Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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 What percentage are we not able to detect? (Score 1) 83

Given that the two methods of detection are planets that orbit in plane that is nearly our parallel to view axis (solar transit), or planets that are massive enough to wobble a star and orbit in a plane that is nearly perpendicular to our view axis, what our we not seeing. I would think these circumstances would be the exceptions rather than the rule. Can we extrapolate how many planets orbit stars, given that we can only detect these special cases?

Comment Maybe make computers I want to buy again. (Score 2) 551

My newest Apple computer is a 2011 MacBook Pro. I've upgraded the memory from 8GB to 16GB and the 500GB HD to a 1TB SSD. It also has a 1680 x 1050 NON-glossy display. Back then Apple used to make computers with options and upgrade paths. Both upgrading and non-glossy displays are no longer available, so I keep hanging on to what I like. At home it gets no better. My 2008 Mac Pro is still going strong, and no way I'm buying one of those stupid Mac Cans. I even still run a G4 Mac Cube as a web server. I forgot how old that is. So Apple, either make computers that die faster, or start making computers that I would want to own.

Comment Waste of time, won't stop uncrackable messaging (Score 2) 596

All that is needed for unbreakable communications is a lengthy sequence of random bytes and an XOR operator. Otherwise known as a one-time-pad. If the parties are at least marginally smart in picking and using the pad, even the NSA is boned in trying to decipher the messages.

All this will accomplish is allow the gov. to peek into lazy and stupid criminals communiques. Apparently the FBI thinks the majority of the bad guys fall into this category. They may be right, as it stands now, but if they win, that may be the event that causes bad people to get smarter. The response may be worse than the current situation, and everyone's security will be placed at risk because of it.

Comment A common terminal for all platforms would be nice. (Score 1) 352

But I'm not sure if its ever been attempted. So depend where I'm working: Mac OS X: iTerm2 UNIX/Linux: Mostly XTerm, as I rarely need more than it gives, but gnome-term on occasion. Win32/Cygwin: ConsoleZ, an improved fork of Console2 . I can't emphasize enough how grateful I am for ConsoleZ from freeing me from the inane rectangular select regions of cmd.exe. Sure cygwin has rxvt for line oriented selection, but it doesn't work for anything that outputs to the Win32 console. ConsoleZ does line oriented selection for Win32 and cygwin.

Comment Re:Guido is the problem (Score 1) 196

Oh, does your highly effective, widely popular scripting language not suffer from this problem. Thank goodness Python has a benevolent dictator, otherwise it might end up with a hack at the helm that tries to satisfy every whining idiots wish feature, and you end up with something as horrid as C++. But Stroustrup is such crowd pleaser.

I've been using Python since 1.5, and I've always considered it my secret weapon to get things done faster than anyone thought it could be done. All while producing code that is easy to read and maintain, unlike the popular scripting disaster at the time that was called Perl. Over the years its usefulness has only expanded to areas I would have never expected. And so it remains as my not so secret weapon to this day. Is it perfect, no, no language is. Like all languages it has its place where it works well, and plenty where its a bad choice.

Most griping in this thread are by people that clearly have not used Python for anything significant, but have heard about the GIL issue, and feel they must whine that their favorite language is not more popular. The GIL issue can be dealt with in a number of ways, Jython being my favorite. The GIL has never been an issue in anything I've done with Python, for two reasons. One I've never used Python where that would be an issue, and two when I have chosen Python, I designed code so it would not pose a problem. It's a bit crazy, but this seems to work.

Comment So much of my youth wasted on pinball (Score 1) 283

Or rather invested in playing with silver balls... Wait that sounded bad. Oh well backspaces are for weenies. Wait that didn't sound to good either. Oh well. Anyway I'm old enough to remember when the bank of EM pins at my local bowling alley was invaded by this strange Pong device. I admit it stole my attention for a bit, but there was no way to win a free game. What fun is that. You could never rule a game, and leave a machine with a dozen free games for the low skill hangers on to wonder how you did it. That Pong thing was then replaced by a Space Invaders, which at least had a high score table. That managed to divert some time away from the pins, but always pins where number one. Well until the Space Invaders was replaced with an Asteroids. Oh dear, that broke the spell. Well at least until solid state pins introduced the speed, multi-ball, gadgetry, and depth of play that just kept improving until it came to a spectacular end with the Bally/Williams Attack From Mars and Medieval Madness games. I was wise enough to acquire an Attack From Mars as my 4th pin, but I still lament being to "grown up" to grab a Medieval Madness when they only went for $3500 instead of the $15,000 they go for today.

Comment Re:2001 (Score 1) 438

THHHHAAAAANNNNKK YOOOOOOOUUUUUU! So many ADHD youngsters can't stay with this film long enough to make it to the space sequences. Also the design and movements of the EVA pods is dead on. There are a few picky errors, like the liquid retreating in the straw in the food tray, but you could argue that vacuum caused it. So it is possible to do right, but it takes a lot of artistic clout to defy the Hollywood formula. Apollo 13 came pretty close, except there did seem to be a lot of sound in space. So I still claim 2001 number 1 in accuracy. They even got where computers turn into our masters right.

Comment Just like new coke... (Score 1) 502

There is an opportunity here if M$ is smart enough to take it. Just like Coke turned the New coke fiasco into a brilliant mistake, M$ could turn this Win 8 failure into a chance to actually differentiate its myriad different versions of Windows products. Win Home versions could come with Metro the default UI, with the classic desktop as an option. The pro and enterprise versions could make the standard desktop the default with metro as an option, but with the option to disable Metro all together. The server versions should not have a metro bone in them at all. Now if they basically give the home versions away, charge a fair amount for the pro/ent/server versions... profit. And the hate may die down.

I don't think they are this smart however, and hope they ride this Win8 turkey all the way to oblivion. It is really entertaining to watch.

Slashdot Top Deals

The number of computer scientists in a room is inversely proportional to the number of bugs in their code.