Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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:Torvalds being foul-mouthed again? News at 11. (Score 1) 1501

Unless you are involved with the kernel, I would suggest that you would hold your judgment.

Linus does not blow up without good reason. I challenge anyone to find example where Linus starts to really attack people when they are not doing something clearly stupid, that would result for not accepting patches if not solved (like breaking userspace and refusing to admit that it's error to do so). I have been reading and contributing to the kernel and I think Linus uses cursing people as very effective way to emphasize the urgency and his seriousness of how badly some maintainer is fucking things up (hurting feelings really helps to save time when people don't get the message). He makes misjudgments and there are sometimes miscommunication, but he acknowledges them openly.

One thing that separates Linux kernel development from other software projects I have worked with is that there are no grudges. When there is serious disagreement with Linus, there is one huge flame and the issue is settled in one way or another. After that he continues with that person just like before. There are some really difficult persons to work with, like glibc maintainer Ulrich Drepper and I would say that Richard Stallman is also much harder to work with than Linus.

I don't advocate cursing people as general way to handle things, but I think that Linus has personality that makes it work. The problem is that if people just think there is some general lesson to be learned from his behavior that can be applied to others.

I think he makes very good point at justifying himself:

"I really fundamentally believe that being honest and open about your emotions about core/process is good. And because it's damn hard to read people over email, I think you need to be *more* honest and *more* open over email. I'm generally nicer in person. Not always."


Comment Spending is not the problem (Score 1) 1059

The problem is politics of financing the spending.

Even with unnecessary wars and with serious economic downturn public debt would be in good shape (look at the graph) without Bush tax cuts.

There are some problems that must be fixed in long term but it has more to do with emulating other countries, than just cutting spending. We need to just emulate others and fix this sillyness.

We can fix public budged easily with just small increase to the taxes.

Comment The problem is not spending. (Score 1) 1059

The problem is not spending. The problem is politics of financing it.

Public debt would be in good shape if Bush tax cuts would have not been implemented. See the graph in this page. And Contrary to "Entitlement Society" Rhetoric, Over Nine-Tenths of Entitlement Benefits Go to Elderly, Disabled, or Working Households

Unnecessary wars and overblown and ineffective internal security apparatus are expensive, but surprisingly not even they could not cause fiscal crisis. (Unfortunately) America is so rich that it has money to blow into wars and still go on. What we should do is to fix healthcare. It would not be even hard; Just look at what others are doing and do the same. This is just absurd.

Just increase taxes and cut war spending and America is fine: 2013 United States federal budget / Total revenues and spending.. This crisis is fundamentally just political. This problem is fundamentally caused by GOP and it's lost coherence. John Boehner has no authority to negotiate with Obama, nobody in GOP has any authority to negotiate.

Comment Re:Seriously, can we give Microsoft some cred... (Score 1) 563

The only problem I see with this is the fact that graphics drivers and cards still have subtle bugs and "features" in them. Small things you don't realize in normal gaming, are really annoying in desktop UI. You don't notice if something is rendered temporarily one pixel left from what it should be while playing BF3 or video. But if you render web page or UI, that's visible. You want exactness from desktop. Graphics cards and their drivers have don't have that requirement as their first priority. DirectX 11.1 is added complexity and it's likely that it comes with a price.

Comment Where it the tech in the Tech Bubble? (Score 1) 124

Internet companies like Facebook or Instagram are still classified as technology companies for historical reasons, but technology is not driving them.

These companies are creating consumer services and the main deciding factor for their success is marketing and consumer behaviour. Innovations they do are just as technology oriented as new Nike shoes or Gillette razors. Technology is just in the background just like (chemical) technology is in the background of new shampoo or conditioner.

Back to the bubble. We are not in bubble. These prices are speculative prices in market share battle between companies that help to profile customers for marketing. In this market network externality (network effect) plays major part, so there can be only few global players. Companies like Facebook and Google must keep their checkbooks open and keep paying if they want to stay relevant. I would not worry about bubble until Facebook or Google start taking debt to pay for their acquisitions. Just like Microsoft was paying huge sums for companies just to drive them down to keep it's monopoly on PC markets for decades (while staying profitable all the time), Internet firms must do the same if they want to keep up their position in more volatile market.

Comment In defence of Sergey. (Score 2) 500

Sergey Brin is known for his distaste of censorship and government control. It is clearly his personal passion, but it also reflects somewhat in Google's policy.
  1. 1. In comparison to Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, Google is censorship free.
  2. 2. Google provides statistics of government requests for private information of their users. It seems that they do what they legally have to, but not more.
  3. 3. They are also the only big company that has official policy that enables users to download all the data they have in open formats out of their servers. With Facebook, all the stuff is in Facebook and stays there.

It's true that all the information Google collects enables huge privacy infringement in scale that only Facebook can match, barely. I don't think for a second that Google as company is in any significant way better that others, but you must give it to Google that they at least initially tried. Some of that naivety is still there.

Comment Quality vs. Quantity in fighter jets (Score 5, Informative) 600

Rand corporation did its now famous August 2008 Pacific Vision wargame between China and US. It was not simulation of fighter performance, but simulation of whole aerial warfare, including logistics etc. US performed poorly because there is clear logistical limitations. No matter how good the fighter is, it can bring only very limited amount of missiles to the battle. What makes things even harder fo US is the fact that potential conflict happens close to China and far from US. China has unique approach to airfields, it has over 40 military airfields where planes are stored inside mountains in extremely well fortified bunkers. US has in the region maybe 20 lightly fortified airfields (depends on how many allies bail out) plus carriers.

Quoting Defense Industry Daily article The F-35’s Air-to-Air Capability Controversy:

The core problem in Pacific Vision 2008 was that even an invulnerable American fighter force ran out of missiles before it ran out of targets, at any number below 50% of missile firings resulting in kills. Whereupon the remaining Chinese fighters would destroy the American tankers and AWACS aircraft, guaranteeing that the USAF’s F-22As would run out of fuel and crash before they could return to Guam.

To reiterate: RAND’s core conclusion is not about specific fighter performance. It is about the theoretical limits of better performance under adverse basing and logistics conditions. RAND’s Project Air Force argues, persuasively, that based on history and current trends, numbers still matter – and so does the “Lanchester square.” That’s the theory under which the combat performance of an outnumbered combatant must be the square of the outnumbering ratio (outnumbered 3:1 must be 9x better, etc.) just to stay even.

Or, as the oft-repeated Cold War era saying goes, “quantity has a quality all its own.”

Additional problem with F-35 is that it has limited missile carrying capacity, range, and stealth (stealth requirements were downgraded from very low observable, to low observable).

Comment bitcoin is not money, its payment method (Score 2) 709

Classical properties of money are: medium of exchange, unit of account and store of value.

Very few, if any, goods in bitcoin economy are sold using bitcoins as unit of account. Paying with bitcoin may be option, but goods are priced in other currency. Bitcoin prices are periodically adjusted to match price in other currency. Bitcoin clearly is not way to store value. Most people use it to speculate. Apart from limited use in paying small amounts of drugs for personal use etc. in local settings, bitcoin is not preferred medium of exchange. Because bitcoin is not used like money, it is not money. Currently bitcoin is just way to make payments (similar to debit or credit card) and speculative hobby for some.

Even very shaky third world currencies have some stability because people constantly need to buy them to pay taxes and fees. Only way I can see bitcoins becoming viable currency if some network communities or services would only accept bitcoins as payment. That would tie the value of bitcoin into something that has tangible value.

Comment Hacers not the main problem with all digital I& (Score 4, Interesting) 291

The biggest problem with digital I&C is the “software common cause failure issue"

Imagine modern nuclear plant with multiple-channel redundancy in instrument and control systems, if one instrument fails, there are others. Same applies to whole cooling systems, if one cooling system fails, there are other completely independent systems that continue to work. Typically redundant systems use instruments from different manufacturers or instruments that are implemented with different technology.

This is not possible for digital systems because they are too costly to implement multiple times. What this means is that redundant digital control systems use same software. If one system fails because of software error, others may follow. This has already happened in German nuclear plant that had new digital system installed. Only the old analog system that was still operational saved the reactor.

This is why Finnish radiation and nuclear safety authority required changes in Areva's plans for the most modern nuclear reactor being build, Olkiluoto 3. They added analog safety requirements. Reactor must be able to shout down even when digital I&C has total failure. Relying for all digital systems compromises redundancy.

More info:

Comment Hints (Score 1) 421

Best way to get everything right is to order desingn from company that specializes for control room design. Yokogawa is pretty good.

Special suggenstions for computer hardware:

- Monitors from Eizo. They just make the best monitors for control rooms, medical imaging, etc.
- Matrox graphic cards are really good for control rooms. It's their specialty and they exel in it. You can get multi monitor worstations that are silent


Comment Re:In soviet union (Score 1) 284

I'm a Finn. I know we fought well in WW2. It's what happened after the war that was submissive. It has even own word: Finlandisation

It all started after the war. Politicians knew that we would not be able to stand war against Soviets if we were the only enemy. They desided to play really really nice. Almost everything was OK as long as it did not involve Soviet troops in Finnish soil. It became liturgy to talk how good relations were between our countries. I think this was good idea at first. But then new generation of politicians grew, who thought that this good relationships bullshit was real. Soviets were able to influence our politics a lot. Finland censored talking, books and movies that were negative to Soviets. Some people even started to believe Soviet propaganda that we started the war.

The good part of all this was that we could keep our own economic system and democracy going (even if Soviets were able to mess with it from time to time). The cost of having western lifestyle next to Soviet Union was our pride. Cold war era was bad time for Finns.


Submission + - Nokia gets own "Lex Nokia" snooping law in (

notany writes: "It seems that Nokia is too big company for Finland (5 million people). Nokia lobbyists can push unconstitutional law trough legislature without much effort. After Nokia was caught red handed two times (1. Prosecutor: Nokia dug up e-mails in effort to plug information leaks in 2000-2001 (18.4.2006), 2. Nokia snooped on employee e-mail communications in 2005 (9.6.2008)), it desided that law was wrong and Nokia has right. So started relentless lobbying and pressure against politicians. Parliament's Constitutional Law Committee asked opinions from eight leagal experts and all were in opinion that law proposal is against constitution. Committee ignored advice and declared that proposed law is constitutional."

Slashdot Top Deals

Waste not, get your budget cut next year.