I still find slashdot entertaining, due to the humour, the culture, etc... I just don't learn much from it any more. Back in the early days, there was always something new to be learned about technology, open source, computer security. I think both slashdot and I have evolved. I simply know more now, and slashdot might have gone down a the drain a little bit. However, I say that with the knowledge that other forums never even had the level of conversation one gets here, even now.
Yep.. Many years ago, I said in testimony before a Congressional committee (yeah, I went there):
"Humanity has been developing information technology for half a century. That experience has taught us this unpleasant truth: virtually every information technology project above a certain size or complexity is significantly late and over budget or fails altogether; those that don't fail are often riddled with defects and difficult to enhance. Fred Brooks explored many of the root causes over twenty years ago in The Mythical Man-Month, a classic book that could be regarded as the Bible of information technology because it is universally known, often quoted, occasionally read, and rarely heeded."
Software is hard, and it gets harder the larger the project. Stupid human behavior just compounds the problem.
Not to pile on here, but there is nothing new or recent about fear-driven projects of any kind, much less fear-driven IT projects. All you need to do is read some of the classic books on IT project management, including The Psychology of Computer Programming by Jerry Weinberg (1971), The Mythical Man-Month by Fred Brooks (1975), and Death March by Ed Yourdon (1997).
Back in the early 90s, I was chief software architect for a start-up developing a large, complex and novel commercial software product. After working long hours for years, we had missed our original release date and were struggling to come up with a new date that we could be sure of making. Top management (CEO, CFO) was considering carrot/stick "incentives" to "motivate" the engineering team to make a certain date; one of the senior developers stopped me in a hallway by the engineering offices and asked, "Don't they realize they're dealing with grown-ups back here?"
P.S. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I remain appalled at the profound lack of familiarity among far too many IT industry practitioners of the essential books on software engineering and IT project management. As I have said ad infinitum and ad nauseum, not only do they keep re-inventing the wheel, they keep reinventing the flat tire.
Picture, instead of Clippy, we could have Microsoft Creeper.
Sure, it's not the most efficient codebase, but on a modern machine with power to spare, it's rather fine. Now, I have run it on a rather high end Core2Duo. That's less fun.
It should be the car that is disabled (or your license taken away)
Exactly - as they do already in the UK: get caught driving while using a mobile phone, you get 3 penalty points. That puts your insurance premiums up in itself, and if you reach a total of 12 points, no more driving for a few years. The penalty may be increased to 6 - in which case, get caught driving on the phone twice, you're in the passenger seat for several years. If someone's been caught driving on the phone (whether texting, talking or reading Slashdot), why let them continue driving at all? Will disabling the phone stop them driving while fiddling with the radio, eating, shaving etc? Of course not - so get them away from the wheel and let them text all they like as passengers.
It is against the law pretty much everywhere. However that law is enforced pretty much nowhere. It is just simply too difficult to enforce it, as a police officer has to catch the person in the act to even write a ticket. And then the ticket is so laughably small in terms of the monetary penalty as to be pointless to even write.
Here in the UK, the penalty is that you get one-quarter of the way to no longer driving (3 penalty points, where 12 means a driving ban); the government announced earlier this year they were considering doubling that to halfway, i.e. get caught doing it twice (within 3 years) and you won't be driving again. However small the risk, I suspect that's a big enough deterrent to scare many - particularly since it would often mean losing their job too. You don't have to be caught red-handed, either, just suspected enough for the police to investigate, then they check the network usage logs and confirm you were using the handset at the time in question. (Or get seen on a traffic camera, of which there are many.)
The idea in the article is just silly, though.
Crazy, isn't it?
Evidently, there is some unwritten law that states that Geolocation by IP address shall override any and all set preferences by the user on their device, and ignore any possibility that barring or redirecting the user makes no sense.
I get a version of this periodically on Spotify, where I'm informed that the particular album or single I'm looking at can't be played because it isn't licensed to my region. And of course there's the small matter of my being IP-blocked from Pandora Radio for the same reason.
I ran into a particularly nasty geolocation issue back in late 2012, when I was informed that I couldn't access my National Lottery account because they no longer believed that I was accessing it from the UK. Went back and forth between them and my ISP (VirginMedia), with each blaming the other for the problem.
I've also heard of situations where people have found the books on their Kindles vanishing because they're holidaying in an area where said books aren't licensed.
Most teenagers I know wouldn't touch old computers.
These days you can easily find Core2Duo and AMD64 class machines in dumpters, and from what I see, nobody wants them. I used to refurbish them for those who wanted and I ended up with a huge pile of decent machines looking for a good home. No takers. I trashed them all.
I guess they have old PC-s.
I have a few machines, all of them run exclusively Linux, all of them can (and have) run Minecraft. Let's see, my desktop replacement is a i7-2630QM with 16GB RAM, my Ultrabook is i5-3357U with 4GB RAM and my desktop is a A8-3850 with 16GB RAM. (I'm excluding my servers here, as they have different use-cases.) Are these machines "old" now? Sure, they aren't brand-new, but I'd say they're all adequate. Surely not enough to run Crysis, but they're no slouches.