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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re: Total bullshit. (Score 1) 76

by msobkow (#49626601) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Most Chromebook-Like Unofficial ChromeOS Experience?

Same here, and that's on an *ancient* NVidia card (fanless 8600 IIRC) and a P4 3.8GHz with only 800 MHz memory.

Raw Debian had some issues with tearing prior to their latest driver updates from NVidia, but I've no doubt those issues have been addressed with their latest stable release (which has newer drivers.) Most of the tearing was with Flash playback, though -- VLC did a pretty good job with upscaled 720p videos.

Comment: Re:At the same time (Score 1) 295

Yup, if it wasn't Microsoft, all kinds of other companies could have dominated the desktop market. IBM (OS/2), Quarterdeck (DESQview/X), Apple (Mac OS), NeXT (NeXT), any number of *nix companies (X11), and others.

Microsoft got big because they got the consumers interested, and questionable deals with vendors.

Plenty of people only know the tunnel-vision version of computer history and they believe Microsoft is it. They either don't remember (or are too young to have seen) software boxes (ahh, the good ol' days) had logos to indicate which OS they worked on so you could pick the right one.

+ - French version of "Patriot Act" becomes law->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: Thanks to the cold blooded massacres of the Charlie Hebdo (and other) incidents at the hand of the bloody Islamist savages, where many innocent people were slaughtered, the French legislature passed, by a vote of 438 to 86, in the National Assembly with, 42 abstentions, the "Intelligence Service Bill", a French version of the Patriot Act, which awards the French intelligence a sweeping power to tap and intercept any kind of correspondence, including phone conversations, emails, social media, amongst others

The bill would decree that hosting providers and Internet service providers (from now on referred to as ISP) in France must get equipped with a “black box” that could retain all digital communication of the citizens, at any time

Slashdot carried an article ( http://it.slashdot.org/story/1... ) about the possibilities that ISPs may leave France if the bill is passed. Now that the bill has passed, we will know in a short while if those ISP really pull out of France or not

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:this already exists (Score 1) 231

by JWSmythe (#49625111) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device

Saying "We're sure he had..." without evidence is not evidence. They have to have the evidence that he actually *did* have what is claimed.

That's the hard part. They have to gather the evidence to get the conviction. Without evidence, they can't get a conviction. At least if you have a competent attorney. If you have a crappy one, you'll get the 5 years because they talked you into taking a pre-trial plea agreement. That's how innocent people go to jail.

Comment: Oh goody. Back to daily reboots. (Score 0) 128

by msobkow (#49623745) Attached to: Microsoft: No More 'Patch Tuesday' For Windows 10 Home Users

Things may have improved, but you still have to reboot for far too many Windows updates for a daily update cycle to be anything other than frustrating as hell for most people. Microsoft used to be hated for that before "Patch Tuesday" was started. I guess they never learned their lesson, and are going to drag the public kicking and screaming back into the daily boot cycle.

What a shame they couldn't have learned their lesson and either started issuing patches that don't require reboots for the most trivial of changes, or stick with "Patch Tuesday" to minimize the pain for the user.

Comment: It boils down to luck (Score 1) 240

by msobkow (#49623405) Attached to: Is It Worth Learning a Little-Known Programming Language?

I was lucky enough to learn how to program in Neuron Data's toolkits before the 1.0 release of the GUI components were released to the public. I rode that gravy train for about 15 years before the market imploded, with a peak of $120/hr. in the mid-late '90s.

But I didn't choose that route -- I got lucky that something I knew well turned out to have relatively high demand (at least compared to the number of people who really knew that tool well.) I could just have easily been unlucky enough to learn one of the other two GUI toolkits that Northern Telecom was evaluating at the time.

On the database front, I missed out -- I was tasked with evaluating the first release of Ingres, and have never seen that product again in my entire career. Fortunately I was able to wrangle some Oracle work and training with my Ingres SQL experience, and from there sidestepped to Sybase ASE, DB/2 LUW, and SQL Server. But I had to work at becoming an SQL expert (cross-platform); with the GUI tools, I just got lucky.

On the major downside, most of my GUI experience is now useless because the only place you'll find Neuron Data left in are old legacy/maintenance-mode applications. There is no new work being done with Open Interface Toolkit.

Comment: Re: Absolute bollocks (Score 1) 388

by msobkow (#49620495) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

Those who try to classify mere coding as "programming" are the same ones who think you can teach "anybody" to "program." The problem is they have too low-balled a viewpoint on what the art of programming is. Calling a coder a programmer is like calling an apartment painter an artist; the jobs are only vaguely related. Slapping paint on a wall is no more "art" or "talent" than coding is compared to programming.

Comment: Re: Absolute bollocks (Score 1) 388

by msobkow (#49620467) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

I'm not talking about understanding the business; I'm talking about translating the chatter of those who do understand the business into algorithms, models, and architecture. I'm talking about having the knowledge to choose from the various platforms and frameworks available.

You can't just walk someone through a course and have them learn that. They have to have the passion to learn about those things on their own, and they have to have the talent to understand those issues and concepts.

You can teach someone to spew the buzzwords; that doesn't mean they know jack shit.

Comment: Absolute bollocks (Score 2) 388

by msobkow (#49619843) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

The truth is that programming isn't a passion or a talent, says Edge, it is just a bunch of skills that can be learned.

Competent, basic programming may be, but there is also an aspect of art and talent to it that can't be taught no matter how much the "we don't fail kids here" people might wish it weren't the case. Companies aren't looking for competent programmers -- they offshore those jobs. They're looking for the exceptional talent that can drive the whole process from top to bottom, including issuing the designs and models those "competent" programmers are expected to work from.

I may not believe in the "10x programmer", but I most certainly do not believe that just "anybody" can be taught to be good programmer. I don't believe that of anything except the most basic of manual labour jobs.

Comment: Nonsense. (Score 1) 288

by msobkow (#49616947) Attached to: Ubuntu 15.04 Received Well By Linux Community

One does not edit anywhere near the number of configuration files and install enough software to justify running as root all the time by a long shot. This isn't the Windows world where over half the software requires running as Administrator just to function.

I spend months at a time never touching the root account on my systems after they've been set up. I haven't seen a box that enabled root logins in over a decade, from any vendor or Unix flavour.

So I call "bullshit" on the theory that there are users out there logging in as "root" for the sake of "convenience."

+ - Congressman Thomas Massie: "Clock ticking to scale back spy powers"->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: Congress faces a critical deadline, and time is running out. On June 1, 2015, three provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire. The actions of the U.S. Congress between today and June 1st will affect the privacy and liberty of millions of innocent Americans.

The 2001 USA PATRIOT Act was drafted and swiftly passed in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Due to the nature of the crisis, the goal was simply to pass a bill as quickly as possible. Many congressmen did not have an opportunity to thoroughly read, analyze or vet the bill's numerous and lengthy provisions. In fact, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, one of the original authors of the Patriot Act, later declared that he was shocked by how the law was used to spy on innocent Americans.

Congress and the American people now know, thanks to whistleblower leaks, that federal agencies like the National Security Agency regularly perform mass surveillance on Americans without bothering to obtain a warrant. As constitutional law scholar Randy Barnett wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "The National Security Agency has seized from private companies voluminous data on the phone and Internet usage of all U.S. citizens. ... This dangerously violates the most fundamental principles of our republican form of government." He concludes that "[s]uch indiscriminate data seizures are the epitome of 'unreasonable,' akin to the 'general warrants' issued by the Crown to authorize searches of Colonial Americans."

The Founders of this great nation fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize. What happens between now and June 1 depends on the American people. It is imperative that every freedom-loving American demand an end to these unconstitutional programs. At the very least, the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act should not be renewed. After that, the entire Patriot Act should be repealed so we can start over and establish law enforcement programs that respect our Constitution.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:why do we need a walled garden? (Score 1) 32

The walled garden here means free access for the user - no data charges, no access charges.

The alternative is for a user to have to pay data charges and/or access charges - in other words, the status quo. In many places, data charges can be expensive - in many parts of Africa, you can buy airtime in 15 cent vouchers, which sort of indicates the level of disposable funds people have. Data charges can fairly rapidly wipe out 15 cents, so people generally dont bother and stick to cheaper SMS and voice services.

So if the user isn't paying the data charges, who picks up the bills? Someone has to...

So why the hate for Facebook et al doing this? Do people really expect them to pick up the tab for everyone just because?

Comment: Re:No matter what Uber says ... (Score 1) 174

So by your logic, the police should never be bothered with "busting" street-level drug dealers, pick-pockets, or muggers because they aren't the "big fish" in their criminal organization.

I don't give a damn if you're some greedy schmuck who bought into Uber's lies. You are providing the end service, and your activity is illegal, so why shouldn't the book be thrown at you?

It's not like you're innocent. Even if you are ignorant of the law, that has never been held as an excuse in court.

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work. -- Richard Bach, "Illusions"

Working...