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


Forgot your password?
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 My job may change, but never replaced totally (Score 1) 369

Twas ever thus. I have been downsized, outsourced, offshored, insourced, relocated, TUPE'd and re-employed as a contractor to sort out the bugger's muddle that attempted to replace me more times than I care to remember. The only saving grace that AI has is there is far too little human competition.

When a robot can write a successful business case for a new project in the public sector, I know it will be time to retire and take a ticket in God's waiting room

My ex-wife has replaced me with a robot as far as I can tell. A battery-powered one, at that.

Comment My mother's fave paper (Score 1) 405

My mother turned 90 this week, and she reads the Daily Mail, and the Mail on Sunday with fervour. I swear she is keeping the Post Office going in her village posting clippings from the Mail to me, highlighted in yellow marker around articles telling me why the NHS is in the state it is, how the Liverpool Care Pathway was invented by GPs colluding with unscrupulous relatives to knock pensioners off their mortal coils, how migrants from Eastern Europe are coming here to shoplift and have free dental care ..

She is 90 years old, and I can forgive her sucking all this garbage in and believing it, but it is really just as well the Wikipedia has implemented a spam filter.

Comment Re:Email Client (Score 1) 302

They did shut down the list. Unfortunately there was about an hour's worth of emails launched before they did. I am still receiving emails sent at 9:23 this morning; I am pretty sure that this particular distribution list can't be used any more, but I suspect it will take most of tonight and tomorrow to get the backlog sorted out. It's only Exchange running this - 190M emails might take a while to send.

Comment Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Score 4, Insightful) 61

If you RTFA, you'll find one HUGE get-out clause saying "These findings cannot support conclusions on causation. Effect-cause remains a possibility: poor sleep may lead to increased screen-time"

Meaning if people have a poor night's sleep, they may be spending more time on their phone BECAUSE THEY ARE AWAKE.

I wonder how much these geniuses spent to work out yet another statement of the bleeding obvious?

Comment Give them some worthwhile problem to solve! (Score 1) 435

The absolute best way of training anyone in a new (technology, language, API, set of bindings, class library, toolset etc) is to give them some worthwhile, engaging and difficult problem to solve.

I'm older than I care to admit, and I am the one who is trying to tempt a bunch of much younger people who think they know better into adopting a new technology, since it solves a problem that they otherwise could only solve by spending a *lot* of money. However, they are now recognising that this "new" technology (FPGA in this case) is the only way to solve a particularly worthwhile and engaging problem - viz, how to crunch clinical exomes from the output of an Next Gen Sequencer without having to move a ton of data across the Internet to a big cloudy HPC, or buying one so they can keep it mildly busy. They are going to learn a whole new set of tools and programming methods, and there is some significant paradigm shifting going on; but the problem is that the problem itself is intractable without such a change.

Comment Re:OSX is better for laptops (Score 1) 269

Couldn't agree more. I have a number of Linux machines at home running services like Asterisk, Plex, web services and so on. I have one Linux machine for music production, and I used to have a Linux laptop - BUT the controls didn't all work, it failed to suspend all the time, and occasionally on resume the mouse would cease to function. I had to tab round to find a command prompt and do the "sudo rmmod psmouse &&sudo modprobe psmouse" to wake it up again.

And then there are the MS Office applications. I have used OpenOffice and LibreOffice for a number of years, but eventually the frustrations of silly little things happening when transferring between .doc, .docx and .odt file formats meant I gave up and went for a Macbook; my customers demanded Microsoft formats for my work products. I tried, I really tried to be a non-Microsoft person, but in that respect I decided that life is too short to pursue an idealistic vision too far.

As a contractor, I often have to use what I am provided with to do my job, so I have ongoing experience with Microsoft Windows, and I can say with some conviction that the user experience of a Mac is still better. The gap is shrinking, but it is still there. If Apple continue to obsolete perfectly good working hardware, including power supplies and USB 4G sticks, I might have to reconsider.

Comment Re:needed government transparency (Score 1) 56

.. and get back to just generic hypocritical government bashing.

What is so hypocritical about government bashing? I didn't vote for them. Actually, I think it's fair to say I have never voted on the side of a winning party. Pollsters really should start using me as a bellweather for losing political candidates.

Comment Re:Minority Report (Score 1) 131

When I was in the business of designing stuff, our company would only normally patent implementations that found their way into a product. The process for a patent was too expensive to be frivolous with. They published everything else in a house journal to put a mark in the sand for demonstrating prior art, or obviousness should any other bunch of idiots try and patent it.

However this meant that we were an early victim of a patent troll, which might have been avoided if only we had patented something that might be regarded as 'obvious'. Basically a bunch of lawyers in California had bought up the patents for a number of methods, including the use of exclusive-or to put a graphic representation of a cursor (arrow, bar, cross-hair) on a monochrome display, and using the same exclusive-or to remove it again, returning the display back the way it was. In our investigations we realised that we had several hardware products out in the marketplace that this patent pre-dated that used the same method.

A meeting between IP lawyers was convened, our guys went in with $3M in their pockets as a reasonable outcome, offered $300K as a starting offer which the trolls accepted gleefully. I suppose it was a win-win. It still rankled.

Slashdot Top Deals

You do not have mail.