Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



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

Comment Re:What about English? (Score 1) 355

I guess all I'm saying is that is time to reserve mathematical computer language to mathematicians, and leave normal computer language to normal people. Seriously, how many people do you know who say "2^3.1459" when ordering a couple of cheese burgers?

Umm... that example doesn't even work, because ^ isn't even a letter or a word. It's a symbol... the kind you use when writing, not speaking. You speak English, yes? On that note, plenty of people where I live say (linked because Slashdot doesn't support unicode) as a greeting, and yes, that is the 100% correct form. You don't seem to be able to tell the difference between a written letter and a spoken sound; and frankly, you have clearly never programmed before either. There's a reason why it is the way it is.

Comment Re:What about English? (Score 5, Insightful) 355

I would rather use the language that enables the most users to instruct their computers on what they want done. Stupid battles over curly braces and punctuation does nothing to further this goal. Humans have understood how to interpret human language, it is high time we taught our machines to do the same.

You completely dodged his point. Seriously, go to a mathematician sometime, tell him to write everything in pure English. None of this quadratic stuff, we only live for "x equals minus b plus or minus the square root of b squared plus 4 times the value of a times c divided by the value of 2 times the value of a". Because that's much more accessible and readable than some scratch marks, clearly.

Next up will be the elimination of slang, yes?

Comment Until... (Score 2) 62

One pixel changed, two pixels change, three pixels change, it's not hard to beat a hash. Of course, you could require that they examine every single pixel in a movie file and flag those with a ~5% margin, and in the very same move destroy YouTube. Hell, you even have a new DDOS method, just upload a 99999999 hour mflagof a black screen. Once again, the copyright industry shooting itself in the foot.

I propose a minimum knowledge requirement of the internet and basic computer literacy for every politician, along with the understanding that bribes are illegal. I don't think having even just one of those would be enough to think of a law as asinine as this one...

Comment Re:Oath smoath. (Score 1) 387

you miss the point. When he reported the spying on Americans by individuals, he DID break the law, BUT, it was for a good reason. Had he stopped there, I would be celebrating this and in FULL agreement with you. BUT, HE CONTINUED SPEAKING. And when he spoke about how we spy on other nations, along with terrorists, he committed treason and HARMED not just America, but the entire WEST. Basically, he helped Russia, China, AQ, North Korea, Iran, Bhurma, etc. Worse, it is certain that BOTH Russia and china have decrypted the other files that he did not post, but allowed them to have access to.

Would you say the same thing if an ex-KGB official defected to America, and revealed that Russia was spying on all western nations, you would support extraditing him to where he is certain to receive the death penalty?

Remember, Snowden may have revealed the spying programs, but there hasn't been a shift in the way terrorism works - furthermore, our intelligence has been getting weaker and weaker because the CIA and NSA have too much crap to sift trough. Terrorists haven't yet used encryption, but they got by with just plaintext because the government was too busy reading your emails instead. On top of that, he's only revealed the rough process behind it - he never took a copy of a program with him or otherwise revealed how they worked. I disagree with that part of the spiel too, but he's looking at either life in exile in Russia or certain death - given that his intent was clearly not to cause harm (he could have done significantly more damage if he wanted to), and that he continues to display an interest in returning and otherwise participating in American society, he should be pardoned of the charges.

George Washington was a traitor and a terrorist too, you know.

Comment Re:The Free State Welcomes Edward Snowden (Score 5, Interesting) 387

The migration of liberty activists to New Hampshire will welcome him should we ever win independence. The movement is strong gaining new movers every week and unlike other movements has only grown larger over the years. There is no place in New Hampshire that you won't find a growing, active, no thriving community of activists who are fighting government and we're going to win because we have time. We have patience. The people want liberty will and are moving for it. And unlike setting up a new country or trying to take over one there are no restrictions within the boarders of the United States to hamper the movement. If you believe that the state should not utilize violence to achieve political goals (like educating our children, feeding our hungry, or locking up people who've committed no violence against another) then you should move to New Hampshire. We want to get rid of drivers licenses, license plates, and having to ask the government permission to earn a a living. Keene, the town where I live, of less than 30,000 people is already the # one place in the world for BitCoins. We can build other non-governmental systems that don't utilize force to ensure the safety of our restaurants. We accept that life has some risk and that it's not worth punishing everybody for the actions of a few (just because there are a few drunks on the roads does not mean the state should have a right to utilise violence blatantly in disregard for all other driver's rights on the road). We don't need government feeding out hungry or stealing money from the people whom thus become dependant on government hands out to feed and brainwash (ie educate) their children.

www.freekeene.com www.freestateproject.org www.freetalklive.com

Speaking as a (current but living outside the state) resident of New Hampshire myself, you do realize we get what we pay for, yes? We have no advanced social services, our schools are pathetic compared to any other New England state, we have severe and frequently recurring issues with the funding of our healthcare and systems, our roads are so horribly maintained that they're unsafe to drive on in some places, and we have a pretty stifled economy that looks better than it is because of people commuting across the border to Mass every day. New Hampshire is an extremely interesting state, and I like it, but to pretend its paradise and that government provides no benefits is incredibly misleading.

Secondly, I actually want to challenge you on your philosophy. You want an intentionally libertarian state, but how exactly do you intend to fix our issues? How do you think the free state project is going to provide care for the elderly and sick? What about education, who is going to fund that? The problem you have with these is that you say they should be privately funded. How about a family that isn't rich, but solidly upper-middle class? If they had children, they could afford to lavish them with the very best education, the parents could ensure they get the best healthcare, and the family as a whole simply gets significantly better benefits from life. These people get better jobs, which leads to more money, and so on and so on. Do you think have a rich elite at the very top of the poor is a good idea? Furthermore, what about the rich who fund this? If I pay for your library, I should get to dictate what goes into it, correct? What's to stop me from stocking the whole thing with books that heavily favor my opinion of history and such? It would be a library, sure, but it wouldn't be very useful at all, and it's very unlikely there'd be any competition because you'd be too poor to run one either. Lastly, what about people who do need collective help? What about the disabled or the unemployed? Under your philosophy, there only approach to help is to either beg for help on their knees, or die when they can't feed themselves. Is that really what you stand for?

Lastly, I'd also like to mention your movement. The Free Keene people as a group are not very nice, and in particular you harass state employees quite a bit - if you claim to have a problem with the system as a whole, why do you take it out on the everyday state employee, the guy like yourself? He works to feed a family, and on top of that he makes your life easier by paving your roads (which, remember, you wouldn't have otherwise). Protests I understand, but why would you break into somebody's court room or shout at a police officer doing his job? If you're really a libertarian, than you would either say it's your fault and you should be paying the ticket, or that nobody has a right to park in a lot, in which case I hope you don't mind me utilizing your sidewalk for my motorhome. If you claim to represent the movement, would you mind answering my questions? I haven't yet gotten any satisfactory answers, although I suspect the entire movement lacks them.

Comment The Point... (Score 5, Informative) 248

The point of this isn't to ban a harmless ingredient, but to ban a harmless ingredient that could eventually prove to not be so harmless. Completely putting aside the potential long term interactions on the human body - which is hugely significant, lead and arsenic don't cause their damage in one day either - "antibacterial" soaps are essentially the same thing as "antibiotic" soaps, and you may see where this is going. 99.9% of the time, killing off all these harmless bacteria doesn't yield any benefit, but it will breed stronger bacteria over time, and that can lead tro some very nasty things. Gonorrhea, for example, is an STD that was once easily curable, but is now becoming harder and harder to treat, and I believe there is a new strain popping up for which there is no cure known at the present time. When such a disease appears and is immune to our easiest form of defense, it has the potential to become an unstoppable epidemic, and again, there's no benefit at all to killing otherwise harmless bacteria (which may even help strengthen our immune systems).

Secondly, these soaps are snake oil, and in more ways than one. Antibacterial soaps do absolutely nothing to stop viruses, so if you think this soap will help protect you from the common cold or the flu, think again. It's also no more effective than normal soap, so you're paying more for a completely useless product, and I doubt many people know this - at the very least, stronger labeling is definitely required. Bait-and-switch, along with the false sense of security, is an issue.

And if all that doesn't convince you, than consider this: we already have a product for all of this, and it's known as hand sanitizer. If there is a place or occasion where you really need to disinfect your hands, use this stuff; it's cheap, effective, usable on the go (the places where you probably need it the most), and bacteria isn't going to be adapting to alcohol anytime soon. As a result, you limit bacterial adaptability, you save money, you destroy viruses, and you don't play Russian Roulette with our ecosystem. Common sense, people.

Comment Umm... (Score 2) 290

Voice messages also cannot be categorized, are interpreted much slower than reading, can be very ambiguous if the audio quality is poor, and require significantly more space to store (not a concern if you're one employee with a work drive that's 5% full, but for the employer maintaining a central server, that space stacks up quickly). Honestly, voice memos are basically voice mail on the phone, and while there are times it works well, voice memos are definitely no email replacement.

Comment 15% Is Insignificant!? (Score 2) 399

Maybe I shouldn't impulse post, but wow, that's significantly higher than I thought! Political posts are almost always emotional tirades, rarely including any new facts or analysis, and are extremely repetitive, and you're telling me ~ 8% of the population can be swayed by this? That's enough to convert some swing states, and for how little effort they require, that's a massive gain. On the contrary, if you could snatch 8% of your opponent's supporters, by investing as little as half an hour per day in a post, then I'd be inclined to label this as quite possibly the single most effective method for garnering votes then - even conventions are usually filled with people who already support you, and TV audiences are likewise rather polarized. For how much more these cost, somebody should see what percentage of people are swayed by political ads...

Comment Re:Moderators are the opposite of free speech (Score 5, Insightful) 465

Slashdot has the best system I've seen so far. Reddit's just leads to bandwagoning. Slashdot is capped at -2:5.

Additionally if I only have 5 points I'll usually not waste them on 0, I normally just browse at +2. Back in the day you would have entire threads of +5s. I'll save them for someone that needs modded up, not waste it on someone that doesn't need to be heard.

Agreed. Slashdot has easily the single best method of moderating out of every major website, changing that would be foolish. Besides, moderators are surprisingly fair - I have gone against the grain plenty of times, and extremely often these reached +4 or +5. If you state your opinion reasonably and rationally, Slashdot is almost always interested in hearing it. Character attacks on unnamed moderators, with no examples or anything of substance at all, are not inside this category.

Comment Hmm... (Score 4, Insightful) 465

Twitter provides a block feature, a mute feature, the ability to report harassment, and various features to control how public your tweets are. If someone is harassing you, why don't you block them? I'm not sure why we need to kill free speech to fix a problem that appears to be already solved...

Comment Re:Can I sue the government for drug smuggling? (Score 1) 225

Unlike the popular Slashdot opinion I am all for Intellectual Property rights ...

I don't think that Slashdot readers want to abolish Intellectual Property rights completely. We just want reasonable terms. Start with copyright duration. Author's death + 70 years would be ridiculous if it wasn't true.

This. We don't have any problem with the spec of intellectual properly and copyright, we have problem with the implementation. While we have many frivolous ones, the patent system is actually a great idea - it allows people protection to turn a profit, and thereafter turns it into the public domain. By making copyrights last almost 150 years, in some cases, you completely stunt our cultural development - do you think the Greeks and Romans would have had such a rich literature if they had to wait 150 years before they could retell a story? Do you think the US would have become a world power if everything had been locked up and restricted by the various European countries?

Comment Re: Tiny dog barking up big tree (Score 2) 225

I don't see why the ISP's don't simply claim immunity due to their common carrier status. Of course, that would make them concede to the FCC, but on the upside they also aren't liable for things like terrorist attacks coordinated through their infrastructure.

Because it's not a profitable decision. Being liable for terrorist attacks, eh, maybe a $150,000 settlement once a decade, and potentially some bad press which doesn't mean anything when your reputation is crap. On the flip side, the FCC is the only entity with significant power that wants an open Internet, and that scares ISPs shitless. If they become regulated, they'll actually be required to provide decent service for a reasonable price, and they would probably have to invest money into upgrading their infrastructure. Worse yet, there would be at least some form of compeition, as opposed to the current scheme where they all conveniently agree to not charge below certain prices. What's a few dead people and some angry bloggers compared to that red ink?

Comment Re:Twister 1996 (Score 2) 260

I understand that logic.

But what's wrong with allowing edit until someone replies? Or even allow edit up until someone begins to compose a reply. And then, if the original author is editing, and the person wanting to reply clicks reply, they get a helpful message saying "author is editing, reply not allowed until editing is complete/times out". I know it's a hassle to enumerate the possible combinations, but it wouldn't be too much AJAX to make it work.

However, making it work nicely with those using static HTML (who I support 100% BTW) is much trickier. For those users it becomes a bit more tedious. Their reply goes up to the server, but if an edit occurred before their reply was received, the reply content gets bounced back to the user and they are given a chance to edit it in context with the new post content. That way they can decide if their reply is still relevant. There is one more combination that would be robust, but may piss some users off as their new post/or edit (depending on how you want to slice it) would be bounced.

Anyway, I normally get paid quite well to work this stuff out for my clients. Slashdot certainly isn't paying me enough to write any more than this...

This system also adds a bunch of complexity, runs a lot of scripts that need to be maintained, potentially introduces a vector for security bugs, slows down comment writing by potentially a significant amount, and breaks the page for people who disable advanced JavaScript. Furthermore, if your comment is valuable, it will usually get a reply pretty quickly, rendering the whole system mute. It sounds weird, but there's a reason why there isn't one after all these years, and it's not because the idea wasn't considered.

Comment Security... (Score 1) 204

With operating systems becoming more and more secure, hackers are increasingly focusing on end user programs, such as VLC. Do you think the project needs work in this regard? If so, may I ask what your plans and ideas for improving it would be?

By the way, thank you for all of your hard work! VLC isn't my day to day player, but nonetheless it has come in handy many, many times, and my life is much easier because of it. I heavily appreciate your taking time out of your day to answer our questions! :)

Comment Hmm... (Score 2) 204

Currently, we live in an era where media players have become quite a bit more sophisticated. For example, Windows Media Player or iTunes offer some pretty advanced features for managing large libraries, integrate heavily within their ecosystems, and some even come with complete stores, where you can buy songs with a single click. On the other end, there's players such as Audacious that focus on playing music, and only on that - and the result is that you get a very speedy and lightweight player, and the support of winamp skins makes it possible to heavily personalize. What role do you think VLC plays in the ecosystem, and more specifically, where do you think you want to take the project in the future?

Slashdot Top Deals

In every hierarchy the cream rises until it sours. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter

Working...