×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

ultranova Re:I rather be a paranoid than be totally un-prepa (64 comments)

But it's all up to you guys. What I am telling you is what I, and many millions of older generation of Chinese had gone through --- we do not trust the authority, we do not trust anyone but ourselves

And neither did the people who did the killing in China. The idea, inherited from Lenin, was to have a small vanguard of professional revolutionaries guarding the masses - in your terminology, "sheeples" - under absolute authority of the Party. Mao and Stalin then took this idea to its logical conclusion.

What I'm saying is that calling people "sheeples" is inherently anti-democratic. You can't trust sheeples, after all. Also, no society can survive unless the majority of its members stay put most of the time, which seems to be the going definition of "sheeple". And so you can at most let them play at ruling themselves when nothing's at stake - but as soon as there's trouble on the horizon, it's time for the shepherds to take control. Which they did in China, and are trying to do in the US. The results speak for themselves.

It's a fine example of how cultural memes perpetuate themselves, even when it'd be better they didn't. Much as you might hate the Chinese government, you still carry its - for a lack of better word - spirit with you. And there's no easy way to get rid of it.

2 hours ago
top

Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

ultranova Re:Not really. (219 comments)

Nicely done. That kind of self-loathing crap is always irritating to come across.

I never once said anything about myself. You may wish to examine your biases, the errors in interpretation they cause and whether these errors make you significantly less effective at achieving whatever goals you have.

yesterday
top

Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

ultranova Re:Not really. (219 comments)

First, us humans prefer killing each other to science. This is a proven fact.

Really? How did the arrangements for that experience go? Subject gets to choose between a test tube or a bound assistant and a (hopefully fake) knife?

Second, humanity did not go from Horses to Nukes, a very very small percent of the population did it, those geniuses have everyone else standing on their coat-tails.

A small part of the population did experiments on uranium, while the rest mined that uranium, enriched it, built the roads that carried it from the mine to the lab, etc. Accusing a tailor of riding on the coattails he made is rather absurd.

The next leap will be by a very small group that is significantly more enlightened than the rest of the 99.95% of the population. If those people are benevolent, then everyone enjoys the fruits. If they are not....... Well, things can go very differently.

The invention to trigger the next leap will be by some group that is supported by others, allowing them to focus on something besides where their next meal will come from. After it has been made, it will be turned into something actually usable by other people, manufactured by yet others, distributed by yet other people along communication and transfer infrastructure built by, you guessed it, other people...

Heroic fantasies are just that: fantasies.

WE do not glorify learning, but instead glorify morons that can carry a ball, or can sing a tune. And we Vilify in society those that do love learning and are very smart.

People respect people who can provide something useful, be it entertainment, a focus for a cultural bonding event, or a cure for cancer. If you aren't respected as much as you think you deserve, it's usually because you aren't doing anything to earn it. Merely being smart and learned is no more worthy of respect than being richr; it's what you're doing with it that earns - or doesn't - the respect.

Honestly Humanity is a joke, almost a cancer. And if an advanced civilization stumbled across us, they would probably wipe us out to make the rest of the universe safer. We as a species love to hate others, we love murder, war, and control. WE thrive on hating those that are different or think or worship different.

Humans, in general, love thinking they're better than someone else, since that's easier than self-improvement. Sometimes that manifests as merely dismissing the entire species as "riding on the coattails" of a special few ubermenschen, and sometimes the delusion reaches the point of wanting to get rid of some specific group of perceived parasites. Either way, it's bullshit.

yesterday
top

Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

ultranova Re: This doesn't sound... sound (317 comments)

Unless they intend to get forgiveness... or default. I am not sure that Greece is "too big to fail" where they can do that.

It is. EU is not a nation, it's a collection of nations, and "European identity" is weak at best. Anti-EU movements are already growing, and won't have any trouble taking power if it starts to look like EU is a threat to the nations people actually identity with.

yesterday
top

Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

ultranova Re: Honestly... (317 comments)

This certainly explains the observed tendency of economies to collapse randomly no matter how they're run.

However, unlike in game economies, decisions in real economies affect people in addition to economy. Even if austerity actually was a cure to euro's problems, it cannot continue without destroying EU itself. People aren't going to tolerate endless misery just to boost some number, no matter how necessary politicians (who don't share the misery) deem it.

Either EU gets euro to work without austerity, or it has to abandon it. Demanding sacrifices from the common people who's reward is having less say in their own local affairs is quickly discrediting the entire union.

yesterday
top

Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

ultranova Re:You nerds need to get over yourselves (201 comments)

I see people who act like mindless robots when it comes to politics,

"Act like mindless robots" is a bit vague. Can you detail what it entails and how you've studied it?

You did actually study the reasoning behind political behaviour and not just conclude that because your candidate lost, people must be idiots?

fail to understand mathematics, believe in magical sky daddies for which there is no evidence,

People typically hold metaphysical positions based on personal subjective experience and channel these through whatever cultural imagery is available. Obnoxious as the result can be, the strawman of "magical sky fairy" has nothing to do with it.

and do all sorts of other tremendously illogical and irrational things despite the education we attempt to give them; that makes me conclude that most people are hopeless.

Illogical, such as jumping to conclusions the evidence does not warrant? Given the rather obviously non-sequiter nature of ("There exist education that isn't working, therefore no education can") I can only assume you're holding it for irrational reasons, such as egomania.

Trying to psychoanalyze other people over the Internet just makes you look like an idiot in my eyes. It isn't even relevant to the conversation.

...This one's so obvious I'm not even going to bother.

yesterday
top

Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

ultranova Re:You nerds need to get over yourselves (201 comments)

There were plenty of kids who knew how to write "10 PRINT FART; 20 GOTO 10" or who typed in listings from magazines, and I agree that programming at that level is probably accessible to most people - but you can't equate that level of programming with modern software development.

But you also can't equate being able to read and write these comments - or baking instructions, street signs, or whatever - with writing "War and Peace", "The Lord of the Rings" or $your_favourite_book. "Modern software development" has very little to do with being able to quickly piece together a script to, say, unzipping all the archives in a directory to subdirectories named after themselves, or parsing a file, or customizing a web page with Greasemonkey, or whatever.

Any interface that isn't Turing complete is going to lead users wasting their time doing the same mechanical thing over and over and over again. And any that is, is programming by definition.

2 days ago
top

Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

ultranova Re:You nerds need to get over yourselves (201 comments)

Coding is a job description, and an increasingly blue collar one like plumber or electrician at that.

Programming large systems is a job description. Ability to make small scripts and macros is an utility skill. Everyone needs to know how to unclog a toilet or change a lightbulb without frying themselves, even if they aren't electricians.

This whole push by giant corporations to get into schools (!) is simply a means for them to reduce future worker salaries and ensure a steady supply of bright young idiots all fresh'n'ready to be abused and burned out.

As opposed to being useless and thus unemployable. Let's face it: the kids are screwed.

2 days ago
top

Ubisoft Revokes Digital Keys For Games Purchased Via Unauthorised Retailers

ultranova Re:grandmother reference (456 comments)

It will eventually get to the point where you're not actually buying the game,

Eventually? You haven't ever bought a game, merely a license to use it. Ubisoft seems hell-bent on demonstrating why, exactly speaking, this is a bad thing. I honestly can't tell if the whole company is doing some kind of performance art or executing a serious business strategy at this point.

But it's okay. We're due for another video game crash. Let bullshit burn.

2 days ago
top

Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

ultranova Re:That's a nice democracy you have there... (388 comments)

Now, boy, we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way.

Which is a trap. The only way to defeat evil is to force it to reveal its true face. Intelligence agencies would very much love to have everyone pretend having their mail opened and read is okay; it's when people refuse to go along with the lie when the ugly truth comes out.

And it will only get uglier from here.

2 days ago
top

Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

ultranova Re:Think of the children! (408 comments)

The problem is with the underlying assumption that there is some kind of conspiracy.

There probably is. Not the purposefully coordinated kind where everyone meets in a dark room somewhere to plot their actions, but the kind where everyone sharing fundamentally rotten values leads to effectively coordinated flock behaviour. For examples of this, look at Catholic Church's recent scandals; but it's hardly the only organization that sets the mask of respectability above the wellbeing of mere children.

People are trained to pretend they are helpless against systemic injustices from the day they're born. It's what allows those injustices to continue existing. If a child molester takes advantage of this trained response to look the other way, for example if the local cops ignore what "respected" members of their community do with their children, it's a matter of semantics whether that should be counted as a conspiracy or not.

In any case, there's going to be a lot of pain to go around as this culture of silence runs headfirst into the Information Age, becomes effectively defunct, and forces people to see what's been all around them all this time, whether they want to or not. The world will be better for it, though.

3 days ago
top

Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

ultranova Re:Other than the obligatory security theatre... (110 comments)

No, he's referencing the idea that authorities would rather shoot the plane down than let it crash into something important.

Which rises a question of whether it's possible to prepare specifically for this sort of thing. For example, could one have a missile/chaff specifically designed to choke a jet non-explosively and use towing cables to drag the plane somewhere it could be allowed to glide down? That would give the passengers maximum chances of survival while protecting ground population.

New threats call for new methods of dealing with them.

3 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: GPU of Choice For OpenCL On Linux?

ultranova Re:nVidia Consumer Card (109 comments)

Get back under your bridge... troll.

Thank you for your well-reasoned analysis of the problems with binary-only drivers on Linux, and why my misgivings about them arenot only unfounded but must be a case of arguing in bad faith. Your contribution to the discussion has enlightened us and enhanced the human condition.

3 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: GPU of Choice For OpenCL On Linux?

ultranova Re:nVidia Consumer Card (109 comments)

I would go with an nVidia consumer card.

...On Linux?

3 days ago
top

Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

ultranova Re:the problem with Twitter (114 comments)

140 characters ISN'T ENOUGH! That's not enough to say anything of substance.

140 chars is enough for a pithy soundbyte. Those pay better than analysis. Blog if you want to write a manifesto.

3 days ago
top

Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

ultranova Re:Social Networking is a mess (114 comments)

with width and height specified (via CSS, of course)

...Why? Width and height of an image are functions of its content and have nothing to do with style. What do you gain by specifying them separately from the IMG tag itself, apart from more complexity (and probably slower page loads due to the need to download and parse more CSS)?

3 days ago
top

Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

ultranova Re:I have an even better idea (304 comments)

Children, people banned for the more serious traffic offences, the blind and poor sighted, and older people who fail the driving re-test they must take periodically. How they get around is their own problem.

How children get around is usually their parent's problem, actually. And it quickly becomes my problem if the group who cannot drive becomes large, since that means they cannot get to work. Guess who's going to pay for either their upkeep or the security force needed to keep them from rioting?

I understand it's fashionable to display a near-sociopathic lack of empathy nowadays, but it can very quickly cross over into sheer stupidity, and usually does.

One solution is not to live somewhere they can only reach by driving a car. I live in a remote area and I accept that one day, when I get old, I might have to move into a city.

Choosing where you live requires resources, which requires income, which in practice requires being able to drive or hire someone who can. Which gets us back to large amounts of people being prevented from driving very quickly becoming my problem.

3 days ago
top

Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

ultranova Re:Oh yay, more about the bullshit clock (215 comments)

You know, when something says that we are so close to destruction for over half a century... well you have to wonder why anyone would put any stock in it. It is a bit hard to reconcile with being on the edge of destruction, and yet everything continuing to not be destroyed.

Did you know the most dangerous drivers are not those who have just gotten their license, but those who have had a bit of experience? The reason is that new drivers are all too aware that they're one bad decision away from being gruesomely killed, while those who have driven for a while let their guard down because "nothing's happened so far, so nothing ever will".

This is true for dangerous acitvities in general. Someone who's handling boiling acid for the first time will make damn sure to think what they're doing. Someone who's done it a hundred times is busy thinking what they'll be having for lunch. And then acid gets somewhere it shouldn't, and suddenly things get very exciting again.

We haven't been destroyed because we've been very lucky. During Cuban missile crisis American ships actually dropped depth charges on a nuke-carrying Russian submarine. The captain and the political officer were all for launching it in retaliation, but the idea was vetoed by Vasili Arkhipov. And it's not the only time humanity's fate has hung on the decisions of a single person.

And of course this is all ignoring the possibilities of, say, biological warfare advancing technology is bringing to within reach of even non-state actors. You may not have noticed, but some of these actors are nowhere near as rational nor benevolent as the Soviet Russia of old.

Finally, the dawning of the Information Age is challenging whole new facets of human capacity for evil. Hypocrisy is quickly becoming impossible as privacy continues to erode. At the same time, anonymity serves to strip away pretensions of civility and expose the grinning skull beneath all too many faces. With Industrial Age, the choice was "cease warring or die"; with Information Age it's "stop being hypocrites or have your souls crushed". Given that it took two world wars to get humanity to the point where we had any chance to survive harnessing the power of the atom, I shudder to think what it'll take to prepare us for omnipresent computation.

We're running a gauntlet, a purgatory forcing us to choose between our shadow or increasing amounts of pain. Every aspect of our existence is being confronted by its shortcomings like never before, for there are no more second chances. Humanity will either demonstrate it has mastered its dark side before it will master nature and reach the stars, or it will send itself to oblivion so more worthy beings might inherit them instead. It's not two minutes to midnight, it's Judgement Day.

3 days ago
top

Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

ultranova Re:Poor Alan Kay (198 comments)

for backwards compatibility with C (IMO Vala does better -- YMMV)

If this is a priority, why not just use C?

But it does a reasonable job of "good enough" on all three fronts, and that is what has made it so enduringly popular over the last few decades.

Or, more cynically, it's simple enough to pick up basics fast yet has enough complexity to take years to master and an endless amount of obscure gotchas for true gurus to demonstrate their superiority. In other words, once it got adopted it helped establish a pecking order of programmers, who then have every incentive to keep it popular to protect their investment and the resulting status.

There is no field of human activity where psychology didn't rule supreme.

3 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

ultranova Re:Simple solution (423 comments)

Or, as a more serious DIY solution, use a 3D printer to make a new case for a regular mouse. Isn't home manufacturing customized items pretty much the ideal scenario for them?

3 days ago

Submissions

top

Finnish HIV vaccine testing to begin

ultranova ultranova writes  |  1 year,28 days

ultranova (717540) writes "FIT Biotech, based on Tampere, Finland, has developed a vaccine it claims will cut the cost of HIV treatment to 1/10th of its current price and might eliminate the virus entirely. The vaccine is based on genetic engineering and will enter clinical human trials next year."
Link to Original Source
top

Firefox 4 released

ultranova ultranova writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ultranova (717540) writes "Firefox 4 has been released. However, 100% CPU usage bug seems to be back (and severe enough that I was forced to downgrade back to 3.6 after half an hour or so), and the new interface is just different enough to be annoying; for example, "Open in new tab" and "Open in new window" menu items have been swapped around for no apparent reason.

In short, I recommend you don't upgrade at this time."

Link to Original Source

Journals

ultranova has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?