×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping

Millennium Re:Old saying (249 comments)

Because you'd have to do it in realtime, or whatever passes for it when dealing with relativistic effects on this scale. Otherwise, microscopic shifts in the Earth's crust will soon change the slew rate, and then you're back to square one. But calculating the slew rate will inevitably take longer than one tick of the clock, so you can't do it in realtime either.

Though this property isn't entirely useless. For example, you could use two of these clocks to build extremely sensitive seismometers: first you would need to calculate their slew rate at rest, but then whenever that changed, you'd know that their relative position had changed. Then you'd have to calculate the new slew rate, to establish the new baseline, but the temporal resolution of such a device would depend only on how quickly you could do that.

about three weeks ago
top

Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

Millennium Re:Tip of the iceberg (669 comments)

The Bible, and even the Old Testament, paints for us a God with many sides to His personality. We see him cracking puns, playing games, quoting references, and occasionally straight-up trolling people: a far cry from the solemn graybeard that many people, believers and otherwise, like to paint Him. In some aspects, the God of the Bible isn't so different from a modern geek.

I bring this up because the verse you mention is one of the very first times that He swipes a reference, and from the serpent, no less (see Genesis 3:5). I take this to be a note of bitter sarcasm, more than anything else. He had been painted into a corner by the very system He had set up (and the work of yet another master of trolling), and the only way out was straight through. But that meant doing some things that He clearly was not happy about doing.

about a month ago
top

Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

Millennium "GNU C compiler" versus "GNU Compiler Collection" (240 comments)

I don't see what a compiler's ability to do with other formats/languages has to do with a different format/language.

Ordinarily, it doesn't. But the thing is, there are two things called GCC: the GNU C compiler (which handles C) and the GNU Compiler Collection (a set of compilers which, though they share the same backend, are still separate entities).

GCC, the C compiler, cannot handle Fortran. GCC, the set of compilers, can handle it via g77 (the old compiler) or gfortran (the new one), but the C compiler can't. This is considered the traditional way of doing things.

What makes C++ different from many languages is that its maintainers insist that C++ compilers must be able to handle C code. It's not enough to have a different compiler in the set, the way GCC does: it must be doable with the C++ compiler itself, in the same application. And so g++ can do it too, because that's what the standard requires of it.

That's what makes the difference. Ordinarily, as you say, a compiler's ability to handle multiple languages shouldn't affect any of the languages in it. But C++ was defined in a way that not only makes those effects possible: it makes them mandatory.

about a month and a half ago
top

New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Millennium Re:Discreet? (595 comments)

The problem with being obvious about it is that there's a very large overlap between the populations of people who would spike someone's drink and people who turn psycho when they see drinks being tested. Without the ability to be discreet, merely performing the test puts a person in danger.

about 2 months ago
top

New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Millennium Re:Discreet? (595 comments)

It's more discreet than using a special straw, which seems to have been the predecessor (at least in spirit) of this new method.

about 3 months ago
top

The 2014 Hugo Awards

Millennium Re:"Time" won Best Graphic Story? (180 comments)

What you see at that link is only the last panel. The story was revealed frame-by-frame over a much longer period of time.

I do think it would be nice if xkcd made the whole thing available, but others have managed. The Wikipedia link above can point you at some of them.

about 3 months ago
top

Posting Soccer Goals On Vine Is Illegal, Say England's Premier League

Millennium Also, impractical (226 comments)

This is Vine we're talking about. Wouldn't you need like six of the videos just to capture the announcer shouting "GOOOOOOOAL!!1!!!"?

about 3 months ago
top

Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's

Millennium Huh? (195 comments)

What effect does the userland have on the TCP/IP stack?

about 4 months ago
top

Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Millennium Forget sliders, I want clamshell (544 comments)

Give me something that opens from the side into a nice, wide QWERTY keyboard, like LG's en-V or Octane, or Pantech's P7000. None seem to be in production at the moment, which is going to make me really sad when my current one dies.

about 4 months ago
top

Mozilla Doubles Down on JPEG Encoding with mozjpeg 2.0

Millennium NIH, or once-bitten twice-shy? (129 comments)

Google has deliberately killed more technologies than Microsoft ever just let wither and die, and Mozilla has been burned by this more than once. At this point, I'd say it's quite reasonable to demand that Google provide some assurances that it's not going to flake out this time.

about 4 months ago
top

Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Millennium Re:"Rare talents"?! (608 comments)

If you seriously think that learning how to use a keyboard and mouse, open and close windows, download programs, and type, is "too complex", then I pity the incredibly low bar that you have set for yourself in life.

I don't. But if you seriously think that that's all there is to even rudimentary programming, then either you've forgotten far too much about your own learning experiences, or you're a prodigy (in which case you shouldn't be generalizing your experiences at all).

I don't have to reassure people that it takes too much time and energy. They convince themselves of that easily enough, and frankly, the widely-available evidence favors them quite strongly. If you want to convince them otherwise, you're going to have to prove to them that this is easy to pick up. Good luck with that. I certainly haven't managed, and I've come to a conclusion as to why I can't prove it: it's simply not true. Your arguments aren't very compelling either.

about 4 months ago
top

Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Millennium Re:"Rare talents"?! (608 comments)

Actually, my next step is to claim that your two steps are already too complex. Not because people are stupid, but because these two steps require a greater investment of time and energy than most people can realistically be expected to make. The moment you mentioned taking a class, you had already failed.

about 4 months ago
top

Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Millennium Re:"Rare talents"?! (608 comments)

You seem to imply that programming is, at its core, a relatively small set of simple and easily-grasped concepts, but I can't say I've ever found compelling evidence that this is actually the case. Could you please list these basic skills that are so easy to master? I'm afraid I have to ask for a thorough list.

about 4 months ago
top

Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Millennium "Should" programming really be easy? (608 comments)

I'm not interested in excluding people from programming. However, there seems to be an underlying assumption from many of the coding-for-all types that programming "should" be much easier than it currently is. I'm putting "should" in quotes here because when many people see that word, they start thinking in ideological or moral terms. That's not my intended meaning. I'm talking about the logistics of programming: specifically, the idea that we have unnecessarily heaped huge amounts of complexity on top of something that is actually quite simple.

In order to open up programming to the masses, it must necessarily be simple and easily-grasped at its core. This is not because most people are stupid, but because most people cannot afford to spend a great deal of time and energy learning the concepts behind it. As currently understood, programming requires a large investment of these things, and most programmers today, by far, are people who have made that investment.

Can that time investment be reduced? To some degree, it probably can. But there are limits to how far something can be reduced, and I'm not convinced that programming can be reduced to a degree that would bring it to the masses. My reasoning for this is that I'm not convinced that the core concepts are as simple and easily-grasped as they're often made out to be. They seem simple to me nowadays -almost second nature, in fact- but I've been programming for years, I studied for years before that, and things didn't really start to click until I was a few years into my studies. Even nowadays, I still get moments where something suddenly clicks and my skills take a noticeable leap forward. This is not a hallmark of a simple field.

I believe that most of the people who set out to "simplify programming" are not too different from me. They might have learned certain concepts at different rates, but the things that seem simple to them now did not seem so simple when they first began. This is, I propose, because they aren't simple.

I am not "elite." All I did was allocate my time a little differently, and in ways that not everyone realistically can. I don't begrudge them this, because a lot of them allocated their time in ways that I couldn't, especially not after I made my choice. I respect and appreciate the skills they have that I don't, and I don't think I'm out of line in asking for the reverse. What makes this state of affairs unacceptable?

about 5 months ago
top

Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

Millennium Re:Quite... (468 comments)

I'd like a strawman with a side order of false dichotomies, please? Oh, wait, no I wouldn't.

Nobody with any wit thinks that any given piece of technology is going to be well and truly flawless. Not even the technology used to land a plane. That's why we design them with multiple backups, failsafes, and alternatives. Rather than blindly trust the things we designed, we instead design so that we don't have to trust them. Even if something goes wrong, there's always another backup or alternative.

That's what this particular design fails to do. By hamstringing the last-resort failsafe (i.e. the pilots), it requires blind trust in the technology. That is simply not a sane approach.

about 5 months ago
top

Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

Millennium Re:And when the video feed dies... (468 comments)

Is there really no room for any other sort of reaction, in between blind faith and knee-jerk opposition?

From time to time, technology fails. This is a simple fact of life, and normally, the people making the technology will be the first to tell you this (the people selling the technology, not so much, which is a source of tension between the two). It doesn't take a Luddite to see that one needs to have failsafes in place. This is, in fact, what the word "failsafe" means.

about 5 months ago
top

No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

Millennium Re:it depends on what "skilled worker" means. (401 comments)

It's unlikely for any company to get the "best qualified" in absolute terms, because every one of them is competing for the best qualified. But you go for the best qualified among whatever is available.

But ultimately, that's not the only factor. You need someone who will provide a decent value for what they're asking. If the best qualified person is asking well over the value of their work, then you've got to take that into consideration as well. People who you cannot afford are essentially unavailable, and so you're back to looking for the best-qualified person who is.

about 5 months ago
top

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

Millennium Not really sure what to think here. (564 comments)

On the one hand, machines will never exceed human intelligence until we figure out how to model irrationality: the source of creative insight. But once we do that, there's nothing stopping them from growing into the same sorts of failings that we have.

On the other hand, maybe that will only make it more likely for them to come to these conclusions.

about 5 months ago
top

Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

Millennium Re:You know ... (358 comments)

I'm inclined to agree. Even if one accepts his arguments, what he did is essentially a form of vigilantism, up to and including the strong risk of not ending well.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

Millennium hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Millennium has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?