Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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:Agreed (Score 4, Insightful) 236

I did. I make less money, 75K as opposed to 120K, but I get more time to enjoy my life.
after 25 years, I was real tired of pointless 60 hour weeks and day long meetings.

You really don't understand people. I pity someone that places all value someone could possible have on their salary.

Comment Re:Where's the USDS/W? (Score 1) 236

we don't make enough software we.......?

It isn't a matter of making enough software. Nobody is suggesting that the government code up five different word processing packages and sell them to the highest bidder. It's about knowing that the software running our essential government functions is reliable.

At the end of the day software is just yet another export product

No it isn't. It's a tool that lets people get their jobs done.

the country doesn't literally die if it fails, you'll just have to live with it being slightly less prioritized.

Depends on what fails.

If the word processor on some senator's desktop dies, I doubt if anyone is terribly inconvenienced.

If something big and important breaks at the IRS, it may very well be a very big problem.

Software used for essential functions of the federal government probably shouldn't be off-the-shelf. It probably should be somehow verified or authenticated. It might be a very good idea to bring the development of that software in-house, rather than to outsource it. Because if that software fails badly enough, it can render those essential functions essentially disabled.

Why bother flying a plane into a building if you can do as much, if not more, by simply breaking a bit of software?

Comment Re:Social networks (Score 1) 295

I don't necessarily agree with this. I think that the number of people already on facebook is definitely an obstacle, but just look at its own history. You just need to create momentum, which is difficult to do but not impossible. When I first joined facebook, hardly anyone I knew outside of one specific circle of friends were on it. But I would tell my other friends about it, and eventually they'd try it out, and presumably do the same to others. I don't doubt it would change, but I doubt it would change like facebook did, at least in regards to privacy. The set-up alone would make that seem like a non-starter. All facebook needed to do was change its TOS. That doesn't seem like it'd work here. What I think their biggest challenge is going to be is to make it as easy to use/join as the more centralized social networks. Anything that starts out by saying "allows you to set up your own node" is going to turn off a vast majority of people.

Comment Re:I'd rather attribute it to poor writing... (Score 1) 170

I don't think Lost would be possible to follow at all without the Lostpedia.

I don't think that's true at all. You could follow Lost perfectly well simply by watching it and paying attention.

Of course you get more from it by seeing what other people noticed - just like anything else with any depth at all.

Comment Re:Who reads the manual? (Score 1) 457

No, that is not what they are doing. All they are doing is saying 'if you want a license to make commercial works, it will cost you x, if you want to make non-commercial works, it will cost you y'. They are not putting limitations on YOUR product, they are putting limitations on your use of THEIR product. And this is a perfectly valid and normal way of doing business. For instance, look at the difference in cost between leasing space for commercial use, and leasing space for residential use. If you rent residential space and put a business in it, you are going to wind up in court.

The alternative is that everyone, commercial and consumer, pays the same price. Is there any reason why that is any better? Keep in mind that that will most certainly result in an increased price to consumers.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 941


Exactly! That's why I think the suitable punishment is to have this person's reproductive equipment deactivated. Someone this stupid just shouldn't breed.

This reminds me of a story about England's cracking of the German enigma codes during WW-II. Apparently, Churchill had ordered that, if any action were to be taken based upon information gleaned from the enigma intercepts, that they'd first have to have some other plausible reason for taking that action. For example, when they intercepted the location of a U-boat through the enigma messages, they couldn't just send a bunch of destroyers out there to sink it, because the Germans would have deduced that there was only one way the English could have found out. So, instead, the English arranged to have a reconnaissance aircraft just "happen" to be patrolling the area... spot the U-boat... and then they send the destroyers.

Okay, so back to the brain-dead school official. So, you decide to start surveillance on your students. Okay, I get that. You're a douchebag, but whatever. You discover some student doing something that you don't like and decide that you can't let that go unchecked. Okay. So, what you do then, is concoct some other way to accidentally and legally, "discover" what the student did, and then nail them with that evidence. So, to summarize: do the illegal snooping to discover where to go to "accidentally" discover what you already know. Jesus... how do you not know this? Don't you know any cops?!?!

Comment Re:Inherent privacy is dead. (Score 1) 521

Besides, I think we live in a world where we have obscurity through density, instead of obscurity through privacy. Billions of people on this earth, nearly a billion of them connected to the 'net. Embrace it. Eventually, if enough personal data gets out there, it may become worthless to mine it due to the sheer volume available.

I completely disagree. Data mining becomes more effective the more information it has. Connections begin to form. Bogus information begins to stand out. Missing information becomes apparent. Public information transforms in to private information and private information uncovers secrets. The more data points you have to work with, the more successful you are going to be making these connections.

Physical commodities are given value based on scarcity (real or perceived) while raw data enjoys a network effect. So anyone in the business of data analysis is going to be pleased to get as much information as they can get their hands on. There was a time where storage and processing power were expensive. However, as noted by Moore's Law, these things are only getting cheaper and more plentiful. So even "worthless" information costs little to store until a large enough amount has been amassed to become valuable.

Comment Re:Teeming with organic molecules (Score 4, Informative) 106

A giant rock has been on Earth for forty years, and just now they're discovering that it's contains organic compounds? Um...did it fall directly into a controlled vacuum?

If you find organic molecules which do not exist on Earth OTHER than on this meteorite, the likely conclusion is that the meteorite is the source, not the recipient.

Comment Re:AWESOME IDEA (Score 1) 106

Point is that Google is already ignoring certain countries laws on what they can show, by showing politically sensitive things, supporting freedom of speech. So foreign countries are already benefiting from Google, I don't expect that to vanish. At the moment though people in first world countries are not benefiting. If Google uses this patent as a way to remove censorship from things (Such as Google Books) then it could be a good thing for us.

Also, not everyone needs access to the proxies, proxies are holes in a wall. Only a few people need to go through and get the information to spread. But again, it all matters whether Google uses this to censor more or censor less. Also, having this particular patent is meaningless, since they were already censoring by region, Canada not getting access to many things Americans do. It might signify some kind of shift, and with the recent China change I am hopeful that it is for the best.

Comment Re:Bugs are an error in the... (Score 1) 596

Yeah sure. Only open source developers care about their work. Anyone that gets paid wouldn't care enough to do a good job or do one iota more than they are paid to. All hail the open source saints.

Someone working for a company cares about what the company pays them to care about. If they spend time on something the company doesn't want them to, it will cause them to get a bad review and/or fired. A company paying someone to make open source software is going to care more about the code being clean than a company paying someone to make propietary software. this is because with open source software many more people will see the actual code than with propietary software and shoddily written code will reflect badly on the company.
None of this reflects on the work ethic, morals or ability of either the open source programmer or the proprietary source programmer. It is possible for these to be the same person and the analysis still applies.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 213

Why not just make the batteries swappable at service stations? Then the only range that matters is the distance to the next service station.

For the same reason that you can't take a piston from one engine and put it into another as easily. (Pedants stand down, I'm sure there's many cases where you can do this.) Automakers will muck it up with all of their proprietary shit and make the whole thing into a huge clusterfuck.

A standardized charging port is probably more likely than a standardized battery.

Comment Re:Hard coating? (Score 1) 131

What I'm saying is, automation and safeguards are nice, but they should always be bypassable just by responding "yes" to a warning prompt.

It's been tried, doesn't work well for a large amount of people. Ever seen how "normal people" use their computer? Warning pops up "Do you want to install the RootKit ActiveX from". Typical user doesn't even read it, clicks OK, keeps on browsing as if nothing happened. If you ask them what they did and why they'll go "Huh?". Because that's what they normally do: when a dialog box pops up they click "Ok" regardless of what it says (without even reading in fact), then go back to what they were doing.

That's because lots of things ask trivial questions, or questions the users don't know how to answer, on a daily basis. So people get used to getting them out of the way as fast as possible.

Slashdot Top Deals

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency. - Alan Turing