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Comment: Over at Dice? (Score 4, Insightful) 124

by eldavojohn (#47560113) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

Over at Dice

But we are at Dice, sir:

[Querying whois.publicinterestregistry.net]
[whois.publicinterestregistry.net]
Domain Name:SLASHDOT.ORG
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Registrant Organization:Dice Holdings, Inc.
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Pros: Today's article has more content than the usual Dice front page linkage. Great article if you're not a programmer but feel stymied by the wide assortment of languages out there. Although instead of hemming and hawing before making your first project you're better off listening to Winston Churchill and sticking your feet in the mud: "The maxim 'Nothing avails but perfection' may be spelt shorter -- 'Paralysis."

Cons: It barely scratches the surface of an incredibly deep topic with unlimited facets. And when one is considering investing potential technical debt into a technology, this probably wouldn't even suffice as an introduction let alone table of contents. Words spent on anecdotes ("In 2004, a coworker of mine referred to it as a 'toy language.'" like, lol no way bro!) could have been better spent on things like Lambdas in Java 8. Most interesting on the list is Erlang? Seems to be more of a random addition that could just as easily been Scala, Ruby, Groovy, Clojure, Dart -- whatever the cool hip thing it is we're playing with today but doesn't seem to quite pan out on a massive scale ...

Technology

MIT Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati 110

Posted by timothy
from the science-fiction-future-awaits dept.
rtoz (2530056) writes Researchers at MIT have developed a new spongelike material structure which can use 85% of incoming solar energy for converting water into steam. This spongelike structure has a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam. This structure has many small pores. It can float on the water, and it will act as an insulator for preventing heat from escaping to the underlying liquid. As sunlight hits the structure, it creates a hotspot in the graphite layer, generating a pressure gradient that draws water up through the carbon foam. As water seeps into the graphite layer, the heat concentrated in the graphite turns the water into steam. This structure works much like a sponge. It is a significant improvement over recent approaches to solar-powered steam generation. And, this setup loses very little heat in the process, and can produce steam at relatively low solar intensity. If scaled up, this setup will not require complex, costly systems to highly concentrate sunlight.

Comment: Re:This is just a repeat (Score 1) 282

[...] I don't want to see Google with a monopoly either. MS kind of keeps them in check.

I was going to reply 'Meet the new boss, same as the old boss'
but in fact, you can be sure the two are allies in screwing-over their employees, so I'll quote Orwell, instead:

"Between pigs and human beings there was not, and there need not be, any clash of interests whatever. Their struggles and their difficulties were one. Was not the labour problem the same everywhere?"

Comment: Re:Connect with a VPN (Score 1) 390

by Catbeller (#47484723) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

As I've blathered on for years, business doesn't make fortunes by manufacturing product, but by manufacturing scarcity. Lumber. Water (soon!). Bandwidth.
And people: Businesses make monopolies, not governments. Businesses want to control supply, create scarcity and drive up prices and buy up their competitors so they can drive up prices again. There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market. The oil cartels control oil supply, Diamond controls comic book distribution, etc. Choke points *they* create by ruthlessly destroying their competition. Government can't mandate competition in the sense you can't pass a law to make sharks stop eating tuna. They persist in eating the damned tuna; it's their nature. Sometimes, as in the last 30 right-wing years, the tuna *is* the government.
Monopoly exists 'cause lack of regulation, not 'cause of it.
In cabling the US, the US businesses refused to provide service unless they had local monopoly, so the cities divvied up their territories and the cable companies rolled out. That was a business-demanded requirement, not a government-demanded one. They would not provide unless they were exclusive. The only alternative was municipal cable, which happened, but is mostly sued or otherwise driven out of business. Right now a federal law, paid for by the big cable companies, is about to make muni rollout *illegal*. You may blame government, but the businesses are buying that law.

Earth

Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-earth-attacks dept.
New submitter DavidMZ writes: The Siberian Times reports on a large crater of unknown origin that has appeared in the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia. The Russian government has dispatched a group of scientists to investigate the 80-meter-wide crater. Anna Kurchatova from Siberia's Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Center believes the crater was a result of an explosion when a mixture of water, salt, and natural gas exploded underground. The Yamai Peninsula is known to hold Russia's biggest natural gas reserve."
Businesses

Time Warner Turns Down Takeover Bid From Rupert Murdoch 70

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the even-worse-than-comcast dept.
Dave Knott (2917251) writes The media giant 21st Century Fox, the empire run by Rupert Murdoch, made an $80 billion takeover bid in recent weeks for Time Warner Inc. but was rebuffed. Time Warner on Wednesday confirmed that it had rejected a cash and stock offer from 21st Century Fox, saying that it was not in the company's best interests. Time Warner's board discussed the proposal at length and early this month it sent a terse letter rejecting the offer, saying the company was better off remaining independent. A Time Warner statement pointed to its own strategic plan, what it said was "uncertainty" over the value of 21st Century Fox stock and regulatory risks as among the reasons for its rebuff. The company said that 21st Century Fox had offered a premium of roughly 22 percent to Time Warner's closing price on Tuesday. Shares of Time Warner were up about 20 percent in premarket trading on Wednesday morning. The combined company would have total revenue of $65 billion.

Comment: Re:Cash is king! (Score 1) 753

by Wansu (#47445635) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Cash is accepted at more locations than Visa and Mastercard and always will. If government issued notes are eliminated, another form of anonymous exchange will arise. As previously mentioned, it may be gold or silver, it might be something else. People will find a way.

You beat me to it. Cash is king. Whether it's our present currency, gold or silver coins, nothing beats cold hard cash.

Hardware

Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch? 381

Posted by timothy
from the does-it-shoot-deadly-darts? dept.
Watches that do more than tell the time have been around for a long time. (And in fiction, James Bond, Dick Tracey, and Michael Knight all had notably high-tech watches.) The new smart watches from Samsung and LG, without a phone connected via Bluetooth as backhaul, can still serve to show the time and to serve as alarms (and Samsung's can measure your pulse, too), but all the magic features (like searching by voice via the watch) do require a connection. They can't play MP3s or take pictures on their own, and they don't have built-in GPS. Even so, compared to the polarizing Google Glass, the new breed of smart watches are wearables that probably are an easier sell, even if this far the trend has been to replace watches with smart phones. (Android Wear has gotten a lot of attention, but Microsoft has their own upcoming, and Apple almost certainly does, too.) Are you interested in a smart watch, and if so, what uses do you want it for? If they have no appeal to you now, are there functions that would make you change your mind on that front?

Comment: Re:Manager (Score 1, Interesting) 204

by mfh (#47437421) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

Weasels that know corporate double speak are ruining everything though. You know we don't mourn the T-rex. We talk about the dinosaurs as being really big and dumb.

They were all psychopaths!! Lizard brains.

When the cockroaches are mulling over what our existences might have been like, they will all say that the weasels died out because of our stupidity and overconfidence. They'll say we were monsters, too. Big and dumb. Lizard brains.

Comment: Better still (Score 1, Redundant) 87

by mfh (#47417139) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory

Let's apply this towards eventually getting Matrix-styled learning models. Eventually we could implant memories of how to perform any skill. We could enable permanent muscle-memory learning instantaneously. Not only learning karate but being able to apply the lessons with strength and precision. Never having to work out to be in shape. Understanding advanced physics without ever taking a course at a university or even having any partial interest in the subject. That's a step towards singularity.

Comment: Human Safety Computing (Score 1) 30

by mfh (#47416879) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Juan Gilbert About Human-Centered Computing

To what extent are we able to compute safety related human dynamics issues and what is slowing us down in this particular programming area?

Can we ever come up with a safety system for a workplace that would be able to overcome employee buy-in issues early on, especially if the typical large corporation is in a constant tug of war with profit and employee needs?

You see whenever we introduce changes in policy in the workplace, employees assume they are going to be required to do MORE but they are not getting more money for the work so this tends at times to cause resistance from employees to safety policies. Management doesn't often understand the issues at hand so they tend to make contradictory safety policies as well, saying that things need to be addressed in a timely fashion.

But in the aftermath of this complexity, companies are often just faking safety in order to appear to be safe when in fact they are running at a significant moral hazard to everyone (their staff, the general public and anyone else for that matter).

This particular problem is of great interest to me and I find that whenever there is an imbalance between management and employee needs there is a systemic problem that is solvable but yet only once all the variables are on the table. The problem with human safety is that most of the variables are unknown.

The general equation for solving safety related issues is:

For every task an employee is required to do or will reasonably be presented with, the employee must be trained to perform the task safely within prescribed safety policy. This idea is fundamentally at odds with bravado in the workplace, hero complexes, profit margins and it goes directly against human psychopathy that is prevalent in modern corporate culture.

What's the best approach to stabilizing a safety model?

Comment: Re:Signals (Score 1, Interesting) 144

by mfh (#47415195) Attached to: Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

Unless the particles aren't the message but the means of communication. Maybe they form some kind of field mechanic communications bridge to enable instantaneous communications?

We should consider something like this instead of probes like Voyager. Eventually we'll find a way to use fields or lasers as a communications field conduit that enables immediate lagless communications. Someone is probably working on this right now. To some extent the teleportation technology we've seen for communications could use such beams as guidance and accelerators that cut down lag. So maybe instead of thousands of years the lag is like a day or an hour or a few minutes.

A darker side of this could mean that the existence these focused particles could prove someone is communicating with their homeworld from Earth.

The film Kpax used this kind of idea as his transportation method, which was a pretty awesome film.

Makes for some awesome sci-fi even if it's far fetched!

Comment: Signals (Score -1, Flamebait) 144

by mfh (#47414965) Attached to: Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

It would be really cool if we discovered these particles were actually packets of alien data. I mean if WE found a new civ and we decided to contact them I wonder how they would adapt to our technology. Wouldn't it present in a kind of similar way?

Because if these particles are pretty special, which they are, then can we not assume they might not be naturally occurring?

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