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Comment Re:MapReduce is great (Score 1) 89

For example, on (non-cryptographic) hash-functions my answer was to not do them yourself, because they would always be pretty bad, and to instead use the ones by Bob Jenkins, or if things are slow because there is a disk-access in there to use a crypto hash. While that is what you do in reality if you have more than small tables, that was apparently very much not what they wanted to hear. They apparently wanted me to start to mess around with the usual things you find in algorithm books.

No offense, but "I'd rather just use a library" seriously brings into question what you bring to the table and whether you'll just be searching experts-exchange for smart stuff other people have done..Like everybody knows you shouldn't use homegrown cryptographic algorithms, but if a cryptologist can't tell me what an S-box is and points me to using a library instead it doesn't really tell me anything about his skill, except he didn't want to answer the question. In fact, dodging the question like that would be a pretty big red flag.

Don't get me wrong, you can get there. But start off with roughly what you'd do if you had to implement it from scratch, what's difficult to get right, then suggest implementations you know or alternative ways to solve it. Because they're not that stupid that they think this is some novel issue nobody's ever looked at before or found decent answers to. They want to test if you have the intellect, knowledge and creativity to sketch a solution yourself. Once you've done that, then you can tell them why it's probably not a good idea to reinvent the wheel.

Comment Re:As unpopular as it will be to hear... (Score 2) 72

Meh, I'd say the people who write open source software on a non-commercial basis generally have a passion for it, make more effort in making it work correct and work harder to hone their skills than coders just looking for a paycheck. What's missing is usually the time and resources, sometimes it amazes me how much gets done with a skeleton crew. Projects and packages where it turns out there was really only one maintainer and he suddenly got other priorities and things go into limbo.

Most projects are not like the Linux kernel where there's several candidates and a nomination process. Often it's more like if you want to write code or take ownership then tag, you're it. Or it's just nobody who is going to write that kind of software or functionality in their spare time. Or it just reaches a level of mediocrity that's good enough to get shit done and not enough care about polish or user friendliness or niche features. It's 2017 and MS Office and Photoshop is alive and well. I think I've heard since '97 that Office was pretty much "done", well shouldn't we be catching up then?

Comment Re:So, they've reached the end of the alphabet (Score 1) 75

It should work fine with quotes (for example search for "ubuntu 18.04", including quotes) as long as there are no typos.

If people typed that out fully when they ask yes, but on an Ubuntu forum that would be extremely redundant and "18.04" triggers on everything to do with 18th of April and other junk. The nice part about the nicknames is that if I say zesty and the page contains ubuntu somewhere, you've probably come to the right place even if they're not right next to each other. They should try to keep them short and simple tho. Like:

artsy, burly, curly, dandy, earthy, frisky, gaunt, humble, innate, jolly, keen, livid, murky, narly, overt, puffy, queezy, rocky, sweet, tasty, unique, vaunty, wobbly, x... can't really think of any. But I think that's enough for another decade.

Comment Re:So, they've reached the end of the alphabet (Score 1) 75

Vista? Snow Leopard? I can understand names that are groan-worthy like GIMP, but the rest doesn't sound worse than NFL teams. Besides they have official release numbers, if you say Ubuntu 17.04 you don't have to call it "Zesty Zepus". If he should care enough to find it and ask, then "Yeah the developers have a nickname for each release, easier for the techs. For everyone else it's Ubuntu, just like Windows or OS X". If that's the excuse your boss would use it's because he doesn't like it for some other reason.

Comment Re:Not all wrecks can be avoided (Score 1) 168

Assuming you like pizza, when you say you like pizza, do you mean the lowest common denominator pizza that may have human excrement for a topping or do you mean your general perception of pizza? It's a fairly simple concept.

That analogy only works if you say that the pizza has to be better in every way, better pie, better crust, better sauce, better cheese, better ham... I expect a self-driving car to meticulously obey the rules of the road, be extremely consistent in its driving and have superior reaction time. But to analyze all aspects of the human condition and flag all signs that another driver or pedestrian may not be inclined to follow the rules better than a human sounds unlikely. But if overall it has less accidents and particularly accidents that are our fault it's still a pizza. Perhaps in total a much better pizza. To do the car analogy, if "must run on hay" is an absolute requirement then the horse and buggy wins.

Cloud

Apache Hadoop Has Failed Us, Tech Experts Say (datanami.com) 89

It was the first widely-adopted open source distributed computing platform. But some geeks running it are telling Datanami that Hadoop "is great if you're a data scientist who knows how to code in MapReduce or Pig...but as you go higher up the stack, the abstraction layers have mostly failed to deliver on the promise of enabling business analysts to get at the data." Slashdot reader atcclears shares their report: "I can't find a happy Hadoop customer. It's sort of as simple as that," says Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake Computing, which develops and runs a cloud-based relational data warehouse offering. "It's very clear to me, technologically, that it's not the technology base the world will be built on going forward"... [T]hanks to better mousetraps like S3 (for storage) and Spark (for processing), Hadoop will be relegated to niche and legacy statuses going forward, Muglia says. "The number of customers who have actually successfully tamed Hadoop is probably less than 20 and it might be less than 10..."

One of the companies that supposedly tamed Hadoop is Facebook...but according to Bobby Johnson, who helped run Facebook's Hadoop cluster before co-founding behavioral analytics company Interana, the fact that Hadoop is still around is a "historical glitch. That may be a little strong," Johnson says. "But there's a bunch of things that people have been trying to do with it for a long time that it's just not well suited for." Hadoop's strengths lie in serving as a cheap storage repository and for processing ETL batch workloads, Johnson says. But it's ill-suited for running interactive, user-facing applications... "After years of banging our heads against it at Facebook, it was never great at it," he says. "It's really hard to dig into and actually get real answers from... You really have to understand how this thing works to get what you want."

Johnson recommends Apache Kafka instead for big data applications, arguing "there's a pipe of data and anything that wants to do something useful with it can tap into that thing. That feels like a better unifying principal..." And the creator of Kafka -- who ran Hadoop clusters at LinkedIn -- calls Hadoop "just a very complicated stack to build on."

Comment Re:5 years? (Score 2) 28

Somehow I'm not so concerned about this one, if you can follow the rules of the road in daytime and the sun is shining it's the same rules when it's night and raining. The rest is "just" a sensor sensitivity/noise cancellation problem that can be worked on in parallel to everything else. You can probably do a lot with combination LIDAR/optical systems to make LIDAR identify candidate surfaces then do optical do actually identify the sign. And you're looking for a predetermined number of surfaces of particular sizes, if you have identified the shape it should be possible to correlate candidates rather than try to analyze. You probably also have a lot of temporal data that could be used to enhance the search, after all traffic signs generally don't move or change. I'd be much more concerned with everything else that's out there, is it pedestrians or wild animals or a tree falling over the road that doesn't have any particularly known shape or size or color.

Comment Re:Using Javascript (Score 1) 118

obj.message = "I <3 Javascript";

My condolences. Personally I loathe code that messes with variables in far-away objects, if it's a huge program you should call obj.setMessage( "I <3 Javascript" ); I don't know how much time I've wasted trying to track down WTF just did something compared to just setting a breakpoint on or printing a debug line in "setMessage()" to see what's happening from where. Yes, setters and getters are annoying copy-pasta code but it's a wonder for sanity. Same with stored procedures and databases, if something is done from many different places route it through one procedure. Even if it's done wrong, then at least it's done consistently wrong.

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 4, Informative) 118

Hmmm - prison = food, clothing, shelter, in some cases a good gym membership and now your own tablet with internet and skype and probably easy access to porn. What's the deterrent to crime then?

The conditions in prison are rarely effective as a deterrent anyway, either people think they'll get away with it (typically theft, burglary, mugging, robbery, trafficking illegal goods, fraud, embezzlement and related crimes) or crimes of passion (rage, lust, envy mostly, often combined with being drunk or high - most violent crime, rape and murder) where they're not thinking rationally of consequences. While there are certainly repeat offenders there's also many first-time offenders that have no real concept of what doing time is like or small time criminals that confuse being off the streets for a few weeks on minimum security with being locked up for years.

And most criminals don't return or not return to prison because of how the conditions are on the inside. They return because they don't really see any alternatives to the life they have on the outside. No money, no job, no CV or work history, so it's back to stealing or peddling drugs on the street corner. Or they have impulse control or substance abuse issues that don't just disappear with time. And if prison is some horrible hellhole then you have these "nothing to lose", "never going back" people who will do anything to get away with it and fight the police until they die in a rain of bullets from a SWAT team. They need to see that there is another way, in prison and after prison. Not everyone will want to change, but you can't whip them into changing.

Getting proper apples-to-apples numbers on the effect of treating prisoners humanely is very difficult, but it generally varies from "it helps" to "it doesn't hurt", there's really very little to suggest it makes things worse. It's mostly a matter of whether it's money worth spending. Here in Norway we created what the international press called "the world's most humane maximum security prison" but mainly it's that it is built like a normal living quarters like a dorm room or hotel room. No escapes, very low tension even though it's murderers and rapists. Even gangs keep the peace inside the prison, it's like everybody is on time-out. And quite many find they like it better than the life they had.

Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 1) 207

And that is the real issue here: with the DMCA, and now with patents, these fuckers are trying to create some sort of bizarro-world where Imaginary Property is not only no longer imaginary, but somehow actually superior to the right to own actual property!

You say that as if this is something entirely new. Welcome to 1873:

Unlike the analogous first-sale doctrine in copyright, the patent exhaustion doctrine has not been codified into the patent statute, and is thus still a common law doctrine. It was first explicitly recognized by the Supreme Court in 1873 in Adams v. Burke. In that case, the patentee Adams assigned to another the right to make, use, and sell patented coffin lids only within a ten-mile radius of Boston. Burke (an undertaker), a customer of the assignee, bought the coffin lids from the manufacturer-assignee within the ten-mile radius, but later used (and effectively resold) the patented coffin lids outside of the ten-mile radius, in his trade in the course of burying a person.

Here's copyright in 1908:

The [first sale] doctrine was first recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1908 (...). In the Bobbs-Merrill case, the publisher, Bobbs-Merrill, had inserted a notice in its books that any retail sale at a price under $1.00 would constitute an infringement of its copyright.

Sadly they won the biggest battle, except for open source 99.999% of all software is licensed through an EULA not copies sold like a book so you don't have any property rights to begin with. If you wanted to really restore the consumer-manufacturer balance the first thing you should do is create a "Digital Sales Act" that basically says if it walks, talks and quacks like a duck it's a duck. Once you start invalidating most shrinkwrap and clickwrap licenses then you can start talking consumer rights.

Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 4, Interesting) 207

Is the author high, or trying to sneak in support for an invalid patent, or just plain confused? Patents affect who can make a product. Not the sale or use of the item after the initial manufactures sale.

35 U.S. Code 271 - Infringement of patent

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent.

Use is in general covered. The court has in 1992 upheld this:

The plaintiff in the case owned a patent on a medical device, which it sold to hospitals with a "single use only" notice label. The defendant purchased the used devices from hospitals, refurbished them, and resold them to hospitals. The Federal Circuit held that the single-use restriction was enforceable in accordance with the 1926 General Electric case,

But now it's not so clear:

The 2008 Supreme Court decision in Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., arguably leaves unclear the extent to which patentees can avoid the exhaustion doctrine by means of so-called limited licenses (...) At least two district courts have concluded that Mallinckrodt is no longer good law after Quanta.

Can you avoid patent exhaustion by only giving a limited patent license? There is no clear answer in law, it's a common law doctrine. If they go back to the 1992 decision and say we meant that, the Quanta case was different then single use cartridges will be legal. The Quanta case was more if the product embodies all the essentials of the patent, the right is exhausted. In which case the sticker doesn't bind anyone else from reusing the cartridge.

Comment Re:No, in reverse (Score 1, Troll) 238

It's more like "halve the emissions", not "halve the energy". See, it's about trying to generate electricity for us to use, while reducing the byproducts that are bad for the environment.

Not fooling anyone; it's quite clear that many of the same people who want to cut CO2 emissions will fight tooth and nail against any large-scale energy project regardless of CO2 emissions. Nuclear produces waste, wind kills birds and requires ugly transmission lines, solar damages the delicate desert enviroment and increases the albedo of the planet, don't even f--ing think about hydro, etc.

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