Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Richard Branson Plans Orbital Spaceships For Virgin Galactic

ByOhTek Re:$200K ... Uh Oh. (177 comments)

Well, if it's $200k equiv. in, say, 2020, and it's an early private sector tech... hopefully by 2030 or 2040 it'll be a lot cheaper.

'course, some of us will be getting on in years then...

about a year ago
top

DragonFly BSD 3.4 Released, With New Packaging System

ByOhTek Re:Excuse my ignorance (75 comments)

FreeBSD has had packages for years. It's not transitioning, it's allowing another option.

Ports in FreeBSD, in my experience, if you follow a production-like attitude, rather than an ADD OH-NOEZ-THIS-PORT-IS-30-SECONDS-OUT-OF-DATE-MUST-UPDATE methodology, works better than any package manager I've seen (rpm, deb, yum, apt).

The BSD package systems tend to be more like apt or yum, than simple rpm/deb. They grab your binary packages and their dependencies automatically.

about a year ago
top

New Smart Gun Company Hopes To Begin Production This Summer

ByOhTek Re:I won't be buying one... (632 comments)

I'm well aware. That was my statement. I was responding to someone who said it wasn't sufficient to provide fuel for the anti gun crowd...

about a year ago
top

UK Passes "Instagram Act"

ByOhTek Re:This could go both ways (230 comments)

IANAL, but I suspect it's a case where a public domain work is still public domain, even if used in a copyrighted work, however the copyrighted work, including the disposition of the public domain items within it, is still copyrighted.

For example, if you take each individual character or word, by itself, to be public domain, a copyrighted novel contains nothing but public domain bits, it's how they are organized that makes is copyrightable.

about a year ago
top

New Smart Gun Company Hopes To Begin Production This Summer

ByOhTek Re:I won't be buying one... (632 comments)

Or ricochet into spots higher than the person's foot? Or does he avoid walking on surfaces that would cause a ricochet?

If you are carrying a gun in a way that it can go off without you intending it to, then you are being irresponsible, and the concerns of the anti-gun crowd are quite warranted.

about a year ago
top

New Smart Gun Company Hopes To Begin Production This Summer

ByOhTek Re:I won't be buying one... (632 comments)

As long as he only accidentally shoots himself. That's fine. However, he can't gurantee that.

But it's irresponsible behavior like that that gives fuel to the anti-gun crowd.

I agree with the concern about the biometric identification though, in TFS. It's too easy for it to fail, even if it's merely the battery going dead, though if it's low enough charge, the trigger action may be able to charge it up, enough so that firing actually doesn't need a battery. I can see cases where someone would want this on their guns, and it's a responsible thing in those cases. People shouldn't force their desire for irresponsibility onto others - if you don't want this, don't buy it. I know I won't. However, I don't have a situation where this would be relevant (my guns are only loaded at the range and when camping). Just because I wouldn't want this, and it doesn't add any safety benefit in my situation... doesn't mean it shouldn't be around, because it sure as hell isn't hard to think of reasons why people would want this and it would provide safety to themselves and/or others.

about a year ago
top

Maryland Team Hopes To Nab $250k Prize For Leg-Powered Copter

ByOhTek Re:Leg cramp (33 comments)

Power to weight ratio, would probably be less than that of a normal helicopter. However the weight, full stop, should be lower. Given the irrelevance of power in gliding, that's what matters anyway.

about a year ago
top

Google Apps Suffering Partial Outage

ByOhTek Re:Oh well (150 comments)

Never said that. Nice straw man.

However, there are more potential points of failure with the cloud, so a well maintained in-house solution is generally better, because it eliminates many of the external network points of failure. It also allows for multiple points of on-site failover as well as offsite failover (in the case of onsite catastrophe).

about a year ago
top

Terrible Advice From a Great Scientist

ByOhTek Re:He's right (276 comments)

have you actually worked in a scientific field, let alone a biological one?

Yes, articles are rarely written with less than 5 authors, and almost never with less than 3. However, the process of working over everything requires math at most stages - if you don't understand it, you will take a lot longer to complete the project, and someone else will beat you to the publication. While you could constantly go and bother your mathematician/statistician, that is still a horribly inefficient use of resources, and will still slow you down.

The biologists should not be math experts any more than the the mathematicians should be biology experts. However, both would need to dip into the others field and become at least somewhat experienced to be effective. To suggest that biologists need not be even math literate, is idiotic, if you want proper, accurate research, which progresses at any more than a snails pace..

about a year ago
top

Terrible Advice From a Great Scientist

ByOhTek Re:He's right (276 comments)

While most groups worth with teams, some generalization in all members is a good idea. Everyone should have basic mathematical knowledge, otherwise they are going to waste the time of the math & stats experts, as well as their own, with stupid questions and requests (everyone I worked with had that problem with our local math dunce). We'd answer some odd question, the person would go back, do something, ask more question, and halfway through we'd finally find out what they were spending so much time on, and realize how bass ackward they were going about it.

to put it in your terms, it'd be like someone doing the 3D programming and not knowing much about trig or vector math. There are libraries around that would would do the grunt work for them, but they are still going to cause problems. Math and stats are integrated into every aspect of science.

However, at the same time you can't specialize in everything, and almost everything is done in a team these days, so having specialists with different topics is better than having everyone be a generalist, so long as you can communicate and work together. Where I am now, a very large number of research teams have statisticians on board for that very reason - a lot of scientists are more familiar with their specific fields than the nuances and tools of statistics.

about a year ago
top

Anonymous Raises Over $54,000 For Dedicated Your Anon News Website

ByOhTek Re:$2000? (72 comments)

Given the comment on town size, and bandwith, I suspect the GP was referring to monthly bandwidth more than dev costs. It's anonymous, they probably won't have to bother with dev costs. Even assuming cheap VMs and whatnot, the bandwidth for such a site could be an issue, and including the VM to run it, cost $30-$60 a month (was looking at a relatively cheap Linux/FreeBSD host with 500GB/month). I think the top plan had $100 for 2TB/month. Still not to or beyond the $2000/year number, but not exactly cheap.

about a year ago
top

Google Apps Suffering Partial Outage

ByOhTek Re:Oh well (150 comments)

It's been said before and again. You shouldn't rely on the cloud as your sole point of data access.

It's fine for backup and collaboration, but otherwise... I'm always a fan of in-house.

about a year ago
top

Steve Forbes: Bitcoin Not Money

ByOhTek Re:Fiat Currency (692 comments)

Actually, mild/low inflation is important to the economy. It provides an incentive to invest or spend, rather than horde - these keep the economy moving. The key is mild/low - if it is too high, then there is uncertainty in how much is appropriate for compensation.

That's where the problem comes with bitcoin, what was being described above. It fluctuates too much. Backing it is a problem. Of course, in a few years, when we are more comfortable with it, it might well become a viable form of currency, but for now, it's better described as a volatile commodity.

about a year ago
top

Moore's Law and the Origin of Life

ByOhTek Re:Looks like creationism... (272 comments)

That, and even if they did have a good metric, I suspect the first few million to billion years, would have more rapid development.

SImply put, from an evolutionary perspective - the more precisely a genetic material copies itself, the more it will propigate. Until you run into a wall of needing to adapt to changing conditions in the environment.

Assuming that exact replication is not trivial, you can conclude that for the initial period of life, mutations would be more frequent than they are now, and therefore , any calculation covering the change rate would have a negative second derivative with respect to time. Possibly something like (T+Log(T)). If T+Log(T) were the growth rate of the complexity, the complexity vs. time would look exponential, and the Log(T) factor could easily be overlooked if you aren't towards the beginning of the process.

about a year ago
top

Excel Error Contributes To Problems With Austerity Study

ByOhTek Re:Excel error? (476 comments)

Yep, especially when there is a distal part of the code where the array length is changed, but the variable holding the length is not updated. Yep, easy to spot.

Of course, good coding habits can make that easier to spot, but generally speaking, I've seen errors like that crop up here an there. The only way to fix this "error in excel" is to make the user interface less friendly for the less technical users. And then they'll just move to another application with this "error".

about a year ago
top

Excel Error Contributes To Problems With Austerity Study

ByOhTek Re:Excel error? (476 comments)

or in a language that doesn't automatically have a length indicator for your array, any value is possible (so no 'null terminators'), and you have to keep another variable to tell you it's length. If you don't update that, you may miss a lot of stuff at the end. Which is exactly what happened in Excel.

about a year ago
top

Excel Error Contributes To Problems With Austerity Study

ByOhTek Re:Excel error? (476 comments)

Even then, it's only if you add it at the end, and don't 'insert' a row. If you use 'insert row', Excel automatically adjusts the ranges that you do not explicitly tell it not to adjust... I.E. if you have sum(C5:C$9), that '9' will never move, no matter what rows you insert/delete, but the 5 may go up or down.

about a year ago
top

Excel Error Contributes To Problems With Austerity Study

ByOhTek Re:Excel error? (476 comments)

Then most people wouldn't use it.

You are not restricted to that mechanism (and I usually avoid it myself), but most users would have some difficulty with it. Mind you, any technical user should know better, but you'd be surprised at the number of minimally technical people in the various sciences, when it comes to things outside of their focus.

And, an example of how to cause this with a code rather than UI setup: If you add row to the end: how does it know to add it or not? there are multiple ways of doing this (insert, easy to understand, Excel handles it fine), but what if you are at the end of the spreadsheet, should it know that you are continuing on with the same theme, or that you are staring a new one? I've seen plenty of people put multiple tables on the same sheet.

It's still user error. And the problem wouldn't be eliminated with your suggestion, just altered. Even with horrible vision, I can still see both the highlighted color and the outlines of the cell without much difficulty.

about a year ago
top

Excel Error Contributes To Problems With Austerity Study

ByOhTek Re:Excel error? (476 comments)

Unless it's open source, and then it's user error no matter what!

about a year ago

Submissions

top

ROT13 challange

ByOhTek ByOhTek writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ByOhTek (1181381) writes "Seeing as how the trolls... err... editors have decided to ROT13 the stories on slashdot for April Fools, why not add some fun to the tedium — a challange. Can you make a sentance that is readable (not necessarily having the same meaning) in ROT13?

Frrvat nf ubj gur gebyyf... ree... rqvgbef unir qrpvqrq gb EBG13 gur fgbevrf ba fynfuqbg sbe Ncevy Sbbyf, jul abg nqq fbzr sha gb gur grqvhz — n punyynatr. Pna lbh znxr n fragnapr gung vf ernqnoyr (abg arprffnevyl univat gur fnzr zrnavat) va EBG13?"

Link to Original Source
top

Ozzie Ozborn: Genetic Testing Suggests Neanderthal

ByOhTek ByOhTek writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ByOhTek (1181381) writes "Or at least, of Neanderthal descent. From CNN:

In July, rocker Ozzy Osbourne became one of few to submit his blood to have his full genome sequenced and analyzed. The results are in, and it turns out his genome reveals some Neanderthal lineage, according to Scientific American.

What does Ozzie have to say about it?

"Given the swimming pools of booze I've guzzled over the years—not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills, cough syrup, LSD, Rohypnol... there's really no plausible medical reason why I should still be alive," he wrote.

"
top

Man Gets DUI Driving a Bar Stool

ByOhTek ByOhTek writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ByOhTek (1181381) writes "How do you place this? A man is being charged for driving under the influence, on a motorized bar stool. He stated that it was only a minor accident, from the report, nobody else was injured. However...

According to the police report, Wygle claims his unique vehicle can reach a speed of 38 miles per hour, though at the time of the crash he was going around 20.

At 38 miles per hour, he could do a lot of harm if he struck someone. Should such a vehicle be considered when DUI charges are applied?"

top

FreeBSD 7.1 released

ByOhTek ByOhTek writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ByOhTek (1181381) writes "FreeBSD 7.1 has been released today. You can get it here, with the standard release notes and hardware notes. Amusingly, RC2 was released on Christmas — given the multi-week/month steps between the beta/rc releases, this was a rather quick transition.

I'm looking forward to upgrading my notebook and desktop, though my server will stick with 6.2, since I like to keep the uptime.

Some interesting features:

* The ULE scheduler is now the default in GENERIC kernels for amd64 and i386 architectures. The ULE scheduler significantly improves performance on multicore systems for many workloads.
* A new and much-improved NFS Lock Manager (NLM) client.
* Boot loader changes allow, among other things, booting from USB devices and booting from GPT-labeled devices.
* The cpuset(2) system call and cpuset(1) command have been added, providing an API for thread to CPU binding and CPU resource grouping and assignment.
* KDE updated to 3.5.10, GNOME updated to 2.22.3.
* DVD-sized media for the amd64 and i386 architectures

and there are the usual security/multimedia/hardware updates."

Journals

top

Shills.

ByOhTek ByOhTek writes  |  more than 6 years ago

It's funny how so many here seem to call everyone a shill if their oppinions don't match. In my AC days, I was called that quite a bit. An MS shill sometimes, an Apple shill others, though never a Linux shill, or a FreeBSD shill.

Here's a hint - someone who can look at an operating system and see that it has pros and cons, is not a shill.

Yes, I can see advantages to Windows - I'm not a Microsoft shill, I've just had good experiences with the os, and know plenty of others who have as well. Nor do I think it's flawless (if it were, I'd be using it for my main os.)

Apple shill? MacOS vies with Linux at the bottom of my OS preference list. Nonetheless, I can list plenty of good things in the OS. It just isn't for me. You'd be more accurate if you called me a BeOS shill. I wish that OS still existed...

Yes, I see flaws with Linux, I see advantages too. No OS is perfect, not even Linux. Sorry. It doesn't work for me, and my saying that doesn't mean I think you shouldn't use it. Nor do I think it is ready for the general prublic, though I think it's getting closer.

Why hasn't anyone called me a FreeBSD shill yet? Honestly, it's my favorite OS. Sure I see disadvantages to it as well as advantages, but c'mon, this is the closest you could be to accurate in calling me a shill.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>