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Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 1) 495

Hyperbole or not, it appears to offer nothing but hassle to end users, which probably means it's getting unpopular.

Virtually all US credit cards are chip and signature, offering little in improved security. It's slow. Most card readers have a slot but haven't had that feature activated (honestly, the only store around here that allows chip vs swipe is Wal-Mart. Publix, as one major example, doesn't) leading to confusion. The card readers themselves seem to be bug ridden, with some freaking out if you don't insert the card at the exact moment they expect it. Wal-Mart's even, until recently, made a noise like a submarine klaxon when the payment was accepted - someone and completely unnecessarily embarrassing.

Add to that the delays, and you have the least popular technology since GMX.

Comment Terminology (Score 4, Insightful) 67

Can anyone explain why we continue to use the term "ride sharing" when Uber, Lyft, et al, have nothing to do with ride sharing? They're basic car-for-hire services. Ride sharing has always been used to mean "People who share a car to get to a common destination" (eg commuters who work together and live close by saving on gas, that kind of thing), and while Uber started by claiming that this was essentially what they were doing, it became obvious pretty quickly that the service resembles ride sharing in no way whatsoever.

Comment Re:I am with Snowden 100% (Score 1) 160

I agree with most of what you say - though hard evidence is not a bad thing, there was a lot of "He said, she said" stuff before the leak proved the DNC was rotten on this issue - but the Turkey data dump was not a Wikileaks thing, despite early reporting suggesting it was. Snowden's almost certainly talking about the release of private information - credit card numbers, private phone numbers and home addresses of donors - that was also in the leak.

Comment Re:Basic Journalism... (Score 2) 160

What modern-day journalist working for anything resembling a respectable newspaper has published the credit card numbers, home addresses, and private phone numbers of their subjects?

Snowden didn't state specifics, but the scandal around Wikileaks release of the DNC emails has generally focused on two things - the possibility it came from Russia (nothing to do with Wikileaks themselves or editing, so unlikely to have been Snowden's concern), and that it included private information about individual - often blameless - people that could cause them serious harm without having anything to do with holding them to account.

Everyone, to the best of my knowledge, is on board with the idea of Wikileaks leaking an email that says "Hi, DWS here! I need a list of ways in which we can secretly handicap Sander's campaign, but remember guys, technically this is illegal so mum's the word!". Fuck DWS. If she goes to prison over this, then nobody's shedding any tears beyond a few die hard Clinton worshipers.

What we're not on board with is "Oh, Jeff Atl called to donate $100 to the general election fund. Could you handle it? His credit card number is 4111 0291 3839 1212, expires 06/17, CVV 971. Address if you need it is 9821 SE Sunflower Rd, Trenton Gardens, NJ 19281." Even if the full email continues "I let him know that with his donation comes a 30 minute meeting with the Secretary of the Environment so he can deal with that little problem his factory is having with the inspectors", we'd at least expect the credit card details and street part of the address redacted.

Comment Re:Windows 10, Windows 10, Windows 10! (Score 1) 481

That doesn't seem like a particularly believable reason. ARM SoCs that might end up in tablets and phones all have at least moderately competent GPUs and the requirements of Aero Glass are pretty trivial even by modern mobile GPU standards (compositing, a token amount of pixel shader). More importantly, offloading rendering to the GPU is more power efficient (which is why Apple pushed as much as possible there starting when laptop sales began to outnumber desktops and continued when iDevices started to become popular).

Comment Re:A no-brainer... (Score 1) 481

It's not more secure than Windows 7. How can it be more secure if it leaks your information, without your knowledge, to a third party, AND if the software update mechanism is so user hostile (unrequested reboots, machine slowing to a crawl at random times) that the only workaround is to disable updates completely, either at the firewall or via hacks?

I like a lot about Windows 10, but it's less secure, more resource intensive, and less responsive. I'm keeping Windows 7 machines around in my home for a reason.

Comment Re:Naturally they'll investigate to help HRC. (Score 1) 157

They're not prosecuting, they're investigating. And in terms of them being treated equally - they did investigate HRC, but found there wasn't enough wrongdoing to make it worth prosecuting.

And... it's unlikely the FBI will prosecute any of the hackers, albeit this time because the hackers are likely not within any US court's jurisdiction.


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Comment Re:dark patterns huh? (Score 1) 126

Is it any wonder that UX designers are getting a horrible reputation among some segments of the tech-savvy crowd?

The main reason for this is that people who self-describe as UX experts, as opposed to HCI experts, tend to be the ones that favour form over function and ignore the last 40 or so years of research into how to design useable interfaces. Most of them wouldn't know Fitts' Law if it dragged them to the corner of the screen and made them infinitely long.

Comment Re:How do you regression test that stuff? (Score 1) 308

There isn't much testing of the C bindings. They're also in the process of being deprecated in favour of machine-generated ones that are less API stable and have no ABI stability guarantees (precisely because most people don't actually use them from C, they use them from some other language with C bindings). For everything else, there's a bit regression test suite that works by feeding some code (source code when testing clang, IR or assembly when testing bits of LLVM) into one of the tools and then checking that the output matches. Bugs still slip in quite easily, unfortunately. The second tier of tests involves compiling and running a bunch of benchmarks and similar sample code and checking that they haven't got slower (by a statistically significant margin) and that they still produce the right answers. There's a network of buildbots that runs on a variety of operating systems and architectures that first builds and runs the regression test suite on every commit and then (less frequently) runs the executable tests. These catch most regressions, but not all - the rest are caught by users testing betas and filing bug reports.

There's been a lot of research work on improving this. The LLVM Miscompilation Detector, for example, had a semantic model of LLVM IR and would feed real and randomly-generated IR through the optimisation pipeline and then use a theorem prover to attempt to prove that the semantics of the before and after versions were the same. This could then be combined with the LLVM bugpoint tool to find the optimisation pass that performed an invalid transform.

Comment Re:As a C programmer (Score 1) 308

It's a tradeoff. Blowing away the i-cache is a good way of killing performance, but so is having a load of function calls that do almost no work. If you had to do a virtual method call for comparing two unsigned integers and a different virtual function call for comparing two signed integers when inserting them into a set then you'd have a lot more overhead. In a typical std::set implementation, the compare operations are inlined and so the costs are very low.

The real problem with C++ is that the programmer has to make the decision about whether to use static or dynamic dispatch up front and the syntax for both is very different, so you can't trivially switch between them when it makes sense to do so.

Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 328

Exactly. I bought a fairly decent set of speakers, a projector, and a DVD player for a total of around £450 in 2003. Back then, a ticket at my local cinema cost £4.50 (it's gone up), so roughly the same as going to the cinema 100 times. Popcorn was another £4 or so (drinks another £2-3), so that brought it down to about 50 trips - one a week for a year. I split the cost of the projector with my housemates back then and we'd have friends bring a DVD and food / beer around. By the end of the year, it had more or less paid for itself. One of my housemates bought the other shares in the projector when he moved and I bought a new one and have replaced the bulb once, so I've spent a total of about £500 (plus electricity) over a period of 13 years. The up-front cost was a lot higher, but over 13 years it's been cheaper than going to the cinema once a month and not having anything to eat / drink there. And that's just the cost for me: for the first few years when living with housemates and for the last few living with my partner the benefits have been shared by multiple people. Oh, and we get to watch TV shows in the same environment.

I stopped buying DVDs for a while because renting was a lot cheaper, but as BluRay and streaming start to see adoption the second-hand market is flooded with DVDs so it's easy to pick up a film for £1 or a season of a TV show for £3-5.

The real answer to piracy? Give people the product that they want for a reasonable price. Give me a service that let's me download DRM-free movies in a standard format that will work on the FreeBSD media centre box connected to my projector, my Mac laptop, my old WebOS tablet and my new iPad and I'll happily hand over money. Until then, I'll stick to DVDs.

Comment Re:The Theater Experience (Score 1) 328

Right, because old people are the ones that have good hearing. I had a similar experience the last time I went to a cinema. Sound settings so ludicrous that any base drowned out people talking and caused distortion in the speakers. I've not been to the cinema near where I live now, but they've just done a big refurbishment that ended up with a quarter the seating space that they had before. Apparently it's doing pretty well (people like the big comfy seats), but a apparently decade ago it was able to sell out most of the screens on a regular basis. Now they always have empty seats, even with a quarter the capacity.

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