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 Know (Score 5, Insightful) 254


The lawsuit isn't for continued access to work; the entity that initially hired him and agreed to the terms had an opportunity to negotiate continued/expanded access either before the contract was executed or in the intervening three years. The lawsuit is because the entity elected to ignore the previously negotiated contract. Intentional or accidental is for a court to decide.

If the award for breach of contract was simply the fee that would have been due, then there would be no incentive to bother honoring contracts -- you could simply pretend it didn't exist, not pay until someone noticed, and then get off with the same cost as you would have paid had both parties been diligent. No, lawsuits relating to breaches of contract are for additional damages (and courts subsequently award said damages) to punish the offending party as a deterrent to those who would shirk the responsibilities of a contract in the first place.

Comment Re:Interesting, but... (Score 4, Informative) 63

I'm sorry but it was you who did not understand me. I was talking about how to build, not necessarily have to be of "snow". Nothing would stop me to produce ice blocks and build with them a simpler (K.I.S.S.) geometric shape (the igloo) and in a way that does not require the use of complicated apparatuses such as a 3D printer (you can use your own hands or a simple winch).

The concept relies on an autonomous lander arriving well in advance of any inhabitants in order to build their habitat.

I'm not saying that makes their approach any easier or harder, just that relying on an automated construction process allows integrity verification prior to sending anyone.

Also, so you're aware: the contest required use of 3D printing, not wrenches and hands. Again, not a judgement on which is better, but it's important to understand the constraints involved here.

Comment Handled (Score 1) 63

I know the webpage was a bit tough to read, but they do say how they propose to combat that: via a thin membrane.

A transparent and fully closed ETFE membrane reinforced with tensile Dyneema is deployed from the lander and inflated to form a pressurized boundary between the lander and the Martian exterior. This membrane, precision manufactured on Earth, is critical protection for the future ice shell, preventing any printed ice from sublimating into the atmosphere.

Comment Why is trust an issue? (Score 1) 174

Why do we need to trust them to do anything? Let the market decide: if it's an awful experience (see: Ouya), it either won't last or Apple will pour resources into trying to make it suck less -- which based on their track record is pretty much a coin toss.

Tangentially, why do people get so caught up in issues of "trust" and fanboidom with these things? If something sucks, let it suck. If it's awesome, partake.

Comment Re:... A gimmick (Score 1) 100

Humans and businesses want control, transparency and dynamic developer environment.

Buzzword bingo started: you have 3 squares so far. Are you a fresh MBA grad? WTF does 'dynamic developer environment' even mean in this context? Fuck that, what does it mean period?

Something like a start-up with no clue on what they want to do

Just... what? A start-up with no clue on what they want to do? Why did they form a 'start-up'?

... would like to develop software for their business as the developer "types out the code". They travel from Point A to Point B with one developer and can go to Point C with another developer.

You've described a situation where salary-, hourly-, task-based contracts already provide a solution. Adding the ability to 'watch a developer code' add nothing to shops that need to go from A to B to C.

Hailing a developer to do something is a good way to figure out things at lower cost.

Again... What? If you need someone to 'figure out things' and watching someone code as your 'lower cost' option is your 'best' option, you're fucked. Full stop. When a task is so difficult that you need to find someone to teach you how to solve a problem while watching them type, congratulations: you've just spent their fee *and* at least one person's salary/time to watch them type. And you may not even have a solution. 'Hard problems' of this sort are not something that can be solved in discrete 'code watching' sessions.

I do not think, till now, remote software development allows "hailing" a developer.

There are eleven million task-based software development websites. Go find one of them. They'll be cheaper than a task-based service that also requires a developer to surrender a view of their screen.

Comment ... A gimmick (Score 1) 100

Hourly contract is/was the 'Uber-ification' of software development. This is nothing more than a gimmick.

Anyone who has enough knowledge to observe someone code and understand what's the developer is doing has better things they could be spending their time on. Anyone who doesn't have that knowledge won't be able to tell the difference between the developer toiling on the work they were contracted for or on a personal pet project.


Facebook Is Now Working On Its Own Digital Assistant Called M 56

Mark Wilson writes: Sounding like a character from a James Bond movie, M is Facebook's personal digital assistant. Ready to compete with the likes of Cortana, M will live inside Facebook Messenger and take artificial intelligence a step further. Rather than just helping you to find information or create calendar entries, M will actually perform tasks on your behalf.

Once up and running, M will be able to book restaurants for you, purchase shopping, and more. It will also be possible to use the service to ask for advice — such as looking for somewhere to visit nearby, or gift suggestions — and Facebook says the AI behind M is "trained and supervised by people".

Comment Re:It's a little late folks.... (Score 1) 313

A modern naval mine, for instance, is deployed and waits for an activation to autonomously engage targets. Does that meet your criteria?

While there is some room to nitpick his examples, they're largely relevant despite your dismissal of them -- and that's part of the problem. For example, an autonomous homing artillery shell might not fit your definition as it requires human interaction to initially deploy it, but once deployed, it chooses its own targets. The same is true for many other potential uses of autonomous weapon systems, but you seem hung up on novel new usages or extended periods between deployment and effect.

At best, the autonomous/non-autonomous weapon line is a blurred smudge on the road in our collective past. I'll agree that there's a larger potential for wider use going forward, but these tools are not new.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.