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Comment Hey Slashdot: (Score 1) 82

Slashdot Editors / owners / etc.:

o Please stop supporting paywalled sites.
o Please stop supporting sites with closed comment sections.

These things are bad for the web and the web's denizens -- of course not for the ethically crippled sites themselves, as we are their product, and both payment up and dissent down are multipliers to their bread and butter.

The paywalled sites are monetizing the news, and that almost always makes for biased reporting.

The closed comment sections make for echo chambers, and that creates an environment where fake news and agitprop flourish.

Same thing to my fellow slashdotters: if you support bad actors in bad behaviors, they will naturally persist. So think about that before you click through the next time someone thrusts a paywalled or comment-bereft site in your face.

Thanks for reading.

Comment Re:Dangerous (Score 1) 299

I'm pretty sure I'd see features like independently powered exit row lighting, emergency exits, inflatable slides/rafts, life vests etc.

In design and engineering you can't make things failure-proof, but you can plan for certain failure-modes. Yeah, if you lose a wing at 10,000 feet or do a nose dive at Mach 2 into the ground nobody is going to survive. But there is plenty of design that goes into an airplane that is aimed at very rare situations like the loss of all engines.

Comment Re:Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 335

The Abelson and Sussman textbook, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, uses LISP (actually Scheme). There are quite a few LISP fanatics who passionately feel it is still the best programming language made, citing such reasons as the simplicity of writing an interpreter for it. However, that textbook is pretty difficult. The authors didn't appreciate how hard recursion can be for many students to understand, and LISP and functional programming in general uses recursion so heavily it's the proverbial hammer for every nail of a programming problem.

Well, that's what you get when you beta test your textbook with MIT students. But that said, CLRS is no picnic for people who aren't very good at math, either.

Comment Not quite dead yet (Score 1) 335

It means that we are now far more removed from access to the metal to even do a lot of the optimizations that we've done in the past.

Well... no, it means that you are, perhaps. Some of us still write in c or c++, and keep our attention on the details. You can tell you've run into one of us when the many-functioned app you get is a couple megabytes instead of 50, runs faster than the fat ones, and doesn't suffer from black-box bugs inherited from OPC.

I always thought that the user's CPU cycles and memory were things a developer was obligated to treat as the user's valued resource, and so not things to waste.

I know, totally out of date thinking. It's ok, I'm old, I'll die soon. :)

Comment machine code ate my neurons (Score 1) 335

But can you program in Z80 and 6502 machine code?

Yes. But more importantly, I can program in 6809 machine code. Including building all the index modes. Which, back in the day, is one of the things that saved me from having to design in, and then program, CPUs like the 6502 and z80, both of which are seriously anemic by comparison. But I prefer to program in assembler. Because I'm sane.

My affection for the 6809 ran so deep that I wrote the 6809 emulator you'll find here, which required me to implement the entire instruction set from the ground up.

But yeah, I can write machine code for about 10 microprocessors. And you know what? In the day... that was useful. I could read (E)(P)ROM dumps, I could cold-patch... but today, I just wish I could get the brain cells back. :)

Comment Re:Analyzing a car purchase over 1 year? (Score 1) 35

True. And the cost/arrest concept is broken too. Would the arrests have been made anyway? Could they have been made another way?

When people have a tool they use it, whether it is the use-case that was supposed to justify the purchase -- and that can be a good thing (because the widget is earning its keep) or a bad thing (using a tool that's overkill, to expensive to operate, or counterproductive). The real question is what did they specifically buy this for? If the cost justification was that it was going to allow them to make x arrests per year, it's probably a failure. If the cost justification is some other kind of scenario that doesn't necessarily happen every year (e.g. the Beltway Sniper), then the question is whether they're using this thing reasonably.

Comment Billing address? (Score 2) 107

The article didn't mention billing address, but I don't think I've ever entered my credit card number into any website that didn't include billing address as a set of required fields. Shipping address is always an additional set of optional fields.

Now, I suppose if the backend doesn't validate billing address then you could use a fake addresses for the brute force part of the job, but when you go to use the card isn't a fake billing address going to be a dead giveaway that the transaction was a fraud and therefore guarantee a successful charge back with zero questions?

But if Visa has any sense they ought to require billing address verification as part of the preauthorization step for all card not present transactions.

Comment Re:Chromebook (Score 1) 263

Can you be a little more specific? I'm currently using an Asus T100 with windows as my ssh and Web terminal. A little slow for anything else but gets a bit over 10 hours on battery. Every Linux laptop review I read seems to think that six battery life in the 5-6 hour range is great. I wouldn't buy anything that couldn't get at least a solid 8 hours of ssh and Web browsing.

When you write "battery lasts forever" I figure you mean 10-12 hours, but I'm not sure I believe you.

Comment Re:Security is an illusion (Score 1) 153

There's just too much volume to track all the content everywhere.

There are 350 million people in the USA, more or less. Including kids not of age to use computers. One computer, just one, operates at billions of instructions per second (when the code is written in anything efficient, like c.) The NSA has a newish huge data center located on the main trunks.

You do the math. If you still think they can't sieve that amount of data effectively, why then, good on you for your optimism. :)

Comment Re:Not mine, you won't... (Score 1) 237

There are some awesome EVs you might replace it with. I live in rural Minnesota. EVs won't cut it for me, especially since I take long trips away from Interstates.

And do you drive quite often from rural Minnesota to Paris, Madrid, Athens or Mexico City?

Or to LA, SF Bay area, NYC, DC etc for that matter, if large US cities decided to introduce similar restrictions?

Or are you just posting to declare how the article has absolutely no relevance to you? Because if everyone posts to every article just to point out that it has nothing to do with them and they have no opinion that's relevant to the topic then the SNR around here would be even lower than it is.

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