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: What could possibly go wrong (Score 1) 406

macbooks freeze all the time.

You either have a hardware problem or you're installing OSes too soon after they are released. I generally avoid installing 10.x.0 and 10.x.1 for all values of x, and I can count the number of freezes I've seen in the past fifteen years on one hand.

Comment Re:Can't outsource or robotize human bodies. (Score 1) 524

You can't outsource or replace with robots services catering to humans and their bodies.

Give it time.

Nor can you outsource or robotize salesmanship, leadership and all the other -ships.

Salesmanship? Amazon made that moot already. Leadership? Only matters if there are still workers left to lead.

And there will probably always be legal reasons why legal services and public administration can't be out given out to foreign employees or machines.

I stand corrected. There's a third category: Government jobs, where you're required to act like a robot.

Comment Re:IT and CS need to be split up (Score 1) 524

Really, IMO, there are three separate divisions that are fairly distinct:

  • Theoretical CS: Reducing one NP-Complete problem to another
  • Practical CS: Software architecture and software engineering methodologies
  • IT: Network engineering and server administration

Everyone in each of those tracks needs to know a little bit about the other tracks, but not a lot.

  • Theoretical CS people need to know what's happening in practical CS and IT so that they can come up with interesting new problems to reduce to other problems, and thus benefit the world rather than being in a bubble. However, they don't need to know how to set up a network or write significant amounts of code.
  • Practical CS folks need to know enough about computational complexity to avoid writing O(n^3) algorithms as much as possible. They need to know enough about networks to understand why doing certain things can be slow, and why certain other things can bring the network to its knees. They might toss together their own servers for testing purposes, but if they're deploying something, they'll bring in IT people.
  • IT people need to know a bit about theoretical CS so that they can recognize that loops in network topology are bad. They need to know a bit about practical CS to understand what's going to be done on their servers and how their network will be used, because that enables them to plan better and design setups that will meet their users' needs. However, they aren't likely to do a lot of programming beyond the most basic scripting, or else they'll hire a programmer.

My guess is that each of these sub-fields has a very different makeup in terms of gender diversity, because they're very different fields. One is almost pure math, one mostly involves setting up computer systems, and one mostly involves writing software. Each caters to an entirely different type of personality. This is not to say that folks in one field can't do stuff in the other field, but rather that folks in one field aren't necessarily going to be interested in doing so.

Comment Re:I thought there *were* programs? (Score 1) 524

I think it is more likely that the ratio is wrecked by the increase in popularity of CS among men more than anything else. NPR suggested video games as one possible cause, but I think it goes deeper than that. Guys are more likely to be exposed to tech at a young age (in part) because of video games. The younger you're exposed to computers, the more likely you are to go into CS. But that still doesn't explain the numbers fully, I don't think.

One thing I have noticed is that there are a lot of male programmers, but there are a lot fewer good male programmers. By contrast, I haven't known very many female programmers who weren't competent. Could a big part of the gender gap be because guys are more likely to pick a career based on ROI rather than based on whether they enjoy it and are good at it?

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 2) 524

The fact is that programming is a shit field over the long term. If I had to do it over again, I would have just kept it as something to toy around with.

That's true for every field in one way or another. In the long run, every job is something that can eventually be outsourced, replaced by robots, or both. Getting ahead financially is about playing the percentages, picking something that pays well and that you can stand, and saving up as much money as you can for the inevitable drought later.

Comment Hold down power button and ... (Score 5, Informative) 427

... keep holding it down.

Seriously, this is such an unconscionable violation of basic privacy that even people who have done nothing wrong should automatically have that reaction. And anybody who has done something wrong should know better than to use a fingerprint for unlocking anyway. What was this supposed to prove other than that they have a judge who will rubber-stamp any order no matter how appalling?

Comment Re:Budget and Timelines (Score 1) 343

First, no reactors built in the past twenty years (except in China, IIRC) lack those safety features. Passive safety might not be an official standard from a regulatory agency, but is still effectively a standard.

Second, yes, passive safety most certainly does make a plant significantly safer than active safety, particularly when you have two plants right next to one another. Imagine a scenario where a containment accident occurs at one reactor, along with a fire that damages the external power feed to the second reactor. At that point, it is unsafe for people to bring diesel fuel in to keep the emergency generators running to keep the pumps running to cool the second reactor while it shuts down, and suddenly you've gone from one meltdown event to two.

Comment Re:Creating Structural Monopoly (Score 1) 191

Maybe you missed where I said, "apart from the existence of the cable authentication". Yes, they still require those ICs. What I meant was that AFAIK, Apple isn't going after companies that make fake Lightning cables with their own homebrew fake authentication chips unless they advertise them as being genuine Apple cables. Similarly, they're not going after third-party companies that wire up resistors to the two data lines to enable fast charging, so long as they aren't advertising them as being Apple chargers.

Comment Re:Wow... (Score 1) 191

If Apple was truly concerned they would issue a spec for free.

There is a specification. There are minimum requirements for separation between low-voltage and high-voltage sections that are part of various electrical codes and safety standards. These knock-offs don't meet those safety standards. They should not even be legal to import into the United States, much less sell.

The fact that Apple's designs greatly exceed the standards to the point of being exceptionally paranoid is nice and all, but not strictly necessary. But failing to meet the standards is very bad.

Comment Re:Budget and Timelines (Score 1) 343

That's not really the point. The point is that over time, those plants will get taken offline and replaced by newer designs, and we'll be safer when that happens. If you're going to bring a new plant online, ideally, you'd like it to be based on the newest, safest designs, rather than something that met NRC regulations before Chernobyl.

Comment Re:Creating Structural Monopoly (Score 1) 191

The requirements are well documented by third-party teardown, and dozens of companies make chargers that include the necessary pull-up resistors. So as the GP said, Apple is doing nothing to prevent third-party chargers, and apart from the existence of the cable authentication, is doing nothing to prevent third-party cables, either.

The problem is that there seems to be a strong correlation between willingness to pretend that your products are genuine Apple products and willingness to cut corners in the design that result in dangerous products. Legitimate third-party chargers from known brands generally work very well. Fake chargers that try to look like Apple products are a different story. It is legitimately hard to squeeze the necessary electronics into such a small package, much less to do so safely. As a result, Apple knock-offs tend to be significantly less safe than chargers made by people who aren't trying to pass their products off as Apple hardware.

And the knock-off fake Apple cables tend to be low-quality junk that fails after a couple of weeks of light use, unlike more legitimate third-party cables (e.g. Amazon Basics), which tend to be at least as reliable as Apple's cables, if not more so.

Comment Re:Wow... (Score 4, Insightful) 191

It's not FUD. From all accounts, these things fail with alarming regularity. When you have insufficient distance between high-voltage and low-voltage traces, when you get some extra moisture in the air that condenses in the wrong place, it can easily trigger an electrical arc that delivers 110VAC to your 5V line. In addition to roasting any device that's attached to it, such an extreme over-voltage event will give you a nasty shock if you're holding the device at the time even under the best of circumstances, and that is enough voltage to kill you under the worst of circumstances.

Slashdot Top Deals

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr