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Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone In a Microwave

Black Art As a wise man once said... (240 comments)

"Put your head in a microwave and get yourself a tan."

You must dare to be stupid.

about 4 months ago

AMD Develops New Linux Open-Source Driver Model

Black Art This approach has been tried before (142 comments)

The X community has said specifically that this sort of end-run around the GPL is strictly forbidden. I expect yet another flame war over this at any moment.

about 10 months ago

Myst Was Supposed To Change the Face of Gaming. What Is Its Legacy?

Black Art Graphics were great, software, not so much (374 comments)

The biggest problem with the Myst games is that to run it on Windows you had to install the buggy Quicktime software. It was always breaking, either because of upgrade issues or just plain bugs. I think a lot of people gave up on it because of how hard it was to keep running if you had other games on the system.

The game was ahead of its time. It would have been much better with a 3d render software engine like Unreal. (Which did not exist at that time.)

Also, you did not get to kill anything. Modern gamers need a body count.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Getting Hired As a Self-Taught Old Guy?

Black Art Here is how I did it (472 comments)

Find a large tech company that hires contractors. Get hired as a contractor. Work your ass off and show them you know more than any of the youngsters. Get them to convert you to full time real employee.

Worked for me. Now I get to play with cool toys from the future.

about a year and a half ago

Caltech and UVic Set 339Gbps Internet Speed Record

Black Art Comcast and CenturyLink (79 comments)

Comcast and CenturyLink would still block you after using more than 250 gigs of bandwidth.

In the future "unlimited" will mean "just a second".

more than 2 years ago

Does Microsoft Need Bug Bounties?

Black Art Microsoft has always dealt with bugs as a PR issue (100 comments)

Since Microsoft has a habit of ignoring the issues that get reported without a bounty, I don't see how adding one would improve the issue.

One of the reasons for Full Disclosure is to pressure companies that think of security vulnerabilities as a PR problem instead of an urgent technical issue. If the first reaction you get from a company is "this only effects a small handful of users" then they are trying to patch through spin instead of fixing the problem. Microsoft is not the only one that does this, but they have been one of the biggest offenders.

BTW, "this only effects a small handful of users" has been used by Microsoft so many times that they have grounds to trademark the phrase.

more than 3 years ago

Intel Designs Faster, 3D Transistor

Black Art Re:Rainbow Dash (141 comments)

If it uses 50% less power, it will be cooler. The Atom processors generate very little heat compared with the more power-hungry Xeon and Core Duo chipsets.

Intel has become very aware of power usage as well as heat. The days of the room heating CPU are hopefully behind us.

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Releases Guantanamo Prisoner Files

Black Art Casio F-91W wristwatch (426 comments)

Well now I know what to give for Christmas...

more than 3 years ago

Robert Bunsen, Open Source Pioneer?

Black Art There needs to be an "anti-patent" (127 comments)

There needs to be an "anti-patent" that you can file that says "I invented this first, but I choose not to patent it". Something that would be legally binding and prevent later patents from people who look for things and ideas without patents and then file the patents for themselves.

more than 3 years ago

MS Global Strategy Chief: Tablets Are a Fad

Black Art Re:well, he might be right (643 comments)

The iPad is an upscaled iPod Touch with two really big batteries and a bigger screen. (Take a look at the pictures of a disassembled iPad if you don't believe me.)

Most other tablets are just flat netbooks with a touchscreen instead of a keyboard.

more than 3 years ago

MS Global Strategy Chief: Tablets Are a Fad

Black Art Tablets will replace netbooks (643 comments)

Tablets serve the same niche that netbooks do. A smaller machine that is more portable than a laptop or desktop that handles tasks that are needed while traveling or away from your more permanent machine. Also something that is not as expensive as your laptop and won't be as painful if lost or stolen.

There seems to be an assumption by the industry that people want to own just one machine that does everything. What is happening is that they own multiple devices that may or may not share similar tasks, but have different levels of portability. You may have one device that stays at home and one that you take on the bus to work with you. Another may be just for long trips. The hard part is not the form factor, but getting those devices to share data in a transparent and secure manner.

Another reason that Microsoft may be grousing about tablets is it breaks the usage model for Windows. Most windows software wants at least a two button mouse. Click for select and right click for context menus. With a tablet you have no right or left mouse buttons so you have to come up with replacements for those actions. Apple has an easier time converting because they were mostly one button instead of two. (And X windows users have three buttons to contend with. (Though two are just cut and paste.))

I expect that tablets will almost entirely replace the netbook market by 2015. By then the OS issues will be worked out and they will "just work".

more than 3 years ago

Bjarne Stroustrup Reflects On 25 Years of C++

Black Art What I want to know is... (553 comments)

Does Bjarne Stroustrop think of women as objects?

more than 4 years ago

Careful What You Post, the FBI Has More of These

Black Art My question for the ACLU (761 comments)

What I want to know is if I find a device attached to my car, can I sell it on eBay?

What can they charge me with if I put it on someone else's car?

more than 4 years ago

Toyota Adds External Speakers To Warn Pedestrians

Black Art When do we get to add...? (531 comments)

When do we get to add high powered lasers to alert deaf people to the oncoming Priapus?

more than 4 years ago

Latest Top 500 Supercomputer List Released

Black Art Re:Linux (130 comments)

In my experience Windows admins require *MUCH* more training than Linux admins. There is much more "black magic" that they need to know to be good at their jobs.

A Windows admin needs to know all the secret registry hacks to make things run well. They need to know all the non-intuitive places that Microsoft hides the settings for whatever services need to be configured. They also need to know how to recover things when it all goes horribly wrong.

Most Linux systems have text files to configure things. The files are in a predictable place. Updates are pretty easy and clear.

But Microsoft has scammed people into believing that leaving it harder than just putting up with the same old crap. In this case I just wish that people did get what they pay for...


more than 4 years ago

Scary Smartphone Motion Control Patent Granted

Black Art Sounds like the HP iPAQ (163 comments)

This sounds like the motion sensors in the HP iPAQ from around 2000.

Patents like this show why the patent system needs to be dismantled.

more than 4 years ago

My favorite simple machine is ...

Black Art Phrenotherapy tool (490 comments)

Also known as the bludgeon.

more than 5 years ago

Why Programming Rituals Work

Black Art Rituals help focus the mind (233 comments)

I can fully understand using such rituals. It helps you get in the right head space for writing code. It gets you focused on the task and flush out all the other crap trying to get your attention.

I have found that if I am not in the right frame of mind before starting, the code takes much longer or is just plain wrong. If I am in the right head space, the task is quick and done before you know it.

more than 5 years ago

Best Introduction To Programming For Bright 11-14-Year-Olds?

Black Art When I was that age... (962 comments)

When I was 10 I learned Fortran... On cards... On a big mainframe.

And we were grateful!

Boy I feel old.

more than 6 years ago


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