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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Matters of degree (Score 3, Interesting) 540

Completely wrong. The Nigerian scams ask people to take things on faith, and they are not religions. Numerous phishing and other social hack type activities ask for faith.

Scientology requires it. It you leave, you can't have contact with other members outside of the organization. If you show signs of wanting to leave, they do run-downs on you which are basically brainwashing. And if they can't brainwash you, they got cabinets full of dirt on you ready to share.

There are places in the world where religion, society, and law are all the same thing. This exists in only two places for Scientology - the HQ in Clearwater, and the floating fortress Sea Org.

Mormonism is nowhere near the Scientology end of the spectrum, because Scientology is not on the spectrum at all.

If you really learn about Scientology, and have a discussion with anyone educated in comparative religion, they will disagree that it qualifies as one.

Some religions are wacky, but this is the wacky without the actual religion part. Now, you can believe it is a religion, and take that on faith, but that doesn't make a new religion out of believing that Scientology is a religion.

Comment Re:simple (Score 1) 224

The question was what language to learn. Before working on FOSS code, you should choose a language.

Java does a decent job at teaching the kinds of things you might need to know, and it's applicable to web, desktop, and mobile platforms. Lots of people knock it - I hate it, even though I did adopt a Java FOSS app.

I would recommend C# 4, which is good for servers as well as desktop, and with a bit of help from Mono can work on Linux. A serious Fortune 500 job is probably going to involve C#, and getting used to Linq wouldn't hurt.

There are lots of FOSS apps written in C# because the basic MSVS compiler is free. Adapting some of the algorithms to use Linq would be a good exercise, unless they require specific speed enhancements. It is a lot easier to understand what the code does with Linq. Obviously I have spent a lot of time with Microsoft tech, but the jobs are everywhere so it's hard to avoid.

I would stay away from scripting - even if you use C# with code-behind files, which is basically no different from scripting, you can still build the code into an assembly.

Comment Re:Question for NYCountryLawyer re illegal downloa (Score 1) 146

Downloading is illegal in the sense that a decision set a precedent which would have to be fought to be overturned. I don't remember the venue, but it covered a large part of the country.

It is impossible to find the link, because all of the news stories say "illegal downloading" when they mean "copyright violating uploading".

I'm not sure how that is backed - they are not making a copy. But I imagine it makes as much sense as "receiving stolen property". Ignorance means you can prosecuted, or bullied into revealing the supplier, and it is intended to dissuade demand. I don't think it would stand up to a legitimate fight, where the only accusation is downloading, which is why people go for the uploaders. And of course then the sound bites are about downloading, to muddy the waters.

The only pure uploaders would be people who post to Rapidshare, Megaupload, or similar sites (which may use other protocols than HTTP/FTP). They are easy to find if the files are searchably public, or posted on forums. Then the account holder can be singled out. Truly anonymous uploading is possible, but it is difficult to either pull off successfully, or in some cases find an audience.

Comment Re:Dear Mr. President (Score 1) 449

No. The propaganda is that continuous use of drugs can lead to a dead end. The presidents you mentioned, as far as anyone can tell, stopped using them. So you have built a straw man to tear down.

As for being hypocritical, they have to enforce the law. They cannot realistically take a position contrary to the laws they have to enforce.

Bring up Congress members all you want, because they control what's illegal. Or mention the FDA's response to re-scheduling controlled substances, while keeping in mind that the president does not control the FDA directly. There are lots of other ways to make your point, but you missed them all.

Comment Re:Some of these IE bugs are things of beauty. (Score 2) 149

Obvious issues are obvious because you are not thinking about simplifying the problem sufficiently to make it possible. Think about the complexity of an audio fingerprint to match a performer, song, and album, even with background noise and crappy microphone. But Shazam and Picard and others do it already.

Think about the patterns on a numeric keyboard - 9713 followed by 9856. They could show up as the same, due to differences in scale. But now you only need to try a few numeric passwords. There are 3 more. What about 4582? Maybe 6 combinations.

Extend this idea across the keyboard, where you have a better spatial distribution, and the only safe passwords would be purely horizontal or use only two rows of the keyboard. Anyone limiting themselves to two rows is almost certainly using the top two, for the ultimate compromise between brute-force and spatial attacks.

For the average password, you will have a 3-D space that can pattern match in the same way auto-correct for phones already works. A password with letter substitution that spans 3-4 rows of the keyboard is probably matchable with one try, knowing the language of the typer (from samples on the page, URL, or other clues available from JavaScript).

It's not a hard problem, and just reducing the password possibilities means greater chance of success. If you lock out 75% of the accounts, you have 25% success, and that's pretty good if you can infect more than 3 machines.

Comment Re:Waiting for JWST (Score 1) 60

I wouldn't say the upper reaches of its capabilities, because it is limited by the age of the universe and the speed of light. 13.3 out of an estimated 13.6 Billion is pretty damned capable, and it could possibly be more if they spend more than 100 hours on the same spot.

We have the hugely huge deep field visible light, and now a deep field in IR. Perhaps it would be good to point out the reason for enthusiasm, since IR seems better at seeing back in time, and JWST is tuned for IR. Aside from the larger mirror, of course.

Comment Re:Truly a 1st world problem (Score 1) 242

If there is an issue, simply ask at that point to turn them off.

Not all devices can simply be turned off. Do you want to circle around while waiting for some jackass who never reboots to click "shut down", see "Windows is configuring updates..." and just stare at each other?

I'm not saying your point has no merit, but I don't think you considered it thoroughly.

And, what does off mean? On my Kindle DX, with wireless disabled, it is inert while displaying a page due to e-ink. There is no difference between on and off, yet the stewardess insisted I turn it off. Fine, I'll just pretend I have a hand on the steering wheel and one on the stickshift while we're taking off. Your seat mate will give you all the room you want after pulling that one. Is my phone in airplane mode? Do I think it is but really just turned off the wifi?

So there was an actual problem, and you were actually circling until the problem was found. And you're okay with hoping you can find the right person in time to land?

Planes use fuel, which they carry with them, and takes more fuel to lift. They don't take off full, they only get what they need plus a bit for weather and a bit for emergencies. They can easily divert to a closer airport, or thanks to FDR choose a piece of highway. But if you're already at the airport, you're hoping to find the technologically illiterate fool who believes his device couldn't possibly be the problem. Exactly like your scenario.

Comment Re:The third option (Score 1) 536

In C# if you have no idea which exceptions to catch, you can always log or report the actual type, as in ex.GetType() and then do what you need to with that information. It is much more useful for me to run in debug mode, let the debugger stop on all thrown exceptions, and examine the type. You can either add that type to the types you catch, or fix the code so it doesn't happen.

Every catch block should have a generic Exception, which can do something with the specific exception type. If you know to look for specific ones, like timeout or network related ones, you have the option of adding those.

But I still don't understand the problem. If you want to know how to properly use a method, you should read the documentation. Go to msdn, type the class and method name, and at the bottom is a reasonable list of exceptions to expect. That isn't a waste of time.

If you write enough C#, you will learn which methods need specific handling for certain scenarios, and which ones halt all processing. "What's best to do" is always halt processing and clean up, unless you have a specific reason to take an alternate path, such as auto-retry.

Just one page at random, in case you haven't seen the exception list at the bottom of the page. Really simple to find.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms584311.aspx

Comment Re:The third option (Score 1) 536

Without debug symbols, it makes no sense to display any more information than that. If you are catching exceptions, you should have a logging function (preferably to persistent storage with a fallback to text file, and fallback to a simple dialog). This can capture exception information and stack trace, which will tell you roughly where to look. With debug symbols, it will tell you exactly where to look.

What you seem to be complaining about is different. If you have piles of objects on one line, and chain things like repository.GetSomething()[0].ToString() then you are doing it wrong. Add tests, add local variables to isolate the line number, or suck it up and just keep guessing.

In other words, the code you are working with does not match the recommended coding styles from the language creator(s). That can hardly be blamed on anyone but sample websites like CodeProject where any unchecked random junk gets puked up by someone who thinks they are clever, or as a proof of concept without intermediate steps. Then the code gets spread like a virus.

I was thinking more along the lines of the Windows error messages, where something very specific gets bubbled up to a less and less specific error message until it makes no sense in the current context. That is a typical Microsoft screw-up, and exists in .NET, especially in some of the code which has been around since 1.x. You can't cure the runtime, but you sure as hell can fix your code.

Comment Re:The summary is stupid, just as obvious (Score 2) 391

Rep Marsha Blackburn, whose district abuts Nashville and who received more money from the music industry than any other Republican congressional candidate, apparently had the author of the study, Derek Khanna, fired.

Sounds like she is representing the people she is supposed to represent. If you want a candidate who supports your industry, and your industry has a geographical central location like Silicon Valley, Nashville, Hollywood, or any number of other examples, it makes sense to support the candidate who will best represent you.

As such, Rep Marsha Blackburn is a terrible example of the problems money causes.

The article lists many different industries - Automotive, Intellectual Property, Accommodation and Transport, Telecom. The summary focus only on IP, and only on an example which seems like the way things are supposed to work (in the current system, not an optimal system). The other examples are more clear abuses of the system.

We are to the point where officials spend more time campaigning than working (at times, and it's only a handful, but we've broken that barrier). And it is causing problems, but so much more than just what hype7 pointed out.

Comment This is all about H1-B and most of you lost sight (Score 3, Informative) 660

Adding to that, they are missing the top wage earners, who have retired, and are now including the n00bs who are earning entry level (for their position) wages.

If we went through a recession, and the several bubbles which have burst, and you only track individuals, there are some people who have lost jobs but average earnings are up. This is not a debate about how much people earn, which is where most people above gp were talking about.

The topic at hand is this - if IT is important to the world, why are they not paying IT people more?

The assumptions in the questions are beyond idiotic. As a whole, should everyone in IT be paid more just because we are important to the economy? Or are we just displacing people and earning their salaries?

How many people worked in tech, multiplied by their salaries? And compare that to now?

The still sluggish U.S. economy gets most of the blame for this wage stagnation, but factors such as outsourcing and automation also contribute to the problem, say analysts.

"IT salaries have not really kept pace with inflation," said Victor Janulaitis, the CEO of Janco Associates, which reports on IT wage compensation.

In 2000, the average hourly wage was $37.27 in computer and math occupations for workers with at least a bachelor's degree. In 2011, it was $39.24, adjusted for inflation, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Adjusted for inflation, we are $2 ahead. How does Victor's quote mean anything when placed directly next to a quote disputing it? Adjusted, we are ahead.

Why Are IT Wages Flat? First paragraph - outsourcing, automation, and economy. WTF are the rest of you babbling on about?

That translates to an average wage increase of less than 0.5% a year.

Including all of the people who took retirement or quit for other industries, and all of the n00bs. The rest is explained in the article, leading to b4dc0d3r's law: NEVER read an article with a headline posed in the form of a question.

The real story is the EPI report, second link. Microsoft wants more H1-B visas, which is not new in the least. Microsoft wants to pay people from lower wage countries less money to work in the US. If you spot the conclusion, good for you. Microsoft wants to keep wages flat.

As a large tech employer, and someone who is lobbying for cheap labor, it's kinda obvious to me that dcblogs (submitter) is intentionally misusing statistics, and a poorly written CNET article, to prattle on about H1-B visas.

Comment Re:Our way or the FLOSS way (Score 1) 310

You're asking the wrong question.

The only question is, will MS stick to their guns and force this paradigm shift, or will they relent like they did with Vista and make Windows 8 a short-lived intermediate OS for whatever comes next?

MS has already announced plans to merge the desktop and phone SDKs (with little detail on exactly what that means). And, plans to do yearly releases like Apple does, for a minor upgrade fee.

If developers refuse to make Metro versions of their apps, the desktop will stay around. I can think of only a handful of apps that require a desktop mode - development environments being the biggest. Possibly finance related apps like QuickBooks and Excel. And if it's still available in the background, a gesture-interfaced Photoshop Metro is entirely plausible. Difficult due to the huge number of menu options available, but it could be done well.

So the question becomes, how many app developers will see the need for desktop mode for themselves, but make Metro apps? And then, will Microsoft branch an SDK OS for development, and a user OS for the general public?

Tablets and netbooks are all the rage, and Apple has changed course to supporting it. General usage of tablets and smart phones will make Surface/Metro make sense to most people, eventually.

Slashdot Top Deals

The most important early product on the way to developing a good product is an imperfect version.

Working...