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Comment: Re:Politics (Score 1) 157

Believe it or not, it use to be even more political, and even more radical.

Sorry no. The big political controversies did not appear on the front page as often, but more importantly the herd of really hate-filled left wing million+ UID types didn't exist here "back in the day."

The sea change probably started in 2000; Bush v Gore. You can see the history. In 2000, the "U.S. Supreme Court Issues Election Ruling" got just 438 comments despite the huge political significance and near-constitutional crisis that event represented. None of the Bush v. Gore stories got more than 1500, and the most popular was a story on statistics and ballot design.

Yet only a few years later in 2004 "Kerry Concedes Election To Bush," we find the most active story ever; 5000+ comments.

The herd had arrived!

As the site attracted more and more "SJW" types and political stories became more frequent Taco created in 2004 — a full seven years after he created the site — in a deliberate attempt to segregate it. It's worth thinking about the subject he wrote: Slashdot Goes Political: Announcing

And here we are today; political controversies are the most popular stories and people with 7 digit UIDs claim to be "originals".....

Comment: Misunderstood (Score 3, Interesting) 255

by TopSpin (#48717851) Attached to: 2014: The Year We Learned How Vulnerable Third-Party Code Libraries Are
ESR's claim has nothing to do with the frequency or discovery of bugs. All he says is that given enough observers, bugs are quickly characterized. It is implied that any given bug has already been discovered. There is no benevolent cohort of experts continuously auditing code bases and his statement doesn't claim there is.

+ - After Negative User Response, ChromeOS To Re-Introduce Support For Ext{2,3,4}

Submitted by NotInHere
NotInHere writes: Only three days after the large public has known about ChromeOS to disable ext2fs support for external drives, and linux users voiced many protests on websites like reddit, slashdot, or the issue tracker, the ChromeOS team now plans to support it again. To quote Ben Goodger's comment:"

Thanks for all of your feedback on this bug. We’ve heard you loud and clear.

We plan to re-enable ext2/3/4 support in immediately. It will come back, just like it was before, and we’re working to get it into the next stable channel release."

+ - Academic Journals are too Expensive For Harvard->

Submitted by TopSpin
TopSpin writes: From the Guardian; Harvard University has sent a memo to the university's 2,100 teaching and research staff encouraging them to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind costly paywalls. The memo from Harvard's faculty advisory council said major publishers had created an "untenable situation" at the university by making scholarly interaction "fiscally unsustainable" and "academically restrictive", while drawing profits of 35% or more. Prices for online access to articles from two major publishers have increased 145% over the past six years, with some journals costing as much as $40,000, the memo said.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Not really true? (Score 4, Interesting) 108

by TopSpin (#47894175) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

The link that supposedly refutes the argument that people are paying for things they wouldn't otherwise pay for doesn't actually refute anything. Rather, it characterizes the current situation as "socialism"; "Cable TV is socialism that works."

I do not want to contribute to ESPN. Nor the myrid "shopping" channels. Or the "Christian" networks. Or any of the other dreck that pollutes this world. Even if that means the things I do want aren't as well subsidized for the lack of fuhtbawl knuckle-heads.

Whatever.... I can't remember how long ago it was that I last paid a cable bill. My vote has been cast. Join me and cut these bloodsuckers off. You won't miss it.

+ - Silicon Valley has created an imaginary staffing shortage->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd writes: As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages.
Link to Original Source

+ - STEM worker shortage is IT industry fantasy-> 1

Submitted by Tailhook
Tailhook writes: Ron Hira, professor of public policy at Howard University and Paula Stephan is a professor of economics at Georgia State University; `As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages.' — `there is a remarkable concurrence among a wide range of researchers that there is an ample supply of American workers (native and immigrant, citizen and permanent resident) who are willing and qualified to fill the high-skill jobs in this country. The only real disagreement is whether supply is two or three times larger than the demand.'
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Cecil Kelley (Score 2) 299

by TopSpin (#47378105) Attached to: Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

As far as I am aware the highest radiation dose

Naturally the `record' must be limited to the subset of known cases. I've been studying the history of Soviet nuclear science and industry for a few years. Things went on in the Soviet Union that beggars the imagination, as they say.

When the waste storage tank blew up in Mayak in 1957, 90% of the high level waste fell in the immediate vicinity. That's 90% of 740 PBq (740E15 decays per second) within about half a kilometer radius, in which there were certainly some number of workers, this being the most urgent period of nuclear weapons development.

There were criticality accidents at Mayak that killed people as well; the Review of Criticality Accidents (2000) mentions seven incidents at Mayak and eight at other Soviet sites.

Then there is Chernobyl. Shortly after the explosion soldiers on the grounds of the plant policed up pieces of graphite and other debris, including fuel, from the reactor core with simple tools, bare hands and no respiratory protection [1]. They were breathing particles of heavy metal isotopes so "hot" that they floated through the air on their own thermal output like little balloons. They were treated as military casualties and their numbers are not publicly known.

The worst case of radiation exposure took place in the Soviet Union. We do not know the circumstances, how severe it was, how many it killed, when or where it happened, but that it did is a metaphysical certitude.

1. The Legacy of Chernobyl, 1992 Medvedev

Comment: Re:coding standards (Score 4, Informative) 664

by TopSpin (#46309173) Attached to: Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

This should be rule number one for this type of application.

Perhaps it should be rule number one, but actually it's Rule 16.2 of MISRA-C:2004 (Motor Industry Software Reliability Association, Guidelines for the use of the C language in critical systems):

Functions shall not call themselves, either directly or indirectly.

The rule actually appeared first in MISRA-C:1998. Each rule is accompanied by a detailed rationale that I will not reproduce verbatim here as the standard is not open; one must pay for the privilege. The rationale for 16.2 is that recursion may cause stack overflows. I only cite the rule itself because it appears in public testimony and also on the (first) page linked by this story ...... which you obviously did not read.

Because MISRA also disallows constructs such as function call indirection, self modifying code, etc. a compiler is entirely capable of detecting recursion and reporting the violation as an error. MISRA compliant compilers do exactly that.

Yes Virginia, the largest auto manufacturer on Earth ignores the very thing that was designed to prevent simple, common, easily predictable failures such as stack overflow despite the fact that the cost of compliance is much, much smaller than a rounding error for an outfit like Toyota.

Also, despite the fact that Industry dutifully identified this specific problem in a published standard at least 16 years ago, compliance is apparently not yet a requirement by government regulators. I suspect they're too busy investigating child seat manufacturers or Telsa batteries or whatever other politically high profile crisis that giant, engineer-free gaggle of NTSB lawyers fill their bankers hours with.

+ - Plan 9 from Bell Labs Operating System now GPL2 1

Submitted by TopSpin
TopSpin writes: Alcatel-Lucent has authorized The University of California, Berkeley to `release all Plan 9 software previously governed by the Lucent Public License, Version 1.02 under the GNU General Public License, Version 2.' Plan 9 was developed primarily for research purposes as the successor to Unix by the Computing Sciences Research Center at Bell Labs between the mid-1980s and 2002. Plan 9 has subsequently emerged as Inferno, a commercially supported derivative, and ports to various platforms including a recent port to the Raspberry Pi. In Plan 9, all system interfaces, including those required for networking and the user interface, are represented through the file system rather than specialized interfaces. The system provides a generic protocol, 9P, to perform all communication with the system, among processes and with network resources. Applications compose resources using union file systems to form isolated namespaces.

Comment: Re:Just be honest - it's not for *US* (Score 1) 2219

by TopSpin (#46181547) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

but I'm surprised so many attribute that to malice.

My accusation was limited to a lack of understanding; never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by ... a lack of understanding, as they almost say.

The immutability of reader comments has always been a prized feature

Amen. Accountability. It's always been obvious to me why simply revising comments isn't tolerable and I'm glad that view predominates.

And AC isn't a counterpoint to accountability either, for whomever might want to throw that one back at me; AC elevates attributed comments, on several levels.

Comment: Re:Just be honest - it's not for *US* (Score 4, Insightful) 2219

by TopSpin (#46181089) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

I'm pretty sure contemporary ideas about UX design are inappropriate for Slashdot. The one or two sentences that Twitter/Facebook/WhatsApp accommodate won't work here. This place indulges people that like to write, and people that don't mind lengthy posts.

The beta site shows a serious indifference to that; the amount of wasted space is just amazing. Fully 45% of the comments view is just empty, half of it gone to the infinitely long side bar that Beta fails to wrap into. No one that understands what this site is for could possibly have made that basic mistake for as long as Beta has been in the works.

Bootstrap et al. don't deal with "long form" threaded forums, so that design mentality won't work.

Here is a possibly novel idea that will actually be appreciated by at least this contributor, and probably most others; comment editing with revision control (a la Wikipedia.) It has to be revision controlled or the trolls will abuse editing. Allow readers to punish such trolls with moderation while the rest of us get the benefit of correcting minor mistakes.

There. That wasn't hard. A real improvement that caters to actual contributors, as opposed to hypothetical users that want to scribble a grammatically challenged half sentence 20 times an hour and don't read.

Anyhow, thanks for the step backwards on this and your participation in the conversation. You all could have gone bull-headed and made this situation even worse. So good on your for that.

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.