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Your State University Doesn't Want You

vslashg I'm confused (551 comments)

So, should employees of a public university where the President's annual compensation exceeds $1 million receive a full state-funded pension for educating 16,000+ out-of-state students?"

Why do I get the feeling that this is a leading question?

more than 3 years ago

Large Scale 24/7 Solar Power Plant To Be Built in Nevada

vslashg Re:pernament employees per MW (475 comments)

What planet are you from? 80%? Complete fiction. Vermont Yankee is very reliable, and had, from 2003-2009, an amazing 92.6% capacity factor. Which gives an employee/Mwatt ratio closer to 1.09, which while still slightly higher than the solar plant, isn't particularly bad.

Are you implying that a user with account name "mdsolar" is spreading FUD about non-solar power sources? Why would he do that?

more than 3 years ago

Apple Hires Antenna Engineers. Really.

vslashg Re:AppleCare memo on how to mislead users... (417 comments)

Uh, isn't this credit card fraud?

It's obviously fraud. Adding a sarcastic "Uh" to your rhetorical question doesn't help make your point, though.

more than 4 years ago

Newsday Gets 35 Subscriptions To Pay Web Site

vslashg Re:Not as bad as it sounds (177 comments)

If you read the article (I know, I know) you'll discover that 75% of the people in the region already have access to the site via package deals. So it's actually surprising that 35 people did sign up for it.

So the potential regional market is only 1/4 the size that it otherwise might have been? Think, without these other access deals, they might have gotten 140 people to sign up.

about 5 years ago

Verizon Removes Search Choices For BlackBerrys

vslashg Re:Do you hear me now?? (510 comments)

Doesn't matter. Contracts can't override the law, regardless of how hard they try to make you think they can. They can say they have the right to change service at any time and that you can't terminate, but that is simply not true.

If the service materially changes, you can terminate the agreement, regardless of how many times they tell you that you can't.

And if they fight you on this, sue. Oh, wait, you can't: you signed away your rights to do so in an arbitration clause in your plan contract.

more than 5 years ago

Judge Rejects Sheriff's Suit Against Craigslist

vslashg Re:Good (121 comments)

College kids *pay* for poon? I could barely afford gin...


more than 5 years ago

Bell Starts Hijacking NX Domain Queries

vslashg Re:openDNS (310 comments)

I'm not sure if this is a troll or not, but just in case it isn't: openDNS does the same sort of hijacking.

more than 5 years ago

Has Conficker Been Abandoned By Its Authors?

vslashg Re:This is a real worry. It may be military. (174 comments)

The days of the pimple-faced kiddy sitting in the basement and, out of frustration of not getting laid, releasing some worm on the world.

The days of /. users proofreading their posts, and posting complete sentences.

more than 5 years ago

New Linux Kernel Flaw Allows Null Pointer Exploits

vslashg Re:Wait, what? (391 comments)

Ok, but how is offsetof() macro defined? Using something very similar to &(((struct foo*)(void*)0)->bar)

Perhaps, but perhaps not. That expression might be safe for some implementations of C; if so, there's no reason for the library that ships with that implementation to use something along the above lines to implement the offsetof() macro. But that doesn't mean it's generally safe or portable code.

Your fundamental premise is wrong, anyhow; not every implementation uses that trick to define offsetof(). In fact, gcc defines a special extension to C/C++, __builtin_offsetof(), to do the work. (gcc is allowed to introduce this new keyword because the standard reserves identifiers starting with a double underscore to the implementation.)

more than 5 years ago

New Linux Kernel Flaw Allows Null Pointer Exploits

vslashg Re:Wait, what? (391 comments)

&(((struct foo*)(void*)0)->bar) will also give the value of the offset of the bar field.

You're speaking with a voice of authority, which is dangerous because of how incorrect in general your post is.

Others have already pointed out that you are wrong about NULL. Here's precisely what the spec says about the argument to &:

The operand of the unary & operator shall be either a function designator, the result of a
[] or unary * operator, or an lvalue that designates an object that is not a bit-field and is
not declared with the register storage-class specifier.

(((struct foo*)(void*)0)->bar) in particular is none of those things, and your expression is not legal C.

Some apparent dereferences of null pointers are allowed. For instance:

void *a = 0;
void *b = &(*a);

The above is legal not because dereferencing a null pointer is legal, but rather because of an explicit exception to the rule carved out in section of the spec, which says that in this case, the & and * cancel, and "the result is as if both were omitted".

Your expression is neither safe nor portable. If you do need to check the offset of a field in a structure, use the standard library offsetof() macro -- that's what it's for.

more than 5 years ago


vslashg Re:Users can't tell the difference (359 comments)

If you don't know that FTP refers to a specific protocol, you don't know enough to be running a web site.

This is akin to saying if you don't know what a carburetor does, you don't know enough to be driving a car. Now, some people believe this, too, but this statement, and yours, are wrong.

Hey, look, I made a Slashdot car analogy!

more than 5 years ago

Comcast DNS Redirection Launched In Trial Markets

vslashg Re:There is a significant difference: (362 comments)

OpenDNS is "free-as-in-ad-driven". You don't have to pay for it, but they need to make their money somehow, so they have their own special page when you type an invalid domain in the location bar, with text ads on. Comcast, on the other hand, which the end user is already paying for, is trying to inflict the greedy bastard business model they use for TV (hooray for paying for content that's 1/3 ads!) on their ISP customers.

This distinction is true, but irrelevant in the context of this discussion. If someone is unhappy with a DNS server because it redirects invalid lookups, then it's actively unhelpful to suggest they use a different DNS server that does the same thing.

more than 5 years ago

Pickens Calls Off Massive Wind Farm In Texas

vslashg Re:Power grid is particularly problematic in Texas (414 comments)

Being self contained might be useful one day if they decide to succeed from the nation.

Do you even know what succeed means? Here's a hint: you failed to do it in your post.

more than 5 years ago

A Push To End the Online Gambling Ban

vslashg Re:This is about poker, and hypocrisy (205 comments)

Go download the number histories and do some nCk calculations to see the expected vs actual outcomes on odd/even combinations, distribution of the numbers, etc.. Yeah, you probably won't win but you'll considerably increase your chances by playing the numbers that come up more often.

What this approach fails to consider is that there are two competing forces in games of chance. As you have noticed, there are "streaks", that is, certain numbers, patterns, distributions, etc. can get "hot". So yes, one approach you can take is to pick hot numbers. What you haven't noticed is that numbers and patterns can also become "due"; a number that hasn't shown up in a long time builds up potential, and must eventually show up again so that the law of large numbers will be maintained.

It is only by carefully considering the fragile balance between hot numbers and due numbers that a skilled lottery player can tilt the odds more in his favor, for example, by noticing that a large streak of even numbers is due.

(Yes, I'm making fun of you.)

more than 5 years ago

Remote Kill Flags Surface In Kindle

vslashg Re:They asked for it (630 comments)

Only idiots are offended. Why should we care?

If you're only interested in preaching to the converted, then you shouldn't. If you're trying to persuade people without strong opinions on the matter, mocking the companies involved and calling those who disagree "idiots" is probably not the best strategy.

more than 5 years ago

Author's Guild Says Kindle's Text-To-Speech Software Illegal

vslashg Re:To hell with them! (683 comments)

The authors do not a problem with the reader translating a book aloud, but they have a problem with someone they have a contract with to sell text-only versions of a work (and with whom they have separate audio version contracts) selling text plus audio versions. It is a contract issue.

There's no issue. If I have a contract which allows me to sell frozen burritos, but not ready-to-eat burritos, selling frozen burritos along with a microwave (which turns them into ready-to-eat burritos) doesn't violate the contract.

Even if your analogy -- that cooking a burrito is akin to creating a derivative work -- is a good one, there is no law that gives a burrito-maker exclusive rights to derivative works based on his burrito. The author of a book does have that right, and absent a contract that waives this right, I don't see how this is as clear cut as you claim.

more than 5 years ago

(Stupid) Useful Emacs Tricks?

vslashg Beginning of line (412 comments)

My two .emacs modifications I find essential follow.

First, turning off of obnoxious misfeatures:

(fset 'yes-or-no-p 'y-or-n-p) ; stop forcing me to spell out "yes"
(setq inhibit-startup-message t)
(setq backup-directory-alist '(("." . "~/.emacs-backups"))) ; stop leaving backup~ turds scattered everywhere

And second, stealing the beginning-of-line behavior from Dev Studio: if you invoke the command at the beginning of the line, advance to the first non-whitespace-character instead.

(defun dev-studio-beginning-of-line (arg)
  "Moves to beginning-of-line, or from there to the first non-whitespace character.
This takes a numeric prefix argument; when not 1, it behaves exactly like
\(move-beginning-of-line arg) instead."
  (interactive "p")
  (if (and (looking-at "^") (= arg 1)) (skip-chars-forward " \t") (move-beginning-of-line arg)))
(global-set-key "\C-a" 'dev-studio-beginning-of-line)
(global-set-key [home] 'dev-studio-beginning-of-line)

more than 6 years ago


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