Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:End of open and honest? I'll disagree. (Score 1) 232

I'm pretty sure I can post open and honest comments while not being anonymous.

If you're white, middle-class, cisgendered, belong to a mainstream religion, have political views within the mainstream, and live in a cosmopolitan community, yes.

If you're a closeted gay atheist anarcho-communist in a small town in "flyover country", maybe not so much.

Comment Re:aren't these aimed to prevent not detect? (Score 1) 151

"Finds its way in"? You may have noticed that the folks behind the French attack were born there.

As a society, France isn't doing a very good job of helping immigrants feel like Frenchman -- even two or three generations out. Meaning you get folks who feel like second-class citizens, easy to radicalize and recruit.

And, for that matter, the US has no small problem with homegrown terrorism either. Hello, Oklahoma City bombing. Hello, burning churches. Looking at terrorism as a problem that comes from outside is understating the issue.

Comment Re:Bringing a hoax bomb to school is illegal ... (Score 1) 801

It was a different world.

I carried a pocket knife daily from getting my first one early in cub scouts until they put in the metal detectors at there courthouses, and it was too much hassle to check in the knife, and check it back out, three times a day. (They can't be checked anymore, anyway).

In the 1970s, there was nothing unusual or noteworthy about a little boy with a knife in his pocket at school; it was the norm.


Comment Re:Institutional Knowledge (Score 1) 169

I've been pondering that subject lately. If what you say is true, then shouldn't the company with the experienced employees and the institutional knowledge have a competitive advantage in their markets? I would have thought that advantage would have manifested fairly early as the quality of the shoddy competitors declines, but I haven't seen such a trend. I'd also expect the advantage to widen as the companies composed of nothing but temps loses institutional knowledge over time. Again, not seeing it.

Continuing on with my hypothesis, shouldn't the experienced employees be able to easily form a new company and drive the outsourcing ones out of the industry? I'm starting to see a few hints of that through anecdotal evidence, but not enough to draw conclusions yet.

Comment Which Is To Say (Score 1) 110

A third if their time coming up with new corporate password rules, a third of their time architecting the Citrix solution that is going to propel the company into the brave future of 1998 and a third of their time requiring their employees to get training on whatever the bandwagon buzzword of the month is (This quarter it's Rally/Agile/Scrum.) You know, honestly, the company would be a lot better off if a freak software error caused that guy to fall down an elevator shaft.

Comment Re:Don't Use UTC (Score 1) 143

Well the major languages I looked at (C, Java, Perl) just ignore leap seconds, as does the POSIX standard. If you ignore leap seconds, you're not UTC and saying you are is incorrect. Maybe you're actually just TAI, but probably not since the language APIs don't know about SI seconds and work on the assumption that there are 86400 seconds in a day. But since it's a linear timescale, I can at least convert to and from another one when doing astronomical calculations.

I haven't checked but I suspect the situation is as bad on the Microsoft side of things, given that those guys still completely fail at DST adjustments on a regular basis. It's difficult to imagine them getting the occasional extra second every now and again correct. And really this situation would be fine except that everything always seems to break whenever anyone actually tries to use NTP to handle it correctly.

So if I have a hypothetical database of satellite locations that are a month old and the spec calls for them to be stored in UTC, it immediately becomes impossible to correctly plot their locations on a map. Especially since the spec for the inputs also says UTC but the identifier in the file always indicates "Zulu Time". Which I believe is just GMT. So you already have a 26 or so second probable error putting the coordinate into the database (~15 miles off the satellite's location) which will only get magnified if anyone else between you and the database tries to do leap second accounting again. This is kind of a problem if you're trying to hit a target within half a meter on the surface of the Earth with a "Laser." You'll be aiming at Saddam and accidentally hit a French embassy. Entirely hypothetical example.

Of course, if you start needing sub-second precision (Say, for targeting a femtosecond "laser" at the surface of the earth,) you might need to start thinking about relativity, since your atomic clock on your satellite will drift from your atomic clock for your ground station at sea level, even though both of them only ever lose a second about once every few trillion years. And they'll both be correct. Then you start to realize that the universe is just some poorly-written n-dimensional graduate student's thesis project, demonstrating how to convert hydrogen into plutonium, and retire to a profession where you don't have to deal with any span of time shorter than a season.

God is real, unless declared integer.