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Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 1) 375

The US Govt (at least on the Federal level) is mandated by the US Constitution to provide for defense...that is one of its few enumerated responsibilities and powers.

That's for *defense*. We send almost half our budget on defense, but maybe about 5% of our budget actually goes to defense. The remaining 45% is for buying expensive toys from defense contractors to assuage our tribal concerns that the country is undefended. Although we pay our soldiers burger-flipping wages (partly to justify not raising the minimum wage for actual burger flippers), the Pentagon is actually complaining about being overloaded with so much expensive equipment that they can't even keep all of it out of the rain. We aren't safe if our military can only end life on the planet- it should be capable of destroying three or four planets, and at least ten by 2030. That's not defense, it's a parasitic industry that gobbles up nearly half the budget. But people are so entranced by it- guys like Brian Williams who ejaculate when they see a couple dozen Tomahawks being fired- that's almost always a cheap political win. Every government that does nothing for its citizens (e.g. North Korea) resorts to military displays. It's an opiate for the masses.

The Constitution was written when health care costs were not even a conceivable issue at all. For most of American history the Constitution has been considered a working document, designed to be amended as times change in ways that could not have been forseen. That was the 18th-20th century view of the Constitution, but it went out the window several decades ago. At this point, Americans have fetishized the U.S. Constitution like it's an appendix to the Bible, and they quote the Founding Fathers like they were apostles. When amending it is now considered sacrilege, it has completely lost its usefulness. You have the rights you have (and might have needed) up until this originalist attitude set in during the 80s. Now you will never be given any more Constitutional rights, no matter what changes in the near or distant future. Since health care only emerged as a serious problem in more recent decades, you'll never have a Constitutional right to free health care. But you can always kick a British soldier out of your house. That's fucked.

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 256

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:Verizon (Score 1) 205

I take trips with my buddies each year where we fly to a big airport and drive around 1500-2000 miles round trip from there into rural areas on back roads.

We are a great cross-section of providers with Tmo, ATT, Sprint and VZW. I was the only one with service for the entire trip the last two times (NE states and NW states). ATT was next best. Sprint was the worst and Tmo was next.

My family takes a ~3000 mile road trip every summer. I've only been out of service once or twice in 7 years and those were in rural areas of Alabama or Oklahoma (IIRC).

I wouldn't give up VZW for anything.

Comment Re:Missing option: None (Score 1) 152

Yeah... Try that in a multilingual environment.... I dare you. I routinely work with five languages in a day, but my phone only knows one. Okay, it knows four of the five, but I have to select one.

It also assumes it does understand what you said. My experience is: it doesn't even when I do talk English to my phone. Obviously that is my fault. I'm not going to deny that.

Where I live, you see/hear no one use these systems.... For good reason.

On a decent keyboard, all of those are -by the way- faster than what you say. You conveniently omit the "Sir/Alexa/OK Google/Cortana" detection phrase, then your inquiry, then the processing, then the verification of what has been detected, then the acknowledgement of the fact that detection has worked correctly. Otherwhise you get such things as "When date LGBT closet tonight". Not really acceptable.

Comment Re:Fortran (Score 1) 628

My father showed me basic when I wanted to use the computer as a calculator (basic arithmetic). I discovered programming.

He then saw talent in me and bought me a Turbo Pascal book (in my mother tongue... English would not have worked at that age) and a copy of Turbo Pascal (I presume from work, but... I don't know where exactly he got it from).

... and that's how he awoke my interest in computers and ultimately the profession I would choose.

Thanks dad...

Education

Slashdot Asks: What Was Your First Programming Language? (stanforddaily.com) 628

This question was inspired by news that Stanford's computer science professor Eric Roberts will try JavaScript instead of Java in a new version of the college's introductory computer programming course. The Stanford Daily reports: When Roberts came to Stanford in 1990, CS106A was still taught in Pascal, a programming language he described as not "clean." The department adopted the C language in 1992. When Java came out in 1995, the computer science faculty was excited to transition to the new language. Roberts wrote the textbooks, worked with other faculty members to restructure the course and assignments and introduced Java at Stanford in 2002... "Java had stabilized," Roberts said. "It was clear that many universities were going in that direction. It's 2017 now, and Java is showing its age." According to Roberts, Java was intended early on as "the language of the Internet". But now, more than a decade after the transition to Java, Javascript has taken its place as a web language.
In 2014 Python and Java were the two most commonly-taught languages at America's top universities, according to an analysis published by the Communications of the ACM. And Java still remains the most-commonly taught language in a university setting, according to a poll by the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. In a spreadsheet compiling the results, "Python appears 60 times, C++ 54 times, Java 84 times, and JavaScript 28 times," writes a computing professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, adding "if Java is dying (or "showing its age"...) it's going out as the reigning champ."

I'm guessing Slashdot's readers have their own opinions about this, so share your educational experiences in the comments. What was your first programming language?

Comment Research Paper (Score 1) 56

https://cias.rit.edu/media/upl...

Luminescence can be used to create a depth map using two offset images.

3D movies and VR headsets don't work for everyone and create headaches for a variety of reasons, one probably being the lack of bit depth. It's much harder to judge depth when the colors are so close together.

Comment The problem is depth perception (Score 1, Informative) 56

Your eyes are far better at matching light frequencies between both eyes to get the depth mapping correct. Your standard camera can only distinguish 24 bits of light frequency. At that level you get somewhat of a depth map but not a very good one.

Lasers try to get around that limitation by using a frequency the camera can easily pick up and compare between the two images. If you could use the whole image and any frequency, you'd be a lot better off.

That's ultimately the challenge: getting cameras that are not only incredibly sensitive to light frequency, but also very high resolution. Or they'll need to get the cameras looking around just like your eyeballs.

In a 3D mapped world, all the depth information is 100% accurate.

They'd need to render 48-64 bit color to emulate what might be possible in the real world to get accurate depth information.

Comment Re:IMAP & SMTP (Score 2) 70

That is because you assume that "Apps" are the same as "Applications" or "Programs". That isn't really the case: "Apps" come from the mobile space and are usually touch optimized dumbed down versions. Often they are just fronts for web applications, instead of full native applications. Applications or programs like Thunderbird are not "Apps", they stand on their own and talk SMTP and IMAP and are compatible with all servers that speak these open protocols. That is inherently superior than proprietary "Apps" that do not talk open protocols.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

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