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Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 1) 57 57

As a pilot, I cannot agree more. Some of the cockpit controls out there are downright obnoxious, especially for rotary wing.

I have a friend who is a Harrier jet pilot, and I have heard some horror stories on landing those on aircraft carriers.

Usually, we are told what *not* to do, and so unless explicitly forbidden (e.g., do not do X before this time), we will assume it will be alright. This is clearly an engineering and a documentation/training failure.

It's easy to blame the pilot, but if anything, he's a tragic victim of poor design.

Comment Re:Everybody List What You Think Went Wrong (Score 2, Insightful) 467 467

It has happened over and over and over again, and seems to be the hallmark of this decade in tech: take a working project...

...and that's where I have the problem, because really, I think D2 is terrible, and D1 is far too ridden with bugs and limitations that exist because /. was once running on a 386 in Malda's closet over a 14.4 modem.

Of course, there's a good case to be made that the existing code base should just be fixed, namely:

- Remove sillier numeric limits for D1.
- Unicode. It's 2015, there's no excuse. Page widening is not a problem with CSS's max-width. - Some CSS clean up.

Which would probably not take anything like as much time as Beta was going to, but, oh well...

Comment Re:Everybody List What You Think Went Wrong (Score 4, Insightful) 467 467

1. The complaints about beta I felt were misplaced. They shouldn't have made the beta default for anyone (and perhaps they should have refined it just a little more first...) but I think Slashdotters seriously overreacted to what was an easy to opt-out of test of a new UI. (And frankly, with D1 broken - thanks Pudge - and D2 horrible, I was looking forward to someone doing something about the /. UI.)

2. I'm pretty sure that if they'd covered GamerGate in depth, you'd - based upon what you've written here - been so unhappy you'd never have come back.

3. I go the other way - there was a failure to ensure discussions wouldn't be derailed by trolls and anti-diversity fanatics, especially in the aftermath of a somewhat extreme anti-diversity campaign in one corner of tech. Slashdot's articles were of interest to some of us, unfortunately the massive wave of abusive moderation and anti-diversity crapflooders meant we couldn't have an adult discussion about the issues.

Where we agree however is that, much as I'm reluctant to attack anyone by name, the types of articles that were posted by Haselton were never right for Slashdot.

Haselton wasn't even the first time they did this. Real Slashdotters remember a guy called Jon Katz who Malda brought in largely to introduce original commentary - just like Haselton. It was a disaster. Slashdotters became increasingly annoyed by the posts, just as with Haselton.

Why did Slashdot do it again? No idea. I'm guessing they thought it might be worth a try again, perhaps thinking it was Katz, not this kind of commentary, people disliked.

As an aside, when I used to blog more actively, people (nobody working for Slashdot I might add) asked me if I should offer to write similar pieces for Slashdot et al. Leaving aside my appalling writing skills, this is why...

Comment Blame the users: here's why (Score 2) 120 120

As usual, I prefer to blame the victims (us).

On a desktop personal computer, it would never occur to you to think "Oh, I just assume I'll get software maintenance from my ISP," and if anyone ever actually said that then you would point your finger at them and laugh and their over-the-top stupidity.

But change the form factor of the personal computer to handheld and suddenly we don't do the pointing and laughing. On the very face of it, it's JUST AS STUPID. So WTF?

Users are not exercising their common sense. They simply aren't. You can make excuses for not using common sense and explain why we did this very obviously stupid thing, but don't pretend it's not happening. Every morning you're getting up and putting a "kick me" sign on your back. You know that you're doing it and you know what consequences will invariably flow from it.

"I don't have any other signs to put on my back! All the signs on the market say 'kick me!'"

"Just because I wear a 'kick me' sign that doesn't mean anyone really has license to kick me! They shouldn't be doing that to me!"

Ok, go on and say those things. You even have some valid points, and the things you're saying might even be technically correct. But that doesn't mean you don't sound stupid, because you don't have not getting kicked in your requirements! WTF, people?!

Stop thinking of handhelds as some weird special case where ALL your experiences with software maintenance magically don't apply! THAT'S STUPID! So yeah, I'm a victim-blamer. You know when you buy your PC from your ISP or from a manufacturer who has a history of preventing maintenance, what's going to happen. And when people pretend they don't know the invariable consequences of buying PCs from ISPs, the stupidity takes on a flavor of dishonesty. Mmmm, yum!

Comment Re:If you have physical access... (Score 1) 78 78

It doesn't really mean that, though that helps. It means that at some point you must have had a way to inject your software onto it. That might mean physical access to the computer. Or it might mean physical access to the operating system image before it was loaded onto the computer. Or it might mean physical access to the bespoke software image before it was loaded onto the computer.

One scenario, for example. You work for a company that produces software to control lottery random number machines. You insert, suitably obfuscated, code working on this principle into the software before release. The code is audited, but as all eyes are on modules relating to the retrieval and display of the random number, your code is largely ignored and just assumed to be poorly written, not evil, per-se.

Your accomplice then gets a job as a janitor at SuperMegaBall HQ, one of your clients. They're able to use a cellphone to extract the secure login credentials, which you then crack, and said accomplice is then able to gain full access to the computer with the credentials and upload a software update that'll give you the numbers you want.

This is so foolproof I could work as the scriptwriter for "Scorpion". *kills myself*

Comment Re:How soon until x86 is dropped? (Score 1) 146 146

I'm not sure I've heard anyone suggest ARM is superior. It happens to be fulfilling a good niche as an architecture that provides decent performance per watt. But you're not seeing anyone wanting to use it in areas where power isn't a concern.

I suspect ARM will eventually be the architecture that's supplanted, not ix86 or ix86-64. Intel's getting good at producing low power ix86 family CPUs - I have one in my tablet, and the mobile space isn't really wedded to any architecture, but the desktop space is.

Comment Re:Unregulated speech, must stop at all costs! (Score 1) 292 292

For me, "performance," is where the act meets the audience as much as where the act is carried-out...

Well, then. We should all adopt your definition of the term. There's a reason art is subjective - as long as the consumer and the producer agree that it's a performance, it doesn't matter what you or the dictionary call it.

I see a lot of people getting very passionate when they're probably not terribly knowledgeable about the situation.

Evidently, that includes you.

I don't know what the man's warrants are for, though given the culture surrounding rap and hip-hop I'm guessing that they're not for the same kinds of things that Edward Snowden is wanted for.

His warrants are for missing child support payments. And btw, that's the whole idea behind free speech -- all speech, good, bad, and ugly, is worth protecting.

You are now conflating freedom with intent and quality, which is a slippery slope.

Comment Re:Update Clashes (Score 1) 316 316

You know, it kinda makes sense, but given that I've had months where I've been unable to play a specific game or two (without turning off various features that severely degrade performance) because "the latest driver" from AMD/ATI has had one issue or another, with no bug fixes available short of running the unsupported beta version, the idea of being forced to upgrade a driver that is currently not causing any problems is a definitely negative to me.

It'd be one thing if display card drivers were always being updated to fix bugs/security holes, but in practice, 99% of the updates I see are actually to support new cards (which isn't something I need or want a software update for), or to fiddle with the hardware optimization in theory to improve performance (which might be useful, but there's no reason to force such an update on people.)

Windows Update needs the ability to "pin" versions much as apt-get does. For security updates, fine, force them, but if an update is solely there to "improve performance" - or will have no affect whatsoever, it absolutely needs to be blockable.

"It's the best thing since professional golfers on 'ludes." -- Rick Obidiah

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