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 They never learn do they? (Score 2) 391

Ah marketting - I remember them (...asking for a manual *before* i designed the program haha).

One approach - just point out that spamming social media with ilikes from a single source will very likely backfire and

get the company *bad* publicity (...and hint that marketroids might lose *their* jobs) .

Might even scare them a bit (wipes crocodile tear from eye....)


(Yes it is *personal* accounts, but a big batch in one go is a dead giveaway)

Comment Re:Let's wait (Score 1) 170

I posted to an earlier post re Wastlands 2, but here goes...

You left out a magic word ---> "new" I'm trying to be optimistic but i suspect i'm dead wrong - what we'll get is semi riskless stuff from well known almost immortal

zombie like devs from the 90's ( ---> :-| Something inside me thinks the existing dead bipedal mammals think they can look young again by borrowing newer models... (maybe i'm just a cynic)


Comment Re:Wasteland 2 (Score 1) 170

Me too as a game player way back to the original "Colossal Cave" text adventure back on a PDP-11 mini computer c.a. 1978, *but*

I do have a sad feeling that if only distinguished "ancients" like Brian Fargo can automagically hit their targets, get all their old friends from Black Isle/Interplay/Obsidian etc..

then Kickstarter is a lying cake! ("it's who you know, not what you know"....)

Disclaimer: was a programmer since the 80's do some teaching, want to scratch that indie game itch .... (watching Kickstarter and other indie sites like a *hawk* - seen some good and fine games - "Dungeons of Dredmor @ 5 "dollars" (i'm european)

being a classic example of an indie game that's worth far far more...)


Comment You have much to learn grasshopper! (Score 1) 329

I'm sorry to say this, but for sure my personal experience taught me that there is no such thing thing as a program that will walk you to enlightenment. Here's a hint: you *should* feel like an idiot looking at any reasonable size codebase for *ALL* projects - even if they are in your domain of expertise. Anything past 4-5 contributors can easily look like the FSM descended to Earth - especially if it is a project that has run for years (original devs have long departed to other lands....)

Most of the more elderly progs/dev here will tell you if you prod them hard enough that "being dumb" is the road to enlightenment - if you think you know everything already, then you're not learning!

Big codebases, many hands = you need to learn human psychology just as much as coding, and the "art of diplomacy" (also knowledge of when to get out and say - "die in a fire losers" - just in your head). Ego's and little Hitler's who think they are code gods can burn many a decent project.


Comment I have to weep... (Score 2) 136

Even bigger excuses for cynical games businesses to push eye candy over imagination...

Do I see hyper mega ultra texturing here? (sorry John!) or eye blisteringly grindy 10 hours of game play?

(Didn't say games studio's because as an old semi retired software developer i know crunch mode well)

(and heck, even if you want multi monitor i really don't want a machine that sucks more energy than a big fat SUV to see a big stack o real estate for developing)

(Bring back gaming for the masses, and get serious about developing on low end gfx like Intel GPU - which seriously isn't as bad as people think - misery is VIA/S3 (curses and misery be upon them)


Comment If it's useful, farm it (Score 1) 211

(cough), maybe that happened here. Not two stars, but competition between those that are "on top" and those that "make do". The peak of the spectrum of the sun is around Green, and yet plants throw it away. We know there are at least four different kinds of Chlorophyll centres - at least one is near infra red.

Plants are perhaps (mostly) green because that became the dominant metaphor, but it isn't an absolute

(points at Trilobites which are my favorite - almost survived forever - defunct organisms)

(and for the dark reactions - C4 seems to be more efficient, and a recent evolution, unless my dusty knowledge is faulty - probably is...

I doubt that we can grok the games that the always deliciously hacky natural world can throw up...


Comment Re:citizen ----government---- corporate welfare (Score 1) 42

Well - we could admit that this stuff is difficult and turn it into a multi country collaboration akin to what now happens with particle physics?

(and cover our rear ends, and encourage SpaceX and others to fight it out, perhaps crash and burn

At the best, it would look like the early days of aviation

(a bit of a mess, but interesting)


Comment Re:Here are the SAAs (Score 1) 42

I know this will sound stupid. I really do. But - in the early 20th century and the early years of flight people took risks, and hell i think didn't design for anything except *achievement* in mind. I can't imagine riding into space with several 10's of thousands of tonnes of LoX,LH2 etc. ever being *safe*.

I close my eyes, and remember the "risky" (seriously risky) science books i read. Using Tetrachloromethane (Carbon Tet) to it's friends. Mercury, other things. (Shudders at the fibrous asbestos we picked out of the pipes around Wymondham College - all nissan huts).

Still here

Bet a load of older slashdotters actually *built* those oh so dangerous science experiments from SciAm in the old days - come on! i know you're out there and breathing still

---> Bureaucracy is a killer

It's only the *dreamer's* inside NASA/JPL that kept enough alive. But what do we have to point to to motivate the kids now? I grew up dreaming of the grand tour of the solar system, manned missions to Mars

Personally, I reckon if Elon Musk can reboot, reload our visions then good luck to him

My gut instinct is that 10-20 years from now, the biggest provider of finance to SpaceX will be - the Chinese, not NASA - $100million is chicken feed....


Comment I wish i could laugh harder... (Score 0) 32

but i'd probably drop dead at my age (52).

"Paralyze teh intertubes" (sigh). Hello - this is the 21st century. If you haven't woken up to the SQL injection attacks and other stuff a while back that r.a.p.e.d many websites run by naive suckers, then hell - enjoy the chaos

Don't need to think black hat - if the United Nations, US Dept of homeland (in)secure(ity) etc. can be compromised by injected SQL then maybe the frail should hide in a room and play a saxophone (Gene Hackman for you slashdot gurus)

....and - just as in the real world where it's often the bodyguards that are the assasins - think Governor of Punjab etc., those techies who manage the AS's and the agreements between high level providers are the most fragile part of the *big* Internetwork....

A couple of years ago we lost most of the internet connectivity from Attika Greece because one idiot backhoed *all* the critical fibre optic cables

(big hint on the white hat side - real attacks would have *minimal* apparent footprint)

As a P.S., I've just had the fun of watching the local council dudes here figure out that the reason there has been no streetlights up Lycabettus Hill is that someone did an "African" pull all the copper out of the ground - so far they've taken 4 days to fix one chain of lights. (Happiness is watching other people at work - shame it took them 5-6 months to start fixing it). I was tempted to mutter something about TDR, but not sure it works with "big cables"

(Still: I had the pleasure of watching Collared Flycatchers on their way north stopping over for a while)


Comment My First reaction is... (Score 4, Insightful) 196

Holy Fuck ....

I don't often say that, being a polite englishman, but - so many of the USB telecoms dongles using UMTS/HSPA are *made* by Huawei (here in Greece from last night, the WIND dongle i was using ...)

But after a moments thought, how would i be reassured if it was U.S. manufactured? or indeed anywhere else?

Chill out dudes - most of what you see is manufactured by 4-5 manufacturers with names like FoxConn, Compal etc...

...and conspiracy theories aside, I personally see the Chinese as being 21st century versions of what happened in my own country in the 19th...

Mind the alligators and have a nice day


Comment Re:High version numbers (Score 1) 266

it's called (grabs the brown paper bag and barfs) marketting...

or as a famous ex-intel design engineer puts it "Blue Crystals (R)"

and... mozilla was *always* a bloaty program, it's just got more re-engineered (sic) in it's bloatiness...

(used to build the first MPR as a machine burn in lolz)

Maybe i'll not live to see Firefox XP or Vista if i'm lucky...

After fixing stuff for a friend so he can have a familiar browser (he updated to 4.0) i'm becoming more and more a convert to chrome...


Comment Re:Uh.. (Score 1) 344

LOOLZ! Mince -> Mark of the Unicorn's EMACS clone would have "infringed" that patent (for faster interaction) because of deferred redisplay.

It was standard practice on screen editors in the old days

(on CP/M-68k for heaven's sake)

The rest mean *zero*. Go SUE the late Bob Wallace for"easily selecting text" (if you don't see the irony in my comment,you're too young)


Comment So the whitehouse works for the RIAA? (Score 1) 652

Sorry people, but this is the 21st century. If like me, you live in a part of the world where the word cosmopolitan has lost it's meaning -> in other words where you are likely to meet people from 10-20, 50 different countries... then listen well...

Existing mechanisms for "delivering" music/video etc. suck if you are from pick a country> because none of the existing distributors (sic) - aka the vampires that take the money from the original artists are living in anytime after 1960. Why?(as an example) Because my Ukrainian friend couldn't find a legit DVD of TV series from his ethnicity (Russian) in this country even if he performed fellatio on the highest level mafia dude here. You simply *cannot* find Russian television series, or anything else here in Athens, Greece (substitute Athens with any other European capital and you'll find the same).

I guess over in Hicksville USA (which is most of your country) you wouldn't grok that

In the old days, even in the UK you could *find* (if you looked hard enough) recordings by your favorite "group". Right now, good luck finding even CD's.. Something inside me is reminded of the old closed medieval guilds. What is different here? Who is legititimate? Who *really* has rights?

(and if you really wanted a *free* market.....)


Slashdot Top Deals

When it is incorrect, it is, at least *authoritatively* incorrect. -- Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy