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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

Chelloveck Re:Fair point but. (275 comments)

What? Next you're going to be telling me that this cover isn't actually a prediction of future computers moving data around via tiny steam engines.

2 days ago

In-Flight Wi-Fi Provider Going Above and Beyond To Help Feds Spy

Chelloveck Sounds good for GoGo (78 comments)

Can't say I blame them. What's the downside for GoGo? They're not going to lose any revenue over this. They have monopoly control over a captive audience that literally can't go elsewhere for service. On the other hand, the airline industry is already deeply, deeply in bed with law enforcement. When it comes time to get a franchise as an in-flight provider I expect that an endorsement by the TLAs is only going to work in GoGo's favor.

It'd be nice if they'd keep their hands off our packets, but who are we kidding? Unless all network providers suddenly get regulated as common carriers that's just not going to happen. Whether you're in the air, in Starbucks, or leeching wi-fi from your next-door neighbor you have to assume that your packets are being logged and analyzed.

about a week ago

Google Chrome 34 Is Out: Responsive Images, Supervised Users

Chelloveck Rather have vector (115 comments)

I have a dream... Where, instead of learning to support some new "responsive image" paradigm, the web designers of the world focus their efforts on learning to make use of the responsive vector images that browsers already support.

about two weeks ago

Tesla Model S Has Hidden Ethernet Port, User Runs Firefox On the 17" Screen

Chelloveck Re:Do they distribute the source? (208 comments)

Buy me a Tesla Model S and I promise I'll find out for you.

about two weeks ago

Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights

Chelloveck Re:Okay, but... (144 comments)

Board near the end of the boarding time and take a free center seat near the back -unless then plane is 100% full, you're golden.

An empty seat? What's that? I don't fly a lot, but whenever I do they're bumping people because the flight's been so horribly overbooked.

about two weeks ago

Will Living On Mars Drive Us Crazy?

Chelloveck Re:What? (150 comments)

This same experiment has been tried before in Siberia, Greenland, and other more Martian-like environments. Seriously, I think the scientists just found an excuse to get a four-month paid vacation in Hawaii.

Experiment notes, day 112: Checked on subjects. Nope, not crazy yet. Spending rest of day at beach, will check again tomorrow.

about two weeks ago

Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Chelloveck Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

But I'm not ready to call Eich a homophobe anymore than I'm prepared to call you a racist, even though I have no doubt whatsoever that you've committed multiple racist acts in your lifetime (as well all have).

That's very white of you.

about two weeks ago

Details You're Not Supposed To See From Boston U's Patent Settlements

Chelloveck And...? (130 comments)

Okay, the settlement was done a couple months ago. The only thing new here is that the lawyers want to retroactively redact some company names from the original paperwork. So... Where's the story? It's only a mildly amusing anecdote and I expect this sort of thing happens fairly frequently. I get the distinct impression that the submitter wanted me to see something more here but for the life of me I can't figure out what.

about two weeks ago

European Parliament Votes For Net Neutrality, Forbids Mobile Roaming Costs

Chelloveck Re:Good, I guess (148 comments)

Then think about it reverse situation. I'm Amazon. We've been having a hard time getting traction for our streaming service; that lousy Netflix has the market locked up. We have all the bandwidth we need, so paying the ISP for more won't help. I know! We'll pay them to throttle Netflix's bandwidth!

Or, I'm Comcast. We own NBC, and their ratings suck rocks. So we'll give preferential treatment for subscribers who stream our properties, and throttle the speed of properties we don't own. And if people really want to watch other content we can charge them extra to remove the throttling. Call it the "Special SpeedBoost Streaming Package" and charge our subscribers $10/month extra for it.

Or, I'm Sony. Let's slip Comcast a little to make sure that PSN games have a higher network priority than XBone games. Et voila! See how much faster and smoother PlayStation is compared to XBox!

about two weeks ago

An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw

Chelloveck Re:Different part, same number? (357 comments)

We have computer equipment suppliers do this to us, too. A part in a particular chassis or board is changed with no notification and no change on the bill of materials. "Because the change has no effect on the device's operation." Except when it does, causing us to spend time and effort tracking down the problem when we incorporate the change into our product and it starts causing problems for our customers. Or, "This change will have no effect on your system. None whatsoever." Except that it's not compatible with this other part we've been shipping, so we can't use the new part as a replacement on systems which have the incompatible part. But there's "no difference". Annoying as hell.

But, in the auto maker's defense, not all changes are an admission of wrong-doing. The auto industry is very sensitive to the cost of components. If they find a way to shave half a penny off their cost for a certain doo-dad, you bet your ass they'll do it. Or if they found a new supplier who can provide an equivalent (but not necessarily identical) piece for half a penny less. Or hell, if they just happen to have two suppliers for a certain part that may not be 100% identical, but fits and has acceptable performance characteristics. Something like that could easily be the case here. One supplier's switch is used by the factory which made the original vehicle, another supplier's switch (not identical, but equivalent in all aspects that matter in this application) is packaged for the repair shops. It doesn't necessarily mean that the company is engaging in a huge cover-up, or even that an issue was found with the factory-installed part. They're just from two different suppliers and both fall within tolerance for the given use. The parts are different, but neither one is necessarily wrong.

But it's still as annoying as hell.

about two weeks ago

Classified X-37B Space Plane Breaks Space Longevity Record

Chelloveck Re:Wait a moment (123 comments)

So when this story is re-posted tomorrow, don't you dare call it a dup! It's a brand new story of the plane breaking its own record again!

about three weeks ago

The Mystery of the 'Only Camera To Come Back From the Moon'

Chelloveck Mystery? (54 comments)

So... What's mysterious here? Legally controversial, maybe. And poorly documented, thus potentially fraudulent. But something billed as "The Mystery of the 'Only Camera To Come Back From The Moon'" ought to involve conspiracy or spies or something, not just an incomplete chain of custody.

about three weeks ago

Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

Chelloveck Re:X-Art Shakedown Failing? (158 comments)

the last list I saw had titles like "bareback trannies" and "I buttfucked the babysitter" so its pretty damned obvious the ONLY reason to list a bunch of titles that they don't own is to intimidate the person into paying...classic extortion

But if X-Art doesn't own those, who does? I'm... um... asking for a friend, you see...

about three weeks ago

Jimmy Wales To 'Holistic Healers': Prove Your Claims the Old-Fashioned Way

Chelloveck Re:Asimov quote. (517 comments)

The problem is that a good idea challenged by a bad idea, a discussion occurs, evidence is presented, bad idea is shown to be a bad idea, and good idea is vindicated. And then 5 minutes later the same bad idea is presented. And then 5 minutes after that, the same bad idea is trotted out. And then five minutes after that, again. And again. And again. And again.

That's the trouble with you so-called skeptics. You refuse to listen to the alternatives after only debunking them 100 times. What if the 101st minor variant is irrefutable? You're simply sticking to your biases and not even considering it. Evidence-based, my ass.

about three weeks ago

Why US Gov't Retirement Involves a Hole in the Ground Near Pittsburgh

Chelloveck Sounds worse than the Spice Mines of Kessel! (142 comments)

I get the idea of keeping records in a mine. Mines are great places. There are just a lot of things in the article that don't make any sense to me. Let me stick to the sob story of what a bad work environment it is...

In the winter, employees enter the mine in the dark and leave in the dark. [...] "People are crabby. They're miserable. I mean, you can't blame them. They never see any sunlight," Armagost said.

Just like when I worked at a large electronics firm in Illinois. In the winter I'd go in before the sun was up, be in a sea of cubicles in an interior room until evening, leave after the sun went down. There are lots of jobs where you're indoors all day with no windows.

It doesn't say anything about going outside for lunch or breaks. Are the employees locked in or something? I've been in mines, I can believe that the ride up and down the elevator might take more than the time allotted for lunch. Then again, it's "230 feet below the surface". That's about 23 stories. Lots of office buildings are taller than that, and people manage to get up and down without undue stress.

Food must be brought in from outside, because you can't have an open flame in a mine. So there is a pizza guy, with a security clearance, who arrives every day at 11:30 a.m. Another vendor, Randy Armagost, trucks in hot lunches and an assortment of at least four deep-fried items every day.

They have these new things now, called microwave ovens. You don't have to stoke the ol' Franklin stove anymore to heat your food. I have never worked in a place which had flame-cooked food. Even the places with cafeterias used electric heat. At least this place has pizza delivery and a food truck. Lots of people brown-bag it every day around here. Maybe these paper-mine workers should consider it.

And if the food prospects are really so bad I see a great private-sector opportunity for some other food delivery service. Jimmy John, you're up!

It's still a major WTF that the whole thing is still literally shuffling paper around, but the article loses all credibility for me when they try to make it sound like hell on earth for the workers.

about three weeks ago

Goodyear's New State-of-the-Art Airship Makes Its First Flight

Chelloveck Re:Enjoy it while it floats (66 comments)

Undoubtedly it could be safe. Hydrogen by itself is not flammable. You need to add oxygen or some other oxidizer. Try filling a dumpster-sized plastic bag with hydrogen. Shoot bottle rockets into it. They tend to puncture the plastic and explode inside -- without igniting the hydrogen. In fact it's quite difficult to get the hydrogen to ignite this way. It's only if you get lucky and get a bottle rocket tangled in the plastic and it explodes right at the hydrogen/air boundary that you get the satisfying whumph! of an explosion. And that's only because the flame melts the plastic and enlarges the hole, letting more hydrogen contact the air and creating more heat to melt more plastic... If the skin was made of a tough, non-flammable material the worst you'd get is a jet of flame, not much worse than a simple puncture of the same size.

The lesson of the Hindenburg shouldn't have been that hydrogen is particularly dangerous. It should have been that coating the skin of your airship with a highly flammable lacquer is a really bad idea.

about three weeks ago

Spacecraft Returns Seven Particles From Birth of the Solar System

Chelloveck Re: From interstellar space? (48 comments)

But, but, but, Weekly World News has Bat Boy!

What's that you say? NASA has discovered Bat Boy in space? Stop the presses!

about a month ago

Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

Chelloveck Re: Where's the data stored? (208 comments)

Thanks, you saved me the trouble of installing it. Not allowing local storage is a deal-breaker for me.

about a month ago

A Call For Rollbacks To Previous Versions of Software

Chelloveck Your homework assignement for tonight (199 comments)

Your homework assignment for tonight is to write 5000 words comparing and contrasting the requirement that developers allow rollback of buggy releases with the requirement that developers keep their customers up-to-date with security fixes. For extra credit, discuss the consumer benefits of being able to apply individual patches a la carte versus the engineering cost of creating and maintaining a library of patches that can be applied independent of each other.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?

Chelloveck Re:Practical application is the only way (306 comments)

My GOTO program for this is Tetris.

Dude, don't you know by now that GOTO is considered harmful? And you call yourself a programmer!

about a month ago


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