×

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

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

sneakyimp Re:Commodore Amiga 3000T (668 comments)

My Microsoft Intellimouse is about 15 years old. I've got some Sennheiser HD 280 headphones that are LOUD AS HELL and still going strong after about 20 years. And I've got a Fender Twin '65 reissue tube amp that's twenty years old and still sounds incredible. I also love my cast iron skillets. They are probably 30 years old. I expect they will last quite some time.

2 days ago
top

Snowden Used the Linux Distro Designed For Internet Anonymity

sneakyimp Re:The NSA is becoming a new God for "True Believe (170 comments)

TAILS sounds like a honeypot to me. What's wrong with just booting off a KNOPPIX CD-ROM or an Ubuntu CD-ROM? I expect some stuff might get written to a tmp directory somewhere but you could always shred any files there before rebooting the machine.

4 days ago
top

Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

sneakyimp Re: tldr (490 comments)

It's my understanding that if you buy a Bluray, you get access to a digital copy, don't you? You could be wasting your time.

about three weeks ago
top

Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

sneakyimp Re: tldr (490 comments)

If you can afford a 70" television, you probably aren't ripping content.

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: College Club Fundraising On the Fly?

sneakyimp Re:Ask the university (89 comments)

Call wealthy alumni. You could probably get a list from the alumni office.

about a month ago
top

Killing Net Neutrality Could Be Good For You

sneakyimp Re:riiiight (361 comments)

The fact is there IS NO COMPETITION. In my area, if I want broadband over 1.5Mbps, I have only one choice and that's Time Warner cable. If Time Warner cable chooses to put the squeeze on Netflix or Amazon Prime to extort protection money from them, there is nothing they or I can do about it but pay the protection money or pray that the FCC or our elected representatives put the abusive cable monopoly in check. This is a fact and no amount of hand-waving can change the fact that there is one company between me and the content I want.

Also: the Time Warner / Comcast deal is a crock of shit. I believe I'm not the only one who feels that these companies provide terrible customer service and gouge us for shitty connection speeds. The cost of my connection has doubled since Time Warner bought Adelphia cable with no appreciable increase in speed. It's bullshit.

about 2 months ago
top

Unlocking 120 Years of Images of the Night Sky

sneakyimp how to find plates from a specific date? (29 comments)

I would like to find plates from a specific date in 1970 and another date in 1980. I've been clicking around the collections and can't really make heads or tails of the archive. Can anyone suggest how to find a plate for a specific date?

about 2 months ago
top

NASA Now Accepting Applications From Companies That Want To Mine the Moon

sneakyimp Re:NASA? (251 comments)

Can I get 40 acres and a M.U.L.E. please?

about 2 months ago
top

NASA Now Accepting Applications From Companies That Want To Mine the Moon

sneakyimp Re:I'm afraid this means war (251 comments)

Yeah. Can't wait to see the scars left by the huge strip-mining operation.

about 2 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

sneakyimp Re:more than books (231 comments)

You are mistaken. Google is great of course, but it's only a tool. I've searched for obscure things on google for weeks without any luck at all. I made a call to some librarians at an ivy league university and they found definitive information and got back to me in a couple of days. There is value in someone who specializes in the process of locating high-quality information like primary sources of authoritative works on a subject.

about 3 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

sneakyimp Re:more than books (231 comments)

I think an underrated component of libraries is the librarians. I think I'm imagining a modern library as more than just a place for the public to connect to information. It's a place where the public can go to learn about something and get help in finding the information. Sometimes having access to the internet just isn't enough. You need to find a *person* who has specific expertise.

about 3 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

sneakyimp Re:more than books (231 comments)

I like the idea of lending e-readers in *addition* to books. XO Tablet is $125. Comparable to the cost of 10-20 midrange books, but it does provide free access to the 40,000 books on Project Gutenberg. My thinking was mostly that WiFi deployment is cheaper than a) routing ethernet cables everywhere and b) making desktop space for everyone with a device. Books would also require grant money.

The trick in my opinion is to get access to a cheap device that is not locked to any particular content ecosystem.

about 3 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

sneakyimp Re:Ask the Students? (231 comments)

Don't forget The Anarchist's Cookbook.

about 3 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

sneakyimp Re:more than books (231 comments)

Cheap desktop computers running free operating systems. You can install Ubuntu or some other *nix distro free on pretty much any old used computer.

WiFi access. I would imagine that your internet bill will likely be your biggest long-term expense. You can get some pretty awesome consumer routers, install DD-WRT on them or tomato USB or whatever) and get some pretty fancy functionality. I've been eyeing this one.

And maybe the most affordable ebook readers or tablets for checkout. You might get a sponsorship from Google or Amazon -- they are all too anxious to rope people into their ebook ecosystems. I would try to avoid these book ecosystems for cost reasons. You can also get all kinds of amazing old books through project gutenberg. Maybe OLPC would have a suitable device?

You might also keep some physical books of historical interest or perhaps large maps or other visually oriented works that resist digitization.

about 3 months ago
top

Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

sneakyimp Re:Uh? (734 comments)

Yes but you forget the other trend toward telecommuting! Silly rabbit, nobody needs to *drive* in the beautiful future! The 7-layer freeways will be for the Amazon bots that are going to deliver more video games and pizza to me.

about 3 months ago
top

Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

sneakyimp Re:Uh? (734 comments)

We should be able to moderate the original article as troll.

about 3 months ago
top

Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island

sneakyimp Re:Plenty of evidence worldwide for GMO harm (510 comments)

Until a large portion of the world starts performing population control, our opinions about the harm of growing populations is not relevant to topics related to feeding more people. As long as we as a society let people have as many kids as they want, and do not wish to punish children for the sins of their parents, we need to find ways of feeding all of these people.

How do you figure that concern over population growth is not relevant to feeding people? I smell in this statement some kind of ethical concept which needs to be more clearly elucidated. I'm willing to accept that it's a Machiavellian notion, but if you don't feed people, they find it harder to reproduce. And, as long as we're on the topic of feeding everyone with GMO, why not engineer the GMO to reduce fertility rates? I'm sure it's possible. We just need to find some kind of GMO that contributes an anaphrodisiac to Golden Rice. As long as we are taking charge of our destiny with genetic tools, why not solve all the problems we can?

about 3 months ago
top

Anti-GMO Activists Win Victory On Hawaiian Island

sneakyimp Re:More accurate headline (510 comments)

I worry that we have a society where it's considered to be ok to make decisions based on ideas that are known to be completely crackpot.

I believe you said it best: You can find reasons to worry about anything.

I'm hardly a science denier. I'm not trying to suggest -- in the face of all manner of evidence -- that GMO causes allergy problems or tumors. I was merely trying to suggest that limiting our concern about GMO food production to only it's direct impact on human health ignores some other possibilities and that I've yet to see any evidence showing or refuting that these might be a problem. Some standard examples, which may or may not be caught and/or prevented by sufficient caution and regulation:
* Potential to create an invasive species. Kudzu, which is not GMO, comes to mind. If you introduce a new vegetation that is exceptionally viable, it may potentially overwhelm a given habitat, thereby upsetting the balance of species. "Pest resistant" is not especially far-removed from "lacks no natural predators."
* Potential to upset the nonlinear relation between species in a delicate ecosystem. It's been a very long time since I studied nonlinear differential equations, but I recall one example describing the mutual dependency of prey and predator relations. Some of these featured dangerous instabilities and asymptotes if you pushed them too far to one side. What happens when you prevent "pests" from feeding on their natural food supply? Might this possibly have a catastrophic impact on predatory species that eat those pests? Might that in turn effect other species further up the food chain? This issue does not relate to human health as much as species diversity. Call me a bleeding heart, but I like animals.
* Use of GMO to build herbicide/pesticide resistance, allowing more liberal use of herbicide/pesticide to the detriment of non-human species (e.g., bees, possibly causing or contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder).

These things worry me. I am an not a biologist, but I am an engineer. Please don't accuse me of being a "science denier" and coming up with "crap." If you do, you out yourself as precisely one of the hacks that should never be allowed to conduct this kind of research. If, on the other hand, you can kindly and convincingly *explain* why we shouldn't worry about this stuff, please do so! If you demand that anyone with a reasonable education simply "have faith" in the scientific establishment, then you are not scientist but a cultist.

Quite aside from ecological and human health concerns, what about social equity and legal concerns? I oppose both software and genetic patents because I believe they unfairly favor bean-counting assholes and financial analysts over human interest and inventors. I am skeptical of the "noble" aspirations of feeding starving populations. While I am sympathetic to hungry peoples, I also wonder if it's a good idea to introduce global factors to the food chain which may result in a population boom of the most invasive species of all -- humans. I think it goes without saying that adding another billion people to the earth is going to have catastrophic consequences: pollution, conflict, destruction of wilderness.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

top

New York Times website down due to "maintenance update"

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  about 8 months ago

sneakyimp (1161443) writes "The NYTimes website apparently went down for several hours after a scheduled maintenance update. The Onion covered the story. While the site is available now, various old urls are no longer served and the current urls look suspiciously like wordpress. That legacy links no longer work and that the current CMS is not able to sufficiently serve traffic suggests that the vaunted NYTimes might have been duped into a serious downgrade by some unscrupulous web design firm."
Link to Original Source
top

How do YOU establish a secure computing environment?

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  about a year ago

sneakyimp (1161443) writes "We've seen increasingly creative ways for bad guys to compromise your system like infected pen drives, computers preloaded with malware, mobile phone apps with malware, and a $300 app that can sniff out your encryption keys.
On top of these obvious risks, there are lingering questions about the integrity of common operating systems and cloud computing services. Do Windows, OSX, and linux have security holes? Does Windows supply a backdoor for the U.S. or other governments? Should you really trust your linux multiverse repository? Do Google and Apple data mine your private mobile phone data for private information? Does Ubuntu's sharing of my data with Amazon compromise my privacy? Can the U.S. Government seize your cloud data without a warrant? Can McAfee or Kaspersky really be trusted?
Naturally, the question arises of how to establish and maintain an ironclad workstation or laptop for the purpose of handling sensitive information or doing security research. DARPA has approached the problem by awarding a $21.4M contract to Invincea to create a secure version of Android. What should we do if we don't have $21.4M USD? Is it safe to buy a PC from any manufacturer? Is it even safe to buy individual computer components and assemble one's own machine? Or might the MOBO firmware be compromised?
What steps can one take to insure a truly secure computing environment? Is this even possible? Can anyone recommend a through checklist or suggest best practices?"
top

SpaceX gets greenlighted for rendezvous with the ISS

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  about 2 years ago

sneakyimp writes "Much weeping and gnashing of teeth has accompanied the retirement of the the space shuttle and it has been a bit sad seeing discovery take its last flight over DC. But SpaceX, brainchild of Elon Musk, appears to be supplying a silver lining this week as their Dragon capsule, riding atop a Falcon rocket has been greenlighted for a rendezvous with the ISS on April 30. Skeptical? SpaceX, a private enterprise, is the first entity that is not a sovereign government to launch a capsule into space and retrieve it on earth. While the mission to the ISS is admittedly not a sure shot, Elon Musk has a few fighting words about their ability to compete with Russia and China on a cost basis."
Link to Original Source
top

Facebook Bans Art Book Publisher Taschen

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sneakyimp writes "You might not be familiar with Taschen, but they publish some of the most remarkable books in the world. While most publishers are moving to digital formats, Taschen has built a business publishing large format, dead-tree books full of big pictures. Some of their books are so large, they can only be printed in Vatican City because no other printing houses have presses large enough.
I learned from Nick Cloutman, manager of their Beverly Hills store, that they have been banned from facebook — where they had about 70,000 followers. Cloutman believes the ban is because of Taschen's posts promoting "The Big Penis Book 3D" (WARNING: male genitalia photo)
http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/sex/all/06784/facts.the_big_penis_book_3d.htm

While the Taschen page for book is quite an eyeful, the image used on Facebook was the considerably tamer image from the book's cover. It's also noteworthy that the Big Book of Breasts 3D, which came out first, did not trigger the ban:
http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/sex/all/06783/facts.the_big_book_of_breasts_3d.htm

Cloutman's personal account has been banned as well, along with all of the other Facebook users who were admins for the Taschen page. Facebook has apparently made no effort to communicate any reason or rationale for the ban or the sexual double standard. Cloutman is philosophical about it, musing "they've probably done me a favor."

Interesting side note: Cloutman was also an admin for the band Lustra, the band responsible for the song "Scotty Doesn't Know" from the movie Eurotrip in which Matt Damon cameos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vyj1C8ogtE"

Link to Original Source
top

article on how singing triggers sex hormones?

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  more than 5 years ago

sneakyimp writes "I seem to recall an article here on /. describing some research about how a shared singing experience can induce the production of hormones in people indentical to those produced after sex. I.e., some sort of 'trust' is created. Can anyone tell me where that link is? I've been googling for an hour!"
Link to Original Source
top

Where to find axles, gears for kinetic sculpture?

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  more than 5 years ago

sneakyimp (1161443) writes "My brother is an architect and sculptor and wants to create kinetic sculptures powered by wind, steam, and sun. He wants to avoid electrical systems and keep this mechanical. He's prepared to cast metals for custom parts if necessary, but is hoping to find a cheap source of gears, axles, and bearings for the internal mechanical workings of these contraptions. We'll need things like miter/bevel/spur/helical gears, standard and thrust bearings, and axles. These parts won't need to support much power or torque (probably less than 1 horsepower / 550 ft-lbs). Ideally, we could get a kit which contains a variety of bevel and spur gears, a few axles, and standardized connect interfaces — kind of like a box of legos for tinkering and prototyping. I found the Stock Drive Products site and it looks like an extensive catalog, but one really needs to know what one is looking for and I don't think we're there yet. I've also found custom gear manufacturers and cheap plastic hobby kits but these are either too outrageously expensive or ridiculously under qualified for the job at hand.

I was wondering if any of you robot builders or mechanical engineers could recommend a good starter kit with an assortment of gears or perhaps a supplier that deals in appropriately spec'ed gears rather than industrial-strength SUV transmissions."
top

You might have to pay $5 each month the music biz

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sneakyimp writes "Both Wired and Arstechnica have articles up on Jim Griffin's proposal that ISPs charge each broadband customer a $5 per month surcharge to subsidize the ailing music industry. The resulting fund would ostensibly "compensate songwriters, performers, publishers and music labels." Such a plan is also likely to compensate your ISP for collecting the fee, a quasi-governmental 'collection agency' to manage and distribute the wealth, and possibly other entities on its way to rescuing the deserving victims of the scourge that is P2P software. The proposal suggests that disbursements would be made based on the popularity of various songs on the various P2P networks.

Although no specific version of the proposal has been referenced in the aforementioned articles, a number of controversies are inherent to the plan: How is the money really divided? What happens when the MPAA, the Business Software Alliance, and various other industry groups want their own surcharge added? What about the supposed majority of broadband customers who never download illegal music? Jim insists that the surcharge is 'not mandatory' but there can be no doubt that ISPs would like a piece of the pie to help subsidize the billing apparatus they already have in place. I chose to email Jim to express my dismay and was admittedly a bit coarse. After a couple of traded barbs, I received this response which gave a vague indication of his rhetorical approach for his meeting at SXSW tomorrow.

"Hey, american citizen and broadband customer, where is your reply to my reply?

I am waiting for something in the form of an apology for the unkind and inaccurate e-mail you sent.

Let's review: I have no proposal for a mandatory surcharge on ISPs and never have had such a proposal. I am opposed to forcing ISPs to send money to a government agency unless it is tax money or some other regulatory dictate.

Do you write similar letters to the automobile insurance industry, which legally mandates car owners carry insurance regardless of whether or not you have had an accident?

Do you complain to the advertising industry for involuntarily embedding 80 billion dollars of extra cost into the products you buy?

Have you written a complaint to the library for taking your tax money to run a place you or others may not have visited in years?

Complained to your cable provider for charging you for channels you never watch?

You should be ashamed of yourself for falsely accusing me and calling me names. Now you should apologize, and I am waiting.

Jim

The full transcript of our correspondence is here. I hope you'll all drop Jim a line to let him know what you think of his proposal."
top

Music Industry Proposes a Piracy Surcharge on ISPs

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sneakyimp writes "In an article that is sure to get some folks' blood boiling, Frank Rose at Wired.com has reported on a proposed piracy surcharge on ISPs that would amount to approximately $5 per month per user. That's right, $60 from every broadband customer. The proceeds of this surtax would ostensibly be used to compensate artists who are the most frequently downloaded on P2P networks. Interestingly, Mr. Rose fails to address the possibility that some (most?) users of broadband connections have never downloaded a single song illegally. Personally, I fail to understand how this $2.5B/yr revenue stream can be justified to law-abiding broadband users.

From the article:
So, which will it be: A last-gasp assault on piracy, or a truce that would bring in money and benefit everyone except the lawyers? At this point, the music industry seems too dazed to decide — and several nights in Austin probably won't help. Though Jenner and McGuinness are on opposite sides of the debate, their good cop-bad cop routine could ultimately prove synergistic. Pay up, the music people are telling internet providers, or we'll sic Washington on you — and London and Paris and anybody else we can find.

Some of you will recognize the name of U2's manager, Paul McGuinness, in the article. Having called the DMCA's safe harbor provision a "theives' mandate," he appears to be the poster child for the music industry's call for a piracy crackdown."

Link to Original Source
top

Attack of the $83,000 phone bill

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sneakyimp writes "MSNBC reports that a Canadian man has been billed $83,000 for a month of cell phone usage due to his rather foolish decision to use the phone as a modem for downloading music and movies into a computer."
top

FCC restarting a review of media ownership rules

sneakyimp sneakyimp writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sneakyimp writes "A decidedly partisan site, CommonCause.org has reported that the FCC is again attempting to relax media ownership rules. I have yet to find any corroborating detail about what is actually going on but apparently there is some desire by Kevin Martin to make decisions without public input. Personally, I really don't want this to happen. I live in Los Angeles and there is literally only one company that provides broadband internet access in my area (Time Warner cable). They bought out Adelphia which was my prior provider. AT&T offers service here but requires that I also lease a land line and would cost more than TW. Nobody else offers service in my area. Aside from charging me twice what comparable DSL costs in other areas, they discontinued my old email address without warning or explanation despite promises I could depend on it. I've already missed several parties because of that. I vehemently oppose corporate megaliths owning all the media outlets in a given city. The obvious ills of such a monopoly include a brainwashed public, higher prices for entertainment, advertising, and internet access, and possibly other things. Prior rules allowed ownership of "up to three television stations, the local newspaper, the cable system and up to eight radio stations in one media market" according to the common cause article. If you agree and live in the United States, you can contact your representative here."
Link to Original Source

Journals

sneakyimp 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...