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Software Error Caused Soyuz/Galileo Failure

readin Re:Testing is not verification. (154 comments)

Most programmers and software engineers have the limitations you mention because consumers don't want to pay for the high quality software we want to build for them. People who go into the field tend to have some OCD-like traits, and making 'perfect' software is what they want to do. But we're not given time so we learn to take short-cuts.

When software is used in places where it has to work the first time, we'll be more than happy to adapt to the new set of circumstances. There will likely be a few glitches as with any engineering discipline (anyone remember the Tocama Narrows Bridge?), but things will get better when the correctness of the software is important enough to pay for.

3 days ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

readin Re:meh (164 comments)

I can understand if there were any clear benefit to use the old imperial units, but there is none (zero, zilch, nada, other than nationalistic pride) and lots of downsides, so is about time you guys enter the 20 century and make life simpler for everyone.

Metric makes it so easy to get calculations wrong in ways that are hard to detect.

1. write you 'n' with 1.5 humps (a habit from writing cursive) or write your 'm' so that it looks like cursive when you didn't mean cursive, and suddenly a nm is a mm or a mm is a nm and your measurement is off by a factor of a million. In Metric all abbreviations in a given dimension differ by one letter, but in Human measurements they differ by 2 or more.

2. In Human measurements conversions usually require a bit of calculating rather than just decimal moving. A double-check shows clearly and easily whether you're in the right ball-bark. With the Reign of Terror measurements if you miscount on moving the decimal you're not likely to notice (or even bother to try) so you can easily be off by a factor of 10.

about two weeks ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

readin Re:meh (164 comments)

So everyone else makes a mistake and we're supposed to follow? How about if the rest of the world abandons metric and adopts some rational units instead?

about two weeks ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

readin Re:meh (164 comments)

America's military got serious about using metric in the 1950s. How have we done since then? When we were using good units we defeated the British, the Indians, the Mexicans, the Spanish, and were on the winning side of 2 world wars. Since adopting metric we've lost Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (though admittedly one can make a strong case for blaming all of those on Democratic politicians rather than on the military).

about three weeks ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Sick of Denialists (165 comments)

I'm so sick of Denialists who refuse to except the facts about Communism and the evil it created for hundreds of millions of people.and the threat that it posed to those not yet taken by it.

about 1 month ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (165 comments)

In simple terms the US used communism to implement its own version to control its citizens, we simply refer to it as propaganda, and it continues to this day now they are using terrorism, and this time they want to monitor everyone and every move they make whether they are a threat or just some brainless twit.

Just like we used Nazism to push millions of young men into government service.

Well no, sometimes the monsters are actually real. Look up the history of the Ukraine, and who started WWII in Europe by invading Poland, and the gulag, and...(I could go on and on but I need to get some sleep).

about 1 month ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:Lessons for today's world (165 comments)

Yep replace paranoia over communism with paranoia over terrorism and we have the NEW USA.

To get to paranoia over communism you have to replace paranoia over nazism.

You think it wrong to call the concern about Nazism "paranoia"? It is similarly wrong to call the concern about Communism "paranoia". Communists killed a whole lot of people. They were equally involved in the invasion of Poland that started WWII in Europe. They killed millions in Ukraine through forced starvation. Name something the Nazis did and you can find the equivalent in Communism (except for developing nice cars like the Volkswagen; the Communists didn't do anything like that.).

about 1 month ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (165 comments)

Of course you need to remember that the US government was infiltrated with communist spies and sympathizers. You only need to look at Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, Harry Hopkins and the Rosenbergs.

Good luck getting Communism Deniers to admit this. I would be happy if we can get them to admit that Russian Communism was just as evil as Nazism.

about 1 month ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:Lessons for today's world (165 comments)

McCarthyism, Salem witch trials, Inquisitions

One of these things doesn't belong here...

How many people were executed by McCarthyism? Sure, some careers were set back, but the same can be said of how we handle racism, sexism, and laws concerning homsexuality? People lose their jobs for speaking their minds due to fears the government will huge amounts of money to be taken from employers as a result of a lawsuit.

You have modern day examples of witchhunts but you choose one from 60 years ago. Why?

And the witches McCarthy were far more dangerous and worthy of being hunted.

about 1 month ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:Lessons for today's world (165 comments)

You are aware that the implementation of communism is a breach of fundamental human rights?

Any one party system is a breach of fundamental rights. I don't remember "property" in the "Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" quote. Are you arguing that you have the right to property?

The philosopher they were channeling had said life, liberty, body and property. Also the forerunner to the Declaration of Independence was the Virginia Declaration of rights which said "That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."

Later of course property was included as fundamental in the Fifth Amendment which said "No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" and again in the Fourteenth Amendment which says "...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Property is so fundamental that it was one of the earliest rights recognized. The Magna Carta says, "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land."

So yes, we all do have the right to property. It is fundamental.

about 1 month ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:Lessons for today's world (165 comments)

I wonder how many innocent people today have had themselves and their careers ruined by the NSA/GCHQ/TLA and how as a result we have all suffered by not benefiting from their work.

I wonder how many innocent people had themselves and their careers ruined by Communists. I seen numbers over 100 million just for people murdered by Communists. The number of careers ruined is many times that - both by simple matter of Communism not working and by deliberate attempts to deprive people of education (see the Cultural Revolution and talk to my physics professor who spent his college years on a farm rather than learning physics and researching). .

about 1 month ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

readin No ads is wonderful! (418 comments)

I lived in Taiwan for year. I loved not understanding the advertisements! It was so relaxing to stroll down a street without being assaulted by a million words struggling to get my attention.

about a month and a half ago
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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

readin Re:Good point (418 comments)

I sat down to watch Paddington Bear with my 19 month old son.

The advert that I couldn't skip was for a horror movie.

Thanks, youtube. That was *fantastic*.

It's not just Youtube. My wife took our elemtary age kids to see a Transformers movie. The pre-movie trailer was for Hostel.

about a month and a half ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

readin Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

Damn right. People can either choose to be poor and work at Wal-Mart and mooch food stamps from the rest of us, or they can simply decide to move to New York and become hedge fund managers. Libertardian: n. 1. An anarchist who wants to do away with government, but expects police protection from his slaves, judicial enforcement of contract law, and the free and unfettered use of a modern and magically maintained infrastructure. 2. Someone blithely unaware of the consequences and logical inconsistencies of the nonsense they're babbling.

Assuming you misspelled "Libertarian", a libertarian would be extremely opposed to slavery. A strict libertarian would expect infrastructure to be paid for by user fees. You're right though that police protection from slavers and other criminals, enforcement of contract law, and free and unfettered access to modern technologcy would be something a libertarian would expect.

Disclaimer: I used to be very libertarian. I'm not anymore because a healthy libertarian society requires people to be intelligent and rational, and long experience has taught me that in general we are neither.

about a month and a half ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

readin Well... (285 comments)

A guy told me some 20 years ago that he read about an artificial life experiment in which a specially designed operating system was created to allow programs to execute code and, like computer viruses, reproduce themselves while competing for the resources to do so. He said the result was a program that copied itself very efficiently in a manner that the researchers found very hard to understand and was totally unexpected.

Sadly he couldn't explain the details and didn't know the experiment, but if what is says is true, did it pass the Lovelace test? It certainly seems like something that could have occurred given the capabilities of computers at the time.

about 2 months ago
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A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

readin Re:stupid comparison (501 comments)

It would have made more sense to complement the 1000 foot measurement with a measurement in yards. But any physicist crazy enough to propose a huge wall around the American midwest is most likely crazy enough to use metric.

about 2 months ago
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A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

readin Re:better idea (501 comments)

To keep the guns out of Mexico, eh? Not such a bad idea ...

Yep. Amazing isn't it. The same wall that would keep undocumented people from entering the country would also help keep guns from getting to the drug lords in Mexico, and would also greatly reduce the amount of illegal drugs entering the country, and would prevent many other kinds of contraband from flowing across the border, and would also reduce human trafficking. And it would allow us to amnesty the illegal immigrants already here without fear of encouraging larger waves of future illegal immigrants (like the Reagan amnesty and the illegal Obama Dream Act did).

And if Democrats are to be believed about the usefulness of borrowing and spending, building a secure border would stimulate the economy as well.

However this wonderful border wouldn't help rich people keep wages low so corrupt members of both parties don't want it. And a secure border won't help Democrats tilt demographics in their favor so even the less corrupt Democrats don't want it. Not to mention that if the border were secured and our immigration problems largely solved the Democrats would have one less excuse for falsely accusing their opponents of racism. So we're not getting a secure border anytime soon, if ever.

about 2 months ago
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An MIT Dean's Defense of the Humanities

readin Re: I started with a Humanities Degree (264 comments)

No. I learned in 4th grade about different thinking styles. I can spell very well when I see things written down or when I'm writing. But listening or speaking is not something I do well. My wife is foreign and used to get very irritated at me when she would ask me what a word meant when she was reading, and I couldn't tell her when she spelled it out loud. It took her a while to learn that she either had to spell it very slowly or let me look at it.

Getting back to the 4th grade spelling test: when the teacher asked me a word and I had to spell it out loud, I suddenly discovered that I couldn't speak and spell at the same time. Translating what I would imagine on the written page into a spoken letter while keeping track of where I was in the word turned out to be extremely difficult for me.

I've improved over the years, but it didn't come naturally.

about 4 months ago
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An MIT Dean's Defense of the Humanities

readin Re:I started with a Humanities Degree (264 comments)

I've never understood why math/science/programming geeks are stereotypically bad at spelling (or language in general). It should be about the same kind of attention to detail in both cases.

Personally I'm excellent at spelling but it often doesn't come through in my writing because I'm in a hurry, I hate writing, and I'm such a critic of writing that I can't stand to go back and read my own stuff. Reading my own writing usually makes me cringe. This means I don't double check my writing. I'll notice someone use used "it's" instead of "its", but since I never read my own stuff I never correct my own stuff.

about 4 months ago

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