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Comment Re:Its really the library not the language (Score 1) 203

Yep. I went through the curriculum of the top 10 computer science universities in the country, and all of them teach either Java or Python in their introductory programming classes. Only a single one (Stanford) even offered C++ as an alternative.

That's not a problem. The problem is with shitty schools that don't have a non-garbage-collected language required for a class anywhere in their mandatory curriculum. At my alma mater (which is one of the top-10), the required C-based class is sophomore-level and that's fine.

Comment Re:They seem to think they have a say in this (Score 1) 100

What they haven't learned is the Universe doesn't care about the FBI, or even criminals for that matter. If mathematics makes hard-to-break encryption possible, then that is simply that. Unless Congress plans to pass laws banning encryption, or demanding back doors, which will set it up for a big fight in the Supreme Court, the government should just shut its fucking pie hole and get about investigating crimes. Criminals have been hiding and destroying evidence as long as there have been criminals, and I've seen absolutely nothing that suggests that more criminals are getting away with crimes now than they did a couple of decades ago.

Comment Re:For the Yanks who are confused. (Score 1) 374

It's not like a treaty, it IS a treaty. The ECC has been around in one form or another for nearly sixty years, and the whole point of the common market is to allow the free flow of goods and services between member states. That requires rules to deal with member states who try to gain unfair advantage by, say, granting large multinationals absurdly low tax rates, and, once they've set up shop, can now gain access to the entire Common Market.

I'm not clear what critics are objecting to here. Are they saying nations should be able to just ignore treaty provisions which they willingly and freely signed up for whenever they want? Are critics saying that other signatories to said treaties have no right to demand redress?

Comment Re:countries are no more? (Score 1) 374

If they want to be part of the European Common Market, they have to abide by the rules all the members, including Ireland, agreed to. If Ireland wishes to go its own way, it can invoke Article 50 like Britain has. Of course, that would likely mean companies like Apple and Microsoft would move their European headquarters, because the real reason that Ireland and these companies struck up these rather favorable tax deals was because they could gain access to the Common Market while gaining a very advantageous tax rate from being taxed in Ireland, rather than, say, Britain or Germany.

Comment Re:This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 1) 120

My client was an ex-special forces commando. He was working a modest-paying state job in the Department of Agriculture (he was an old time farm boy) for "vacation money" but after 9/11 he disappeared for a couple of years. Nobody knew where he was, but when he came back he had full-bird colonel's pension. Even though he now had plenty of "vacation money", he went back to his old Ag job, I think just to feel like he had something productive to do. His real passion, however, was painting wildlife. I wouldn't say his stuff was terribly original, but it was technically impressive. If I handed you one of his bird paintings and told you it was an original Audubon you'd probably believe me unless you were an art expert. This was a down-to-earth guy with a surprisingly sensitive side, and if he wanted to kill you with his bare hands you wouldn't have a prayer.

I know this sounds like BS, but there's really nothing like the Deep South for bizarre and colorful characters. And oddballs have a way of flocking together, which probably means I should worry about knowing so many of them.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 2) 203

I write web services for remote clients to send information to. 50 msec includes the time to establish a TCP connection to the nginx frontend (written in C!), then to run a little bit of Python code to massage the request and either store it in a database (probably written in C, or maybe Java) or fetch data from one, then to return the results to the remote client. At a previous employer, my code did that about 80,000 times per second, averaged 24/7. At the shop before that, we load tested to 500,000 requests per second but it was only for a few minutes sustained at a time.

When was the last time you personally wrote code to handle 500Kops? Did you know that those durn whippersnappers at Google runs a big chunk of their stack on Python and that they'd laugh at our tiny it doesn't matter to the end user. If we could have reduced a 50ms transaction to 10ms by altering the speed of the light signals carrying our requests, we probably would have. But since we live in a universe with physics, the best we could possible hope for was to reduce the time spent in application code to 0.000ms and thereby drop the entire transaction time to 49ms.

Comment Re:SubjectIsSubject (Score 1) 374

If Ireland doesn't like EU rules it can always depart the EU. If course then it will lose its privileged access to the Common Market, and let's be clear here, the tax deal with Apple was littl more than the creation of a tax haven for Apple to gain cheap access to the Common Market.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 374

If Irish tax law contravenes it's treaties with the rest of the EU, that very treaty requires Ireland to abide by the EU's decision. Ireland willingly and knowingly violated it's treaty obligations in its deals with Application and Google, so there is nothing arbitrary or capricious about this ruling.

Comment Re:'Refutes' or 'denies'? (Score 2) 374

They are going to attempt to refute the ruling. Whether they refute it or not in fact depends greatly upon whether their appeal is successful.

At any rate, Ireland's reputation for basically being a tax haven that allows cheap access to EU markets has long been established. The EU is finally getting around to fixing what amounts to a significant problem. If Ireland wants to be part of the Common Market, it needs to play by the Common Market's rules.

Comment This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 3, Interesting) 120

I once bummed a ride from Tallahassee to Tampa with a client, and he asked me if I minded if he took a detour to see the "Fish Man". I thought he meant a fish-monger, but then he turned his car off the highway an drove it through a gap in the chainlink fence. We went up a dirt track through the scrub pines to a glade with couple of trailers -- one of which had no sides and was outfitted as a living room. There were chicken wire pens scattered around the compound full of empty beer and paint cans.

The "Fish Man" turned out to be fat, shambling, hairy mountain of a man. He was almost naked, and monochromatically red-brown: shoulder-length frizzy red-brown hair, sunburned skin with strawberry-blond fur, and red-brown denim cargo shorts. You almost couldn't tell where the shorts ended and his body began, except that there was no fur on the shorts and when he turned around he showed about ten inches of ass crack. It was about 10:30 in the morning and he was drinking his breakfast from a gallon screw-top bottle. From out in the forest came the sound of trees being cut down.

We were here because the Fish Man was an artist my friend collected. The people cutting down trees were his apprentices. They'd moved thousands of miles from their city homes to live in a squatter's camp and study under him. My friend handed the Fish Man $250 and got a fish sculpture in return, which he later explained to me was a terrrific deal because that sculpture would have fetched $1000 in a gallery, easily.

I'm not an art person, but even I could see the thing was a masterpiece; it was breathtaking. It wasn't exactly representational, you might even have called it a little cartoonish, but somehow he'd captured a sense of movement; it looked alive.

The Fish Man invited watch him turn a curved blank from a hollow cypress into another one, a process that took only about ten minutes because he did it with a goddamn chainsaw.

There's a lesson in this about powerful tools. They can't make you into anything you aren't already. If you're a genius, they allow you to express your genius faster. If you're undisciplined and lazy, they make you unproductive on a grander scale.

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