Beta
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### 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!

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### Learning and Maintaining a Large Inherited Codebase?

Re:30 to 40 thousand lines isn't large by any meas (532 comments)

> I find it helpful to [...] draw up finite state machines.

Unless his entire code is written in regular expressions (which, albeit, *would* be a total bitch to maintain), I don't think finite state machines are going to be very helfpul.

more than 4 years ago
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### Sex Offenders Must Hand Over Online Passwords

> Lol. Yeah, I know, those poor pedophiles and terrorists
> (both of which by definition imply a law being broken)
> are so tormented.

"Pedophile" does not imply that a law has been broken. It is not illegal to be a pedophile, it is illegal to engage in a sexual encounter with a minor. You can fantasise about it all you want.

As far as "terrorist" goes, that is one of the most vague and poorly-defined terms in America. People _are_ getting oppressed by having those terms placed on them and then not having any politician dare take a stand for fear of being ostracised.

> They should be "exterminated".

What, so, you should be killed for your own private thoughts? That's a little harsh, isn't it?

more than 5 years ago
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### Sex Offenders Must Hand Over Online Passwords

Right, then.

> That's that other part of the Constitution, you remember the
> one about double jeopardy. If someone got convicted and sentenced
> for lewd behavior, they can't increase the sentence afterward even
> if they discover that the person may have committed several
> rapes 15 years prior.

Are you bloody serious? Do us all a favour and look up terms before using them. Double jeapordy refers to being tried on the _same charge_ more than once. If you rape someone fifteen years ago and then get charged on some unrelated crime, you can still be charged on the original rape. They were never part of the sentence.

> So then the person goes free with little more than a slap on the wrist
> and the public feels they were let down by the Constitution and
> the system in general.

This is a much more nebulous statement, but I will dignify it by pointing out that if "the public feels let down by the constitution", that's no reason to break it, that's, at best, a reason to change it.

> This is why we have vigilante justice and people thinking like the GP,
> and for good reason. Sorry, I know the founding fathers meant well but
> the Constitution doesn't protect us from the real world as it is today.

That's not a reason to ignore it, that's a reason to fix it.

> Currently it serves to protect a criminally insane President and tons of
> his cronies but does nothing to protect us from the government itself
> so long as we continue to think that little piece of paper in D.C. is our
> savior.

Actually, the constitution doesn't protect this "criminally insane President". If anything, it limits his power. Tons of laws passed while he was in office do serve to protect him, but they are unrelated to the constitution and, in some cases, arguably directly infringing on it. And yes, I would like to think of "that little piece of paper in D.C" as my saviour. Or, more accurately, honest judges intelligently interpreting it.

more than 5 years ago
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### Sex Offenders Must Hand Over Online Passwords

I have to say, you missed the grandfather's point completely. I personally agree that comparing rapists and Jews is stretching it more than somewhat (I am ethnically Jewish, for the record, not that that's especially relevant) but that's all it is -- a bit stretching it. His point was that this is still unconstitutional and a slippery slope. Just because something is democratically decided doesn't make it constitutional. This is, IMHO (and IANAL, etc.) a clear violation of fourth amendment privacy rights, and a dangerous one at that.

What's really quite disturbing about all this is that it hardly stops the problem. Think about it -- what are some of the most "questionable" places on the Internet? IRC and 4chan come to mind as the top examples, and neither require passwords (for the most part). Besides, how are you supposed to know _which_ passwords to hand over? The court won't know about that password you set on your handle on Freenode and they're likely not going to know what to do with it if they had it ("There's no form! Oh noes!"). If these people still pose danger to society, then you should imprison them. All this will accomplish is give the government an easier way of oppressing people.

In a truly free country, all have to be protected, even child molesters (note, by the way, that the main discussion concerns "sex offenders" which is hardly the same thing). The problem is that we have a representative democracy and so the senator that's going to stand up for them is going to get his carreer ruined. With something as delicate as this, it might just be some guy who looked a girl the wrong way.

more than 5 years ago
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### An Ethical Question Regarding Ebooks

Re:Best use of the Kindle (715 comments)

Wait, I am pretty sure that you're wrong.

You can't photocopy books, whether or not it's for private use. You certainly can't format shift them.

more than 5 years ago
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Re:Well that sounds reasonable. (318 comments)

Do keep in mind that the thing is barely in beta. They're not really releasing it to the public. Besides, it's basically unenforceable, since the code is under a BSD license.

more than 6 years ago

# Submissions

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### Has city-wide Wi-Fi already been achieved?

hahafaha writes "There have been many announcements about plans to institute city-wide, free Wi-Fi. Most of these planned endeavours have failed. However, it seems to me that with the increasing amount of Wi-Fi offered in businesses, as well as the multitudes of unsecured networks in private residences, city-wide Wi-Fi has inadvertently already been achieved. In most densely populated cities, it is possible to find Wi-Fi almost anywhere. If you move into an apartment building, getting your own Internet access is rarely necessary, because there are dozens unsecured ones all around you. Is it possible that city-wide Wi-Fi is here already?"
top hahafaha writes "I am currently a high school student. My school offers a program by which students can graduate in three years rather than four, by essentially completing all the requirements. This is generally very difficult, because the school requires four years of math, science and English, but I am lucky enough to be in a position where I can easily do it by simply taking two English classes next year, for which I am already signed up (the way I am accomplishing this is by taking math a year ahead, and by taking two science courses this year). However, I am unsure how great of an idea it is in terms of admissions into college. How much would this harm my chances?

I think that academically, I am doing well. I am president of the Computer Club, participate in the math team, have good grades, etc. My dream is to get into MIT. But for any college/university, not just MIT, how much would early graduation hurt my chances? If I get great SAT scores, AP scores and GPA, would that outweigh the 5 (or so) less classes I take than everyone else? Note, also, that I am older than most others in my grade, so the whole age thing should not be a problem.

Does anyone in the Slashdot community have any experience with early graduation?"
top hahafaha writes "Raj Bhandari, a gas station owner in Wisconsin, offered a 2 cents/gallon discount for gas to seniors, and 3 cents/gallon to those that supported youth sports. However, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is threatening to penalize him for each discounted gallon, with the fine at a judge's discretion. According to the Department, he is violating Wisconsin's Unfair Sales Act, which requires stations to sell gas for about 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price."
top hahafaha writes "Introducing Google TiSP! From the article:

Sick of paying for broadband that you have to, well, pay for?

Introducing Google TiSP (BETA), our new FREE in-home wireless broadband service. Sign up today and we'll send you your TiSP self-installation kit, which includes setup guide, fiber-optic cable, spindle, wireless router and installation CD.

• Free, fast and highly reliable
• Easy to install — takes just minutes
• Vacuum-sealed to prevent water damage
"
top hahafaha writes "A story on Infowars summarized various RIAA court hearings, the most notable of which could shut down the Internet''.
RIAA's argument is that Miss Baker, a poor nursing student who lives in housing projects, should be prosecuted on the basis that "merely making files available on the internet is in and of itself a copyright infringement."

I know that this is very unlikely and dubious, but raises an interesting point. How far away are we from such an attack?"
top hahafaha writes "My 75-year old grandfather is a mathematician. As such, his computing needs are pretty small. They are essentially limited to browsing the web, reading his (web)mail, and writing essays and mathematical articles.

For his 75th birthday, he got a new computer. It is a decent machine, with a 2.16GhZ processor, 256MB ram, and, of course, Windows XP. Given his limited use of computers, I think that installing Ubuntu and configuring it to look like Windows would be quite good. Not only will he be using Free Software, he will be protected from viruses, spyware, etc.

The one problem is the mathematical articles. He used to use Formula Editor, a component of Microsoft Office. On Linux, most people use LaTeX. I use it myself and think that it would be the best option for him. The one problem is that he does not want to have to learn the actual tags.

So, my question: Is there a program out there which allows WYSIWYG editing of LaTeX? There are many programs which automatically print the LaTeX tags when buttons are clicked, but are there any that actually display exactly what it will look like (so, when you click the bold button, you actually get bold text and not \bf{})? Ideally, it would keep track of the corresponding LaTeX code in the background, and then compiles it to DVI or PDF (quite similar to programs like Frontpage, really)."

# Slashdot: News for Nerds

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.