Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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: Captcha is necessary. (Score 1, Interesting) 558

by mrjb (#44480641) Attached to: Campaign To Kill CAPTCHA Kicks Off
Captcha fulfills a need - it is, as the name implies, a test to completely automatically tell computers and humans apart. It's necessary to keep spambots from registering accounts and spamming the hell out of us. Granted, the "type this wobbly word" may not be the most practical (nor safe) solution. It's easy enough to come up with alternatives- Perhaps show four photographs and ask the user to click on the one that doesn't belong (maybe the kitten out of a picture of 4 cats). Coming up with good ideas? Much harder. Complain about it all you like. Come back if you have a better alternative.

Comment: Re:Pre-consumer waste, maybe (Score 1) 242

by mrjb (#43791185) Attached to: 3-D Printable Food Gets Funding From NASA
It has already been invented. It's called pancakes. Your toddler will still get all the nutrition that the egg has to give. Put some freshly made strawberry sauce/jam on top and nutritional content will be better than that of just scrambled eggs. If you're worried about blood glucose spikes, use xylitol instead of sugar.

Comment: Re:Complex geometry (Score 1) 242

by mrjb (#43791149) Attached to: 3-D Printable Food Gets Funding From NASA
Finally someone here that seems to grasp the potential. The point is not to simply pop a powder in a 3d printer and squeezing out a paste in an interesting shape. The point is that ultimately permits us to cook "note by note" - a future discussed by Hervé This ("The man who uncooked an egg") in this excellent lecture:

Comment: That's you're view. (Score 1) 147

by mrjb (#43379187) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Friendly Video Streaming?

Syaing "I've already got [whatever platform], how do I make it do what I want?" is often not a helpful approach."

Sure. But saying "Swap to Windows" isn't exactly any more helpful, is it? I'm not going to shell out for a Windows license and I'm not going to install it illegaly. If I can't play netflix on the operating system of my choice, they're not having my business, simple as that. Besides, at the price I would pay for a netflix movie, I'll get the DVD instead; sometimes at a car boot sale, sometimes at the thrift shop, sometimes at poundland, and I even pay full price, at times. It might score slightly lower on the "instant gratification" scale, but at least I'm watching the films on my own terms.

Comment: The interesting bit is this: (Score 4, Insightful) 124

by mrjb (#43049159) Attached to: Google Publishes Zopfli, an Open-Source Compression Library
"Zopfli is a compression-only library, meaning that existing software can decompress the data." (source: As long as the compression can be done on cached pages, hey- that's another 3-8% more people served with the same amount of bandwidth, without any additional requirements on the client side.

Comment: Here we go again. (Score 1) 215

by mrjb (#42638095) Attached to: Microsoft Going Its Own Way On Audio/Video Specification
So MS will be publishing their own standard. What will happen?

1. Looking at VBscript and Silverlight/Moonlight, it will essentially fail - alternatives exist (Javascript, Flash) that are equally viable and more widely supported.

2. Some idiots will use MS-only tech ANYWAY, breaking support for anything but the Windows platform and alienating a substantial user base.

3. If the spec is open (looking at dot net), some open source group will produce their own version to permit interoperability with other platforms.

Wasn't it netflix that required Silverlight to be installed?

4. However, this doesn't guarantee that code written for Windows-based products will actually work out of the box on the other platforms.

An example of this once again is dotnet: Even with the whole CLR available on Linux, some idiot will tie their source code into a proprietary Windows API, e.g. to have SharePoint interoperability.

5. Eventually (looking at CSS and MS' implementation of JavaScript and the document object model) MS will have to give in and better support the actual official standard, but by that time the damage will have been done. Remember the original HTML spec only permitted writing JavaScript in the HTML header - just think for a moment how many cross-site-scripting issues that prevents. But NOOO, MS decided people should be allowed to litter script tags all over the document body. Great going, MS.

6. In some cases, an MS spec will end up sufficiently well-documented that it becomes the de-facto norm across platforms. The .wav file format is a good example of this; it's pretty much always supported. That doesn't mean it's not brain-dead (Why on earth is the length of a WAV file a SIGNED integer?)

Anyway, I'm not exactly looking forward to the implications.

With your bare hands?!?