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Misunderstanding of Prior Art May Have Led to Apple-Samsung Verdict

Shoeler Re:Did the jurors talk to Bill Buxton? (503 comments)

I think when you add this into the fact that they didn't award Samsung ANYTHING even though Apple has to be using their 3G patents, you see a picture that doesn't bode well for this verdict to stand.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Many of You Actually Use Math?

Shoeler Re:High school level programming. (1086 comments)

I'm a programmer. Took three semesters of calculus, differential equations. I work at a government civilian engineer agency and I use math all day long and twice on Sunday. When I'm debugging the mass of data I have to use (mostly from computer models), I have to be able to do quick math in my head as well as translate that to something I can check my work with. It's not good enough to just write an algorithm that runs - it has to do exactly what it's supposed to.

I use statistics every day. My knowledge of statistics is hugely valuable when I'm in a discussion with a scientist or engineer and can suggest a different way to get at the data they want with a stats function, or understand why they want the R^2 value in a function.

If you can't do at least some of the math you have to program, you're not as useful as you can be. It's not insurmountable, but the guy that knows it will program circles around you, assuming the same level of programming efficacy.

more than 2 years ago

iPhone 4 Prototype Finder Gets Probation

Shoeler People can get jail time, corporations can't... (334 comments)

Look - first off, the idiot screwed up. He never owned the device. Finders are NOT keepers, you deucebag. Be a man and try to find its owner instead of trying to profit.


Realize that had another company done something like this, NO ONE GOES TO JAIL. Thomas Jefferson (who was kind of a big deal) showed quite a bit of distrust and disliking of them: "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

Abraham Lincoln too (specific to banks):

"As a result of the war,
corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places
will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong
its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth
is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

So as you're lobbing your scathing remarks at this stupid man, also realize that the company whose interests are being protected by this legal act would itself not be held to these same standards.

more than 3 years ago

The Decline and Fall of System Administration

Shoeler Virtualization != marginalization of skills... (500 comments)

This seems to me to be a philosophical question. Indeed, if the uptime and more importantly availability is higher by the purported crash and burn (taking liberties with the slash and burn deforestation technique) method, who is to say it is less useful or less valid? Indeed, to espouse skills over delivering for the client seems to be missing the point. It seems to be standing on some pedagogical imperative that knowledge is somehow of more value in the workplace than delivery.

Now - having said that - don't get me wrong. I have seen entirely too many *nix sysadmins (full disclosure: I got an RHCE in 2003) who don't know where the network config files are because they only know the GUI, and are hired by a team of people who have never logged into a *nix box. However, I think the ill that is most egregious is not that it sets some moral and ethical imperative fo fixing rather than reloading (or in this case, recovering from a VM image) a server, but the fact that it misses the point that there has been a dearth of qualified IT candidates since the dawn of our industry and that the fixes to this don't have to do with how we fix a server, but how we hire and more importantly who we hire. As is everything in IT, garbage in == garbage out.

Finally - I absolutely agree with the Infoworld argument. It assumes an unexpected failure within the server, not some external thing that needs to be diagnosed and fixed. If your app crashes because the SQL table isn't there on the SQL server you don't control, rebooting ain't going to do a hill of beans worth of good.

more than 3 years ago

Fake GSM Base Station Trick Targets IPhones

Shoeler In other news... (64 comments)

Users click on "Click here to install Rogue Antivirus for free!" links, children click on flashing boxes regardless of anything, and executives make money off of the backs of much lower paid workers!!!


about 4 years ago

33 Developers Leave OpenOffice.org

Shoeler Bravo.... (500 comments)

Bravery in the face of a difficult choice. It's very telling when people who so clearly believe in the project and its open source roots defect in these numbers.

Oracle may yet be the end of Java too. Stay tuned.

more than 4 years ago

Desktop Linux Is Dead

Shoeler Re:wrong OS? (1348 comments)

BSD's not dead of course - look only to the Mach kernel in OS X for verification.

If you want to see how a desktop UNIX-based os should do it right, look at OS X. Say what you will about Apple - I don't care, only own a mac and an iPod (I have a Droid X for my phone) - but they did the desktop RIGHT. It's easy to use, fairly intuitive (passes the grandma test, for the most part), and is oh so easy to support.

I remember when I got my first macbook a few years back and I had a sprint wireless broadband card for it. I was thinking "you know, I should be able to make my mac a wifi base station and share my wireless". Preferences, sharing, .... oh, that was easy. And it worked.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Admits OpenOffice.org Is a Contender

Shoeler Re:Old Success Stories (480 comments)

My problem with the Microsoft Office product line has always been a simple one. I don't want to pay for what they want me to pay for. Let's be honest - office is a VERY mature product line. I.E. there are a very very very tiny set of places that it can be innovated or changed. The recent MS office revisions strike me as revisions to justify the price, rather than revisions people want. The fact of the matter is that MS Office from 8 years ago does exactly what I as a scientific and engineering worker want, and now OO.o does it too - with MS's throwback interface of years ago that I prefer. I still stumble through the stupid ribbons.

TL;DR synopsis: MS changes to justify price. OO.o doesn't have to. Win.

more than 4 years ago

Top Reason for Facebook Unfriending Is Too Many Useless Posts

Shoeler Re:Still friends? (300 comments)

Coincidentally, I unfriended /. on facebook for this very reason.

more than 4 years ago

New Email Worm Squirming Through Windows Users' Inboxes

Shoeler Got mimedefang? (473 comments)

People still allow .exe files through filters? Helllloooooo mimedefang...

more than 4 years ago

Steve Furber On Why Kids Are Turned Off To Computing Classes

Shoeler Re:More problems than just that (383 comments)

Haha - I love Eureka. Wanted badly to be at comic con where they had re-themed a restaurant (Hard Rock I think?) to be Cafe Diem.

But - I guess it's not state secrets or anything - the organization just doesn't like attention - we get plenty of it - mostly negative.

US Army Corps of Engineers.

I'm going to regret that, probably - to paraphrase Ghost Crawler of WoW fame.

more than 4 years ago

Steve Furber On Why Kids Are Turned Off To Computing Classes

Shoeler Re:More problems than just that (383 comments)

I'm definitely not supposed to. But, there isn't but one Department of Defense Civilian agency that has hardly anything but Engineers working for it. ;)

That I know of, anyway.

more than 4 years ago

Steve Furber On Why Kids Are Turned Off To Computing Classes

Shoeler Re:More problems than just that (383 comments)

I dunno - I'm with the OP here. A big part of why most computing classes suck is that they aren't focusing on the fun and exciting things that can be done with programming.


I work in a US DoD agency that has a ton of civilian Engineers in it. I work with people who have MS degrees in Engineering, and tens of years of experience. Really. Friggin. Smart. People.

Not a one of them has taken a programming language that's even still used. Not even the newest Engineer, who has his Masters, and is only 26 years old. He didn't even have to TAKE a programming class. All the older engineers of my age (mid 30s) had to at least take a programming class, but it was Pascal (SERIOUSLY????) or FORTRAN.

Now - granted, FORTRAN is still used in a lot of the models we run, but I digress.

None have heard of Python, Groovy, etc. None have ever touched an object oriented language. But every one of them comes to me to write code for them where they could probably do it themselves if they had the training. I'm talking about silly stuff - data manipulation that takes 30-100 lines of code and a half day at most.

Don't get me wrong - I love my job, but ffs. If they had to take an object oriented language - even C++, but better C# or Java, they could much better interact with we programmers writing their apps for them.

more than 4 years ago

Prankster Jailbreaks Apple Store Display iPhone

Shoeler Ethically wrong, but probably not legally... (318 comments)

This is certainly ethically wrong. It'd be like me going into your house and installing stuff on your home PC that I want there, without ever asking and without your knowledge.

Nevermind the fact that you should have protected it with a password, at the least.

Of course the password thing doesn't work as well when you're trying to sell iPhones.

It's not like you have an agreement you have to approve or anything to use their iPhone

more than 4 years ago

Google Adds Licensing Server DRM To Android Market

Shoeler Re:Steam vs. Assassin's Creed 2 (184 comments)

<quote>Requiring a phone to be online in order to run an app, especially if it otherwise has no need to communicate with the Internet, will hurt users of non-phone Android devices such as the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. I hope any developer that feels the need to do this will use the Steam-style "cached response from the last time the app was run if no connection to the Market is available", as the article puts it, rather than the Assassin's Creed 2-style "only allow[ing] the app to start if the server is available to verify the license."</quote>

You're misunderstanding what's in the API. All google has done is provide a facility for checking, should the app developer choose to. It's not required at boot time or any other time and proper checking by the app (think: try: is the network on; except: don't check for a license) will negate any issues that may arise from network problems.

more than 4 years ago

What's Wrong With the American University System

Shoeler Re:And yet- (828 comments)

Sounds a bit like "a boot".

But of course a boot is not what this is about. :)

more than 4 years ago

Why SSDs Won't Replace Hard Drives

Shoeler Limitations aren't the tech of the NAND chips... (315 comments)

Correct me if I'm wrong here - and I usually am wrong - but aren't we "limited" now only by controllers and the *price* of the NAND chips? I've read anandtech's last few SSD manifestos and it seems the controllers' speeds and the price of the NAND - not really anything else - is limiting their absolute capacity. I recall engadget doing several reviews of SATA and PCI-E SSDs with capacities up to 1TB. Granted the 1TB Z-drive was between $1,500 to $2,000 back in March of 2009, but you get the idea. We can make a very large SSD today. It's just not affordable.

To wit, who honestly has a larger than 1TB disk inside their machine right now? I'd imagine not terribly many, as a percentage of all computer owners. Indeed at home I have twin 700-ish GB Caviar Blacks in a RAID 1 configuration, of which I'm using maybe 30% of their capacity.

TFA doesn't actually make any arguments about price directly. It indirectly suggests price of the drives is related to lithography resolution, but provides nothing to back that up.

It seems to me that over time as yields on current technology increase and fab costs are recouped, the price of current technology will go down.

So if we can make a 1TB disk today, it'll be the same 1TB disk in a year or two, except less expensive, probably faster, and probably more reliable.

more than 4 years ago

Scientists Create Equation For a Perfect Handshake

Shoeler Re:Bunk, I say (144 comments)

Also, as a person with huge hands, I can tell you that size matters a lot in terms of too much/too little grip.

Oh I see what you did there. Clever.

more than 4 years ago

Jailbreaking iPhone Now Legal

Shoeler Re:Press release from EFF (423 comments)

Ironically, the EFF seems to have been slashdotted. Drat. :(

more than 4 years ago

The End of Forgetting

Shoeler Re:Posting is forever (329 comments)

You know what occurred to me after reading the summary and your post? That it's not the forgetting part that needs to change. Indeed, to fundamentally change data retention policies across the ENTIRE INTERNET seems, at best, a dumb hopeless idea.

However, to change the perception people have when they find that you don't have an un-scarred past seems to be a good and righteous thing to challenge.

We as a society have this idea that keeps getting trashed that there are people out there who are as good as we want them to be. In my 36 years of experience, I've found only a small handful of people who are completely honest about who they are and were. In general people try to practice this selective forgetting so that they can "reinvent" themselves.

Instead, why don't we just learn to not hype people to unachievable heights and realize they're as human as we are and made as many mistakes as we all did?

more than 4 years ago



Building to building 802.11 on a budget?

Shoeler Shoeler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Shoeler (180797) writes "An organization I do volunteer work with has two buildings, separated by about 200'. Currently there's only a single CAT3 wire run between the two buildings for the single PBX drop we have in building 2. We wish to run a network connection between the two. We can run a network cable between them, but that would require digging and conduit and wireless seems, on the surface so far, to be simpler. We'd like to keep the total solution $1000, using off the shelf components.

The goal is to bring a network connection to building 2. Building 1 is the main building and has the current DSL line, LAN, and a single access point. Building two currently has no network currently, only a single phone. My idea was to run an external antenna on both buildings (a yagi or similar), connecting to an access point on each side. That part seems straight forward except there's not many small business-type (i.e. easy to manage, not a grand each) devices that have external antenna ports, from what I can find. Linksys had some cool stuff but it's 802.11b/g. I suppose I could always go with a WAP54G or something like that, but I'd love some suggestions for: 1) external, outdoor antennas (be specific — where can I find that specific one) 2) access points with external antenna ports. Power over Ethernet is not necessary but would be fine. Would I need more than 2 antennas?

In my perfect world I'd like to have the access point be able to do 802.11n — either the 2.4Ghz or 4Ghz bands are fine. I'd like to have the feature my Airport Extreme has where there's dual SSIDs that can be partitioned if desired, and their "simultaneous dual band" would be sweet too. Built-in gigabit is a plus if it's 802.11n, but honestly not necessary, though I have to question why any 802.11n access point doesn't have at least a single gig port.

Bringing the network in via wireless seems to be a win because we then not only provide the network connection building 2 needs, but we also provide wireless there so we don't have to run cables internally. Building 2 is not currently wired for any network.

We are in north eastern Florida, so we get storms. Lots of them, with lots of cool-looking electrical activity, if that makes any difference. I'll admit ignorance on this issue as to how it related to outdoor 802.11.

It is too much to ask for those features except with an external antenna connection?? I mean I guess I can get 2 WAP54G's and 2 antennas and be done with it, but I'd be surprised if I can't get a more modern access point with an external antenna.

Thanks in advance!"


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