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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

stoborrobots Re:Dial up can still access gmail (334 comments)

... most viruses require a constant high speed connection...

You must be new here - I'm young in internet years, but even I remember the number of viruses flying around in the days of floppy disks and dial-up modems, long before constant high speed connections...

3 days ago

Treasure Map: NSA, GCHQ Work On Real-Time "Google Earth" Internet Observation

stoborrobots Re:it's over: the media (in the US) have moved on. (266 comments)

Or simply temporarily leaving them behind? I'd leave my phone on the desk in my office if I was going to meet a contact I didn't want associated with me...

about a week ago

Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

stoborrobots Re:Discounted not free (121 comments)

Yep, I see it more like the razor/blade "loss-leader" model, or the "first one's free to get you hooked" free-samples model, rather than the "freemium" model...

about two weeks ago

Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

stoborrobots Re:I'm open to it (826 comments)


Postgresql runs a database server. That's it. Postgresql doesn't include a mailserver just because it needs to send alerts.

Apache runs an HTTP server. That's it. Apache doesn't include DNS and OCSP servers just because sites hosted on it will need name resolution and certificates.

OpenOffice, I'll give you that one. It combines multiple applications into one for historical reasons. I don't like it, but I don't use it so I don't have a dog in that fight.

Monolithic (in the sense used here) implies the combination of multiple essentially independent functions into a single application. Just because Apache and Postgresql are big applications doesn't make them monolithic.

about a month ago

Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

stoborrobots Re:My opinion on the matter. (826 comments)

"... with only minor loss of" the primary stated goal of the system?

about a month ago

Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp; How Would You Go About It?

stoborrobots Re:Two things.... (249 comments)

What revenue stream does the App store have?

Taking 30% commission out of everything you sell via the app store and in-app?

about a month ago

Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

stoborrobots Re:Er, what? (191 comments)

I can see them doing this, rather than the much simpler solution of having two ports: a Micro-B port for charging only, and a C port for data/charging.

Compliant with all regulations, simpler for the consumer (no adapter required), minimal outlay (one extra trace on the PCB, one extra component costing fractions of a cent), no questions about cables.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: IT Personnel As Ostriches?

stoborrobots Re:Simple Answers to Simple Questions (246 comments)


Or the fragment might be part of a statement like "following the issues with the Enron case, we've put in some additional measures to prevent any irregularities in the pension fund" or even "Did you see that episode of the IT Crowd where the new boss was asking the IT department for help deleting the files which showed the irregularities in the pension fund? What a classic..."

about a month and a half ago

Mozilla Dumps Info of 76,000 Developers To Public Web Server

stoborrobots Re:They don't deserve to be commended. (80 comments)

Why should we commend them...?

We shouldn't. They fucked up. We should call them out for fucking up.

What the GP said was not "we should commend them", but "in their defense".

It's a valid defense: they fucked up, they noticed, they cleaned up what they could, and they admitted their mistake and advised people appropriately. That doesn't make their mistake go away, but it changes it from Badness Level 50 (eBay) to Badness Level 30 (Target).

about a month and a half ago

Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

stoborrobots Re:Sorry to tell you... (544 comments)

Ditto, from my WinMob-based Dopod 838pro which I had from 2006 to 2010, vs every touchscreen phone I've owned since then. I send fewer and shorter emails from the phone nowadays, and even my sms messages have gotten shorter (from comfortably typing ~8 unit/1200 character messages on the Dopod to now usually staying below ~3 unit/450 character messages).

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

stoborrobots Re:Simple (509 comments)

Even the 1% aren't completely and totally financially secure, as the French Revolution demonstrated.

Except that they were financially secure...

Exactly. They were financially secure, they just weren't physically secure...

about 2 months ago

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

stoborrobots Or the converse... (710 comments)

Is a possible interpretation of the data that "people who don't use much energy, don't feel the need to worry about climate change"?

about 2 months ago

Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

stoborrobots Re:666 (753 comments)

Surely if they are writing cheques, then that is already cashless? Sounds like they've beaten the rest of us to it...

about 2 months ago

Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

stoborrobots Re:Kinda minimizes "consensus", doesn't it? (123 comments)

... attempt to falsify any claims...

Falsifying claims is the worst thing a scientist can do. Once they're caught their career is over.

This a misunderstanding of the the term "falsify". Unfortunately, there are two well-understood meanings for the word:

In the sciences, we use the second meaning of the word a lot. It is considered a good thing. We propose an idea, or make a claim, then find ways to test the idea/claim. A useful idea in science is one which is said to be "falsifiable", that is, one which it is theoretically possible to disprove. If you can find a way to test your claim, and state beforehand which results will prove that your claim is wrong, then your claim is falsifiable, and is now a scientific claim. Then you run the test, and see what results it gives. If you get any results which don't falslify your claim, then the claim stands for a little longer. If you get results which falsify your claim, you throw the claim away and come up with a new claim. So science moves forward when we make claims and attempt to falsify them.

Using the first meaning of the word, you might say that someone "falsified some data". That would be a bad thing. This is not the common usage of the word in the scientific community, but is a popular understanding of the word elsewhere, so the distinction is worth calling out.

Notably, you can lie about data, but you generally can't lie about a claim; so context is essential in determining whether the verb "falsify": lying about data/evidence/results is bad, but attempting to disprove claims/ideas/hypothesis is good.

about 2 months ago



GAO finds inadequate planning and oversight caused cost blowout

stoborrobots stoborrobots writes  |  about a month ago

stoborrobots (577882) writes "The Government Accountability Office has investigated the cost blowouts associated with how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) handled the project. It has released a 60-page report entitled Ineffective Planning and Oversight Practices Underscore the Need for Improved Contract Management, with a 5 page summary. The key takeaway messages are:
  • CMS undertook the development of and its related systems without effective planning or oversight practices...
  • [The task] was a complex effort with compressed time frames. To be expedient, CMS issued task orders ... when key technical requirements were unknown...
  • CMS identified major performance issues ... but took only limited steps to hold the contractor accountable.
  • CMS awarded a new contract to another firm [and the new contract's cost has doubled] due to changes such as new requirements and other enhancements...

Larry Seltzer has more over at ZDNet."
Link to Original Source


Sea-Tac Airport runway access, no questions asked!

stoborrobots stoborrobots writes  |  more than 6 years ago

stoborrobots (577882) writes "The Seattle Times is reporting an incident where two civilians got unescorted access to the runway at Sea-Tac Airport in a van with names unasked, ID unchecked, and vehicle unsearched.

When [retired Army lieutenant colonel Greg Alderete] realized he had driven a van onto a runway tarmac at Sea-Tac airport — and that no one had asked his name, checked his ID or searched his vehicle — well, he just about lost it."I was appalled," Alderete says. "If you go in the airport's front door, they take away your tube of toothpaste. But the back door? That's the weakest security of any critical facility I've ever seen."

Link to Original Source


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