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:Even more strange (Score 2) 628

Sure you would. Because you've been programmed to think that everything that's built in a factory is nothing but "interchangeable parts" like Lego. The reality of the situation was quite different in WWII, and remains different in places where things are built by hand and not by computer. Do you think Bugatti has "low-skill" schlubs following instructions to build a Veyron? By that same argument, I can say that "most programmers are low-skill because they're just following instructions and linking code libraries together" (not true, I know).

A couple years ago, I decided to learn the art of building custom bicycle frames. I'm a smart guy, how hard could it be? Turns out, it's pretty fucking hard. Welding, machining, etc. != low-skill job. It's just a different skillset than what you use.

Comment How is this anything new? (Score 1, Interesting) 570

I have a boxer engine (horizontally opposed pistons) in my Subaru. The fuel efficiency on a four-cylinder sucks balls, to put it mildly. I go out of my way to drive conservatively and I'm still lucky if I can squeeze 24mpg out of it. To make matters even more entertaining, maintenance is a nightmare -- most pro mechanics want to charge me exorbitant prices because they have so little experience working on them, and when I've had to do routine things like changing the spark plugs, it takes a couple hours because I have to gut the engine compartment to get to the side of the engines where the plugs are located. Nifty idea, and sure it probably increases power output and reduced friction as advertised, but fuel economy and maintenance considerations are shit, in my experience.

Comment ORLY? (Score 1) 533

"and impressive sales in India, Europe, and the US."

Funny, I work at one of the highest-volume bike stores in my state. Do you know how many electric bikes we sold last year? I'll give you a minute.

That's right. Zero.

You know how many electric bikes we sold in the last five years?


So yeah, sales are "impressive."
GNU is Not Unix

NY Bill Proposes Tax Credit for Open Source Developers 111

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Assemblymen Jonathan Bing and Micah Kellner, along with a number of co-sponsors, have introduced proposed legislation in New York State which would grant a tax credit to individuals acting as volunteers who develop open source programs. The idea of the credit is to ensure that volunteer developers, who could not otherwise deduct their expenses because they are not part of a 'business,' should nevertheless be able to receive a tax benefit for their contribution. The credit would be for 20% of the expenses incurred, up to $200. The preamble to the bill notes that the New York State Assembly itself currently uses 'Open Source programs such as Mozilla for email, Firefox for web browsing, and WebCal for electronic calendars,' and that these programs have led to significant cost savings to taxpayers. The preamble also cited a 2006 report authored by John Irons and Carl Malamud from the Center for American Progress detailing how Open Source software enhances a broader dissemination of knowledge and ideas."

Submission + - Mathematical formula killed Wall Street?

Amigan writes: "Entitled Quants gone Wild , the financial meltdown of Wall Street was caused by a single math formula (Gaussian copula function). From the article: "For five years, Li's formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels.""

Submission + - A New Generation of Mirrors (

LDCT writes: "Dr. Andrew Hicks of Drexel University has developed mirrors that direct rays of light in such a way that mirrors reflect "correctly", that is, flipped images via directing light displaying an image as if it were seen via third person. Reflected text can be read correctly when read in the mirror. In addition, his mirrors have been implemented to create distortion-free wide-angled images. The process has been developed using numerical methods to solve complicated partial differential equations."

Submission + - A Universal Flu Vaccine May Be On The Way 1

Plasmoid writes: TechReview reports that scientists have starting developing what could turn out to be a "universal flu vaccine". They created antibody proteins that can neutralize different strains of the influenza virus, including the deadly H5N1 bird flu, the virus behind the 1918 epidemic, and common seasonal strains. These new antibodies target part of the virus that is shared between different strains and thus appears to be broadly effective. However, some experts question whether a universal vaccine of this kind is even possible, since the human body has been unable to come up with an antibody solution. A Nature paper describing the work can also be found here.

Submission + - Combining BitTorrent with darknets for P2P privacy ( 3

CSEMike writes: "Currently popular peer-to-peer networks suffer from a lack of privacy. For applications like BitTorrent or Gnutella, sharing a file means exposing your behavior to anyone interested in monitoring it. OneSwarm is a new file sharing application developed by researchers at the University of Washington that improves privacy in peer-to-peer networks. Instead of communicating directly, sharing in OneSwarm is friend-to-friend; senders and receivers exchange data using multiple intermediaries in an overlay mesh. OneSwarm is built on (and backwards compatible with) BitTorrent, but includes numerous extensions to improve privacy while providing good performance: point-to-point encryption using SSL, source-address rewriting, and multi-path and multi-source downloading. Clients and source are available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows."

Submission + - ISS Node 3 Naming Poll Hacked 1

jeroen94704 writes: NASA recently opened up a poll to let the public decide what name the Node 3 module scheduled to be added to the ISS in late 2009. Voters can choose between one of four NASA provided alternatives (With "Serenity" a clear leader), or enter their own suggestion. Now it seems a Pokemon fan decided to hack the contest, as the top voter-provided suggestion is currently "MUDKIP". Since entering a suggestion requires CAPTCHA authentication, this is yet more evidence that all but the most advanced CAPTCHA implementations have been broken, and are nothing but an inconvenience for those wanting to circumvent it.

Slashdot Top Deals

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills. -- Ambrose Bierce