×

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!

Comments

top

Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

qwijibo Re:Attn: americans (519 comments)

It's the legal foundation our country is built upon. If there were sufficient agreement that the second amendment is detrimental, it could be eliminated through the amendment process.

Why does everything need a federal law anyway? There are state and local laws that could be used to address the concerns of people in high population density areas, and if there's enough benefit from those, the support for a federal law would bubble up from there.

Do you think people in the Bible Belt and California want to be governed by the same laws? There's no reason that different cultures should not be permitted to have laws appropriate to their communities.

43 minutes ago
top

Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

qwijibo Re:Where do you draw the line? (645 comments)

Rainbows are just an illusion created by the different refraction angles of sunlight coming through rain drops. Do you realize how large those pony farts would have to be to create rainbows? That's the kind of science that would win you an ig nobel award.

*I* have alternatives to running XP, but I'm also a Unix admin and programmer. I think it's fair to say the average person doesn't really get much choice once they get locked in to proprietary drivers, hardware, etc. The "don't buy it" argument is like the idea of original sin. By the time you have a choice, it's already been made for you. There are those who can and will rise above, but those people aren't in the bottom 99% of computer users.

about a week ago
top

Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

qwijibo Re:Where do you draw the line? (645 comments)

That may be a good idea for things like medical or aviation related devices where people can die if they fail. There are regulations in these fields for exactly this reason, and that's why it's such an expensive and long, drawn out process to bring new products to markets in highly regulated industries like these.

However, putting that burden on every industry would just move all technology jobs to countries without such regulations. Then what would you do to stop people from buying crappy, poorly supported products from those countries? Moving production doesn't help solve the underlying problem.

For software, it should be sufficient for them to release the code and let someone else take over the market they've given up on. Culturally, we only recognize the profit oriented side of business, and ignore the benefit to society that could come with allowing that intellectual property to go into the public domain once it's no longer commercially viable.

about two weeks ago
top

Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

qwijibo Re:Where do you draw the line? (645 comments)

With software, and by extension the hardware it requires, the lifespan is incredibly short compared with almost every other product out there. I'd like to see more companies release the software, code, etc. to the public domain as a formal way of walking away from it, but leaving customers with something more than "gee, must suck to be you" for support.

Borland released old versions of tools like Turbo C when it was no longer relevant commercially. Even though I paid for those tools when they were commercially relevant, I always liked the spirit of giving away old software. There's no cost to releasing it to the public domain. There are plenty of third world countries learning on and using technology that we throw away. There's a benefit to those people having software and learning technology but there's absolutely no money in it.

There are fringe cases where ongoing support is needed for really old systems. For example, I've been in machine shops with computers that drive CNC machines that run on 386's under DOS. As long as the machines keep working, it's a valuable part of running their business. Today it's nearly impossible to find replacement parts, but smarter shop owners bought extra pieces when they were disappearing from the market long ago. If something breaks, these people are willing to pay a premium to people who can help them. They know it's not a great situation, but it's much better than spending hundreds of thousands to replace everything that depends on old systems.

Proprietary interfaces, boards and drivers that integrate machinery with computers are the legacy components that makes it hard to replace these old systems. If they used an RS232 interface for low bandwidth data and Ethernet for higher bandwidth, it wouldn't be hard to reverse engineer what's going on and write software that runs on modern systems that could serve as a replacement. But a proprietary interface that requires an ISA slot and custom cables means there is no way to modernize that doesn't require new custom hardware.

The space shuttle is another good example of what happens when something is decades into its service life, but has components that were never expected to live that long. NASA can't just load everything on an iPad and hope each crew member bringing their own is enough fault tolerance and stands up to the extreme environment of space.

XP isn't all that old, as evidenced by the number of users who don't want to get off of it. It makes sense that Microsoft wants to get rid of it - there's no price for a support contract that would make it mutually beneficial to keep tech support trained on it and developers dedicated to working on it. But at the same time, Microsoft is not the kind of company that is likely to release it to the public domain either. The last thing they would want is an open source community picking it up, keeping it current with security patches and making it work on new hardware. That's the antithesis of the forced upgrade model.

about two weeks ago
top

Will Living On Mars Drive Us Crazy?

qwijibo Re:The irony of ethics. (150 comments)

Great, so there would be people who left earth forever only to get voted off of mars.

about two weeks ago
top

If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

qwijibo Re:It's a barter transaction (353 comments)

Anything the brings it down to buying something makes all of it look like commercial transactions. Instead of trying to fit into a loophole, it would be better if it fell under a different classification entirely.

Instead of miles, what if it were karma points and managed by a registered 501C3 religious institution? One person could contribute to society by driving for others, another can donate time to charity, etc. Each person gets and gives intangible religious benefit from the arrangement.

Would you have a problem giving a ride to someone and getting nothing in return, knowing that they are helping others too, such as:
Charity workers (e.g., soup kitchen)
Boy/Girl scout leaders/helpers
Volunteer for kids weekend sports

I carpool to work frequently. A coworker gave me rides to work for a couple months when I broke my hand. I've been driving the carpool for a couple of years since then. I get to use the carpool lane, collectively we create less pollution by leaving his truck behind, and I'm coming to work anyway. It's been a win-win arrangement for us.

about two weeks ago
top

Kim Dotcom Launches Political Party In New Zealand

qwijibo Re:Nazi? Maybe not. (133 comments)

Self promoting douche buys item that causes other people to talk about him. Looks like it worked. Any press is good press for some people.

about three weeks ago
top

Creationists Demand Equal Airtime With 'Cosmos'

qwijibo Re:They can use the religious channels (667 comments)

Why isn't there an entire TV service for each cult? They could only see things that match their beliefs 24x7, and leave the rest of us out of it.

Though, it would be nice to see an entire episode on Pastafarianism. Today's youth just don't have the attention span for a good short book anymore.

about three weeks ago
top

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

qwijibo Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (529 comments)

Children don't always take productive criticism or advice. In fact, many of them continue to blame everyone else for their situation for the rest of their lives.

I know I did my fair share of ignoring people I later learned were right all along. I used to think that adults were people who matured to realize that. But boy was I way the hell off there. All anyone needs to be an adult is to wait out the clock.

That gives me an idea for a children's cartoon - kinda like Thomas the Train, but call it Francis the Fence Post. Every episode can be 21 minutes of blaming someone else for everything bad that happens to poor Francis. But he's not really a fence post, he's a bitter little boy who believes he's a fence post because he's sitting in the middle of a fence and is too lazy to get up and do something.

I'm sure there would be millions of people who would identify with Francis and spend $29.95 on a T-shirt to express their unique comradery with Francis the Fence Post. What size do you want? Who am I kidding, all of the shirts will be XXXL. =)

BTW, you realize that we know who Woz is, not because of what he said, but what he DID. And by all accounts, he continues to use his smarts and money to help others. He's a totally kick ass role model if you need one.

about a month ago
top

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

qwijibo Re:Reality in the USA.... (529 comments)

Even our deficit is famous. Everyone knows we've got the biggest, baddest deficit around. We're #1, who cares if it's for something bad?

about a month ago
top

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

qwijibo Re:Higher SAT scores, etc (529 comments)

If it "ruined" your growth, it's only because you didn't try. As a wise man once said: it's better to have tried and failed than to have just failed.

Most of my public school education was a complete waste of time, but I didn't expect those people to help me. I learned computers on my own, read countless books on all sorts of topics on my own. Libraries, even sucky ones, are filled with tons of stuff you don't know.

I never asked for permission or for people to give me opportunities to try different things, I just did things that interested me. My programming teacher in high school talked to a local business owner and recommended me for a database programming job when I was 15. That was the first time I realized people would pay me to do stuff I enjoyed doing on my own time. None of that came from what the school gave me, but what I did on my own.

The only one who will ever help you is you. If that guy gave up on you, you're doomed.

And for those who are doomed: when I order something with onion rings and a shake, I don't need to be asked if I'd like fries and a drink with that.

about a month ago
top

Daylight Saving Time ...

qwijibo Re:Time to lose Daylight Savings Time (310 comments)

What logical arguments?

Is this about creating jobs for unskilled people to go door to door and offer a clock setting service?

about a month ago
top

Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

qwijibo Re:Pay is exactly where it should be (712 comments)

I don't think the school comment was about teachers - it was more likely referring to the increasing sizes of school district administration staff making 6 figures and contributing basically nothing to the education process.

about 2 months ago
top

Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

qwijibo Re:Etremely difficult for a programmer (717 comments)

I've been programming for most of my life and I find it to be relaxing. It's mentally challenging, but physically restful. I've felt like I had plenty of energy after working 80 hours a week doing programming. I would equate it to playing a video game - how many video game addicts say they gotta stop after 40 hours a week? There are lots of people who can easily put 60-80 hours a week into a game.

OTOH, 40 hours of project management drained everything from me and took longer than a weekend to recover from. It's just a matter of how a particular type of task affects the individual.

about 2 months ago
top

IBM Dumping $1 Billion Into New Watson Group

qwijibo Re:Just wait till it hits YOUR discipline (182 comments)

Watson may not be able to do the programming itself, but imagine if it took the requirements and/or expected inputs/outputs and found existing libraries that do most of the work. It could tell you what language that it would take the least work, the relative difference in complexity of choosing one language over another and the technologies that should be available. That would be a great benefit to an IBM project manager who needs to know what kind of programmer to hire and how long the contract should last.

If I have a problem that I could easily solve with a week of programming on a LAMP stack, I have no reason to research the topic and find out that 95% of the solution may already be available if only I were using .NET and Access. If it's a 6 month project on LAMP and 2 weeks in .NET, I don't have the experience to do the .NET solution, let alone in 2 weeks. On the other hand, if the application needs to be rock solid and I work in an environment with hundreds of Unix guys and one Windows admin, the .NET solution can't meet the business requirements. Many of these kinds of details can be factored into a robust knowledge base and help feed good recommendations.

If Watson could do some of the research, the programmer becomes more like a kid with a Lego kit but no instructions. Knowing you have all of the right parts and a picture of the end result makes it easier to create the step by step instructions.

about 3 months ago
top

Security Experts Call For Boycott of RSA Conference In NSA Protest

qwijibo Re:Bad Analogy (112 comments)

Swearing was implied, but I figured if someone at RSA wanted to own their evil, they'd want to jab at F-Secure for their vocal opposition.

"The researchers and experts who have pulled out include Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finland-based antivirus provider F-Secure, and Adam Langley and Chris Palmer, who work on security practices at Google."

about 3 months ago
top

Japan To Create a Nuclear Meltdown

qwijibo Environmental impact? (222 comments)

Are they going to do this in already contaminated areas, or are they going to potentially screw up some new place?

It's not unreasonable to want to know more from a scientific standpoint, but hopefully someone is asking "what if this goes worse than expected?"

about 3 months ago
top

Security Experts Call For Boycott of RSA Conference In NSA Protest

qwijibo Re:Bad Analogy (112 comments)

They could market it with a twist on google's "do no evil" motto:

RSA 2014 - All evil, all the time. F security, F US technology, and F YOU!

about 3 months ago
top

Searching the Internet For Evidence of Time Travelers

qwijibo Re:But seriously speaking ... (465 comments)

Typical glitch in the matrix. Your story would be easier to explain if it happened in Amsterdam. =)

One time, leaving a weekly lunch with friends, I commented that the weather was going to trigger the "earthquake weather" nut jobs. On my way back to work, there was a minor earthquake. It was under 5.0, so by California standards, it rates mention only on slow news days and ends up on the USGS daily summary. It would not have been memorable if the conditions didn't give me such a strong impression and if I didn't have multiple friends tell me about the quake that happened shortly (within the 45 minute commute back to work) after I said that.

Even though I'm strongly inclined towards the scientific mindset, these kinds of incidents strongly suggest there's a lot more going on than we understand.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

qwijibo hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

qwijibo has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...