Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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

Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

MoonlessNights All-laser Lasik approach worked well (521 comments)

I had one of the all-laser ("Intralase SBK") approaches done about 4 years ago and the results were great! My vision was only about -2 in each eye, but the surgery put me to marginally better than 20/20.

The most annoying part was not being able to wear contacts for the week leading up to the surgery so my eyes could go back to their natural shape but the surgery was neat (only took 3 minutes) and I could see perfectly, as soon as I sat up from the chair (although my eyes had a "fog" effect for a few hours).

When doing the initial consultations, I expressed concern over night vision (since I am usually out at night) but they said that most of the issues related to that were pre-existing and were only noticeable due to the increased resolving power of their eyes, post-surgery. Personally, I haven't noticed a problem and things like lights, when out at night, seem much sharper (I could tell the first time I tried to get on a bus, after the surgery, and realized I could clearly make out the route name and number from MUCH further away than usual).

I highly recommend it.

yesterday
top

Unisys Phasing Out Decades-Old Mainframe Processor For x86

MoonlessNights Re:IBM Z still uses custom CPUs (113 comments)

That largely applies to pretty much everything but there are actual cases where Z and P are incredibly different so unifying their back-end implementations will be potentially limiting in the future. Specifically, I am referring to memory coherence model: Z assumes a rigid write-back ordering where P allowed these to be highly out of sync, between cores. Now, I am not sure if any modern P implementations actually exploit this flexibility so the difference might be moot but this decision could be limiting in the future.

about a month ago
top

Android Needs a Simulator, Not an Emulator

MoonlessNights Re:It always did seem odd to me. (167 comments)

It shouldn't be too surprising that it runs well with Java. Embedded is where the first Java inroads were made. Recent VMs make the performance pretty sweet, once you get going.

Running the JVM on an emulator, however, is less than optimal: "it's turtles all the way down".

I understand why they did it but, if there are still serious performance problems with it (which wouldn't be surprising - phones are growing in performance faster than PCs) then they probably need to go the simulator route (even though that isn't quite as generally useful or rigidly correct).

about a month ago
top

Kids With Operators Manual Alert Bank Officials: "We Hacked Your ATM"

MoonlessNights Good to see! (378 comments)

Good to see on many fronts:
1) kids looking into how things actually work and wondering about what that means
2) kids acting to fix the problem, as opposed to exploiting it
3) a company actually thankful for the help without "shooting the messenger"

In terms of the ATM configuration, I am a little surprised that it was so easy to get in. It reminds me of when I used a similar technique to get configuration access to a heated timer cabinet at a McDonald's, when I was in my teens (It meant I could use it to solve some additional problems which had no ideal solutions - as well as add my name as a food item). That wasn't changed from its factory defaults but that one was at least behind the counter so it was physically protected. I am a little surprised that there isn't some kind of physical locking switch to enable that mode, on these devices. Banks are usually pretty good about that.

Still, at least I am happy to see that they were thankful for the help.

about a month and a half ago
top

XMPP Operators Begin Requiring Encryption, Google Still Not Allowing TLS

MoonlessNights Re:Catching up to Microsoft fast (121 comments)

You are going to have to explain how popularity precludes incompetence.

about 2 months ago
top

XMPP Operators Begin Requiring Encryption, Google Still Not Allowing TLS

MoonlessNights Re:Google is dropping XMPP and Talk/Chat anyway (121 comments)

They never really explained why federation wouldn't work or why XMPP wasn't sufficient for their needs. As far as I can tell, this was purely to thicken the walls on the garden.

This is the problem with anyone becoming too big within an otherwise open space: there is no reason for them to play nice when they have de facto control. Let's just hope that E-Mail doesn't suffer the same fate at the hands of GMail.

I have said almost word-for-word what you just said about walled gardens (even using Compuserve and AOL as examples) so I am totally in agreement with your concerns on that front.

about 2 months ago
top

Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

MoonlessNights Re:That's why I back them up to the internet (329 comments)

Because no internet company has ever gone out of business, strayed into an area of legal ambiguity, had a security vulnerability, made their software incompatible with your existing work flow, or made unpleasant changes to their terms of service or privacy policy...

about 2 months ago
top

The Truth About OpenGL Driver Quality

MoonlessNights Re:Meanwhile OpenGL ES Is Doing Great (158 comments)

I would still like to see OpenGL largely punted in favour of OpenGL ES. As you point out, it is a much smaller API and it reflects the realities of the hardware, as it actually evolved (shader programs and GPU-memory vertex buffers), instead of how the software initially wanted to see it (immediate mode and imperative matrix manipulation).

Hopefully, the inclusion of OpenGL ES as a subset of OpenGL within the 4.x versions will make this more a reality, as well as the use of things like WebGL.

about 2 months ago
top

Can Google Influence Elections?

MoonlessNights Re:Why stop at influence? (138 comments)

The point is that, with influence, they don't need to buy the politician as control of information is far more powerful than control of resources.

In effect, they could manufacture their own candidate and ensure that the information they returned is heavily biased in light of this new "underdog" or "dark horse" and suddenly political manipulation has been accomplished, and packaged in a story you can sell to Hollywood, for added attention.

They would also be able to keep their puppet on a short leash since they had already demonstrated that they have the ability to control all the information around them. That kind of control can't be purchased with campaign donations or lobbying.

Interestingly, because of the way many people seem to vote and because they had so much control over the information, even pointing out that this was happening would be unlikely to change the result (since it would take attention away from the competitors, it would probably make matters worse).

about 2 months ago
top

Programming Language Diversity On the Rise

MoonlessNights Re:A good sign (177 comments)

I always try to remember this when I wonder if I am getting out-of-touch (being a 30-something, primarily C guy) but the reality is, despite all the hype around new languages (or new service providers *cough* GitHub *cough*), it turns out that much of what is currently used, is used for a reason.

The best software developers I knew were comfortable in several languages and could pick up new ones in an afternoon but they preferred writing in simple C, heavily-simplified C++ (basically just C plus classes, no other language features), or maybe Java.

They could easily express their ideas and the code could be easily read by even a novice (part of knowing many languages means avoiding esoteric or "clever" language features).

It is nice to see new ideas on the horizon but the signal to noise can get a little overwhelming when there are more frameworks or languages than developers (as it sometimes seems).

about 3 months ago
top

Dropbox and Box Leaked Shared Private Files Through Google

MoonlessNights Re:Not technically a leak (92 comments)

Actually, a document isn't private unless you physically own it (hence, no "cloud" anything) and control the access to it (private links, self-destructing links, HTTP sessions, etc). Relying on an external walled garden means that you gave them ownership (either legally, or physically).

As bandwidth increases, owning a link which resolves a piece of information will become increasingly equivalent to owning that information.

about 3 months ago
top

Dropbox and Box Leaked Shared Private Files Through Google

MoonlessNights Re:To the URLbar! (92 comments)

The confusing thing is why this is so popular, anyway. As far as I see it, it is nothing more than Clippy, the next generation.

Maybe people only disliked Clippy because it seemed like a distraction. I suppose the "omnibar" wouldn't be as popular if, every time it got focus, put up a large overlay box with the content: "It looks like you are trying to type a URL".

Alternatively, it means people _would_ have liked Clippy if it just started silently writing the letter for you or if it sent the letter to Microsoft so they could finish it for you.

The address bar and any kind of search bar are different things with _very_ different uses. I don't understand why I would ever want to conflate them. It makes no sense from a UI perspective and is an absolute disaster from a privacy perspective.

about 3 months ago
top

Students Remember Lectures Better Taking Notes Longhand Than Using Laptops

MoonlessNights Re:You know what worked better for me then longhan (191 comments)

That sounds about right.

I always took complete notes, by hand, until I got a laptop in second-year and started typing up the complete notes in LaTeX.

I think that typing worked better than writing, but only because I was doing a verbatim copy of board information and the tex files could be grepped, after-the-fact. I can also type with my eyes closed and I wasn't getting much sleep, in those days.

The friends of mine who just sat in class and listened seemed to understand the content much better (they just needed to be sure to discuss the content or do the assignment before it fell from memory as unreachable information).

about 3 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

MoonlessNights Don't conflate age with culture (274 comments)

Stop looking at this as an us-and-them dynamic, as though there is a line somewhere which divides the "old" from the "young" and everyone on one side is a firmly entrenched, 1-dimensional stereotype.

People are different and I doubt that everyone at that company enjoys the specific culture you have described (let alone doing so proportional to their "youth"). If you can work well together, that is the primary concern.

about 3 months ago
top

How To Prevent the Next Heartbleed

MoonlessNights Re:Not really (231 comments)

This is EXACTLY the way to look at this!

Relying on static analysis to solve parameter validation bugs is asking technology to solve a human problem, akin to asking the computer "do what I want, not what I said".

Static analysis and defensive programming techniques are good ideas but there is always a chance for something to go wrong.

about 3 months ago
top

How To Prevent the Next Heartbleed

MoonlessNights Re:need to get over the "cult of macho programming (231 comments)

The problem has more to do with the "hey, this is free so lets just take it" attitude of the downstream consumers not willing to pay for anyone to look at the code or pay anyone to write it.

Why would you want the OpenSSL people to be held accountable for something they basically just wrote on their own time since nobody else bothered?

Striking out to solve a problem should NOT be punished (that culture of legal punishment for being useful is part of why knowledge industries are leaving North America).

This problem was caused by a simple missed parameter check, nothing more. Stop acting like the cultural problem is with the developers when it is with the leaches who consumer their work.

about 3 months ago
top

Could Google's Test of Hiding Complete URLs In Chrome Become a Standard?

MoonlessNights Re:Sounds like Microsoft in the 90's (327 comments)

That is what I keep thinking.

It seemed like, although Clippy might have died, his religion ("the user is stupid and needs the computer to help them use the computer") is alive and well.

The thing that confuses me is, why do people think this is "good"? Personally, I spend appreciable time fighting with software "helping" me when I already knew what I wanted to do.

about 3 months ago
top

C++ and the STL 12 Years Later: What Do You Think Now?

MoonlessNights Re:too heavy, too unreliable... at least for my us (435 comments)

This is generally what I have found, too.

The best uses of C++ I have seen were simple and fast since they were really just vanilla C with classes.

about 3 months ago
top

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

MoonlessNights Re:Sex discrimination. (673 comments)

It might be worth determining why "sex discrimination" is an issue, and seeing whether the concept is a problem in this case for the same underlying problems, rather than simply jumping on it and implying it's wrong because it's discrimination.

Any form of discrimination is wrong precisely because it is discrimination. Instead of allowing the abilities and merits of the individual to distinguish them, you group them based on some notion of grouping which may only exist to you and then act as though all people in that group are the same and share opinions and resources.

If I am an individual of group X, telling me that someone else needs an advantage over me because they are of group Y doesn't make any sense since we are just 2 people who may not even have heard of those groups or claimed membership within them.

Remember that we must, as one great speaker once said, judge people "by the content of their character".

about 3 months ago
top

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

MoonlessNights Re:Sex discrimination. (673 comments)

It is blatant gender discrimination but that isn't how most people see it since they don't look at individuals as individuals but as a combination of demographic group memberships.

It is odd, since it means that someone else makes kin selection for you and assumes that they can now make generalizations or assume that "your kind" all share one mind and one bank account.

Some clever people realized that they could exploit this incorrect viewpoint for personal political gain so they decided to use it like a wedge. They are just political opportunists and the only way around them is the unpopular position of promoting true equality through individual merit assessment.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

MoonlessNights hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

MoonlessNights 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>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...