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Could Tizen Be the Next Android?

GlobalEcho Re:Nope (241 comments)

a given OSS component typically ossifying

Clever turn of phrase! (slow golf clap)

about a week ago
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UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

GlobalEcho I think you mean if( 2==x ) (388 comments)

So if(x==2) would lose you marks because it wasn't if( x==2 ) which would be considered better by that teacher than if( x == 2)

Keep those constants on the left, my friend.

about two weeks ago
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Glitch In OS X Search Can Expose Private Details of Apple Mail Users

GlobalEcho A job for Little Snitch (49 comments)

I noticed this with Little Snitch, which I recently installed on my laptop. It allowed me to prevent the queries, for which I was quite grateful. I'm not particularly happy with all of Spotlight's newly introduced web search components, either -- I wonder if there's a way to turn that off.

about three weeks ago
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EFF: Apple's Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App For iOS

GlobalEcho Re:Nothing of value was lost, (220 comments)

While most "free" apps are spammy or coercive, there are tons that are not.... I've written many such applications myself over the decades, and continue to do so.

Exactly. As hobbies go, it is rather cheap compared to other common first-world hobbies. I would estimate between hardware and developer membership fees it is at most $1000 per year. Contrast with annual costs of about:
Fishing on your motorboat: $1000 in fuel and $3000 in repairs and depreciation
Snowboarding: $500 in lift tickets, $1500 in travel/food/lodging
Interest Clubs (SCA, Poodle Fanciers, whatever): $300 in suppliesand $1500 in travel/food/lodging

I agree with others that there is a problem finding well-made apps that come from dilettantes, but from the creator's point of view the expenses are rather small.

Making a business out of writing apps, well, that's another issue entirely. There's a reason I've never seriously considered it!

about three weeks ago
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Hubble Takes Amazing New Images of Andromeda, Pillars of Creation

GlobalEcho Colored pixels -- stars or noise? (97 comments)

The cluster of very blue-white pixels and wire diffraction are clearly stars. If I zoom into a fairly dark region, I see lots of red and yellow pixels as well. Are those sensor noise?

about three weeks ago
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Intel Unveils 5th Gen Core Series Broadwell-U CPUs and Cherry Trail Atom

GlobalEcho Re:Macbook Air? Mac mini? (78 comments)

The Mac Mini and Mac Pro are the black sheep fo the product line .... Apple probably wants to drop both but there's a contingent of very loud complainers who would raise the global noise level should Apple actually do so.

You're right. Some of that noise might well be internal. I bet Apple's own developers would be pretty unhappy without those product lines.

And no, the new Mac Mini is not faster than the old

There's a bit of a GPU advantage. It was enough that when when I upgraded my 2009-era Mini-based DVR last month I went with the new Mini rather than a near-equivalent Macmini 6,2.

about three weeks ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

GlobalEcho Re:Have Both (567 comments)

I simply multiplied my monitor by -i.

Now when I pretend to be working on it, the imaginary work becomes real.

about a month and a half ago
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18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

GlobalEcho Expiration dates for laws (446 comments)

My (probably harebrained) idea of the day:

Some folks have long discussed putting more expiration dates on laws. Situations like this show why.

All existing laws lacking expiration dates should be given one. Perhaps 50 years from now, since politicians like to kick the can down the road. New laws without expiration dates should then only be permitted when passed by a supermajority.

Unfortunately, even if this works in theory, it would require a constitutional amendment to have any teeth. Good luck with that.

about 2 months ago
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Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

GlobalEcho Google hubris (222 comments)

What it means is that Google has a tendency to assume the set of intelligent people in the world (outside academia perhaps) is a subset of the set of Google employees.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

GlobalEcho Re:Maybe a Mini (355 comments)

They kept the Ethernet port on the back also, which keeps me happy. I don't want to buy another TB-to-Ethernet adaptor!

about 3 months ago
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No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

GlobalEcho Re:The Nobel Prize Committee blew it (276 comments)

I happen to know someone who won the Economics prize, and even ended up going to Sweden for some of the award week. The economics medal is technically different, as you say, but is treated identically in a functional sense. That is to say, the winners all appear together at various ceremonies, are all given the same considerations and support, speak at the same events and so on. Press coverage also often fails to point out the distinction.

(In contrast, the Peace prize is awarded differently, has different event and ceremonies, etc., etc.)

Based on these observations, I've started thinking of economics medal as equivalent to the others in every objective sense that matters.

about 4 months ago
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Genes Don't Just Predict Intelligence, But Also How Well You Do In School

GlobalEcho Re:Just what any parent knows (154 comments)

Well, I did just typo casual into causal, so I can hardly blame you.

about 4 months ago
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Genes Don't Just Predict Intelligence, But Also How Well You Do In School

GlobalEcho Re:Just what any parent knows (154 comments)

This is a great post that I almost didn't read because you dropped an f-bomb in the first line, making it appear to the causal reader like a rant or troll.

about 4 months ago
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Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

GlobalEcho Re:I use cobol, you insensitive clod! (387 comments)

If you have not yet read Charles Stross' Laundry novels, now is the time.

about 5 months ago
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VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

GlobalEcho Re:Biden is talking coding?? (225 comments)

Al Gore, March 8, 1999, interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, "I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Al Gore, March 8, 1999, about 0.2 seconds later in the same interview "...I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth, environmental protection, improvements in our educational system." Wired magazine yanked that quote out of context and it has never been the same since.

Absolutely right. I always thought that was a bit unfair, but I didn't mind too much, because I believe Gore has always been insufficiently lambasted for his active advocacy of the Clipper chip

about 6 months ago
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Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

GlobalEcho Re:Use TrueCrypt! (176 comments)

Mods: please mod this AC's post up!

about 6 months ago
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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

GlobalEcho Listen in (205 comments)

Among the advantages of owning a minivan is that it becomes easy to carry your own children, plus a few of their friends. You get to know those friends, and listen to your kids' conversations with them. Often, the kids sort of forget you are there and converse "normally". You gain a window into their lives at school you otherwise would never have enjoyed.

Sneaky trick: if you turn on the radio with the fader balanced toward the rear seats, the kids will speak louder without even realizing it.

about 6 months ago
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Mapping a Monster Volcano

GlobalEcho The next eruption (105 comments)

My prediction:

The next eruption, if it happens within the next couple of years, will be blamed on this experiment. This will happen regardless of any scientific support for such blame.

about 7 months ago
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Shawn Raymond's Tandem Bike is Shorter Than Yours (Video)

GlobalEcho Basically a toy (85 comments)

As a "real" tandem person (see here), I must say this thing looks like a toy to me. Of course, it is also far less expensive than the bikes made by serious tandem bike companies, who often make bikes with derailer and brake systems that alone cost as much as this monstrosity.

We've had our tandem going 60-70mph (down mountain roads). There's no way I would trust this thing for such riding. Maybe it is OK for some gentle cruises, but that's it. And furthermore, there's a far better design for front-stoker visibility.

/snob mode off

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Open Source Robotic Surgeon

GlobalEcho GlobalEcho writes  |  more than 2 years ago

GlobalEcho (26240) writes "Researchers have created a second version of the Raven robotic surgeon, with open-source control code

UW researchers also created software to work with the Robot Operating System, a popular open-source robotics code, so labs can easily connect the Raven to other devices and share ideas.

Unfortunately for them, according to The Economist

there is [a] legal problem. Intuitive Surgical, the company behind the da Vinci [robot], holds patents that could make launching a commercial competitor tricky—at least in the immediate future.

"

Link to Original Source
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Apple's XCode IDE Is No Longer Free

GlobalEcho GlobalEcho writes  |  more than 3 years ago

GlobalEcho (26240) writes "Apple has historically made its development tools available free to anyone willing to register on their website and wait for a 1GB download. Starting with XCode 4, the software will cost $4.99 for anyone not already a paid member of their Registered Developer program ($99/year). The new version will now come as an App Store download."
Link to Original Source
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Industry Open-Sources Model For Infamous CDS

GlobalEcho GlobalEcho writes  |  more than 5 years ago

GlobalEcho (26240) writes "Credit default swaps (CDS) are infamous for bringing down AIG and requiring a bailout of hundreds of billions of dollars.
Because the market for these was so murky, the US government has insisted that Wall Street create a clearinghouse for these contracts. In a fresh twist, part of the deal is that the models used to price CDS have been standardized, and that the pricing code was made open source, under a somewhat BSD-like license. The source code (originally written by JPMorgan) provides the basic pricing routines, plus an Excel interface.
To my knowledge this is the first significant migration of an investment bank product platform from its usual super-secret proprietary home to the rest of the world."

Link to Original Source
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Surveillance cameras find atomic chemist's killer

GlobalEcho GlobalEcho writes  |  more than 7 years ago

GlobalEcho (26240) writes "When a chemist was murdered in Chicago last week, police had few leads, until they reviewed the tape on nearby surveillance cameras. Cameras have been reviled for intruding on the privacy of the public, but it would seem there is a case to be made for having at least a few of them around, perhaps just enough of them (as here) to catch the stupid criminals (which is most of them)."
Link to Original Source
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GlobalEcho GlobalEcho writes  |  more than 8 years ago

GlobalEcho (26240) writes "Prudential securities analysts just published a research report projecting sales of 7 million iPhones by Apple during 2007. They anticipate two models: a slim phone in the first half of 2007 that is essentially an iPod with some phone capabilities included, and a smartphone in the second half with a richer set of features. The report also notes that Apple has been hiring video game designers."

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