Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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 National Obsession (Score 2) 822

To many of us outside the US, the national obsession with firearms in that country looks like a bizarre mass psychosis. By any measure, the deadly proliferation of guns in that country is killing far more people than in any country on the planet.

Once upon a time I wondered if there could be a way to make people understand that it's a thing you need to let go of, but increasingly these days it's a case of sit back, grab some popcorn and watch the nation of gun nuts all kill each other.

Comment Good old passive voice (Score 1) 87

"The book is pervasive its use of passive voice that can be annoying to many readers. It is hoped that the second edition of this book will be updated with the current tools of the time and a good re-editing of the text to ensure its readability doesn't suffer."

It is to be hoped that critiques of the use of the passive voice are not self conciously ironic.

Submission + - Employee "Disciplined" for Installing BitCoin Software on Federal Webservers ( 1

Fluffeh writes: "Around a year ago, a person working for the ABC in Australia with the highest levels of access to systems got caught caught with his fingers on the CPU cycles. The staffer had installed BitCoin mining software on the systems used by the Australian broadcaster. While the story made a bit of a splash at the time, it was finally announced today that the staffer hadn't been sacked, but was merely being disciplined by his manager and having his access to systems restricted. All the stories seem a little vague as to what he actually installed however — on one side he installed the software on a public facing websever, and the ABC itself admits "As this software was for a short time embedded within pages on the ABC website, visitors to these pages may have been exposed to the Bitcoin software" and "the Coalition (current Opposition Parties) was planning on quizzing the ABC further about the issue, including filing a request for the code that would have been downloaded to users’ machines", but on the other side there is no mention of the staffer trying to seed a BitCoin mining botnet through the site, just that mining software had been installed."

Comment Why we stopped buying RHEL (Score 2) 666

Some years ago we set up all of our systems using RHEL with a paid support subscription. As a government agency we considered this the proper risk averse thing to do. When we had an actual issue that required technical support, we discovered that the people tasked with delivering the support were clueless and once the query was laboriously escalated up the chain, we found that we were met with apathy, not much more clue and no effort to dig into the issue.

So we changed to another distro, stopped paying for support, and on the occasions where we do run into something strange, a few minutes of web searching usually uncovers an answer.

It would be *very* hard to make a compelling case to us for paid support these days.

Comment Re:Licensing (Score 1) 406

> I don't expect to see this service enabled for any country south of the equator, except Australia.

Well, here in Australia I click the 'Request an Invitation' link and I'm served this page:
Which declares: "We're sorry. Music Beta is currently only available in the United States"
No music soup for me.

Comment Harder than it looks (Score 1) 240

My seven year old son says he'd *love* to have a job writing computer games. Some of the recent flash-based game sites where you 'design' the game that you then play have encouraged him and that's a good thing.

I have done 3D computer graphics at the CS Masters level, and I think it's worth pointing out that this stuff is *hard*. You need to have excellent skills in mathematics and physics (lots of matrices and vectors) and a strong foundation in computing. I applaud anyone who studies this stuff properly through the motivation of gaming, but as many other posters have said, don't make game development your only option.

Meanwhile, I'm getting the boy into computing by introducing the important concepts without a computer via


North Korea's Own OS, Red Star 316

klaasb writes "North Korea's self-developed computer operating system, named 'Red Star,' was brought to light for the first time by a Russian satellite broadcaster yesterday. North Korea's top IT experts began developing the Red Star in 2006, but its composition and operation mechanisms were unknown until the internet version of the Russia Today TV program featured the system, citing the blog of a Russian student who goes to the Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang."

Breaking the Squid Barrier 126

An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Steve O'Shea of Auckland, New Zealand is attempting to break the record for keeping deep sea squid alive in captivity, with the goal of being able to raise a giant squid one day. Right now, he's raising the broad squid, sepioteuthis australis, from egg masses found in seaweed. This is a lot harder than it sounds, because the squid he's studying grow rapidly and eat only live prey, making it hard for them to keep the squid from becoming prey themselves. If his research works out, you might one day be able to visit an aquarium and see giant squid."

Comment Let's dumb it down, shall we? (Score 1, Insightful) 365

From TFA:
> "If the cost of assessing it was greater than the cost of the software, you would have to think twice."
We don't understand it. Do you understand it? This stuff is hard. Have you tried rebooting?

> "While open source software may reduce licensing costs, the cost of support could be an issue."
I was flipping burgers last week and now I are teh IT guy. Have you tried rebooting?

> "Centrelink, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and National Archives of Australia were known to use open source products; however, it was up to individual agencies to make procurement decisions, AGIMO said."
Yes, yes we do. And so do quite a few others. Betcha no-one in the proprietary software world knows who we all are. We're here though, and we're not going away.

Why Time Flies By As You Get Older 252

Ant notes a piece up on WBUR Boston addressing theories to explain the universal human experience that time seems to pass faster as you get older. Here's the 9-minute audio (MP3). Several explanations are tried out: that brains lay down more information for novel experiences; that the "clock" for nerve impulses in aging brains runs slower; and that each interval of time represents a diminishing fraction of life as we age.

Own Your Own Fighter Jet 222

gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."

Slashdot Top Deals

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!