×

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

Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

CastrTroy Re:A "millionaire" isn't what it used to be. (453 comments)

Exactly. I know people who rent in the same neighbourhood I live in, in exactly the same model of house. Their rent is actually higher than my mortgage payments. The only difference is that I had to save up for a down payment. Not only that, but rent payments keep increasing, while mortgage payments (assuming constant interest rate) actually stay the same, so they go down relative to inflation.

2 days ago
top

The Security of Popular Programming Languages

CastrTroy Re:Depends on who uses them (188 comments)

Exactly. Perl had the fewest vulnerabilities. But only the most experienced coders would even attempt to do a site in Perl, so you kind of end up with exactly what you expect. The popular languages all ended up with the same number of vulnerabilities. It's actually quite surprising the PHP had slightly fewer vulnerabilities than .Net and Java.

What would be really secure would be a language that actively tried to stop you from doing stupid things like requiring that database queries be parameterized. Don't provide any APIs for running database queries without parameters. Sure you could still construct queries that didn't actually use the parameters, but it would at least get you off to a good start by forcing you to pass them into the function. You could even parse the SQL and throw an error if a value was used where a parameter should be. You could also force checking for a token when submitting forms to ensure CSRF is not being done.

3 days ago
top

The Security of Popular Programming Languages

CastrTroy Depends on who uses them (188 comments)

It may be cliche, but how secure a language is depends on who is using it. PHP is very accessible, and used by a lot of newbies, so "in the field" there turns out to be a lot of vulnerabilities found. However, by following some relatively simple guidelines, code can be made pretty secure. Most of the problems in PHP code are either due to SQL injection, which can easily be avoided by using parameterized queries, or from turning on options that are known to be insecure, like register_globals. C on the other hand would only be used by a small number of highly trained individuals, at least for web applications, so it's less likely to experience problems in the wild, but due to buffer overflows and other memory management problems, it's much easier to shoot yourself in the foot without realizing it.

3 days ago
top

Humans Are Taking Jobs From Robots In Japan

CastrTroy Re:Breaking News (80 comments)

Yes, but the most efficient way for humans to do something isn't the most efficient way for a computer/robot to do something. Think about something like drawing a color picture. You could do this by mimmicking a human, having a robot that picks up pens of various colors, and draws lines on a stationary page, and indeed these do exist. But you could also use something like a laser printer that feeds the page through and prints across the entire page at once. Sure some inefficiencies could be figured out by getting people to do a task, but you may not get the most optimum result until to look at methods that are impossible for people. With manufacturing, you want to get to the end product with the least amount of cost. Sometimes, an end product with the exact same function as the original human made part may be really cheap to produce with a machine, but may be impossible for a human to assemble.

3 days ago
top

This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

CastrTroy Re:It was a "joke" back then (275 comments)

That's not going to stop them from doing it. In the next couple of years, a phone with a 4K display could be a real possibility. It won't be 4K^2, because the screens aren't square, but it will have the same effective resolution. They have to upgrade something to keep people paying high prices for devices. As technology improves, the same old stuff gets cheaper, and this creates lower profits for manufacturers as the barrier to entry gets lower. This is why you can now buy a laptop for under $300, and won't need to be updated before it dies. Contrast that to 15 years ago when I bought my first desktop machine, which cost close to $2000, and even then had to spend money on upgrades within a couple years.

3 days ago
top

Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

CastrTroy Doesn't matter if it gets funded. (157 comments)

It doesn't matter if it gets funded because it won't get built. If it flies, it's controlled by the FAA, and you'll be required to have a pilot's license to fly it. Not only that, but even if it has vertical take off you'll still have to take off from an airport or other helicopter pad or some other designated area. Your neighbours aren't going to stand for the sound of propellers spinning up every morning so you can fly off to work. And spinning props aren't very safe with kids and pets around. If you have to go to the airport and fly from there, and land at another airport, you might as well just drive to the airport, get in a real plane (rented most likely to save money), and then rent a car at your destination. There is simply no reason for a flying car to ever happen.

4 days ago
top

Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

CastrTroy Re:What American advocates rarely/never mention... (584 comments)

Actually, Tylenol has it's own set of problems. It can be quite harmful to the liver. Within the recommended dosage, it's quite safe, but the difference between the recommended maximum dosage and dangerous of lethal dose is quite small.

4 days ago
top

Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

CastrTroy Pretty much true (578 comments)

Not only is it hard for people to learn new skills later in life, but coding is something that requires a certain aptitude. Sure, some coal miners might be able to learn how to code, but I would think very few of them could. If they could, they wouldn't be working in a coal mine. There's plenty of people who chose programming as a career and yet still can't program their way out of a paper bag (fizz buzz), I don't think the chances of most people from non-technical fields are good at all.

about a week ago
top

New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

CastrTroy Re:The Guardian has it wrong (477 comments)

Oh, they can't require that you read emails, but guess who will be the first fired when it comes time for downsizing. Will it be the guy who missed or who was unprepared for the random Monday morning meetings because he chose not to read his emails on the weekend?

about a week ago
top

New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

CastrTroy Re:A law for everything... (477 comments)

But if the people are ignorant, they won't be aware of the laws that stop employers from requiring them to more hours. If they're desperate and poor, even if they know the laws, they may choose to ignore the laws, because having a job is better then no job. And even if it was possible to enforce, employers would still find other ways to take advantage of their employees.

about a week ago
top

Canada Halts Online Tax Returns In Wake of Heartbleed

CastrTroy Re:Tax filing (50 comments)

Most Canadians I know end up getting money back at the end of the year. It's specifically designed this way because it's much easier to take the money out of people's paycheques then to get them to send you a cheque at the end of the year.

about a week ago
top

Born To RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

CastrTroy Re:We've come a long way (146 comments)

What use case is there for having two variables with the same name that only differ by case? In VB.Net, you declare a variable using the desired case, and then when you use the variable, you can just type it completely in lower case (or upper case if you prefer) and it fixes the case to what was in the variable declaration. So the variables always end up with the same original case, and you don't end up with problem where 2 variables have been defined, with the only difference being capitalization of the first letter.

about two weeks ago
top

Born To RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

CastrTroy Re:We've come a long way (146 comments)

Yes very much so. And VB.Net still puts people off because of that long history. Even though it's pretty much exactly the same functionality as C#. Last I checked, it has some features C# didn't have, the biggest of which is better background compiling. You can add entire classes with actually compiling your project, and Intellisense will work. Maybe C# will do that now, but VB.Net has basically always had this feature.

about two weeks ago
top

Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

CastrTroy Re:Nintendo Hard (179 comments)

Very much agree on this. The newer Zelda games make it quite hard to get lost. All the bombable walls are well marked. In the old days you had to bomb walls at random to find them. The second quest was worse, where they introduced the new concept of simply walking through the walls after walking into them for a few seconds.

However, on the flip side, most games are much longer now, and it would probably take a lifetime to beat them if you had to start at the beginning each time you died.

about two weeks ago
top

Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

CastrTroy Re:Viva La XP! (641 comments)

I often wonder about those running special hardware or software that will only work on certain operating systems and hardware configurations. What is their plan when the hardware dies? Sure you can replace a hard disk (hopefully it's backed up), but in a few years, finding a new computer that is supported under Windows XP might be quite difficult. You could probably get by for quite a while buying old refurb and off-lease machines, but it still seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

about two weeks ago
top

Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

CastrTroy Re:Software doesn't wear out. (641 comments)

But that's true regardless of the operating system being run. I could be running the newest version of Windows, and still be, even on a relatively new computer, and a hard drive dying still isn't that unlikely. You can get a 1 TB drive for $60. I don't know why you don't see more machines coming with 2 drives in RAID 1 for reliability reasons. At least a somewhat common hardware failure won't cause grandma to lose all here photos.

about two weeks ago
top

Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

CastrTroy Software doesn't wear out. (641 comments)

Software doesn't wear out. I'm still running XP on an old desktop in my basement. It works fine for what I need it for. Upgrading to a new version of Windows would cost more than what the machine is worth, and I'm reasonably sure that all the hardware wouldn't have proper drivers because the machine is so old. I have no problem getting Windows 8.1 (or whatever the current version is) when I replace the computer, but there's nothing wrong with the machine right now. It's behind a router with NAT turned on, so there's little chance of attack from the outside, and I can still use updated versions of Firefox or Chrome for browsing the web, so there's not many security problems there.

about two weeks ago
top

Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

CastrTroy Re:Python, etc? (226 comments)

I agree on this. When you're just getting into programming, getting hung up on formatting can be frustrating. For the first simple hello world programs, formatting should not be necessary. I think that Basic is a great first language, for the first week or so, because you don't even have to worry about functions, or importing libraries or any of the other unnecessary things you have to do in other languages in order to just get things running. In C, you have to have a function called main with a bunch of arguments you don't understand just to create a hello world program. In Java, it's even worse, because you have to create that function in a class, before you even know what a class is. In Basic, you can just start typing commands. No need to have functions, classes, or anything else, because it's not necessary.

about two weeks ago
top

Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

CastrTroy Re:The Mythical Man-Month (169 comments)

Maybe good for those starting out in the field, but I read it after a few years in the field, where I had already been through a few big projects. I didn't much I didn't really know or suspect already. It's pretty obvious working in the field that adding more people to a project, especially when it's already late doesn't make things go faster. I think that probably applies to many types of projects, not just software development. I can see how it might be useful for non-technical managers read it, because if some of the concepts may be new to people who haven't worked in the trenches before. But I also think people who haven't worked in the trenches in most cases are the best candidates for managing a big project.

about two weeks ago
top

Microsoft: Start Menu Returns, Windows Free For Small Device OEMs, Cortana Beta

CastrTroy Re:"Free" Windows (387 comments)

Same thing goes on my Surface2. The Windows 8 interface really shines on a touch screen device. It's also worth pointing out that you don't need as many apps on Surface as you would on an iPad, because it has a lot of functionality built in. Getting videos to play off my shared folder on the main PC was a piece of cake with Surface. With iPad, it was a royal pain, and it still doesn't work well with certain videos.

If you could get a 9 inch tablet for that ran full windows, you could have a very portable computer that you could just plug into full size monitor, keyboard and mouse, and use it as a full desktop. You wouldn't need any cloud services like drop box because you could literally bring your whole desktop computer with you wherever you go. This is the main point of the Surface Pro that most people seem to forget. You have this ultraportable machine about the same size as an ipad, but that you can hook up standard peripherals to and make it work as a full fledged desktop. The Surface Pro is a little outside most people's budgets, but the ASUS Transformer Book T100 is a little cheaper, and can still run most desktop apps.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

top

Microsoft Shuts Down 'Flight Simulator' Game Stud

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CastrTroy writes "Microsoft confirmed Friday that the software giant has shuttered ACES Studios, the developer of the Flight Simulator series of games, whose latest incarnation is Flight Simulator X. The simulation is considered Microsoft's oldest product, whose original version first shipped in 1982.

However, a Microsoft spokeswoman said that while the studio has been closed, the software company remains committed to the Flight Simulator franchise, without explaining how future products can be launched without a dedicated software development team backing them."
top

India Threatens to Ban BlackBerry Devices

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CastrTroy (595695) writes "As yet another reminder of how much the communications industry business model is influenced by regulators and lawmakers, India's Department of Telecom has suggested it might forbid use of the Research in Motion BlackBerry device in India unless RIM hands over its encryption keys for possible use by India's security services, reports the Economic Times."
Link to Original Source
top

Good games for babies and toddlers?

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CastrTroy writes "I have a 16 month old girl, and another baby one on the way soon. I've been looking for some good keyboard bashing games for her to play. She shows a lot of interest in the computer, since we spend lots of time on the computer. I've been able to find a lot of flash games, and I have some old windows 3.1/95 software which works quite well, but most of them have the problem that my daughter eventually finds a way to escape the game and start affecting the rest of the computer. Are there any games, that block out all keys so that she can just bash the keyboard, and we don't have to keep pulling her away from the keyboard every 30 seconds while we get her back into the game. The usual culprits are the windows key, alt+tab, Windows+L, alt+F4 and many of the other key combinations that will kick her out of the game. Something free would be nice, but we're planning on having 3 kids, so I'd be willing to pay for a game if there was any that actually provided what I was looking for. I'm not so worried about her messing up the computer, but the problem is more that once you leave the game, things get a lot less interesting, and hitting all the keys stops doing interesting stuff, and she tends to get frustrated when we keep pulling her away to get back in the game."
top

Wii Has Outsold XBox 360

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CastrTroy writes "According to the stats at VGChartz.com the Wii has now outsold the XBox 360. It has also sold more than double that of the PS3 which was released at the same time. Current numbers as I'm writing this show 10.57 million for the Wii, 10.51 million for XBox 360, and 4.32 million for the PS3. The Wii was only released 9 months ago, and the XBox 360 had a full year as the only new console on the market, yet it seems as though the Wii will win the popular opinion poll this generation. Good graphics or not, hardcore games or not, people are buying this thing in droves."
Link to Original Source

Journals

CastrTroy has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...