Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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:Shutting down Desktop makes a lot of sense. (Score 1) 167

by Spril (#37303414) Attached to: Google To Shut Down 10 Products

It was, pretty much, a dead product after Windows 7 came out. Native searching in operating systems are much better now

You're joking, right? The Windows 7 search functionality forces you to learn an arcane query language, is incredibly limited in functionality, ignores contents of non-Microsoft file formats like PDF, and regularly misses obvious results. Finally, its preview pane locks the file--so in the typical use case of searching for a file to edit, you CAN'T SAVE THE FILE until you close the search window.

Microsoft seems to intentionally make file searching less functional and more arcane with every OS since Win 2000. The only thing they've done right was to get rid of that stupid cartoon dog.

Comment: Contracts are 1-way only if you don't negiotate (Score 4, Interesting) 374

by Spril (#36577860) Attached to: If You're Working For Stock, Read the Fine Print

When I bought my house, I read through everything, and there were three places where I requested changes to the contracts. In each case, they made the change on the spot. When I was hired for one job, I said the non-compete agreement was insane, pointed out where, and the boss tore it up on the spot. Once I was hired, he asked me to help re-write it to something more reasonable. If you don't read before signing, you're still responsible.

Comment: Math in American schools is a disaster (Score 1) 636

by Spril (#35793562) Attached to: Are Graphical Calculators Pointless?

The American high school math curriculum is intentionally designed to cover pointless and uninteresting subjects.

Why, for instance, do we shove trigonometry down every student's throat? Almost every trigonometry student knows they'll never use an arc tangent again in their life. What they do learn that math is tedious and irrelevant agony, best avoided whenever possible.

Meanwhile, high school students don't learn math which has real-world benefits for almost every citizen. If more people understood compound interest and exponential growth, they'd know how mortgages work (and why zero-down and negative amortization mortgages are catastrophes waiting to happen). If more people understood probability, they'd know how insurance works and how to choose medical treatments. Both of these subjects would help tremendously when people are choosing retirement investments. (The replacement of pensions with personal investment accounts means almost every American needs to grasp these concepts or suffer misery when they hope to retire.) For both compound interest and probability, students could solve real, interesting problems that they will face later in life, and learn to think logically at the same time. Instead, we give them pointless math that couldn't turn Americans into math-haters more effectively if math teachers deliberately conspired to do so.

How did the American math curriculum get so bad?


+ - Horrible retail service ups Google rank--and sales->

Submitted by Spril
Spril (524430) writes "According to the New York Times, the Brooklyn owner of eyewear site deliberately offends his own customers, in the hope they'll get angry enough to post to online forums. This raises his site's ranking in Google search results, which increases sales. He's been arrested for aggravated harassment and stalking, but claims a typical day yields $3,000 profit."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Cybersex (Score 1) 368

by Spril (#34107950) Attached to: Why 'Cyber Crime' Should Just Be Called 'Crime'
Bogus story:

Editor’s Update : “As far fetched as it seems this came from a reputable source. it would, however seem that it is a fabrication. PopJolly staff were unable to validate the source after repeated attempts. The good folks at Gizmodo have clarified the story now. We got onioned . Sorry, move on! ”

Comment: Re:They said the same about cars (Score 1) 220

by Spril (#32334734) Attached to: Why Online Privacy Is Broken

Federal safety standards are pitiful compared to insurance company standards....Federal standards mandate airbags, but only for the driver, not the passenger or side airbags they've been putting in. All of that is coming from the insurance industry

Wrong. They've been required for both driver and passenger since 1999.

Comment: Re:Military healthcare (Score 2, Insightful) 449

by Spril (#32157614) Attached to: Defense Chief Urges Big Cuts In Military Spending

> The military is NOT the "largest entitlement program in the country." It's not even fucking CLOSE.

Your link refutes your argument. Your link refers to three large entitlement programs with approximately the same size as military spending. These numbers are from your link:

* $715 billion for military spending ("some 20 percent of the budget")
* $708 billion for social security ("another 20 percent of the budget")
* $753 billion for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP ("together account for 21 percent of the budget")

Your own source states that military spending exceeds social security spending (albeit by just 1%), medicare, medicaid, and CHIP. Only by combining *all* of them can you justify your bizarre "not even fucking CLOSE" claim. It's like saying that Bill Gates was never one of the highest paid employees of Microsoft because there were many other employees whose *combined* salary exceeded his.

In addition, "military spending" above specifically excludes veterans benefits, but if we're talking about entitlements they should clearly be included. Even excluding that, military spending--using your own data--is slightly larger than spending on social security, the largest of entitlement programs.

> Your comment makes me rage. If you were close enough I kick you in the junk
> so hard your grandchildren would still be feeling it...if you were still capable of having them.

I suggest consulting your own sources before getting so angry you consider assault.

Comment: Re:chess and go aren't np-hard, but they are also (Score 5, Informative) 322

by Bob Hearn (#31791308) Attached to: All the Best Games May Be NP-Hard

Chess and Go are actually EXPTIME-complete, even harder than NP-complete problems and PSPACE-complete problems.

In general, one-player games of bounded length (like Flood-It, or Sudoku) tend to be NP-complete; one-player unbounded games (like sliding-block puzzles, or Sokoban) tend to be PSPACE-complete; two-player bounded-length games (like Hex, or Amazons) also tend to be PSPACE-complete, and two-player unbounded games (like Chess, Checkers, and Go) tend to be EXPTIME-complete.

I can't resist here a plug for my book (with Erik Demaine), Games, Puzzles, and Computation, which discusses all these issues in detail. A theme running throughout the book is the same as the view expressed in this paper: most interesting games and puzzles seem to be as hard as their "natural" complexity class, outlined above.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 2, Insightful) 278

by jimbobborg (#31788752) Attached to: NASA Unveils Sweeping New Programs For Next 5 Years

If we took half the money we spend killing people and instead used it to research space flight, we would be MUCH further along at this point.

If we took half the money we put into entitlement programs and put it into getting better education, we would be much better off. Instead, we shunt money to people who WON'T do anything with their lives but suck on the gov't teat and spit out kids to get MORE money. Then THEIR kids do the same thing. Welfare reform is a joke. People just move to places when the money dries up. And yes, I KNOW people like this.

Comment: Re:Mission Creep (Score 1) 544

by Spril (#31495302) Attached to: Yale Law Student Wants Government To Have Everybody's DNA

Think back a little further--the post that makes you so mad isn't talking about 2009. It describes when income tax, medicare, and social security were founded--long before Obama or Bush.

With income tax, when the 16th amendment was passed in 1913, it was sold as a tax on the rich. If you made $100,000 in 1913 you were mighty wealthy:

I presume the post is also talking about Medicare's original passage in 1965. And if you don't understand the profound mission creep social security numbers have endured, then you must be very new to /. and the entire IT world.

If only people like you would occasionally shut off your outrage generators--and recognize that not everything is about modern partisanship.

Comment: Re:Wow, (Score 1) 1079

by Stormy Dragon (#30416770) Attached to: Sci-Fi Author Peter Watts Beaten, Charged During Border Crossing
30 years ago begin gay was more or less universally illegal, there was government enforced racial segregation in many parts of the country, there was official government censorship of books and movies, birth control was illegal, etc. This is not to say the ways that the government infringes out liberties now shouldn't be fought, but there wasn't some sort of golden age of freedom in the country several decades ago, particularly if you don't fit into the standard white middle class protestant lifestyle mold.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce