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Nintendo Posts Yet Another Loss, Despite Mario Kart 8

wbr1 Re:Here's an idea! (185 comments)

This is all true, but the distribution model is different now. Online distribution, plus online communities and ranking systems make it sometimes easier to separate out the chaff.

You have to keep up!


Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

wbr1 Re:Wikipedia Never Bans Vandals? (165 comments)

Do not confuse my statement. I never said the IP is a person. I said banning it affects multiple people including innocent bystanders. A crowd is not a person. Do we bomb a crowd because a few are bad actors?

We should always err on the side of least effect on innocent people, preferably no effect.

4 days ago

Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

wbr1 Re:Wikipedia Never Bans Vandals? (165 comments)

A person made the edits. However,if you ban the IP or IP range, then you ban innocent bystanders. This is unacceptable. Period.

5 days ago

Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

wbr1 Re:Wikipedia Never Bans Vandals? (165 comments)

That IP had been vandalizing for years. That IP is not a person. Period.

about a week ago

Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

wbr1 Re:Citation needed? (165 comments)

Now that it is mentioned here, slashdot can be cited as the reference for his culinary proclivities. Problem solved. Put the edit back with a citation.

about a week ago

Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

wbr1 OK MS bashers. (322 comments)

I am no MS fanboi. I did not RFTA. However, windows 9 is already supposed to ship with both touch and classic interfaces.The default will be chosen by device type but presumably it will be changable. The big complaint here is WinRT - which is ARM not Intel.

I would hope this unification means that there will be suffice emulation built into windows that it will pick the kernel/libs/drivers required by the CPU arch, and userland apps can run in emulation (even if slowly) if they are compiled for the wrong proc. This would be a unified windows, that allows x86 and 64 bit apps run on ARM and vice versa (although the other direction is likely not as useful). And have a usable interface. This may actually be a killer OS. It is the next version after a bad one!

about two weeks ago

Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

wbr1 what about malware ads from legit ad servers? (415 comments)

Case in point, from a customer last week. Legit local radio, click steaming button. Stream controls in pop up from 3rd party. Stream is broken, stars then stops. Ad in same window, from ad choices, plain white misleading ad, "you need to update your windows media player 11". What do people do? Oh I need to update. Boom adware or worse. There need to be laws and real penalties for this, it does real damag.

about two weeks ago

Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

wbr1 Re:Um... (151 comments)

Okay. You have a full 2-liter soda bottle. You drop it from hip height to the floor. The shock releases dissolved gas, increasing the pressure in the bottle. Now pick it up and drop it again. And again.

At some point the bottle will fail and the soda will erupt.

Can you say on which drop? Can you say how it will fail (split seam, pinhole rupture that expands, cap failure?)

No? But you can say that it likely will if the behavior continues.

Lets take another example, say HDD failure. Any HDD will fail, at some point. Is it head failure? Bearing failure? Temperature damage to the media? You do not know, but you can say it WILL fail.

So, nice troll attempt, but it falls flat.

about two weeks ago

The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

wbr1 Re:Well here we go again. (552 comments)

You took my crappy little joke and made it into a thing of glory. Bravo!

about two weeks ago

The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

wbr1 Re:Well here we go again. (552 comments)

Lazy bum.

# wget popcorn-6.2.1.tgz
# tar xvf popcorn-6.2.1.tgz
# cd popcorn-6.2.1
# ./configure --libs="-lbutter -lsalt"
# make
# make -install

Please forgive errors, I don't eat popcorn anymore so my popping skills are rusty, but still better than that microwave apt-get popcorn.

about two weeks ago

With New Horizons Spacecraft a Year Away, What We Know About Pluto

wbr1 Re:Anyone have Cliff Notes? (128 comments)

The bottom line is that we know far more about Uranus than Pluto. Even given the wealth of knowledge and enjoyment Uranus has given generations of scientists and philosophers, the decision was made to explore strange (no not new worlds, just strange.) I think in part this is due to the fact that Uranus is massive and gassy, but what do I know?

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

wbr1 Murphy says no. (265 comments)

You should always have a competent tech on hand for maintenance tasks. Period. If you do not, Murphy will bite you, and then, instead of having it back up by peak hours you are scrambling and looking dumb. In your current scenario, say the patch unexpectedly breaks another critical function of the server. It happens, if you have been in IT any time you have seen it happen. Bite the bullet and have a tech on hand to roll back the patch. Give them time off at another point, or pay them extra for night hours, but thems the breaks when dealing with critical services.

about three weeks ago

How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business

wbr1 Re:Crowd Sourcing ? (132 comments)

Not quite.. this is not everyone polluting. I think the meme you are looking for is "First world problems..."

about three weeks ago

Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

wbr1 Re:It's already going on... (353 comments)

That's because elec vehicles do not have to comply with the OBD spec that gas vehicles do. Same is true of the device at

about three weeks ago

Wireless Contraception

wbr1 Security... (302 comments)

Do you want to become pregnant because someone hacked your hormone implant?

I do not see this ending well.

about three weeks ago

NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

wbr1 Re:I dont see a problem here (146 comments)

In my opinion the problem is not reuse of existing tech. It allows reuse of manufacturing capability, it comes with well known maintenance and troubleshooting procedures, etc. The problem is handing the gov a huge bill for doing very little, and using existing tech to milk out a big payday, and not choosing the tech based on suitability, or using it to advance the science any. The latter is something Boeing has been very good at.

about a month ago



Astronomers claim dark matter found

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 4 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes ""A team of astronomers led by Tansu Daylan (Harvard University), claims that excessive gamma-rays deteceted from the center of the galaxy by the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope are not from pulsars, but dark matter. More specifically, if the theory that dark matter is made up of massive particles and anti-particles, their collision should produce gamma-ray burst signatures similar to those seen.

"If our interpretation is correct, this signal would constitute the discovery of an entirely new particle that makes up the majority of the mass found in the universe," says coauthor Dan Hooper (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory). "I can't find words that are strong enough to capture the significance of such a discovery."

But others remain skeptical. " 'Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence,' as we said about the B-mode signal recently," says expert Kevork Abazajian (University of California, Irvine), referring to the discovery of inflation's fingerprint on the cosmic microwave background announced last week.
Article: ewsblog/Have-we-Spotted-Dark-Matter-in-the-Milky-Way-251964551.html
Paper on arxiv:""

Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community?

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 6 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format."

Ask Slashdot: Best open source wiki/knowledgebase software for small business

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 7 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "I work for a small tech company that focuses on device repair, business IT support, hosted and managed services, as well as a few other tech niches. I am looking into setting up some sort of Wiki for in house knowledge. There are a couple of considerations that I am looking at. The primary one is ease of use/editing/maintenance. Nobody here has time to spend on a large learning curve just to edit articles. It would never get used. The second, and not as important, may be partitioning/permissions. At some point we may want to add articles for specific customers, or for all customers, and have some sort of granular permissions over who can not only edit, but view various articles. This would leave us with two main groups, shop and public, with the possible addition of smaller groups later. I have been doing some research, and cannot seem to find what I want, so I ask you my Slashdot siblings to bequeath your vast knowledge upon me."

ABC Streaming to require CATV provider subscription

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 7 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "Apparently ABC, an over the air broadcaster that should get its primary revenue from advertisements, is going to require streaming viewers to have a paid cable account to watch new episodes of shows. Or you can wait a week. I understand the perverted logic behind this. The cable companies are pushing so that more people stay and not cut the cord. Thanks Disney.

It seems to completely elude companies like this, that the more restrictions and caveats they put on their content, the more people will pirate it. Will they learn, or will the buggy whip makers whip us all with bought laws?"

Link to Original Source

Backup Provider BackBlaze releases study on hard drive longevity

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 9 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "From the article:

Backblaze has currently a total population of approximately 27,000 drives. Five years ago that number was about 3000.


They measured annual failure rates. If you have 100 drives for a year and five of them fail that is a 5% annual failure rate. In the first 18 months drives failed at the rate of 5.1 percent per year. For the next 18 months drives failed at the rate of about 1.4 percent per year. But after three years failures went up to 11.8 percent per year.


Link to Original Source

Half-Life 3 trademark filing may be a hoax

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 10 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "The Escapist has an article detailing the fact the the recent trademark filing for Half-Life 3 has disappeared from the (legit) site it was on. It also states that it would not be hard to hoax a filing for a company that already has filings, but it does cost about $1200 to file, so not a cheap hoax. In adition, it appears a filing for Portal 3 has now appeared.

Personally I think Valve is a master of this type of social manipulation to keep interest alive."

Link to Original Source

Half-Life 3 and other Valve games dev teams leaked

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 10 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "Eurogamer has a story detailing the exposure of Valves project management database. This (for a brief and possible intention period), showed who is working on various Valve projects, including HL3, L4D3, and the Source 2 engine.

For those who demand a second source, as covered with animated ads and lackluster information as it is, there is an article at IGN."

Valve announces Steambox, sort of.

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 10 months ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "A new page has appeared over at steam with this slightly cryptic text, a countdown, and an image of a console controller.

"Last year, we shipped a software feature called Big Picture, a user-interface tailored for televisions and gamepads. This year we’ve been working on even more ways to connect the dots for customers who want Steam in the living-room. Soon, we’ll be adding you to our design process, so that you can help us shape the future of Steam."

It appears Gabe Newell wants to throw his hat in the console ring now with the XBone and PS4 about to be released. The countdown to the announcement is targeted at Monday."

Link to Original Source

Amazon Payment Adds "No Class Action" Language to Terms Of Service

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "I just received an email from Amazon Payments, the Amazon competitor to PayPal, stating among other things, that they were changing and simplifying their policies. It should be no surprise then, that similar to what PayPal and many others have already done, they have added language removing the right to class action lawsuits. See specifically section 11.3 (edited for brevity):

1.3 Disputes. Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your visit to the Site or Seller Central or to products or services sold or distributed by us or through the Site or Seller Central (including without limitation the Service) will be resolved by binding arbitration, rather than in court, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify. The Federal Arbitration Act and federal arbitration law apply to this agreement....
... You and we each agree that any dispute resolution proceedings will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, consolidated, or representative action. If for any reason a claim proceeds in court rather than in arbitration you and we each waive any right to a jury trial. You and we also both agree that you or we may bring suit in court to enjoin infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights.

This is becoming more and more common, and while the end user normally doesn't make out well in a class-action suit, large settlements do provide a punishment and deterrent to corporations that abuse their power. The question becomes, what do we do to fix this so that consumers are truly protected?"


Ask Slashdot: Why are transatlantic audio/video streams garbage?

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  about 2 years ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "In a recent Slashdot posting, the following statement was made:

(Note: the sound quality on this translantic Skype call is poor. We suggest reading the transcript.)

This reminded me of a recent experience. I live on the east coast of the united states, and my mother lives in the UK not terribly far from London. WE chat online at least weekly, but for a special occasion, I wanted to video chat, or at least audio chat without spending $$ on either of our mobile phones, or other international calling options. We tried three different major options, Skype (free), Google talk, and Yahoo. Not one of the three could even sustain a decent audio only stream, let alone video. I wanted to do some troubleshooting, but my mom is not a geek, and I could not enlist her assistance on the other end. The question remains however, when both of us have 'broadband' connections of some sort, with more than enough bandwidth to support multiple video streams, and fast downloads of files from servers across the Atlantic, why can't what amounts to a small UDP audio stream make it through? The ISPs involved are Comcast and BT. Is it one of them? Someone in the middle depriortizing the packets? Is it Google/Yahoo/Skype. To me it seems unnecessary, so what can we do as geeks to get around, or better yet, push to have the problem solved?"


Portable Fuel Cell Battery Charger

wbr1 wbr1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

wbr1 (2538558) writes "Mashable reports on a device being debuted at CES this year that is a portable fuel cell to recharge your devices. According to the article and the company's website, the device has a fuel cartridge and also uses a small amount of water.

Per the website: "PowerTrekk uses eco-friendly fuel cell technology which cleanly and efficiently converts hydrogen into electricity. The ability to simply insert a PowerPukk fuel pack and add water provides users instant and limitless power on the go."

This seems to not match up to my understanding of fuel cells, which use hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to produce electricity and water. My guess is that the water is used to somehow activate the fuel which is stored as 'flexible stickers' not hydrogen gas.

This would be a nice thing if the fuel is cheap enough over time and it doesn't turn out to be vaporware."

Link to Original Source


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