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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

David_Hart Re:Modula-3 FTW! (463 comments)

Pascal should die!

There is a Modula-3?

I took Modula-2 in university a long time ago... The CS program had dropped PASCAL that year and went with MODULA-2.

2 days ago

Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11

David_Hart Re:Why would anyone buy something from those catal (65 comments)

there are people posting here about reading the catalog for entertainment because they couldn't figure out how to bring a book with them on the airplane.

No, my problem is that I can easily finish a book while I'm on the airplane. How many am I supposed to bring with me? I can bring an absolute crapload with me in my phone.


Before portable devices people would buy a paperback, magazine, etc at the airport news stand (or bring them with them), start reading at the gate, and finish reading on the airplane before landing. People would just look through it because they were bored and had some time before landing.

Now, we can take a library of books, movies, TV programs, music, etc. with us on a Kindle, tablet, etc. Not to mention the in flight movies and satellite TV.

2 days ago

Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

David_Hart Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (796 comments)

For some, having engine noise is fine. However, the '70s and '80s with the purring V8s are gone, and the vehicles that will be the norm will either be hybrids, diesels, or electric cars.

As someone who likes modern cars, we don't need any more noise added. In fact, there is something nice about a Tesla or Prius's silence at idle.

I agree. I would much rather have better sound acoustics for my music than having it messed with by artificial engine sounds.

4 days ago

User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

David_Hart Re:Crusty Hardware (188 comments)

What the fuck are you talking about?

I've watched my parents throw away perfectly good printer/scanner combos that were only a few years old because there were no drivers beyond XP.

I have dozens of network and video adapters on a shelf in my garage that work great in Linux but have no Windows drivers beyond XP.

Until recently even a 386 could run Linux!

Linux vendor? I wouldn't know. I've never used one. I can install my own software thank you!

What are you talking about? You do realize that Microsoft has no control over vendor hardware or their creation of drivers? It's not Microsoft's fault if the vendor dropped support.

I agree that it's annoying when vendors dropped the ball on developing drivers for the new driver model in Vista/Win 7. That being said, there are tricks that allow you to install the Windows NT drivers for older hardware on Windows 7, 8, 8.1. Most older hardware, that had XP drivers, also had NT drivers.

4 days ago

Engineer Combines Xbox One, PS4 Into Epic 'PlayBox' Laptop

David_Hart I was expecting.... (78 comments)

a VM style solution that would allow you to run both OS's not a "take the guts out of a Xbox and a PS4 and shoehorn them into a single metal box". For the size of the box, he may as well have added the Wii as well. When it comes down to it, this isn't much different than my setup which involves an external HDMI switch from each of my gaming consoles going to my AMP.

I get that this was a bit of a hardware packing problem challenge, something that hardware device engineers have to deal with. But, challenges such as cooling when both systems are on, combining components, etc. were never tackled/solved. As such, it's somewhat interesting but doesn't really belong on Slashdot....

about two weeks ago

The Legacy of CPU Features Since 1980s

David_Hart Chipset Integration (180 comments)

I'm not a CPU expert so feel free to take my opinions below with a grain of salt... (grin)

The biggest change to processors in general is the increased use and power of desktop GPUs to offload processing-intense math operations. The parallel processing power of GPUs outstrips today's CPUs. I'm sure that we will be seeing desktop CPUs with increased GPU like parallel processing capabilities in the future.


about two weeks ago

Satellite Captures Glowing Plants From Space

David_Hart Re:NASA link (40 comments)

Thanks for the high-res version. Is there some technical reason that they omit the ocean data? I would think the oceans have quite a bit of photosynthetic activity!

I can only guess that fluorescent glow from algae, sea weed, etc. would be diffused in the water so much that it wouldn't get picked up on satellite. If you notice, they picked up the islands but not much from the surrounding ocean. In addition, ground based plants tend to be denser than water based.

about a month ago

At 40, a person is ...

David_Hart Re:It's all relative (286 comments)

Kilobytes! You were lucky! In my day we 'ad to work with less that 1 kilobit and a 9 character display.

There you go again... confusing your HP calculator with a computer... (grin)

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

David_Hart Re:There's only one image organizing program (259 comments)

Adobe Lightroom. Nothing else even comes close, on OS X or Windows. It organizes sets of images on any combination of storage devices you want, including those disconnected-mostly archives that people with a serious number of photographs always eventually have. It has a tagging system to make searching easy. It gives you control of image metadata. It has most of the editing power of Photoshop with an intuitively easy interface, rather than one that has grown haphazardly bloatwise over the years like PS. It lets you archive everything in RAW if you wish. Editing is nondestructive, so you can peel off prior edits and re-edit an old image at any time. And yes, you can call your favorite external editor, including PS, when you need to do something really fancy.

It's also the only Adobe product that is still reasonably priced and available as an installed program. The others now have to be rented on the company's cloud site.

You forgot to mention that it also has plugins for various online photo services, social media sites, etc. just in case you decide to want to share them with Aunt Betty in Ohio....

about a month and a half ago

Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

David_Hart Re:Why does this need a sequel? (299 comments)

If it were certainly either way, the film would lack artistic merit, and just be a slow-paced effects movie with a good soundtrack.

Blade Runner came out in 1982. Until the Director's Cut came out in 1992, there was no ambiguity about if Deckard was a replicant; the basic assumption was that he was not. For 10 years it was considered a great movie without any uncertainty about Deckard's humanity - not a "film lacking in artistic merit" as you assume.

I agree. In my mind the story only works if Deckard is human. The point was to show that the replicants had advanced to the point where the question of whether they were sentient and deserved the same rights as humans. One of the ways they showed this in the film was for a human/replicant emotional connection (i.e. love). replicant-to-replicant "love", in my mind, just wouldn't make sense given the context of the story. That being said, the movie itself does leave this possibility open and most just assume that he is human.

about a month and a half ago

Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

David_Hart Re:Surrender to SpaceX, France (168 comments)

Uh, give another go at history. The British army was the homeland army in the US and the actual resident armed force. Yours was a secession war that effectively created your national identity (or officialized it, depends on the point of view). The only real foreign attack you had on your soil was Pearl Harbor, and that wasn't an invasion.

There was this war in 1812 when the British and a bunch of natives from Canada burned down the White house. During the war the US did have enemy soldiers on US soil. But that war ended in a stalemate. One of the things that did happen, though, is that the US was discouraged from further attacks on Canada and it paved the way for Canada to become an independent nation while keeping British ties.

about a month and a half ago

Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

David_Hart Re:Or use a player with an SD card slot? (269 comments)

Wouldn't it make more sense to buy a non-hard drive based player that takes SD cards, now that SD cards are available with larger capacities?

I have the iPod Classic 7th Gen. It has a 160GB hard drive, fast USB 2.0 chipset, and a hard-drive interface. This means that loading songs is quick, rebuilding the music library is quick, and there is little lag between changing playlists, etc.

The non hard-drive based mp3 players tend to have a slower USB chipset or a slower processor. This makes loading songs take 5x as long, rebuilding or refreshing the music library takes 30 minutes or more, etc. For example, I have a Sansa Clip+ and just bought a new 64GB SDXC 90MB/s card (Black Friday deal). Transfers to and from the SDXC card using a USB 3.0 memory card reader is very quick. However, synching my full library plus podcasts (50GB of songs) for the first time through the Clip+ took all night (I just started it and went to bed). The point is that few of the memory based MP3 players were designed with the processing power to handle large libraries.

In addition, only iPods have full integration with most modern car head units (Playlists, art work, steering wheel control, etc.).

about a month and a half ago

Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

David_Hart Car Jukebox.... (269 comments)

Bluetooth works but it sucks for music quality and you only have rudimentary controls on the head unit. Most of it has to be controlled from the device itself, which is dangerous when driving. Plus, this drains the phone battery unless you charge it at the same time.

Most modern cars have USB ports, but it's a little more complicated to create playlists on memory cards.

The Apple iPod interface is a mainstay in many modern cars. You have full integration with steering wheel controls and most head units. In addition, the iPod gets power from the same interface, so you are not draining your phone battery.

I use Microsoft Media Player because I love it's automatic play lists and I hate iTunes. I bought the MgTek DOPISP add-in to enable synching with iPods. With the iPod Classic 160GB, I can sync my entire music library plus podcasts,

about a month and a half ago

Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

David_Hart Re:Cloud (241 comments)

Most cloud providers are orders of magnitude more secure than company IT.


I would agree that most cloud providers probably have a better handle on security than corporate IT. Simply because if they have a breach they basically lose their whole business. As such, it's made a priority and has a decent budget.

However... Because cloud providers have more than one customer, all it takes is one of them doing something illegal for your data to be subject to search and seizure. From a legal standpoint, the corporate data is actually less secure....

about a month and a half ago

BGP Hijacking Continues, Despite the Ability To Prevent It

David_Hart Re:BGP? (57 comments)

I don't think BGP is simple enough for a non-nerd...

Since when did "nerd" only cover people who understand BGP? I don't remember that on the entrance exam...

Heaven forbid anyone should be allowed to come away from reading a story on Slashdot more informed. Can't be having that!

A simple, painless expansion of an acronym would at least give every reader a fighting chance at a rough guess of what it does, or at least what it relates to.

Um... given that BGP is THE core routing protocol for the Internet... Yeah... you should at least know what it is at a basic level. It fits into the same category as DNS, HTML, ISP, etc.

It's a lot like the programmers talking on here about the Waterfall model. It's expected that if you don't know something that you will take 5 seconds to look it up. Just maybe you'll learn something new... oh horrors... (grin)

For those who still don't know, BGP stands for Border Gateway Protocol. At a very basic level, it's a routing protocol used to advertise routes between ISPs and other Internet connected organizations. It's these routes that we use to get to Netflix, for example.

about a month and a half ago

Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

David_Hart Re:Vilify the Police (515 comments)

This is what it has come to. The cop used to be your friend, right? But now he's not. Well, the cops didn't change, we did. In the old days a copy could say "Stop or I'll shoot" and if you didn't stop, he shot you in the back... Look at "It's a Wonderful Life"... Bert the cop does that to George (but misses)... no question back in the day, the cops could say "get on the ground" and you'd get on the ground. Now, we don't... we won't... go ahead, shoot me... you'll do time in prison Mr. Cop... you'll go down for 2nd Degree Murder. Watch "Cops" and see people who think they'll negotiate their way out of being dumped on the ground and cuffed. And it's all on the cop to make sure he is polite, doesn't use excessive force (which will be decided later, possibly by a jury) and that when someone spits in his face, he doesn't retaliate... Just put that as an additional charge that the prosecutor will drop in exchange for a plea.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we're asking cops to do everything all the time now... In addition to protecting us, and bringing in the bad guys, and finding them, we want them to use kid gloves and we've tied their hands over and over again. So we are getting exactly what WE deserve, a bitter police force, who feels that the people are not behind them, and thus they move from serving and protecting us to serving and protecting themselves. Congratulations everyone... you got the police force you deserve. You don't like it? Well further tying their hands, throwing them in jail, etc. is just gonna make it worse. Rock on, morons.

I'd be more convinced if you had started out your argument with the war on drugs. In my opinion, that's when the police forces went from being the neighborhood cop to basically one big SWAT team, having to be prepared for anything from noise complaints to all out war. There is just too much of a gap between the two to do both effectively. In some ways, the police forces would have been a lot better off if the drug war had been an FBI only operation.

about a month and a half ago

LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

David_Hart Re:Too small to be of any benefit. (179 comments)

At 55" and average viewing distances of 8ft you're not going to notice all the detail of even 1080p. You literally need to be sat a couple of feet away to get the full benefit of 4K on a 55" display.

The people who are replying that the viewing distance charts are wrong need to understand what the recommendations apply to.

First, they apply to the average person, whoever that may be. Since we all have slightly different eyesight, there are people who will see jaggies at the recommended range and people who will not.

Secondly, the vast majority of the distance recommendations refer to televisions and video, not computer monitors and text or still images. Computer monitors tend to have more precise pixel color and lighting control which makes them sharper but also makes it easier to see jaggies.

The point is that the charts were developed for TVs playing video and they tend to be accurate for this usage. Any application beyond that is pretty much out of scope.

about a month and a half ago

U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession

David_Hart Re:One reason for that might be (176 comments)

As a result, owning a new car is something that many people only dream of.

And why would you even want to own a car? The utilization factor of privately owned cars sucks. I'm waiting for self-driving flexible rentals. If all you want is to get from place A to place B, let computers figure out how to do that most economically. And I don't mean just finding a route, but, among other things, scheduling vehicles to people with regular schedules. Those vehicles don't need to stand in parking lots. In fact, you'd be able to get rid of a lot of the parking places because the vehicles would be permanently busy.

Typical response from someone who lives in a dense area and who never travels or drives anywhere...

Some of us actually drive long distances to visit relatives, go on vacation, or have special requirements such as towing . Some live in communities where there isn't any public transportation or in areas where public transportation just doesn't go from point A to point B or with low density where a car service just wouldn't be profitable enough. In each of these situations its cheaper (or a requirement) to own or lease a car than it is to rent one.

Yes, having a simple easy way to rent a car in a dense area where you have no special requirements works. But saying that you can't imagine a reason why someone would want to own a car just highlights how little experience you have with the different ways that people actually use their cars and the cost of renting.

about a month and a half ago

U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession

David_Hart Re:Requirements didn't change though (176 comments)

Calling them "dirtier" is wrong then. Less-clean-than-expected would be accurate. They didn't get dirtier, they simply sold less vehicles to make the air cleaner than it has been without them.

Older cars and older engines get to the point where seals, gaskets, etc. start to decay enough that they allow oil into the engine. This causes the exhaust to become "dirtier". It's cheaper for most people to burn oil than it is to get the engine seals replaced. So, yes, the cars do get dirtier over time. For example, my 2003 Nissan Murano was going through a quart of oil a month from years 8 through 10 (older Nissan engines are known to do this). About 18 months ago I traded it in for a new Jeep that doesn't burn any oil and gets better gas mileage.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Are Any Certifications Worth Going For?

David_Hart Masters Degree.... (317 comments)

If you are in IT management and feel that your skills are best suited to spend the rest of your career in management, then you should work on a Masters degree (i.e. MBA or Masters in IT Management). Certifications are largely for skilled IT workers who actually do the work. Managers, on the other hand, tend to focus on strategy, keeping track of work and work assignments, reporting, etc. Usually for management positions, relevant experience covers any hands-on IT knowledge needed.

about a month and a half ago



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."
Link to Original Source


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