Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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:Speculation (Score 1) 709

Whether Nakamoto is a person or a group is really irrelevant. A game was created and if cashing out is within the defined rules and expectations of the players, then there's no crime.

As to your assertion that widespread adoption necessarily creates unbounded riches for the founders, or even the early adopter, I don't see that as a supportable premise. It's a matter of scale. I can think of several titans of information industry who have benefited disproportionately by virtue of their early positioning. Bing! As well as subterfuge concerning creation or adaptation or simply buying on the cheap their purported innovation. Bing! "Huge portion of the world's wealth.." ??? Seriously? How so?

As to what a government will or won't allow - that's kind of the intention of bitcoin such that arbitrary currency manipulation from sovereign is difficult if not impossible. I hold US currency and by definition I am a speculator. I make the implicit assumption that it will tomorrow have nearly the same value as it does today. Any other action than NOT continuing to hold it is self-destructive if I perceive any negative deviation beyond that 'nearly the same value' approximation. There is no currency, including precious metals like gold, which are guaranteed. Thus, use of any of it is a speculative endeavor.

I think you underestimate the driver for a cryptographic trading platform and currency. Every disruptive event in the world's history has made fortune for a few and has built on the backs of those less well positioned. The fact that an adjustment occurs enhances the adaptability of bitcoin even while it might be a large divestiture. Such events have a finite limit. It is, perhaps, a sign of improving maturity in bitcoin market.

I have no bitcoin and I am not involved in it in any way other than wondering "what if".

Comment Re:Start your party and let democracy decide (Score 1) 737

I'm certain that at that time there were those who imagined they were far more educated and worthy than some others. It's just a matter of scale. The dismissive attitude is the same.

This is only tangential to my point, unless you would submit that only by limiting to landowners is equal responsibility established.... ;)

Comment Re:Am I Reading the Onion? (Score 1) 737

Supply-side economics has been an abject failure. True to form, adherents blame the failure not on the application of supply-side economics, but that it has not been applied enough.

It's *all* supply side economics. One camp proposes the government stimulate the economy by hiring temporary centralist-driven resources which are then not supportable by the local tax base and are eliminated as soon as the federal largesse ends. The other camp proposes that leaving a portion of capital with entities of proven financial management increases the locality of the distribution thereby ensuring that increases are more permanent. Wealth flows top-down in either case.

Even the relatively recent meme of "all business is small business" is still a supply side economic paradigm. You can't go out in the street and willy-nilly offer services in today's world in the USA. There are licenses and permits and inspections. There are patents and reverse-engineering constraints. Your family is regulated. Your transport is regulated. Your communications are regulated. It's daunting to try to start a bottom-up enterprise in the USA today. If every one of those hurdles are passed, there's still the overwhelming likelihood of court action irrespective of your preparation. It's not a jobs world, it's a lawyers world. Deny that?

I'm a fiscal conservative. I'm a social liberal. I'm a registered Republican. I don't apologize. Let one thing be clear; fiscal conservative is not leaving unused wealth with those already wealthy. That is, actually, irrelevant. The relevant part is that whatever sum of monies we people decide our government should have.. *that* resource should be utilized efficiently and effectively. Expenditures that don't pass the 'smell test' should easily be ended. Capital should work for us; having to maintain a lot of it just to satisfy the regulators and the courts is just bad policy.

I would submit there are many more Republicans like me out here than the media or polls would suggest. I'm an atheist. I think gay is already an antiquated term. I don't see a reason for marriage as an economic policy and reject it as being a sound social policy.

I think we can do much better. I expect that can only happen when we redefine our dialog so that talking heads on commercial enterprises have less influence to our discourse.

Comment Re:Start your party and let democracy decide (Score 1) 737

You forgot the other half. Democracy assumes every person's opinion is equal *and* that every person's responsibility is equal. Citizens who do not respect their participation in self-governance are the fault, not their education. This is not different now from 1776.

I would remind you the beauty is that a motivated electorate aggregates towards a, let's call it, super-aggregate; the sum being larger than its parts. I graduated High School in 1977 and had been required a single semester of Civics. How many of us have lobbied our local schools to require of our students a deeper understanding of their rights, its history, and their responsibilities? I have to plead nolo contendere - but aren't many of us part of the problem?

Rightfully, our democracy pre-empts undo influence of a faith-based belief system and *was* actually oriented towards the thinking man's approach. That's Science man! Don't dis the less educated - dogma is just as dangerous.

Comment First Season (Score 1) 368

You and Leonard Nimoy are nearly the same age -born days apart actually- but you had quite different beginnings. You were a traditional Shakespearean while Nimoy had military experience. You were a Canadian while Nimoy an American.

The first several episodes of Star Trek used the Spock character to a lesser extent than later on and it could be said that the character portrayal was intentionally stiff or unyielding.

To what extent did you mentor or coach Mr. Nimoy? Was that early stiffness an intentional vehicle to express an alien personae? Could you talk about the signature moment when you felt the Kirk-Spock interaction transcend the script to the mutual respect and friendship that endeared Star Trek fans to the franchise?

Did you and Leonard ever joke around about being the oldest?

thank you so much.


Comment class action, permenant injunction (Score 1) 436

"Innovatio has made a strategic and business judgment at this stage that it doesnâ(TM)t intend to pursue [lawsuits on the basis of] residential use of WiFi," McAndrews said during a phone conversation last week.

I feel this is a threat to my personal liberty and lawfullness. As such, I should have a legal recourse to address the concern. "WiFi users violate our patent and are 'stealing' from our property'". I am a WiFi user. :. I am stealing from this company. I do not think this libellous accusation should be allowed to stand. There is a class of people who would share in this concern.

Is it possible to initiate a class action leverage pre-empting enforcement of the patent, or better the patent itself, based on such published insinuation and lack of evidenciary support or forum?


he says rhetorically

Comment Re:What other products (Score 1) 1019

none of those are mandated by the federal government except education - and that's the one of the list that is failing in the most obvious and insidious way, so there ya go.

as to SSI - Obama has already declared (to our military no less!) that it's not a product and not a guarantee. He's right. It's a tax. And it's also one of your list which is so badly managed, so often raided, so nearly broken so much of the time as to have needed major reconstruction. It's also of the few that are federally managed. so there ya go.

For the record, I say this but I'm not a Democrat and I think the individual insurance mandate is most certainly unconstitutional. As to any other qualification about it, that's a full on stop. If we citizens wish to mandate and can change the constitution to reflect that we would *then* be in line with a government ruled by law. Whatever else you say about federal efforts (from all three branches as well as the czars, bureaus, and departments not elected) you could hardly make the case for constitutional conformity.

and the list goes on.

Comment Re:Thanks Slashdot (Score 1) 197

there weren't a lot of them but the Heathkit store was a great thing. I was able to get credit there and see what I was buying and hold/touch/examine it. I really doubt there's much market for online-only DIY kit store aside from what is already available such as so many here have already mentioned.

Hopefully Heathkit has some other marketing strategy. In my nostalgia I *want* it to succeed. But I'm far too old to want to build a 2M radio....

Comment Re:Kill it Oracle (Score 1) 338

I don't really get why people emphasize to be able to program in assembler. Or machine code ...

Says a lot.

says nothing at all. using C++ or C# or Java is a conceptual skill quite apart from machine level programming. Everything from threading to object/data maintenance to looping is different in a fundamental way.

I'm one of those "uneducated" (my background is Electronics, not CompSci) java programmers doing mostly business applications. I would only assert my competence. I also entered machine code in Heathkit ET3400 as well as C= Vic20/128. I repaired arcade video games like Defender and MsPackman also.

People learn what they're interested by and what they are required. The "average" anybody is not going to excite... talk about red-herring...

Do you really believe a programmer who can program in Java or even Visual Basic is incapable of learning assembler?

Bit of a red herring there. Capable of learning? Probably they are capable of learning. Do they have a desire to learn it? Probably not. Are they capable of learning it well? Maybe. Are they capable of understand the overall implications of some of the code they may generate at this level? Its iffy if we're talking about the average Java coder.

The truth of the matter is that C and below programming is really not necessary to the majority of today's programmers. I also modified xmodem on a coherent system where I had dial up. I did that to skip the 64, 128, 256 progression it did to bring up to speed. most of my transfers were 1k or greater and starting at 1024 made a huge difference in the kind of quick transfers I needed to do. I got my first job in software programming by showing the place in that C source code that I modified... why and how.

Even today I think the better, elegant solution eluded me at the time. But it worked; both in a pragmatic and preparatory sense.

That's all starkly irrelevant to job-health today for me though.

Comment Re:And The Rest Of What Makes Windows Garbage (Score 1) 456

Why are mount points better than drive letters

from within your filesystem perspective there can be only one top level "/" and everything is referenced from there. /usr/local/src/slashcode will always resolve to a specific place. Is that better than DOS's "collection of roots" ? It is more predictable and all the tools integrate with the idea that any directory beneath the current directory can be a different filesystem (eg. find, grep, etc).

The broad support for mounts on *nix also simplifies partitioning of data. For example, /home is often a different disk or partition from most of the system and can be encrypted, mirrored, backed up more easily since it contains virtually 100% dynamic (ie. important) data.

Microsoft's 'Drive Extender' appears to have allowed for similar concepts but has been removed from WHS2011 -

I'm not too interested in the Why so I'm going to skip looking up their rationale.

Uniform Naming Convention - - is another bit of Windows ecosystem that approximates the concepts of *nix top level containing mounts. That's more of a user-space thing though since it's only context is application, not something defined by the system. Mounted resources are available outside of a logged-in user.

*nix also has the /mnt node wherein most (/media notwithstanding) temporary mounts are defined. It's nice to be able to iterate or list the transient attachments your system might have.

Comment Re:The most telling thing about it (Score 1) 294

I've had Fedora 15 installed in a VM as well as a native partition since it came out. I'm bit by the ATI graphics problems but the VM works fine - after several weeks of updates from both the dist, rpmfusion, and virtualbox. I've kept them both updated at about once a week and try them at each of those points. I knew going in that it would not be "how I was used to", but that is a valid criticism - just weighted differently from the following:

I *hate* the gnome shell.
- I want Seconds displayed wherever possible (eg. Calendar and Clock as well as file times)
- I want to easily encrypt my sensitive files and settings
- I want to have a one-click shortcut to launch an application. An extra click is acceptable to open a collection of similar favorites (eg. Drawer), though why hover never was implemented I don't know
- I want such a shortcut to always (try to) initiate a new instance of that application. [note below]
- I want a quick large storage area for temporary shortcuts (eg. Desktop) which might be files, applications, links, mounts, etc. - the more variety of supported types the better.
- I think the distinction between /home/username/.gconf and /home/Home/.gconf is important
- I want to be able to resize as many dialog windows as possible
- I want a visual indication of activity on other virtual desktops
- If I start typing on an empty virtual desktop I would like a search dialog to open. Both G2 and 3 make me go into a Search context, with differing levels of complexity to get there, before I see results. (eg. G R ). It's odd that GnomeShell makes ALt-F2 run dialog modal.

Fedora built the infrastructure to examine Gnome3 as a Spin but then did not. It's buggy and premature and should not have been released as the primary system.

I took this as a chance to finally try out Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity and truthfully as I match up my reqs I think it comes closer than does Gnome3/GnomeShell. I installed linuxmint on my laptop for a late-July travel vacation b/c of home/ encryption and expectation of a longer life for Gnome2. There's a fair chance that a month from now I'll have switched to Unity but that depends a lot on Fedora 16. I'm finding no reason to push my laptop back to a RedHat-related dist and Gnome3/Shell is a huge factor there.

I cannot truly emphasise how big the "not how I'm used to" is. A big problem with the rollout was the lack of information readily available towards transitioning from Gnome2. I think Jon McCann seriously undervalues its reception and is failing ivory-tower style.


@SwedishPenguin - I think you have a vested interest in the success of Gnome3/Shell.

[note] I was unaware of the context menu in Favorites that allow launching a new instance. Why does running instances not show on hover?

Comment Re:I'm a bit confused about this bill ..... (Score 1) 277

Tenth, the section previously mentioned lacking the definition of "unregistered sex offender" is amended to add a definition for "sex offender" as someone who is required to be registered under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Unregistered sex offender remains undefined.

To my eye this means that anyone not required to register falls into the group of unregistered offenders; quite an assumption on their part I'd say.

The EFF has an action against this bill. Support them, please.

Slashdot Top Deals

panic: kernel trap (ignored)