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Comment Re:The are cashes FOR hard drives (Score 1) 84

Intel dabbled in this (as did others) years ago when SSDs were too small for most people. As far as I know, it was kinda shitty and only kinda worked and everyone abandoned it because hybrid drives were simpler (even though they too sucked) and SSDs kept getting bigger, faster, and cheaper. They called it "Smart Response Technology" when it launched. Maybe it's back? Maybe it never went away? Maybe Windows ReadyBoost has risen from the grave? (I've NEVER seen ReadyBoost in actual use.)

It's the same as far as I understand, just optimized for a lower latency high performance SSD. But to be honest, except for gamers I think almost everyone has space enough on the SSD these days. And even most gamers could if Steam only offered them two storage areas so they could put 1GB on the SSD and the other 29GB with all the media files on a HDD. I've gone all SSD anyway even though it's a waste.

Comment Re:Burn it up??? WTF?? (Score 1) 164

I do also like one of the previous ideas about shuttling it over to the moon. I just question how much energy it would need to overcome earths gravity and break free from it's orbit. It is a bit massive.

Well, it's already moving at about 70% of escape velocity. With something like an ion engine and plenty of time, I don't see any reason the remaining delta-vee couldn't be added.

Comment Re: Not everyone is happy... (Score 1) 104

Copyright licensing is ONLY assignable in writing.

Copyright is only assignable in writing. The law doesn't require that copyright licenses be formal, written documents. Courts have upheld verbal and even implied licenses. This is a very good thing for open source, actually, since hardly any projects get written licenses from contributors. The mere act of sending a pull request (or sending a patch to a mailing list, or...) is taken as an implied license of the author's contribution, under the license or licenses that the project is using.

Also, good luck getting approval from all 400 - after 20 years some are going to be dead.

That only matters if the heirs object. In this case it's hard to see why they would. The only rational (and I use the word loosely) motivation I can see is a deep-seated dislike of the GPL, since the only real effect of this license change will be to make it completely clear that GPL programs can link OpenSSL.

Comment Re: Will increase risks of cargo hold fires (Score 1) 259

"There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know." - Donald Rumsfeld

But are there unknown knowns? Are there things we know but don't know that we know?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 249

if you look at shows like M*A*S*H or The Honeymooners or Star Trek or The Odd Couple you find most episodes are self-contained, and that it's fairly rare for most stories to directly span more than one episode. (...) Sometime in the nineties this shifted, and TV became serialized (...) I prefer the episodic model, as I don't feel compelled to watch if I don't want to, and I don't worry if I miss an episode or if I watch them out of original order.

Because VCRs became affordable and common. About the episodic format though, I think you're one of the few that don't enjoy any character development or long story arcs but would rather have a series spinning its wheels in one place. It's okay to be on season two when the show is at season five, unless you're the kind of person who can't put a book down. Even if the show is mostly the same like Big Bang Theory it's much better with a glacial drift, major big boobs Houlihan and i-want-out Klinger were pretty much cardboard characters. Yes, you can totally pick up on any episode in the series and not hate it, but eh... these days my standards are a little higher than not getting bored.

Comment Re:Lock her up already (Score 1) 85

Tax write-off. He knows the shares are worthless, so might as well realize the loss and use it to offset gains elsewhere.

That makes no sense. Effective tax management means finding ways to report every possible loss, not creating actual losses just so you can report them. Creating $100 in actual losses to offset $100 in gains elsewhere lowers your tax liability by somewhere between $15 and $40, depending, which means you're actually throwing away $60-$85 in the process. Better to keep the gain and pay the tax.

There may be reasons to want to realize the loss *now*, rather than in the future, but that could have been done by selling the shares for more money -- assuming buyers could be found. Perhaps Murdoch believes that no one would be willing to buy his shares for more money? That seems unlikely. Hell, I'll give him $2. I have no reason to believe that the shares are worth that much, but the odds that they are are probably higher than the odds that I'm going to win the lottery and I have bought a lottery ticket a time or two.

Something else is going on here. Perhaps Murdoch has a personal friendship with Holmes, or some other non-financial motivation. But it makes no sense to artificially inflate your real losses in order reduce your tax liability, because the reduction in tax liability will always be less than the losses.

Comment Re:Then why just 8 countries? (Score 3, Interesting) 259

Let's assume this is a real threat And obviously it is doable, you could open up an ipod, rip out the guts, and put other stuff in its place. Why just 8 countries then? If its a real threat, its a global threat. Its not all that hard for someone to fly to another country first and then travel from an allowed airport. If this is a real threat, it should be from all airports. Otherwise its just games.

I flew from San Jose, CA to Salt Lake City, UT on Friday last week. I was "randomly" selected for slightly-enhanced screening, even though I was going through the TSA Pre-checked line -- and so were the two people before and after me. In this case the screening enhancement was to apply a bomb sniffer to all of my electronic devices, after they'd been xrayed. So, based on what I saw, at that airport on that day, the TSA had turned the random selection probability way up (perhaps 100% -- all five of the people I saw go through were "selected") and implemented a specific check for bombs in electronic devices.

So it appears to me that the TSA may actually have responded across all US airports, though not with more screening, not a device ban.

Comment Re: Mint (Score 2) 437

What is with this obsession of Linux users to want everyone to be "advanced users"? It's precisely because of that, that Linux doesn't have a bigger marketshare

Same reason we don't teach primary school pupils and university degree math in the same classroom or why NFL teams don't want to train against high school freshmen or Michelin chefs aren't interested in advice from their colleagues at McDonald's. You're not contributing anything useful at this level, you're just in the way. It's open source, people don't get paid per copy they sell. Most aren't trying to win a popularity contest. They're looking for a professional community/tool to support them and don't want it dumbed down to be newbie friendly.

And some of them aren't exactly going to apologize for it either, in their minds you're the one butting in on a place you don't belong, like trying to get advice at a doctor's conference instead of scheduling an appointment. It doesn't help that some users act like you're their support staff and expect them to drop whatever they're doing to help you. It's very tempting to basically say we don't give a shit. Of course there are some will also immediately jump to the conclusion that any problem you have is because you're an idiot, just like all the other idiots.

Most software try to separate newbies from experts, developers from users with varying degrees of success since they're not exactly crystal clear definitions or mutually exclusive categories. And without one bishop in the cathedral to swing the ban hammer, it's not so easy getting rid of destructive elements. It usually takes some rather extremely obnoxious behavior to make a whole community throw you out. But if this is approaching TL;DR, well they don't want you there and market share isn't an important metric for them. Why should it be?

Comment Re:Sounds nice! (Score 1) 127

Historically, cut-down populations lead to growth. Nobody in history established a policy to reduce the population "to conserve resources", and then held it down that way. The GP is suggesting that population is too big; there is a popular argument that we need to cut the world population back a few billion to conserve our resources, and he's made the first part without stating the conclusion. My response was in that context: the economic boom you describe wouldn't happen because we would prevent growth.

Comment Re:OK, cool... (Score 1) 133

That wasn't the point. The cost differences in shipping and installation are because the panels are of various sizes and weights; if I could get an impossible device that's a cubic centimeter, 3 grams, and generates 500GW of power, I could ship it via 32 cents of postage and install it in a few minutes of labor. Do you know how much it costs just to ship the concrete to build the nuclear containment building for a reactor?

Moving material around requires time. Mining large amounts of material requires time. You're going to expend more to install and maintain a big, 1%-efficient array than a small, 24%-efficient array.

Comment Depends on the car analogy (Score 1) 437

I've been lurking here for years and seen many recommendations for a Linux flavor that works. What I'm really looking for is Linux that works without constant under-the-hood tweaking

I think the question really requires taking a step back and looking at what a distro is and does. Because if you're coming in from another OS I'd say there's three levels of changes and the distro-level is probably the least important.

1. Applications: Do your applications run under Linux or do they have functional equivalents like web services you'd be happy with. If you've heard about WINE, then stop because Windows emulation is full of quirks. It's a tool for users that really, really don't want to run Windows even if it has 10x the issues of running Windows software on Windows. No distro is going to help you if after banging your head on GIMP and Krita you realize that no, I really need Photoshop or anything else with less than a platinum rating on WINE. And even then it can break in the next update.

2. Desktop environment (DE), this is pretty much how the OS part of the interface will look like for you. No matter which one you pick it won't be like Windows or OS X. If a distro ships a DE, it'll probably look and feel pretty much the same across distros. If you don't like Gnome or KDE on Ubuntu there's not much point trying them again on SuSE, Mint or Debian. Granted, a few of these are almost like picking distros as I'd take Mint for Cinnamon and Ubuntu for Unity but far from all.

3. Quality of packaging, testing, support, upgrades, security patches, availability of backports and third party repositories, release schedule etc. basically a lot of the boring housekeeping and problem solving. For the most part, this is what distros do - they take what developers have made and wrap it up in packages for you. But if the developers haven't made the apps you want, you'll be tweaking your work process a lot. If they haven't made the DE the way you want, you'll be tweaking your OS interaction a lot. A good distro doesn't create fuss for you, but it doesn't really mean it'll work for you.

I'd just start with Ubuntu with Unity (the default) only because it's super common and see if you get past #1. If you do and don't like Unity I'd try Cinnamon, KDE, Gnome and XFCE, as far as I know they're all available as packages on Ubuntu. If you find something that looks right for you I'd move on to #3 and ask "What distro is the best to run [Cinnamon/Gnome/KDE/Unity/XFCE]?" Though I suspect that the answer will probably be one of the Mint or Ubuntu spins in most cases. There's not much point in going outside the beaten path if you just want to get started.

Comment Re:Our Future. (Score 1) 265

You point out corporations are already paying armies of lobbyists to avoid taxes. You really think a group of top tier capital owner class types wont employ an army or robots that looks much more like the armies of the past and simply refuse to pay the taxes? What does for example Amazon need the government for once they can hire/build their own fully automated asset protection?

The government is needed to afford the masses some means of income so that the businesses can keep their consumer base and keep operating.

Most consumer businesses will collapse under a system where the majority of individuals have no jobs and no alternative source of income. You may not like UBI but something like it is going to be a necessity if/when automation reaches a high enough point, because the economies cannot function without consumer demand, which in turn cannot exist without people having a source of income.

Comment Re:It will not happen (Score 3, Informative) 104

How the hell do you re-write something like that? An "if" statement keys on the value of a single variable and conditionally executes a function. There are some things for which there is only one solution. Someone might suggest "just cold-room it!" But how are they supposed to do that?

You mean cleanroom. Copyright protects one particular expression (implementation) not the underlying idea (functionality), so the point is not necessarily to come up with a different solution but to document that it has been done independently. Yes, that means they must find an "untainted" developer to write the new code but you can in great detail describe the functionality as long as you don't impose a particular implementation. It's even been done "after the fact" as evidence:

The court relied heavily on evidence NEC presented that compared a "clean room'' program with both the V20/30 and Intel 8086/88 microcode. NEC hired an independent engineer (Gary Davidian) to develop a set of microcode for the V20/30 without access to any other microcode. Because Davidian's version of the microcode was similar in many regards to both the Intel and NEC microcodes, the court found it likely that those similarities were dictated not by copying of Intel's microcode, but rather by functional constraints of the hardware, the architecture, and the need for 8086/88 compatibility.

The documentation is a pain in the butt, but the legal reasoning around it isn't so bad.

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