Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:It's like dumb and dumber: zuckerberg edition (Score 1) 169

by bughunter (#49754831) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?

That's actually a rather good analogy because in the early days of automobiling, you had to know how to fix and maintain a car in order to operate one, either for work or for pleasure. And they were very simple machines that had a rather low barrier to learning how to maintain.

Then later on, as cars got more complex, it became a pleasure to work on them, partly because overcoming the growing barrier was itself rewarding, and it came with a social cache.

Gradually, though, we've come to the point where even the most technically gifted people have to take their car to a mechanic for anything but basic maintenance, and the barrier to being a mechanic is now so high that few people do it as a hobby.

For the automobile, this process took over a century. Personal computers and programming have progressed this entire gamut since I first sat down at a computer in 1977. (A DEC printer terminal in a high school janitor closet, connected to the city hall mainframe. The account I had access to had a program called STARTREK.BAS. You can guess the rest... and remember, it was a printer terminal.)

Comment: Re: Fuck you. (Score 1) 618

by frdmfghtr (#49711735) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral

I think an important distinction is being missed here. The author is calling out the ISPs, not the end user. I'd prefer my ISP not inject their own ad blocking into the stream (or worse...their own substitute ads) and leave the blocking up to the user.

Now, if the author extends that moral judgement to the end user, that's another story.

Comment: Re: But, but? (Score 1) 94

by lakeland (#49709313) Attached to: In-Database R Coming To SQL Server 2016

Yup, SSMS is far, far better than pgAdmin. SSIS is years ahead of any postgres ETL tool. There's a bunch of other awesome features in SQL Server too - from memory merge doesn't work in Postgres, procedures/functions are harder to use and ...

I wasn't trying to say Postgres is all-round better than SQL Server. But there are a few things including R integration and spatial queries where Postgres is so far ahead that you are probably better to put up with the weaknesses.

Comment: Re: But, but? (Score 4, Informative) 94

by lakeland (#49707479) Attached to: In-Database R Coming To SQL Server 2016

Yeah exactly.

MS SQL has a lot of good things going for it - but what you're asking for is one area where Postgres just runs rings around it. You can achieve similar benefits in MS using a CLR but it will be faster and easier in Postgres. Unless you have some compelling reason to stay MS, I suggest you take the hit and learn a new platform.

Comment: Re:Isn't R GPL? (Score 4, Informative) 94

by lakeland (#49707437) Attached to: In-Database R Coming To SQL Server 2016

No - MS will only need to release any changes they make to R.

This sort of thing comes up quite often and largely comes down to coupling. If Microsoft included R code in the binary of SQL Server then they would run into complications. However as long as they keep R on its own and arrange interprocess communication sensibly, they will not be affected by the GPL.

It's quite likely MS will modify R, e.g. writing low level routines for getting data out of SQL without needing to go via ODBC and those sort of changes will need to be released. It's also possible MS will want things like .RData readers for putting into SQL and similar - and they might choose to do a clean-room implementation of such bits rather than calling out to R for the loading code in order to avoid too tight coupling.

Incidentially, this has been done before. The PgR project gives Postgres (BSD) has tight coupling with R (GPL) without requiring Postgres to be relicenced. Tableau also released similar features, though they don't add much value at this stage.

Comment: Re:"Ends spy agency bulk collection of phone data" (Score 2) 142

by frdmfghtr (#49687185) Attached to: House Votes To End Spy Agencies' Bulk Collection of Phone Data

I was thinking the same thing. To really see what it does, you have to get the original text and apply the bill to it. Otherwise, yes, it's just a bunch of patches. I'd like to see more bills written in a form that replaces the entire section so the change can be seen in context.

Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 1) 169

by bughunter (#49632807) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

People tend to react poorly when they think they're being offended.

Yes, well people tend to react even worse when they think they're being screwed by secret deals made in back rooms by people who they feel have screwed them before.

So the question becomes, whose reactions are more important? Up to this point, it's clear no one involved has given half a nanofuck about average citizens or workers.

The way this treaty is being negotiated and ratified just does not pass the smell test. It stinks from two kilometers away.

In other words, if you want people to trust you not to screw them, then you have to stop acting like Milburn fucking Drysdale and Thurston goddamn Howell the Third.

Comment: Re:What? Wait ... (Score 5, Informative) 125

by bughunter (#49563499) Attached to: Smart Headlights Adjust To Aid Drivers In Difficult Conditions

The bit you're apparently not grasping is something called a spatial light modulator.

You've probably encountered one as a digital cinema projector, or possibly even own one for PowerPoint presentations.

Couple it with a microwave radar or ultrasound sonar, and you can track individual raindrops and then cast shadows on them.

Sounds unnecessarily expensive for consumer automotive, but might be nice for buses/locomotives, emergency vehicles or passenger aircraft.

Your computer account is overdrawn. Please reauthorize.