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!



Record Wind Power Levels Trigger Energy Price Fall Across Europe

nxtw Re:bfd (226 comments)

More than half of my power comes from domestic hydro, wind, and landfill gas sources, with the rest most likely produced from nuclear and domestic sourced coal and natural gas.

about 8 months ago

Want To Kick Cocaine? Try Ritalin!

nxtw Re:Yeah, (5 comments)

Ritalin (speed) literally numbs your emotions - which is why it's used as a "solution" for situations like the one above.

Ritalin is methylphenidate, not amphetamine (speed).

Ritalin (speed) literally numbs your emotions

What is the scientific basis for this claim?

Methylphenidate and other dopaminergic stimulants can reduce hyperactivity for those with a genetic variant that affects the dopamine D4 receptor. Since D4 is also linked to emotional processing, this could explain a subjective reduction in emotions in some individuals. I think there are many people who do NOT feel emotional numbness on methylphenidate.

about a year ago

The Android Lag Fix That Really Wasn't

nxtw Re:Does it matter? (226 comments)

I can only speak for the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, but modern Android devices are faster in part because of software performance improvements. Android 4.1 and 4.2 both have performance improvements, and upgrading the Tab 2 from the 4.0 it came with to 4.1 or 4.2 makes the OS visibly faster. The Nexus 7 comes with Jelly Bean (can't recall if 4.1 or 4.2 out of the box), so everything is fast to begin with.

In this way, Android is similar to Mac OS X - initial releases were rather slow, and subsequent versions (10.1, 10.2, maybe 10.3) were faster simply because there was a lot of easy optimization work to be done.

As an iOS user I didn't really like Android until Jelly Bean.

about a year and a half ago

It looks like Apple has started paying for product placement

nxtw no, this is nothing new (1 comments)

I recall seeing this before.

They give devices away, but don't pay to have them shown:

Gavin Polone, who produces HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, says about the Apple-producers relationship that “Apple won’t pay to have their products featured, but they are more than willing to hand out an endless amount of computers, iPads, and iPhones. It’s kind of a graft situation.”

about a year and a half ago

Has 3D Film-Making Had Its Day?

nxtw Re:TVs (436 comments)

5:5 pulldown is real (playing each frame from a 24 fps source five times on a 120 Hz display), and does not involve motion interpolation. Watching content played at constant frame raters looks better, but it's a luxury many will find unnecessary.

Some people like motion interpoltaion too.

about a year and a half ago

Has 3D Film-Making Had Its Day?

nxtw Re:TVs (436 comments)

People aren't buying expensive TVs because they are 3D; they are buying high end TVs which mostly happen to have 3D.

Now if these 3D TVs had real 120 Hz input (for two frames of 1080p60 in 3D using shutter glasses) it might be a useful feature to use without the glasses on. But so far I think they all only support two frames of 1080p30 at most - standard HDMI doesn't have enough bandwidth, and newer spec hardware and cables are required.

With 48 fps movies, we may see more TVs using 240 Hz, but probably none with any high-bandwidth inputs, especially if 3D goes away.

about a year and a half ago

World IPv6 Launch Day Underway

nxtw Re:Define "enable?" (236 comments)

I think ipv6 is available across much (maybe most or all) of the Comcast network, but will only be usable with compatible clients with ipv6 DHCP support (and specifically DHCP6-PD for routers.) Most consumer routers that are currently deployed don't support IPv6 and some older ones that do might not work properly with prefix delegation. They may only enable it for modems that they have certified for IPv6.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Releases IOS Security Guide

nxtw Re:Too little too late Apple. (91 comments)

That must be why all these large organizations, from government agencies to paranoid corporations, are supporting iOS devices instead of or in addition to the more secure blackberry devices they already have.

more than 2 years ago

Texter Not Responsible For Textee's Car Accident, Rules Judge

nxtw Re:Who proved the collision was an accident? (200 comments)

The collision appears to be caused by negligence, and was not simply an accident.

The way I read the article, nothing suggests the collision was caused by negligence. I think the article would have been written differently if this was the case. An attentive driver might have resulted in a 25 mph collision instead of a 45 mph collision, or hitting a car in another lane to avoid hitting the motorcycle...

more than 2 years ago

Texter Not Responsible For Textee's Car Accident, Rules Judge

nxtw Re:775 fine for permanently disabling two people?! (200 comments)

FTA, the charge was "distracted driving", not something closer in meaning to "crashing into a vehicle/motorcycle and causing injury" or even "failure to control vehicle". The fine & speaking tour seems more reasonable to me considering it was for the distracted driving charge. I've known people to get more tickets in no-injury collisions.

Reading the article, it looks like this happened in 2009, and no other charges or details were mentioned - so I'm guessing there is more to the story here. There are many possibilities, but my guess is that the situation would have resulted in something happening even if the truck driver was paying full attention to the road - could have been a near miss, could have been a lower speed collision...

more than 2 years ago

Australian Govt Re-Kindles Office File Format War

nxtw Re:What about ODF? (119 comments)

Unreasonably accusing someone of dishonesty is a terrible way to start a reply.

I agree completely. But you still haven't explained how a RCS can determine the sequence of user actions performed within an application that led to a new state without being programmed to interact with the application, or the application being programmed to interact with the RCS.

The example in my previous comment demonstrated two different sequences of events that both lead to the same result given the same original state. How does the diff between two document versions get turned into Office-style tracked changes? In a typical application, this information is lost as soon as the undo buffer is cleared.

Here is another way of posing this question: If I open a file in a text editor, make a lot of changes, write it to disk with a new name, and quit, how can you reconstruct the undo buffer given only the original file and the new version of the file?

more than 2 years ago

Australian Govt Re-Kindles Office File Format War

nxtw Re:What about ODF? (119 comments)

I've worked with systems built upon traditional RCS components that enabled every feature you've described to be applied to any document, regardless of source format, extremely easily. These were internal systems, but they do exist.

I'm not sure if I can believe you. Such a system would have commercial value, and you should be able to refer us to the vendor.

Such a system would also need to have some awareness of the source format to approach the level of detail of change tracking in Office. For example, for ODF and OOXML, the RCS has to know at least to unzip the file and apply diff to the contents inside... and then there would have to be tools to do something with these diffs.
Assuming it can diff two documents, how does a RCS figure out the differences between these two short documents:

Today is Friday

today is the day Friday

These changes take less than a minute to make by a user, and without application-level support, a RCS will just have the state before the user opened the file and after they saved. But integrated change tracking will generate different sequences of events depending on how the user made the change. If they selected the entire line and pasted the new content:

  1. delete "Today is Friday" at position 0
  2. insert "today is the day Friday" at position 0

If they made each change individually, this will be reflected in the change history, and the changes will be logged in the order in which they were made, so this is only one of 24 possible sequences:

  1. delete "t" at position 0
  2. insert "t" at position 0
  3. insert "the day " at position 9
  4. apply italic formatting from position 17-19

A sophisticated RCS with differencing support that was aware of the file format could try to recreate a history like this (by assuming all changes were made from left to right), but can't actually determine the actual sequence and timing of the changes.

The difference seems trivial with a small sentence, but it is a lot more significant when editing a bigger paragraph.

more than 2 years ago

Australian Govt Re-Kindles Office File Format War

nxtw Re:Strawman detected (119 comments)

No, it's not; the external RCS being *strictly better* at management of changes is the valid reason.

As I explained in my other comments, traditional RCS doesn't do the the same thing as change tracking. RCS will only manage .

Not exposing yourself to risks is a bonus.

It's a similar risk to using white-out on paper.

more than 2 years ago

Australian Govt Re-Kindles Office File Format War

nxtw Re:What about ODF? (119 comments)

In my view, a document should be treated as a token, and modifications to that token should be handled by external systems.

Involving an external central repository is a lot more complex than storing changes inside a document, which can be easily copied, sent via email, etc. And as described in my earlier comment, RCS doesn't provide anywhere near the level of change detail and metadata-dependent approve/deny/comment abilities as integrated change tracking.

Inline change tracking allows me to write a document, enable change tracking, save it, give the document to someone else, and have them change the document and save it. This file could be sent via email, saved to a system that provides simple history functionality (like Dropbox), or even commited to a traditional RCS. If changes were exclusively tracked by an external system, this process would be a lot more difficult.

more than 2 years ago

Australian Govt Re-Kindles Office File Format War

nxtw Re:What about ODF? (119 comments)

Yes change tracking is most definitely better served by revision control systems... Many organisations have had the change tracking systems in programs like word come to bite them in the ass pretty badly as comments they thought had been removed were still visible...

Sometimes people want to easily communicate changes and comments with others. Accidental use of change tracking features is not a valid reason to prescribe the use of external RCS instead.

more than 2 years ago

Australian Govt Re-Kindles Office File Format War

nxtw Re:What about ODF? (119 comments)

but this seems like something better handled by revision control systems anyhow.

Integrated change tracking is a form of revision control system, embedded into some document formats and applications. It serves a different purpose than a traditional revision control system, and is useful in combination with a traditional RCS or a document management system with its own file-level revision tracking and approval systems (such as SharePoint or Alfresco).

Change tracking systems log a sequence of actions that led to the new state, store time and user metadata inline with these changes, and allow out-of-band content (comments) . The current state of a document with change tracking is (approved content + not yet approved changes + comments). In a traditional RCS, the current state of the document is just the approved content, as there's no approve/deny mechanism for individual changed sections and no metadata at the section level. ("section" here is the unit the RCS uses when differencing files - usually lines in a RCS used to manage source code changes, but in document change tracking, this is often just the part that was changed - could be a single character, could be an entire page of content, could be the metadata for a sentence, etc.)

In my view, a document should be treated as a token, and modifications to that token should be handled by external systems.

Changes should be tracked as they are made by the user. A traditional RCS tracks the differences in an entire file between the last change and the next commit, so it can't... unless every single change results in a separate (local) commit, and saving results in those commits being pushed to a new branch. But doing this requires the application to have support for change tracking, just with the backend being a RCS instead of inline metadata in the file. And then the individual changes can only be obtained and displayed to the user by getting all of the commits in the branch and replaying them, starting with the original state in-memory.
Using RCS in this way still doesn't solve the approve/reject feature of change tracking, it doesn't solve comments, and it makes showing individual changes a lot more difficult than just storing the changes with inline metadata.

Traditional RCS doesn't know how a change was made; the application does. Changing "this is GREAT" to "that is great" could be a single change (overwrite using paste from clipboard) or many changes in the order they were performed (change "this" to "that", change "GREAT" to "great", adding bold formatting to "great"). The application knows, and it can save this data.

Traditional RCS can be used to atomically track the file-level changes to a document, but it doesn't provide anywhere near the level of detail as change tracking. I don't use MS Office, but I believe it supports both embedded (in-file) change tracking and versioning at the document level (using SharePoint or something that can pretend to be close enough, which I think Alfresco might be able to do).

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft To Support CentOS Linux In Hyper-V

nxtw Re:Weird (291 comments)

I guess its an "official support" type of deal, not as if anything in the tech has changed.

Performance of the virtualized machines was great, the management of the VMs, however, is why you want VMWare if you're serious.

"support" is probably in the form of first-class integration software and drivers, possibly for improved I/O performance, time synchronization, shutdown, disk shadow support, etc.

more than 3 years ago

Algorithm Glitch Voids Outcome of US Green Card Lottery

nxtw Re:Well technically... (131 comments)

Other example: Apple introduced random playlists on iPods years ago. Now people noticed that some songs got played more than once before all others were played. Can't be random! There's a bug! Well, no. Still, Apple had to modify their software to make the choice actually LESS random (by have no song being played twice) to make it appear "really" random to the users.

I've never had an iPod with a random feature. However, it does have a shuffle feature, which implies that each song will be played once (assuming repeat is not enabled), and this is exactly what the feature does.

iTunes has a random Smart Playlist feature that can randomly select songs from a selected set of songs.

more than 3 years ago

Windows 8 Early Build Hints At Apple, WebOS Competitor - EWeek

nxtw Re:If they want to stay relevant... (375 comments)

Who's talking about kernels here.

You are. You said:

They should get on with the program and scrap the pile of shit they call Windows and build something around the UNIX kernel

You backpedaled quickly when I called you on something you must have known was wrong. There's nothing Microsoft could implement on a Unix kernel they couldn't implement on a Windows kernel.

You are dishonest, arrogant, and deluded.

Honestly, these things are completely unnecessary now, because desktop is not where it's at. Your comment and thinking is still stuck in the 90s desktop mentality (kind of like entire Microsoft).

Did you read the first half of my comment? I mentioned modern OS features used by all kinds of systems - whether it be a iOS device, desktop computer, web server, whatever - and described how these are not exclusive to Linux at all.

I'm talking about the Web 2.0 startup world, where Microsoft is literally dead (in the sense that no new Web startup is afraid of Microsoft or is worried Microsoft is going to destroy them).

Outside of Netscape and Opera, who has ever had this fear?

But you won't see Google or Facebook or any new Web startup deploying on their tools or OSes.

Of course not. But they do that because there are better and cheaper alternatives - not because Microsoft tools are fundamentally uncapable of running modern applications, and not because the unix way is the only way to run modern applications.

I'm 40 now, I learned my way around UNIX 25 years ago and kept at it.

I think your narrow focus on UNIX has blinded you.

more than 3 years ago


nxtw hasn't submitted any stories.


nxtw has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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>