Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


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:Good for China (Score 1) 117

Per capita wise, I'd say China is still pretty efficient in terms of emission. China has more than four times the population of the USA, but less than twice the total emission of the USA's. So, should we say China is at least twice as efficient as the USA? If you apply the same per capita calculation across all the countries on that list, China is still more efficient than all of them, except India.

And Canada, with a tiny population, the total emission is incredibly high. We, as Canadians, should get off our high moral pedestal, and should do something about it.

So, let's stop saying which country is the biggest polluter. As individual, let's revise our own living style and see what, each of us, can do our own fair share.

Comment Thinkpad (Score 1) 288

I use Linux as my main OS since the late '90s, and I found that the best laptop for Linux is still the Thinkpad series. I have had 4 different Thinkpad, and a series of other laptop, such as HP, Dell, Sony, Asus, etc. But Thinkpad is the one with the least problems. I'm currently using a Thinkpad x250. Lightweight, good battery, everything works with Linux (screen resolution sucks though). The other really good laptops for travel were Asus Eee PC (the first generation) and the Sony Vaio 505 series (I bought the first generation in 1998), they all worked great with Linux. I really missed them, when backpacking.

Comment why I am not surprised (Score 1) 236

The idiots at google always think they know better than anyone else. I used VPN a lot, and I tend to round-robin-ly connect to one of the many servers around the world, google keeps annoying me and even shut me out many times, despite that I keep telling them that the login was me and there's nothing suspicious. Those idiots have no idea there's something called VPN or proxy server. Needless to say, I login to google less than twice a year. The other idiotic company is paypal. After my account was shut down, I went 60 hours of explanation and providing all kinds of proofs. They even acknowledged that I had the right password. But they would budge. I still had $150 in that account. I gave up. I used to spend thousands per year via paypal, they'd rather rob $150 off me instead of having my business. I do no more business with in the six years. I hope more people would stop dealing with these robbers too.

Comment oh boy (Score 2) 531

Posting this issue on /. would never have any meaningful discussion, given the attitude of this crowd towards anything barely resembling formal engineering. When the majority think it's cool to write large and complex systems in languages which don't even support strong static typing, and would have a blank stare if you ask them why they think their code is correct, there is simply no place for any serious discussion. Good tools certainly do not guarantee good outcome, but why do we think bad tools would have good outcome, given the same pool of talents? If we can't fix bad programmers, why not thinking about creating better tools? Formal engineering is hard, and no one said it's easy, but it's not a reason not to strive for better ways.

Comment From a very far on looker (Score 5, Insightful) 1592

From the perspective of a very far on looker (a Canadian living in China), the result of the referendum is very unfortunate. Since WWII, generations and generations of people, with long term vision for a stable and peaceful Europe, had put their weight to form the Union. It's certainly not perfect, but it's better, by a long measure, than the situation in the first half of the 20th century. I am quite amazed that more older generation stand by the Leave camp. I would have thought that they should be the ones who know better. With one referendum, which is more fueled by temporary discontent than calm reasoning, they want to dismantle what took years and years to gradually build up. The chain reactions in the coming years won't be pretty, and I hope I would be wrong.

I was born in Cambodia, been through the Khmer Rouge regime, lost 80% of our family, spent 8 years in a refugee camp in Vietnam, and was lucky enough to be accepted in Canada when I was 18. In the 1990s, I was very happy to see the Berlin wall fall, and that Europeans countries were merging into one block with their interests tightly interconnected, and I could only dream of a same scenario for Asia, a scenario that would take many many more years to even be a prospective, if at all.

Comment why so negative? (Score 1) 98

Ok, the kid is bright, but he's also arrogant, reckless and probably a bit insane. But set aside his personality, I don't understand the negativity on this forum towards another geek who hacks things together to make it work. There are a lot of hard problems in what he is working on, and if he can come up with a new way to do computer vision, I would be really happy too. The current start-of-the-art in this field is convolutional neural network (CNN), which, basically, is just a kind of brute force pattern matching. I have been working on a robot that "can see, listen and understand, and climb tree" (the climb tree part is to design some mechanics flexible enough to climb tree, then it's flexible to handle any terrains), so I understand the difficulty of computer vision and speech recognition. What Hotz said sounds like snake oil, but who are we to judge when we haven't seen the details? I'll keep my mind open for now, and hope that we could have a better way than CNN.

Comment Run out of options (Score 1) 250

I always wanted electronic products that I can fix (or have it fixed) if something went wrong, or change a component. I can vote with my money, sure, but we are running out of options. That's why I'm still using my HTC Desire Z phone, but I also can't find new battery now.

When we had the Project Ara for discussion some times ago, there were so much negativity in this forum. If a forum full of geeks is so negative towards this project, how would you expect the general populace to do?

Comment (Score 1) 163

Perl syntax, as is, is already pretty hard for everyone to digest (if you have never maintained any perl written by a bunch of self-declared genius, don't try to comment), wait till all the geniuses can extend that language. I'll need to keep a machine gun under my desk, in case I go ballistic.

Comment No generics (Score 4, Insightful) 221

I was playing with it when it just came out, and wow, the compiler was fast. It was great and all. So to find out how much I can do or to figure out my own skill level in Go, I started to port one of my C++ libraries to Go. That library has made heavy use of tree and trie data structures, which were implemented as template in C++. Then, bang, I hit a wall with Go. How to do generics? There was no way to do it. Looking on the web, I even saw someone create a kind of "compiler" to generate different code set for different types, say, you want a b-tree for class A? Fine, one set of code for that. Want a B-tree for class B? Fine, another set. Using his tool, I ended with five or six different sets of duplicated code, and I had a few more to go. That's when I stopped using that language.

Comment Re:Training Your Competition (Score 4, Insightful) 108

First off, I've been living and working in China for 11 years, even founded my own software company and ran for 6 years, before merging with another company. So I'll comment on this one.

You took a very simplistic view.

An IT industry can not be built overnight, it took many generations to build up the experiences, the talent pool, the mind set, the mentality that people had on software (A lot of Chinese people, especially those in the power to make decision on IT purchase, have a very different mind set on software/service values), etc, etc. I've been here for over a decade now, although there's been some progress in software engineering here, mainly in the few big Internet companies such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, etc, there's not much progress. Enterprise software? Frankly, due to the mentality toward the values of software/services, there's not much changes over the decade. The local software companies in the field are extremely small, compared to the western giants such as IBM, HP, SAP, Oracle, etc. The enterprise software, and that includes systems acquired by government, is dominated by these foreign companies. They took the big profit, and leave the hard work to the locals to slave over. This situation is stupid to all parties. Very stupid of the government, especially to let this kind of shit happen over two decades without doing the proper thing. Very stupid of the foreign companies, as they could have made their life easier and made the cake larger. Very stupid of the local companies, as they are slaving to death, as most projects are losing money for them. And as a matter of fact, a lot of the local IT people, the smarter ones besides that, are giving up on a career in IT, they make more money selling pancakes and without the stress and overtime.

Second of all, if these foreign companies are not trying to share, they will fight over a cake that will never grow. Look, none of the Internet biggies, the fastest growing sector, are buying anything from them. Their markets are in the enterprise software (and government sector). And these markets are not growing, and if you look seriously into the numbers, these companies are making their money by selling hardware and to a certain extent, software licenses, which are quite small as compared to the hardware portion. And software licenses are getting smaller still, as more and more open source softwares are made available. And selling services? Haha, don't make me laugh. Service is money-losing on all fronts. As the policies changed, if these foreign companies are not trying to change, their cake gets smaller and smaller, and their profit will be significantly squeezed, as they would have to sell via local distributors.

Thirdly, even if they share, you are not going to think that they will share their crown jewel, are you? They will probably just play the games to comply, to make sure their cake is still there. These companies are exploiting like crazy, without actually investing much here. They have a very strong sale department, and very small tech support, nothing technically challenging. The technical works they do here? Could be done by any code monkey in any country.

Fourthly, you might want to look at other industries, such as the car industry, for example. They had shared something, but look at how much more they have earned back? Just take a look at the chinese branch of GM, Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota, etc. They only share the parts that they do not have the competitive edge, or are on the edge of losing it, and still keep the core technologies. They think long term. In 15 years, the car market became the largest one in the world. Sure, they have now more and stronger local competitors, but so what? Their cake is so much bigger, they made so much money than before. Try to imagine the enterprise software market, if you can. If we can make it like the car market, this is going to be gigantic. I can tell you that most Chinese firms, even the big ones, have very little IT deployment.

Anyway, my point is, it is stupid for a company, especially a technology company, to invest only in sales team and hope to stay profitable forever in the market. Sure, it's a global economy, but services are local. You are trying to sell technology and services, you gotta be local. You gotta to think more long term than that.

Comment Please read the book before commenting (Score 5, Insightful) 187

It's unfortunate that a good sci-fi book and a good hard sci-fi writer appears on Slashdot, and the discussion turns around PRC propaganda, anti-Chinese sentiment, bad communism, eviltotalitarian government, etc, etc, just because the author is from China? You might want to read the book first before commenting, you might be surprised. It might even open your eyes to a whole new world from your stereotypical veil.

A couple of people here had already read the book, and given a pretty insightful comment, kudo to them. I read the whole series, in Chinese, last year, in one week, and I couldn't give a better comment.

The Three Body Problem is a serie of 3 books, involving science, philosophy, religion, world conflict, environment, culture, love, etc. If you like the Clarke's Space Odessey and the Rama series, and the Asimov's Foundation series, and the Herbert's Dune series, you would like these books as well. The books leave you with a lot of issues to ponder upon, from a humanity, as a whole, perspective. Theses issues are not specific to one people or one culture.

Please put down your stereotypical glasses and forget for a moment that the author is Chinese, and read the book just like you would do any other book. You might enjoy it a lot more.

Slashdot Top Deals

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer