Beta
×

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

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

PhilHibbs Self-modifying BASIC (725 comments)

My dad and I wrote a BASIC interpreter for the IBM PC in the '80s called BBasic, based on the Acorn BBC Micro dialect. BBC BASIC had an "EVAL" function, where it took a string and interpreted it as an expression. I persuaded dad that we should expand this functionality to an EXEC statement, that would take a string and interpret it as BASIC commands. If you put a line number at the start of the string, it would insert the code in the string into the program that was running - so you could have self-modifying BASIC code. There was one restriction, that if any of the points in the call stack were prior to the inserted statement, then it would fall over in a very untidy heap.

It actually turned out to be pretty useful, the one used that I can remember was to store persistent data within the program itself, and you could save a program as an executable that included a runtime interpreter.

4 days ago
top

5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

PhilHibbs Re:Am I the only one? (202 comments)

Where did you get the password list from?

5 days ago
top

5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

PhilHibbs Does Google store passwords? (202 comments)

I'm guessing that if this really is a list of Google accounts and passwords, that they got it from somewhere other than Google. As far as I know, Google doesn't store passwords, they store salted hashes of passwords.

5 days ago
top

The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

PhilHibbs Re:Talk about an old post... (108 comments)

It's worse than that, it's exactly 100 years old today.

about two weeks ago
top

Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

PhilHibbs Re:Grades vs IQ (391 comments)

According to The Onion, 80% of our nation's grandchildren are above average.

about a month ago
top

Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

PhilHibbs Re:Hacking a system... (391 comments)

Intelligent people can be immature. In fact, all intelligent people were immature at some stage.

about a month ago
top

Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

PhilHibbs Re:Article not written by nerds (158 comments)

It's possible that an organism might resemble the hexagonal parts of a buckyball but not the pentagonal parts if the pentagonal parts are uneven or convex.

Although this looks just like a normal icosahedron. I can't find a transalation other than an automated one.

about 2 months ago
top

Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

PhilHibbs Re:What is life? What is a virus? (158 comments)

Consider the continuum as it extends over time and space. Everything is and/or was a continuum, but occasionally holes and tears in the continuum occur that cause the appearance of hard distinctions between species.

about 2 months ago
top

The Video Game That Maps the Galaxy

PhilHibbs Re:Drake's equation did it in 1961 (28 comments)

Drake's Equation hasn't predicted anything, because no-one knows what the vaues of any of the variables are.

about 2 months ago
top

On 4th of July:

PhilHibbs Re:Hello Americans (340 comments)

And you seem to like our language. Please treat it with respect.

about 2 months ago
top

European Commission Spokesman: Google Removing Link Was "not a Good Judgement"

PhilHibbs Re:My two cents... (210 comments)

Google shouldn't have to make intelligent decisions as to what needs to be removed. It should all be automatic. Either everything is removed, or nothing is removed. Only by court orders otherwise.

So I should be able to request that searches for "microsoft" should not go to "microsoft.com"? And Google should be forced to honour that?

Those people, who want to be forgotten, should go after those hosting the material, not the search engine pointing.

The reason that going via the search engine works, is that it is possible. Many content platforms don't have easy mechanisms for identifying and removing content, and many are hosted abroad (whereas Google is active in the EU and can therefore be instructed by EU authorities). Slashdot, for instance, has only ever removed comment content once to my knowledge and they made a huge deal over it. Search engines, however, have enough layers of indirection between the search box and the results that adding a rule to exclude certain results from certain keywords isn't all that difficult.

I don't think that the "right to be forgotten" is a good idea. But saying "Instead of doing it via a route that is possible, they should do it via a route that is impossible" isn't a helpful contribution. Just say it's a bad idea, rather than suggesting an impossible course of action.

about 2 months ago
top

European Commission Spokesman: Google Removing Link Was "not a Good Judgement"

PhilHibbs Re:So... (210 comments)

Try www.google.com/ncr

about 2 months ago
top

California Legalizes Bitcoin

PhilHibbs Re:California also legalized using polished turds (162 comments)

Bitcon is NEVER mentioned.

It IS mentioned.

The assembly member that proposed it, in the press release announcing the passing of the bill, talks about BitCoin, Amazon Coins, Starbucks Stars, and Diablo II Stones of Jordan*. Of course the legislation itself doesn't mention BitCoin, since the section that it repeals pre-dates BitCoin, and when you're repealing a section, you just say "Section X is repealed", not "Section X is repealed because BitCoin".

*One of these is a lie.

about 3 months ago
top

California Legalizes Bitcoin

PhilHibbs If making currency was illegal... (162 comments)

...and money laundering and sanction evading are illegal... and they can fine foreign banks for those activities that were carried out overseas... could they have fined banks for issuing currency overseas?

about 3 months ago
top

Trio of Big Black Holes Spotted In Galaxy Smashup

PhilHibbs Re:Please explain (74 comments)

If we are looking at the system from "above", like looking down on a plate on which peas are rolling around, then the apparent distance between them is the same as the actual distance between them. If we're looking at them edge-on, then we don't really know how far apart they are. The apparent distance sets the lower bound for the actual distance, but the upper bound is unknown. And yes, there's always a degree of conjecture in astronnomy. All we can really say is that there are three black holes near the centre of that galaxy, and they are almost certainly in orbit around each other.

What people don't seem to understand is, science relies on publishing of un-proven theories. You observe, model, predict, publish, and eventually you will be either proven right or wrong. Without the "publish" step, especially in long-term sciences like astronomy where it could take centuries for a theory to tested (such as, "will that comet return in a hundred years"), you could make a thousand contradictory predictions and then publish the one that happened - by co-incidence - to be correct. If you limit yourself to a single prediction, which turns out to be correct, then you are worth paying attention to. My mum is always saying "Scientists keep getting things wrong, therefore all science is rubbish". Getting things wrong is crucual to scientific progress.

about 3 months ago
top

A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

PhilHibbs Drexel? (501 comments)

Could they find a name that sounds more like a James Bond villain?

about 3 months ago

Submissions

top

UK company creates free energy

PhilHibbs PhilHibbs writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PhilHibbs writes "The Daily Mail and Wired Blog Gadget Lab are reporting on an apparent free-energy device from British company Ecowatts. Scientists are "still not clear about the science involved here, because the physics and chemistry are very different-to everything that has gone before", but independent tests carried out by Jim Lyons at the University of York "were getting 150 to 200 per cent more energy out than we put in, without trying too hard." It "involves passing an electrical current through a mixture of water, potassium carbonate (otherwise known as potash) and a secret liquid catalyst, based on chrome." So, stick that in your pipe and... get hot water out of it, I suppose. Maybe."

Journals

top

"Why have you made me a Foe?"

PhilHibbs PhilHibbs writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Because your comments contain something that I object to. Not the content, I'm happy to read your differing opinions, but something in the structure of the comment. Most likely, your comments contain a "sig" that is not removed by the "Disable Sigs" checkbox. If you insist on overriding my preferences and adding a sig to the body of your comments, or you indulge in any other formatting tricks that spoil the slashdot experience, then you are my foe.

top

Which? on CD copying (story submission)

PhilHibbs PhilHibbs writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Computing Which?, an entirely independent UK consumer magazine, is running a report on Apple, Sony etc.'s confusing stance on copyright. "Rip, mix, burn", but "The products that we produce ... are licenced to use for material for which [the consumer] holds the copyright". The article advocates the explicit legalisation of personal CD copying. (Can anyone work out what the BPI are saying in the last paragraph?)

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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>