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Comment: Be a Good Listener (Score 4, Insightful) 201

by Khomar (#48920015) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

I think one of the most valuable abilities for a good programmer is to be a good listener. A big part of that is also being able to ask good questions. You need to be able to fully understand the problem to be able to develop the right solution -- remember, the solution that customer actually needs is not always the one they think they want. Also, being able to listen also means you will be better able to learn new skills.

Comment: Re:What if... human's just weren't cut out for it? (Score 1) 272

by ElderKorean (#48724027) Attached to: How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

As for humanity surviving on Earth - aside from a "grey-goo" scenario, or malevolent AI bent on human extermination, I can't think of anything that would actually present a credible threat to the species. Now lot's of things could bring about the collapse of our civilization, or even *almost* wipe out the species, but even a 99.9% extermination rate would leave 7+ million people - twice the population that is estimated to have existed before the birth of agriculture. Even a 99.9999% extermination rate would leave 7+ thousand people - more than the estimated population during the worst of the last major ice age. And those few survivors would have access to a wealth of knowledge and technology undreamed of by our ancestors - I doubt they'd have trouble eventually rebuilding a new civilization, at worst it might take a few thousand years - and we've been tool-makers for over a million already.

The biggest problem that people starting to rebuild civilisation after most of us have been wiped out - is going to be energy sources, then metals.

All of the easy to get to coal, oil and metals have been strip mined and basically used up - the really hard to get to stuff (which they won't be able to get to) is going to be all that remains.

The coal and oil could eventually be replenished, but only in geological timescales (and favourable conditions)

I suspect they'll be a stone-age people until a passing UFO checks out the world that suddenly went quiet.

Comment: Re:Long story short (ad-less) (Score 1) 173

by ElderKorean (#48622769) Attached to: Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off
For my desktop 'games' machine - I went the path of booting from a normal 500Gb HDD, that also had a partition for media.

I had a 250Gb SSD used for just games only - LotRO, Firefall.& all steam (easy enough to move the library to be on the SSD)

Turn on PC, go make cuppa, return and check any updates done, play games from the fast...

Brought some 120Gb SSD as early Christmas present for myself to replace that boot HDD and another,

Also found that a Windows 8.1 touch laptop with only 2Gb memory is perfectly fine with an SSD - was forever swapping but usable with HDD.

Comment: Re:Not a cargo ship (Score 2) 116

by Khomar (#48619677) Attached to: New Cargo Ship Is 488 Meters Long

It sounds like the plan is for this ship to be the first of several, so the question is how much of that $20 billion investment is for upfront costs (design, shipyard upgrades, construction equipment) that will not be duplicated in subsequent ships. As it is, the first ship looks to probably at least break even or even make a decent profit (provided it works as expected) with bigger profits hopefully to follow. I am sure these numbers have been gone over very carefully. You don't make an investment this large on a whim.

Comment: Texas and Montana (Score 2) 525

by Khomar (#48497457) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

I have driven that stretch in eastern Montana many times, and I have also driven that stretch of road in Texas. One thing the article doesn't mention about that toll road in Texas is that it was very expensive -- over $5 if I remember correctly. I tried it once not knowing the cost, and it was a lot of fun to drive on. But for that price, I can see why so few people use it, especially since you have to go out of your way. I was on my way from San Antonio to Dallas, so I didn't mind skipping Austin.

As for eastern Montana, the countryside is very open with gently rolling hills and long stretches of mostly straight sections of Interstate. Very often, you will not be able to see a vehicle in either direction (and just as often, no more than one or two buildings either), so the temptation to cruise is very high. Any wildlife can be seen from miles away, and there are very few trees. My only concern would be raising the speed limit on the western side of the state where there are more mountains and forests. There are some highways with 70 mph limits with limited visibility (both on the road and in the underbrush around) that makes for dangerous driving. As long as they take these things into account, it makes perfect sense. Montana already takes over a day's driving. just to get across.

Comment: Re:These idiots are going to ruin it for everyone (Score 1) 132

by ElderKorean (#48375909) Attached to: Drone Sightings Near Other Aircraft Up Dramatically

Drones are so much fun and you can get so many cool photos and video from them.

Yet these morons flying drones near airports are going to ruin it for everyone. Expect to see them heavily regulated or banned soon.

...

Recently on the news in Australia. If they see drones operating near bushfire where water bombing aircraft/helicopters are flying they will ground them.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/201...

Current regulations are that drones have to be 30 metres away from people, they are not be used in built-up areas, not to exceed 400 feet in height and not be flown in controlled air space, but there is no law against flying near bushfires. Drones must not create a hazard for other aircraft, but if the device was several hundred metres away from its operator, how would they know if a firefighting aircraft was approaching?

Comment: Re:Windows app that displays these meaningfully? (Score 1) 142

I work at a school and see plenty of failing laptop drives - mostly from kids not sleeping their laptops while walking around.

We use (currently) PartedMagic Linux distribution on a boot USB. The "Disk Health" tool happily reports on failing drives and gives reasons.

Added bonus is that Linux is better than windows at allowing data to be copied from a failing drive (and doesn't care about the NTFS file permissions)

+ - The Outdated Thinking Behind Apple's New Headquarters-> 1

Submitted by fiannaFailMan
fiannaFailMan (702447) writes "Apple's futuristic new building is neither a new concept nor a progressive innovation. Like the Pentagon and GCHQ, both of which are also owned by secretive organizations, the building is designed to be viewed from the air with no consideration for how it is to be viewed from the street other than hiding it like an embarrassing relative behind a forest of trees, rendering it invisible to all but airline passengers. Its sprawling and insular design philosophy is a last gasp of a dying utopian architectural vision that is thankfully being abandoned as we return to more traditional and sustainable models of urban planning."
Link to Original Source

+ - The Police State Cometh->

Submitted by fiannaFailMan
fiannaFailMan (702447) writes "Police departments of small American towns and cities have been stocking up on an arsenal that would hold back an alien invasion. Meanwhile, an aerial observation system called Persistence Surveillance Systems that can record the movements of vehicles and pedestrians for later analysis, allowing police to go back to the time and place where a crime was reported and see it taking place, was used in 2012 in one Californian city for two weeks without public knowledge or consultation. Such invasive surveillance combined with excessively militarized policing could undermine support for, and hence the effectiveness of, law enforcement."
Link to Original Source

+ - LinkedIn busted in wage-theft investigation->

Submitted by fiannaFailMan
fiannaFailMan (702447) writes "Following an investigation by the US Department of Labor, LinkedIn has agreed to pay over $3 million in overtime back wages and $2.5 million in liquidated damages to 359 former and current employees working at company branches in four states. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires companies to have record-keeping systems in place to record overtime hours worked and to ensure that employees are paid for those hours, requirements that the company was not meeting."
Link to Original Source

+ - USA's record-breaking high speed flagship could be saved from the scrapyard->

Submitted by fiannaFailMan
fiannaFailMan (702447) writes "The SS United States is the fastest ocean liner ever built. A far cry from the heyday of these great ships that were made obsolete by jet travel, her gutted hulk has been rusting in Philadelphia since 1996. However, like the majestic Queen Mary that now serves as a floating hotel and museum in Long Beach, there are plans afoot to finally find the "big U" a permanent home in New York as part of a waterfront redevelopment."
Link to Original Source

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