Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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:Relating the conceivable to the perceivable (Score 1) 1145

Officially, the United States and some other countries have defined non-metric units in terms of metric units for over 50 years.

Unofficially: The metric system has some units that you can directly perceive and understand: a meter is a little bigger than a yard, a liter is a little bigger than a quart, a kilogram is a little bigger than two pounds. ("Related to some portion of the body" is, AFAIK, specific to feet.) I'd argue that the big mental block is that you can "see" and are accustomed to multiple base points for the same type of unit (e.g. inch, foot, yard). Also, you can sort of "see" miles as its own base point, roughly equivalent to "minutes driving at highway speed" (at least in the absence of congested traffic).

Comment Re:Dumb Question: (Score 5, Informative) 89

From TFA:

NWA 7325 has a lower magnetic intensity — the magnetism passed from a cosmic body's magnetic field into a rock — than any other rock yet found, Irving said. Data sent back from NASA's Messenger spacecraft currently in orbit around Mercury shows that the planet's low magnetism closely resembles that found in NWA 7325, Irving said.

Messenger's observations also provided Irving with further evidence that could support his hypothesis. Scientists familiar with Mercury's geological and chemical composition think that the planet's surface is very low in iron. The meteorite is also low in iron, suggesting that wherever the rock came from, its parent body resembles Mercury.

Comment Re:Pay the $3.99 (Score 5, Insightful) 371

If you have to pay $3.99 to get the DOSBox Turbo binary, and then you get the source free along with it, then that's definitely not a violation of the license. (If you don't give someone the binary, then you don't have to give them the source either.) It's also definitely open to someone following the AC's suggestion.

Comment From TFA, explaining *how* this would work (Score 1) 153

Similarly, in a content-centric network, if you want to watch a video, you don’t have to go all the way back to the source, Lunt says. “I only have to go as far as the nearest router that has cached the content, which might be somebody in the neighborhood or somebody near me on an airplane or maybe my husband’s iPad.”

Of course, caching data at different points in the network is exactly what content distribution networks (CDNs) like Akamai do for their high-end corporate clients, so that Internet videos will start playing faster, for example. But in a content-centric world, Lunt says, the whole Internet would be a CDN. “Caching becomes part of the model as opposed to something you have to glue onto the side.”

I suppose it makes sense. The smarter the intermediate nodes are about deciding what to cache (based on popularity, size, speed of original request, who's nearby and what they have cached), the better this would work.

Comment Re:We didn't "imagine" anything about 3 Laws (Score 1) 305

There's a big jump from special-purpose AI (your software) to general-purpose AI (Asimovian robots). That said, you can jump in the other direction (Asimovian robots : First Law :: your software : ???) and then consider whether the result is still reasonable in its new context.

Comment Re:Thumbnail Results Are Useless (Score 1) 194

I actually tried it (for all of 2 minutes). First, it does show the page title overlaid on the bottom of each thumbnail, which makes them far less annoying than I expected them to be. Second, they do potentially convey "hey, this page looks like ass, I'm not even gonna bother".

What did annoy me right quick:

  • My home page is a local HTML file with a bunch of text links. Axis's thing-at-the-bottom does not show up, and AFAICT the only way to make it show up is to navigate to a non-local page. (Okay, this probably doesn't affect 99.44% of you. I don't think it shows up on an about:blank tab either, but I forgot to specifically test that.)
  • Thumbnail loading is sluggish. Slide up/down effects are sluggish. Only slightly in both cases, but I'm on a reasonably fast corporate laptop with a reasonably fast net connection; I don't want to futz with "slightly".
  • I already accomplish "keep the search results hanging around" via alt-click (open in background tab) and alt-PgUp/Dn (switch tabs; control-Tab / control-shift-Tab are equivalent, if you prefer those).
  • It adds largish "" buttons to the middle left/right of the page, which take you to the next/previous pages in your navigation-history-that-Axis-is-aware-of, or something. Which is potentially useful functionality, but I'd prefer them in the toolbar.
  • Have I mentioned there's no sign of an options panel anywhere?

Comment Re:Wrong (Score 1) 333

firing people via e-mail using a form letter

I didn't see anything explicitly claiming that the person was fired solely by e-mail (as opposed to being fired in person and getting the e-mail as an addendum), nor that the e-mail was a form letter.

A high turnover rate is an unambiguous indicator of bad management.

I work for the software division of a CPA firm, and I'm told the CPA side routinely has a certain proportion of junior employees stick around for a few years to get experience and then leave to go independent, while others stay longer and move up the ladder. It didn't sound particularly high, though, nor is it turnover-by-firing (firings have happened but are pretty uncommon).

Slashdot Top Deals

Over the shoulder supervision is more a need of the manager than the programming task.