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:Q: Why Are Scientists Still Using FORTRAN in 20 (Score 2) 634

Reproducibility is part of science. So is identifying and fixing errors. But perhaps the most important aspect of science is being able to continue it.

I've worked in science labs where non-software engineers write code. They fall victim to the same problem software engineers fall victim to when they work without version control: the lose it, they overwrite it, they make mistakes and want to go backwards, they end up with 50 copies and can't remember which one was used to compile their postdoc work. And when it comes time to publish, they (may) archive it and never look at it again - despite the fact that good science should necessitate they release the code, if for no other reason than to reproduce results and ensure they are error free.

Version control is a tool. When used properly, it solves many of the above problems, all which sap productivity. In an academic setting, particularly where peer reviewed papers are being released about computationally intensive science, version control almost certainly saves more time than it creates. People just aren't willing to put the initial investment it takes to learn to use the tool.

Comment Re:If they charge $15,000 for a ten week course... (Score 1) 374

Control, duh. In the case of private citizens, I highly disagree with the practice, as it limits liberty; however, in reference to businesses, the government should be up their asses 24/7/365 - there's a damn good reason the Constitution doesn't give any rights to corporations.

The only entity that the US Constitution gives rights to is the US Government, by design.

Comment Re:Change food stamps... (Score 1) 1043

Take out the choice

The department of Agriculture, which runs the Food Stamp Program, is tasked by law to make sure there is enough food for everyone and that everyone gets fed.

That's not what their mission statement says. Is this a derived requirement?

Food stamps were born by order of the Supreme Court, not Congress.

This is news to me and probably other people on here, particularly considering the legislative history of SNAP. Maybe you can enlighten people instead of belittling them?

I'm pretty sure you won't find much support for having DOA nannies standing at every dinner table to make sure everyone on food stamps eats their collard greens. I'm positive you would accomplish nothing with this approach.

There is no way you can supply food support while at the same time make sure that no budget shifting takes place.

There's an old saying "beggars can't be choosers." Why does this not apply here? During the WWII food was allocated in exactly this way. My only problem with the food stamp program is that they're hand outs. If these people are going to be greedy enough to accept a handout then is it too much to ask for them to give something back such as working at the conservation corp, cleaning up trash, community service, etc?

Comment Re:Protection of Corruption Laws (Score 2) 395

So your logic is...

Government is corrupt -> corporations own the government -> corporations are corrupt

Did you miss the steps where politicians are elected to run the government and corporations are owned and run by people?

I counter with

Governments are made of people -> people are corrupt
Corporations are made of people -> people are corrupt

So yeah, it's cute that you rather naively think everything boils down to corporations being evil (you do know corrupt governments existed before corporations, right?) but the fact of the matter is both corporations and governments are corrupt because the people who own/run them are corrupt. And yes, that includes voters. Do you think everyone at your place of work would vote themselves a pay raise if they had the right? Do you honestly think your fellow voters are any different? Keep in mind 50% of them are likely dumber than you (or perhaps as dumb given your anti-corporate mouth frothing).

And if you think one side of political spectrum is more or less corrupt, you're still probably wrong. You could even make strong arguments for and against less government as a means of minimizing corruption, although in general I'll go out on a limb and say having less of something that can make it legal for you to be a slave is probably a Good Thing (TM).

Comment Re:Middlemen: the official plague of the modern ag (Score 5, Interesting) 309

So the argument against removing the laws (for all auto manufacturers) and making the dealers "sell" themselves to the auto manufacturers is what exactly? That dealerships lobbied really, really hard to sell you a product that they add no value to? Can you say "crony capitalism"?

Comment Re:Commercial (Score 5, Insightful) 671

Why does this have to be a hate crime?

Isn't the whole point of "equal protection under the law" to give us all the same protections of the justice system? Why should it matter who's privacy was invaded, who was beaten, or who was killed? Shouldn't all of these acts of evil be abhorrent in our society regardless of why they were committed? Isn't it hypocritical to cry for "equal rights" and then write laws which are, by definition, unequal? It's a sad, narrow minded overreaction to the injustices of the past.

Hate crime law, like the Jim Crow laws of the last century, are a backward and draconian implementation of justice and social regulation that are a slap in the face to equality. The sooner we stop drawing distinctions like these, the sooner we'll progress to a society that is open and accepting of so called "alternative lifestyles."

Incidentally, what this man did was a horrendous invasion of privacy and fully deserves to be considered a felony. He should be tried in a court of law and regardless of the outcome should be exported (obviously at the end of his sentence if found guilty).

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 6

Mr. Li is looking at this from a strongly economic point of view. California has lead the nation economically, and the quote he's referring to is that many socioeconomic policies are adopted in California before they are adopted elsewhere (generally this is in the form of heavy-handed government regulation of industry). A lot of this is because California is such a large market, companies will only retool to meet CA's requirements as they meet or exceed most other states' and federal standards.

In regards to the "future of endless referendums", Mr. Li is again referring to California, which has a somewhat broken implementation of direct democracy. This is bittersweet, because the population is often at odds with the courts and the legislature. Read about raising taxes in CA and the history behind Proposition 8. California is perhaps the best example of why democracy is bad if left unchecked (at least in the US - it looks like Greece might be the best example in Europe, if not the world). In California, and increasingly, in the US, politically "the ends always justify the means", meaning it doesn't matter what individual liberties you trample/destroy as long as you *think* it's a good idea.

I'm not sure how America is any "less democratic" now than it was, say, 30 years ago. But the population has been far more engaged and frustrated with the government in the last 10 years than in the 90s, when Americans were more cynical and apathetic. Unfortunately, I don't think the US' experiment in socialism will be over for another generation or two, so we're probably in for some rough times ahead.

What Mr. Li is ultimately referring to is optimization and the function of government (recall that "superior" is a relative term). Should your government's primary focus be protecting individual liberty (traditionally very American, somewhat libertarian), enhancing the life of all its citizens at the cost of some liberties (democratic socialism, generally European and left leaning), or national economic development (state capitalism, which the Chinese have championed and extremely right wing)? Mr. Li doesn't care about the Chinese, he cares about China.


Submission + - iPad 3 Confirmed To Have 2048x1536 Screen Resolution (

bonch writes: After months of reporting on photos of iPad 3 screen parts, MacRumors finally obtained one for themselves and examined it under a microscope, confirming that the new screens will have twice the linear resolution of the iPad 2, with a whopping 2048x1536 pixel density. Hints of the new display's resolution were found in iBooks 2, which contains hi-DPI versions of its artwork. The iPad 3 is rumored to be launching in early March.

Comment Re:Mortgage (Score 1) 651

You have an interesting definition of "fair". But that term is relative, so I'm sure it's "fair" from someone's perspective (probably the person with the least to lose and the most to gain...).

Property taxes are just the subtler, modern day equivalent of slavery. The only difference is that it applies to everyone instead of an unrepresented minority and you pay them to maintain some of your freedom. Maybe that's the "fair" part you're referring to. I'm sure your next argument is how we all have a duty to pay these taxes - you might even say we have a "social contract." A contract we never entered and can never exit. Sure sounds a lot like slavery. I wonder if africans thought the same thing 250 years ago as they watched generations of their children toil in a field for someone else's benefit? I guess I can have the pleasure of watching my future children toil in an office building for their entire life to pay off this generation's benefits. I'm sure that meets your definition of fair, too.

I bet you're the kind of person who thinks all the bank foreclosures are evil. All those poor people being evicted because they lost their job, committed fraud to obtain a loan they couldn't afford, or had fraud committed against them by predatory lenders. It sure isn't fair for them, is it? So for the few people who actually own their own homes - perhaps because their family actually built it - and lose their job in this bad economy, and can't afford to pay the government the protection^H^H^Htax money owed to it, then it's totally fair when the government seizes their home and throws them in jail, am I right?

WIth people like you around, why do we even bother calling this a "free" society?

Comment Re:Apple and Foxconn (Score 2) 193

If by "force them to do it" you mean "don't buy their products" then I'm onboard, otherwise you're just worse than the problem. And you might want to double check what protectionism is (I assume that's what you meant by "isolationism", which is fundamentally different...), because placing taxes on imported goods is pretty much what protectionism is.

Why is outsourcing everything good in the long run? Because if we didn't outsource it, you probably wouldn't be able to afford it. It's not like it's complicated; if US companies didn't/couldn't outsource, then they'd have no hope of competing with their european and asian counterparts. Period. You want to play the protectionism game? Sure, go for it. Europe and Asia will happily play that game and slap tariffs on all US goods. Do you think we can get buy as a country without the world buying our goods? Guess again, it would absolutely destroy our economy.

The sad irony is that we've always had the power of "social change", but we're too stupid as a population to us it. If you don't like something for any reason, don't buy it. If you don't think other people should buy it, tell them why. If you can't win your argument through logic and ideas and your only solution is force, you're just as bad as the barbarians who want to push creationism on this country and for the same reason. Or perhaps worse, because you seem to care but refuse any rational solution because it's not radical enough to force people to change whether they want to or not!

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 5, Interesting) 473

Any sensible man would know we shouldn't have such stupid laws. If CFLs/LEDs/etc are so superior, why do we need a law banning them? If everyone cares enough about the environment to pass a law to mandate the use of such bulbs, don't enough of us care that a law isn't necessary? The government shouldn't be passing laws for this kind of BS, guidelines and industry standard recommendations maybe, but not laws.

If you want to save electricity, how about turning off the millions of street and parking lot lights at night? How about wiring homes with DC so that damn near every piece of electric equipment doesn't have to take a >10% efficiency hit in order to operate? Or a law to limit the number of hours a TV can be used (we can all agree that that freedom isn't needed anymore, right)?

Maybe we should have laws limiting the amount of power your computer can draw or how long it can be on. Or perhaps outlaw that scourge to computer efficiency, the hard drive?

Comment Re:Not so fast (Score 2) 427

Of course everything can't be privatized; there are things that must be held in the public name or else fundamental public services would be non existant (such as courts or the military). I've never heard anyone clamoring for such an irrational view of privatization but I wouldn't put it past people. But the real reason privatization is NOT as dangerous to the common man is because 1) The government is eternal and 2) History has shown you have a lot more to fear from your government than from your asshole neighbor.

In regards to social naive were people to think that this WOULDN'T happen? I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner! You've already admitted the money "didn't belong to them" and you're right - it belonged to the people who earned it. So why isn't that money in *their* control? Why was it ever under the control of the government in the first place? (Hint: it wasn't unintentional.) Why isn't the middle ground of SS "you have to put money away for retirement, but that money is in a privately held, but federally insured account for the individual"? Heck, you could even say that the money *has* to be used to purchase US Treasuries - as a method of lending to the government to fund it while hedging against inflation.

But the whole notion of SS is fundamentally flawed - it assumes that people can't think for themselves, can't plan for their own future, and can't manage their own finances. Anyone with any sense of self worth and independence should see that for what it is: a slap in the face and a command to "obey"!

Comment Re:And So If Your Connection Is Down... (Score 1) 427

Why "minorities"? Why not just "individuals"? Isn't an "individual" the ultimate minority?

This constant obsession with protecting specific groups is a deep, fundamental flaw in your thinking that is all too common. Stop categorizing people. Rights shouldn't be based on what category you fit into, they should be based on the fact that you are an individual human being with the same rights as every other human being.

Slashdot Top Deals

Any given program will expand to fill available memory.