Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Confused write-up, but... (Score 1) 848

I feel a bit bad about it, but as I read the summary I was thinking: this guy is poison. I manage a team of developers, and I see a big red flag whenever I hear about a guy who figures he's doing more than his share, keeps secrets/hoards knowledge, thinks he's irreplaceable, or plays ultimatums.

Kills morale, usually means the guy isn't actually pulling his weight, kills positive relationships, creates politics, and generally poisons the workplace.

Comment Re:Not all religions are bad (Score 2) 910

Oh, and by the way, via Google, I couldn't find any reference to the line "hate the sin, love the sinner" as actually being anywhere in the Bible, Old or New Testament.

Yeah... I don't think you'll find that. God loving righteous people and hating sinners is a major theme of the Bible. He just, uh, comes out and says it multiple times.

Psalms 11:5 - The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth

But Christians, as they exist today in the States, typically don't give two craps for the Bible. There's about 20 verses of generic Oprah-isms that they hold dear, and the rest is a pick-and-choose buffet.

Comment Re:Wow, this is going to be interesting... (Score 1) 476

Meh, there's still plenty of browser incompatibilities and quirks. You can get around a lot of them with things like jQuery, but you still run into some that are difficult. I was just doing a "code completion" popup thingee a bit ago, and there was quite a few places I had to split code for Firefox vs. IE - and it doesn't work in Chrome (yet) though I have no idea why. I can certainly understand how, if you can target only one browser, it's tempting to do so; even though doing a cross browser solutions are much easier than they used to be they're still not free.

Comment Re:Wow, this is going to be interesting... (Score 1) 476

Lol. You haven't spent a long time in corporate development I guess. For many companies, they're just starting to transition off parts of their 1983 mainframe/terminal setup, and they're happy to be getting most of their people on XP because now they can have people all remote into the same crazy old computer that terminals into their older, larger crazy old computer.

The 1998 website that only works in IE 6 is "the new system" for many, many companies.

Comment Re:Wow, this is going to be interesting... (Score 2) 476

To be fair, the situation looked a lot different in 1998. I mean, look at what web standards defined in 1998 (almost nothing) vs. what managers demanded from these web applications (pretty much everything we have now, plus some other stuff).

So say you want a page that can update dynamically? What are you going to tell your manager: wait for some more tech to be invented and put into a standard? OK, fine - we'll just sit out for 5 years while we get trampled.

Oh, or we'll go "cross browser" and limit ourselves to stuff you could get to work in Netscape 3 (hint: the answer is nothing, and you had to pay out the nose in layers and BS and image pre-load scripts to get that nothing).

No - you did what you could: and sometimes that meant using IE specific DOM and events, ActiveX BS, iFrames, showModalDialog, the wacky DHTML Edit control, and maybe you try to find some CSS that works in the browsers you try to support.

Some of that stuff worked out fine, by the way (lots of that IE specific DOM code eventually became standard - as did, in a practical sense, the XMLHTTP ActiveX control) - and other stuff didn't.

Sometimes you guessed wrong, sometimes you guessed right; sometimes you knew you were guessing wrong (as with ActiveX) but didn't have another real choice. Say you want your software to be able to save locally in the case of a downed network connection (remember, this is 1998) - what was your good option for the shiny new web app that's going to make your business millions?

Oh and if you, instead, try to write some native app you got destroyed by the market because people didn't want bloody native apps - and you have an even harder transition to come because many as cool as native apps weren't in 1998, they were even less cool in 2003.

Comment Re:Wow, this is going to be interesting... (Score 2) 476

Many companies have lax or no update control, and many allow logins from home computers and what not. People will end up in a version they didn't mean to get and that will create work for other people.

Not end of the world, and again I'm not saying the decision's wrong - I just think they're crazy if they don't expect some significant problems and complaints.

Comment Wow, this is going to be interesting... (Score 5, Informative) 476

after they have assured there are no issues

IE 6 is a very, very different browser from IE 9. We've had plenty of clients who can't move off IE 6 (or are in the middle of a large project to do so) because it's the only one that will run their Intranet site correctly. I've seen MS make this type of mistake before - they don't see many public-facing sites using a technology, so they feel safe getting rid of it. Well, yes, very few public-facing sites are going to use crazy IE specific stuff, and most are (by now) going to be making reasonable efforts to work between browsers.

Intranet sites are a whole other kettle of fish; corporate programmers often target a single browser - and for many of them, that was IE for a long time. They got away with that from IE 4 to IE 6 because MS just added stuff. With IE 7 and, particularly, Vista, they started fixing insecure and non-standard behaviors - and that's part of why so many companies are still on XP and IE 6.

If MS does this, there will be a lot of pissed off people and gnashing of teeth. I'm not saying it's the wrong choice but "once they've assured there's no issues" sounds pretty silly.

Comment Re:I'm shocked! (Score 1) 309

I think they do realize that - and I think they realize that in many of these models there's no box for "publisher" at all. They're not fighting for artists or consumers, they're fighting for their own existence.

If Louis just sells stuff from his website to people, there's not a lot of other people who get to feed off that.

Comment Re:Good riddance. (Score 1) 352

we use more paper, more space devoted to growing trees become available ... REALLY

Yes - obviously. If people want coffee, land will be used to grow coffee. If people want marijuana, land will be used to grow marijuana. Same with trees. The trees used for pulp and paper are a crop like any other.

and not instead deforest 3rd world countries cheaply to profit fast ?

Well... again this is a key point. A corporation doesn't "profit fast" by pulping jungle, because that isn't a terribly profitable thing to do. If you could make big money this way, the situation would be very different. But it isn't. Pulp just isn't worth enough for that to work. Again, that's why the farmers and ranchers who clear this land end up using most of the wood (other than the few valuable hardwoods and what not) as firewood. They would always sell the wood for pulp if that was a very profitable thing to do.

Instead, the way a corporation profits off logging is by intensively cycling forest on the same land over and over again. I think I've been clear that I don't think that process is sunshine and roses (it's like any other intensive farming, and it has significant environmental costs), but it's not the cause of deforestation. If you want to argue that corporations will be bad land stewards, and that they'll deplete soil over the next 100 years, use a lot of energy or pollute water or reduce biodiversity or something... then fine. You'd be right about all those things. But if they want to make real money off pulp they'll do so by planting trees and harvesting them.

Deforestation is probably the most urgent, important environmental issue there is right now and it's very misunderstood. The actual amounts of money involved here are honestly very small; the people involved are doing tremendous damage for very little, very temporary value. With better policies and understanding, this is a problem that could be made significantly smaller without that many resources.

Comment Re:Good riddance. (Score 1) 352

the fact that major industries cutting forests are paper, furniture, construction (mainly in america tho - other countries dont use wood in 21st century large scale construction), and real estate

You're lumping all this together in a way that makes it very clear you don't understand the dynamics in play. You can't just say: here's what they make out of wood, and here's how much wood gets cut down. Your dangerously wrong assumptions are a significant part of the problem. It's naively intuitive to think the way you're thinking, and that's a large reason why so little has been accomplished in solving the problem.

Deforestation is mostly a problem of land use, not of wood products at all. "Tree poaching" for valuable wood can create a slippery slope for deforestation (by making territory more accessible), but these people are not cutting trees to have pulp. A tree that's clear cut from, say, a Brazillian rainforest is much more likely to be used as firewood than pulped. When you make pulp, you want consistency - you want farmed trees, and that's how you make a profit in the industry. To the extent that Brazil is becoming a larger player in paper, it's on the back of farmed, reasonably managed trees. In any pulp production, the bulk of your product is coming either from recycled paper (which has been happening for a longer time than you might think) or as byproduct of another wood product (like lumber). You don't just clear an acre of jungle and put all that stuff in the chipper.

Anyways, for the Brazilians (for example) doing the deforesting, what they want isn't - to a large extent at least - the trees at all, it's the land. They use it for subsistence agriculture, and for growing grass for ranching. And they need more and more of it, because the deforested land is not sustainable. It's a land use problem first, and a valuable-wood problem second. Pulp wood pretty much doesn't enter into it. To the extent that they are doing forestry for producing paper, it's actually stopping deforestation because that land use is now sustainable, and they're producing something without having to clear an ever-increasing swath of land.

If you make a profit by selling the trees off land for pulp, there's good motivation to plant more trees. If you just want pulp, trees grow very, very fast. It's a crop mostly like any other. The problem, again (and you can read about this yourself, anywhere, on any serious environmentalist or industry site alike) is that they aren't making the money off the clear cut trees. They're burning them because they aren't worth money - and then using the land in a way that isn't working (and the result is land that used to be forest and is now garbage).

your proposition that there is no relevance in between recycling and keeping forests safe is not rational. decreasing factors contributing to deforestation will decrease deforestation.

I'll go back to my original analogy: if farmers quit killing pigs, would there be more pigs? I guess that sounds rational, if you don't understand the relationship between pigs and farmers.

If the world uses more paper, then that will mean it has more space - not less - devoted to growing trees. Again, I'm not saying that switching off paper is not a good idea or that farming trees doesn't have environmental impact (as does all the other steps of making paper). I'm just saying the relationship between "amount of paper used" and "amount of forests there are" doesn't go the way you think it does.

This graph looks about right to me. And the 3% for "logging" is going to be almost entirely about harvesting valuable woods. Because, again, you don't make money pulping jungle.

Comment Re:Good riddance. (Score 1) 352

thats canada and the u.s. are you aware that there are 190+ countries in addition to those two ?

I know that. Look at deforestation in, for example, Brazil. This is people burning forest for subsistence agriculture and to sell timber as wood, not the insatiable needs of the paper industry. That was my point... I mean, uh, read my post. And I think you understood my point, probably found a lot of confirmation for it when you Googled, but for some reason felt like you had to defend your honor to the zero people reading these posts on Slashdot.

and, even in that, you are wrong :

Wrong about what, that the US and Canada are large paper consumers or that they've had the same levels of forest for 100 years? Because both those things are true. And I imagine you confirmed both of those facts for yourself while frantically Google wanking.

And during your digging, the best you found was "the US imports a lot of paper"? I'm surprised you didn't find something better - I mean, there probably is somewhere where they're clear cutting sensitive forest for pulp (or something), and that would have been a point actually supporting your argument in a substantive way.

Anyways, what you say is clearly true; the US imports paper. It's also true Canada exports a lot of paper. They're probably the top paper exporter. I notice you didn't put anything about that in your post. I'm sure you - again - came across that fact. Why pretend you didn't? Were you hoping to somehow "win" this sad little argument, despite discovering for yourself facts that had to make you at least question your original position?

Look; I reacted to your initial post because it's a common misunderstanding. People think that by buying recycled paper Christmas cards they're going to save the rainforest. There's just not an important connection between those things. That doesn't mean that switching off paper isn't an environmental win or a good idea. Again, my point was only that paper production isn't a leading cause of deforestation - and that focusing on paper conservation is not an effective strategy in dealing with a very real, very serious problem.

Comment Re:Good riddance. (Score 2) 352

Blaming the paper industry for deforestation is like blaming the pork industry for the lack of pigs. Deforestation is happening in places, obviously, but it has little or nothing to do with cutting down trees to make paper. Canada and the US are both large consumers of paper (and have been for a long time). They've had the pretty much the same levels of forest for 100 years.

You don't cut down expensive old wood in sensitive places to make paper. Maybe you don't think farmed forests are environmentally sound, but they definitely produce oxygen.

Comment Re:Economics 101 (Score 2) 304

There is no such thing as artificial price fixing.

If there's a limited number of suppliers in a market, they can (and do, often) collude to keep prices at a certain level. It's perfectly natural to call that "artificial price fixing". In a perfect market, they would be replaced by a competitor whose price was closer to the marginal cost of production - but that's not how actually economies work.

I suppose to an extent, your interpretation IS what's taught in Econ 101 (assuming Econ 101 is "General Microeconomics" at your school, and focuses on theory), but that isn't the end truth or something. Price fixing is a concern in real market economies - and often it's shortages like this that effectively give cover for companies to try it (you see this all the time with oil/gasoline prices).

Comment Re:Kinda Risky.... (Score 1) 680

OK, that's fine - but that's still pretty much the opposite of the general hygiene hypothesis. Unless you were specifically trolling for the response you got, surely you could have made yourself clearer if you actually understand this stuff.

To be clear: I understand that there's further mechanisms that can be triggered by natural infections that aren't triggered by vaccinations... but it's still a very uphill argument to suggest that at least many of these diseases aren't more detrimental than whatever immunological benefit they give. If you had phrased this in the context of avoiding auto-immune disorders, I don't think 90 people would have jumped on.

Comment Re:Kinda Risky.... (Score 3, Informative) 680

I think his point was that your idea was backwards. If you get attenuated vaccines (which I assume most of these are), you're effectively exposing yourself to several extra things - not less things. If the idea was priming immune systems through exposure, then attenuated vaccines would almost certainly be a positive. If these vaccines didn't do that, then they wouldn't work. And they do.

healthy from an evolutionary standpoint

I assume you're not suggesting that we should let people die (or be sterilized, as by mumps) by exposure to serious illness - thus to improve humans through evolutionary processes? I'm guessing you mean (and are saying in a roundabout way) something like "humans evolved with viruses around, so it's natural for people to get sick sometimes and something, something" (ie. you're making a general health argument, and you're couching it on some vague "evolutionary status quo" thing).

But, again, I'd say exactly the opposite: for most of primate history, we didn't have nearly the varied social contact and mobility that humans have now. All the mechanics of epidemiology have changed in a nano-second of evolutionary time. If we think of "priming the pump through exposure to a variety of viruses", I'd say that - vaccinations and hygiene or not - we are exposed to way more different strains than our ancestors would have been (because our social groups are vastly larger, more interconnected, and varied).

Slashdot Top Deals

Quantity is no substitute for quality, but its the only one we've got.