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Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

BadDreamer Re:Until warp drive is invented... (290 comments)

That phase has always been here. As mentioned previously, lasers were invented in the 1920's, and it took many decades before they could be manufactured, and a few more before they could be used in engineering contexts.

And the same goes for everything. But to therefore blithely say that we should halt basic research to "catch up" is completely flawed. What about the basic science discoveries which lie a few years ahead of us which might give us a new way to apply previous scientific advances? Which allow engineering based on previously merely curious phenomena? How will we ever get to that if we halt basic research?

Results are seldom of the form:

"single basic discovery -> heavy engineering effort -> product!"

but more of the kind

"many basic discoveries, building on each other and synergizing -> widespread engineering effort on multiple paths -> products -> more basic research -> further engineering -> improved or new products."

I have yet to see a valid argument for why we should cease basic research to "catch up". Rather the contrary, before we can start using the new results in engineering we need to understand them better - and that takes MORE basic research, not less.

5 days ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

BadDreamer Re:Good for you. (641 comments)

Actually I secure *every* OS I use that way. And it doesn't take me any time at all - on the contrary, it saves me time. The faster, leaner PDF reader alone saves me a lot of headache, especially with the malware Adobe includes these days.

And this goes for work and privately both. On my Linux systems I do the same, block Java and remove Flash. Saves me time, headache and reduces incoming attack vectors.

Therefore I see no issue with using XP, which I use in some virtual machines. My XP installs are around 200 megs each, plus the application. The W7 VM's are tens of gigabytes. Even on a 256GB SSD, like I have on my work laptop, I can't justify having W7 VM's for the half a dozen or so setups I need in my work.

about a week ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

BadDreamer Re:Good for you. (641 comments)

Yes, in fact you can make this decision today. With Firefox and HTML5 you do not need Java and Flash for most content (not for any I consume), and Adobe wants to install so much malware with later versions of Adobe Reader that going to an alternative is pretty much a requirement for any system today.

And yes, for some uses Internet access is not required either, and then the device should not be connected to the Internet.

about a week ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

BadDreamer Re:Good for you. (641 comments)

Just don't use Flash, Java or Adobe Reader. There are leaner, faster PDF readers around, and Java is almost never needed on a desktop system.

Flash used to be everywhere but is starting to disappear. I don't have it on any of my systems, and I can still watch most videos I come across, which is really all I see it used for.

Then it doesn't matter how long Adobe/Oracle supports your OS.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

BadDreamer Re:Is it really that costly? (423 comments)

There is greed and there is the impossible. If Microsoft tried that they'd be abandoned for alternatives. Instead they try to use the planned obsolescence to make XP no longer viable and let regulations and policies do their dirtywork.

But sure, if they were still in the position they were 15 years ago they would charge that. Even they know they're not. But they're still greedy, and still care not one iota about the worldwide IT infrastructure they have helped building up.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

BadDreamer Re:Is it really that costly? (423 comments)

I am prepared to pay for support. Microsoft do not care. They want me to upgrade from a perfectly working system so they can make more money than they can from support.

That is greed, pure and simple.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

BadDreamer Re:Is it really that costly? (423 comments)

"did you really expect your software to work for more than 10-15 years without needing an upgrade?"

Yes, I did. What reason would I have not to expect this?

Many banks still run software from the 1960's and it does what it's supposed to do just fine. What is it about my software which makes it impossible to continue to use it after 10-15 years? Other than Microsoft being greedy, that is.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Dumping License Fees For Windows Phone?

BadDreamer Re:How to Falsify Evolution (125 comments)

"Something can not be proven to be true without showing that it is not false, and something can not be proven to be not true, unless it can be proven to be false."

Since science is not concerned with proving things true or false, this is completely irrelevant. Evolution is a model based on observation, and it works. That's all that matters.

If you can use the model of intelligent design to predict how disease will develop and other such questions in biology, then by all means, do so. So far the track record of intelligent design on the furthering of any and all fronts of biology is rather dismal. And that is what matters.

about a month ago
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Jewish School Removes Evolution Questions From Exams

BadDreamer Re:Infinite. (431 comments)

Secularist is not only good, it's as close to perfect as it gets. Secularist does not mean atheistic, and in no way gets in the way of also getting a religious education; it merely means that the education itself is based on what works whether or not faith in it is held.

And yes, it has been tried, and the countries which hold to secularist education have the highest results of any schools. Finland for example is doing fantastically well.

I suspect your jab about secularist education having been tried was aimed at the former communist regimes, which had atheistic but not even remotely secular education. Blind faith in communism permeated everything about the education system, making it completely non-secular.

about a month ago
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With 'Virgin' Developers, Microsoft Could Fork Android

BadDreamer Clueless ... (241 comments)

Clean room implementations do nothing at all to protect from patent infringement. Patents are like nuclear submarines, hiding and striking very hard when you least expect it. Copyright, sure, but that is irrelevant since the GMS is closed source and the source code is not available anyway.

So what the OT is suggesting is that Microsoft makes a WINE style implementation of the GMS, moving target and all, and allow Google to take the lead and Microsoft to follow.

Sounds likely.

about 2 months ago
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Windows 8 Metro: The Good Kind of Market Segmentation?

BadDreamer Completely backwards (389 comments)

But that is completely backwards! Metro requires the memorization of active corners, various slides with varying amount of fingers and all manner of arcane "commands", making it a power user shell to the OS. It does away with - and one might even say punishes - the intuitive, newbie approaches and rewards the power user who loves using the OS for the sake of using the OS and not just for starting applications.

The very people who generally loathe Metro are the ones it is designed for, and the ones it is claimed to be used for will find it alien and difficult to grasp, because it is not designed for them.

That a Microsoft UX designer fails to see this is symptomatic of the complete lack of focus at the Microsoft of the "business instinct genius" "the iPhone will never succeed" Ballmer. Even Microsoft do not know what their user interfaces reward and punish. And that is why Windows 8 is such a total failure.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

BadDreamer Re:Noobs bitching..... (876 comments)

Assembly has a much larger command set than Brainfuck. Small command sets do not equal simpler.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

BadDreamer Re:It's been done (876 comments)

Can't we just say "this is a chart with input X and output(s) y". and just include it, and the compiler automatically generates the code to handle looking up data?.

Yes! We could call the code handling the data a "library" and include it when compiling!

What an astonishing breakthrough! You should patent this!

about 2 months ago
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The Changing Face of Robotics

BadDreamer Re:Same press release as last year (49 comments)

It is clear the interviewed person has never programmed existing industrial robots.

Thus, if the object fell out, it would stop (or do something else). This is different from how existing industrial robots work -- they'd just merrily continue the pick-and-place without the object.

I have programmed industrial robots of different kinds for the last eight years, and I have not worked with - or even seen - a robot which does not detect when it drops something and reacts to it. Many existing robots can differentiate between different products by grasping them, and there are sensors which can identify products on sight or by size.

Directly manipulating the robot to teach it has been attempted by ABB and other robot manufacturers, and the results have so far been unsatisfactory in practical use. It is mostly used for impressive displays at expos.

about 3 months ago
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VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

BadDreamer Re:Pathetic Example (683 comments)

So you're taking nazi propaganda at face value and using the opportunistic treaty with the nation Hitler was building up his strength to crush as evidence, and you're not doing it ironically?

I'm impressed. Not in the sense you intended, I'm sure, but I am.

about 3 months ago
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FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

BadDreamer Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (1098 comments)

While your quote is correct, you're drawing the wrong conclusion - one which RMS never states. Yes, it is "evil" to make money from "non-free" software. However, it is NOT "evil" to make money from "free" software.

And it is quite possible to make money from "free" GPL software. Many companies and individuals do. And in a world with more GPL software instead of less, that option will become more common - until when there is only GPL software every paid developer works on contributing instead of reinventing.

In short, your conclusion about relegating writing code to a side hobby is not valid; it does not follow from RMS' stance or statements.

about 3 months ago
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

BadDreamer Re:9.1 (1009 comments)

Mainly the integration of the graphics sub-system into the kernel. That made NT4 very unstable when introduced, and highly sensitive to driver quality, much more so than 3.5 which was the peak in stability of the NT generation. NT 3.5 was more stable than any Windows until XP after SP1 because of the kernel structure.

about 3 months ago
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Government Lab Uses Smartphones To Measure Gamma Ray Exposure

BadDreamer Re:Digital camera elements (105 comments)

There are already RGB filters on the camera; the sensor only takes pictures in black and white, so an RGGB Bayer array is used to filter the light reaching each photosite. And since there are two G pixels per final pixel, one of those could be switched to an IR filter. That would allow for taking IR pictures (at lower resolution) or mixing in IR in the color photo.

about 3 months ago
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

BadDreamer Re:9.1 (1009 comments)

Actually it's prime number versions which are good;

Windows NT 3.1 and 3.5 - excellent
Windows NT 4 - not so hot
Windows 2000 and XP (NT 5.x) - good!
Windows Vista (NT 6.x) - horrifying
Windows 7 - best so far
Windows 8 - need I say more?

The next good Windows will be Windows 11.

about 3 months ago

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