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:UTF-32 does not hold a grapheme cluster (Score 1) 339

Because a single grapheme cluster in Unicode does not fit into a single UTF-32 code unit. If you don't understand the importance of grapheme clusters, try searching this essay [utf8everywhere.org] for the word "cluster".

Allowing strings to be indexed by codepoints does not interfere with providing iterators that iterator over grapheme clusters. The absence of such indexing, however, precludes the easy porting of a lot of existing algorithms that are written in terms of codepoints.

Comment Why are you such a sexist, Bruce? (Score 4, Insightful) 786

Women are about 50% of the population and the majority of college graduates. Women could easily create women-dominated computer science programs, companies, and open source projects, run according to whatever preferences they have, if they wanted to. When it comes to open source development, none of the usual barriers feminists postulate to explain underrepresentation of women in certain fields apply: if pimply maladjusted male teenagers living in their mom's basement can create open source projects, surely intelligent, educated, empathetic women can do so as well. And if women's empathetic and communication styles result in superior project performance, they'd quickly take over the open source world.

Instead, Perens seems to view women as so weak and inferior that the only way they can create open source software is under male guidance and tutelage, within male-dominated projects. Perens and people like him are the real misogynists and sexists, because he obviously deep down still believes that women are the weaker sex and need protection and help from males like him.

And the real irony behind arguments like Perens's is that on the one hand, he acknowledges deep biological differences between men and women, but then thinks that society should somehow shoe-horn and reeducate people in such a way that despite those differences, outcomes are still statistically equal in a few select areas that he happens to care about.

Comment Re:Capatalism (Score 3, Informative) 124

There is no 'sharing' in Capatalism and no sense of 'common good', so you're always going to end up with a few players at the top.

That's the pre-Enlightenment view of economics. In fact, the reason the Wealth of Nations was such a breakthrough is because it recognized that individually selfish actions in a free market promote the "common good".

And it's the best way of promoting the "common good" that we know, because if you try to replace the free market with politics and government, you end up with not a few players at the top (where "few" in reality means tens of thousands or even millions, depending on how you count), you end up with one player, namely the government. And that one player is run by people who are just as selfish, power-hungry, and greedy as the CEOs of major companies. But unlike those CEOs, they are not constrained by market forces, and they can use violence against anyone with impunity.

Yes, free markets suck, but they suck a lot less than all the known alternatives.

Comment Re:Welcome to Capitalism (Score 2) 124

Capitalism fails for the same reason

What you seem to be saying is that capitalism is worse than optimal allocation of resources, and you are right. It is. In fact, it is much worse.

it involves stupid ass human beings who evolved from lower animals who's minds are not evolved for market society at all.

And people don't magically stop being "stupid ass human beings" when they enter politics; to the contrary, politicians and government economists are power hungry and greedy, and voters are ignorant without actually having to face the consequences of their ignorance. The result is even worse than capitalism and free markets: in free markets, at least if you screw up, you have to deal with the consequences; in a government run economy, you can screw up again and again and have others pay for your stupidity--nothing forces you to ever learn.

Capitalism and free markets aren't the best possible economic system, but they are the best known economic system for "stupid ass human beings".

Comment who is this "we"? (Score 2) 386

If the question is "should Western governments spend massive amounts of money to put solar panels in the Sahara desert", the answer is "no".

When it becomes economically feasible to do so (taking into account political risks and transportation costs), investors will start doing so.

The only reason for Western governments to do this is because Western militaries could (and would) implicitly subsidize the necessary security arrangements. "Subsidize" here means that once our government had built massive solar farms there and we were energy depend on it, our military would do and spend whatever it takes to defend them.

Comment Re:Any decent wifi webcams not forcing a could sys (Score 1) 124

There are plenty of self-contained IP cameras, including D-Link.

There are also dozens of apps for iOS and Android that turn phones and music players into IP cameras.

And if you want something cheap and completely under your control, you can set up IP cameras from a Raspberry Pi and a camera module. That's the cheapest and most flexible option.

Comment Re:Welcome to Capitalism (Score 1) 124

In a dog-eat-dog world, you end up with one very fat dog.

You're apparently thinking of industry consolidation as a bad thing, forced by big guys upon little guys in order to monopolize the market and increase profits. But that's not at all what happens. Instead, as industries mature, innovation decreases and profits decrease as well. The people running smaller companies simply have little incentive to stay in the game, so they sell to big companies.

That is not a bad thing at all. Inventors, innovators, and good managers are a scarce resource. Do you want them competing in the brewery market, working on new varieties of beers, or do you want them to develop electric cars, solar power, recycling systems, AI, robots, and rockets?

Areas where a lot of innovation happens have a lot of small companies, because that's where the market allocates the scarce human resources necessary for innovation. Necessarily, that leaves mature, boring industries consolidated. And that's a good thing.

Comment Re:2008? (Score 2) 124

You're absolutely right: it wasn't Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac alone that caused the housing bubble, it was a combination of factors. The issue is really that on the one hand, government implemented lots of policies supporting, subsidizing, and encouraging home ownership; and on the other hand, it dropped the ball when it came to regulating and supervising financial institutions in order to prevent them from taking advantage of that public influx of money.

Sure, that means that "too little regulation" was the problem, in the sense that "too few matching numbers" are the problem when you buy a lottery ticket and lose. But the answer in both cases is not to gamble again and again that next time you are going to get it right, the answer is not to play at all.

Comment Re:Basic economics (Score 3, Insightful) 124

I know that economics has a bad reputation. Rightly so. Keynes doesn't make sense, but seems to work

Keynesianism does make sense, unfortunately it doesn't work in practice. For example, empirical evidence is pretty strong that the Keynesian multiplier (how many dollars the economy gains from each dollars spent by the government) is less than one. Progressives and Democrats on the one hand complain about crony capitalism and big corporations, and on the other hand hand out trillions of dollars to such corporations in stimulus spending and bailouts. And when these programs don't yield the promised results, they say that they should have spent even more. How stupid do you have to be to believe this crap?

and the crazy libertarians make a lot of sense in theory, but got us 2008

How can "libertarians" be responsible for anything in our economy? We haven't had anything even remotely resembling libertarian government for more than a century and government regulations have been steadily increasing. The few areas where we have had "deregulation" and "privatization" (e.g., telecoms, airlines) have not resulted in anything like a free market (although they have still been beneficial). Most deregulation and privatization by Democrats and Republicans have themselves been tied up with corporate interests and crony capitalism, something both parties are deeply beholden to.

Yet some models and explanations are solid and work. One of them is the concept of the natural monopoly.

There is little evidence that natural monopolies exist in any economically meaningful sense. That is, if you define your market sufficiently narrowly, you can claim that some company has a "natural monopoly", but there is no reason to believe that your definition of "market" is economically relevant. For example, if you define the "desktop PC" as a market, Microsoft has a "monopoly", but if you look at the market of all interactive computing devices, Microsoft is just one of many companies. Of course, free markets do sometimes produce monopolies (or cartels), but those monopolies aren't stable, and they collapse the faster the more economically important that monopoly is; if you try to fix those problems with regulation, the cure is worse than the disease.

Comment Re:FTFY... (Score 1, Insightful) 492

Social Justice Warriors are followers of Neo-Marxist ideology. Any sane person should oppose that bullshit.

Furthermore, opposition to SJWs and Neo-Marxists can hardly be called "reactionary", because that would imply that SJWs and Neo-Marxists already define the status quo in our society. Reactionaries is what countries call liberals and conservatives after socialist and communist revolutions.

Slashdot Top Deals

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer