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Ask Slashdot: How Many of You Actually Use Math?

QID Re:Depends whether you include discrete math (1086 comments)

Calculus has indeed been basically useless for my career so far (5 years doing software engineering), even in school I never used it after I finished calculus courses. Discrete math is definitely useful, but probability and statistics has proven surprisingly useful as well. Any time you're collecting a lot of data and want to analyze the results, which is not uncommon, statistics comes in handy, and a good understanding of probability isn't just useful at work, it's surprisingly good knowledge for life in general.

more than 2 years ago

EU Ministers Seek To Ban Creation of Hacking Tools

QID Didn't I read about this before? (248 comments)

"There were ways, of course, to get around the SPA and Central Licensing. They were themselves illegal. Dan had had a classmate in software, Frank Martucci, who had obtained an illicit debugging tool, and used it to skip over the copyright monitor code when reading books. But he had told too many friends about it, and one of them turned him in to the SPA for a reward (students deep in debt were easily tempted into betrayal). In 2047, Frank was in prison, not for pirate reading, but for possessing a debugger.

Dan would later learn that there was a time when anyone could have debugging tools. There were even free debugging tools available on CD or downloadable over the net. But ordinary users started using them to bypass copyright monitors, and eventually a judge ruled that this had become their principal use in actual practice. This meant they were illegal; the debuggers' developers were sent to prison.

Programmers still needed debugging tools, of course, but debugger vendors in 2047 distributed numbered copies only, and only to officially licensed and bonded programmers. The debugger Dan used in software class was kept behind a special firewall so that it could be used only for class exercises."


more than 3 years ago

Should a Web Startup Go Straight To the Cloud?

QID Windows Server? (442 comments)

This being Slashdot, one expects anti-Microsoft bashing regardless of subject or context, but... there's a reason Apache has 60% of the market to Microsoft's 20% (citation: http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2011/05/02/may-2011-web-server-survey.html), and it's because the LAMP stack is vastly superior to Microsoft's for running public websites. For an internal corporate infrastructure, you can at least debate whether AD and SharePoint and Exchange/Outlook and so forth are worth using, but on the public web, whether doing simple hosting or web applications, you need a *very* compelling reason to want to go with Microsoft.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

QID Re:Obvious question from their perspective (1307 comments)

Which part of the hospital network do you think will contain private health information? Depending on their network setup, the answer could be "all of it", in which case this could very well be a violation.

more than 3 years ago

NYT Paywall Cost $40 Million: How?

QID Good question (305 comments)

I work for a large, multinational corporation, full of all sorts of layers of management and unpleasantness, and the current rather sizable program I'm working on--months of development and engineering work, lots of hardware, custom-built stuff ordered from all over the place--is still well under $40 million. If this is one of the supposedly greatest newspapers in the world and they manage to spend that much money on so little, no wonder print is fucked. They've done it to themselves.

more than 3 years ago

Federal Prosecutors Tempt the Streisand Effect

QID Re:Unclassified until Deemed Classified? (100 comments)

Exactly, just because it's public information doesn't make it unclassified--and all of the fines and punishments still apply. That's why all sorts of businesses banned people from going to WikiLeaks, they don't want to wind up with classified data on their systems and all of a sudden your whole network is suddenly classified, and you can imagine what a shitstorm that turns into. It's also possible that the "Unclassified" label on the documents is incorrect; people make mistakes, after all.

more than 2 years ago

How Many Stickers on Your Laptop?

QID my laptop.... (473 comments)

was a peice of crap, so HP/Compaq is giving me a brand new one. The old one had no stickers because I removed them, but the new one will probably have to be cleaned.

more than 10 years ago


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