top Ask Slashdot: What To Do When Another Dev Steals Your Work and Adds Their Name?
The code you developed for your client was most likely never yours to begin with.
Bingo! Go back and read your contract. No contract or there's no language in it about who owns what, then it's theirs (If you're in the US) and they can do any damn thing they want with it. It would be straight up madness if a client hired you to do work and then they couldn't change the code without your permission. (And yeah, changing comments does fall under that.) Even if you put your own copyright notice on there, unless the contract specifically says otherwise, you've handed copyright over to them in doing work for hire. (IANAL, but I've been a contractor for 24 years.)
Try contacting the people who hired you and tell them to change the copyright notices to something more correct, but I doubt if you'll get any joy there. They have no reason to.
Lesson learned, move on, and for the future make a contract that reflects your wishes.
about a year and a half ago
top I typically receive X pieces of misdelivered (postal) mail ...
Funny and all, but change of address only works for First Class mail. And you'd be amazed at how little junk mail is 1st class.
Since the US post office is looking for ways to save/make money I offer this:
I would be interested in paying the US Post office to only deliver First Class mail and to automatically destroy all the other stuff.
Or how about this: They could hold auctions. If the junk mailer can outbid me they get to deliver the junk. If I outbid them, I don't see it. Either way the post office wins.
about a year and a half ago
top Possible Graphene Alternative Made From Hemp Waste
For all I know this is valid scientific research. But I can't even be bothered to find out because potheads have stigmatized hemp. "Dude, do you know hemp is 85% more efficient biomass than bacon?" "You know that hemp fibers can be turned into inferior yet expensive paper, right?" "Hemp-o-lene, it's either hemp biofuel or something you jump on." Which all are quite obviously thin excuses to grow more "medicinal"* hemp.
And hemp is a pretty great material, but every time I see an article that talks about a new industrial use I can't help thinking it comes from the same people who giggle when they hear "420" and snerk when they mention how they're into 'hydroponics'.
Seriously folks, if you want me to take you (hemp or pot smokers) seriously you need to clean up your game. Don't smoke a bowl on April 20th, instead bring to my attention how we really don't know the medical properties of cannabis because of government overregulation (or whatever, anything that has real promise to someone who has no interest in smoking pot.)
*Medicine is sold at drug stores, not in shadowy places with a bouncer at the door and punny names like "Grass Roots Clinic" or "Foggy Daze Dispensary".
about a year and a half ago
top To Avoid Confusion: Oracle's Confusing New Java Numbering Scheme
There's a solution to this, it's called deprecation. A proper way to do this would be to still support Wacky Version Numbers with System.getProperty("java.version") but note that it is deprecated and list a date after it will no longer be supported.
Then you add something new like System.getProperty("java.realVersion") which is just a number from 1 to infinity. (Or something more common like Major and Minor version.) Doesn't break anything, provides a way forward. Languages that aren't thinking 10 years/revisions ahead are doomed in the present.
about a year and a half ago
top Are Contests the Best Way To Find Programmers?
Contests only gather a weird, smallish subset of programmers who are good enough to win a contest, but who have the spare time and will to enter a contest.
 This means they have little internal motivation because they're not otherwise working on something that inspires them. Good employees have internal motivation, bad ones need Management to whip them, which is what you'll get here. Instead find those who contribue to open source projects or who spend free time giving stellar information to the programming community. (Blog posts, Stack Exchange, etc.)
 Again, motivation. What are they really trying to get by competing in the contest? Can you, as an employer, provide that same motivation on a regular basis? Probably not. So once again you'll get a pretty great programmer who underperforms.
about a year and a half ago
top Can Older Software Developers Still Learn New Tricks?
Trolling question is trolling.
top Average latency to Slashdot.org?
My ping time is 162ms with a maximum of 1431.
But I'm in rural America. I'm lucky I can even ping anything, despite paying $70 a month for 0.5Mbps. (Yes, the decimal point and units are correct. We pay for 0.5, but get 0.35. Almost fast enough to stream music!)
top Drug Site Silk Road Says It Will Survive Bitcoin's Volatility
It won't. Bitcoin is a commodity, not a currency. Commodities are inherently unstable because their method of creation is fixed. This leads to hoarding and dumping, and market speculation much beyond currency trading.
Modern currency is managed ("backed") by whoever issues it can can take steps to stabilize the currency when problems arise. This is simply not possible with Bitcoin.
top IAU: No, You Can't Name That Exoplanet
Yeah, but who's going to settle on a planet in orbit around Joe Smith's Giant Cock And Balls, or Spectacular Illumination By GoDaddy.com?
And when we finally meet the aliens from Tostitos III, how do we explain that to them?
top How much I care about GMO food labeling:
Is there any way to get any useful data from this poll? (I mean, as much as can be gained fron any internet poll.) Is it really just asking how
strongly I feel about a subject? Because that's about as dull as you can get. Here's the discussion it will create: A: "I feel strongly!" B: "I feel less strongly!" A: "Oh."
GMO and food labeling are interesting subjects, but this poll doesn't let us discuss them at all. (Which is kind of the point of these things.)
So, in lieu of a poll that actually asks for an opinion: I'm against labeling GMO foods. It's essentially meaningless, and impossible to (dis)prove, due to expensive testing and the way most foods are processed. (Also, we've been modifying the genetics of food since we first built the first farm.)
It will also likely raise prices on GMO-free foods as companies try to capitalize on the fad, much like the similarly meaningless "Organic" labels do. Anything that raises the prices of the food supply without increasing quality or availability is bad policy.
top New Skype Malware Uses Victims' Machines To Mine Bitcoins
If you have a botnet and can't think of anything better to do with it, you can lease it out or sell it.
Except dealing with any third-parties increases your risk. Which one of them has loose lips, poor security, is a snitch or an undercover officer? Even criminals don't want to hang out with other criminals more than they have to.
Keep in mind that as a zombie computer becomes more "obvious"- computer is slower, fan runs at 100% all the time, etc, the more likely that the malware will be noticed and removed.
I don't think you're around the typical computer user much, or their computers. You describe at least 60% of the non-technical people's computers that I know. They shrug it off. Computers suck and they'll never understand why. Eventually it will straight up die and they'll have another frustrating and expensive experience with Geek Squad. Rinse, repeat.
top By the Numbers: How Google Compute Engine Stacks Up To Amazon EC2
Amazon's got far less stake in regular data processing, they just want to know about shopping habits.
Yeah. Right. Just like Google only cares about search results.
top Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Block Web Content?
Are you a parent trying to keep your kids from porn? Are you a business trying to keep your workers on task? Are you a government trying to control the eyeballs of your citizens? Are you just trying to keep ads away from your personal eyeballs, malware from your personal devices?
If it's for your own personal use there are two approaches:
1) Do it on the device. This has the advantage of being easy to pause if it causes a web site or service to stop working. It has the down side of not being centrally managed. You'll have to set it up on all of your devices/browsers. It may not be available for certain mobile platforms.
2) Do it centralized through a proxy. You only have one place to set it up and you run all of your devices through the proxy. More of a pain to self tune, and you have the added overhead of running a proxy.
If you're one of the other use cases and you want to use keep your users from accessing certain kinds of content, there's really only one answer: Do it as far upstream from your users as you can get. Because the users are not going to be happy with it and some will do everything they can to circumvent it. Ideally you're on a network where you can filter all of their (non-wireless) traffic through a single controlled point where you need physical access (lock and key) and a passcode to make changes. If you can remote admin it, or if people can access the 'net at large without going through that point, you've lost the battle.
top If You're a Foreigner Using GPS In China, You Could Be a Spy
If it really is GPS then it's simply the local time, broadcast in the clear. How is that classified?
top Testing an Ad-Free Microtransaction Utopia
You might take a look at
GitTip. It's also a microtransaction platform, but different from Flattr. Patrons pledge from $0.25 to $25 a week to another person.
I like the weekly pledge and the tiny amounts. The weekly pledge encourages people to keep up the good work while the small amounts... I can pledge $0.25 weekly to a lot of people before I miss that money from my bank account.
top $13 Txtr Beagle Ebook Reader To Sell For $69
Good analysis. I suspect that the project was founded by
... I don't know what. Guys without any experience with embedded systems is my bet. The cost difference, in bulk, of a small 16 mhz 8-bit CPU with 0.5k RAM and a 100mhz 32-bit CPU with 128K RAM is about a dollar.
If they had spent the extra dollar per unit they could have had a device that could take care of all of the I/O formatting, etc, etc and been a stand-alone device.
(Even without spending the dollar, you can get a lot of performance out of an old 8-bit CPU if you
know what you're doing.)
top FTC Goes After Scammers Who Blasted Millions of Text Messages
So that repeat robocall to my cell phone only needs to call 179 million more times before they'll take action.
top 'Bandwidth Divide' Could Bar Some From Free Online Courses
Okay, so how about my home connection. 56K is what we pay for, but we get 41K when the weather is good. It's 1/10th the speed of my 3G phone (When I'm in range of a tower). That is no where near enough to stream even the smallest YouTube video. And that's the best we can get at any price. I'm a couple miles outside a small midwestern town. Wireless is our only option and the only wireless data that gets any rections here is a 2G tower 12 miles away. With a directional antena we can duplex that. The phone lines here are crap so no DSL, even satellite is out because we don't have an upload signal path. We're not that unusual.
With that meager bit of data we can email. (And
/.). But using the web is incredibly painful. Video is straight out. Skype doesn't happen. System updates are flaky and take all day to download. Web pages aren't made for connections this slow any more, they're hundreds of K, and can take minutes to load, and some connection will often get lost, which will bork the whole page.
No one uses the internet here. They don't know what it's for. They don't know they can find out
anything with it, that they can learn the skills to take them further, or talk to people all over the planet. Or get movies on demand! You won't hear much from them around here because they don't know about Slashdot. Or online discussion forums in general. The Internet is a thing that they talk about on (broadcast) TV.
So while some people might bitch about only getting 1.5mbs, there are no shortage of people in the United States who essentially can't use the modern internet.
top Buying Your Way Onto the NY Times Bestsellers List
Scientology has been doing this for years, keeping Dianetics on the top of the charts. Members buy the books in bulk then send them back to the publisher - often in their original boxes - which are then sent back to booksellers.
At least ebooks make book laundering difficult and more expensive.
top Why Hasn't 3D Taken Off For the Web?
Okay, lets say there's a slick, smooth-as-snot implementation. The software is perfect, it works in any browser - even mobile- without plugins. User navigation is natural and intuitive, and it has a high frame rate even on obsolete devices.
Well you still haven't described 99% of the web. What do people use the web for?
1) Interacting with people. 3D chat stinks and always will. Even fully realized 3D worlds like MMORPGs chat has nothing to do with 3D, it's essentially IRC. 3D email's a looser. Email is best navigated as a list. 2) Finding information. But most information is best displayed as a 1 or 2 dimensional list. You can read pages of information, not 'volumes'. You're already looking at a virtual screen, watching videos or reading on a virtual screen within your virtual screen is a needless and distracting abstraction. And navigating a 1D or 2D space is much faster than 3D. Seriously, try finding the entry you're after in a 3D room full of Wikipedia. You don't want to have to look behind the article on Aardvarks to find the one on Abe Lincoln. 3) Porn. And having been around the net a bit I know there's some CGI porn out there, it's creepy as hell, and that isn't changing until people want to fuck at the bottom of the uncanny valley. 4) Shop. While I'd love to have full 3D fly-through of every product I shop for, it's not going to happen for several reasons. First, preparing 3D models of products that look as good as a manufacturer wants it to is incredibly time consuming and often futile. They'd much rather customers see a heavily photoshopped glossy product image. Second manufactuerres don't want people to have full 3D models of their products. It sets the intellectual property lawyers on edge.
Those 4 cases cover 95% of web use. So no, it won't ever 'take off'. It will always be a niche.
(Source: My experience working, for various clients on an alarming number projects that tried to do the things above in 3D, dating back to 1996. All of them were embarrassing failures.)