Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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:I'm dying of curiousity (Score 1) 160

by sjames (#49194515) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

Headers and kernel linking are separate issues. The headers are definitely part of the documented public API.

Meanwhile, when the module system was built for the kernel, all of the modules were GPL and the question wasn't even considered. It's a bit of a special case, when it's Free software, what constitutes the public API? Linux clarifies that marking the function as _GPL makes it the public API in kernel space.

In non-Free software, non-public API is that which is not in the headers or that which no proper way to access it is provided. Effectively, "intent of author" has always been the standard, Linus just documents it a lot more clearly than others.

Oracle should lose. I simply can't see bare documentation of an API as a creative work and simply offering the same API is more akin to writing a distinct work in the same genre than it is to copyright violation. Otherwise, there could only ever be one detective novel (if you've seen one McGuffin, you've seen them all) and one space opera, etc. That is, nearly every environment has a read function that takes some sort of handle (generally returned by an open function), a size, and a destination. There's not many ways to express that in a header.

Comment: Re:We each have oour favorites. (Score 3, Interesting) 123

by KingSkippus (#49194347) Attached to: Musician Releases Album of Music To Code By

Have you listened to their new album, Endless River? It's almost all instrumental and has many of the same riffs from Division Bell. It's familiar enough to sound great, but new enough that it's novel. If you listen to Wish You Were Here while coding, I suspect you'll really enjoy this one as well.

Comment: Re:How to totally screw up my ability to code: (Score 1) 123

by bill_mcgonigle (#49194301) Attached to: Musician Releases Album of Music To Code By

If you play music, my code will go to crap, since I'm trying to do two things with the same set of neurons.

Some of the most amazing brain work is done by /dampening/ the neurons, not hyper-exciting them. For me, music distracts enough of them that the rest can stay focused on the code. aka "in the zone".

For some reason, instrumental is fine for me and talk radio is fine for me, but lyrical music does not work at all. Maybe I'm programming more in the 'song' region.

Comment: Re:We almost lost two! (Score 1) 79

by bill_mcgonigle (#49194197) Attached to: Harrison Ford's Plane Crashes On Golf Course

'Geek' is more the 'script kiddie' version of a nerd. Nerds know what a wire-wrap gun is, even if they're more into grinding lenses for homemade telescopes.

This is fairly well-trodden territory. Nerds are hard-core specialists, fascinated with particular topics. Math nerds, bio nerds, telescope lens nerds (sure, why not?), etc. It's possible to be a multiple-nerd, but Geeks are more obligatorily generalists and tend to be makers.

Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 4, Insightful) 67

OK, no real technical data and some absurd claims here.

First all-digital transceiver? No. There have been others. Especially if you allow them to have a DAC and an ADC and no other components in the analog domain, but even without that, there are lots of IoT-class radios with direct-to-digital detectors and digital outputs directly to the antenna. You might have one in your car remote (mine is two-way).

And they have to use patented algorithms? Everybody else can get along with well-known technology old enough that any applicable patents are long expired.

It would be nicer if there was some information about what they are actually doing. If they really have patented it, there's no reason to hold back.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 4, Insightful) 480

by hey! (#49193289) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Personally, I don't see that any of these things as compelling practical advantages, given that the kids already have dual Swedish and Belgian (and therefore EU) citizenship. If they were Moldovan and South Sudanese, that'd be a different story. Or if they were citizens of a country from which getting a visa to enter the US might be difficult in the future.

But most importantly I think this is one of those decisions that you just don't make primarily on a cost-benefit basis. It's not like deciding to join Costco or subscribe to Hulu. Citizenship entails responsibilities. If you want your kids to shoulder those responsibilities and feel allegiance to the US then it makes sense to get them that citizenship come hell or high water. But given that they already have two perfectly good citizenships from two advanced western democracies with generally positive international relations worldwide, I don't see much practical advantage in adding a third.

Still, I wouldn't presume to give advice, other than this. The poster needs to examine, very carefully, that feeling he has that maybe his kids should be Americans. The way he expresses it, "sentimental reasons", makes those feelings seem pretty trivial, in which case it hardly matters if they don't become Americans. After all, most other Belgians seem to get along perfectly well without being Americans too. But if this is at all something he suspects he might seriously regret not doing, or if it nags him in ways he can't quite put his finger on, he needs to get to the bottom of that in a way random people on the Internet can't help him with.

Comment: Re:Fascinating ship (Score 1) 113

The thing is, there are so many consequences for being the first to go nuclear it actually detracts from the threat.

OTOH, big deck guns can pound away for days for less than the cost of a single missile.

The continuous nature of it wears on the enemy in the way a single missile doesn't.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 1, Funny) 480

by Jeremiah Cornelius (#49192553) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Once you renounce citizenship, I don't think the united states will let you back in, I'm not entirely sure but I believe that is the case.

It's like prison, that way. You have to commit the crime again and be re-convicted, to be admitted back to the circle of convicts.

Comment: Re:Ciphersuite Negotiation (Score 1) 71

by Opportunist (#49192181) Attached to: FREAK Attack Threatens SSL Clients

Again, any algo considered secure today may be rendered useless by a discovery tomorrow. That's the nature of cryptography. Time and again we have seen that what we considered "unbreakable" (within reasonable time) offered some side channel attack or an implementation flaw (or worse, as in SSL3, a design flaw that CANNOT be patched) that turned it into a useless waste of computing cycles.

You cannot "promise" that whatever protocol, implementation or procedure you offer will be secure for the next X days/weeks/years with absolute certainty. Hell, given what went down within the last 12 months, anything could blow up tomorrow.

But until it does, it is secure. Security is a bit like a scientific theory. Sound and solid and true and real... until someone comes in and proves it wrong.

Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line