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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

NoOneInParticular Re:Powershell (729 comments)

One of my favourites in C:

int* a = ...
2[a] = 5;

Not sure if this is still allowed by the latest standards, but it used to work.This makes use of the fact that the bracket operator x[y] is syntactic sugar for *(x+y). So:

a[2] = *(a + 2) = *(2 + a) = 2[a]

Now try that somewhere else!

about two weeks ago
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Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

NoOneInParticular Re:10,000 Leagues (203 comments)

Well, for starters, 10,000 leagues is a quite a bit over the circumference of the earth, so being so far under the sea is just simply impossible. If this Verne character is serious about his scientific ambitions, he shouldn't be three to four orders off with his approximations.

about two weeks ago
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South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

NoOneInParticular Re:Mandatory panic! (421 comments)

Sure, and by the same measure, the average European citizen is about 20 times less fearful of their government as the average American citizen. And that's the land of the free?

about a month ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

NoOneInParticular Re:Identical devices (194 comments)

I think you're overestimating the effect of marketing software. Oh, yes, it's extremely effective at figuring out who you are over many sites, but then the offers are absolutely atrocious. To wit:

There is no time in my life I am less likely to buy some white pants, a toaster or a flight to Los Angeles than after I've just bought these items, yet that's precisely the time I see ads for these products or services.

In other words, digital marketing is a con. It's conning business into paying for technology. No actual value is achieved.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

NoOneInParticular Re: Local testing works? (778 comments)

America is special. Because at foundation time had a war with a dictatorship, they started anew, with a fresh constitution. Luckily, the forces that be found a workaround. Now they have a two party dictatorship. God bless you all.

about 2 months ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

NoOneInParticular Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

Why do you think the sign of a dying society is a decreasing population? What is your long term outlook? Are we to support 10 billion people, then 100 billion, then a trillion? How do you think this would work out?

I think a population, decreasing or increasing toward stability, is a sign of civilization. Resources are being maxed out, people are no longer starving, and you do not need children to take care of you in your old age. I'm sure that in the US this doesn't hold, as you'll have infinite resources and infinite growth potential, though in the rest of the world, people beg to differ.

about 2 months ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

NoOneInParticular Re:Free market economy (529 comments)

Let me correct that for you: About the only place where you see corruption worse than in politics, is in an American union. If you look abroad, there are many unions that are actually functional. In particular, I was very impressed with Nordic unions, having direct experience with Danish ones. There, whilst membership is mandatory, they function exceptionally well. The reason is that they have responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is that the union itself pays unemployment benefits. So here we have functional socialism. Everybody pays into a pot for unemployment, and when people get unemployed, there's a strong incentive to get people up and running again, lest the pot of money dries up. This works incredibly well. People in Denmark are unemployed for a couple of months. If it is conjunctural, they sing it out, if it is structural, the union forces re-education.

about 2 months ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

NoOneInParticular Re:What the senator is really saying... (529 comments)

I think that indeed, the more generations people are residing on a continent, the more native they become. Furthermore, it is clear from the history of America that its success is based on the non-natives, the immigrants. Therefore it seems only logical that people from, say, fourth generation and beyond are officially declared to be native Americans, and thereby stripped off their possessions, and put into reservations.

about 2 months ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

NoOneInParticular Re:Core Wars (285 comments)

I think he describes Tom Ray's Tierra system.

about 2 months ago
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TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

NoOneInParticular Re:Rewrites Suck (250 comments)

I don't think so. When you do a rewrite, you have to uncover all use-cases that the the original software was covering. The software was doing A,B as well as C, D, E. When you do the rewrite, you will focus on the truly important use-cases A & B, and only later you figure out that people were really depending on C. Then you implement C, but D&E were really important as well. And before you know it, you're back to where you were before the rewrite: an organically grown codebase that solves A, B, C, D as well as E. The only difference with the original codebase is that it does A&B more efficiently, but C,D,E are bolted on. The original codebase had different biases (maybe C&E).

about 3 months ago
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Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'

NoOneInParticular Re:US (224 comments)

Google ranks the info, making some stuff come out on top, and some stuff at the bottom. That's Google's claim to fame, and that's why they are targetted. Nobody would care if they would work like a phone book, as the info people want to remove cannot be found. They make it appear on the first page, and that's the problem.

about 3 months ago
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Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'

NoOneInParticular Re:US (224 comments)

You're wrong here. Google doesn't blindly index. It ranks information, adding a subjective measure of worth to the information. That's why they make money, and that's why they are targetted by this legislation.

about 3 months ago
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Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Would Not Get a Fair Trial – and Kerry Is Wrong

NoOneInParticular Re:Ellsberg got a fair trial (519 comments)

Yes, he might very well go to jail after a fair trial. But that will never happen, as he won't get a fair trial. By now, more than a decade after 9/11, the US has sufficient legislation in place to be able to completely avoid fair trials. That's the entire point of the article: Snowden will not get a fair trial. Chances are, he will not get a trial at all. He would be locked up and isolated, and will not be allowed to defend himself in court, because you know, law. It will indeed teach everyone about democracy, and the message is simple: don't screw over the best democracy money can buy. And large parts of the US will cheer: Snowden is obviously a traitor and traitors don't deserve a fair trial, that's for decent folks.

about 4 months ago
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Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'

NoOneInParticular Re:All I'll say... (224 comments)

When Google complies, who cares that somebody creates searchable lists? Even if it is Microsoft. For all practical purposes, it would have dissappeared. You are probably a software developer, making the edge case (the information is not gone) dominate the common case (google doesn't show it). That makes bad software, and also bad argumentation.

about 4 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

NoOneInParticular Re:Fail (688 comments)

Sounds like 'murica.

about 4 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

NoOneInParticular Re:In my youth (688 comments)

Dude, you are the one confused. The average is commonly used to denote the (arithmetic) mean. But yes, technically speaking there are multiple averages possible. This doesn't make it right to talk about a graph that shows 'the average'. What average? Mean (geometric or arithmetic), median, or mode? There are a few more choices. Talk about bad math.

about 4 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

NoOneInParticular Re:There is no such thing as "maths" (688 comments)

Well, the word 'maths' didn't really surface before 1911, so I guess it's the English that in this case have introduced a break with tradition. The word was 'math' before.

about 4 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

NoOneInParticular Re:danger will robinson (688 comments)

And I think that Common Core is doing it the wrong way around. First teach the method, then teach the model, if at all needed. The smart kids will have figured out the model simply due to practice, the not-so-smart kids might have a little benefit from being taught the model. Most of them have forgotten when they're 16 though (you know, hormones), but at least they will have the method to fall back on. Rote learning sticks.

Common Core is obviously invented by mathematicians, reasoning from a Platonic ideal. It would have been nice to have first done some science on it, i.e., figure out if it really leads to improved skill and understanding before rolling it out. You need psychologists for that.

about 4 months ago
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Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

NoOneInParticular Re:danger will robinson (688 comments)

I truly am waiting for the first psychological study that will show that Common Core training leads to better arithmetic than skills training does at the age of, say, 50. Because that's the the important bit. People not going into any kind of higher education will simply forget about the concepts. People that have learned algorithms will remember the algorithms, even if the concepts have faded away.

My mother in law of 71 does not have a higher education, and doesn't have a clue about the concepts behind numbers. Old-fashioned education. However, when confronted with a math problem in the supermarket, she beats my 12 year old by a mile. Algorithms and lots of exercise.

about 4 months ago

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