top Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires
If you're talking about the Broderbund Printshop software, it works quite well under Wine.
top The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"
Screw Keurig. I got one of their machines for Christmas. Damned thing has already stopped working.
Going back to that 10 year old Mr. Coffee brewer.
It was convenient, but the aggravation of maintaining that piece of junk is not worth it.
top Amazon To Put Android In Set-top Box To Compete With Apple, Roku
If they would make a Chromecast app I'd be more than willing to buy movies through their service. I already have about 30 Google Play Movies titles but there are some titles in Amazon streaming that are not available. Until they make it viewable on my screen, I won't buy any more from them.
top Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration
Web developers have a different level of acceptability than in aerospace. I remember a code review for a tiny bit of code that did almost nothing but flash an LED on a failure condition. Three engineers, from three different areas had to approve the change. There was a code review board. There was paperwork and signoffs. Documentation had to include test results, cert results, someone's firstborn and a blood sacrifice to Moloch. The unfortunate engineer that submitted the code had to *defend* it in front of a room full of people whose chief entertainment was watching software guys squirm ("They ain't real engineers" "Here's a quarter kid. Go buy a real degree.").
In the last company where I worked, they changed web code on the fly. The developer edited code directly on the web server. An refresh from the client browser during the update could mean that the look of the page changed one moment to the next. Hell, there was one time when the whole webroot directory was renamed on the live server so the new site could be installed. Too bad for anyone browsing the old page...
Pshaw... You aerospace guys think you live on the edge? Change review? Bwahahaaha. Regression testing? You kid. Dev/Test/Stage/Prod migration? What are you, five?
top Ask Slashdot: Is Crowd Funding the Future of Sci-Fi?
Back in the day, writers earned their keep from underwriters (subscribers). I believe that with tools like Blender, relatively inexpensive broadcast and DVD quality cameras, the ability to collaborate across the world, cheap/cloud storage, and a plethora of amazing stories, we could back to that model. I for one would welcome alternatives to big studio garbage that assumes that because it has a spaceship or an alien race (aliens that look exactly like humans, especially) we'll just buy tickets.
And we often do, because the other "choices" are "Bad Grandma" and "Teen Love Story".
top Ask Slashdot: Is Crowd Funding the Future of Sci-Fi?
Some would argue that there are no genres. Everything is fluff around a few basic stories. Whether it was gods and warriors, kings, princesses or magical forests, the settings were just trappings around a quest or a boy meets girl or journey. I've heard folks argue that sci-fi requires some element of science to be truly sci-fi, but I think that precludes a lot of good fiction. There's a story about a machine that (placed railroads/mined/logged). It would be considered a folk tale today (or even a faux tale) but in its day might have the definition of sci-fi.
Anyhoo, one of my favorites new series is/was the BSG respin. I got lots and lots of flack for enjoying it. I consider excellent sci-fi, yet because it had religion and aspects of magic, many don't agree.
"Deep Impact" could be a variation of the Cyclops myths. Like the people on earth, they knew their death. How does a person deal with the knowledge of their future extinction? There are also many mythologies that foretell the end of the world. Whether by a Beast or a meteor, it explores similar ideas.
All said, I agree that much of what is called sci-fi today is drivel. Gorram Fox.
top Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor
We average about 50 hours a week, but there are weeks when it goes up to 60 or more. These aren't too often, however. Plus you know that scene in "Office Space" where we hear that there's a good amount of staring into space? There's some of that too. Take that out of my day and it's a more normal 40 hours of actual work.
The problem is in finding people. I interviewed over twenty candidates last year but no matter that the resumes read "Linux expert", many couldn't change a password expiration or expand an LV.
top Ask Slashdot: How Do You To Tell Your Client That His "Expert" Is an Idiot?
This happened to me. The boss man had "taken the initiative" and brought in a new consultant. The guy was an idiot. He opened tickets with the software vendor asking things like how to set the date on a Linux system. He told one of my co-workers that if the root password was lost, he'd need to boot with a rescue disk and do some trickery with
/etc/shadow. Tasked with building a cluster, he failed miserably blaming it on poor documentation and other nonsense. I tried many times to tell the boss man that his consultant was an idiot but was told I was being "combative" despite the guy's obvious failings.
It all worked out though. As this guy's contract was being renewed, we asked him to show what he'd done. All the lies he'd told the boss man evaporated when it was revealed that his cluster was just a cluster fuck, his vaunted "remote management" system was really just a "yum install webmin" (left unconfigured), and he'd informed another co-worker not to reveal where he was sitting.
Even years after, the boss man still insisted that the contractor "had fooled everyone."
So no, if the boss is an idiot, you may as well just distance yourself from the idiot. Let him dig his own grave.
top Getting Young Women Interested In Open Source
I am distressed by your high Slashdot UID.
top Getting Young Women Interested In Open Source
She seems to know her stuff. I show some of her videos to my daughter.
If someone cannot separate their libido from their technical and work related duties, then the problem is not Nixie Pixel's.
Does she lose credibility because she's attractive? I dunno. If anything, I'm more critical of the bubble-headed, "I played ResEvil so I'm a geek grrl!! lol" type. And actually, those types irritate the crap out of me. But looking at her vids, she has technical knowledge that's no worse than many others that I respect.
top Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year
Having Prime makes me more likely to buy an item. In fact, when I search I generally click the "Prime" filter. Many of the items I won't buy without Prime because the extra shipping discourages me
.It's not that I care all that much about the actual shipping cost, just the total price. When a retailer puts an artificially low price then tacks on a large shipping price then I get annoyed and don't buy from them. With Prime, I know the price I see is what I'll pay and have it there in two days.
I don't use the Prime video service because it sucks. I can't watch it on AppleTV or Chromecast natively and selection is quite poor.
top Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?
You know, I'm really old fashioned and like to browse books. Electronic browsing is not quite the same, however. What I have thought about doing:
On laminated plastic boards, about the height and width of a standard paperback but about as thick as a piece of cardboard, print out the covers of all sorts of books front and back. Use an RFID or QR Code sticker that can retrieve the book from the digital library. Place all the "books" on a browseable shelf. As a kid, browsing the local used book store or library was one of the few pleasures I could afford. I think this would meld the convenience and cost savings of a digital library with the fun of browsing a physical item.
about a month and a half ago
top Code Is Not Literature
Perl jokes aside, I have some old code written in everything from bash to C to R to Java. The common theme among these absolutely stunning pieces of literature is how incomprehensible some of it can be just a few months later. Sure, good code is self documenting, good code reads like a sentence, a proper module fits on one page of screen (I have a 24" display with better than 1920x1080 resolution, btw) but if my code were indeed prose, it would cause eyes to bleed, to hemorrhage, to explode in a fantastic fountain of blood and aqueous fluid.
Sometimes I wrote bits of code without knowing that there were easier ways. I may do a "for item in $(ls *.csv)" instead of the proper "for item in *.csv" or some furious hackery to manually rotate 20x10 matrix into a 10x20 (single command in several languages), or try to parse an XML file by regex'ing and other madness... Sometimes I was drunk. There was one class where the instructor didn't like "showoffs" so code had to be written using only the commands that were covered in the lecture. The resulting code from that class was horrid. One of my earliest bits of code from the 80s sent escape sequences to a printer and there are several strings with non-ASCII characters. There is no way to understand the code without knowing the printer. I have similar code for an Atari that stored music in a BASIC string. That might be possible to decode only if one understood how the Atari made sound.
about a month and a half ago
top US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"
Fifteen years? Frickin' hell.. Has it been that long?
top Streaming and Cord-Cutting Take a Toll On the Pay-TV Industry
All of these media "giants" became giants because they offered alternatives. Yet, they all think that their business model will be eternal. The studios fought against cassette tape recorders, VCRs, video rentals, streaming TV, MP3s, torrents, iTunes, time shifting. In other words, anything that made it more convenient for viewers to -- you know -- view their content was seen as something horrible. If they had their way, we would adjust our schedules around the 6PM Tuesday timeslot to watch some sitcom. Why do they fight technology so fiercely when they should be embracing it? Find out what people like to do and offer a solution... Or, develop a new way and people will flock to it.
top Experian Sold Social Security Numbers To ID Theft Service
Oh, wow. TFA looks more than just noise, but we don't know how true it is yet. That said, I've seen so many articles about companies disclaiming liability because the crimes were committed by a partner or subsidiary. I want to do that too. After all, if companies get the benefits of personhood, I think people should get the benefits that corporations do too. I'll spin off a subsidiary person. He'll do all the crimes (cutting off mattress tags, walking on the "Don't Walk", eating oatmeal without a spoon) and I can benefit. When someone bothers to check, I can raise up the mini-me and have them throw him in jail. I'll keep the profits.
top Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?
I run lots of statistical analyses. Most of the code is in R with some wrappers in Perl and some specific libraries in C. The R and Perl code is pretty much all my own. The C is almost entirely open source software with very minor changes to specify different libraries (I'm experimenting with some GPU computing code from NVidia). Most of the people who are doing similar things are using Python with R (or more specifically, the people I know who are doing the same thing are using Python/R).
An average run with a given data set takes approximately 20 minutes to complete on an 8-core AMD 8160. About 80% of the run is multi-threaded and all cores are pegged. The last bit is constrained mainly by network and disk speed.
You may consider using something like Java/Hadoop depending on your data and compute requirements. Though my Java code is just a step above the level of a grunting walrus, I've found that the performance is actually not that bad and can be pretty good in some cases.
Gravity: Can Film Ever Get the Science Right?
Yeah.. It's a fine line between telling an interesting story and just annoying half the audience. I don't mind so much if it's not central to the plot, but when a lynch pin device is so horrible, I get mad such as in the Angelina Jolie movie about bullets that could curve around in flight. That was one the worst, but there are so many.
top Valve Announces Linux-Based SteamOS
Good points, but Linux works great in my household.
I'm running mainly CentOS and Linux Mint. My GPUs are all Nvidia running the proprietary drivers. I flirted for a while with AMD/ATI but still too much nonsense getting them to work right. Wireless cards are from ThinkPengiun mainly, with one system using an Atheros driver. This Atheros system occasionally needs to be reset, so I added a script that does a module reload whenever the network glitches. Yes, I don't expect the average person to be able to do that, but I also had to Google how to shutdown a Windows 8 machine.
The hardware was chosen based on what got the most number of good reviews on Newegg.
All this is meaningless without an application stack. Most of my work is done either with a browser or a shell. Google Play and Amazon Prime movies work fine, as does Pandora, Slacker and the Google Music site. Netflix, notably, does not work though I am streaming Netflix to a Chromecast device as I speak. I disabled one Netflix account after I converted a Windows system over and it no longer worked. If Netlix is reading, I hope they note that they lost at least one subscription because Linux was not supported (yeah, I can get it to work via Wine trickery, but not worth my effort).
The wife uses some Java based financial software. She's still a Windows user, but the OS is pretty much irrelevant to her. I got her app stack working on CentOS (the Java software, browser apps and desktop links to some URLs.
The daughter uses some web apps, Minecraft (Java based), YouTube and other miscellany. She also plays Nexuiz occasionally and Left4Dead. All work fine.
top Don't Tie a Horse To a Tree and Other Open Data Lessons
There's a similar rule in many places. Supposedly the law is to stop folks who use their front yard as a business. I once lived a few houses away from someone who did this often and it was a nuisance. The family also sold cars and every few weeks there was a new vehicle with a 'For Sale' sign on their lot.