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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).

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Comment: Re:There is no such thing as equal work (Score 1) 349

That problem is solved by providing paternity leave.

Solved is a pretty strong word to use to describe a benefit that lasts for, what, a few weeks? Maybe two months? Three?

Paternity leave is great and I'm all for it. But what happens afterward? Daycare, grandparents, or one of mom or dad stays home. And you can probably guess pretty well who it's going to be.

Comment: Re:Open source code is open for everyone (Score 1) 211

by ghettoimp (#48920433) Attached to: Serious Network Function Vulnerability Found In Glibc

To be fair, derision toward the likes of Microsoft has historically been pretty well warranted. Windows has, historically, obviously, been plagued by viruses, malware, crapware, etc., to a degree far surpassing any other operating system.

That's not to say this necessarily has anything to do with proprietary versus open-source. Obviously Windows has always been far more popular than any alternative, making it a much more tempting target for attackers. High profile bugs like shellshock have certainly pointed out that open source isn't a magical elixir that wards off security problems.

Nobody does security very well, yet. (Well, maybe excepting folks like the CompCert people and Sel4 people.) The underlying causes, I'm sure, is that it's not what your average (or even above average) consumer can evaluate and value, and it's not what your average programmer can deliver.

Comment: How about a web browser (Score 2) 264

by ghettoimp (#48805183) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Database GUI Application Development?
Web applications are portable, easy for users to install (they don't have to do anything), easy for users to update (they don't have to do anything), and accessible from just about anywhere on just about any device. HTML/CSS/JavaScript have matured a lot. It is very easy to prototype your application's UI, and easy to develop very slick looking applications with rich fonts, colors, fancy tables, etc. Unless there's some fundamental reason you absolutely must have a native UI, I would never choose a toolkit over the web.

Comment: San Francisco already did this (Score 5, Interesting) 178

by Animats (#48567503) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

San Francisco already did this. Almost all the masonry buildings in SF have been reinforced since the 1989 quake, and now the rules are being tighened on wood buldings. If you've been in an older building in SF, you've probably seen huge diagonal steel braces. That's what it looks like.

All new big buildings meet very tough earthquake standards. The bridges and freeways have been beefed up in recent years. Overpass pillars are about three times as big as they used to be. Two elevated freeways were torn down after one in Oakland failed in the 1989 quake. The entire eastern span of the Bay Bridge was replaced with a new suspension bridge. The western span was strengthened, and there are now sliding joints, huge plates of stainless steel, between the roadway and the towers.

Comment: The corporate AI (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by Animats (#48566135) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

What I'm worried about is when AIs start doing better at corporate management than humans. If AIs do better at running companies than humans, they have to be put in charge for companies to remain competitive. That's maximizing shareholder value, which is what capitalism is all about.

Once AIs get good enough to manage at all, they should be good at it. Computers can handle more detail than humans. They communicate better and faster than humans. Meetings will take seconds, not hours. AI-run businesses will react faster.

Then AI-run businesses will start deailng with other AI-run businesses. Human-run businesses will be too slow at replying to keep up. The pressure to put an AI in charge will increase.

We'll probably see this first in the finanical sector. Many funds are already run mostly by computers. There's even a fund which formally has a program on their board of directors.

The concept of the corporation having no social responsibiilty gives us enough trouble. Wait until the AIs are in charge.

Comment: Re:Of course... (Score 2) 699

by Animats (#48549251) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

It has apparently never occurred to publishers to band together and fund the creation of a system for buying content at dirt cheap prices using something like ACH transfers to keep the transaction costs low. How about a one-click purchase model where you pay $0.50/article or $3 for all content published that day?

It's been tried. Nobody bought. Except for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, no news outlet adds enough value that people will pay for it.

Ma Bell is a mean mother!

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