Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:OK, for those not in the know. (Score 1) 115

Just because you buy something that was made in a foreign country doesn't mean that anywhere near the majority of that money goes to the foreign country. Retail salaries, rental/construction of stores, sales taxes, truck/rail transportation, etc. all contribute to the US economy.

I don't disagree that 'buying American' isn't better, but it isn't catastrophic either. Pushing gift cards for services is pretty bad IMO as well, since a large percentage of gift cards are never used. You would almost be better off donating the money to charity in their name in many cases.

But yes, there is a lot of useless crap out there too. Buying a loved one the 'gift' of a Thomas Kincaid 'painting' for instance. Made in the USA.

A better mantra would be 'Buy useful things that increase productivity', whether it that increase be in entertainment value, work productivity, kitchen productivity, or whatever.

Comment Climate Change run by Deniers? (Score 1) 452

Thought I had read that Climate Change was now run by the global climate change deniers. Makes sense that they would publish an article that is easy to denounce, even if it does support 'global warming'.

I have never been a fan of 'global warming' as a phrase since it is easy to make statements like 'last fall was the coolest since X' as an anecdotal evidence that it isn't real. The point is that there is more energy in the environment, which tends to increase the variability of the climate, bigger storms, hotter summers, colder winters, over multi-year scales.

Comment Re:One fundamental point ... (Score 2, Informative) 350

It takes about an hour of actual effort from paperback to the proofing stage (ie. reading the thing on your PDA to clean up the couple of dozen errors).

2 min 1) Use a paper cutter to cut the book up
2 min 2) Send it thru a duplex auto feed scanner (got mine for $300 on ebay...before that I used a single side ADF that took a little more effort (like 5 more minutes).
1 min 3) Assign a reading block to exclude the page numbers and page header and load it for all pages.
3 min 4) Quickly scan thru all pages to make sure the reading blocks look good (can do it in like 1-2 minutes for 300 page book rapidly paging down). Otherwise adjust.
0 min 5) Start the OCR process and wait til it is done.
30 min 6) Scan thru all of the pages looking for obvious OCR problems and the highlighted 'unsure' words.
5 min 7) Go thru and look for hyphenated words that need to have them removed.
1 min 8) Export to Word/HTML/Whatever you feel comfortable with.
15 min 9) Recreate the ToC, and run some specialized spellchecking (only looks for words that aren't used repeatedly to deal with proper nouns or uncommon subject matter), and run script to join page breaks.

Start reading and highlight any formatting errors for later correction.

I'm not saying it isn't tedious, but it isn't 'really tedious' with the proper tools. An hour spent before you spend 6-10 hours reading.

Comment Re:What did Google do wrong? (Score 1) 83

Except of course you could ask Google to withdraw your book at any time according to the settlement.

If you wanted to keep your book PRIVATE then you shouldn't have made it PUBLIC by PUBLIshing it.

Copyright is not intended prevent works from being published, it is intended to PROMOTE works being published.

Comment Re:Lost the point (Score 1) 543

This is the crux of the issue for me at least: I shouldn't need to become a topic expert to incorporate functionality into my code. Code is like a mash-up or whatever term you want to use for a lot of people, where you take libraries and functionality and string them together quickly and easily to create something new and possibly interesting.

I just want to make something fun and share it, not write my own regular expression parser or RTF2HTML converter.

I had a particular instance last year, where I was working on an Ebook reader application in C# for a WinMo phone. One of the things I wanted to do was have the app be able to open and read MS Reader format files (ones created without DRM), because there are a lot out there and it would be handy to have. ConvertLit is the only pratical solution for doing this currently. It is GPL. I was able to get it to work on WinMo, but I had to keep it as a separate EXE on the device and explode the LIT file to a temp folder, rather than do it in memory.

I absolutely plan on having my source be open. However, some other libraries I might want to use like an RTF2HTML conversion library in C# might be proprietary or not be compatible and there aren't really any other options in C# other than to go take some C rtf2html code and spend way more time and effort than I want to making that work just so I can be compatible with the GPL.

GPL does ensure that your code is free, but it may prevent a lot of source that would otherwise have been created and free from being released as well, because of its strictness. And yet, in the GPL ConvertLIT at least it uses Public Domain code for some CAB file manipulation.

Comment Re:Compared to flash... (Score 1) 321

Do you mean that the videos can't be embedded separately in an html document and manipulated that way?

Otherwise, I'm pretty sure you could do most, if not all, of this in Flash too. And most of the things you mentioned already exist in flash as well as far as filters, color manipulations, etc.

I'm not saying you are wrong, I just don't see what specifically about the link you gave can't be done in flash/flex?

Certainly, multiple videos, drag, resize, rotate, and independent volume control per video, right click context menu (though this is admitedly hacky), take a screenshot of the whole shebang and encode it in the browser into png/jpg/bmp and upload it to a server: all supported.

Comment Single Vendor versus 10 Vendors/Committees (Score 1) 500

I've been using Flex more and more where possible, simply because it lets me focus on what I care about, the value that my code brings to things, NOT trying to make sure it works in X different browsers that each need to be tweaked, etc.

When using Adobe (or MS for the color of a flash, Silverlight), I have one vendor, with one vision, one set of design tools, one set of help files, where most of the examples I find on the web I can use immediately and get back to work.

With HTML5, I have:
HTML Committee (w3c, etc.)
Javascript committee
CSS Committee
1 of many javascript libraries, like Prototype, JQuery, etc.

Then you have:
Microsoft (IE)
Mozilla (FF)
Opera, etc.

each with their own implementations of the 3 committees work, that are partial and flaky and require the above mentioned javascript frameworks to even begin to be useful since they incorporate some of those browser work arounds. But then everytime you look for an example on the web, you find something that uses the framework you aren't using, so you have to keep looking or rewrite code you really have no interest in as part of your business.

Until there is a unified framework that is actually Write Once, Run and look the same Anywhere as Flex (or Silverlight), there will be a place for them. MXML (and possibly XAML) are simply a huge relief to work with after dealing with the morass of HTML/JS/CSS dev.

I absolutely agree that the mobile market is a BIG issue that needs to be dealt with, with Flex-Flash/Silverlight though.

Comment KVM for drives (Score 1) 393

This is the 'prior art' post for my switched drive idea. The main issues I have with all of the 'raid' and 8 bay systems I see is that a) the drives are always on, sucking power, b) while raid is certainly safer, it is much more expensive currently than it is worth. Ideally you want to keep you costs below $1 per movie for storage, which the 1.5TB drives approach assuming an average of 7GB per movie. The 8 bay drives seem to cost at minimum $500 which is a lot of overhead.

I would rather see a simple box with slots for say 24 drives. These drives would then be wired to a switched sata controller ala a KVM. By switched I mean that pressing a physical radio style button, that drive would become the active drive, would power up and mount automatically. Ideally the system would allow 2 drives to be powered at the same time for ease of transferring between drives. Also ideally it would be possible to switch from one drive to another by signal from the computer in addition to the physical buttons.

Slashdot Top Deals

A computer scientist is someone who fixes things that aren't broken.