Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Everything Old is New Again (Score 1) 39

The Andromeda Strain was published in 1969.

The United States has some disease reporting, it started at least 75 years ago before the antibiotic bubble. This CDC Report summarizes the present state of disease reporting, in two pages. We need higher standards of reporting and legal penalties for failure to report.

Comment Re:Why air gaps? (Score 1) 155

Double glazed windows have a vacuum (or sometimes a noble gas) between the panes.

Or dry air. There's no need to use anything other than air to avoid condensation. You just need to make sure the air is dry and the windows are sealed so humid air can't get in. I doubt many windows are vacuum-filled; that's just begging for trouble, and would also limit the size of panes. 15 pounds per square inch adds up to a lot of pressure very quickly.

Comment Re: Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 355

Yes, he should go back and update his book with _actual_, popular, assembly languages. Using _practical_ languages means a student doesn't learn some obscure language that no one gives a fuck about but can _apply_ their skills immediately.

Also, by learning _multiple_ assembly languages the student doesn't pigeon-holed into myopic thinking. By being exposed to multiple languages they see how different design and implementation trade-offs were made.

The day of professors inventing yet-another-language are over. You can teach Theory AND Application, not just "my pet theory".

Comment Re:When I meet a copyright owner (Score 1) 70

Just to follow up on a couple of the points you mentioned:

Downloading some things from our library for use off-line is actually one of our most frequently asked questions, and again it's something where we generally take a pretty liberal approach and always have. We want people to enjoy the material. That's why we make it!

What I'm talking about is people who don't just download a few bits and pieces, but blatantly try to download everything right before the end of their subscription. These aren't people who are going on a trip and want something to listen to on the train. These are the people who would sign up to Spotify and then try to run scrapers on a mass of cloud-hosted machines to download literally every song on Spotify for their permanent use. Somehow, I would be rather surprised if the facility you mentioned for downloading content for offline use extended to providing a 100% DRM-free copy of Spotify's entire library, or if their ToS said that was OK, or if they would take no action if they caught someone doing it.

As for what is reasonable, I'm not sure I understand your position here. We're not offering (or in any way pretending to offer) a permanent copy of our works for someone to keep. We work on a subscription basis, and we offer subscriptions at a price that makes sense for that arrangement. I don't see how it's any different to saying you used to go rent a movie from the video hire store, but you paid a much lower price than buying your own copy and you had to return it. Offering the movie for rental didn't give customers any automatic right to buy a copy, at the same or any other price, nor did renting it out give customers the right to make their own copy to keep forever or share with their friends.

In the same way, I don't see how it is reasonable to expect us to provide access at a fraction of the per-user cost it would take just to produce the material, let people sign up for the minimum period, and then let them download as much as they can before it runs out even though it's clearly not being used on the terms we offered. Sure, you can just download the web pages or audio files or whatever from our site, and up to a point we'll be understanding about why you might want to even though that's not really part of the deal, but you basically seem to be implying the same as DRM guy: if we don't want people to abuse our openness, we should actively stop them, which brings us back to limitations and DRM of one kind or another.

Or maybe I've misunderstood and you were just saying you only like payment models where you get permanent ownership of your copy of the content? If so, that is fine and your choice, but it's not the deal we're offering and so joining our library wouldn't be a good option for you. Apparently it's also not a deal that would be economically viable in our case (we know, we did plenty of research to find out), which means if we were required to offer such terms if we were offering our material at all, then we simply wouldn't be producing and sharing that material, and again everyone who does currently enjoy it and find our current pricing plan acceptable would lose out.

Comment Re:No investment opportunities big enough (Score 1) 106

Apple : "We have so much money we literally don't know what to do with it anymore."

That's alright. Neither do Google or Microsoft and a few others. They simply can't find investment opportunities large enough and profitable enough to do anything with their piles of cash. So the pile keeps growing. Eventually I expect it to attract a dragon or something.

Really they should be paying it back as dividends if they can't figure out what to do with the money.

The reason they have large piles of cash isn't that they can't figure out what to do with it, it's that it's cash they generated overseas they can't move it to the US without giving 35% of it to the federal government. They can't pay it out as dividends without repatriating it, nor can they invest it in anything in the US. Since most of their operations are in the US, that means they spend a little on overseas operations and put the rest in high-liquidity overseas investments -- high-liquidity in case they get an opportunity to repatriate it cheaply, or have a sudden need that makes the big tax bite acceptable.

Bottom line: the reason they have big piles of cash is because the US has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 166

Don't try that crap with Frontier, or you will 100% get screwed. They leave early on purpose so they can make people pay the re-ticketing fee.

If they close the door too early (not sure what the line is), they not only can't charge you, they have "involuntarily refused boarding", in FAA terms, and they are required to buy you a ticket on the next available flight (on any carrier) to your destination, and pay you a cash penalty ($500?). This actually happened to me once.

Comment Re:Maybe, I should sue KDE? (Score 1) 118

> KDE3's tech had reached a dead-end, there was no way forward there, to keep building a new base was needed. KDE4 had to happen,

WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menu, Pointer) has been around since 1980 .. yeah, the 80's -- over 30 years.

Design and Implementation a GUI isn't rocket science -- WTF are people doing that they are constantly hacking SO much SHIT into it that they need to throw the whole thing away and start again from scratch?!?!

Comment Re:Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 355

> More like pseudo-assembly than high-level pseudo-code.

It is actually worse then that. You learn some bullshit imaginary assembly language MMIX, instead of a pragmatic real assembly language like 6502, x86, or ARM which you could have immediately tried out. And while an assembler and debugger exist for MMIX this is yet more time you need to waste on some obscure, niche, proprietary language and toolchain.

That said, what The Art of Computer Programming lacks in quality it makes up in quantity.

> and understood it right away from CLR

100% agree that Introduction to Algorithms is a fantastic book! It definitely is on the "short list" of every books a computer programmer should own.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 166

Ah yes, pay the extortion fee to regain your rights back as a conditional privilege. Thanks for making our lives easier, Toilet Safety Administration!

Yep, it sucks. But as a practical matter, if you travel regularly it makes your life much easier. Most of the time. You don't always get TSA Pre, even after paying the extortion fee. But you get it 90+% of the time, and are happy you did, especially when lines are long and you are carrying a lot of crap.

TSA Pre has allowed me to return to my pre-9/11 habit of arriving at the airport 25-30 minutes prior to departure, so that by the time I reach the gate I can walk right on. BTW, I don't recommend this habit unless you can afford to miss the flight, because maybe one time in 30, you will. But the 29*0.5 = 14.5 hours you'll save by doing it are worth the two or three hours you lose when you miss your flight and have to catch the next one. When the flight I'm on is the last of the day, I make sure to arrive 60 minutes before.

Slashdot Top Deals

1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight -- it's not just a good idea, it's the law!

Working...