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


Forgot your password?

Comment: Ten pieces of feedback 100 000 times (Score 4, Insightful) 236

by namgge (#49260329) Attached to: Microsoft Has Received 1 Million Pieces of Feedback For Windows 10
Mass release of technical preview software is is showing contempt for users and developers by wasting both sides' time by duplicating effort. In my experience the best way do it is to initially release to a small sample of users an fix the issues they raise. Then release to a somewhat larger sample and fix the issues they raise, etc. If you are getting more than a handful of duplicated reports then you are ramping up too fast. If you are getting reports in at a rate that exceeds your developers capacity to evaluate them and, if necessary, follow up with the user then you are ramping up too fast.

Comment: Re:Pull the disk (Score 1) 466

by namgge (#49143653) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

I don't even see why there are so many other posts about Kermit, laplink, file transfers, PCMCIA, etc etc. Worst case is that the hard drive has a proprietary connector and you have to solder an adapter on.

Because rule #1 when trying to get data off twenty-year-old hardware is "If it's working, mess with it as little as possible."

Comment: Go with the majority (Score 4, Insightful) 165

by namgge (#48787347) Attached to: NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

In my experience, if you are upgrading legacy code that assumed straightforward ascii then utf8 is the
way to go. It was invented for the purpose by someone very smart (Ken Thompson). If there were a 'Neatest Hacks of All Time' competition utf8 would be my nomination.

The only real issues I've encountered are the usual ones of comparisons between equivalent characters and defining collating order. These stop being a problem (or more precisely 'your' problem) once you abandon the idea of rolling your own and use a decent utf8 string library.

Comment: Cataloging write-only archives (Score 5, Interesting) 259

by namgge (#48596201) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

Based on my experience as an executor, you should pick the best one or two photos from each significant occasion, record the date, location and the people (forename and surname) it shows in a plain text file and trash the rest. Fortunately chronological order is both the easiest and best way of organising such a collection. Don't bother keeping pictures that don't have clearly recognisable people in them because it's only these that will be of any interest in future.

Then, when you die your kids will inherit a nice collection of ca 100 family photos complete with enough information to make them interesting and give them a context.


Comment: Re:chain of evidence (Score 1) 216

To all of you who are sued for filesharing, you should ask the following proofs or you are not guilty or no copyright-violation has happened at all:[...]

The claimant does not have to prove anything to you they merely have to persuade a judge that, on the balance of probability, they are more likely to be telling the truth than you.

Comment: Now you have two problems (Score 3, Informative) 110

by namgge (#48473485) Attached to: UK Announces Hybrid Work/Study Undergraduate Program To Fill Digital Gap

So, you're an employer who is short of skilled labour. You sign up to a scheme that requires the skilled personnel you do have, let's call her Nellie, to spend a significant fraction of her time training a school-leaver who's been told to sit next to her for three years. After three years the apprentice says 'Thanks for all the help, I've just been offered a nice job with another company.'. Only a C-level executive would think that this is going to work out well.

This sort of scheme has been tried before in the UK. For example, when there was a shortage of physics and maths teachers in schools a decade or so ago. Long story short, it was paying early career physics and maths teachers a bit more that fixed the problem.

Comment: Re:Malware (Score 2) 103

by namgge (#48101617) Attached to: The Malware of the Future May Come Bearing Real Gifts

Not really. The nice/nasty thing about Apple's walled garden, depending on your point of view, is that if just one user notices and reports your malware doing something it shouldn't Apple can revoke the relevant certificates and it's game over within a matter of hours.

Since one also has to provide proof of identity and pay a subscription to get the certificates in the first place unless the author took a lot of trouble to create a false identity they could be tracked down and prosecuted.

Now, I am sure there are flaws in this system, but it raises the bar to the point that there are easier ways for a hard-working computer-savvy crook to earn a living.


Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.