Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment Re:North Pole (Score 5, Insightful) 496

You'd only be partially correct.

There are actually multiple solutions:

1.) North Pole (one mile south, one west, and one north brings you back to the north pole)
2.) A ring of points approximately 2 miles just north of the the south pole, such that when you walk one mile south, you're even closer to the pole, then walk one mile west, going completely "around the world", back to where you started your westward travel, and one mile north, bringing you back to your original position.

Comment Why I have an AOL email. (Score 1) 461

My primary account is Gmail, however, I still have an AOL address.

First, I was not an AOL user; I was an AOL Employee.
In that regards, it is a bit of my employment history.

When I first signed up for StackOverflow, they supported OpenID, the only site I had at the time that also supported OpenID was AOL.
So I know many people look down on AOL, but remember that they had OpenID before most other sites.
As a result, my StackOverflow account is tied to my AOL address.

And I'm really not ashamed of it.

Comment Re:wtf (Score 4, Insightful) 94


Does the prosecution not have a legal duty to turn over potentially excuplatory evidence??

"In many countries, including the United States, police and prosecutors are required to disclose to the defendant exculpatory evidence they possess before the defendant enters a plea (guilty or not guilty)."

Comment Re:Strange terms? (Score 1) 226

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that fairness and justice has something to do with this.
It doesn't.

It is about the simple exercise of power.
The record companies *can* take everything... so they *do* take everything, right or wrong.

The alternative would've been that Grooveshark fights a losing battle in court for years or a decade, only to lose everything in the end anyway.

Comment STEM *is* Humanities (Score 3) 397

Anyone who believes that STEM education is purely about learning equations and diagrams does not get it.

STEM is about organizing ones thoughts for clarity, something "humanities" strives to do, and in trying, often misses the mark by a wide berth.

Science is about creating a hypothesis, devising a sensible test, and understanding the results fully, in complete context.

Technology is about organizing complex systems, the attributes of each piece, their interrelations, and understanding how to modify and improve the overall system. Whether it is a mechanical machine, a computer network, or a community of people, studying technology is studying organization. This is the same goal as sociology, but done better.

Math is about taking a complex problem, reducing it into component pieces, addressing each one properly, and combining the individual results back into an overarching conclusion, just as a well written essay would do.

The best engineers are humanities students. Not because they also took liberal arts classes in college, but because they understand that Engineering is far more than solving math problems.

Comment Re:why? (Score 1) 677

The Right Way is this:

bool SomeFunc(void)
        bool success;
                success = DoStep1();
                if (!success) break;

                success = DoStep2();
                if (!success) break;

                success = DoStep3();
                if (!success) break;
        } while(0);

        if (!success) /* Do Cleanup */

        return success;

This is "better" because break will only leave a single scope, and only go forward.
With goto, you could go anywhere, leave any scope, enter any scope... and even go backwards.

Comment University Topics are one thing, but.... (Score 2) 438

I'm a computer programmer, and encounter plenty of people with "various credentials" from "various nations".
It may be frustrating and annoying, but thats life.

However, I'm also a Private Pilot, and what truly terrified me in flight school was the foreign students who came to the USA to start on their Professional Pilot training, and cheated their way through the tests. They cheated through the written tests simply because they were goofing off and not paying attention in class.
The tests were entirely fair and passable if you paid attention in class and did the homework. But they chose not to, cheated through the tests (were occasionally angry when they were caught.... they were *paying* a lot for this education! Didn't you know... they *deserved* to pass for how much they were paying!)

It wasn't only the pilots. Several studying to be aircraft mechanics (in another class) were also caught cheating.
I know a student from a Air Traffic Control program who had several Chinese nationals in her class, and they were cheating their way through.
(not just a few questions or a few percentage points... but wholly cheating on entire exams).

Much of Asia likely has incompetent pilots flying improperly maintained aircraft, and directed by incompetent Air Traffic Controllers. I will never fly over there after what I saw.

Comment Wiring (Score 2) 52

Many places use uniform cable colors to indicate the purpose of each wire (red = DMZ, yellow = uplink, blue = intranet, green = servers).
But I find that makes it very hard to trace individual cables. Tracing one red cable among a bunch of of other red cables is madness.

Rather, I'd suggest explicitly using as many random different colors as you can.
Label the end of each cable where it plugs in with its purpose if its not abundantly clear, but otherwise, tracing a single red-wire through a bunch of multi-colored wire becomes Much, much easier.

Comment Problem with License Plates (Score 1) 273

License Plates work well enough, IFF they are on the front of a car.

But I recently moved from a state where front & rear plates were required (WA) to a state where people only have rear plates (KS).

If a car comes up the express lane towards an observer/monitor, the observer won't know the car is in the wrong lane until the car is already past them, and driving away.
Enforcement just went to hell.

(nevermind that at B.M., many plates are totally obscured with dust).

Comment Re:I remember being puzzled by that chapter (Score 5, Insightful) 423

I don't believe it is because they *won't* contradict their superiors.
It is because they don't known *how* to contradict their superiors.

After a lifetime of cultural indoctrination of respect towards elders and superiors, when the time comes to speak up, how do you do it?
What do you say? Do you indicate by pointing or gesturing? Do you speak politely and slowly, or angrily and quickly? Maybe just grab the controls yourself?
When do you speak up? When you first spot trouble? when you're convinced your partner overlooked it? or when it is really approaching the last-second?

All of these little decisions are already ingrained into Americans. We know culturally how to speak up and raise an issue.
But to someone unaccustomed to them, it is a huge cognitive load, and leads to self-doubt and uncertainty.
I'm sure someone on that flight deck *wanted* to speak up, but was probably wondering what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.

All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.