Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

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:Yiddish insults (Score 1) 624

Not being Jewish, but coming from a religion with very strange rules, I like this idea. Picking a name before the baby was born was a sure-fire way to piss off god and get a dead baby; insults come from there. And then there is always the southern "Bless your heart."

Comment: Re:Memorizing site-unique passwords isn't possible (Score 1) 267

by muridae (#49351285) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

Instead they just ask swype for access to their "living language" database that stored things you typed along with locations to keep track of "words used in certain locales". Look back in the news about 2 years, when swype was using up large amounts of people's data plans and read between the lines a little about swypes "reason" for doing so and methods to stop the keyboard from doing it.

Comment: The whole bloody thing? (Score 1) 307

So, when I first went to school, the school made a requirement: Win2k. Not bad, and a local store offered offered a nice deal for one with a Pentium 3, CD burner, and GeForce 400 (or equivalent which will come back to bite everyone in the ass). They provided, instead, a AMD Athlon Slot A with a passive heatsink, ZIP drive, CD-ROM drive, and Matrox G400 which was not supported in Win2k, just 98 and later 2003. So, despite me pointing this out as it continued to fail while playing video games, and the shop ignoring me and replacing a working Matrox for another working Matrox that still had unusable drivers, they eventually started trying to "fix" the problem by finding other things.

Eventually, the shop replaced the motherboard. At some point after that, the HD decided that the MBR did not exist any more. Attempting to boot resulted in nothing, but booting a live CD of Linux (someone else burned me a CD? it's been a while) would show that the drive still worked. So they added a drive so I could back things up and replaced the mobo again. Then, the computer started to really misbehave; as if crashing in every DirectX game wasn't weird enough. I wasn't a hardware geek then, so I failed to notice that the PSU was way under-spec for the system as it started (1 HDD, 3.5, ZIP drive) and after the replacements they gave me (extra HDD and a CD burner) it was really stretched. Everything would brown out a random points.

And that's where it got strange. As a note, I didn't have pets (what 1 room apartment can survive a pet?) and didn't smoke. One vacation, it was sitting in my bedroom at my parents. Plugged in, but turned off. It had been annoying me, I had borrowed a friend's game at the last LAN party to play while they focused on Smash Bros or GoldenEye or Magic games. Anyways, I walked past my bedroom at home one day, and heard a strange noise from the supposedly off computer. Windows was "shut down", not sleep/standby. Suddenly, POP, then a short burst or flame, and lots of smoke. Thankfully, the fuse for that circuit blew; or the GFCI did. Of course, the small shop swore up and down that that couldn't have happened. Did they replace everything? HELL NO, they swapped in a new PSU and refused to pay attention to lemon laws. I went about being a college student, and when I changed computers a not long later (2 years of bad behavior, and 2 years is a long time in the CompSci world) this box kept it's nickname of "The Hell Box" (I think it blew a breaker at a LAN party, too) and stayed in a closet.

Years later, when I finally got around to cleaning out my closet at my parent's, I took this old machine to practice parts salvaging. "De-soldering" components, saving any passive stuff like VGA sockets. The CPU? It was one of the first pieces used to "calibrate" my home-made reflow oven and paint scraper method of removing components. Since it worked, I think I left the actual CPU die sitting in the bottom of the oven while I messed with the rest of it. I would have snuck the slot circuit board into a wood chipper or against a grinder if it weren't for fiber glass and lungs. The HDDs were salvaged for the magnets and the pretty glass, the CD and 3.5" for motors (those strangely still work!), and the rest of was destroyed with great glee and then sent to electronics recycling as bags of components and a few circuit boards.

Comment: Re:Ever hear of "sociology"? (Score 1) 274

by muridae (#49281129) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

A friend told me the same thing. He took a job in Russia after high school, speaking only English. He said that often he had to think of the problem at the plant in Russian, because he'd only had the workings of the plant described to him in Russian. He knew that he could switch back to English, but trying to think of "the machine that strips truck tires" (the example he used, I think, because the machine's name in Russian was some compound of those words) lead him in circles.

I never had the luck to learn other languages, because ones with the Roman alphabet feel strange, and ones with other symbols make no sense. But, I don't think about most things in English; I think of them in mathmatical terms and then shift that to letters.

Comment: Re:Vice Versa (Score 1) 274

by muridae (#49281113) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

I doubt it. Learning languages requires either immersion at the right ages or study with immersion being very helpful. Both of those also happen to expose a person to multiple perspectives just be their occurrence. If learning a language were just about the ability to shift perspectives, every creative type who look at object A and see use Z for it could pick up a language easily. (see: PIC32 being used as a spectrum analyzer via NTSC, or junk turned into Apollo style Kerbal controllers.)

Besides, most studies like this are maps in just one direction. Take, for instance, that there is an increase in strawberry toaster pastry sales before a big storm (I forget if the study said hurricane or snow or just storms). This does not mean the bijection inverse is true; there is not always a storm happening if there is an increase in sales of said pastry.

Comment: Re:I think computer scientists already knew this.. (Score 1) 274

by muridae (#49281077) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

I always found that funny. I learned Apple Basic because it was all that I had access to. I started writing my own functions, a global return array to track back through and some gotos...just like assembly which I hadn't learned then. I also found myself trying to make objects, by camel case iff needed. $ObjectName and ObjectNumber.

Moved to C++ and everything was fine. Functional programming, not so much, but that's from all the professors who drilled "variables are variable" into my head years later.

Comment: Re:FREE free or "free with strings attached"? (Score 1) 74

by muridae (#49194203) Attached to: Source 2 Will Also Be Free

Of the gross, not even on the profit of the game. If the big guys wanted, they'd make sure they got paid before your employees even see a pay check. Sure, company gross probably doesn't count the distributor's share, but it does count pre-tax revenue, and pre-debt revenue, and . . . yeah, it's rather pricey and dangerous to small developers who don't do accounting.

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 1) 514

by muridae (#48945411) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

Nope, I haven't talked to many farmers; my family didn't do much of that and just had chickens and a small garden. The big industrial farms, even the medium sized family farms, are outside my expertise.

But I don't mind that they buy seeds every year. I don't mind that they buy GMO seeds, plant them, and sell them. Hell, I'll even eat those plants. My concern is the legal side which, unfortunately, computer science tends to get involved in more often than one likes. Patents, copyright, IP laws; none of them are consistent and companies have no reason to patent a gene if they thought they could copyright it instead and get perpetual ownership of all of the plants and all of the plants bred from those plants. Because of that, I would prefer some rational laws be laid down; not just about GMO plants but all genes and the difference between copyright and patent (algorithms/methods=patent, given implementation=copyright).

But until that happens, and as long as there is the risk that these GMO plants cross-bread and become sterile (not the terminator gene, as many above have pointed out aren't used) I will also continue to support those who explicitly do not grow GMO crops as well. And keep bringing up the parts of GMO that aren't yet well addressed.

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 5, Insightful) 514

by muridae (#48938393) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

As a Computer Science major, I worry more about the patenting of plants; the copyright of the genetic structure; the terms of licenses imposed by the giant GMO firms; the common use of sterile plants to prevent that "IP" from escaping the farms. They may be safe to eat, but "safe" to me means we won't intentionally repeat the potato famine.

Comment: Re:Technically correct?? (Score 1) 152

by muridae (#48471623) Attached to: Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case

And, if the mayor had been holding private meetings with a sign-in ledger, and a public action group wanted a copy of that to see if the mayor was meeting with known lobbyists, a judge would have turned over the "personally identifiable information" of a list of names. The mayor thought they could outsmart the system by having the meeting online, and claiming "security" or something to cover what is supposed to be public information to begin with.

TL;DR: if you meet with a government official, your name (maybe job) is on public records. That is not protected information in a democracy.

Comment: Re:Know what you're going to do (Score 1) 176

by muridae (#48454825) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

By volunteer, I mean someone offering skills in exchange for share of future profit (which isn't always monetary). For the project I'm "donating" free time to, there is no expected future profit; I'm doing it because the project seems fun, others want their name in the industry, a mark on a resume, each is getting paid in some way that isn't monetary. Similar to coding for FOSS projects. For my game project, should I ever decide it's worth doing, the payment would be share of the company which requires the promise of future profit and requires an incorporation. Note that I'm donating my free time to this project, I'm not employed by them; but a contract/license is still helpful because it dictates what they can use my code for and what I can expect if they somehow got bought out for billions of dollars.

What I was offering insight into is the way garage developers worked in the 80s, or the way small college groups sometimes work. Since the OP wasn't specific, I wanted to offer some ways that one can work that don't use the normal "save money from day job, quit, invest in own company" method that can and does work. It isn't a model that works in many other industries, and it often requires that your work force still has a day job or other source of income. Most of those garage developers go no-where, a few get bought out or hired by the big boys (Skype), others displace the big boys of their time (Google). If the OP was truly passionate about whatever type of shop they want to set up, I thought some insight on how some FOSS projects operate might be usable. I mean, Mozilla, Ubuntu, WordPress, MySQL, and a bunch of others show that the initial model can work as a stepping stone.

User hostile.

Working...