Here I am lucky - my wife and I went to buy our xbox's together each time. She's as much a gamer as I am - we also have powerful PC's - one each, which double between gaming and work systems (and has the advantage of allowing things like steam bargain hunting).
The consoles are entertainment-only devices and I've been quite happy with the xbox, and we love gaming together.
It's some husband and wife bonding time when the baby is finally asleep each night - and once she's a bit older, I look forward to gaming with my daughter as well.

Our motto is that a family that slays together, stays together.

about two weeks ago
top

US Says It Can Hack Foreign Servers Without Warrants

silentcoder Re:Color Me Surprised (335 comments)

That didn't stop Bush the number 2 from claiming that Gitmo was immune from things like due process and incarceration-without-trial restrictions on the basis that it was located in another country.

The idea that the actions of the American government is constrained by the constitution *only* on their own soil and against their own citizens is not a recent phenomenon - I'm sure that a bit of digging will find examples far older than Gitmo but if you want to take a point where they simply declared this publicly as if it's a fact and made it the de facto rules they work by then Gitmo was that point.
When liberals decried Gitmo (and especially this bit) and were shouted down by conservatives - this became standard practice, and now you can forget about any US government relinquishing it without a helluva fight (and don't confuse democrat politicians with liberals).

about two weeks ago
top

Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

silentcoder Re: Systemd (993 comments)

And now you understand why the significant number of Linux folks who use KDE; xfce; lxde... Are upset.

about two weeks ago
top

Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

silentcoder Re: Systemd (993 comments)

I think the problem is that gnome is so very tightly bound to it now that you cannot offer a GNOME desktop without switching. GNOME itself mostly owes its current position to Mark Shuttleworth's ignorance of KDE back in 2005. Very few distros would drop GNOME now. Even those that maintain a separate KDE release like mint aren't going to maintain two radically different init systems. Even arch has switched. The only way left to not have systemd if you dislike it is to use gentoo, Slackware (which dropped GNOME support years ago) or LFS which has two branches. All however are distros that require massive user time investment. Now building a new just-works distro with a KDE desktop and no systemd isnt feasible anymore as you would need to work from scratch - you can't rely on any upstream distro to help provide packages and patches.

about two weeks ago
top

TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

silentcoder Re:FOSS names (270 comments)

It's a bunch of libraries with an interface compatible with a different library, recreated as a clean-room implementation.

If that's an "emulator" then Android is using a JAVA emulator !

Hell it means every library ever released that's backwards compatible is "emulating" the previous version !

about a month ago
top

TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

silentcoder Re:"CipherShed" (270 comments)

>A quick example. IBM's RiscSystem/6000... ever wonder why you never saw it abbreviated as RS/6000 ... the answer, Pontiac had a trademark in place for "RallySport/6000" as well as RS/6000 and they wouldn't release it to IBM.

I'm assuming your story is true but if it is - then IBM was overly cautious and just didn't want to risk an expensive lawsuit over an abbreviation even though they would be guaranteed to win.
Trademarks apply *only* within the same field of industry - they don't apply to products from very different industries where there is no chance of confusion. There is no way that IBM could be confused with a car company and their RS-6000 with the Pontiac RS-6000.

People tend to forget (and the false logic of the "intellectual property" brigade re-enforces this) that trademarks do NOT exist to protect producers - they are a CONSUMER protection law. The idea being that if you buy something with company X's label for product Y on it you can be reasonably certain that you actually GET product Y from company X and not some cheap knock-off.

That is why they are so restricted - you can't trademark a common word or phrase, and if a trademark *becomes* a generic phrase for the type of product you lose the trademark. You also lose it if you don't aggressively defend it - which would explain why Pontiac would be loathe to agree even though their trademark clearly couldn't apply to IBM - for fear that somebody else could later claim they were not defending it and using that agreement as evidence.

In practise though, IBM should just have gone ahead - if Pontiac actually went ahead and filed suit they would have been laughed out of court.

about a month ago
top

Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

silentcoder Re: US is... (540 comments)

It's a publicly available document - if you seriously want to know, go read it.
There is quite a lot of restrictions on accessing this - generally it's limited to people who genuinely could never do so for themselves, and I've yet to encounter any South African (even libertarians) who have an issue with the housing program (though the libertarians complain that the recipients should get full ownership with title).

The much more important aspect is not that, it's rules like making evictions require a court order - so that power imbalances between rich and poor can be somewhat mitigated by judicial oversight into processes like that.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

top

Lucasfilm threatens company for making lasers.

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 4 years ago

silentcoder (1241496) writes "Lucasfilm has sent a cease and desist letter to the poducers of a powerful hand-held laser device meant primarily for industrial work claiming it resembles the lightsabers from the copyrighted Star Wars films too much. The manufactuers, Hong-Kong based Wicked Lasers, deny any correlation between their product and the lightsabers in the films. An interesting side question arises however: can a company owning the idea for a fictional technology later prevent somebody from creating a real product even if is directly inspired ? Would Steven Spielberg be able to stop anybody from making a time-machine in an automobile? Will Lucasfilm be going after the Martin Aircraft Company next because Boba Fett had a jetpack ?"
Link to Original Source
top

New dinosaur species discovered in South Africa

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 4 years ago

silentcoder (1241496) writes "Scientists at Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa today announced the discover of a previously unknown species of dinosaur. The new species was named Aardonyx Celestae from the Afrikaans word for "earth" and the Greek for claw,. Earthclaw which is particularly interesting as it provides a crucial link between the early dinosaurs and the later giant Sauropods was discovered during a routine dig on a farm the northern FreeState (South-Africa's most central province). Two other species were discovered on the same site, but their announcement will only happen later after further laboratory testing has been done."
Link to Original Source
top

The first Kongoni Screenshots ever

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 5 years ago

silentcoder writes "With their first public release just days away, the kongoni project a GNU/Linux distribution originated in Africa and designed to be a fully-free desktop-friendly system on a BSD-like architecture lead developer A.J. Venter has released a full set of screenshots showing the "baseline" release in action. The baseline is intended to provide common platform for the further development of the system and as such represents a new approach to the development of a community distribution. It allows all potential contributors to work on a common installable platform without huge investments in server and bandwidth infrastructure.

The official release anouncement is expected within days."

Link to Original Source
top

KDE releases version 4.1.1

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

silentcoder writes "The KDE project announced the first major update to KDE4.1 today. Version 4.1.1's changelog is largely focussed on performance improvements and bugfixes. The desktop shell, plasma, had numerous improvements in this regard which should be the most immediately user-visible.

With each KDE4 release the project seems to be edging closer to true next-generation desktop that was promised and despite the initial 4.0 controversy is becoming ever more widely adoptable. The particular focus on performance improvements are especially telling of a renewed commitment to giving users what they want."

Link to Original Source
top

Office2007 fails ISO 29500 compliancy tests.

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

silentcoder writes "Groklaw picked up the story that OOXML documents created with Office 2007 do not actually conform to the OOXML standard as it was approved for ISO 29500. After a much criticized voting process, extensively discussed on /. and elsewhere one major point seems to have been overlooked by the ISO members: the fast track process is only for standards that are already implemented. Since Office 2007 is not in fact capable of creating OOXML documents that conform to the published standard where is this implementation ?
Much more details on the nature of the failures, who did the tests and it's further meaning for the industry (right back to square one: playing catch-up forever) in the article."

Link to Original Source

Journals

silentcoder has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?