Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment No Surprises There... (Score 4, Informative) 169

Neurons aren't digital processors. A set of connected neurons isn't either. Neuroscience already knows that it's really difficult to learn about the structure and function of the brain from the available tools. What was more interesting was that they were able to pick up anything. They found that the chip had a master clock, for example.

There are people already challenging the use of viewing the brains as a computer (signal ins and outs) in terms of really understanding how brains organize and function. So, given all this, it's not surprising that the methods didn't fare well. The neuroscientists already knew they had a very tough task, it's those in CS and AI that are assuming that understanding the brain is the same as understanding a collection of digital circuits.

Comment Re:Try JPython (Score 1) 129

Type checking is ultimately formal verification (see the Curry-Howard correspondence). Of course, this limits what type systems can specify about a program, and practically, the restrictions placed on languages based on certain more advanced type systems greatly limit their use in general programming.

Comment Reference Material... (Score 1) 381

The modern version is much more of a reference than textbook. While exercises still are part the book, it really for testing knowledge. Also, the field has just exploded and the task is really daunting. Satisfiability is an example, the current fascicle is 320 pages, but a more in depth look at the problem could run to twice that much and more. And there is new work being done on the topic every day.

Frankly, less and less programmers will need it, as it is easier and easier to create and use algorithmic libraries. Also, optimization just isn't what it used to be. Modern embedded silicon is quite roomy and complete control of the hardware leads to more problems (think buffer overflows) than it often solves. Finally, code that is verifiable is of more overall value, and so simpler algorithms and more constricted languages may be the future of a lot of code bases.

But, it's an awesome project and always will be.

Comment Closure and Threads... (Score 0) 497

While I agree that they can be difficult, they exist for a reason, and frankly, with some proper study of functional and parallel programming, they can be used correctly. Closures have been a part of programming since LISP and frankly, higher order functions and functional programming can solve a lot of problems quite nicely. Certainly, mutability makes that a bit more difficult, but it can be managed. Finally, figuring out what variables are captured in a closure is quite doable by static analysis, which would be a nice addition to some programming environments.

Threads are more difficult for sure, but there are frameworks that can provide some useful higher level abstractions to make there use a bit easier. Lower level usage can be quite difficult, but a bit of actual thought and design goes along way. Also, there are some really powerful tools for multithreaded debugging, they just aren't freely available.

Mainly, I've found that people that can't manage these abstractions just don't have enough background in operating systems (which also discusses basics of concurrency) and functional programming, topics that used to be required in CS education. They can be learned and it can increase your overall code quality and reduce some frustrations.

Comment It's not about the learning.. (Score 2) 435

It's about the increasing biases in the industry that assumes that older programmers just can't possibly pick up new technology without a lot of help. It's quite the opposite in many cases. As if somebody that started programming hasn't moved from language to language multiple times. They understand the fundaments, and they don't just chase one trend after another. They have a good sense of what is mature enough for consideration and what isn't.
They know that programming all the time not only isn't necessary, it is detrimental in the long term.

Comment Don't review what you don't understand at all... (Score 1) 163

Seriously. The author seems to have no idea what the Windows Subsystem for Linux is nor how it works. There are separate file systems for a reason. The things the author tries are exactly the things Microsoft make it very clear will be very problematic at best.

The POSIX model and the Windows model of permissions are completely different. Instead of trying to map between the two (something Cygwin does variably well, sometimes really badly), they provide a file system with the semantics needed. Finally, there is no Microsoft version of Bash. It's Bash, compiled for the Linux kernel (like most packages) that is being run as is by the subsystem. The subsystem has bugs, this is known, this is beta software and it is software that even Microsoft is smart enough to know that they need as many people trying it to find bugs as needed.

And it does fill a very specific need and more importantly, it's further building out the newer subsystem parts of NT, which might come in handy for other things down the road.

Comment Re:Never was a reasonable conversation (Score 1) 249

Also, you don't have the right to deny your child the chance to be healthy and not suffer preventable diseases for any reason. We are a modern society. This is simple, just take the choice away. A child that medically able to be vaccinated will be, free of charge. Any attempt to interfere with that process is child neglect and will be handled as such.

Also, I want vaccine availability to be a specific line item in foreign aid for countries. I want a consistent vaccine development program at the CDC with proper funding.

Why all this? Because vaccines are one of the most successful public health interventions ever. Only basic sanitation and clean water has been more successful and yes, they are in the same category.

Comment Re:Larry's bombast (Score 2) 157

On what service?. Azure has CDN services with similar pricing structure as AWS. No free tier, though.

Of course, cloud pricing is very tricky, overall, but the cost structures between Amazon and Azure are more and more in line these days, The competition between the two is starting to show some pricing benefits.

Comment It's just a tool... (Score 1) 349

And is limited to how well you use it. As the article noted, OpenOffice and LibreOffice will do they same thing as well. They noted Sheets doesn't, but I can't get Google Sheets to handle dates consistently at all sometimes.

This is just an excellent example of what works for a large population of users can be a bad thing for a small set of users. After this paper, I expect the error rate to drop dramatically, given how easy the fix is.

Comment Intel's Roadmap is really confusing... (Score 2) 55

Okay, they cancel Broxton, but then they release this. So, smartphones and tablets are out, but this is a great prototyping board for industrial IoT and other smart devices? Look, if they don't have a story on cellular network capabilities, nobody is going to care, and if they do have a story there, then they didn't really leave those markets. Does the Surface Phone crawl along, zombie like, after all? At any rate, Intel has a lot of work to do in the embedded space. A lot.

Comment Re:Pushing Linux Subsystem for Windows to GA? (Score 1) 150

Already use it, have for years, but the number of the ports varies and often lag behind in versioning. Certain tools work better than others overall. Not Cygwin's fault, they have to try and emulate certain semantics via Win32 in user space, and some calls, permissions, etc. just don't work quite right. (fork is an excellent example). But, this is because it is exceptionally hard to do. I am extremely grateful to Corinna Vinschen and her team for the tireless work she has done for countless years to bring a usable Unix like command line to Windows. She's was tirelss in tracking NT kernel semantics and the Win32 user space. But, a proper kernel subsystem brings it to another level and that is the better overall approach. And this time, Microsoft is working with good partners to get things working. But, I expect Cygwin (and MSYS) to have a role for quite some time to come.

Comment Basic Journalism... (Score 5, Insightful) 165

The basics of journalism do help. Just dumping raw data with no concern to how it may affect third parties that are irrelevant to the main story really hurts your overall credibility. Not even showing any attempt to verify the information as valid (because it is easy to tamper with digital information) with additional sources does as well. News matters. Providing a context to a given set of information is important. Asking for comment and/or rebuttal from various parties is important, even if they refuse. Showing judgement as to what is relevant is important.. Not doing so opens them up to a ton of valid criticism. Some editorial prudence would go a long way overall.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Engineering meets art in the parking lot and things explode." -- Garry Peterson, about Survival Research Labs