Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Comment Re: Skill and TCL in Design Automation (Score 1) 428

Please pardon the really bad autocorrect above. That's what I get for posting this with a mobile device. I was trying to say a lot of languages owe a big debt to TCL. Also in the case of PowerShell, its design philosophy of the same. In PowerShell, almost everything is a command (cmdlet), but they are compiled as and interface with a different underlying language (C#). That way you can script really easily with PowerShell at a high level, but the underlying code is much more robust and fast. And that was basically the TCL philosophy, albeit with C. TCL was the glue language you scripted with, but C was the language that did all the work, and did it fast.

Comment Re: Skill and TCL in Design Automation (Score 1) 428

TCL is a really important language with a lot of other languages with big debt to. It is not used as much anymore, but languages like PowerShell borrowed really heavily from it. PowerShell basic philosophy is that pretty much everything is a command line, and they all interface to an underlying, more robust language. In the case of PowerShell that is C#, but in the case of TCL that was C. TCL was designed to be a glue language, something you could easily script against but that could call underlying more performant native code. It still gets used for that today, in a great example of it is the f5 load balancing platform. TCL is the language of iRules, and you can write scripts against it that are calling native C functions and can modify any piece of code on the network at wire speed. F5 networking gear is extremely advanced, and you will find it in the heart of most large corporate networks. And it is still TCL that plays arguably one of the most important roles in that equipment. And don't forget about TK, which was the graphics platform that combined with TCL helped it to really take off. It still is one of the easier ways to make up a GUI. PS - there are now plenty of typical developer rumblings to replace TCL on f5 equipment with JavaScript, but here's hoping that never happens. TCL is much better suited to what it does, and the last thing we need is mission critical equipment that is constantly changing JavaScript frameworks every other week.

Comment Re:Don't worry! (Score 2) 319

"Don't worry, it's cyclical."

In this case, I think it actually is cyclical. When the current cycle of forcing consumers to pay for 50 channels they don't want for each one that they do want ends, then there will be a new cycle of cable TV subscription increases.

This isn't the death of pay TV, it's just the death of forcing people to pay for TV content they don't want. Let me buy just my top five favorite channels for $5-10 a month, and I'll sign up in a heartbeat. Until then, the cord remains clipped.

Comment But Republicans are for market forces... (Score 0) 319

Expect the Republicans to stop this as soon as they can.

Actually, Republicans have always been for market forces. There are no market forces here, what with monopolies everywhere. If Republicans had any power this would already be gone, and you'd have multiple cable lines going into your home with multiple companies competing for your dollar.

The current system reeks of monopolies, crony "capitalism" and other anti-capitalist ideas, which is usually the domain of the Democrats and left leaning Republicans. Why should anyone be prohibited by law from running wires to my property? It's my property. Why should anyone get to tell me which company I must use, or get to tell me how many wires I can have on my land? That's clearly an anti-capitalist position. But it is a classically Democrat position, because they don't mind government controlled monopolies and they love to keep copper mining and other manufacturing as low as possible to protect the environment.

Comment Re:Expect the Republicans to stop this... (Score 1, Offtopic) 319

It's f*cking amazing that a site full of IT geeks can't understand separation of powers or a default rule of deny all.

That's an excellent point. You would think the 10th amendment would make it clear (as if it isn't already clear just from reading the main document) that the constitution is a whitelist of the few things the federal government MAY do, not a blacklist of the few things it can't. IT geeks ought to be able to tell the difference between a whitelist and a blacklist, but apparently not.

The 10th amendment says: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

There it is folks, they just declared a whitelist. If it isn't explicitly delegated to the federal government by the constitution, then the feds can't do it. I wish we could build a nice, special legislative firewall through which all congressional laws must flow, with the Constitution serving as the ACL. The congressional record would probably look like the logs on a primary Internet firewall: 10 million spurious packets (or outright attacks, because yes, some of these laws are attacks on our rights) blocked for every legitimate packet that gets through.

Comment Re:Expect the Republicans to stop this... (Score 2) 319

In my state, we've been forced to buy auto liability insurance since, well...forever.

If you choose to own and operate a motor vehicle, there are certain laws you have to follow, including carrying enough insurance to cover the damage you may do to someone should you make a mistake. But you do have a choice in the matter, because you don't have to own and operate a motor vehicle. If you walk, ride a bike, take mass transit, ride with uber, etc, you are not forced to buy any products... you had to opt in to that set of laws by choosing to buy and drive a car.

The huge difference here, the thing that is truly unprecedented, is that every living American is now forced to buy a product. There's no opt out. There's no choice. If you breathe, you must buy. This is oppressive, this is different, and it only has happened under a Democrat, Obama. If you want to go live off the grid on a homestead somewhere and be a subsistence farmer living and dying in your own when your time comes, tough beans for you. If you want to be an Amish person, live in your community and not make use of any modern medicine, tough beans for you. If you don't want to pay for modern insurance just because you want to take your chances and save some money (which I think is stupid, but freedom should allow people to do it), then tough beans for you. Obama still makes you buy his product.

This is yet another example proving that Liberals and liberty have nothing in common.

Comment Re:What exactly is a SDN, anyway? (Score 1) 105

How far are we away from this now? Most switches anymore seem like specialist PCs with a zillion NICs that boot some variant of linux or bsd and allow for pretty exotic topologies as it is, limited only by the interconnect hardware they have.

And that's just the switches. Have a look at a really advanced network device, like the F5 Big-IP load balancer. That loads Linux plus a proprietary real time OS called TMOS, is a full proxy for most common traffic types like TCP, and as a full proxy it can intercept and edit anything that comes through it. And if you don't like the gazillion options it gives you, you can write iRules in the TCL language and apply them to any listener. The iRule is basically just a TCL program, and it can edit the packets and their payload in any way you want as they come through. And all these BigIPs can be remotely controlled by BigIQ, which is F5s centralized controller.

So in theory, if you compromised the F5 you already had pretty much the same kind of control over traffic the blackhat people are highlighting. But, not everything in your network would run through an F5. I think the big difference today is that everything DOES run through a switch somewhere.

Comment Re:nature will breed it out (Score 1) 950

Don't be absurd. There's no evidence that it's inherited, and he's arguing that it is a result of events in the person's life. It's entirely nurture.

I don't know if it's entirely nurture, but I do think that's a big part of it. My wife and I are Millennials, and when we grew up all these technologies like the Internet and video games were coming in and I don't think anyone thought too much about it. I know I've played a lot of video games in my time and wasted absolutely copious hours online, though I don't look at porn both for the sake of my wife and because I'm a Christian and it isn't right. But Internet and video games seem to be enough to cause problems even without porn... I'd actually wondered if they weren't rewiring my brain several years ago as I began to notice how hard a time I had putting down my smart phone and just being able to sit quietly without technology in my hand.

My wife and I have three children, and we've realized phones, iPads, etc have become so ubiquitous they're interfering with our ability to spend time with our kids and raise them well. It's just way too easy to grab one of those and not talk at the dinner table, or to completely numb out in the evenings. We are lucky that we are old enough to remember a time before the technology when we were different, because we can see that changes have happened and we've realized we don't like the changes. We're actually turning things off as a result. We've deactivated our facebook accounts, the iPad stays pretty much just at work where I use it only to read work related research materials, and my wife is going back to a flip phone with no real Internet browser (and I may follow her shortly). Oh, and my giant flight simulator hookup is up for sale too. Our oldest child will be six this summer, and I'm just hoping we haven't lost too much time, and that the rewiring can work the other way.

While a lot of people would say I'm pretty successful, as I've gotten a lot of promotions at work and make a good income and have an intact family, still I don't think I'm really reaching my potential as a Dad, husband, Christian, or even engineer because of all these distractions. So here's to turning it back off and partying like it's 1995 again, with an isolated, inconvenient to access desktop being the primary way to get online and discouraging access.

Comment Re:Suck it Millenials (Score 1) 407

Sorry to ruin it for you, but despite the fact that Gen X is generally confined between 1960 and 1980, your upbringing - technology wise - was exactly the one of a Gen Xer, and that struggle is exactly what makes the tech savvy X and Boomers have that extra insight in IT.

For what concerns IT, you can consider yourself a product of Generation X.

I don't think it's the same at all, unless you are confining yourself to a very high level statement where "the same" means "technology was immature enough that the average user had to have computer troubleshooting skills to get things to work". In that respect, yes, things were the same, and are quite different than the situation the new generation has with highly refined and simple technology.

But on a more specific level, due to the rapid progress of technology, Gen X and early Millennials were very different. When most Gen Xers I know were growing up in the 80s, they were all about the better and better baud modems, getting books of phone numbers and dialing into BBS's, soldering things together, dealing with computers that didn't have hard drives, and playing lots of textual MUD dungeons or basic Atari 2600 games, and browsing USENET and working on pure DOS or Unix systems.

By the time we got our first computer, which was Windows 3.1, the GUI was firmly entrenched, hard drives were in the machines, and no soldering was taking place, and many of the BBS's were gone or dying (I didn't even hear the word BBS until 20 years later when an older colleague mentioned it to me). My family's first computer even had a cassette loading CD-ROM. Our second computer, and the one I was old enough to most clearly remember, had a Pentium, a 56k modem (nothing slower was being sold by that point), a hard drive of over 1 GB, a normal CD-ROM drive, nice sound and video cards, and Windows 95 with Microsoft Office.

Of course even the Windows 95 machine was not particularly refined or bug free, so I learned many of the same troubleshooting methodologies as a Gen-Xer. But I used almost none of the same technology. None of my computers used floppy disks that were actually floppy, I never got on Usenet (my first Internet exposure was using Netscape Navigator to browse to Yahoo, probably around 1996), never used the Internet on anything less than a 56k modem, and we had broadband and Windows XP in highschool, where my friends and I worked with firewire connected camcorders and video editing software. And I have to admit, while I can hold my own with my older Gen-X friends at work when it comes to software troubleshooting, I have NONE of the hardware or electrical skills they had. I've never used a soldering iron in my life. So I really don't view my technology background as being the same as theirs, although luckily things were still buggy enough that it honed the same troubleshooting methedologies they had, at least on the software side.

Comment Re:Suck it Millenials (Score 1) 407

Self driving cars/trucks/farming equipment, robotic factories, etc., will reduce the need for a massive workforce, especially once we get closer to the singularity.

Lol, we aren't anywhere near "the singularity", despite the media hype. Back in the day "AI Research" at MIT consisted of getting computers to beat people at chess. This was accomplished by making better and better rules to allow the computer to make better moves in various situations. It wasn't real intelligence, but it made the computer "seem" intelligent.

Today, the big AI hurdles we are crossing are translating sounds to text, synthesizing natural speech, and being able to better contextualize spoken text so that computers can do better searches on data and discover more relevant results. All of those fields have made big strides, but they were done by writing better and better rules and using better and better statistics, not by any true "learning" or "intelligence". They are similar to the chess work done by MIT... they make computers seem intelligent and make them more useful, but they still don't think or have consciousness.

What we are heading towards is the USS Enterprise computer on Star Trek The Next Generation. It will be capable of understanding human speech and generally delivering what they want, but not capable of independent thought. True AI, true independent thought, is extremely hard and we haven't even scratched the surface. We have no idea how our brain works or how we think, let alone how to build applications that can think on their own. True AI (the singularity) will not just magically happen. Things don't happen by magic, least of all computer programming. It will not ever happen until we have enough understanding and design prowess to design and construct a thinking computer. Until then, we will have Siri/Enterprise computer like devices... they can translate speech to text, then compose Google searches, run by ever improving algorithms that deliver ever improving answers, but the leap to thought is not going to happen.

Comment Re:Suck it Millenials (Score 1) 407

Also born in '83 here. I don't really understand why we're considered millennials.

My assumption would be because we were still growing up during the turn of the Millenium. I had turned 16 just two months prior to Jan 1, 2000 and all those big celebrations. I think that's why the cutoff is usually listed as '81 or '82 or something like that... millennials are pretty much anyone who was born but not yet 18 by the turn of the millenium.

THE defining event for the millennial generation (IMO) is the recession and just God awful job market when they got out of Uni (one might argue 9/11 was, but I'd disagree). I graduated into a booming economy, and my career (embedded and electronics engineering) has pretty much roared thanks to that. By the time the recession hit, I was already considered essential (or useful) enough to keep my job throughout the recession. No raises in that time, but I've caught up. The poor souls who graduated just a few years later will never catch up.

I would say 9/11 and the second great depression (honestly, looking at the length of it I think it deserves the title... plus the IMF has labeled it the worst slowdown since WWII, so yeah, only the great depression stands equal with it) were both equally defining.

And I think people in my age range at least got hit just like people born a few years later. I graduated in December 2006, and the housing bubble had already peaked in early 2006, and started to accelerate into collapse at the end of 2006 and into 2007. The U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research records that the recession began in December 2007 and extended 19 months.

So people my age got hit just like the people behind us. The job market wasn't great when we graduated, and though not as bad as a year later, I had a number of friends that got furloughed or laid off in the resulting chaos. I did ok because I was in a recession proof job (making 99 cent Totinos super cheap pizzas, which naturally stayed in demand), but my bonuses and merit increases and 401 k matches were all cut as I recall. But I probably did the best of anyone my age, because as I said, many who graduated with me got furloughed or laid off, and quite a few who were a year or two older and at the very oldest age of the Millennials had bought houses at the peak. A lot of them are still paying for that mistake because they are still underwater and can't sell, or if they have sold, have done it in the last year or so and have lost every dime they ever spent on the house in the last decade, having nothing at all in savings or equity to show for their first decade of work.

So while I admittedly lucked out timing and avoided a worse fate than so many others, I wouldn't say early Millennials in general had it way better than those born three years later. Most everyone got hammered by either housing losses, layoffs, furloughs or a bad job market, and the only ones who seem to have it good are the late Millennials who missed it all and are graduating now. (But with the easy money policies at the Fed and wild government spending, bubbles already appear to be forming again, especially in stocks, and I would not be surprised if the process doesn't repeat itself in just a year or two. Stocks are seriously insane right now, and if you look at graphs of stock price compared to forward price to earnings, they have left their historical moorings and are now rising with no relationship to underlying performance).

Comment Re:Suck it Millenials (Score 1) 407

So you grew up with 95/DOS AND instant messaging?

Umm, I hope you are being sarcastic, because those technologies did come out right around the same time and certainly aren't mutually exclusive. Windows 95 when I was in 5th grade, and AOL Instant Messenger when I was in 7th grade (in the Des Moines area, everyone used AIM even if you weren't an AOL subscriber... it was the thing to do in middle school and high school in the pre-texting years).

And in case you forgot, Windows 95 was still more of a wrapper over DOS than anything else in those days. A lot of games being sold were still for DOS, and you accessed the DOS command line to install and launch them. So yeah, DOS and Windows 95 went hand in hand, definitely not mutually exclusive. The first computer we had ran Windows 3.1, also a very DOS heavy experience depending on the application.

Anyone remember playing Star Trek: A Final Unity, Sim City, Sim City 2000, X-COM, Across the Rhine, or games like the PC MegaMan X port? I remember MegaMan X requiring quite a bit of work to get it going on my machine, but man, those were all great games and so worth it.

Submission + - New Nintendo's munitions against Sony and Microsoft->

KingofGnG writes: In the last few days, Nintendo stirred things up in the gaming console war with unexpected announcements that (partially) confirm the analysts’ anticipations and the need to stimulate a merciless market. Meanwhile NPD Group numbers about sales of gaming hardware and software reinforce Sony’s lead on February too, at least for the home consoles, and the Japanese corporation’s business grows accordingly.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Why do we need more of the damned things... (Score 1) 407

If this trend continues, we're going to be awash in smart financial or medical people. Y'know, stuff that's harder to outsource so easily.

I understand why medical is hard to outsource, but I would think finance would be incredibly easy. I'm pretty sure Excel and calculators are plentiful in other countries.

Whom computers would destroy, they must first drive mad.

Working...