Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Wow, that is really amazing. (Score 1) 309

by VirtualJWN (#47233511) Attached to: Google Engineer: We Need More Web Programming Languages
Kind of scary that the stewardship of most of our collective online presence is managed by a company with employees who have opinions like that. Is "Google" saying that there are holes in the cloud?? I thought the cloud would cure the common cold. Well of course the cloud has holes, giant gaping opportunities for data theft, and loss of revenue. The cloud concept has caught on in the most potentially destructive way possible, namely relying on internet hosted resources to solve daily business problems. Its one thing to provide the ability to charge via the internet, another situation entirely when applications (like google apps and other SaaS RELY on it for their operation. IMHO we have too MANY languages now, C, C++, C#, VB, Java, PHP, etc not to mention JavaScript and such. The problem is that what we have is not even close to being used efficiently. The newer "languages" and I use that term loosely as I don't consider C# a language so much as a scripting tool (aka VB with manners). Biggest problem today is that basic programming skills have been lost in favor of "object oriented" thinking. Let someone else do the coding and I will just glom onto that. REALLY bad "strategery" there, reminds me of the way Windows "revolutionized IT management. As long as you could click and push buttons, surprise you are an IT person. "Programming" today isn't so much writing code, it is a lego approach to building things. Frankly anybody can plug widgets together and make something work. But there is a difference between working and working well. Most programmers I have meet in recent years are very deficient in basic logic and design skills. The whole reason that C++ exists is that wannabe programmers couldn't use pointers and linked lists and other complex structures and such used in "C" for example. Visual Basic was created to provide the ability to produce programs by non programmers as well. What the real issue is today that I can see is that there is a REALLY big difference between IT programmers and computer scientist programmers. Businesses want people that can sit and crank code out "drones". VB and C# are the COBOL and PL-1 of the 21st century.

Comment: different perspective (Score 1) 432

by VirtualJWN (#47098807) Attached to: Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?
Believe it or not, pure ethanol "can" run great in most engines. Its octane rating is probably somewhere around 100...I say probably because Octane is specifically calculated and observed with petroleum based fuels. The Model T and pretty much all the predecessors ran on alcohol. It wasn't until the late 20's that the OIL LOBBY convinced Ford and others to convert to Gasoline. Ethanol was first produced as a substitute for whale oil in lamps in the early 1830's BIG OIL finally shut that down through ushering in a sugar tax during the civil war that made it nearly impossible to produce alcohol in quantity commercially, this ushered in (coal oil) or Kerosene for use in homes and businesses. Alcohol burns more slowly than gasoline, and at a lower temperature, so it tends to help the engine run cooler. Also does not have any of the additive crap that is in gasoline. The fact that Ethanol acts as a solvent for the shellac and deposits from gasoline fueled one of it's first smear campaigns. In the 1970's after years of use of gasoline with additives, this caused fuel filters to become clogged and people to blame the Ethanol. Trouble with that logic is that once you change the filter a few times, your system is clean and water free. In that Ethanol has no additives, I should say the non denatured Ethanol (i.e. Ethanol with Gasoline added to keep people from drinking it that we are sold) which contains benzene and is responsible for the "fish kills" when ethanol is accidentally spilled The fuel system has to be designed for Ethanol that is for sure. Thats a big reason why fuel injected engines run better than carburetors. There used to be carbs specific for Ethanol (likely methanol too, but Methanol is a whole other topic) We are at an impasse with using alternative fuels. The car companies have produced low compression engines to accommodate the low energy density fuels like 85 octane and lower gasoline. This makes the use of any fuel other than gasoline impractical for example propane works in much a similar fashion to alcohol in engines, clean burning, anti-knock, etc. Trouble is the engine needs to be either 13:1-15:1 compression ratio or turbo charged to provide the right air fuel ratio for efficiency. this is ALL a scam, the cars today are very inefficient for several reasons, primarily so they burn MORe fuel and keep the tax base up, second, they use crapoline (distillate) that is cheaper to produce and less efficient than gasoline "used to be". These are the facts that the media doesn't tell you. not secrets but conveniently omitted truth. PS - before you think that this is speculation, I grew up with racing engines, and all different klinds of exotic fuel around as my dad was big in motor sports and tractor pulling. As boys often do, we experimented with the fuels ourselves in LOTs of different applications from mowers to minibikes to motorcycles to Cars and trucks.this included gasoline (between 95 and 140 octane...yes that is possible) ethanol, Methanol, propane, and lots of other stuff...even messed with hydrogen at one point. bottom line, the "standard talking points " are is not necessarily true. I also worked for Automotive engineering for many years, so this is really (mostly anyway) based on experience and facts, not just spouting off Hope this opens the debate a bit.

Comment: what the hey? (Score 1) 869

Just goes to show you, throw enough poop (i.e. Global warming clowns money) at a wall, and soon you can't even see out the window, and the room stinks. 500 years of data is insignificant. people have been around for a long time. The "Cow flatulence" debate is laughable too......for example, how many Buffalo roamed the plains of north america up til 100 years ago....herds covered entire states (no not the "sissy states" on the east coast, "real men" states like Kansas, South Dakota, and Wyoming sized herds....thats a lot of red meat!!!!! Unless the buffalo were eating LOTs of Beano, probably a bit of methane there too. Umm, the problem here is that we really don't know....it is fun for some to use "incomplete data" to write studies on toilet paper that "prove conclusively" that something is so, but frankly we just don't know. Washington genius has again shut down our space exploration (once thought to be a source of global warming and weather changes!!!!) We now know most "green house gases" come form the mouths of politicians. Simple answer close washington, problem solved. BTW - that is MORE easy to prove than any hokum from environmental socialists. The real "problem" if you want to call it that is the glowing orb in the daytime sky...thats right, the Sun!!! We have no clue how the sun works over time, and frankly since that is what warms this planet and sustains ALL life (contrary to what the libs think) then perhaps studying the Sun and space weather is better use of our time. Trouble is we'd have to divert the "fun money" from washington to do that, and we'd probably stop allowing the Bureau of Land management to harras the rancher out west because of a few desert tuttles.....desert turtles....does that kind of explain how productive the land is for anything OTHER than ranching.....maybe they want the land for some OTHER purpose.....who knows. Desert turtles are like hippies....any surviving of either type had their day in the Sun and should quietly fade away!! HAH

Comment: Ummm no. (Score 1) 627

by VirtualJWN (#46338581) Attached to: Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?
Whether you code in notepad, vi, or whatever in text, or use an IDE, that has absolutely nothing to do with being a good or bad programmer. Having been a programmer for over 20 years, IMHO what makes bad programmers is "object oriented languages". First, I'm sorry C# is not a language, anymore than VB.NET, JavaScript, or PHP is. They are methods of scripting using major parts of other peoples code. When complete, the script can in some cases be converted to binary and used sort of like a real language module, but NO C# is not a language. the fact that Microsoft chose to use "C" in the name is a fraudulent attempt at best to give stature to a scripting tool that falls very short of the mark. Scripting languages are a way to make programming "more accessible" to the masses, but they are not a good way to build applications. C# and VB.NET are SO heavily separated form the "programming" that a new word should be defined (just like all the terminology that was altered to match up with the "hipster" object oriented stuff. Won't see robots programmed with Object oriented code (at least not important ones) nor nuclear reactors, space craft, airplanes, or even cars. WAY too bloated and slow to be of use for anything other than transaction processing. Don't know why someone would dis IDE's and not see how sloppy and frankly unskilled coders today actually are. Borland had IDEs for "C", so did IBM and even Microsoft (though Programmer sWorkbench was more of hammer than a scalpel. There were IDEs for Pascal before that was cool as well. Trouble was people who wanted to be programmers wouldn't or couldn't work with pointers, arrays, structures, and other complex aspects of programming. That is what game us Visual Basic in the early 1990s. Arguably the first wide spread object oriented language (albiet one that didn't do much useful). then of course C++ (essentially extra headers and classes to "C") riding ":C"s popularity as well. I could live with C++, as you could still do "real programming" with it. C++ compiled down to reasonable size, yet still provided hardware interaction. All the "new scripting tools" like C# and VB.NET are is fancied up ASP. SO PLEASE don't go making fun of how others "code" before you understand why most of the "coders" today really aren't coders at all but actually scriptwriters, copying other peoples work (good or bad).

Comment: Then Microsoft would be a cult! (Score 1) 392

by VirtualJWN (#45856093) Attached to: If UNIX Were a Religion
If Unix is a religion then Microsoft must be a cult..... One standard party line. Devoted followers who shun and even castigate "non believers" An unproven and flawed philosophy that is adhered to as law. finally a lunatic leader who tends to see the world through "unique insight". Yep, Microsoft is a Cult! they even have the Purple coolaid (windows update) taken daily it steals your life and soul. If I had a penny for each minute of productivity lost collectively by windows Update, well I'd have a lot of pennies! HAH

Comment: Re:Unlikely (Score 1) 256

by VirtualJWN (#42785635) Attached to: Microsoft Phases Out XNA and DirectX?
windows8 is tanking badly this is the ONLY reason they would even consider abandoning it. If Microsoft thought they even had a chance of maintaining their long held monopoly, they would keep DirectX and FUD attack OpenGL. DirectX ceased being relevant to future about 10 years ago anyway. Plus, it has NEVER been on par with what OpenGL can do (i.e. run on virtually anything) and being extensible. OpenGL is and always has been the future.

Comment: Vinyl (Score 1) 547

by VirtualJWN (#42032399) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Make a DVD-Rental Store More Relevant?
Vinyl records are making a comeback.......so a vintage shop would be a good idea! HAH seriously, that is an idea though. Frankly I'd look into a coffee shop / internet cafe type of thing.....I really saw video stores being passe about 10 years ago. That would be cheapest, plus most video stores have lots of windows, so they are conducive to coffee / juice bars. Actually the "new thing" is 3D printing. I'd tell them to invest in various 3D printers and offer services to print 3D objects. I have been pushing this tech for 10 years (not in that market area, but recognize the potential) I thought the DVD store thing was dead anyway.....Now with Netflix, VuDu, roku, GoogleTV, etc DVD is pretty much a data storage media or backups.

Comment: "3 year old Surrogates" gave the world Windows (Score 1) 537

by VirtualJWN (#41778087) Attached to: Are Windows XP/7 Users Smarter Than a 3-Year-Old?
If not for the "3 year old Surrogates" who invaded the Corporate IT world in the mid 90's, Windows would have never lasted THIS LONG! Windows 8 will be the stake that kills the giant Ogre that is Redmond and Microsoft. "EM" Balmer is already there measuring for the interment ceremony. Trust me, I was directly involved in a large (ok HUGE) company in the mid to late 1990's when the OS wars (Microsoft Vs Microsoft vs. Novell, vs. UNIX) were in full swing. BY FAR the majority of mindless foot dragging and foul language emanated from the "3 year olds" who had managed to parlay a spot in development HOW? Well following a stint on the "help desk" where their "rudimentary windows skills" translated into "Server Skills"......Only and I mean ONLY reason this worked was that the Microsoft Servers were SO DUMBED DOWN, that a 3 year old could actually configure them. I called this process "Click and Hope" in terms of "go through the GUIs long enough, and at some point (like the monkeys typing on typewriters" one would ultimately randomly create something intelligible. The unfortunate thing was that the cost of deployment, support, and overall COI was so inflated by this inefficient model that many companies could not compete. In 1995 an IBM OS/2 server could serve as domain controller and serve 500-700 users, Microsoft was limited to 100 users max. In terms of application serving and reducing COI of software, again Microsoft with its "flagship" (more like Pirate ship) office ABSOLUTELY fought this concept, and wanted an Office copy on every PC. Again the 3 year olds complied. Had OS/2 Warp, Sun Solaris X86, or even Novel been given an “equal shot” by the industry (rather than MGMT relying on the “smoke and mirrors” at Microsoft, we would be about 10 years further along right now. With lots and lots of the IT “GURUS” as baristas at Starbucks. Promises were made to upper management (at our company) from Redmond at "dog and pony" events telling how Windows 95 could extend your desktop to any other PC in the company (forgot to tell you that the other machine would have to mirror yours exactly and that specialized apps on your PC were not accessible to the other PC). This was major as it was one of the primary reasons Windows 95 was deployed. (BTW) this capability STILL does not exist natively (on Microsoft products anyway). UNIX and LINUX could do it at the time. Now you can use the Virtual PC and other similar technologies to approximate what Microsoft claimed and swore by in 1995! By my count, that is almost 20 years of lies alone!!! As far as the "3 year old" people taking over IT, no where is this more apparent than today. "Click and Hope" configuration is the norm, breaking standards the goal, and dominance through devotion the only key. Much like a 3 year old clings to a parent for sustenance and survival, so have the masses those beginnings in the 1990’s have devoted their "souls" if you will to promoting a now lumbering and faltering giant. Unfortunately for many who "banked" on Microsoft dominating for their career span, a younger and hipper crowd has deemed APPLE the new regent and status symbol. While I see neither "winning" long term, they will collectively muddy the waters until a "new" victor emerges. While many would arguable say that XP and perhaps windows 7 are useful and "easy" to use, never in its history has Microsoft provided a feature rich tool upon which an enterprise could be built. Only the point and click and pictures made this tech viable for the masses of IT incompetents. And before extolling the innovation of Windows NT, remember that that NT OS was "co-developed" (by co I mean written by IBM and "co opted" by Microsoft) and that the overwhelming success of that project was OS/2 (version 2.11 - WARP). So Forget NT as an "innovation" Prior to that, Windows 3.1 was a "rip off" of the Mac interface (albeit poorly implemented) And MS DOS before that was "essentially stolen" from another small company in Washington State and handed off to IBM as a Microsoft "innovation". With a track record like that, Microsoft in most respects most closely resembles the business model of china (covert cooperate and conquer) using the "enemy's own tools against them. In closing, let me say that the "success and failure" of Microsoft has been driven by and architected by “3 year olds”, so in fact this thread is ESSENTIALLY TRUE! QED

Comment: Short answer:NO, long answer: Maybe (Score 1) 630

by VirtualJWN (#41458307) Attached to: Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?
What is passing for a "Computer Science Degree" today at 4 year schools is both way overpriced and does not hit the mark in terms of skills needed. Our MBA's in the Mega Banks have shipped as many tech jobs overseas that they can, and frankly for the moment there are plenty of people to do the job, adn are just as anxious to drag people from foreign countries here.....because they are "smarter"....I know, nobody with less than a Business Administration degree can understand either. What we need is people innovating, not just learning Microsoft applications and thinking they are coders. Thanks to Microsoft and Apple, an entire generation of people has not even learned architecture or other important skills that used to be part of a CS major. (I have a B.A. and M.S. in Comp Science and nearly a PhD in Instructional Design. Thinking out of the box these days is writing a "cute bit" of object code. to make real advances in the field, it is necessary to have people who have gotten their hands dirty and done the work. IMHO Junior colleges are to a large degree filling this need of turning students out into the work force in a fiscally and ethically responsible manner.

Comment: Wow (Score 1) 867

by VirtualJWN (#41375723) Attached to: Warp Drive Might Be Less Impossible Than Previously Thought
You mean that the "science consultants" from DARPA, JPL, CALTECH, MIT, and even NASA, and various other places that advised the Creator of Star Trek (Gene Roddenberrry) as well as the writers were RIGHT???? Wow, that is truly an AMAZING COINCIDENCE!!!! Next thing you know we will have communicators, Mr. Spocks data tablets, and selective lethality weapons!

Comment: Re:Have you really thought this through? (Score 1) 448

by VirtualJWN (#40803547) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: the Best Linux Setup To Transition Windows Users?
Yes, I am afraid it is..... Will cost A LOT of bloated IT jobs though!! plus single minded folk who don't have demonstrable skills beyond "poke and hope" (sorry, Point and Click). Gee, Apple uses Linux (tha tis what is "under the covers" of OS X. Only "odd man out" is M$!! Not for long though, Windows 8 will sink that ship.

Comment: Re:What crap (Score 1) 182

by VirtualJWN (#38997705) Attached to: IBM Seeks Patent On Judging Programmers By Commits
C'mon there HAS to be a way to "weed out" those who CAN from those who "CAN'T" and frankly screen out potential upstarts and keep only the chaff. At least keep the smart people CONTRACTORS so they aren't really part of the company, though they often doo all of the heavy lifting. Just more MBA PAP to muddy the waters and provide excuses to promote your buddies.

Comment: WOW, All I can say (Score 1) 182

by VirtualJWN (#38997641) Attached to: IBM Seeks Patent On Judging Programmers By Commits
What will the "BRAINIAC MBAS" think of next? We live in a world of irony.....based on this logic, We would all read by candle light, as at 10,000 "commits" Tom Edison's people would have never have perfected (or discovered for that matter) the electric lightbulb. What a moronic and short sighted approach to innovation. The MBAs btw- same folks that brought us OUTSOURCING and th ehousing bubble (hows THAt working for you????) are the single greatest force against American Exceptoinalism that exist. Short term profits do not a strong economy or industry make. How about we quantify how much time is wasted by redundant middle level mgmt, and needless meetings, and frankly if the mgmt chain doesn't understand a new technology in 15 minutes, (without a helpdesk person) then send them packing. Same logic. Why waste time trainign peope to drive cars, just have an off shore person with a two way radio for the driver to ask question to (i.e. what does the octagon shaped red sign mean......) wouldn't that be cool. NOT!!! "BAN THE MBA SAVE THE WORLD!"

Comment: What about "C"?? (Score 1) 510

by VirtualJWN (#36572636) Attached to: Learning Programming In a Post-BASIC World
What about "C"?? You can get the Watcom compiler and "code away" in "C" for free. Basic was ok in that it let "non programmers" program, but frankly, in terms of "coding" It really was a rather limited interpreted language.....not unlike (but far inferior to) scripted languages like Javascript and others. IMHO Microsoft "bastardized" the term BASIC as a programming language with its many "kit bashes" of the language and misuse of the name. Same as "C#" just a marketing attempt to hitch your wagon onto a industry standard and give it credibility with the "masses" while hiding the fact it is a Java CLONE. BASIC was written in 1968, and was a "1st / 2nd generation language, any attempts to update have it miming "C" and similar languages, therefore ceasing to be BASIC and becoming something else.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

Working...