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!



How Microwave Transmission Is Linking Financial Centers At Near-Light Speed

dwarfking Entrapment (236 comments)

But didn't we see that if they are using systems like this that a thief could steal the money by intercepting the transmission?

about a year ago

FTC Wins Huge $7.5 Million Penalty Against "Do Not Call" List Violator

dwarfking Re:Very nice (136 comments)

Please please please go after the "Is Kimberly" there Indian call centers. Every single freaking day we get at least one call from those annoying ----

about a year and a half ago

The Rebirth of PC Gaming? Bring On the Modders!

dwarfking Re:The questions developers ask (249 comments)

How could you forget Neverwinter Nights that gave more than a modding, it was a complete toolkit for the creation of whole new games? They published details of all data files and model formats, the community was awesome. Some modules were so good Bioware provided a forum for developers to sell them.

That was completely destroyed by Neverwinter Nights II where Atari decided to go with a gaming engine that used proprietary models and masked data file formats so that they could try to sell modules and addons themselves which failed miserably.

Would love to have a toolkit like that again with an enhance 3D engine and an improved scripting language. I spent many hours playing on custom servers and designing my own out.

more than 2 years ago

Plan to Slow Global Warming By Dumping Iron Sulphate into Oceans

dwarfking Re:Ending badly? (407 comments)

This so frustrates me. We do not have to get CO2 levels down to 350ppm to be safe as you put it. CO2 levels rising are not a direct threat to your life, it just changes the distribution of flora and fauna across the planet and potentially changes coastlines and weather patterns.

CO2 becomes toxic at levels of 1%, at 10% it can cause respiratory paralysis which can lead to death. Current CO2 levels are around 387ppmv which equates to roughly 0.0387%. So suffocating in an open space due to atmospheric CO2 levels would require those levels to increase 30x what they are now or roughly 10000 ppmv and there is no science that says CO2 levels will increase that much.

Now, yes a storm or rise in sea level could change your coastline and wash away your house, but coastlines changes and storms have been happening every since weather patterns first formed on this planet.

So yes maybe anthropogenic sources of increased CO2 might be causing concentrations to rise faster than they would have without it. But it is not a direct threat to you, indirect and inconvenient perhaps, but it doesn't make you any less safe than you are now.

more than 2 years ago

Do Online Educational Badges Threaten Conventional Education Models?

dwarfking Re:Gamification Fanboyism (294 comments)

Colleges and Universities (at least in the US) exist to support colleges, universities and professors. And I have heard former professors say the same thing, not just people like me.

The university system does not prepare students for work in the real world, it simply teaches them some basic theory. It isn't until a person gets out of school and goes into an apprenticeship model (depending on the career path) that students learn anything useful. The college system did a great job convincing HR managers that they should require college degrees when many times it isn't needed. All the degree shows is the candidate is willing to waste 4-5 years in a classroom.

I hit a glass ceiling 10 years ago, the company I worked at (where I was considered one of, if not the top, technical leader) said I could not get promoted without a degree, so I went and got a BS in Compute Science. I took classes with graduate students who (literally) did not know how to open a file stream in C++ and read individual words out of the file. I had to show them during labs. And these were the same people that would apply for jobs I had posted claiming they had Master Degrees and were deserving of higher salaries. The head of the Computer Science department asked if I would consider coming back and teaching after I graduated.

What we need in this country is to go back to the guild/apprenticeship model for people that plan to work. If you want to teach, want to do research, then let the universities focus on that. But if a person wants to implement, let OJT be the way to go. Stop requiring 4 year college degrees and stop penalizing highly skilled practitioners who learned their trade instead of sitting in classroom.

about 3 years ago

Actual Damages For 1 Download = Cost of a 1 License

dwarfking Re:The actual damages... (647 comments)

Consensus governance will likely never work in diverse societies, there are just too many opposing views and opinions. The places where it does work tend to be very homogeneous (aboriginal tribes in Canada for example).

Some governments have limited forms of consensus but simply stated there are just too many people who are too lazy to get involved and become learned in the issues. They'd rather listen to platitudes and 30 second attack ads and pull a lever.

Actually I think the United States started out correct, where each State was supposed to be allowed to govern their citizens however those citizen decided. The union of states was only meant as a means of defining a single entity to the outside world, but each State was supposed to be sovereign. Prior to the war between the States (which was completely un-Constitutional, there was not and still is no prohibition in the Constitution barring a State from seceding, so by the 10th Amendment a State has that right, but I digress), we were referred to as These United States, afterwards we became The United States.

Looking at what is happening around the world where there are riots and protests by those who have lived off government redistribution that can no longer be sustained, I wonder if the problem is simply that large, diverse populations simply can not exist as a single nation, that maybe small city states where like minded people can congregate is not a better long term survival model?

about 3 years ago

Feds Helped Coordinate Occupy X Crackdowns

dwarfking Re:Go with the simple over complex theory (803 comments)

Wait I'm confused, you make the point that A basic income has no preconditions for working, then you give a number for currently available handouts at around $600 and say that basic income in your view is $1000 (only about $400 more) but you also say if that isn't enough people could work for more.

So I'm confused, isn't this exactly how things are today? There is a group of people living off basic handouts from the government and a group of people that have decided they want more than the basic so they work for more. But now the first group is screaming how it is unfair the working group has more and the government should take it away and spread it out.

So maybe I'm missing something, but what you describe is exactly what is happening right now, except you left out the part where those on the basic level who don't want to work still want more.

more than 3 years ago

Healthcare Law Appealed To Supreme Court

dwarfking Re:What other products (1019 comments)

As others have pointed out, the Preamble does not bestow any powers, it is merely an introduction.

Now, inside the Constitution in the actual details, that phrase also exists in the Taxing and Spending clause (Article 1 Section 8 Clause 1), but is always taken out of context.

The text of the clause is:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Notice what follows the general Welfare -- of the United States (and this means the collection of States, not a federal republic).

Our nation was founded as a union of independent sovereign States. At the time of the writing each State had its own laws, own rules and many had their own currency. The Constitution was written to recognize those States were sovereign, but would come together collectively for defense and dealing with external nations. Prior to the civil war we referred to ourselves as these United States, after that war (which may also have been un-Constitutional since there is no prohibition against States leaving the union, so the 10th Amendment gives them the right to do so) we became known as the United States.

So the clause refers to the welfare of the States. There is absolutely no authority granted to the federal government to deal with welfare of the people. None of the so called entitlement programs is backed by Constitutional authority, neither are areas like education or EPA regulations that apply only to instate resources. Congress claims all of these powers under the Commerce Clause.

So no, the Constitution does not grant the federal government any say in the welfare of the citizens of the States.

more than 3 years ago

Oracle's Java Policies Are Destroying the Community

dwarfking Re:Oracle is awesome (314 comments)

Ok, so say Oracle does end up destroying the Java community and you get your wish that Java dies, what replaces it?

Java is huge in corporate development because Java provides a complete ecosystem. It is a supported platform, there are large numbers of trained developers, it has a huge pool of good quality external components available from the Apache projects for example. It works.

You can go from zero to a working webservice, complete with connections to a database in a couple of hours. With some decoration you can change that from being XML based to JSON based.

You can build 3D games, using OpenGL that perform remarkably well, so long as your target platform supports OpenGL (not a Java issue).

And you can do all of this in one language, with one development kit, some well known, well defined add-on libraries that you can deploy to multiple operating systems. Or you can use a number of other languages, if you prefer to code in a different style and don't like the wordiness of Java the language. Java the platform gives you this ability.

Call it the new Cobol if you like, be all smug. Doesn't matter to all the companies using it and developers making a living coding in it.

I would really like to know what could replace this? I have been concerned since the Oracle take over and have been trying, for example, to find an alternative to a simple webservice world.

Today I can download, unzip and fire up Tomcat and I'm ready to write code, or I can use Jetty and embed an HTTP server and servlet engine in my jar file and make it a single jar deployment. Yes I know, I have to install a JVM, which is a simple download and install. You do the same with Ruby, Python, Perl or PHP. With C/C++ you don't need a runtime, but you have to code for cross platform usability.

I've looked at Apache with modules and CGI, tried out Node.js and Seaside (Smalltalk). I've looked at RoR and some of what is available in the Python world. I'm even seeing what it takes to build a web server (using PocoLib) with a connected V8 Javascript engine for scripting (I'm aware of the V8CGI project that makes a module for Apache, but on Windows, I use the MinGW toolkit, not Microsoft tools, and I've not be able to successfully get that whole stack to build, Poco builds out of the box).

But none of these has the complete environment Java and Java frameworks offer.

So, for all of you wishing Java would go away, please, what is a complete replacement?

more than 3 years ago

Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi?

dwarfking "Original Series" (742 comments)

The part that continues to annoy me (more than the stupid name change) is how they continue to take and repackage BBC shows (Dr Who, Prime Evil, Merlin, Being Human, etc) and advertising them as "original series".

Now they don't directly claim it to be a SciFi channel (hate the new name) original but they make no mention of the fact they were originally on someone else's network. Almost seems like they are violating copyrights for profit.

I've actually started watching more BBC America, History and Discovery than SciFi, more interesting.

more than 3 years ago

Our Lazy Solar Dynamo — Hello Dalton Minimum?

dwarfking Re:No problem! (571 comments)

I've asked this question before, many times, and have yet to receive a reasonable answer from the climate change crowd, so I'll try again:

So what if the climate is changing? It has never been static, it never will be static. Weather patterns have changed continuously throughout Earth's history, when humans were not even present. Hell, previous changes could have been caused by all the methane released in dinosaur farts for all we know. Some areas of the world that are barren may become lush, others may become inhabitable, coast lines may change. Outside of the political implications of which nation is on top or not, so what? That's life, and humans will adapt.

about 4 years ago

'I Just Need a Programmer'

dwarfking Re:As a programmer (735 comments)

There's a saying I've heard that goes something like:

software that is 50% complete and ships provides 50% more functionality to users than software that strives for 100% completeness but never gets shipped

Getting software in the hands of users, even if it doesn't provide all the functionality they want up front, can give you a first mover advantage. Then, as you learn what your users like or request (which is almost guaranteed to change from your original idea as they start using it), you do iterative releases with new capabilities. By the time a competitor gets a really polished, complete system out the door, you'll already have a growing user base.

more than 4 years ago

Senate Panel Approves Website Shut-Down Bill

dwarfking Re:19-0? (390 comments)

No, it made it through the Judiciary committee of the Senate without opposition. A full vote from the Senate would still be needed to pass it along.

more than 4 years ago

Should Enterprise IT Give Back To Open Source?

dwarfking Re:Of course they *should*... (312 comments)

Sorry, but except in rare cases there is no CIO fiat without legal approval. In most large companies CIOs may choose the software, approve the software and even request the software, but it doesn't get used/bought/given back unless legal signs off on it.

more than 5 years ago

Cory Doctorow Draws the Line On Net Neutrality

dwarfking Re:Statist abuse (381 comments)

You young guys take note: When you hate someone for having what you do not, you bring curses upon your own head.

Funny, but at least in the US, this is today's way of life. Class/wealth envy is the most powerful tool being used by today's political elite to stay in power.

more than 5 years ago

Mac OS X Users Vulnerable To Major Java Flaw

dwarfking Re:Java and not javascript (306 comments)

Then you are very lucky, and likely don't work for a ginormous company whose only way to not make things in ActiveX is to make them in Java.

: ) Reason no 12939 not to work at a gigantic corporation. Having experienced working in large companies, I sympathise.

The funniest thing about large companies using web-apps for internal software is that most of them produce web-apps which depend on technology which is not truly cross-platform (Active-X, using a certain JVM, depending on a certain browser, etc), thus removing most of the business benefit of using a web application in the first place.

I'm not sure this is a totally correct assessment. Large companies tend to have defined desktop standards that they force all users to adhere to, even when they cause problems (i.e. full disk PGP encryption on a developers desktop work station because they might test with sensitive data). The standards apply to developers, call center and executive admins equally, so they don't really work well for any one group. This is the norm as a way to keep internal support costs down.

But, because of this standardization, the internal development staff only needs to target one defined platform, they aren't really worried about cross-platform support. So they'll use what ever tool they are familiar with or that will get them to the end product fastest, because internal development is also usually an expense (not a revenue generator) and those systems tend to be rushed to not waste money.

more than 5 years ago

Biden Reveals Location of Secret VP Bunker

dwarfking Re:Yeah, real big secret (550 comments)

Here's a question I've always wondered about, what happens if someone refuses to take the oath? Say for example you are brought into court under subpoena, and when you take the stand and they say Do you swear to tell the truth.. you answer with Nope, I don't. Could you be charged later with perjury or lying then?

Can't see that there is any way to force a person to take the oath, but knowing our system, I'm sure the judge would just say You're under oath anyway or hold you in contempt.

more than 5 years ago

Were Neanderthals Devoured By Humans?

dwarfking Re:how is it cannibalism? (502 comments)

Or how about A Boy and his Dog

Blood states "Well, I'd certainly say she had marvelous judgment, Albert, if not particularly good taste."

more than 5 years ago

Why Linux Is Not Yet Ready For the Desktop

dwarfking Re:Wine doesn't run everything (1365 comments)

While I also play WoW under Wine and agree it works reasonably well, I have to ask a simple question.

One reason WoW works reasonably under Wine is that it will use OpenGL and is not tied to DirectX. Many of the WoW developers are actually using Macs so the application could not be dependent on DirectX. And yet, there is no native Linux client produced for it, only native for Mac OS X and Windows.

As popular as the game is, and knowing it can run on a *nix variant, Blizzard still won't produce a native Linux client. So why do you suppose that is?

more than 5 years ago

RIAA Filed 62 New Cases In April Alone

dwarfking Re:Surprising (243 comments)

What you appear to be describing is not so much what I think of as simplification but more reduction. It is possible to simplify the laws but still cover all the same points, just make the laws clearer and in more readily understandable language.

But that aside, a bigger change we could make (at least in the US) is tort-reform to a loser-pays system. Lawsuit-lottery exists in the US simply because the lawyers know they can keep dragging it out because if their client loses, they aren't stuck with the law bills for the other side.

In the US system the lawyers always get paid, regardless of outcome. In a loser-pays model, a lawyer weighs the actual merits of a case before taking it because if his/her client loses, he/she runs the risk of not getting paid.

Of course every time tort-reform is introduced it gets defeated by the lobbying might of the trial lawyers (which many members of Congress are) and the late-night TV class action lawsuit-mill lawyers ("Were you denied Vanilla ice-cream with your birthday meal at Joe's Pizza Parlor? Well call us, we can help").

more than 5 years ago



Is the JVM the P-System of this decade?

dwarfking dwarfking writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dwarfking (95773) writes "For those that don't recall, in the late 70's and early 80's, there was a portable operating system referred to as P-System, which was really an interpreter for a software based machine. The primary language for this system was UCSD-Pascal and the compiler emitted P-Code instructions, but other languages used P-Code as well, such as Visual Basic.

When new hardware architectures were created, one of the first pieces of software ported was the P-Code interpreter. Then a compiler that ran on the P-Code was modified to emit machine code for the new hardware. The P-Code based compiler would then be compiled to native, thus boot strapping a compiler onto new architecture.

Today, the JVM fills a similar role. You can code in TCL, Python, COBOL, Ruby; functional languages like JScheme and Clojure; and scripting languages like JavaScript, Groovy and JavaFX and many others.

Then the resulting code can (theoretically) run everywhere the JVM and supporting JRE classes have been ported.

Researchers are using Java and the JVM to test out new theories in language development and Sun is working on Da Vinci to make porting other languages even easier.

One difference with the JVM and the old P-Code/P-System tools is that users of the JVM assume the presence of the JDK and nearly all of these languages that target the JVM expose Java objects.

So the questions be asked are
  1. Is the JVM becoming the default target hardware platform?
  2. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Why or why not?
  3. What types of enhancements does the software machine provided by the JVM need?
  4. Will future developers be conditioned to assume that their language of choice always provides the volume of components the JDK offers just like many of them today can only work if there is a graphical IDE avaliable?
  5. Now that Sun has open sourced it, how can we make it better?

Java SOA picking up, .NET slowing down

dwarfking dwarfking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dwarfking (95773) writes "There have been some pretty lively debates recently on Slashdot about whether Java is dying or not. This article discusses a survey that shows Java use for SOA going up while .NET use is dropping.

What was interesting though is the comment

"There's currently a lot of activity in the open source world, and particularly in the Eclipse communities, around SOA" says John Andrews, chief executive officer at Evans Data. "Most of the major players in that space are introducing new solutions aimed at SOA, and they are almost invariably Java-based. Open source SOA looks poised to become a real force in the industry and consequently a serious contender to .NET."

So is it the Eclipse tool which is able to compete with Visual Studio, or simply because Java is not vendor locked that is driving this?"

Link to Original Source

So how long before eating is a patented process?

dwarfking dwarfking writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dwarfking (95773) writes "The subject line is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the article about a lawsuite of the IP of a salad recipe is either funny or scary, depending on the outcome.

From the article:

But the legal action, one of the first in which a restaurant owner has gone to court over intellectual property, has opened up a veritable can of lobster tails over when culinary influences stray into imitation.

What seems to have upset Ms Charles in particular is Ed's Caesar, a $7 (£3.50) salad that she alleges in the legal action was taken from her own recipe. But Ms Charles acquired the recipe from her mother, who, in turn, wheedled it out of a chef in Los Angeles.

dwarfking dwarfking writes  |  more than 8 years ago

dwarfking (95773) writes "Over the last several months I have noticed that more and more often when I am searching for information on the web, I find myself starting at Wikipedia instead of Google. It used to be that the first hit on many of my Google searches linked to Wikipedia articles, so I started going there first.

I've found that except for searching for current events, by starting with Wikipedia I get a good explanation of the topic of interest and the pages generally have links to other good resources that are right on topic. No need to scroll through dozens of hits.

So my question to the slashdot community is, are others of you seeing similar shifts in your search usage and if so, do any of you think this could become a trend for the larger community? If so, then what could that potentially mean for Google?"

dwarfking dwarfking writes  |  more than 8 years ago

dwarfking (95773) writes "Ok, maybe I'm a little dense here, but isn't this plan more of an impact to the content provider than to the search engines. From the article:

In one example of how ACAP would work, a newspaper publisher could grant search engines permission to index its site, but specify that only select ones display articles for a limited time after paying a royalty.

So, ok, a search engine company decides it doesn't want to pay royalties and therefor doesn't index the provider's site. Now won't the provider actually lose readers since their articles won't be locatable by search anymore?"


dwarfking has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?