Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Comment Institutional Knowledge (Score 5, Interesting) 169

On a site that frequently ridicules the short-sighted behavior of eliminating experienced employees to bring in fresh (cheap) college graduates, it seems out of place to have a positive outlook on pervasive outsourcing.

If everyone is a contract worker doing works-for-hire, then nobody has extensive institutional knowledge. You are constantly explaining and re-explaining how your business works, and bugs are repeatedly entering codebases because the developer hasn't spent years understanding the business and its workflows. It doesn't matter how well documented your business is, developers will make mistakes when they are unfamiliar with your processes. When they can't look at a workflow or data structure and go 'that's not right' because they have spent years at the company learning how things work.

Experience has value; not just experience coding, but experience with the company understanding how it works. Systems are rarely generic... they are embedded directly into the business logic unique to each company, and the less you need to learn and relearn the requirements of every system the more productive you can be.

Comment Re:I hope that Imprimis Pharmaceuticals make a pro (Score 1) 168

They've been losing money for four years, about 10M a year. It's a startup. All in all, this is pretty cheap advertising for them. But be aware that this is an advertisement. When Chevy says that they're truck will get 50MPG, get you to Colorado, and get you laid by the model onscreen you don't take them at their word.

Don't assume Imprimis is amazing because they put out an ad for their services.

Comment Re:Read the paper. Disagree with "symbols" (Score 1) 103

You failed to demonstrate your point. You show that symbols are not used in a way that would create the most entropy in the password. But that's not what the statement said... it said that symbols generally add more entropy than capitals or numbers. And unless you also compare the entropy added by capitals (barely 1 bit most of the time, capitalizing the first letter) or numbers usually a 1 at the end, or just a few digits at the end (and even fully random digits are only 3.2bits of entropy per character).

Symbol usage may be poor, but capital usage is shit, and number usage not much better. So poor beats out shit.

Comment Re:Best? (Score 5, Informative) 98

The 960 was only a barely behind the 750 in performance per dollar... which means you are getting nearly double the performance for that doubling in price.

Or, to put it another way, the 960 is 90% faster than the 750, for 100% more money. The 970 is 160% faster for 200% of the price. Those are actually great stats... when you normally look at high end cards, you often get 50% faster for 100% of the price.

Finally, all the games he tested were rather old (common for Linux). If I'm buying a new steam machine now, I don't want to buy one that can play three year old games for $100, I want to buy one that will play next years games.

Comment A long way. (Score 1) 58

The reviewers in this are not pushovers. They stress the AI, rather than just chatting normally. And that's awesome. All of the questions were stuff that most humans could easily handle, but often required a basic understanding of reality from our point of view. Unsurprisingly, the AI flubbed it. Perhaps some decade one of those knowledge engines will get a firm enough grasp to be able to answer this kind of basic reality trivia.

Comment Re:When Windows - Windows 10? (Score 1) 165

While I largely agree, the issue is not quite as black and white as you paint.

There are something around 2 Billion users with Windows installed on their computer. Regardless of your personal opinion about updates, they should be enabled by default, with no user prompt asking them at install time if they want updates. This is the same argument for mandatory immunization; the species as a whole benefits from herd immunity. If you are arguing against automatic updates, and malware-scanning-by-default, then I think you have a fundamental confusion about how the Internet will survive when infected devices are counted in the billions rather than the millions. Regardless of your distaste for the business practices of companies like Adobe and Oracle, their auto-updaters save the world billions in damages by reducing the number of vulnerable users.

There are other areas where best practices should not be up for debate by the user. My car doesn't ask me if I want to use my ABS brakes when I stop, nor does it stop dinging at me if I drive without a seatbelt on. You may value your personal freedom to choose, but society at large benefits when fewer people crash or die. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

Comment Important Takeaway (Score 3, Informative) 167

This just demonstrates one very valuable fact for any hopeful cloud OS wannabe: If your desktop environment sucks 'because you're a cloud OS', then you won't be a Cloud OS.

If the admin can't get familiar with your OS on their personal desktop, they are not going to think of using you in a mission critical place. The best server OS has to be a good personal OS too or it will never become popular enough. RHEL started off as just RedHat, one of the better distributions for Linux. 'EL' was just a backend change to the same comfortable front end, just as Windows Server is familiar for those who use Windows as their primary desktop.

Comment Re:Inaccurate Summary (Score 1) 139

I explained, backed with math and citations, the relativistic effects on communication between the Earth and a ship; the entire timeline of the journey as perceived by both sides.

The math for the Doppler effect combined with time dilation was demonstrated two ways, both by examining the time experienced by both sides (and working out the speed of the communication that would match that time) as well as examining the actual doppler effect separated out from the time dilation. The math, in both situations, works out the same... communications arrive at 1/3 speed while the ship flies away, and arrive at 3x speed while the ship flies back for a ship traveling at 0.8c relative to the Earth.

Rather than assert your correctness, would you kindly do the math and demonstrate why I am wrong? You obviously studied. Perhaps you are even a scientist in another field. But I believe you would learn something if you tried to actually do the math and work through the problem completely.

Relativity is a fascinating subject, but it's not magic. It doesn't suspend all other physics when reletavistic effects come into play. It's more a mild warping of normal physics that gets more pronounced the faster you go. But even at 0.9999c, all that normal physics is still there, and it still occurs the way it always does, you just have to add in one new term to the equation.

Comment Re:Of course it never gets past the event horizon. (Score 1) 172

I like this theory. It's clear, consistent with previous observations, and provides a clear explanation. But I don't understand one thing.... what happens when the Black hole expands?

This great explanation you gave only works after the black hole is created, and is now slowly losing mass via Hawking radiation. What happens to an observer when they fall in and the radius of the event horizon increases to a point beyond where they got 'stuck' in the stopped time of the horizon?

Comment Re:Inaccurate Summary (Score 1) 139

I'm sorry, but you are incorrect.

Perhaps you would like to explain how 8 years of communications reach the ship as it is 'changing frames' on the star 4 light years away? What you are describing requires information to travel at faster than light speeds. Can you explain when the doppler effect stops working as things get faster? Does the doppler effect stop working at 0.01c? At 0.1c? At 0.5c? Can you provide a source?

Here is what happened to you, perhaps years ago. You read and partly understood the frequently cited explanation about ships passing each other. The situation described in those explanations exists only for a moment as the ships motions are parallel. But as they are approaching each other, their transmissions are dopplered to arrive faster, and as they leave each other, they are dopplered to arrive slower. That's the entire point behind 'redshifting'. By your explanation light in behind and in front would be red shifted (time slowed down). That's what redshifting and blueshifting are... the change in the frequency of light.

And what is frequency? It's how many waves arrive per second. If I transmit 1 million waves of red light, and you receive 1 million waves blueshifted blue light, it takes less time to arrive because the frequency of blue light is higher... if I encode information in those 1 million waves, you receive that information faster when it arrives blueshifted. It doesn't matter if it's blueshifted a little or a lot, or if I'm undergoing relativistic dilation or not... it still arrives faster, and thus the perceived rate of time change is higher.

Also, think about this. The ship is approaching at 0.8c. If there were no relativistic effects then it would perceive the transmissions arriving at 180% normal speed, or 1.8x normal. But because of the time dilation on the ship (60% normal) that 180% becomes 300% (1.8 doppler / 0.6 relativistic = 3.0x perceived) perceived reception rate of the transmission. Similarly as they fly away from each other, without relativity transmissions would arrive at 1/5th speed (0.20 doppler), but because the ship's relativistic dilation is 60%, that 20% becomes 33% (0.2 doppler / 0.6 relativistic = 0.333 perceived).

So relativistic effects occur, but that doesn't mean doppler effects don't.

Comment Re:Inaccurate Summary (Score 1) 139

Why this works requires some use of the time dilation equation. Let's work with a relatively basic speed: 0.8c. That's the speed where time appears to be about 60% as fast (in both frames) when two ships are being compared to each other. Now let us imagine a ship flying away from the earth to a nearby star and back. In fact, let's steal the example given in this explanation of the Twin Paradox on Wikipedia. You should go read that first, because I'm not going to repeat what it says here.

There are two parts to that trip... the journey out, and the journey back. Let's examine each side's perception of the the other on the way out and the way back.

  • From the point of view of earth, the ship takes 5 years to reach the star. After five years have passed however, even though we know the ship has probably arrived we are still receiving transmissions from back when the ship was only partway there (the transmissions from when it arrived won't reach us for, obviously, 5 more years). In fact, after five years we are just receiving the transmissions from when the ship was halfway there, 2.5 years out. And because of the time dilation, the ship appears to be aging at 60%, so we have only gotten 1.67 years worth of communications (the signals reaching us have a timestamp of 1.67 years from the start). So in 5 years, we have gotten 5/3 = 1 2/3 years of data. Time seems to be passing at 1/3 the rate on the ship.
  • Now let's step up the weirdness. From the point of view of the ship, it's going to take 3 years to go 2.6 light years (Lorenze contraction). When it looks back after reaching the star, it sees the sun as it was 4 years ago (because it's 4 light years away). So for the '3 year journey' that the ship perceived, it only received 1 year's worth of communication. It is now 4 light years away and receiving messages (light) that have a timestamp of just one year after the start of the journey. To the ship, it was the Earth that was operating at 1/3 speed!

Ok, so we've just demonstrated that as objects fly away from each they both see the other operating slowly... as if the objects 'behind them' were moving in slow motion. What about when they start moving toward each other?

  • Back to the Earth's reference point. Even though the ship has already started coming back at the 5 year point, the Earth won't get those transmissions for another few years. Remember that the ship traveled 4 light years, taking 5 years to do it from the view of Earth. So we won't get the clock from the turn-around until the nine year mark. At that point (because of the 1/3 relative time dilation) the clock on the ship just hit three years. The ship is going to have three years of transmissions as it returns, and by the time it returns there will be no delay due to distance... what's that mean? It means that the blue shifted return transmissions provide 3 years of updates in the one remaining year of the trip. In other words, as the ship approaches time seems to have accelerated to 3x normal!
  • Finally, to complete it all, let's go back to the ship at the star when it turns around to return. It has traveled for three years and is receiving transmissions from Earth that have a timestamp just one year after it left. Now it's going to fly back to Earth. At the end of that trip Earth will have aged 10 years... so how much data arrives in that 3 year trip back? 9 years. While returning to Earth, the ship receives 9 years of transmissions over what seems like 3 years of travel time.

So the earth sees the ship move at 1/3rd speed for 9 years, and 3x speed for 1 year, for a total time gone of 10 years, and a total time on the timestamps from the ship of 6 years.

The ship sees the Earth move at 1/3rd speed for 3 years, and 3x speed for 3 years, for a total travel time of 6 years, while the total number of years that the timestamps on the transmissions from Earth showed... 10 years.

Relativity is crazy, but the math makes sense. The important takeaway is that objects approaching each other see both sides as moving faster. That's what the doppler effect is. This is just extreme doppler on doppler action.

"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain