Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Steve Jobs???? (Score 1, Funny) 120

Well, Steve Jobs didn't want a keypad on his iPhone, so I guess he didn't think it was cool enough for a phone, directly contradicting John Karlin's life work in the psychology of telephone design. But we know Karlin was cool too, so now there's the obvious question, who was cooler? Because I need to know if keypads on a phone is hot or not.

Comment Re:A lot of this BS is just Daniel Berg's fiction (Score 1) 266

Why should you ask me whom you should trust? I know whom I trust, and I expect you to know whom you trust. Trust is a personal thing, a device that helps you organize your own knowledge. Facts are external, verifiable things.

In any discussion, feel free to complement any verifiable facts being discussed with other verifiable facts you know are missing and relevant. Others will appreciate your effort.

Comment Re:A lot of this BS is just Daniel Berg's fiction (Score 1) 266

At that point, how do I know he didn't leave out other important data which completely changes the meaning of the data?

The same way you know *anything*. All facts are incomplete in some way. You go through the facts *you* have and make sure they are all consistent. Any inconsistencies get put on a separate pile to be questioned or ignored. As time goes by, new facts emerge, and some of these allow you to move some things from one pile to the other.

You didn't think critical thinking was something you can just get by watching a TV program and drinking beer, did you?

Comment Re:A lot of this BS is just Daniel Berg's fiction (Score 3, Insightful) 266

I'd mod you up if I could. The media focus too much on personality cults, and will try to create them if they don't exist. That misses the point completely. Only facts create a strong reason for people to act. One guy's personality alone doesn't.

Wikipedia's great contribution is to be among the few outlets that give us raw unadulterated facts, not some journalist's idea of a good story. As long as they continue to do this, they deserve full support. Nothing else matters.

Comment Re:I get the impression that (Score 1) 180

Processing big data is as much about moving the data around, and minimising latency in this movement as the raw processing speed. so a language that lets you express things efficiently will win in the end.

If by expressing things efficiently you mean easy for the programmer to write, then you're wrong. What matters (doubly so for big data) is full control over the machine's resources, ie how data is laid out in memory, good control over i/o etc. While this has always been the key to fast performance, big data is plagued by big-oh asymptotics. For example, if you can lay out your data structures efficiently enough to keep everything in cache, your running time can easily gain a factor of ten, ie 1 day instead of 10 days. Ask Google or Facebook if they care about that...

Scripting languages have their place where performance doesn't matter _enough_ to optimize, eg your local supermarket chain trying to datamine their customers in time for the end of the month.

Comment Re:There are books that I can't buy (Score 1) 145

Which God died and said that you have a moral right to take whatever you want if someone doesn't want to sell it to you?

Morality doesn't come into it. As you know, all publications enter the public domain after some time, which currently is very long. This means that most publishing companies and authors will die before their books are scheduled to enter the public domain. These publishers and authors are only interim caretakers of the works. The public domain is the real owner forever after.

Therefore, we need volunteers to preserve these books in the meantime, until their copyright expiries, so that they can be entered into the public domain in due course. Due to the lengths of time involved, which are long enough for world wars and revolutions to sweep the globe, the only way to have a reasonable chance of reverting the books into the public domain is if many people independently preserve these books by all means necessary, especially highly redundant digital archives.

Comment Re:Random predictions are maybe even better (Score 1) 290

They had a team of chimpanzees and a team of experts. The results were that the chimpanzees did better than the experts.

That experiment was so unfair! They actually picked really smart chimpanzees.

Anonymous
Desk #2, Room 24, Level 16,
Department of Economics,
William H. Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
University of Wisconsin

Comment Re:Don't confuse compilers and libraries (Score 1) 136

Applications compiled with a particular compiler do not inherently fall under the copyright license which covers that compiler's implementation, because no copying of the compiler code is involved.

Except for bundled include files, which clearly fall under the compiler vendor's copyright.

For languages such as C, it is impossible to write nontrivial programs without making use of include files. In special cases, such as with the standard system libraries, it may be legal to rewrite them from scratch to include in one's programs, as we've seen in the Google/Oracle lawsuit.

But in general, and for other languages which aren't as standardized and widely used as C, even rewriting one's own version of the compiler include files would likely break copyright protections, as these are original works. An exception in the license would definitely be needed, I believe.

Actually, even within the C family, if we take C++, the STL is largely implemented as include files. So every modern C++ program that makes use of the STL includes large sections of code under the compiler vendor's copyright. Rewriting those files verbatim isn't allowed, and reimplementing them from scratch is a major undertaking no applications developer could afford.

However, I agree with your explanation of dynamic linking issues.

Comment Re:GPL for compilers? (Score 1) 136

We have selected the GPL because it encourages sharing by ensuring that any applications created with it are also open.

This isn't true for any current compiler available under GPL, why would it be true for thier compiler?

It *is* true for all current compilers in major use. If you look at your favourite compiler's license, you'll see an *explicit* exception that exempts compiled programs from being covered by the compiler's copyright claims. The Microsoft compilers do it, even GCC does it.

Comment Re:Disclosure isn't nearly enough (Score 1) 103

Disclosure is no silver bullet, though. Most programmers don't know much about security or privacy. Even if they're willing to disclose everything their program does, what if they simply don't realize what the consequences of some things are? And what if a year later, some new privacy/security breach or bug is found, when the user had long since agreed only to the previously known issues?

There's no substitute for users having total control over their phones. We shouldn't be expecting vendors to merely permit us to have some selected forms of privacy.

If you have control over your phone, you can edit the hosts file if you want, and you can decde exactly what inputs and outputs any program on your machine gets to receive or send. And if you're not too technical, you can install some third party software written by hackers to protect you from commercial exploitation if you want, like many people already do with adblocker addons for their browsers.

But if the phone vendors and network service providers control your phone's systems "for your own good", then you'll always be at their mercy, their greed, and their incompetence.

Comment Re:Need for padded poles. (Score 1) 76

I'm sure the primary use will be getting directions when driving not watching porn.

I highly doubt that. People don't _need_ directions very often. Quick: do you remember how to drive to work every day? Do you even look at the signs while driving to work? Do you regularly make a left turn when it should be a right turn, and arrive at work 30 minutes late because of it? No? Then you don't need directions.

What you _will_ need from the HUD regularly is entertainment. Because let's face it, driving to and from work is boring, that's why people keep the radio on. Driving to the shopping mall is boring, too. With a HUD, you can watch TV without actually taking your eyes off the road. Possibly porn, but more probably some stupid morning shows and TV series.

It will happen.

Slashdot Top Deals

If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke

Working...