Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re:Turn it off (Score 1) 228

Yep, that's the problem, Windows 7 on a machine designed for Windows 10. Microsoft require basic stuff like USB to work for the computer to carry the "designed for Windows" sticker, but of course only the version that it ships with.

You say that as though it makes sense. I installed a several-year-old copy of Debian Linux on the same machine without trouble. The USB controller chipset is newer than that old kernel, for example, but the generic controller drivers in the kernel work fine.

Comment Re:Lottery? (Score 1) 127

Is there a legal reason SpaceX can't have a lottery for tickets? Seems like a good way to fund these types of things.

Well what do you do if you don't sell all the lottery tickets, is the lottery stuck? Normally the prize pool is relative to the total paid in, but either you get a seat or you don't. Also you might end up with people that for medical or mental reasons shouldn't be trapped in a tiny little space capsule for a week with no chance of assistance, sure you can disqualify them in the terms and conditions but the whole "my number came up, but I was refused" bit would be negative PR. And it's just one lucky winner, in a regular lottery people like to win a little now and then while they hope for the jackpot. The rest will really be trinkets by comparison.

And I think this is still just a joyride, not a life changer. You take a fling around the moon and then you're right back to where you were, sure it's for space nerds but hardly the mass market appeal an ordinary lottery has. I think it would be totally different if it were say a ticket to Mars. That's the kind of thing you could probably make a living off afterwards, just from selling interviews and speaking engagements and such. Then again you'd probably want to be more selective in the selection process so... I mean it would be cool, but I understand why SpaceX wouldn't do it. And it's easy to get their lottery confused with (semi-?)scams like Mars One.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 101

that would be an interesting twist: lots of new beachfront property.

As opposed to what is going to happen, which is lots of old properties become beachfront :)

Well, maybe you're right, but even if this was something of a 1970s meme, the fact was that it was at best a view held by all a minority of researchers, and even those researchers weren't proposing that Ice Age was going to happen any time soon, save perhaps in geological time.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 101

It sounds more like anecdotal claims of dubious merit to me. I've suspected for several years now that posters who proclaim that they were told this by college profs were either exaggerating or simply making it up, basing it on something they read elsewhere on the Internet. As it is, even the article I mention suggests that, at the time, there were some legitimate fears that sulfur dioxide aerosols from industrial pollution could lead to cooling, but that that view was only held by a minority of climatologists, and never really seems to have been viewed by the wider scientific community as a significant issue. Fifty years ago, the research was much as it is today, that human CO2 emissions will trap more energy in the lower atmosphere and lead to surface warming. In reality, AGW is about as controversial in the scientific community as biological evolution or Big Bang cosmology.

Comment Re:The benefits of Single Payer (Score 1) 108

I can only speak to the work I've done in a fairly small project that merged multiple sources and creating a set of file formats and protocols to communicate changes. It certainly wasn't trivial even in my case, and working with vendors to create interfaces in their own applications to work with these protocols could be a challenge. I suppose in many instances with aging infrastructure, you may also be dealing with fairly old systems where finding expertise to actual build interfaces could be a problem. But the theory I was operating under is that you create a common environment that discrete systems can push to and pull from was still a lot cheaper and manageable than telling everyone involved "We're moving you over to a new system".

It seems rather odd to me, as a person who comes from a networking background, that there would be this obsession over running the identical application, or running a centralized application, in all agencies or departments, is necessary or even desirable. The world I started out my professional life in was dominated by networking protocols, whether we're talking low-level data exchange protocols like TCP/IP or NETBIOS or higher level protocols like SMTP. One never really expected that all front end applications would function the same, or possibly even do precisely the same things, but you built message-exchanging protocols, databases and file formats that captured the data and activities that could at a minimum be expected by all the front-facing high level applications, and then the only problem you might have to deal with is where one particular application didn't support all the necessary features.

This monolithic system approach just seems so very 1950s-1960s to me, and suffers the same kinds of problems that older approach often had, with too many critical failure points that would simply bring an entire system down, where having a distributed system with multiple independent or semi-independent nodes meant that failures were at least limited, and the wider system could still function. It strikes me that the current drive in many governments towards monolithic centralized CRM-style applications is the product of both heavy sales pressure from big guys like HP and Oracle, and a lack of perspective and experience by organizational IT decision-makers.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 2) 101

From what I can gather, the actual researchers suggesting a new Ice Age were not talking in fact about an imminent return of continent-spanning glaciers. That was hyperbole by science journalists of the time. This is why I find people who make claims of the state of any area of research based upon what some science reporter in a newspaper or magazine writes is a pretty dubious activity. Science journalists, to put it bluntly, spend their days sexing up often rather mundane or esoteric research into something that can produce "wow-pow!" headline, often betraying their own ignorance of the research in question.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 101

And once again, what does the musings of a Law Professor in 1970 have to do with the state of the science in 1970? I don't give a flying f--- about 1970 climate zeitgeist. That's not the claim. The claim is clearly that climatologists in the 1970s believed the world was entering a new glacial period soon.

According to Skeptical Science, there were something like seven research papers in the period mentioning cooling, as opposed to over forty talking about temperature rises due to CO2. https://skepticalscience.com/i...

The Skeptical Science entry goes further to suggest that some of the reasons some researchers were positing cooling was due to SO2 releases at the time. One can debate whether those releases would have slowed temperature increases, but seeing as that SO2 limits were put in place, that's rather a moot point.

So what we have is a few alarmist articles of the period, little of their content apparently based on climatology research even at the time, and the usual anecdotal claims of "I remember my professor/teacher/some guy on TV saying the ice age was coming." In other words, no, few if any climatologists actual thought there was an ice age, and by that point, even 45-47 years ago, global warming due to human CO2 emissions was seen as a real phenomenon.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 3, Insightful) 101

Do you have any citations in peer reviewed literature from the period? Do you think a Time Magazine article quoting a fucking law professor somehow constitutes an expansive statement on the view of climatologists in 1970?

JEsus Christ, the extent the deniers will go to is just fucking stunning. Since the heyday of the Creationists, it's hard to imagine a more motivated, and yet more fundamentally moronic group of people than the web forum climate skeptic.

Comment Re:Always Assuming... (Score 1) 129

I can't decide if you're high, crazy, stupid or just trolling. Let's just unite under one Führer, that worked so well the last time. Because what we have is clearly an anarchist's dream where everyone does exactly what they want, no laws or regulations to hold us back. And the richest parts of the world that could support the most kids have women go crazy to have a little league team each. My guess is your sarcasm meter is so broken you'll think I'm serious.

Comment Re:Isn't all of this just BS? (Score 1) 208

as far as I understand AI, it's basically plugging the program to a (insanely huge) database about the subject and help him interpolate the input and it's own data. That's computer program getting better, not getting "intelligent". Or is my definition of "AI" that off the mark?

Well it depends on how much you consider "MacGyver" style problem solving to be intelligent. As in I have a task to complete, I have a bunch of random items that can be combined/used in some way to produce a non-obvious result. Computers are great a combinatorics even to the point where they might do something that's original and never been done by a human. A lot of what humans consider creative is putting together known things in unexpected ways, or at least that this particular person has never done before. You might say that the computer is always in the box but we're trying to expanding it while at the same time guiding it so it doesn't get lost in an endless number of possibilities.

Maybe it's easier to explain with a practical example, before you gave the computer a toolbox and taught the computer that the the hammer could hammer, the saw could cut and the screwdriver screw and that was the box. Then we gave it free roam as a few hunks of wood and metal and it got totally lost. Now we give it examples of people hammering and cutting and screwing which guide it, but doesn't bind it. And we find that sometimes it does things in novel ways because nobody told it that it couldn't. The goal is to make "the box" the laws of nature, physics, chemistry, gravity, optics and so on. That we stop defining for the computer what something is and what it can do.

Comment Re:The benefits of Single Payer (Score 1, Troll) 108

Well, just wait for it to get worse. As the Republicans shambolically move towards repeal of Obamacare, it already looks like the replacement will likely be worse than what came before Obamacare. How a first world nation can have some of the worst health care outcomes in the industrialized world baffles me.

Comment Re:The benefits of Single Payer (Score 4, Interesting) 108

Having witnessed the creation of a centralized IT system close up, I have seen just how disastrous, and ultimately how expensive the results can be. I think the logic behind unifying infrastructure is seductive, but rarely does anyone honestly assess the massive costs, because if they did, no government would ever pay for it. So you put together an upgrade plan that has an absurdly low pricetag, knowing full well that by the time the job is actually done (if it is ever completed), the costs will be orders of a magnitude greater. The critical step to this "unlimited budget via the back door" is to bring the new system up, regardless of how far away from actual completion and stability it is, then immediately shut down the old systems, shred the hard drives and dispose of the hardware, so that no one can ever contemplate returning to the old system as a standby. This is critical. You have to make the cost of retreating back over the proverbial Rubicon so great that you end up being stuck with the new system, and thus with the costs of making it work.

To my mind, the more logical way to approach this is to create a centralized RDBMS, make sure that all the disparate systems at least can regularly vomit out a batch job in one common format, and dump it to the RDBMS. Over time you could conceivably use this new database as a the core of replacement systems, or not , as you choose. I've worked on this kind of system before, puking out batch exports from one system, throwing it into another database and then processing, reporting or whatever it is you want to do, and then pushing changes back up to the systems. It was all done with common shared import/export formats. Now admittedly this does mean having to write code for each system, but that is almost invariably a fraction of the workload of building an entire replacement system and then spending years of ever-inflating budgets, downtime, and in the case of a police force, possibly even risking lives.

But companies like Deloitte, IBM and HP have basically made selling "unified solutions" that inevitably turn into IT catastrophes a vast cash cow, and so long as they can con bureaucrats and politicians into buying into their bullshit, they'll keep making money hand over fist even as the products they roll out remain utter shit.

Slashdot Top Deals

/* Halley */ (Halley's comment.)

Working...