Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Confidence in your design (Score 1) 361

When I'm working around live wires I will frequently test the circuit, trip the breaker and then re-test the circuit just to be sure. And even after all that I still will occasionally brush wires to frame to make sure I haven't over looked something. I'll readily admit to a bit of irrationality where all that is concerned.

That said I can't imagine buttoning up all that Rube Goldberg contraption, transporting and then setting it to armed without a lot of trepidation that it would just go boom. Maybe the tilt mechanism got stuck in the contact position, maybe there was a short somewhere, maybe maybe maybe.

I'm really curious what his heart rate was the second he threw the switch. Did he have 100% confidence in the design or did he flinch.

He might have set up a series of latching 'fail-on' and 'fail-off' relays to ensure that the last switch could arm the bomb, but would not cause detonation. The article reports that the box made some noises; perhaps he set it up so that arming the bomb resulted in a certain noise that would confirm it would work.

He might also have performed continuity and voltage checks before screwing on the last booby-trapped panel. He certainly took some time in the hotel room to get it properly set up.

Comment Oh, let's filter, but support. (Score 1) 263

I would rather add the additional support and funding necessary to provide photo ID's necessary- including sending advanced teams necessary to help secure birth certificates and ancillary documentation- than allow continued voting without ID.

In the presence of such additional support, would you still contend that it's racist to require photo ID? And on what basis would you make that claim?
"These people are too incompetent to secure a photo ID despite being offered all the documentation & processing assistance we can provide.... but we want to make sure they vote anyway."

Comment Re:Android Pay... but why? Bye Google. (Score 1) 101

It makes sense if you realize that Google Wallet (New) is just a Paypal-like system, complete with its own physical credit card. Google Wallet can run as a web app, run completely "offline" using the card, or even as an app on iOS (or Blackberry or WinPhone...) if Google releases it there.

Android Pay is an NFC-based payment system baked into Android. Consider that even if Google wanted to, it is unlikely that Apple would ever allow something like Android Pay in iOS considering it competes directly with Apple Pay.

Splitting them into two apps allows Google maximum coverage.

Comment Re:Rewards (Score 1) 101

They will work on the selected banks that support Android Pay right now. If you were using Google Wallet before with any old Mastercard or Visa (or Amex or whatever) that is not from a supported bank, they will continue to work if you register them to Android Pay. However, your rewards will not work as these are going through a third party bank.

My guess is that any credit union or bank worth their salt that is currently accepting Apple Pay will likely accept Android Pay as well some time in the near future.

I know I intend to let my credit union know I expect them to support it.

Comment Re:Battle #2, the insurance companies. (Score 1) 226

Case in point, I just checked my own health plan's website, and if I wanted to go on Truvada, it would cost me $1762.61 for a 90-day supply.

Rounding to make the math simple... $600 a month is a car payment, for a fairly expensive car. In some places, that could be an entire rent check or even mortgage payment. That's overtly extortionate for a life-saving preventative treatment. And I, at least, would have *some* coverage for it. According to, retail pricing runs about $1500 per 30-days. That rises up to a C. Montgomery Burns level of inhumanity.

How much did the drug cost to develop? How big is the market for this drug? And aren't those relevant questions to ask and answer before you start accusing some folks of being cartoonishly evil?

Comment Re:What other choice is there? (Score 1) 344

A lot of people are going to vote for her because she seems to be the only Democrat that is going to have a chance of winning, and sweet Jesus, the candidates that the Republicans are putting up are terrifying.

Have you considered that you've bought a line of bulsh*t the mostly Democratic media has been feeding you? They're not journalists, they are party operatives with bylines. Sadly for the republic, they're very effective.

Comment Not really. (Score 1) 399

This graph explains very clearly how far away we are, and why it is taking so long. The reality is, with all the cheap coal (and natural gas), it's just not a priority. Besides, environmentalists hate nuclear so it's not a political winner to fund it. This story is good, too.

That looks like a graph that says 'fusion researchers want more money.' I want more money, too.
If I go to the source report, will it tell me:
1) the technical challenges they face?
2) if they're engineering problems requiring great expenditures?
3) If they're scientific research problems with uncertain outcomes?
4) If the research for a #3 problem involves a massive #2 effort?

Comment Re:The real message is lost on you (Score 1) 468

Why not crack down on the causes of crime, rather than encouraging crime so we have excuses to throw so many in jail and run around armed for our own safety?

The root causes of crime? Poverty, misery and violence is the default human condition. You might as well crack down on the root cause of falling to the earth.
What you ought to be interested in spreading is the 'root causes' of peace, prosperity and cooperation. That means spreading a constructive culture, and having pride and confidence in that culture.

Comment Keep up your verbal and written skills too.... (Score 5, Insightful) 242

Yes, you should stay current. That doesn't necessarily mean GitHub, but you should at least have a pretty good idea of what GitHub is, what it does and how to use it.

Here's the thing. If you want to get a programming job today, chances are you'll need to pass through some kind of "white board" programming test. That is, a 1-3 hour session where the hiring manager and team will sit you down and ask you to come up with code and architecture to solve a real world problem. That means that you'll need to be able to think on your feet. It can be a terrifying, humbling experience if you are not prepared for it or even if you are. So, the best thing you can do is be prepared.

If you're selling yourself as a Java developer, you had damned well know Java inside out. Yeah, that means crack open a recent website and read up not just on all the fundamentals you've forgotten but also read up on some of the newer stuff that Java's added in the last few years. Walk through some sample interview questions on the web.

Secondly, work on your people skills. You'll have to be able to explain yourself clearly and concisely. You can be a brilliant technical person but if you cannot be understood, you won't get the job. During the white board session, people aren't looking for perfect syntax. What they are looking for is how you approach a problem, how you break it down, and how you communicate your path through the problem. Again, this all comes down to good communication skills as much as how well you sling code.

For the record: I'm a 53 year old programmer. I just "retired" from one company and landed in another with a 20% pay raise and better opportunities to move upwards. And yeah, I did have to pass a grueling 3 hour "white board" test. It can be done.

Comment Overeating what, exactly? (Score 1) 373

Obesity is always caused by shoveling more food into your mouth than you can digest. .

Not exactly. Generally, it's the excessive consumption of easily digested carbohydrates, which trigger an insulin response that causes and maintains the excessive accumulation of fat tissue.

I highly recommend a book by Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat (and what to do about it.)

I can't do it justice, but I'll paraphrase a point he made:
We give the same advice to someone looking to work up an appetite for a sumptuous dinner as we give to someone looking to lose wait. Consequently, any diet that doesn't allow someone to eat until they're satisfied is doomed to failure. So you need to change what you eat, eat until your hunger is satisfied, and then you can lose weight.

Comment Same straw man as the president. (Score 1) 79

Where in the various treaties negotiated in the recent past has a "blind trust" as you term it, been an essential part? Seriously, you'd cast out all forms of diplomacy as being too trusting, and instead prefer war? Have you ever been in a war? Have you ever seen civilians killed because they had the misfortune of living nearby a perceived threat? If you had, then I believe that you would (eventually) prefer a flawed diplomacy to what promoters of war would profess to be the perfect solution.

There are other options besides this crap deal and war. But neither Obama nor you want to talk about them, because they'd make the president look like the fool* he is.

*and that's the most generous term applicable.

Comment Re:I welcome any attempt to try (Score 1) 165

... just don't assume the people already trying are stupid. This is a legitimately difficult issue.

A big thing that this coding concept doesn't quite grasp is that the "hackers" are sitting there f'ing with your code AS you write it.

And you can't just fork the code if you have a disagreement with them.

The trick is to think ahead 10 moves and put something in the system that will seem meaningless initially but which at a later juncture will trigger and deal a savage blow to hackers.

Clever buried tricks in the law are irrelevant when the rule of law itself is being tossed aside, as we see with the current administration. Don't try to be clever. Try to be principled, and then defend those principles.

In space, no one can hear you fart.