Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re: Why do people keep using Windows? (Score 2) 163

And then there's the fragmentation issue. Should they use Redhat or Suse or Yellowdog (wait what?) or Ubuntu or Kubuntu? What's the difference? Explained in phrasing that makes sense to somebody with a degree in Political Science?

That part should be easy to explain to those types. "Those are several vendors competing for the same market, so if things go wrong you can switch between them without having to completely retrain your tech people. If you start having problems with Windows too bad - Microsoft is the only provider".

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score 1) 726

On the contrary, allowing people to outcompete each others on who works for less is what causes poor people to run out of options. If you work the whole day for slightly less than a subsistence salary, there's no room for doing something that will improve your life.

Slavery is doesn't appear because "by definition" someone is forced to do something against their will, it happens because some removes all other options from you, so that the other possible voluntary alternative is death.

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score 1) 726

Did you really just compare forced labor with the threat of harm and/or death to voluntary employment?

There's a difference in degree only, not semantics. When people live in a region so poor and uneducated that all jobs and communication with the external world are provided by a single landowner, there isn't much difference between being a free peasant or a slave. This advice coming from someone living in a country which was governed by that model for several centuries.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 314

How were you middle class without any savings?

Outside of the "upper middle class", middle class Americans on average have minimal liquid savings -- they might have an IRA and some home equity, but almost no "savings".

If you look at how student aid is calculated, the formula expects a 4-year degree program student to spend nearly all student assets on tuition -- Student assets disclosed on FAFSA reduce eligibility for need-based aid by 20 percent of the net worth of the asset, each year. Any savings a student has, and 5.64% of the parent's non-IRA savings, is counted towards the "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC) each year.

I had savings when I first enrolled in college. To pay my first year's EFC, I wiped out my savings account and drew my checking account down to the minimum "no fee" balance.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 314

If you are middle class you can't get financial aid.

If you are upper middle class, your aid options are very limited, regular old middle class can get some financial aid. Our family income was smack dab in the center of "middle" class for Chicago metro area, but I qualified for a few need-based financial aid programs.

I attended IIT, a moderately expensive private research/tech school, and I received a Federal Pell grant, a subsidized (Stafford) loan, and made up the rest from the Federal Work-Study program, and of course wiped out my personal savings account. If I had instead attended University of Illinois at Chicago, a public research university, I would have received a full scholarship -- based primarily on my test scores, not on need.

Comment Re:Batteries (Score 1) 468

I have a true question - exactly WHERE do you recharge while on a road trip?

Unless Canada has a very large network of fast dedicated charge stations compatible with your car model, or you travel only to places where there is always such a station within range, how do you manage to move through the country without fear to run out of batteries? I've never found a place that explains how to do this in detail.

Comment Secure and Available:related, yet not synonymous (Score 1) 146

"Secure" and "Available" are related but not synonymous.

It is possible to have a system that is secure against data exfiltration, but still susceptible to intentional corruption. I'm not saying this is necessarily true in this case, but it is certainly a possibility.

Fear of data leakage is just one of many reasons why a black market will continue to exist, even with "medical" and decriminalization. There's still a social stigma against pot and THC users (stronger in certain areas and cultures than others). I still want to see Obama reschedule it, not so much because I care about the legal status of marijuana, but more because it would really piss off Mike Pence.

Comment Re:Flat, unintuitive UI? No thanks! (Score 1) 78

That may be because you have only seen UX used for products aimed at a widespread general public, which benefit greatly from feature reduction - as they must support very different workflows, with people who use the product with little training.

UX is the science that got us input forms (it was called ergonomics back then), standard widgets, WYSIWYG and direct manipulation. It has also created the new layout in MS Office (which is successful in its goal to make visible a larger set of the available features), so it's not true that it only supports feature reduction. I work in a company that a very complex software suit, and UX approaches are greatly enhancing the user workflows from its previous, engineer-designed interface, without removing a single feature.

Comment Re:Flat, unintuitive UI? No thanks! (Score 1) 78

Unfortunately, I bet the UIs ARE thought up by experts. This seems to me like a classic disconnect between pie in the sky designers and everyday users.

Experts UI designers are those who test the interface with everyday users.

Therefore, when an interface has been designed by an expert in UI design (NOT visual design, but real interaction design), there is no such disconnect.

Comment Re:That's weird (Score 1) 370

considering nobody has made any decent AI yet.

It doesn't matter. AI works best when there's a human in the loop, piloting the controls anyway.

What matters to a company is that 1 person + bots can now make the job that previously required hundreds of white collar workers, for much less salary. What happens to the other workers should not be a concern of the company managers, according to the modern religious creed - apparently some magical market hand takes care to solve that problem automatically.

Slashdot Top Deals

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (6) Them bats is smart; they use radar.