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Comment: Re:Whistleblower (Score 1) 290

"Accidentally" isn't certain here. If I was part of something that was wrong and I wanted it to be known, I would very well "accidentally" leak it too.

Except I don't see how that applies in this case. Stay or leave -- it's not the bank's call. But if politicians are putting leaving the EU on the table, even as an empty gesture, then naturally the bank has to start thinking about contingency plans. That's just common sense, even if you think the very idea of leaving the EU is mad.

It's also common sense to keep that on the DL to prevent misguided overreaction to what is after all still a hypothetical scenario. The Bank of England a central bank and so people must be constantly scrutinizing it hoping to glean inside information on future monetary policy. That's to say nothing of having to deal with the conspiracy theory nutters.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 322

by quantaman (#49760485) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

There are exactly 0 valid reasons why gay couples shouldn't be allowed to get married, that's it, zero reasons, as in absolutely none.

I happened to be in Ireland the day before the vote and asked several of the No campaigners why they thought gay marriage should be banned. They ranged from adoption scenarios that already existed, a weird insistence that equality meant two things were IDENTICAL making gay marriage a contradiction, and the innovative approach of comparing gay marriage to global warming (because even though no one has had any problems so far that doesn't mean things won't go bad in the future for unknown reasons).

In short every argument was absolutely terrible and I had an absolute blast listening to them.

Comment: Re: Meh... (Score 4, Insightful) 225

by Rei (#49757847) Attached to: California Votes To Ban Microbeads

The problem is, sewage treatment systems have a lot of trouble (at present, let's just simply say "can't") filtering them out. They go into the sewage, they will go into the sea.

Setting up filters for particles as small as 1 micron for all sewage going out into the ocean is obviously going to be a massive expensive. Who wants to pay for that so that people can keep sticking bits of plastic in cosmetics?

Seriously, whose bright idea was it to make bits of plastic, bite-size for plankton, looking like fish eggs, whose very design intent is to wash out into the ocean? And no, while they're not harmful to us, they absolutely will be to plankton - if not immediately (how healthy do you think you'd be if you wolfed down an entire meal-sized chunk of plastic?), then with time. Plastics act as chelators for heavy metals and a number of organic poisons, to such a degree that they might even be economical to mine. There's simply no way that this isn't going to have an impact.

And it's so stupid when one can just use soluble crystals (salts, sugars, etc) instead of plastic.

Comment: Re: *shrug* (Score 2) 348

by Darinbob (#49757381) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Not how I remember it. IBM was still big and the big name, not Microsoft. The home market was split between a lot of choices, it was the small to medium business market where PC was more dominant. The PC was falling behind too in the microcomputer world. Windows may have been catching up, but 3.0 did not make it caught up.

Comment: Re:*shrug* (Score 2) 348

by Darinbob (#49756953) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

The problem was that the microcomputer market was reinventing the wheel all the time. Existing workstations, minis, and mainframes did so much more. But people who grew up on PC or Macs would naively ask "what's the point of multitasking?" That's one of the reasons IBM flubbed the market as they thought it wasn't ever going to be that big except as a front-end for major back office applications or localized spreadsheet type stuff.

So when Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIGS came out they all had so much better graphics and sound than even a higher quality PC had at the time. It really took a while for the PC to catch up, and I think Windows pushed it along by being a resource hog and wanting graphics. Amiga beat those other systems out quite well by having a decent modern operating system too, not just another DOS type thing to run apps.

Comment: Re:Heh (Score 3, Insightful) 82

by Darinbob (#49756379) Attached to: How Cities: Skylines Beat SimCity At Its Own Game

I think a major flaw with Maxis is that they thought they had a must-buy title. As in Too Big To Fail. If a company thinks they can do anything, then they'll do things to screw with customers without them leaving. Ie, start to "monetize" things more. Horse armor, no one can bitch about that can they?

Thing is, it sort of works for awhile. There is a class of game buyers who just don't care. If the game is new they will buy it. Three months later they're on to something else and don't care about how they got screwed, and the price doesn't matter since they probably snuck the card of of mom's purse. Or they're the idiot on the forums who says "dude, lighten up, it's only the cost of 4 family size pizzas".

Comment: Re:Java programmers? - don't make me laugh (Score 1) 372

by jblues (#49755747) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

My favorite thing about Java developers is Maven, otherwise known as the "let's download random code from all over the Internet and just run it without bothering to verify it in any form!" tool.

I'm not super fond of Maven either. Gradle is more popular or simply Ant+Ivy has always been an alternative. But whichever dependency manager is used, the following features are available:

  • * Libraries check-summed against a hash to ensure the distribution is valid
  • * Its a common case that two high level pieces of code use the same underlying library. Ensure that the correct version, compatible with both is pulled down.
  • * Make it a trivial task to upgrade a library and its dependencies to a new version, test this and optionally roll-back to a known working version.
  • * Just because a library is 2MB, if you only use 3 lines from it, that is the only part that will be loaded.

This provides an eco-system of libraries rather than having to go to a single vendor who will take the responsibility of integrating and providing a certified system of libraries to use. The benefit is increased pace of innovation, while the drawback is choice overload, and the same pros and cons exist for other platforms: Gnu Autotools dependency is super powerful, but takes a while to learn. There's virtualenv for Python, or RVM for Ruby. For Nugget, .NET came late, since Microsoft was able to watch innovation, including in other languages, and cherry pick the best so it was all there from a single vendor.

Comment: Re:There are quite a few haters on this thread but (Score 1) 214

Further, if this was in existence a few decades ago, perhaps we would have nipped Scientology in the bud before it landed in the UK.

If it were in existence ~1400 years ago, perhaps we would have nipped Islam in the bud.

If it were in existence ~2000 years ago, perhaps we would have nipped Christianity in the bud.

And I wonder how many readers agreed with my first line, then threw a shit-fit when they got to my second line.


Comment: Re:Do people really take this risk seriously? (Score 5, Insightful) 222

by Rei (#49752865) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

The article is also based on some terrible reasoning, like:

That means there will be no asteroids left in the Solar System, because they all will have struck Earth, in another few hundred million years. Think someone’s overestimated something there? Yeah, me too. Let’s take a look with the flaws in our fear-based reasoning.

Yeah, in a universe where our solar system is some sort of perfect steady state. Which, of course, it is not. Asteroids collide or - more commonly, come close to other bodies and gravitationally interact - and throw each other into different orbits. When that happens, non-Earth-crossing asteroids can become Earth-crossing ones. For example, one of the candidates for the K-Pg extinction event is a Batisma-family asteroid. This family came from an asteroid breakup 80 million years ago.

A person well versed in the field would be aware of the fact that asteroids are not in some sort of unchanging steady state. Which is why they're the ones paid to do the research on the subject.

And more to the point, we really don't have a good handle on what's out there. We have trouble making out dwarf planets in the outer solar system. We really have no bloody clue what could be on its way into the inner solar system, apart from studying how often major events happen.

And on that note, another flaw in his logic, given that until recently, the vast majority of Tunguska-style events would never even have been detected, having occurred over the oceans, remote deserts, the poles, etc. So by all means it's perfectly fair to say that the fact that an asteroid hitting earth is more likely to hit a remote uninhabited area is perfectly fair. But saying that while mentioning the rarity of inhabited areas having been hit in the past is double-counting. The historical record is evidence of how often they hit populated areas, not how often they hit Earth.

Lastly, his claim that only one person has ever been "hit by an asteroid" is ridiculous. 1500 people were injured by the Chelyabinsk one in 2013 badly enough to seek medical attention. Yes, they weren't "hit by rocks", but that's not what large asteroid impacts do; they mostly or completely vaporize by exploding in the atmosphere and/or on impact. And there's lots of reports throughout history of people getting struck by asteroids; just because they weren't documented by modern medical science doesn't mean it never happened. Seriously, what's the bloody odds that the only person to ever in historical times be hit by an asteroid would be in the 1950s in the middle of a first-world nation? Now what's the odds that someone being hit in the 1950s in the middle of a first-world nation would be well documented, publicized, and believed?

Just a lot of really bad arguments.

Comment: Re:Plant? (Score 3, Informative) 372

by jblues (#49750783) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

And slow, Java is slow as molasses in the depths of a winter snow storm. But there it is, still being used, and a lot, in the corporate world.

Slow compared to what? Java can be as fast or even faster than C++. The JIT compiler can make optimizations that a C++ compiled program cannot because it can query the machine, and make optimizations based on platform, CPU cache size, etc. Also heap allocation is very efficient, and it does things like removing methods with empty bodies.

Carefully optimized C++ will blow away Java, but its one of the faster languages around.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long