Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Cloud (Score 1) 238

by dkf (#48588251) Attached to: Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

You IT security is only as good as your control of the hardware!

But you have to let the users on anyway. If you manage to completely secure systems so that it is completely impossible for any data to leak, you'll have excluded everyone who has legitimate reasons to have access, and you'll have cost the company a lot of money in the process. You'll be seen as the weak point in the whole process and will get replaced with someone less expensive and more compliant with what the business needs.

Comment: Re:hypocrisy (Score 1) 192

by dkf (#48564389) Attached to: Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

Also, lawyers and Microsoft combining to call the government a hypocrite? This is like a cesspool of double standards, each trying to be the worst.

The really big problem Microsoft has (and numerous other large US companies that run cloud services with datacenters in the EU, such as Amazon and IBM) is that if they give in with this, there will be lots of EU customers who will leave as soon as possible, and nothing that they'll be able to say or do will stop it short of relocating the company HQ and ownership structure entirely outside the US so the US government and courts really won't have jurisdiction (but will instead have to work through international treaties). This will be caused by the perception in the EU of overreach by the US, and the EU's generally fairly aggressive data protection laws.

At the very least, giving in on this will cost MS a huge amount of money to put right, and there'd be a real danger of an EU competitor being able to grow large enough to lock them out while they're sorting it all out (other US corporations would be in the same position).

Comment: Re:Effort dilution (Score 1) 254

by dkf (#48546671) Attached to: Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

Swapping shifting hands and not turning on your wipers to signal a turn are the only parts most have to relearn if they swap styles often.

When you're dealing with an automatic, it depends on what the car manufacturer thought was a good idea for their brand image; there's no benefit at all to either side (but you need to pick one). With a manual shift, you want the signal lever on the opposite side so that you are able to signal while changing gear.

The windscreen wiper control appears to migrate from side to side with no technical considerations at all, and headlight controls are even more variable...

Comment: Re:if ohshit (Score 1) 323

by dkf (#48499511) Attached to: DOOM 3DO Source Released On Github

No it's not, it could easily be structured more understandably.

But if that caused a severe performance penalty, that wouldn't be a step forward. The success metric was to get the product shipping fast so that it could be sold over the Christmas period, not to make something that would be wonderfully maintainable for all time.

Comment: Re:Coverage (Score 1) 216

by dkf (#48499335) Attached to: How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything

But with people moving more into rual areas to retire, the bandwidth hasnt kept up with the usage, so now its down to voice only.

Sucks to be them if that matters to them. If they'd wanted good internet, they'd have not gone out in the boonies, but would have picked some nice small town that has just enough population to support good networking without the trouble of larger places. Instead, they trade that for lots more space; it's a valid option, even if not one that I'd ever pick.

Comment: Re:Good For Him (Score 1) 74

by dkf (#48499247) Attached to: How the FCC CIO Plans To Modernize 207 Legacy IT Systems

In my personal experience, the older the legacy system, and the more embedded it is in your business ... the harder it is to replace.

But if it's that old, it's probably also massively underdocumented (if at all) and so if something unexpected happens, your ass is still hanging out the window. Producing the documentation of what was actually done is at least as valuable a part of a replacement project as the change to the new system, as it should allow someone to start looking at which parts are required, which parts are emulating interfaces (from both sides, usually) that could be de-layered for improved performance and capabilities with no down-side, and which parts are just dumb holdovers from a few systems ago that nobody needs any more at all.

Just because something is painful doesn't mean you can get away without doing it.

Comment: Re:PR works well? Where? (Score 2) 413

by dkf (#48478637) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

By contrast Belgium's record of 18 months without a government as a result of PR should be a warning to us all.

Those who hope for a reduction of government meddling in their affairs will see it as a sign of true hope: the sky didn't fall in, despite the fact that the politicians couldn't agree on the most basic thing of all. Throwing them all out of office and only then starting work on the replacement would in fact be just fine...

Comment: Re:States too are districts (Score 2) 413

by dkf (#48478619) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

In federal elections, state borders can be considered as districts causing the same kinds of distortions.

Maybe, but the effects are less severe because state lines are enormously more difficult to change for short-term political advantage. State-level gerrymandering requires sustained visible policies that affect migration and/or birth rates over decades.

Comment: Re:Nuclear is Clean (Score 1) 235

by dkf (#48477949) Attached to: Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

It's not too hard.

It's the long-lived toxic nucleotides that are the real problem. Keeping something safe for 50 years isn't too hard (particularly if everything is vitrified and kept as small pellets so you can use passive cooling) but keeping it safe for 5000 years is a massive headache. So how should we deal with them? Bombard with more neutrons. Like that, they transmute into something hotter which will decay away much more rapidly.

Comment: Re:Hide your cables (Score 1) 516

by dkf (#48466295) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Not if you have a short circuit. In that case the cable is gone.

What's the likelihood of that happening, versus the likelihood of something happening to an above-ground cable? Note that you should be thinking about putting the cable well down so that you're unlikely to hit it by accident, just like with water and sewage infrastructure (though even more like gas, if you're in an area with it piped in). Heat dissipation isn't a big deal with domestic supply; you use reasonably thick cabling and aren't really carrying that much current in the first place in normal service.

Comment: Re:Are they REALLY surge protectors? (Score 1) 236

by dkf (#48448373) Attached to: What is your computer most often plugged into?

I think there's probably less of a problem with voltage drop in electric power circuits built to European standards (and even more so with the massively over-specified UK standards) as the higher voltages mean there's less current in the wire and so less of an impact due to the resistance of the wire itself. That eliminates a lot of the local problems (e.g., due to having kitchen appliances) or reduces them to the level where the switch-mode power supply can usually compensate easily.

I don't know whether the quality of the power delivered by the utility is better. It is for me, but I'm not that far from a major hospital and a major Grid node (and the wires between are underground). I don't pretend that that extends to anyone else other than my immediate neighbours.

Comment: Re:"Random" (Score 1) 78

by dkf (#48448039) Attached to: Study: Space Rock Impacts Not Random

And, similarly, "chaotic" is not an explanation, either.

Would you accept "inherently impossible to predict any significant length of time ahead"? It's all very well to pick on the reason for the unpredictability (be it quantum uncertainty or extreme sensitivity to initial conditions because of non-linearity) but at a functional level, the outcome is similar: some stuff just can't be predicted in detail long term, and will continue to be like this whatever we do.

Comment: Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (Score 1) 334

by dkf (#48439917) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Google doesn't have a monopoly on search. Not even close. The only reason they get used is because they're the best. The second that they start sucking, people will leave in droves. It's pretty fucking far from tyranny when any user can go elsewhere. That's not a monopoly.

Google has a much higher share of search in the EU than in the US, so the EU is far more interested in keeping a close eye on what they're doing. That said, the story was about something that the EP is pushing for and they're not exactly the most influential set of people ever (they've got budgetary powers, the ability to vet the Commissioners, and the ability to revise proposed legislation). What's more, it would probably be possible to split the search side from the rest of Google enough to satisfy at least some of the EP without breaking up Google entirely. (Satisfying the whole EP? Might as well ask for something that satisfies the whole of Congress.)

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy