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Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

93 Escort Wagon Re:The Luddite Answer (166 comments)

Attacking spelling is the last resort of someone who can't come up with a cogent counter-argument...

and often ears a "+5, Informative" on Slashdot, depending on the point under discussion.

2 days ago

Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

93 Escort Wagon Overcoming hardware limitations with software (126 comments)

The summary makes it sound like this is an algorithm tuning problem - "err on the side of too much in focus" - which isn't the case. It's a byproduct of sensor size.

Even with real cameras the rule of thumb is a full frame (35mm film equivalent size) camera, at a given focal length, has a stop "better" depth of field than a camera with an APS-C sensor taking the same picture - so a Nikon D7100 would need to shoot at f/2.0 to get the same blurring as a D800 shooting the same photo at f/2.8.

Most camera phone sensors are rather tiny compared to real cameras.

On a side note... pedants may going to have fun nitpicking all of this apart. :-)

3 days ago

Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

93 Escort Wagon Re:Missing a rather large point (136 comments)

A truly "stabilized" hybrid is usually considered open pollinated - no longer a hybrid. The loss of hybrid vigor is a recognized byproduct of stabilization.

However, as you allude to, for many varieties of legume the flowers self-pollinate. With soybeans and snap beans in particular, the flowers pollinate themselves before they're even open - which incidentally makes it much more difficult to develop new varieties (whether the goal is a hybrid or the development of a new OP). Species like that have developed their own methods of dealing with the problems that usually come with in-breeding. I'd guess (but do not know) that those genetic coping strategies might also help counter the usual loss of vigor that would normally be observed as the generations progress.

4 days ago

Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

93 Escort Wagon Missing a rather large point (136 comments)

One thing that's sort of buried in the article is this movement is also anti-hybrid, which is not all that surprising. But hybrids offer a definite, measurable benefit to the farmer - not only are they more uniform (important for commercial harvesting), they are invariably more vigorous than open pollinated varieties. Greater vigor per plant means greater profit per plant.

As a gardener I understand and applaud attempts to develop and improve open pollinated varieties of vegetables and fruits. It's fun to save your own seeds, and OPs have more diverse genes - so they are important to the continued existence of plant species. But it's going to be an uphill battle trying to convince farmers to give up hybrids, if that's really the movement's goal. And I don't think it's really what they should be focussing on. But plant purists can be every bit as inflexible as the most ardent GPL zealot, so I expect philosophy will win out over practicality.

5 days ago

Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

93 Escort Wagon Re:"little influence" (810 comments)

It took a study to figure that out?

And likely a government-funded one, to boot!

about a week ago

Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

93 Escort Wagon Re:I Pay (325 comments)

While I agree with you in principle, it is a little more complicated than that.

What Netflix is paying for is a peering tie-in inside of Comcast's data centers.

about a week ago

Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

93 Escort Wagon Re:For the first time ever... (386 comments)

One year I filed an extension... then completely forgot about it! Fortunately they owed me money (I had sent a check for my estimated taxes due when I filed for the extension, and it turns out I'd overpaid), so when I finally filed it a few years late I wasn't in trouble. But the only reason I ever remembered was I got a letter from the IRS saying "we never received this tax return, and if you don't file before XX-XX-XXXX any money we might owe you will be forfeit".

about a week ago

Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

93 Escort Wagon Re:In Switzerland (386 comments)

Here in Switzerland, canton Vaud, Tax Day was March 15. It is quite easy : you download a Java app from the government Web site.

I don't want a Java app anywhere near my financial information.

about a week ago

Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

93 Escort Wagon Re:base it around my OS (386 comments)

I've used TaxAct for quite a few years - it works well, and it's under ten bucks for most people. Heck, for a federal return it doesn't have to cost anything at all.

The IRS itself has gradually been making it easier to file directly with them, for free. Up until now my wife and I have fallen above the income cutoff they've artificially chosen; but it appears they've been gradually increasing their capacity over the past few years - I suspect, either next year or the year after, we all will be able to go to irs.gov and take care of it there. My taxes aren't that difficult, so having to use a paid service (or paper) just because I want to do them myself seems quite silly.

about a week ago

The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

93 Escort Wagon Don't think his recommended apps work (163 comments)

When I rode the train in to work this morning, the app failed miserably when I tried to find the best place to park it in the rail yard. Also, the conductor's goons stopped me from getting to the locomotive.

about a week ago

Private Keys Stolen Within Hours From Heartbleed OpenSSL Site

93 Escort Wagon Re:I can't use cloudflare, connection is insecure (151 comments)

Hmm... I have a fully updated 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) box that's been my media server for a number of years - it doesn't get used for anything else, even web browsing (it's an old MacBook Pro with a non-functional screen). Just now I connected to it using screen sharing, opened up Safari and went to the CloudFlare Challenge website. It loaded just fine, with no warnings whatsoever.

I put Firefox on it and went to the same URL - Firefox tells me the certificate has been revoked.

about two weeks ago

Private Keys Stolen Within Hours From Heartbleed OpenSSL Site

93 Escort Wagon Re:I can't use cloudflare, connection is insecure (151 comments)

On iOS I get no such warning...

And actually, the default OS X settings don't check revocation lists either. To enable that you need to open up "Keychain Access", go to "Preferences -> Certificates", and set both OCSP and CRL to "Best Attempt".

about two weeks ago

Private Keys Stolen Within Hours From Heartbleed OpenSSL Site

93 Escort Wagon Oh, man, what a mess (151 comments)

I do have to wonder if the task was made easier given the purpose of the server. After all, I'd think it wouldn't get traffic at all except for those people responding to the challenge. But, still, this proved it's possible.

So not only do those of us responsible for web servers need to generate new server certs for all of our servers... pretty much every current web server cert in existence also needs to be revoked. Are the CAs even willing/able to do something on that scale in a short amount of time?

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

93 Escort Wagon Re:lol. ignorant nerd rage. (736 comments)

Given no one will want to compensate them... how will they live?

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

93 Escort Wagon Re:WHAT? (736 comments)

i know a guy who can test and replace most parts on a motherboard.

How does he do these tests without electricity?

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

93 Escort Wagon Re:Medical doctor (736 comments)

Wow, that was quite a logical leap you made there! You must be really impressed with that uncited study you're referring to!

There was a study, only about a decade ago, that claimed vaccines cause autism! So make sure not to get your kids vaccinated - vaccines obviously do more harm than good!

about two weeks ago



Remote Root Exploit in Kindle Touch

93 Escort Wagon 93 Escort Wagon writes  |  about a year and a half ago

93 Escort Wagon (326346) writes "This week's SANS Consensus Security Vulnerability email reports there's a remote root exploit on the Kindle Touch, thanks to its NPAPI support, served with a side of full root privileges.

NPAPI support was newly introduced on the Touch with software update 5.1.0. I don't own a Kindle Touch, but if it's anything like my Kindle 3 — I can't imagine too many people are using its web browser. But still..."

iGoogle going away in 2013

93 Escort Wagon 93 Escort Wagon writes  |  about 2 years ago

93 Escort Wagon (326346) writes "Users of iGoogle are now receiving notices that iGoogle is being shut down on November 1, 2013. The mobile version will be retired on July 31, 2012.

I remember when Google seemed to be all about offering tools people might find useful, regardless of their money-making potential; but it appears they're now proceeding pell-mell down the track of killing projects they can't monetize."

Link to Original Source

When Stallman speaks, you'd better have Pepsi on h

93 Escort Wagon 93 Escort Wagon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

93 Escort Wagon (326346) writes "Some Slashdotters adore Richard Stallman, while others revile him — but we all can agree he's an interesting character. If you're thinking about bringing RMS in for a talk, though, there's a lot to be considered — literally. And you'd better not use the term "open source" or use a penguin in the promotional materials!"
Link to Original Source

Netflix does about-face, decides to keep profiles

93 Escort Wagon 93 Escort Wagon writes  |  more than 5 years ago

93 Escort Wagon (326346) writes "Fresh from my Inbox:

We Are Keeping Netflix Profiles

You spoke, and we listened. We are keeping Profiles. Thank you for all the calls and emails telling us how important Profiles are.

We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused. We hope the next time you hear from us we will delight, and not disappoint, you.

-Your friends at Netflix"


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