Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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

Comment Re:I would try it. (Score 1) 97

Been there, done that. Basically had to go to the max dose of oxycontin just to take the edge off the pain.

This page you can see some pictures of the procedure and instruments people used on kidney stones in the 1600s. It seems unimaginable that anyone would subject themselves to that -- without anesthetic -- unless you've actually experienced it.

Comment Re:And Yawn! (Score 1) 17

A properly designed system shouldn't be highly dependent upon any kind of persistence layer, although if you follow the provider's example programs you'll tend to spread dependencies through your code. But a smart designer hides that all away deep down in some kind of abstraction.

A demonstration of exactly how little you are dependent on a vendor is probably a very good thing, if you're a big customer. Oh, we'll run *this* part of our product on the other guy's cloud service and boom. It happens. Shows the vendors who's boss.

Comment an infection is as an infection does (Score 1) 147

Despite the brass ring TOS of whatever version you were previously running, an infection is as an infection does.

Also, read your antibiotic prescription carefully.
* may include systemd[**]

[**] First we keep Berlin, then we take Warsaw, someday soon we annex Prague, and eventually perhaps we'll incite the Arabs to cut Manhattan down to size.

All hail PC-BSD: the systemd-free libertarian antibiotic of last resort.

Comment This,kids, is what it was like back in the day. (Score 2) 90

The developer of this thing has thoughtfully provided a "hello.c" file and cc. Oh, yes, and emacs. So go ahead and type:

cc -o hello hello.c

and marvel at the speed.

This environment is just like my first full-time, non-student programming job. There was no IDE, so we pretty much lived in emacs. I haven't used emacs in decades, but my fingers still remember the key bindings for the commands -- as long as I'm not trying to consciously remember them.

It was on a 68020 running at 16 MHz which delivered a grand total of 2 MIPS at 16 MHz. We shared all that computing power among four programmers, which was luxury because the system was supposed to support 16 users (32 max).

It seems almost inconceivable, but the funny thing is it was really just as fun programming back then as it is now with a supercomputer all to myself. Our office was next to a reservoir, and used to start a compile, wait five minutes for the parsing to catch any syntax error (about 75% of the time), then go for a walk on the 1.5 mile trail around the pond. Then I'd stop in at the convenience store to buy a cup of coffee, and head back to the office, and make would just be finishing up the linking. God forbid you got a link error though. That's why we had time to read the entire Unix manual (all eight sections) cover to cover. Many times.

This has fed my conviction that user perceptions of system speed are as strongly affected by consistency as it is by absolute speed. If you're used to a build taking fifteen seconds,a sudden change to 30 seconds seems unbearable.

Comment Re:I'm just guessing they won't study the fraud (Score 1) 629

Look, this is a prime example of what I'm talking about. It all seems plausible to the poster because he doesn't personally know any scientists. Trying to organize scientist into a vast, disciplined conspiracy is laughable, if you've ever worked with them. They're waaay more likely to be obstreperous free thinkers than they are to be timid conformists.

Comment Re:I knew some scientists are shameless (Score 1) 629

you'll realize that there was a decades-long, vigorous debate that has gone on that was largely decisively finished by the late 90s.

I remember that. It concluded with the prediction that by 2010, the sea level will rise by three to six feet.

I think that has been thoroughly refuted by now.

And that is why climate scientists don't make predictions about the temperature in their own lifetime anymore.

Obviously your memory is defective. The debate did not "end" with a six foot rise by 2010. Early on when the "horn of possibilities" was wider, sure that was in it. That's why scientists continue to examine evidence.

This is the difference between science and whatever it is denialists use to make their beliefs: science goes out and checks results.

Comment public routing table vs connection tuple (Score 1) 121

Even a 64-bit address would have been seen as doubling memory requirements of routing hardware for no good reason.

There could have been an optional 32-bit client sub-address ignored by the public routing backbone.

Then, for most purposes, non-backbone routers need two routing tables: a routing table for the public network (if more complex than a few simple gateways), and an organization-local internal routing table (with 32-bit addresses, just like the public table).

The actual problem is that each TCP/IP connection would require for the connection tuple (src_IP, src_port, dst_IP, dst_port) not 12 bytes, but 20 bytes.

Probably something could have been done to mitigate that, too, as things stood long ago, but I don't feel like speculating further just now.

Even without mitigation, let's suppose you have an FTP server and you want to guarantee at least 16 kb/s for each active FTP connection (circa 14.4/28.8 modem technology). You need to provide nearly a kbit/s network bandwidth per byte of connection tuple held in system memory (we'll ignore the messy nature of FTP, much of whose ugliness could have been averted by a better original IP design).

At the same time, NAT isn't all bad. It does help to conceal the internal structure of your network from the evil public network (and makes exposing your non-firewall hosts more of a sin of commission rather than a simple sin of omission).

NAT also erects a barrier to ultimate host fingerprinting and traffic analysis, at least until HTTP came along to ruin things with user agent strings and cookies.

Some people are quick to point out that a low barrier is no barrier at all, but I like to force my adversaries to at least put on their ballet shoes before attacking my network, and then to stay alert for people with trunks full of tools good at hopping low barriers.

My proposal doesn't much complicate the backbone routing table, except for Sandvine, who would have—once we got there—been pissed in a big way (counterfactually), to much rejoicing.

Comment Re:Common for Cranks (Score 1) 629

This is a very good point, but it needs to be sharpened.

Evidence, can be contradictory, because it is what it is. Explanations and interpretations, however, cannot be contradictory, or they don't really explain anything.

So if the climate is getting hotter in one part of the Earth but cooler in another, that's just the nature of evidence; reality is complex. But you can't simultaneously believe that the Earth is getting hotter (but it's OK) and that it's getting cooler. People sometimes do argue both ways, simply ignoring the inconsistency. What really matters to them is that we should not have to do anything about it; how we justify that end is secondary.

Comment Re:I'm just guessing they won't study the fraud (Score 5, Insightful) 629

One of the hallmarks of conspiracy theories is that they imagine huge numbers of people to act in ways that contradict their own interests, and for them to all do it with perfect (or near-perfect) levels of secrecy.

The idea that there's more money to be made shilling against burning petroleum than there is shilling for it is simply farfetched. And leaving that aspect out of it for the moment, what scientists want more than anything is to see the scientific consensus overturned. When that happens it's like a gold strike: everyone rushes to the new fields and tries to stake his claim.

Once upon a time there was something called the "Central Dogma of Molecular Biology" (it was actually called the "central dogma"): DNA makes RNA, and RNA makes proteins. Except then Howard Temin and David Baltimore discovered reverse transcriptase, which explained how RNA from retroviruses were able to alter host DNA. Their reward for finding an exception to the dogma? A Nobel Prize, and a brand new area for research and technological development. Reverse transcriptase made the highly sensitive and accurate PCR test possible.

Any scientist who can conclusively disprove AGW would be able to dine out on that for the rest of his life. He would go down in history as one of the greatest benefactors of the human race. Most importantly, everyone would think he was waaay smarter than the other scientists.

People don't understand the function of scientific consensus. It doesn't represent a final version of the Truth; it represents a division between things statements that can be stipulated for the time being without recapitulating the entire lie of evidence (e.g. that matter is made up of atoms) and things that require citation of specific evidence (e.g. that there are stable elements with atomic numbers > 118).

Slashdot Top Deals

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (8) I'm on the committee and I *still* don't know what the hell #pragma is for.