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Comment Re:Fortran (Score 1) 295

My father showed me basic when I wanted to use the computer as a calculator (basic arithmetic). I discovered programming.

He then saw talent in me and bought me a Turbo Pascal book (in my mother tongue... English would not have worked at that age) and a copy of Turbo Pascal (I presume from work, but... I don't know where exactly he got it from).

... and that's how he awoke my interest in computers and ultimately the profession I would choose.

Thanks dad...

Comment Re:Why pay the Microsoft tax? (Score 3, Insightful) 148

One thing I've learned over the years is that Slashdot commenters are generally not good at reacting to abuse. Slashdot commenters make excuses, or react to abuse weakly.

I see the last 20 years have done nothing to dampen your idealism, good for you but maybe an ounce of reality wouldn't hurt? Back then your data was local, you had the executable and the only thing you didn't have was the source code to inspect it. Even though things like email went from your server to their server instead of peer to peer, things were pretty distributed and decentralized. Having access to the source code was mostly about being able to fix and extend it, not that it did something nasty.

Not only have consumers ignored open source solutions, they've gone totally the other way. Much of their data lives in the cloud, where they have no control of what's done with it. They use huge, centralized services like Facebook that collects a ton of data. Auto-updating devices download and install new executable code all the time and often rely on online servers. People don't care that they're being tracked and in many cases even accuse those who object of having something to hide. They sign away all rights in mile-long EULAs without thought.

We've ranted. We've raged. We've raised the banners and tried to proclaim YotLD many times. XPs online activation in 2001. Slammer & friends in 2003. Vista in 2006. "Trusted Computing" sometime late 2000s. Windows 8 in 2012. Windows 10 in 2015. Stealth telemetry in all VS apps in 2016. I'm sure there's many more things I've forgotten. I'm sure there's bad things about Apple, Google, Adobe and many others. We've raged out. It's like "OMG OMG Microsoft is... wait, what's the point? Why is anyone going to listen now, when they never have in the past?"

They earn billions of dollars that way. And in between screwing us over they sometime make pretty good software, so yeah... maybe open source is more efficient but one idealist versus a hundred paid developers is unfair teams. So I run Win7 and I got an iPhone. Should it have been Linux and a rooted Android phone? Maybe. But like I said, raged out. If I can't even stand the hassle myself, it's pretty hard to ask anyone else to fight a fight I feel is pretty hopeless. Pretty sure I'm not the only disillusioned ex-revolutionary here.

Education

Slashdot Asks: What Was Your First Programming Language? (stanforddaily.com) 295

This question was inspired by news that Stanford's computer science professor Eric Roberts will try JavaScript instead of Java in a new version of the college's introductory computer programming course. The Stanford Daily reports: When Roberts came to Stanford in 1990, CS106A was still taught in Pascal, a programming language he described as not "clean." The department adopted the C language in 1992. When Java came out in 1995, the computer science faculty was excited to transition to the new language. Roberts wrote the textbooks, worked with other faculty members to restructure the course and assignments and introduced Java at Stanford in 2002... "Java had stabilized," Roberts said. "It was clear that many universities were going in that direction. It's 2017 now, and Java is showing its age." According to Roberts, Java was intended early on as "the language of the Internet". But now, more than a decade after the transition to Java, Javascript has taken its place as a web language.
In 2014 Python and Java were the two most commonly-taught languages at America's top universities, according to an analysis published by the Communications of the ACM. And Java still remains the most-commonly taught language in a university setting, according to a poll by the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. In a spreadsheet compiling the results, "Python appears 60 times, C++ 54 times, Java 84 times, and JavaScript 28 times," writes a computing professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, adding "if Java is dying (or "showing its age"...) it's going out as the reigning champ."

I'm guessing Slashdot's readers have their own opinions about this, so share your educational experiences in the comments. What was your first programming language?

Comment Re:Libreoffice is a thing (Score 2, Insightful) 148

This is about Microsoft's non-subscription version of Office being able to access the corporate version of OneDrive, so LibreOffice won't help here.

It'd be interesting to see the FOSS community come up with an equivalent to OneDrive (if we could somehow do it without needing a central server, that'd be a major step forward) but a FOSS office suite isn't going to help.

Comment Re:Time to switch (Score 1) 148

Those will still work with the business version of OneDrive after 2020? Or did you misunderstand the summary and think Microsoft is deactivating Office 2016 in 2020 completely?

What Microsoft is announcing is relatively obscure and probably won't affect many people at all. Home users will be completely unaffected. Businesses are largely moving over to Office 365 anyway, the combination of "Corporate OneDrive + non-subscription Office" is pretty unusual.

Switching over to the Mac (or, more easily, to LibreOffice/OpenOffice) won't help in the slightest.

Comment Do not do this, please. (Score 1) 186

Science is advancing so rapidly, none of this matters. You should not ameliorate the global warming because if you overdo it, you will induce an ice age, which can start in as little as a year or two (all you need is a summer where the snow doesn't quite melt) and then you will kill billions in less than a year.

We can less predict the tech in 100 years than the people in 1900 could predict today's. We are the people in 1900 trying to fix the problem using their info and their tech. Decimating their own industry would just have slowed getting to today's tech level, benefiting nobody and killing probably a few hundred million due to delayed innovation.

So, even amelioration can be bad, and the downside is magnitudes worse than warming.

Comment Re: Lots of children have the wrong DNA. (Score 1) 204

It's been quite a while since I was in high school, but I remember a much higher percentage of bastards than that.

Asshats have a much bigger chance of being raised by asshats, nature vs nurture and all that. Being a bastard is just one of those "kick where it hurts" words like that you're fat, have freckles, wear glasses, wrong skin color, have a funny dialect or speech impediment, it's f-f-f-f-f-unny you see. I've been on the receiving end of a lot of teasing but ultimately I've understood it's all about some people's need to establish a pecking order. And I've kicked downwards where maybe I shouldn't, but it felt good to have someone below me. I wasn't very mature at the time and I didn't act very mature.

We act like children are born innocent and all that, but there's a saying that from kids and drunk men you hear the truth. Well from kids and drunk men you're also more likely to get punched in the face. We're far from innocent, we're a bundle of raw emotion caught in a web of civilization. Not behaving like wild animals is a trained behavior. I tend to think we have a far greater capacity for cruelty than anyone really likes to think about, the Nazi concentration camps are but one example. Having done that analysis on myself, if I genuine believed in something... I'm scared to consider how far I'd really go.

Comment Re:Systemd! (Score 1) 267

As long as it stays as an init program, it's fine because it can be swapped out easily. But if it starts becoming a required component for turning up the volume, that is clearly a sign of poor design.

Well it has to talk to something. I mean we had applications that used to talk directly to the hardware back in the DOS days, this application can talk to Soundblaster and Gravis Ultrasound, I don't want to go back there. So you want to fix it a bit on the hardware side so all the apps can talk to one interface and it'll play on all sound cards. And you want to fix it on the software side so more than one application can play sound at the same time.

And then the ball starts rolling, does it have a hardware mixer? Is it a 5.1 surround setup or a 2.0 headphone? Does it have positional sound? Can it bitstream compressed audio to another device? Can we have ann equalizer? Per-application audio controls? Etc. and so eventually you end up with a form of "sound system service". Eventually you have to decide on a standard.

Comment Re:The implant requires physical access ... (Score 1) 92

I'm more concerned when the smartTV can be remotely turned into a listening device.

Since this trove was taken it's been shown that most of these devices phone home over plain HTTP, they don't authenticate TLS, or they don't validate payload signatures (and usually more than one of these). And the software that uses those resources doesn't do any error checking.

I'll gladly bet five bucks that simple interception, SSID spoofing, and in-line splicing are all being used for remote exploitation by now either with these or similar devices.

Comment Re:Lots of children have the wrong DNA. (Score 2) 204

There are plenty of cucks out there

Actually research indicate there aren't, at least not after birth control, legalized abortion and the awareness of DNA tests. Current estimates are 1-3% of the population. The excessively high numbers you get quoted from time to time are because they've self-selected groups where the paternity is in doubt, in these low confidence selections it's 10-30%.

Comment Re:a little late to the party (Score 1) 82

Easy to use. Works well. Tons of features. Free to a point. After that, inexpensive.

After that, not so inexpensive... $14k/core for the Enterprise edition at "no level" list price is pretty harsh. You could build a pretty sweet database server for the licensing money. That said, for an organization that doesn't have any OSS culture and thus doesn't understand anything that doesn't answer an RFQ it's okay. If we somehow managed to get approval for a PostgreSQL server with no vendor backing us up I fear that some sales droid would convince some higher-ups somewhere to go Oracle, DB2, SAP/SAS or Teradata.

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