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Comments

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TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

Bill_the_Engineer Re:Like LAME (181 comments)

Since they are working with the original source code and simply implementing new code with a different license, I don't think those three terms you gave apply. When I think of "Clean Room Design", I think of programmers who program a different implementation knowing only the API and the expected results of the subroutine, method, or entire Application.

This is probably more of a "wink... wink.. Clean Room Design... cough... cough."

6 hours ago
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iOS 8 Review

Bill_the_Engineer Re:no wonder apple dropped 16GB machines (210 comments)

They shouldn't cripple the entire user base because some users may do stupid things.

Tell that to Google and HTC. The HTC One and Nexus Galaxy, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5 do not have removable storage.

To be honest, I never removed my original SD card. Most of what I needed was online.

2 days ago
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Digia Spins Off Qt As Subsidiary

Bill_the_Engineer Sink or Swim time. (33 comments)

I like Qt, but being spun off as its own subsidiary makes it easier to shut it down without affecting the parent company's stock.

So I wish them more luck than usual. May Qt not only be a boon for the open source community but also prove that this can not only be self-sustaining but profitable too.

3 days ago
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Digia Spins Off Qt As Subsidiary

Bill_the_Engineer Re:Linux-oriented? (33 comments)

Because the majority of their users are running Linux systems?

I think that was just added by DeviceGuru to make the story Linux related to the reader. By all accounts, this is probably correct.

3 days ago
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MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

Bill_the_Engineer Re:Of course you use force control to run fast. (90 comments)

I'm not a rocket scientist so I wouldn't know. ;)

Operationally you have have several things working against you:

1. Lift capacity of the balloon will limit the total weight of both your payload and rocket.

2. Weather conditions have to be right for launch. The favorable weather conditions for balloon launches are more restrictive than rocket launches.The balloon is HUGE and you will want little to no surface winds below 100ft. If there is a little wind (slight breeze is more accurate), you need to have it blowing away from structures and towards the safety corridor.

3. Even if the surface conditions are right, you're most certainly limited to two brief periods during the year called "turnaround". This is when the jet stream is changing direction and the high altitude winds are the slowest. Why? Well you can't have the balloon or it's launch platform begin decent over populated areas (if you wanted to reuse the launch platform). If you don't care about recovery, you could plan to have the balloon go over water outside of turnaround but the speed and direction of the gondola could make reaching your desired orbit somewhat complicated.

I think at least for the short term. It's more reliable to just launch from the ground and because of the labor costs of everyone waiting for favorable balloon conditions probably slightly cheaper too. Especially when you'll have to use balloon control and launch people on the ground as well as rocket control and launch personnel at float. It's easy to focus on the rocket fuel costs and not consider the helium, gondola, balloon, balloon launch costs (labor) in the first phase.

I know there are people working on this. I'm not one of them.

3 days ago
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MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

Bill_the_Engineer Re:Of course you use force control to run fast. (90 comments)

MIT news always gives the impression they invented something new. I remember a couple of years ago when NPR did a story about some MIT students launching a weather balloon with a camera attached and took pictures from the edge of space. They even went as far as suggesting that one day NASA could use this technology to perform experiments cheaper.

I was taken aback by this announcement, since:

1) Who hasn't launched a weather balloon with a camera attached?

2) (The thing that really made me laugh) I was waiting for the weather to become favorable for our research gondola to be launched at NASA's balloon facility.

3 days ago
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3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive

Bill_the_Engineer What a let down. (132 comments)

I was expecting to see what the hype was all about and all I saw was a bunch of marketing distractions showing the printing a shell of a very small go-cart, and later two guys riding that go-cart.

4 days ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Bill_the_Engineer Re:999 (588 comments)

While computers use base 2, the humans that program it use base 10. More importantly the people who read the brochure use base 10.

5 days ago
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Top EU Court: Libraries Can Digitize Books Without Publishers' Permission

Bill_the_Engineer Re: And this makes things easier...how? (102 comments)

Google has a scanner made specifically to scan library books without damage. You may actually want to research it.

about a week ago
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Top EU Court: Libraries Can Digitize Books Without Publishers' Permission

Bill_the_Engineer Re:And this makes things easier...how? (102 comments)

Digitizing a book doesn't destroy the original. This means that digitizing the book will have absolutely no negative effect on your library experience.

Instead it allows the library to continue loaning out the original without the fear of losing something that is out of print. Also, people will be able to read the book at the library even though the original was checked out by someone else or even lost or damaged.

I don't see how this is a problem for you.

about a week ago
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Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

Bill_the_Engineer I still remember when... (405 comments)

All the phone manufacturers with the exception of Apple spent millions on Super Bowl Ads and at the end of the game all the players took out their iPhone and took pictures of each other with the trophy.

about a week ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Bill_the_Engineer Re:Crichton is an idiot. (770 comments)

The lack of context is obvious. Which is why both this thread and the general public are doomed (evil grin).

Scientific knowledge gains traction by building a consensus of scientists that agree because it aligns with their theory or because they were able to reproduce the results. Will there be a consensus of non-believers or even disagreeing scientists? Of course!

There is a political element to science, but most of the time the correct scientific knowledge wins. Why? Because of the weight of the consensus' knowledge of the subject matter counts more than a simple popular vote. If the theory is sound then eventually it will gain traction. Otherwise it will simply become obscure waiting for someone else to take another stab it.

Scientists are not automatons that instantly gravitate to the new correct view. They are opinionated and stubborn. They (rightfully) need to be convinced. This is where consensus building takes place. A paper is published and presented at a conference. The author(s) explains the theory behind their paper and if the subject is popular enough in their niche and the theory is correct (or more correct than current understanding) it will eventually become part of the common knowledge in that field or at least have enough followers. Eventually the new theory will overtake the momentum of the out-of-date one, and become the prevailing theory.

Once you understand that there are scientific politics involved but in an arena where the argument isn't about "feelings" or "power" but about the correctness of one's theory, you should appreciate the fact that so many climatologists have agreed with the concept of global climate change.

The contextual part of consensus:

The reason there is a large consensus of scientists that believe climate change is real is not because of some political argument or personal passion but because they were convinced by the theories and data handed to them. The reason there is a large consensus of climate deniers that believe Michael Crichton is correct isn't because he gave any credible theories or provided conflicting data. It is because they want him to be correct because it conforms to their political views or personal opinion. They both are consensus of people but the motives behind the consensus is what differentiates the two.

about two weeks ago
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LLVM 3.5 Brings C++1y Improvements, Unified 64-bit ARM Backend

Bill_the_Engineer Re:Oh good. (99 comments)

It is not out of the question for Slashdot submissions to expect their target audience to know about LLVM and Clang. If you didn't then you weren't the target audience.

It would be like me having to write "Obama (the current US president)..." in a Democratic Party Newsletter or "Alabama (a US State)..." on an American news site.

Do we have to explain what a "Tesla Model S" or a "Ford Escort" is to the reader? No, because they been around long enough that it can be expected that most of the audience will know about them. LLVM and Clang fall in the same category for the audience of this site.

Instead of reading the article or looking it up on Google, you decided the best thing to do was whine about it. It seemed like a counter-productive move since there are other stories you could have read and commented on.

Maybe you'll find CNet, USA Today, or Highlights for Children more acceptable.

about two weeks ago
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New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Bill_the_Engineer Re:As someone who went to NC State (595 comments)

I bet it really doesn't.

A quick survey of "Acceptable Use Policy" from several universities including NC State allow for "Authorized users may access University IT resources for occasional, inconsequential personal uses, with no expectation of privacy..." and usually include a bunch of restrictions that apply more to employees than students except where "The use does not negatively impact the availability or performance of the University IT resources" and "no cost is incurred by the University".

Your tuition covered the use of the equipment for academic purposes which means as long as you are doing something specific to your class assignments then you are free to continue using the equipment for as long as you like with the exception of a lab being closed due to a class. If you are using the computer for personal use and someone else needs access to the computer then you will be asked to stop. It's done all the time and it shouldn't be a surprise to you.

about two weeks ago
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New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Bill_the_Engineer Re:Discreet? (595 comments)

You can quite easily dip the finger nail into the drink without anybody noticing. It's not like you are forced to use cartoon like exaggerated movements.

about three weeks ago
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New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Bill_the_Engineer Re:As someone who went to NC State (595 comments)

You pay tuition for education. Your tuition covers the use of campus resources to further your education. Tuition doesn't cover any use of university resources outside of education or recreation.

about three weeks ago
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

Bill_the_Engineer Re:well (200 comments)

The parent comment was:

It is strictly illegal for anybody (including law enforcement without a warrant) to use ANY means to view something on your property that isn't clearly visible to a common pedestrian or vehicle going past.

I doubt the law is that draconian or even enforceable. I countered with:

So have they issued warrants against Google yet?

You know because they used a satellite to photograph the contents of the Jane's backyard and she did say "ANY means to view something on your property".

and the rest of the real engineers, do some actual work.

With the difficulty you are having with context, I sure hope you aren't a real engineer.

about a month ago
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

Bill_the_Engineer Re:well (200 comments)

So have they issued warrants against Google yet?

about 1 month ago
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The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Bill_the_Engineer Re:hype (294 comments)

I seem to remember those two existing prior to twenty years.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Bankrupt municipality seeks revenue from speeding cameras on interstate

Bill_the_Engineer Bill_the_Engineer writes  |  about 2 years ago

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) writes "According to the Mobile Press Register a new speeding enforcement program was adopted by the Prichard City Council today that could generate at least $200,000 a year for the cash-strapped city.

The council, with a unanimous vote, endorsed a program that will add four additional patrol officers to monitor traffic speeds primarily along Interstate 165 and 65 within the Prichard city limits.

The program, administered by South Carolina-based iTraffic Safety, is set to start in January and will be monitored for three months before the city determines whether to increase regulations by adding speed cameras along the interstates. "I think we should try the officers first," Ephriam said. "There could be issues on whether the cameras can accurately depict speeders right now. There are things we have to address with potential liability with the cameras.""

Link to Original Source
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LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users released

Bill_the_Engineer Bill_the_Engineer writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) writes "The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 3.4.2, the third version of the 3.4 family, targeting both private individuals and enterprises. LibreOffice 3.4.2 fixes the majority of the most-important bugs identified by users in the previous version, and can be deployed for production needs by most enterprises."
Link to Original Source
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'Dungeons & Dragons' co-creator dies

Bill_the_Engineer Bill_the_Engineer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) writes "CNN is reporting that David Lance Arneson, who helped trigger the global phenomenon of role-playing games as co-inventor of "Dungeons & Dragons," has died at the age of 61.

A statement on the game's official Web site, wizards.com, said Arneson died Tuesday evening "after waging one final battle against cancer.""

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