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!



Why the Japanese Government Should Take Over the Fukushima Nuclear Plant

wall0159 Re: More government! (211 comments)

Further to this, Japan is known for its tight regulatory systems. If this can happen there, then how long until it is repeated in other nuclear plants in countries with weaker regulation? To me, this that nuclear is economically infeasable -- I don't know much Fukushima has cost, but if it's $100B like you say, how many years' investment in renewables does this represent? Perhaps it suggests that we're not putting our money and effort in an optimal place?

1 year,19 days

Why the Japanese Government Should Take Over the Fukushima Nuclear Plant

wall0159 Re: More government! (211 comments)

The proof is in the pudding -- did this catastrophe happen before or after the system was deregulated and the second engineer was removed? It's nice to talk about the "real world" -- perhaps we should base real-world discussions on, I don't know, the real world?

1 year,19 days

Why Do Entrepreneurs Innovate Better Than Managers?

wall0159 Re:Obvious (134 comments)

lol. I once heard it said that science was inevitably described as either "obvious" or "stupid/wrong" -- still true ;-)

about a year and a half ago

Happy Birthday To Ada Lovelace, the First Computer Programmer

wall0159 Re:The first programmer was Hero of Alexandria (60 comments)

I'm not so sure about this.
From "The Information", by Gleik:
Her exposition took the form of notes lettered A through G, extending to nearly three times the length of Menabrea’s essay. They offered a vision of the future more general and more prescient than any expressed by Babbage himself. How general? The engine did not just calculate; it performed operations, she said, defining an operation as “any process which alters the mutual relation of two or more things,” and declaring: “This is the most general definition, and would include all subjects in the universe.” The science of operations, as she conceived it,
"is a science of itself, and has its own abstract truth and value; just as logic has its own peculiar truth and value, independently of the subjects to which we may apply its reasonings and processes. One main reason why the separate nature of the science of operations has been little felt, and in general little dwelt on, is the shifting meaning of many of the symbols used."

Symbols and meaning: she was emphatically not speaking of mathematics alone. The engine “might act upon other things besides number.” Babbage had inscribed numerals on those thousands of dials, but their working could represent symbols more abstractly. The engine might process any meaningful relationships. It might manipulate language. It might create music. “Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.”

It had been an engine of numbers; now it became an engine of information. A.A.L. perceived that more distinctly and more imaginatively than Babbage himself. She explained his prospective, notional, virtual creation as though it already existed:
"The Analytical Engine does not occupy common ground with mere 'calculating machines'. It holds a position wholly its own. A new, a vast, and a powerful language is developed in which to wield its truths so that these may become of more speedy and accurate practical application for the purposes of mankind than the means hitherto in our possession have rendered possible. Thus not only the mental and the material, but the theoretical and the practical in the mathematical world, are brought into more intimate and effective connexion with each other."

about 2 years ago

How To Add 5.5 Petabytes and Get Banned From Costco

wall0159 Re:What a bunch of douche bags (273 comments)

I essentially agree with what you're saying, but would just like to observe that it highlights the limits of "the market" to solve all problems. From a laissez-faire perspective, there's nothing wrong with what they're doing and costco have no right to restrict sale to them.

about 2 years ago

US Military Designates Julian Assange an "Enemy of State"

wall0159 Re:Interesting (805 comments)

"the next Brad Manning may find him/herself swinging from the gallows." ... and compared with what has happened to Manning, it might be a kindness.

about 2 years ago

Heartland Institute Threatens To Sue Anyone Who Comments On Leaked Documents

wall0159 Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (517 comments)

I find it fascinating that this hacking has prompted a discussion about truth, objectivity and facts.

Perhaps we (the public) should apply these new-found reasoning skills to the science of climate change, and ignore some of the ad hominems (and other absurdities) that have been directed against climate scientists by organisations such as Heartland.

more than 2 years ago

300k Organic Farmers To Sue Monsanto For Seed Patent Claims

wall0159 Re:I hate to defend Monsanto somewhat, but (617 comments)

I'm sure that Monsanto must have identified Organic food as a strategic threat to their business and are doing all they can to stymie its expansion. Between their attempts to weaken organic standards to include GM foods, and farmers losing their organic certification because of GM contamination (, and now suing organic farmers that can have no interest in encouraging patented GM crops on their land, it appears that Monsanto are being quite effective.

Personally, I view this as the 21st century version of the Scottish enclosures, where what was once common property (or at least accessible) was forever fenced off and the traditional occupants evicted.

more than 2 years ago

Linux Mint 12 Released Today

wall0159 Re:MGSE: why all this energy around new DE's? (396 comments)

Or maybe because humans are inventive animals. Things that do not work to our satisfaction we want to improve. That is why we have the phenomenon of progress.

This does not apply to everyone though, and if you are content to use what exists then you are perfectly within your rights to do so. I suspect/hope that would be a minority position on a site like slashdot which espouses tools, inventiveness and technology (although its promotion of simple consumption has increased greatly over the last few years, probably reflecting societal trends).

more than 2 years ago

Why Your Dad's 30-Year-Old Stereo Sounds Better Than Yours

wall0159 Re:Once you have discovered (674 comments)

Maybe so, but why buy it, when 30 year-old NAD gear sounds fantastic and can be bought for pocket change?

more than 3 years ago

Researchers Say Dark Winters Led To Bigger Human Brains

wall0159 Re:This is why I always rooted for . . . (167 comments)

Who said anything about "smarter"? There is not an established concrete relationship between brain size and intelligence in humans.

In fact, FTFA:
"The Oxford University team said bigger brains did not make people smarter."

more than 3 years ago

Italy Votes To Abandon Nuclear Power

wall0159 Re:Italia's earthquakes (848 comments)

...which is why the pro-nuclear lobby has been transparent in calling for upgrades to these reactors for years, citing the improved safety record of newer models.

Oh, wait...

more than 3 years ago

Engineers Find Nuclear Meltdown At Fukushima Plant

wall0159 Re:nuclear can be safe; short term profit preferre (664 comments)

I'm not going to descend into anti-nuclear hysteria, but

"Even chernobyl only killed around 50 people."
That is very naive/simplistic. What were the long-term effects of exposing 100M (or whatever it was) people to increased radiation dose?
According to Wikipedia:
"A 2006 report predicted 30,000 to 60,000 cancer deaths as a result of Chernobyl fallout."

With regards to your final question: "given that the given arguments against nuclear power are bogus. The dang...."
There are so many "givens" there, that your question basically says:
"given that nuclear is the safest and best power source, why would anyone oppose it?"

Why can we not have a balanced discussion about nuclear power and concede that it has its disadvantages?

more than 3 years ago

Voyager Set To Enter Interstellar Space

wall0159 Re:Let me say (362 comments)

"Who deserves more credit?"
Why does everything have to be a competition? Can't we accept that both groups have done a great job?

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Continues To Fund Itself Via Flattr

wall0159 Re:Legal clauses please. (194 comments)

Many of the data published by Wikileaks have since also been published by various newspapers and other news organisations. I don't see anyone calling for _their_ heads! Double-standards?

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks App Removed From Apple Store

wall0159 Re:Go Apple! (338 comments)

Exactly. How long until Apple bans $MAGAZINE for $UNACCEPTABLE_POLITICAL_LEANING?

more than 3 years ago

The Luck of the Irish Runs Out

wall0159 Re:Defaulting is worse! (809 comments)

I'm not a Republican, but I don't think Palin is as stupid as she's portrayed. I think it's part of a shrewd campaign to make Democrats and their supporters look snobbish and elitist when they come out laughing at the stupid things she says. Palin is trying to make herself look ordinary and human so that people will identify with her (actually, I think GWB did the same thing, do an extent). Seems to be working for her...

more than 3 years ago

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall Worldwide In 2009

wall0159 Re:I've 75% sure that 50% chance is voodoo science (221 comments)

You're joking right? Are you really saying that climate scientists are "greenie scam artists"? If not, then please elaborate - who exactly are these "greenie scam artists" to whom you refer?

"We need to lose about 3 billion people" -- is that really your suggestion? How do you suggest we "humanely" achieve this over the kind of time-scales necessary (say, 20 years)?

more than 3 years ago

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall Worldwide In 2009

wall0159 Re:Economic downturn (221 comments)

I totally agree with you. Renewable energy sources are great, but they can't compete with better efficiency (which is essentially energy for free) and simple consumption reduction. If we used energy more wisely, we could probably reduce consumption by 40% without many (if any) significant lifestyle changes.

more than 3 years ago


wall0159 hasn't submitted any stories.


wall0159 has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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>