Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Ban censorship, except the stuff that offends me (Score 3, Interesting) 227

by Carcass666 (#48923649) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

This idea that all speech must be viewed by all people is a little odd. When I go onto Facebook once in a blue boon to check on friends I used to work with in the Philippines, I am not bombarded by explicit sexual content. No, nobody in my group of friends are going to post about a rimjob, but given the random crap that does come up, I'm pretty sure there is a lot of energy at Facebook to keep the pr0n noise down.

There are Muslims who consider pictures of their prophet as offensive as a picture of bukkake. The vast majority of them are not crazy Islamists that like to blow things up and slaughter innocent people (which is good for the rest of us non-Muslims). Rather than centralized, blanket, censorship, though, I'd rather see something like this...

1. Facebook and other social networking services put their resources into tagging content (religiously offensive, sexually explicit, drug use and other types of content that users often find unpleasant)

When a user registers for these services, a default list of tagged content to block is set up, based upon their region, gender, religious affiliation, etc. which the user can modify

Comment: Honest-to-Goodness Functional Wearable (Score 3, Interesting) 40

by Carcass666 (#48849555) Attached to: Nintendo Power Glove Used To Create 'Robot Chicken'

This is so simple yet so much more effective than many of the wearables coming out today. It is impressive, to me, because it fits in his workflow seamlessly. He doesn't have to change the way he works. The tactile keys and buttons not only give feedback (which haptic does poorly), but it makes it easy to hit them exactly the number of times you want (which mobile touchscreens do very poorly).

Technology like mainstream 3D printing will enable the creation of DIY peripherals like this. It's a great opportunity to enhance productivity for repetitive, laborious work.

Comment: Sony, show us some gumption (Score 1) 589

by Carcass666 (#48624991) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

Sony, you can't release this thing in theaters, and the same will probably be of brick-and-mortar retail. Your reputation is going in the crapper because of the awful things your executives say in email. Release the movie on a torrent. Let people watch it online. For free. It's not like these idiots aren't going to eventually distribute all of your dirty laundry anyway. Show us you at least have some dignity, if not class.

Comment: Re:What about... (Score 2) 610

by Carcass666 (#48136355) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Clean(er) coal is still mostly an idea, not yet commercially implemented (at least when talking about carbon sequestration in the US). A pretty good article is at National Geographic. It mentions that there is a plant under construction in Kemper County, Mississippi, that should capture more than half of its CO2 emissions and redirect them to an oil field. The project has suffered from cost overruns and delays (new tech, not horribly surprising). Besides sequestration, there is work being done on "gassification" (turning coal into a gas and cleaning it before burning it) and improving the combustion process itself.

Of course, you still have to get the coal, which can be nasty (see mountaintop mining and this article about environment impacts of coal mining).

Even as we are trying to sequester half of the carbon we generate when generating power from coal, the permafrost is melting, and according to that article, this could release about 190 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

So, yeah, we can use coal better, but it will cost a lot of money, which probably isn't going to happen without regulation and, subsequently, the recovery of any investment via higher prices for energy. Higher energy prices will doubtless generating much gnashing of teeth during an economy that, at least in the US, seems stuck in a slow, very slow, recovery. With the US Congress very likely to go to a Republican majority next month, the chances of any kind of CO2 regulation are slim.

Comment: Doesn't CSS Already Solve This? (Score 1) 161

by Carcass666 (#47812993) Attached to: New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

You set up a background image for elements in CSS, with the appropriate media queries. What do we need another new tag for? If you are building responsive sites, you should be managing it in CSS anyway. Embedding CSS type media queries into a document tag is about the same as including embedded styles instead of classes. It makes for ugly and redundant HTML (okay, HTML itself is redundant, but stating that would be redundant... er...).

Comment: Fundamentals (Score 1) 116

by Carcass666 (#47642909) Attached to: Wiring Programmers To Prevent Buggy Code

In the B2B space, a lot of code gets written to wire up databases to front-ends of some time, and most of the time it involves an RDBMS. Unfortunately, with all the reliance upon ORM frameworks, developers often can't write or diagnose decent SQL to save their lives. We have a good chunk of Oracle code written by a large integrator, and there are innumerable cursors, one after the other, where a simple SQL join would have done the job much more easily. In Microsoft land, people are leaning way too much on LINQ, with transaction integrity and locking effects as distant afterthoughts.

On the front-end, things are even more chaotic. Whatever Javascript or UI framework you are using, there is always something newer, more "efficient" and inevitably more buggy if you don't take the time to learn to use it properly. Something like Angular is very cool, but very different, and there is a lot of front-end time to learn to use it properly in a production site. Unfortunately, in B2B space, we don't always get the time we would like to learn how to use the latest "hotness".

Abstraction for abstraction's sake is a killer too. Templates, abstraction and such re-use techniques get way overused. Yeah, it might be nice if every single block of code was reusable, and we could arbitrarily stub in test data for every possible call, but the complexity isn't always worth it. Setting up three levels of abstraction to make a class library call that was already abstracted accomplishes nothing. People that code this way never had to worry about stack or heap.

Maybe I'm old, maybe I'm yelling "get off my lawn", but I truly believe that, for especially internal, B2B applications, a focus on fundamentals would make life a little easier to manage.

Comment: Re:Bears repeating (Score 1) 126

by Carcass666 (#47614521) Attached to: Alleged Massive Account and Password Seizure By Russian Group

Not sure I get what you are saying... Is it that Putin is sitting in his easy chair, munching caviar, laughing about "those crazy kids", and that he is above instructing his former colleagues at the FSB to check things out? What are we supposed to base Putin's indifference (or altruism) about this purloined user data? The lack of a Russian Snowden? Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Comment: Shock and Awe (Score 5, Insightful) 220

by Carcass666 (#47272839) Attached to: US Supreme Court Invalidates Patent For Being Software Patent

A unanimous decision, authored by the most conservative voice on the court (Thomas) with a concurring opinion by one of the most liberal (Sotomayor). If this were the beginning of April, I would say this story was a prank. Yeah, it doesn't completely kill software patents, but it does seem to mortally wound the "business process + software = patent troll profit" problem that is plaguing software development. This is a good day for the judicial branch. It's a good day for the USA.

Comment: Re:Please make it a mental one (Score 1) 625

by Carcass666 (#47231201) Attached to: EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

Health insurance != Health care costs. Health insurance is largely an American problem. You can argue its merits versus single-payer, but in countries like the UK and Canada, health insurance is largely seen as a queue cutting mechanism, and most people get on without it. Costs are going up everywhere, but per-capita, the US has among the highest cost in the industrialized world.

I don't understand how forcing people to buy private insurance is destroying the market, although it is certainly distorting it (types of plans are way more regulated than they ought to bbe). You can argue that forcing the purchase of insurance is beyond the powers of the federal government (which I agree with), but it's pretty far from single-payer socialism. States can set up their own exchanges, and choose whether or not they want to take the federal money for Medicaid expansion. I fully agree about the state of oligopolic competition with regards to medical insurance, but that is hardly a recent phenomenon.

Somehow you read my post complaining about subsidies (agricultural and Medicaid) and taxation as an endorsement of Obamacare, I'm not sure how you got there. If you live in the US, unless you are rich enough to have tax shelters sufficient to keep you from paying federal taxes, you are helping to pay for health care of those aren't paying for their own healthcare, you are helping to pay subsidies for corn farmers, and you are, in fact, one of "us". Like it or not, you are helping to pay for that person stroking out that has been living on snacks and fast food.

Comment: Re:Please make it a mental one (Score 1) 625

by Carcass666 (#47229525) Attached to: EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

Who is "we?" I'm not obese. Nobody in my family is obese. My family does not manufacture nor sell food. Therefore, it is not my problem. I do not care if others are obese and die ae a result of their obesity. It is not my concern. You live your life your way, I'll live my life my way. There is no "we."

Yep, no obese people in my family either. I work and have health insurance (I'm in the US, it's a big deal here). And yet, I still care. Why? There are unpaid hospital bills in the amount of $41 billion. Except those bills really aren't unpaid now, are they? You might want to let the obese die, but doctors operate under the Hippocratic Oath and cannot turn people away from the emergency room because they are obese or poor. High insurance premiums and, of course, our friend taxes (which fund state-level Medicaid entitlements) are how the costs get covered. Prices rise because insurance (public and private) will only pay a portion of actual costs.

There is a "we" in US. Your federal taxes fund the subsidies to the corn syrup producers so politicians in the Midwest can remain relevant. The crop space used to grow subsidized corn used in corn syrup and ethanol make you more dependent upon product brought in from South America (not so bad, but does make our food supply vulnerable to political instability in that region) and food products from China (ask Fido how that's working out for him). Market distortion is a problem, and it affects all of us.

Comment: Integrated Appliances Already Hit by This (Score 2) 240

by Carcass666 (#47151089) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

I have an Onkyo amplifier (mid-range) and an LG BlueRay player (low-end). A few months back, the Onkyo no longer could connect to Rhapsody (yah, I know, Rhapsody, but the wife likes it). Onkyo knows about it, and basically says "tough" because it's an old model (~ 4 years). I can use Chromecast, but it's an annoyance, because now I have to have a phone or tablet around to listen to music. The BlueRay player no longer shows images for Netflix in its bundled application. I can use Chromecast, but again, it's annoying. It's apparently in neither company's interest to update the firmware (which is updateable on both devices) to fix these issues, because they believe I will go out and by a more recent device (if I do, obviously it will be from neither of these companies).

The whole concept of integrated A/V appliances continues to underwhelm me. Fortunately, I didn't drop extra coin for a "smart" TV, but it seems that it's how the market is moving.

How can you do 'New Math' problems with an 'Old Math' mind? -- Charles Schulz