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Comment Re:First post (Score 1) 720

You make a good point, but I believe the article is referring more to things like the Cisco CLI, where you get automatic contextual help text by pressing the tab key or a question mark, and it actually does come pretty close to being natural language. See for some examples:

Router# configure ?

    memory Configure from NV memory
    network Configure from a TFTP network host
    overwrite-network Overwrite NV memory from TFTP network host=20
    terminal Configure from the terminal

Comment Re:Time to cut them off... (Score 1) 258

I'm going to take a contrarian position on this one, that may get me in trouble with a lot of Slashdotters, but I think Italy is right in this case. Google can claim that those suggestions are based on other users' searches, but until they make their algorithms public, we actually have no way of knowing where the suggestions come from. Furthermore, they already do filter certain terms. Try typing a swear word into the search box. fuc leads to a lot of suggestions, but as soon as you type that k, they all disappear. So there is clearly some business logic going on there. It is not just passing through user-provided content, which is what they claim. That's the problem with "selective-filtering." Once you start filtering anything, you admit that filtering is possible and that there is some person somewhere making the decisions about what to filter. In my opinion, that kills the safe harbor defense.

I know I personally would not want "truffatore" to show up after my name in Google suggest. If they're filtering the F word, why not the T word?

Comment Re:Seems just as safe as ever... (Score 2) 1148

they messed up by putting the diesel generators the wrong place.

That's kind of the point, isn't it? These plants have the potential to cause mass death, and we're counting on every engineering decision being perfect. From this incident we learned something about the placement of the generators. What are we going to learn from the next incident? My point is we can't rely on trial and error here.

Comment Re:15 bug limit (Score 1) 88

No really, we only have fifteen bugs! Trust us...

At one company I used to work at, we had a "last bug award." Every once in a while, somebody would claim to have fixed the "last bug" in a section of the software. They were treated to a round of ridicule, plus the award token (some kind of stuffed animal, if I recall), until someone else was foolish enough to make the same claim.


The Final Release of Apache HTTP Server 1.3 104

Kyle Hamilton writes "The Apache Software Foundation and the Apache HTTP Server Project are pleased to announce the release of version 1.3.42 of the Apache HTTP Server ('Apache'). This release is intended as the final release of version 1.3 of the Apache HTTP Server, which has reached end of life status There will be no more full releases of Apache HTTP Server 1.3. However, critical security updates may be made available."

Comment Re:Google (Score 2, Informative) 527

> they don't have the right to deny requests from law enforcement agencies

This is true, if the government comes to them while they still have the information or before they gather it. The difference is, Google will keep your information around a lot longer than Microsoft will, and they put it to all kinds of marketing purposes that may be pushing the "don't-be-evil" envelope.

Comment It's about trust (Score 5, Insightful) 208

The problem is not necessarily with Firefox's security model - Firefox never claimed that plugins were secure. The problem is with perception. Users need to be aware that installing a plugin is tantamount to installing an application. You wouldn't willy-nilly install any old software on your computer. (Well, some people would, but hopefully not too many who frequent Slashdot.) You should take the same caution when installing a plugin.

The problem is that there is a perception that since Firefox is trusted then its plugins should be trusted. Especially those that are listed in Firefox's official plugin repository. Maybe some more verification is necessary before admitting these plugins, and definitely some more user education is required.

Comment Just do the layoffs already! (Score 1) 623

I fully agree that layoffs should be treated as a last resort to save a company from going under.

*If* you're going to do layoffs, though, do them all at once, like ripping a band-aid off a hairy arm.

From the article:

> Microsoft Corp. announced it will slash up to 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months, 1,400 of them immediately.

Now, if you're working at Microsoft right now, where is your morale? Unless you're one of the people deciding who gets laid off, it has to be hovering right around zero. If I knew I could become one of those 3,600 "dead men walking," the first thing I would do would be to put my resume on

Comment Of course it's not easy (Score 5, Insightful) 244

I don't think anybody really thought building a space elevator would be as simple as reeling out some cable and strapping on a cabin. There are a million complications, even before we get to solar winds or tidal pulls. How about something as simple as airplane traffic? Birds? Squirrels, for goodness sake!?

Plus a million things we haven't thought of, and won't think of until the product is built. When train tracks were first laid down, they were too close together, because nobody had heard of the Bernoulli effect. Trains were getting slammed against each-other by their own created air pressure. What did people do? They learned from it, and moved the tracks further apart. We take trains for granted, but they were not without their technological hurdles to overcome.

Of course something like a space elevator is not an easy accomplishment. Does that mean we shouldn't try?

What do you think?

Submission + - Internet Wasteland - web development in song (

TheCoders writes: "My latest song, based on the trials and tribulations of web development, may be the first to mention Ruby on Rails, AJAX, and the tables vs. DIVs debate. An excerpt: I don't care about your space; I can't even find mine. I've been lost since the days of America Online. And you ain't gonna find me, add me to your top eight friends, 'Cause I'm drowning in the bitstream of this internet wasteland.

Also available on SoundClick, to save my servers."

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