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


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:People like Musk need to do more homework (Score 1, Offtopic) 147

> Smart growth and sustainable, walkable, transit-oriented development...

Transit-oriented development is exactly what is being proposed. From the fine summary:

"[The system would contain] electric skates transporting cars in a narrow tunnel, then raising them back to street level in a space as small as two parking spaces... cars could travel as fast as 200 kilometers per hour [through the tunnel.]"

This is a subway for cars, which is _exactly_ the sort of short-to-medium-term fix that you need in a metro area that is obscenely car-heavy, has next-to-no underground rail system, and next-to-no political will for constructing one.

Musk understands the political realities on the ground in the LA metro area far, far better than you do.

Bollocks. An underground train/elevator for cars is way less efficient than building a city where people can walk from point to point.

Comment People like Musk need to do more homework (Score 5, Insightful) 147

Solutions like this are classic examples of tech-rich people thinking they have all the answers when there's a whole bank of qualified specialist people already working in that field who know what's really needed to fix the problem but have only been stymied by politics.

If traffic is driving Musk nuts then the solution is not to find innovative new ways to handle more traffic. The solution is to ask why is traffic so bad in the first place.

Recommended reading: The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jacobs

Or if that's too heavy, try Suburban Nation: The rise of sprawl and the decline of the American dream.

Only then will you come to see the culprit: Single Use Zoning, aka the BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) rules. Single-use zoning forces everybody to make several car journeys just to get through a typical day. Going to work? Car. Going out for lunch? Car. Going home form work? Car. Need to go out for a bottle of milk and postage stamp? Car. Going to a movie? Car.

No bloody wonder the place is flooded with traffic. You try to build a city around the automobile and it becomes a hostile environment for pedestrians and cyclists. You try to widen roads to accommodate more cars and the laws of induced demand kick in, resulting in even more traffic and roads as choked as they were before.

Learn a few things about urban planning, Elon. Don't arrogantly assume that you're the first person to want to address this problem. Smart growth and sustainable, walkable, transit-oriented development is a far better solution than drilling holes in the ground and cracking puns about the word "boring." It requires years of tedious work and politicking to build support for smart growth. A city is not a private company with which you can do what you like. There are elected councils, public advisory committees, public hearings, tax implications, and all manner of complex bureaucratic hoops that you have to jump through to fix these things.

Comment Re: Free speech is overrated (Score 1) 107

Why you blame Hitler for your entire country's fuck up. I got news dip shit MOST of your country was in on it. You tried to be the worlds biggest ass holes and you failed. Now live with it and stop blaming Hitler because in the end you're all fuck ups.

Fuck knows why this got modded up. Most people in the country voted for Hillary, she took the popular vote by over a million votes. Did you not get that in your news, you amusingly stupid mucksavage?


Kill Net Neutrality and You'll Kill Us, Say 800 US Startups (google.com) 295

A group of more than 800 startups has sent a letter to the FCC chairman Ajit Pai saying they are "deeply concerned" about his decision to kill net neutrality -- reversing the Title II classification of internet service providers. The group, which includes Y Combinator, Etsy, Foursquare, GitHub, Imgur, Nextdoor, and Warby Parker, added that the decision could end up shutting their businesses. They add, via an article on The Verge: "The success of America's startup ecosystem depends on more than improved broadband speeds. We also depend on an open Internet -- including enforceable net neutrality rules that ensure big cable companies can't discriminate against people like us. We're deeply concerned with your intention to undo the existing legal framework. Without net neutrality, the incumbents who provide access to the Internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market. They could impede traffic from our services in order to favor their own services or established competitors. Or they could impose new tolls on us, inhibiting consumer choice. [...] Our companies should be able to compete with incumbents on the quality of our products and services, not our capacity to pay tolls to Internet access providers."

Comment Free speech is overrated (Score 1, Flamebait) 107

It's always interesting to contrast European and American views on the limits of speech. The Germans have very strict regulations on what you can say for obvious reasons given the abuse of free speech in that country's mid-twentieth century history. They recognize that sometimes one man's rights conflict with another's. Which was more important, Hitler's right to speak or the right-to-life for a million Jews?

In America speech is a lot more free but this also brings with it the danger of propagating hate speech. Organizations like the NRA, KKK and Westboro Baptist Church are examples of people who abuse that freedom and help to sow hatred which puts the lives of others in danger.

Thankfully FB is a private entity and hence not bound by the First Amendment. It's good to see Zuck finally waking up to his responsibilities and snapping out of the libertarian dream-world where nothing bad happens when people get to say what they like. Hate speech and lies have real world consequences, and it's okay to take a stand for truth.

Comment Re:Windows is Bloated (Score 1) 134

As with a lot of annoying Microsoft things these days; the fact that you can't is more of a licensing issue than a technical one.

On the desktop, Windows 10 LTSB is the de-crapified version you actually want; but haha, volume-licensed enterprise SKUs only!

If you have the appropriate Windows Server version license; you can install "server core" or "nano server"; which have even more cut out; but while that can at least be purchased in single units; it's a fairly expensive way to declutter a workstation.

It took a while; but Microsoft did manage to disentangle a lot of the formerly mandatory bits and pieces; it's just that they seem loath to actually sell that to you unless they've exhausted all the alternatives.

Comment Re:Verizon (Score 1) 208

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:where does all this money come from? (Score 3, Interesting) 519

i'd be mad as hell if i lived in one of these places and was subsidizing experiements to give people money without them contributing in any way

The liberal in me wants to react very strongly to this, but I did spend four years as a student in an English city called Salford. That place was infested with vast numbers of people who lived out their lives on the dole, many of them with no family tradition of work going back a few generations. They were generally troublemakers who got their kicks from attacking students (physically and verbally) on a regular basis. Crime levels were very high. One good thing is that there wasn't much gun crime since guns are so rare and hard to get in England, but instances of burglary, auto theft, shoplifting and anti-social behavior was just off the charts.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of these experiments, but I'm not optimistic about them.

Comment Unemployment (Score 5, Insightful) 519

Automation has been going on since the industrial revolution, yet new jobs seem to keep on being created. My current job didn't really exist twenty years ago.

People keep predicting the obsolescence of humans but unemployment these days in most rich world economies is not that high. That said, it would be good if we had better ways of measuring employment beyond the binary employed/unemployed states. If someone's not claiming unemployment benefit and working then it's assumed that they're doing okay, but they might be working three minimum wage jobs and barely getting by. That should be as worrying to policy-makers as someone not working at all. Then we might be in a better position to see if we're at the point where we need a universal basic income.

Comment Re:Synonyms being used (Score 4, Insightful) 109

Any particular reason why we should just assume that only those nice, 'anonymized', 'statistics' were for sale; or that the 'anonymizing' done wasn't as pitifully weak as it often is?

Shockingly enough, people seem to be willing to pay more for data that are more or less cosmetically obfuscated, and trivial to correlate with information from other sources; and less for data that are actually anonymous enough to be impossible to reconstruct.

Comment It is great, just don't make a religion out of it (Score 3, Interesting) 417

All programming paradigms have useful abstractions to offer. Eventually, they will all come together. Object orientation is great, until one overdoes it in design pattern hell. Likewise with functional programming. There are great many ideas in academic programming languages that will be made more accessible and integrated into mainstream programming languages. Functional programming is a dead end only in the sense SmallTalk was a dead end. People may not use SmallTalk much today, but its ideas live on in nearly every language we use today. Functional programming is here to stay. It won't replace imperative and object-oriented programming, but will add to them.

First and foremost, programming languages are for people, not computers. So if regular programmers who form the bulk of the workforce can't grok them, the languages need to be fixed, not people. Haskell is too hard for most. But it has many wonderful ideas that can be distilled into simpler forms and adopted and integrated elsewhere. Python got list comprehensions from it and perhaps the indentation.

C# is absorbing some features and Java is doing that less elegantly. Scala is a good balance and has already established itself. But people still find the type system complicated. So there are attempts to bring forth a simpler Scala - Kotlin, Ceylon etc.

We all agree that things like compact syntax, first order functions, lambdas, streams, type inference etc that functional languages pioneered, belong in every language. We still haven't sorted out how to make more advanced type systems, provability, strict programming without side effects etc more approachable. We should not need to have this much trouble explaining what a monad is or isn't. We'll get there, eventually.

Comment Re:a little late to the party (Score 1) 98

There is a good reason to have that code at the database tier and not in the "real application tier" aka client client tier. And this reason is partly the same reason as why we do stored procedures. We want the data to be resolved and reduced before it leaves the database tier, not sorted out in the client tier. This also allows for centralizing business logic rather than have it spread out among various client implementations. And the non-standardness is no different than doing non-standard stuff that we already do in stored procedures.

Slashdot Top Deals

I have a very small mind and must live with it. -- E. Dijkstra