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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

swillden Re:Does the job still get done? (638 comments)

I used the phrase "thinkers", not "elites". Those groups I "give credit" to are huge. I don't hesitate for a moment that there are members of those groups who have the intelligence at hand and the foresight to see where things are going and to prepare for them. Lumping everyone in those groups as either/or doesn't make sense.

Regardless, you still give them way, way too much credit.

yesterday
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

swillden Re:Does the job still get done? (638 comments)

he "thinkers" in govt, business and academia know this. The increasing militarization of the police, the complete disregard for the Constitution, the NSA monitoring everything, etc is getting ready for this.

You give the elites credit for way, way too much foresight, organization and discipline.

yesterday
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Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

swillden When nearly all of your readers block ads... (152 comments)

When nearly all of your readers block ads, it's tough to make it as an ad-supported site.

(Yes, I have AdBlockPlus installed, too.)

2 days ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

swillden Re:this is something Google does a bit better (593 comments)

There is a place in the Dalles, Oregon where Google maps will try to make you take a left through a guard rail and off a 30ft tall retaining wall. To be fair the street does continue down there.

Have you submitted a correction?

If not, please post a link to the location, so I can.

3 days ago
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Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

swillden Re:A step too far? (191 comments)

By what realistic measure did AEDE expect Google to pay, when it outright stated that it'd shut down in Germany before paying? Did they expect Spain to be different?

Basically, yes, they thought that Spain would be different.

I think their assumption was that the Germans were a bunch of savages squatting in the ruins of a civilization that could safely be ignored, but that SPAIN! was still the center of civilized culture in the world, and therefore the rules were different.

I think they thought that Spain would be different because surely Google couldn't refuse to show snippets for all Spanish publishers. They assumed the German ruling didn't have the same clout because obviously many publishers would opt out.

Alternatively, I've seen it suggested that the Spanish knew exactly what would happen, and it's what they wanted. Or, more precisely, it's what the big, influential publishers wanted, because their size allows them to attract more visitors directly to their home pages, at the expense of smaller publishers. Another Slashdot poster claimed that it was political horse trading between big news organizations who are pro-government and the government to shut out smaller (and anti-government) news organizations, with an understanding that if the change hurt the big orgs too badly, the government would funnel cash to them to prop them up.

I don't know anything about Spanish politics, but those possibilities seem believable, and perhaps more believable than that Spanish lawmakers didn't believe Google would just shut down Google News in Spain.

3 days ago
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Judge Rules Drug Maker Cannot Halt Sales of Alzheimer's Medicine

swillden Re:Can you say... (263 comments)

What that strongly suggests to me is that as a society we place more value on preserving human life regardless of cost, regardless of the fact that this cannot properly be handled in any environment.

FTFY.

4 days ago
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Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

swillden Re:A step too far? (191 comments)

Spanish legislation went further than the German ones - The German court decision merely gave the right to charge, but per the article the Spanish one mandated charging.

Keep in mind that wasn't an accidental difference. In Germany, the publishers that opted out of the scheme (and kept their presence in Google News) benefited from absence of those who didn't opt out, which created a motive for all publishers to opt out in a sort of tragedy of the commons situation. The Spanish lawmakers wanted to prevent that.

4 days ago
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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

swillden Re:NO DRM! (432 comments)

Everything else has DRM.

Well, if by "everything else" you mean "nothing". Can you show me a seller of digital music that still does DRM, because as far as I can tell they've all abandoned it.

4 days ago
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Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

swillden Re:Similar to Affirmative Action - a white man (305 comments)

And the other half of this is that students who not only have the pre-requisites but have already learned the course material should be able to test out. Perhaps required to test out, because cocky young know-it-alls can be distracting, and perhaps intimidating, to the rest of the class.

4 days ago
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Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015

swillden Re:I'm not complaining (75 comments)

That's fine for APIs that require registration. But I use the Calendar API. It doesn't require registration, and like many people I was caught out on the hop on November 17th when the v2 API was shut down. Like I said I'm not complaining. The v3 API is superior, but I would like to know if there is simple notification system available.

Well, in that case I think the best answer is to pay attention. I mean, the v2 API deprecation was announced at least three years prior to the shutdown. I don't know exactly when, but there are mailing list posts from 2011 telling people that v1 and v2 were deprecated and v3 should be used.

5 days ago
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Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015

swillden Re:I'm not complaining (75 comments)

does Google have a single source for announcements like this?

I believe developers who have registered to use a particular API are notified by e-mail of changes to that API.

5 days ago
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Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

swillden Re:Learning through repetition (514 comments)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.ale.openwatch

That plus a phone is not quite the dedicated device you're looking for, but it could be pretty close.

It streams low-quality video to a server in real-time, as well as storing high-quality video locally. Another thing it should do (don't know if it does, but it's open source; I may see if I can add this feature) is that when you activate it, it should lock your phone automatically. You could still be forced to unlock and disable it, but they couldn't do it themselves, and their intimidating you to do it would be on the livestreamed record. Or they could smash it or remove the battery (if your phone has a removable battery); there a purpose-built device would have a big advantage. And I'd think it would support BT external mics and cameras just fine.

about a week ago
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Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

swillden Re:Pay with the pension fund! (514 comments)

I think there's a much simpler and less arbitrary method: Prosecute them for the crimes commit. If I knocked you down, beat you up, took your phone, erased your data and refused to let you go, I'd have committed several serious crimes including assault and battery, theft, vandalism and unlawful imprisonment. Now, if these actions were actually necessary in the pursuit of an arrest, those are justified. But the actions that were not necessary in the execution of their proper duties were not justified and should be prosecuted.

It's simple, and doesn't require any changes to law or policy. It just requires that DAs be willing to do their jobs.

about a week ago
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Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia

swillden Re:First part seems good (157 comments)

It seems though that it will in this case only give the government more control over your data.

I think this is the deeper reasoning behind most such moves all over the world. We've seen a lot of motion in this direction after Snowden's revelations, but I think it's less about worry that the US government may have too much access to countries' citizens' data than it is about the insight that if the data is within their borders then they can get it. Oh, I suspect that lawmakers in many countries who are citing the former rationale really mean what they say... but that they're being advised and encouraged by their own governments' bureacracies and security services for the latter rationale.

about a week ago
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Google News To Shut Down In Spain On December 16th

swillden Re:They will either change their mind (183 comments)

Publishers cannot relent.

Of course they can. They can go back to the same politicians they bamboozled the first time, and say "oops!" and get the law repealed.

True. I suspect it won't happen, though, because the most influential publishers are also the ones who will be least harmed. And, if you believe other commenters with more knowledge of Spanish politics, the ones who will be propped up by government funding should they be hurt too much.

about a week ago
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Google News To Shut Down In Spain On December 16th

swillden Re:They will either change their mind (183 comments)

They won't change their minds - not until it's too late (which, for many of them, it already is). It's already been tried elsewhere, with negative results:

I think google should move to comply with this IMMEDIATELY, as in they should have stopped aggregating these publishers within minutes of the law becoming effective. And then when publishers do relent, I think they should take a few weeks, at least, to start making that content available. Just my opinion ;-)

Publishers cannot relent. The law doesn't allow them to require payment for snippets (like the German law did), it requires them to require payment. Which is why Google is shutting Google News down entirely in Spain... since all Spanish publisher are required to get paid, and Google isn't going to pay them, there will be no Spanish content for the Spanish Google News, making it useless.

about a week ago
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Google News To Shut Down In Spain On December 16th

swillden Re: They will either change their mind (183 comments)

Google has very big pockets. They just don't want to pay for content.

Particularly for a service which doesn't generate any revenue.

about a week ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

swillden Re:C++ is C (641 comments)

Private and unimplemented is the key, on old compilers.

On new compilers use:

class MyClass {
MyClass(const MyClass&) = delete;
// ...

Doesn't matter what access specifier you use, because any attempt, from any code, to copy a MyClass will be diagnosed as an error by the compiler.

about a week ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

swillden Re: Very much so! (641 comments)

the reality is if you are given code to work with and you see i = j * 5, if it's C you know what it does; if it's C++, you don't, regardless of who wrote it.

Nonsense. The only way you don't know what that means in C++ is if the code was written by a complete, drooling idiot.

Seriously, this is the first thing C programmers pull out to criticize C++... but in 23 years of professional C++ programming, I have never seen bizarre arithmetic operator overloading used in practice, except for iostreams, and you get used to that pretty quickly, given that it's been part of the standard library since very early on.

I have a few times seen libraries of mathematical operations, say on vectors or tensors, that made heavy use of arithmetic operator overloading, but it was so they could say "i = j * 5" where i and j are n-dimensional matrices. In those cases, operator overloading not only makes sense, it's a dramatic improvement over C.

If you want to criticize C++, there are lots of valid criticisms, mostly around the huge variety of features and the complexity of their interactions, which can get really subtle. And you can criticize many of the insane template metaprogramming constructs (though those can be really useful sometimes, particularly in building up infrastructure that allow the compiler to diagnose all sorts of errors you might make). If you don't like "invisible" stuff, you can criticize the abuses that can be made of constructors and destructors. But operator overloading? Faugh.

about two weeks ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

swillden Re:C++ is C (641 comments)

always implementing the big three (default constructor, copy constructor and = operator.)

Or, in the case of the last two, intentionally declaring them private and NOT implementing them (or if you have a C++11 compiler, explicitly deleting them), so as to make the class non-copyable. Relatively few classes need to be copyable. Declaring the copy ctor and assignment operator private ensures that client code can't accidentally copy your non-copyable objects. Not implementing them ensures that if class code accidentally copies an instance, you get a link error.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Details of iOS and Android Device Encryption

swillden swillden writes  |  about 2 months ago

swillden (191260) writes "There's been a lot of discussion of what, exactly, is meant by the Apple announcement about iOS8 device encryption, and the subsequent announcement by Google that Android L will enable encryption by default. Two security researchers tackled these questions in blog posts:

Matthew Green tackled iOS encryption, concluding that at bottom the change really boils down to applying the existing iOS encryption methods to more data. He also reviews the iOS approach, which uses Apple's "Secure Enclave" chip as the basis for the encryption and guesses at how it is that Apple can say it's unable to decrypt the devices. He concludes, with some clarification from a commenter, that Apple really can't (unless you use a weak password which can be brute-forced, and even then it's hard).

Nikolay Elenkov looks into the preview release of Android "L". He finds that not only has Google turned encryption on by default, but appears to have incorporated hardware-based security as well, to make it impossible (or at least much more difficult) to perform brute force password searches off-device."
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Google Wallet now works with any card

swillden swillden writes  |  more than 2 years ago

swillden writes "Google posted on Wednesday: 'we’re releasing a new, cloud-based version of the Google Wallet app that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Now, you can use any card when you shop in-store or online with Google Wallet. With the new version, you can also remotely disable your mobile wallet app from your Google Wallet account on the web.'"
Link to Original Source
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Google+ for Google Apps Released

swillden swillden writes  |  more than 3 years ago

swillden (191260) writes "Finally addressing a problem with the new Google+ social network that has generated a great number of complaints from long-time Google users, Google has announced the availability of Google+ for users with Google Apps accounts. The feature isn't enabled automatically for all Google Apps domains, though, it's necessary for the domain administrator to turn it on."
Link to Original Source
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Real-world RAID0 performance

swillden swillden writes  |  about 6 years ago

swillden writes "I recently got the opportunity to play with some fairly high-end hardware and I was very surprised at the poor I/O performance. The machine was a 4-way Xeon with a high-end RAID controller and five 300GB SCSI Ultra-320 15,000 RPM drives, to be configured as a very high-performance database server. I didn't care so much about the real database workload, though, I just wanted to see what kind of data rate I could get, for fun.

Given that each of these drives individually can sustain over 100 MB/s, and given that I'd expect RAID0 to scale roughly linearly with the number of drives, I was expecting in the neighborhood of 500 MB/s. What I got (according to bonnie++) was about 200 MB/s, less than half the expected data rate. Disappointed, I decided to give Linux MD RAID a try, which got me up to about 240 MB/s, 20% faster than the hardware RAID, but still disappointing.

My question for the slashdot geeks that play with this kind of stuff all the time is: What kind of performance should I expect out of a system like this? Does RAID0 always scale so poorly? And, just for good nerdish fun, what's the fasted storage I/O you've ever seen?"
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What examples of Security Theater have you seen?

swillden swillden writes  |  more than 6 years ago

swillden writes "Everyone who pays any attention at all to security, both computer security and "meatspace" security, has heard the phrase Security Theater. For years I've paid close attention to security setups that I come in contact with, and tried to evaluate their real effectiveness vs their theatrical aspects. In the process I've found many examples of pure theater, but even more cases where the security was really a cover for another motive.

Recently, a neighbor uncovered a good example. He and his wife attended a local semi-pro baseball game where security guards were checking all bags for weapons. Since his wife carries a small pistol in her purse, they were concerned that there would be a problem. They decided to try anyway, and see if her concealed weapon permit satisfied the policy. The guard looked at her gun, said nothing and passed them in, then stopped the man behind them because he had beer and snacks in his bag. Park rules prohibit outside food. It's clear what the "security" check was really about: improving park food vending revenues.

So, what examples of pure security theater have slashdotters noticed? Even more interesting, what examples of security-as-excuse have you seen?."
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swillden swillden writes  |  more than 8 years ago

swillden writes "I've come across an increasing number of GPL programs lately that display an EULA-style click-wrap agreement during installation. While not exactly wrong, this seems like a bad idea to me, since it perpetuates the idea that you must agree to some arbitrary set of conditions in order to install and use a piece of software. In this case the conditions are very liberal (there are none, really), but still it reinforces the notion that you can't install a package unless you agree.

The FSF says that such click-wrapping is neither required nor forbidden but it seems like a bad idea to promote the click-wrap meme, even if the license is user-friendly. What do slashdotters think?"

Journals

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10 seconds that can help boot Orrin Hatch out of office

swillden swillden writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I'm sure all of you have seen the many articles about various wacko things Senator Orrin Hatch has done to support the RIAA and MPAA. Among other things, he'd like to empower the media industry to remotely destroy the computers of people they suspect of illegally sharing files.

Wouldn't be great to give him the boot? You can help, by doing nothing more than voting on a web site.

See, for the first time in quite a few years Hatch has a serious contender for his seat. Pete Ashdown is a smart, tech-savvy businessman who's taken a year off to run his campaign. Ashdown is the sort of moderate Democrat who has a chance to win in Utah, and Utahns have expressed their opinion in polls that Hatch has been in office long enough and they'd like a change.

However good Ashdown's chances in theory, though, campaigning is about money, and he needs it.

That's where this vote comes in. Barbara Boxer has some campaign cash she's going to give to one of the Democrats running against a long-term incumbent senator. If Ashdown can win that vote, he'll have a great warchest to start the campaign with. It won't be enough, but it will give him a good start and will hopefully prime the pump for other large democratic contributions.

So go vote, and get all of your friends and neighbors to do the same! Even if they're Republicans, they still have to appreciate that an utterly one-sided race like Hatch has had in the past is not good for democracy. Get them to vote!

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