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Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

David_Hart Re:Pace of innovation (248 comments)

Apple hasn't really innovated much since Steve left the scene.

Other products of note were the Apple LaserWriter (first desktop laser printer - Apple dropped the ball on that one) in 1985

Wrong... HP developed the first desktop laser printer in 1983. "The first laser printer intended for mass-market sales was the HP LaserJet, released in 1984" So, no, Apple didn't drop the ball on the LaserWriter. HP was already in the market and other manufacturers released products around the same time as Apple.

2 days ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

David_Hart Re:No mention on capacity though (395 comments)

This is not going to suddenly "change everything". First off, there's so little info here you can't even see through the hype. There's nothing to get an idea of how hard this would be to commercialize, what its energy density would be, or any of tons of other things that make a big difference. And secondly, these are hardly the first lab-scale batteries to have properties like this. Heck, there have even been lithium titanate batteries commercialized before. Crazy charge / discharge times, but they were largely a flop except in niche applications - the cost was way too high and the energy density too low.

There is every week or two some great research breakthrough in battery storage. Most of them you'll never read about. Most of them will never go anywhere. But a few will. And they will slowly, inevitably make their way into the battery technology of tomorrow. Silicon anodes, for example, were once among those crazy lab future battery techs. Now they're in commercial cells. People never stop to think about how little the batteries in their phones have gotten in an area of increasing computing power, larger screens, greater demands on lifespan, etc. Energy density continues its inevitable march.... in the background. But the odds that any one tech that you read about is going to carry the industry is very small. And these things take half a decade to go from the lab to stores.

Battery tech slowly evolves and gradually gets better. There have been few leaps in battery tech over the last 20 or so years, despite other such announcements. Like you, I am also skeptical that this is a true breakthrough. However, it would be amazing if it can be scaled up.

The one thing that I disagree with in your comment is the premise that batteries in cell phones have gotten smaller due to battery tech. It is partially true. However, the majority of energy gains in cell phones have been the huge leaps in low power ever-shrinking electronics and battery saving technologies (components being able to go to sleep).

If battery tech had kept pace with electronics, we would be able to power our cell phones for weeks instead of just a couple of days.

about a week ago
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Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

David_Hart Re:Who's in charge? (279 comments)

Horton... Because he heard a WHO!

about a week ago
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2014 Nobel Peace Prize Awarded To Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay

David_Hart Re:Really? (144 comments)

Certainly in the west nobody has heard anything about the young girl since she was released from hospital after her recovery. I'm interested to know the real world changing accomplishments she has personally brought to fruition? In addition, Satyarthi "accomplishments" appear to be limited to one country. Is this then the Peace prize for India? I've seen Mother Teresa's name bounced around in justification because of her work in Calcutta but she worked in tends (if not more) nations around the world.

This is another Nobel fail. Nice people but not worthy of the prize.

I agree.

I admire both for standing up for their convictions and working hard to spread a message of a world with equal access to education and without child labour, However, their message, while relevant globally, seems to be limited to India and Pakastan.

Perhaps giving them the Nobel prize was a way that the committee thought to draw more global attention to the these human rights issues. I do agree that the achievement of global human rights and education can lead to world peace.

That being said, just preaching a message should not qualify for a Nobel Peace prize. Neither of these fit the criteria of having "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

The worst part is that the Nobel Peace prize used to mean something and it gave the person awarded a little bit of extra gravitas in working towards peace. Now, it has been cheapen to be a political award give to people with little actual accomplishments.

about two weeks ago
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Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

David_Hart Re:Hey Ubisoft, maybe you should stop shitting on (337 comments)

As someone pointed out a couple weeks ago in a Win8 thread, today's PCs are now so powerful that even Windows can't slow them down. Now that's impressive!

Actually, a better saying is that PCs are so fast these days that even JAVA can't slow them down....

Windows would run just fine on a Pentium computer with a decent amount of RAM. Try running a java applet on it, though, and you may as well go for a long coffee break...

about two weeks ago
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Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

David_Hart Re:Thinking back to my undergraduate days (late 70 (546 comments)

Pascal was/is a much better language than Fortran or Cobol.
I would be shocked if it completely died out.
The one I wonder about is Java. It has sort of replaced Cobol as the language that you use to write programs that no one ever sees but will it keep that place now that Oracle bought it. I know that it is the language of choice for Android and that IBM and other people have their own JVMs but will Oracles lawyers kill it.

I'm not sure that you know FORTRAN or COBOL very well or you wouldn't be comparing them to Pascal.

Pascal and, it's less popular cousin, Modula-2, were meant to be general purpose programming languages.

FORTRAN is primarily a programming language mean for engineers and scientists because of built-in high precision mathematics. It's still quite popular in both fields.

COBOL was designed to be a business language that accountants and business people could use to write reports, etc. Java did not replace COBOL, nor was it meant to. COBOL has largely been replaced by SQL.

The point is that it would be difficult to argue that Pascal is a "better" language than FORTRAN or COBOL. Both FORTRAN and COBOL have unique features which allows them to be better than Pascal for certain functions. It's also why Pascal, which can be replaced with C, etc., will die out long before either COBOL or FORTRAN.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Puts Comcast and Time Warner Merger On Hold

David_Hart Re:Time to give more politicians free cable tv and (132 comments)

That's not "conspiracy". It's just all-too-common, unethical, anti-competitive business practice. If you want to call lobbying and expensive presents "conspiracy", then you're saying that most of Congress are conspirators.

Yes, businesses try to gain monopolies, and they try to gain it by lobbying, and politicians let them succeed. That's obvious. Now what are you going to do about it?

You cannot fix that by railing at the businesses, they are never going to be any more ethical, and they don't give a f*ck what you think. You cannot fix it by voting better politicians into office; we tried that, and even Obama and Warren have succumbed (as have all previous politicians who have tried). And you cannot fix it by passing more regulation to punish businesses or politicians, because the new regulations will fall prey to regulatory capture just like the old ones.

What businesses fear most is competition and deregulation. Of course, even "deregulation" is subject to regulatory capture, in the sense that a lot of "deregulation" simply amounts to giving away public property at bargain basement prices without actually leading to more competition. But true deregulation is the only way we can fix regulatory capture; none of the other approaches work.

Right.... cause deregulation worked soooo well for the banking and mortgage industries and the economy... oh, wait...

Industries need a certain amount of regulation to keep them somewhat honest. I agree that regulations and laws have been passed that benefit specific companies but the the way to fix it is to roll back regulations to the basic stuff and get ride of all of the rules that add barriers to entry. However, the biggest barrier to entry in the ISP/cable space is fair access to the infrastructure.

about two weeks ago
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Bill Gates: Bitcoin Is 'Better Than Currency'

David_Hart Re:Electroic transactions (130 comments)

FTFA:

financial transactions will eventually “be digital, universal and almost free.”

Not so much an endorsement of cryptocurrency as an opinion that physical currency is obsolete. Until security gets a whole lot better I'll continue to carry small amounts of cash when I go out. Of course Gates probably hasn't used any cash in decades.

Physical currency will become obsolete when either digital currency can't be tracked or having physical currency is considered a crime, which is coming....

As it is, there have been recent cases in the southern US where people have been stopped on the highway by police, found to have more than $200 in cash, and have had it confiscated on suspicion of being used for the drug trade without any trial, evidence, or judicial process. So, if you plan on buying a used car or boat, don't bring cash with you or you could have it seized by the police...

about two weeks ago
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Snowflake-Shaped Networks Are Easiest To Mend

David_Hart I'm not sure I understand this.... (38 comments)

Looking at the snowflake diagram with the linked to article I'm not seeing any partial loops in the snowflake diagram. In fact, it only shows single connectivity back to one core hub. Maybe it's just a poor drawing or I'm missing something in the translation. Also, there doesn't seem to be any redundancy. By not having access to the full article, maybe I'm not understanding the use-case for this.

about two weeks ago
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Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

David_Hart Re: Here's the solution (577 comments)

Not really. It's just bad design.

Your server isn't getting games installed on it, which put all kinds of settings in the registry, then removed later when the game is old and tired, leaving behind cruft (including DRM bullsit) in the registry.

When a program is UNinstalled, all traces of it should be gone. Apple took a different approach, which arguably works far better. Even if stuff is left behind, it just takes up a bit of disk space, and doesn't affect the system at all.

Having leftover files and registry entries from apps that have been removed does not slow down Windows. Like any other OS, they just sit there doing nothing.

What does slow down Windows is disk fragmentation and lack of RAM.

Windows tends to have a lot of patches. Over time, these patches spread OS files across the hard disk. This leads to file fragmentation. When you are running a 5400 RPM drive, have a lot of apps installed and removed, and a lot of OS updates load files from the hard-disk slows down as the disk head has to travel a lot. Background disk defragging was first enabled by default in Windows 7. Of course, the ultimate solution for disk fragmentation is to use SSD drives as there is little penalty for fragmentation due to the high random memory access speeds.

Most Windows boxes today have at least 4GB of RAM but older Windows systems ran on 2GB of RAM. Even so, as you install more apps that have background components, they take up memory. When Windows needs more memory than what is available, it will cache unused parts of the OS and idle apps. This was accomplished by storing the cache data in the Windows page file on hard disk. When an idle app is clicked on, the cached data has to be reloaded and the previously active app needs to be cached back to disk. This whole process is really slow.

There are two ways to solve low memory issues:

1. Install additional memory: Windows Vista/7/8 32-bit recognizes a maximum of 4Gb of RAM. To install and use more than 4GB, you need to install the 64bit version of Windows. Most systems sold in the last 5 years run Windows 32-bit with 4GB of RAM or less. Only recently have systems been sold with Windows 64bit and 8GB of RAM. In my opinion, 8GB should be the minimum.

2. SSD: It might, at first, seem weird that I'm mentioning SSD in the memory section. The OS caches memory when it runs out of physical memory. SSD drives are really fast, much faster than physical drives. So, even with a system with low memory you would see a big difference using a SSD for your OS drive.

The point is that a combination of Windows improvements (background defrag on hard drives, 64-bit OS), technical improvements (SSD), and cost improvements (8GB RAM vs 4GB RAM) have contributed to eliminate the gradual performance degradation that we've seen in the past. It could be argued that adding better components to the system is just masking the limitations or design issues of the OS. But, as long as it works do we really care....

In my opinion, a Windows 7 64bit, or higher, system with 8GB of RAM and a SSD OS drive will not experience any performance issues over time for the average user. Windows performance degradation is a thing of the past....

about three weeks ago
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Why did Microsoft skip Windows 9?

David_Hart Re:playing catch up (399 comments)

That's a Great Idea! We'll call it Windows 10 and tell everyone our version 10 is way better than their version 10. We'll do demos and promos and PR tours. It's perfect.

Don't forget the talk show circuit... Also, make sure that we are booked to go on before those #$%#% pan-dimensional mice beings talking about "Life, the Universe and Everything". What ever that is... Next to those guys, Windows 10 will look amazing!!

about three weeks ago
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FCC Rejects Blackout Rules

David_Hart Re:Going Cable! (135 comments)

Is it a question of worth watching or of worth watching in a stadium for $XXX? I'll never understand why someone pays that kind of money to sit in bad seats in the cold, wet etc. when they should be able to watch it from home. It's hard to fathom that ticket sales are worth more than TV rights any more. IMHO, all blackouts do is punish the fans who weren't going to buy a ticket anyway.

People spend $$$ because it's a social event for most people who enjoy sports. Getting there early, setting up the BBQ, handing out with existing or new friends, talking about the sport team, etc... On top of that, it's a much more engaging when you are actually experiencing the event. Much like a live concert is a completely different experience than listening to it on Palladium.

about three weeks ago
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Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

David_Hart Re:It's true (267 comments)

It's a fringe brand in that Ferrari is a fringe brand. I don't think most people wouldn't want one but I don't know a soul who has one. Very few have seen them. They aren't exactly a larger brand. IF they can mass produce a model in a reasonable price range comparable to a modern model of car it will take off. Right now it is in the fringe but I don't think it will stay there. That's exactly what the guy in the article said. He didn't say Tesla was a bad idea or that it won't take off, he said it's not there yet but this next model could very well take it there.

It will be exciting to see where we go from here.

There is a difference... Ferrari isn't a "fringe" brand, it's a luxury brand. Ferrari never set out to be a daily driver. Tesla, however, has always stated that they were going to first target the luxury/sports car market and then use profits to develop a commuter vehicle with a much larger mass appeal. Based on their own vision, they are still a fringe brand.

about three weeks ago
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Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

David_Hart Re:Tesla is worth 60% of GM ! (267 comments)

GM market cap 51.8B
Ford market cap 58.44B
Tesla market cap 30.66B and this is after a major drop in stock price, I believe it has been higher than GM !
A fringe brand that is worth over half of the big auto boys... Fringe my a..
If only any other brand got rave reviews like Tesla is getting. Specially in customer satisfaction.

Market cap is nothing but a virtual valuation based on how investors value future revenue. It's basically a bet that the company will continue to grow profitability at an increasing rate. In the case of Tesla, there is a lot of cheer-leading investors in the stock. To maintain that level of growth, Tesla does have to come out with a product that is appealing to a much larger audience than the current product offerings. Today's investors are betting on a mass appeal product, that people will buy the product, and that Tesla will gain a decent share of the overall automobile market.

The point that the ex GM Czar makes is correct. Until Tesla can execute on this vision, they will remain a fringe or niche brand. There is a risk that Tesla will screw up in execution, misunderstand the market, etc. Only time will tell if they can succeed.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

David_Hart Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (159 comments)

For a change - Sales and Marketing are right
Never EVER hang dirty laundry in public

You might want trusted tech users to see your bug tracker but no one else!

It will scare people who don't understand bug tracking and give your competitors easy shots

I'm a network engineer. All of the reputable network and security vendors list bug fixes and open issues in the release notes. Granted, this information is purely for release versions and not for the intermediate Dev versions. You can tell because the build numbers are non-sequential between releases. So, as an end user I only care about the open bugs and bug fixes in the release versions.

But.. If I were a Dev... For Dev's and Support, access would enable them to solve some problems at a faster pace as it would allow them to narrow down if a problem is related to their work or if it is tied to the ERP software itself. My thought is that if you want to provide access to the bug list, you need put it behind a Dev portal and require some sort of vetting and/or non-disclosure agreement.

Beyond that, you should perform a review of your bug database and make sure that bugs are being categorized properly. For example, you don't want to publicize bugs that are related to a system security vulnerability until it has been fixed, a patch released, and customers notified. You also don't want to publicize bugs that have not been confirmed. You could use these categories to filter the bugs that the Devs and Support can see.

Basically, I agree with the others here. It should not be public, it should be behind a Dev portal, it should have legal protection (i.e. non-disclosure), and it should be filtered access.

about three weeks ago
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When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

David_Hart Making stuff last... (175 comments)

In my opinion, there is no reason why a crockpot that also has an app interface or a smart interface cannot run for decades (short of the built-in MBTF of the electronics). After all, some basic standalone functionality has to be provided. Granted, it might be harder to find the apps to run it 10 years down the line, but that doesn't mean that it will stop working.

Like anything else, if it is a popular model, the apps will be archived on the internet. As an example, most manufacturers keep drivers for discontinued products online and sites like Driver Guide fill a niche for old drivers (for example, they have NE2000 ISA drivers listed). I can't help but believe that we will see similar sites for archived apps. I'm willing to bet, though, that only the Android apps will be archived in this manner due to the closed nature of the Apple ecosystem.

As for smart watches.. They will have basic functionality out of the box (i.e. be able to tell time). If the app is lost, does the watch stop working? No. It might be worth less, but that doesn't stop it from being a watch.

about three weeks ago
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How 3D Printers Went Mainstream After Decades In Obscurity

David_Hart Re:They Aren't (69 comments)

Talking about 3D printers sure is mainstream, though.

But you can buy them on Amazon.... So... they must be mainstream... just because you didn't get one for Christmas... (grin)

about three weeks ago
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My toy collection is ...

David_Hart Re:Do boats count? (209 comments)

Yeah, I have about the same amount into kayaks (3x), jetskis (2x), and a jet boat. I also have about another $2K in downhill skis and about the same amount in golf equipment.

As for anything marked "for ages X to Y", the only things I still have are some LTTO Laser Tag guns and a couple of of the Lego collectors sets (TIE Advanced x1 and Obi-Wans Jedi Starfighter).

about three weeks ago
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Netflix Rejects Canadian Regulator Jurisdiction Over Online Video

David_Hart Re:In Canada... (184 comments)

It is generally the case up here that in order to watch many shows online, you generally have to verify that you have a cable subscription, This is often done through a sort of google+-ish login on each individual broadcaster's website that verifies your cable account with the cable provider that you claim to use.

Now this isn't true for all shows, but certainly true for many... and by my own observation, seems to be particularly applicable for shows that happen to be US-made, and where (obviously) a local broadcaster has paid for the rights to air that program in Canada.

I suspect that if Netflix required such verification, they would not likely be having this problem. It would also not be a problem if the person was watching something that was not a show being aired on a Canadian network (eg, a movie, or else an old tv show that is no longer on the air).

Yes, but requiring a cable subscription is purely to receive the content for free. For example, if you want to watch a streaming episode of Game of Thrones you need to verify that you have a cable account to prove that you have already paid for access to the content. It has nothing to do with the CRTC and everything to do with the show owner making sure that they are getting paid. Your subscription, for that show, is your cable bill. Otherwise, you need to pay for the content through iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Netflix is like a monthly subscription to the old Blockbuster video stores. Instead of paying a rental fee per movie or TV show you pay a monthly subscription to take home as many movies as you want. The CRTC had no jurisdiction over video rental stores. It should be the same for Netflix.

about a month ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

David_Hart Wrong Nuclear Technology... (342 comments)

The US should be revamping Nuclear reactors for power instead of nuclear weapons. But hey, the stupidity of NIMBY and keeping Yucca Mountain closed continues... Of course, Yucca Mountain funding was cut under President Obama's watch as well.

I get that the Nuclear arsenal needs to be replaced as, like most things, age degrades both the weapons and the systems. Technology moves forward and old parts can no longer be manufactured and old systems no longer interface with current technology. Plus, I'm sure that targeting systems and other electronics have drastically improved.

Like others have commented, I agree that it would be good to continue to see a reduction and an eventual elimination of nuclear arms. However, this isn't going to happen in our lifetimes, so the more practical move is to decommission the old weapons and replace them with more reliable versions. Maybe along the way we see how much is being spent and rethink about whether it's worth the cost.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Sony Cuts PS2 Price By 23%, PS3 untouched

David_Hart David_Hart writes  |  more than 5 years ago

David_Hart (1184661) writes "Sony is reducing the price of the PS2 by 23%, from $129 to $99. The price of the PS3 remains untouched, despite an anticipated $100 price reduction. Analysts now expect the price of the PS3 to be reduced in the next 60 days."
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