Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

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: Re:Yes, a variety of ways (Score 1) 182

by dkf (#49101417) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

The UK is putting its judicial system under tremendous financial pressure at the moment, to the extent that some criminal cases are just being abandoned because there's insufficient money to run them. They're (finally!) starting to experiment with allowing small claims court cases to be resolved over the phone, and also looking at decriminalising TV license violations to reduce pressure on the system. But you get the idea - the judicial system innovates extremely slowly even when being sliced to the bone. So don't hold your breath.

They're also moving the low-level courts to use a lot more technology to support them, things like video links so remand prisoners do not need to be brought to court, tablet computers with the legal texts on them in searchable form, that sort of thing. These are the sorts of things that technology can definitely help with, even though they definitely change the nature of justice somewhat.

Comment: Re:Judicial "system"? (Score 1) 182

by dkf (#49101349) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

This is one reason the US (which only funds healthcare for Federal employees, Federal retirees, 65-year-olds, and the poor) actually paid more per capita for health care then the Canadian Federal government did, despite the fact that the Canadian Feds provide 100% of health funding in that country.

The real key is that there is a body in Canada (other than the ordinary Joe on the street) who wants prices to be kept down, and which has the power to actually make that happen. Because keeping charges down is a priority, use of generic drugs will be more widespread, as will the use of programmes to improve general public health (because they tend to be very cost effective overall) and the more rapid progression from diagnosis to treatment. That last point can be both good and bad: good because if they got it right, you're getting treated sooner instead of having more expensive (and possibly invasive) tests done, and bad because if they got it wrong, you're not being treated for what's wrong at all.

Comment: Re:Everything old is new again (Score 1) 51

by dkf (#48968911) Attached to: Graphene Based Display Paves Way For Semi-Transparent Electronic Devices

I haven't heard anybody discuss what the half-life of graphene is though, so it could be just as bad.

They're probably still working that out. It's one thing to know that it's theoretically possible, but another to demonstrate how to actually do it, so the report that it has been done (even if it turns out to not be very useful in the end) is relevant.

Comment: Re:It doesn't matter what people think... (Score 1) 458

by dkf (#48949079) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

The US has the most corrupt political system... it's really fascism where the corporations and the rich control the government.

That's not true. It's that the rich control both corporations and government. Observe how many senior politicians move in the same circles as corporate board members, and typically have done since early in life. It's not precisely corrupt, it's just that they prefer to do things for their kind of people above and beyond all else. Joe Dumbass can always be told what to vote for on things where it matters through advertizing and related stuff. It's not total control though; they ignore much of the detail of local politics, since who is your neighborhood dog-catcher doesn't matter at all to those with real power.

Comment: Re:Breakdown of adult interaction, oral tradition? (Score 1) 351

by dkf (#48899409) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

How in bog's green earth is any sort of family unit supposed to deal with the current knowledge set? Hell, even a university level professor can barely keep track of what goes on in their own field.

That's what the professor's family is for, to keep track of all the rest of human knowledge that the professor hasn't got time for.

Comment: Re:strawman; nobody's asking him to be "PC" or "ni (Score 1) 361

by dkf (#48841789) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source

They're free to go fork the kernel and have their own software wonderland, with neither blackjack nor hookers.

If they want to arrange their own blackjack and hookers, they're free to do so. It's Open Source.

I will screw my tinfoil hat on a little tighter and suggest it might have something to do with the US Army being their largest customer.

I really doubt that that's it. I think you've let the tinfoil slip over your eyes a bit too far, and you've lost sight of reality there.

Comment: Re:Is this a US only problem? (Score 1) 217

by dkf (#48841577) Attached to: FCC May Permit Robocalls To Cell Phones -- If They Are Calling a Wrong Number

The problem in the USA is that people are getting several to dozens of calls a day.

That's not special to the USA. I have some numbers set to auto-block with very good reason. It's significantly less annoying in Europe though, as the caller pays the cost of the call (except in exceptional circumstances, which robocalls don't count as).

Blacklists/Blocking numbers is useless because the callers use spoofed callerID, so the number shown is different every time. Lately, they have been using spoofed callerID numbers that belong to government agencies or well-known businesses.

That's what the FCC needs to crack down on. The easiest way would probably to have a rule change that makes the phone companies part liable for any court-imposed liabilities arising from private actions over robocalls where those robocalls come from a spoofed number. That'll encourage the phone companies to sort out the problem very rapidly indeed, perhaps by making it significantly more difficult for phone users to supply the phone number in the first place. I know this will be inconvenient for some PBX operators, but mechanisms that are too easy to abuse need revision anyway.

Comment: Re:Editable scientific data? (Score 1) 61

by dkf (#48732623) Attached to: The Next Big Step For Wikidata: Forming a Hub For Researchers

Versioning only ensures that anyone who subsequently performs the calculations will reach the same result - it does not verify the data is complete or correct.

Nothing much ensures that the data is complete or correct now either, other than peer review over a long period of time by people who are wholly unconnected with the original work (and its funding). In fact, in some sciences you're not going to get complete data in a public venue anyway (some sciences work with data that in raw form can identify individual people; think medical research). Correctness is hard to evaluate; what does it even mean for raw data in the first place?

But keeping versioned data does help with some types of analysis, such as working out whether a scientist's hypothesis was reasonable based on what data was available at the time, and whether that hypothesis still holds water or when it ceased to be good. It also makes it much easier to detect fraud, and you can use all the sorts of concepts developed for distributed source code management to make it all more comprehensible.

Don't think "wikipedia for scientific data", think "github for scientific data". That's a much better model.

Comment: Re:IDEs with a concept of 'projects'. (Score 1) 421

by dkf (#48732225) Attached to: What Isn't There an App For?

if they save it to a file

As opposed to what? Saving state by tattooing it on a hairy fairy's derriere? If you're saving state, so that you can shut down an IDE and start it up again in the sam place, it's going to be saved to disk somewhere, and the chance that it's going to be in a file when its going to disk is enormously high. (Technically you could also store it in a DB that is written to a raw partition, but I'm not aware of anyone mad enough to use a full installation of Oracle on dedicated storage devices just to save the state of their IDE...)

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 303

by dkf (#48730543) Attached to: Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

In other words message passing works completely dynamic and is resolved by the runtime system while method calls are resolved statically by the compiler.

Am I right in saying that the marks of a message passing solution are that it can handle "calls" of arbitrary methods and that the class/object itself can control what happens in that case?

Comment: Re:Encapsulation (Score 1) 303

by dkf (#48730511) Attached to: Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

No they are not procedural, if at all they are like C++ and are called multi paradigm.

That's largely a crock of shit and C++ programmers are just kidding themselves. The only two paradigms that C++ really implements are OO (for structural organisation) and imperative (for operation description). It's not functional in any meaningful way (it's possible to pretend, but it feels very strange if you do) and declarative programming is rather different. The only declarative language that most programmers normally encounter is SQL.

My point was that there's no real reason why OO can't be used with functional programming, or declarative programming. It just tends to be paired up with imperative programming for historical reasons.

You are mixing up 'imperative' languages (that is actually what the parent meant) with 'declarative' languages.

I forgot the term. Oh well.

Comment: Re:Encapsulation (Score 1) 303

by dkf (#48727231) Attached to: Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

Most OO language really fall under that category, too.

That's because most OO languages are also procedural programming languages (for historical reasons). OO is principally about how to organise data and the operations on it, which is orthogonal to whether the operations are sequences of commands or composite functions to be applied.

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.

Working...