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Magnitude 6.0 Quake Hits Northern California, Causing Injuries and Outages

Octorian Re:Nothing to see here, move along... (135 comments)

I did feel the earthquake on the south side of San Jose, but it didn't get me out of bed. Felt like the house was shaking for a bit, but nothing got knocked over. (And yes, we have plenty of things in the house that could get knocked over quite easily.)

about a month ago

No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

Octorian Re: it depends on what "skilled worker" means. (401 comments)

I've been around such graduate departments before. Having a department of 50+ students where you can count the Americans on one hand actually seems exactly like what I remember.

about 2 months ago

No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

Octorian Re: Two sides to every issue (401 comments)

With many of these odd job descriptions you speak of, I suspect many of them are cases where said company has already identified the specific individual they want to get an H-1B visa for. So this is essentially a copy of their unique resume. They just need to publicly post the job to fulfill a legal requirement before they can get them the visa.

about 2 months ago

Google Reader: One Year Later

Octorian Re:Newsblur (132 comments)

I've been quite happy with NewsBlur as well. The only area it falls short for me, is that it doesn't update its feeds anywhere near as quickly as Google Reader did. Some are worse than others, too.

So for the usual stuff, its mostly fine. But whenever a blog announces some livestream event, the post doesn't appear until an hour after its over.

about 2 months ago

A New Use For Drones: Traffic Scouting

Octorian Re:Maybe for parking (144 comments)

I would love something like this for parking, especially if it could be semi-automated. Push a button, drone flies up and does a survey of the parking lot. It then finds a space and "squats" it for you while you drive there on the ground.

I even thought of this idea like 10 years ago, when trying to come up with random ideas for fictitious gov't technology programs while bored at work. I think the name we coined was "OPLSS" (pronounced "Hopeless"), for "Objective Parking Lot Survey System".

But, just like many superpowers we'd all love to have, this sort of thing is *only* useful if you're the only one who has it. If everyone had this capability, it would cause far more problems than it would solve.

about 7 months ago

Intel Dev: GTK's Biggest Problem, and What Qt Does Better

Octorian Re:Not all that surprising (282 comments)

Along this line, I've often felt that if Qt existed under a "more free" license from the start, Java may not have taken over as the "language du jour" (with .NET riding on its coat tails).

Qt basically gives C++ a big part of Java's "real" advantage, which is a large common cross-platform framework that includes everything you actually need to write real applications.

about 8 months ago

Intel Dev: GTK's Biggest Problem, and What Qt Does Better

Octorian Not all that surprising (282 comments)

Gtk+/GNOME (in popular form) basically exists because of a flamewar, so is it any surprise that the community is still like that?

It always struck me as a bunch of stuck up C developers who outright refused to use C++, on principle alone. So instead, they implemented everything C++ does on top of C, using macros and coding conventions. They later managed to spin their crusade as "actually" being about the licensing issues with Qt at the time. While those licensing arguments may have been valid, to me they always felt like little more than a cover for a C vs C++ fight. However, it made their side of the story a lot easier to sell.

about 8 months ago

Cairo 2D Graphics May Become Part of ISO C++

Octorian Re:Sure, why not (430 comments)

Except the VB generation was always a separate group from your more traditionally educated software engineers. Java, on the other hand, has wholesale infected CompSci education.

(While I will admit that I've done a fair amount of Java and .NET development in the real world, I'm also forever grateful that I went to college *before* it took over there.)

about 8 months ago

The Biggest Tech Mishap of 2013?

Octorian Re:Blackberry 10 (162 comments)

The problems with this platform all stem from marketing and distribution channel issues, which I hope they can find a way to fix. The product itself is quite solid, and continually improving. Its just that its still having to fight against a product image of what the company was selling 3 years ago, and they're not meeting that challenge as directly as they need to be.

about 9 months ago

Rise of the Super-High-Res Notebook Display

Octorian Re:16:10 (333 comments)

I kept using my old HP notebook (with a 1920x1200 display) for years after I should have replaced it, precisely because all the PC laptop manufacturers seem to have colluded to deny me the option of ever buying a display with that resolution again. This year, when they finally started coming around, they seemed to think that high res was *far* more important in a dinky 13-inch screen, and dragged their feet on 15-inch offerings as long as possible. While they may now finally exist, they're quite hard to find and in limited selection.

So I basically just waited until the Haswell 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro came out, caved, and bought that. 16:10 screen and all.
(And its great, except when developers of many of the more cross-platform software projects look at this "retina" thing as something they don't really need to care about, resulting in apps the OS upscale in ways that look horrible. Just a note: "retina" support is basically resolution-independent scaling of some portions of the UI, because the full native res of the screen is actually "too" high without it.)

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: To Publish Change Logs Or Not?

Octorian Simple high-level changelog (162 comments)

I like to give my users a fairly high level changelog when putting out an update to something I've been working on. Usually its to call attention to new features or important bug fixes. However, I don't go into too much detail, lest I overwhelm or confuse them. Of course I'm also working on something used by average people, not IT admins.

Also, many of the changes tend to be things never directly visible to the user. These things include bugs fixed in core parts of the app the user is only vaguely aware of or updates to data formats and network protocols. Even if changes are visible to the user, sometimes they're simply too minor to call attention to them.

Mostly, I like to give my users a reason to want to upgrade, and to know that I've actually done something in the latest update.

about 9 months ago

Gate One Will Support X11: Fast Enough To Run VLC In Your Browser

Octorian Re:The network says no (164 comments)

Latency... Latency.... Latency...

When you're streaming 1080p video, its fine to have a buffer several seconds or minutes long to cover any hicups on the network. For remote desktop use, not so much.

about 10 months ago

Why the FAA May Finally Relax In-Flight Device Rules

Octorian Re:take-offs and landing (278 comments)

Yet "reading a book" is completely permissible. Provided, of course, that the book in question is being read off of processed dead tree. How exactly does "reading off an ebook reader" change the situation?

Thus, this explanation is a completely crock.

about a year ago

Why the FAA May Finally Relax In-Flight Device Rules

Octorian Re:Require stowing of potential projectiles (278 comments)

"Unstowed gear" does not exclusively equal "Personal electronic devices"

There are other rules about what does or doesn't have to be stowed during takeoff and landing, which have nothing to do with whether the item in question is "electronic."

about a year ago

Why the FAA May Finally Relax In-Flight Device Rules

Octorian Re:Silly (278 comments)

Except this explanation has been shown to be a crock. Its basically given in article comment threads across the Internet, but simply does not hold up.
If it were true, then please explain how "reading on a Kindle" is forbidden, while "reading the in-flight magazine or some paper book" is perfectly okay. There are a lot of non-electronic distractions that there are no rules prohibiting.

They don't say "put everything down and pay attention." They say "turn off all portable electronic devices."

about a year ago

BlackBerry Reportedly Prepping To Slash Workforce By 40 Percent

Octorian Re:Is it me? (89 comments)

And this pattern is the problem...

You raise the question of whether something on the "new platform" is done the same way as on the "old platform"
You then assert that this is the case, enabling a whole rant about how this is horrible, and therefore the company that made these products shall be destroyed in the most gruesome way possible.

At no point in this are you actually showing evidence of actually knowing how the "new platform" does anything. Rather, you're jumping to whatever conclusions enable maximum negative ranting.

1 year,1 day

BlackBerry Reportedly Prepping To Slash Workforce By 40 Percent

Octorian Re:Is it me? (89 comments)

There is a lot of hate for BlackBerry in the media, the tech blogger world, and the financial analyst world. While not all of it may be unfounded, most of it is quite excessive. If some piece of news has even a sliver of negativity, and is about BlackBerry, it will be spun as the worst thing ever for which the company should be condemned to the pits of hell. If the same news were about any other company, it might be little more than a shrugged off footnote.

Another thing you notice among a lot of this hate, is complete ignorance of BlackBerry 10 and everything the company has done over the course of the past two years. What far too many people simply do not mentally acknowledge, is that BlackBerry 10 is a completely and fundamentally different platform from the old BlackBerry OS. On a technical level, the only thing it has in common is the brand name. You often see people remembering a bad experience with some old BlackBerry OS phone, and using that to draw an invalid conclusion about what the company is currently producing.

1 year,2 days

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?

Octorian Re:This is why encryption isn't popular (399 comments)

And heaven help you if you're using a web-based Email system, which basically breaks all these options. You know, like nearly all "normal" people are now doing.

about a year ago

BlackBerry Cuts 250 Workers, Calls It Efficiency

Octorian Re:250?! (68 comments)

i can't kill -9 a process. so i need to reboot the phone whenever i put an infinite loop in.

That's because the QNX command for this is slay, which does work and basically does the same thing.

about a year ago


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