Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:We need this why? (Score 1) 98

I'm seeing an increasing number of websites sticking transparent div elements over flash so that you can't click on them in flashblock. I've got to assume it's an effort to devalue flashblock and make people turn it off. (It causes me to close the web site in question, unless I absolutely have to use it, in which case I fire up firebug and delete the element)

Comment Re:Saturday Night Specials (Score 2) 117

Incredibly a captured ISIS fighter was on the radio making pretty much that exact argument just yesterday (BBC Radio 4 PM programme IIRC).

He claimed that he joined ISIS for the money as someone who planned and helped execute suicide bombings. He said he had been involved in 8 such bombings, but wasn't a murderer and would never kill anyone. It was the suicide bombers killing people. Therefore he shouldn't be punished too harshly. Seriously.

That argument seems to work fine for government/military officials

Comment Re:Floppy support (Score 1) 468

Last time I installed a windows system off a CD, after installation it couldn't see the CD or network until I'd found appropriate drivers and installed them from floppy. Of course, this is going back a few years - I've not installed Windows since Win98 :)

Indeed, and last time I installed MSDOS 3.3 on a system, it wouldn't even connect to my broadband so I could download Office 365!

Fucking M$...

The difference, of course, is that Win98 was distributed on a CD, so not installing the CD drivers by default is a bit dumb...

Comment Re:Backups (Score 1) 468

If 10 is anything like 8.1, the upgrade will silently stop your backups and remove your ability to access any backups made in the Windows 7 backup utility. I discovered that one the fun way.

Sounds like Apple's Timemachine, which we've stopped using here because every so often it decides there is an error in the (remote) backup image, and rather than offering to repair it it just blows the damned thing away and starts running a backup from scratch (last time it did that was when the hard drive was in the process of dieing and having the backups auto-deleted was the last thing we wanted!)

I use rsnapshot for my always-on machines, but that's not so useful for other machines.

Comment Re:Share your "encryption network" with Suckerberg (Score 1) 138

Maybe you're right. But for me pgp encryption needs marketing so a lot of people start using or at least being aware of it. It needs to become mainstream.

Why not S/MIME? - Seems like a better technology to me, since you can encrypt entire MIME parts (including attachments and (some) headers) rather than just body text.

Comment Re:Consumption's up (Score 1) 138

Because of the moral argument: while both of those may be illegal only one of them is immoral.

I'd counter that by saying that supporting publishers that over-restrict the public's rights is immoral.

(Pedantic moment:Also DRM removal, while often illegal, is not copyright infringement.)

DRM removal is covered by the European Union *COPYRIGHT* Directive, and the US's Digital Millennium *COPYRIGHT* Act.

Comment Re:Doesn't get it (Score 1) 306

Your wife doesn't need to code, thats what the hospital has Business Analysts and an IT department for. The only reason your writing these scripts for her is that it would be too painful/time consuming for her to get this done through the proper channels.

No, these resources aren't available to her at all. Also, IT departments don't get involved in writing code for analysing data - they do stuff like imaging Windows machines, etc.

Her time is better spent doing "doctor" stuff, not sitting behind a computer coding. (Unless it was her hobby of course..)

The work in question is actually a mandatory part of her job.

Comment Re:I kind of agree (Score 1) 306

Whilst most jobs don't _require_ coding skills, a lot of them would be done more efficiently if people had those skills.

Depending on the level of your coding skills, you are either harmless, dangerous, or useful.

You need to learn quite a bit to skip over "dangerous" into the "useful" territory.

Very much depends on what you're doing. If you're writing stuff that's going to be used by other people (possibly networked) then yes, there is potential for danger. More commonly, we're talking about a quickly hacked up bit of code to process some one-off data, which carries very little danger.

Comment Re:Don't make kids learn to code (Score 1) 306

Why are be so pressing on kids to learn coding? If a kid wants to learn coding, they'll learn coding, if they don't want to, they won't. If we start forcing kids to learn computer programming it will be no better then when we force kids to take Shakespeare, Drama, History or Art. Don't make kids learn anything they aren't interested in, because when you do that, they'll never give it a real shot.

While I agree to some extent, I think you do need to give kids the initial push into trying something they have never done before - for the most part, unless it is a universally fun activity, people won't see how they could enjoy something until they've actually had a serious go at it.

Comment Re:I kind of agree (Score 1) 306

Personally, I am sort of conflicted on the issue. On one hand, this is a topic not for everyone. Every school should have a CS program, but it should be an elective.

I'm not sure why it should be elective at younger ages when other classes are not. e.g. when I was at school (before starting my GCSEs), I was _required_ to do art, music and French(*), all of which I was terrible at, and I'd argue were far less useful than some basic CS stuff.

(*) I'm actually in favor of teaching a second language to kids, and this has been shown to be a big help with mental development too. However, the current system here is to only start teaching a second language in secondary school, by which point it is way too late.

The closest thing to a required computer class these days should be on the art of typing, because hunt-and-peck is not the way to go on anything outside of a tablet / phone.

I don't think I've seen any kids doing hunt-and-peck for decades. Given that kids have access to computers from a very young age, they learn to type fast naturally, no need to teach this.

Comment Re:I kind of agree (Score 3, Insightful) 306

I get that everyone wants to teach kids to do what they like because they think they are the best version of human and obviously it is best for humanity if your life template is copied as much as possible, but I don't get why it is so obvious to everyone that getting everyone to code is so beneficial.

There is a LOT to life, and not everyone needs to be doing the same things, or is even capable or willing to do those things. Everyone has different strengths and limitations. Even if you go on about how learning to code teaches a lot of associated skills, those same skills can be learned many other ways.

I dunno, it just feels like all this "TEACH ALL KIDZ TO CODE, LOL" going around is a bunch of mutual masturbation and self-fellatio.

Whilst most jobs don't _require_ coding skills, a lot of them would be done more efficiently if people had those skills. I would argue that knowing some basics about coding is probably more useful to the "average person" than a large chunk of the history, biology, maths, art, geography, etc. classes that we send kids to today.

Of course, what's "most useful" shouldn't be the only criteria used in education - giving someone a well rounded education is also an excellent idea, but I think it's hard to argue that teaching people some basic coding skills wouldn't also fit into that.

Comment Re:Doesn't get it (Score 4, Insightful) 306

Yeah, because as soon as you're taught something you have to go out and get a job based on it. In another time this would have been like querying whether kids should be taught to read and write in primary school...

Unlike reading and writing there is absolutely no evidence supporting to faux claim that children must learn to develop computer programmes. Mark Zuckerburg et. al. are the social parasites.

You could say the same about a lot of subjects though - do children _have_ to understand maths, history, geography, art, music, etc? However, having a broad education is a Good Thing. Furthermore, being able to write simple code can be a massive help in many non-coding jobs.

For example, my wife is a hospital doctor - probably the last thing you'd expect that job to need is coding skills. However, she needs to do audits over records occasionally, and I end up writing simple Python scripts for her to process the data - she has no coding skills, so without me to do that she would be spending hours doing stuff manually that I can write code in minutes to do. She tells me that her IT classes at secondary school were almost entirely taken up by teaching about the health and safety concerns related to using computers, rather than actually learning how to use them. I'm 5 years older (which puts me in the BBC/Acorn era) and my GCSE level IT classes taught me some basics about word processors, databases, etc, but no coding - I learnt to code in my own time. Being _taught_ to code didn't happen until A levels in my case, by which time anyone who isn't planning to have a career in computing or electronics has opted out in favor of other subjects.

Comment Re:Time for a new law that prevents this (Score 1) 138

I've been wondering for a while whether the affected ISPs would have cause to sue the government/courts/publishers for compensation as a result of losing customers due to the enforced filtering (which doesn't apply to smaller ISPs). TTIP sounds like it would open up that possibility if they can't already...

Comment Re:Consumption's up (Score 4, Interesting) 138

Or I could just buy it easily from Amazon, and strip the DRM for backup purposes.

My take on this is that if I'm required to infringe copyright on a legally purchased product in order to make sensible use of it, why should I actually purchase it instead of just infringing copyright and getting it for free from a torrent?

For the record, I don't do either - I've steered away from ebooks entirely until the publishers stop taking the piss. Since books were invented there have been various generally accepted things that everyone did with them that ebooks don't allow you to do: e.g. if I buy a paper book, I can read it, then pass it on to my wife to read, lend it to a friend to read, stick it on the book shelf for years, then hand it onto kids to read, who can hand it onto their kids, or I can sell it, etc. Compare to the T&Cs of Google Play (as an example) which say that I'm not even allowed to lend my tablet to my wife so that she could read an ebook I purchased, let alone actually transfer it to someone else's device. When I can get ebooks with the same rights as I have for paper books, I'll think about buying some.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada