Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Get off my lawn (Score 3, Interesting) 474

Yes, indeed. When I left university, in 1976 with a UK degree in Computer Science (that's what it was called then), I was the first of a breed.
Employment was assured. I worked at Plessey for a few months, on the radar system for SE England (cool), then fled to the continent where I was paid quite astonishing amounts of money. First building a nuclear reactor monitor (even cooler), then a packet switching system for Holland (yup, that's the predecessor to our beloved Internet).
I made so much money [new sports car = 1 months disposable income] that after a few short years - ie when I was 25 - I took my money, bought an ocean going yacht and set off for a pretty decent adventure.
A couple of years later, I decided to stop (in USA), and ended up in Australia, still with enough money to pay for 1/3 of a house. (Houses were about 2-3 years salary at the time, really should have bought several).

So yup, I was definitely richer than today's poor kids, who get to leave university with huge debts, struggle to get an internship (otherwise known as slavery), then maybe, just maybe get a sensible job after a year of unpaid labour.
Then they might try to buy a house, now at 1 million dollars, 10 years salary (if you don't eat). Good luck with that. And have kids - can they afford to breed?

So they might have the internet, mobile phones, and great flat screen TVs, but they sure as heck aren't richer. I was way, way luckier with my timing.

Comment Re:And... NO CONTRAST (Score 2) 331

It's not just the Internet. Just the other day I was trying to read some cooking instructions. They were printed in something like 4 point type in white on gold, on a plastic bag. My 14 year old daughter could read them, but I could not. (Disclaimer - I am 60 and have triple focus implanted lenses in my eyes, but still have trouble reading in poor light).

And this perpetual dark grey on light grey tiny font stuff - if you want me to use your site, I'd better be able to read it!

So get off that green stuff (I think it's a lawn).

Comment Re:and when it misreads? (Score 1) 425

Maybe the USA should tax guns, better yet, a license fee, like for dogs. How about $100 dollars per year for each gun-related death that year?
No, what the heck, let's make it $1. That would be, let me see, about $800 per year.

Thee are about 300 million guns in the USA, so about 800 * 300 million, that's 2.4 billion dollars per year. That would help the budget.

I'm sure the NRA would approve, after all, it only seems fair. Guns should pay for the damage they do, like cigarettes pay for cancer treatments, or cars for road repairs.

Comment Re:Why lock the car? (Score 1) 215

If you are going to quote great people from my (ex)home country, please get it right ...

"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." Oscar Wilde

Maybe this is what our non-friend Trump, serial liar, murderer of language, is going for. He is certainly getting talked about. It saddens me that the great country of USA, 350 million people or so, can only come up with Trump and Hillary. I mean really, is that the best you can do?

You have astonishing folk - Elon Musk, Bernie Sanders even, Bill Gates (maybe), Steve Jobs,Susan B. Anthony, Washington, Nader, Fermi - the list is long and impressive (ok, I admit most of those are dead, history is a bit like that).

America, you need to do better!

Comment OS/2 (Score 1) 211

The catastrophic error IBM made while building OS/2 was not aiming at the 386 chip. Instead they targeted the 80286.
Had they started off aiming at a chip with decent memory handling, it would have been far more effective.

But still, big companies had a terrible record of not grasping the PC nettle.

The "best chance ignored award" definitely goes to DEC, who at the appropriate time (first released 1972) had a brilliant multi tasking, time sharing, system for 16 bit computers called RSX-11. They could not bring themselves to sell it for a sensible price, and completely missed the boat.
Sad, as it was a vastly better system than DOS, CP/M, etc.

And now they are gone.

Comment Re:$399 per month (Score 1) 67

>> in ten years there will be a number of people who will never open the hood, will not check the air pressure themselves

I am the only one in my family to ever open out car's bonnet (ok, you can say "hood" if you like), or check the tyres. (I added a little gadget on each wheel that flashes when pressure is low - and they tell me it's flashing. As opposed to actually doing anything about it).

Mind you, come to that, none of the other family members (yup, all female) have ever changed a fuse, wired a plug, changed a washer in a tap, or even flipped a circuit breaker. I think the lawn has been mowed once by someone other than me or a gardener.
Correspondingly, I am expected to - and can - cook, clean, change nappies, calm babies, the list is quite long.
And of course I also get to work longer, retire later, die earlier, and am expected to do all the dangerous jobs, go to war and die for my family.

So how's equality of the sexes working out for you, eh?

Comment Re:How is this not win/win (Score 1) 663

I signed - complete with sarcastic message.
Foolish, I guess, as republicans has zero knowledge of sarcasm. Or statistics Or history. Or any other parts of the world. As far as I can tell (ie - "Despite the fact that reducing guns has reduced gun death everywhere it's been implemented, it wouldn't work here in the good old USA". I'm pretty sure that's not actually a quote, it shows awareness of other parts of the world, after all).

I especially love the line suggesting it's actually dangerous to NOT have people armed and will attract, y'know terrorists. That's priceless. (As a matter of interest, are there any cases of people actually resisting terrorists successfully with their guns, or even burglars come to that, where they have NOT managed to shoot themselves or their families? I'd love to see some statistics).

Back to the convention ...
Maybe they could take their kids, give them guns too, and everybody could shoot everybody else.
Just like last week.

Oh look, another mass shooting ... move along, nothing to see here ...

Comment A little balance (Score 1) 523

It's hard to imagine the masculinity of the majority of researchers does not affect their research. The background of people always affects their outlook on life, so it's pretty likely something as fundamental as gender will too.

Historically, a lot of science has centred on conflict, and perhaps a little more female input would see more cooperation and manipulation in their subjects.

It's very probable a more even gender balance would result in more balanced science.

That would be good.

But feminist geology, loaded with anti masculine propaganda? Really? That doesn't sound too balanced.

Come back Marie Curie, we need you. (Also Rachel Carson, Ada Lovelace, Chien-Shiung Wu, Grace Hopper ...)

Comment Not a pickup truck - we want a truck truck (Score 1) 223

To heck with pickups. What the world needs is decently driven trucks. Actual tractor trailer rigs (variously called 18 wheelers, articulated lorries, semis, big rigs) that move product around the country.
In big countries, Australia, USA, Canada, Russia, not mention Europe, there are long distances to be covered by said trucks. They are currently driven by often exhausted, sometimes drugged, human drivers. Most of the travelling is not challenging - freeways and the like.
The rigs are seriously expensive, and having them sitting about while the driver sleeps is a waste of investment (and slows delivery). Replace the driver with a machine and it'll drive for 24 hours per day.
A halfway mode is possible - with a fairly standardised route, the driver could sleep in the back of the cab, and get called to duty for the tricky bits - cities, loading/unloading.
Result - better use of investment, faster delivery, safer roads.
So how about it Tesla ... or Scania, Volvo ... [insert list of manufacturers here]?

Comment Re: Money for nothin... (Score 1) 456

>> What services are Apple not paying for already?

Overseas, Apple go to extreme lengths to conceal the profits made in that country (see "transfer pricing"). This means they pay astonishingly little tax in said foreign countries, eg Australia.
It seems fair to me that where profits are made in a country, which depend on the infrastructure of that country, those profits should pay tax there.

Imagine you live/work in - say - Belgium, and earn money there. You live there, you enjoy the benefits of Belgium's infrastructure. Does it seem fair to pay taxes in a country with low taxes and less infrastructure such as, say, Liberia? To me it sounds like tax dodging.
Why is a company any different?

It's true that Apple pay a lot of tax in USA. But compared to their profits it is probably quite low compared with the taxes you presumably pay on income. (I'm assuming you are American as you don't seem too interested in taxes anywhere else).
USA has an odd (possibly unique) scheme whereby any repatriated overseas profits are still due to pay US tax, less any overseas taxes paid. But as they pay very low overseas taxes, despite earning their profits in similar taxing countries, so they are unable to repatriate said profits. Hmm, could that possibly mean they have manipulated their accounts to do that? Surely not ...

So, basically, Tim Cook is taking complete rubbish.

Apple - pay your taxes!

Ditto all other corporations, eg Google, and probably every other big multinational.

Slashdot Top Deals

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe