Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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:Opposite is true (Score 1) 241

This is true. Also, even if people do not necessarily code later on, knowing a bit about how computers make things happens removes magical thinking, which is a good thing.

Plus, the more people can code, the more people want to code, increasing the demand for systems where you can actually do some coding. Which is the only insurance against ever more locked and dumbed down systems.

Comment Re:NO! No bio-fuels, bio-fuels are bad (Score 3, Interesting) 44

I do not think that producing biofuel is such an disaster, of course depending on how you implement it. In Germany quite a few farmers already produce biogas using large fermenters on their farm, most often then to directly use it for electricity and heat production, as pressurizing it is too costly. But well, all you are doing is pumping some cubic metres of liquid manure and some other decomposable materials in a huge tank and let anaerobic digestion do their work. As it turns out this even improves the fertilizing properties of the leftovers, since you create an optimal environment for the bacteria involved in the rotting process, just like in a well structured composter.

Holding the soil in place can be done via in-between-cultures like mustard or spinache. Of course then one can not use only one crop specifically designed to withstand herbicides and kill off absolutely all other plants on the ground, as it is commonly practiced and doing a huge environmental damage, not only on the soil itself, but also on the surrounding ecosystem (bee colony collapse for example).

The real problem here is that bio fuel is often used as an incentive to further subventionize farmers and the malpractice of huge mono cultures, especially of corn. Mining stuff to undo a bit of the damage done by these is just another bad idea.

Comment User agent detection (Score 1) 296

It's sad how google still implements user agent detection. Somewhere around 2005 I hoped these funny 'this website is optimized for IE 5'-messages would be a thing of the past soon, although my browser at the time (Opera at the time I guess) obviously was superior or had at least the same capabilities. Yet google is doing the same thing, even worse. While the websites in the past didn't switch to different sites if you had the wrong user agent, or at most included some stupid javascript overlay, google redirects you. In case of google calendar, if you have a user agent string not matching one of the major browsers (for example uzbl, surf or the like), you're asking for trouble, since google won't allow you to use the fully featured version of the calendar and you can only use the non-javascript version (although I hate js, this is one of the few exceptions where js is indeed the better choice). It is one thing not to support some browsers and handle problems that might occur, but at least they should give one the choice to use the service at one owns risk.

I really hoped that at least the worst practices from the late 90s would someday disappear from the net, but with google doing much stupid stuff and getting away with it or even being praised for it, because nobody likes IE, my hope is crushed.

Comment Re:Vote with your wallet (Score 1) 499

I'd agree, however Intel really seems to win when you consider power consumption, at least in the latest generations. A i7 desktop can be built almost fanless, since in daily use except for some broken javascript pages you'll never hit 100% cpu for a prolonged timespan and the idle consumption is really low. I'd rather pay much more for less noise (and over the long run lower electricity cost, but that's secondary for me). And it's still cheapter than a water cooling solution.

However, being an AMD-Fanboy, I just wait until they ship the next low power cpu to replace my 5050e. ;)

Comment Re:In the land of the free... (Score 1) 554

I agree. Most of my techie friends run their own e-mail services, mostly only for themselves and sometimes for their families, and I never heard them complaining about their mailservers. Well, they still have google or something similar (especially the android-users for obvious reasons), but most private e-mail is handled on their private servers. One thing I really like about this is that one has almost unlimited e-mail adresses for signing up on different services, so if you get spam, you know where it comes from. Of course google offers or similar, but I don't think this is a viable option in the long run, because one can easily cut off the part after the +.

But even more important I think it's beneficial if services like e-mail or webhosting are as distributed as possible, such that the internet reduces the single points of failure to a minimum. In the end that's what everything is about. If you think almighty and benevolent corporate gods like google will keep the internet running for you, it would be the most wise choice for you to use their services. But if you don't believe these or value your privacy, you're probably better of running your own mail-server or share one with some friends.

Comment Re:Yes, but is it OVER 9000?! (Score 1) 98

Actually you can have a torrent of torrents; at least rtorrent has the ability to scan specified directories for new .torrent-files, and automatically add them to your queue (and move them to destination folders if finishied, so you can download your torrent-torrent to that directory and automatically add them to your conventional torrent-dir. However, I'd go for a simple zip-file and a web-interface where you can check the torrents you want to download, and then download and unpack the zip file with all the selected torrents to a scanned directory.

Comment Re:Go China! (Score 1) 387

At least in Germany there is the so called "Atomausstieg", which means that governmant (after democratic pressure) wants to ensure that we are nuclear free in the near future. However, in reality we only extend the lifetime of the old, insecure and ineffecient reactors, while the developement of newer reactors has virtually stopped. The growing demand of energy forces us to buy our electricity from France, where as far as I know the most reactors in Europe are running and I guess they also have the biggest growth rate. However, they build cheap and old reactor types, so we not only inhibit our development, but also miss the main goal of a more secure environment.

Comment Re:Hide your data (plausible deniability+ physical (Score 1) 708

Thermite would probably be the better and easier choice, because as far as I know, the magnetic fields you'd need to wipe out a disk are very strong (guess some T). Furthermore, it's much easier to set off a fuse without external power than a electricity powered coil.
However, it's not guranteed, that they x-ray your case before they open it, so some additional security layers would be needed.

Anti-Terrorist Data Mining Doesn't Work Very Well 163

Presto Vivace and others sent us this CNet report on a just-released NRC report coming to the conclusion, which will surprise no one here, that data mining doesn't work very well. It's all those darn false positives. The submitter adds, "Any chance we could go back to probable cause?" "A report scheduled to be released on Tuesday by the National Research Council, which has been years in the making, concludes that automated identification of terrorists through data mining or any other mechanism 'is neither feasible as an objective nor desirable as a goal of technology development efforts.' Inevitable false positives will result in 'ordinary, law-abiding citizens and businesses' being incorrectly flagged as suspects. The whopping 352-page report, called 'Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists,' amounts to [be] at least a partial repudiation of the Defense Department's controversial data-mining program called Total Information Awareness, which was limited by Congress in 2003."

Slashdot Top Deals

Torque is cheap.