Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: To sum this up: (Score 1) 216

by tomxor (#49789875) Attached to: Ways To Travel Faster Than Light Without Violating Relativity

1. Nothing can travel faster than light in a vacuum.

2. Some things can travel faster than light in a medium (when it is always slower by some factor).

Unfortunately the later is just an exploration of a pedantic nature and would never lead to any meaningful definition of FTL travel. it's like saying an ant is faster than a car but only when the car is stationary or moving extremely slowly (duh).

What was interesting about the article however was the part about cosmic expansion, even though again it does not produce any meaningful FTL phenomenon, it outlines the fact that under the laws of relativity it's impossible to travel to anything further than 16 billion light years away, because that is essentially a moving target (moving away from you at the speed of light due to cosmic expansion).

Comment: Re:Censorship in the UK (Score 1) 130

by tomxor (#49789755) Attached to: High Court Orders UK ISPs To Block EBook Sites

I'm in the UK too, and as much as this ever steepening slippery slope has accelerated - i've passed through the phase of caring what ill conceived ideas politicians attempt to subject their corner of the internet to.

Instead i think we need to thank them in the same way that we thank malicious users for highlighting a poor design, the internet needs to be more decentralised (yes i know darknet etc, but it needs to be decentralised and un-cencorable for everyone, not just some obscure part of the web). Well established and stagnant technology tends to evolve when it needs to, and now it needs to - so here's me saying thanks Cameron... thanks for being a massive fucking dickhead, because sometimes the world needs dickheads like you to evolve.

On a more pragmatic note: route your internet somewhere else, buying a cheap chunk of cloud is just too easy these days, as for choices of technically how to route... you could either use the horrible TCP over TCP type old style VPN tech, or you could go spartan and ssh proxy individual ports (but it's a pain), or (i recommend) you use sshuttle which is as Spartan but more VPN-like without the TCP-over-TCP nastyness ++ for zero config on the server side too

Comment: Ok I'll try: (Score 4, Informative) 67

by tomxor (#49685223) Attached to: New Device Could Greatly Improve Speech and Image Recognition

From what i can quickly gather from the article:

This is all based on magnonics, which in short - is the use of magnetic spin for binary storage and or logic. This device focuses on the later...

It does this by constructing a matrix of magnetic nodes that are effectively interconnected to neighbours (moor?) via spatial magnetic-spin sensitivity, these interconnects form the dynamic logic processing ability of the matrix.

I think that this is somewhat like a (soft) convolutional artificial neural network for image recognition, these are constructed out of a 2d or 3d matrix of nodes with weighted interconnects in a moor-neighbourhood arrangement. The difference here i guess is that a) it's done with magnetic spin (i really have no idea why this is an advantage, maybe i'm all wrong about this) and b) being an application specific piece of hardware each node works in parallel (this is trumped as the primary reason for the speed potential in the article).

... Big disclaimer: I am massively speculating because the use case is not made super clear.

Comment: No horror necessary (Score 1) 164

by tomxor (#49624327) Attached to: How the NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text

I am torn between admiration of the technical brilliance of building software like this and horror as to how it is being used.

The technical brilliance of voice recognition combined with data mining need not be met with horror... All the horror can be reserved for the separate issue of mass surveillance.

Comment: Re:sudo apt-get install chromium-browser (Score 1) 240

by tomxor (#49607383) Attached to: Chrome Passes 25% Market Share, IE and Firefox Slip

Chromium (which IS open source) apparently has build issues and isn't even in the normal Fedora repos.

Fedora's fault. In Xubuntu, a Debian derivative, all I have to do is sudo apt-get install chromium-browser.

There was a time not very long ago when Chromium was not available in ubuntu official repositories either, and you had to install it yourself or use a PPA... just like Ubuntu you can get chromium running on Fedora. The reason it's not in their official repositories is more an ideological one, supposedly the packaging of customised dependencies rather than integrating more naturally with the ecosystem goes against the ideals of whomever has authority over what does and does not go in the official list.

I like the chromium project and use it as my main browser, i like the developer community also who are super fast at fixing bugs, but i also understand that it's a very large and far from an ideally designed collection of code, modern browsers are hard and i guess the more pragmatic work-in-progress approach is a better fit for Ubuntu.

And the memory footprint of all browsers is crazy now.

Is this the fault of the browser or of the sites you visit? Back when sites weren't as image- and script-heavy, like Better MF Website, a graphical browser could actually fit on a 16 MB machine. Nowadays sites are covered with carousels full of high-DPI photos, plus developers think they still need jQuery and all its bloat just to get the site out the door faster.

Sure, but modern browsers are definitely memory hungry... i'm a chronic single tasker, i currently have one chrome tab open, the browser was started fresh and navigated to slashdot, summing up the memory footprint of chromium tasks it's taking up around half a GB to view this page, seems a little heavy, and i don't think i can blame all that on this one slashdot page.

Comment: They should still try to roll their own (Score 1) 125

by tomxor (#49602699) Attached to: Should Developers Still Pay For Game Engines?
The process of writing your own engine gives you both insight and more creative freedom... Most people aren't successful at writing their own, and even if they are of course it wont be as graphically impressive or comprehensive as the leading AAA engines - but it's the process that's important. There is more to writing games than just filling in story and content, i'm not saying that is worthless but it's only one of the many creative avenues to explore in games, the engine gives you ultimate control over mechanics, you are not bound by the laws defined someone else's physics engine, you can make something up that's out of this world.

Comment: Re:Buying cars based on fuel price... ugh (Score 1) 622

by tomxor (#49531027) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

...or the inability to haul large items.

Do you know this for a fact? I know that not all electric cars are created equal in much the same way that a tractor is not equal to a ferrari is not equal to a ford fiesta (or worse a "hybrid"), but when compared to an electric engine... my understanding was that generally an equivalent 3 phase electric motor should have better and flatter torque curve compared to combustion engine, hence the high potential for performance compared to combustion... it should also make it pretty good for hauling stuff in theory.

Comment: Re:Chrome broke my VPN (Score 1) 70

by tomxor (#49517879) Attached to: Chrome 43 Should Help Batten Down HTTPS Sites

I think Mozilla have more relevance to web standards and technology now. As a web developer i have a slightly conflicted view of FireFox, i think Mozilla are great, because of MDN and the active community developing FireFox and fixing bugs... But unfortunately the browser just sucks in too many ways these days, there are fairly serious bugs that stay open for many years, they keep re-writing large chunks of the browser only to have it still act buggy and perform poorly, i have no idea why because their seem to be enough willing and skilled people working on the project.

IE11 ... while i hate it and want it to die, many parts of it perform significantly better than FireFox and are less buggy, but then it makes up for it by missing support for things that all other main browsers have and having an almost blanket ignore policy for bug reporting which is extremely frustrating...

MS have never once responded to any of my bug submissions. And I do not make vague bug submissions, i always give a detailed isolated examples. here's my experience among the leading browsers, basically reflects how i feel toward them too:

Chromium project responds frighteningly fast to bug reports and fixes fast, however they have a lot of regressions (especially since M39/40), probably a reflection of how fast moving it's development is.

FireFox responds fast to bug submission but usually fixes super slow, it's more likely with FireFox that a bug you discover will have already been submitted but have been open for years, i've discovered far fewer regression than chromium but some have been pretty stupid.

IE11/spartan/whatever MS rebrand their shit as Almost never responds to bug submissions or does and then closes and "will not fix", I've only found regressions between 11/10/9 but 11 feels almost completely stagnant, hardly feels like an evergreen browser at all.

Comment: BoredDevil (Score 1) 216

by tomxor (#49517795) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

Netflix is awesome for stirring up the system, but I don't get the hype about DareDevil... and i like a bit of action, I just thought it was overall shit, wouldn't watch any more even if it was free.

I can imagine it being popular with children, but then it is a comic book hero, maybe i shouldn't have expected more from a live action comic book hero... Or maybe i just wanted something original, dark and unusual with at least half decent acting like Dexter instead of rehashed shit.

Comment: Re:Chrome broke my VPN (Score 0) 70

by tomxor (#49506419) Attached to: Chrome 43 Should Help Batten Down HTTPS Sites
Your "IT" sold their souls when they brought shitty VPN software that relied on Java... Sure almost all VPN software is sucky most of them completely ignoring issues regarding running TCP over TCP, but adding a steaming pile of shit to a steaming pile of shit is just asking for a massive steaming pile of shit. Almost no one misses that horrid vulnerability that chromium is actively trying to eliminate.... so yeah fuck your stupid "IT"

Comment: It doesn't matter how long (Score 1) 101

by tomxor (#49477689) Attached to: Fifty Years of Moore's Law

At some point it will cease to make sense to update your computer on a regular basis. I have a 10 year old one that is fine for internet browsing and word processing

Regular yes, heirloom no. The space between physical obsoleting to the point of uselessness has and will continue to increase, but it a whole generation through which zero innovation in computers happens? less a post-apocalyptic scenario, that's not going to happen.

...A nail clipper is extremely limited in it's purpose and possible number of designs, it has a very attainable optimal design after which no substantial improvement can be made. The current and most prevalent nail clipper design is extremely elegant, it is made from only three discrete pieces each very simple in shape. It has not changed in design for about 100 years and does not need to.

Not that you'd want to inherit a nail clipper but given that it's so limited we've only just managed to optimise it to the point where there is no substantial innovation to be done to the design for 100 years... Now how complex is computer hardware and what is the scope of it's purpose, it's application, it's potential? The time to fulfil all possible innovations may as well be infinite to us, it is at least of a universal scale.

Comment: Speed isn't all there is... (Score 1) 101

by tomxor (#49474391) Attached to: Fifty Years of Moore's Law

The idea of an "heirloom laptop" may sound preposterous today, but someday we may perceive our computers as cherished and useful looms to hand down to our children, much as some people today regard wristwatches or antique furniture."

It is preposterous... Even if it were impossible to make computers faster in any way in the future (extremely unlikely given the countless avenues there are to explore in terms of speed), even then the inovation in computers i not and would not be limited to speed, so no computer heirlooms wont ever happen, stupid person.

Air is water with holes in it.