Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:That's all very nice (Score 1) 526

How can you vote for smaller government, when the party that SAYS they stand for smaller government increase the size of the government faster than their opposition?

If there were a viable alternative, then you might have a point. If candidates were compelled to keep their campaign promises, then you might have a point. But as long as we have plurality wins voting, we're going to get one of two power mad psychotics. Just pray whoever we end up with isn't also a scociopath.

Comment Re:Weasel words (Score 1) 526

I think you don't understand how the drug laws were imposed in the first place. Often against tremendous public opinion. Just not active enough opinion that they would do anything about it. (Alcohol prohibition was a separate case. It's a part of the war of the sexes. When a large portion of the male population would off fighting a war, prohibition got voted in. Getting rid of it was a real problem, and we are still suffering from the after effects that it caused, e.g. a major increase in organized crime.)

P.S.: Organized crime isn't interested in a drug that doesn't carry significant penalties (or hefty import duties). Doesn't matter for this subject whether or not it's addictive, though naturally it prefers more addictive drugs. Watch out if tobacco is ever made illegal.

Comment Re:Discouraging underage use? (Score 1) 526

I'm quite willing to believe that there are biased studies, but that doesn't make them all wrong. IIRC there was one that studied the effects on certain classes of neurons, or possibly certain brain structures, that don't usually finish development until the late teen-age years. If found that marijuana, interfered with the proper development of those structures. They were involved in finer aspects of judgement and motivation.

I've no reason to believe that study was biased. I can't remember the instrumentation that they used, whether it was MRI or something else, but it was a highly significant, and not judgment-based, conclusion. Of course, I didn't read the original report, so this could be reporting error. You're not only getting a third-hand report, but also one that can't offer you a citation. Do, however, notice that this isn't the same study that was reported above. And I know (remember) nothing about the sample size, or even if it was in the report I read.

Still, that's a plausible report. And the people I have known that started smoking pot before they were in college were a bit ... flakey. So the conclusion is also plausible.

Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 1) 736

You don't need to side either for or against the humans to realize that this will eliminate whole categories of jobs. It will create a few new ones, but not nearly comparable in number. And those new jobs will create additional opportunities for automation.

This is the patten that's been working since the industrial revolution. It's what lead to "the consumer society". And it shows no sign of slowing down.

Comment Re:Out of jobs? (Score 1) 736

Sorry, but you argument would say you should have chosen management or research. And there's a lot more managers. OTOH, I don't suppose middle management is particularly safe either. Around 30-40 years ago I wrote an essay on the subject called "Be a garbageman", but I'm not really sure that's actually a good choice now. A lot can be done by redesigning the jobs.

Comment Re:Name game (Score 1) 196

No. Making a stable profit is a niche that should be encouraged. Nothing has the ability to grow forever.

If the company is stagnating, it becomes quite important to identify the reason. If it's because of market saturation, then KEEP DOING IT RIGHT. Return profits to the share-holders, if you're a corporation. But be sure to keep your eyes open for a better way of doing whatever it is that is your specialty. But be very careful that in doing so you don't stop DOING IT RIGHT.

Change for the sake of change is foolish.

Comment Re:Government vs terrorists (Score 1) 395

That's true, but ...

E.g.: The Department of Health, to operate properly, needs to have records on you. They can share those records.

N.B.: While in principle it should be possible for the end user (patient) to have control over those records, in practice a large number of separate people (medical specialists, at least) need to be able to access them simultaneously. This makes real security of the information impossible (or at least I have no idea how one could do it). And THIS means that as more and more information is needed by the Department of Health (e.g., your DNA sequence) and as advances allow more and more to be done with the information (e.g., your DNA sequence)...well, eventually other parts of the government will be able to access that information, and use it to produce an estimate of how you will act in various situations. (It need not be accurate for people to do it.)

P.S.: There have already been attempts to categorize people as "proabale criminals" purely on the basis of their DNA. So don't think it will never happen. It may never be accurate, but that's a separate question.

Anyway, because of this, it makes sense to consider the government as a unitary entity, even though the various parts of it don't coordinate. It's probably more of a unitary entity than is a sponge, though possibly less so than is an earthworm.

Comment Re:Broaden your functional horizons, Guido! (Score 1) 169

D's basic language, and standard library, are excellent and solid. But they don't cover enough. This is probably inevitable, but it *IS* a real problem. The obvious way to solve it is to wrap C libraries with D code, and include them. This, however, takes the time and effort of skilled people.

E.g.: Sqlite3 wrappers are currently included, but they are so thin that calling them wrappers is almost a misnomer. There have been several attempts to wrap Sqlite3 in the past, but they've all been completed, used, and dropped. (Well, the ones that I know of.) It's hard to tell whether a external library has been abandoned, or is just considered "good enough".

OTOH, if you are comfortable with C, then using C libraries directly from D is not a problem. So I suspect the language maintainers don't understand the scope of the problem. Even I have successfully wrapped a library once or twice, and I'm not highly skilled at any particular language. (OTOH, I'm at far better than basic skill level in a large number of languages. But I haven't concentrated on one. [Professionally, before I retired, I was finally forced to use MS Access Basic, which I came to after over a decade of Fortran and various specialized languages, e.g. DataFlex.])

Comment Re:It's all good until (Score 1) 245

Where do you think they normally put power plants?

P.S.: There's no KNOWN reason that you couldn't put the antenna's on the tops of buildings, but people don't like the idea of even probably harmless radiation. And that's why they talk about pasture. If after a few decades the cows don't show any effects, then they'll talk about moving the antennas downtown.

Comment Re:Broaden your functional horizons, Guido! (Score 1) 169

Lisp doesn't work well without a good IDE...and I don't count EMACS.

Racket would be ok. It has a decent IDE. But it doesn't do multi-processing, even though it has the appropriate language features.

I don't know Clojure well enough. The last time I tried it (over a year ago) the install instructions produced an only-partially-working result. This is probably NetBeans fault rather than Clojure, but I didn't follow this up. I never got as far as checking how it did on parallel processing.

Most Scheme's and most Lisps don't handle Unicode gracefully.

I've considered Lisp several times, and always found some reason, not always the same, why it was not satisfactory. Most of them weren't inherent in the language, but in the state of the libraries or of the development environment.

P.S.: For Python, Ruby, Vala, etc. I don't feel the need of an IDE. For Java one is highly desireable. For Lisp it's essential. This largely has to do with the state of the libraries and the documentation....but it also has to do with the size of the active namespace (and how familiar I am with it).

P.P.S.: If you're going to depend on a set of public libraries instead of an included set, they you had better verify them for quality. This is why Python's "batteries included" stance is so good. You can depend on the basic libraries. Ruby tries to handle this with Ruby gems. The quality isn't as good as Python, but it's pretty good, and it has wide coverage. Lisp....The public Lisp libraries often don't work as advertised. It appears as if anyone can add anything to the library collection without any quality control. D also has that problem. It's one of my favorite languages, but it's collection of libraries is abyssmal. Often they will only work with an old or new version, but the requirements aren't usually listed. Frequently they have dependencies that aren't listed.

Comment Re:Too easy... (Score 1) 329

But I've only seen one post saying that they should be sued because the sold a gadget with and advertised feature that they broke after the purchase. So I think that Google is still being let off easy.

That said, perhaps the circumstances were different, and certainly the time-lapse is different. Probably a lot fewer posters bought Goiogle's gadget because of the feature. (And, honestly, to me it's a lot murkier exactly what Google did. Perhaps that will clear up in a couple of days.)

Slashdot Top Deals

ASCII a stupid question, you get an EBCDIC answer.