Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Smart move. Nuclear Fission isn't cost-effectiv (Score 1) 277

While I agree with a stop to build new ones, it's insane to turn off the ones that are still running reliably

Indeed, which is why it isn't happening anywhere. As reactors hit an age when they need seriously expensive work to continue operating they are being shut down. We haven't seen any relatively new reactors shut down since 1979 when TMI scared everyone enough to shut down the obvious 1960s deathtraps and upgrade everything else.

Comment Re:dumb move (Score 1) 277

In the UK there was a deliberate move from a manufacturing economy to a financial services economy, and it was funded by the windfall from North Sea oil sales. You don't need much coal when you are not making much.
The UK, especially Scotland and Wales, hasn't recovered.
It wasn't "hard economics", it was "hard politics" of the fuck you if you are not in banking or real estate variety.

Comment Re:Languages are tools, not jobs. (Score 1) 512

Yes, but it's not really full mastery being discussed is it?
My first exposure to python for example was to fix some errors in somebody else's code due to them not having enough background in mathematics to solve a problem. The simple stuff is possible just being able to look up the syntax and having done some work in vaguely similar languages earlier. I'm definitely not special, it's a skill every programmer gets at some point IMHO - even starting off on FORTRAN and LISP like I did.

Comment Re: uh... stingray breaks LTE security constantly (Score 1) 47

Also, has WiFi security been breached since the bad old days of WEP? That was a disaster, no arguing otherwise(though earlier cellular standards are also a mess); but it was my understanding that WPA2 only gets 'breached' because they include the consumer-friendly PSK option and a lot of lousy passwords are used; while PSK with good passwords, or the annoying-to-set-up, but actually robust, 'enterprise' flavors have been pretty solid. Telcos deserve credit for being one of the few network environments where cryptographic smart card authentication is actually routine(SIMs haven't mechanically been smartcards in ages; but logically and electrically they are); but wifi security if you actually care is quite robust, it's just that the spec includes options intended to be trivial to set up.

Comment Re: Sweet! (Score 1) 47

This proposal appears to be an attempt to change that; but the original LTE-in-ISM-bands spec has a really nasty, though admittedly rather clever, trick: this"LTE-U" moves some or all of the data channel into unlicensed spectrum; but the spec mandates that the control channel be in a licensed band. Probably not entirely without technical reason(a control channel subject to fewer sources of interference is likely more reliable and predictable); but means that only someone who controls at least some licensed spectrum can play; while the bulk of the noise produced lands right in the unlicensed bands. As originally specified, running the control channel in ISM was not an option, period, which made it look an awful lot like a deliberate move to lock out smaller players. This spec, while immature, attempts to at least let you try to run an all-ISM implementation.

Comment Re:Probably (Score 2, Interesting) 103

Knowledge segmentation is standard spook tradecraft. How could they possibly screw up something so simple so badly?

They kind of fucked that up on day one. They learned the nasty lesson from UK spooks of using criminals to do various work, but they didn't learn to keep them at arms length and in the dark (good segmentation) but invited them into the fold to become full members of the org. The Church Commission stuff and many other things go on about such fuckups at a fundamental level and it's very likely to be just as fucked up now a few decades later.

Comment Re:"Redistribution Policy" (Score 1) 86

There's various ways you can further restrict redistribution - for example I believe trademark is the original basis on which you're not allowed to redistribute Red Hat Linux. Remove all the trademarks and bundled non-open software and you can do what you like (subject to the normal GPL, etc.). You just can't call it Red Hat (or Endless OS as this case). Which is kind of the entire reason for the existence of Cent OS.

Comment Re:Where is MS Office's worthy competitor? (Score 3, Insightful) 86

"Business logic" seems to mostly be code for just that - really basic math (and often convoluted conditionals) that can be implemented (badly) in a spreadsheet (augmented by basic scripting), by people who aren't competent programmers, aren't interested in becoming so, and aren't interested in paying for someone who is to do the work for them.

And lets be honest, that last one is actually a pretty reasonable position considering the difficulty in evaluating the competence and integrity of anyone claiming to be a competent programmer for short-duration contract work.

And frankly the first two are as well - these are people hired as office workers - if they had the skill and desire to become programmers, they mostly wouldn't be there in the first place.

Scripting and "business logic" is basically the badly programmed glue that holds together projects not worth hiring a dedicated programmer for. Or at least that's where it starts, though like any program feature creep feeds its cancer-like growth, potentially fueled by business growth until you've got something so large that it really should be done right, but now it will take years of expensive programmer time to re-implement properly without breaking anything.

Comment Re:Where is MS Office's worthy competitor? (Score 3, Insightful) 86

>whenever I see..., it makes me wonder why people have done that.

Because they're not programmers. And they aren't interested in hiring competent programmers to write their mostly-still-trivial "programs", especially since the programmer will often have to expensively recreate a lot of functionality already included in Excel/Word/etc, starting with reading and writing data into extremely complex and poorly documented Office file formats for interoperability with everything else they do.

They write complex monstrosities in Excel, not because it's the right tool for the job, but because it's the only tool they know that's even vaguely appropriate to the job, and they can learn new "tricks" incrementally from whatever place of developmental ignorance they start from. And VBA is an outgrowth of that - a "horrible" language that encourages you to do a whole lot of things in really bad ways, but easy to learn in tidbit-sized chunks when you just need to add *this* little bit of extra functionality beyond what you and your predecessors have already managed to do.

Comment Re:Uh (Score 1) 86

Or alternately, that their marketing is trying to appeal to people that aren't already deeply familiar with Linux. Certainly their simplified "tablety" desktop is clearly not designed to appeal to the bulk of desktop-Linux enthusiasts, and the video and many sub-$250 (and sub $100) pre-installed systems they offer suggest that they're targetting education and wealthier developing-world markets.

Comment Re:BS Bills Are Still The Same Amount (Score 2) 307

Also end-stage capitalism.

Basically, totalitarianism is end-stage [insert soio-economic system here], for the simple reason that wealth and power are self-catalyzing, and so *any* system that allows individuals to accumulate them without restriction, via any means, will eventually end up concentrating enough wealth and power into the hands of the few that they no longer need to concern themselves with the opinions of the masses.

Slashdot Top Deals

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.