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


Forgot your password?

Comment Michael Lewis's Vanity Fair article (Score 5, Informative) 46

This article - http://www.vanityfair.com/news... - by Michael Lewis, makes the case look like extreme over-reach by our corporate overlords.

Not to mention that the code that Aleynikov allegedly stole is worthless without a substantial investment in supporting code and trading infrastructure to take advantage of it, not that the higher-ups at a place like Goldman necessarily understand this.

The double-jeopardy bypass is also astoundingly corrupt. Not so astounding is the arrogance by which Goldman takes advantage of open-source while ignoring the rules around it.

Comment Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a computer... (Score 1) 302

Basic vocabulary is a good place to start. Going forward, knowing how to type and how to use an editor efficiently will probably stand them in good stead, brain-reading computer overlords excepted. Knowing how to look up relevant things on the internet might be a longer-term goal, which depends on having a good conceptual framework. Motivation is key but not something you can really teach other than by pointing out some of the possibilities and hoping something grabs their attention.

Comment A larger view (Score 1) 244

For a comprehensive look at what can be done with a very unusual language, the J essays are hard to beat: http://www.jsoftware.com/jwiki... . They provide context around why you might want to do something one way rather than another and are much more literary and wide-ranging than typical documentation.

The details of the vocabulary - linked to from the "Vocabulary" page (http://www.jsoftware.com/jwiki/Vocabulary) are also pretty good because they combine general definitions with explicit usage examples.

Comment Doesn't square with simple fact check (Score 1) 186

This US gov't site - http://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=... - lists New York state #50 in terms of per capita energy consumption. I recall reading elsewhere - sorry, no citation - that the energy consumption of a resident of NYC is 60% of the average in the USA, which makes sense based on personal experience. I, like many New Yorkers, don't own a car; most of my travel is by foot, bike or public transit, like most people I know who live here.

Submission + - Notorious "Patent Troll" to be the Commencement Speaker at UCLA

onproton writes: This week Nathan Myhrvold, widely criticized for his industry role as a “patent troll,” was announced as the commencement speaker at UCLA’s graduation ceremony. The UCLA student newspaper quickly responded with a piece protesting the selection, describing Myhrvold’s company, Intellectual Ventures, as “the most hated company in tech.” Intellectual Ventures has purchased more than 70,000 patents, many of which are either sold to other identified patent trolls, or used by its shell corporations in litigation to extort companies actually involved in product development. These kinds of predatory organizations have resulted in a major decline in venture capital investment in startups, and as the “Daily Bruin” points out, make a mockery out of the legal processes involving intellectual property.

Comment Re:With the best will in the world... (Score 1) 486

I thought that charging/discharging batteries was a major source of inefficiency but it appears better than I thought: up to about 90% according to this - http://www.otherpower.com/imag... . However, there is a lot of variation under practical considerations.

In any case, comparing 35% efficiency of internal combustion directly to a battery is misleading because it fails to take into account the full cycle of generating power, transmitting it, storing in a battery, then using it. This - http://auto.howstuffworks.com/... - makes a stab at overall efficiency estimation but provides no references for its figures; it concludes that battery-powering a car is about 26% efficient as opposed to 20% for internal combustion.

Comment Nothing new (Score 1) 292

I remember seeing something very much like this - http://www.gshotts.com/HUMOR/f... - billed as a "system programmer's exam" back in the '70s.

Among my favorites:

21) Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.
23) Define the universe in detail. List three examples.

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel