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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Bad design? (Score 3, Insightful) 54

Yes and no. Sure, it could be lazy. OTOH, when your use case is eight million passengers every single day, there's a certain amount of redundancy to having the information with the passenger, rather than dependent on a network/data link. Four 9s uptime during flying hours still means over a thousand passenger cancellations every single day due to inaccessible data.

Comment 4 gigs is all the RAM you will ever need. (Score 1) 194

I expect that is may be mostly do the fact most apps made today still are created with the idea of 32bit in mind. (For Windows and Linux). When designing software there is a sweet spot where of how much RAM to use, vs how much to read off of slower storage such as a hard disk or download from the cloud, vs. how much you should calculate in real time. As technology progresses and prices changes this balance fluctuates. MS DOS and those old DOS apps were designed around the under 640k RAM. and reading data from the disk. So many of the games were generated via Vector graphics. As the CPU time was fast enough to draw the graphics, vs trying to store bitmaps in RAM, and loading it from the disk. Then once the Faster Accessing of the hard disk came around with larger storage, then you got more bitmapped images, where you can read more complex images and display them faster then it would take the CPU to draw them at that quality level. As well RAM has been breaking the 640k barrier, at this point we can have Windowing information as we now have the RAM to run the application and extra to store the data behind an overlapping window...

Design methods change as technology changes so you code needs to deal with the new balance of technology available in the systems.
Sometimes we call it bloat, but it is about having your program taking optimal advantage of the resources to meet what the system can do.
I have a program I created on the server that takes over a hundred gigs of RAM. It really flies because I have a good portion of the data cached in RAM for quick retrieval faster then it takes to download it from the Database. The app I would have written a decade ago, wouldn't work like this app, because we didn't have the RAM, so it would have been designed with more of creating direct read tables in the database with copies from other data elements, probably using extra disk space, to get things indexed so it will work in reasonable time. As well it may need to have been split across multiple servers.

Comment Drone manufacturers aren't the problem (Score 2) 175

It's not the manufacturers, it's the users. Those of us who fly rockets - and all the traditional RC aircraft pilots - know the regs and we stick to them pretty damned closely because it's safety. The manufacturers are selling a product, and while it needs to be airworthy and safe to operate, they have no control over where it's operated.

I can only fly certain impulse rockets near my house because of air traffic restrictions. That doesn't mean manufacturers should make bigger engines - it just means if I want to fly them I have to take them somewhere where they will be safe and legal (like Black Rock).

Comment Re:Perl? LOL. (Score 2, Insightful) 139

Perl still has a place, however it isn't the golden child language it once was.
Perl heyday was during the mid-late 1990's when having a Relational Database was considered an expensive (in software price and/or in system requirements) so for Web Applications, that needed to do a server side data processing there was a lot of reading flat text data. Perl is still king at flat text processing. However with MySQL, PostGreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 being created and designed to be good enough to handle the large data sets, and with system resources that can fit on your mid range server. So PHP, Java servlets, ASP took Perl golden child status, as they are better designed to interact with the database, as well the ability to embed your code with your HTML simplifying the process.
So its place as the de facto language for all things web is rather dated... However it is still good for text processing and can do what it needs to do.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 446

To establish that fact, you'd have to engage in a psychological examination of the criminals.

No, you would not. Because the evidence is simple. The vast majority of the types of murders we're talking about are conducted by people illegally owning guns, most of which are stolen or otherwise illegally in possession of the person doing the deed. If criminals cared about illegally possessing guns, that simple fact wouldn't be true. There's no need for hand-wringing psychoanalysis ... just open your eyes.

This sentence, your basically saying solving the problem solves the problem.

No, I'm saying that solving the crime problem happens to solve the CRIME WITH GUNS problem. But the gun control think (or pretend to) that guns CAUSE the crime. I'm pointing out that they're being completely disingenuous, because they know that the problem is crime, not guns. They don't want to confront the human behavior part, because that means being judgmental about other people (and statistically, being judgmental especially about poor people and minorities) that are involved in most of that crime. Because that's the third rail of political correctness, they lazily pretend that controlling the guns that non-criminals might purchase will make crime go away so they don't have to confront the real problem: local culture.

And yet that is a contention that hasn't been proven, actually.

That's why you can't make any assertions about local gun laws, as the effect of local gun laws on the availability of guns has not been demonstrated.

It doesn't NEED to be. Unless you're suggesting that gun control laws make guns MORE available in the areas where they are used frequently in crimes. Is that really your contention? Otherwise guns are uniformly available across the country, but at least somewhat less so in areas like Chicago because of the draconian laws (which is why people who wanted to own them for self defense in their homes there had to take the matter to court).

First you have to reduce the supply of guns, then you can see what impact it has on the crime levels.

Why? We already see that crime level are much, much lower in most areas where guns are readily available. Guns are harder to legally purchase in Chicago, where they have a huge crime problem. Guns are readily available in other cities, where they do not have that problem. What if Chicago's laws have NO impact on gun ownership levels. So what? Let's say it is has zero effect, and that guns are just as available there as the are in, say, San Diego or Hartford. So what? The differential in crime is enormous. If you're really going to pretend that can't grasp that, then there's little point in continuing the conversation, because you're not fooling anybody.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 446

You're not understanding the difference between long guns and pistols. Which is why I mentioned rifles, and specifically talked about the constantly pointless gun control focus on "assault weapons" (which aren't actually assault rifles, but look scary to people who don't understand that replacing wood with plastic doesn't change the way a semi-auto gun works).

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 446

You're comparing two different things there, you first have to establish that the places where gun laws are most restrictive, do in fact, have fewer guns

No, we're establishing the fact that criminals really don't care about gun laws, and the problem is crime, not guns. In those areas with the high murder rates, reducing the overall level of crime down to what it is elsewhere (where guns are plenty available, but aren't being used in as many crimes ... because there AREN'T AS MANY CRIMES) solves the problem. The problem being crime, not the tools that criminals use (because as mentioned, they're also very happy to slit your throat or beat you to death ... the number of stabbings, for example, are also very high in the same places where the number of shootings are high).

You didn't even reply to the assertion, which was that it was more likely to be with guns due to the guns being everywhere.

That one, again, doesn't rally merit a response. Guns are available across the US. But criminal use of them is highly localized, statistically. It's as simple as the conduct of the people in those locations, period.

Comment Re:Sincerely, good luck (Score 2) 636

Problem is Linus in terms of Linux has been granted God Like reputation. And no one is willing to dispute his power. He may had been a nice guy back in the 1990's but the power had made him more willing to just speak his mind, and not listen to the little guys.

I personally like to hire people who is willing to tell me I am wrong so I can learn.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 446

Homicide rates on the other hand are through the roof because it's so much easier to kill some one with a gun.

Except the FBI reports that the number of people killed with beatings by bats, pipes, and bare hands wildly eclipses the murders committed by any sort of rifle, shotgun, or other "long gun" (including things that look like military assault rifles). And yet every time the media talks about such things, they flash up pictures of scary looking rifles with black plastic parts on them, and focus on politicians who call for "assault weapon" bans. We've had multiple murders in our area just in the last couple of weeks. Stabbings, all of them.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 446

That does nothing to change the fact that we have a homicide rate 4 times that of any other Western nation.

In real terms, no we don't. We have three or four specific cities with highly localized cultural problems and an inexplicable political tolerance for persistent criminal activity that account for the lion's share of those numbers. If you remove places like Chicago and Baltimore from the numbers, the US drops to almost the bottom of the "Western nation" murder rate list. Talking in nation-wide generalities about what is essentially a severe cultural problem in a handful of neighborhoods is completely disingenuous.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 446

How about addressing the root problem of our excessive gun violence, there's too many guns!

Then why is there more violence in the places where gun laws are the most restrictive, and LESS violence in places where guns are readily available and very commonly owned?

When criminal elements or the mentally unstable types commit violent acts (which happens everywhere) they are so much more likely to do it with a gun here because guns are everywhere in this country.

Except reality doesn't agree with your assertion. Yes, guns are (more or less) everywhere. But violence crime (a la Chicago or Baltimore) is NOT everywhere. In fact it's easier to get guns outside of those places. And those places also have much higher rates of beatings, stabbings, etc. If you remove the four municipalities with the highest overall crime rates from the national statistics, the rate of murders for the country drops nearly to the bottom of the modern world's stats. Why? Because we have a few cities with major localized cultural problems and an inexplicable tolerance for persistent criminal populations. Take those out of the equation and there's almost nothing to talk bout here.

Another megabytes the dust.