Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



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:He's good. (Score 3, Insightful) 173

by Troed (#49362355) Attached to: Prison Inmate Emails His Own Release Instructions To the Prison

I can assure you that pretty much everyone* has access to investment vehicles with a larger return than 2%.

By definition it's not possible for everyone to be able to beat inflation.

Having worked in finance

Understandable. Daniel Kahneman has some amusing anecdotes who people who work in finance really don't seem to figure out what it is they're really doing.

 

Comment: News At 11 (Score 5, Funny) 213

by fyngyrz (#49358717) Attached to: Dark Matter Is Even More of a Mystery Than Expected

Dateline: Millions of light years (even faster parsecs than the Kessel run)

Lede: Scientists in the Dark; Does it Matter?

Today scientists announced that they can't see anything happening with stuff they can't see, but think is there, because otherwise the math is no good. After receiving directions to his laboratory on the phone, I went to see an authority on dark matter. During the interview, Dr. Seemore Lichspittle told this Any Paper, Any Time reporter that the thing about dark matter that one has to understand is that "it goes to eleven." When confronted with the observation that the sensing instruments only had scales from 0-10, he responded "Yes, yes, that's exactly it. The numbers... the numbers only work out in the dark. When the instruments are off. Matter of fact, it's all dark, really." At that point the interview was cut short as two lab assistants in white coats hustled Dr. Lichspittle into his own custom white lab jacket. Late for an important meeting, no doubt. As he left, nodding, he called back "it's really quite dark." Food for thought! Leaving Arkham, I was struck by the picturesque beauty of the stonework, and very appreciative of the tight security. We can rest easy, knowing that national treasures like Dr. Lichspittle work in such a safe enviroment.

Comment: Cumbered (Score 1) 281

by fyngyrz (#49356529) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

And this is why closed source combined with black-box development is so much safer than open source. Sigh.

I really don't mind -- actually, I think I'd be kind of of flattered -- if people were able to look at my code, go "hey, I can use that" and then proceed to use it. And in fact, I've written a fair bit of code I think would fall into that vein. I think I could write something book-length in the line of "cool coding stuff" and quite a few programmers would find it quite useful. I've been doing this since the early 70's. I write signal processing, and image processing (but I repeat myself, sorta) and AI code, with a strong background in embedded and special-purpose systems, a bunch more.

But because a lawyer might look at my code, and use it to screw me, and through me, my family and employees quite harshly?

Bang. Closed source. The opposite of furthering progress by virtue of passing along what I've learned. I give away some of my work product such as this, but you will never see my source code because of the legal environment.

As far as I'm concerned, if I wrote it without referring to "other" source code, then no one else has any claim on my work. I don't have any idea how to fix copyright and patent and still retain the supposed commercial motivation to create, but fact is, as it stands, it's completely fucktarded.

Pisses me off, it does. :/

Comment: Not being a metric ton of bit rot (Score 1) 281

by fyngyrz (#49356339) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

Fast; efficient; not bloated; not buggy; respectful of the user's privacy; hardened with regard to hacking if that's relevant; not encumbered by dependencies; adequately featured; well supported; well documented for the end user.

As far as I'm concerned, if you can't hit those 00001000 or 00001001 targets, you should be looking for different line of work.

Of course it is lovely if it's easily read code, well commented, well structured -- but if the former list is covered, I'll give the 00000011 latter a pass.

Comment: Au contraire (Score 1) 727

by fyngyrz (#49355543) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Adding weight to the airplane reduces its range and/or capacity for carrying paying passengers so it would be an ongoing cost.

Who says it has to add weight? Use modern materials for the partition; carbon fiber structures can be ultra tough and very light weight, for example. And probably not used in any near-current design as aircraft take a very long time from paperwork to production. A door in the fuselage weighs about the same as the fuselage; thicker in the middle, thinner at the edges. It might even reduce weight by creating more open space in the cockpit. You can argue that it would reduce passenger capacity, but inasmuch as US passenger aircraft are typically not fully loaded, it doesn't add cost in most cases either. No matter what, it wouldn't cost as much as the TSA does, between the actual money spent and the huge amount of people's time they subtract from pursuits that would actually benefit the economy. Not to mention the level of irritation and the follow-on effects on productivity and civility...

Always wondered why they didn't design the passenger seating to be removable and collapsible and just pull all the empty seats out as a pre-takeoff action after the aircraft is fully loaded. Be a heck of a weight savings. Plus they could probably leverage it to reduce the anti-passenger effect of the seat designs created by the one-armed, one-legged engineer that all the airlines seem to hire.

Comment: Crashplan (Score 1) 121

by goombah99 (#49355291) Attached to: Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans

For DIY offsite backup I use crashplan. Their system lets you use their servers if you choose (for payment) but it also lets you use a remote disk you have over at a freinds house too, or one attached to your computer. I bought their software after using the free version for years. Besides being a nice automated backup system, the killer thing was the ability to backup offsite to a friends house. I do it mutually with them, each keeping the other's USB disk at our respective homes.

What's great about this is that if I do ever need to do a full backup, I don't have to try streaming it back through a soda straw over the web. I just drive the station wagon over, pick up the disk, and bring it home. Station wagons have very high bandwidth.

The disk is encrypted so no worries about peepers or what happens if my freinds computer gets broken into.

The payware version is a one time payment not a monthly fee. What you get for the payware version is more parsimonious differential backups and some other features about controlling backup times.

The software has gotten much better over the years too. Early on my complaint was the java bloated itself out to huge memory sizes over time. But now I don't even notice it is running.

Anytime I need to do a bigger than normal backup, I go get the disk and attach it locally, then take it back. That only happens when there's an unusual event. For example, if I make a major change in the structure of my file system, copy everything to a new disk or do something that touches all the files, then this could, in most backup systems, trigger a level 0 backup. So when that happens it's much easier to get things up to date then with any on-the-net storage system.

+ - Underhanded government practices get a skewering->

Submitted by fyngyrz
fyngyrz (762201) writes "Blogger and activist Maggie McNeil puts fingers to keyboard in an amazingly concise, robust and well-cited takedown of quite a few police and government practices slashdotters condemn on a regular basis. Well worth a read, and it is also worth following the various links in the post; they range from eye-opening to absolutely horrifying."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Not concerned (Score 2) 176

by gmhowell (#49353367) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

I should actually correct myself slightly: Wal-Mart (and others) have some in house drivers and some outsourced.

BTW, in discussions of the transport industry, don't get distracted/lied to by the companies. Some drivers think they are owner operators, when in practice, they aren't. They will lease/buy a truck from (as an example, all of the bigs do this) Schneider. As part of the lease terms, they can only accept loads from Schneider. It should be obvious that the 'owner' is an employee who has assumed much of the risk that the company would usually take on.

ShanghaiBill has a decent reply, but he misses a point: if the automated truck is cheaper, the big companies will drive that change in a heartbeat. The trick is that someone has to be convinced that they will be cheaper. They are unlikely to automatically accept that an automated truck is safer, faster, etc. One area where they are likely to be impressed is the possibility of 24 hour operations, rather than the 10 hour per day (rough) limits of human operated trucks. In addition to (possibly) being cheaper, this will allow faster shipments for more mundane goods (there are already plenty of ways to have fast shipping, but it is cost prohibitive to do for everything) which would offer them a competitive advantage. I suspect this last point will be the thin edge of the wedge.

Comment: Re:Ukraine? (Score 1) 228

by fyngyrz (#49350021) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

None of those even comes close to two heads of state declaring that sovereign Ukrainian land belongs to Russia.

No one needs to. They've already taken what they wanted. Fait accompli.

You're really letting this stuff fly right over your head. Odd. Russia -- and the US -- are the 800 lb (~363 kg for you victims of the metric system) gorilla of international "we did it, you can suck it" politics. Approval from others is not something that changes the course of much in particular, although it's typical when some kind of externally facing benefit is desired from them.

Germany, on the other hand, was a small, massively industrial country between the size of the 4th and 5th largest US states (Montana and New Mexico) and smaller than Severo-Kavkazsky federalny okrug, the second smallest of the nine federal districts of Russia. Germany was very busy trying to consolidate a starting foothold for a major, vicious, multi-country land grab. The remainder of Europe as a whole was terrified. Initially, they did what they thought they had to do, true enough, but in the end it was nothing but deterrent-free conciliation, just as many actions aimed at Russia today are. The specifics of the act mean very little; it's the nature of it that guides future action.

Comment: Re:Hold up (Score 1) 264

by fyngyrz (#49349871) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

"$7,000" ... "The assumption it takes a year"

The point I was making rather explicitly, which went right over your head, is that 7k is a good return for a short bit of work. 47k is excellent. The complaint about 7k of income as made in the GP is only valid if the development takes a long time. If it takes a week to put together an app, a not unreasonable amount of time for something of moderate complexity (assuming, again, that one is competent, and continuing not being the least bit concerned about those who are not), 7k is a thousand bucks a day, assuming you work all seven days.

Another thing is that if a dev spends a whole lot of time on a poor idea, then perhaps the message isn't so much that "this work produces a poor return" as it is "you suck at this work and/or you suck at figuring out what people will buy", and in either (or both) cases, this is simply the market's way of telling you to consider a more remunerative line of effort.

I highly recommend that you talk to HR about your compensation.

Retired, my home is what amounts to a small castle (ex-church), multiple vehicles, 200" home theater, no mortgage, no loans, investments a-plenty, two wholly owned, profitable businesses that run themselves, and the software that put me here now available for free to anyone...

Yeah, sorry, no time for your HR person. What was it they wanted from you? Ten years experience in rehabilitating sentient AI bartenders, a no-compete / no-disclosure / no harassment / must-wear-panties contract, daily drug tests and cavity searches, you provide your own insurance, move to India and obtain Indian citizenship, be paid in rupees+curry, and no pets in the office?

I'm sorry, I'm just a bit cranky today. Was thinking one lousy assumption deserved another, albeit with a little humor thrown in. :)

Comment: Devil's advocate: (Score 4, Interesting) 323

by Penguinisto (#49349745) Attached to: RSA Conference Bans "Booth Babes"

I dunno, I usually like going to conventions so people can try to sell me things.

Thing is, these 'booth babes' acting as total sex objects *do* sell things...

I'll explain in detail for those who disagree: the ladies grab the typical convention-goer's attention long enough for the sales-critters to suck the guy in and start making the pitch. Our victim is now too damned busy trying to steal glances so that he can lick every inch of her body with his eyeballs. This in turn means that his attention and concentration are now shitty enough to keep cynicism at bay, but still present enough to suck in any buzzword and pretty chart that gets shoved in front of him.

It's a salesman's dream: a horny distracted dimwit with access to purchase order numbers.

Now let's remove the barely-dressed ladies, and what do you get? People that *pay attention* to your sales pitch. People that will start asking hard questions. People who will have their cynic shields on full-power. People that take way more time to work on. Fewer prospects that even bother paying attention to your booth in the first place.

I suspect that after a year or two of "empowerment" (or whatever they want to call it), it won't be attendance that drops, but vendor participation. When vendors see lower sales numbers off the convention, they can no longer credibly justify the expense and time of going.

Me, I couldn't care either way - I usually bring my wife along (at personal expense), so that we can spend off-hours playing tourist and eating at nice places (and she goes off to museums and such during the day). On the other hand, I know exactly what a younger version of me would want... and the evil salesman I keep locked up in my brain knows just how effective sex is to get what he wants by using it.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington

Working...