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


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:This validates the US policy... (Score 1) 727

by sribe (#49346209) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Indeed. Moreover, regardless how depressive the pilot is in the cockpit, he will be way less tempted to perform such a silly suicide action with someone just close to him. We're not talking about a jack-bauer style terrorist here. Quite the opposite actually.

I wouldn't jump to any conclusion quite yet. I've know people who were depressed, even known ones who were suicidal, and none of them would ever want to take 150 other people, mostly strangers, with them. OTOH, I've seen a pretty outwardly-normal-seeming person have a psychotic break, and I can tell you, in that state, all bets based on prior behavior are off... (In fact, changing the subject, I've wondered if Darren Wilson's hard-to-believe description of his encounter with Michael Brown indicates that Brown had a psychotic break. Rare in the real world, but also somewhat concentrated in males his age, and consistent with the very very strange behavior claimed...)

Comment: Re:Check their work or check the summary? (Score 1) 481

by sribe (#49344571) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

It's stupid if you're benchmarking relative efficiency -- it's not an efficient implementation (and you'll have no trouble finding explanations for why the Python and Java code they wrote, while simpler, is not efficient).

I think we're talking at cross-purposes. When I said "not actually that stupid" I was referring to the implementation of String as immutable and highly-efficient to share cross threads, and implicitly including that there's StringBuilder for more-efficient building-up of strings. That design is not stupid.

I certainly did not mean that the benchmark or paper were "not actually that stupid". The benchmark was just ridiculously bad, and the paper utterly stupid. As some other poster said, showing that reallocating a string a million times and appending a single character each time is slower than writing a million characters into a buffer, that's literally a high-school level paper--I think I'd add that it's C-level (haha) high school work.

Comment: Re:Let them sell cake (Score 1) 873

by sribe (#49339425) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

While a business shouldn't be allowed to not serve a segment of society, a business shouldn't be forced to contribute to something to which they object (on any grounds, but religious grounds for this argument). So while a bakery should have to sell a pre-made cake/cookie/whatever to any customer that walks in, it shouldn't have to make a cake promoting...

Although you wouldn't know it from my comment to which you are replying, I actually do agree with that. As soon as you force once bakery to provide a custom cake for a gay wedding, you open the door to the neo-Nazi who was offended when a bakery refused to inscribe a birthday cake for his little boy, whose first name is "Adolph" and middle name is "Hitler". (BTW, in case you missed it when it was news, I didn't make up that example, it actually happened.)

Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 4, Insightful) 873

by sribe (#49338507) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

Doing business with whomever one wants, while denying to do so to others on whatever whim, is a fundamental tenet of freedom

That bullshit argument was rejected pretty soundly 50 years ago. It is reasonable in limited circumstances, for businesses which can only deal with a very limited range of customers. It is not considered reasonable for any business which claims to be open to the public--we decided long ago that you're either open to the public or you're not. You cannot be open to the public except for women; you cannot be open to the public except for blacks or latinos. Etc.

Comment: Re:Check their work or check the summary? (Score 1) 481

by sribe (#49337551) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

Not at all. If you wrote your C in memory string handling as stupidly as they wrote the Python and Java you will still get worse performance in C (e.g. each iteration malloc a new string and then strcpy and strcat into it, and free the old string; compared to buffered file writes you'll lose). It's about failing to understand how to write efficient code, not about which language you chose.

It's not actually that stupid, FYI. It's a tradeoff, and the advantage of doing it this way is greatly reduced locking when you have multiple threads and the possibility of strings being shared between threads.

Of course, the paper about which this article refers, is still garbage ;-)

Comment: Re:Compared to my electric radiator? (Score 1) 160

by sribe (#49333387) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

This sounds beyond useless. Going by my Mac Pro tower, and my $30 electric radiator: Mac Pro, expensive, never really gets all that warm, did almost nothing to warm up my room, draws more power. Electric Oil Filled Radiator, Wicked cheap, warms my room nicely enough, draws less power them my Mac Pro.

So, care to guess where the power drawn by the Mac Pro goes to?

A tiny, really tiny, amount to a power LED and a little to a fan. The rest winds up as heat. You know, that pesky conservation of energy thingie. If the Mac Pro actually drew more power (which it certainly does not), then it would also put out more heat.

Comment: Re:Training Your Competition (Score 1) 108

by sribe (#49326835) Attached to: IBM Will Share Tech With China To Help Build IT Industry There

And this will be the last of the money made by IBM in China. They're going to spend a few more years teaching other companies everything they know, and then the Chinese will kick them out and undercut them with their own technology. Just brilliant, IBM. *golf clap* Now they're actually training their own competitors for some short term profits.

See: Dell ;-)

Comment: Re:I can't be the only one wondering (Score 4, Insightful) 91

by sribe (#49311329) Attached to: How To Encode 2.05 Bits Per Photon, By Using Twisted Light

I'm wondering how the conventional logic at either end of the process would manage to cope with three values. Can hardware be designed to work with more than on/off one/zero logic, i.e. perhaps one reaction for zero volts, another reaction for 2 volts, and a third reaction for 4 volts.

Dude, analog modems have been coding multiple bits per transition for DECADES, using both amplitude and phase to encode multiple values per transition. As do cable modems, DSL, and so on. Just about every transmission encoding method for the past 30 years...

In the example of 3 values, you get 0, 1 or 2. Then on the next transition, multiply by 3 and add 0, 1, or 2. And so on. That's simplified, because in fact there's typically more states than values, and mapping of states -> values involves techniques to mitigate the effects of interference.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle