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Comment: Re:LOL ... w00t? (Score 5, Informative) 291

by pthisis (#48652717) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

Propose such a "simple" perl script.

Here are some cases it should know how to deal with:

Between numbers (note that slashdot eats some of these characters; the numbers below all have different dashes or related symbols between "555" and "1000"):
"Pages 555–1000 discuss this matter" (this should be an internumeral dash, which is typically an en dash, U+2013).
"Her phone number is 5551000" (this should be a figure dash, U+2012).
"There were actually a lot more of them than the estimated 555—1000, to be precise" (this should be an em dash, U+2014).
"The teacher asked me to solve 5551000. I told him negative 455 was the answer." (this should be a minus sign, U+2212)

Between letters/words you have a similar problem: even if you know it shouldn't be a minus sign (which symbolic algebra makes tough to know for sure, but suppose you could surmount that), you generally have no idea what kind of dash or hyphen it should be turned into.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 419

by Baki (#48648507) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

Working at a large bank, we have 75% java and 25% .net for new server software. Old software is on the mainframe.
Recently it was decided to drop .net and go 100% to java.

We'll keep .net run-time capabiltiy for the occasional 3rd party software that requires it, but I think, java has won in the enterprise. At least in banks, all large payments infrastructure software and the likes are JEE packages.

We used to have .net for more front-end stuff. But HTML5 has made that superfluous. Fat clients are still losing ground, and web-based apps using HTML5 with rich GUI's can be served from a JEE container very well.

Comment: Re:von Neumann probes (Score 1) 390

by c (#48636493) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

A real head-scratching conundrum about the universe is explaining why it's not already overrun with self-replicating robots.

Because the need/urge to reproduce and expand your territory is a biological imperative which would have to be taught to robots?

Because an biological lifeform smart enough to make immortal intelligent robots might just be smart enough not to also make them infinitely self-replicating?

Because the universe is big enough and hostile enough to make unbounded expansion less than a sure thing?

Comment: Re:Is a lame Seth Rogen flick worth dying for? (Score 4, Interesting) 220

by c (#48635267) Attached to: Hackers' Shutdown of 'The Interview' Confirms Coding Is a Superpower

My question is whether a Hollywood B movie is a cause worth anyone -- our military and diplomatic people, civilians movie goers -- risking their lives?

I hate to quote celebrities, but George Clooney makes a good point:

"With the First Amendment, you're never protecting Jefferson; it's usually protecting some guy who's burning a flag or doing something stupid."

Comment: Re:Home of the brave? (Score 1) 586

by c (#48625231) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

Yes, I'd go to the mall. I have a better chance of being killed in an accident driving to the mall.

I will bet your chances of being killed in a mall go way up if there are specific threats against that mall.

Absolutely. If there's specific threats against that mall, there's going to be a fuckton of heavily armed law enforcement types swarming the place. Anybody with a grasp of statistics and/or current events should know that's a situation to avoid.

Comment: Re:Opposite of the reaction they should have (Score 1) 586

by c (#48622449) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

The ONLY people in the whole world who really care about this two-bit movie are the North Koreans. They're not going to pull off any real terrorist attacks.

Sony is a Japanese corporation. Japan is, if you glance at a map, within spitting distance of North Korea. North Korea is well known for being collectively batshit insane, and for pulling some bad stuff on Japan with less cause.

I wouldn't be making bets either way on this one...

Comment: Re:Yeah, that'll work. Sure. (Score 1) 388

by c (#48622343) Attached to: Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

Unfortunately, many (small) websites are hosted on a shared server with one IP for multiple domains. The name is required in the URL else it simply does not work.

It's required in the HTTP Host header, but close enough.

I'm aware that it won't work for everyone, but in this particular discussion we're talking about sites that nobody in their right mind should ever be sharing a server with, nor do I believe a site like the Pirate Bay would want to get pinned down to a specific server.

In any case, if Sony decides to have a go at a small website, they're pretty much screwed irrespective of web server configuration.

Comment: Yeah, that'll work. Sure. (Score 1) 388

by c (#48618065) Attached to: Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

A huge number of people already barely use DNS. They go to places like "The Pirate Bay" by entering "The Pirate Bay" in the Google Search window, and following the first link or two that they find. So, if Google indexes 194.71.107.27 or there's a Wikipedia link to it (since, you know, that'd be newsworthy), the effect of a DNS ban has little impact on the original discovery of the site URL.

Some (stupid) ISP's already take care of this search mechanism... enter a bad URL, go right to a search page. Most browsers will also be more than happy to help out.

It'll break bookmarks, but once you know something exists, has value to you, and you know how to find it, it's nothing more than an inconvenience.

In other words, delisting doesn't work for longer than it takes a new URL to propagate.

Taking over the hostname would last a little longer, but news travels fast.

Comment: Re:how much it will cost to desalinate water? (Score 3, Insightful) 330

by c (#48616819) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

the solution looks costly but hardly unmanageable

According to this, the largest plant in the country costs about $1 billion and will be able to handle about 50 million gallons per day.

If you built $21 billion dollars worth of those plants, you get about 1 billion gallons per day of desalination capacity, which would take about 30 years to just to regenerate those 11 trillion gallons, not even considering what's needed to handle existing overconsumption.

Still manageable, but it's not a good short-term fix.

Comment: Re:Imagine that! (Score 1) 191

by c (#48605025) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

While there were extreme options available to Google, such as law suits and massive lobbying, Google took a rather mild approach

Well, they could have taken an even milder approach... kept Google News in Spain, but only shown news from sites published outside of Spain. Sure, no more local news, much less news about Spain, and most of what was available would be slanted in ways the government and/or people might not like, but c'est la vie...

Comment: Re:HAHA! (Score 1) 191

by c (#48596673) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

Just because someone lives in any particular area doesn't mean that stories about other areas aren't of interest. The bigger the news event, the broader the distribution.

Not to mention that the insights on foreign news sources on local events can be quite... interesting. Everyone has their own spin, and usually the real story is in the intersection of as many spins as possible.

What tends to aggravate me more about Google News is how reporting on major international events gets diluted with "$event Victim Has Ties To $city" types of headlines. I assume Google News has some sort of "uniqueness" score to filter out all the wire service duplication which causes these one-off local interest types of stories to bubble up the rankings, but I never find them remotely relevant.

Comment: Re:Human made (Score 1) 465

by c (#48588833) Attached to: Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

Yeah, that's kind of my sense. These lines are a *human* artifact, carved into the earth and left there for a thousand years. That's pretty much the definition of man despoiling the earth and it's not something I can see the hardcore environmental activist types having any qualms about trashing. They might not go out of their way to destroy it, but I can't imagine them feeling much remorse over it.

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