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


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Hunting for food? We don't gather, either. (Score 1) 1141

I dare you to list one single reason why a modern society _needs_ to _hunt_ for _food_. There are none.

Are you arguing against hunting or gardens? People do both for the same reasons -- enjoyment, connectedness with nature, knowing what's actually *in* their food, even tradition. Just because you don't see a reason doesn't mean there aren't any.

Comment Re:The question, really, is this: (Score 4, Interesting) 549

Besides, the domain name makes sense from a different context: the viewer's. When a viewer in his district goes there, it would be ostensibly be *their* congressman. It's like "" or "" or whatever. They're not claiming ownership -- they're offering service for the viewer, with a name relative to the viewer.

Should we sue Intuit because they're claiming ownership of corporations created at

Comment Re:What about frags? (Score 1) 599

My wife sang the same song as a child growing up in Ecuador, and a variation on the English version was even a theme song for the Canadian kids' show The Elephant Show with Sharon, Lois and Bram. (,_Lois_&_Bram)

Pretty popular song, apparently.

Comment Re:Slashdot (Score 1) 1397

The place I work has taken it a step further in that the machines have unofficial names that aren't in DNS. The machines actually have names like (dept)(purpose)(location)(number)(product), which is admittedly hard to remember, let alone call out. Unfortunately, our two QA boxes were dubbed "Laurel" and "Hardy" in a casual conversation about their "personalities," and the names stuck for people who were privy to the conversation. Of course, this was before I started working there, so I was confused as hell when someone told me to log into Laurel, which isn't an actual server name. WTF?

Comment Alien Inquisition! (Score 2, Funny) 400

People continue to talk about aliens at Area 51 for 2 reasons:

1. They are mentally incapable of stopping. (And need help.)
2. They enjoy it, and think it's entertaining.
3. They just don't know any better.

People continue to talk about aliens at Area 51 for 3! 3 reasons:

1. They are mentally incapable of stopping. (And need help.)
2. They enjoy it, and think it's entertaining.
3. They just don't know any better.
4. They have been abducted by aliens at Area 51

The 4 reasons people continue to talk about aliens at Area 51 are:

No, wait, start over...

Comment Re:If that's how they lay off people at your job.. (Score 4, Interesting) 613

Having been on a few sinking ships, I haven't found that to be the case. What I've seen, oddly, is the opposite. People get nicer once the realize there's no future in it for anyone. At that point, it becomes about who remembers you and how, and whether they can get you into wherever they land next.

At a certain point, it just becomes collecting your paycheck until its your turn. No point in being a dick about it.

Comment Re:Work is overrated (Score 1) 613

There's a lot to this. Sometimes people are doing what they do, not because they enjoy it, but because it's a stable source of income and they don't want to jeopardize it. A layoff can be painful, but a smart, positive-thinking person can use it as the kick in the ass they need to do what they've been wanting to do, now that the old gig is gone no matter what.

Comment Re:With such a long time series (Score 1) 3

Thanks for taking the time to help me out. You're right -- inflation is a difficult problem to solve and does need to be taken into account.

I tried to get a handle on inflation using the stats.pct_dev column, which is the ratio of the stddev to the avg Dow for the year.

The idea is that I could sort based on the percentage stddev/avg, and that would show me years with the highest proportional volatility. So a 100-point swing in 1920 would have been disastrous, and would rank very highly, but a 100-point swing in 2008 would be toward the bottom of the list -- occurring almost daily.

That doesn't totally deal with the inflation problem, but it does help to put the numbers in better perspective. I have another query that I didn't post -- essentially the same, but where I ran the numbers grouped by month. I wrote about the results of that query when I was talking about how the different months rank with history. In this query, I don't think inflation would be much of an issue.

Either way, the effect of inflation on the rankings should be fairly well contained, because percentage change, stddev, and pct_dev (stddev/avg) were all calculated on yearly or monthly basis. The % change between years was only ever compared between consecutive years, and there could definitely be some inflationary skew there, but I'm thinking it's also generally pretty reasonable and doesn't make the comparison unfair.

Comment Re:Double Duh! (Score 0) 711

A common solution is replication.

Which misses the point of this article: Mirroring is not a backup solution. Replication is essentially mirroring, but via the database instead of on the disk/controller level. If someone issues a "delete from important_table" on your database, it'll be replicated down to the slaves. Replication solves the problem of availability -- not the problem of data backups.

Databases are all about consistency, and your concerns about snapshots are unwarranted if your app is correctly using transactions. The backup process will not see partial transactions -- only complete ones. The in-flight changes will be picked up in the next snapshot. Every database worth its salt has a way of dumping internally-consistent (committed) data to a file for later restoration.

Comment Re:They can't have it both ways... (Score 1) 904

You're right. No sane woman would see the difference between full nudity and breasfeeding. It truly is black and white issue to women. Thank you for helping us to better understand this "woman" creature we've so often heard of.

In fact, I've seen several times in this discussion where people claim that breastfeeding does not evoke a sexual response in observers, so I'm glad to hear that completely naked women would not evoke a sexual response either. This being the case, I vote to allow women to completely disrobe in public.

You gotta draw the line somewhere. For most people, allowing public breastfeeding is an accommodation afforded to nursing mothers. That doesn't mean that women don't see the difference between breastfeeding and nudity, or could not reasonably draw a distinction between the two.

Slashdot Top Deals

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.