Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:take it from a pro (Score 1) 294

by Qbertino (#49362493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

I think i can shed light on this subject, having several years experience in this field. New programmers and seasoned alike often make this mistake, either through carelessness or ignorance. When working to write good code, you must make sure to set good="yes" or good="veryyes." ive written code for 20 years now and this has only ever failed me in PHP. Apparently the language does not support "good" code.

Don't forget to check $_GOOD correctly.
You have to evaluate "veryyes" == $_GOOD like this:
if (("veryyes" == $_GOOD) !== false) {...}
$_GOOD = "kindaSoSo" and $_GOOD = "sortaOk" will both cause "veryyes" == $_GOOD to evaluate to true. ... Gotta know your PHP. :-P

Comment: Welcome to the USA (Score 2, Insightful) 179

by Qbertino (#49361999) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded

Sorry to the 90% U.S.ians here on /. for my upcoming rant, but bear with me please:

WTF? I mean, seriously, WTF??? Who in hell would think that what the world needs now is a small concealable commercially available *FLAMETHROWER* ?!??. This is so bizarly US american, words fail me.

When's the first one going to run amok with one of these? Who's gonna pay the medical bill of the first rampage victims with 80% burnt skin for life? The people who built this thing? ... I hope as soon as the first one falls victim to one of these, that these people get sued into next wednesday big-time USA style. Better would be they'd abandon the project alltogether.

Does anybody here know what a gastly cruel final effort weapon this is? Seriously folks. Even as a military weapon Flamethrowers are about as wicked as it can get - even hardboiled hardcore SS members would instantly surrender at the mere sight of the "Churchill Corcodile", a british tank with a flamethrower attached. Which shows they actually can, in rare cases, have a 'use' - if I may use this notably unfitting verb in this context - as a last ditch (no pun intended) effort in marginal scenarios, such as finally and once and for all bringing down a totalitarian regime bent on ruling the planet by ethnic cleansing and such. And communicating to members of such a regime that you're effing serious and now won't stop short of total surrender.

But a commercially available flamethrower for "normal" people? "normal" in double quotes(!!). Jebus H.B. Crickey, this is so sick words fail me. However, this guy pretty much puts the finger on the insanity.

My 2 cents.

Comment: When it works. (Score 1) 294

by Qbertino (#49356309) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

When it works.

No, seriously, that's the prime criteria. I'll take crap code over good code anytime, it it works and the "good" code needs some arcance and/or bizar setup procedure that I have to put up with to perhaps get it running.

Point in case: WordPress, a PHP driven Web CMS that today runs about 20% of all websites, is a huge pile of typical PHP spagetti. And don't even get me started on the data model ... the WP crew probably doesn't even know what that is. Anyway, just the other day I spent two hours hacking the login template to coax it into not getting in the way of an auto-login feature built with Active X and JavaScript (...don't ask, the customer spends 150 Euros an hour, I'm sure as hell not gonna make stupid remarks on all this).

I mean, just look at it! (Surgeon Generals Warning: Looking at WP code can cause instant heart problems and depression!)

It was quite an adventure.

However, it works. My grandma can setup WP in 10 minutes. Come around the corner with your flashy new Java whatnot, clean model and all, if I spend more than a week trying to get it runing on Debian or some other widespread Linux, I will ditch it, no matter how well the app itself is coded.

Programms are for users, and they have to work. The rest is icing. End of story.

Comment: I'm glad I taught my daughter to be careful ... (Score 5, Insightful) 348

I'm glad I taught my daughter to be careful/paranoid. I'm also glad she listened.

What we're observing here and in many other different places is the classic problem of technological advancement: Powerful tools in untrained/unexperienced hands. Each of us here has seen the internet/web grow and trivial-to-stupid data-collection services come over us like the plaque. We have a natural negative reaction to post non-anonymous content online or giving some corporation or the public all our data just because they offer a flaky lock-in version of IRC or microblogging. For most users however, that is a very normal thing to do. I cringe each time I see others exposing themselves to abuse and fraud by posting everything under their real name and data. They are one identity theft or one online stalker away from having their entire life turned into living hell.

I set up my daughters Ubuntu Netbook with two mailaccounts, one fake on with a pseudonym and one with her name. I told her to specifically use the latter only for official real-world stuff - sending in homework, applying for some course, etc. and the other for everthing else.

When she went off for a student exchange in Malaysia, she set up a another seperate pseudonymed online Facebook account for the occasion, to be able to cut it lose should things get out of hand. That's daddys smart girl.

Fake/pseudonymed accounts and a general base paranoia about all things online is a must these days if you don't want to be over-exposed to crap from immature teenagers.

I'm glad my daughter caught the drift and didn't wave off her daddys advice on this matter.

Comment: Re:There is no debate. (Score 1) 299

by Qbertino (#49300901) Attached to: Scientists: It's Time To Resolve the Ethics of Editing Human Genome

This technology will be developed to the point where traits like intelligence, disease resistance, emotional stability, beauty, et. al. will be almost guaranteed. If it's outlawed in one nation state, wealthy people will just have it done in another. Their children will benefit. The poor will be at a financial AND genetic disadvantage. The hand wringing ethical concerns of "scientists" will have no effect on this whatsoever.

The question is not wether this will happen. It will, if it can. The question is, will those super-intelligent, super-beautyful kids pay the handicapped pension for those who were genetically engineered but turned out with serious mental and/or physical handicaps. If somebody has his offspring genemodded and it turns out a parapleptic retard, do they expect public healthcare to take care of things? ... Ok, so some live in the U.S. and don't expect anything from healthcare, but what about every other indstrialised nation?

Who is going to carry the risks and the costs of genemodding and carry the consequences of trial and error?

I tell you who will: In first world countries it will the society, the taxpayers. So they get to vote on if this is done or not. End of story.

Comment: Seperate Domain Registrar from Hoster! (Score 2, Interesting) 295

by Qbertino (#49281801) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Advice For Domain Name Registration?

The only general advice I can give you - since I'm not in the US and I presume you are - is to seperate your Domain Registration service from your hosting service. That way you can, in a jam, close down your hosting without having to give up your domain. Or simply redirect the domain if you have to scale or something.

However, it might be worth looking out for a Doman Registrar that offers to handle all the email stuff - setting up an E-Mail server is a real drag.

Most of my domains are tied in with an ancient hosting package, and it's a bit of a drag, quite simply because today I probably wouldn't use webhosting offers altogether but rather run my on webspace on some cheap Linux vhost.

Comment: Das Keyboard or Apple/Slim Keyboard (Score 3, Informative) 452

by Qbertino (#49273789) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

If you're the old-school type, it's hard to go better than Das Keyboard.

However, if you're willing to experiment, I'd recommend trying out the current Apple Keyboard. I was squarely in the Model M demografic and for my life wouldn't have guessed that I like the Apple Keyboard and it's flat keys, but ever since I got one I've been using them almost exclusively. My typing speed has increased and I've come to like the laid-back lightweight and minimalist approach these take.

I recommend you try an Apple/Slim Keyboard for a few days before you decide what to buy. Could be that you're suprised just like I was.

Comment: From good FOSS projects? ... Everything. (Score 2) 133

From good, working FOSS projects you can learn just about anything. As for the distributed software development: One thing people can learn from FOSS is versioning. Seriously. Quite a few teams I've met in RL can't and don't/didn't version, with FOSS it's mandatory. A very important aspect is that FOSS teams version just about everything, including docs and assets. Very important.

Another thing distributed teams can learn from successful FOSS projects is not to drown in tooling-bloat. Most tools in FOSS are tried and true and have a track record of decades. IRC, simple IDE/compile setups, tried and true working environments (f.e. LAMP stack), a bug/issue tracker that does the job and maybe a web-forum. I like to use the Google suite for my projects, but that's mostly for FOSS stuff, so it doesn't matter to me that much what Google is reading along. YMMV.

One thing that I would recommend when doing distributed development is, that you should set up your entire environment and pipeline, so that it is ready for distributed devlopment. You should have different pipelines depending on location. The overall process of versioning, tracking, compiling and deployment should be the same for everyone. The difficult part isn't getting the externals to do their thing but to get the locals to switch to the new, optimsed processes.

Another thing good (FOSS) projects have in common is a clear vision and good gouvernance. The stakeholders and PMs of FOSS projects actually have their agency behind the thing. If they don't, they quickly drop out or the project simply never gets off the ground. ... That's a huge upside to FOSS btw. In paid development, you get idiots dragging along for years, simply because there's a paycheck involved. Very painful. I've seen that a lot of that.

Comment: Well, they're wrong. Plain and simple. (Score 1, Insightful) 447

by Qbertino (#49245425) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

Just a few days ago I made the case why homeopathy or other "magical medicine" and the way it might be practiced today can offer at least one significant upside vis-a-vis regular medical treatment ... or should I say council?

That homeopathic substances probably offer no better remedy than placebos is not really news. However, they *do* offer cheap placebos, which also can be a good and useful thing. And placebos are effective, or at least have an effect, there are enough studies that prove that.

Comment: This has me second-guessing my C++ ambitions ... (Score 1) 757

by Qbertino (#49232081) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

Never had heard of the Linus Torwalds rant on C++, but reading it has me second-guessing my C++ ambitions. Linus has strong opinions, no doubt, and he doesn't tiptoe around the issue, but more than once have I found myself agreeing with him and also seeing why I would call other people names - because often quite widespread ideas and notions about programming are notably stupid, and Linus doesn't stop short of pointing those out.

What he has to say about C++ actually makes me weary about the PL. ... Gotta look into this.

Comment: Could be. (Score 5, Interesting) 392

by Qbertino (#49225125) Attached to: Does USB Type C Herald the End of Apple's Proprietary Connectors?

Since Steve Jobs came back Apple has only introduced proprietary connectors when there was a really good reason for them to do so. Lightning was introduced because Micro USB was considered sub-par by Apple. And let's face it: There is some truth to that. Lightning is sturdier, easyer to handle, has more data throughput and IIRC more relyable electrical specs. Say about Apple what you want, but unlike quite a few other tech companies they actually know what they are doing and why and they don't short-change hardware design decisions. Their market evaluation seems to prove them right.

In a nutshell: If Apple decides that USB C is worthwhile and offers upsides vis-a-vis lightning, it could be that this actually is the case, and Lightning actually is on the way out.

As for Thunderbolt: Unlike what quite a few tech experts think, it is *not* an Apple specific spec, but a standardised port. It's only that Apple likes to use it more than any other vendor.

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.