Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

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:Delete stuff. (Score 1) 258

by skids (#49381373) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective?

Usually to figure out all the little jobs the guy was doing that everyone else wasn't even aware had to be done, and B2B contact points. Debriefings are only partially effective.

Anyway as to the OP, block access to freecycle now so he can't give away his couch. Then you can have it.

Comment: Re:More... (Score 1) 215

by skids (#49379217) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology

Every 'if' statements creates a discontinuity in a function, ask a mathematician why discontinues functions are ugly.

Not every "if" statemet does this; it depends on what is inside the if statement. Often they are semantically equivalent to plain old bitops math.

Also, CPUs are rather good at handling conditionals, in fact are designed these days to handle them extremely well, and conditionals are very often what we need computers to actually do to get work done. If FP was a viable approach to real world problems, then successful FP platforms would not be so riddled with cheats and workarounds.

Mathematicians should be consulted to solve complex data dependency problems in isolated subroutines. Listening to what they have to say about the macro matters when it comes to programming leads to doing some really stupid stuff and obsessive golden hammer swinging. This is because problems in the real world (and especially in real time) are arbitrarily complex (and corresponding solutions are approximate) and not amenable to the clean set of prerequisites necessary to "solve" them using mathematical techniques.

Comment: Re:Obligatory Discussions (Score 2) 193

by skids (#49347135) Attached to: GNOME 3.16 Released

I actually found during a recent fresh Jessie install that, while there is still plenty of cruft pulled in, it has been easier to peel away some of the crud (byebye avahi, and pulseaudio, may we never meet again) from GNOME than in the past. FWIW. The biggest problem with it right now is that there are no knobs to tune a lot of really retarded crap to "off" or if their are knobs, you have to hunt for them in obscure tweak tools or buried in a theme or in some pathologically treeified config database or in an "oh-there's-an-app-for-that" style "extension." It was much easier back when you had a chance in heck of finding what you were looking for by grepping /etc for keywords. Ponder that last sentence for a while. Currently the config system is actually harder to use than hail-mary's at the cli used to be.

Why anyone would want disappearing scrollbars is a mystery to me. Why do they spend time on crap like that when they can't even let you move/disable the hot corner (which remains lurking in the top left to ambush you when you overshoot yourself on the way to the back button.) Instead you have to go find some extension off a site where you have to create an account to get anything, written by some guy who may or may not have the time to lockstep it with changes in the core, but probably not, so it's just going to break crap later if you install it and then some day in the future the time vampire will come by and drain another quart of your life essence fixing it again. Oh yeah, and the fact that it can't seem to fathom that you just may have more than one non-touch pointing device and just might want them set up differently.

Plus those stupid "toggle" switches are all over on gnome-shell menus where the tried-and-true checkbox would be nicer and more clear.

But at least the controls let you turn on emacs keybindings now without consulting google to find the gsettings variable. Damned if I will remember where a year from now when I get to reinstall, or that it will matter whether I do because by that time it will either have moved, or disappeared entirely.

Comment: Re:Good grief... (Score 4, Insightful) 681

by skids (#49109159) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

"Computer Systems Engineering" covers it pretty well -- it's a mix of EE and CS so you end up with a ground-up understanding from transistor to circuit to chipset to architecture to OS to software. Of course, these days there are so many competing standards/products that all do the same thing but differently and so many layers of bloat, it's not humanly possible to know every detail, and the more actual work you do the further you fall behind in "knowlege" compared to someone who manages to find a way to just read books/code for a living and never has to put shoulder to wheel (not that we don't need those sorts of people, as they can see the forest rather than the trees.)

Comment: Re:Big companies need to leave off our WiFi spectr (Score 1) 73

by skids (#49069483) Attached to: Cellphone Start-Ups Handle Calls With Wi-Fi

The problem with congestion is mainly due to most of the crap you could buy up until now only haveing a 2.5GHz antenna and even the 5GHz stuff did not support using DFS channels because radar avoidance is tricky stuff to implement. The problem with beacon pollution (too many SSIDs) will be solved by 11u allowing multiple services on the SSID. Eventually you'll be looking at having a single AP in every room, even for living-room setups, but some of them will be built into computers and appliances because they will also have an 11ad node on there for short range (e.g. "wire free" from cable box to TV) uses. The radios will be turned down low so the signal barely leaves the room, and there will be overlap between cells on different channels.

For a while in the middle of all this, the "11ac Wave 2" stuff will come out and ruin everything. Then people will either stop using that, or the FCC will roll over and open more bandwidth so it can be something other than crap.

Comment: Re:Who's Wi-fi? (Score 1) 73

by skids (#49069431) Attached to: Cellphone Start-Ups Handle Calls With Wi-Fi

I have a hard time picturing wi-fi being all that good for calls since all a cell phone network is, really, is a specialized wi-fi network designed from the ground up to deal with the cell phone use-case

Mostly fixed on newer installations and newer clients. Right now the industry is more or less in a holding pattern waiting for older devices to age out and for device producers to stop making crap radios, because if you turn on a lot of the voice quality features (e.g. 11k,11r for seamless roaming and CAC), a lot of clients devices cannot deal. It is getting easier and easier for corporations to design their campus WiFi for phone use because they control which devices the users are using, but for networks that serve any old commodity device a customer walks in with, a few pieces have to fall into place before voice SSIDs are anything but experimental. 11ac is one of those big pieces because it mandates a 5GHz antenna.

Comment: Re:One small problem... okay, two: (Score 1) 73

by skids (#49069361) Attached to: Cellphone Start-Ups Handle Calls With Wi-Fi

There's help on the way for that in the form of a standard called 802.11u (and a couple systems implemented on top of that with buzzword-friendly names.) It allows a hotspot provider to advertise multiple authentication mechanisms, so you would just need one account with a central IDP to get on the hotspot. It's already out in enterprise-level gear bought recently enough; the challenge is now for IDPs to take up the mantle and offer a RadSec service, and for those IDPs to work deals with commodity equipment vendors and managed-cloud-service vendors to get their IDs inlcuded in the published beacons.

Oh yes, and also waiting on MS Surface tablets to either get fixed to not choke on long beacons, or die a well deserved darwinian market death.

Comment: Re:I blame the FDA (Score 1) 365

by skids (#49054495) Attached to: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought

anyone who works at cigarette (which contain arsenic, btw, amongst other things) companies, at least at the executive level, should face manslaughter up to capital murder charges.

Move to a dystopian tyranny then. False advertising, marketing to the incompetent, meddling with research, concealing known hazards -- these are the things that companies should be liable for. If we charged every producer with murder for the hazards of their product, you would either starve, or have to grow your own food. In a rational society we know that nothing is without risk and the injustice is when we do not insist those risks are divulged to the consumer.

Comment: Re:Sample size (Score 1) 69

by skids (#49046947) Attached to: Mood-Altering Wearable Thync Releases First Brain Test Data

mood scales, interviews, informant measures, etc. Who cares about the psychophysiology measurements they took

Umm... me? Every time I see a "mood scale" or questionairre used in a study I cringe. These are horribly subjective measures. Stress is a bonafide biological condition and I'm much more convinced by studies that use a biological proxy marker. Not too convinced, given the sample size, but...

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.