Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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:Sounds like they already answered this (Score 1) 350

Given the fact that society has not changed one bit regardless of the increasing risk, I'd say it's more a problem of you not understanding human behavior.

I'm not talking about society, I'm talking about the people your company is hiring to write the supposedly secure software that your company presumably sells. The way I see it, if you can't trust your developers to keep their lap tops encrypted (after telling them they are required to do so), to not lose their lap tops, to not pirate software, and to back up their work regularly on the network SCM server, you shouldn't be trusting them do any work for you at all. To put it bluntly, your company seems to be hiring incompetent and irresponsible children. Frankly, if I knew where you worked, I would avoid having anything to do with any software that comes from your company because your employees appear to be fundamentally incompetent at their jobs.

I expect more from the people who work for me, and I get that from them because I expect them to act like adults and I can and do fire people who can't meet minimum standards.

Comment Background and the real issue (Score 5, Informative) 76

The lifeline subsidy does not come from your income taxes, but from a fee charged to telephone subscribers. This is used to make sure that poor people can call 911 and can participate in our society sufficiently so that they can get a job, go to school, and make use of government services that were formerly only available by phone or personal visit.

These days, getting a job requires use of the internet and you can't really hang around the library for the entire time you're trying to get work. So, it makes sense to give poor people some basic connectivity.

I believe the actual motivation behind this move is the same one that is behind making it more difficult for poor and disenfranchised people to vote - even though there is no evidence of significant voting fraud in the USA: Poor folks and minorities might vote Democratic. Suppression of the Black vote has historically been an important part of Republican strategy, this is just one of many reports on that issue. Having gerrymandered them into the most odd-shaped electoral districts, it becomes time to make sure they can't get news online or participate in democratic discourse.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 310

What I'm talking about is different from that trope though. The trope is:

Arc begins ... pointless filler ... arc ends.

What I'm talking about is:

Introduction ... arc begins . arc ends

Filler up front, if you will. But the shows I like are complete stories in that 1 season (in the rare case of a second season, like Ghost in the Shell, it's a disjoint story arc, not a continuation of anything but the characters).

Comment Re:Hell, it's about time. (Score 1) 242

I guess "unapproved fun" is only important to me if I give a shit about the approval.

Yes, that is the winning move in the culture wars (... not to play). Sadly, it's a lot harder to make that move for struggling authors, indie game devs, and so on, reliant on social media and established forums to raise awareness of their existence.

Comment PTSD Cure Illegal (Score 5, Interesting) 64

Not to diminish the importance of blocking memory formation (nice research), but most people do not care about those who suffer from PTSD.

We have a known cure for PTSD, combination MDMA psychotherapy, but it's currently illegal in most of the world because both the US FDA and DEA political hacks claim that no medical uses exist for the chemical (despite the DEA Court finding otherwise).

It's a clear case of government vs. science and the loser in the battle is the vulnerable population of patients with PTSD (and the rest of society by extension). Sadly, most of society supports those politicians over both science and the needs of the afflicted.

Comment Re:Hell, it's about time. (Score 1) 242

Do you think the voters know more or less about Trump as a result of his twitter feed? Do you believe there will be any confusion about who Trump is come November 2020? I think Trump's Twitter feed is a historic landmark in the evolution of democracy.

Have "our betters" been barring open thought and fun? I missed that chapter.

Have you missed the entire culture war? Anita Sarkesian tells us were having wrongfun if we enjoy mainstream video games. The folks at WorldCon tell us we're having wrongfun if we enjoy good SF books without regard to the political leanings of the authors. Hell, wear the wrong shit when you celebrate landing a space ship on a comet, and you're having doubleplus wrongfun.

I can only hope there's a special Hell reserved for moral scolds.

Comment Re:I'll document it tomorrow (Score 1) 511

I find that whenever I try to set a hard, fast programming rule, I find side cases where I honestly probably should break it. It doesn't matter what the rule is about - spacing, line wrapping, what belongs in a class vs. a standalone function, what files to put various pieces of code... whatever rule I make, I find cases where it probably would be better for me not to follow it.

The same happens with comments. I'm very much in the school of long, descriptive function names and variables that are self-commenting. I hate coming across old, outdated comments that no longer apply to the code; with long, descriptive variable and function names, you can read what's happening and it's always up to date. And often that's enough. The code says what it's doing, it's straightforward... job done.

But that's not always enough. Because it's one thing to say what's happening. But it's another thing to say "why". When was the last time you put the word "because" in a variable or function name? That's what comments should be for. Not what you're doing, but why you're doing it. Sometimes code just needs descriptive variable and function names. But sometimes you really need the "why" explained.

Comment Re:I'll document it tomorrow (Score 1) 511

Or the more annoying:

void fn193(dt_1011 a)

/* IF a is greater than 5 THEN*/
    if (a > 5)
/* Loop 10 times */
        for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
/* Call fn828 with arguments a and i */
            fn828(a, i);
/* end IF statement */
/* end FOR loop */



.... without ever having mentioned why they're doing any of it. Yes, someone who used to work here actually programmed like that. A comment on almost every line, and none of them at all useful. :P

They did sometimes have function headers. Unfortunately they were mostly cargo-cult style copies, full of meaningless cruft and long-outdated information, and... it almost hurts me to say this... doublespaced. ;)

Comment Re:Why no 4k footage of the moon? (Score 2) 47

You said both the Moon and Mars. Can you not even read your own posts?

FYI, there are not "millions of people" who would like to sit around staring at a picture that only very slowly changes. And there's no point to live video anyway because there's no action; you can just broadcast stills and interpolate between them if that's what you want. All stills that NASA captures are released publicly for people like you to oggle at.

Lastly, in case you're actually curious, there are four missions active at the moon right now: ARTEMIS P1, ARTEMIS P2, LRO, and Chang'e 5-T1. The former two don't have cameras; they're simple satellites for studying radiation and magnetic fields. Chang'e 5-T1 is just a test mission for China to advance its technology for future moon missions. LRO is the only one that takes pictures. You can see them here. Unlike Mars, a well designed spacecraft like LRO (although not a cheap spacecraft) could have enough bandwidth for streaming live HD video. But LRMO is quite reasonably designed for science, not screensavers. It has three cameras. Two are black and white cameras which are more like a telescope (as with most spacecraft cameras) - black and white for maximum resolution (every pixel measuring brightness rather than every several combined pixels). I don't know if you've ever tried to capture video through a telescope while moving relative to the object you're trying to capture, but as a general rule it doesn't work very well, and there is nothing about the hardware that's setup for video processing. The third is a wide angle colour camera... "wide angle" in that the camera images are many times wider than they are tall, designed for capturing (nonaligned) strips of the surface in seven spectral bands (which do not correspond directly to what the human eye sees, but are most useful for determining the composition of the surface)

Not that they would ever waste such an expensive instrument's time on capturing a glorified screensaver for Slashdot ACs.

If you want a screensaver satellite, find someone who's willing to pay many tens to several hundred million of dollars to make a fancy screensaver.

Comment Re:Any photos of the entire Earth? (Score 1) 47

LM doesn't mean Lunar Lander, it means Lunar Module. I don't know why you expect NASA's search engine to find things when you call them by the wrong name. Do you expect it to turn up pictures of the space shuttle if you type in "Space Bus"?

As for your other stuff, you're clearly trolling, and I don't feed trolls.

Comment Re:Hell, it's about time. (Score 1, Insightful) 242

Trump used Twitter to bypass the media and avoid having his words scrutinised before they entered his supporter's brains.

How dare the president talk directly to the voters in a democracy! Well, I never! It's a scandal, not letting the press tell the peasants what they're supposed to think. This whole country is going to fail, given the way people are thinking unapproved thoughts and having unapproved fun. Why won't they just listen to their betters? It's for their own good!

Comment Re:My gripes with the first 2 (Score 1) 511

Your code must have a uniform way to signal errors. In Java/C# this is done by throwing an exception, full stop.

You can use exceptions, but exceptions come with their own problems that are worse than NULL pointers in many cases.

Unless you're talking about the performance implications in C++, that debate was settled last century. Exceptions are the right way to signal errors, because the problem of forgetting to check for errors is endemic. Exceptions translate "I don't handle errors" to "abort", which is obviously the correct translation.

In C code, the return value is consumed by the error code, and any values have to be returned by output parameters. If done this way uniformly, you can at least try to catch the places where people forget to check in code review.

Just returning "null" because you don't have a standard convention for returning errors is the most wrong answer. Null for a potentially expected case is different (like an object not found in a map) - then it actually makes sense, rather than being a hack to avoid error handling.

Comment Re:I think (Score 1) 47

Thankfully the URL is easy to remember... just like

It's kind of amusing searching for keywords that you wouldn't expect to show up on a NASA image search. For example, I found a Native-American juggling hoops, old ladies line dancing at a farmers' market, kids dressed as Men in Black dancing underneath the Shuttle Endeavour, people using the primary mirror of James Webb to take selfies, actress Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) singing, NASA's hip-hop dance team Forces In Motion (travels around middle schools teaching Newton's laws), James Ingram singing "I believe I can fly" in front of Bill Nye, NASA administrator Dan Goldin laughing with (hopefully not at) a "bubble boy" in a protective suit, enough frames of someone testing out a spacesuit to make a stop-motion dance video, and a bunch of other unexpected weirdness.

Slashdot Top Deals

Men take only their needs into consideration -- never their abilities. -- Napoleon Bonaparte