Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Computers are just components to Navy (Score 3, Informative) 192 192

The Navy purchases computers as parts of much larger systems, often ships. These things get assembled and their expected lifetime is much longer that the technology cycles we enjoy outside of their domain. Refit schedules are not driven by the computers on board but rather by much larger, more expensive and longer lived components like diesel motors. The Navy is just in the last couple of years starting to move some of their onboard computer systems to what they refer to as "Carry On" components. There are probably ships in the fleet that have 25 year old electronics on them because these components weren't ever expected to be replaced.

Comment Re:No thanks to you. (Score 1) 1032 1032

Loan defaults have nothing to do with the cost of college. It is almost the opposite, it is the availability of the loans in the first place that have raised the cost of a college education. The government has effectively made all of this money available without putting constraints on credit-hour costs or how the universities actually spend the money. Universities are money spending machines, you give them money and they will spend it. Using loans in an attempt to make college more democratically available completely backfired. This was a foreseeable economic disaster.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 4, Informative) 1032 1032

Until 1987 or so, the cost of college in Texas was extremely low. I was very frugal and my entire expenditures for tuition, room and board from Sept 1981 to Sept 1982 was $2500. At the time minimum wage was $3.35. A person could work a part time job (15 hours a week) and pay for this. I'll bet that most of the tuition collected by the University of Texas at the time was directly from the students or the student's parents with grants and scholarships coming next and student loans running a distant fourth. As the government made student loans more available in order to make college more available the government accomplished the opposite of the desired effect because the government ignored basic economics. Making more money available affects spending at the universities which affects costs. Universities are money spending machines. The University of Texas now has more than double improved square footage that it had in 1981. The buildings are nicer too. But the size of the student body has not increased proportionately. The university simply spends more on building and maintenance. Far more than it spends actually delivering an education. Under the current system your hard earned tax dollars are going to build monuments rather being effectively used to educate. We had a system that did the opposite quite effectively and we could have that again. Instead of being cheap with your tax dollars you should be angry with how they are being spent now.

Comment Staff notoriously underpaid (Score 1) 234 234

Many of these people were staff, not faculty at CMU. As a former director of a University research lab (otherwise known as a software sweatshop) I can attest that staff at universities tend to be grossly underpaid. Universities resist any staff making more money than their lower paid professors (think English, History, etc). It is all about politics and ego. A little help from LinkedIn shows some of Uber's employees former titles at CMU: Sr. Research Engineer, Graduate Student - Interaction Design, Commercialization Specialist , Senior Information Systems Specialist, Research Assistant, Senior Commercialization Specialist, Research Programmer, Graduate Research Assistant, Student, Research Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant, ...

Comment Lensing? (Score 4, Interesting) 62 62

The original paper mentions the red-shift and spectral similarities of 3 of the observed quasars without mentioning the possibility that they may be the result of gravitational lensing by the fourth object and could possibly be millions of light years behind the 4th object.

Comment Will Fox clone his voice? (Score 1) 214 214

With 573 episodes to pull from and even more studio tape they have sufficient material to clone his voice. All they need is some other anonymous slob to read through all the hours of old material which they can do for a lot less than 14 million dollars. The question is will they?

Comment Re:Lie detector tests are fiction (Score 2) 246 246

The polygraph as used by the DoD and related agencies has very little to do with 'detecting lies'. It is MUCH more a grueling personality test in the guise of a lie detector test. It may use the same equipment that local law enforcement uses, but the intent of the session is very different. The #1 key to passing is to not punch the examiner in the nose. By the end of the day this is more difficult than it sounds.

Comment Ha! Memory Leaks Impossible (Score 1) 270 270

"The huge memory leaks that a programmer can have in Objective-C are impossible in Swift". He clearly hasn't actually worked with Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) environments. What this really means is that the Apple shills promoting Swift don't see the need to create tools for finding memory leaks while simultaneously making memory management a black-box operation that is hard for the engineer to debug.

Comment Bullet proof, maybe not machine gun proof (Score 2) 247 247

Like many ceramics they note that it chips rather than breaks. So you could "chip away at it". Also the material very likely has an impact stress point beyond which it will explode when impacted. So it is bullet proof up to a point. They say that it doesn't need to be layered, but in practice I'll bet they layer it with Kevlar or a similar material with complementary properties.

Comment Decades of fouride tapering needed (Score 2, Interesting) 314 314

I believe back in the 90's activists in some U.S. cities got their cities to stop adding fluoride to the supplies. Bad mineral exchanges immediately started to occur in the piping because of the accumulated minerals in the pipes which included a fluoride component started reacting with the water that no longer contained fluoride causing the water to become contaminated by minerals other than just fluoride. The water not only tasted bad, it was determined that it was not safe to drink.

It takes decades for the minerals in the piping to accumulate and it will take decades to slowly taper fluoride away if we want to avoid unintended consequences. I know the mineral content of water varies widely across supply sources so some cities may have no related problems and some could have severe problems.

Comment Article one giant spew of hyperbole (Score 5, Informative) 171 171

The article states "the encryption method used was devised in 1998 and is weak by today’s standards ... Microsoft has yet to release a patch to fix the Redirect to SMB vulnerability" as if Microsoft must remove the feature in order for Cylance to consider this resolved. Instead a number of improvements have been made to SMB since 1998 include support for HMAC-SHA256 (v2.0) and AES-CMAC (v3.0) hashing. You are going need a little more than "$3000 worth of GPUs" to forward brute force the AES-CMAC hashed passwords.

Comment Sharepoint (Score 1) 158 158

Easy to stand up, difficult to maintain. The people who created this site probably were lowest-bidder IT contractors with little programming experience. The page template looks like it is doing a string comparison of the browser version against "6" to see if they need to load fixup code. This is probably just original boiler plate code provided by Microsoft; "10", "11", ... will cause this IE6 support code to get loaded which then makes things worse rather than better. The people who created this site are long gone and the people who work there probably are going through the processes of getting permission to hire a contractor to fix it which includes adding it to the next budget cycle. Clearly none of them have the ability to go in and delete 3 lines from the page template.

IBM Advanced Systems Group -- a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes... -- with regrets to D. Adams