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Comments

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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

DdJ Re:Damn you, Amazon and your bluetooth! (130 comments)

So you're uninterested in turning things on and off, and adjusting the volume?

I'm uninterested in "just one remote for everything". (Volume is not a problem.) I have seen that work out so rarely that I prefer to avoid situations where people attempt it.

about a week ago
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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

DdJ Re:Damn you, Amazon and your bluetooth! (130 comments)

Archaic. None of the "remotes" that I use in my living room are keyboards.

When I hear "remote," I think "something simple and dedicated that I can hold in one hand to easily control remotely-located things." I don't think "something with at least 60 buttons, some of which are actually useful, that takes up too much room on the coffee table, and functions only as a basic input for a single device."

Huh? I'm not talking about the remote being a keyboard, I'm talking about the remote identifying itself as a keyboard. It's the equivalent of bar-code scanners that you plug into a keyboard port and that "type" whatever you scan with them.

Keyboards have some buttons that are very good for remote control functions, like "up" and "down" and "left" and "right" and "enter" and "escape" and "pause/play" and "fast forward". Make a handheld stick with just those buttons, and have it pair over bluetooth as a keyboard, and that remote would then work with an Apple TV, an Ouya, a Fire TV, a Linux box running MythTV, a Windows box running Steam in big picture mode, et cetera, et cetera. That's what I'm talking about.

Neat. Now how easily does it switch between presentations, AppleTV and Ouya? Does it change inputs on the TV and/or AVR? Turn things on and back off again? Turn the volume up and down?

No? Oh. I'd consider that a lousy remote, then.

I see. There are features in a remote that I'm so uninterested in that I don't even think of them, that you consider absolutely essential. (Though a subset of those are easy. They could all be easy given specific device choices which I'm not going to assume.)

You and I will not like the same remotes.

about a week ago
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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

DdJ Note to self... (322 comments)

...do not rely on monitoring system that treats a complete lack of information as a complete absence of incidents.

about two weeks ago
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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

DdJ Re:Damn you, Amazon and your bluetooth! (130 comments)

Is there any such thing as a "standard" Bluetooth remote?

Well, the device presents itself as bluetooth using the HID profile. That's a start.

Given that, I'd consider any remote that presents itself as a keyboard with well-defined keys to be extremely standard. (Remember, media control keys like "play/pause" and "fast forward" are well-defined and widely supported on keyboards already.)

Further, I'd consider any remote that presents itself as a gamepad with well-defined buttons to be extremely standard.

A remote that presented itself as a trackpad with standard buttons wouldn't be too bad either.

(I in fact often carry a bluetooth device that's remote-sized and is a full keyboard with integrated two-button trackpad and built-in laser pointer. It's hard to beat for presentations, and also controls my AppleTV and my Ouya very nicely.)

That said...if you want custom integration, Bluetooth is overkill. These things are implicitly already on the network. Just use IP.

That would currently require a bunch of one-off solutions, as there isn't a "standard wifi HID profile" to use. Myself, I'd rather have an app on my phone that presented itself to the world as a bluetooth keyboard or gamepad that I could then use even with devices that didn't have IP at all.

about two weeks ago
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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

DdJ Re:Damn you, Amazon and your bluetooth! (130 comments)

I know this isn't what you meant by "not wanting to give up our remotes," but am I the only one annoyed by Amazon for going with a bluetooth remote?

I don't know enough to answer that yet.

I would not really prefer IR.

If the bluetooth in use is extremely standard, so that other devices and even software can be used to "emulate" it, then I'm delighted, as I'll (eventually) be able to integrate the box with other stuff.

If it's doing something grossly nonstandard, that just happens to be implemented on top of bluetooth, then I'll be annoyed.

about two weeks ago
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Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

DdJ They don't. (490 comments)

Specifically: Why do movie studios allow Netflix to send out DVDs to their subscribers by mail, but not to allow the same option in the form of "virtual DVDs" that you could "check out" through their website, and stream them while they're checked out to you?

As far as I know, they don't "allow Netflix to send out DVDs". Content owners have in the past tried to forbid media rentals, but failed. They don't "allow" Netflix to do this -- they simply have no legal standing to prevent it. They likely would if they could.

At least that's my understanding of things.

about three weeks ago
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Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

DdJ They using winelib? (367 comments)

If these systems are still using XP today, my bet is that they only rely on a small, stable, well-established subset of what we consider today's Windows API. It really wouldn't surprise me at all if a whole bunch of the software involved built flawlessly with winelib.

Anyone know if that's how they're going about it?

about a month ago
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Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

DdJ Re:Here's what I don't get (367 comments)

What's a desktop operating system doing on an ATM anyway?

The same thing a desktop CPU is doing in both servers and embedded applications.

Economies of scale and network effects (eg. huge development tool ecosystem) provide some advantages that grow over time, and eventually overcome the advantages of other solutions.

The same thing relates to why an Android phone runs (essentially) the same kernel as an OS Oracle sells to run their database servers on, and why an iPhone runs the same kernel as a Mac Pro.

about a month ago
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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

DdJ The reverse? (914 comments)

What about doing the reverse, for life sentences?

Sometimes someone innocent is given a life sentence, and that fact comes out later. They can be freed, but the amount of damage done to them is still high. Could the reverse of the proposed idea be used to lessen that damage?

(The idea would be to use it on everyone. If they're guilty and never released, so what? But might it be a way to minimize damage when mistakes are made?)

about a month ago
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Lies Programmers Tell Themselves

DdJ My own biggie... (452 comments)

...is probably "I'll only need to run this program once, so it's not worth putting much effort into".

Number two is probably "when I come back to work on this later, I'll remember what I was thinking".

about a month ago
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New Mozilla Encoder Improves JPEG Compression

DdJ Re:Seem Negligible (155 comments)

The file may be slightly bigger, but who cares.

Anyone with a metered internet connection. Which is a depressingly large set of people, and signs are that it's going to get larger.

about a month and a half ago
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Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

DdJ Re:Protection from what? (390 comments)

It's like, imagine you're a bank robber and you've got two banks in town. One is an old-school bank that has thwarted dozens of bank robbers in the past and routinely. They hire people specifically to worry about bank robbers. On the other side of town, there's this new hip young bank that's getting money thrown at them like mad. They used to just take all the money home with them at the end of the night, but now they've got this new "cold storage" place to put money they're not using at the moment. They're known to be idiotic fools, everything thinks the whole thing is a fly-by-night operation, and they don't even have a safe.

You intended this to be a metaphor for attacking traditional financial institutions versus attacking Bitcoin exchanges, right?

(It certainly works as a metaphor for that.)

about a month and a half ago
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Wolfram Language Demo Impresses

DdJ Concise? (216 comments)

Don't make me laugh -- I used to be an APL programmer.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone

DdJ Re:Is anyone actually stuck on Snow Leopard? (241 comments)

I think that you'll find that Windows 8.1 will perform like shit on those machines... Not only because all of the rendering will be software-based.

Huh. Windows 7 certainly runs very well on some of them, with hardware-accelerated rendering and everything. Why would the rendering in Windows 8.1 switch to software-based?

about 2 months ago
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Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone

DdJ Re:Is anyone actually stuck on Snow Leopard? (241 comments)

If someone is still using Snow Leopard for software purposes, it's probably best done in a VM now. Lots of new features and performance in Lion and later assuming you have at least a 5 year old machine or later.

I agree, but the normal release of Snow Leopard is not licensed for running in a VM. If you run it in a VM, you're violating your license. (This is the reason I own a copy of Snow Leopard Server -- that is licensed for running in a VM.)

Further: not all apps that run under Snow Leopard will run in on a VM -- for one example, some that depend on OpenGL will refuse to run. (Diablo 2 happens to be an example. I tried it out of curiosity, using the latest release of VMWare Fusion.)

about 2 months ago
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Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone

DdJ Re:Snow Leapard: Rosetta (241 comments)

Libreoffice supports Appleworks documents. Maybe she could migrate.

To my surprise, so does iWork. I was able to open up a bunch of my old AppleWorks documents and spreadsheets in Pages and Numbers.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone

DdJ Re:Is anyone actually stuck on Snow Leopard? (241 comments)

Are there Macs that can run Snow Leopard but cannot run Lion?

Yes, and my house has two of them. Snow Leopard was the last version of the OS that supported 32-bit processors.

We've got a MacBook Pro and Mac Mini in our house with 32-bit processors. They're still perfectly adequate machines for light usage, in terms of performance, but they won't run any MacOS newer than Snow Leopard at all.

(What's hilarious to me is, they can run Windows 8.1. I'll probably end up putting either Windows or Ubuntu on them before too much longer.)

Snow Leopard is also the last version of the OS to support executing PowerPC binaries under the Rosetta engine, and some people keep it around for that reason. (Example: it's the last version of MacOS that will still play the MacOS version of Diablo 2, which, while complied for OS X, was never compiled for Intel processors.)

about 2 months ago
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Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

DdJ Re:Take pictures, press charges. (921 comments)

If things better than Google Glass are made so innocuous it's imperceptible, then society won't accept it, but be ignorant of it.

Some time after that becomes the case (and it will), society will accept it. It's simply going to be so commonplace for such stuff to be posted publicly to the internet that the rage is just going to burn itself out. (It might take a generation for this to occur, but it will.)

about 2 months ago
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Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?

DdJ It depends. (627 comments)

If the IDE is helping you catch typos and quickly dig out references like method names, that's one thing.

If the IDE is providing so much scaffolding for your project, "wizards" and such, that you don't actually understand what's going on, that's another thing.

(I've seen both.)

about 2 months ago

Submissions

Journals

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I Am Hated

DdJ DdJ writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Huh. Some people put me on their little Slashdot "I hate you" list. Didn't know I made that much of an impression.

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Demo of Journal Feature

DdJ DdJ writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I'm showing my officemate how the SlashDot journal/comment editor works. Here's some fresh text.

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JavaOne

DdJ DdJ writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Heading out to JavaOne in San Francisco next week. I'll have my laptop with me, so I should be able to get email and IMs and such.

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Troll?

DdJ DdJ writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Huh, got modded down as a troll for asking if an MP3 player supported MP3, Windows Media, AAC, Audible, and Ogg Vorbis. Can't for the life of me see why. I'd really like a player that played all those. Go figure. Maybe it's because of the Microsoft mention? May never know.

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Journal?

DdJ DdJ writes  |  more than 10 years ago

So. What the hell is this "journal" feature? Is it of any use?

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