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Comments

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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

Katatsumuri Re:My 0.02 (457 comments)

That's why Facebook, for example, needs a more explicit and prominent "dislike" / vote down button, so that people would not feed the trolls in comments, thus increasing their EdgeRank.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri Re:Fizz Buzz (427 comments)

With the word "fizzbuzz".

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri Re:Is the complexity of C++ a practical joke? (427 comments)

The problem discussed was not the bad code in general. My only point was that you cannot easily avoid the language features you don't understand or like by "just using your subset of language" in many real-life projects.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri Re:AI writing code? (427 comments)

That's a funny question. In order to make real-time decisions in a life-critical task like driving, you have to understand the requirements (written traffic rules, conventions and real-world limitations), stay aware of the current road situation and weather conditions, guess the intentions of the other traffic participants, and keep your concentration for long periods of time. Most people with their meatputers are not capable of this (see traffic incidents and deaths statistics). Given that they have no hope, how is an AI supposed to do anything?

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri Re:Is the complexity of C++ a practical joke? (427 comments)

I agree, there's always new things to learn; in some languages more than in others. Some people find it exciting, others find it annoying. I currently don't use C++ daily, so I am not frustrated with it. In fact, I like many of the new features. But I can understand why some people complain.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri Re:Is the complexity of C++ a practical joke? (427 comments)

Just to make it clear, I was not judging the design of C++. I only made a counter-point to the "use your own subset" argument. I agree that coding standards reduce this problem, but they also cannot solve it completely.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri Re:compilers touted as early form of A.I. (427 comments)

Agreed, I was also considering this when I was asking this question. Perhaps I should have elaborated further.

The advances in software engineering tools so far made programming more efficient and more accessible, so more people can do it now, and some people can achieve much more in small teams. But still, it is a skill that qualifies as a profession, and people who do it part-time also need a lot of learning.

The point of my question is, will it get to a degree when instructing the computers even for custom, unique tasks will no longer be a complex skill? Will we see a decline in the number of people specifically hired as programmers?

I understand we will not literally hire some Bender-like robot, or maybe even get any actual code. More likely, it's just that the generic software will become more interactive and functional. But still, it will displace some human labor. That's what I'm talking about, and I'm curious about other people's opinion when that turning point may come in this industry.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri Re:AI writing code? (427 comments)

I appreciate the humor, but actually Siri is another example of a human job (personal assistant) going partially obsolete. Not that the current implementation is good enough to answer questions like this one.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri Re:Is the complexity of C++ a practical joke? (427 comments)

it's OK to use only what you're comfortable with

...until you have to read, debug, maintain and extend someone else's code.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri AI writing code? (427 comments)

Do you think AI will start replacing junior programmers in the foreseeable future, similar to car drivers and call center operators?

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Katatsumuri Cutting features and old syntax? (427 comments)

Sometimes well-established languages keep adding new features and syntactic constructs until most developers are not even aware of all the possibilities, and use maybe 20% in their usual daily work. The old features and syntax are kept around for compatibility and to keep the old guard content, even if cutting them would lead to faster compilation, more elegant language and less confusion.

This may be part of the reason for the constant introduction of new trendy languages with radically simplified syntax and libraries... Which then follow the same pattern. Few languages are introducing new paradigms, many are trying to be a "better" C++, Java, LISP, JavaScript or Perl.

Do you think this cycle is inevitable, or could it be a good idea to sometimes clean up the syntax and the obscure features in new specification versions, to keep the established languages more competitive?

about two weeks ago
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Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength

Katatsumuri 30kg less? (125 comments)

If it subtracts up to 30kg of every weight you have to lift, I would say it is very useful. I don't think it limits your maximum weight, so all superhuman slashdotters here can continue to regularly lift their 120kg, or maybe 150 now.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

Katatsumuri 640k (272 comments)

640k should be enough for anybody.

about a month ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Katatsumuri The Kremlin are busted (503 comments)

Too much evidence this time. Now it's only a matter of due diligence, and choosing to put them on trial as war criminals, or as terrorism sponsors, or both.

about a month ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Katatsumuri Refuted (752 comments)

Ukrainian Ministry of Defense states that there were no Buks in the bases taken over by the terrorists, and any other military equipment left there was rendered unusable by the leaving troops.

about a month ago
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Interview: Edward Stone Talks About JPL and Space Exploration

Katatsumuri Re:Mars Direct - Unanswered? (57 comments)

Ok, we need some links with more concrete figures:

1. Huge Mars Colony Eyed by SpaceX Founder Elon Musk

Musk figures the colony program — which he wants to be a collaboration between government and private enterprise — would end up costing about $36 billion. He arrived at that number by estimating that a colony that costs 0.25 percent or 0.5 percent of a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) would be considered acceptable. The United States' GDP in 2010 was $14.5 trillion; 0.25 percent of $14.5 trillion is $36 billion. If all 80,000 colonists paid $500,000 per seat for their Mars trip, $40 billion would be raised.

I'm not saying that's a reasonable way to draw a budget, just to provide an estimate on what Musk is targeting. Since this article came out (Nov 2012), I think his cost estimations went up, and his funding plans shifted more to preparing a realistic IPO (not covering the whole thing, but some of the early stages). Cannot readily find a quote for that.

There are many more (somewhat obfuscated) details in that article, like this one:

Musk also ruled out SpaceX's Dragon capsule, which the company is developing to ferry astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit, as the spacecraft that would land colonists on the Red Planet. When asked by SPACE.com what vehicle would be used, he said, "I think you just land the entire thing."

Asked if the "entire thing" is the huge new reusable rocket — which is rumored to bear the acronymic name MCT, short for Mass Cargo Transport or Mars Colony Transport — Musk said, "Maybe."

2. Elon Musk Says Ticket to Mars Will Cost $500,000

“Land on Mars, a round-trip ticket — half a million dollars. It can be done,” he told the BBC.

Musk did hint that one of the keys to low-cost trips to the red planet would be the ability to not only refuel there, but also to reuse the entire spacecraft on the return trip. In the BBC interview Musk said by reusing the spacecraft, you end up with the same sorts of costs airlines face. Musk compared it to flying today where a 747 isn’t simply thrown away after a flight to London. Like the airplane, the cost of the spacecraft could be spread out over numerous flights rather than just a single trip making fuel one of the main expenses rather than the entire ship.

3. Tesla’s (TSLA) Musk On Colonizing the Red Planet

Asked about the possibility of a SpaceX IPO, Musk said the company’s plans are too long-term to attract many hedge fund managers, making an IPO unlikely any time soon.

“Maybe [when] we’re close to developing the Mars vehicle, or ideally we’ve flown it a few times, then I think going public would make more sense,” he said.

So, I can't comment on how realistic is each of his cost and time estimations, but he is trying hard to make them internally consistent, and most and first of all, to bring down the launch costs and to improve the reusability. We can already see several successful steps in that direction, and we will see the gradual progress, or lack thereof, very soon. It's not some Kickstarter scheme for Gates & Buffet.

about a month and a half ago
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Interview: Edward Stone Talks About JPL and Space Exploration

Katatsumuri Re:Mars Direct - Unanswered? (57 comments)

Well, that $500B estimation came from NASA in the 80's, and Musk is working hard to push it down. As far as I understand, he plans to fund it partially from other launches to bootstrap, partially from an IPO (when the transporter is clearly on track), and eventually from ticket sales ($500K a pop, once the full-size "bus" is flying).

about a month and a half ago
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Interview: Edward Stone Talks About JPL and Space Exploration

Katatsumuri Re:Mars Direct - Unanswered? (57 comments)

Maybe next time Slashdot can invite Elon Musk to elaborate on his Mars colonization program, including in-situ resource utilization and other popular objections.

about a month and a half ago
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Interview: Edward Stone Talks About JPL and Space Exploration

Katatsumuri Thanks! (57 comments)

Interesting framework with those interrelated frontiers.

Also, I didn't know about those decadal surveys. I wonder how transparent they are, both on suggestion and on the reporting side.

I wish my question about chaotic gravity assist was answered (it ranked among top 10), but I guess the idea was not deemed practical.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Poll: When will new tech justify upgrading a modern quad-core home PC?

Katatsumuri Katatsumuri writes  |  about 7 months ago

Katatsumuri (1137173) writes "
  • Now!
  • In 1 year
  • In 2 years
  • In 3-4 years
  • In 5-9 years
  • In 10 years or more
  • 640K is enough for everybody!
"
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Anti-Aging Drug Tested On Humans Successfully

Katatsumuri Katatsumuri writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Katatsumuri (1137173) writes "Telomerase activator TA-65 has been tested on humans in Spain. It promises life extension and longer youth for everyone.

Quoting the press release: "The publication reports that TA-65 can cause telomerase, an enzyme that lengthens telomeres, to become active in human cells. Telomerase activation by TA-65 was shown to lengthen the shortest telomeres in humans, potentially extending human lifespan and healthspan. Telomerase activation is thought to be a keystone of future regenerative medicine and a necessary condition for clinical immortality. Although TA-65 is probably too weak to completely arrest the aging process, it is the first telomerase activator recognized as safe for human use."

See the press release and the original article preprint."

Link to Original Source
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Water on Asteroid Themis

Katatsumuri Katatsumuri writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Katatsumuri (1137173) writes "Scientists have detected water ice on the surface of an asteroid 24 Themis. The researchers say that ice is not stable in such circumstances and has to be being replenished by some means — perhaps from inside the object. With escape velocity of 87 m/s and water ice present, can this 200 km sized asteroid be a good target for a space mission?"
Link to Original Source
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Mapping the Fruit Fly Brain

Katatsumuri Katatsumuri writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Katatsumuri (1137173) writes "A new computer-based technique is exploring uncharted territory in the fruit fly brain with cell-by-cell detail that can be built into networks for a detailed look at how neurons work together. The research may ultimately lead to a complete master plan of the entire fly brain. Mapping the estimated 100,000 neurons in a fly brain, and seeing how they interact to control behavior, will be a powerful tool for figuring out how the billions of neurons in the human brain work."
Link to Original Source
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Lightweight $100 Notebook from Hong Kong

Katatsumuri Katatsumuri writes  |  about 6 years ago

Katatsumuri (1137173) writes "Jointech has announced yet another $100 notebook. This one seems to literally cost $100. It weighs 680g and has a 7" display. Not much hardware to use with 64M RAM and 64M ROM, but you can add an SD memory card and USB devices. Designed for Windows CE — but how long until someone installs Linux on it? Will this be an Eee killer?"
Link to Original Source
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New small extrasolar planet may have water

Katatsumuri Katatsumuri writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Katatsumuri (1137173) writes "From press release:

"An international team of astronomers led by David Bennett of the University of Notre Dame has discovered an extra-solar planet of about three Earth masses orbiting a star with a mass so low that its core may not be massive enough to maintain nuclear reactions."

"The planet orbits its host star or brown dwarf with an orbital radius similar to that of Venus. But the host is likely to be between three thousand and 1 million times fainter than the Sun, so the top of the planet's atmosphere is likely to be colder than Pluto. However, the planet is likely to maintain a massive atmosphere that would allow warmer temperatures at lower altitudes. It is even possible that interior heating by radioactive decays would be sufficient to make the surface as warm as the Earth, but theory suggests that the surface may be completely covered by a very deep ocean."

See original report with links to scientific article and press release, or Space.com writeup."

Link to Original Source
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Ubuntu-like Brainstorm for others?

Katatsumuri Katatsumuri writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Katatsumuri (1137173) writes "Ubuntu Brainstorm has seen several improvements, and received a lot of positive feedback and contributions. It looks like a very successful representation of a public opinion poll.

What kind of company could possibly scale this up to let Internet users suggest ideas in a similar way to anyone they like, be it Google, Microsoft, or Cowboy Neal? My first thoughts were Google and Slashdot. Maybe some readers here can suggest other companies?

See also the Brainstorm entry for this idea."

Link to Original Source

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