Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

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: Happened Once (Score 1) 512

by T.E.D. (#49140543) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

This actually happened once. The Computer converted to Christian Science. It ended up contracting the Sobig.F virus, and refused any help from scanners or removal tools, as it insisted its faith should be sufficient to heal it. Sadly, it appears its faith was insufficient, and God let it die.

On the bright side, it was converted to Mormonism posthumously.

Comment: UI Expert Analysis (Score 1) 492

by T.E.D. (#49136865) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

On previous OS releases, major UI changes were always driven by human-factors concerns. There are entire college majors in human factors, and courses in it are available to nearly every CS major. ACM has a whole group dedicated to it. So it would of course be utterly irresponsible and unprofessional to make UI changes that haven't been analyzed by experts for their impact on the user. I know in the past seemingly odd GUI decisions have been explained to me by human factors experts rationally.

So go ahead and hit me, Internet. I want to see the Human Factors explanation for why low resolution and color icons and flat no-shadowed controls like I used to have on my SunView workstation in 1986 is actually a superior way to design an interface on my 1024x3840 home PC in 2015.

Comment: Be Careful (Score 2) 691

My aunt did this. Right after a divorce, she got breast cancer that spread to the lymph nodes, and game over. She had 3 small kids, and left them a video, which I was allowed to see as well.

I found it really sad. I'm sure she thought she was doing the responsible thing as a loving parent, and didn't have any idea anything else was seeping through. However, she clearly was still angry about the situation, and blamed her ex for the cancer. In the video.

However true or unfair that is, this was the decidedly not the person she was. She was a stunning woman, on the inside and out. She was the smartest person in a family full of postgrad professionals, and attractive enough to spend some time dealing cards in Vegas, and do stints on game shows in Hollywood. She did some really amazing things, and spent her life as the rockstar of our family. I can't express how sad it is to me that the last thing she left her kids with was none of that. It is just now how she deserved to be remembered.

I remember she specifically instructed her daughter about graduating from college (part of the inheritance was even tied to that) and choosing a partner better than she did. He daughter ended up dropping out of college to marry an older man, and has since divorced and remarried. I guess the moral here is that no matter what you do, your kids are going to grow up and make their own mistakes.

Please, please if you want to do this, watch it yourself and pay attention to what you are saying.

Comment: Re:Best money Tom Steyer ever spent (Score 1) 430

by T.E.D. (#49128165) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

So the Tea Party is NOT the Republican Party persay, but a collation of people who are generally Republicans who are dissatisfied with large government and high taxes.

This part is quite correct. They are not the same thing. The Tea Party is merely one recent manifestation of the populist Conservative movement that rich Republicans have been bankrolling and propaganzing since at least the 50's. But their goals (eg: pushing a political agenda that benefits very rich powerful people), do not always align with the Republican party's goals (chiefly: Getting elected and controlling the various branches of government). So they do often clash. But that's inside politics. The Republican Party is their chosen political vehicle, so to someone who isn't a Republican insider, for all intents and purposes they operate as a unit.

That wasn't what I was talking about though. Its where their manpower comes from. The Tea Party was next to nobody during Bush II. It was only after Fox started promoting them and establishment Republicans started Tea Party Express in the summer of 2009 (right after Obama's election), that they became an important political player. I'm not particularly interested in the ideology of the unimportant bit groups that anti-Obama Republicans stole the idea from.

Comment: Re:Best money Tom Steyer ever spent (Score 1) 430

by T.E.D. (#49127587) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

The TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party at it's core is about government spending and taxes and limiting both to the minimum possible by scaling back government's involvement in our everyday lives, not expanding it. ... But there is nothing in that fundamental difference of opinion that has anything to do with race.

And yet when a Republican was in office, and was vastly expanding the government for a brand new prescription drug program, they had no problem with it? They only start complaining when the Black Democrat takes office? So no, whatever their real problem is, it clearly isn't about government expansion. It has something to do with the current occupant of the White House.

Now you could argue that its just political Tom-foolery because he's a Democrat, and they would have created this annoyance against any Democrat. But then you have to explain why this didn't happen to the last 2 Democrats.

You could argue that its because of ideology, not actions or party. But then you'd have to explain why they do this to what is a relatively moderate mainstream Democrat. I think the only Demoractic POTUS we've had in the last century to the right of Obama was Clinton.

There's really only one thing left different about the guy: his melanin content.

And this isn't even accounting for all the parallel silly lies being spread about his religion and his birth, his patriotisim, etc. There's a common theme there: He's not one of "us". Its pretty clear there's something they want to say there, but its so ugly that they feel safer about lying about other things than pointing out their true issue.

There is no doubt what the issue here is, and it doesn't do you or anyone else any good to practice the humbuggery of pretending its something else.

Comment: Re:Forget mice - consider dogs, horses, cats, and (Score 1) 193

by T.E.D. (#49095187) Attached to: Human DNA Enlarges Mouse Brains

Humans likewise are opportunists... with intelligence they learn to cooperate for mutual gain.

People will do that, but it isn't all about sociopathic cooperation with us, as this implies. We are innately social creatures, and naturally seek to form groups together, even when there is no (non-emotional) personal gain. We have a word for people who cooperate with others only when it gains them something: "sociopaths".

Dogs are that way too. Evolution crafted them to live and hunt in groups, and co-evolution with humans has further crafted them to watch and understand humans and want to please them.

Cats simply are not innately social creatures. They are designed for solitude. That doesn't make them evil, just the creatures evolution has crafted them into. But this means that making them smarter would just make them smarter sociopaths.

Comment: Re:Forget mice - consider dogs, horses, cats, and (Score 1) 193

by T.E.D. (#49089713) Attached to: Human DNA Enlarges Mouse Brains

Imagine cats that are not only bred by instinct to depopulate the rat population in the area but that understand that is why you keep them there.

Massive analogy breakdown here. Cats are only out for themselves. If you could wave a wand and make them smart enough to have that level of self-awareness, it would not change the fact that they don't really care what we want. It would just give them the mental tools to be more effective manipulators of their humans. I for one don't find that an appealing idea.

Comment: Re:Safer never to use GOTO (Score 1) 677

by T.E.D. (#49041063) Attached to: Empirical Study On How C Devs Use Goto In Practice Says "Not Harmful"

It would be a very good bet that almost all the programs it found with gotos contained lexical analyzers

Well, I did something crazy here and actually RTFA to test my own assertion (I expect to get thrown out of /. for such heresy). I believe I would have lost my bet. There was this nifty table buried in their paper. Unfortunately, /. refuses to do tables for me, but the gist was the following goto reason distribution for files that had them:

Error: 80.21%

Cleanup: 40.36%

Control-Exit: 10.16%

Loop-Create: 8.85%

Spaghetti: 5.99%

Single : 54.17%

Multiple: 62.24%

Forward: 90.1%

Backward: 14.06%

Stacked labels: 26.3%

# statements in label block (median not %): 4

(Presumably some contradictory-looking entries here adding up to more than 100% are explained by files containing multiple gotos for multiple different purposes)

Comment: Re:Safer never to use GOTO (Score 1) 677

by T.E.D. (#49040521) Attached to: Empirical Study On How C Devs Use Goto In Practice Says "Not Harmful"

my 25 years of software development, I have never found a situation where the use of GOTO would produce better code

You've never written a good lexical analyzer then. No shame in that. Few people ever have to write one of those themselves. But take a look inside your (f)lex output some time. You'll find lots of gotos.

I used to say this exact thing, until the day I came across a problem where it wasn't true. I had to recode the algorithm every way I could think of, before I could accept the truth.

This is actually still great advice for about 95%+ of all software work. In my 30+ years of professional software development, I think I've done it once. However, if you end up in a situation where you have to code up a true state machine with no real structure to it other than nodes of code connected by control branches (eg: a lexical analyzer), then the natural expression of this is blocks of code connected with gotos. You can try and hide that by wrapping the mess in a case statement with a loop or something, but that doesn't change the real underlying control flow. In fact it *obscures* it.

And again, this isn't me being retrograde. This is well-known among the compiler building community (where the issue comes up regularly). That's why this report was able to find so many examples. It would be a very good bet that almost all the programs it found with gotos contained lexical analyzers (eg: compilers, compiler builders, regex matchers, etc.). These people aren't unrepentant cave-men. They just know something you don't because they regularly work on types of problems you don't.

Comment: Re:Stewart. (Score 4, Informative) 277

by T.E.D. (#49032467) Attached to: Jon Stewart Leaving 'The Daily Show'

The interviews are one more heavily edited than the corespondents pieces so I wouldn't trust them for either accuracy

Clearly you don't watch much (or perhaps don't pay attention?) Whenever they have to edit content from the interviews, they tell the audience and make the full interview available online (URL posted on the broadcast). The edit breaks are *really* obvious too.

If anything, the interview segment at the end is the most trustworthy interview segment you will find on television.

Comment: Re:I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did (Score 1) 277

by T.E.D. (#49032359) Attached to: Jon Stewart Leaving 'The Daily Show'

The Nightly Show "keeping it 100" bit is IMHO precisely what any show with a public figure on it desperately needs: some way to induce people to cut the safe prechewed canned crap and say what they really feel, and hold them to ridicule *to their face* if they refuse. I've completely quit listening to most politicians, because you know exactly what they are going to say already. Why bother, if I can write their statement for them already?

As an example, its probably fair to say the host Larry Wilmore is naturally inclined to be a fan of NJ Senator Corey Booker. So cut to episode 2, when he threw an entire handful of teabags in Corey Booker's face and said "weak tea" for giving a politician-style answer. It was one of best experiences of my (nearly 50 year) TV viewing history. It was like something I'd been missing my whole life and didn't know it had just been handed to me.

Comment: Re:I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did (Score 3, Insightful) 277

by T.E.D. (#49030325) Attached to: Jon Stewart Leaving 'The Daily Show'

My son (a college Sophomore) still audibly bitches when Stewart goes on vacation.

For the record, back during the Regan + Bush Administrations when I was in College, I had a similar devotion to Carson and Letterman. Neither of them were exactly spring chickens at the time.

Even bytes get lonely for a little bit.

Working...