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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Anyone can answer? (Score 1) 238

The speed of light is less about a speed of one thing, and probably more about a property of space-time that just happens to affect how fast photons move through space.

So, ultimately, anything attempting to propagate through space will be affected in some way by that property. If space-time is made up of something that pushes back as you go faster, once you get to a certain speed, you won't go any faster.

So if gravity tries to act more quickly than the speed of light, then space-time may be pushing back on gravity as well. This makes more sense if you assume there is an actual massless particle called a gravaton which transfers the gravitational force that is affected in much the same way as the photon by this same property of space-time and hence, has exactly the same speed through vacuum.

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 238

I'm with you on what you said. We should be skeptical of existing theories, but ultimately if we're changing theories all the time, we're not making progress. We should be trying to increase the things are are "almost certain" about.

On the other hand, I admit it would be nice to find out that we could do something like, exceed the speed of light in a vacuum through some new loophole. Because right now, we're starting to bump up against certain limits that are putting the greater balance of the universe outside of the reach of humanity forever. I may be greedy, considering the size of our galaxy and local group, but it seems sad that if we do survive long enough (somehow), that we might actually see most of the galaxies outside our supercluster fade to black.

That's not a good reason to hope for uncertainty, and I'm extremely unlikely to live long enough for it to even be begin to be an issue, but I suppose people want a universe that has some mystery left, or something out of left field that makes something silly like magic possible.

Comment Re:trump independent can lead to no one getting 27 (Score 1) 471

Yes, but I think the polls at this point of the game are a crock of shit.

Sanders is more genuine and all of that, but I think Clinton has the better long game. She has the machine to win a national election easily and she will have no trouble uniting the Democratic base against Trump. So, Trump will not beat Clinton.

Mind you, I don't think he will beat Sanders either, but I think it will be closer because Sanders' campaign hasn't been in a real bowl game before, as it were. And if it is closer, then the Republicans will mess things up with any reasonable candidate.

The only sure losers in this election are the establishment Republicans unless they cut the shit and find someone who isn't a robot or a moron to elect. I'm thinking their only real chance at taking on someone like Clinton or Sanders in a national election by picking up Independents is Kaisch, and he's not going to have the allegiance of the crazies that Trump has, so he's going to have severe trouble even getting a nomination.

Rubio might get the nomination, but he seriously needs to up his game. And if he keeps up the Mr. Roboto act, he's going to be "designated loser".

Bush... I was unenthusiastic about Bush the Third to begin with, and despite his deeper war chest, he's a dead letter unless something surprising happens. Which is almost good, since I am nearly certain that Bush would even lose the national election against a wet paper bag that had the Democratic party logo on it. He'd get 45% of the vote and never have a chance at a single vote more unless Hillary Clinton dropped her disguise and revealed that she's actually a robot Adolf Hitler. (I'd have said The Devil, but I doubt that most Democrats actually believe there is a devil any more).

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 150

I sort of agree with that sentiment. I like to play games, and I'm pretty good at them, enough to have a reputation as someone who wins often. This makes me feel good, because I was able to win a lot of games on merit, and so I'm a "winner".

There are times, however, that I see someone beating me, and I'm thinking, "that guy can't beat me!" Now, I don't actually cheat, because I do have the attitude that playing with others is more important for the social interaction aspect, as well as maintaining an actual challenge for myself, but I definitely do have the feeling like I have to do "something" to win. It is sometimes hard to make myself call out an illegal move I made accidentally that no one else noticed and take it back, especially in a game where I have a reputation to maintain. So yeah, I see how this could be accurate.

So, I can totally see someone who is a winner at "business" or at "life" having even higher perceived stakes and an even stronger reaction. They're a "winner", so they *cannot* lose to someone who has proven to be a "loser" in the past. And I think it can start small like a cheat that was actually more of a slip-up than a planned move. They managed to get a stock tip that is technically illegal, but small enough that no one will know about. Then they test the waters and find out that there's no enforcement, so they assume it's "okay" and that they're just smarter than the losers and so they deserve to make the money or the victory at something. Soon, they're breaking the law right and left, and making money hand over fist. Sometimes they get caught, sometimes they get away with it.

I think that it is definitely the feeling that you have to maintain a reputation to maintain your self-respect. You can get hooked on success, and that's a problem because you can't always be successful.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 150

Does the guy who designs bridges have to make considerations to ensure it can't be attacked by terrorists?

In some cases, yes.

However, just as in bridge building, in software, there are certain processes or standards you follow, and you do your due diligence. You're not going to get every bug or hole. What you have fixed ahead of time keeps away the easy compromises, and then you have to be vigilant to make sure more focused attacks don't work on you.

It's risk management. If your bridge is a well known modern Wonder of the World, you're probably looking out for active terrorist attacks on it. If it's a minor bridge, you're probably not. And the reality is, you've accepted the risk to the minor bridge, they aren't actually secure from explosions. On the other hand, you might kill a couple of people that way, which isn't usually what terrorists are going for. So blowing up a minor bridge isn't what they want to do.

So if you wrote something that you app scanned and wrote against something like OWASP, then you're probably okay as long as you're not writing mission critical software. You just have to remain responsive to intelligence reports that tell you that you have a vulnerability as they come in. If you've written mission critical software, however, then you need to test, re-test, and certify the hell out of it.

Comment Re:Troll them! (Score 1) 140

The easy way to do this is very simply to ask them to hold on for a second so you can get something to write with, and then put the phone on mute, and go do something else and wait for them to disconnect themselves. If you give them any hope that you're going to listen to them, they will try and wait it out, which ensures that you waste a maximum amount of their time.

Unfortunately, they do seem to be moving to voice activated menus that they actually seem to have gotten some reasonably good voice actors for. I actually thought it was a real person after one round of saying I wasn't interested. Then I heard some of the popping sounds you hear with some of those systems while they are processing. It may be harder to waste their time if the script is well tuned.

And then there are the recorded calls that don't even bother pretending. Does anyone actually press '1'? You'd think there would have to be some idiots that do, but it is so hard to believe in this day and age that anyone falls for that shit any more, even grandparents.


Comment Re:trump independent can lead to no one getting 27 (Score 2) 471

I think he will trigger a convention fight if he maintains his 33% over all primaries, but the party brass will be considering their options to deal with him. There will be epic backroom deals on this one, but I don't see Trump walking out of the convention as the nominee unless he improves his primary showings to over 50%.

And at that point, I will start worrying about the future of this country in a way that I have previously not been worried before.

Comment Re:Already??? (Score 1) 471

I don't disagree with you on most of that, but Russia is most definitely our adversary. Maybe not in the sense of lobbing ICBMs at us on a hair trigger, but they're definitely working to improve their own position by harming ours. You can't look be looking at recent history and believe otherwise.

Putin wants to restore the Russian Empire in some shape. That's not really something we're going to want to see. It's destabilizing and it's mostly due to their paranoia that they feel they need a buffer zone. Russia has plenty of land and natural resources already, but that's not enough for his pride-based appeal.

Comment Re:out (Score 1) 471

Trump will have an uphill battle to get the nomination, and his election is nearly impossible, but nothing about winning the primary has put him much closer to ending his bid. Christie and Carson are next to go. Bush has enough PAC money to hold on, and Rubio is trying to become the anti-Trump. Cruz, of course, is far from out, either.

Kaisch is the only guy I am truly surprised about, and I'm happy to see him actually make a showing. Unfortunately, it still seems pretty stacked against him.

Comment Re:She's a dumb woman who drove HP into the ground (Score 5, Insightful) 471

Nothing about Fiorina leads me to believe she is "dumb". As far as I can tell, she's both wealthy, was made the CEO of a major corporation, and had enough support to run for two offices. Despite the fact that they were both unsuccessful attempts, they likely have not hurt her in the slightest and is significantly closer than 99.9% of America has ever come to the Presidency.

Now if you were to say that she was a bad manager, selfish, incapable and just a very bad selection as a leader, I'd agree with you. But never confuse that with someone being "dumb". That's the mistake people make before they find themselves underestimating the person they are talking about and then being run over.

Comment Re:Hasn't she always been polling at below 5%? (Score 1) 471

She was never "in", but up until now, there were no actual votes.

You really don't pull out of a campaign before the first few primaries.

Otherwise, you're letting the media and their polls tell you what you should be doing, and if you're a serious candidate, you are going to actually want to see what actual voters have to say about you. Most of the candidates are depending on these primaries to get them enough momentum with financers and supporters to continue their campaigns. That's why these first tiny states are more important than they would otherwise be in any other way. They're the first actual votes that matter.

You can theoretically walk into a primary with a single digit "approval" and walk out of it as a contender, although its certainly an uphill battle. That's why nothing but very bad financial planning causes the field to narrow until now.

Comment Re:One down. (Score 4, Insightful) 471

Trump is winning out because the saner vote is still split. Even 33% of the vote isn't enough to win the nomination. If the others drop out soon, Trump will need to come to grips with the other 64% of the Republican voters.

Trump is one of those people that will never get the rest of the party to unite behind him. The establishment candidates would usually start supporting the front-runner after they drop out in the name of party unity, but none of them will support Trump because they believe he will permanently ruin the party's chances of winning a national election. They will support the person who is not Trump who is left over after the bloodbath.

That's why this primary is deceptive. Alone, the other candidates represent only a sliver of votes compared to Trump. Together, they are the majority. It would be one thing if Trump could get some upside from the others dropping out, but anyone who voted for Christie or Fiorina or Carson isn't going to be voting for Trump.

Trump's support base is solid, but he has nowhere to go.

Comment Re:We're not all career programmers. (Score 4, Informative) 272

A pull request is a definitely a "git-ism". It's a request to other coders to update their own local git codebase to incorporate the changes that the requester has made. So it is like a "request to commit" to some degree, but allows for decentralization.

So, you can accept a pull request to your own personal branch/fork and it doesn't have to go on the main branch. This allows two (or more) coders to sync their branches with each other, without necessarily impacting the main branch. Then at some point, when there is full agreement among the collaborators about what they want to submit to main, the merged branch with all their work (or any one of the up-to-date branches) has a PR generated for it, and the request is made to update the main. (Or perhaps their branch just becomes a fork of the original code and now that branch is "main").

Obviously, if the PR is accepted to the main, there could be rules about who can do it and/or under what circumstances. There may be a main branch committer, or there could just be rules to allow anyone to commit, as long as they aren't the author and that they have verified the changes meet the appropriate code review and testing requirements. There's no actual difference in the mechanical aspects of it; the main branch works just like any other branch aside from the designation of that branch as the "authoritative" code base for the builds and release candidates.

Slashdot Top Deals

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.