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ArkOS: Building the Anti-Cloud (on a Raspberry Pi)

MCRocker Why duplicate Freedom Box? (166 comments)

This sounds like the same concept that the Freedom Box Foundation has been working on for a while. It would seem like a better use of resources for these groups to get together and pool their efforts rather than do the same thing twice.

about a year ago
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Qualcomm Says Eight-Core Processors Are Dumb

MCRocker Re:Niche market (526 comments)

If you are a software developer, and don't find use for arbitrarily large number of cores... Time to get up to date!

That's why I'm so excited by the new breed of languages like Scala.

Sure, there's no silver bullet to automagically solve all parallel programming problems, but languages like Scala have features like Parallel Collections libraries, functional programming and Parallel Domain Specific Languages that can abstract enough of the problems of parallel programming away that journeyman programmers have a decent chance of being able to work effectively with multiple cores.

I'm somewhat disappointed by the adoption curve. The reluctance to move toward an actual solution to the problem is somewhat surprising.

This is also the real reason behind NoSQL databases... the need to scale horizontally instead of vertically is the primary driver, not a disdain for SQL.

about a year ago
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What's the Best RSS Reader Not Named Google Reader?

MCRocker May also affect Google Listen (287 comments)

Google Listen, the Android podcatcher that Google designed to work with Google Reader, has been dead for a while now, but it was still usable because Google Reader was still working even if they didn't update the Android app. However, it looks like the demise of Google Reader itself will doom Google Listen to uselessness.

Of course, Google claims they dropped Google Listen because there were apps out there that did the same thing better, so it's not exactly the end of the world.

about 2 years ago
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Micron Lands Broad "Slide To Unlock" Patent

MCRocker Similar filings should trigger obviousness failure (211 comments)

First to invent vs. file conflicts could be used to raise the bar on obviousness.

Obviousness is surprisingly difficult to determine because some of the best and most brilliant ideas are also very simple ideas that seem obvious only in retrospect. So the patent office is deliberately reluctant to interpret the obviousness constraint too rigorously.

Recently, the US has switched from awarding priority of similar patents to the first one to be filed instead of the first to be invented. Since there is often a very long delay from filing to patent award, during which filers must not publicly disclose their idea, priority becomes an issue more frequently than one might expect.

It seems obvious to me that instead of struggling with who has priority, the patent office should simply look at two similar patents being filed at about the same time as a failure of the obviousness test because, clearly, two different practitioners of the art came up with similar solutions to a problem. So both patents and any similar future filings should be rejected as obvious.

This doctrine would have disallowed a lot of patents in the past including the light bulb and telephone, which, while revolutionary were being investigated by several inventors who came up with similar solutions and even filed within hours of each other!

about 2 years ago
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Scientists Race To Establish the First Links of a 'Quantum Internet'

MCRocker Let the be light (82 comments)

Because Quantum Entanglement is not in the bible.

"...and god said, 'Let there be photons. And there were photons.'"

“In the beginning, there was nothing. Then God said, 'Let there be light'... and there was still nothing but, you could see it." :: Groucho Marx

about 2 years ago
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Why Coding At Fifty May Be Nifty

MCRocker Actual coding is the smallest part of modern softw (317 comments)

Actual coding is the smallest part of modern software development not just because of all the meetings agile techniques like Scrum require, but also because we're expected to support the code we write instead of just writing it in isolation, tossing it over the wall and expecting some other sucker to maintain it. The theory is that if the developers have to support the code themselves, then they'll pay more attention to quality, reliability, stability and other factors that improve maintainability.

Of course other related work like design, documentation, code review, testing, deployment, performance analysis and so on contribute to making actual coding a small part of the whole process.

Jobs with 20 hour seat-of-the-pants hackathon sessions in some low level language that gets dumped straight to production are increasingly rare.

The question is whether all of this overhead is worth the effort? If done right, maybe all of this turns coding into professional software engineering that can reliably produce high quality solutions to business needs... or maybe it's just another failed attempt, like waterfall, that adds all sorts of useless overhead to fool management into thinking they have some sort of control.

So far, I'm thinking that it may actually help, but the jury's out and I think it's highly dependent on your organization and individual team. Even great ideas can be need up by poor implementation.

more than 2 years ago
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GNOME 3.6 To Include Major Revisions

MCRocker Mac top bar menus implement Fitts law (327 comments)

The menu bar following the app has always been a feature of the Mac OS. It's nothing to do with using one app at a time, it's to do with the muscle memory advantage of just shoving the mouse to the top of the screen regardless of which application you're using.

More specifically, it's an attempt to apply Fitts law to computer user interaction. Tog has an article on the thinking behind this.

more than 2 years ago
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Wozniak Predicts Horrible Problems With the Cloud

MCRocker Just forward your messages to another service (331 comments)

Um, all you need to do to get your email from one email system to another is forward your messages as attachments form one to the other.

In fact, the defunct ZOË email archive server uses this technique to import email... of course, it automatically files all of the attachments as separate emails, so it makes it easy. Other clients may require more work.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Invites Hackers To Attack Its Network

MCRocker Google deliberately crowd sources testing (157 comments)

Along with some interesting revelations, the interview of James Whittaker about his book, How Google Tests Software, included some discussion about effective crowd sourcing of software. Part of his argument is that even the best test engineers are going to miss things that end users find easily, so one way to leverage this is to make it as easy as possible for end users to provide high quality bug reports. He also has a lot of interesting things to say about scaling the testing process.

more than 2 years ago
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The Long Death of Fat Clients

MCRocker JavaFX + Scala or Groovy = UI development goodness (277 comments)

I was a little disappointed that, for a topic that mentions JavaFX, there hasn't been any significant discussion about JavaFX at all so far.

I'm admittedly not a UI developer, but, I've been playing with ScalaFX and looking at GroovyFX and seeing a lot to like (See JavaFX 2.0 and Scala like Milk and Cookies). Combining this stuff with some of the ideas from Morphic and we could get some really compelling UI's that would be hard to do in a browser even with HTML5.

more than 2 years ago
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Copper-Graphene Nanocomposite Cools Electronics Faster & Cheaper

MCRocker Scala: parallel collections, functional + DSL (56 comments)

although multicores are good, there just aren't that many decent parallel programmers out there. I (and a few others) find parallel programming easy

That's why languages like Scala are so appealing.

Sure, there's no silver bullet to automagically solve all parallel programming problems, but languages like Scala have features like Parallel Collections libraries, functional programming and Parallel Domain Specific Languages that can abstract enough of the problems of parallel programming away that journeyman programmers have a decent chance of being able to work effectively with multiple cores.

more than 2 years ago
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Evidence For Antimatter Anomaly Mounts

MCRocker Re:Sci-Fi nails another one! Michael McCollum's Ma (147 comments)

Argh! There's an error with my post... McCollum got the idea from Feynman. Basically that antimatter is just regular matter going backwards in time from the big crunch. So, not a glorious case of Sci-Fi presaging science, but a case of Sci-Fi rehashing interesting science.

Sorry folks. Bad post and reply to my own post.

more than 2 years ago
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Evidence For Antimatter Anomaly Mounts

MCRocker Re:Sci-Fi nails another one! Michael McCollum's Ma (147 comments)

Actually, there's an error with my post (accidentally AC)... McCollum got the idea from Feynman. Basically that antimatter is just regular matter going backwards in time from the big crunch. So, not a glorious case of Sci-Fi presaging science, but a case of Sci-Fi rehashing interesting science.

more than 2 years ago
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Evidence For Antimatter Anomaly Mounts

MCRocker Sci-Fi nails another one! Michael McCollum's Maker (147 comments)

Wow! So Michael McCollum got it right in the Makers series where the difference between matter and anti-matter ends up being a primary plot point... which I won't spoil, but maybe these researchers should peak ahead to the last chapter of the second book, Procyon's Promise, to see what the answer is ;-)

Sorry for accidental duplicate AC post.

more than 2 years ago
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Spotify Defends Facebook Sign-Up Requirement

MCRocker If that were true, then they could just use OpenID (286 comments)

If that were true, then they could just use OpenID to accomplish the same goal.

Many sites that use OpenID for logins make it easy by providing pre-configured FaceBook, Google, and Yahoo buttons along with an 'Other' button for those who want to provide their own OpenID URL. For example, StackExchange sites provide five buttons and a more link on their login page. This makes it trivially easy for most people, possible for most of the rest and provides alternatives for geeks and contrarians.

more than 3 years ago
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When Does Signing Up Become 'Opting In?'

MCRocker Spamgourmet.com - disposable addresses (151 comments)

I use spamgourmet.com for disposable email addresses.

Among other things, spamgourmet lets you set the number of messages that can be sent, so it can be useful for things like placing an order where you need to register, get an email with a link to validate your email address and then get an order confirmation and a few tracking status emails, but then stop accepting anything after that.

It doesn't catch as many bad actors as I thought it would, but when they do misbehave, it's kind of cool to see the number of deleted messages that never filled my inbox.

They also have it set up so that it you can reply to messages routed through spamgourmet without giving away your real email address. There's also an alternate domain so that when you're dealing with an actual human being they won't be freaked out by an email address that has the work "spam" in it.

more than 3 years ago
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What Makes Parallel Programming Difficult?

MCRocker Scala has added parallel collections and has Akka (196 comments)

The Scala community has tried to move the problem into a more practical realm by adding things like parallel collections, DSL's to abstract out the problem for specific applications and the Akka Project for simpler concurrency.

Most of the parallel programming discussion I've seen is very complicated and not likely to appeal to those who have to do practical day-to-day business projects. By pushing the abstractions up a level, I think the Scala folks have made parallel programming more accessible for the average developer.

Ref: Parallel Collections video.

more than 3 years ago
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Computer De-Evolution: Awesome Features We've Lost

MCRocker Platypus and Aardvark let you edit ugly pages (662 comments)

That's what the Firefox extension, Platypus is for... unfortunately, it's no longer maintained, but Aardvark can produce similarly readable web pages without out too much work. Combine that with the Greasemonkey script, Autopagerize to join those multi-page articles designed to make you look at a whole new set of advertisements for each paragraph, and you come a little closer to having the experience that Tim Berners-Lee had in mind for the world wide web in the first place.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Chandler Project Hits 1.0 unnoticed by Slashdot

MCRocker MCRocker writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MCRocker writes "Although breathlessly anticipated by Slashdot in 2006, the release of Chandler Desktop 1.0 last summer seems to have missed coverage on Slashdot. It's now at release 1.0.3.

Now dubbed the 'Note-to-self Organizer', Chandler tortuous path to 1.0 has included several changes in direction and the stepping down of the founder, Mitch Kapor.

The final product is a desktop application, still written mostly in Python, and an optional back-end collaboration server, Cosmo, a Java Web Application. The Chandler Project operates a public instance of Cosmo known as The Chandler Hub. There are also 'Quick Entry' apps for iGoogle and iPhone, and Android. The number of interoperability standards and protocols supported is impressive.

Whether or not it's the "PIM-Of-The-Gods" is still up for debate, but it's undeniably past the beta phase and capable of helping collaboratively organize tasks, calendar events and email."

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