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Scientists Twist Radio Beams To Send Data At 32 Gigabits Per Second

Mattcelt Re:Huh? (122 comments)

zmodem was SUCH an improvement over xmodem. The ability to re-start interrupted transfers brings a smile of relief to my face thinking about it to this day.

about 3 months ago

Ask David Saltzberg About Being The Big Bang Theory's Science Advisor

Mattcelt Re:Glaring Mistakes (226 comments)

I think this leads to a more pressing question: How do you decide where to balance technical accuracy with accessibility for the majority of people who won't understand it? Does the show count on getting away with some minor mistakes, knowing that 99+% of the audience won't catch it?

I've noticed several mistakes myself (in the handful of episodes I've watched with my girlfriend, who loves the show), especially around quantum physics (my preferred subject of study). I always wonder if they're deliberately introduced, or if they are genuine mistakes by the writers and/or actors due to lack of understanding or knowledge.

about 3 months ago

Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

Mattcelt Re: Automated notice not necessary here (368 comments)

IIRC AT&T (I can't find a link, so my details may be off - YMMV) lost a case regarding this several years back, claiming that their "we may record this conversation" disclaimer applied to only the originally-disclaiming party.

To wit: if the other party consents to the recording of their own volition, you do not need to get additional consent to record, in any state. Their "this call may be recorded" statement provides their blanket consent to all recording.

about 4 months ago

Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

Mattcelt Re:So (310 comments)

Let me get this straight... You're saying they should be punished for not breaking any laws, while the police who perjured themselves and violated FAA FARs should not?

If you can be imprisoned for being an arsehole, you belong in prison as much as they do, as do the rest of us.

about 5 months ago

After the Belfast Project Fiasco, Time For Another Look At Time Capsule Crypto?

Mattcelt Re:Time capsule or doomsday timer (170 comments)

So what do you do when technology and law provides such an attractive feast for "content 'owners'" that it becomes impossible to purchase anything outright, and everything you pay for comes in the Netflix model?

To answer the OP's question, there is a solution: TecSec*. It provides a crypto-wrapper of sorts that allows for external data (literally anything quantifiable; e.g., geolocation data, time data, etc.) to be used as a condition for decryption. The notable caveat here is that you need a trusted source for the information to be used for criteria. But while difficult, it's possible to create a solution that will withstand (literally) the test of time.

*tecsec.com. Full disclosure, I am an acquaintance of the CEO, but we met because of the technology; I'm offering my opinion as a security professional, not a friend.

about 6 months ago

Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

Mattcelt Re:Ripe for abuse (106 comments)

Agreed. Though I can only speak anecdotally, every wealthy person I know - which I'm defining here as would not need to earn any more money between now and the day they die and still live comfortably in their chosen lifestyle - is not a spendthrift.

One of the wealthiest men in the world balked at an aircraft avionics upgrade that cost less than his income for one day.

And more often than not, even seemingly-frivolous expenditures have ulterior money-making options that may have long-term returns. Richard Branson may seem a spendthrift, but I assure you that nearly everything he does has long-term gains in mind. (He is not the person referenced above, btb.) Some pan out, some do not. But an expenditure that is knowingly not a good buy is a rare event.

I don't know if the research is still the most current, but in the Millionaire Next Door study, the ONLY absolutely consistent factor for American millionaires was their marriage to frugal wives.

Frugality is very heavily correlated to wealth gain and retention; to the point where I'm comfortable calling it a factor in causation.

about 6 months ago

Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S

Mattcelt Re:Ripe for abuse (106 comments)

Wealthy people don't become/remain wealthy by wasting money.

about 7 months ago

Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security

Mattcelt Re: Chip and PIN (210 comments)

I still have a Target-branded chip-and-pin card and USB reader from 10+ years ago from an early pilot they did with a well-financed crypto startup. I would imagine some of their executives are kicking themselves now for having shut the project down then.

It's nice to see the US finally catching up with what Europe has been doing for a very long time.

about 8 months ago

SimCity Mac Launch Facing More Problems

Mattcelt Re:Same shit, different day (177 comments)

They didn't make this originally, either. SimCity was a Maxis game until EA bought them.

about a year ago

Gladwell's Culture & Air Crashes Analysis Badly Flawed

Mattcelt Re:Yeah but it makes a good story (213 comments)

And yet the Mars Climate Orbiter still crashed...

about a year and a half ago

Lake Vostok Found Teeming With Life

Mattcelt Re:bigger fish (62 comments)

I'd be just as interested to find the men down there they've been eating...

about a year and a half ago

Bolivian President's Plane 'Rerouted Over Snowden Suspicions'

Mattcelt Re:God it feels good to be an American!!!!!!! (621 comments)

I thought it was an ice pick?

"A mountain climber's axe! It's a mountain climber's axe! Can't I get that through your skull??"

about a year and a half ago

Google Maps Updated With Skyfall Island Japan Terrain

Mattcelt Re: Leave no trace (107 comments)

Good luck destroying all life. The earth has tried to do that several times in the past (K-T Event, anyone?) and utterly failed. When all it takes is a single asexual bacterium to restart the entire biome, it becomes practically impossible to destroy all life.

about a year and a half ago

To Hack Back Or Not To Hack Back?

Mattcelt Re:Well, sure (183 comments)

And two Wrights make an airplane.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do When Another Dev Steals Your Work and Adds Their Name?

Mattcelt Re:Infidel defilers. (480 comments)

Lesbian Nazi hookers, abducted by UFOs and forced on weight-loss programs. On the next Town Talk!

about a year and a half ago

Scientists Explain Why Chairman of House Committee On Science Is Wrong

Mattcelt Re:Rich people deserve safe beachfront homes (476 comments)

What on Earth makes you think the NYT or CNN is more credible a source than FOX?

Show me a news source that isn't catering to ratings (i.e., money), and I'll show you one worth listening to. Until then, they're all suspect, and all they spew is bollocks.

about a year and a half ago

Footage Reveals Drone Aircraft Nearly Downed Passenger Plane in 2004

Mattcelt Re:Is it Real? (206 comments)

No, just blown away.

about a year and a half ago

Why We'll Never Meet Aliens

Mattcelt Re:Why is this here? (629 comments)

Sorry to be pedantic, but unless I missed it, you pointed out only potentially factual errors in the original, not any logical fallacies. So while it certainly raises some questions, it does not "beg" any in your example. (Though I think a thorough analysis of TFA's original premise could find some petitio principii in the author's logic.)

Here is a good explanation of why that is so.

about a year and a half ago

Huge Explosion at Texas Fertilizer Plant

Mattcelt Re:20 years passed (422 comments)

In English, an adverb is a word that modifies a verb or adjective.

As an example of modifying an adjective: "He was very tired."
He - noun (subject)
was - verb
very - adverb (modifying 'tired')
tired - adjective (specifically a predicate adjective

As an example of modifying a verb: "Danielle quickly ran to the corner."
Danielle - noun (subject)
quickly - adverb (modifying 'ran')
to - preposition
the - definite article
corner - noun (the object of the preposition in this case)

So to borrow from your first instance: "His murders were clearly terrorism."
His - possessive pronoun
murders - noun (subject)
were - verb
clearly - adverb (modifying 'were')
terrorism - predicate nominative, a special use case for nouns (not an adverb)

The easiest way to identify an adverb is to ask what the word modifies. If it modifies a noun (a blue sweater, where blue is describing the sweater), it's an adjective. If it modifies an adjective (a very blue sweater) or a verb (a sweater permanently dyed blue), it's an adverb. (One can often identify verb-modifying adverbs by looking for the suffix -ly: quick -> quickly, intelligent -> intelligently.) Though the constructions of the latter sentences are more complex, none of those examples you cite are actually adverbs: they are all adjectives in some form. Terror, terrorist, and terrorism are all nouns. There is actually no adverbal form of terrorism that I'm aware of. The closest I can think of is "terrifyingly".

about a year and a half ago

Galaxy S 4 Dominates In Early Benchmark Testing

Mattcelt Re:But not the Z10? (276 comments)

This raises an interesting question: is there a suitable replacement for blackberry for the enterprise yet? None of the phones systems/solution I've seen have anything resembling the BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) and encryption for email, etc. What will be the successor to BB in the enterprise?

about 2 years ago



The sorry state of copying in OS design

Mattcelt Mattcelt writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Mattcelt (454751) writes "Mac OSX just turned 10. Windows 3.0 is old enough to buy its own drinks. MS-DOS is a venerable 30 years old. And UNIX, that lovely old bag, is of an age equivalent to the Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. These are well-established, mature operating systems, full of amazing advanced features and wonderful embellishments.

So can someone please tell me why the ‘copy’ function in ALL of these OSs hasn’t made any significant improvements in, well, EVER?? Why does the same horribly inefficient, serial, unresponsive, fault-intolerant file copying mechanism that was present in UNIX in the early 1970s persist today? (And why can’t I find a single article on the Internet that asks this question? I can’t believe I’m the only one who has noticed that we’re (metaphorically) racing our flying cars through the sky with hamsters under the hood. . .)

I am not, and never will be, a programmer. So I implore anyone who reads this to think about it, and if you have any programming skills, make a NEW copy function that actually incorporates some of the revolutionary ideas we’ve come to expect even from lowly FTP applications in the past 40 years! If you need ideas about what features to include, here are a few:

-queuing: Why does the OS try to start each copying operation on top of the ones already present, even when it cuts performance for both by 60% or more? If I want to ask the OS to copy a set of files when another copy is already in progress to/from the same source and/or destination, it should at the very least ask me if I’d like the copy to start after the current one has finished.

-report on errors: I just love it when I have a batch of hundreds of files which need to be copied or moved to a new location, and it fails about 80% of the way through Instead of a “failed while copying file x” or worse, just a cryptic error code, why can’t the OS keep track of which files WERE successfully copied, and tell me in a detailed report WHY it failed on that file?

-fault-tolerance: Let’s take the last point a step further. If I have a batch of files to copy and it fails on ONE, is it too much to ask to have the copy operation complete ALL of the rest, instead of allowing the error to interrupt the whole process? Inform me of the error, but don’t just stop — the OS should finish as much of what I’ve asked it to do as it can, without any further input from me.

-resume: If I need to interrupt a large copy operation to take care of something else, why can’t I resume it later? A batch copy is nothing more than a series of tasks, yet ALL modern OSs treat it as if it were a single task with a binary outcome. Give the user some control and knowledge about the parts of the process instead of just a window into an FMbox that way it is now.

-regexp: Since we’re already dreaming, why not add some advanced functionality that would be REALLY useful? How many of you UNIX admins have written a regular expression utility to handle file copies already? (I bet it’s most of you.) And how did you do it? By getting a file list from some other output, parsing the filenames you want from it, and passing those file names to the copy operation. What a waste!! Why isn’t there a filter built in to the copy function itself? And wouldn’t it be nice to have a quick-and-dirty GUI interface for it when you don’t want to interrupt what you’re doing in the command shell?

-direct-remote copying: Imagine you’re using a remote terminal to access server A. And for some reason, you can’t xterm or remote control servers B and C, but you need to copy a 500GB virtual disk from B to C. (I’m using a real-world example here, drawn from experience). So you map their drives onto server A, and begin the copy operation. What happens? In Windows, the file(s) is/are copied from server B to server A, then from server A to server C. Instead of 500 gigabytes being passed over the network, it’s a TERABYTE. Taking protocol and routing overhead into account, it ends up being more than twice the bandwidth than is necessary. So why not just have the ability to affect the copy directly from B to C instead of incurring all the extra? I know this is the most complex feature of these to implement, but it would be awfully useful. . .

So what do you say? In these days of 3D home televisions, floor-sweeping robots, and electric cars, can we please put the 1970s mimeographs away and get ourselves a nice new, 2011-ready ‘copy’ program?"

Mattcelt Mattcelt writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Mattcelt writes "I've had it with Internet Explorer-only sites. (And to be fair, I've even had it with "IE- and Netscape-only" sites too.) In my company (an international firm with 5000+ users), the rollout of IE7 is being delayed because so many of our "IE-only" internal sites won't even work with the new version. It seems to me that if that much re-coding has to be done anyway, why not change the corporate standard to embrace Firefox, Opera, Safari, and, oh, maybe the W3C guidelines? I am in a position to make the suggestion on a wide-enough scale to have a reasonable chance of success, if I can make a strong enough case. So my question to the Slashdot crowd is this: How do I, with facts and figures, make the strongest case to move away from IE as the default and get our developers to adopt a more open strategy?"


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