Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:We get it (Score 1, Flamebait) 139

Gygax had something of a reputation for borrowing things without giving proper credit, and this latest revelation shows how the open and collaborative environment of early gaming was quickly exploited for commercial purposes.

We get it. Commercial is bad. Everything should be non-profit. We should all make the same wage. We should all have the same stuff.

That's not the issue. Gygax represented himself as the sole creator and writer of D&D. He removed Arneson from the credits in a typical Stalinistic purge. I remember meeting him when he was sitting behind the counter at the Dungeon hobby shop in Wisconsin, and he was a complete jerk. But when you are copyrighting everything that you can to lock in revenue, you just don't give anyone else credit. Bastard. Cashing in on other people's work. But hey, it happens in IT all the time.

Comment Re:Database of the year? (Score 1) 122

It really makes me wonder who in the world is using Oracle, because they are very, very far away from any company I've ever worked with.

That misconception about Oracle here always confuses me. It is used at every company I've ever worked for, including a small development firm. I don't know anyplace that doesn't have Oracle used in finance, HR, etc.

Comment Re:Systemd on slashdot (Score 3, Interesting) 242

This is a problem with "old vs new".

sys V init is old. So are the old, genuine unix wizards.

SystemD is new. So is Pottering and Pals.

The divide comes from "old culture" vs "new culture." The old unix culture adores simplicity, sparseness, and adaptability.

The "old culture" knows that a server is just part of a bigger process, and reliability and maintainability are more important than simplicity, sparseness (whatever that means in this context), and adaptability. Without something like systemd, Linux cannot be enterprise ready. "Rolling your own" scripts for failover and redundancy is the worst idea when more than one admin has to diagnose problems at 2:00 AM. You want something supported by the vender, with standard configuration options, that can be easily understood by everyone on the team. Sometimes the "most elegant" solution is not the best for the business.

Comment Re:That's how Science Works (Score 1) 294

It is unfortunate that in this day and age, it is necessary to explain how science works, and why it is different from other belief systems.

First science is a belief system. The fundamental axiom of science is that an objective reality exists, is independent of the observer, and that by investigation, truths about that reality can be discovered.

Philosophically incorrect, but a common misconception. To paraphrase Bohr, science is NOT how the universe works. It is what we can say about how the universe works. Repeatability under varying conditions drives science. That does not imply that other conditions and results could not exist, only that we currently do not see them. Think of classical mechanics and a solid sphere, to atomic physics and the atoms that compose that sphere, and particle physics and quantum mechanics that describe the structure of the atom. Classical mechanics is perfectly sound under macroscopic conditions, but that does not make it the entire truth. Science never looks for absolutes, only incremental glimpses of the unknowable (to not get too metaphysical).

Comment Re:It's wrong because... (Score 2) 294

The science of earlier generations was weird as well. I think, that compared with the past, we live in a golden age of science.

Any time someone bewails the decline of American intellects, this is usually the correct response. At no point in history has the US or any other nation been populated by a majority of sober, thoughtful, rational individuals. There has always been a large population of idiots, and always will be. We only think it's worse now because mass media makes it much easier for idiots to be heard, and, as this is still a liberal democracy of sorts, even idiots are allowed to speak their mind and vote.

The problem is that those same idiots have more politics power right now than any other time in the country's history. Science used to drive industry. Now that industry is trying to control science. Research used to be the domain of dedicated private researchers. Now pretty much all university and lab funding comes from corporations who don't care about the long term health of the country, only today's profits. In an economy where stocks are bought and sold in seconds, there is no way that long term research is going to be prized.

Comment Re:Geographical location? (Score 1) 67

According to the article "future birds" populated western West Gondwana and didn't spread until the dinosaurs died out. In other words they would not have moved in 30 million years and then suddenly they spread wildly when the dinosaurs vanished.

Since birds are dinosaurs, then dinosaurs did not "vanish."

Comment Re:shocker... (Score 2, Interesting) 247

You mean consumers aren't willing to keep paying more for an increasingly ad-laden pool of mostly forgettable reality programming?

Actually, they are willing. They love that stuff. Don't fall into the "people on slashdot represent the average US citizen" fallacy. Most Americans are content with the nanny state. Even the so called troublemakers are so passive, they hardly exist. Anonymous? Give me a break. Back in the 60's and 70's people BLED for what they believed in, and were willing to go against the government, and the status quo populous. Until you are willing to throw flaming gasoline bottles at police cars while be teargassed, then ain't nothing going to change.

Comment Follow the Money (Score 5, Insightful) 390

As often is the case, you just have to follow the money trail. Someone paid off someone else to push their expensive license plate scanners and services. The police may not even have wanted to do this, but someone up the chain of command got a free vacation home in the Bahamas for implementing the program. It'll all get swept under the rug soon, after enough uproar.

Comment Re:Why is prostitution illegal in the first place? (Score 1) 390

Seriously, if a girl wants to sell her body, why shouldn't she?

Agreed. Call girls and escorts can make a good relatively safe living, with well to do clients. These are not them. These are drug addicts with pimps who beat them if they don't hustle enough. It's a tough, dangerous, and diseased lifestyle that is illegal in many ways besides the selling of their bodies.

Comment Re:Designed to be difficult to pick (Score 1) 222

This a new lock:

It's on kickstarter now:

You'd think Master Lock with all their cash would come up with clever ideas like this lock's mechanism.

To come up with a new mechanism would imply that the old mechanisms aren't all that good, and they will never admit that. It could lead to a major class action suite. In the US, the only option for any corporation is to just pretend that there's no issue, and continue to sell the same old shit. Until someone comes along and forces the issue, like this guy.

Slashdot Top Deals

Just about every computer on the market today runs Unix, except the Mac (and nobody cares about it). -- Bill Joy 6/21/85