Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

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:The public is not the client (Score 1) 349

by max (#43834067) Attached to: World's Biggest 'Agile' Software Project Close To Failure

If the government is the client then by definition the public is the client, since the government is only acting on behalf of the public.

No, the government is the client, by definition, in a project that was supposed to be for the benefit for the public. That does not mean that the public is the client, not even indirectly. You don't become a client by proxy just because you are a taxpayer, that is not how projects work.

And yes, I shudder at the thought of uncounted number of backseat drivers trying give feedback. Letting more people look into something isn't trivial and it costs. What government projects should we allow full and instantaneous insight (aka absolute transparency) into and to what cost? What is an acceptable overhead cost for adding absolute transparency to every project? How much do you want to pay in extra tax just to humor this 'need' of yours? I rather prefer to pay less taxes and let the politicians heads roll if they get out of line, and that the money I pay in taxes go to healhcare, education etc. If we add overhead costs, we should make sure that we save money in the long run. Anything else is much more irresponsible than a failed project.

I do think we need transparency, to a certain degree. Absolute transparency only exists in utopia or where there is no regard for cost. Even if we have transparency things can slip through. Every project is a gamble.

If the UK taxpayers see that there has been something wrong going on, make 'em pay. Use your democratic vote.

Comment: Re:The public is not the client (Score 1) 349

by max (#43821295) Attached to: World's Biggest 'Agile' Software Project Close To Failure

Someone please mod parent up.

Just because taxpayers somehow pay for something doesn't mean that every taxpayer should be able to get full real-time insight into or control of it. I shudder at the thought of the extra cost when gazillions of wannabe software developers consider themselves to be the clients of a government project and mess it up.

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 4, Insightful) 236

by max (#43376589) Attached to: Microsoft Apologizes For Cavalier 'Always-Online' DRM Tweets

I didn't see the following tweets until Major Nelson put out the apology, and I was rather horrified by the way Adam Orth expresses himself to a potential customer. Still, I am not sure kicking someone is the right way to go, but I do think they need to give at least the management some media training and make sure that everyone is aware of a company media policy. So many people are ignorant of how the internet ecosystem works and how things spread.

Personally, I refrain myself from publicly commenting on matters regarding the organization where I work. We have people whose job is to take care of these matters. When I see something I can tell them, say what I think and let them decide the correct course of action. I am entitled to my opinion, but that doesn't mean that I need to express it at all times. I know that my word might be taken for the official position and that might not be true, anyway I am not paid to comment on my employers decisions.

Yesterday I summed up some of my thoughts in the matter:

Comment: Re:Do Not Want (Score 1) 329

by max (#38933183) Attached to: UCLA Professor Says Conventional Wisdom on Study Habits Is All Washed Up

One of my first lecturers at the university said that the traditional lectures are the worlds worst Xerox-machine. One guy standing by the blackboard and 200+ students copying everything verbatim.

In his classes we got all the slides he used at the beginning of the course, so we had no need to copy everything down. Most of the time the topics were covered in the textbook, but if he chose to cover material that wasn't in the textbook, it was in the hand-outs. The notes I took in those classes were mainly writing down some extra words on a slide printout if I thought something could use extra clarification.

I don't see *why* the lectures should give you something that is *only* available to those attending the lectures. The lectures might give a different angle on the same subject, but essentially everything you need should be in the material you are already given. (Why on earth should the professor withhold information from the students? Isn't s/he interested in them learning?) This way, lectures can focus on trying to explain that and allow the students to ask questions for clarification of that material. Since we were given hand-outs and slides for all the classes for the whole semester, I could easily browse through next class in advance to be more prepared and ask more relevant questions in class, improving my learning even further. Each lecture was followed up by a smaller class with a TA, digging deeper into the subject of the day and possibly preparing for a lab session.

Attendance in a class should not be a goal in itself, learning is the goal, and the classes should facilitate that.

This method of course requires the lecturers to prepare the classes well in advance. Not all lecturers seem to have the ability and focus to do that. I wonder why they require any more of the students then.

This class was one of the best I attended to at my university, and the following four years I returned as a TA in that class, teaching a total of six classes of EE and CS students. For me it set a standard of teaching which I still today find exemplary. (The course in question was modeled on MIT 6.001 but had gone through a number of revisions throughout the years.)

Comment: Re:enough already with the version bloat! (Score 2, Insightful) 237

by max (#37146216) Attached to: Firefox 7.0 Beta Released

This to me is such a fail, as most web devs need to be sure of the versions they are compatible with...

No, the "fail" is in that very chain of thought. Those web devs should not call themselves web devs since they do not understand the fundamental differences between the old media they used to work with and the new media, having to resort to web browser version to achieve what they foolishly are striving for.

At first I was not too keen on version number inflation, but thinking about it I couldn't care less. Actually, I find it good if it rids the world of people targeting web browser versions when they develop for the web. Target standards, not web browsers.

The only problem as I see is the plugins. That could be handled if Mozilla decided to create a stable API for plugin development and have version numbers on that API instead. This could even create a more stable browser with less unpredictability when multiple plugins are used. Another way, although more anarchistic, is to create a crowd sourced database of version compatibility between browsers and plugins, not having installers contain that information, but rather let us (the users) try it out and report.

Comment: Re:Words can't describe... (Score 2) 417

by max (#36715722) Attached to: DisplayPort-To-HDMI Cables May Be Recalled Over Licensing

Yes, and the OP wrote "[...]technology being crippled for no good reason" and "[...]IP nonsense!".

No one is questioning whether or not anything is against the spec, what was questioned is why you cripple technology (through a spec or otherwise) without a good reason, and as of yet no good reason has been produced. Thus: IP nonsense. I don't think anyone is questioning Phillips move as anything other than "good reason" (with the possible exception of the DRM advocates).

If HDMI LLC can give some good reason, they might sway my opinion. If I dare guess, the only reason I think they can give is that the HDMI spec is supposed to ensure that unauthorized copies cannot be made, and if you are able to produce HDMI-to-anything cables you could connect your HDMI capable output device to something that can record the information. But that I do not consider to be a good enough reason. I am not interested in making copies but I do want to be able to (or at least have the possibility to) connect my legacy HDMI products to newer products that might not have HDMI, in the future.

Comment: Re:Words can't describe... (Score 4, Informative) 417

by max (#36715570) Attached to: DisplayPort-To-HDMI Cables May Be Recalled Over Licensing

I don't understand what you mean with "both ways". Phillips is not crippling technology with their stance on the CD, in fact, they are doing the opposite by telling manufacturers that DRM is not a part of the CD-specification and might prevent consumers from playing those discs. Thus they are not allowed to be called CDs. The DRM is the crippling part, not the fact that the manufacturers that insist on having DRM on their discs can't call them CDs.

Comment: Re:Never underestimate (Score 1) 332

by max (#36625566) Attached to: Facebook More Hated Than Banks, Utilities

Why do you only measure "free" in terms of money?

It might not have cost you a dime, but hasn't it cost you time? For me time is more valuable than money. Money I can get more of, time I can never get back. You might think it is worth your time to be on Facebook, good for you. Still, it is not free, you gave up something to use Facebook.

If your personal data is of no value, then you might say that it is free in that sense, otherwise Facebook is very costly.

So, "free" is a very loose term, and money is a very minor factor in determining if something is free.

Comment: Re:beam in thine own eye (Score 2) 185

by max (#36610032) Attached to: Facebook Locks Down Social Gift Giving Patent

"Serious restrictions on freedom of expression"? It would be nice to know WHAT part of Europe you are referring to. IMHO, the country I live in stille are more free when it comes to expression than the US. The copyright restrictions pushed on us now are backed by interests over in the great media publishing giant in the west, and the limits on competition as you call it is to *protect* competition from being destroyed by a monopoly-like situation.

I seriously doubt that software patents are pushed onto the european member countries by the EU unless there were a precedent in the US backed by very strong and determined economic interests.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 2, Insightful) 153

by max (#36433888) Attached to: JavaScript Gameboy Color Emulator

No. They might both be of the same magnitude of order, as in around 1GHz, but there definitely is a real noticable difference between the old 1GHz processor i bought around a decade ago, the 1GHz processor in my iPad and the 1.42GHz on my relatively old desktop.

Clock speed is not comparable when you have different architectures and the surrounding hardware differs greatly.

Comment: Wi-fi != wired (Score 1) 346

by max (#36063492) Attached to: Making Wireless, Not Ethernet, the Heart of the Network

Since I am not an InfoWorld subscriber I could not read the report by Andrew Borg of the Aberdeen Group that Galen Gruman wrote about (nice plug about your own article BTW). Thus I have a hard time to see what Borg really meant and what got lost in the filtering of TFA.

But of course we will have to think of wired and wireless networks as two separate entities. Not that we cannot think about them at the same time and how they should work together, but because of their different characteristics.

For an end-user the experience should be roughly the same, but from an engineering point-of-view, you have to take all factors into account when designing your network. The limitations, security concerns, cost, etc of each medium is important to acknowledge.

So even if I might agree on that we shouldn't view wi-fi as the "neglected stepchild", we cannot dismiss the differences. Doing so would be plain stupid.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington