Slashdot: News for Nerds


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!



States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

v1 bad maths (743 comments)

Raising the minimum wage doesn't cost jobs any more than inflation creates jobs.

It's a never-ending cat-and-mouse in a freemarket. Wherever they happen to be at this moment in the game, it reqiures the same people to play it.

Govt raises minimum wage. Consumer prices go up. Rinse, repeat, forever. Consumer prices are going to go up due to greed (as well as increases in minimum wage) so raising the minimum wage occasionally to offset it is necessary, even though it contributes to its own need.

Since the only way to offset inflation in a free market is to raise the minimum wage, it cannot be considered as a method to slow it. It's all just a shell game, aimed at trying to food the greedy into being less greedy, by doing things like lowering federal interest rates etc. They'll never stop it, all you can do is hope to keep its pace slow so you don't have runaway inflation. But it's a difficult act to balance, because retarding inflation tends to slow the economy.

2 days ago

Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

v1 Re:This just illustrates (365 comments)

Lower prices "leave a trail of blood in our balance sheet" according to Bernhard Guenther, CFO at RWE, Germany's biggest power producer

Sounds to me like "our production costs are so close to our competition's retail price, we're having trouble staying in business, pity us!"

No, this is not something for me to pity, and it most certainly isn't my problem to help you solve. You need to innovate and improve efficiency of your business, or close your doors. We don't do the "buggy whip" thing anymore. And your existence isn't critical enough to justufy subsdies/handouts. Innovate or die. (quietly if possible)

about three weeks ago

Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

v1 Re:This is telling (365 comments)

I don't think it's so much the "style" aspect as it is the "comfort zone". Particularly with less-adept users, once they fight their way through the frustration of learning a technology, they feel a lot more comfortable with it "now that I have it figured out". These people aren't going to be able to make anywhere near as fluid of a transition to any different interface, on or off their platform. Even if the interface is "better", it won't look that way to them unless they're forced to use it for awhile.

It's very frustrating for them to go from having some (hard-fought) understanding of tech to getting reset back to "I don't know how to do anything". Can't really blame them for their apprehension.

That's how I try to explain it to prospective switchers. "For the first two weeks, you're going to hate it". It just can't be avoided no matter what you're going from/to.

about a month ago

Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

v1 Re:Slashdot editors owe me a new keyboard. (365 comments)

"While supplies last." That's the funniest thing I've heard all day.

Aren't the Zunes still waving that flag?

about a month ago

Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

v1 Re:This is telling (365 comments)

Note that they didn't even try to offer a trade-in of ipads for the surface, which would be a more reasonable comparison if the surface was successful as a tablet

if they tried to pull THAT, they would have a crapton of people with older ipads trading them in. They'd be buried alive. A lot of iPad2's are out of warranty, and that's about the time schools and others consider an upgrade.

They're MS... they're big, and could take the hit, but it definitely would sting.

The surface though is more of a laptop trying to also be a tablet, than a tablet trying to also be a laptop. (sort of the iPad's territory) So I don't agree that it'd be a trade within the same market. It makes more "sense" to go against the air, but not many are going to bite, because the air isn't trying to be a tablet, that's what the iPad is for. As someone else has said, Macintoshes have an amazing ability to retain their value for resale, and MS isn't offering as much as the machines could get you on craigslist. Trade-ins for the competition's gear are a "try to pull people off the fence onto your side" maneuver, but the problem is it's only going to attract people that have already decided they didn't like their new mac, so it won't really serve its intended purpose.

Looked at another way, they're trying to enter two different markets with one product, and neither is going to do a really good job as a result. The surface isnt' really a tablet, it's more of a laptop that has some of the features of one. They were wise to see they'd lost the straight-up tablet market before they'd started. Targeting the MBA is probably the smartest thing to do right now. (I just don't think this is a very smart approach they're taking)

They could have had a lot more fun with this, and generated an enormous amount of publicity by just taking it all the way. Don't "trade" it in. Bring in a WORKING air to their store, and you get to go into a box and smash it with a sledgehammer. And then collect your discount. That would be money well-spent on marketing, for less than the cost of a few commercial spots.

about a month ago

Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

v1 "for economic gain" (207 comments)

And we think that people should have that right. When other companies use the Ikea name for economic gain, it creates confusion and rights are lost.'

If they hadn't said "for economic gain", I'd consider their sincerity. But when you add that, it changes the last part to "it creates concern and money is lost". This is more a case of "someone's making money off our name and we didn't get a cut". It has nothing to do with the consumer.

about a month ago

Microsoft Runs Out of US Address Space For Azure, Taps Its Global IPv4 Stock

v1 OR (250 comments)

there are no additional addresses available, Microsoft said in a blog post earlier this week. This requires the company to use the IPv4 address space available to it globally for new services,

OR they could migrate those services to IPv6??

Considering how much bashing MS gets for not being a leader, this would have made a really good opportunity for them.

(I hate it when people say they're doing something because they were "forced" or "had no choice", when in reality, they had aa choice, they made a choice, and now don't want to take ownership of the outcome)

about a month ago

EU's Online Shoppers Get an Extended "Cooling Off Period"

v1 Buyer's Remorse (140 comments)

Buyer's remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such as a car or house. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller.

Sorry, I have no pity for that. I've had it before, but it's no fault but my own, and I certainly don't expect anyone to make a law to help save me from myself. (on this, or anything else really, I'm adult, why can't the world treat me like one and let me hold responsibility for my actions?)

A buyer should have no more rights to reverse a sale than a seller. What if I have "seller's remorse", I really should have charged more for that, I want it back! yea, great idea! Make a law to voilate others' rights just to save me from my foolishness!

about a month ago

One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

v1 Re:28 files in 6 years is a hardware defect (396 comments)

I see bad RAM cause two problems. First, when you are copying a file or editing it, and it gets saved, if the data was corrupted while it was in memory, it can become damaged when writing it. It doesn't have to affect the part of the file you were working with. If you were adding to the end of a long text document, page 2 could get damaged when you hit Save.

Second problem, more common in my experience, is directory corruption due to bad ram. When a machine would come in with a trashed directory, we used to just fix it and return it. But sometimes they'd come back again in a similar state. I'd run a memory test and find/replace a bad stick before repairing it again. Later I just got in the habit of running a short ram test anytime there was unusual directory damage. I found it in about 1 in 10 of the cases I checked. Those checks were only run in cases of severe or unusual damage though. Directory damage takes out files wholesale, and can affect data that never entered the computer, and not due to any hardware failure in the storage.

For the record, I manage over 20tb of data here, and to date I've lost two files. One was a blonde moment with RM on a file that wasn't backed up. (I had NO idea that RM followed symlinks!) The other was a failed slice in a mirror that cost me a singe document. That's over a span of over 20 years. If you've lost over 20 files in the last 10 years, you're doing something (or more probably several somethings) wrong.

about a month ago

California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

v1 Re:"Safety Requirements"? (314 comments)

Why is it not safe for them to drive to the airports,

It's not safe, ya sees, because Luigi here will have to come over and accidentally adjust your kneecaps if you interfere with this bizness opportunities in the Yellow Cab.

about a month ago

New Car Can Lean Into Curves, Literally

v1 Re:Gimmick (243 comments)

aww you beat me to it. *pouts*

about a month and a half ago

The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

v1 Re:Old code still available (475 comments)

Don't assume just because something is open source that it doesn't have backdoors. That is terrible logic.

I never spoke in such absolutes. It's been shown with great regularity however that open source products have far fewer security holes in them. The common phrase used is "many eyes make for shallow bugs". This is of course NOT always the case. The recent heartbleed bug is a good example of how a bug can remain hiding in plain sight for a long time. In instances like that, it's not a case of the code not getting audited, it's a case of the code being so old that it's expected to be bug-free simply due to the number of years it's been auditable.

But I'll take open-source security over closed-source any day. Back doors are very hard to disguise in open source. The best you can do is what the NSA did recently with getting those weak crypto methods put into a standard. And look how fast that got noticed. Or put in an exploitable bug (like heartbleed) that wasn't obvious, that didn't necessarily just give access away, but that made breaking it much easier to do. The real beauty of heartbleed is that attacks didn't get logged. Someone could beat on your server for weeks if necessary to get lucky and fish out something useful, and all the while nothing would show up on the logs. And if you found youd been hacked, you'd have nothing useful (from the initial compromise anyway) to help you.

about a month and a half ago

The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

v1 Re:Old code still available (475 comments)

I don't understand the confidence in bitlocker. If you assume TC got NSL'd, how would MS react in the same situation? Do you honestly believe that MS hasn't already been handed several NSL's over the years? And it's not open source, anything could be in there, including a back door. If you're paranoid about security, a closed-source product run by a big company based in the USA is the last place you'd be looking for a security product.

I don't think an NSL can (legally) require you to actively DO anything besides turn over property or information. (in addition to the obligitory gag) If MS put a back door in bitlocker, the NSL could demand the keys. I don't think they'd be legally able to either demand such a back door be put in, or be left in though. But then again, this is MS and they'd have good reason to think twice about trying to drag an NSL through the legal mud. An NSL with "it would be nice if you woud..." followed by vague suggestions of consequences could be enough to get more out of them than is legally required.

This isn't just to bash MS. Mac OS X is no different. Most of it is closed-source, and there's no chance of them releasing the source to their security API. There are already know back doors. if you have a fat wallet and a badge you can buy software to read the entire contents of an unlocked keychain on a mac, without knowing the user's password. Same for getting around a password-locked or disabled iphone. This is just the stuff we know about. You have to assume there's more with any company that has to comply with the insane national security laws of late.

What it ALL boils down to is that you simply cannot trust any company (or group, or individual) that operates in the jurristiction of a government that has "secret laws". If I could add one ammendment to our constitution, that'd be it. Three words. No Secret Laws.

about 1 month ago

Bug In DOS-Based Voting Machines Disrupts Belgian Election

v1 Re:Paltry (193 comments)

It is a fallacy of thought that you have to have an extensive operating system with virtual memory and other elaborate support systems to accomplish a simple task.

My work with the Arduino can produce surprisingly complex operations in under 32kb. (for the program, the runtime, AND the variable ram)

about 2 months ago

Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed


That makes LESS sense than giving away money to people that would otherise go out and rob someone. At least money isn't chemically addictive.

But this guy wasn't likely a user, he was more likely a dealer or a supplier. Users are from your average slice of society, which typically don't rob or point a gun at a cop. This one was in it for the money.

If we just gave away drugs to the addicts, this guy would have to find another way to get money, he'd be out robbing some other local store instead. Giving away drugs just enables addicts and costs ME money in the process. nothankyou. It's like sending food to starving children. So more of them survive. And breed. And now you have a BIGGER hunger problem. You have to address the cause. Help them build farms or something. If they're already in a hole, don't hand them a bigger shovel !

For probably the best perspective on drug addition, do a google search for "chief enabler". That's who you want the government to be. Notice how this person is not part of the solution, they are an important part of perpectuating the problem.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

v1 meaning of competence (466 comments)

I fancy myself a "knows a LOT of languages and knows how to adapt". So I can sit down in front of a machine running a completely in-house language, and be proficient in it in less than a day, very skilled in under a week. I think this is more important than already being proficient with any given language. Having a very broad background of languages is very useful, because there comes a point where a new language won't really have any surprises you're not used to managing.

Things change so fast with computers, how fast you can adapt is usually more useful than how much you already know. Experience goes stale so quickly, only adaptation remains valuable any distance out into the future.

So this makes it a little tricky to judge "programming competence". If you simply sit them down and see how well they can code in what you use right now, you're not necessarily getting a good measurement on how "competent" they'll be at it in a week. I'd say "throw something at them you know they have ZERO experience with, and see how they react". A competent programmer should be able to have 80%+ comprehension on any code you set in front of them. They should also be capable of very simple edits, and maybe even a little debugging. Have an experienced dev sit down beside them and then give them a simple challenge, with the dev as their assistant. The questions they ask the dev will tell you a lot about their level of competence. Get the dev's input on this later too.

about 2 months ago

The Mere Promise of Google Fiber Sends Rivals Scrambling

v1 Re:Monopolies? (258 comments)

that link was an interesting read. it's got some bias problems in the other directon though, and should be read with the same critical thinking as any article with opposing views.

The most obvious "sweeping generalization" I ran into there was:

"all prices on a free market are competitive."[35] Only government intervention can generate monopolistic prices.

Whoever came up with that needs to read up on Anti-trust Laws.

about 2 months ago

It's World Password Day: Change Your Passwords

v1 once a YEAR huh? (116 comments)

Anything important should be changed more frequently. And anything less important... why do we have a special day for it? Waste of time. *shrug*

about 2 months ago

Drone Camera Tornado Coverage Raises Press Freedom Questions

v1 Re:What? (143 comments)

They do not, however, have carte blanche to ignore laws and safety regulations.

I believe the "regulation" aspect right now is simply about the numbers. When you have a handful of amateurs flying quads around their local park or around their back yard or neighborhood, the risks of collision are minimal and the scope of the damage limited. Once it becomes profitable, you can get a sudden, substantial increase in risks to the public.

Right now there are already quite a few people using quadrocopters etc for commercial purposes. Probably the biggest group at this time are the realtors, that hire professional photographers to get pictures of properties for sale. Many of these photographers use quads to get good aereal shots of the house and surrounding property. I think these are being overlooked by the FAA because they don't tend to concentrate and raise the risk of a collision. The photographers are also flying expensive cameras, and don't want to crater their $2,500 camera let alon their $350 quad. Also they're used casually, with no time pressure, so they can concentrate on their flying. Odds are also very good that anyone below hears them and is stopping to watch, and would be much better prepared to take cover should there be a loss of control.

On the other hand, there's a very plausible risk of collisions and damage/injury when you have a papparazzi-ish fervered group of reporters trying to get coverage on a public event. I could see a dozen or more quads zipping around trying to get fleeting unique video, while flying above crowds of people that are NOT paying any attention to any potential danger above. High concentration of aircraft, operators with priorities over safety, concentrated public, and public not paying attention to them. I suspect that is the sort of thing the FAA wants to keep a close eye on, not the "random quad flying solo through the city with a camera onboard." The current regulations simply don't make the necessary distinctin between the different types of commercial use at this point, so they're "selectively enforcing", as is to be expected. If anything, I think the press should have specific additional regulation in certain circumstances, where it's not a case of "protecting the fredom of the press" but is more a case of "protecting the public from reckless reporters".

about 3 months ago

The Million-Dollar Business of Video Game Cheating

v1 Re:VAC (102 comments)

at $3 per ID when they're having a sale, (which is quite surprising, I wasn't aware it could be so cheap!) the cheapers are quite profitable. If they were quick to ban, say within a few hours reliably, it wouldn't be worth it for most of the cheaters, and they'd quit doing it.

As it is now, you load up your hacks, buy a few accounts, and "rent" some haxor time on the servers for a few weeks, and then they go ahead and ban you, more-or-less right on schedule. That's all it is, they're just working a different business model.

As a game dev, you have your bean counters run the numbers. The number of cheaters "C" subtracts from your legit sales, but adds to your cheat-burn-account sales. There's a point where C maximizes your profit. And I'd be quite amazed if they were off from their proper C by any amount. There's someone in the building who has the job of keeping an eye on non-cheat and cheat sales, making sure that the VAC ban rate is keeping their C at the most profitable point.

The devs and the hack-writers are doing it for the money, the cheaters have various reasons. A few can't shoot straight and legitimately need the help, most just want to pwn the noobs, and a few are just plain dicks.

about 3 months ago



How to handle a wifi leech camping in your store?

v1 v1 writes  |  about a year ago

v1 (525388) writes "I work for a small computer sales/service shop, in back as one of the repair techs. We have a private wifi here for our store demos, on the same "public lan" we use for no-check-in service like running updates for customers. A grubby older gent had his computer here for such service and his laptop got our wifi password saved on it. Now he's here waiting at our door at open every morning, and stays in the store at least several hours every day, camping in one of our two front courtesy chairs browsing etc, spooking our customers. Sometimes he's here all day long till close. How do you kindly shoo away someone from camping your wifi like this? We could change the wifi pw but the gm doesn't think that would be courteous."

Susan Crawford for FCC Chairman

v1 v1 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

v1 (525388) writes "Susan Crawford is trying to get onboard at the FCC as chairman, and looks determined to restore common sense and competition to broadband in the USA. “The rich are getting gouged, the poor are very often left out, and this means that we’re creating, yet again, two Americas, and deepening inequality through this communications inequality,” Check out the video, sign the petition, and maybe the USA's internet will climb out of the gutter. Her main focuses are to break up collusion between the providers and content providers, and to break up franchises, monopolies, and local barrier laws that have blocked competition, raised costs, and stifled speed in most of the american market."

Jobs resigns from Apple

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "Looks like all the news outlets are picking up on the big story today, Steve Jobs has resigned from Apple. He's not giving specifics, but says he's no longer "fit" to run the company. It's probably fair to assume it's due to health reasons. Jobs offered Tim Cook as his suggested replacement at the board meeting."
Link to Original Source

Radio Shack solicits DYI'ers for feedback

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "It looks like someone has managed to wake up The Shack as to their complete loss of DIY customers, and they're asking for your feedback on how to get them back on track as the local do-it-yourself parts source. They appear to be drawing heavy fire for the same few issues, low part inventory, high prices, no kits, pushing common junk. (cell phones etc) Stop by their feedback blog and give them a piece of your mind. Maybe there's still a chance of them regaining their sanity."
Link to Original Source

Microsoft fingers Yahoo for Windows 7 data overuse

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "The glitch apparently exists in the code which tells Windows Phone 7 how to fetch new messages from Yahoo Mail, one of the world's largest free e-mail services. The error means that the system downloads up to 25 times more information than it needs to."
Link to Original Source

How often do you reboot your primary computer?

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "- many times a day — a few times every day — once a day (don't count sleeping) — a few times a week — a few times a month — a few times a year — what's this "reboot" you speak of?"

Poll: How do you track your bank account balance?

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "How do you track your bank account balance?
* keep a balanced checkbook
* significant other balances the bank book
* check current balance when depositing paycheck
* use computer to track balances
* it doesn't matter, I'm always overdrawn
* mom/dad transfer in money whenever the balance gets low
* Cowboy Neil balances my bank book for me"

Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto assassinated

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "Yet another assasination attempt was made on Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, this one finally successful, the latest in a string of assasination attempts by suicide bombers. Quoting CNN, "Bhutto, who led Paksitan from 1988 to 1990 and was the first female prime minister of any Islamic nation, was participating in the parliamentary election set for January 8, hoping for a third term." Bhutto's comments regarding investigations into the recent attempts on her life were charitable at best, "The sham investigation of the October 19 massacre and the attempt by the ruling party to politically capitalize on this catastrophe are discomforting, but do not suggest any direct involvement by General Pervez Musharraf." The attacks are widely believed to be coordinated by the military who are currently holding power in Pakistan."
Link to Original Source



smile for the day

v1 v1 writes  |  about 2 years ago

you have the distinct honor of having the first nick I've seen on slashdot that actually managed to pry a smile from my face :) thx


fear and government

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

V for Vendetta: People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Sadly, this results in the government passing laws in self-defense, that turn the tables. Which is basically where we are now.


v1 v1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

>> My user number is probably lower than yours.

ahhh but my username is probably shorter than yours.


do we count starting at 0, 1, or 2?

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

just looking at your sig

> Slashdot dupes an article SIX TIMES

It appeared to be six posts, so that would be five dups, wouldn't it? (would you call something posted twice, "two dups"?) Though I suppose if you want to get all mathemagical about it you could call any two "dups", so that'd be what... 15 dups?

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>
Create a Slashdot Account