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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Yeah, again. (Score 1) 530

I'm french canadian and I don't think that, here, the "HR speak" has quite reached the lofty levels of stupidity that I hear about in the USA.

There are such things as synergies, even if I might not have used the term correctly, as the AC below pointed out. I was referring to the "whole being greater than the sum of its parts" concept. I've seen it happen often enough to know it's a real effect. Some people have personality traits that aren't that great alone, but if you mix them with some other people, sparks start flying. It's like a feedback loop is established between the brains, each weirdly feeding the other ones.

Where I work right now we have a few of those people. They're highly valued and are usually part of different teams or divisions, but sometimes, when an especially hard problem comes up which looks like it might require lots of lateral thinking to solve, they put these people in the same team for a few weeks. Much craziness usually ensues. The results are often quite entertaining to watch.

Comment Re:Yeah, again. (Score 1) 530

I used to think like you when I was younger (early twenties). I'm a geek with somewhat limited social skills and statements like "I may not be as smart as you, but I'm street smart!" brought only snickering from me.

However, after gaining work experience and being part of several different teams, I can say that "social intelligence" is as important as the analytic kind. Not in all situations of course. Sometimes, having a good traditional IQ will save the day, but other times, you really need an empathic, smooth talker. Who's the most important person, the guy who knows how to build the rocket, or the guy who can convince people who know know how to build the rocket to set their differences aside and actually build it?

I'm guessing you haven't seen a good "people person" yet work their magic. They'll intuitively grasp that Bob feels under-appreciated because he isn't getting enough recognition, and they'll send some attaboy! emails to compensate. They're able to pair people with good synergies together. Maybe two guys are extremely competitive and it keeps slowing down the whole team's progress? The social person will naturally have them designing competitive solutions to problems so that the project will benefit from their "biggest penis" contest, without them even realizing they're being gently manipulated.

Like most geeks, early on I was mostly blind to these social games, but they are critical to the success of any project which has lots of people working towards a common goal. Don't dismiss it so easily.

Comment Re:It's about time. (Score 2) 180

That's entirely my point. What you link to isn't Cisco gear, it's rebranded Linksys. Any switch that isn't running Cisco IOS (or at least CatOS for the older chassis switches) isn't real Cisco gear. All Cisco did was confusing average person and destroy the good reputation of the Cisco brand.

Comment Re:It's about time. (Score 4, Interesting) 180

On the other hand, there's a reason Cisco gear is expensive: it's enterprise class. A few months ago I went to a client's site to help expend a microwave network. Prior to doing the upgrade, I asked what gear was running at the remote location. "It's all Cisco switches and routers!", I was told. So we start working, installing new fiber lines and antennas. At one point, I needed to remotely shut down a switchport in one of remote locations to prevent a spanning loop. I try ssh, then telnet, no connection. I try http, and what do I see, it's one of those "Linksys by Cisco" SMB switch. That particular model didn't allow me to shut down a single port, nor did it allow me to re-allocate the limited PoE wattage to new equipment. Also, as far as I could see, no real diagnostic info on the ports, other than a packet counter and up/down status.

We lost almost 2 hours to send someone to drive to the location and back, just to unplug a network cable. Now, I'm not going to say that Linksys switches aren't perfectly fine in some small business environments, but once you start having a big network they're a headache. Rebranding consumer-grade equipment with the Cisco trademark was one of the stupidest decision I've seen a large company make. Every networking professional I've talked to thought it was a terrible idea; it's almost impossible to see how management could ever even consider the idea, let alone go ahead with it.

It's decisions like this one that make me think that Cisco's hegemony in the network is coming to an end. You can't have management that clueless and thrive. Also, they're still acting like they're the only game in town, with prices that are borderline ridiculous and byzantine licensing rules (ASA licensing, I'm looking at you!). It's a good thing Juniper has grown up and is now making some pretty awesome routers for very good prices. On the switch level, Cisco is still ahead of the pack, but other vendors like HP are stepping up.

I think it's sad, because Cisco hardware tends to be awesome. Hopefully Cisco can go back to having more engineers making some business decisions, because the current leadership certainly doesn't understand the moving market.

Comment THQ Bundle (Score 1) 553

There is a reason for this non-indie bundle. THQ is on the verge of bankruptcy. This is basically their last attempt at getting some much-needed money so that they can release their in-development games (such as the South Park RPG) instead of going under. I suppose they contacted the humble bundle guys and made them an offer in percentages that they couldn't refuse.

I still think they should have called it something else than "Humble Bundle", maybe make another catchy name for enterprise sponsored bundles, but I don't think it was a bad idea by itself. If THQ can get say, 5 or 10 millions from the bundle, it might just allow them to turn around and come back to profitability.

Comment Re:Kickstarter is a joke. (Score 4, Interesting) 97

Your comment is troll-ish and I probably shouldn't bother to reply, but Psychonauts is one of the best games I've ever played. It's so good I replay it every 2-3 years. For some reason, some gems never get the success they deserve, same with Beyond Good and Evil. Anyway if you've never played Psychonauts, give it a try, and prepare to be awed at its sheer inventiveness. Giant world cubes. Godzilla. Lake monsters (called Linda). Milkmen secret agents. Brain removing dentists. Stratetic war games against Napoleon. Mexican cage matches. Corrida. Meat circuses...

Hold on, I think I'll go reinstall it...

Comment Re:2013 could be... (Score 1) 158

The idea with IPv6 is that, even though your network prefix will be assigned to you by your ISP and is subject to change (for example, if you move to a new ISP), you typically won't configure any device with a fixed prefix. You'll assign them a host address (through DHCP, router advertisements or static) and the the prefix will be assigned to your router only. For example, on a cisco router, you would use :
ipv6 general-prefix ISP-prefix XXXX:XXXX:XXXX::/48

Everything else will be using that general prefix, gotten from the core router. If, for some reason, you later move to a new ISP with a new prefix, then you only have to change your general prefix. Your internal network adresses won't change, they'll remain the same, except with the auto-appended new general prefix. Pretty much just like what you'd get with NAT right now.

It's very elegantly designed, but it takes a while to wrap your head around all its intricacies, especially if you're very used to the IPv4 way of doing things.

Comment Re:Who cares, the mining game is over anyways. (Score 1) 600

Heat pumps aren't very effective where I live. It's just too cold (or hot) outside. Taken straight from the Quebec Government web site :

---
Does a heat pump consume less energy than other heating units?

Yes. A heat pump consumes less energy than other heating units and costs less to operate. However, it does not produce heat. It extracts air from the outside and pumps it into the house. That’s why it consumes less energy than it displaces. For 1 watt of electricity consumed at an outdoor temperature of 8C, an air-to-air heat pump releases 3 watts into your house. You therefore get 2 free watts of electricity.

But energy savings in terms of heating are often diminished or cancelled by the additional energy expenditures required for air conditioning during the summer. The rigours of our climate also significantly reduce the performance of heat pumps. If they are installed in homes that are not airtight or are poorly insulated, the energy gains will be even more limited.
---

Bottom line : they work, but even best cases coefficient here are around 1.5, and for most houses closer to 1.1 or 1.2.

Comment Re:Who cares, the mining game is over anyways. (Score 1) 600

Heat pumps are only useful when there is some heat to extract from an outside source. That means that where I live I'd get a marginal efficiency boost for about 2 months a year. Heat pumps are useless during the cold months here, when it's -30C (-22F) outside. There isn't any heat to transfer from the environment.

Comment Re:Who cares, the mining game is over anyways. (Score 4, Interesting) 600

I don't know, at least for me, bitcoin mining is still paying part of my electricity bill. I live in Quebec and, like 90% of Quebecers, I use electricity to heat my house. That means that in winter, 100% of the heat generated by the card to compute bitcoins is used to heat the house. With the mining running, the house electric heaters need to start less often, so the mining is essentially free for me.

I'm using my 3 years old ATI 5870 card to mine the bitcoins, and I get about 4 bitcoins per month, which is roughly $45 at the current rates. I bought the card for gaming originally, and that's what it's still mainly used for. I only mine during the 6 months which require heating (november to april), so essentially, the bitcoin mining is free money. I made about $600 last year and I'll probably make $300 this year. For cases like mine, bitcoin mining is pure profit with no downsides at all.

Comment Re:No surprise there (Score 1) 263

Wow, I don't witness that particular brand of cluelessness very often on slashdot.

With a one-time pad there *are* any number of possible decoding. The key is the same length as the clear text. This means that you have *literally* no way of knowing that you have successfully decoded it without knowing the clear text or the pad.

Comment Re:No surprise there (Score 1) 263

One time pads *are* impossible to crack, by the very definition. With a one-time pad, there's no "partial" decoding whatsoever, no attack vector, no weakness. Any method that you apply that result in a structured sentence would be pure random chance. In fact, you can apply any random "pad" to the cipher to obtain anything, from a grocery list to rocket schematics.

Comment Re:Well duh (Score 1) 208

The problem is that even in that direction, it can still lead to horrible miscarriages of justice. Just think back to some white man on trial for killing a black man back in the 40s, and having the jury clear him because hey, it was just a nigger so no big loss.

The problem with jury nullification is that it goes both ways.

Slashdot Top Deals

All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.

Working...