Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Right ot not right? (Score 1) 187

It would seem that the U.S. has a pretty poor constitution if it can be superceded by contract law. Isn't the whole point of a country's constitution that it stands above all "lesser" principles and laws.

The US constitution was written with the mindset that it should be a meta-law to limit the power of an oppressive government, so it only says things like "Congress shall make no law (...) abridging the freedom of speech" and doesn't really deal with people at all except in the context of government action like giving you a fair trial. Everything else is just law, it's illegal to murder you not unconstitutional. So if Congress wants to do something about this, they should pass a law. The flip side of this is that despite being called the Bill of Rights there are actually no rights granted. If the government did absolutely nothing, didn't hold any trials because it didn't bother to prosecute any criminals that would not violate the constitution. I think the closest thing you get to a "right" in the constitution is the 13th that says: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude (..) shall exist within the United States" but the wording is more to say that such contracts are null and void so the usual laws apply.

You could write an entirely different constitution centering on people, saying basic things like that people have a right to freedom so that slavery and involuntary servitude is outlaws is merely a consequence. That everyone is entitled to equal protection by the law so for example selective enforcement would be unconstitutional. But that would be an entirely different way of thinking about what the role and purpose of what the constitution should be. It's probably more in line with the way we think about civil rights today, but it's a very different world today than in the 1700s. Even basic things we take for granted today like elementary public education didn't exist, you had some free schools run by churches but it was neither universal nor compulsory. The government was mostly the law, the rest you had to take care of on your own.

Comment Re:Autonomous Ride-hailing Technology (Score 1) 49

Of course sci-fi also doesn't need to take reality into account. Assuming the poor are incapable of sustaining themselves, they must be given wealth. Why would rich people give more to the poor than what is absolutely necessary to maintain a civil society where the masses don't riot and start a revolution? Consumption is only good if you don't have to supply the money they consume with, otherwise it's just an inversion of the broken glass parable. If you can break glass and generate business for yourself, great. If you also have to pay the repair bill you're going to end up with less than you put in. Purely destructive activity doesn't benefit society, if you really believe that go out and create jobs through vandalism. While somebody will get paid to fix things, as a whole the community will be poorer.

Comment Re:Absolutely baffling (Score 1) 249

Are you sure that wasn't a tongue-in-cheek answer to the fact that Linux didn't have any of the software he's used to, only "equivalents" he'd have to learn from scratch? Because I have made that switch and it was almost a broken record "Does Linux have X? No, but Linux has Y which is kinda like X...", he probably just realized exactly what he asked for and decided to bail.

Comment Re:Absolutely baffling (Score 2) 249

It's a bit of a cascading network effect. Some people at work use the advanced features of MS Office or interchange documents with other businesses that use MS Office and the people they hire are more likely to have used MS Office, thus the workplace standardizes on MS Office. Since people use MS Office at work, it's easier to get MS Office at home because everything is in the same place and they can apply any free practice/training they got at work.

You might think it would be a trivial effort to switch or use both because you understand the abstract concepts... but most people aren't there. The big blue e is the Internet, the Internet is the big blue e. I'm occasionally there about other things I don't care much about, I know how this product works and it gets the job done so... even though I know it might not be the only or best tool for the job. Mental effort isn't an infinite resource, sometimes you just don't care enough to bother.

Comment Re: systemic error (Score 3, Insightful) 143

You are talking about two different things, a disturbance in the environment can be tested by trying in another environment. If the flaw is inherent to the technique that's a different problem, but then at least you have two studies coming to the same result. That's a much stronger result than one experiment, which could be flawed in a million ways you can't even imagine. Even if it's wrong, knowing that the experiments must share a common flaw narrows down the search immensely.

Comment Re:"more arrests as AlphaBay users are tracked dow (Score 3, Informative) 146

I am trying to write the sarcasm ending tag (meant to be within the parenthesis in that previous comment) but it gets always deleted?! Someone here should review the HTML parsing part!

/. doesn't allow direct HTML in comments, been that way 20 years. If you want to do quasi-HTML, learn to write HTML entities. Like </sarcasm> has to be written like &lt;/sarcasm&gt; Oh and the & itself is written &amp; in case you're wondering. Lots of entities won't work though, only a small white-list. Particularly I miss the Greek letters for formulas, though most western characters are there like üöæøåñçß. Forget the rest of Unicode though, not happening...

Comment Re:Rolling Release (Score 1) 163

Back when I used Ubuntu, I dreaded every upgrade because I knew something would konk out and force me to either reinstall or hammer the configuration until it worked. It's been ages, though, so maybe things are better now?

Doesn't that describe like every upgrade, ever? Even with the best of intentions things can break and then you have all those pushing the new shiny who wants to break things. The question is how often do you want/need it compared to the benefit of getting new hardware support, new software features and fixes quicker. Every day, taking it in stride (until it breaks in the most inconvenient way at the most inconvenient time), every six months, every two years... you can skip an LTS and do it once every four years, the choice is yours.

The only real downside I saw was that even with backports and PPAs occasionally sorting it out you sometimes had cascading dependencies where you wanted to upgrade just one software package and it set off a chain reaction. I mean the software already exists in a newer distro, if there was a simple way to say "Take application X from distro version N+1/2/3, put it in an AppImage/Flatpak/Snap/chroot container and let me run that isolated from the rest of the system" that would be great. Ideally integrated into apt-get so that branch would get updates along with the rest. If you upgrade your distro and "catch up" later, you can uninstall the container and install it the ordinary way. That way you'd have a vast library of "free" backports.

Note: I might be unaware what actually exists now, there's some years since I last ran Linux.

Comment Re:Why we don't use Linux (Score 1) 163

Personal preference has nothing to do with it. We're running a business, not a kindergarten. We need professional tools.

So availability of applications have what do to with support window? Maybe you shouldn't be running anything, since you can't seem to make a coherent argument.

Comment Re:In other exciting news... (Score 0) 54

Wine just announced it fixed the last compatiblity issues and Notepad is now a Platinum-certified app.

Well that's up to the WINE project... if the problem is patents, all you can do is wait. Besides there's nothing wrong with a high bit rate MP3, except that it's maybe a MB or two bigger than an equivalent AAC. If it lacked quality it would be different.

Comment Re:Never going to happen (Score 1) 308

Yes, probably he did ask Trump. And Trump probably did say yes. Because that's the kind of thing Trump does.

Well, if Musk is anything like a friend of mine then "That sounds like a good idea, why don't you draft up a proposal?" counts as approval. Then again he'll also take any casual remark on something that might happen at some unspecified point in the future as a done deal coming any day now and any girl that looks his way or says two kind words is flirting with him.

Comment Re: Screw it (Score 1) 160

Yeah, and they were trying out never-before used titanium grid fins, too. But that was their highest energy trajectory yet (as noted, they keep pushing the bounds on trying to land more and more difficult trajectories). I imagine they'll cut back on that a lot once the Heavy is in full service and they can just offload heavier payloads to the Heavy.

Maybe, but there seems to be a sliding scale from landing all three back at the launch site to landing one or all on drone ships to using them as expendables so they probably want the most aggressive landing profile possible for a given weight. With three first stages to one second stage I guess the value of reuse and quick turn-around goes up. And if I understand it correctly the center stage will go longer and faster than the side boosters, that one is probably always coming in hot.

Comment Re:They're also doing the opposite (Score 4, Insightful) 273

The pretext is to ensure better compatibility but it seems a lot more likely this is to ensure that if you're in a Windows environment, you're on an upgrade treadmill.

It absolutely is. I used the small open source patch that lets you continue to install updates, everything has drivers from the manufacturer and everything works. Maybe Win7 isn't doing everything optimally, but there's no compelling reason for Windows to refuse to run.

Comment Good solution (Score 2) 273

Microsoft confirmed. Instead, they'll simply be offered the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, plus security updates through January, 2023, the end of the original Windows 8.1 support period.

So Microsoft is going to give the Anniversary Update 7 years of security updates, that's great. Now give everybody else the chance to step off the upgrade bandwagon. Seriously it's proven time and time again that they could let you do it and it wouldn't really cost them anything because they're going to make those patches anyway, but they won't.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!" - Ben Jonson