Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Trust the World's Fastest VPN with Your Internet Security & Freedom - A Lifetime Subscription of PureVPN at 88% off. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Devil is in the details (Score 1) 600

The problem with eval() is that it's incredible power can't be used safely in most languages, as whatever you eval() becomes part of the main program. If you could eval() code in a sandbox and apply memory and CPU cycle limits to it, it would be very useful, but most languages don't have such features making eval() little more than a dangerous toy that sometimes becomes useful for debugging.

As for goto, the Linux kernel is full of it and quite readable because of it. But outside of C you tend to have other mechanism to deal with resource cleanup that make it no longer necessary (RAII in C++, 'with' statements in Python).

Recursion again depends heavily on the details. In Python you quickly run into stack overflows when you use recursion to much (1000 is the default), so it's best avoided. In Haskell or Scheme it's the normal way of doing things, thanks to tail recursion support.

Multi-inheritance I never found very useful, even single-inheritance is rarely a good solution and you are better of doing composition most of the time.

Comment Re:Forgot one (Score 5, Informative) 489

Scott Meyers calls this the The Keyhole Problem and has a paper with a bunch of good examples.

My "favorite" modern example of the problem is Chrome's omnibox auto-completion, you get six results at maximum, they don't even give you a scroll bar or a "Show more" link, six results only. There used to be a command line option to increase it, but they removed it some years ago, it's now a hardcoded constant in the source code.

Comment Talk is easy (Score 1) 367

Talk is easy, I'd like to see some example how the self driving car would actually perform in those freak accident situations, especially in cases where it could avoid them by going outside the traffic rules (e.g. dodge a truck by driving into the grass or reversing).

Comment Re:We've heard this before (Score 1) 63

While DK2 had some lower specs, it didn't have the god-ray problem, red-tint problems and it had exchangeable lenses that made it possible to use without glasses. Meanwhile CV1 didn't brought any new features (still no passthrough camera, no tracked controllers on launch), just a general bit of polish and upped specs. Given the drastic price increase of CV1 and all those problems it felt rather lackluster overall, especially since Vive pretty much stole the show with roomscale and tracked controllers. Oculus is just slowly catching up to that.

I am really not sure that the $600 price was a good idea, as the biggest problem VR has is not the quality, but a lack of content. A lack of VR gamers due to the expensive price isn't helping there. That said, the Oculus launch was a rushed clusterfuck with many month of waiting time anyway, with a $300 price people would probably still waiting for their Rift.

With PSVR now out and christmas not so far away, I am wondering who will make a price cut first. VR really needs that if it doesn't want to die a slow death again. Expensive VR hasn't worked the first time around in the 90's, I don't expect to work it this time around either.

Comment Re:I want alternatives (Score 3, Interesting) 97

Well, what's wrong with Android? It's based on Linux and somewhat Open Source. It would be nice if there would be more compatibility between desktop Linux and Android, but that's something that could be accomplished without reinventing everything. Ubuntu in fact worked on allowing you to run Android apps on desktop Linux, but they abandoned that many years ago and instead went the same "reinvent everything" route that Mozilla tried and they will probably fail just the same.

If Free Software wants to stay relevant in the long run they need to work more on interoperability, portability and mobility. Back in the day there was a "many user : single computer" environment and cloning Unix solved that reasonably well, but these days we live in a "single user : multiple computer" environment and so far Free Software isn't really handling that all that well and all these "let's write yet another OS" efforts aren't really helping, as they are just yet another OS that it mostly incompatible with the devices I already own.

Comment Make it client side (Score 1) 310

Storing the .mp3 on their servers is where it gets iffy. So how about turning the whole thing into a Javascript application that does all the dirty work on the client instead of the server? Emscripten should make it possible to get video and mp3 coder into the Javascript world. Do current browsers allow enough access to get a Youtube video into a blob that can be processed with Javascript?

Comment Socialmedia is a third-person camera thing (Score 3, Insightful) 92

One thing with social media is that people seem to post a lot more pictures of themselves (third person camera) than they post about experiences they were having (first person camera). Meaning video glasses point essentially in the wrong direction, as they show what the user sees, but not the user itself. Selfiesticks seem to be more in tune to how people actually use social media.

Either way, the 10sec restriction makes those glasses a rather limited gadget without much use outside of Snapchat.

Comment Re:Keeping up with the Nadellas (Score 1) 121

None of the aforementioned were forced on anybody.

They were very definitely forced on people. When Ubuntu 11.10 came out they removed Gnome2 and replaced it with the completely different and incompatible Gnome3. MATE didn't exist yet. There was no simple way to downgrade again either. You were stuck with a system that got completely broken duo to the upgrade and it took years before MATE made it into Ubuntu.

As fucked up as the Windows10 upgrade was, at least that one I could roll back with a few clicks. Linux package manager on the other side aren't quite clever enough to allow a system wide downgrade. Windows also has the advantage of having really good backward/forward compatibility, so it's much easier to run an outdated Windows than it is to run an outdated Linux. And before somebody says "Use LTS", those have a whole heap of problems of their own and the lack of support for third-party apps in Linux means you are stuck with two year old software or a lot of manual fiddling.

As much as I like Free Software, that Ubuntu 11.10 upgrade was easily the worst upgrade experience I ever had on any OS and Free Software is extremely lacking when it comes to software longlifety.

Comment Re:All messaging services are the same (Score 1) 135

Yes, that's what broadcasting means. The problem is that email never had native broadcasting capabilities, it only got bolted on via mailing lists, which lacked a standard interface and made subscribe and unsubscribe extremely cumbersome. The other big problem with mail is that it lacked persistence, if you subscribed to a mailing list in the mid of a discussion, you would miss out on everything that happened before. You could look it up in a mail archive, assuming somebody provided it, but it was again a cobbled together mess with no standard interface or integration into the mail client.

Twitter, Facebook and Co. are solving those problems and giving people broadcasting functionality and persistence by default along with slightly better multimedia support. But what you end up with is essentially email reinvented with broadcast capabilities. You could take all those services and merge them into one, as they are all doing the same thing now.

Comment Re:All messaging services are the same (Score 1) 135

Where is the huge difference? You have a linear news feed where you can post messages and others can comment on your messages. It's the same as everything else. Back when Twitter started it was a different thing, the 140 characters were all that you got and there was no integration of pictures, but that has been eroded for years, pictures, video and Co. are now all normal on Twitter and natively supported. Even the page layout is mostly the same with friends and photo boxes on the left and news feed on the right.

Comment All messaging services are the same (Score 2, Insightful) 135

The more time goes on, the more all the messaging services are becoming the same. Even today the differences between Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Co. is already rather slim, as they are all essentially used for the same things: post text, images or video to a group of people or the public. Even that fundamental 140 character limit on Twitter is constantly worked around by posting images of text or linking to sites like Twitlonger. The only real difference is the client, some client make it really fast to post video while other focus on images and text, but all of them allow you to do essentially the exact same things under the hood.

What we are seeing here is essentially see the slow and painful reinvention of email with broadcast functionality. I could even see that turning into an open standard in another few years, as it's rather pointless to have so many apps doing the same thing and be incompatible with each other.

Comment Re:Wireless earpods with HQ audio (Score 1) 274

Standard Bluetooth audio quality is so bad that the quality of the earplugs doesn't even enter into the discussion. When you want to use the mic on a Bluetooth headset you have to use the HSP profile which can only do mono at like 8000Hz, it is completely unusable by modern standards. When you don't need the mic you can get acceptable quality with A2DP, but then you are stuck with latency of up to half a second, which renders it unusable for anything interactive.

I heard one can better results with aptX, but there seems to be no easy way to tell who supports it or when it's actually in use.

Long story short, finding reliable information on Bluetooth audio is hard and the chance that you end up with absolutely horrible audio quality is pretty damn high. If Apple can clean up that situation, more power to them.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340