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Comment Re:A plea to fuck off. (Score 1) 327 327

What's far more likely is that the drive the database is on fails and you lose access to all your randomised passwords.

LastPass stores your password vault on their servers in encrypted form. So really the only issue is the strength and secrecy of your master password and the encryption used on the vault.

Having said that, I do not store passwords for banking accounts, Paypal, etc. in my password manager. Terrible shit will still happen if my vault is opened by those with malicious intent, but there is at least a minor barrier preventing them from converting my life savings into Bitcoin.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 1) 243 243

And should they really make laws affecting software developers, patent owners, and software users without talking to some people from these three groups?

Sure, why not? As long as they have a solid understanding of the matters the law concerns, they definitely don't need to talk to stakeholders. Because, again, those stakeholders have a stake in the matter and have a huge incentive to either lie or portray half truths, and anything they say is thus suspect to the point that it is better not to hear what they have to say.

Or do you expect them to also have some software developers on staff (who happen to understand the patent aspects) just in case this topic comes up in their term?

False dichotomy. There is somewhere between 'talk to the guys the law specifically concerns' and 'hire everybody to cover all possible knowledge in the world'. For instance: Hire some external consultants.

Politicians should be seeking out parties that can inform them on subjects they do not have a proper grasp on. Tell me, which non-malicious politician in his right mind would seek information on a matter from any party who has anything to gain from that matter being legislated one way or another?

"I'm going to have to vote on a law to forbid vacuum cleaners, of which I know nothing. I know, let me talk to the people at Vacuums & Stuff Inc. (providing you suckage since 1923!) and then ask The Society For All Things Broomlike after that."
It's ridiculous.

I mean, it's not as if in any field the only knowledgeable people are people who stand to gain from certain legislation in that field. For something as important as lawmaking, spending some extra cash on independent consultants or, again, research into the matter at hand to greatly reduce corruption seems warranted to me.

Also it seems like a much better solution than what you propose. Frankly, your 'solution' (keep pretty much everything the same) is shit. And proven so.

Comment Re:Welcome to America (Score 2) 243 243

a reporter worth his salt

I would also like to see a unicorn.

The problem is that journalistic quality is not really measured. Western societies just do not (really) reward good journalism. There may be some prizes and awards within the field that matter somewhat, but the largest part of it is an entirely different beast of 'attention', 'sensation', 'controversy', 'clicks', 'tweets', 'views', etc. These have become the metrics for success in the field (one could argue that similar metrics always were, btw) and in no way do they stimulate quality journalism.

1. Take a basic course on what good journalism is or hell, just look up some resources on it on the web, for instance: http://www.americanpressinstit...
2. Hold the definition(s) of good journalism against 10 different (quality) articles.
3. Cry.

Call me a cynical bastard, but from what I encounter, a maximum of only 5% of the 'quality' articles I read are half-decent when it comes to adhering to core principles of journalism. The basic principle of 'Audi alteram partem', i.e. informing the reader on the views from both sides is so often not followed at all or done in such a mangled, subjective and derisive way that the entire article is still completely one-sided.

I thoroughly believe that sometimes the state of those articles is due to malice, sometimes due to incompetence, but mostly because of the lack of reward for being and motivation to be a good journalist.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 1) 243 243

If there's a problem that politicians are taking bribes (be it campaign contributions or the promise of a well-paid job later), the party with the most guilt is the politician.

That is fucking bullshit and needlessly takes away blame from assholes who knowingly use every tactic in the book to get what they or their employers want, even if it fucks over the general public and the world in general.

Both lobbyists throwing resources (in one form or the other) at and politicians accepting any of those are enormous egotistical pieces of shit.

Said differently: taking and offering bribes are equally immoral.

Politicians aren't experts in every domain, so a domain expert explaining the issue can be very useful.

You mean advisors?
Independent parties who don't try to sway the opinion of the person they are talking to in the process? Pretty much the opposite of what the core task of a lobbyist is?

Any 'explanation' by a lobbyist should be deemed extremely suspect and unreliable, to the point that it is better to not consider the 'explanation' at all. Browsing the web on the subject for the time it requires to read or hear the statement by the lobbyist is probably more informative.

Lobbying in principle shouldn't be disallowed, but given the extreme bias of the lobbyists (small or big), very little good can come of it. Countries would be much better off in investing in more research into the subjects at hand and attaining unbiased or at least equally biased information.

Comment Re:Spreadsheets (Score 2) 142 142

It's almost a no-brainer, but for people who are on the fence on putting data in spreadsheets or a database: Start with spreadsheets, but organize them in a database table-like form (as opposed to an interface-like form with little mini-tables scattered around one subsheet, which is what most people tend to start out with).
  1. Use only one header row per subsheet
  2. Make as many rows as possible just straight data rows, with every cell conforming to what is dictated by the header for that column.
  3. Create an id column with unique 'primary keys' for the data rows. Simple incremental integers obviously suffice in most cases. This also brings along the many advantages a stable identifier brings with it, such as being able to reliably refer to the rows pretty much everywhere.
  4. Logic across data rows is best kept in separate subsheets or in the frozen section with the header row (see Google Spreadsheets), although this is mainly to allow for easy (re)sorting and filtering. Logic confined to each data row (i.e. derived columns) can be implemented as columns, although I do like to use background coloring to easily see the difference between the source and the derived columns.

If the step to a database ever needs to be made, migrating the data sheets is obviously trivial. Converting the logic to a different platform is also easier, as the separation advised above enforces that it is built around database table-like input.

Comment Not a summary (Score 5, Informative) 65 65

This is not a summary, but a teaser. Let's keep that kind of bullshit off Slashdot.

Actual summary:
"Recently, the existence of pentaquarks, predicted by quantum chromodynamics, was confirmed. This sortof validates quantum chromodynamics. [Intro to quantum chromodynamics]. We could find many more particles predicted by quantum chromodynamics in the future!"

Comment Re:A story of how women were (Score 5, Insightful) 191 191


"Bob Harp's memory board worked well, and he recognized that it could serve as a lucrative commercial product. Lacking the time and resources to commercialize it, he put it on the back burner for almost a year. But in 1976, when his wife and Ely were trying to hatch a business, he offered his Altair memory board as a potential product.

As exciting as the opportunity sounded to Lore, computers represented completely foreign territory for both her and Ely (and, for that matter, nearly everyone else on the planet in 1976). Lore recalls: "I called my friend and I said, 'Carole, what do you think about starting a computer company? I have this little 8K RAM board.' She said, 'What’s a RAM board?'""

It get's much, much worse:

"With a good technical underpinning and a focus on style and aesthetics, they knew their boards could stand ahead of the pack. The pair even went so far as to seek out specifically-hued capacitors that would not clash with the other components on their circuit boards. "I don’t know what people thought of us: two females looking for colored capacitors," Ely told InfoWorld in 1982. "But we were interested in what colors went into our boards." "

All in all, it's more of a confirmation of traditional gender roles than it is of breaking through them. Bonus classic permeating theme: gloryless underappreciated innovative techies versus fairly run-of-the-mill wildly successful sales people (yes, I'm biased).

Comment Re:Is ISO even relevant? (Score 1) 42 42

Firstly, you yourself said:
"So yes it is indeed a non-standard mess, even though open standards exist [in the field of IM]."

Secondly, in your pursuit of not wanting to admit to having provided a meager example, you are bending your logic to this (reread the posts and you'll see):
"The most popular and widely used formats don't have approval from standards bodies and the most popular and widely used formats aren't even open


There is NO format approved by a standards body (de-jure) or a widely used format (de-facto) in that particular field, only a bunch of competing (open/closed) formats (see for example the current mess of IM)"
which amounts to a tautology, saying absolutely nothing.

That is fucking retarded. Just admit that your example was shit and that your logic was the thing where the value of your post was (because believe it or not, to a large extent, I agree with your original logic -- the required addition is "c) because closed standards make companies more money in a lot of cases, it's called vendor lock-in").

Comment Re:It's even worse than I thought! (Score 1) 192 192

Only people who have never driven a car and encountered a bicyclist without lighting would say this. I used to think exactly like you. Then I got my driver's license and almost pissed my pants.

The first reaction of every new driver who experiences this is "Fucking christ, that is dangerous as FUCK. I almost killed the fucking guy!" (then they honk to get rid of a bit of fear, anger and frustration)

BTW, I don't own a car anymore, but have driven one regularly for years. I ride my bicycle everywhere now. The lights either work, or we're talking about 5 minutes of riding my 'station bike' to town when going out.

Think about this: would you find it acceptable if half the cars drove around town without headlights, specifically thinking about your ability to go through traffic safely?

Comment Re:Illuminates objects 12 meters ahead (Score 1) 192 192

It.s 120 meters. TFS and TFA are wrong.

From the actual press release:
"Spot Lighting – currently in the pre-development phase with Ford engineers in Aachen – uses an infra-red camera in the front grille to simultaneously locate and track up to eight people and bigger animals, including larger dogs, at a range of up to 120 metres." (my emphasis, source: )

Comment Re:It's even worse than I thought! (Score 5, Informative) 192 192

Did you even watch the video? Or the part of the summary you yourself fucking quoted?

The system spotlights hazards for the driver with a spot and a stripe on the road surface and highlighted objects are displayed on the screen inside the car

So no. The driver does not have to take his eyes off the road.
This is extremely useful functionality, because it also highlights cyclists who often do not have adequate lighting and are thus a huge source for (death!)scares for many drivers, at least in the Netherlands.

Please leave Slashdot and take your anti-new technology kneejerk reactions with you. That also goes for everybody who was stupid enough to mod you up.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson