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!



Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

quantaman Re:Has it been working so far? (382 comments)

At the end of the day, he created and manages the largest open source project ever. More than 20 years on, it is still going strong. I am not about to find faults with his management style. People have been free to fork it and run with it. Nobody has done that. Perhaps a little bit of screaming every now and then is needed for this job.

He gave us Linux and he gave us git. Maybe we should stop nitpicking and say thank you for once.

The fact it's been a success doesn't mean it's been as successful as it could have been, nor does it mean it will continue to succeed in the future. The key to maintaining a successful project is to continually evaluate it. The current culture may work great, or it may be driving talented devs away from both the kernel and other projects that have followed its lead.

No one is doubting Linus' contributions, but that doesn't mean things can be even better.

3 days ago

Warner Brothers Announces 10 New DC Comics Movies

quantaman Re:I don't get it... (186 comments)

I never read comics when I was a kid.(well, thats not true, I read Heavy Metal)

I read sci-fi(Niven, Asimov, Bradbury, etc) and fantasy(Tolkien, Lovecraft, Howard, etc).

I don't get this thing with comics. Most of the comic book based films are ok at best...

Are they really going to make that many comic book based films?

That is just sad.

There are so many good sci-fi and fantasy books/stories out there.

It would be nice if something not ending in "man" was made into a film.

I think there's two factors. First successful comics consist of a long running series. Even the best science fictions stories are pretty niche on a society level, how many people have actually read Caves of Steel or Ringworld?

But as for comics, even someone like myself who never read a comic book is familiar with every character listen there besides Shazam and Cyborg. Every comic movie already has a huge potential audience already familiar with and sympathetic to the source material, it's hard for books to match that.

The second factor has to do with the nature of the form.

A great book for adults requires compelling ideas, these are generally communicated through dialogue and introspection.

A movie has to communicate ideas though visuals and emotion, to make a great adult book into a movie you have to strip out what made it great and try to communicate that in a completely new manner, it's possible (2001: A Space Odyssey) but it's hard. Asimov was mostly discussing ideas and dialogue, do you really think that will translate into a great movie?

It's no mistake that almost all the successful science fiction book adaptions have been from the young adult market. Young adult fiction requires a lot of action and easy philosophy to keep the interest up, the exact same formula that creates a smart action film.

Comics on the other hand are a visual medium already, they're written to communicate using similar amounts of dialogue and action, movies are even filmed with the aid of story boards that aren't much different from a comic. To translate a great comic into a great movie is mostly just a task of translating the style.

3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

quantaman Re:Leave them off your resume. (223 comments)

One hope is that the patents look good to the prospective employer on a resume, but I don't want them to take the existing IP for granted as part of the deal.

If it is not part of the deal then leave it off your resume.

If you worked for Oracle or Apple would they expect you to walk in the door with the source code to OS X or Oracle DB? If you mention an open source project you've worked on would they expect to get copyrights on all your contributions? Why should a patent be any different?

A resume isn't a business proposal saying what you'll do, it's a list of qualifications that shows what you've done. There should be absolutely no expectation that a license to any patents would be given to a future employer free of charge. If you think it will impress the employer and raise your chances then leave the patents on.

4 days ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

quantaman Re:PETA won't be happy until all animals are extin (367 comments)

It has nothing to do with the bodies, or the fact that they disposed of them illegally. It has to do with the deaths that provided so many bodies to dispose of.

An average dog pound euthanizes around 10% of their intake. Explain why PETA euthanizes over 90% of theirs.

As I said previously PETA claims that they focus their intake efforts on animals that are generally unsuitable for adoption.

Could PETA be lying about this? Of course. I wouldn't trust PETA about a load of other stuff.

But let me turn the question around, why do you think PETA euthanizes over 90% of their intakes?

PETA members are about as hardcore as you can get when it comes to animal rights, I don't understand what you think is driving them to needlessly kill animals.

5 days ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

quantaman Re:PETA won't be happy until all animals are extin (367 comments)

quantaman says: "Of all the things PETA is guilty of being callous towards animals is not one of them."



This isn't something that was made up by their detractors. It's cold hard facts PETA left in a dumpster for all the world to see.

And I've already discussed it previous comments in the thread. The only thing you seem to have added is criticism over how they dispose of the bodies, which raises the question of how you propose they dispose of the bodies, and why the body disposal method really matters in the first place.

5 days ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

quantaman Re:PETA won't be happy until all animals are extin (367 comments)

We get it, dude! You fucking work for PETA so they can do no wrong. You and the tranny can quit your bitching!

On the contrary I think PETA is completely ridiculous in their view of animal rights.

What I'm arguing against is bone-headed criticism of them. Of all the things PETA is guilty of being callous towards animals is not one of them.

about a week ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

quantaman Re:PETA won't be happy until all animals are extin (367 comments)

They do NOT need to take care of 30,000 animals year-round. Most adoption centers place their animals as quickly as possible. They use their networks of contacts, TV and radio, the internet, the newspapers, to place animals.

The local SPCA takes in 14,000 animals a year, and places 90% of them. They're not the only shelter in the area either. Now when you consider that PETA takes in just over that nation-wide, there's a problem.

So, the facts say otherwise. PETA is there for the benefit of PETA, first, last, whatever.

Well according to the source:

The majority of adoptable dogs are never brought through our doors (we refer them to local adoption groups and walk-in animal shelters). Most of the animals we house, rescue, find homes for, or put out of their misery come from miserable conditions, which often lead to successful prosecution and the banning of animal abusers from ever owning or abusing animals again.

So according to PETA the reason for their outsized euthanasia rate is their population of incoming animals is highly atypical.

Now you can assume they're lying and misleading, and the most extreme of the pro animal rights groups is also killing animals for fun, or you can consider the fact they're euthanizing those animals for a very good reason.

I don't understand why you're so convinced that these people who are so zealous they'll work for next to nothing are also killing animals for no cause.

about a week ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

quantaman Re:PETA won't be happy until all animals are extin (367 comments)

If the 90% euthanization rate within ONE DAY is true, then do you really think that is a fair amount of time to wait for someone to adopt the animal before putting it down? _one_ _day_.

If they have enough experience to know the animal won't get adopted then yes.

Think of it this way. PETA is the most extreme of the major animal rights organizations, they're staffed by people who are so passionate that they're willing to endure ridicule and crappy pay to work for them.

Now either these animal rights nutbags who won't even drink milk because it enslaves cows are at the same time committing a completely unnecessary massacre of pets every day. Or, you've completely underestimated the necessity of euthanization.

about a week ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

quantaman Re:PETA won't be happy until all animals are extin (367 comments)

Come on, putting down an animal just hours after you get it? Not using their network of supporters to say "here, we have these animals that need homes?"

Sure, if you know from experience that the particular animal will be almost impossible to place.

Given the fact that $35 million is completely insufficient to humanely care for that many animals what would you suggest they do instead?

They took in just under 30,000 animals. $35 million pays for a LOT of pet food (and pet food manufacturers are big donors to shelters, so even that expense can be mitigated). And shelters use volunteer staff, which, last time I volunteered, didn't cost them a penny.

Fostering animals out to temporary homes usually costs just the food, while the animal waits for a placement - and a lot of times those foster homes end up keeping the animal rather than let it go back to the pound.

$35 million a year, to place less than two thousand animals annually? Really? That's a pure for-profit business. Disgusting.

First PETA doesn't take in $35 million a year to place less than two thousand animals. They take in $35 million to do everything that PETA currently does which includes paying 300 employees.

And yes, they'd get some food donations and volunteers, but do you realize how much food donations and volunteers would be required to care for 30,000 animals? And that's just for one year, animals typically live longer than that and with a no-kill policy they'd soon end up housing over a hundred thousand animals. Unless you expect them to have a small city dedicated to caring for those animals euthanasia is your only option.

about a week ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

quantaman Re:PETA won't be happy until all animals are extin (367 comments)

I was skeptical about the claim that PETA euthanizes so many animals, but studies say it's true, and may even understate the situation.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services report on their investigation found that 94% of the animals given to PETA for adoption were instead euthanized, 90% within one day.

This is not ethical treatment of animals. There's no "nuance" here. Putting the vast majority of healthy pets to death rather than trying to find homes for them is cruel and highly unusual.

Of course, with $35 million in annual revenue, who can afford to take care of the animals, what with paying all the salaries for the people working for PETA to exploit them? PETA's job is to raise funds to pay PETA salaries. The animals are just raw material to be exploited, then tossed in a dumpster

I'm not a fan of PETA by any stretch but I can't criticize them for this.

I'm sure PETA would adopt out all of the animals they were given if there were enough people willing to adopt them. But the fact is there simply aren't that many people looking for pets, and the people who are looking generally don't want the kinds of pets who are given up for adoption.

So given there's no one to adopt those animals what do you propose they do with them? Pets require a lot of food and care, you basically have a choice between storing them in conditions that are slightly expensive and really horrific, really expensive and somewhat pleasant, or cheaply euthanizing them. Given the fact that $35 million is completely insufficient to humanely care for that many animals what would you suggest they do instead?

about a week ago

FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading

quantaman Re:Ok, but (574 comments)

Then they won't hire you.

Or maybe they'll still hire you, they just want your dirty laundry in the open.

It's like any politician, it's not the bad stuff you admitted to that gets you, it's the bad stuff you lied about.

If I'm the FBI I'm worried about my agents having undisclosed secrets, not just for the potential of people blackmailing them, but because defence attorneys might find out those dirty secrets, use them to discredit an investigator, and get a case thrown out.

In that light if an applicant is so secretive they won't even admit to something as inane as copyright infringement then how do you expect that they'll disclose the serious stuff. For instance that one of their former best friends is now a drug smuggler so you shouldn't assign them to investigate a rival cartel so it doesn't look like an attempt to eliminate the competition.

about a week ago

What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

quantaman Re:HE'LL BE 5' 6"... (254 comments)

Prior to Usain Bolt, the "experts" said that big/tall guys couldn't sprint. Bolt destroyed 100 years of such stupid speculations.

Now we have another set of stupid speculations about marathon running, almost certainly just as wrong.

Partially true though I think a factor there might be that height isn't a big factor. If height is only loosely correlated with sprinting speed then the typical height of elite sprinters will be the typical heights of the seed population.

As for marathon running they may be short because a shorter physiology is advantageous. Or may be short because the seed population (Ethiopians, Kenyans, Kalenjins particularly) is very short. If they can get taller with nutrition, and that doesn't adversely affect their running, then elite marathon runners may get taller too.

Given the $$$ incentives, we'll see 2:00:00 broken prior to 2020, and by someone previously unknown.

Very doubtful, to go from a 2:06:23 to 2:02:57 they needed to drop ~5 seconds/km, to drop below 2:00 they need to drop another ~5 seconds/km. Yes that's possible (and people can do it over the distance of a half marathon). But even assuming the current progression continues we're looking at another 16 years. If we assume the 16 years got a lot of the low hanging fruit (East African population getting access to elite coaching and training methods) we may start to see a stagnation in times.

But in the mean time, we'll see the world record broken perhaps another 25 times, because breaking the world record by 1 second pays just as well as breaking it by 10 seconds.

Google "Roland Matthes", who milked the system by breaking the world record by the minimal amount as many times as possible.

Well you've got 177 seconds to play with, which means you're projecting a 7 second margin for each increment, the typical margins have been 20-30 seconds though that will likely shrink the lower we go.

25 new world records by 2020 is a LOT harder than 2:00 by 2020. There's no risk of someone milking the system. Elite marathon runners have very short windows where they can set world records and they only do 2-3 marathons a year. even if you go in perfectly healthy and trained to have a WR shot not only do you need an ideal course (ie Berlin), but perfect weather too. For instance Reid Coolsaet has been trying to be the first Canadian to break the 2:10 barrier, and while he had a window of a few years where he was likely fast enough the factors never came together. Either no one else was at the right pace, the weather was poor, sick before the race, injury interfered with training, etc. He's still got a shot but the window is closing.

I wouldn't be shocked if 2:00 takes 25 world records, but if it does then we're looking at 2050 or 2075 to see it happen.

about a week ago

What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

quantaman Re:Summary (254 comments)

No, you're not quite there yet. To be an appropriate Slashdot summary it should go:

In the past sixteen (base 10) years, Marathon runners (people who run 42.195 km (or 26 miles) for recreation, god rest their souls) have cut the word record from 2 hours six minutes and twenty three seconds to 2 hours three minutes and twenty three seconds, further improvment's will become progressively harder to achieve.*

*spelling and punctuation errors intentional

Not to mention the motivation for this article was fact that the 2:03 minute barrier was just broken and the current world isn't 2:03:23 but 2:02:57.

about a week ago

MIT Study Finds Fault With Mars One Colony Concept

quantaman Re:Something More Modest (269 comments)

You know, the Moon's right there (*looking around briefly*), somewhere. The same template could be applied to establishing an observatory on either of the poles in one of those nice, permanently shady craters. It would be a lot cheaper, a lot safer and arguably add a great deal more to science. Is the Moon no longer sexy enough to capture people's imagination?

Exactly. I see two major advantages to a Moon base.

1) You have the ability to re-supply them on a reasonable schedule when you inevitably discover they need critical item X or they're all going to die.

2) People can come back so it doesn't have to be a one way trip.

If you want to go to Mars a Moon base should be a pre-requisite as a proof of concept to make sure your system actually works. Sure the environment is slightly more challenging but it doesn't compare to the challenge caused by the distance and gravity well of Mars. The fact they're not talking about going to the Moon tells me they're not really serious about going to Mars either.

about two weeks ago

Ebola Vaccine Trials Forcing Tough Choices

quantaman Re:Easy solution (178 comments)

The solution to this is easy, it's just ones America's puritan's can't swallow. You send over terminally ill volunteers who have a short time to live anyways. You use them as the non-vaccinated group. If they contract Ebola, you allow them an assisted death (OH THE HORROR/THINK OF BABY JESUS). Everyone wins.

So your control group consists of people in poor health and weak immune systems?

Any experimental intervension will look effective against that control.

about two weeks ago

Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

quantaman System designed for the wrong problem (283 comments)

The current research University system was designed for a period of rapid expansion. Post-secondary education started as a luxury available to the elite and turned into a standard part of the middle class experience. To expand the supply of teachers each Professor had to train multiple other Professors, even then this was insufficient so you could still get an tenure track position without a PhD.

But for the last few decades the percentage of University students has stabilized and the number of Professors with it. Thus the system designed to pump out Professors has created an oversupply, one of the places where those unused PhDs build up is in postdocs.

The solution is either to train fewer PhDs or to create more pure research jobs to use the PhDs we produce.

about two weeks ago

Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America

quantaman Re:So the Italians win the latest round ... (276 comments)

It's "Discovery by a civilized man", so Norsemen mustn't count.

Essentially, to discover a continent you apparently need:
1 - To be white.
2 - A cup of tea. (ideally, with biscuits)
3 - A towel.

To discover a continent you need to find a continent your culture wasn't previously aware of.

So early Native Americans discovered the Americas while coming over from Siberia.

A long time later the Thule (ancestors of the Inuit) also came from Siberia and discovered North America.

Then the Norse discovered the Americas from Europe, but that knowledge wasn't really preserved even among Norse culture.

Meaning the Americas were still available to be discovered by Columbus when he sailed over.

The reason we generally consider Columbus to discover North America is because most of us are culturally white Europeans and for us his was the discovery that stuck around.

If you consider an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon jungle, have one of those tribesmen go on a long journey and find Rio De Janeiro. Within his tribe I'd say that tribeman had discovered Rio De Janeiro.

about two weeks ago

Darth Vader, Yoda, Chewbacca Aim To Invade Ukraine's Govt. In Upcoming Elections

quantaman Re:Very suspisious (63 comments)

Svoboda and Pravy Sektor are not Putin's inventions...

Neither are the UK Independence party, Golden Dawn in Greece, the National Front in France, or the various Tea Party groups in the US, and in elections they all did about as well as Svoboda or better.

Do you think Britain, Greece, France, and the US are overrun by Nazis?

about two weeks ago

Darth Vader, Yoda, Chewbacca Aim To Invade Ukraine's Govt. In Upcoming Elections

quantaman Re:Very suspisious (63 comments)

I'm all for fun, but in a country that just overthrew a dictator and is fighting a war against separatists nutjobs, spending all this money for this, it's hard to think they are just doing that for fun. And as a star wars fan, using star wars characters for evil is really despicable. Fuck Putin.

Only a small section of the country is actively at war, outside of that region the conflict is a major issue, but it's not really going to affect their daily lives too much. They're still hugely concerned with the war, but they're still going to live their lives.

If anything this is a great idea, Putin's spent months selling the idea that Ukraine is overflowing with Nazi's. There's not much better way to counteract that narrative than to run Star Wars characters in the elections.

about two weeks ago



Ogg/Linux Friendly Portable Music Players

quantaman quantaman writes  |  more than 6 years ago

quantaman (517394) writes "I'm looking for a good portable music player to use for runs to/from work. There are two absolute requirements 1) it will work under Linux, and 2) it can play ogg, also since it's for running I suspect a flash based player is highly advisable. I was wondering what has worked for other people with similar requirements?

For Linux I've heard that specific support isn't really necessary beyond it showing up as a USB drive, however the Linux category on the wikipedia comparison page must be referring to something. I've also heard advice like getting an iPod + Rockbox, however there are possible downsides with putting on a 3rd party OS (ie warranty issues, a UI not quite made for the hardware), as well I'd much rather support a company who supports ogg and Linux out of the box. One popular choice for ogg/Linux seems to be iRiver, however I don't know if this is the only choice and this page seems to suggest it's Linux and ogg support isn't that great after all.

As well there's also the criteria of durability, sound quality (do the different players have differences that people besides audiophiles would care about?), size, and cost.

I know slashdot has covered this subject in the past but I'm sure things have changed since 2002."


quantaman has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?