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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Comment I doubt (Score 1) 139

I live in Russia and I think that this information is not completely true. Please note that $1.8 billion is a lot of money. What can I see here is that this service is not offered to a general public. It is not advertized, I knew nothing about it before reding this article.
That means that the situation when many Americans are constantly sending things to many Russians is very improbable. What are the alternatives?
They can send these goods to few companies or persons which later resell them in Russia. But here comes Russian customs service that tracks packages from abroad. And in this case it is technically difficult to bribe them, because there is no single customs officer who is responsible for all those packages.
Thus, two possible scenarios, when many people send packages to many people and when many send to few are improbable (however not impossible).

Comment Re:How will this compete? (Score 1) 268

The answer is simple: they will not. Today the price of an office workstation is 200000 roubles = 5000 dollars. They are marketing these computers for government and military only. The phrase “This chip has been designed for everything connected with the extremely critical applications, such as military, information security, governance” means it is too expensive for anybody else.
You can also see benchmarks here (in Russian, scroll down to table).

Comment Re:"famous" people (Score 1) 280

It depends on the definition of what "famous" really is. My friend is a musician, and well, she is famous. In Russia. But Facebook apparently does not know abou this. They forced her to change her last name in FB account to real, and the problem is, her fans do not know (or did not know) her real name.
On the other hand I see many people who are using nicknames or invented names on FB for years without problems. This could be because they are _not_ famous, and there is no way for FB to tell that "John Smith" is actually "James Kowalsky". Especially if this another name is actually is in a language other than English.

Comment Re:Q: Why Are Scientists Still Using FORTRAN in 20 (Score 1) 634

That's wrong. Aliasing in FORTRAN is exactly the feature that can make optimization very difficult or impossible. Aliasing was invented because computers had small memories.
I've just finished a project in FORTRAN in geophysics, so I have some experience with this language. Why it is still in use? The answer is: scientists know it. No other reason. Projects in FORTRAN are very hard to maintain. Refactoring is also difficult. Half of the project was in FORTRAN, other half in C++. On any feature request we had a meeting to decide whether we are going to implement it in C++ or in FORTRAN and how the interface will look like.
FORTRAN _may_ have better efficiency in some cases. For really simple programs with no memory management and no hardware interaction.
I think that FORTRAN is a good language, but it is also an old language.

Comment Re:Sci-fi, non-fiction, and a classic (Score 1) 796

This is interesting. As a native Russian speaker I assure you that "Brothers Karamazov" is incrediby boring and tedious book with unnatural characters. One of the worst books of Dostoyevsky. On the other hand I've read "To kill a mockingbird" in translation and found it interesting. Not in "must read" category, but good enough.
Maybe something is "found in translation".

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.