Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Caps Are Definitely Coming (Score 1) 475

by AmericanBlarney (#47011233) Attached to: Comcast Predicts Usage Cap Within 5 Years
I give you full points for disclosing your bias, but it's a complete distortion of the facts. Maybe if you count each local ISP with a few thousand users equal to the big dogs, you can say most ISPs don't offer video with a straight face but, when you look at it by user base, that's total BS. Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and Verizon all offer both TV and internet and make up way more than 50% of the U.S. ISP market. All indications are that these data caps won't apply to their video services, so it's not really about bandwidth congestion (or they would be imposing a cap that you can only watch X hours a day of on-demand TV). This is straight up abuse of their monopoly in local markets.

Comment: mind fudge (Score 1) 247

by AmericanBlarney (#46445353) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's New In Legacy Languages?
Somehow I haven't seen anyone mention that .NET is actually newer than Ruby or JavaScript (the basis of node.js) and it is still developing rapidly, so I'm not sure what the criteria are for "Legacy". I worked at a Ruby on Rails shop, and most of the twenty-something fanboys didn't understand language design or design patterns in general well enough to have a well defended opinion as to why Ruby on Rails was the right choice, they liked it because it was Ruby on Rails and that's what the cool kids use. It's performance is abysmal and it encourages terribly structured code. Language choices made "because it's cool" will quickly be replaced by the next buzzword. On the other hand, 40 years later, C/C++ are still widely used for performance critical applications at companies both stodgy (finance) and cutting edge (back-ends for tons of web companies).

Comment: Didn't stop Amazon (Score 5, Interesting) 168

by AmericanBlarney (#46254643) Attached to: Google's Definition of 'Open'
With the Kindle, I think the Amazon has been one of, if not the most, successful at embracing what Android provides as a core, but extending/customizing it to support their preferred business model. Sure, they did a lot of work on their fork of Android, but if other companies aren't willing to put the work in, don't complain about something you're getting for free.

Comment: No secret where this is going (Score 5, Interesting) 243

by AmericanBlarney (#44045203) Attached to: MySQL Man Pages Silently Relicensed Away From GPL
I think Oracle has been pretty clear the whole way that they are trying to slowly kill off MySQL and drive users towards their more enterprise grade (read: grossly overpriced) product. They've jacked up the license fees substantially a couple times and pretty much every step of the way signaled that they're not really interested in supporting an open source DB, so I'm actually not even sure why this is newsworthy. I actually find a number of features of Oracle's DB offering fairly interesting, but wholly unnecessary for most web applications, so I expect everyone will move on to MariaDB and PostgreSQL. Nice of Oracle to provide a little window for everyone to switch, not that it was their intention.

Comment: I am the least surprised person in the world (Score 1) 215

by AmericanBlarney (#42401003) Attached to: Lockheed, SpaceX Trade Barbs
8 years ago, shortly after the Ansari X-Prize was claimed, I was a new graduate who just started at one of Lockheed when Bob Stevens came to our office and held a townhall. Working up the nerve, I asked what impact he saw the X-Prize having, to which he replied "None, they spent $25 million to win a $10 million prize, so I don't see that being a good business model." Shocked by his lack of forward looking vision, I re-phrased "Do you think the fact that commercialization of space travel will change the shape of our industry?" (we were heavily involved in satellites at that location) Once again he brushed it off, saying that we had looked at the type of technology they were using long ago and decided it was not feasible to do profitably. And that was when I knew that Bob Stevens has absolutely zero vision, and is merely a bean counter. The only business model Lockheed knows is 1) Hire former military/government officials 2) Pay them gobs of money 3) Send them to schmooze their old buddies in the government and 4) Convince them to buy ridiculously expensive systems, whether the country really needs them or not (can't tell you how much completely wasted spending goes on because some general gets convinced that he needs his own satellite/plane/vehicle/etc rather than sharing the ones already available because he doesn't want to share with some other branch of the military or agency).

Comment: Re:vBulletin (Score 2) 259

by AmericanBlarney (#41953437) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Way To Add Forums To a Website?

My bulletin board/forum is spam-bot secure. Why? Video captcha of animated .GIFs. No spam bot can get through, you *NEED* a human to answer the captcha, as it's a question related to the GIF itself (example, display a short clip of Hajime no Ippo, where Ippo is performing the Dempsey Roll. The question will ask "What move is being performed here?")

Have fun making a bot with knowledge of every manga/anime ever made with enough horsepower to OCR everything.

Every gif file has a name, filesize, hash, etc... and with a few bucks and the Mechanical Turk, I bet they can map one of these unique identifiers to the answers to your captcha, and hello spam city! I'm guessing you're really experiencing security through obscurity, which isn't real security.

Comment: What about curves? (Score 1) 426

by AmericanBlarney (#36065692) Attached to: Marking 125 Years Since the Great Gauge Change
It seems like any time there was a curved track section, it wouldn't work to just move it in 3 inches since the old piece would be to long or too short (depending on which way the curve was going). Not sure exactly how frequent this is, but I would think there would be quite a few to replace in 11,000+ miles of track. That would actually be interesting to me since you would have to have all the new pieces ready and on site (since you couldn't move them with the track torn up) waiting for that day.

Comment: Where's the down vote button when you need it... (Score 1) 220

by AmericanBlarney (#36050146) Attached to: A Court's Weak Argument For Blocking IP Subpoenas
I love the fact that in his own endless rant, he even says he doesn't want lawyers to pull rank... guess what, there's a reason mathematicians are not allowed to practice law unless they happen to attend law school, you have to actually know the laws for your inane rambling opinion to matter! Complete ignorance for the subject matter you are arguing should be an instant "bury" and this should never make the front page of /.

Comment: This sounds familiar... (Score 1) 1306

by AmericanBlarney (#35614532) Attached to: US Contemplating 'Vehicle Miles Traveled' Tax
I commute to work, not that I like to, but I do like my wife (whose job is not close to mine), and I like being able to afford a townhouse, so living close work and quitting my job were not options. Where I live we have this new-fangled thing called a "toll road." You see, the way it works is you pay to drive on it based on how far you travel. When the road was built, the promise was that the tolls would only be used to pay off construction bonds and maintenance. Unfortunately, the state realized that no one can do without that toll road and they could set the price at whatever they like, so they changed the law, raised the tolls, and now they use it as a way to fund pet projects of all varieties. Of course, given their long history of honesty in policy making, I'm sure the federal government would never pull a bait and switch like that...

Comment: Re:Good! (Score 3, Insightful) 1049

by AmericanBlarney (#35318356) Attached to: Activists Seek Repeal of Ban On Incandescent Bulbs

I'm pretty sure the constitution doesn't limit what government can legislate, except for the pretty specific clauses ensuring specific kinds of fundamental individual freedoms such as freedom of speech, association, freedom from arbitrary incarceration, and several other specific limitations on the government's scope of power.

In other respects, it's allowed to be a government and legislate whatever its democratically elected legislators vote to legislate.

Try reading the Constitution before taking wild guesses what it does and doesn't say. They are called "enumerated powers" and are found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

Comment: Right idea, wrong implementation (Score 1) 1049

by AmericanBlarney (#35318296) Attached to: Activists Seek Repeal of Ban On Incandescent Bulbs
I like CFL bulbs, and probably 80% of the bulbs in my house have been converted, but there are some applications that CFLs are actually less eco-friendly for, like areas where the lights are turned on and off frequently, like hallways, closets, and bathrooms. It would be a shame if this law actually makes things less efficient than just leaving people to their own devices... I think most people don't like spending their time changing light bulbs and are going to buy CFLs anyway.

Good day to avoid cops. Crawl to work.