Slashdot: News for Nerds


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!



Linux Needs Resource Management For Complex Workloads

bytestorm Re:This belongs in the cluster manager (160 comments)

Or more established/full featured, openvz, xen pv, lxc, cgroups/namespaces, and friends. I think linux (the kernel) already has the tools necessary to do task prioritization like the article requests.

2 days ago

Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

bytestorm Re:Isn't this a good thing? (171 comments)


I can design a shed and oversee or perform its construction. That does not make me an architect.
I can design and build a model car with a little spring-and-gear engine. That does not make me a mechanical engineer.
I can design and build a little circuit "piano" with pushbuttons and a 555 timer. That does not make me an electrical engineer.

I can lead a team to build proposals; reasonably accurately gauge task complexity; predict completion dates and manpower requirements; define deliverables and release criteria; control defect introduction through manual and automated unit and system tasting; build accurate development, maintenance, and operation documentation; and actually write, debug, and review efficient, best-practices-compliant code for custom software exceeding 100k LOC of new code or modifications per contract, not counting software packages integrated from other ISVs, capable of reliably processing millions of financial and medical transactions per day. Does that make me a software engineer?

Your cellphone is just a brick without software and firmware designed by thousands of developers with millions of hours of dev time, a significant portion of it in critical areas where flaws can result in physical damage, horrible performance or just plain crashing. Your car engine is controlled by a PCM driven by software, weighing in with probably multiple megabytes of code and lookup tables, designed to increase your fuel efficiency beyond what you could get with a mechanical system alone, where flaws will very likely cause serious mechanical and safety problems. The ridiculously convoluted system of wires, routers, switches, and servers that got this message from me to you is all dependent on software largely written by some team or other of developers in a controlled and systematic process and certainly not a million monkeys at random.

Software engineering is real. Many of them are even licensed as professional engineers now. Your conception of who they are, what they do, and their importance to your way of life appears to be flawed.

about a week ago

Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

bytestorm Re:Walled garden? (171 comments)

Of all the explanations given so far, AC is the only one that has hit the crux of the matter. I don't agree with his assessment of runtime/tooling as there is middleware which will enable porting with relative ease between platforms. But it's absolutely true that if the garden owner tosses you out, your options are few in number, especially as a small developer and they can do so for any reason they want. If the platform owner changes the way part of their platform works and it completely breaks your application (android 4.4.2 anyone?) you must quickly adapt or (get bad reviews and) die--hobbiests don't have time to drop everything and fix their app and if my understanding is correct, there is no expectation of long term (>2 yr) platform API stability (in specific example, push notifications on android).

Mobile devs are stuck with three evil giants who are conflicted on whether they want you to fill their garden with useful tools or toss you because you've stepped into their safety zone.

about a week ago

Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

bytestorm Re:Walled garden? (171 comments)

As far as development costs go, that is absolutely rock-bottom cheap. Indy mobile developers don't pay 1.5k+ USD for a development-only unit with in-system debugging capability. They don't pay 1k+ per year, per seat for the tool suite. They don't pay 10k+ for external auditing and verification for major releases. It costs nothing to load unsigned apks on android. It costs nothing to load a binary from Xcode onto a target iOS device. The only thing that costs money is development equipment, which is less than 600 USD each for all major mobile platforms, and distribution, the 100$/yr being discussed.

500 per year for an entire team is laughable if you produce one good app with 500 sales (or donations) per year at a dollar each. Get four friends with the same hobby as you. Buy your release licenses as a club. Hell, go to your mom with the app you wrote and have her play around with it. I bet if she likes it she'll just give you the 100 USD to buy an iOS distribution license.

about a week ago

The Security Industry Is Failing Miserably At Fixing Underlying Dangers

bytestorm Re:What's the solution? (205 comments)

The article would classify sandboxing as one of the many layers that the industry has added on instead of fixing the fundamental problem with software development culture that values minimizing time-to-market significantly over security.

Or maybe I'm putting words in their mouth.

about a month ago

The Security Industry Is Failing Miserably At Fixing Underlying Dangers

bytestorm Re:In other news, water is wet. (205 comments)

Not to branch too far off topic here, but this sounds like a pretty ideal use-case for microkernels allowing developers to slowly squash features into the trusted memory spaces after they've proven themselves in untrusted memory spaces while still bringing new features in regularly. The security vs performance tradeoff seems pretty reasonable.

about a month ago

Tiniest Linux COM Yet?

bytestorm That's pretty small. (76 comments)

So small, there's no room for mounting holes, aside from the through-hole vias. Is that normal for COMs?

about 2 months ago

Study: Royalty Charges Almost On Par With Component Costs For Smartphones

bytestorm general purpose/embedded (131 comments)

If you made a general-purpose pocket computer that has a LTE addon module (which you license as a single unit), how much of that royalty pool just melts away?

about 2 months ago

Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

bytestorm Re: No steering wheel? No deal. (583 comments)

Even for domain experts, we're talking about hard problems; problems hard enough that we've only recently been able to apply them reliably in the field. This is definitely a nascent technology, and while I think it will be a societal net positive (decreased accident rate, increased fuel economy), there's still a lot of room to grow and improve. I know I personally won't be getting one until the cost is near parity with manual vehicles, whether that be through insurance incentives or vehicle time sharing; or I become a bit too old to drive myself around reliably.

about 2 months ago

Interviews: Ask Jennifer Granick What You Will

bytestorm Handling of PII by non-health private and public e (58 comments)

Is it feasible to legally obligate all entities operating in the USA to abide by all safeguards and regulations required of HIPAA data if the data they have could be so classified?

about 2 months ago

Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators

bytestorm Re:Bad analogy (252 comments)

Despite being in the running for the worst analogy ever, let's go with this.

You own the gun. Blizzard mails you bullets and invites you to their shooting range. You take the bullets and gun to the range and shoot them however you please as long as you follow the range rules. You bring sandbags and a bench to shoot straighter in competition without telling Blizzard. Blizzard sues the sandbag and bench makers because you cheated.

about 2 months ago

Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

bytestorm Re:Kind of a problem ... (626 comments)

I only want the mod that disables reporting to external entities. Real safety features can stay in.

about 2 months ago

XMPP Operators Begin Requiring Encryption, Google Still Not Allowing TLS

bytestorm Re:Trust no-one. (121 comments)

Mom uses skype to talk to her friends. Mom asks why I'm not on skype because she wants to talk to me. Thus I'm running skype again.

But that's OK, she doesn't have my retroshare pgp pubkey. Nobody has the precious retroshare pgp pubkey. Trust no-one. My precious.

.PRECIOUS: theprecious %.gpg

.PHONY: hobbitses
find $(HOME) -name '*.gpg' -exec sudo tar --remove-files rf /root/pocket.tar {} +

about 2 months ago

Why Scientists Are Still Using FORTRAN in 2014

bytestorm Re:Workers still use shovels in 2014!!!!! (634 comments)

Fortran is a Paper-Handled Plastic Shovel +4 of SCIENCE, forged in the early days when the world was young upon the ancient IBM 704. A keen observer might still find where John Backus himself scrawled "F*@# ASM!" in the crossword puzzle, its margins filled with arcane formulae from which the secrets of missile guidance emerged. It has fought and won many battles as an agent of the Holy Maths against the forces of nature, problems inscrutable, and libelous apocrypha. In its wake are the algorithms and research papers which lay the foundations of our modern tools, many of which are still used behind the scenes today. It is a thing of great purity, not tainted by the crude indelicacies of ui design or text processing; these tasks it leaves to other tools. Numbers go in, solutions come out, transformed by algorithms proven true over so many years.

Do not so lightly cast aside a tool which has proven its worth many times over.

about 2 months ago

Japanese and Swiss Watchmakers Scoff At Smartwatches

bytestorm Re:Forgotten one's history? (399 comments)

Of the people I know who own high end timepieces, returning them to their holder at night where they rest consistently in nearly exactly the same spot is not a problem. It's just like handling jewelry; everything has its place.

about 3 months ago

ARIN Is Down To the Last /8 of IPv4 Addresses

bytestorm Re:About time! (306 comments)

To hyperbolically extend your argument, pretend you looking for an embedded systems kernel developer. Applicant A has worked on projects with hundreds of thousands of lines of PHP, so you should hire A because she can google it. Having direct knowledge is sometimes helpful.

about 3 months ago

Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

bytestorm Re:Setec Astronomy (390 comments)

Sorry, this is the full paragraph:

There are several Satoshi Nakamotos living in North America and beyond - both dead and alive - including a Ralph Lauren menswear designer in New York and another who died in Honolulu in 2008, according to the Social Security Index's Death Master File. There's even one on LinkedIn who claims to have started Bitcoin and is based in Japan. But none of these profiles seem to fit other known details and few of the leads proved credible. Of course, there is also the chance "Satoshi Nakamoto" is a pseudonym, but that raises the question why someone who wishes to remain anonymous would choose such a distinctive name. It was only while scouring a database that contained the registration cards of naturalized U.S. citizens that a Satoshi Nakamoto turned up whose profile and background offered a potential match. But it was not until after ordering his records from the National Archives and conducting many more interviews that a cohesive picture began to take shape.

Here is an archive link to the article as originally printed:

about 5 months ago

Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

bytestorm Re:Setec Astronomy (390 comments)

Late readers will note that the paragraph wiredog is quoting has been completely removed from the original Newsweek source, but it appears in quotation by other articles, for example, this washington post blog article:

The original paragraph was as parent quoted:

It was only while scouring a database that contained the registration cards of naturalized U.S. citizens that a Satoshi Nakamoto turned up whose profile and background offered a potential match. But it was not until after ordering his records from the National Archives and conducting many more interviews that a cohesive picture began to take shape.

The idea that anybody can search databases of federal government-curated vital records for a specific profile to identify any given person without proof of relationship or a court order is more than a little horrifying.

about 5 months ago

Why Games Should Be In the Public Domain

bytestorm Re:From the maker's perspective? (360 comments)

I think content publishers and creators are significantly more threatened by the value of old IP compared to new ones. Trying to compete with a massive back catalogue must appear daunting, despite intervening advances in technology and fashion. If anything, it seems like the prevailing strategy in software is to promote consumption of new content by forcing the unavailability of older content through IP enforcement. Aside from projects like GOG, I rarely see feature-sufficient older works maintained or sold even though the incremental cost to do so seems low after limiting support.

about 6 months ago

Time Warner Cable: No Consumer Demand For Gigabit Internet

bytestorm Re:not like google is doing it either (573 comments)

This is an old and invalid argument. According to US census data, almost 60% of americans live in population centers larger than 200k people, and most of those already have fiber infrastructure nearby for other reasons. Population density is not a valid reason we can't enjoy good networking infrastructure in large-ish cities.

about a year ago


bytestorm hasn't submitted any stories.


bytestorm has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Create a Slashdot Account