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Comment Not Turning Them Off Here (Score 2) 125

> Having to close and reopen tools forces you to cut down on context switching. At least for me, that helps productivity.

Good for you. For me, it guarantees that thoughts will be dropped before they can fully form, so it's deadly to productivity.

Maybe it's the fact that I don't always have control over context-switching. I don't control when somebody shows up in my face with a demand for attention; pushing what I've been doing aside, with all the contextual cues I can marshal, by switching to another desktop to bring up the tooling needed to service the interrupt, means a much greater chance that I can go back and resume what I was doing, without backtracking (or, worse, working through a context crash to retrace my own thinking up to where I left off).

The times when I do have control over context switching are often when vagrant thoughts coalesce suddenly into ideas which are potentially valuable but irrelevant to my current effort. I want those ideas securely noted somewhere appropriate (even if it's just in a loose-notes catcher) and dismissed quickly so I can resume the task I'm trying to keep my focus on. I keep text windows open on other desktops partly so I can bring up a notes editor for that. Sometimes those ideas need a quick look at my filesystem; I keep ytree poised in those text windows for that

Then there's the full-screen shuffle. I remember my Windows days, when I had to minimize and iconize and shuffle things out of the way to get a clear view of a browser or other Internet tool. These days, there's IM, an etherape viewport on my LAN, another browser pointed at intranet tools, and all of them maximized because bringing them up to full size takes too long when I need to respond to a situation. I couldn't do that on one desktop, in fact I use 8, and often fill them all (though some assignments, like 2 for synaptic, are reservations so my habits know where to put things so I don't need to consciously think about it).

Single desktop discipline works for you and your work habits. It's needless frustration for me and mine.

Comment Congratulations, Marissa. (Score 1) 83

In your quest to 'revitalize' your user-base by throwing out the loyal veterans, you pissed off people who have been members since eGroups and OneList by throwing that purple-abomination Neo web-interface at them... but still they refused to go away, they just relied more heavily on their 90's-style mail clients for access.

This strikes at the heart of that persistence. I do believe you've found a way to get rid of your remaining loyalists. Well done.

Comment TDE, the one you'll probably love (Score 1) 51

I loved KDE 3.5, and would spend weeks customizing everything to look exactly like I wanted.
It worked perfectly, I had all the right applications and buttons at the right place.

Then you should be quite happy with the Trinity desktop, which is the KDE-approved and-assisted maintenance/improvement fork of KDE 3.5.10. I am. They're up to now, with release 3.5.14 in the works.

Comment Re:theres more than one type of transistor (Score 2) 126

Sorry, I couldn't let this pass uncommented. Yeah, yeah, -1 Pedantic.

"one that requires voltage to keep it on, one that requires voltage to keep it off (P channel vs N channel FET's),"

The ones that need a voltage to stay on are enhancement-mode MOSFETs. The ones that need a voltage to stay off are depletion-mode FETs, either MOSFET or JFET. All of those come in N- and P-channel flavors. They're symmetrical other than for P-type having less mobility. (And thus being more tolerant of dirty processes, which is why MOS IC technology started out with P-channel. 17 volts across a chip just to get it to light up... Ugh...)

About those magnetic transistors... Lately DARPA's been making noises about 'destructible' logic. If all you have to do to deconfigure an FPLA beyond recovery is swipe a strong magnet across it... Is that what this is about?

Comment Do they really want to open this can of worms? (Score 2) 194

By the same argument, the studios like Warner are liable for every time they depict an existing vehicle. Do they have proof of licensing from the auto makers for showing a VW bug or a Mustang? How about some guy's tricked-out bike? And they've got deeper pockets to hit than some guy in a garage.


Submission + - High Frequency Trading: Far Worse then you Thought (

Required Snark writes: High Frequency Trading is a software engineering disaster, according to a study by the Chicago Federal Reserve. As reported at The Economic Populist, problems include:

Industry and regulatory groups have articulated best practices related to risk controls, but many firms fail to implement all the recommendations or rely on other firms in the trade cycle to catch an out-of-control algorithm or erroneous trade. In part, this is because applying risk controls before the start of a trade can slow down an order, and high-speed trading firms are often under enormous pressure to route their orders to the exchange quickly so as to capture a trade at the desired price.

Another area of concern is that some firms do not have stringent processes for the development, testing, and deployment of code used in their trading algorithms. For example, a few trading firms interviewed said they deploy new trading strategies quickly by tweaking old code and placing it into production in a matter of minutes.

Chicago Fed staff also found that out-of-control algorithms were more common than anticipated prior to the study and that there were no clear patterns as to their cause. Two of the four clearing BDs/FCMs, two-thirds of proprietary trading firms, and every exchange interviewed had experienced one or more errant algorithms.

To sum things up, the well being of the entire world economy is now in the hands of greedy, incompetent corrupt insiders who will do anything to achieve a profit. The regulators are all off on a permanent vacation. (The Federal Reserve does not regulate HFT.) What could possibly go wrong?


Submission + - Heavy metal band does not support label's decision to prosecute pirates (

hessian writes: "“It has come to my attention that Century Media is suing fans over illegal downloads of (among others) our latest album ‘Dystopia’. I felt it was important to clarify that we had no knowledge of this motion and were, sadly, not asked permission.

  We all know the music industry is changing. We have been adapting to this model by embracing legal streaming services such as Spotify and by bringing our music to places we have never played before by touring our proverbial asses off.

  As much as we respect that the labels are having a harder time selling music, we feel this is a misguided effort and want to make sure our fans know we would have not given our consent would we have been asked.”"


Submission + - Apple patents idea of using similar batteries in different things (

walterbyrd writes: "Here's an absolutely brilliant idea from Apple: imagine if you had a bunch of different gadgets, and imagine if they could all somehow be powered by batteries that were rechargeable and all interchangeable with one another. How awesome would that be? Super awesome! If only we'd thought of it a long time ago."

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle