Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:How do you secure the unsecurable? (Score 1) 91

I'm not sure I like putting all the blame on the users. Don't we have a reasonable expectation that we're not going to be sold faulty products? And I can't characterize such brain-dead non-security as anything but "broken".

Maybe we also should force companies to shoulder the cost of a product recall if their device is found to have security issues that can't be automatically patched and fixed. That would add a nice financial incentive for companies to release more secure products.

If a company continues to release broken product after broken product, then the FCC or other regulatory body steps in and forbids them to sell any internet-connected device, since they've demonstrated themselves to be a public menace.

Comment Re:Product placement (Score 4, Informative) 90

I'm going to guess that those who complain about them don't (or even can't) distinguish crashes or freezes from connectivity issues. This isn't really a new story, as these sorts of glitches have been happening on occasion since being introduced. Given that these things obviously rely on wireless info feeds, and (as you indicated) that such wireless or communication systems fail in stadiums on occasion, I'm not sure I'd be so quick to blame the hardware or software.

I've seen that, as an MMO developer, whenever an ISP has a problem, people immediately blame the developer for whatever lag or disconnectivity they're experiencing. I think it's human nature to blame the software or hardware sitting in front of them rather than some invisible infrastructure sitting in-between.

I'd agree though, that this is something that Microsoft should have considered. It was risky to push something like this when there was a chance for very public and visible failures like that, even if it's not necessarily Microsoft's fault. Moreover, I really dislike the NFL pushing tools like this on the teams. They should have an opportunity to use their choice of technology when it comes to tools used in course of the game (within reasonable limits, of course). This is nothing like "official coffee of the NFL". This is a tool that can actually make an impact on the game if it succeeds or fails.

Comment Re:Using multiple languages (Score 1) 39

Yep, I agree, although I think "microservices" is better described as "any sort of specialized language domain", and is a little less buzzword-bingo-ready.

I recently finished work on a small embedded language that I'm using in my own projects. I published it on GitHub. Interest? Zero. Quite literally, no one else is using it, as far as I can tell. No worries, it's got one satisfied customer, and it's available for others to use if they want. It was hugely satisfying to design the language and work through a bunch of problems in the design and implementation phase. I spent quite a bit of time on API documentation and even a comprehensive tutorial, so if anyone ever stumbles across it, it shouldn't be too hard to pick up.

I think it's a great thing to keep designing new languages, even if very few of them gain traction. At the very worst, it's likely that they'll inspire interesting changes and trends among the bigger languages in their next revision. At best, a few of them may catch hold and grow into something cool. I think every programmer at some point thinks "what would I do differently if I designed a language from scratch?", and a few of them even go try it out.

Comment Re:bullshit (Score 1) 116

So the best modeling offered can predict next years climate with 62% accuracy. That says a lot about climate modeling over the next century.

Keep in mind that while short term predictions can be chaotic, it's sometimes easier to see long-term patterns emerge, and to extrapolate data from those trends, like trending lines through a scatter plot. I agree that anything looking a century out is guesswork at best, but I'm not sure I'd say the same looking a decade out.

Historically, many climate-related doomsday predictions have been laughably innacurate. It's for this reason that I continue to be somewhat skeptical about current doomsday or long term projections, because so far *no one* has had much success with those sorts of predictions. Even so, as we have better instrumentation and more historical data with which to create models, it's all but inevitable that our climate prediction models become more accurate as well, certainly for shorter to medium length predictions, and maybe someday, even longer term.

Comment Re:Nice technical solution (Score 1) 71

It's important to make the distinction between platform-specific optimization and "hardware-level" optimization. The former undoubtedly occurs (e.g. managing video memory buffers, which is one area the two platforms have some significant differences), but doesn't necessarily imply hardware-level access, like what used to happen on the PS2 (since those didn't even have an OS to speak of). All that stuff is typically managed through OS-level APIs these days, not by poking around in raw memory.

So, when I say "bare-metal isn't a thing", I meant that direct to-the-metal programming is probably not even an option for console developers these days. I hesitate to say that for certain, because as I said, I'm no longer a console programmer, but that's the gist I get from other friends in the industry. I guess we'll see pretty soon, but again, my prediction is that you're not going to see too many problems with compatibility. I'm not sure why you think this is such a hard problem when the PC industry has been doing backwards compatibility and hardware abstraction for many years now.

Comment Re:Sounds good (Score 2) 57

No one (sane) questions whether solar works or not. It's a pretty straightforward technology, and it's intuitively ideal for reducing demand during peak hours, typically the middle of the work day. There are, however, questions about whether the economics make sense without government subsidies, which is where we'd like to eventually end up, I think.

For businesses, obviously an economic incentive is the most straightforward driver, and if it's good for the environment too, that's a happy bonus. I'm hopeful that over the next few years we'll start seeing some actual results with real numbers for installations on a mass scale over time - not projections, but real, historical data. I guess it also depends whether these corporations are willing to release those numbers over the next decade or so. You'd think that would be a requirement of getting these generous government subsidies (anyone know if it is?).

Comment Re:Nice technical solution (Score 2) 71

"Bare-metal" coding / optimization on modern consoles isn't really a thing anymore, according to colleagues working on current gen console games (I worked on consoles two generations ago, but have been mostly on PC since then). Modern console game code, as far as I know, doesn't have access to raw hardware - it's all done through API libraries provided by the OS.

This means that minor changes to hardware specs don't matter as much, since the console OS provides a hardware abstraction layer just like the PC platform does, making backwards compatibility much easier. As a result, I don't foresee either console having many issues with backwards compatibility.

Comment Re:Hollywood loves reboots (Score 2) 198

I'd be a lot happier with Hulu if they didn't plaster the local station logo in the corner of the screen, which is somewhat distracting for me.

Other than that, I feel that TV has already been rebooted just fine. I have a massive on-demand selection that I can watch at any time for a reasonable price. And no commercials at all, as I value my own time. I cut the cable a decade or so ago, and don't miss it at all. You can sign up for half a dozen streaming services and still you're probably paying equal to or less than basic cable. Of course, you do have to factor in internet connection costs, but most people want that service anyhow.

If Apple wants to create a compelling streaming service, they'll have to compete with existing services out there. I'm happy to take a look and see if it's worth a subscription. But since I have consoles that run any streaming app just fine, I can't imagine myself wanting any hardware they could possibly offer.

Comment Re:Why not use Linux (Score 5, Insightful) 265

You haven't worked with normal users much, have you? It can be a shock how little most people understand their computers and how they work. They simply memorize the actions needed to accomplish specific tasks, and that's good enough for them. The big blue E icon on their desktop means "the internet", until it drives someone they know who's a bit more knowledgeable insane, and they replace it with a Fox or round primary icon, and then THAT becomes "the internet" for them.

I'll put it bluntly. No, normal users should stay away from the terminal, nor should they *need* to use it for daily operations. If they're interested in learning how to work at a command prompt, that just means they're probably on the verge of becoming a power user. That's not a bad thing, of course, but it's not what most people want to spend their time doing.

Figuring out how to use a terminal requires a non-trivial learning curve. That's because there's no intuitive method of command / feature discovery, unlike with a menu, toolbars with tooltips, and dialog boxes that show you all the options in a visual, hierarchical format. There's a reason GUIs are ubiquitous in nearly all computing platforms today, with the possible exception of headless servers, embedded systems, and other specialized systems.

I'm a programmer, so yes, I'm comfortable with various shells, but I think some people seem to overly fetishize it, like it's a badge of their geekdom or a symbol of their arcane power over a computer. The command line is just power and flexibility at the expense of user friendliness. Once learned, it's a very handy tool in your arsenal, and can be more efficient for some type of operations. Don't pretend it's anything but that, or you're just fooling yourself.

Comment Re: What's wrong with hate symbols? (Score 2, Insightful) 379

It almost seems to me that some peoples' ideal free society is where certain people can literally say anything they want, and no one is ever allowed to call what they say into question. Again and again, what I see from the Trump camp and the Alt-right isn't the notion of freedom of speech, but rather freedom from consequences.

In another article on Slashdot, we have people boycotting a Silicon Valley business associated with a CEO who has dared to donate to Trump. And we have a GOP office being firebombed just the other day. But hey, it's all good because those are evil Republicans, right?

Don't you dare pin this all on the right. I've seen more than plenty from the left as well. Fascist assholes who simply want to silence their opposition are all over the spectrum, sadly.

Comment Re: But what is it used for? (Score 1) 252

I would be OK writing desktop application and games in Go instead of Java or C++.

In the context of videogames (my line of work), "needs some libraries" means "would need to rewrite the entire videogame ecosystem from scratch." In other words, not a chance in hell, no matter what the virtues of the alternate language happens to be. The videogame industry isn't moving away from C++ as it's primary language anytime soon, mostly due to sheer inertia. Every major game engine and 3rd party or platform library is written in or has interfaces available in C/C++.

Comment Re:AR could be Apple's Metro (Score 1) 55

I don't believe AR will become Apple's Metro. First, Apple is often isn't the first ones to push risky new technologies, so I have my doubts they'll have anything ready for shipping by next year. They watch what others do, then try to do it with more polish and style. Second, even if they did some AR-focused product, I don't believe Apple is so stupid as to think AR should replace the fundamental iOS UI paradigm.

Whatever mistake removing the phone jack may (or may not) be, and however overhyped AR may be, I think it will probably be an order of magnitude less terrible than what was inflicted on Windows users with Windows 8. Windows 10 *finally* got the "modern/metro" integration mostly correct, but burned through a lot of user goodwill in other areas (privacy, intrusiveness, forced upgrades, etc).

Slashdot Top Deals

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. -- Francis Bacon