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Comment: Re:Guaranteed Death (Score 2, Interesting) 218

by MrChips (#47276907) Attached to: It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

According to these stats for Canada in 2009, car drivers suffered about 1173 deaths and 5393 serious injuries while among motorcyclists there were 194 deaths and 1271 serious injuries. If you add these up and look at the percentage chance of death if involved in a collision severe enough for serious injuries than you'll see an 18% chance of death for the car drivers and 13% for the motorcyclists.

Care to share your source for "guaranteed death"?

+ - Dice Holdings has written off Slashdot Media at the close of 2013-> 3

Submitted by moogla
moogla (118134) writes "Apparently Dice.com could not make Slashdot work they way they wanted to; with a murky plan to tap into the Slashdot-reader community to somehow drive attention or insight into other Dice Holdings properities, they've burned through

$7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media

and have only started to realize some improvement on related sites. With ad revenue declining and not expected to pick up (read: everyone who uses Slashdot uses adblocking softwarwe), it appears that the Slashdot stewardship experiment by Dice Holdings has been a financial failure. Since the site has been redesigned in a user-hostile fashion with a very generic styling, this reader surmises Dice Holdings is looking to transform or transfer the brand into a generic Web 3.0 technology property. The name may be more valuable than the user community (since we drive no revenue nor particularly use Dice.com's services)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Fuck beta 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The beta is bad. It's so bad. The comments are reduced in screen width about 50%. Subject lines are deemphasized, scores are minimized, etc.

The discussions are the reason to come to Slashdot, and the beta trivializes them entirely. It looks like the comment section on a generic news site.

The comments now look like an afterthought, whereas they used to be the primary focus of the site."

+ - User Backlash at Slashdot Beta Site-> 3

Submitted by hduff
hduff (570443) writes "Look at almost any current Slashdot story and see loyal, long-time members rail against the new site design, willing to burn precious karma points to post off-topic rants against the new design and it being forced on users by the Dice Overlords. Discussion has begun to create an alternate site."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

Submitted by wbr1
wbr1 (2538558) writes "It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format."

+ - Alternatives to Slashdot post beta? 8

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Like many Slashdotters, I intend to stop visiting Slashdot after the beta changeover. After years of steady decline in the quality of discussions here, the beta will be the last straw. What sites alternative to Slashdot have others found? The best I have found has been arstechnica.com, but it has been a while since I've looked for tech discussion sites."

Comment: Re:So let me get this straight (Score 1) 351

by MrChips (#45918337) Attached to: Largest Bitcoin Mining Pool Pledges Not To Execute '51% Attack'

When you control 51% of the computing power, you can start faking transactions.

Not fake transactions, but control which transaction get in and rollback the recent past. So you can spend some coin to the recipient's satisfaction, then undo that transaction and spend your coin somewhere else.

I assume by "faking transactions" you mean forging other people's signatures to spend their coins. You can't do that, but you can prevent them from spending their coin.

Comment: Re:The double standard (Score 1) 308

by MrChips (#45628423) Attached to: Physicist Peter Higgs: No University Would Employ Me Today

You'll meet assistant professors who've published more journal papers in two years (and brought in more research money) than a full professor has done in his entire career, while being told it isn't good enough by the P&T committee.

You're probably right that the younger faculty are publishing more papers, bringing in more funds and are better teachers, but what is the chance that any of them will ever do anything really profound. I think that's the point Peter Higgs is trying to make.

Comment: Re:Why put the automation in if not to use it? (Score 1) 270

by MrChips (#45481789) Attached to: Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel

Likewise, the automation is not designed to handle extreme failures of the aircraft. For example, the situation many years ago in Iowa where the hydraulics failed and the pilot had to steer the plane using only the engine throttles is an example of something that no computer system is designed to do. Yet a veteran pilot managed to pull it off.

This scenario has happen several times and the pilots have not always been successful at control via engine throttle only. But an autopilot program has been developed now that can do a much better job than the human pilots. See Propulsion Controlled Aircraft.

Comment: Re:Keep the phone ban (Score 3, Informative) 221

by MrChips (#45292053) Attached to: FAA To Allow Use of Most Electronic Devices Throughout Flights
I like to use this ABM1 - Passive Air Band Monitor when flying. I keep it discreet as I'm sure most flight crews won't understand how it's different from a typical radio receiver. I regularly hear that "bzz bzz bzz" of cell phones with this device. I then ask my girlfriend sitting next to me if she put her phone in airplane mode. If she hadn't and does it the noise usually goes away. If she had her's in airplane mode then I assume it's someone else sitting near me. Phones do cause interference in the aircraft frequency bands (at least at short range).

Comment: Re:Waitaminit... (Score 1) 233

by MrChips (#45143531) Attached to: Security Researchers Want To Fully Audit Truecrypt

No, the argument is that it can happen if someone decides that it's worth doing. Just making the code open doesn't mean that anyone will read it. It does, however, mean that:

  • You can build it yourself, so you know that the code that is audited is the code that is built (modulo toolchain trojans)
  • You can audit the code, or pay someone else to do it, without permission from the original authors beyond their original license
  • You can fix any security holes that such an audit turns up (or pay someone else to do it, again without requiring permission from the original authors beyond their original license

And, if someone else does an audit, there's a better chance that they are not bound by NDA and can therefore speak freely about what they find.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 2) 381

by MrChips (#44125497) Attached to: Dr. Dobb's Calls BS On Obsession With Simple Code

Do you re-use your functions, or do they only exist to break apart a single operation into smaller blocks? If it's the latter, then he may have a good point

I disagree, strongly. Breaking a large routine into smaller ones abstracts away what those smaller routines are doing. It puts a boundry around their interaction with the rest of the code, and puts their code away somewhere that I don't have to worry about, unless there's some reason I want/need to know the details of how that routine accomplishes what it does.

Both approaches have merit and should be used where it makes sense. When abstracting away some lower level detail, a separate method may be best, but when breaking a higher level method into it's higher level steps (if that makes sense), keeping it all in one method keeps it linear which can help with reading/review.

It matters though how a method is broken up. Use whitespace to separate logical sections. Have a short comment at the top of each section to indicate what that section does. Write the comments first as an outline of the method. Declare variables where they are first used. Declare them in a limited scope where possible. Declare them const where possible (especially if method-global) to limit later misuse. In some languages you can introduce a nested scope for no other reason than to isolate local variables if you like.

And note that breaking the method into separate sub-methods doesn't necessarily solve the problem of changes near the beginning breaking things later on. It just makes it harder to know where the "beginning" and the "later on" are.

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