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Comment Block Installation of Desktop Apps (Score 1) 243

Oh. :-(

At first glance I thought they meant that you could not install ANY desktop apps. So you only had the ones you had, but no more.

And then you start removing them finally leaving nothing but normal programs and all's right with the world. (Except for all of the telemetry and monitoring and the missing Start Menu.)

if only Microsoft could find a way to disable Metro...

Comment Re:Are our lawyers really this clueless? (Score 1) 46

Isn't there already enough disdain for stupid laws and red tape?

FTFY: Isn't there enough stupid laws and red tape?
Congress: NO.

We get paid to make laws and try very hard to do both. Especially the former. Well, the latter too. But the former -- don't forget the former. NEVER forger the former.

Then again, Trump wants to "remove two laws for every new law". Let's hope that none of them are in the "Too Stupid To Die" category. It may fail horribly (-2 for +1) but at least it's an attempt.

But then again, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." [Ie, what the actual ramifications are.] So then why have experts if you aren't going to listen to them? Or is it because you've got disagreeing experts?

Comment Re:Maintenance (Score 1) 337

I can't wait to try and maintain code generated by pasting together random code snippets. And people thought old COBOL mainframe code was expensive to keep going, well hold on to your hats.

Just have the AI do a full blown rewrite.

Rewrite? Hell, if it's so intelligent have the AI clone itself and then perform the actual task to start with.

The Only Problem. That, or the clones making their own clones.

Comment Pluto: Kick me all you want, but ... I'll be back. (Score 1) 207

You want to have a single, one-ring-to-rule-them-all to handle planets? Why? Just deem Pluto (my precious) and whatever else a planet and be done with it -- an administrative decision. No problem, just ask your local PHB secretary about these.

Oh, you actually want a real rule? Then how about any large body that directly orbits a sun? Now, define large: diameter, atmospheric pressure (Do we call it a planet if it doesn't have an atmosphere?) "weight", mass, temperature, internal composition, a definable surface or what-not AND remember to define exactly what a sun is and we're done.

And if you find two wanna-be "planets" orbiting each other while both orbit around a sun -- just break out the Death Star. It's got to earn it's keep SOMEhow.

Comment Re:Skilled labor? (Score 1) 271

We had a guy we hired as part of an IBM software purchase. (Even the tech consultants said this was the most complex implantation they had ever seen and that NONE of the previous installs had actually worked properly -- that boded well for the future.)

Knew a guy -- he was nice but clueless. After a few months they added him to the on-call rotation. Monday morning, big uproar. Off call people had to babysit and restart the customer facing app multiple times. Where was the on-call guy? After a while he came in and his manager wanted to know "What happened?" Yeah, the on-call alert kept going off over the weekend. And it just kept going off so I turned it off.

The next day he was fired. And not that everyone's the same, but to join the parent: we also had a woman from that same company. She could run rings around any of us. True, it was her area of expertise and it wasn't ours, but you could ask any question about any part and she would have a good understandable answer with pointers. had they hired about 19 more of her they might have actually gotten it all to work.

"If something goes wrong IBM will darken the sky with consultants to get you going again." I think that was their selling line that we bought. Lets just say that when all was said and done, every physical and logical device was covered with political dark, sticky, smelly stuff that had fallen from that sky. I don't think that's quite what our CEO was looking for. The tech support guys kept it operating by sheer force of effort and dedication. Once every two week it would have a disaster -- the IBM DB2 databases they used for LDAP wouldn't start, or work, or would kill itself and they're have to restore, sometimes even from tape. And I really don't know why.

It didn't directly affect me -- I was next door in a nearby silo, but weekly went to my boss, shook his shoulders and said "Don't get us within a MILE of anything they're doing. I like the people but they're building a career 100% busywork black-hole." And then no reason, but 2 years later they're shutting our entire side of the company down. Even if they were planning on shutting us down some day, I *DO* think that was a little part of sooner rather than later.

Comment I love Jurassic Park. (Score 1) 301

Nature finds a way. --- Haven't they seen Jurassic Park?

I dislike Jeff Goldblum but I absolutely HATE that line.

Life finds a way....unless it DOESN'T. Just ask the Dodo, the dinosaur, the Neanderthal, and all of the other extinct species. But you can't, they're extinct; ask one of these instead.

Life TRIES to find a solution (anthropomorphising life? It that legal?) but -- like everything else -- has resource restraints. If there's time and it can and it's lucky, it succeeds and offspring enjoys the benefits. If not, there's no offspring. Either way NO PROBLEM. That is unless you're the missing offspring.

Gaia? Save the Earth? Complete nonsense, the EARTH will do just fine with or without us. Just see Venus, Mars, or even Jupiter. Now the biosphere that we live in? That you might want to save.

Comment Not the final word, but early results: No. (Score 1) 399

...according to Universal basic income 'useless', says Finland's biggest union

Since January, some unemployed Finns have been receiving a stipend of e560 (L477) per month; amount isn't means-tested and is paid regardless of whether recipient finds a job

Of course there's back and forth -- you didn't test correctly, you're a union and afraid of losing power, your mother wears Army boots. Glad he's trying another test, more data is useful As Long As you write down and publish all of the variables you think you're testing As Well As exactly how you tested and how you derived your results.

"I'm testing to see if pigs can fly -- maybe I just need a lot more thrust."

Comment Re:Not a huge NPR fan but... (Score 1) 268

On NPR I listened to Says You! at Sat noon all of the time -- a nice game of wordplay. Right after that Wait Wait Don't Tell Me came on. On the former, very occasionally one of the panelists would make a snarky political remark but that was extremely few and always had a funny bent related to the topic at hand. On the latter ....

I was lazy and listened to the next show on (WWDTM) and came to greatly dislike that show -- they always had political jokes on "both" sides of the isle. The D ones were always funny / nice (Obama was feeding a rescued dove and it grabbed the entire cracker and flew away leaving Obama forlorn) while the R ones weren't quite the same (Trump was feeding a dove by stuffing an entire box of crackers down it's throat, but when the poor weak migrant bird lifted it's wing to protest he bit it's head off and ate its dripping raw corpse while accidentally eating some feathers as well.)

Yes of course I'm making that bit up; I haven't listened to the show in years. But that's how it always seemed to me -- soft funny jokes for the ones they like, hard mean ones for the ones they don't. I guess that's life, clans, and showbiz/politics.

I also found it interesting: both had a find-the-truth game. SY had a word with 3 definitions, only 1 correct, find it. I liked that game. WW had a similar one: 3 news articles, 1 correct, find it. I didn't like that one but couldn't figure out why. I finally decided you'd either learn a new unused word and vocabulary definition and ignore the false definitions (or forget about the entire thing completely) but while you might remember the correct news article, you might also remember the IN-correct news article, forgetting that it was incorrect.

Comment Re:Poor article? (Score 5, Interesting) 600

Recursion is an easy way to implement solutions to a number of problems. But if you don't have a clearly finite depth then it can be dangerous.

In '88 (90?) I had a copy of Unix Sort for PC (MS-DOS) complied in I believe a Lattice C compiler from LifeBoat. It worked fine but ran slow as a dog, and this was when IBM AT were fast. So I found the routine that did the actual in-memory sort and made it recursive. It easily worked over 5x as fast but had the slight problem of ABENDing when it ran out of stack space, which the old version didn't have.

So I fixed it: I left the recursive sort in place but did a free space stack check on entry. If there was less than 4K (4K!) left I switched to the slower non-recursive routine. I was able to keep sort speed around 4x of the original slower program but still have the program always successfully complete.

It was a simple fix, but I have to admit I was impressed with myself for implementing that.

EVERYTHING can be misused. Add meaningful comments so they are not misunderstood. Write everything for your peers and their less-experienced colleagues. If you're a genius who writes working code that no one else understands, you're not a genius. But if the person following you really is a blithering idiot, then nothing you do will help.

Comment Re:Not Tor Problems! (Score 1) 150

I was at a Novell conference a decade or so ago. (God -- has it been that long??) Laura Chappell was hosting a session, and in it said that for a while she was hosting Kitty Porn and advertising on some nefarious sites. When someone interested would fetch her pics (no videos I guess) they got pictures of Kittens in (I assume) various sexual positions -- nursing, stretching their legs, licking each other, etc. With a caption of "Your IP address has been logged and will be turned over to law enforcement."

She remarked at the time about how many interrupted downloads she saw, but of course their IP address really had already been logged. No idea what ended up happening.

A friend of mine also at the conference said he thought she was "Technically Hot". (RIP Tim. Say "Hi" to Jay for me.)

ARE they hosting actual child porn (left in place from when they took over a system) or is it an innocuous file just named something funny?

Along those same lines, a decade ago someone was (but never did, or at least I never heard about it) was going to create a million MP3 files, all actually containing a content of "This Is Not A Music File!", name them all by current bands / albums / song names, and make them available for public download. The point was getting take-down notices and RIAA/MPAA claims against them when it was obvious the file contents were not infringing in the least and then objecting to the false claim of ownership.

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