×

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

Jim Blasko Explains BitCoin Spinoff 'Unbreakable Coin' (Video 1 of 2)

TuringTest Re:Another one? (55 comments)

There are over a hundred different altcoins by now. What makes this one so different that it's Slashdot-front-page worthy?

It has hit Slashdot front-page, therefore it has got exposure to some high profile geeks (or it would, if there were any high profile geeks left reading Slashdot).

about two weeks ago
top

Andy Wolber Explores Online Word Processors' ODF Support

TuringTest Re:I switched from Excel (70 comments)

I actually wonder why anyone pays for the Office Suite now

One word: styling. In a corporate environment that needs to 1) allow mostly untrained office workers to share, cut and remix content and 2) stage it with corporate branding of tolerable quality, MS Office is still the easiest software stack to set up.

There are other platforms for technical writing that are more flexible and provide better, more professional results, but they're a nightmare to mount from scratch, and require a good deal of training. MS Office only requires to follow an install wizard to have it up and running.

The huge investments MS makes on making it obvious to use for simple use cases ensure a gentle ramp up where users can start using it at their own pace and being productive in a short time. Learning its numerous and frustrating quirks to achieve more complex results can happen later, as knowledge disseminates within the organization, which then gets locked-in in this software platform.

about two weeks ago
top

Ars: Samsung Gear VR Is Today's Best Virtual Reality

TuringTest Re:Cheaper option, Google Cardboard (74 comments)

If your phone has Project Tango hardware and a good amoled screen with high resolution, and if the manufacturer implements a high refresh rate, you will have a lot of what the Occulus Rift has in terms of image quality

...and if the hardware has high latency, half of their users will report headaches and severe dizziness that last for days after using it.

Occulus limitations are there to provide an extremely low latency, which is needed to reduce the above effects. Full immersion in a VR environment has disorientation effects much more intense than those of 3D cinema. There are some users immune to them, but major publishers are not interested in this technology unless they can sell it to 99% of common people.

Cardboard is a cheap way to test what it's like to have a virtual environment with head position tracking, but it doesn't compare to the quality of an Oculus device. Heck, even Oculus is having problems with creating lasting nausea for many, and it's being created by an all-star team of world-class developers.

about two weeks ago
top

How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

TuringTest Re: No. Hell No. Bad Idea. (480 comments)

For this to have any effect someone would need to force 100s (small-town election)

Which is easy to do when the small town is dominated by the local chieftain.

to millions (presidential election) ppl to vote the way they need.

Which is certainly doable by a well-coordinated syndicate of local chieftains with a shared interest in a pro-local-chieftain candidate.

With just a few percent of the victims testifying anyone trying to pull this off should find themselves in serious trouble.

This is why vote anonymity is essential. If a ruler is powerful enough to impose the votes on a whole community, no one would be silly enough to risk their neck by openly testifying against them. This may look hypothetical today, but if you open the possibility for coercion in elections, its only a matter of time that it gets abused on a wide scale.

about three weeks ago
top

Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

TuringTest Re:Mathematics is a language. (149 comments)

Mathematics is a language, but not a natural one. The parts of those sciences dedicated to make programming less mind-bending are not a subset of maths, yet they're still CS. There are parts of computer science which are math, not all of it.

about three weeks ago
top

WSJ Refused To Publish Lawrence Krauss' Response To "Science Proves Religion"

TuringTest Re:A Simple Retort (556 comments)

You have that a little wrong. God *can* (in principle) be proven. If the sky breaks open, choirs of angels break forth, a 10km-long arm reaches down from the skies and an 8km golden-haired, bearded face looks down upon humanity and utters words of unshakable truth...then God is proven.

That ostentatious display of fireworks wouldn't prove that the entity responsible for them would be omniscient, all-powerful, omnipresent and all-benevolent, though.

These are characteristics that those in the know consider essential properties of what they call "God", and those wouldn't be proven by your hypothetical display of evidence; that would only show that someone has a tremendous FX budget.

By their very definition, those "omni" properties cannot be proven by empirical evidence, so by definition they are outside the reach of scientific enquiry, and belong to the realm of the purely philosophical. All theology and most classic philosophy depend on those universal, unlimited powers of God for their reasoning, so most of what you've heard about such entity would still remain unproven. That's why all this talk about "science can prove the existence of God" or "science can prove that God doesn't exist" is quite silly; they would anyway work only for some trivial values of God, not its core definition.

about three weeks ago
top

Unofficial WhatsApp Library Gets End To End Encryption Before Official Clients

TuringTest Re:XMPP (29 comments)

Can you name which client in fdroid is the reliable one you're talking about?

about a month ago
top

Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

TuringTest Re:Knuth is right. (149 comments)

In addition to Set Theory and Formal Logic, Computer Science relies heavily on Boolean Algebra, Graph Theory, and other areas of Discrete Mathematics. Computer Science is inherently cross-disciplinary, but at its core it is closer to Mathematics than it is to Engineering or Science.

You miss the parts that are very close to Linguistics and Information science: Ontologies, Information retrieval, Semiotics, and the all-important Human-Computer Interaction - how to build a computation environment that's efficient for humans to interact with. Maybe this is not a well-defined problem in a mathematical sense, but it's at the core of all programming activity beyond the level of micro-instructions.

This is not merely cross-disciplinary work; those are also essential parts of the science of computation, little related to mathematics yet highly relevant to all projects in the computing field, either in research or business - although many are unaware of their relevance.

about a month ago
top

What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

TuringTest Re: Good news, bad news (628 comments)

Who says there would be no constraints? Merely because there's no threat of hunger and cold, doesn't mean that creating art would have no challenges of its own. Many artists in history could create their craft because they were wealthy enough not to need other work.

Even if there is not a pressing need, artists can use self-imposed limits to explore the possibilities of their medium of choice.

about a month ago
top

Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

TuringTest Re:"Expected", "could", and "maybe" (329 comments)

Do you have a suggestion on how to modify our behavior to keep the sun from exploding?

about a month and a half ago
top

Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

TuringTest Re:"Expected", "could", and "maybe" (329 comments)

If I check out the windows and there were rioters and police shooting at them, I'd be wary of going out that day, yes.

about a month and a half ago
top

Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

TuringTest Re:"Expected", "could", and "maybe" (329 comments)

Have you ever heard of the Pascal wager?

The (un)likelyhood of an unwelcome outcome should be weighted by the severity of harm if it happens, to make a rational informed decision.

about 1 month ago
top

Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

TuringTest Re:Idea (244 comments)

I said "Not if you choose to be one of the people who doesn't work and lives from the basic rent"... or also if you can't choose and are forced into it. Life is long and you never know what tomorrow brings.

With a basic income, you have a choice that you didn't have before. This is what those extra taxes are buying you (in addition to reducing competence because other people will choose not to apply to the remaining jobs). Being universal, you also benefit from them.

about 2 months ago
top

Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

TuringTest Re:Idea (244 comments)

What if the product is not created by a person but by a robot? That option didn't ever exist in the past.

about 2 months ago
top

Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

TuringTest Re:Idea (244 comments)

Because I have to pay taxes to support them?

Not if you choose to be one of the people who doesn't work and lives from the basic rent.

...making us less competitive internationally. Which causes more jobs to be outsourced...

Do you realize that those arguments wouldn't apply if the rent was truly universal? I.e. if *all* people could apply for them, not just people from a single country, all workers in the world would face the same increases in costs, thus not making any difference in their competitiveness.

...or just vanish due to being economically unproductive.

Again you're assuming 1) that such thing would happen and 2) that it's a bad thing. Why?

about 2 months ago
top

Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

TuringTest Re: Effort dilution (254 comments)

By converted, you mean "wrapped", right? Banks sinply don't throw away well tested code that runs core business logic merely to update the language, they build interfaces around them and keep then running. Surely new systems are built in new languages (mostly Java) and old systems will be ultimately shut down, but it doesn't make sense for the parts where requirements remain the same, and the principles of banking have been the same for centuries.

And high performance scientific code is often easier to write in Fortran than C. When you add that to the knowledge an already swt-up environments in academy, there's still a relevant community trusting their libraries for their computing needs.

about 2 months ago
top

Node.js Forked By Top Contributors

TuringTest Re: Effort dilution (254 comments)

By that metric, COBOL and Fortran are the most relevant and successful, as they're in wide use at core infrastructure in banking and scientific computing respectively.

about 2 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

TuringTest Re: Cult (488 comments)

s/core sharing / code sharing/

about 2 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

TuringTest Re: Cult (488 comments)

Maybe it's time to give up the open source movement? Our leaders are getting old and the new generation does not understand our need for freedom and in some cases they dont have enough coding skills.

The day open source is forgotten and core sharing depends merely on developer's goodwill, without clear reuse licenses, we will face all the Unix wars all over again.

There are clear signs of that already happening in the mobile OS area, where big corps are busy using patents to invalidate the benefits that their FLOSS code base provide.

The advantage of open source is that it allows developers to advance the industry fast through collaboration on common infrastructure while competing on quality and features, rather than competing on who owns the largest amount of intellectual property. Next generation developers would be wise to learn that lesson from history or they will have to re-learn it from experience.

about 2 months ago
top

Game Theory Analysis Shows How Evolution Favors Cooperation's Collapse

TuringTest Re:TIt-for-tat fallacy (213 comments)

Unchallenged presence is not a measure of success if it's unsustainable. Our current widespread presence is dependent upon a huge dependency of non-renewable resources.

The real test of success is when a species is integrated in its environment with a relationship that relies solely on renewable resources, so that their presence in that environment may run indefinitely. We are nowhere near that point yet.

Nature is full of periods where a process runs wild and fills their environment, only to be instantly wiped out when the resources required to maintain the process are exhausted. Those processes or species do not count as "successful" in terms of evolution if they become ultimately extinct.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

top

Wikia and SONY playing licensing mind tricks

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  about 8 months ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "Popular culture website Wikia originally hosted its user-contributed content under a free, sharealike Commercial Commons license (CC-BY-SA). At least as soon as 2003, some specific wikis decided to use the non-commercial CC-BY-NC license instead: hey, this license supposedly protects the authors, and anyone is free to choose how they want to license their work anyway, right?

However, in late 2012 Wikia added to its License terms of service a retroactive clause for all its non-commercial content, granting Wikia an exclusive right to use this content in commercial contexts, effectively making all CC-BY-NC content dual-licensed. And today, Wikia is publicizing a partnership with Sony to display Wikia content on Smart TVs, a clear commercial use.

A similar event happened at TV Tropes when the site owners single-handedly changed the site's copyright notice from ShareAlike to the incompatible NonCommercial, without notifying nor requesting consent from its contributors. Is this the ultimate fate of all wikis? Do Creative Commons licenses hold any weight for community websites?"
top

TV Tropes relicensed all its CC-BY-SA content, without permission

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  about 8 months ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "In the beginning, pop culture wiki TV Tropes licensed its content with the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license for free content. When Google pulled away its AdSense revenue because of... let's call it NSFW fan fiction, TV Tropes changed its guidelines to forbid tropes about mature content. In response to this move, two forks were eventually created. The admins disliked this move so much that they relicensed all content to the Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike version, despite their site not having requested copyright rights from their users. Only later they added a clause to their Terms of use page requiring all contributors to grant the site irrevocable, exclusive ownership of their edits. Has it ever happened to you that you released free content, and someone changed its license and pretend that it was theirs?"
top

Spanish congress rejects Internet censorship law

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "A comission of the Spanish Congress has rejected a law that allowed the closure of web sites that provide no authorized downloads. The government couldn't reach enough support from its allies not because those opposed the law in principle but because of the way it was redacted and the lack of negotiation. Recently the Spanish Senate rejected a law on net neutrality. Also the Wikileaks cables disclosed pressure from the USA to the Spanish government to pass a law to reduce Internet sharing of music and media, which is legal in Spain."
top

Google acquires BumpTop physical desktop

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "BumpTop, a company providing a multi-touch physical desktop metaphor has been acquired by Google and made "no longer be available for sale". BumpTop provides a direct way to handle information through simple gestures. Some media see this acquisition as a movement by Google to position against the iPad. Will BumpTop be ported to Android?"
Link to Original Source
top

TomTom anounces an open source GPS technology

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "(Found via OStatic). European company TomTom (which recently settled a patent agreement with Microsoft) has announced a new open source format OpenLR for sharing routing data (relevant points, traffic information...) in digital maps of different vendors, to be used in GPS devices. The LR stands for Location Referencing. They aim is to push it as an open standard to build a cooperative information base, presumably in a similar way than its current TomTom Map Share technology in which end users provide map corrections on the fly. The technology to support the format will be released as GPLv2. Does it make OpenLR a GPL GPS?"
top

Chandler PIM reaches 1.0, loses financial support

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "I was surprised to learn that Chandler, the open-source Personal Information Manager (covered on Slashdot after releasing some stable versions), has silently reached its 1.0 milestone this summer only to (or maybe because of) having its financial support removed at the end of 2008. Chandler inherits organization concepts from Lotus Agenda and is a brainchild of Mitch Kapor (of Firefox, EFF and Lotus fame). It shares an approach to unified information representation with recent PIMs like MIT's Haystack and KDE's Nepomuk. What happened to the persistent universal data storage that object-oriented desktops and metadata filesystems were never able to provide? Did it finally arrive as a userland application, and nobody cared?"
Link to Original Source
top

3D library to bring back OpenGL from the grave

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "With the controversy over the recent release of OpenGL 3.0, people is debating wether OpenGL is dead or it isn't. In this situation, a new low-level library called Gallium3D promises to ease development and refactoring of drivers for OpenGL (or any other 3D API) by acting as an efficient middleware between the API and the metal. Gallium3D seems to be gaining traction within the community with talks at several FOSS conferences (e.g. FOSDEM and aKademy)."
Link to Original Source
top

Most violent video game arrives to the Wii

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "In an attempt to bring the Wii closer to the hardcore gamers taste, Sega is preparing to releaseMadWorld, a violent 'hack and slash' game. This has brought attention from family-conscious lobbies: "The decision to release a violent game on a console which has based its reputation on family fun has shocked anti-violence pressure groups. Mediawatch-UK, Britains longest running pressure group campaigning for decency in TV, films and games, said MadWorld will 'spoil' the Wii." The game features black & white cel-shaded graphics, except for the blood blobs wich are in brilliant red. MadWorld is announced to be released in early 2009."
Link to Original Source
top

ENSO command launcher, open sourced

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "The code for ENSO, a keyboard-based command launcher in the line of Mac OS' Quicksilver, has been released under the revised BSD license. ENSO can be explained as an expanded application launcher that aims to combine the power of a command line interface integrated within a desktop GUI. Its design is inspired by the ideas of Jef Raskin's The Humane Interface. It currently allows to invoke arbitrary commands such as launching applications, universal spell-checking, translation and web search from any text field, google-maps integration, remote control, and search-based task switching. ENSO is programmed in Python. Thanks to being open sourced, this Windows native application is currently being ported to Mac and Linux."
top

ENSO command launcher, open sourced

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "The code for ENSO, a keyboard-based command launcher in the line of Mac OS' Quicksilver, has been released under the revised BSD license. ENSO can be explained as an expanded application launcher that aims to combine the power of a command line interface integrated within a desktop GUI. It currently allows to invoke arbitrary commands such as launching applications, universal spell-checking, translation and web search from any text field, google-maps integration, remote control, and search-based task switching. ENSO is programmed in Python. Thanks to being open sourced, this Windows native application is currently being ported to Mac and Linux."
top

Public buildings don't get intellectual protection

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 7 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, of international fame, recently sued the city of Bilbao (Spain) for violation of intellectual property after his Zubizuri bridge was modified by the city council to add a new footbridge on its side. Now a judge has sentenced against Calatrava saying that public right prevails over intellectual property. Altough the ruling acknowledges that the building design has intellectual property, it also concludes that a bridge is to walk on it. (Beware, some links are in Spanish. Translate at your own risk.)"
Link to Original Source
top

TuringTest TuringTest writes  |  more than 8 years ago

TuringTest (533084) writes "Jensen Harris, the Group Program Manager of the Microsoft Office User Experience Team, blogs about Microsoft's recent licensing agreement to share its new inteface IP: "Today, we're announcing a licensing program for the 2007 Microsoft Office system user interface which allows virtually anyone to obtain a royalty-free license to use the new Office UI in a software product, including the Ribbon, galleries, the Mini Toolbar, and the rest of the user interface." (see the press release). Is there any precedent for this? Can Microsoft actually require licensing of the UI? Is it enforceable? Is this a good precedent?"

Journals

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?