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Comments

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Domestic Surveillance Drones Could Spur Tougher Privacy Laws

fortapocalypse What's all the hubbub? (209 comments)

A hummingbird or an insect? A pellet gun and a fly swatter should do just nicely.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Tablet For Running a Real GNU/Linux Distribution?

fortapocalypse Re:HP Touchpad (277 comments)

I think "open source" just needs to get out of our vocabulary completely. It irks me when a project is "open source", but "no one is allowed to touch it except these few developers". It is either open, or it isn't. Instead call that "visible source". If it is open and community driven, it is "community source". If it is GNU, it is "free source".

more than 2 years ago
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HP Making webOS Open Source

fortapocalypse Sam Flynn did it (169 comments)

I saw him in the data center, and chased him onto the roof where he parachuted to a motorcycle, but we caught him!

more than 2 years ago
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HP Making webOS Open Source

fortapocalypse What good is this? (169 comments)

Unless you have something to run it on that you'd want to run it on, why does it matter?

more than 2 years ago
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Miyamoto Steps Down As Nintendo Game Design Head

fortapocalypse Write more games! (112 comments)

It's better to burn out than to fade away, Shigeru. Live strong!

more than 2 years ago
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DARPA Seeks App Developers For War App Store

fortapocalypse This isn't a joke (174 comments)

It makes sense for DARPA to do this, because it reduces the chance of a soldier using technology/software that is insecure. My first reaction was to laugh as well, but it makes a lot more since for the military to use an App Store, even more so than it does to have one in OS X and Windows.

more than 2 years ago
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Kepler Confirms Exoplanet Inside Star's Habitable Zone

fortapocalypse Re:Silly artist's conceptions. (257 comments)

Artist: "So what should this thing look like?"
NASA engineer: "It's 600 light-years away. How the @#$% should I know!"
Artist: "Picking a planet from an old Star Trek episode at random then."
NASA engineer: "Ok. But no funny stuff. Save the stars, rainbows, and unicorns for your acid trips."
Artist: "Nebulous clouds in the background- check."

more than 2 years ago
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Using a Tablet As Your Primary Computer

fortapocalypse Star Trek? (627 comments)

If Captain Kirk could do it, so can you! You need to be using Siri a lot more, and call it "Computer..."

But, I don't see how I could develop on a tablet. Too much depends on a thicker OS than iOS/Android.

more than 2 years ago
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How Does a Self-Taught Computer Geek Get Hired?

fortapocalypse Re:Why do you want to be hired? (523 comments)

I've eaten at restaurants that have failed, and sometimes I have no idea why they aren't a success. Price reasonable, food is good, location is about the same as the successful ones, but no customers.

If the location is about the same as the successful ones, then the problem could still be location. Or perhaps marketing/advertising. Or perhaps wrong market (food is good to you, but not to the clientele they should be targeting. Just to say it is "the luck of the draw" is wrong. There is good and bad luck, fate, blessing, curse, etc. but you can many times more be successful with the right preparation and experience.

more than 2 years ago
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The Futility of Developer Productivity Metrics

fortapocalypse Re:This is BS (203 comments)

Who's giving up? You really think you can speak for every one of us? Who died and made you God.

David Carradine.

more than 2 years ago
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Will NASA Ever Recover Apollo 13's Plutonium From the Ocean

fortapocalypse Yes, but only as political camoflauge (263 comments)

Keepin' it in their back pocket to recover when a distraction is needed from some other larger screw-up.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Patent Aims To Curb Obnoxious Employee Behavior

fortapocalypse Kinect-powered Spacely Space Sprockets computer (312 comments)

Security camera footage + Kinect technology + massive computational power and behavioral logic = "JETSON!!!!!"

more than 2 years ago
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The Futility of Developer Productivity Metrics

fortapocalypse Re:This is BS (203 comments)

That's what I said, but you said it more concisely. If this were code, your solution would probably have rated higher than mine. But, after many (too many) years as a developer now, I can say that programming is about as much an art as carpentry. You can do beautiful things with both, but in the end it is about the artifacts and how they are used. They *are* measurable, and providing decent metrics for software development *is* possible. The biggest problem is that we don't want to admit that it is just a really difficult problem; instead we give up. And giving up is what is BS.

more than 2 years ago
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The Futility of Developer Productivity Metrics

fortapocalypse Re:Problem (203 comments)

The first big problem though is lack of metrics and insight into what developers are doing. I worked on a team and helped implement big brother software on a large development team's computers. The problem was that there was too much data and the company that implemented the software then tried to provide inadequate visualization (e.g. 40% of time was spent on JSP/Java editing, 10% on a web browser, etc.) and just knowing *what* people are working on is not enough. You have to have metrics based on the output, so looking at source control has to play a part. The other metric that is important is customer satisfaction, number of customers, and possibly the effect of features/solutions on the amount of money made. That is the tough part to correlate to the work done. But without metrics, surveys, etc. you have nothing. And as Edie Brickell once said, "There's nothing I hate more than nothing."

more than 2 years ago
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The Futility of Developer Productivity Metrics

fortapocalypse This is BS (203 comments)

Measuring developer output/metrics effectively is a tough problem. Developers could solve it, but if they do, then they have to both change the way that they work and possibly work harder. Developers are smart enough to know that the metrics will be misused, even if the logic used to produce them is valid. Therefore, any solution will be ridiculed by the development community as insufficient, but the degree to which it is ridiculed will lessen as the solution improves. A solution though, is inevitable if development continues.

more than 2 years ago
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Doctor Who To Become Hollywood Feature Film

fortapocalypse Re:Lol (357 comments)

Please, Hollywood, don't spoil Doctor Who.

That's like asking the school bully not to beat you up and take your lunch money. He does it every day, he's going to do it every day, and now it's your turn.

I wouldn't go that far. In the case of Hitchhiker's Guide, there was just no way to ever do Douglas Adams justice. When he was alive the first movie was made, which was absolute crap and involved a papier-mâché second head on Zaphod, but everything else was forgettable. The hollywood movie did a good job on the "so long and thanks for the fish" song, but the rest was forgettable. Now the fact that only a papier-mâché head and a completely overdone song about dolphins leaving the earth are remembered from the video versions of Hitchhiker's is classic, and Adams possibly would have liked that rather than them being hailed as the bees' knees.

more than 2 years ago
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DOJ: Violating a Site's ToS Is a Crime

fortapocalypse Re:Wow, I first read that as "*isn't* a crime" (536 comments)

Tire sealant.

That was pretty specific. Is this a reference I am not understanding?

Have you ever done tire sealant? No? That's why.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Slashdot vs. Hacker News?

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 3 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "Other than being able to provide a longer summarization of a link, benefiting from greater segmentation, and just generally not being as yuppified and wannabe-tech-entrepreneur infested, what are the benefits of Slashdot over Hacker News and vice versa? And what do you see in the future of community-powered tech topic aggregation and commentary?"
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XKCD's Gone Unix

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 4 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "Unixkcd's interface is not unique. Many have chosen to switch to Unix as the primary interface for their sites. But, there is much to be said for their implementation- for example, their approach to viewing images in the terminal is crisp and refreshing. And most project managers and executives will start having to hire contractors to surf the web for them, which should help those currently unemployed with Unix experience to find jobs quickly. There is no Web 4.0. It is Unix from here-on-out."
Link to Original Source
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Dark Spot Spreading on Jupiter

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "A new dark spot on Jupiter, thought to be caused by a recent impact from an asteroid or comet, is growing. The L.A. Times reports that Leigh Fletcher, a planetary scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada-Flintridge, said today that "the bruise is growing and will probably continue to do so...". Isn't this starting to sound a little too much like Arthur C. Clarke's 2010?"
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Apple IIe Emulator Released for Wii

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "Yohanes Nugroho just released WiiApple, an Apple IIe Emulator for Wii. While the sound doesn't work, some games are playable (He shows a screenshot of Epyx Winter Games as well the execution of a program he wrote in BASIC. This is a great start for Yohanes, considering he just learned to develop applications for the Wii a few days before."
Link to Original Source
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Getting Started with Part-time Development Work?

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "I'm getting paid a good salary as a Java developer and the hours are great. It is also very stable, which means something in today's economy (especially with a family to feed). However, I'm very unmotivated both because of the work that I do (which is boring) and because the organization I work for is highly political, disorganized, and there is almost no accountability. I've done what I could to try to change things at work, and have pretty much given up on that. I've wanted to go out on my own (either starting my own company or just working as a contractor doing Java development), but I'm not sure of the best way to get started, and my family needs the stability of my current job, so I don't want to quit just yet. I'd really like to start out part-time (I could spare 5-15 hours a week, even though I know that is really not much) to use it as supplemental income (which my family really needs at the moment), but I really don't know where to start. (I doubt many contracting agencies would be interested in part-time work.) What would slashdotters suggest for someone in my position?"
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Comet Eradicated Clovis People 12,900 Yrs Ago?

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post writes: "Something dramatic happened about 12,900 years ago, and the continent of North America was never the same. A thriving culture of Paleo-Americans, known as the Clovis people, vanished seemingly overnight. Gone, too, were most of the largest animals: horses, camels, lions, mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, ground sloths and giant armadillos." While disputing the current hypothesis, NASA's David Morrison admits "They may have discovered something absolutely marvelous and unexplained.""
Link to Original Source
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Dividing Server Responsibilities in Larger Teams

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "As IT/Dev teams get larger, at what point does it make most sense for there to be a team fully focused on production maintenance of a web application and its server environment, where the dev team is hands off of production? To me, it seems like organizations that have dedicated teams to handle all aspects of production are better off than those in which there is a blurry line between development and ops/system administration teams in production, at least when the team gets large enough. Where is that line? Do you agree with this?"
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Virtual Peace Sim Game Based on America's Army

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "Duke University in collaboration with Virtual Heroes (who created America's Army) has produced a game called Virtual Peace, the intention of which is to help the gamer develop disaster relief and conflict resolution skills. Virtual Peace also is the winner of the HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition according to an article published by the university."
Link to Original Source
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The "Right" Programming Language for a Sta

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "If new graduates of computer science and others just starting out professionally in software development were to have their choice, what programming language(s) would they most want to use in their job? If you were going to start up a company based on some new SaaS app you were to write in the next year, what language(s) would you choose to write it in and why? Is it more important to choose a language because you know it best, because you perceive it to be the best for the job technically, because it would be easier to attract cheaper developers interested in it, or because it is currently more mainstream and you would have a greater selection of developers if you needed to hire more at some point in the next few-several years?"
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Declining Interest in Classic Gaming or in Google?

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "Querying classic gaming and roms in Google Trends) seems to show declining interest in classic gaming over the past few years. However, more generic search terms also show decline. Are people starting to use Google less than they used to? If it is true that people are spending less time in Google, is this because of increased use of blogs, microblogs (Twitter, etc.), IM, and social networking apps? Are people playing games more than they used to? Are people spending less time on the net? Or am I just not seeing the big picture?"
Link to Original Source
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Hackable Atari 2600-style USB Joystick

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  about 6 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "Legacy Engineering Group that brought you the Atari Flashback and Atari Flackback 2 have created a very low cost (under $15 USD) Atari 2600-style joystick. According to Legacy Engineering's Curt Vendel, it has the exact same feel and tension response as the Flashback 2 joysticks. It includes a 6' USB cable (which can be disconnected from the joystick), and for those that like to hack hardware, there are 10 additional fire button contacts. People have already started talking about trying to hack it to use paddles."
Link to Original Source
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Atari 2600-style USB Joystick Released

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  about 6 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "The guys at Legacy Engineering Group that brought you the Atari Flashback 2 have created a very low cost Atari 2600-style joystick orderable now for possible delivery in the holidays. In dark economic times, this should prove to be a big seller, especially for the classic gamers/retrogamers on your list: http://www.legacyengineer.com/"
Link to Original Source
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Routing Issue to Port 13 on NIST Servers Fixed

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "Port 13 (Daylight Time Protocol service used by NIST clients and other software) was blocked on some central NIST time servers (such as time-a.nist.gov and time-b.nist.gov) but not others (such as time.nist.gov). NIST acknowledged this issue and said is fixed, "Okay, it should be fixed now. It may take a few minutes for the fix to appear for all routes, but it should be okay in less than 20 minutes (by 8 am Mountain Time). Let me know if it doesn't work pretty soon. Thanks for the note and sorry for the problem. I would have found it sooner except that it worked using my network connection at home ... Never a dull moment.' -Judah Levine, Time and Frequency Division, NIST Boulder"
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Network Issue Blocks Access to Some NIST Servers

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "The NIST client software by default and other programs that use the Daytime Protocol (RFC-867) have been having trouble since yesterday trying to contact some of the NIST servers (port 13 on time-a.nist.gov and time-b.nist.gov). NIST is currently looking into the issue, as stated this morning: 'It is some kind of network problem. The server is working just fine, and I can connect to port 13 from my house but not from my coffee place. So there is a route somewhere that is blocking the connection and either you see it or you don't depending on your route. Let me see if I can trace out what is going on.' -Judah Levine, Time and Frequency Division, NIST Boulder. In the meantime, it looks like daytime protocol on time.nist.gov port 13 works."
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Some NIST Time Servers Down

fortapocalypse fortapocalypse writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fortapocalypse (1231686) writes "Appears that some of the U.S. national time servers (time-a.nist.gov and time-b.nist.gov) may currently be down or for some reason are not responding. For a list including some other servers that work, see http://tf.nist.gov/service/time-servers.html ... Could anyone suggest what time servers we could use that might be more robust? Appears that time.nist.gov works currently."

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