Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment self-certify? (Score 1) 203

The BBC reports

The EU forbids personal data from being transferred to and processed in parts of the world that do not provide "adequate" privacy protections.

So, to make it easier for US firms - including the tech giants - to function, Safe Harbour was introduced to let them self-certify that they are carrying out the required steps.

More than 5,000 US companies make use of the arrangement to facilitate data transfers

self-certify that they're completely above-board and that no privacy is being invaded.. says Google and Facebook.

I guess all that will happen is that these companies will open EU offices to scour though all our stuff instead of sending it to an American datacentre. Plus ca change!

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 1) 310

What a waste of effort. Write it once, release it as open source, let everyone else use it.

Everybody is then happy, the world becomes a bit better.

these excuses for the GPL just show how redundant it is, we do need a licence that says an open source library can be used in closed source software while still mandating changes and fixes to the library must be released as open source.

Comment Re: GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 1) 310

Alas, that works fine with real Open software - developers can take the source, build it and bundle it into their product.

The GPL prevents this - nobody disagrees that you shouldn't take the software and pretend you made it, but as the GPL makes your software have to be GPL too, it makes using the software impossible.

If the GPL only applied to the open software and made no claims whatsoever about the software that used it, people would be releasing GPL licenced stuff all the time. As it is, BSD or similar licences are the ones to use if you want your software to become standard. I'm sure a middle ground of licencing could be produced that said proprietary software could use open source and kept the proprietary stuff closed while still mandating openness and upstream releases of changes to the open software.

Nobody thinks "people should pay me because" concept is real, most open source software is in the form of libraries (like this image format) which should be used within the developers own project that they should be able to sell, because they made it.

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 2, Insightful) 310

Well, this means no users will be using the software because Microsoft will not be able to bundle it in Windows as a native format (not without releasing the source code of Windows).

This is the part where the GPL becomes problematic - while I think releasing the software that relates to the open source project is perfectly agreeable, making it apply to every other bit of software its linked to is not.

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 1) 94

20. The goal of terms in science is to aid our understanding of the universe, not hinder it. For this reason, definitions, particular baseline definitions, need to be simple. I'm not an ornithologist but I have a pretty good idea of what a "bird" is and any 5 year old does as well. Yet I guarantee most if not all ornithologists cannot name all 10,000+ species of birds. In a similar vein, why does it matter if kids can't name all the planets?

Agreed that the IAU is so far off the mark it's not funny considering they are supposed to be a major scientific body. What is needed is a taxonomical approach to astronomical object classification with increasingly complex definitions - and the IAU definition itself could be allowed to one of them.

1. World - a body that is massive enough to enter hydrostatic equilibrium but lacking mass sufficient to undergo nuclear fusion at its core.

2. Planet - a world orbiting a star.

3. Moon - a world orbiting a planet

The above excluded what are now called "rogue planets" from being planets since they aren't orbiting a star, but rogue world isn't too detached. Phobos and Deimos would no longer be considered moons under the above - they are merely satellites.

Moving to the more specific: "Classical Planet" - A planet visible to the naked eye (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). "Major Planet" - A planet which is the dominant body in it's orbital path, meaning it has more than 99.99% of all mass in the path or other objects in that amount are in tight orbit around it (earth/moon). "Dwarf Planet" - A planet which is not the dominant body in its orbital path.

Comment Re:There could be reasons for skipping the broccol (Score 5, Insightful) 257

The reason vegetable gardens were smaller was because either the main crop would bring more money in, or that there was limited space left over for a vegge garden. At least they used to have gardens!

Its not often nutritious food that we crave, its the hard-for-cavemen-to-obtain food that we love. Fatty, sugary, salty food is not so good for us in the quantities we eat, and that the real problem - its too readily available If we only ate small amounts, we'd be fine (he said while eating a huge cookie).

And yes, this has the same sense of igNobility about it as anecdotal studies show that if you give kids loads of sweets they won't have appetite left for dinner, no matter what it is.

Comment I wonder... (Score 1) 82

Fascinating article. This stuck out:

If Williams or anyone else can prove the existence of an edit-distance algorithm that runs even moderately faster than normal, SETH is history.

The edit distance between book and back is 2 ... In latin characters. It's 1 with kanji. The edit distance is probably several hundred if you're comparing the two on a per pixel basis instead of per letter. Edit distance varies by scope.

Surely I'm misunderstanding something. It can't be that simple.

Comment Re:Seen this first hand (Score 1) 131

I see the same with Project Managers - there are exceptions of people who can actually organise a project and manage people - but the vast majority are just incompetent seat-warmers who have only 1 skill - of getting themselves into a position where they can do very little work and disguise their lack of any value whatsoever.

at least, the ones who know they are useless do that, the really dangerous ones are those who think they're important and knowledgeable.

Comment Re:Science and Christianity are NOT compatible (Score 2) 260

They seek from the Bible inspiration, a cultural identity, etc., but not doctrine.

Well, I hate to tell you, but the vast majority of Christians would consider you to be a heretic at best.

Wrong. This is the stance of the Roman Catholic Church, which is larger than any other Christian denomination by an order of magnitude. The principle that all truth comes from the Bible and that it is *literally* true is known as the sola scriptura heresy, and is limited to a handful of Protestant branches.

The truth here is the reverse of what you believe.

Comment Re:Catch the rounded ones early (Score 4, Interesting) 300

but a computer language is not just the language - its the way of thinking that matters.

For example, I can tell you that a cup of tea is very nice.

Or I can tell you that a beverage consisting of stewed leaves, in a receptacle of suitable size for human consumption of liquids within reasonable tolerances constrained by societal norms concerning the adequate size given for common usage of imbibement practices, at a temperature between the range of values considered comfortable for sensitive tongue, palate, throat and stomach tissues not withstanding the sensation of heat requiring an upper range of temperature given the nature of heat dissipation of cooling liquids is of a nature considered pleasant to many who appreciate the flavour of such beverages.

both are valid English, but like computer programs I've seen software constructed in ways that make the latter seem a shining beacon of terseness!

So put software on the school curriculum like Reading, Riting and Rithmetic ;) but otherwise leave them to decide what they want to be without pushing some political agenda on them.

Comment Re:Not needed (Score 2) 86

saying bad things about the poofs is not terrorism. Its just bulling at worst, trolling at best. There's a difference between discussion and actively trying to physically damage people.

Maybe that's the line to draw, in which case we'd never arrest anyone until after they'd killed a load of people, but maybe that's the price we pay for your attitude towards theses criminal's liberties.

For me terrorism is telling people what they should do, bullying them into submission with constant attacks on their views. All the time ignoring the tricky question of what we can do to protect innocent citizens from terror attacks while still respecting civil liberties.

Comment Re:Karma Police? (Score 2) 86

They only have issues with the government spying on them for some brainwashed libertarian reason.

Corporations spying, that's fine.. they've bought into the koolaid advertising and marketing that these corps can do no evil.

I'm sure if the government had the same marketing capabilities as say, Apple, people would be signing up to hand over their data, and would even wear some device that gave permission for the government to track them 24/7. Now think about that iWatch on their wrists.

Comment Re:Lies! (Score 1) 341

don't confuse the runtime, whether its Java runtime environment or JVM or C+ runtime libraries, with user code.

C++ runtime libs are subject to scrutiny - you can see the updates regularly posted. At least with the C++ libs, apt-get or Winows update will patch your system quickly.. When I get a JVM update ... its a PiTA worthy of not bothering to update and simply uninstall the damn things instead.

C++ libs are also fitted with plenty of security checks too, though you tend to turn many of them off in optimised code, things like buffer overflows are still made for you. However you can bypass them with very unsafe techniques if you want to, unlike Java where you have little choice.

At least I've never accidentally installed a f***ing toolbar with a C++ runtime.

"The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray." -- Robert G. Ingersoll