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Comment Re: I wouldn't have (Score 1) 74

96 bytes was a lot of data in the mid-80s. On a 1200 bps connection, that's almost an entire second per packet. When I was a college student in the early 90s, we had 2400 bps modems in the dialup pool, and the entire university (~3000 students) lived on a 56k leased line. Nowadays, that's trivial. In 1984, not so much.

OTOH we didn't run SLIP (PPP wasn't invented yet) over our 1200BPS/2400BPS modems, at least I don't know of anyone who did, except as a test. We ran terminal software to login to the university computers remotely. So address space wouldn't have impacted that much. In fact, where I was, TCP/IP didn't become a thing until we were connected to the internet proper. (1988), but of course YMMV.

That said, 16 bytes for an address would probably not have flown. But 6 I can sort of see.

Comment Re:Well, that's a start. (Score 1) 91

I am no authoritarian bootlicking servant. In 99% of police interactions if you comply with their instructions, you will not be injured or worse... Are the majority of police officers reasonable human beings? Yes.

99% is far too weak a standard here (and don't even get me started on "majority"). One in a thousand is also too much (due to the base rate fallacy, look it up). One in a hundred thousand is a safe conservative estimate.

So, you're about three orders of magnitude off...

Comment Re:Commercial "education" generally fails (Score 1) 267

Well, here in Sweden that has changed as well. Since the government wants more graduates in certain areas (engineering), for example, the number of seats have "exploded" in the last ten-twenty years. When I was an undergrad you had to be as near as dammit an A-student (well, 4.7-5.0 on a 1-5 scale normally distributed with a 3.0 average) to get in. Today you'll get in with a 'C' average (but you probably won't graduate!).

And if you didn't do too well in high school there are remedial classes available. If you chose the wrong "track" in high school and hence haven't studied prerequisites, then there's an extra year at university that lets you study that as a preparation.

But of course, it's in general, sort-of-kind-of a meritocracy. For the subjects with strong professional organisations, I'm looking at you in medicin, there hasn't been an increase in the number of spots, so you still need a perfect 'A' average to be admitted. (And with the increased focus on theory at the lower levels, girls now make up a majority overall, and are at 60% in medicin. Not engineering though...)

Comment Re:Why do people care... (Score 2) 91


I love how clueless these "if you have nothing to hide people" or "you are in a public place people" are. One day it will come back and bite them and they won't know what hit them.

Just because one is a "public" place doesn't mean everyone should have everything they do and say documented for all time, to be shared with anyone at any time. Sitting at a table with someone at a restaurant, one should reasonably expect their conversations are not being recorded or have close-up video being stored, secretly. Same thing for in your car, or whatever.

Comment Only if customer is willing to pay for it (Score 1) 67

If you're the customer waiting on parts, safety stock is pretty much mandatory from your point of view.

Only if the customer is willing to pay for it. Safety stock costs money. If the customer is willing to pay the extra cost of maintaining safety stock then and only then is it reasonable to keep safety stock.

If you want new tires and the store says sure, come back in 4 days when they arrive, you're going elsewhere

That depends on the tires and what sort of customer you are dealing with. JIT is only applicable with items with a production+delivery lead time shorter than the time between identification of need and time of delivery. You also have to consider the economic utility of stocking the part. If you have something like tires where there are thousands of different products it would be irrational to attempt to stock them all. So you either buffer them (warehouse etc) or you build to order. If somebody comes in and wants a tire that few others buy they might have to wait a few days because it would be economically silly for your local shop to stock it.

You keep having stuff out of stock, you ae sending your customers elsewhere permanently.

So don't have stuff out of stock when economically sane. Nobody is arguing that it is an easy problem in every case but the goal is to have as little inventory as possible. That results in lower prices for the customer and lower costs for the seller. Designing a supply chain that cannot work without safety stock is an inefficient supply chain.

Comment Extra assets = waste (Score 1) 67

Greyhound used to keep full and complete busses at many of their depots, and spare parts for the major assemblies like transmissions, engines, driveshafts. They were considered unused/new items so they weren't taxed on them.

If they did keep unused buses in cold storage that was idiotic. Beyond any property taxes they would incur all sorts of expenses from storing them including the property and buildings to hold them, people to maintain them (even unused vehicles need maintenance), opportunity cost of cash tied up in an illiquid and non-revenue generating asset, security to protect them, and much more. Buying assets for non-mission critical just-in-case situations is wasteful and usually unnecessary. Taxes on the property are actually among the smaller costs involved.

By the way a bus would not be considered inventory on any balance sheet unless the company was in the business of selling buses. For a company like Greyhound those would be considered fixed assets and would be depreciated according to a depreciation schedule.

Ever since "Just In Time" has been a thing specifically to avoid property taxes on inventory.

The reasons for JIT go FAR beyond any tax consequences. In fact the taxes are usually among the smaller costs involved. To use your example Greyhound would be tying up (hypothetically) $100,000 in a bus that sits in a depot unused. They have to pay for a place to store it. They have to pay for people to protect and maintain it. They lose any interest income of investment income they could have earned on that cash. They have a depreciating asset sitting idle and not earning any revenue. The list goes on. Taxes are one more on the list but they aren't generally the biggest reason why holding extra inventory or assets is a dumb idea.

Comment Technology is more than just engineering (Score 1) 67

The fits and collapse of a business are better discussed in a business journal. This story isn't really about technology at all.

It most certainly is a story about technology. Stuff that affects the companies that make technology is relevant to the technology itself. Slashdot is not and never has been solely about pure engineering stuff. Business, ethics, civil rights, and much more are all discussed here and always have been. Perhaps it doesn't interest you and that's fine but it does interest a lot of us who have been here a long time. It's certainly news for nerds and it's certainly stuff that matters.

Comment Safety stock is wasteful and expensive (Score 5, Informative) 67

I could never understand why would any company risk JIT (just-in-time) on anything mission critical. At the same time everyone does it and disasters keep happening.

Money. Storing extra inventory is wasteful and expensive. If the supply chain is sufficiently robust then the risk of a stock out is minimal or can be absorbed if it happens. Companies like Toyota that have JIT production systems generally work very closely with suppliers to ensure reliability and they have draconian punishments if something goes wrong. If a supplier shuts down an auto assembly line with a stock out the fines are (no exaggeration) something like $10,000 PER MINUTE the line is idle so the suppliers are typically highly motivated to not cause a stock out.

Excess inventory is considered one of the seven deadly wastes. Defects, WIP, overproduction, waiting, motion, transportation, and overprocessing are all unnecessary expenses and companies should strive to minimize them. When you keep safety stock you have overproduced, generated excess WIP, have parts waiting for processing, and moved parts your customer doesn't actually need. All of that costs money. Now granted you have to weigh the cost of that against the cost of a stock out. Sometimes safety stock is unavoidable but it isn't something desirable.

Comment Not so unusual (Score 5, Interesting) 67

I wonder exactly how terrible they are when they have a product with a solid demand, yet no one will invest in them. There has to be embezzlement.

There doesn't have to be embezzlement. Most common when a company runs into a situation like this is that they are short on cash. The cash cycle of a consumer products company is typically something like this. I've simplified the times to make the example easy to understand:

1) Place order for components with 30 day terms. Components received within a few days of placing order
2) Build product between days 5-30.
3) Pay for components on day 30.
4) Sell product into distribution channels with 30 day terms on day 30
5) Receive payment from customers on day 60

So they are paying for components about 30 days before they get paid by customers in this example . That means that if they run low on cash, they don't have enough money to buy new components to build next batch of new product. What usually happens next is a viscous cycle. They push out the length of time before they pay vendors. Eventually vendors get tired of this and put them on credit hold or demand cash on delivery. This means they don't have enough cash on hand to buy new components to build new product so their incoming cash flow declines which makes it even harder for them to pay vendors. Lather rinse repeat and the company prospects decline.

This happens all the time to companies. If there is strong demand for products and/or back orders the company might be able to get a bridge loan or investment. If product demand is weak the company is probably looking at bankruptcy.

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