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Ask Slashdot: What Would Real Space Combat Look Like?

God'sDuck Re:Where? (892 comments)

Current space ships have extremely little ability to adjust their trajectory on more than a very occasional basis.

Yes. And assuming you have a laser or relativistic weapon, even with an amazing ability to dodge, the first to detect will fire and "simultaneously" (from the target's perspective) obliterate the target before the target notices they are even under attack. I'm assuming near-term space combat would be decided by stealth, not firepower: anybody detected is destroyed. Probably the only way to return fire would be to have drone fleets surrounded by dust, so that somebody survives to see the laser passing through the cloud and get some sense as to the direction it came from.

Also, it's possible that any significant combat in orbit would destroy everybody involved: see Kessler Syndrome/ablation cascade.

more than 2 years ago
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An Early Look At Mac OS X 10.8

God'sDuck Re:lockdown coming. (658 comments)

Yes, they pay all of those running costs and "the rest is profit" - and it *is* running in profit, just a very tiny profit compared to the hardware. They're not running the store to make money directly - they run it at near break even so that they can make money selling iOS devices.

I...stand corrected. I had assumed Apple wasn't spending that much on operations. You're right; a bit more Googling shows they're only pocketing about 1%. I was assuming it was closer to 20%.

more than 2 years ago
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Antibiotics Are Useless In Treating Most Sinus Infections

God'sDuck Re:my favorite sinus remedy: simple, cheap (377 comments)

Except that improperly-done nasal irrigation can kill. There were a couple people in Louisiana who used tap water to irrigate their sinuses, but the water was infected with an amoeba that killed them.

Ought to use distilled water for that at the least.

The instructions say to microwave the water to boiling, let it cool back to room temperature, then use it. I don't know of any cases of infection from people that followed those instructions.

more than 2 years ago
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An Early Look At Mac OS X 10.8

God'sDuck Re:lockdown coming. (658 comments)

iOS prints money for them because they sell the hardware - the software side of things lives and dies on third party developer support, which is why they've introduced the App Store to OS X. However, the App Store doesn't really make any money for Apple directly (other than their own apps, but they sold those beforehand), just in the same way that the App Store on iOS is a very small source of profit for them (nearly lost in the noise).

$0.30 of every $1 spent on Apps goes to Apple. Thirty percent. They run the servers and handle the credit card transactions. They pay the server admins. They pay the folks that check code. The rest is profit. The App Store's market value is over $8 BILLION. Citation needed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/App_Store_(iOS)

That's business. I'm not saying that makes them evil. But it definitely, definitely, prints money.

more than 2 years ago
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An Early Look At Mac OS X 10.8

God'sDuck Re:lockdown coming. (658 comments)

Sure, you can extrapolate from your two data points, but that doesn't mean Apple will go all the way to "App Store Only" ...

I guess my thought is: why wouldn't they? They've proved the approach on iOS prints money like no tomorrow, improves security, and that they can get away with it. And they've proved on Lion that by making little tweaks to convenience they can get major developers to move into the App store. If in every iteration they add another tweak (in Lion only app store apps show up in the launchpad, in Mountain Lion non-apps need special permission to run), soon every application with any sizable userbase will have to move into the app store to not lose sales. And at that point they can launch a new unified OS that runs on every device that is fully walled, and the complainers will be few, since 99.9% of the apps anybody uses are already in the app store.

I don't think it's the end of the world. I don't think we can STOP it. And I'll still probably buy a Mac, because I frankly think they make a better product. But I do think we should notice what's happening.

more than 2 years ago
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An Early Look At Mac OS X 10.8

God'sDuck Re:lockdown coming. (658 comments)

What worries me is that it will be just user unfriendly enough that low-tech-savvy users won't know what to do. As opposed to immediately prompting you for your password. My assumption is that this is couched in security, but is actually a deliberate inconvenience to make sure that application developers see a sales loss if they don't fall in line. Yes, it will increase security. I'm just connecting the dots between "Apple making 30% off every app transaction" and "Apple being a business first and a secure OS second" and assuming the business interests are going to take us to some interesting places.

more than 2 years ago
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An Early Look At Mac OS X 10.8

God'sDuck Re:lockdown coming. (658 comments)

Oh god a check box..... it's sooooo difficult.... please help me!

Note I said "lockdown coming," not "lockdown here." I'm just pointing out that Apple is very, very smart about social engineering. This is of course very "easy" for technical users to deal with. But many users I support (IT of course, this is Slashdot) don't know how to work System Preferences. A smaller number don't know about control-click. So for those users, applications now have to come from the App Store (or at least be signed). So all commercial application developers will fall in line, not because they have to, but because the incremental cost is small (get a dev key) and the cost of not doing it is huge (grandma can't buy your app).

Once those users are used to the change, Apple will take the next step. By taking baby steps, they can morph OSX into a fully walled garden without much protest, because each step is sooooo difficult that the people that complain are easily shouted down. And then they get 30% of every transaction.

more than 2 years ago
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An Early Look At Mac OS X 10.8

God'sDuck lockdown coming. (658 comments)

"But what if you want to run an older app, or download a utility that was written by someone who hasn't paid Apple's $99 fee for a developer's license? If you're an administrative user, you can Ctrl-click on the App, choose Open from the pop-up menu, enter your OS X password, and tell Mountain Lion to trust this app in the future."

One step closer to all apps needing to come from the app store.

more than 2 years ago
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Galaxy Nexus Designed To Avoid Infringing Apple Patents

God'sDuck Re:Galaxy SII (226 comments)

From what I've read, the galaxy s II is actually a step above the new nexus prime. Based on the soc they used and the graphics process in that soc vs the galaxy s II

How so? The S2 was less than 10% faster than the previous generation OMAP 4430 in the Optimus: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4686/samsung-galaxy-s-2-international-review-the-best-redefined/14

With the clock stepping jump alone from the Optimus to the Prime (20% on the core, ~25% in the graphics engine), the Prime should edge out the S2. If there are hardware acceleration advantages to Ice Cream Sandwich, the difference could be dramatic until the S2 gets updated.

more than 2 years ago
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Galaxy Nexus Designed To Avoid Infringing Apple Patents

God'sDuck Re:No SD card (226 comments)

Actually looking over the two...I am unsure why anyone would pick the prime / galaxy nexus over S2

1) Galaxy Nexus is on Verizon.
2) The OMAP 4430 at 1GHZ (LG Optimus HD) was already neck and neck with the Exynos in the S2. The Galaxy Nexus has a 1.2 GHZ OMAP 4460, which should be enough to cap out all these charts: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4686/samsung-galaxy-s-2-international-review-the-best-redefined/14
3) The Galaxy Nexus has more pixels. For folks with good vision, that's going to be visible.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

God'sDuck Re:Tacos for dinner (735 comments)

This kind of thing is hard for me, because I have the same “leaving now would screw these guys” kind of thinking.

There's often a good answer to this: sit down with your boss and tell him about the other offer. If he or she agrees that you are that valuable, he or she may make a substantial counter-offer that lets them keep you and makes everybody happy. Ask for the 7k plus a day or two a week of working at home to compensate for the commute. Ask for everything it would take for you to feel like leaving would be crazy.

The only risk with this is an evil boss that forever holds it against you. If you think that's a situation, leave. Fast.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Network Backup Solution Out of the Box?

God'sDuck Re:Synology (251 comments)

Synology seconded; I've never had a hiccup and their pro-grade units are fast. For Macs we use ChronoSync to handle the incremental backups.

about 3 years ago
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Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story

God'sDuck Re:Why do they even discuss it? (1014 comments)

genesis 2:5 says specifically that god had not yet created FARMING humans. (No man to "till the earth").

Huh...I had never noticed that. Thank you.

more than 3 years ago
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Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story

God'sDuck Re:Except that's exactly what WON'T explain anythi (1014 comments)

Perhaps, but the whole flood story becomes vastly suspect in any case since it is clearly impossible that there was a worldwide flood within recent prehistory, nor can anything even close to a literal interpretation of the Noah story make any sense.

I've heard a very plausible literal interpretation based on the idea that the Hebrew word used for "world" wouldn't exactly map onto "earth" in a pre-globe worldview. E.G., it's entirely possible the author literally meant "the known world" which literally meant "a chunk of the middle east." In which case the flood would have wiped out a dozen city-states, and the animals in the ark would have been the animals native to that region needed to reestablish Noah's flocks and herds.

It does feel like a bit of a stretch, but certainly plausible.

more than 3 years ago
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GE To Sample 500GB DVD-Size Discs Soon

God'sDuck Re:Just when I was hoping... (179 comments)

...that optical media was dead.

If it costs more per gigabyte than pocket sized hard drives, it's dead to me.

--
it does.

more than 3 years ago
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Scientists Breeding Super Bees

God'sDuck Awesome. (248 comments)

I'm hoping they aren't stingy with the modifications.

Hone your puns, folks. Fi hive.

more than 3 years ago
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Netflix Announces Streaming Only Plans and Higher Prices for DVDs

God'sDuck Re:Going to reduce their revenue (488 comments)

For $7.99, I can pass on the DVDs....and use the money saved to rent the oddball other titles from another service. Up until now Netflix had complete vendor lock-in for my wallet. Now I'll learn more about iTunes/Amazon. Encouraging users to learn about the competition can't be a good idea.

more than 3 years ago
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SCOTUS: Clean Air Act Trumps Emissions Lawsuits

God'sDuck Re:Yes, the EPA (303 comments)

Green types who want to cripple our lifestyle and economy in the name of reducing CO2 emissions will have to convincingly win an election with a clear mandate to do so.

Change != cripple.

more than 3 years ago
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Lodsys Sues 7 iPhone Devs Over Patent Infringement Claims

God'sDuck Re:Patent Office (123 comments)

I made the mistake of trying to read one of the patents. I have new-found respect for the staff employeed by the USPO. Good heavens, how someone can make a living reading these on a daily basis is beyond me.

I don't feel too bad...failure to apply in plain English (except for technical details of a specific implementation) should be immediate grounds for dismissal of a patent. That you can apply with garbage like this and get a patent is the result of precedent. That said...that's the fault of management, not the poor kids fresh out of law school working there until they can find a better job.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Invests In World's Largest Solar Power Tower Plant

God'sDuck Re:Solar (387 comments)

There should be more than enough energy in the Sun to power their servers.

Unless there's an injunction. Oracle's already suing Google for using Sun's code in Android. I'm assuming they'll be adding this exploit to the suit.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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God'sDuck God'sDuck writes  |  about 8 years ago

God'sDuck (837829) writes "Three Princeton researchers (including Ed Felten, of anti-DMCA fame) reported today that a Diebold AccuVote-TS they obtained is riddled with serious and previously undiscovered security holes, to the point of allowing "computer viruses [to] spread themselves automatically and invisibly from machine to machine during normal pre- and post-election activity." Their lab's site includes a full PDF and a how-to video."

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