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! ×

Submission + - Whoi is behind "Arkansas" trying to execute two inmates on Monday evening? (

Elixon writes: The state of Arkansas plans to execute two inmates on Monday. It will be the first U.S. state in 17 years to put a pair of convicts to death on the same day. With the recent appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch in may really happen.

I have noticed that everywhere in news we read the names of convicts and the other party is just named "Arkansas". But we all know that there are government bureaucrats — real people — hiding behind that label "Arkansas".

I am European with very different views on this and I would be really interested in learning who really are those people behind "Arkansas" going extra mile to have somebody killed (because of some product's expiration) and what is their agenda — what are their convictions and motives. I just want to understand why somebody with a good job paid from people's taxes shows that much effort to kill somebody else.

Does anybody know who are they and what is their story?

Comment Functional Programming is a good thing. (Score 1) 190

So is knowing and understanding it.

FP basically forces you to do multiple steps in one and trains your brain to think faster. Getting rid of state wherever possible is a neat thing too and enables more complex programms and routines that are less error-prone and more vertasile.

As long as you can wrap your head around what your doing FP is great. I've made a habit of using it whenever I can. ... Although sometimes I'm just to lazy or tired and start wittling about with variables again.

Comment Re:What happens if this goes wrong? (Score 2) 72

The living skin of the barrier reef has been destroyed many times, proof of this is in coral cores. The reef as we know it today, was a coastal formation several kilometres inland, not all that long ago in geologic terms. Basically environmental conditions at the reef are going outside of current coral polyp survival range, when conditions return so the coral polyp larvae that lands on the reef will thrive. Worrying about saving coral polyp housing is kind of stupid when we are going to be losing coastal human cities and the pollution from the run off from drowning cities will kill off a lot more than just coral. Fuck the reef, save our cities. You know what, by taking the right steps to prevent the rising sea levels, we can save both but lets focus on really serious shit we will be losing.

Comment Re:Rookie (Score 1) 68

I'll bet the paranoia about the code is because that's where the real shenanigans are going on. Likely KCGs algorithms are better at tracking insider trading than the SECs hence the desperate need for secrecy, not to report the insider trading but to join in. There are real patterns based around insider trading and the claims of worthwhile patterns in regular trading are just a pipe dream.

Comment Re:I couldn't get past "how do you write a game"? (Score 2) 190

As a professional videogame programmer, I can assure you that I haven't heard functional programming discussed much at work or among other peers in the industry. Videogames are giant, data-intense state machines, with lots and lots of state to track and manage. My feeling is that it's really not a great fit for functional programming. Traditional object-oriented programming is *heavily* used (C++ is the defacto industry standard language), because that's a reasonable and proven way to encapsulate complex, independently-operating entities into well-behaved packages of data + code.

It's the same reason that the industry doesn't extensively use unit testing for engines and game code (not broadly at least), which may surprise some programmers in other fields. The reason is simple: many game engine tasks can't be boiled down into simple algorithmic data transformations that can be checked and verified by a simple function. For instance, how would one write a unit test to ensure audio is playing correctly, or a graphic shader is working as intended, or a physics engine "looks" correct in realtime interactions? It's not really practical. Thus, videogames tend to rely on integration tests using QA team members to spot anomalies.

In short, not every programming paradigm can be effectively applied to every problem. That's not to say you *couldn't* write a game purely in a functional language, of course. I just don't think you'd be working to FP strengths.

Comment Re:What's changed? (Score 1) 182

Probably true, but even as someone who is likely your political polar opposite, I've always found your arguments to be consistent and well thought-out, even if I don't necessarily agree with all your positions or conclusions. For some reason, I think it's easier to remember a single negative moderation or hateful comment rather than a dozen encouraging responses or positive mods.

Unfortunately, many people use the relative anonymity as an excuse for venting their own frustration, intentionally lashing out at others with caustic remarks or outright trolling. I've found that viewing such people with pity rather than frustration helps alleviate the frustration of dealing with rude people. What sort of person feels the need to lash out at others online? It's sort of pitiable, and I tend to think "how crappy is your life that online trolling is how you choose to interact with others?"

I'm not sure there's any solution, other than ignoring the trolls and trying to set a good example yourself.

Comment Re:It has its uses (Score 4, Interesting) 190

Few "in the OOP world" (whatever that means) promotes inheritance as the end-all-be-all these days. I think that went out of style fifteen or twenty years ago. The notion of eschewing inheritance whenever possible has its own Wikipedia entry, and was described in detail in the famous "Design Patterns" gang of four book.

That being said, there's a time when reality can intrude on "theoretically" clean designs or programming paradigms. Functional programming and unit testing are things you don't see widely used in the videogame development world, at least that I've seen. Not all paradigms and patterns apply to all types of problems. Ultimately, I think that's the most valuable thing I've learned over time. Use the tools and techniques most appropriate to the problem at hand you're trying to solve. Religious wars over programming techniques and methodologies are for pedantic fools.

Comment Slashdot comment shows one reaction to abuse: (Score 1) 204

Wow! Quotes from the parent comment:

"You're the laughingstock of the whole town."

"You're middle-aged now, alone and shunned."

"Your "call to arms" is a joke and we will laugh at it, as always."

"And you will end up with your pants pulled over your head and stuck heads-down in a trash can."

As I said in my comment that started this discussion of Slashdot reactions to abuse (+5), people who comment about abuse often don't respond in a manner guided by logic. Commenters often use these avoidances, and others:

1) Attack.

2) Change the subject. Respond to the new subject with an attack on that subject.

3) Give excuses.

4) Say that positive change is impossible.

Comment Re:What's changed? (Score 4, Interesting) 182

The problem is that social media reduces us to the way we present ourselves. While that certainly is part of who we are, it's not the whole story.

One of the most popular maxims of ancient Greek philosophers was "know thyself", and the reason they considered it important is that it turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds. You think you know yourself, but chances people who spend a lot of time in close physical proximity to you understand you in ways you don't.

But online your identity is mediated by how you present yourself. This is not only inevitably somewhat dishonest (in ways that may be more obvious to others than to yourself), even when you are trying to be honest you at best are presenting who you think you are.

Comment Re: Time to switch (Score 1) 204

Nothing last forever. Windos died on the phone, one the server, on the web, on TVs, on tablets and is dying on budget notebooks. The desktop market is shrinking and M$ cant sell new products because they are loathed as a company. The world runs on people not on M$. All M$ software could disappear and the world would restructure around Linus with a month.

Office run on what ever software they started with for as long as they can, because change costs money, problem is M$ continually forces change to generate more profits and that is costing too much. Reality is, all bullshit aside, trying to force renting access to a companies own data, extorting payment and compliance, trying to steal company proprietary data, will kill M$ and growing refusal of windows 10 is proving that. Incumbents hang in for quite some time but when they start to lose, they collapse, it called a 'house of cards'. Tiny Limp the beast of Redmond already lost the bulk of it's power and is down to extorting customers via data lock in, the last refuge of a ex-monopolist.

Comment Re:What a weird add (Score 1) 97

SteamOS is very likely to change that. Not a huge space in that market and it will likely get much tighter as manufacturers jump into that market. It is likely even game publishers and gaming studios will jump into the Steam OS market, as it grows. In the back of managements mind will be escaping M$ licensing fees and controls and creating a easier to access gaming market. Valve would likely do far better if the opened up SteamOS to broader investment and sharing of control. To further develop the SteamOS valve needs to start distributing popular FOSS titles (small returns but great advertising and drawing more people to their platform).

Comment Re:Patriot (Score 1) 177

Reads to me like the buffoons are looking for someone who will spook easy by the publishing of a clearly PR=B$ story. Why the story because they don't have a clue and they are trying to force changes in patterns of behaviour. In the world of professional paranoia those least to trust are your own comrades in invasions of privacy, keeping secret what the public should no, in damaging democracy to feed the ego and greed of a minority, is betrayal of their own society to the detriment of all. The real traitors are the ones on public display giving speeches to protect their power and to seize more.

First that empty pompous speech like we have to listen to our employees, where those idiots forget who they are working for and are all whiny about being a pack of fuck ups. Now empty news stories, yes, they are on the hunt for spies, crooks, and traitors (except they ones they know about and control to enhance their own power and ego), yes because prior to this the fuckwits were on holiday for decades hunting no one. Saudis flying jets, Israelis celebrating buildings being destroyed, terrorists with US arms and munitions, incompetent government officials incapable of maintaining secrets, mass charity fraud behind the auspices of government, corporations corruptly controlling government agencies, wars for profit, supporting enemies and betraying allies, blind as fuck (incompetence as an excuse if failing and the corruption has become pretty public) to all that but Wikileaks is the problem because they expose that.

I think they are kind of stuck, raiding a whole bunch of employees houses and harassing their families, whilst it might produce results would further cripple morale, generate thousands of resignations and further damage their recruiting capabilities. They have become fearful and incompetent in their corruption, nepotism running rife, really crap political appointees all over the place, those idiot fuckers are using tactics straight out of hollywood movies thinking they will work, instead of just making them look like incompetent morons. Next up will be grabbing agents and contractors at random and interrogating them, enhanced interrogation, third world style, to match the third world style fools running the US.

Comment Re:"The science is settled" (Score 2) 58

Some of the science is settled, certainly. Methane is a greenhouse gas; nobody expects that to change. Atmospheric methane decays primarily through a long, well-documented chain of reactions starting with oxidation by the hydroxyl radical; the carbon in the CH4 eventually ends up in a CO2 molecule. This is nothing new, and nobody expects it to change.

The precise dynamics by which CH4 interacts with hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere is far from settled science, and nobody should be particularly surprised that there are things about the process we don't know. Not knowing some things about a process doesn't mean we can't know other things about that process.

But some people obviously do believe it means that. They do not distinguish between not knowing everything and knowing nothing. Implicitly requiring scientists to know everything before you consider science credible makes everything a matter of opinion, and all opinions more or less equally valid, at least as far is evidence is concerned. And it's easy to see the attraction: if everything is a matter of opinion you can believe whatever you find comforting. Why not believe Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs? After all scientists don't know everything, which means science is never "settled".

But of course settling questions with evidence is what science is all about. True, there is no science so settled it cannot be attacked; but there *is* science sufficiently settled that claims to the contrary require extraordinary evidence.

Comment Re:You always remember the first time... (Score 1) 29

Schools have to teach a range of students, some genetically are more capable of achieving understanding and others are more bound by belief. The believers tend to be the majority and the under standers the minority and that is genetically tied to belief, a belief in reproduction, really quite primitive. You teach believers by rote, it is the way they learn because it is the way they think. Logically there should be separate classes, those with emphasis for understanders and those with a emphasis for more belief based individuals. It is likely one group gains epiphanies from achieving understanding whilst the other group gains epiphanies from certainties in an empty beliefs (pity the believers their certainties are often empty traps).

Slashdot Top Deals

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. -- Cartoon caption