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Comment: Re:Good luck with that... (Score 1) 66

by MightyMartian (#48647159) Attached to: US Seeks China's Help Against North Korean Cyberattacks

I don't think NK is a satellite state in the usual sense of the word. China certainly shields NK, but its reasoning isn't always clear. NK does act as a major counterbalance to US interests (Japan, South Kore and Taiwan). At the same time, NK seems extremely suspicious of China and some believe that at least part of the reason for the latest purge was to cut out members of the regime with too close a ties to China.

Comment: Re:You seem to think .NET is a language (Score 2) 287

by Billly Gates (#48644407) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

There are dozens of languages that compile to the .NET CLI, including BASIC, C++, Ruby, PHP, Java, JavaScript, Python, Lisp, Pascal, Perl, Scheme, etc. C# is the most popular language to compile to the CLI, yes, but almost any other common language out there can be used too.

Yeah but really who uses them?

95% of .NET is in c#. All the VB jobs are still for legacy 5.x and 6.x code that I see. Take it back 85% c# and 10% c++. Just because it can be done COBOL doesn't mean people use it other than to see if they can write a hello world program.

In essence it is a c# based environment.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 287

by Billly Gates (#48644375) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

I welcome it if it is more open and cheaper. 100k to start a website for unlimited licenses is freaking nuts.

But that was a few years ago.

MS is changing because they have lost and can no longer use leverage like they once did. Witness IE and visual studio where lots of free competition exists?

I welcome an alternative to java and hopes it encourages python and php to get their acts together. More competition the better for everyone

Comment: Yes MS has lost and is now nice (Score 3, Interesting) 287

by Billly Gates (#48644359) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

The old gray beards today might say the same with IBM or Digital but once market forces correct a monopoly the company either whithers or adapts.

Doesn't mean MS is no different than any other corporation even if that opinion is unpopular here on slashdot. Timewarner/AT&T/Comcast are far more evil and God forbid what Jobs would have in store if Apple won the Pc wars in the 1980s and achieved 90% marketshare! MS would be tame in comparison.

Under a free market people play nice or loose out.

Today I like Microsoft even though I hated them hence my name 13 years ago. Here are the facts in late 2014
1. IE is not a bad browser anymore. It used to be both feared and loathed in the old days as it was a threat to win32 applications. Today they no longer will ever have the control they did in 2004 when you needed to go to a library to use IE 6 if you used a mac or linux to fill out job apps. Yes I remember doing that. was optimized for IE 6 quirks back then.IE 11 is modern and has great debugging tools and behaves like a real browser behaves and has the best security with sandboxing. IE 12 will even have an add-on framework ala Chrome/Firefox. I use adblock on IE today
2. Visual Studio 2015 supports Android and Linux Xiarmin development?? No I am lying. Go google it as emulators are included including CLANG support.
3. Office is available for Android and IOS. Full suite is coming soon
4. MS more liberal with pricing for non corporations. Google VS Community edition. It is pro and free!
5. MS is opening sourcing .NET and lots of frameworks
6. Azure supports non win32 operating systems.
7. MS is putting more effort in security and stabilizing and fixing bugs now that competition exists.

Am I a fanboy? No. I am agnostic this day but I find MS getting much better and if it were not for Metro I would be a fan even of their desktop products. Windows 7 is a very stable desktop oriented OS. It is not and I repeat not the POS slashdotters who have not run Windows in 15 years remember.

MS woke up and realized oh shoot. IOS and Android are eating our lunch! Eclipse will eat our lunch! Amazon will eat our lunch! Firefox and now I should say Chrome has eating our lunch! Ms has so much competition today on so many fronts it can't go back and use leverage of a monopoly in one area for another. Blocking Android on Windows? Who cares about Windows blah. Block W3C standards iwth IE? Fine I will use another browser etc.

This was unthinkable in 1999. So Linux did not win the desktop wars like we hoped but open source software did win everything else. Browsers are competitive. Mobile operating systems competitive. Development environments are competitive. Clouds and virtual services for legacy win32 apps scare the crap out of them so soon if mega corps want to leave they can.

MS is done. I welcome the new MS. As some (I did not say all folks) products are fairly decent and play well with others.

Comment: Re:TOR is a fucking honey pot ! (Score 1) 83

by Raenex (#48643845) Attached to: Tor Network May Be Attacked, Says Project Leader

Tor Stinks... But it Could be Worse

  • Critical mass of targets use Tor. Scaring them away from Tor might be counterproductive.
  • We can increase our success rate and provide more client IPs for individual Tor users.
  • Will never get 100% but we don't need to provide true IPs for every target every time they use Tor.

Seems the NSA doesn't want targets to move away from Tor because they have some success and are confident of gaining more. They don't need to own all the nodes. It's a documented weak spot that they just need to tap the incoming and outgoing nodes and do timing attacks. Given the NSA's (and their foreign, cooperating counterparts) massive taps on the Internet backbones, that sounds pretty feasible.

Comment: Re:What are the implications for the textbook mark (Score 1) 166

by tlhIngan (#48640725) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

Since I don't know your specific situation, I could be completely misinterpreting what you mean. But it seems you have 0% "figure out the problem".

Math isn't a subject that has to be learned the way foreign language or geography has to be learned. If you don't have something described to you in a book, then you absolutely need another reference to learn most subjects (such as a TA, Lecture, or Internet).

But with math you never need a reference for anything but definitions, and most definitions should be obvious anyway. There is always a first person to solve a math problem, and he had no references.

Like I said, I could be completely misreading your situation, but from what you wrote, it sounds like if there isn't a template for how to solve every single problem type that you give up. If all you know how to do is follow methods and change numbers around here and there, then you aren't learning math.

The greatest instruction anyone can give a person who pursues math is simply to ask a question that they can solve if they try. Many of us who study math seriously love nothing more than to be given a problem that's just barely out of reach.

That and Physics is the same way.

It's probably why those subjects are "hard" because they require creativity and inspiration to actually do - it's problem solving at its simplest level and it's what those in the engineering fields thrive on.

Anyhow, if you're struck trying to do math problems, you have to realize that they all follow the same pattern. After the subject is introduced, the first few problems will be solved by direct application of the lesson. Then the next few will be ones applying the current lesson and previous lessons. It all accumulates until the final set of problems involves a bunch of skills from the text, from your past math education, and so on.

And if you're struggling, the goal is not do just the required problems, but to start at the beginning of the problem set.and do them all. Yes, it's beyond the assignment, but you have to realize that the assignment is just the tip of the iceberg - a good prof already tells you that the problem set they assign is hard, and to really do it, a good student needs to do the entire set.

Same goes for physics problems. The first few questions directly apply equations and formulas from the chapter. Then the next ones apply several concepts together until you get to the mega one that pulls in multiple methods. And many even have multiple ways of tackling the problem that are correct. (Previous problems will lead y ou down each path thent he final one lets you decide which one you use). On an exam, that's a lifesaver because it lets you try both ways and if you don't get the same answer, you messed up.

The goal is to realize that the text is giving you the tools, the probme is to string those tools together. It's like programming or engineering.

And sometimes the most satisfying problems are the ones that look like they're impossible,but when you start realizing what you have, where you need to go, and little brain power and then AHA!

Hell, one trick I do is you write down everything you know that was given in the problem. Then figure out what you need to answer, and figure out what gets you there. And draw pictures, schematics, whatever to illustrate those factors you know, what you don't, and the pieces you do have. And the pieces that are implied

Comment: Re:question from a kid (Score 4, Funny) 24

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48640633) Attached to: How a 3D Printer Let a Dog Run For the First Time
Well kid, I'll try to put this in terms that you understand: Imagine that this rock here is your 'build plate', except that it already has some hardened gunk on it from where the filament had a bubble in it and your last project kind of got fucked up while you weren't watching it.

Now, this other rock, hold it in your hand and move your arm stiffly, like it's controlled by a couple of cheap servos. That's going to be your 'extruder'; but imagine for a minute that this extruder is like a 'negative extruder' that subtracts material by, um, extruding antifilament or something.

Ok, now just start mumbling g-code under your breath really fast and bash the 'extruder' into the 'build plate' until all the hardened gunk covering the shape you wanted has been removed from the extruder. That's pretty much all there is to it...

Comment: What about that stupid book is worth US$244? (Score 4, Insightful) 166

by Dr. Spork (#48639385) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

I really fucking hate this about academia. It's absolutely shameless to charge college students $244 for a single dumb textbook. It's not even that good. It's just that when a department chooses to standardize on a textbook, the move has inertia and is basically impossible to reverse. Then, the publisher can charge something absurd, and everybody pays it, because it is a required text. It's so dirty, because it's profiteering from people who are often barely making ends meet, and typically buying the book with debt.

What really bothers me is that nobody seems willing to do anything about it. If a big, publicly funded university system set aside some money to create and regularly update their core STEM curriculum textbooks - let's start with Calculus, Physics, GenChem, GenBio - it would certainly cost less than the almost $1000 per student that the textbook purchases cost. These universities have Nobel Prize winners among their faculty, surely they have the in-house resources to create excellent textbooks and distribute them on some sort of open license like CC. Arranging sabbaticals for the authors might cost at most a million dollars, or roughly 4000 Stewart Calculus books. That might be about the number of Calc 1, Phys 1, GenChem and GenBio books that are sold on a single campus in a single year.

But this move would help everybody, not just within the entire UC system that funded the effort, but across the globe. And the costs of updating and embellishing future editions would be far less. I'm so mad that a large university system doesn't just make this happen. And yes, raise fucking tuition by $200 to pay for it, if you absolutely have to. In exchange for textbooks you can have for free (or for printing cost if you don't like digital), everybody will recognize that's a great deal. The courses can explicitly invite students to devise problems for future editions, or to suggest changes and clarifications. And it will bring prestige to the colleges and to the authors, which is worth something too.

Comment: Re:And the scientific evidence for this conclusion (Score 1) 377

> First, there is no reason to believe that we can built robots that can reproduce themselves.

What? This is exactly the technology humans are trying to reach! We're already a significant way down this path!!

> Second, there is no evidence that we or anyone else can build intelligent machines, as the original story seems to presuppose.

Nature did it. We can do it.

> Third, biological organisms are so many orders of magnitude more efficient and flexible than machines that it barely makes sense to put them into the same qualitative category "form of life".

This whole conversation is about extrapolating on the cosmic scale. If you look at the path robotics has taken in the last century it does, as pointed out, actually support the premise of this article.

> Hint: A human consumes only about 2.9 kilowatt hours per day, the equivalent of 1-2 light bulbs ...

Not relevant. Once machines are replicating and repairing themselves they'll do exactly what we do and find other sources of energy.

Frankly I agree with you that it's hard to picture Transformers inhabiting the universe, but OP did make a really good point that extrapolation isn't even in the ballpark of refuting this clown. Honestly I'm shocked he didn't come back with that XKCD cartoon.

You're already carrying the sphere!