Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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:Cisco or China? (Score 1) 312

"Cisco does not operate networks in China or elsewhere, nor does Cisco customize our products in any way that would facilitate censorship or repression," the representative said in a statement, adding that the company sells the same equipment in China that it sells in other nations in compliance with U.S. government regulations."

Providing consulting services which basically implement and possibly operate is not the same thing as officially "operating a network." I suspect they did exactly that as consulting services are big bucks for Cisco. For Cisco, their line item and contract probably says, "Consulting", but that likely included operation oversight, training, configuration, and assistance in tracking. This would be the standard expectations of many consulting gigs. I don't know why China would be any different.

Comment Re:Are these efforts worthwhile? (Score 3, Informative) 110

War, on the other hand, serves no creative purpose, but only destroys. I would ask you how we can continue to justify several different military actions during a recession.

Its not politically correct nor a popular notion, but massive technology and societal improvements are the direct result of war. To deny this is to admit one doesn't know history. And contrary to your assertion, war is frequently fueled by massive levels of creativity. Almost everything you take for granted in modern life, either directly or indirectly, can be attributed to war.

Comment Re:Does it surprise anyone... (Score 1) 249

I dunno man.. It still would have needed to be written in assembly, and that's no more a problem now than it was then.. But again, my point is that he was at least above-average for a developer. He's not in the same category as Linus or Woz or anybody of that nature, but he was a computer geek, and that counts for something.

That's a position I can at least acknowledge. And despite my hyperbole, that's entirely my point. Gates is constantly presented as a technology and business super genius when reality is, he wasn't. He a spoiled brat from a wealthy family who got extremely, extremely, extremely, lucky. He is somewhat tech savvy but far, far less than modern tech celebs known today. What made his company grow doesn't that he was a super genius, its that he replayed the IBM playbook and was a super sociopath which allowed him to rapidly corner the market (much because IBM was legally prevented [look up their law suite which still binds them] from knee-capping him before he could effectively leverage it).

So yes, he's a super genius in that he's a sociopathic prick, who was extremely lucky, in a market where competition was extremely light and those who could have stopped him, were prevented from doing so by court order. This means the world is full of super geniuses. And in a world of these kinds of super geniuses, Gates is a moron. Literally, if it were not for extreme luck, no one would have a clue who the fuck Gates is today.

The reality is extremely well documented and all of it clearly shows Gates to be technology idiot. Almost every cool technology people associate with Gates had absolutely nothing to do with Gates except for the fact he purchased and marketed it. Furthermore, most of the technology championed by Gates were complete failures. Again, Marketing is Gate's most brilliant attribute. Even to this day, Microsoft is a so-so technology company (having gotten much better since his departure - contrary to market performance). And what's really hurt Microsoft in recent times is the lack of their marketing direction to maintain market share and the fact that Gate's sociopathic history has come home to roost (which has created their competition; specifically Apple and Linux).

Comment Re:Another great Python 3.x series release (Score 1) 164

That's the classic red herring argument.

In five or ten years from now, the python VM of the particular python on which you've built your application is extremely likely to still function and at worst can be compiled. Furthermore, python specifically allows for multiple concurrent python installations. Furthermore, by in large, python is forward compatible between major releases. So the hand waving you're doing is just that...not an issue in the least.

It may surprising many people who think along the same lines as you, but just because python 3.2 has been released doesn't suddenly mean python 2.5, 2.6, or 2.7 has disappeared from the face of the earth. Nor does it mean releases in the 2.x series are suddenly unsupported. Furthermore, python 2.7 specifically exists to creating a VM for migrations. It allows you to play with some of 3.x's features while maintaining 2.x compatibility. This means if staying at or nearly at current python VM development, an easy (or at least a much easier) migration path exists.

Lastly, lets not forget that compatibility is not broken on a daily basis. Which means, if you want compatibility with 2.x you're going to stay on 2.x. If 3.x features are important to you, a minor port is likely. And that completely ignores that automated tools have been created which performs much if not most of the work for you. Plus, once you're o 3.x, chances are extremely high compatibility won't be an issue throughout the 3.x series.

So really, there isn't the least bit validity to you complaint - despite it being a common misconception.

Comment Re:seemed like we had many hydrogen fueled... (Score 1) 34

As others stated, they were not powered by hydrogen. And airship, such as the Hindenburg, had a very poor combination of elements which all but demanded disaster. For starters, because hydrogen is so small, requires a special coating to prevent it from escaping its rather large, cotton, bladders. Their solution? Coat the cotton airship with thermite.

You can read more about it here. Even Myth Busters did a segment on it which more or less confirms the thermite theory mentioned in Wikipedia's Hindenburg article. As a note, Myth Busters claims, "Busted", because it didn't meet their odd test requirements. Regardless of their bizarre conclusion, the combination of thermite, cotton, air, heat, and hydrogen, creates a literal tinderbox god, demanding human sacrifice.

Regardless of old world, lighter than air, airships, there is a huge difference between them and pressurized tanks feeding an engine.

Comment Re:What's next? (Score 1) 340

According to several Jewish Rabis on TV last night, she not only used the phrase correctly, but its use was not offensive unless you're idiot. They said it more PC than I did but the point remains.

I believe she has no place in politics. She doesn't seem to be well informed, just the same, far too many people seem to be on a irrational witch hunt which seems to highlight their own prejudices and ignorance more-so than hers.

Comment Re:yeah. well done. (Score 0) 222

Similarly, when Assange complained that journalists were violating his privacy by reporting the details of rape and molestation allegations against him in Sweden,

Which is extremely hypocritical of Assange given that when questioned about releasing private informant information in their first major war log release, his comment was basically, the ends justify the means. He further comments after additional questioning that what if people were killed because of his release and he more or less re-iterates the ends justify the means because people need to know. So basically, if what he does violates other's privacy or worse, gets people killed, its all okay because the public needs to know. Where as when anyone else does exactly what he's doing, its absolutely wrong and must be exposed.

You can see more, including Assange's quote, "Killing people is fun." Where he asserts the only reason people might be killed in a war zone is that playing video games is fun. War is much like playing a video game. Therefore, killing people is fun. So according to his own world view, "Killing people is fun." Assange is a hypocritical sociopath.

Comment Re:VSS All the Way (Score 1) 244

Couldn't agree more! I can't begin to tell you how much data I've lost with VSS. The worst thing is, you typically don't know or understand how completely boned you are until you actually attempt to check out your source.

Users who willingly use VSS have likely experienced some sort of de-evolution. I wouldn't be surprised if their knuckles actually drag the ground.

Comment Re:queue the lawsuit (Score 2, Funny) 141

I will point out that citing HP numbers is the absolute worst way to compare any two different engines. Horsepower, in of itself, is an almost useless metric for comparison of anything.

Horsepower numbers are a great concept used by magazines and manufacturers for people who generally don't know anything about engines or vehicles. Car and Driver is a great example. Its for people who know nothing about vehicles but want to pretend they do. If you know a religious Car and Driver reader, with few exceptions, you've identified a seriously pretentious, and almost completely ignorant, douche bag.

Comment Re:A few years notice? (Score 1) 391

Even slight error in observation will turn large in few years.

You don't get how small the errors can be in celestial observations. A few measurements over a few days do not yield accurate results. Measurements over years yield really accurate projections of the trajectory of the asteroid decades and sometimes centuries in advance.

Remember an asteroid that was going to hit Mars with around %1 probability?

No I don't. But keep in mind that such an asteroid would have a 99% chance of not hitting Mars. So doesn't support your case one way or the other.

Comment Re:Modern-Day Galileo (Score 2, Informative) 1747

True, but sometimes the current models are more complicated models that have been closely tuned to appear to match reality, but in fact are overcomplicated.

Overcomplicated, in regard to a scientific model, means that there exists an actual, existing alternative model which is equally predictive and simpler.

Take quantum mechanics. It really looks to me like somewhere along the line we ignored Occam's Razor and jumped to a more complicated model.

Really? Where is the more parsimonious model that handles everything QM does?

I believe this happened when we decided to take particle statistics and claim that these applied to individual particles. So instead of a particle having a position it has a position probability field, etc.

IIRC, there are some important predictive differences between particles-as-waveforms and particles-as-classical-objects-with-difficult-to-determine-properties, and the former not the latter predicts behavior in the real world better. I'm certainly aware that QM is complicated enough to make people's brains hurt thinking about it, but I'm not at all convinced that the complication is unnecessary.

Compair that to QM, where the basic premises are not well defined, and where one really can't say that it is the simplest possible model that supports a small number of well supported premises.

(1) Models don't support premises, they (if "premises" are relevant at all) flow from them. Models support predictions.
(2) Its not as important, scientifically speaking, that a model flow from a small set of premises as it is that it provide useful predictions. Complexity is only an issue in choosing between models that are equally predictive.

Now lets say I come up with a simpler model, that is a closer match to experimental data than early QM was. However it is not as good a match as the latest really complicated and heavily tunes QM models are. It would be largely ignored by most Theoretical physicists, since the current model is better.

Actually, that's not necessarily true. If it was, in all cases equal to or worse than current models, it would certainly be ignored. If it was not as good as current models over all, but it was simpler and better predicted behavior in some area than current models, it would have a chance to be taken at least somewhat seriously as something which might be the basis of a viable alternative approach.

But, yes, if your new model is nothing but a giant step backward from where we are now in all ways accept simplicity, then its not going to fly. And why should it?

The problem basically is that the modern models are so complicated and so highly tuned that it is not viable to devise a substantially different model that has results just as good as the current ones.

That's not a problem. What you are basically doing is complaining that our current models explain reality very well, so it is hard to come up with something radically different that explains reality better. But, you know, producing models that explain reality very well is the goal of science, not a problem with science.

there is no way to get more than a small team to work on such a model.

Sure there is, which is why people work on, say, superstring theories, which haven't yet shown any predictive advantages over the theories they hope to generalize and displace.

Comment Re:Biofuels are the future. (Score 1) 139

Comparatively speaking, the hydrogen economy is the unproven tech. Sure, we know fuel cells work well in spacecraft when maintained by an army of techs who don't care about the cost compared to gasoline,

With spacecraft reducing weight is of great importance, so much so that they stopped painting the shuttle external tank white after the first few flights. This makes it worthwhile dealing with a difficult to handle fuel.

We have no infrastructure whatsoever that can even be refit to deliver the massive amounts of hydrogen fuel that would be required.

As well as all the issues surrounding fueling...

Comment Re:Biofuels are the future. (Score 1) 139

Plants are the most efficient at collecting solar energy.

The organisms in question are cyanobacteria which are about as closely related to plants as your or I am :)

Plants are the most efficient at storing energy as some form of hydrocarbon. We already have a huge infrastructure to distribute hydrocarbons.

I'm not aware of any plant which uses hydrocarbons for energy storage (or anything else). Plants typically use polysaccharides for this purpose.

This hydrogen nonsense was a huge waste of money,

Not only does hydrogen require new distribution and storage systems these are likely to be more expensive because of its physical properties. Specially has a very low boiling point and small molecules.

Slashdot Top Deals

This is an unauthorized cybernetic announcement.