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+ - Royal Mail pilots 3D printing service

Submitted by MRothenberg
MRothenberg (607591) writes "Just in time for the holidays, the UK's postal service is testing out a 3D printing service at its central London delivery center. Customers can order "ready-to-print" objects (including shoes, soap dishes and phone cases) or bring in their own originals to duplicate and send via Royal Mail. The postal company's COO predicts consumer demand for 3D printing will grow 95 percent by 2017."

Comment: This is a misunderstanding of Agile IMO (Score 1) 186

by Goonie (#48439265) Attached to: It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process
Not every Agile process recommends that kind of approach. I teach Agile development, and I certainly don't. When you see a lot of final year student projects, you see all sorts of interpretations of "Agile" methodology, from utter adhockery to an approach that's waterfall in all but name. The more successful students, and successful projects, will take the time to carefully design the parts of the system which are a) high-risk, and b) difficult to change, and don't bother with trivial design for simple, easily modified parts of the system.

Comment: Re:Moat? Electric fence? (Score 2) 213

by Goonie (#48424843) Attached to: Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House
That has to be the stupidest accusation of hypocrisy I've heard in a long time. Apples and fucking oranges.

The White House is a (relatively) small building which faces a real, live, no-shit security threat for which armed guards and big fences are a rational, effective, and cost-effective response.

Big fences along the entirety of the United States land border and random citizens arming themselves to the teeth, by contrast, are dumb responses to the threats which the country, as a whole, faces - not least, shooting each other with guns at a rate that far exceeds any other developed country.

Comment: Let machines take the risks (Score 1) 112

by Goonie (#48290905) Attached to: SpaceShipTwo Pilot Named; Branson Vows To 'Move Forward Together'
I agree to some extent, but why have humans taking the risks in highly experimental spacecraft in 2014?

Leaving aside the question about whether the design was adequately verified with on-ground experiments (including static full system tests but also validation of individual engine components), why have a design that requires a human pilot on board for flight testing?

Comment: No you don't (Score 1) 219

by Goonie (#47645869) Attached to: Point-and-Shoot: TrackingPoint's New Linux-Controlled AR-15s
There's virtually nothing in the populated areas of Australia, other than other humans, that attacks humans and can be usefully defended against with a firearm.

We have nasty spiders and snakes, but you don't use firearms to kill either of those. Both only strike humans defensively. Our large land animals are all herbivores; kangaroo, emus and cassowaries have a very nasty kick but they'll run away in preference to attacking you. Dingoes, despite the high-profile death of Azarea Chamberlain back in 1978, are basically wild dogs, and represent little threat to people.

We also have a collection of potentially lethal acquatic species, including the Blue-Ringed Octopus, several species of jellyfish, and some sharks. Again, guns aren't a lot of use against them.

Crocodiles, which I guess you're referring to with the giant knife reference, are the one animal that will actually try to eat an adult human. They only live in the tropical north of the country, far away from the major population centres, and any that move in near the cities in those regions are killed or relocated by professional shooters.

So, no, you don't need a gun to protect yourself from the wildlife in Australia. And despite some myths, if you want a rifle or shotgun for hunting or target shooting, or need one for farming or pest control, you can get one in Australia. You just can't walk into a gun shop and buy an AR-15 or a big-calibre handgun for "self-defence" here. And, nearly 20 years after the changes to the gun laws, that remains overwhelmingly popular here.

Comment: This is just propagandic spin for Dumb Westerners. (Score 0, Troll) 167

by Fantastic Lad (#47587523) Attached to: Law Repressing Social Media, Bloggers Now In Effect In Russia

From RT:
http://rt.com/politics/177248-...

Such authors will now have to register with the state watchdog Roskomnadzor, disclose their real identity and follow the same rules as journalists working in conventional state-registered mass media.

  The restrictions include the demand to verify information before publishing it and abstain from releasing reports containing slander, hate speech, extremist calls or other banned information such as, for example, advice on suicide. Also, the law bans popular bloggers from using obscene language, drawing heavy criticism and mockery from the online crowd.

So.., now you're not legally allowed to lie to a large number of people or incite violence based on those lies. Gee. That's bad how? Might be nice to have something like that in the West, because right now it's perfectly legal for FOX News to outright lie to their viewers.

Russia, like any large nation the US hates, (see Venezuela) must defend against the standard CIA tactics used to de-stabilize governments and population bases through grass roots propaganda tactics. Forcing creeps and liars out of the game seems like a pretty good way to do this. You don't want to be forced out? Then follow the law and back up your claims with fact checking verification of what you are writing, don't use hate speech and don't incite violence. How hard is that?

There's a reason you're not allowed to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater, and this falls neatly beneath the same rubric.

Honestly, think of the gossips and cruel kids in school spreading lies in deliberate attempts to undermine healthy energies. Putin has the guts to whip the carpet out from under such types.

So now, once you reach 3000 readers, the Russian government says you are a news source with real pull and must start acting in a manner befitting such responsibility. Is 3000 the right magic number to have picked? I don't know, but it makes perfect sense to draw a line somewhere.

Of course, any law can be abused, but right now I don't see this as an abuse. I see it as a sensible measure as Russia is under increasing media attack by a truly psychopathic nation whose leadership is completely disconnected from objective reality, has a tail-spinning economy and seemingly bottomless war lust. Of course you have to take measures to protect your populace from that kind of sickness.

But naturally, this proactive move is being spun with wicked and/or childish glee in the West (depending on whether you are CIA or just ignorant and easily led).

Comment: Failure of risk analysis by more than OpenSSL devs (Score 4, Informative) 149

by Goonie (#46732315) Attached to: NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed
Just a minor correction - my piece does indeed suggest that the OpenSSL developers have some strange priorities. However, it lays the larger blame at the companies that used OpenSSL, when all the information necessary to suggest that this kind of thing could happen was already available, and the potential consequences for larger companies of a breach are easily enough to justify throwing a little money at the problem (which could have been used any number of ways to help prevent this).

+ - Heartbleed was a failure of risk analysis

Submitted by Goonie
Goonie (8651) writes "In the wake of the Heartbleed bug, there's been considerable discussion about what should be done to reduce the risks of such serious bugs in crucial pieces of software. Clearly, technologies can help. So can better software development processes. But, in a piece for The Conversation, as well as describing the bug for a lay readership (and feel free to nitpick away), I argue that the real problem is the lack of risk analysis by both those who developed OpenSSL, and those who make use of the library to build applications."

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 769

by jsimon12 (#46392113) Attached to: The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

If grinding and brewing is too tough get a super automatic espresso machine. Better long term purchase than a Keurig. Unground beans and water in and espresso out at the push of a button.

http://www.amazon.com/DeLonghi...

Sure it is 700-800 bucks but if you like coffee it is AWESOME (my wife and I drink a lot of coffee). The only problem is all other coffee tastes like old dishwater after you have one of these.

Comment: Re:on slashdot its always funny to see (Score 1) 320

by Fantastic Lad (#46004851) Attached to: Solar Lull Could Cause Colder Winters In Europe

This story has half the number of comments than the one about code after it, despite it being slightly older.

Just shows you don't know how to look at data.

Sweet Jesus, it's true.

And he even brought up that 97% turkey.

AGW True Believers are the quintessential "Correlation != Causation" offenders.

Comment: A union would be helpful in this situation (Score 3, Insightful) 310

While trade/labor unions are much maligned in the often libertarian-leaning IT community, this is the kind of situation where a bit of organization amongst colleagues - along the lines of what engineers or medical professionals have, would actually be useful.

But given that we have the IT professional community that we have:

  • Document that you've told your boss, and probably your boss's boss, and probably the legal department (perhaps informally and verbally initially). If you've told them, it's their problem, not yours
  • Start polishing your resume. Whistleblowing usually has negative consequences for the whistleblower - and, furthermore, continuing to work for an organization which has such a lax attitude to software poses a risk to your career if you stay there.

Incidentally, your case neatly demonstrates the near-uselessness of the IEEE-ACM Software Engineering Code of Ethics, which is very long on what the ethical obligations of a software engineer are, but has nothing useful to say about what you should do where others are ordering you to act unethically.

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop

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