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Comment: Re:Who buys them? (Score 1) 668 668

The fact it's allowed to be sold in pharmacies (at least, in my country) is a scary thing.

You find it scary that they sell overpriced water in pharmacies?!?

As you yourself put it, the solution to this "problem" is simple: Read up on what homeopathy is.

By the FDA's own logic: homeopathy is not even drugs, so why the hell do they claim jurisdiction over it? Should they also start regulating witchcraft? how about preach healers? seems like a massive overreach to me for the FDA to start protecting us from water.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 830 830

I grew up under the metric system, then came to the US and got used to the Imperial system.

I would say the metric system is superior for most uses, but it is definitely not worth the time and money required to do the switch. Consider all the tools, software, books, manuals, recipes, etc... that all of a sudden become obsolete. Consider all the man hours required to change items in just 1 Walmart store, all the factories that need to be adjusted so their products work with metric tools. All those resources could have been used instead in building new things. And this huge "investment" so that people can divide by 10? It makes absolutely no sense to do this.

Moreover, why is it the government's responsibility to make everyone switch? People should switch when it makes sense to do so. Also it does not have to be an all or nothing deal, different goods can be measured in different units (this is already happening), and market forces are enough to push one way or the other if it makes sense.

Comment: Re:There can be only one. (Score 2) 443 443

I used emacs for years, and I invested weeks configuring it to work exactly the way I wanted. My .emacs was beautiful and people often copied it for themselves.

Then I tried eclipse, and realized it already worked the way I wanted out of the box. Never looked back.

It is not about how configurable the editor is. It is about writing code. If your editor helps you do that: great, if not, just try something else, don't get religious on it.

Comment: Re: Mixed reaction (Score 1) 328 328

Your problem is you aren't rich enough to own your own roads and cities too.

Neither is the government. Where do you think the government gets the money to pay for this? they don't have any money. They first confiscate it from you and me, whether we want it or not. Either by straight out taxing it, borrowing it in your name, or printing money which just dilutes the value of your savings. It also makes it impossible for the private sector to enter the road market.

The fact is that the private sector not only could take over making roads, but it would do a much better job at it. It would avoid building bridges to nowhere, and invest more heavily in areas with higher traffic. In fact, the first roads were entirely private. Murray Rothbard wrote a very nice book explaining how this could work (chapter 11).

In other words, you are saying they can tell me how to give a ride because they are already forcing me to pay them to build the roads. "Land of the free" indeed.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1, Insightful) 328 328

I'm not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, some of these regulations are clear attempts to just protect the taxi industry from new models. On the other hand, some of the regulations (like having some basic insurance to cover if things go wrong) are pretty reasonable. On the gripping hand, both Uber and Lyft are both just blatantly ignoring regulations in many jurisdictions, and whether or not one thinks the laws should be there, it is hard to think that having cheaper car services is such a compellingly necessary service that it can morally or ethically justify ignoring laws.

In the so called "land of the free", I should be able to get a ride from anyone I please as well as give a ride to anyone I please and charge for it if I want to. What is wrong here is not violating the laws, it is the laws themselves that restrict this voluntary mutually agreed upon exchange.
If insurance is a big deal, then I as an uber user would only chose to ride with people that have insurance.

Protecting taxis is awful. By that logic we should have made refrigerators illegal since they threatened ice factory workers.

If you don't like the Uber and Lyft services, then you simply don't use them. But we have no right to forbid other people from using it or place restrictions upon them.

Comment: Re:Bullshit. Pure. Simple. Bullshit. (Score 1) 152 152

... the system makes it easy to do the right thing and very hard to do the wrong thing, not just technically correct.

This is an obvious thing to strive for, and something most developers aim for regardless of legal or ethical frameworks.
But hindsight is 20/20, I bet that in your example, it did not even occur to the developer that the message could be misleading. Any software is going to have stuff like that, and you just have to do usability testing from time to time to find these usability bugs (I would call this a bug, but you can call it whatever you like).

There is a slippery slope in the "take some responsibility" language. Does it mean that the developer is bound to fix bugs (usability bugs or otherwise) for ever even if he is not paid for it? Does it mean that the developer is legally liable for any damage the bug might have caused and can be sued? What if the developer released free software with a defect and it causes damage to someone? What exactly does "take responsibility" mean to you?

The solution to this is simple: put it in the contract. In your example, the developer and hospital owners should have engaged in a voluntary agreement before the work started and clearly state what each party had to do in the case of a bug like this. Typically, the hospital would have agreed to pay him some money for ongoing maintenance, and in exchange he would commit to resolve these kinds of issues within some reasonable time. The extent of his responsibility would be defined by the agreement (contract) and nothing else. If the hospital decided to go cheap and don't pay for maintenance (or for example got a free license), then the developer would have no responsibility whatsoever over the problem, and it would be nothing more than a personal preference whether he chooses to resolve it.

Comment: Easy solution: privatize them (Score 3, Interesting) 146 146

In 1900 there were only 20 white rhinos left; in 2010, there were 20,000.

So what happened? we privatized them.
In fact take any animal that can be bought: chickens, horses, cows, etc..., and none of them are in any danger of extinction.

Why this works? Well, suppose I owned those 20 white rhinos. Simple supply and demand would make them worth a fortune. I would have a very strong incentive to try to get 21, so I would make everything I could to make them reproduce. Eventually I would have enough rhinos that I will start selling some for profit and continue reproducing them. The people that buy them would also have a strong incentive to reproduce them. As supply continues to increase, the value of an individual rhino will fall. At that point, the animal is safe from extinction, and it may become more profitable to sell them to hunters for example.

Simple market forces would make us breed them when there are too little, and hunt them when there are two many, keeping a sustainable population.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533 533

One part of the problem is NOT going to go away however - they have to pay to maintain the lines. Right now, that cost if covered by your electric bills. As the amount of electricity you draw from their generators goes down, they're going to reach the point of needing to charge you a flat fee just for the connection to the power lines, plus the usual fees for actually using their electricity.

If government did it, it would be extremely inefficient like all government services. We would all pay for power lines even if we don't use them via taxes (unfair), plus it would be run by political interests rather than economical ones.

Yes, it needs to be economical for someone to build and maintain a powerline, otherwise nobody would do it.

But this has an easy solution: Suppose you own the power lines, all you have to do is sell electricity at one price, and buy it back at a cheaper price call it the "bid" and "ask". The difference would be used to cover power line maintenance and new constructions. You would simply spend less in producing electricity and let users produce it for you. You are essentially getting paid to move electricity from one house to another.

What happens if too many people have solar and you have a surplus of electricity? you would lower the cost of the electricity. The cheaper your electricity is, the less people will install solar panels. You can keep the system balanced with no surpluses or shortages simply by adjusting the prices of electricity.

Comment: Re:IE7 was supposed to be standards-compliant... (Score 1) 166 166

It's the same every time. They acknowledge that the previous browser wasn't standards-compliant after all, and promise the one they are now working on is.

And it payed off no? as a professional web developer I very pleased with how much better IE10 is over IE6 in terms of standards compliance.
If anything, they have been accelerating the rate of adoption of standards.

Comment: Re:just ban it (Score 1) 365 365

If it is so bad then why not ban tobacco?

Because we as free individual should make that choice for ourselves. We do not need a nanny to tell us that smoking is bad and put us in jail for doing something that does not hurt other people. It did not work for alcohol in the 30's, it is not working for Marijuana today, and it is sure not going to work for tobacco.

Comment: Re:Is semver too simplistic for kernels? (Score 1) 199 199

I would argue for adding an extra decimal point: W.X.Y.Z

We did at some point, but users were not able to remember the full version number. People already have trouble sometimes remembering 3 numbers. They start telling you things like "I have the latest version", which they often don't, or confusing 10.0.1 with 10.1.0. 4 numbers makes the situation much worse.

Why is this important? because when someone sends you a bug report, you want to know exactly what version they are using. You may or may not have fixed the bug already, so having accurate version numbers matter.

Comment: Re:Is semver too simplistic for kernels? (Score 1) 199 199

I'll be damned, I did not know this was a thing, I just came up with something that was logical, and served to communicate with user the nature of the release.

And you are right, this is not semver. I don't do backward incompatible changes, so the major number would never change thus the major number as specified in semver is useless for me. Nice to see it is pretty close though.

Comment: Re:Is semver too simplistic for kernels? (Score 2) 199 199

I adopted a convention for my software: x.y.z

"x" changes if there are some major features or change how the software works.
"y" changes if there are some new features.
"z" changes if there are only bug fixes.

Keeps it simple, easy to remember, and users reacted very well to it since they can immediately tell how big of a release it is.

Comment: Re:Torvalds is half right (Score 1) 449 449

But I have to take issue of Linus tone in which he downplays "graphics" as being a rather unimportant subset of computing tasks. It's not "graphics". It's "GRAPHICS". That's not a small outlier of a task. Wait until we're all wearing ninth generation Oculus headsets... the trajectory of parallel processing requirements for graphics is already becoming clear -- and it's stratospheric. The issue is this: Our desktop processing requirements are actually slowing and as Linus points out, are probably ill-suited for increased parallelism. But our graphics requirements may be nearly infinite.

I agree, he dismisses graphics as something a few people do. WTF? in mobile, all the top grossing apps are games. The number 1 thing games do is graphics. If anything, I would argue that graphics is the single most important type of workload in mobile. Gaming (and therefore graphics) might not be quite as big in desktop, but it is still very far from being the niche he pretends it is.

That said, I think he is right that the fast single threaded big CPU's are not going anywhere. The trend for mobile and desktop has been to do graphics and general processing in separate hardware (GPU + CPU), I don't see a reason in sight to change that. Even if they were to be combined in a single chip, it would still be different part of the chip doing the tasks.

Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about. -- Philippe Schnoebelen

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