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Comment Re:If it ain't broke... (Score 1) 224

Assuming that those options aren't problems from the code maintenance or security points of view

All options are problems from a code maintenance and testing point of view. Every feature has an ongoing cost. If the cost exceeds the benefit, which is almost certainly the case if the feature is very little-used and there are other more often-used and roughly equally-convenient/effective ways to accomplish the same thing, then the feature should be removed.

That said, I use close-to-right all the time and hope it doesn't get axed. OTOH, another poster pointed out that it's also possible to multi-select then use Ctrl-W to close the selected tabs, which is almost as convenient when close-to-right is what I want, and also handles other cases where I want to batch close but close-to-right isn't what I want, so I won't be too annoyed if close-to-right is removed.

Comment Re:Huh? I use these all the time. (Score 1) 224

I'm sure the real reasoning behind this is to pad their usage stats. Chrome users spend 25% more time on your website and spend $fake_dollars more!

Padding usage stats in this way would be a bad idea for Google, because it would appear to sites that Chrome users spend more time on their sites... but spend less per unit of time (because no one buys from an idle background tab), making the Chrome user base appear to be less desirable than the user base of other browsers.

Comment Re:Huh? I use these all the time. (Score 1) 224

It's fucking stupid. It's rarely needed function that is rarely used. IT'S STILL NEEDED.

I use "close tabs to right" all the time[1], myself, so I hope this doesn't go away. That said, I disagree with your idea that if something is rarely used it should be kept. Your other example (clearing cookies) is a bad one because there is no other way to do that, but in this case tabs can be -- and generally are -- closed one at a time, and in fact Chrome is careful to move the tabs around so that the close button for the next tab is under your cursor when you close one. This means that "close to the right" can also be done by moving your mouse to the "x" on the first tab to remove, then tapping the mouse button rapidly until all of them are gone. Unless you have more than the 20-30 tabs that I typically have open, that's really not so terrible. Plus, as others in this thread have pointed out, you can multi-select tabs then batch close them that way. There are other reasonably-good ways to achieve the goal, so if this is one is rarely used, there's no way to argue that it's actually necessary.

As for why to remove it... features cost. Every feature you keep in a product is a feature that has to be maintained and tested. Development and testing resources are not infinite -- not even at Google -- and the accumulated burden of lots of old and rarely-used features gradually slows progress on new features, security fixes, etc. It makes a great deal of sense to remove features that aren't used much and which have more often-used alternatives.

[1] My normal browsing style is to open every link in a new tab, and to use Ctrl-W to go "back". So my tab bar ends up being a breadcrumb trail of my path through a web site, and when I'm done with something I close the "site" with "close tabs to right". I also keep a couple of pinned tabs (email and calendar, in that order), so when I want to close "everything" I've been doing, I "close tabs to right" on the calendar tab.

Comment Re:The objection ignores Bostrom's basic argument (Score 1) 374

The objection in question ignores Bostrom's basic argument.

Irrelevant. The objection is orthogonal to Bostrom's argument, but could absolutely refute it, if valid (which I don't believe, more below).

Bostrom argues that if simulation is possible, it must eventually be done which means there probably are a large number of simulated universes and only one non-simulated one (I'm simplifying here, but that's the core of it). If a counterargument demonstrates that there is some reason our observed physics is incompatible with any possible simulated physics then Bostrom's argument becomes irrelevant, because we have proof that our universe is not simulated, regardless of whether simulation is possible or whether it has been done. Or, if the weaker counterargument that our observed physics is incompatible with any reasonable simulated physics, then Bostrom's argument becomes weaker, though it's not refuted because one could postulate that the creator of the simulation chose to create an unreasonable simulated physics in order to fool any intelligences that arose within the simulation and looked (note that this latter argument also works against any proofs of the non-existence of any form of god who has some reason to demand faith -- you can always say "Yeah, but god made it that way so that we'd have to take his existence on faith.")

However, I think Hossenfelder's argument is flawed because she's making a crucial and unjustifiable assumption: that any simulation must necessarily simulate every detail of the simulated universe, i.e that the simulation in question must be a finite element model. Not only is there no reason to make this assumption, there's every reason to assume its opposite, because it's clearly more efficient to simulate at a higher level of abstraction. In that view, the weirdness of Quantum Mechanics actually supports the simulation theory, because we can surmise that the simulation does not in fact model elementary particles but only their aggregate behavior and what we're actually seeing when we try to look very closely is a predictable result of this incompletely-detailed simulation.

Note that I'm not saying I think we live in a simulated universe. I think it's probably impossible to know, but to the extent that we think we might be able to search for artifacts of the simulation, QM's very weirdness is probably the best artifact we have to support the notion, not a refutation.

Comment Re:Whats really being asked (Score 1) 267

NO, I have a problem with corporations and arseholes that don't pay their fair share

Corporations never pay taxes. Never have, never will. Only people pay taxes. Corporate taxation is just a way for government to collect taxes from the taxpayers without the taxpayers knowing it's been done. Taxpayers/voters are typically quite happy to vote for corporate taxes because it seems like a "free" way to fund government services, and anyway everyone hates those nasty corporations. In fact, any expense you impose across all of the companies in an industry just gets built into the cost structure of the industry, which means it ultimately comes from consumers (in the form of higher prices) or employees (in the form of lower wages).

In the short term, investors may take part of the hit, but only part, and only in the short term. Ultimately, either the expenses will be built into the cost structure, enabling capital to obtain the expected rate of return, or capital will move elsewhere, either to different industries or offshore. This is why if you want to tax capital, you need to tax the individuals who own capital, not the corporations which are the vehicle of that capital.

Corporate taxes are stupid at best, and arguably evil since they serve to obscure the taxes from the voters. Taxes are essential, but the voters need to see what they're paying and what they're getting for their money.

Comment Re:Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proo (Score 5, Informative) 243

Either it's patented (and thus disclosed) or it's a trade secret. You cannot have it both ways.

To expand on this a bit, because it's really sad (and bad!) that so many people don't understand the theory behind patents: Encouraging disclosure, and hence reuse, is the point of having a patent system. The word "patent" is latin for "lying open". Patents were created to allow inventors to open their inventions to the world without fear of losing the opportunity to profit from them. Without patents inventors have to keep their ideas secret to profit from them, which impedes progress and adds huge overhead to the process of using the ideas to build things that benefit society.

The fact that InvalidsYnc fails to understand that the notion of an NDA for a patent is utterly nonsensical is sad, but what makes it a big problem is that this lack of understanding isn't actually unreasonable, given how deeply broken our patent system is. It has been subverted and does not accomplish its primary goals of enabling open sharing of ideas.

To understand just how bad it is, note that the way to test whether a patent system is enabling the spread and reuse of good ideas is to examine the way the patent database is used. If the system is functioning well, we should see inventors regularly scouring the patent database in search of ideas they can license in order to solve their problems. If your widget needs to frobnizz cleanly in order to wozzle, but the frobnizzing operation is unreliable and unstable, you should be able to do a patent search for a frobnizz stabilization system which you can license for less that what it would cost you to research your own, which will enable you to bring your wozzling device to market sooner and cheaper.

But in actual practice, at least in the software field and I haven't heard anyone from other fields saying it's different in theirs, attorneys tell working engineers specifically *not* to look at the patent database. This is because it's chock full of obvious ideas which they might independently reinvent, but if the patent holder can prove that the engineer probably saw the patent then it's not just simple infringement due to independent invention, but willful infringement subject to treble damages. In addition, the way in which patents are written means that the database would be extremely hard to use even if engineers did try to mine it. So engineers avoid using the patent database for its intended purpose.

This doesn't mean the patent system is completely failing to do its job, because it undoubtedly still does remove the need for a lot of secrecy, which removes a lot of overhead. But it does mean that it's not working nearly as well as it should. It may be removing some overhead, but it is not actively enabling the reuse of good ideas.

Comment Re:Fuck software (Score 1) 320

Ditto. I miss the old days of computing that didn't have so many issues, security vulnerabilities, bloatness, better usabilities, user experiences, coolness, designs, simpleness, reliabilities, etc. :(

Actually, what you miss is the days when computers weren't connected to the Internet. They've always had security vulnerabilities -- in fact consumer systems were far worse than they are now -- but it didn't used to matter so much. The always-on net provides an always-available attack vector, and also means that once your device is pwned, it's an always-on threat to the rest of the network.

As for the rest (bloat, usability, etc.)... that's in the eye of the beholder. If you want to run DOS, you can still run DOS. Personally I find modern systems and apps to be much more usable. I suppose there are exceptions, but I can't think of any at the moment.

Comment Re:Oh no that sucks! (Score 1) 379

By definition they have committed more crimes than the average population by entering the country illegally.

It's not a crime to enter the country illegally, unless you have been previously deported. This, BTW, is why lawyers and other people who are picky about accuracy when it comes to legal issues call them "undocumented immigrants", rather than "illegal immigrants". That's not just a kinder or more politically correct phrasing... it's the most accurate description.

Comment Re: Breaking news (Score 1) 87

You were saying driving slower would be safer

1. I never said that driving slower is safer. Nor did I ever imply it in any way.

2. I never said that self-driving cars must drive slowly. I said that Google cars drive very cautiously, which is a bit slower, but the whole point of the post which your hard-to-follow response followed is that there's no reason to expect that to be an inherent "problem" with self-driving cars in general, or Google's cars in particular.

3. You're dead wrong when you say that people wouldn't be willing to exchange a slower trip for one where they don't have to drive. Let me read, work, sleep, etc., and it's still a net win in terms of time if the drive takes twice as long. If you try to say you wouldn't accept, say, a 10% increase in trip time in order to get there safer and be able to do whatever you like on the way, you're lying, perhaps to yourself.

4. There's every reason to expect that once we remove the human-driven cars from the roads, self-driving cars will drive much faster. With their much better situational awareness, much faster reaction times and ability to communicate in real time with other self-driving vehicles on the road, we should be able to significantly increase highway speeds (while improving efficiency and safety) and virtually eliminate the need for stop signs, stop lights, etc., in town. That's obviously going to take some decades.

Comment Re: Breaking news (Score 1) 87

If that is a better solution then they should just half the speed limit right now everywhere and be done with it.

I've read that sentence three times now and I can't figure out what you're trying to say. The referent for "solution" seems to be my comment about making cars drive more like humans, but I see no connection with the speed of light.

Comment Re:First and second reactions (Score 1) 101

What leaks? I'm not aware of any leaks of user data from Google. Ever. Do you know of some?

Actually, as soon as I hit "submit", I thought of one: Snowden revealed that the NSA was tapping fiber between Google data centers. That is the only one that I'm aware of, though, and I don't really think of it as a "leak" because none of the data made it to the public. And, of course, that particular hole has been sealed (though it's certainly not impossible that the NSA or similarly-capable organizations have inserted other sorts of covert access into Google data systems).

Comment Re:First and second reactions (Score 1) 101

It isn't a big brother narrative, its just data and detective work.

What data and detective work?

The data exists. People want the data. The detective work shohuld be obvious.

I'm still not sure what you're talking about. You seem to be implying that some data and/or detective work tells you that Google mines Google docs & sheets. But based on my inside knowledge of how the systems work I have an extremely high level of confidence that it's not true, so I'm wondering what data and detective work you're talking about.

Yeah, it's secure. I gues all of those leaks are just shit someone made up. And the internet is inherentlly 100 percent secure by it's very design.

What leaks? I'm not aware of any leaks of user data from Google. Ever. Do you know of some?

But I get it, wink wink. You have convinced me totally, I was wrong, and stand corrected. Once Google has it, wink, wink, it is 100 percent never to be leaked - perfect security has been achieved.

From your lips to God's ear.

Nothing is foolproof, and only a fool would claim it could be. But Google has a remarkably good track record, and after seeing the technical details, I can see why.

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