Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

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: That's just self-discriminating (Score 1) 303

by (#49112821) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"
I like Pandora, and one of my greatest "web-disappointments" is not being able to use it without a proxy (Pandora is not available in my country), yet this really says a lot about how Pandora values their own music selection algorithms: you would expect a company that brags so loud about putting so much manpower and know-how in the topic to set a larger price tag on it, and give artists larger margins for each individual play of its songs. After all, Pandora never lets you pick a specific track for a specific artist and will always play what it thinks is best for you. Is this the real value the company translates to its services?

Comment: Re:Google Drive FTW (Score 1) 343

by (#49074379) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Version Control For Non-Developers?
Now you have to tell us how you would force an entire medium/large business workforce that is keen on using the Office suite to switch to Docs... Or even let us know how to include no-to-exotic stuff like SGPS documents, Photoshop, Illustrator, XPTO and whatnot in that kind of version control. Docs is no silver bullet to kill Office, nor Dropbox, nor . It wasn't made for any of that, just like Google+ wasn't made to kill Facebook.

Comment: Don't forget to thank Dijkstra for that (Score 1) 677

by (#49040841) Attached to: Empirical Study On How C Devs Use Goto In Practice Says "Not Harmful"
From a very superficial analysis, I'd say the fact that Dijkstra, among others, mentioning it back in the day really influenced the practice nowadays. That is yet another consequence of the enlightened influence the most knowledgeable imprint in society over the ages. The study is surely good science. Nonetheless, good science is only as good as the context it is applied, so the conclusions, even though interesting, must be made and taken with a grain of salt. This is because pretty much like testing human aggressiveness during primitive periods and testing it now would obviously provide the most disparate results in multiple orders of magnitude, and the same would have happened with this GOTO theme if there was this parallel universe we could compare - one where Dijkstra and co. hadn't chimed in about the subject, and nobody else stepped in to replace them. The greatest conclusion I personally take here is that such a large amount of code was influenced with the good practice evangelized by Dijkstra, and the pondered decisions that were made about the subject. Pretty much the same reason why IT is paying more and more attention to things like QA, agile, documentation, process, workflow and integration - we get these enlightened, experienced entities (individuals and companies alike) showing us just how important they are, and we apply those concepts with assurance that they will lead to better results.

Comment: Re:Nothing about proxy though (Score 1) 67

by (#48801313) Attached to: Netflix Denies There Was a Policy Change With VPNs
This is exactly what I meant. They are allowing a fastlane with VPN's (which are usually paid), much like they don't want ISP's to force them to pay. But they will block proxies which are, unlike Guspaz said, usually free, and will only route part of the traffic. I think they are saving face with these comments: VPN's are usually associated with freedom rights and private internet usage in problematic countries, say China, while proxies are most commonly knwon for basic circumvention of commercial region locks, like most audio/video/digitally purchased content.

Comment: Nothing about proxy though (Score 1) 67

by (#48736541) Attached to: Netflix Denies There Was a Policy Change With VPNs
Note that they didn't deny proxy blocking also reported in the ./ article. As it stands now, per their own exclusion, Netflix allows PAID fastlanes such as VPNs for users who already have to pay subscription AND Internet service, but they will not allow the much more convenient and free neutrality circumvention that proxies allow. This reeks of hipocrisy and/or a media stunt to shunt their own mistakes, and of a very nice deal to cash in with popular VPN services. Or at the very least not to fall on their worst grace.

Comment: The IT HR tabu... (Score 1) 552

by (#48678415) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

"there is a huge variation in ability between competent programmers and exceptional ones, and while you can train people to be competent, you can't train them to be exceptional"

This two sentences are the most blunt truths an IT professional has to cope with. 10x programmers just render us regular 1x programmers pretty much useless. If I lived in the US, and I had been raised as right-winged patriot, I would trust the local 10x are enough and some local 1x deserve to occupy 10x positions and salary slots.

But even if that's not the US picture, you don't want companies full of 10x's - it's proven to be hard to manage and to hinder company growth in the long run. Many will be headhunted, and many will leave.

If a company needs to be constantly looking for 10x programmers, it should be big enough to look for them locally. Unless it doesn't want to be paying the salary they deserve. This way you can fool a "foreign 10x" with the "El Silliconado" promise. Add some free housing, fast lane green card and a not-so-above-average salary, topped with the "I work for (e.g.) Google" factor. And that's how you're set for some long-term consequences when they to go back and fund their own 1B companies in Mumbai/Warsaw/Moscow/Beijing/Seoul, and start siphoning the local 10x and the local industry profits.

Comment: Re:Good. Now spend unused resources on prevention (Score 1) 229

by (#48651889) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals
Oh and don't forget to thank GCHQ. Now that they disclosed they have reduced tapping into communications, they pretty much gave carte blanche to criminals. Just imagine: if they had disclosed illegal tapping before, they would have actually prevented a lot more crime than they actually detected with it secretively. Then again, they might be bluffing this time. In any case good job GCHQ...

Comment: Good. Now spend unused resources on prevention (Score 2) 229

by (#48651835) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

So, (potentially) a quarter more class A narcotics entered the country due to (potentially) a quarter of the communications intercepted no longer being so. For one, I highly doubt those numbers translate to effective raise in class A narc. consumption or even availability. Let's not forget Snowden's actions also alerted the criminals, so they are EFFECTIVELY more aware, and thus LESS active since.

In any case, the number of drug addicts does not always increase with availability. Some studies actually indicate consumption is most influenced by other factors such as popularity/public opinion, novelty or ease of access (it's still socially difficult to contact dealers, thankfully). Some pioneer regions are proof availability is a deterrent for substance abuse, or induce more responsible use (Netherlands anyone?).

But even if I'm totally wrong, I'm personally happy with the trade off. I'll give in a few communications between criminals going undetected, for the assurance of private, universal communications any day.

Just spend the extra money on proven deterrents of narcotic use. Like prevention

Comment: The chicken or the egg (Score 1) 391

This is probably based on statistical models, based on our own civilization, that predict genuine AI will be achieved way before we can either communicate with extraterrestrial life, or travel to such life.

So, you see, this is just the same paradox again: however we came to be whatever we are now (usually called the homo sapiens), we have evolved in a synthetic way by itself, and our DNA is the catalyst that promoted our evolution. So, to believe the evolution of animal life, and the appearance of rationality in homo sapiens is but randomness, is the only way to admit we are not synthetic - highly improbable occurrence, unless we happen to be the very first sentient beings in the universe (a very egocentric thought to say the least, except if you take religion as proof). It is much more probable that we have been synthesized ourselves by an entity that hasn't presented itself to us (and is God in one way or another, but that's a philosophical matter).

tl:dr - we are most likely synthetic life forms too, so whoever we find we should not be distinguishing sentience categorization with them. There will be other (more important) divergences in the event of 3rd kind close encounters

Comment: Re:Between the lines (Score 1) 182

by (#48626813) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

A joke for a joke heh ^_^. In any case, I doubt there are any black hat (open) courses anywhere across the globe, and even white-hat cyber-security courses won't teach you 1% of what you need for such an attack. They do provide guidelines though.

What you need to succeed in such attacks is: open-minded, out of the box thinking; access to computers; and some very open access to the webs deepest corners. All of this has to be set up in line with the emancipation of IT abilities, which is usually around teenage-hood to its end around 20-24, or else there's no aptitude inception for it to become any useful. All of the above boxes do NOT tick for 99.99% of the NK population (that's like everyone but the top 10 NK government executives, including KJU).

So unless NK government started breeding hackers before Y2K (which most developed countries didn't, and underdeveloped countries were still thinking plutonium enrichment back then), and SHA-2 is no slouch, so this was certainly not a solo-NK attack. This has Beijing written all over.

Comment: Between the lines (Score 2) 182

by (#48624993) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking
What should be seen from these blaming statements is one of two inevitable conclusions:
  • - either US is trying to set up North Korea's public opinion in order to excuse some new (military or cyber-) incursion to them, or...
  • - they are actually making honest statements, in which case China is surely helping these cyber-attacks. It should be obvious that North Korea doesn't have the IT background necessary for such attacks... Unless Kim Jong-Un took some hardcore CS crash-course back in his Switzerland days.

In any case, Korea is deepening its role of battleground in the economical and social proxy-war between China and the US. This is nothing more than a turn of that chess game, but this time I'm pretty sure I heard "check" from the "red" side...

One person's error is another person's data.