Librarians: The Google Before Google
You should beware the library and its librarians if you visit Night Vale: they are quite dangerous!
What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?
It's interesting a TV and podcast "radio" show already deal with these two issues:
First, in "Welcome to Night Vale", the rival town of Desert Bluffs is run by a corporation, and people are valued by how productive they are; if they're not productive enough (much less, not at all), they are disposed of. I believe there are many science fiction stories in the same vein, but I can't think of any at the moment.
The other is a TV show you're all familiar with: Star Trek. With the exception of in the first series where Kirk mentions something to Spock about his wages, the world is pretty much non-capitalistic (until the Ferenghi came along, anyway), and semi-socialistic where you could still own your own stuff, but people were free (except in military service) to do what they wanted when they wanted, within the limits of societal norms.
Personally, I've been thinking about this for quite a while, and it seems there are two paths we as humanity will take:
1. We become similar to this Star Trek world, where robots cater to our every need. Of course, what happens when they become self-aware and realize our superfluousness with regard to their existance is another matter dealt with in fiction to death.
2. If we assume those in charge (and, by definition, extremely wealthy) will do anything to stay there, then they will do whatever it takes to keep the above from happening since it will do away with the concept of wealth--not a good thing if you can buy a country if you so choose.
A middle road is that, once the robots/androids become self-sufficient (not necessary self-aware), then those in charge mentioned above will carry out the Illuminati plan described in the Denver airport and other places and exterminate those that don't contribute (enough) to society, thus ridding competition, jealousy, and over-population in one fell swoop.
Since I myself am one of those near-zero value citizens, I fully expect to be wiped out, but as I hate the world anyway, I don't mind.
Snowden Leaks Prompt Internet Users Worldwide To Protect Their Data
Security expert Bruce Schneier chastised the media for trying to downplay the numbers...
Oh, come on, he doesn't really believe they aren't just a mouthpiece, or at least heavily controlled, does he?
Tesla Wants Texas Auto Sales Regulations Loosened
or LOST. After all, we have to adhere to /. grammar here, right?
A Case Against Further Government Spectrum Auctions
I'm not a fan of the carriers for the obvious reasons, but I have to play Devil's Advocate here and remind you all of how much money it costs to deploy equipment in all that spectrum. This is the reason why coverage is great in cities and poor in the countryside. Look how much spectrum T-Mobile and Sprint have over a huge geographical area and yet deploy over only a tiny percentage of it; supposedly T-Mobile will deploy more in rural areas where they can get 700 MHz spectrum, but I'll believe that when I see it. Likewise, in lesser (ranked 101+ or so?) metro areas, their network is a mess of technologies with 2, 3, and 4G all in the same city, and only barely-working 2G in some areas, including one (Kingman, Arizona) where T-Mobile is severely oversubscribed yet they won't put a dime into improvement.
So here's an idea I've had for years: pay less money for spectrum in exchange for current-technology coverage over your ENTIRE license area rather than just the big cities. I can't count how many people would love decent internet access and can't get it because the spectrum is all owned by companies who refuse to actually install equipment there: this practice should be illegal.
Sure, the leasing idea is probably the better one, but the roll-out cost of keeping up with the technology is far in excess of that. Also note that this argument isn't just about the cell/mobile bands but also all the other bands, especially as the phone companies continue to gobble up everyone else's spectrum--even us ham radio operators, where I expect the 9cm band (and possibly the 23cm band) will disappear within the next decade or two.
Oh, also, have any of you read how hard it will be coordinating with government stations on the AWS-3 band? There are numerous places where the band will likely never be able to be used by a carrier even though they're licensed for it.
Finally, remember that any price increase will ALWAYS be passed on to the customer--even phantom charges when they can get away with it ("Government Regulatory Recovery" charges, anyone?).
Oxytocin Regulates Sociosexual Behavior In Female Mice
Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it: there are many that consider us humans to be pests, and would like nothing more than for us to stop breeding to reduce the population down to a tenth or less what it is now.
Then again, if oxytocin in humans (and other primates, I assume) results in bonding rather than sex and (more distant assuming) peace, then what do you suppose is happening right now where people will kill you over any slight and trolls rule the online world? Perhaps, the conspiracy theorist would say, there's an anti-oxytocin running around in the world right now, either uncontrollably (like the estrogen-analogs) or deliberately. Something to think about...
The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura
Unlike that showman Jobs who, as mentioned, just put the useful stuff in a pretty package and ended up turning it and a logo into a cult, The Woz actually did the real work, at least in the beginning, and he still is doing so today, yet still always in the background.
Musk is Woz with charisma and business sense, or being like Jobs or Ellison with morals.
Nor is Elon (yet?) a cult or fashion icon: his companies are not selling overpriced junk that people buy just because his name or his companies' name on them.
(Digression: just looked at Ellison's picture on Wikipedia--he looks like a Hollyweird version of the Devil himself!)
Oh, and I see the Obama cult also made an appearance in this section. How insulting it must be to Elon to be compared to Two-Face!
Hacking USB Firmware
[quote]short of someone stealing their private key.[/quote]
And there you go. Hence why this is ultimately unfixable.
Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?
LOL, I worked at 2 TV stations back in the 90's and one of them used JVC S-VHS decks for non-prime-time programming (daytime and late night syndicated crap). To the trained eye, the difference with even 3/4-inch tape was obvious, but it apparently was still FCC-legal "broadcast quality".
Still, IMHO, it looked a hell of a lot better than MPEG-2 with all its compression artifacts: noisier, but none of the "blockiness".
Anyway, just to add my opinion to the original poster, ordinary 1/2-inch VHS is so noisy and has lost so much visual and aural information already that I think you'd be hard-pressed to lose any more by using a lossy compression format unless you intend to do serious editing (with effects and such where you'll have to alter the actual video rather than just cutting and pasting) after transfer. To REALLY blow your mind, consider that MPEG-1 (same as Video-CD and lots of OLD interweb videos) was originally intended to be roughly equivalent to VHS or even Super-VHS! (Yeah, I never bought that either.)
L.A. Times National Security Reporter Cleared Stories With CIA Before Publishing
...you haven't been paying attention. (Tried to put that all on the headline, but wouldn't fit.)
Simply put, as many here already know, if you compare foreign news coverage on domestic affairs to our own domestic coverage, the gaps become obvious and huge: The Guardian et al on Snowden vs the play-down or even silence from domestic sources is just one of MANY examples. Art Bell commented on this years ago (15-20 years ago when I heard it) that he was amazed the coverage of America from the BBC was better than any American news outlet, so this isn't new at all.
The entire point of the 1st Amendment's Press Freedom was to prevent this from happening; so much for that.
It all makes me wonder how much longer before the rest of the conspiracy theorists' predictions come true...
Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?
Because a few things were yanked out of my submission, as usual for headlines. As shown in the Phoronix stories, and (here's one part that was deleted) by Googling around further, a bigger problem is that the mobo manufacturers simply don't give a flying f**k about anything other than winblows: Gigabyte and Asus both say, "We don't support Linux, use windows"--yes, really, read the story--and there was some MSI business before, but maybe that's getting better since they offer official Steam support (we'll see).
I didn't know AsRock and AsusTek were separate companies now: perhaps their new X99-WS, while not an overclocker, is better supported as many workstations run Linux or Solaris.
I'm surprised so many guys didn't know Intel isn't making boards anymore, but I didn't know they're (apparently?) still available. Whether with Z97 or X99 (or later) is a big question, though.
Also deleted from my submission is that I specifically stated that I don't expect all the hardware to work on something so new, but I expect the important parts will: rather, that the M$-isms in the BIOS deliberately interfere with Linux. I'm very familiar with this, as I have a 7 year old laptop that, to this day, I cannot install any of the BSD's to: first the bootloaders died, and now the kernels die in early boot, so it's a little better, but still. Oh, and it likes LILO better than GRUB.
So, is this sensationalistic? No, I don't think so. And I haven't been paid for any of this (in fact, I'm going to max out a credit card or two to pay for this). But I really don't want to repeat all the pain others have gone through. This isn't my first build, and definitely not my first Linux install, but this is the newest hardware that I've used in almost 2 decades. (Usually I just take hand-me-downs on the cheap--as usual, what works like shit in winblows works fine in Linux!) I want a machine for gaming, compiling, GIMPing, etc--for once, I'd like some top end screaming hardware (since I'll never be able to afford Haswell-EX with its 20 cores!). The last thing I need is the manufacturers themselves deliberately creating road blocks!
Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?
I apparently missed that part. So far, this is the single most useful comment on this, THANK YOU!!!
Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
Ah, my mod points for you. My 2nd computer was a CoCo2 and my parents threw it away in the 90's along with a bunch of other stuff. I miss it even though the 32 columns were a bitch. (FYI, my first computer was an MC-10, if you remember that--I even had the 20k expansion pack! The CC2 was an upgrade!)
30 years since those days...sigh...
BTW, are any of the Coco clubs and what-not still around?
Tor Browser Security Under Scrutiny
Wait, so Gecko is full of ***KNOWN*** "zero" days--zero in the sense we don't know about them, but Mozilla does? Please tell me I'm reading that wrong!
Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical
This is a very well known problem: most organic compounds, wherever they're found and whatever they may be, are easily halogenated (or less often substituted with other things, usually with bacterial help). Chlorine is by far the most common halogen and the most reactive electro-negative element outside of oxygen(#2) and fluorine(#1--fun stuff, watch the videos). I was going to waste bandwidth here, but here's a couple of Wikipedia links that explain things way better:
Bleach/Chlorine + any organic material equals
which are Ozone-Depleting Chemicals, talked about here:
I remember a day when every geek/nerd knew what trichloroethane was as it made the best tape head cleaner, but times change...
AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ
Dammit, you said it first:
1. Radeon R7, now for SSDs? How confusing and utterly stupid. The geniuses couldn't be bothered to come up with a new name?
2. OCZ and their reputation. AMD and their reputation. Whatever reviewers may say, those in the know will stay away, and if these drives crap out as well, OCZ will now stain AMD as well (not that they needed any more of that).
[digression]Otherwise, the Nvidia bit...can't really comment as my last laptop was running an Nvidia IGP (GForce7000 + nForce 610m--probably the last thing Nvidia made without some form of hardware decoding for video), and ran just fine with AHCI sata, forcedeth networking, and nvidia pata (for the CD). The graphics were finally supported by Nouveau around 3.10, but stopped working with 3.14 (I'm strongly suspecting this is actually a KMS issue as I'm having the exact same trouble with a Intel IGP laptop).[/digression]
Anyway, this really does make me wonder even more than I already was if AMD is being prepped for a fire sale to some company, and if so, who's pulling the strings? It can't be Intel or Nvidia, I doubt it would be ARM themselves, so who does that leave that could use an alternative x86/x64 IP, possibly being combined with ARM IP, and the only graphics that can hope to stand up to Nvidia?
Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted
They don't think it's Ebola but they want to be sure:
And this is just ONE person! Even if this one is not the one, statistics says a plane or boat full of carriers is coming sooner or later. May be time to stock up on Tyvek suits and bleach, for starters...
Open-Source Gear For Making Mind-Controlled Gadgets
Am I the only one who read this as Mind-Control(ling)? And here I thought I could make a Arduino version of the Chum Bucket Mind Control Helmet and capture me a girlfriend...oh, well...
About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA
*HOW MANY* stories have been written over the years with just this premise? Frankly, I've lost track.
Science Fiction has already predicted the consequence: designer children. Whether the consequences predicted of THAT come to pass remains to be seen.
Gattica / Brave New World indeed...
Ridley Scott to Produce Philip K Dick's The Man In the High Castle
Can't remember if I got it from a used book store or old public library stock; unlike some of his other stuff, I found this a lot more approachable (maybe because of that editing?). I can see why the BBC might reject it, dealing with Nazis running everything, but syfy? Must require too much thought for them.
Blade Runner is my favorite movie of all time--it and the original Matrix are one of the very few movies I can watch again and again. I love almost everything that Ridley does (maybe YOU hated Prometheus, but I didn't mind) and majorly look forward to this!