×

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

This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

silentcoder Re:That micro-floppy (275 comments)

>I think the progression was something like: PCMCIA->CF->MMC->SD, and USB Flash (and other stuff like Sony's MemoryStick) branched off around the same time as MMC.

It's possible that this was a South African magazine - at the time laptops (and thus PCMCIA ports) were pretty much the exclusive terain of executives here - normal folk (even in companies) had desktops.

I do remember that the article itself concluded that the most likely winner was going to be JAZ Zipdrives... instead they died a quiet death not long after.

5 days ago
top

This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

silentcoder Re:That micro-floppy (275 comments)

> signposts the idea of miniature storage.

Indeed, it is still the standard icon for "Save file to disk" almost 2 decades since the most likely disk destination became "the hard drive".

I remember back in 1998/1999 somewhere one computer magazine ran an article on "what will replace the floppy disk" ? Many ideas were touted, in subsequent letters most readers were betting the farm on ever-cheaper and faster rewriteable optical media as cd-burners got cheaper too.
Nobody saw the USB flask coming until it was upon us - let alone it's more recent offspring like the MicroSD.

5 days ago
top

Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

silentcoder Re:Why do people listen to her? (586 comments)

Not to mention:
*Measles is fatal in a significant minority of cases - an immune herd rules out those cases being exposed before vaccination.
*The people most likely to have side effects from vaccination are the ones who also need it most - they are the people who will DIE if they get the REAL thing.

about a week ago
top

Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

silentcoder Fine (586 comments)

You're not anti-vaccine... you're just pro-infectious-disease.

about a week ago
top

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

silentcoder Re:Sex discrimination. (673 comments)

Nobody uses wetnurses of either sex anymore, I was being facetious.

You don't think maybe you should let their MOTHER do that ??!

about two weeks ago
top

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

silentcoder Re:Sex discrimination. (673 comments)

>Equal opportunity laws already reach such an insane level around here that jobs that can only be done by a certain gender still have to be offered "gender neutral". Dare to show openly that you'd rather hire a man than a woman and be prepared to be sued into oblivion.

You're going to have to give me some examples here because I can't think of a single job that where your capacity to do it is determined by your gender except maybe "wet nurse" and that's hardly a lucrative field these days (not to mention - with modern technology quite feasible for a man to do - they have all the required body parts - they just need the hormones - alcoholics frequently lactate because their damaged livers can no longer filter out their naturally produced progresterone and the build up activates their mammary glands).

Seriously what possible job could be done by only a certain gender ? In fact the concept makes NO sense since gender is a socially defined concept with no physical reality to it at all - even if I assume that when you said "gender" you meant to say "sex" (which is a physical thing) I STILL can't come up with any examples.

about two weeks ago
top

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

silentcoder Re:Mirror image (641 comments)

>How wrong you are - where I live Muslims are the majority

That doesn't mean you know any of them. In fact - if you express the kind of opinions to them that you express here - then I would be quite surprised if any of them ever wanted to hang out with you, it would be like a black guy going out for a beer with the grand dragon of the KKK.

about two weeks ago
top

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

silentcoder Re:Mirror image (641 comments)

None of the 35 million Muslims in my city have ever celebrated an atrocity, none of their priests have ever encouraged anybody to do the same. In fact - you walk into a Muslim owned shop here you will see signs on the walls that say things like:
I
Shall
Love
All
Mankind

Encouraging each other to live in peace with the non-muslim community here ( which is only slightly smaller at around 30 million the vast majority of whom are protestant Christians and who have their shops decorated with signs that spread the same message in the name of Jesus instead) - these communities live among each other, with each other, in perfect peace and harmony - both are convinced that the other's religion is wrong but neither group thinks violence is justified or allowed and in fact both groups spend most of their time trying to convert the other by competing over who can do the most charity for the poor population of the city !

The deadliest religious atrocity we have are pot luck dinners ! The worst problem we face is that these two religions are VERY happy to cooperate on the things they agree on - which means a constant stream of political jockeying against our laws allowing gay marriage and legal abortions which is funded and attended by both groups. A current law banning corporal punishment is being vehemently opposed by religious leaders- FROM BOTH religions, working TOGETHER.
These aren't good things to be doing -but it's interesting that they are quite happy to put aside their differences and lobby collectively for the things they agree on (even when those things are wrong).

I LIVE among the proof of how wrong you are.

The only thing I can conclude from your Islamophobia is that you don't actually, personally, KNOW a single Muslim. Not really *know*.
Like all discrimination - Islamophobia can ONLY exist in ignorance.

about two weeks ago
top

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

silentcoder Re:Mirror image (641 comments)

"She is but 14 years old"
"And younger than her are happy mothers made"

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliette.

That's Renaissance England - and it remained common until the early 20th century. The REAL reason it changed was World War 1- with most of the young men gone to war for several years, women had to take over the work-force and do so without many potential suitors around.

about two weeks ago
top

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

silentcoder Re:Mirror image (641 comments)

>And since when do two wrongs make a right?
It doesn't - it was wrong when Christians did it, it was wrong when Pagans did it, it was wrong when Muslims did.

>Tu quoque is such a transparent line of reasoning...

It's only Tu quoque is you claim it excuses something - it's not Tu Quoque if you point out that this was the historical context - failing to view historical events through the lens of historical context is GUARANTEED to give you stupid answers.

>Also, check your history knowledge - in the 1st half of the 7th century, a large portion of Europe wasn't Christian in the first place

I was reffering specifically TO the parts that WERE - and also pointed out that these REMAINED Christians standards all the way up to the early 20th century !

>The majority, in fact, if I recall correctly.

I doubt this. The first Christian king of Poland was crowned in the 7th century.

about two weeks ago
top

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

silentcoder Re:Mirror image (641 comments)

>Uhm you might want to look at the causes of these incidents. Typical Muslim reaction - try to eradicate non muslims then complain that they fight back!

Funny how you ignored the Anders Breivik example - suffice to say I think that these - like ALL wars have no innocent parties, both sides have equal share in the atrocity.
Why would I have a Muslim reaction ? I'm not a Muslim, I'm not a Christian either - I'm a completely neutral observer here, so accusing me of bias is rather silly.

That said - if Christians are "fighting back" that violates a tenet of their religion. Aren't they supposed to "love their enemy" and "turn the other cheek" ?
Funny how throughout history and to this day they all seem to revert to "eye for an eye" whenever they have a way to claim an eye.

Point: there is no such thing as a non-violent religion. Islamophobia is not rational because a phobia, by definition, is not rational.

about two weeks ago
top

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

silentcoder Re:Mirror image (641 comments)

>The obvious problem (unless you are one of those Muslims who think that anything that has ever been done by a non-Muslim at any time in history should be permitted for Muslims today) is that Muslims are still carrying out brutal attacks, raping women, etc today. Just ask the Hindus in Pakistan about the 'religion of peace'.

Christians are still doing that today as well. Ask the non-Christians in Nigeria, Sudan and Algiers a little about the religion of universal-brotherly-love.
Hell even in Europe you still see atrocities committed by people fueled by their Christian beliefs. Remember the Olso shootings a few years ago ? Man grabbed a gun and shot 12 kids because they were liberals and as a Christian he believed he ought to fight (literally) against liberalism !

You can't judge a religion on the actions of extremists. I live in a majority Muslim city - and I have never experienced any violence from a Muslim, indeed they are the most law-abiding demographic in this city.

about two weeks ago
top

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

silentcoder Re:where is the controversy? (641 comments)

>Before that a Vatican minion (and creationist) seeded the big bang theory, ... and we believed him.

But for that one - he offered compelling scientific arguments. Even so it was largely discounted by science for several more decades (scientists hate singularities) and it wasn't until Hawking's work in the 1960's that the big bang started gaining serious credibility among scientists.

about two weeks ago
top

Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

silentcoder Re:Mirror image (641 comments)

>but the pedophilia, brutal killings, etc. are all spot on.

Perhaps - but hardly unique - exactly the same things were happening as standard fair in Europe among Christians at the same time. Hell Christianity would keep it up for at least the next 400 years - average marriage age for women didn't go past 16 until the early 20th century and age-of-consent laws weren't passed anywhere until well after that.

So whether it's true or not- it says absolutely NOTHING about Islam. There is nothing in there about Muhammed that wasn't also true of Richard the Lionhearted.

about two weeks ago
top

Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

silentcoder Re:simple matter (351 comments)

I was responding to the statement:

If the consequences of contact are so disastrous, they must not be contacted, full stop.

I'm saying: that's not an option because you can't prevent these tribes from being contacted. All we can do is to minimize the impact of contact. Obviously, as the cited research shows, populations dramatically decline post-contact, and these are all populations in which the government is attempting cultural preservation.

Hence my suggestion that it's better to give up on cultural preservation altogether and focus on keeping these groups alive: vaccination programs, public health education, healthcare, schooling, training, and assimilation into Western society.

Finally, you say:

Corpses everywhere. No living members remain.

That is not at all what the paper says. Furthermore, even for the mortality figures that the paper states, I see little evidence in there. Most of the evidence is simply for population decline, which could well be due to migration.

I was responding to the statement:

If the consequences of contact are so disastrous, they must not be contacted, full stop.

I'm saying: that's not an option because you can't prevent these tribes from being contacted. All we can do is to minimize the impact of contact. Obviously, as the cited research shows, populations dramatically decline post-contact, and these are all populations in which the government is attempting cultural preservation.

Hence my suggestion that it's better to give up on cultural preservation altogether and focus on keeping these groups alive: vaccination programs, public health education, healthcare, schooling, training, and assimilation into Western society.

Finally, you say:

Corpses everywhere. No living members remain.

That is not at all what the paper says. Furthermore, even for the mortality figures that the paper states, I see little evidence in there. Most of the evidence is simply for population decline, which could well be due to migration.

>That is not at all what the paper says. Furthermore, even for the mortality figures that the paper states, I see little evidence in there. Most of the evidence is simply for population decline, which could well be due to migration.

You should re-read the paper - slowly this time - it has two sets of data and you're conflating them. Data-set one is the people who ALL DIE - that is complete extinction: this comprises 80% of those contacted.
The other data-set is what happens to the 20% of cultures where there are survivors. These cultures are frequently destroyed, their mortality rate gets much worse and they live in poverty - pulled into a world where they have no money and no knowledge of how to acquire it and money (rather than the skills they spent ten thousand years perfecting) is the requisite tool for acquiring the means to live.

In most cases - they never quite recover. The Mayan culture is not, contrary to what most people believe, extinct - they are one of the few cultures from the original Cortez contacts to have survived. There is still around 20-thousand Mayans living in central America, mostly in one town in Mexico - and to this day they live in abject poverty with a life expectancy far below the mean for their country. Number one cause of death: malnutrition.

You're conflating the decline in those populations that survive with the over-all mortality rate - but the paper clearly differentiates these. That decline is among those tribes that do not all die out within months of first-contact, and they represent only 20% of tribes contacted. This actually correlates almost exactly with what epidemiology would predict. Introducing a new pathogen into a population group (most of these tribes would be the same genetic ethnicity - they differ culturally not biologically) we predict between 10% and 20% survival rates as those whose immune systems can adapt fastest will make it through - and produce a next generation that can handle that pathogen well. Since immune system adaptability is a genetic trait, it makes perfect sense that this 10%-20% would be collected in clusters living together (families in fact) - so in some tribes you will find many of them - and those tribes will survive, and in some tribes none at all and they wlll die out.

This isn't even unique to Western contact - it happens whenever a population group encounters a brand new disease. I live in Africa - I was here when Ebola first broke out - I saw how some towns were entirely decimated - entire villages reduced to a pile of corpses, and I saw how others - while hit hard- nevertheless had large numbers of survivors. In one town the disease would kill everyone it came in contact with - in the next village, half the people would survive. Standard epidemiological model for a new pathogen - nothing surprising here.
What western contact with uncontacted tribes mean - is the sudden introduction of a massive amount of new pathogens, not one - but hundreds or even thousands into to the population group - most of which do not *have* vaccines (because thousands of years of exposure have made our population so immune to them that we don't even get sick anymore - we all carry them around and none of us even know about most of them).

about two weeks ago
top

Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

silentcoder Re:simple matter (351 comments)

>None is worse, actually. All of us come from extinct tribal societies, and we are better off for it. A society "going completely extinct" doesn't mean its members are killed, it means ending injustice and poverty if those are the hallmarks of the society that goes extinct

In the context of this research - and the discussion (I actually RTFA) it DOES not mean that, it means extinct as in dead. Every single member of those tribes - DEAD.
Corpses everywhere. No living members remain.

The research differentiates between cultural destruction (which you may or may not approve of) an extinction of the people and gives numbers for both -that 80% is the ones where EVERYBODY DIES.

about two weeks ago
top

Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

silentcoder Re:simple matter (351 comments)

>Even if we had a choice, it's unclear that not contacting them would be the right thing to do. First, you are depriving them of many of the benefits of modern civilization: immunizations, agriculture, education. Second, they are occupying and using land very inefficiently. Finally, their societies generally violate basic rights of their members; should we really let that go on?

Wait, hold on a second - from that long list of reasons - which one exactly is *worse* than GOING COMPLETELY EXTINCT ?

Because I can't find it.

about two weeks ago
top

Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

silentcoder Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

>Any animations are a series of discrete steps, you *might* add blurring but they are damned well still discrete steps!
And this being on a monitor we can even guarantee the minimum length of each discrete step. They CAN'T be less than the width of one pixel.

about two weeks ago
top

Apple: Dumb As a Patent Trolling Fox On iPhone Prior Art?

silentcoder Re:The Slide-to-Unlock Claim, for reference (408 comments)

>Disclaimer: I am a patent attorney

We found one ! You guys get the pitchforks - I'll light the flaming torches ! Burn the witch ! Burn the witch !

(Just kidding).

about two weeks ago
top

To Reduce the Health Risk of Barbecuing Meat, Just Add Beer

silentcoder Re:"not much of a beer lover" (179 comments)

Aaah, he must be an American then.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

top

Lucasfilm threatens company for making lasers.

silentcoder silentcoder writes  |  more than 3 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 5 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 5 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 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>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...