Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:legalism is a crap philosophy. (Score 1) 554

What happens in Europe is that they start making the streets in such a way that they are automatically so that you drive a lower speed. Especially in neighbourhoods where people live.

A lot of curves in the streets by placing objects in the streets., making the road more curvy and what not.

That means that the average speed will go down a lot. They just change the natural flow of traffic. and people adapt to that. Downside is that is is more expensive than placing some traffic signs and you can not generate extra income from tickets.

They tried doing that in Boston, but it didn't seem to help.

Comment Re:Paper (Score 3, Informative) 133

To expand on Junta's comment; drm free, no internet connection required, no subscription fees, no electricity required, easier to search, easy to use "hands off", can be a tactile experience, easier to read in daylight, and easy marginalia..

No DRM, but you can't legally copy any portion of a paper book without permission. You only need the internet connection to download the book, not to read it. You don't need a subscription fee for an ebook. You only need electricity to charge a kindle and then it's good for over a month depending on usage. It's just as easy to use hands off, maybe easier, I don't have to worry about it flipping close and finding my place again. Ebooks are much easier to search than a paper book. It doesn't even have to be in the index, I can digitally search for any word or words throughout the book, or even library. E-ink is just as easy to read in daylight as a regular paper book.

Advantages of ebooks?

I can carry a library of tech manuals with me in my pocket. If they get lost, destroyed or stolen I can replace my books for free(I might have to pay the price for the new kindle, but some of my books cost more than a kindle, plus I have multiple kindle devices and a smartphone.) They don't fill an entire room of bookshelves. They don't get moldy. I can buy a new book any day or night and have it in my hands in minutes and it will be cheaper than a new hardcopy version of the book.

One advantage of the paperbooks is that you can get a used copy that is cheaper than the ebook copy. I have done this from Amazon, it's amazing what you can find and have sent to your house for cheap.

Comment Re:Why would Disney do this? (Score 1) 262

I totally agree.

I have seen this pattern of "short term gain"/"long term loss" so many times I could cry. There must be a lot of cases where companies thought they were going to save money and then encountered a lot of problems and had to undo the outsourcing, which could take a lot of time and money.

For senior executives, they need to come up with a bonus/penalty system that is deferred at least a couple of years to encourage them to make better long term decisions. I thought this was the norm, but for the past 2o+ years it seems like a lot of companies are using short term incentives for senior executives.

Comment Re:They want to shift the problem to someone else. (Score 1) 291

Leap minutes or leap hours would be handled by the existing time zone handling, not by messing with the length of a second. That code is well tested and very robust.

I can see that working, but I'm not sold on the "well tested and very robust".

If Apple iphones are working properly with time zones(daylight savings), that's only within the past two years. Can MS Windows use time zones properly or do you still have to set the hardware clock to the current time in the current time zone? Do they still prompt if it's okay to change to/from daylight savings if the computer was turned off during the time change? Java uses their own time zone files for some reason, no idea why they can't use the OS time zone files.

You would think that it would be simple by now but for some reason a lot of developers do strange things with time handling. Until they learn to handle time zones properly I would expect them to mishandle time whether it be "leap minute" via time zone or "leap second" via ntp. If we switch to time zone handling for this then I envision a future where someone decides that we shouldn't have multiple time zones because it's too difficult to program for.

Comment They want to shift the problem to someone else. (Score 2) 291

Incompetent people like to shift problems to someone else. They're already trying to shift problems like "national debt", pollution,and "climate change" to the future generations and now they want to shift another problem to a future generation.

I would prefer better coding and testing standards to be the norm. At the moment, every time a problem occurs because of a "leap second" it's noticed and fixed with a reminder that this is something to be watched and tested for. I would like to think that handling it would become part of the standard QA procedures, actually it should have already been part of QA, it's not new, this has been happening for over 40 years!

If they think a "leap second" is a big deal then a "leap minute" or "leap hour" is going to really cause problems. They'll have longer periods of time for more bugs to accumulate and when they happen everything will have problems because either they'll fail or something they depend on will fail.

Comment Re:Computers have some solution right? (Score 1) 291

The problem isn't the system, it is the software and databases that require millisecond accuracy.

There have been issues with the kernel in the past.


The problem I saw was a lot of servers suddenly increased their cpu usage.To clear it you had to set the time to the current time(date -s "`date`").

Comment A lot of good changes (Score 1) 162

Changes I enjoyed.

  • Logical Volume Manager: I don't miss working with partitions. I love mirroring and being able to migrate live filesystems.When mirroring came along I was able to sleep more.My first LVM was on AIX, so I enjoyed having the entire system handled by an LVM. Solaris took forever to catch up. Now all UNIX OSes have an LVM.
  • SAN: I don't even have to worry about mirroring any more, on the OS level. I can add, remove, grow and move disks dynamically.
  • Virtualization: VMWare, KVM, AIX Lpars, I can dynamically change the processors and memory with a command line.
  • LVM+SAN+Virtualization: can migrate a server from one piece of hardware to another with a command line.
  • 64 bit: Large files over 2GB was such a relief and it was nice being able to use more memory on a large server.
  • Hot pluggable devices: Less downtime.

Comment Re: It's not just IT (Score 5, Insightful) 152

There are a couple of problems with that.

A company, especially a large one, would have multiple levels of management. A vice president has meeting with his directors, they can't answer until they talk to their direct reports who can't answer until they talk to their direct reports who actually know something. You end up with high latency for even simple topics.

If the intermediate managers have no technical background, you will end up with a grapevine effect. If you don't understand what you are getting from your direct reports how can you effectively write it down in preparation for the upcoming meeting?

"The application has a high turn rate and the high latency on the network is causing it to be slow"

"He said the network was too slow."

"I was told that we doubled the bandwidth on the network. What are you talking about?

"Upper management said it can't be the network, they had the bandwidth doubled."

"It's not a bandwidth problem, it's a high latency problem.

"I don't understand. Should we have networking check to see if there is a problem with the network? I''l setup a meeting with the networking group."

They have to understand the technology, otherwise the grapevine effect will kill you. The bigger the company, the worse it will get.

Finally, if you have multiple direct reports, how do you resolve a conflict of ideas when you have no idea what they are talking about? Put it to a vote? An experienced manager with a technical background would be able to ask the right questions to determine the pros and cons of each idea.

Comment Re:If you ride a bike... (Score 4, Insightful) 696

Some drivers are malicious. One of my wife's students was rear ended after stopping for a stop sign. He went flying and broke his arm. The driver told him to get off the road and drove off. I stopped riding a bike in the 80s after multiple cars sideswiped me, once when I was on the sidewalk. It seemed like it was safer in the 70s and then in the early 80s drivers starting hitting cyclists like it was a sport.

My wife and I are riding again, but only on the rail trails.

Comment Re:wtf? (Score 1) 270

Windows 3.1 wasn't complicated at all. What kind of moron thinks otherwise??

I'm guessing it's the same person who provoked a study into whether the instructions for using a condom required a college degree.

What nobody realized is that Boeing pawned a janitor off as a scientist and Microsoft didn't catch on. Having used their products, I can honestly see that happening.

Comment For people with only one hand for typing? (Score 1) 698

I went six months without the use of my left hand because of an injury. During that time I used the "caps lock" key extensively. I know I'm not the only one who had to use it at some point in time. Some people will always need access to it.

Are you seriously hoping to make a change that will mess with the unfortunate because YOU don't require it? Maybe they should spend extra to get a special keyboard after the "caps lock" is removed? Was there a study done to see how many people use handicap ramps?

Comment Re:High fat? (Score 1) 244

Why do you care how I kill myself, as long as I'm making an informed decision?

The lifetime cost of diabetes is around $85,000, so I suppose you might argue that my poor diet raises your health insurance premiums. The lifetime cost of a single knee replacement is around $130,000, so I would counter that it is 3x more expensive to be an avid runner who wears out both his knees than to be a diabetic.

The cost for diabetes is a lot higher than that, especially when the patient is older and requires home care. Healthy walks or bicycling work as well. And you're assuming someone with diabetes is less likely to require knee replacement surgery or are they more likely to have their limbs amputated? What's the cost for a prosthetic?

Comment Re:Height increase justifies nothing (Score 1) 409

It's inaccurate for most people. If you're tall then it doesn't scale correctly. I'm 6'2", should I weigh 145 pounds? The BMI calculation would say that was normal weight! I'm 225 with a 36" waist, which almost makes me obese. I exercise and try to eat right, most of the time. If I trimmed down to 200 pounds I would still be considered overweight!

Using a bad formula that doesn't take into account body fat% is ridiculous.


Slashdot Top Deals

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson