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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

Daniel_Staal Re:Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

BBEdit gets a fair amount of use as well. Some versions of xcode will even emulate BBEdit commands, if you set the right option. (And may have the option to directly substitute BBEdit as the main text editor.)

But I get your point: If you are writing in Obj-C, you are probably using xcode, because you are almost certainly developing for either Mac or iOS, and that is where you need to be.

about a month ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

Daniel_Staal Re:huh (394 comments)

Efficiency is a big selling point in refrigerators; one of the first things people will look at. (And it will be posted very obviously on every one in the store.) Cable boxes... Not so much. I’m not sure what the big selling points on them are - probably how easily it is for the cable company to monitor their usage.

Electric water heaters are probably big users in houses that have them - but I'm not sure that's even a majority of houses in the USA; gas-powered heaters are common, and more efficient.

about a month and a half ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Daniel_Staal Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

Never played the game. Didn't even know the concept was discussed in it.

And, on a relative scale, yes it's not hard. It's certainly far easier than sending a ship to trade with someone that far away. In fact, nearly all of the problems of interstellar travel go away in this case - the basic fact is that not having to slow down when you get there (and not caring about the safety of any occupants in the vehicle) makes the issue massively easier. You don't have to worry about fuel, or shielding, or long-term biological maintenance. Just accelerate it up to speed and have a few final maneuvering thrusters on an automatic system.

Of course, if you are traveling around you've solved those problems, and can if you wish launch from within your target's solar system. Which makes targeting much easier, though you may give yourself away as you get the weapon up to speed.

On the other hand, hiding isn't as hard as you might think, especially if life (but not sentient life) is moderately common. Most of it even makes economic sense: Keep your transmissions low powered and focused so there isn't much leakage, and keep the atmosphere fairly clean. That will make it nearly impossible to tell an 'inhabited' system from a 'life-bearing' system from any distance.

Of course any aliens could be proactive and be striking at any life-bearing system, although that's a lot of wasted effort. Still, even then if we were to move into space-based colonies and asteroids we could hide fairly effectively. (Again, communication would be the biggest leaker, but economics and the square cubed law help the hider out.)

about a month and a half ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Daniel_Staal Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

Or maybe the universe is so competitive that anyone who announces their presence eats the bad end of a relativistic weapon.

This is a reasonable fear - and the problem is unless you are sure the universe isn't that competitive, it actually makes sense to assume it is. Because it's not hard to build a relativistic weapon your target would never see coming, and would wipe them out with one hit. (And we wouldn't see much evidence of them out there, even if they were fairly common - they look like any other floating rock, really.)

So the moment you announce yourself you could become a target for an unknown assailant who will kill you before you know they are there. Run the odds on whether you want to chance announcing yourself then, and realize everyone else who might be out there is doing the same...

about a month and a half ago
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

Daniel_Staal Re:$5k (875 comments)

This. The sheriff said he'd rather have a more police-oriented armored vehicle for his SWAT team, but they cost $300,000, and this only cost $5,000. It's bigger, slower, and uses more gas, but it's cheaper overall. He's working within a budget and it's budget-effective.

The rest is window dressing and statements to appease the press.

about 1 month ago
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To distress my enemies, I'd force on them ...

Daniel_Staal Re:Obvious omition (199 comments)

I tend to plink-hole the site with the ad to 0.0.0.0 in resolv.conf. Sometimes I'll give a site I've visited in the past a second chance, on the assumption that some ad was slipped into their ad-delivery network without them knowing about it, but in general if the site thinks it can play a sound without me specifically asking for that sound it's not a site I ever want to visit again.

about 2 months ago
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Study: Royalty Charges Almost On Par With Component Costs For Smartphones

Daniel_Staal Re:so apple and samsung should just research it al (131 comments)

'State of the art' public domain is not the same as 'viable' public domain.

One of the points of patents is to keep the public domain relatively current - New/current ideas are patented, but ideas a generation or so old are public domain. This is verses the previous system, where either it was open (anyone who could figure out how you did something did) or it was closed forever (anything you couldn't figure out from looking at it) - and occasionally lost.

In a good, healthy patent system the patent is a reward for innovation, and rent-seeking on those patents is difficult or impossible. The debate is about how healthy our current patent system is: There are a a lot of patents that are arguably not innovative, and there is a fair amount of rent-seeking using patents. It's probably impossible to have a system without any of that, but it's also probably possible to have a system with less than we currently have.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers

Daniel_Staal Re:Good news for BN? (218 comments)

Well, I was actually clarifying a question from two posts above me - where the poster specifically said they didn't know enough to answer. I'm in the same boat on the general question actually.

In general, yes a book store gets to choose which books to sell - as does any other store. On the other hand, if the store is the only store in town and there's no easy way to leave town, well that's what the anti-trust laws were originally written for. Market position matters: If you have a small slice of the market you can get away with a lot of things you aren't allowed to do if you totally dominate it. (Oh: And 'sell' isn't the same as 'stock' - the local bookstore will usually happily sell you plenty of books they don't stock - they'll order them from the publisher for you.)

The question I posted above has two parts: Whether the reason for the refusal matters, and whether the market position is strong enough for it to matter. Amazon is probably borderline on both cases, but only just, and which side of the line they are on isn't something I have the knowledge or experience to say.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers

Daniel_Staal Re:Paywalls (218 comments)

I don't necessarily see that putting in workarounds that allow a few pageviews a month for a non-paying user as being dishonest - it's advertising. 'If you like these articles, we have more that you would need to pay for' - and they usually tell you exactly that when you hit the free limit.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers

Daniel_Staal Re:Good news for BN? (218 comments)

The market position is 'bookstore' - so the question is 'is refusing to carry one book or one publisher's book out of dislike for the subject abusing it's position as a bookstore'?

about 2 months ago
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Valve In-Home Game Streaming Supports Windows, OS X & Linux

Daniel_Staal Re:SteamBox just got really interesting (106 comments)

Also: There's a degradation in video quality when you stream, according to the notes. Not major, and would still allow the game to play, but it would mean that people would notice if a game is available natively for the steambox.

So it's a two-part system: Valve gets to let people play their games on their TV without having them have to buy new high-end computers, and the manufacturers will get some pushback to make it so the games run natively on the TV game-boxes.

about 2 months ago
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Valve In-Home Game Streaming Supports Windows, OS X & Linux

Daniel_Staal Re:Summary not entirely accurate. (106 comments)

Not sure, it's possible. On the other hand, there are people who want to run Linux games on Mac, or vice versa...

about 2 months ago
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What qualifications should the 'driver' of a fully autonomous car need?

Daniel_Staal Re:The human is just a passenger (301 comments)

Which leads to my problem with the poll's question - Who do you mean by 'driver'? Is it the human in the front seat, or the computer under the hood?

about 2 months ago
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SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year

Daniel_Staal Re: Finally the disk drive can die (264 comments)

So I for one don't run multi-disk systems. The headache of having to think about whether or not I should store something on 'fast' storage vs 'cheap bulk' storage is just not something I ever want to think about. I want it all fast, all the time.

What OS do you run? If it's Mac, look at Fusion. If it's BSD, look at ZFS. If it's Linux, look at LVM or bcache. If it's Windows, look up Smart Response. Any would automate that decision in a decent way.

Now, if you have the money I'll fully agree that all SSD is ideal, and most of the above have their own drawbacks. (I actually like Apple's idea with Fusion: The HDD is the 'slow cache', instead of the SSD being the 'fast cache'.) I'm just saying that mixing SSDs and HDDs doesn't mean you have to be thinking about it all the time either.

about 3 months ago
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SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year

Daniel_Staal Re: Finally the disk drive can die (264 comments)

Exactly. All the major OS's (Mac, Windows, Linux, BSD) even have decent ways to combine them automatically into one storage device that allows you to have the best of both worlds most of the time. (Different compromises on different systems, of course - most basically have you loose the space of the SSD, keeping it as a purely caching drive.)

about 3 months ago
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Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

Daniel_Staal Re:Seriously? (482 comments)

I think a better way to look at this is to back up a bit.

In the 80's, a cellular phone was a high-end device, and only worked with a single carrier. In the USA, you got it from the carrier and the carrier supported it - you paid what was basically a support contract for it.

I'm not sure what the process was in Europe - I suspect it was spotty.

Europe grew in the 90's into a good modern phone system - partly due to regulations. A phone had to be sold to be work on any network. Another likely driver was the fact that Europe is a more fragmented market: Different carriers have different coverage in different countries, and people (especially businessmen, the first main market) would have to move between them.

The USA didn't have that requirement, so most phones still worked only on the network of the company that was selling them. Therefore the company that was selling them liked to point out their low cost, to get people hooked on the higher monthly contract. In Europe - where a phone worked on any network - this model didn't work, customers could just switch carriers.

The USA is now starting to standardize, but it's taking time. People are just starting to realize they can take a phone to a different network - and most cell companies don't advertize that fact. The bring-your-own device plans are available, but still harder to find. (Though it sounds like they are being advertized more, a good thing.) The bring-your-own carriers have been around a while, but you have to know about them to find them - you can't just walk into a store and find their stuff. You basically have to buy their service from their website.

So the USA is phasing out an old business plan, and there's a lack of awareness of the alternatives. T-Mobile is betting they can grow by advancing the new business model, but is still hampered by it's position in the market: Cell phones require coverage, and they don't have the coverage of the bigger carriers, who are more tied to the older business model. But T-Mobile is making the public aware of the alternatives, which is driving a change in the market as a whole.

about 3 months ago
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How the FCC Plans To Save the Internet By Destroying It

Daniel_Staal Re: Congressional fix? (217 comments)

That wasn't even what they were talking about. The 'death panels' was a requirement that coverage included sitting down with your doctor, possibly a counselor, your family, etc. when you had a fatal (or likely fatal) condition to discuss end-of-life care options. So you could make an informed decision about what you wanted.

How that got warped into 'the government's going to kill you', I have no clue.

about 3 months ago
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New White House Petition For Net Neutrality

Daniel_Staal Re:Bush (248 comments)

We're an oligarchy. Us poles voting doesn't matter anyway - if it's going to be symbolic, he might as well be symbolic for what he believes.

about 3 months ago
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New White House Petition For Net Neutrality

Daniel_Staal Re:Bush (248 comments)

Possibly true - but not on this issue, which is a change in FCC rules, which is part of the Executive branch. Congress might dictate rules to the FCC, but it hasn't on this issue so the change in stance is something Obama can do something about on his own.

about 3 months ago
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Lumina: PC-BSD's Own Desktop Environment

Daniel_Staal Re:Why? (148 comments)

Probably: BSD license and guaranteed support for BSD unixes. The former occasionally matters to the people working on the BSDs, the latter definitely does. (And is notably lacking in many of the current desktop environments - even if they do work on BSDs, they are often missing features and poorly maintained, with no interest in providing better support.)

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Most web programming languages vunerable to denial

Daniel_Staal Daniel_Staal writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Daniel_Staal writes "Ars Technica is reporting: "Researchers have shown how a flaw that is common to most popular Web programming languages can be used to launch denial-of-service attacks by exploiting hash tables. Announced publicly on Wednesday at the Chaos Communication Congress event in Germany, the flaw affects a long list of technologies, including PHP, ASP.NET, Java, Python, Ruby, Apache Tomcat, Apache Geronimo, Jetty, and Glassfish, as well as Google's open source JavaScript engine V8. The vendors and developers behind these technologies are working to close the vulnerability, with Microsoft warning of "imminent public release of exploit code" for what is known as a hash collision attack."

OCert advisory here."

Link to Original Source
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Network Solutions stands by policy.

Daniel_Staal Daniel_Staal writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Daniel_Staal writes "Apparently Network Solutions believes nothing is wrong with it's policy on registering domains: After review, they have decided to stand by their policy, and continue to register every domain checked. Why? To save us from scammers: "We would be perfectly happy to end this process if ICANN or the registries would do something to protect small businesses or other small users." Apparently the point is to register them before the scammers have a chance to, and not to make money for Network Solutions: "We are not trying to make a bunch of money off of this.""
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Daniel_Staal Daniel_Staal writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Daniel_Staal writes "My sister will be traveling abroad next year on a one-year study program. She has indicated to the tech guy in the family (me) that she would like something she would be less likely to mind loosing as her computer than her current iBook when she does. Any suggestions on a sub-laptop computing device?

Her requirements are fairly straighforward, but contain a couple of oddities. Basically she wants to be able to keep in contact with people, and do her homework. For that she needs email, VoIP (Skype, for preference), web browsing and MS Office or compatable. The kicker is that her homework will be in Arabic, while her email/web will be in English. (Or, at least mostly.) She wants a keyboard; she'd probably be ok with 3/4 size keys, but I'd have to convince her. VoIP is not a deal-breaker, just a strong request.

So, what small size/cost factor portables do you know that have good Arabic support and can be used for basic web access? My current thought is a HP Jornada, but I'm not sure what to compare it to. (And I'm not sure about Arabic support.)"

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