Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re: who cares how many children (Score 1) 250

by hey! (#48685669) Attached to: AirAsia Flight Goes Missing Between Indonesia and SIngapore

That's an interesting take on the idea. There may be, almost certainly is an "optimal" point of view where the balance of future carrying cost, productive potential, experience and future work expectancy.

If you value experience the highest, then older people are the most valuable. Children have highest carrying cost, least experience, but the highest adaptability and future earning potential.

Now you could take a *market* approach to valuing lives by holding an auction to see how much people will contribute to save a life. In that case I have no doubt that children would win hands down. In a sense we do this already; charities which rescue children have a distinct advantage over those that target adults or the elderly.

Comment: Re:Why not include the original IBM design? (Score 1) 174

by hey! (#48684259) Attached to: Know Your Type: Five Mechanical Keyboards Compared

I actually dug out my old Model M last year. Aside from the fact that the rubber.insulation had flaked off the keyboard cord, it still worked perfectly. And it was every bit as good as I remembered it being for typing, and if I replace the cord it will last forever.

There's only one problem with the thing: it's so damn loud. Every damn keypress is accompanied by a loud "POK!" Forget about annoying other people, *I* was annoyed. Years of typing on pretty good Thinkpad "scissor switch" keyboards had accustomed me to a low, pleasant sussuration.

Cherry makes a "brown" switch that is not quite as loud as the classic buckling spring. I have a cheap nixeus keyboard that uses "brown" knock-offs. They're pretty good and not so loud as to be annoying. I wouldn't use this keyboard in public, at a Starbucks or in the library, but it's fine in my home office.

Comment: I've managed a team full of H1bs.. (Score 4, Interesting) 519

by hey! (#48677749) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

Not my choice, we got them in a deal with a VC. And I will tell you from experience that they're not all great programmers. A *few* of them were very good programmers, most of them were OK, and a few were very *bad* programmers. Just like everyone else. The idea that the H1B program just brings in technical giants is pure fantasy. This isn't 1980; if a CS genius living in Bangalore wants to work he doesn't have to come to the US anymore, there are good opportunities for him at home..

H1B brings in a cross section of inexperienced programmers and kicks them out of the country once they've gained some experience. I have nothing against bringing more foreign talent into the US, but it should be with an eye to encouraging permanent residency. I think if you sponsor an H1B and he goes home, you should have to wait a couple years before you replace him. Then companies will be pickier about who they bring over.

I have to say, managing a team of H1Bs was very rewarding, not necessarily from a technical standpoint but from a cultural standpoint. Because I had to learn about each programmer on my team and the way things are done in his culture, I think I became closer to a lot of them than I would have to a team of Americans.

Comment: Re:The insane part to me... (Score 1) 118

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48674001) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny
I don't know what barges think of 'blue water navy' work; but that's the sort of thing I had in mind: skip classy, skip seriously intimidating looking, stick a bunch of standardized modules together into a big floating airfield, with the aim of providing a lot of flight deck and very, very, deep stores of fuel and munitions for the 'yeah, we want another strike going out every half hour or so until further notice' style of air support/pounding that seems to crop up.

Comment: Re:TFS, FFS (Score 2) 118

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673991) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny

I imagine the DOD would be a little peeved if it turned up in a Chinese shipyard.

We've probably outsourced worse( at least assuming that any more modernized systems, ECM, radar, etc. are stripped from the hulk first); but yeah, I'm guessing that the breakers offering the best rates don't exactly have security clearances, in addition to their atrocious environmental record, nonexistent occupational safety, and so on.

I don't actually know, and so would be interested to, is there anything considered 'sensitive' about something as old as a (presumably modernized here and there) Forrestal class? I assume that, for economic as well as security reasons, you'd rip out all the modern electronics, CIWS, radar, air-traffic-control systems, etc.; but is the remainder of the ship itself still considered a bit touchy, or old news?

Comment: Re:3 in lb? (Score 1) 98

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673977) Attached to: NASA Makes 3-D Printed Wrench Model Available
On the plus side, space construction probably doesn't demand a whole lot of really heroic fastener work(but the gloves make 'finger tight' pretty clumsy if you are outside). In absence of gravity, all sorts of comparatively feeble joints become acceptable, so long as you don't damage things trying to put them together("Yeah, I um, stripped the mounting hole for the habitat module...") and the assembly keeps things from floating away.

If anything, I'd imagine that space tools are more likely to emphasize being able to set maximum torque, to keep people from screwing up delicate, lightweight, functionally irreplaceable, parts, rather than emphasizing the sort of power you want when fighting with a rusted assembly or something binding under stress.

Comment: Re: Big deal (Score 1) 98

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673967) Attached to: NASA Makes 3-D Printed Wrench Model Available

Yeah but now you can pay out the ass for a 3d printer and download a wrench and wait 4 hours to get your wrench.

I'd be the first to make snide comments about some of the 3d printing hype (some of it, the sort that fails to answer "and we wouldn't do this with machine tools why exactly?", there are a number of genuinely impressive applications, albeit mostly involve additional finishing steps or the really expensive printers); but 'earth orbit' is one of those places where I can imagine being willing to wait for printing rather than ordering from harbor freight and waiting for shipping.

A problem better solved by standardizing fasteners, of course; but if somebody has already opened that can of worms for you, and you need an oddball tool in a space and shipping constrained environment, I can think of worse fates than using a plastic one.

Comment: Re:The insane part to me... (Score 1) 118

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673449) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny
I suspect that a ~60 year old ship is probably a horrible mess in a number of respects, and might well not be the best starting point for the job; but given what we actually send aircraft carriers out to do at present(and to a substantial degree, have since WWII), it would be interesting to know if there's any room for a variant carrier design that emphasizes sheer capacity per unit cost, for all our aerial bombardment of stuff that can't really do much about it needs.

I understand the navy's enthusiasm for aircraft carriers that might not immediately become the involuntary flagships of the submarine navy upon contact with actual opposition; but they sure are expensive for situations where we are just beating on people with minimal retaliatory capabilities.

Comment: Re:Sure. DDOS. (Score 2) 160

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48673359) Attached to: Xbox Live and PlayStation Networks Downed By Apparent Attack
Isn't 'outage includes other gaming-related servers' ambiguous at best(an attacker hitting XBL and PSN wouldn't need to be a rocket surgeon to add a few other high profile gaming related services to the list, unlike an attacker hitting a single service using some tailored vulnerability) and actively evidence in favor of 'not really DDoS, just all the legitimate paying customers having a lot of new consoles and games and extra free time right now' at worst?

If the problem is under-provisioning, the expected symptoms would be broad-based DDoS-like outages among all popular gaming related infrastructure. If the problem is DDoS attacks, the expected symptoms would be comparatively dramatic havoc on targeted systems, no disruption elsewhere, with the number of targeted systems limited by the attacker's resources(and by how close to failure those target systems were running under holiday load).

If you have a procedure with 10 parameters, you probably missed some.