Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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 13 times less? (Score 1) 148

What are we supposed to infer from this?

engineers in India's tech hub cost 13 times less than their Silicon Valley counterparts

So, the engineers in Silicon Valley cost less than somewhere else, but the ones in India are thirteen times MORE less expensive than the ones in SV? Or are we supposed to gather that the SV engineers cost something that we should all consider a good baseline, but that the Indian engineers cost roughly 8% of that amount?

Lazy writers, being lazy.

Comment Re:Isn't the cloud great? (Score 2) 52

It's reasonably safe, I think, compared to putting them in my pocket in an easily-lost USB stick or on a frequently-stolen laptop.

Now you have me curious -- just how often is this laptop stolen? How many owners has it had? Why would you want to store anything on such a thing?

Or is it your laptop, and it's stolen again and again, but you keep recovering it? If so, do you work in some sort of sensitive information industry where somebody keeps deliberately taking your laptop and then making it easy for you to find it again (after they've presumably taken any new data on it, I guess?)?

I'm really intrigued by this "frequently-stolen laptop" -- sounds like a fascinating story.

Comment Re:so we're basing these on inventiveness? (Score 5, Insightful) 260

we still dutifully strip off our shoes and throw out our bottled water in homage to the all mighty security theatre.

Not me! Paid the $85USD fee, and for the next 5 years leave my shoes on, laptop in bag, and pass through xray only security in 5min. (ps, no fully body scanning)

Do you work for the TSA or something? Because the fact that Americans have to pay $85 to be afforded basic 4th-amendment rights (and common decency in their privacy) should be something you LAMENT, not lord over the plebs who haven't paid up to get basic freedom back.

Comment Re:Then why just 8 countries? (Score 1) 260

Risk assessment. Grinding a global economy to a halt also implicitly puts lives a risk. The low-hanging fruit in reducing the risk is banning from 8 countries; a number that could very well increase.

Meh. It could be "risk assessment," but in this case it's more likely to be a combination of security theatre (always a factor with "terrorism") and CYA. If an actual terrorist event happened using a method like this -- no matter how unlikely -- and it came out that the governments KNEW something like this had recently been discovered, all sorts of inquiries would ensue.

Politicians don't want that. So, they slap some limited ban together that showed that they "did something" even if it's worthless (and thus are at least partially covered even if an attack happened), and they get a kick of "security theatre" that keeps the masses scared, cowed, and convinced of evil dudes for a while longer.

Comment Re:What's The Easiest Linux Distro For A Newbie? (Score 2) 441

Of all the things that are mostt valuable thing to any Newbie the most important one is extensive community support.

Not true. The MOST valuable thing to a "newbie" is a distro that "just works." What you want the most is something that will work without customization or tweaking first and foremost -- after that, the SECOND most important thing is good community support.

Many of the distros you mention (SUSE, Red Hat, etc.) tried pursuing the ease of use and "just works" philosophy starting a couple decades ago, but Ubuntu really pushed that forward significantly, and Linux Mint went further still. Personally, after about a decade of periodic distro-hopping, Mint was truly the first distro I ever found that "just worked" to the point that I could recommend it to friends who hadn't used Linux before. I think Ubuntu has tried to catch up in recent years, too. I'm sure others will have different opinions -- but my point isn't to endorse Mint per se as much as to say that "just works" is probably the most important criterion for a newbie.

And here's the thing about community support -- it really depends on precisely what you need support on. If you need support for a particular software package, it often doesn't matter much which distro you use or which community you search for support under. A lot of basic mechanical stuff for someone used to GUI OSes is going to be under their desktop environment choice more than their particular distro -- if you prefer MATE or KDE or Xfce or whatever, you can often find answers from various communities which support those environments under different distros. For example, I frequently use Mint on desktops these days just for ease of configuration, but I use Xfce because I personally don't see the point in wasting system resources on a heavier desktop environment. But on the occasions I need support for the GUI aspects of what I'm doing, I don't tend to find much help on Linux Mint forums, because few users seem to use Xfce -- but there are plenty of Xfce users out there in other places. And when a "newbie" needs command-line help or whatever, a lot of commands are going to be common among everybody who uses a standard shell like Bash and standard Linux libraries/applications.

Obviously, it's nice to have a very specific support community for your specific distro, but there are lots of elements for users that are common across distros. Part of the learning curve for a newbie is probably figuring out the very few things they'd actually need to ask about in their specific distro forum vs. things they could get answers from in lots of places (and thus likely more quickly once they know what to search for).

Comment Re:Tracking (Score 1) 266

Well, if you can't keep track of your spending, I suppose that'd be a reason to want to have others do it for you. I don't have that problem, personally, so it's difficult for me to emphasize with your use case.

While I share your concerns about tracking, let's not pretend that there isn't a convenience factor to financial tracking software for those who are willing to give up some potential privacy.

It's not just for people who can't keep a budget. Electronic transactions that can easily be imported and auto-classified into categories can be really helpful for seeing where your money goes in detail. Sure, there are "old school" methods of budgeting (like the "envelope" model where you create envelopes of cash for each budgetary category each month or pay period or whatever and spend cash out of them), but financial software makes this all a heck of a lot easier.

I was skeptical of all of this too, until a close friend (who actually is quite financially savvy and has no problem keeping within his budgets) told me what happened when he started using Mint and discovered how much money he was actually paying Starbucks every year. He was really shocked, but if you're just using cash, it's not an easy question to answer unless you're really keeping detailed records in a relatively laborious fashion.

As for needing to show where you were... who do you need to show this to? The very fact that you think you need to show it to someone is worrisome, and speaks more to the problem than any solution.

Again, although I share your privacy concerns, I also completely understand why someone would find this convenient for all sorts of things -- extra documentation of reimburseable business expenses, proving things if you got audited by the IRS, etc.

Because the government thinks it's perfectly okay to directly violate the constitution that authorizes its existence, that's why.

While I am horrified by the government surveillance, in this particular instance, I think your paranoia may be misdirected. Personally, I'm a lot more concerned presently about what companies may be aggregating my purchasing data and in what ways than I am about the government monitoring my financial records.

Comment Re:Yeah, real "terrifying" (Score 1) 194

Kitchen knife use case #1: Kill insufficiently Muslim heathens working for the oppressive British Government! (this use case was seen just the other day)

Kitchen knife use case #2: Make a sandwich. (this use case also seen just the other day)

Maybe you don't have the problem. But, for example, a city here in our state has been known to have a problem with "protesters" deciding that they're going to fix the problems with the culture in their local neighborhood by smashing the few remaining businesses in that neighborhood and burning the houses of the few little old ladies who haven't already decided they'd be safer living elsewhere as a homeless street person than in the middle of place like that.

The cops are too scared to even attempt to mitigate all of that violence and destruction unless they have function physical protection while trying to push a mob of looting arsonists away from the stores they're trying to destory. A tool that helps them to do that is a good thing. If somebody has a problem with the fact that a politician with the wrong idea about things might use such a tool to chase away people who aren't being violent and destructive, then they need to vote for different politicians. In the meantime, recognize the fact that there actually ARE violent, destructive herds of "protesters" who actually do get together to destroy and smash and steal things, and that it's absurd to tell a police officer to risk being, say, burned alive or having her head caved in to try to repel looters. A tool is a tool. There are always going to be outlandish or absurd use cases. If there is NO good use case (say... police batons with spikes on them?) then of course the tool is worth ridiculing. Giving cops a tool to protect themselves while preserving others' lives and property is a good thing. Misusing it is a bad thing, but that's true of cop cars and every other tool they've always had.

Comment Re:Take whoever came up with this (Score 0) 149

Well, you're just wrong. I've personally watched inventory shrinkage drop into the measurement noise with the introduction of technology-based tools that catch the people who steal - because other employees understand there are consequences.

Yes, it's a shame that throughout all of human history and in every level of society and income, some people like to steal stuff. Someone who is trying to make a living running a business and who has to make payroll every week and keep customers happy won't usually have a lot of luck changing human nature. Now, I know that you've personally solved these human nature problems in your own area, and no longer feel any need to lock your doors or in any way look after your personal safety, because you've fixed everybody that you might encounter or who might want your stuff.

Yes, people stealing things IS a problem. And taking measures to stop it from happening to you isn't irrational. Yes, more parents should raise kids that have some sort of moral compass and which are educated and motivated enough to go out and create things so that they can trade the fruit of their labors for the stuff they want, instead of stealing it. Your notion that it's wrong-headed to use convenient tools to help deal with the fact that there are lots of people out there who DO find it easier (or even, in some cases, more entertaining) to steal stuff than buy it - never mind, I realize that you're trolling. Silly me.

Comment Re:Take whoever came up with this (Score -1, Troll) 149

Give them a decent paycheck so they actually have something to lose if they get fired?

Yep, you've never actually worked in such an environment, have you? I've seen people making six figures who steal routinely $20 stuff from their employers. I've seen well paid general managers of grocery stores stealing steaks. I've seen IT directors who drive Teslas but who still pocket RAM sticks from the lab.

You'll understand when you start working.

Comment Re:Take whoever came up with this (Score 4, Insightful) 149

Here's an idea for you:

1) Start a retail business.

2) Get robbed by someone who walks in the front door. Or,

3) Have one of your employees attack another one. Or,

4) Have one of your employees get hooked on heroin and start to steal your inventory.

I'm guessing your solution to getting to the bottom of such things is to hire people to stand around watching everything so they can testify based on their recollections of events later, in a trial. Because you sure wouldn't want what happens on your own property with your own inventory with your the people you pay money to be there doing things to be recorded. Until you really, really do because real life is different when you start paying a fortune in insurance as part of running a business. Or find yourself in court. Or are running out of money because of inventory shrinkage, or have to know which of your very good employees is totally innocent of what one of your rotten employees has been setting them up to look guilty for.

But yeah, I can see why you'd advocate violence against a vendor offering a service you can choose to ignore if it's not useful to you.

Comment Re: Just repeal it (Score 1) 522

The people who "got" health insurance from the ACA, if they're not dirt poor, DID NOT GET HEALTH INSURANCE. They got miserably high premiums they can barely afford, and are left with so little cash each month that they can no longer afford to go see the doctor. And no, the insurance they're now paying a fortune for doesn't help with that, because a small family has a deductible pushing $20,000. So they are legally required to spend a couple thousand dollars a month on insurance they can't use, and have no cash left with which to buy the services of a doctor. Meanwhile, people who don't pay for anything "got insurance" and are being subsidized by the middle class people who effectively had their ability to see a doctor taken away.

The ACA is a terrible piece of law, and was meant by the Democrats to be just that from the beginning. And it's now imploding. I'm glad yesterday's vote got pulled. The current disaster remains under the ownership of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.

Comment Re: Poor business (Score 1) 394

By the way, I realized my final paragraph just restated a point you made too. Sorry -- should have re-read your post again before submitting, but my point stands. Mostly, I think even very low scores on RT can be less useful for certain genres which tend to have high "B movie" or cult status, though there are other outliers; reading reviews can help give a sense of whether the criticism is directed at the genre as a whole vs. the specific film.

Comment Re: Poor business (Score 2) 394

There is something wrong with a movie that is less than 50%. Maybe you will like it, but there is a flaw in there somewhere that caused most people that review movies to not like it.

I agree with the last statement that there is something that caused most people that review movies to not like it.

But movie reviewers don't always accurately reflect the tastes of the public. There are lots of times I've seen significant mismatches on review aggregator sites between critics' reviews vs. reviews by average viewers. Granted, it's pretty rare to see a HUGE disparity (say, more than 30%), but it's quite common to see stuff where only 40% of reviewers liked it, but it has a 65% audience approval or whatever.

But, why on earth would I bother going to see it, when there are movies with 70, 80, 90% ratings to go see?

I guess I agree to the extent that I'm only going to actually pay to GO SEE a movie with really high potential. Given the expense and inconvenience, I'm going to a theater for a guaranteed winner these days. For the rest, I'll wait and watch at home (maybe).

That said, there are a number of prominent "critically acclaimed" films that I've really disliked. And I've had plenty of surprises where I've found films with less than 50% scores that have turned out to be a favorite. I may not take a chance in a theater on one, but I might for home viewing.

And certain genres often tend to produce low ratings. If you're into stereotypical action, horror, slasher, even dumb rom-coms, expect a lot of your genre to get less than 50% approval, because critics as a whole like something a little less full of standard tropes. But some people like those genres. (Note that I'm not one of them -- I'm not into ANY of those genres, but I realize that there's a HUGE market for many of them.)

Basically, to me again it comes down to the fact that critics are not necessarily representative of the public at large. If you understand the ways they are sometimes not representative, you can more accurately use their reviews. But just because 50% of critics don't like something doesn't mean there can't be a huge market for it... a fact that has been proven again and again.

And really, if you want to use reviews, you need to actually read reviews. Rotten Tomatoes and other aggregators just assign scores to reviews, but often what matters is NOT just whether the review is overly "positive" vs. "negative." Some things that are a turn-off for you might be a positive for me and vice-versa, and actually reading the review may help you understand why critics don't like it. A Rotten Tomatoes score is just a very crude and unnuanced metric.

Slashdot Top Deals

Lisp Users: Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.