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Comment Re: Unnecessary (Score 1) 59

The discussion in this thread is about users protecting themselves. Work computers are irrelevant: if your work computer is taken over by hackers, so what? If you were putting your personal info on there, that's your own dumb fault. It's not your computer, it's your employer's. The only thing that should happen when your employer's computer gets hacked is your employer suffers data loss and other problems, not you. You only need to notify the IT department that your computer isn't working right and let them fix it for you.

Comment Re:just like lightbulbs in a transition economy (Score 1) 184

Why would you hate your LED flashlight? As you said, it's very bright. It's also extremely energy-efficient, something very important in a flashlight. It sounds like you don't like the color spectrum that some LEDs have, but while that is an understandable complaint with LED room lighting, who cares about the color spectrum of a flashlight? All that's important is that it's bright and lasts a long time on a battery.

There's good LED bulbs out there for lamps and other room lighting; you probably picked cheap, crappy ones.

Comment Also in the news (Score 2, Insightful) 183

94% of all programs won't run properly without those rights.

Unfortunately for the longest time developers for Windows got away with not giving half a shit about security. To make matters worse, when MS finally decided to tighten the screws, they went overboard by a long shot. You cannot even install a simple program without elevated rights.

And to make matters worse, "elevated" means "full access, anywhere". There is no granularity, it's only "can't do jack shit" or "total control". You cannot open up the program files to install a normal program without also giving that program the ability to drop a low level driver into your system.

Then again, if that worked, a lot of people would probably notice just WHAT kind of crap their beloved games barf into the deeper intestines of their computers for the sake of the all holy DRM.

Comment Re:Broken business models? (Score 1) 230

Patents are really not the best argument for the case. Because the patent law (at least in its original idea) was not to enable the protection of innovation but to make innovators publish their findings. Before patent laws came along, the main way to protect your innovation was to keep it secret. Of course this meant that a lot of things had to be reinvented over and over because whoever invented something took the invention with him when he died. The idea was that if you publish it for everyone to see, you get protection for a time to use it exclusively. That also meant that people could take your innovation and invent something based on it. The whole "standing on the shoulders of giants" things.

The idea was good. Until it was perverted to protect non-innovations, ideas that have no innovative value but are only used to corner a market. From rounded edges to one-click-buy, things that should not be patentable in the first place.

So patents were less a means to protect the innovator and more one to keep innovations from being lost with the innovator.

Comment Re: I blame Trump. (Score 1) 960

I'd blame Trump's ilk for that too. If you vilify a group (gays in the Orlando case) long enough some unhinged asshat will decide he's taking action for the greater good.

Somehow I don't think it was Trump vilifying gays (which he has not done, BTW) that pushed a Muslim shouting "Allah Akbar!" to gun down gays in Orlando. Perhaps you're unaware of the standard treatment Muslims visit upon gays in places where Islam is the dominant religion? And I don't think it was Trump that pushed a pair of Muslims to gun down their co-workers at a holiday party in San Bernadino. And so on and so forth.

But hey, go ahead and blame Trump for stubbing your toe in the dark last night, or for the flat tire you got last year, or for the bird shitting on your windshield right after you washed your car. He's obviously the root of all evil and must be blamed for anything and everything you don't like. You look like a goddamned uninformed fool for doing so, but please, by all means, exercise your right to broadcast that fact to the world. It does wonders for your argument.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 960

I am suggesting that you are in denial that a problem even exists, despite the figures, and before you can improve things there you need to change you way of thinking.

No one is in denial that homicide is a problem. Where we differ is the severity of the problem in relation to the severity of the proposed solutions. For example, the most recent statistics show there were over 30,000 automobile deaths last year, far more than deaths due to violent use of a gun. Do you propose banning automobiles? There are nearly 4,000 deaths annually due to drowning in pools, more than violent homicides by firearm, yet I don't hear you calling for a ban on pools.

There is no such thing as a perfectly free yet perfectly safe society and a great deal of harm can be done trying to achieve such a thing. For example, while shootings such as these make gun usage seem uniformly bad, there are no newscasts highlighting positive use of firearms for self defense. Nobody gets any air time when a five-foot, 100lb woman doesn't get raped by a six-foot, 220lb thug because she successfully defended herself with a firearm. There are innumerable permutations on the latter, none of which get any attention. Ban firearms by law-abiding citizens and you guarantee a target-rich environment for criminals, none of which will give a damn about any gun ban laws because criminals do not obey the law.

If you could snap your fingers tomorrow and magically delete every gun in existence then I might agree with your stance. That is impossible and any rational, reasonable person should know that. So long as criminals can get their hands on a weapon do to harm upon me and my family, I absolutely demand the right to legally obtain and wield one of my own for defense.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 960

If everyone had a gun I probably wouldn't be posting this right now.

Far more people have guns than you are probably aware. That's because the vast, huge, overwhelming majority of them are kept for defense instead of assault. There are over 300 million guns in private hands in the United States. If the owners of these decided to be a problem, trust me, you'd be dead by now. That you're not is prima facie evidence of the stupidity of your argument.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 960

Fine. Let's assume for the sake of argument that guns are a fundamentally bad thing and need to be banned. There are over 300 million guns in the United States alone. Please tell me how you plan to get rid of them in such a way that disarms criminals equally as well as it disarms law-abiding citizens.

You can't, and that's the crux of the problem. Criminals, by definition, do not obey the law. Law-abiding people, by definition, do obey the law. Pass a law banning handguns and you guarantee 100% disarmament of law-abiding citizens whilst simultaneously stopping very few if any criminals from getting them. Congratulations! You just made violent gun crime easier for every thug, bank robber, rapist, murderer, and so on. We absolutely need more of that, right?

Every time there's a shooting, people like you come out of the woodwork screaming about how bad guns are and how they must be eliminated. As noted above, there are over 300 million guns in circulation in the United States. Today about 99.99997% of them were not used in a violent criminal way, yet you insist they are a dire threat to anything and everything. Your argument is both irrational and illogical.

Comment Re:Effective solution (Score 1) 141

I know the government wants to make coding the next blue collar job but it takes a lot of knowledge and practice to perfect the craft.

In the decades I've worked as a software developer, I've almost never had a boss who cared at all for "perfect". OTOH, I can think of many times when I was explicitly ordered to not implement something correctly. Normally, their only concern is getting deliveries to customers, which involves satisfying sales people and customer people who usually have no clue at all about software quality, and are primarily concerned with money issues.

Granted, I have had a few cases where, years after my job was terminated, I received some nice messages saying that nobody had ever found a bug in any of the sofware that I wrote. But this is after the fact; while working they were never particularly interested in high-quality code. And they had no way of judging it except by waiting for years and counting the reported bugs.

So I'd predict that most educators and employers will be pleased by the "hour of code" concept, and will push for its adoption. Then they'll work out the bugs in the approach in the future, as the bugs make themselves known.

Comment Re:O RLY? (Score 2) 64

I understand what copyright is intended to do, but I see little evidence that a 90+ year term and other onerous terms are means to this goal.

I'd be the first to agree that the current implementation of copyright is deeply flawed in several ways, including the steady creep up to the current absurd durations you mentioned. I am in no way supporting that side of the copyright system, as you can tell by many other posts I've made including to this very discussion.

However, most use of copyrighted work both by creators and by pirates still happens in the first few years, and in practice shortening the duration to something much more reasonable seems unlikely to affect the behaviour of either side very much. The basic principle is still that copyright establishes similar market incentives to create information-based products to the incentives established by respecting physical private property when it comes to creating physical products.

And of course, as Google points out, the search index could not have occurred under such a regime. I shouldn't have to sell you on the usefulness of internet search on society[...]

I'm something of a skeptic in that regard. My personal suspicion is that if we didn't have the likes of Google indexing everything, we'd just have evolved some other sort of directory/index system, along with including more explicit links in our Web content and probably making more use of bookmarks for starting points relevant to our personal interests. There were already plenty of moves in these directions in parallel with early search engine development, some much more promising than others, and the natural connectedness of the Web would lend itself just fine to scaling up these sorts of alternatives.

Maybe that would even have become a better system than what we have today. By its nature, an automated search engine will always be vulnerable to gaming whatever system it implements. Today's arrangement also locates an awful lot of power centrally with the big search engines, even though they are ultimately only useful because of any good content created by others that they help a visitor to find. When sites that would be of interest to visitors can rise and fall almost entirely by a change in the ranking algorithm at a search engine, over which the site has no control and for which the search engine has no accountability, I'm not sure everything is really working as wonderfully as we sometimes assume.

Automation has so far proven to be a questionable benefit over curation, and while it's certainly true that today's search engines are often better for finding interesting or useful information than the portals and web rings of the 1990s, that's not really a fair comparison. It's called web browsing for a reason, and I truly think we've lost something that had great potential there with the rise of the search engines.

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