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Help ESR Stamp Out CVS and SVN In Our Lifetime

Whatsisname Re:See no need to go to git (245 comments)

You don't need DVCS for more than one developer, but certainly for some teams, organizations, and situations it offers a lot of benefits.

Fir a lot of projects the DVCS advantages are tenuous. A lot of regulated industries mandate by law fairly strict top-down control that erodes a lot of the DVCS benefits. A lot of projects are not pure software projects that have lots of required binaries files that git and mercurial are powerless to merge sensibly. A lot of organizations have a variety of projects all stored in a single repository for whatever reason, and having to clone the entire thing for a single project is a nuisance.

For situations like those, which are commonplace in the commercial world, SVN and the centralized model is a fine way of doing things.

In my experience, DVCS is excellent for pure software projects, and sucks for anything else. SVN on the other hand is a great tool that is useful for a great number of projects beyond software.

In otherwords, use the tool with the right capabilities for the task at hand, not because of what's trendy.

about 2 months ago
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Study Weighs In On the Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony

Whatsisname Re:The whole juror system needs to be abandoned (102 comments)

It's not like the courts can do anything about it. The money to pay for that is set by the legislature. I don't foresee any legislator voting to increase taxes or fees to increase payments for jurors. Coupled with the social stereotype that jury duty is for idiots, it's a downward spiral.

about 2 months ago
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Study Weighs In On the Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony

Whatsisname Re:The whole juror system needs to be abandoned (102 comments)

The law is full of vagueness and contradictions. The very term "reasonable", which is common in many criminal statutes, by its very nature is open to interpretation and depends on situation.

You are right in that the laws are written much as computer programs are, except the people writing them don't even have remotely the skill to properly do so. And the law doesn't have an implementation to test against, it's written and goes straight into production. We all know how well that practice usually turns out for software developers.

Unlike code, with the law, instead of a bluescreen, when an error occurs, someone gets killed, goes to prison, or loses their property.

about 2 months ago
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Study Weighs In On the Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony

Whatsisname Re:Recommended documentary on eyewitness testamony (102 comments)

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all. - H. L. Mencken

about 2 months ago
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Silicon Valley Fights Order To Pay Bigger Settlement In Tech Talent Hiring Case

Whatsisname Re:Let's do some math (200 comments)

Why would that be absurd? When individuals are facing legal judgments, they often face huge figures that destroy their financial situation. Why should corporations be safeguarded against that risk?

about 3 months ago
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After Celebrity Photo Leaks, 4chan Introduces DMCA Policy

Whatsisname Re:Effectiveness (134 comments)

You think the media publishers type up each individual request?

about 3 months ago
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Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

Whatsisname Re:Automated test in is a minimum (152 comments)

That's not going to work, because you'll never be able to economically write a requirements document so complete that the behavior is so well defined that you can get meaningful test coverage from it.

To get that kind of completeness you'd have to code the entire software in MSWord, which is a terrible programming language, and without ever testing it along the way.

Testing needs to be a continuous process as part of software development, not something that happens parallel or afterwards.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Whatsisname Re:customer-centric (419 comments)

if the US wanted the contents of a safe deposit box in Europe they cannot legally seize it, doing so would be a violation of europan law

They can't take the box by force, but the US can instead throw you, the owner of it, in the slammer until you cough up the requested evidence. Where the evidence is, is irrelevant.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Whatsisname Re:customer-centric (419 comments)

Can any internet company be publicly ordered to break laws in other countries, regardless of where it is based?

Why shouldn't they? MS is a United States company. Why should MS, or any other corporation, be able to only abide by US law when it is convenient for them, and break it other times? If the laws of two jurisdictions are incompatible with each other, the corporation should have to make a hard choice and only operate in a single jurisdiction, and use other avenues to expand business to the other.

This is not a case of the US trying to compel a European Company into doing something, it is compelling Microsoft, subject to US law, to turn over data it holds, albeit in a different company. If an American individual is subpoenaed for information relating to a crime, resisting turning it over because it's held in a safe deposit box abroad, is no more an acceptable excuse than "it's in my other pants".

An individual in the United States must abide by US law even when abroad, in addition to abiding by the rules of the foreign country. It's still illegal for an American to smoke weed or solicit 14 year old prostitutes abroad, despite those being legal in some places of the world. If American persons have to play by United States rules 24x7, why should a corporation get to pick and choose?

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

Whatsisname Re:Hence, "Software Engineer" == MYTH (430 comments)

Your scenario only seems ridiculous because car companies don't share all their mechanical drawings. It would not be unreasonable to be expected to look up the torque in the mechanical schematics if that information was readily available to you.

You don't expect the manual for a computer motherboard to list the resistor values of every resistor on the motherboard, do you?

about 4 months ago
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EA Ending Online Support For Dozens of Games

Whatsisname Re:Lol... (329 comments)

I'm thinking they should be on the hook for supporting them for 95 years: the length of their copyright terms.

about 7 months ago
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Is Carbon Fiber Going Mainstream?

Whatsisname Re:Recycling (152 comments)

While it is true Aluminum doesn't have a fatigue limit, the breaking point depends on what the stresses are in the material. "will eventually crack" can translate to 20 minutes of riding, or 20 million years of riding. An aluminum frame can be made where its fatigue life well exceeds the practical life of the bicycle.

If it takes 4.54 billion years of knocking the frame with your fingernail for the frame to fail, there really isn't a problem with it.

about 7 months ago
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"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

Whatsisname Re:Gun nuts (1374 comments)

Because many people prefer the risk of it being stolen or being disarmed in the middle of a scuffle, than to have those risks, plus the additional risk of the weapon refusing to fire due to some hard to resolve technical issue.

about 8 months ago
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Toyota Describes Combustion Engine That Generates Electricity Directly

Whatsisname Re:The vibration must suck (234 comments)

Right, because I'm sure the engineers at Toyota haven't thought about this kind of stuff.

about 8 months ago
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FCC Proposes $48,000 Fine To Man Jamming Cellphones On Florida Interstate

Whatsisname Re:Did it? (427 comments)

There is a non-zero probability of someone dying due to the presence of pretty much anything. That doesn't automatically make it "pretty serious"

about 8 months ago
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You Are What You're Tricked Into Eating

Whatsisname Re:Oh well (499 comments)

While that is true for many, it is not true for all, otherwise there would be no fruits with thorns or toxins, There are many fruits that are dangerous to eat, which don't "want" to be eaten.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Whatsisname Re:LaserJet II and LaserJet 3 (702 comments)

It's also known as Survivorship Bias. Old stuff seems like it was better built because all the crappy stuff already made it into the dumpster and subsequently forgotten long ago.

about 7 months ago
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A Bid To Take 3D Printing Mainstream

Whatsisname clunky software? (143 comments)

One of the main obstacles between 3D printers and consumers has been clunky, unintuitive software

More like the fact that CAD software packages cost many thousands of dollars, and no good free alternatives exist.

Or that the printers themselves for commercial grade machines also cost many thousands of dollars.

Or that mechanical design is inherently challenging and is an expensive skill to develop.

But nope, just have some big buttons on a touch screen and everything will be groovy.

about 8 months ago
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US Supreme Court: Patent Holders Must Prove Infringment

Whatsisname Re:Now the next step... (143 comments)

The idea of the patent system was that anyone could patent their grand idea and then have legal backing to protect it in court from someone that uses the idea without consent. The filing fees were also designed to be low to keep the barrier of entry low enough that "the little guy" could get the same protection as the big corporations.

This is completely false. Patents were never about the "little guy". Their purpose is to benefit society by providing an advantage to disclosing the secrets of invention so society can learn. Prior to patents, technology was often a closely guarded secret, belonging to individuals or trade guilds, secrets that were often lost with the deaths of the people involved. By making disclosure a more attractive option than secrecy, society could benefit by learning from the details of the inventions.

That is the idea of the patent system. "Little guy" doesn't mean shit, all that matters is having useful knowledge disclosed to society, whether its individuals or mega-corps.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Purdue-Stanford team finds radioactive decay rates

Whatsisname Whatsisname writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Whatsisname (891214) writes "A team of scientists from Purdue and Stanford universities has found that the decay of radioactive isotopes fluctuates in synch with the rotation of the sun's core. Purdue researchers Ephraim Fischbach, a professor of physics, and Jere Jenkins, a nuclear engineer, reported observing a drop in the rate of decay that began a day and half before and peaked during the December 2006 solar flare and an annual fluctuation that appeared to be based on the Earth's orbit of, and changing distance from, the sun. In general, the fluctuations that Jenkins and Fischbach have found are around a tenth of a percent from what is expected. Jenkins and Fischbach suggest that the changes in the decay rates are due to interactions with solar neutrinos, nearly weightless particles created by nuclear reactions within the sun's core that travel almost at the speed of light."
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