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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

LostMyBeaver Re: *BSD has best-of-breed documentation. (430 comments)

I would say Solaris has always had the best documentation... Until oracle at least.

about two weeks ago

Extracting Audio From Visual Information

LostMyBeaver It's nothing more than laser mics (142 comments)

All they did was remove the laser to make the ease dropper unobservable. The tech is useless unless the camera has an insanely fine pitch resolution or the speech is so loud it causes large vibrations.

Otherwise, they're just sampling motion at 2000-6000fps. It seems ridiculously processor intensive for something which could be better achieved using a high performance light meter.

about two weeks ago

Getting Back To Coding

LostMyBeaver Tools just get worse. (240 comments)

15 years I coded with Qt professionally and came to love and adore it's quality and simplicity. I even wrote and operating system which was a microkernel and everything else was based on Qt Core.

I wanted to make a simple project the other day and Qt failed me. It seems that code goes in without unit tests these days and shipments are made without any quality control.

I used Qt because I'm not the typical loser Linux developer who wants to spend 50% of their time just fixing their tools or reporting bugs to package maintainers.

about three weeks ago

Elon Musk Promises 100,000 Electric Cars Per Year

LostMyBeaver Lame... Electric (122 comments)

Electric is SOooooo 2012!

I was looking at a Tesla or another electric and the Toyota said they'll ship Hydrogen Fuel Cell next year. So, I will drive my car another year.

I have a Prius now and am driving into the ground. Tesla was the next intelligent step... While waiting for fuel cell. But now fuel cell seems to be here, so why would I buy that?

about three weeks ago

Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

LostMyBeaver Complexity (213 comments)

ACM is a great resource and I regularly borrow journals from friends.

My issues are simple.

1) I'm self educated. ACM discriminates against people like me. It doesn't matter that I have 20 years experience in protocol and codec design or that I've designed algorithms which they have published articles analyzing.

2) price. ACM is too expensive for individuals and programmers who are actual scientists and actual engineers as opposed to Python coding web site developers have a hard enough time getting bosses to pay for RAM upgrades. Things like "club memberships" are generally out of the question.

3) Too many journals to choose from and each one costs more. Professional programmers probably want 3-5 different journals. I haven't checked in a while, but I would want the journals on compilers, machine vision, signal processing and probably AI (if those are all categories) but I wouldn't want to pay for all 3. A downloadable printable version of the actual journals or at least an ebook would be welcome. Last I checked, they only offered article by article.

Finally, I never see ACM articles linked from Google. You'd imagine searches for things like "reduction of inter block artifacts in discrete wavelet transforms" should nail 5 ACM articles on the first page. Instead, I see mailing lists.

about three weeks ago

Amazon's eBook Math

LostMyBeaver Re:Disengenous (306 comments)

While I feel your argument was probably not thought through well enough, I believe there is merit to it.<br><br>Here in Norway, we tend to suffer a great deal as consumers because of the publisher/distributor relationship. The pricing model of books is highly predatory and the book rights for Norwegian translations also allow the local publisher to own the rights to the original language within the country. This drives prices on the original language and the translation through the roof since the cost of translating is so high that unless it's a #1 best seller, all the profit has to be made on a few hundred... possibly thousand copies. What is worse is that Norway has a higher English literacy level than either the U.S. or the U.K. We don't need these translations. They are translating them for no apparent reason... and worse... as the availability of English books through Amazon or others increases, the Norwegian translation market shrinks and the quality of the translations shrink too.<br><br>Another major issue which I have is... I am willing to pay large amounts for Print-on-Demand if I need a paper book. In fact, I try to avoid purchasing books which were mass printed only to look good enough on display cases to attract sales.... then when the book cools down, they'll throw them away and recycle them. This practice is so fantastically stupid that I can't even imagine that the people who want to make this continue can even tie their shoe laces. I don't feel any personal need to help the printing business by printing documents which just don't need to be printed. Books should never be printed like that anymore. We have eBooks. I don't actually know anyone who prefers paper anymore... including wrinkle monsters.<br><br>I don't care what the eBooks cost, but here's a simple rule.... I under no circumstance am willing to pay for the printing of a book in my eBooks. Meaning if I assume the printing cost of one book to be $1 and that the idiot publisher is probably printing three copies of the book for each one he sells... so let's be fair (toss him a cookie) and say to cover his costs, he needs to pay $2.50 for the cost of printing. Then the eBook should never cost more than $2.50 less than what the printed book would cost on the shelf of a brick and mortar store which will discount the book immediately. So if the MSRP is $20, a store would discount that book 10-25% which is why we have MSRP (feels great to save that 25% right?), so $15... now, subtract $2.50 to cover printing costs... that's $12.50.<br><br>I'm willing to pay $12.50 for the eBook which is MSRP of $20.<br><br>You know what? I'm willing to pay $20 for the paper copy if it's printed on demand instead of just killing the planet for fun. Of course, I'm not going to demand that paper copy unless I need it for reference.

about three weeks ago

Chinese Government Probes Microsoft For Breaches of Monopoly Law

LostMyBeaver Anti-monopoly behavior? (110 comments)

So... it's apparently a criminal matter in China to be against monopolies? WTF?

about three weeks ago

Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

LostMyBeaver Good move :) (383 comments)

First of all, Nokia was only worth the patents. Their tech was lame and Microsoft can do it better themselves. Also, Nokia focuses too much on making too many phones. A good team focusing on one damn good phone at a time is far superior and Nokia sucks at that.

Microsoft couldn't possibly just dump Nokia dead weight. If they did, it would be a disaster politically. So finding 5000 more workers in that monsterous company shouldn't be hard and there is certainly a pile of dead weight.

Well done!

about a month ago

The World's Best Living Programmers

LostMyBeaver Wow!!! This is most famous at least (285 comments)

How about Matthias Ettric? He wrote the original KDE, was the core developer of Qt for years?

Lars Knoll, more or less single handedly wrote the Konquerer Web Browser which later became WebKit and then move to Trolltech where he became a core tech developer on Qt.

Warwick (can't remember his last name) at Trolltech who more or less wrote all the cool stuff for Trolltech like the Qt Embedded windowing system as a replacement for Qt.

Karl Anders &#195;&#732;ygard who optimized the AMP code base making PC MP3 playback possible as well as being the core or WinAmp. He also wrote major portions of the Opera Web Browser like the original full EcmaScript implementation, he also architected the layout engine of the browser which supported reflow making it one of the fastest web browsers (often fastest) for a decade

Lars Thomas Hansen who wrote the optimized EcmaScript engine for Opera. Implemented some of the earliest byte code compilers in browsers. Damn near reinvented garbage collection. Wrote his own Scheme compiler. Later worked at Adobe boosting performance and features of ActionScript like crazy. Now works at mozilla foundation making yummy stuff there.

Ugh... Can't remember his name was it Christian-Jacq, codeveloper and maintainer of VLC.

Wim Taymens, the core developer of GStreamer... He wrote most of the cool stuff in there. Excellent sense of humor and generally good person as well as amazing programmer.

That annoying/obnoxious guy from x264 who basically has been the project maintainer for years. Personally I want to choke him, but he's among the best programmers I know.

Kieran Kunaya (sp.) developer of the Open Broadcast Project. Basically made it possible for TV stations and broadcasters all over the world to use Open Source.

Ole Andre Vadnes (sp.) wrote endless numbers of tools for reverse engineering core components of programs to be able to use libraries from defunc programs companies needed to run.

Lars Petter (something or other) spent years counting clock cycles for Tandberg developing faster H.264 codecs.

Mark Russonovich (sp.) who single handedly reverse engineered and reimplement the NTFS file system and documented, wrote books about it and more or less is responsible for many of us not losing all our stuff.

The guy who wrote IDA Pro, the most advance disassembler/compiler ever.

I have had the pleasure of meeting and often working together with many of these guys for weeks or years. While I don't discount the names on the list... I would say that it's terribly naive. I can probably name another 100 developers that should be in the top 10

about a month and a half ago

Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

LostMyBeaver Cloud only applications are a disaster (409 comments)

1) Cloud office suites store documents.... in the cloud
2) Cloud office suites make you 100% dependent on their apps. Sure... Google uses "open formats" but as they add features and other companies add features, they lose formatting compatibility.
3) Here kid, the first one is free. Using free cloud software is great while it's free. Where's the guarantee that it will always be free? When it's not free, how much will it cost? Will I actually be able to move?
4) Are you seriously asking me to trust Microsoft, Google or Apple more than the other? This just is laughable. They're all a bunch of crooks. The only difference is, at least for now, Microsoft has governments around the world already treating them like crooks, so they at least have to try to be honest. Apple makes absolutely no pretenses of being an honest player and Google... they scare the shit out of me.

In the end, the best solution is a cloud player which has a clear means of licensing their software and running it within your organization without them being involved. So far as I know, Google doesn't even try for this. Microsoft does have a product, but it's not easy to get.

So for now, I'll use desktop and mobile apps and cloud storage. Thank you very much.

P.S. - It's scary how I am not nearly as worried about government spying, I simply accept it as part of life. But Google really scares the shit out of me.

about 5 months ago

Ford Dumping Windows For QNX In New Vehicles

LostMyBeaver Re:Having used both (314 comments)

QNX is one of the more enjoyable embedded OSes?

It's just a unix style microkernel operating system. What they're buying is the Qt platform which is far more interesting than QNX... they'd have been equally well off with a Linux kernel and Qt on top.

There is no size footprint or CPU footprint benefits to be had here... the point is, if you're not using Windows, a Qt based platform with proper driver support is the way to go.

But... it will be in a Ford product which means they'll have to make it work like shit to belong there.

about 6 months ago

Most Alarming: IETF Draft Proposes "Trusted Proxy" In HTTP/2.0

LostMyBeaver The blind leading the blind (177 comments)

While the article justifiably blows a whistle on what could be an abuse or power, the premise of the article is BS at best. It suggests that the tech could be used to maliciously snoop on people without their knowledge. The spec says nothing of the sort. It allows a user to make use of a proxy. In the case of a TLS only HTTP 2.0, this is needed. Without it, people like myself would have to setup VPNs for management of infrastructure. I can instead make a web based authenticated proxy server which would permit me to manage servers and networks in a secure VPN environment where end to end access is not possible.

Additional benefits of the tech will be to create outgoing load balanced for traffic which add additional security.

How about protecting users privacy by using this tech. If HTTPv2 is any good for security, deep packet inspection will not be possible and as a result all endpoint security would have to exist at the endpoint. Porn filters for kids? Anti-virus for corporations? Popup blockers?

How about letting the user make use of technology like antivirus on their own local machine to improve their experience? How many people on slashdot use popup blockers which work as proxies on the same machine.

This tech adds to their security end-to-end instead. After all, it allows a user to explicitly define a man-in-the-middle to explicitly trust applications and appliances in the middle to improve their experience.

What about technology like Opera mini which cuts phone bills drastically or improves performance by reducing page size in the middle.

Could the tech be used maliciously? To a limited extent... Yes. But it is far more secure than not having such a standard and still using these features. By standardizing a means to explicitly define trusted proxy servers, it mitigates the threat of having to use untrusted ones.

Where does it become a problem? It'll be an issue when you buy a phone/device from a vendor who has pre-installed a trusted proxy on your behalf. It can also be an issue if the company you work for pushes out a trusted proxy via group policy that now is able to decrypt more than what it should.

I haven't read the spec entirely, but I would hope that banks and enterprises will be able to flag traffic as "do not proxy" explicitly so that endpoints will know to not trust proxies with that information.

Oh... And as for tracking as the writer suggests... While we can't snoop the content, tools like WCCP, NetFlow, NBAR (all Cisco flavors) as well as transparent firewalls and more can already log all URLs and usage patterns without needing to decrypt.

So... May I be so kind as to simply say "This person is full of shit" and move on from there?

about 6 months ago

Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

LostMyBeaver Why does the U.S. even teach second languages? (426 comments)

Honestly, I went to a high school with over 1000 other students. I believe about 800 took spanish and the remaining 200 or so too French, Italian or German. The average student studied their second language for 3 years, some as many as 5. Of those students, less than 10 percent can communicate on a vacation to another country where those languages are spoken. Probably less than 2% became fluent. And yet, most of them graduated with good grades in those languages.

Second languages should be optional and should be a major boost on college applications. But to be fair, it's a waste of millions and maybe billions of dollars to educate in a topic which less people can perform well in than they do in mathematics.

about 7 months ago

23-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster Whips Bill Gates In 71 Seconds

LostMyBeaver Thank you! (449 comments)

I've been looking for someone to finally make this point.

Let's also consider that the attack Magnus used on Bill was a class speed chess method. He sacrificed his front row, took a small gamble that Bill would play regular chess and be protective of his front row. As a result, Magnus came out fast and hard with his knights and queen. I have seen this precise game played (move for move) many time growing up by the old jewish men in the park in Brooklyn. In fact, I'm almost sure I played it against other people several times.

Speed chess is rarely about skill or beauty. It's about patterns. The difference between speed chess and an opening moves book is that the speed chess games build a start to finish tree of possibilities in 10 moves or less.

Want to talk about impressive? Bill was smart enough (just before moving his bishop in a "protective" measure) to recognize that he'd lost already. Watch the video and you'll see. My wife was laughing because I was telling her the game and how it would be played from the second Bill too Magnus's pawn.

about 7 months ago

U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

LostMyBeaver iPhone and Starbucks (635 comments)

In 2014, you don't need to have a fancy car to make a statement. An iPhone at a Starbucks is worth far more street cred. In addition, hot cars for 18 year olds when I was a kid was typically started off as a beater which we fixed up. Modern cars are too complex for a teenager without a proper shop to work on. I don't know a single teenager which would prefer wheels over bandwidth. Both cost enough that they have to choose. How about a pathetic minimum wage? In high school, I could easily make enough money working at McDonalds to pay for a car, insurance and gas. Today, the car costs nothing, but gas and insurance costs a fortune. Proliferation of electric bicycles and cheap scooters. You can buy a scooter for $300 used, pay almost nothing for insurance and gas is close to free.

All in all, cars for a teenager aren't so important anymore.

about 7 months ago

The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

LostMyBeaver Internet amd Walmart? (674 comments)


Walmarts profits which they pay out as dividends is made primarily by paying 850,000 employees little enough that they will qualify for food stamps and/or welfare assistance. So, Walmart's success is based on the idea that they can keep prices obscenely low by letting tax payers cover the salaries of their employees instead of paying them themselves. The result being that instead of losing $2 billion a year, they profit $10 billion a year instead. They can even afford to undercut competition who pays the same for their inventory because they make up for it by letting the government cover their profits.

So... How does the Internet have anything to do with their impact on the middle class?

about 7 months ago

Intel Releases 5,000 Pages of Open-Source Haswell Documentation

LostMyBeaver Re:Dear Nvidia... (111 comments)

Intel's GPU is good enough for almost everyone, in addition, they don't need to sell it. It's part of the CPU. Use it... Or don't. In fact, it's very likely that by documenting it, people will help make later generations better.

NVidia on the other hand has to fight for every dollar they make. There are dozens of ARM chip designers who would sell their souls for their documentation. NVidia doesn't have a single product or technology which others wouldn't love to compete against. With companies like Qualcomm on the mobile side and AMD on the discrete side, NVidia needs to guard everything closely... Unless they just want to become like immation and live off of core sales and patents.

Did you see Intel release full documentation on their branch detection? Only enough to use it.

about 8 months ago

The Startling Array of Hacking Tools In NSA's Armory

LostMyBeaver How cute! (215 comments)

So, you're suggesting that open source will be more secure? Oh! That's right! If it's open source, the NSA wouldn't be able to find exploits in it... Because after all, it's open source, it can't be hacked!

about 8 months ago

Are Tablets Replacing Notebook Computers? (Video)

LostMyBeaver of course (211 comments)

I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 2... It replaces both a laptop and a tablet.

It's far cheaper than buying one of each of the other.

about 8 months ago

Chromebooks Have a Lucrative Year; Should WinTel Be Worried?

LostMyBeaver How many of those get used for anything? (321 comments)

When I wad in the states recently, I was offended by how stores like BestBuy, Staples, Office Depot and others looked like they were intentionally misleading people into thinking they were buying a proper laptop (windows, mac... Even Linux.. Eww) by putting Chromebooks next to budget laptops on the shelf and not posting any warnings about their shittiness.

Honestly, I have bought two ChromeBooks, a Samsung Series 7 Slate, two Surface Pros, a Surface Pro 2, 5 iPads, a Surface, a MacBook Air two Acer tablets in the past three years.

My wife uses her iPad for eBooks for school. My kids watch films on their iPads... Funny how iTunes music store is a good enough reason to use iPad. I haven't touched anything other than Surface for over a year. We are mostly a Windows house though. It's about productivity and entertainment. We travel a lot too. The Chromebooks are useless... Especially on cross-Atlantic flights. The iPads are awesome because of battery life. The Surface Pro 2 is the winner though... 7 hours of battery life (plus battery keyboard soon) while watching films, programming, using Linux on multiple virtual machines. I can honestly say, if Microsoft releases a new Surface Pro once a year with better battery and all it costs is $1200, I'm in.

As for ChromeBooks, I threw them in the closet since I wouldn't even give that trash away as it would just disappoint whoever got it.

about 8 months ago



Intentionally disposable computing, a good thing?

LostMyBeaver LostMyBeaver writes  |  more than 4 years ago

LostMyBeaver (1226054) writes "I just read about Eric Schmidt's goal of moving everything to "the cloud" and making it so that in the future Chrome OS devices will be "disposable by design". To take a quick sucker punch on the guys at Eric, this sounds like he expects anything running Chrome OS to be garbage by design."
Link to Original Source

Environmental cost of battery recycling?

LostMyBeaver LostMyBeaver writes  |  more than 5 years ago

LostMyBeaver (1226054) writes "I have been considering the purchase of an electric or hybrid vehicle for some time. The biggest problem I have currently is that both technologies make use of rechargable batteries. The same tree-huggers telling me gasoline is bad are telling me that batteries are bad too.

I'm only partially knowledgable in this area, but it appears the battery technologies are generally based at least on lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, lead acid and nickel-cadmium. I was hoping someone on Slashdot would be knowledgable enough to explain the environmental cost of recycling these batteries. If I understand correctly, after these chemicals are "spent" so the cells no longer maintain a charge, they are not useful for producing new batteries.

I can only imagine that the most common method of recycling the cells is to store the toxic chemicals of the batteries in barrels and refilling the cells with new chemicals. This sounds like an environmental distaster to me. Is there someone here that can help me sleep better at night by explaining what really happens?"


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