Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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:Don't need to be drunk to have this outcome (Score 1) 432

As opposed to the opposite crime where you spend years in requirements and nothing gets done. I worked in one company where the technology group was tasked at building an system to replace an analyst spreadsheet. They said it would take 1 year and a million dollars, it actually took over 5 years and 30 million dollars and the test output still doesn't work. But they passed rigorous technology audits every year with flying colours! They have lots of documentation.

Comment Re:Can't believe the lack of faith here. (Score 1) 636

The average person can speak MUCH faster than they can type (250 - 300WPM), and as long as that statistic rings true

Are you for real? You actually speak 5 words every second? There is no study that claims any such thing. In fact all the studies I have seen show the fastest is thinking and then typing. Speech is the slowest form of communication. And that's not even considering the ease of editing what I type as opposed to speaking into a world processor.

Comment Re:Safety of Wind? (Score 1) 533

"The problem is, finding a place that has near-constant wind in a known or semi-known direction, near no one who minds and yet still near something so that power can be put back into the grid. Oh, and you have to avoid major fault-lines and tornadoes. A tough set of rules to follow..."

The perfect spot would be lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Lake Erie was designed by God as one long wind tunnel to blast the city of Buffalo with crappy weather for the horrible sin of being Buffalo. But putting turbines in the middle of lakes is a lot more money and the Ontario government didn't want to do that. Better to have them near roads where citizens could see what their tax dollars were being spent on, next to the sign telling them what their tax dollars were spent on.

Comment Re:What if I just oppose subsidization? (Score 1) 533

No, they are protesting their location as well. It's been a hot topic in Ontario for the last few years are rural areas have fought against them being built in their back yard. Everything from noise issues (whirling of blades keeps people up at night) to destroying bird species (it's a massive bird strike zone) has been raised.

Comment Re:West cutting its nose to spite its face (Score 1) 667

The only other way to transfer money out of a country is by converting it to something physical that you can stuff in a suit case and carry across the border. It is a really big deal to get cut out of the SWIFT. Carrying bricks of gold or other tangibles across borders just doesn't work for serious amounts.

Any new system won't be able to connect to the major currency markets or any of the major financial institutions is doomed to fail.

Comment Re:Why legal issues? (Score 1) 189

You can not convert it back to cash, only for products in a MS store. You can not convert those points into Euro's, or Austrailian dollars on any currency exchange. Your local grocery store is not legally obliged to accept your MS points to pay for purchases as stipulated by government laws determining what legal tender is. Central banks do not recognize nor accept MS points as capital. The bank teller will laugh in your face if you try and deposit MS points.

Face it, it is not a currency and any one who has taken economics 101 knows this. It should also be pointed out that the MS points in the link you provided and not real points yet. They are vouchers to activate for real points. You can not un-activate those points back into cash or a card that can be sold. Once that card is activated you can not un-activate it and sell it for more cash.

Comment Re:Why legal issues? (Score 1) 189

Because there are many laws in many nations one what can be called currency. You can't just start a new currency and expect it to interact with the current financial system. There are a sh*t load of other laws and regulations, especially if you are engaging in deposit taking or credit lending. You need the appropriate approvals and must conduct your self like other financial institutions do.

Microsoft can get away with points because it's only a one way exchange. You buy MS points to get stuff on the X-Box. You can not convert MS points back into cash.

Comment I just want Dexter Season 4 and up... (Score 3, Insightful) 123

Piracy here is definitely a problem as I have many friends constantly encouraging me to get my media it the down and dirty way. I have stubbornly been trying to do it the legit way for a long time now. The latest is in trying to get Dexter season 4 and up. Season 1 to 3 is on Netflix Canada but I will be damned if I can rent seasons 4 and up any where. I solved this by using a VPN proxy to the U.S. and some gift card trickery on Amazon to watch it online. I lied to pay for it instead of pirating it.

There is a crap load of content we can never get because some rights holder here in Canada won't allow it to be shown at all here. That's why we can't get Pandora or Spotify. I've seen Canadian indy musicians have their stuff available on iTunes U.S. long before it's available in the Canadian store.

How long do I put up with this before I become a total pirate? Right now I pay a proxy service to pretend like I am American so I can buy the content. I want to pay and be legit but at some point it's just easier to pirate the stuff.

Comment Re:Canada should strive to be on every list like t (Score 3, Interesting) 123

" Canada, as a raw material and energy exporter, needs to allow its currency to be set by the market..."

What the hell are you talking about?!? Canada's currency is a freely floating one and has been for a few decades. It's one of the few countries on the planet that has a completely floating exchange rate. As for natural resources we have a time honored tradition of selling it abroad. The oil sands in Alberta being the latest.

Comment The cloud has always existed for Corp IT (Score 5, Insightful) 141

Why don't people look in the history books of computing. If they did they would see that in the before the 80's everything was in "the cloud", except back then they called it servers. They rented these servers and the storage space from IBM, Digital, HP and a few other server providers. The personal computer came a long and data started shifting on to local hard drives and WIntel or Novell LAN servers.

Now they have the problem of trying to maintain every spreadsheet and Access DB sitting on a managers laptop. To solve this they are going back to the future and storing stuff back on servers sold to us by young people who never knew what DASD is. Controls and audits will demand restricted access and rules be put in the cloud for protection just like before. After about 10 years we will all be bitching and complaining about the cloud and praising local storage for it's ease of access and not having our data held hostage by providers. Lather, rinse, repeat.

There is nothing new under the sun people, just move along.

Comment Re:Capitalism 101 (Score 1) 406

"Capitalism 101 says that pricing acts as a regulator between supply and demand."

Your incorrect, price is where the supply curve intersects with the demand curve. It is the result, not the input. That is economics 101. Price is a regulator of nothing unless your a government that sets price controls (which always fail).

Capitalism 101 just says charge people what you can get away with and pay as little as possible. The difference is profit.

Comment Re:OK. Now will all you Rand fanbois (Score 1) 406

If you think the free market is suppose to give consumers everything at low cost you don't understand the concept. Free markets produce the most accurate real cost of a product, not the friendliest.

AT&T is not acting in a free market, it is regulated. The government controls who can compete with AT&T and this is why they act the way they do. This is the real racket you are referring to. If it were an open market anyone could put up a network to compete for your dollars. That's what the Rand fanbois would tell you.

However that argument is as ill conceived as your post. Barriers to entry and interfering transmissions between carriers destroys that notion. You could have light but intelligent regulation but that requires Congress to act like mature adults. Good luck with that.

Comment Re:Must be Windows Server (Score 1) 148

Of course, the mainframe is a marginalized beast these days.

Hardly marginalized. It's doing what it has always done best, which is push lots of data around with raw processing power. Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they aren't there humming away crunching data. If you use an ATM, charge something to a credit card, or receive your pay I guarantee you there is a mainframe at the end of that transaction.

The need for mainframe services never went away, the world just built a whole new computer segment separate from them for new things.

Comment Re:XP and the era of "good enough" computers (Score 1) 471

I have to disagree with you on XP. I think it was a much cleaner OS that the ones before it. It was the first to ditch the Windows 95/DOS code base and use the Windows NT kernel as a base. For most of the 90's I was a Linux or BSD user. Windows 95 and 98 were pains in the ass in terms of getting drivers to work or playing nice on the network. I tolerated Win 95 for my games but when game time was done it was back to Linux. XP, at least after the first service pack, seemed to just work. You could plug something in and it just worked. No screaming and cursing trying to make some driver function. I stopped using Linux with XP.

Windows 7 on the other hand is starting to get annoying and has me wondering about going back to Linux. There are too many locked down things in there attempt to be more like OS X. MS seems to be catering to regular consumers instead of power users. It's getting very annoying.

Slashdot Top Deals

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.