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Scientists Craft Seamless 2D Semiconductor Junctions

David_Hart Re:2D atoms (49 comments)

They took a photo of 3D atoms and printed it out... making them 2D... (grin)

2 days ago

The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

David_Hart Re:Incredibly wise advice (119 comments)

Robin Miller: But age discrimination in employment, have you encountered?

Bob Pendleton: Oh, absolutely. I got laid off on my 49th birthday and haven’t been able to find a full time job since.

One piece of advice I always give younger engineers and programmers is to be increasingly vigilant about your career as you age. In the last decade or so before retirement one is very vulnerable to layoffs, because one's salary is high and one's formal education was a long time ago.

And that's why, if you can, you go back to college to get a Bachelor or Masters degree when you get into your late 30's early 40's. I was fortunate in that I was able to take advantage of our corporate education benefits to complete mine. If nothing else, it shows that you still have the capacity and drive to learn and develop new concepts and skills outside of your current job.

3 days ago

New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

David_Hart Re:Already? (251 comments)

Yes in fact Windows 8 did a face plant at it's introduction. Just look at the interface - did an ADHD sufferer design it? It's awful. I mean Windows has long had a tiling option but that just took it to ridiculous extremes.

Something else to note about Microsoft OS's. Odd numbered versions tend to be the most stable - the even numbered are flaming pieces of crap starting with NT4 and then Vista, and Win 8. XP (5) and Win 7 were ok though.

Yes, the new Tile interface did scare a lot of people off, including the enterprise. It works well with a touch screen but sucks for anyone without it. However, there are number of inexpensive (under $10) and free utilities that fixes the interface so that you boot to the desktop and never see it. But... most consumers wouldn't be smart enough to know this. They were forced to use the new UI.

If you take a step back and look at the latest phones and tablets, the majority of them have tile interfaces in some form or another. So, it looks like some form of tiles will be here to stay. That being said, it doesn't make it a useful UI for a desktop or laptop without touch.

Windows 8 and 8.1 has been just as stable and is faster than Windows 7. You could argue that 8.1 is the odd version, though...

3 days ago

The Tech Fixes the PS3 Still Needs, Eight Years On

David_Hart Re:Wet Dream (99 comments)

That's a fanboy wishlist, not a well thought out, profit-oriented list of reasonable items that have any hope of getting added to a down-market, end of life console that's in cost-cutting, discount sales mode.

When you say "fanboy", I think you meant, "customer".

I know consumers are only supposed to accept what the corporation deigns to give them nowadays, but there was a time when companies used to say, "the customer is always right" and actually try to give them products that they wanted.

Today, it's "The customer needs to just STFU, accept the EULA and use our product the way we want them to use our product, until we decide to take that away too and force them to buy our next product, because corporations are people, my friend. People who happen to be your goddamn overlords. Now bow before, me, worm".

No, he means fanboy. Normal console customers will see that all of the new games are being released on the PS4 or Xbox One and move on. Also, it's unrealistic to expect a company that has the next gen product out to make any changes to the old product. The reason why is because they have put any new R&D into the new console and need to recover their investment.

about a week ago

Experimental Drug Stops Ebola-like Infection

David_Hart Re:Side effects of the Canadian drug.. (52 comments)

May include "sleeplessness, resistance to cold weather effects, dry mouth, and a hankering for maple syrup."

Zombie-like symptoms may arise for patients craving a trip to Tim's for a double-double...

Sounds like one of the potions from Skyrim...

resistance to cold: +50%, stamina: -5%, cure disease: +100%, maple syrup addiction: +500%

mmmmmm... maple syrup.....

about a week ago

Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

David_Hart Re:Casual reading vs Text Books (105 comments)

You need cover art to remember a plot?
You're weird..or I"m a SUPER GENIUS! no, no. you're weird.

You literally can not talk about a book you've been reading unless the book is right there?

I need the cover art to jug my memory to remember the DETAILS, yes. I have no problem remembering the basic plot. Of course I haven't picked it up in over two weeks. Some of us push stuff to the back of our minds when we are working on more important stuff.

So, no, I'm not weird and nor are you a super genius. Either you have been reading your book much more recently than I have or you have a much less demanding life....

about two weeks ago

Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

David_Hart Casual reading vs Text Books (105 comments)

If you asked me what the plot line is for the book that I am currently reading, I couldn't tell you off of the top of my head. However, after picking up the text and reading for five minutes, I would be able to spell out the plot, the characters, and their back story. When I read a physical book, I have better memory of what's going on. The reason is that a physical book provides clues that aids in memory recall, such as the cover art, size, shape, etc. These clues can be more easily recalled and associated with the story than plain text.

However, with a text book it's somewhat different. You read the text book over a longer period of time and, presumably, you have lectures and homework which re-enforces the ideas.

I still have the old keyboard Kindle. I've thought about getting the new Paperwhite but I prefer the physical buttons for turning pages. However, I'd buy a new Kindle in an instant if Amazon came out with a high resolution colour e-Ink version that showed cover art, etc. I'm not interested in the Kindle Fire, simply because I enjoy reading books on the beach.

about two weeks ago

World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

David_Hart Re:Let us redefine "progress" (108 comments)

While true there is "progress" that serves no purpose. This is one of those cases. Sure, it is interesting that it is possible. But where is the progress? It will not be more stable than concrete, it will not be more durable than concrete and for sure it won't be faster than pouring concrete. The huge advantages of 3D printing (like the ability to seamlessly put something into something else or create durably connected locked joints) simply don't come into play when it comes to building a house.

This is just a precursor towards a future where construction is handled by machines controlled from home office. For example, if you have a large enough 3D printer, you could print whole walls, foundations, etc. and machines could put them together similar to the way cars are built today. This is more of a small scale example of what can be done.

about two weeks ago

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

David_Hart Re:Microsoft is a spent force (142 comments)

Microsoft doesn't have many fans on Slashdot but even the most die-hard of fans must now see that they're in a real bad position.

The used to be invincible in the consumer space but now the computing device of choice is either the tablet or the smart phone. Precious few of these are Windows based.

The used to be invincible in the business user space but the move to mobile computing means business people are using iPhone and iPads, not Windows Phones and Surface.

Then there was the own goal of the latest generation XBox. They managed to piss everyone off for no discernible gain.

The only area their grip is still strong is PC gaming. For how long, who knows?

Microsoft mice are still popular... (grin)

The XBox and PS3 were pretty much even, there was no clear definitive advantage for Microsoft. Plus, we don't even know if Microsoft ever broke even with the Xbox.

Microsoft's bread-n-butter has always been MS Office, Desktop OS, and the Enterprise space. MS is developing Office Apps for the iPad and Android, PC/Laptop sales have stabilized as people realize that they still need them to edit and create content, and the Enterprise space is doing better than ever with the advent of virtual servers.

I'm not saying that Microsoft doesn't have challenges but saying that they are "struggling just to remain relevant" shows a lack of understanding about the business as a whole. As proof, in Q4 2014 Microsoft enterprise sales "increased $2.3 billion or 6%, due primarily to increased revenue from our server products". A $2.3 billion dollar increase in one quarter is nothing to sneeze at...

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

David_Hart Re:Switch to linux / OsX. (331 comments)

Are you seriously asking why Windows software (malware) doesn't run on Linux?

Of course not. But when he writes:

Also, the majority of the profits come from either getting credit card information and/or banking information. This is the low hanging fruit of the virus writers. They have found that the best attack vector is the user through spam and malicious web pages. There just are not enough everyday users on Linux for it to be worthwhile writing for.

The concept of spam response (if they respond but the malware doesn't have a place to latch onto because it's Linux) or social engineering, which depend on exactly what you are giving them, because if it's malware installation, then again, it's Linux not Windows, and if it's just phishing for account numbers, anyone could fall for that, no matter the OS. Users being idiots is a whole different argument. I'll admit that a Windows user is a lot more likely to fall into that category by virtue of popularity.

Regardless - on my systems now, it's a lot more pleasant. On Windows, it was a constant, and losing battle. That's enough for me. And if for some reason or other, the security through obscurity folks are correct, and Linux is every bit as non-secure as Windows, I'll switch to another secure but obscure system.

Knowing what I know - I'm not going to hold my breath.

Just to be clear, by more or less "secure" I mean that an OS has more or less vulnerabilities, not more or less viruses. It may seem like I am splitting hairs here, but there is a world of difference in the meanings when you get into Computer Science.

It seems to me, though, that your meaning of "secure" is that Linux/OSX is safer for the user. Which I would agree with. But it's also a much more limited software eco-system (which is a whole other discussion).

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

David_Hart Re:Switch to linux / OsX. (331 comments)

As a follow-up, I'm not saying that Linux isn't more secure than Windows. It probably is. All I'm saying is that the argument that it's more secure because there are less viruses is a poor one. All this means is that it is attacked less.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

David_Hart Re:Switch to linux / OsX. (331 comments)

Mostly 'cause it's not profitable. Too small a market. Same reason why business software is rare for Linux (desktop, at least): No market.

Get ready for it........Bullshit.

Linux could be the most insecure OS on the planet and still Windows would get the bigger share of malware. Simply because it is the bigger market.

How long you guys going to declare an insecure system secure because it's popular?

Tell us all about the linux servers. If they are as secure as Windows, we should see an equal number of viruses. Lots of those servers out there. But your reasoning is that no one is writing virii for them because there are a lot more windows machines in the ecosystem.

Instead of spouting microsoft fanboi swill, why don't you do a little research. Don't simply look at the desktop numbers, look at the total numbers of computers. Look at the server side of computing while you are at it.

There are plenty enough of OSX and Linux machines out there to make them an attractive target.

The reasons that Windows is used more often is that it is more insecure to start with, and for whatever reason, more of it's users are likely to enable malware that they see on a website or gets mailed to them.

You might not believe that. That does not make it untrue.


The argument that "Linux is more secure because it gets less viruses when there are as many Linux boxes (or more) in the wild vs Windows when you consider servers and clients" simply falls flat on its face when you consider the attack vector, infection rate, and profitability.

The part that you are assuming in your argument is that it would be just as profitable to target servers (Linux, Windows, etc.) as it is to target clients. This is simply an incorrect assumption. The difference is that very few server Admins use their servers to browse the web, download files, bank, etc. This lowers the possible infection vectors by a lot. The vast majority of virus, trojan, botnet, and other infections today happen due to user activity. Also, the majority of the profits come from either getting credit card information and/or banking information. This is the low hanging fruit of the virus writers. They have found that the best attack vector is the user through spam and malicious web pages. There just are not enough everyday users on Linux for it to be worthwhile writing for.

If you were talking about hacking, that's a different story. It does seem like hackers are targeting online credit card databases more often. The problem here is that most companies tend to not report such breaches and, when they do, they tend to provide little detail. As such, we have little idea if the majority of breaches are caused by Windows systems, Linux systems, buggy server Apps, poor network security design (i.e. there is no firewall between client and server networks), or social engineering (i.e. having someone inside).

Finally, there are iOS and Andriod users. Most people use Apps from the App Store. Presumably the App Store for both Google and Apple review the Apps before they are placed online for malicious code. You could argue that the lack of virus for these systems prove that Linux/Unix is more secure. But one could also argue that they are more secure simply because the user doesn't have root access and tend to stay within the walled garden (i.e. strictly use Apps instead of generally surfing the web and loading java apps).

about two weeks ago

Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?

David_Hart Re:Pssssh (197 comments)

It's not even a fad - it's dead on arrival. Most people don't even use 5.1 speakers. Hell, most don't even use 2.1. Anything that requires that much dedication of the room to audio is not going to sell to the mass market. Period.

3D TV at least had a vague hope of succeeding in the mass market. If they can ditch the glasses, they might actually succeed. But people are lazy and don't want to put any effort into their mindless entertainment. Putting glasses on to watch a movie was too much for them. Do you really think setting up a shitload of speakers all around the room is going to pass?

Perhaps you're right. It could be that most people do not have more than 2.1. That being said, most of my friends and family have 5.1 surround. That's largely because we either enjoy watching movies or, in the case of my brother-in-law, enjoys playing video games on his PS3. That being said, I agree that more than 5.1 would be overkill for the average family and would appeal only to those who either have a large amount of discretionary spending or to movie buffs who feel that they have to get the full immersive experience.

about two weeks ago

Of the following, I'd rather play ...

David_Hart Hearts & Cribbage & Go (274 comments)

I can't believe that Cribbage isn't on the list. Then again, maybe it doesn't meet the Slashdot demographic. My parents, who are in the 70s+ now, and their friends all play Crib. Maybe it just isn't as popular in the US as it is in Canada.

I've always been interested in learning how to play Go, ever since I read about the game in an old DIY woodworking book. My plan was to build a Go board and then learn the game. It's one of those projects on my To-Do list...

Personally, I like Hearts. I find it has the right mix of strategy and luck.

Poker, which I also like but not as much, has much more to do with luck. Some believe that there is an art to bluffing and tells, but modern day poker has more to do with the percentages than anything else. Hollywood, as usual, has glorified poker way beyond what it actually is...

about two weeks ago

Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

David_Hart Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (419 comments)


What *grownups* play an FPS...

You'd, obviously, be extremely surprised.... FPS games are some of the few that you can play for a short period of time and then go do other things. Most adults have very busy lives and use video games for a 30 to 60 minute break from reality. FPS games are not excluded.

If you are referring to online play, you are right. The vast majority are kids or teens. Most adults who play FPS tend to play offline (i.e. Bioshock).

The point is that as the people who play video games age, they don't just stop playing when they become an adult. They just play a lot less due to work, family, friends, other interests, etc.

about two weeks ago

Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

David_Hart Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (419 comments)

Great dad, in my opinion. My kids grew up involved in hunting, fishing, and shooting sports - but a trip to a refugee camp would probably have cured them of the FPS BS faster than anything.

Fortunately, they were never really into videogames.

I agree with your comment about the Dad. I agree that it's important to expose kids to various experiences, both character building and just plain fun.

However, I disagree with your view about video games and FPS video games in particular. FPS is no more BS than watching the latest Expendables 3 movie. Yes, both are pure fantasy and both have violent plots. But they have as much to do with real war as a teaspoon does. Do some parents let kids play games beyond their age? Yes. Do some parents let kids play video games more than they should? Yes. But you might be noting a theme here... It's the parent's responsibility (which this Dad gets..).

The kids may stop their request for popular FPS games for a while. But once they reach their teen years, if not sooner, they will stay playing them again. Plus, there is nothing to stop them from playing the games at a friends house.

In my opinion the Dad missed a valuable teaching moment. His point was to give them a does of reality and scare them into not wanting FPS games. What he should have done is taken them to the war zone and then bought the game for them and played it with them. He could have then pointed out the difference between real life and fantasy. That would be more valuable to them as they grown into their teen years and beyond.

about two weeks ago

I'd most like to (personally) explore:

David_Hart Re:Cities (246 comments)

Someone has to say it - "When good Americans die, they go to Paris".

I never understood the love affair of the US with France (in general) and Paris (in particular). France has it's attractions - but why so much to the US?

Personally, I'm more interested in Australia and New Zealand. Then again, I'm a Canadian who moved to the US for work. So, perhaps its something that is picked up when you grow up in the US.

about two weeks ago

I'd most like to (personally) explore:

David_Hart Beaches (246 comments)

I'd like to be on some beautiful beach, with perfect weather, and lots of gorgeous girls in bikinis.

Beaches definitely should have been an option.

One beach is fine, but I would prefer to explore all of the beaches in the world. After all, it would be nice to have some variety in both beaches and women... All I would need is a yacht to carry toys such as jetskis, a motor launch, kayaks, etc.

The Jungle would be fun as I don't mind snakes, spiders, etc. However, I do hate mosquitoes and flies. The amount of OFF bug spray I would have to bring just wouldn't make it worth it. The Desserts are too dry, Caves are too damp, the Ocean floor is un-explorable by humans beyond a certain depth (you need robots), I've already explored my town, and I don't have a basement (live in an apartment).

about two weeks ago

3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

David_Hart Re:Are they "small government" republicans ? he he (393 comments)

Which is why we have the Tea Party now. People were fed up with the Republicans... even other Republicans.

That said, the media have done a great job painting every extremist as the face of the Tea Party (even when that extremist isn't even part of the Tea Party.)

The Tea Party was originally formed by a combination of Republicans and Democrats who were fed up with both parties. The point was to build a party that was all about less spending, smaller government, balanced budgets, debt reduction, etc. It then became co-opted by Republicans and enough right-wing extremists to drive away most moderates and all right-leaning Democrats.

about two weeks ago

Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

David_Hart Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (288 comments)

SD slots on every phone would be worse for the environment. In the cloud, you can store everyones data efficiently instead of using millions of inefficient SD cards. Plus the the SD card approach will create more waste as cars go bad or break.

LOL.... What? Have you had your coffee or energy drink today?

1. Having stuff that you can download and keep on SD cards uses a TON less energy than having to stream it every time. You are missing the energy required to transmit packets, to run routers and switches, etc...

2. Obviously you "know nothing, John Snow...." I've never had a SD card break, let alone stop working. My biggest fear with the MicroSD cards is that I will lose them, they are so tiny... So far so good...

3. Maybe this was meant as sarcasm and I missed it entirely.... doubtful though....

about a month ago



Sony Cuts PS2 Price By 23%, PS3 untouched

David_Hart David_Hart writes  |  more than 5 years ago

David_Hart (1184661) writes "Sony is reducing the price of the PS2 by 23%, from $129 to $99. The price of the PS3 remains untouched, despite an anticipated $100 price reduction. Analysts now expect the price of the PS3 to be reduced in the next 60 days."
Link to Original Source


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