Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Great that they can control your property (Score 4, Insightful) 159

I'm fairly certain it is impossible to have a self-updating OS on a device and also prevent the controller of the self-update process from installing malware. So, I'd say there is nothing wrong with the system at the moment and our rage is best withheld until such time that they actually abuse their power.

I think you're putting the cart before the horse here, the question is whether it's okay to have automatically self-updating systems where the company that manufactured it by default has full control over it, regardless of whether the owner actually wants the updates or want to apply them now or if critical security updates are baked into huge system upgrades. It's a big trend but I don't think it's a good trend, tomorrow Microsoft can shut down your computer, Samsung your smart-TV, Google your cell phone, Tesla your car, Kindle your eBook-reader and so on. If you go all IoT or "smart house" pretty much anything you own can shut down because somebody out there wants it to. Granted, we're also quite fucked if the bank freezes our bank accounts and all the utilities shut you off, but we're expanding it to everything. It's another way to hollow out what ownership is and means.

Comment Re:defense versus health and human services. (Score 1) 383

The only problem (compared to other countries) with US healthcare is its outrageous cost. There is zero evidence that healthcare quality is to blame for the slightly lower life expectancy.

I only have a few anecdotal stories to go by, but I know at least one with back problems and one with heart problems stuck where they got on-and-off health problems that lead to problems paying insurance that lead to the being effectively outside the system and any insurance that will take them on now excludes everything related to the their pre-existing condition. All they get is emergency care, when they should have had surgery. So I definitively think distribution of care is still some part of the lower life expectancy, those with lots of money get overtreated leading to good quality at excessive cost but those with no money get undertreated too.

Comment Re:For the love of God no (Score 2) 90

Let's be honest, what's really killing you is the lack of social antennas. I've been next to a baby that was on full wailing for quite some time, despite the mother's best efforts and that was considerably worse than any idiot yapping on the phone. Didn't really want to make me throw myself or the baby off the plane, but I was quite happy I didn't have to deal with that every other hour of the day. Most people keep it short, most people keep a normal conversation volume and most of those who don't will take a hint.

And a few are the kind you want to strangle. But long before the flight was up I'd make a really loud "call" like "YES HELLO... OVER THE ATLANTIC NOW, DOING FINE. EXCEPT THERE'S THIS GUY WHO KEEPS TALKING REALLY, REALLY LOUND ON HIS CELL PHONE FOR AGES NOW, DOESN'T HAVE ANY SOCIAL ANTENNAS AT ALL. I HOPE HE HANGS UP SOON. SEE YOU SOON, LOVE YA" Fighting fire with fire usually works, if he goes psycho with luck they'll cuff him and throw him off the plane. Win-win either way.

Comment More likely medical practice, not evolution (Score 4, Interesting) 262

Well 0.36/0.30 = 20% growth and it's only been ~2 generations, if you consider that most of the 3% in one generation will have kids with the other 97% in the next generation it seems unlikely to happen this fast. It's probable that it's more routine and we're more cautious today, so borderline cases get the surgery now where they wouldn't in the past.

Comment Re:Why notSimultaneous release toTheaters and iTun (Score 1) 51

It's a protection racket by the cinemas, most chains will refuse to show any movie that doesn't have an exclusivity period. As long as they stay united on this and only B-movies can survive on a direct to TV/DVD budget, nothing will change. It's pretty obvious they'd all lose business if they let competitors enter the market, so they don't.

Comment Re:More holes than swiss cheese (Score 2) 72

OK, so I'm an amateur, and I don't know squat, but even I know you don't ever run Adobe Flash for any reason on your browser. And if you really really feel the need to run Adobe Flash, you do it in a throwaway browser that you only use to run Adobe Flash. So is this really news.

You don't know squat about knowing squat. People who don't know squat aren't even able to tell that "you are infected click here to fix" is just a web banner and not an actual dialog box, much less what a browser or a plug-in or flash is. I'll also give you the Star Trek universal translation matrix, whenever people like that are asked "Do you want to flubber the gavot on the pinoshi? [Yes][No]" or anything else incomprehensible it translates to "You want this to work? [Yes][No]" and they click yes yes yes. They've given up trying to understand, much less figure out if the dialog is actually genuine.

Comment Re:Better Than Most (Score 1) 208

yes my brother in Florida lives in nice subdivision with house less than ten years old, but connects with juno dial-up for $14 a month. Compare that with my mother-in-law in Cambodia where in 1998 they were laying down fiber around her neighborhood, they went from dialup to megabits/sec overnight.

Residential fiber in 1998? In Cambodia? I call bullshit. Here in Norway the first delivery of Internet over cable TV was 1998, ADSL in 2000, I see our first FTTH company was started in 2001 but that was in a very small area where they were rolling out lots of fiber for the oil industry anyway and was rare as unicorns and super expensive even for a first world country. It was only in the recovery after the dot-bust in the mid 2000s it saw any real traction.

Comment Re:Spinning even now (Score 4, Interesting) 778

People who actually believe it are in the minority and are simpletons or mentally ill.

Sadly I know a guy who really full-on believes this... and that Roswell was real, 9/11 was faked and a bunch of other conspiracies. Wouldn't be surprised if he believes in chemtrails and owns a tin foil hat either. But he's pretty good with words and is neither retarded nor obviously crazy. It's like he's just decided the world is a sham, we're all puppets dancing according to some agenda and that warps his perception of everything else. It's like he's just waiting for Morpheus to show up and offer him the red pill. Even if you manage to push back and disprove one little bit of his ramblings it's like okay maybe that was wrong but the other 99.9% is still on.

It reminds me of some of those otherwise seemingly functional people who've been in ordinary jobs but end up fixed on some crazy idea that a Nigerian prince is offering them money or that they have an online girlfriend they never met who totally loves them and totally lose it. Many of these don't fit the "simpletons or mentally ill" who could never hold down a job profile. I saw someone else here mention Ben Carson, brain surgeon but thinks ancient aliens built the pyramids. No matter how smart you are, you see what you want to see. You believe what you want to believe. Then you use your brains to wrap reality around your beliefs, not the other way around.

That's how you end up with scientists with a religion full of facts science has refuted. It turns out people don't have to have one coherent set of thoughts. We actually live quite well doing a day job and believing in the first woman was made from a rib bone at the same time. It's just that for some the last kind of "facts" take over and consume them, to the point where they can't accept reality as reality anymore. Mainstream media (MSM) is fiction, my alt-news is reality. Mainstream medicine is fiction, my homeopathy is reality. And Internet is the greatest boon to alternate realitys ever, here they all meet to agree on how right they are. Most are pretty harmless though.

Comment Re:"self investigate" == alt.right (Score 1) 778

Because "fake news" has a very clear meaning that should be apparent to anyone who knows what the word "fake" means. Where do you use the word "fake"? You use it in places where something that is known to be false by the originator has the appearance of truth.

You do realize that would not include most conspiracy theories, right? Sure, some are created and perpetuated because it fits somebody's agenda but most of the unpopular ones are simply people seeing patterns that aren't there, explanations as cover-ups, ridicule as naivity or complicity resulting in some bizarre theory that doesn't make any sense or serve any recognizable purpose. Cardinal Richelieu said "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged", well so would a conspiracy theorist find the Illuminati.

Comment Re:Why should this be surprising? (Score 1) 158

When has an intern done any actual productive work? Every place I worked, the interns were always assigned the most menial, busywork tasks that we could come up with.

a) The companies you've worked for pay interns peanuts so you get monkeys
b) The companies you've worked for have already decided they're no good and not to be hired
c) The companies you've worked for are too stupid to give them a chance to prove themselves
d) The companies you've worked for are overworked and needed a steam valve
e) The companies you've worked for are testing their ability to suck it up and endure
f) All of the above

Even if they're serious students you can end up with a lot of strange things from people with little or no real world experience. But I'd give anyone a fair chance to prove themselves, then fail them to coffee fetcher and busywork.

Comment I think I know where they're going with this (Score 1) 535

Employees are fickle, they switch jobs or get ill or get hit by the bus or go on strike or whatever taking all their knowledge and experience with them and disrupting day-to-day operations. Sure you might say some companies felt their software was their assets before but they mostly still need expert operators. Automated systems accumulate far more of that value, like say Google's car project. Any one person on the team is probably easily expendable, it's the collective result that holds value. Banks used to have personal customer relationships, today 90%+ just want a webpage and some help if they have a problem. The people are not critical to the process short term as long as the system is up and running.

This obviously shifts the balance of power towards the employee instead of the employer. After all, conflicts are typically about who blinks first and if they can keep the lights on without you that makes it that much harder. I suppose it was always like that for mega-corporations but usually their customers would suffer which would bad for business and bring them back to the negotiating table but if you stare into the crystal ball... just imagine Amazon if you got automated trucks, warehouses, pickers and wrappers, purchasing system, inventory management system, warranty and support systems and so on. It could almost run itself, I suppose there'll always be people at the fringes but they would be just that.

Comment Re:what about h.265? (Score 2) 76

I hear it does great things for 4k, so it seems that it would be really great for HD, and even older 720 or 480 content too.

The main reason it does great on 4k/UHD is that the fixed 16x16 macroblocks in H.264 are too small, HEVC brings flexible coding tree units (CTUs) that vary from 64x64 to 16x16 which obviously has the most effect for the highest resolutions. If you restrict it to 16x16 CTUs you get a ~37% penalty on 2160p, ~19% on 1080p and ~9% penalty on 480p. So not as big a deal for older content as you might think.

Comment Re:If you want to write a book, just do it (Score 1) 381

Sure, yeah, you could take a few weekend courses and bang out some stuff and possibly even find a job paying decent money. But if you want to move up in the world you need to turn your hack and slash techniques into a refined art. The kind of crap commodity programmers write is the stuff that skilled developers get paid a lot of money cleaning up or just re-implementing. (...) If you want to work in the big leagues on important things, you need to be open to learning some things and respect the craft.

With all possible respect to all the CS experts of the world, that's not what they teach. Finding a good organization of your application that makes structures easy to break down, processes easy to follow and changes easy to implement doesn't involve deep, abstract mathematical formulations with optimal answers. It's about creating functional units (objects, layers, modules, services) with clear responsibilities that abstract away internal details, create well defined and narrow interactions, break up and explain complex logic, that everything behaves like and contains what you'd expect from common language definitions and naming conventions and with sufficient high level documentation that anyone of moderate intelligence can understand what bits need to go where.

Or to put it another way, if you sent the source code through an obfuscator the CS experts would probably be just as happy with the output as the input, after all the algorithms and functionality are all unchanged. It would make it an incomprehensible mess of spaghetti code and "there be dragons" that nobody understand how or why works, but those are practical concerns. The same is error and exception handling, CS is all about correct algorithms that never get called with invalid input or run into any of those practical problems that cause poorly written software to crash, often without leaving behind any useful reason why and if there's any possibility to just fail this and move on.

I think you're onto something about the craft and the art. If you want to make swords for an army it's a craft, if you're making a nobleman's fine blade it's an art. Most of the time what we want is robust craftsmanship, process as many passable swords as possible and discard any failures. Not very glamorous and not very artistic, we're not awarding points for style or elegance but whether the code you've built is a reliable work horse that gets the job done. Or maybe the difference between an institutional chef and a fine dining chef. One is serving a hundred people a good meal, the other can spend forever making a plate of fine art. Both are very different from being a poor chef, but being good at one doesn't really make you good at the other. And CS is the Michelin guide department.

Comment Re:He would have been better off ... (Score 4, Insightful) 133

And keep a copy of your stuff on hand before you get fired.

If you were doing it at work on company systems it's probably not "your stuff" anyway, it's probably small utilities he used to make his job easier. If you want to do something for yourself do it on your own time on your own machine, don't use any company resources and try not to do anything that would make them question your loyalty to your day job. Being a consultant or contractor is fine because everyone knows that. Being an employee with a secret double agenda is not.

Comment Re:Lucky he got off so light (Score 1) 133

Somebody still owns that ISP's assets. Two things, though...

1) Good luck getting $26K from an inmate - at a buck or two a day, twenty-six grand will take a lot longer than two years, and

Assuming he had zero assets before the trial. Any down payment on a mortgage, a car in good shape and you're pretty close.

2) If the courts determined that he only did $26,000.00 worth of damage, I'm guessing this ISP was probably already circling the bowl. After all, if he was solely responsible for breaking this ISP, one would expect a far higher award for damages, regardless of (1), above.

Probably. It could also be that it was easy to prove he did at least $26k worth of damage, he has no more assets and the trustee wants the bankruptcy settled and think the practical value of a higher judgement is zero. Except for when the RIAA/MPAA/BSA want big numbers for PR reasons, they're often willing to settle for what you have.

Slashdot Top Deals

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.

Working...