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Comment Re:Shouldn't this work the other way? (Score 1) 190 190

things like the GHS hazard pictograms, DIN 4844-2, ISO 3864, TSCA marks, and similar such things seem like perfectly reasonable additions to Unicode

No they don't, because they are pictograms with very specific visual appearances. Such things don't belong in a character set, because things in a character set are characters. Glyphs (visual presentation of characters) live in fonts and each font designer is free to represent them differently, as long as they're recognisable. If every font has to represent things in the same way, then they don't belong in a character set, they belong in a set of standard images.

The other issue with this kind of cruft is collation. The unicode collation algorithm is insanely complex (and often a bottleneck for databases that need to keep strings sorted). Different locales sort things in different orders and most have well-defined rules for things that are characters. The rules for how you sort a dog-poop emoji relative to a GHS hazard pictogram, relative to a roman letter are... what?

Comment Re:This one simple trick ... (Score 1) 190 190

Being a character implies a bunch of other stuff such as different graphical representations (fonts) for the same semantic symbol and a collation ordering. This doesn't make sense for a load of stuff that's now in unicode. If these are meant to be glyphs with well-defined visual representations, then they don't belong in a font with their representation dependent on the font designer's whim. If they're not characters used in any language, then what are the collation rules for them? What order do dog-poop and contains-gluten sort, and how does this vary between locales?

Comment Re:That's lovely (Score 1) 541 541

The working class doesn't get to pick where they live. It's expensive as hell to up and move

I'm not totally convinced by this. The poorer you are, the less likely you are to own your own house. That makes moving a lot cheaper (selling a house is expensive, changing rented accommodation is inconvenient but not nearly as expensive).

Comment Re: Troll (Score 3, Insightful) 541 541

It's easy to retreat to a True Scotsman argument, but when it comes to political and economic systems there are very few examples of any ideology being completely applied. Not capitalism, not communism, not socialism. Most countries have a blend of several parts of different ideas. Claiming that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a shining example of socialism is about as accurate as claiming that the Democratic Republic of Congo is a shining example of a democratic republic. They may have the word in their name, but that's about it. Even the USA makes more use of Marxist ideas than the USSR did for most of its existence.

Comment Re:Then make the "aberration" return. (Score 4, Interesting) 541 541

It varies a bit depending on the relative scarcity of your skills and jobs. For someone with skills in shortage, job security isn't that great a thing, as moving jobs will typically involve a pay rise. For someone with fewer options, it's much more important because there's going to be a gap between jobs and they're not in a position to negotiate a better package. Unions were supposed to redress some of this imbalance: an individual employee may be easily replaceable for a lot of companies, but the entire workforce (or even a third of the workforce) probably isn't.

Unfortunately, unions in the USA managed to becomes completely self-interested and corrupt institutions. This is partly due to lack of competition: in most of the rest of the world you have a choice of at least a couple of unions to join, so if your union isn't representing your interests you can switch to another one. Partly due to the ties between unions and organised crime in the USA coming out of the prohibition era. Partly due to the demonisation of anything vaguely socialist during the Cold War, which reduced employee involvement in unions (and if most people aren't involved in the union, then the few that are have disproportionate influence).

Even this has been somewhat eroded by automation. If you're replacing 1,000 employees with robots and 100 workers, then a union's threat to have 600 people go on strike doesn't mean much and even when it does it's very hard to persuade those 600 that striking won't mean that they're moved to the top of the to-be-redundant list.

But, back to my original point: lack of jobs for life isn't the real problem. A large imbalance in negotiating power between companies and employees is. When employees are in a stronger negotiating position, companies will favour keeping existing employees because it's cheaper than hiring new ones.

Comment Re:wft ever dude! (Score 1) 210 210

I found that above about 10Mb/s you start to hit diminishing returns. The jump from 10 to 30 was barely noticeable. The jump from 30 to 100 is noticeable with large downloads, but nothing else. From 100 to 1000, the main thing that you notice is if you accidentally download a large file to a spinning-rust disk and see how quickly your fill up your RAM with buffer cache...

Over the last 10 years, I've gone from buying the fastest connection my ISP offered to buying the slowest. The jump from 512Kb/s to 1Mb/s was really amazing (though not as good as moving to 512Kb/s from a modem that rarely managed even 33Kb/s), but each subsequent upgrade has been less exciting.

Comment Re:wft ever dude! (Score 1) 210 210

Because in 1981 or so, everybody was pretty sure that this fairly obscure educational network would *never* need more than about 4 billion addresses... and they were *obviously right*.

Well, maybe. Back then home computers were already a growth area and so it was obvious that one computer per household would eventually become the norm. If you wanted to put these all on IPv4, then it would be cramped. The growth in mobile devices and multi-computer households might have been a bit surprising to someone in 1981, but you'd have wanted to add some headroom.

When 2% of your address space is consumed, you are just over 6 doublings away consumption. Even if you assume an entire decade per doubling, that's less than an average lifetime before you're doing it all over again.

With IPv6, you can have 4 billion networks for every IPv4 address. Doublings are much easier to think about in base 2: one bit per doubling. We've used all of the IPv4 addresses. Many of those are for NAT'd networks, so let's assume that they all are and that we're going to want one IPv6 subnet for each IPv4 address currently assigned during the transition. That's 32 bits gone. Assuming that we're using a /48 for every subnet, then that gives us 16 more doublings (160 years by your calculations). If we're using /64s, then that's 32 doublings (320 years). I hope that's within my lifetime, but I suspect that it won't be.

In practice, I suspect that the growth will be a bit different. Most of the current growth is multiple devices per household, which doesn't affect the number of subnets: that /64 will happily keep a house happy with a nice sparse network, even if every single physical object that you own gets a microcontroller and participates in IoT things using a globally routable address.

IMHO: what needs to happen next is to have a 16 bit packet header to indicate the size of the address in use. This makes the address space not only dynamic, but MASSIVE without requiring all hardware on the face of the Earth to be updated any time the address space runs out.

This isn't really a workable idea. Routing tables need to be fast, which means that the hardware needs to be simple. For IPv4, you basically have a fast RAM block with 2^24 entries and switch on the first three bytes to determine where to send the packet. With IPv6, subnets are intended to be arranged hierarchically, so you end up with a simpler decision. With variable-length fields, you'd need something complex to parse them and that would send you into the software slow path. This is a problem, because you'd then have a very simple DoS attack on backbone routers (just send them packets with large length headers that chew up CPU before they're dropped). You'd also have the same deployment headaches that IPv6 has: no one would buy routers that had fast paths for very large addresses now, just because in 100 years we might need them, so no one would test that path at a large scale: you'd avoid the DoS by just dropping all packets that used an address size other than 4 or 16. In 100 years (i.e. well over 50 backbone router upgrades), people might start caring and buy routers that could handle 16 or 32 byte address fields, but that upgrade path is already possible: the field that you're looking for is called the version field in the IP header.

Comment Re:Wait Wait Wait... (Score 1) 210 210

It depends on the ISP. Some managed to get a lot more assigned to them than they're actually using, some were requesting the assignments as they needed them. If your ISP has a lot of spare ones, then they might start advertising non-NAT'd service as a selling point. If they've just been handing out all of the ones that they had, then you might find that they go down to one per customer unless you pay more.

Comment plans and term sheets (Score 3, Interesting) 129 129

There are a lot of reasons to criticize Silicon Valley, but being positive about a plan and having to deal with difficult term sheets are hollow complaints.

When you start ANY new project, there is a period of time when the project is not funded and does not have the necessary people to get it done. Startups are no different in selling a dream than any university professor, large company project lead, or government program manager.

The main point of TFA is that startup employees are starting to get more sophisticated in evaluating stock options coming from the common pool compared to investors' preferred shares. Preferred shares and liquidation preferences are tools investors use to reduce risk, and they are detrimental to employees (and founders) of a startup... except that without those investors, nothing could happen. Investors are going to get leverage somehow, and if you're smart, these clauses are not a problem.

Inflated valuations compound these issues. It should be obvious that early high valuations are bad for employees. Potential startup employees SHOULD understand that going to work for a company that is highly valued and has large investments offers much less financial growth opportunity than working for a company with a low valuation and small investment.

If you're a founder, keeping your valuation low during early stages of a startup company is much, MUCH smarter than arguing for a high valuation. This push for early high valuations is driven by lots of money sloshing around looking for a place to sit. That is a legitimate problem in Silicon Valley. As a founder, it may sound great to take in an extra $10 million, but if you don't need that money and can't actually justify that valuation, you've limited your company's future options (no IPO for you) and made it much harder to hire smart employees.

6.023 x 10 to the 23rd power alligator pears = Avocado's number