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Comment This is not really javascript's fault (Score 1) 21

If this issue were a problem in Javascript it (or some variant) would work in a lot more browsers than just IE11.

But it's not. The bug here boils down to Microsoft adding an ActiveX call into Javascript, then that call activating some native HTML ActiveX component and using it in a super bad way.

That's not Javascript's fault, that's on Microsoft for punching such a large hole in the sandbox.

Comment Essentially they do that already (Score 1) 111

I think it should be mandatory that all college freshman students participate in one hour of basketball dunking per day.

PE is required in most schools as far as I know.

Even in college I had mandatory physical education classes I had to take. I could chose the subject but I had to take something.

I actually don't think it's bad to expose all students to coding, even those who might be bad at it - because you also never know who might be good at it or enjoy it. If it were a whole class I would say it's probably too much, but at least an hour seems fine to just expose kids to some possibilities...

Comment Re:Idiocracy doubles down (Score 1) 112

Why do you want access to *the* filesystem?

So I can control and organize my data.

If you don't like iCloud Drive, you can use Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and a few others. I believe all of the rest of them give you the ability to use folders.

I don't want to give my data to a third party. I want to be able to control my own data. I have plenty of local storage, and no need or desire whatsoever to place my information in someone else's hands. If you want to do so, of course, by all means. For myself, I'd just as soon not enter into the lottery of "which cloud service will suffer a security breach next", or the lottery of "which cloud service is sharing data with government / corporations / hackers / employees", or the lottery of "geee, the Intertubes are down, I guess I can't get at my data", or the "you must look at ads or pay a fee to get at your data lottery", or the "I'm on a plane and so I can't get at my data lottery", etc., etc., etc.

It's up to you to decide which documents will be stored locally on the device.

Indeed it is. And the answer is "all of them", except where I have also stored them on some other device I own and wholly control.

Comment The free market, pizza, and sneakers (Score 1) 108

Why is this not happening with pizzerias or sneakers?

It most definitely is. A decent quality pizza worth less than $2.00 (I make them from scratch, and that's what they cost me in low quantity in a relatively isolated region where raw materials prices are high, so I'm quite sure of the number) often costs well over $10.00. Sneakers worth about $8.00 can cost far, far more than that -- no more than a little bit of canvas, plastic and metal off a mass production line. The gouging is blatant and obvious. The fact that you are willing to actually write as if it wasn't reveals that you have no actual sense of the economics of either matter.

Why am I paying the same price for 75 Mbps up/down today, that I used to pay for 35 Mpbs up/down 6 years ago?

Because US broadband is lagging far behind the state of the art, and prices are far too high. You should be running much faster, and paying much less. Same was true six years ago. And you are not even at the bottom of the low performance / high price heap. In many places, it's worse.

The answer: competition.

No, the answer is collusion.

Comment The frictionless slope (Score 2) 108

The Federal Communications Commission plans to halt implementation of a privacy rule that requires ISPs to protect the security of its customers' personal information.

Not that the FCC was ever very much more than a corporate puppet, but it's fascinating to watch them, and the government in general, find ways to be of even less service to the people.

So far, in just a couple months, we've seen the elimination of the requirement that energy companies must disclose royalties and government payments; the elimination of rules preventing dumping of coal mining waste into rivers and streams; the funneling of even more money into our "only more costly than the next eight countries put together" military; assertion that we need more and better nuclear weapons; suspension of an insurance rate cut for new Federal Housing Administration loans; completely unjustified disruption of already-issued visas; the installation of a white supremacist on the national security council; an order to "review" a rule requiring financial managers to act in their clients' best interests when handling retirement accounts; an "easing" of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010; amplification of the drug war; amplification of the war against personal and consensual sexual choices; partisan filtering of the Whitehouse press pool; anti-free-press agitprop straight from the president... all this, along with a great deal of additional rhetoric that indicates more of this nature is likely on the way.

We no longer need turn to dystopian fiction to see just how badly our government can act out. A dystopian reality is rapidly establishing itself. The indicators are so strong at this point that some of the "peppers" are actually beginning to look like forward-thinkers.

I wonder just how much of this kind of damage the country can suffer before it undergoes some kind of seismic shift, or, if it will just deliquesce into a fully classist, corporatist nightmare.

I prefer to hope that the complacent have had a wake up call as to just how foolish and blind large segments of our population actually is; that they now understand that it is possible that without their active resistance, both at the voting booth and in general, all of this will continue apace while every tweet from President Trump, every bit of nonsense from Spicer and Conway, every craven abrogation of responsibility by congress, every unwise and harmful regulatory alteration, will be met with a blinkered nod-and-drool from the very people that saw to it that he reached the Oval Office — and that this will outright determine the future course of the country along these same destructive lines.

These are such very interesting times. We know we're not 1940's Germans; but we're finally going to get an answer as to whether we are better — or worse. I see little reason for optimism in this regard at this point in time, either.

Comment Re:O RLY? (Score 1) 59

I understand what copyright is intended to do, but I see little evidence that a 90+ year term and other onerous terms are means to this goal.

I'd be the first to agree that the current implementation of copyright is deeply flawed in several ways, including the steady creep up to the current absurd durations you mentioned. I am in no way supporting that side of the copyright system, as you can tell by many other posts I've made including to this very discussion.

However, most use of copyrighted work both by creators and by pirates still happens in the first few years, and in practice shortening the duration to something much more reasonable seems unlikely to affect the behaviour of either side very much. The basic principle is still that copyright establishes similar market incentives to create information-based products to the incentives established by respecting physical private property when it comes to creating physical products.

And of course, as Google points out, the search index could not have occurred under such a regime. I shouldn't have to sell you on the usefulness of internet search on society[...]

I'm something of a skeptic in that regard. My personal suspicion is that if we didn't have the likes of Google indexing everything, we'd just have evolved some other sort of directory/index system, along with including more explicit links in our Web content and probably making more use of bookmarks for starting points relevant to our personal interests. There were already plenty of moves in these directions in parallel with early search engine development, some much more promising than others, and the natural connectedness of the Web would lend itself just fine to scaling up these sorts of alternatives.

Maybe that would even have become a better system than what we have today. By its nature, an automated search engine will always be vulnerable to gaming whatever system it implements. Today's arrangement also locates an awful lot of power centrally with the big search engines, even though they are ultimately only useful because of any good content created by others that they help a visitor to find. When sites that would be of interest to visitors can rise and fall almost entirely by a change in the ranking algorithm at a search engine, over which the site has no control and for which the search engine has no accountability, I'm not sure everything is really working as wonderfully as we sometimes assume.

Automation has so far proven to be a questionable benefit over curation, and while it's certainly true that today's search engines are often better for finding interesting or useful information than the portals and web rings of the 1990s, that's not really a fair comparison. It's called web browsing for a reason, and I truly think we've lost something that had great potential there with the rise of the search engines.

Comment Re:"Research Projects" (Score 1) 62

The problem is that all these attempts to interest kids in STEM are so earnest and dull.

What we should be doing is tempting them with mad science. You see? It's not all death rays and monkey testicle implants.

It's important to hook them by middle school, when the all important sense of being misunderstood is its keenest.

Comment Re:Far from it (Score 1) 332

Sadly the highest demand will be for the sexiest bots, so I fear your cherry 2000 will be among the first to enter the arena.... you will receive compensation from the AmChiCan world government of course, but it will not soothe the deep ache in your soul for the hyper perfection and sexual delection of the Cherry 2000.

Comment Brilliant! Wait not (Score 1) 87

the iMessage client on Phone1 (sender) should be attempting to contact Phone2 (recipient) in the background asking them "have you been actively connected to iMessage in the past X seconds?" and if it does not get an immediate answer of "yes" from Phone2 it should be sending over SMS.

Wow, I love your universe where no phone loses power or connectivity ever...

That said, the system DOES do that. If my phone is somewhere I can't get data I get messages via SMS instead of iMessage. But if the system just doesn't know what happened to the phone, it has no good way to know it should give up on iMessage forever and some very good reasons not to send it via SMS (because that costs Apple real money vs. queuing the message up on iMessage to send out as devices connect).

The whole system is a lot more complex than you are thinking it is, it does handle real world failure cases very well. Just not complete disconnection, erring on the side of "they may still want to use iMessage" and like I said I think that's good call because there are other ways to use iMessage other than just a phone. If you even reset a phone (like you should do before sale or transfer) it will even know that number should be disconnected from iMessage...

Comment Re:You do not get to define innovation for anyone (Score 1) 59

When Google first launched their search engine, they didn't have ads in the way they and many other free-to-use online services do today. They were one of the pioneers of the modern online world where everything is expected to be "free", privacy is invaded routinely, advertising of questionable value to almost everyone other than the ad networks dominates, and web pages are so full of tracking and advertising junk that an entire ecosystem of tools had to be invented just to make the web not suck more than it did 20 years ago. Whatever benefits any of Google's services might have offered relative to the alternatives we had before, I'm still not sure it was worth the trade-off.

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