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Comment Re:Umm (Score 4, Interesting) 329

Holy shit dude, you didn't even read the first sentence of the summary. Is this the new normal on Slashdot, only reading the headline?

Since you missed it, the course is called "Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data". So it's about making unfounded conclusions from big data sets. Citations won't help, peer review might but there have to be some clued up peers first and that's what this course is about.

I guess somehow even the headline triggered you and you went off on a rant about safe spaces and snowflakes, but actually it's much more interesting than that.

Comment Re:Hard to read (Score 1) 374

What does war with the press mean? Seriously. All I can see is that each (government and press) are vying for authority on truth which neither have. So what?

The press is essential in a democracy. It's how citizens are informed of the government's actions and able to keep tabs on its behaviour. Trump is trying to subvert that, at best making people believe, as you do, that neither side is at all honest and you can't believe anything (post-truth politics), and at worst that you should only believe what Trump writes on his Twitter feed.

Trump seems to be hoping that he can live without the media. In the past presidents had to talk to citizens through the media. Trump wants to do it directly, like an always-on fireside chat, or replace reputable organizations with far right radio hosts and blogs that are sympathetic to him. It's really bad for the Republicans, because they still need the media to talk to them and every time it happens they are forced to comment on Trump rather than what they want to talk about.

That is how non-democratic governments work. Somehow silence or control the press so that they cannot be criticised, and only their message is heard. You should be very alarmed that Trump is trying to do it, and relieved that the press in the US is strong enough to stand up to it.

Comment Re:thank you gemalto (Score 1) 45

It probably won't be a software device any time soon. SIMs are actually quite complex little beasts, mostly ARM based System on Chip devices that run Java. They implement a variety of cryptographic and storage functions that allow the phone/modem to connect to the network in a way that prevents you simply overwriting the ID with someone else's and having them get billed for all your calls.

So at the very least the networks would probably want it to be running in some kind of secure space, where apps and malicious code can't screw with it.

Comment Re:But... (Score 4, Informative) 45

I've used these for work, they are basically globally roaming SIMs. You have a contract with Gemalto or another service provider, and they have deals set up with carriers to most countries to roam on their networks. We have sent them all over the world, from Europe to South America to Iran so Korea, and they just work.

Obviously the contracts are not cheap, but they are mainly aimed at industrial applications where the amount of data is low so a 5MB/month cap is no problem. Yes, five megabytes. They actually go right down to 1MB/month or SMS only.

For a business user who just wants to be able to travel and not worry about getting the right SIM the extra cost would be acceptable.

These SIMs are not reprogrammable. They are like normal SIMs, in fact you can get them in a normal SIM form factor. The eSIM format is a small chip that can be installed inside the device permanently, as long as you don't mind being stuck with Gemalto or whoever as your service provider. Again, they are good for industrial applications because they are robust (can't fall out of the SIM holder), reliable and can't be stolen. In the past people stole SIMs out of our industrial hardware for use in phones.

Comment Re:Echo-chamber fake news (Score 2) 374

How do we fix this?

Seems like either we have to fight harder to make people see fake news and these dodgy blog sites/social media posts for what they are, or we have to give in and use all the same tactics to create a counter-narrative.

The same technique is being used to try to influence the up-coming French election, to get a far right candidate elected. Do we start posting counter-memes and creating blogs full of lies about her and linking to them on

Perhaps there is a third way, but it's risky. Create memes and fake stories supporting the far right candidate, but make them so bad and so obviously fake that they make people more critical and likely to reject them. The danger is that people are so stupid they believe them anyway. That already happened in the UK with stories about the EU.

Comment Re:Hard to read (Score 1, Informative) 374

Sorry, but when your president is a habitual liar, at war with the free press and surrounded by even worse people it's not a "fit of rage", it's genuine and justified concern.

Trying to dismiss it as some kind of childish tantrum is a straight up silencing tactic. It's not going to work. Especially when the POTUS is prone to doing exactly what you complain about, often at 3AM on Twitter, or through his spokesman at a Whitehouse Press Conference.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1, Insightful) 374

Kinda hard to judge the figures where there are no references as to where they came from in the links, but there are over 1.2 billion people in China. Anything you say about the "average Chinese" is bound to be wrong for many tens or hundreds of millions of them. There are only about 65 million people in the whole UK, so mild interest from China would likely constitute a massive boost in readership for a UK newspaper.

Comment Re:This is an OS (Score 3, Informative) 156

I actually do this regularly, both by clearing cookies and using private browsing modes. Videos play instantly for me, no agreements of click-through T&Cs.

The only time you need an account is to watch videos marked as "adult", although you can skip that requirement just by editing the video's URL.

Comment Re:Sadly, It's Worse Than This... (Score 1) 160

It's been Tory policy for decades, and Brexit is giving them an opportunity to implement it. Just like the global financial crisis gave them an opportunity to massively reduce the size and scope of government, another long-term ideological goal.

The UK has been selling off assets for a long time now. ARM was the most recent, but really we have very few large, British owned companies left already and the weak Pound is making them very attractive and vulnerable to take-over. Wages have taken a huge hit since 2010 too. The threat of doing this has already been used with regards to getting a good deal from the EU, but of course even if we get one there will probably be little to stop us doing it anyway.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 0) 374

Ah, another flawless 8chan investigation.

Actually it's more likely that people in China have recently become interested in Trump and Brexit, so are now accessing western sites to read about them. But that isn't a conspiracy, so naturally is rejected by the kind of idiots who fall for fake news.

Submission + - Gitlab post-mortem: Proper naming convention prevents mistakes

AmiMoJo writes: Gitlab's very public meltdown has been mostly recovered now. If there is one thing we can learn from this incident, it's the importance of proper naming conventions. The person responsible for the mistake intended to operate on "", but accidentally wiped "" instead.

What naming conventions do Slashdot readers use and have you experienced any similar failures?

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