Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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:yeah, tax the robots (Score 3, Interesting) 392

There are a few billionaires out there and that's it.

That's enough. Even just the eight richest people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 50%. That's 8 people vs 3.5 billion. The wealth distribution in this world is completely out of whack. Give that money to the poor and they'll spend it in the local economy and get things going.

Comment Globalisation (Score 2) 392

I don't necessarily disagree with the core idea of a robot tax, but in a globalized world you don't end up with people paying a robot tax, you end up with factories getting moved into countries that don't have a robot tax.

Also robots aren't really the core of the problem, the core problem is the accumulation of wealth within a very small number of people. Robots might make that situation worse and a robot tax could help slow it down a little, but much more drastic measures of wealth redistribution will be needed to actually get anywhere. Robot tax is a band aid and might at worst slow down technological progress.

Comment No surprise (Score 2) 101

How is that even a surprise? This is not a spam filtering tool that might catch a few wrong messages. This is explicitly advertised to perform censorship by getting rid of messages that might count as harassment or toxic. Since both of those are highly subjective, it will of course get rid of a lot valid messages, as that's it's job, that is what it was build for. If you want to automate your censorship, don't be surprise when your censorship happens automatically.

I find it ridiculous how much effort is spent on trying to cure toxicity, when most of it is the direct result of really basic usability flaws in the UI design. On Youtube for example you can only see the last 20 or so comments and higher ranked comments raise to the top. So of course you get clickbaity jokes and crap instead of good discussion, as you couldn't even have a good discussion within that comment system if you tried. Same with Twitter and it's 140 character limit. Comment system are more often than not so broken that you really can't hope to ever get good discussions out of them, no matter how much censorship you try.

Comment Devil is in the details (Score 1) 600

The problem with eval() is that it's incredible power can't be used safely in most languages, as whatever you eval() becomes part of the main program. If you could eval() code in a sandbox and apply memory and CPU cycle limits to it, it would be very useful, but most languages don't have such features making eval() little more than a dangerous toy that sometimes becomes useful for debugging.

As for goto, the Linux kernel is full of it and quite readable because of it. But outside of C you tend to have other mechanism to deal with resource cleanup that make it no longer necessary (RAII in C++, 'with' statements in Python).

Recursion again depends heavily on the details. In Python you quickly run into stack overflows when you use recursion to much (1000 is the default), so it's best avoided. In Haskell or Scheme it's the normal way of doing things, thanks to tail recursion support.

Multi-inheritance I never found very useful, even single-inheritance is rarely a good solution and you are better of doing composition most of the time.

Comment Re:Forgot one (Score 5, Informative) 489

Scott Meyers calls this the The Keyhole Problem and has a paper with a bunch of good examples.

My "favorite" modern example of the problem is Chrome's omnibox auto-completion, you get six results at maximum, they don't even give you a scroll bar or a "Show more" link, six results only. There used to be a command line option to increase it, but they removed it some years ago, it's now a hardcoded constant in the source code.

Comment Talk is easy (Score 1) 367

Talk is easy, I'd like to see some example how the self driving car would actually perform in those freak accident situations, especially in cases where it could avoid them by going outside the traffic rules (e.g. dodge a truck by driving into the grass or reversing).

Comment Re:We've heard this before (Score 1) 63

While DK2 had some lower specs, it didn't have the god-ray problem, red-tint problems and it had exchangeable lenses that made it possible to use without glasses. Meanwhile CV1 didn't brought any new features (still no passthrough camera, no tracked controllers on launch), just a general bit of polish and upped specs. Given the drastic price increase of CV1 and all those problems it felt rather lackluster overall, especially since Vive pretty much stole the show with roomscale and tracked controllers. Oculus is just slowly catching up to that.

I am really not sure that the $600 price was a good idea, as the biggest problem VR has is not the quality, but a lack of content. A lack of VR gamers due to the expensive price isn't helping there. That said, the Oculus launch was a rushed clusterfuck with many month of waiting time anyway, with a $300 price people would probably still waiting for their Rift.

With PSVR now out and christmas not so far away, I am wondering who will make a price cut first. VR really needs that if it doesn't want to die a slow death again. Expensive VR hasn't worked the first time around in the 90's, I don't expect to work it this time around either.

Comment Re:I want alternatives (Score 3, Interesting) 97

Well, what's wrong with Android? It's based on Linux and somewhat Open Source. It would be nice if there would be more compatibility between desktop Linux and Android, but that's something that could be accomplished without reinventing everything. Ubuntu in fact worked on allowing you to run Android apps on desktop Linux, but they abandoned that many years ago and instead went the same "reinvent everything" route that Mozilla tried and they will probably fail just the same.

If Free Software wants to stay relevant in the long run they need to work more on interoperability, portability and mobility. Back in the day there was a "many user : single computer" environment and cloning Unix solved that reasonably well, but these days we live in a "single user : multiple computer" environment and so far Free Software isn't really handling that all that well and all these "let's write yet another OS" efforts aren't really helping, as they are just yet another OS that it mostly incompatible with the devices I already own.

Comment Make it client side (Score 1) 310

Storing the .mp3 on their servers is where it gets iffy. So how about turning the whole thing into a Javascript application that does all the dirty work on the client instead of the server? Emscripten should make it possible to get video and mp3 coder into the Javascript world. Do current browsers allow enough access to get a Youtube video into a blob that can be processed with Javascript?

Comment Socialmedia is a third-person camera thing (Score 3, Insightful) 92

One thing with social media is that people seem to post a lot more pictures of themselves (third person camera) than they post about experiences they were having (first person camera). Meaning video glasses point essentially in the wrong direction, as they show what the user sees, but not the user itself. Selfiesticks seem to be more in tune to how people actually use social media.

Either way, the 10sec restriction makes those glasses a rather limited gadget without much use outside of Snapchat.

Comment Re:Keeping up with the Nadellas (Score 1) 121

None of the aforementioned were forced on anybody.

They were very definitely forced on people. When Ubuntu 11.10 came out they removed Gnome2 and replaced it with the completely different and incompatible Gnome3. MATE didn't exist yet. There was no simple way to downgrade again either. You were stuck with a system that got completely broken duo to the upgrade and it took years before MATE made it into Ubuntu.

As fucked up as the Windows10 upgrade was, at least that one I could roll back with a few clicks. Linux package manager on the other side aren't quite clever enough to allow a system wide downgrade. Windows also has the advantage of having really good backward/forward compatibility, so it's much easier to run an outdated Windows than it is to run an outdated Linux. And before somebody says "Use LTS", those have a whole heap of problems of their own and the lack of support for third-party apps in Linux means you are stuck with two year old software or a lot of manual fiddling.

As much as I like Free Software, that Ubuntu 11.10 upgrade was easily the worst upgrade experience I ever had on any OS and Free Software is extremely lacking when it comes to software longlifety.

Comment Re:All messaging services are the same (Score 1) 135

Yes, that's what broadcasting means. The problem is that email never had native broadcasting capabilities, it only got bolted on via mailing lists, which lacked a standard interface and made subscribe and unsubscribe extremely cumbersome. The other big problem with mail is that it lacked persistence, if you subscribed to a mailing list in the mid of a discussion, you would miss out on everything that happened before. You could look it up in a mail archive, assuming somebody provided it, but it was again a cobbled together mess with no standard interface or integration into the mail client.

Twitter, Facebook and Co. are solving those problems and giving people broadcasting functionality and persistence by default along with slightly better multimedia support. But what you end up with is essentially email reinvented with broadcast capabilities. You could take all those services and merge them into one, as they are all doing the same thing now.

Comment Re:All messaging services are the same (Score 1) 135

Where is the huge difference? You have a linear news feed where you can post messages and others can comment on your messages. It's the same as everything else. Back when Twitter started it was a different thing, the 140 characters were all that you got and there was no integration of pictures, but that has been eroded for years, pictures, video and Co. are now all normal on Twitter and natively supported. Even the page layout is mostly the same with friends and photo boxes on the left and news feed on the right.

Slashdot Top Deals

You cannot have a science without measurement. -- R. W. Hamming