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Comments

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No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

TemporalBeing Re: Not about leaks (259 comments)

The only reason any of this is problem is that we continue to stupidly tie benefits and retirement to employment. Nobody, especially higher ups, wants to have that conversation in this country.

If being a full time employee simply meant you work more hours than a part time employee and had nothing else associated with it, a good number of people would be better off having two or three part time jobs. Less burn out, more job mobility,and in particular less immediate consequences to getting fired or laid off from a particular job. THAT is the reason big employers are against a national or single payer insurance system and why they demonize the very notion of national retirement benefits even though those things would reduce their costs. They would reduce their power even more, and they just can't have that.

Forget about employers...I wouldn't want a national system. I don't want Social Security, yet I'm forced to participate in that told I'll get money that I'll certainly never see.

No, my retirement portfolio is entirely independent of any employer or the government. And I'd rather keep it that way.

Now what I would change is that I prefer to have the retirement portfolio be entirely subsized by post-tax dollars instead of pre-tax dollars. Why? Because with pre-tax dollars you have to pay the taxes on it when you take the money out, at the future tax rates; while the post-tax dollars are tax-free down the road because you've already paid the tax on them. However, my CPA wife uses both to get us the best tax benefits for any given year.

yesterday
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

TemporalBeing Re:Cost of physically implementing SHDSL (228 comments)

What will be telling is if they do the same to the DSL customers in the near future as well.

DSL works over high frequencies in existing copper phone lines. Far more physical bandwidth is typically allocated to the downstream than to the upstream. Balancing this out would reduce download speeds in favor of upload speeds. Are you sure implementing SHDSL wouldn't require rolling trucks and mailing modems?

Except Businesses have had access to higher speed symetric DSL for a lot longer; though that's typically a dedicated line instead of one sharing its bandwidth with a voice line.

2 days ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

TemporalBeing Re:Why then Netflix didn't deal with Level3 direct (388 comments)

Well, NetFlix could also enter into agreements with ever backbone provider, thereby forcing Verizon to either do the same to everyone or start upgrading

This brings to the question of why Netflix has chosen to deal with Verizon instead of with Level3 directly in the first place ?

Even if Netflix didn't know of the existence of Level3 (which I find too ludicrous to be possible) that they had signed up with Verizon, they could have changed the situation right now by dealing directly with Level3, and why wait anymore ?

NetFlix has contracts with lots of folks - Level3 included. These are with respect to pushing content from NetFlix over the backbone into various networks.

NetFlix also promotes having a CDN end-point within an ISP's network to alleviate the need for as much peering; which is what I believe the NetFlix-Verizon deal was about, which Verizon may have (or may not have, we don't really know) charged NetFlix for installing in the datacenters/hubs/central-offices.

However, the fact that NetFlix has done that, which should IMPROVE speed on Verizon's network, and there are still major issues shows that there is something else wrong with Verizon's network. Of course, they might rely on the back bone having sufficient capacity to pull down the information over the CDN too; or it might be that NetFlix installs a direct pipe for the CDNs, we don't know the details. Most likely NetFlix has a contracted pipe with a Level3 interconnect to these, and that is why we're hearing all about it between Level3 and Verizon as Verizon doesn't want to increase their interconnects with Level3 over which those CDN systems are suppose to operate.

But that's just a bit of (educated) guess work as I don't know the details of the Netflix-Verizon arrangement or the network layouts or the NetFlix CDN provisions.

2 days ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

TemporalBeing Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

If the mid-1980's is "the old days"...

No. Try the 1930's through the 1970/1980's. It wasn't until the 1960's that things started to filter down enough that you didn't need as much background in to the computer systems, and some where in the 1970's/early-1980's it became what you knew, namely as the micro-computer (aka PC, Macintosh inclusive) took over.

However, prior that - and even during the 1980's in corporate environments - most every programmer had to know a lot about the Electric Engineering of the computer. Most all of them had EE degrees; some had math degrees; a fewer had the new CS degree (started in the 1970's, but not really popular until the 1990's; I think the first CS program was late 1960's, circa 1968).

2 days ago
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Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

TemporalBeing Re:So who pays who? (228 comments)

biggest problem with upload is you send it over free links with Tier 1 networks, or you pay them to take your traffic. with all the user generated stuff now like Twitch, flickr, video calling and other services where you want a fast upload speed that's a lot of data to be paying for.

with the current L3/Verizon dispute i wonder if they struck a deal where verizon will allow the connections to be upgraded for netflix to work on their network in exchange for L3 taking all their uploaded data for free.

Hmm...that actually makes for an interesting case.

So Level3 basically pointed out the issue with User focused ISP's - that they're asymetric and would never provide the ability for those ISPs to compete in the peering arrangements that back-bone providers have. So now if they go to being symetric, it would allow the users to do more and possibly try to combat what the ISP (e.g Verizon) thinks is a fallacy but they can only prove if they make all their links symetric.

Problem for the ISP is users don't really upload a whole lot any way. So it's not going to change anything for a while. It may get Level3 to drop the "symetric vs asymetric" part of their argument, but it won't change the amount of traffic going from the ISP to back-bone provider.

What will be telling is if they do the same to the DSL customers in the near future as well. Otherwise they are still primarily an asymetric provider as they have more DSL than FiOS customers.

Question is: Will Verizon only do this temporarily as part of an argument with Level3? If so, expect a change in the future when their plan doesn't work out. If not, then hopefully other ISPs will follow in order to "compete".

2 days ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

TemporalBeing Re:Level 3 - start pulling cards (388 comments)

Find locations where you will hurt Verizon customers, and cut the cables. Do so publicly. Precondition repair on upgrades of Verizon's network as you direct. If Verizon doesn't want network neutrality, then punish their customers.

Well, NetFlix could also enter into agreements with ever backbone provider, thereby forcing Verizon to either do the same to everyone or start upgrading.

Just saying, there's multiple ways to skin the pig that is Verizon...and AT&T for that matter.

4 days ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

TemporalBeing Regulation won't stop them... (435 comments)

Honestly, the fact that they are even available for testing means that some criminals will use them, even if they are outlawed.
As to the specific points raised:

It discussed issues such as letting criminals shoot while the car drives (silly in my opinion, apparently they haven't heard of "partners" or considered requiring such cars have a police controlled "slow down" command),

Slow down command won't mean a thing when the criminals rip out the necessary parts to make it moot or reprogram it to do something - ignore the command, do the opposite, or even blow up the vehicle.

the use of such vehicles as guided bullets (safeties again should stop this), and loading it with explosives and using it as a guided missile. This last concern is the only one that I considered a real issue, but even that is not significantly more dangerous than loading up a regular van full of explosives with a timer, then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school, etc.

True, aside from it being a "guided" missile - just set a target in the GPS and off it goes....again, the potential is there and criminals won't allow it to stop just because of a "slow down" or "stop" command. They'll figure out a way to override that before using it.

And again, if they really wanted to do it the technology is already out there and nothing is going to stop them from using it if they really wanted to.

about a week ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

TemporalBeing Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

Software engineering has a tendency to enshrine ivory tower principles, that - although sound and logical, can end up making your project large, slow bloated and excessively encapsulated. I'm happy that NASA and the DoD both use it, those things need to be rock solid, but it just doesn't make sense for a lot of businesses where being first to market is more important than any code refactoring issues you might have 2 years down the track. Being slow to market might mean you don't even have a business 12 months from now.

Good programmers know when to lay on the engineering and when to pull out the stops and slap something together that does the job "just good enough". That's part of what makes it an art, not a science.

NASA/DoD does a form of Software Engineering based on Engineering principles from other disciplines, namely mechanical and electrical engineering. Much of what they do there doesn't really apply to Software.

What we need to do is define Software Engineering in a manner that is practical for everyone to do it such that no one has any kind of excuse not to do it. To me, it's a matter of doing software in a very discipined manner and has nothing to do with whether you've documented every function at 30 different layers for 10 different stake holders across 5 different organizations.

about a week ago
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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

TemporalBeing Re:galactic hyper-hearse (238 comments)

Pretty sure you're asking a facetious question but for those who don't know (like myself prior to Saturday night, walking through N4 with my brother): Hotblack Desiato is the name of a North London estate agent (Realtor for the merkins), which was adopted by Douglas Adams for the name of the frontman of plutonium rock band Disaster Area.

As is Ford Prefect, which was the name of a Ford car in the UK (1930s-1960s). It's not, as most Americans think, a purposeful mis-spelling of Perfect.

It was written for UK audiences, and poorly Americanized. Half the jokes in there only work in the UK because of cultural issues.

I'd rather it not be "Americanized"...yes, not all jokes transfer, but it's still good as it is.

about a week ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

TemporalBeing Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

"Of course, all of this was done in software designed by people without any engineering experience at all...go figure."

You don't need to have an engineering degree to write a price of software that implements calculations and algorithms that are needed for an engineering project. Programmers turn math, algorithms, business methods, ideas and the like into code. That's our skill, understanding your needs and expressing it in a way a computer can understand.

I was just noting the irony. That said, I would personally put forward that people doing programming in the real world need a software engineering degree, not a computer science degree as you don't do computer science when writing real-world applications - you apply the principles of Computer Science in an disciplined/engineering methodology.

But then, software engineering as a discipline is in such poor shape that it is not really helpful to anyone but NASA and DOD as currently defined, and that needs to change.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

TemporalBeing Re: Weird question, but... (183 comments)

The problem domain isn't "monitoring plants with only an AA battery for power" though. It's a host capable of running Linux and assorted toolchains for embedded software development. I know that there are systems for all kinds of applications and the power envelopes they prescribe. That's not the issue. The issue is that someone proclaimed that "electricity is expensive. Douche bag." And that's not true. Electricity is cheap. Cheaper than hardware which is incredibly cheap itself. And that holds true even for the very low end, where a tiny amount of energy is sold in an expensive package, but a finished system will still cost more than the batteries it takes to run it for a couple of years before it is replaced, yet the hardware is sold at prices which almost make the devices disposable. For perspective: How many smartphones does the average person buy per year? Still think a low to mid range quad core desktop system is expensive?

So I do development and I want to cut my costs down. I presently have a desktop at home with a 600W supply and a server with a 250W supply, as well as laptops with 60-90W supplies. As I use the desktop for other things (e.g playing DVDs, Netflix, etc.) I'm satisfied to leave it for now; laptops might get replaced by tablets or chromebooks.

But the server? I keep it on a UPS, and would love to be able to keep it up for a very long time. On the UPS it would only get between 10-30 minutes if power fails (APC 1500). I am very interested in switching it out for a few lower power devices. In fact, I'm targetting replacing it with 3 devices (a Rasberry Pi for authentication, a Udoo for disk storage, and a Routerboard for firewall support) with a total power envelope of 50W.

Do I still intend to do software development on the server? Yes.
Do I still intend to do DNS, DHCP, Samba, WebServers, etc on the server? Yes.

But you know what - unless I'm building something targetting a mainframe, some heavy video driven application (e.g games, autocad, etc) then I really don't need a very powerful system. Point being - a beagleboard, Udoo, or Rasberry Pi really is sufficient for most people doing software development....well, unless you're trying to use Eclipse or Visual Studios, but then you're just asking for trouble.

about two weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

TemporalBeing Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

There's a different between learning to build a basic house and a skysraper. Only the best civil engineers are ever going to do the latter.

I'd be amazed if a Civil Engineer could design a skyscraper, and I'd be more amazed at the firm and its insurance backer that allowed them to, and the construction company that did it.

Why? A Civic Engineer doesn't design skyscapers. They decide only where the skyscapers can go and make sure the location can support it.

It's the structural engineer that designs the skyscaper based on the concepts from the architectural engineer that the client wanted to put in the space that the civic engineer told them they had on the land they own.

Of course, all of this was done in software designed by people without any engineering experience at all...go figure.

about two weeks ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

TemporalBeing Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

Somebody didn't read the article:

"In the old days there was a respected profession of application programming. There was a minority of elite system programmers who built infrastructure and tools that empowered the majority of application programmers.

I think this is more of deluded statement than anything. In the old days you typically had to have an Electrical Engineering degree to do programming - at a time when having a college degree was not the norm. This only filtered out of that circle as geeks took interest before college and tools became easier and costs were greatly reduced. The point: programming has always been done by a small group - the "elite" - at any time in the history of computer systems.

Our goal was to allow regular people without extensive training to easily and quickly build useful software. This was the spirit of languages like COBOL, Visual Basic, and HyperCard. Elegant tools for a more civilized age. Before the dark times before the web."

Again, progress has certainly occurred towards this, but the fact of the matter is that most people are not interested in being creative the way programming requires you to be. They'll be happy to play around with HyperCard or Excel long enough to get some basic thing done, but they'll be atleast equally happy to pass it on to some one so they can focus on what their actual job in stead of trying to figure out how to make a fancy little graph.

"The web is just an enormous stack of kluges upon hacks upon misbegotten designs. This Archaeology of Errors is no place for the application programmers of old: it takes a skilled programmer with years of experience just to build simple applications on today’s web. What a waste. Twenty years of expediency has led the web into a technical debt crisis."

Many of those things are because of people not skilled enough making the decisions - not understanding what's there and trying to fix it, only to realize later when they do understand it better that they royally screwed it up.

about two weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

TemporalBeing Re:another language shoved down your throat (415 comments)

java was only "the most popular" because it was force fed to people who didn't want it.

I don't think you understand how schools and their curriculae work. Nobody is holding a gun to the collective and independently-operated heads of CS departments to demand which language they use for beginner courses.

Java was historically chosen because it was a safe option; used widely in industry, decent documentation and tools, it supports good programming practices, and it provides reasonably powerful options while being relatively beginner friendly. Java largely replaced C and C++, which are not beginner friendly.

Funny...Java only lasted may be 10 years as the "first" language for CS curriculae. C++ laster longer (15+ years), and C longer than that.

Now unlike with C and C++ they did find bigger issues with Java being the first course - as upper level classes (e.g Networking) found they had to teach kids C/C++ first before they could get into the course material. Not to say that won't still be an issue with Python...it'll probably have its own layer of issues.

Needless to say, if I had to learn programming my freshman year of college I would rather have had Python than Java. (I didn't; I learned to program in High School in a far superior manner than taught at the college level; but that's beside the point here.)

about two weeks ago
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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

TemporalBeing Re: Failsafe? (468 comments)

Didn't airbus get yelled at for not stopping the pilot from ripping of the vertical stabilizer.

If so, it goes to the central idea behind Airbus designs, which is the very European mentality of design by committee and the government knows best. Remember, Airbus is a conglomerate of nearly all the European nations.

about two weeks ago
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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

TemporalBeing Re: Failsafe? (468 comments)

That's not how it works at all.

Airliners pretty much since the jet age have had at least some measure of "envelope protection". In the 60s this was pretty simple - just a stick pusher to prevent stalls since stalls in many airliners can easily become unrecoverable. Airbus's envelope protection is much more sophisticated than just a stick pusher.

However when there's a systems failure the Airbus systems will automatically drop to a different control law that effectively works like basic stick and rudder flying.

So if the system is working perfectly fine, but the pilot wants to do something that the system thinks the pilot shouldn't do, then who gets to determine the end result? What if doing what the system wanted to do would lead to the system having an issue? Or if the system did not detect that one of its sensors (and the backups) had degraded because they all failed the same way?

There are a million scenarios where the system thinks it is right and the pilot knows the system is wrong but needs to do something else. Time matters in all scenarios where the plane may be in trouble.

Boeing uses fly by wire now too by the way.

Beoing may be fly-by-wire, but there is a difference between fly-by-wire and pilot vs computer being in control. You can design fly-by-wire such that the pilot still has the last say in the matter without having to have the system enter into a degraded mode first.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Switching From SAS To Python Or R For Data Analysis and Modeling?

TemporalBeing Re:More than cost (143 comments)

I know both SAS and R, and I think that for people who've never programmed, the GUI-based version of SAS wins on end-user usability because end-users can click together (simple and limited) analyses on really big datasets. This has far-reaching consequences for the learning curve.

For R there exist attempts at GUI's (like e.g. R-commander) that offer point-and-click functionality but they're more sketchy.

Others have mentioned Rstudio, and that looks like it would fit the bill just fine for those users from a cursory glance; and if they could drop the money on SAS they could certainly drop the money for commercial versions of RStudio and get the extra help.

I think that giving non-programmers access to R will result in a flood of help requests because they really do need some notion of programming to use the R language. With SAS that's more in the background because the GUI tool is relatively well done, and use of the butt-ugly, antiquated and clumsy mainframe-style SAS language can usually be avoided.

Never touched that version. I only had a single desktop license for the small company that I worked at. We had it b/c the guy I replaced knew SAS very well and sold the management on it. Management just wanted the functionality; they didn't care and had the money to spare.

I think that statisticians, real analysts and data-scientists will soon feel constrained by SAS and will prefer to use SAS to prepare a dataset for analysis, and then carry out any actual analysis in R.

If they're feeling constrained, then they'll be looking for better tools. And more likely than not, if they can do it SAS they can do it in R too. So why have two tools when you only need one?

Last but not least, R is still an in-memory analysis program, which practically limits analyses to what you can be fit in core. There are packages that try to extend R in this direction, but I consider them to be poor quality and cumbersome.

Good to know; but that will probably change as things grow. I know SAS is really good at Flat File databases, but not much more; it probably has some similar constraints.

Python on the other hand is aimed squarely at programmers, and nobody else.

Very true, and I never said otherwise.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Switching From SAS To Python Or R For Data Analysis and Modeling?

TemporalBeing Re: More than cost (143 comments)

R has an excellent gui in RSTudio: www.rstudio.com I would recommend it as a much better interface to R.

Looking at that website and seeing their prices they are almost certainly aiming to compete with SAS and using an Open Source product to boot. Good for them!

about two weeks ago
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KDE Releases Frameworks 5

TemporalBeing Re:C++ wins the day again. (87 comments)

KDE and Qt are synonymous with C++. They prove that C++ is the best language around, because the best apps and GUI frameworks around are built using C++. KDE 5 is fast, it's stable, and it just plain great software to use, all thanks to C++.

Then there's Gnome. They're still pissing around with C, JavaScript, and their homegrown Vala poopfest. And Gnome is a total disaster these days! That's what happens when you use inferior languages instead of a professional language like C++. C++ means your code is good, which means that your libraries and apps are good. Other languages mean that your code is bad, which means that your libraries and apps are bad.

There's one lesson here and that is to use C++ if you want to have the greatest software known to humankind. C++ is where it's at, baby!

Just be aware that a Plasma takes advantage of a lot of QML usage - e.g JavaScript. But yes, C++ plus Qt is a phenominal experience.

about two weeks ago
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KDE Releases Frameworks 5

TemporalBeing Re:KDE becoming more rococo every day (87 comments)

Ah yes, the user is wrong. Well, do as you see fit anyway, this discussion would have been useful a couple of years ago. Your side with the 'user is always wrong, lets change it anyway' has won, and now KDE (and also Gnome, with the exact same reasoning) has become irrelevant for all but a handful of users (actually, I am one of these users that still uses KDE 4 daily, mostly because kioslaves is great). Hope you enjoy your victory!

If that's the case, then why is everone - Apple and Microsoft included - copying what KDE did in KDE4? KDE is still extremely relevant and really on the forefront of the tech.

On top of that, they're still the only ones that have targetted multiple kinds of devices with a unified programming experience and able to deliver customized UIs for each device type (e.g. netbook vs desktop vs tablet...)

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Linux-based GPS Units?

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 3 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "I'm looking to a GPS unit, in-car windshield mount, for my wife. I know there are some units on the market already that run Linux, and I'd like to lend them my supports over their non-Linux brethren. However, I am quite new to looking at them and looking over TomTom's and Garmin's website does not provide any info on what OS they run. Android or another custom Linux is okay; and I need maps for the U.S.A. So, what do you recommend?"
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The evils of CVSNT

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 3 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "CVSNT was originally a port of CVS to Windows, as well as some enhancements for the Windows environment. It is the backbone of projects like TortoiseCVS. This last spring, officially announced in late June, the current maintainers of CVSNT decided make the project a for-pay only as they migrate from being just CVS to their EVS system, which purports to integrate Subversion and other systems as well. In the process of doing so they have (i) closed down all mailing lists, even those they advertise on their website, (ii) no longer provide binaries except through back-end channels to open source projects like TortoiseCVS for distribution so those projects can continue, (iii) cut-off access to their source repositories, and (iv) done this all by saying they were advised to do so by the FSF, pointing only to a few web pages on the FSF's site. While the FSF does endorse that the GPL, LGPL, and open source projects can charge for the project, I find it highly suspicious that the FSF would endorse such a move by an open source project — one that essentially makes the project a proprietary project. What makes matters worse is that there is no tool available to move from CVSNT to a standard CVS or to any other revision control system as there are numerous "enhancements" to the RCS data backend that are specific to CVSNT which tools like cvs2svn don't understand, and without access to the source won't be able to understand. Additionally, since CVSNT became a more active project than the CVS project it was derived from it has essentially become the de facto CVS version used, stranding many in CVS and subject to the whims of March-Hare. Hopefully by brining this to the attention of Slashdot, the situation can be rectified."
Link to Original Source
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OpenMoko Freerunner dead?

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 4 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "I've been looking to get an OpenMoko FreeRunner for a few months now; however, I wanted to get the A7 model as it has the Buzz Fix already applied. Sadly, The A7 model isn't available from OpenMoko with the 850MHZ radio. I recently e-mailed OpenMoko through their contact e-mail/support about this, asking when the 850MHZ will be available, only to get the following response:

There will not have A7 for GSM850 because we had stopped the phone development. Now we are focusing on our new product called WikiReader.

This after the last September's announcement of No More OpenMoko Phone and Openmoko Phone Not Dead After All. Looks like they are really just trying to clear the stock.

Submitter's note: Original Source is an e-mail I have. Please be kind with the original source I quote — it's the best I could do with slashdot's story submission form."

Link to Original Source

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Scientists report others fake data...

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "Scientists, at least according to the Times of London, are doing science a great injustice as One in Seven Scientists Say Colleagues Fake Data, stating:

Around 46 percent say that they have observed fellow scientists engage in "questionable practices", such as presenting data selectively or changing the conclusions of a study in response to pressure from a funding source.

And people wonder why the science is so fought nowadays. It's interesting that only 2 percent reported having engaged in such practices though...but then, is the study author trying to justify their study? Or are they presenting the facts?"

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Science and Religion...

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "In a recent essay published by The New Republic Jerry A. Coyne provides some insight into funding of science and the public groups that provide it — even those professing to be of "Christian" leaning. Regis Nicoll writes a summary for Breakpoint (an on-line and radio broadcast originally lead by Charles Colson in which we find:

Contrary to modern criticism, the scientist who approaches the world as a product of intelligence, rather than of matter and motion, is less likely to stop short of discovery. Instead of dismissing a feature that, at first glance, appears inert, unnecessary or just plain mystifying, he is more inclined to push the envelope of investigation to unravel its function and purpose.

Comments by Breakpoint readers can be found here. (Please be kind if posting to comments there; they are moderated and they don't get the volume normally does.)"

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LVM Disk Mirroring - to USB or not to USB

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TemporalBeing writes "I recently had a hard drive fail on me, and now working my way through the recovery process. Fortunately I didn't lose much data as it seems the hard drive mostly had stuff I didn't care too much about on it...things easily recoverable by re-install. Thankfully, it was a Linux system using LVM2.

As I work through this process I am also thinking about how to keep from losing data in the future, and have decided to setup a basic mirror RAID on the system, which is relatively new — e.g. circa 2005 — and supports USB2.0 without a problem. I am also thinking of doing the same on my home server — circa 1997/1998 — that only has USB1.1, and is in a fully operational state — though it doesn't have LVM installed yet.

So I looked in the adds this week, and noticed a Western Digital MyBook Essential 500GB drive on sale this week for $89, which leads me to my question for SlashDot:

I know USB is slower than internal drives for performance. But is it slow enough that it would not be good to use for mirroring the internal drives as part of a software drive mirror implemented via LVM2? Or should I try to go with internal hard drives for the task?

My goal is to try to keep the budget down, and right now get a mirror in place so that next time a hard disk failure won't even stand a question on whether data is lost — I just pop in a new disk to mirror to."
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CowboyNeal for President!

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TemporalBeing writes "Given the poor choice of candidates for the President of the USA this election season, we here at Slashdot should organize our own campaign and put forth one of our own as a Candidate. I propose CowboyNeal for President. (Think we can get him to run?)

Let's have some fun and really enjoy the season."
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Visualizing the Body...

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TemporalBeing (803363) writes "IEEE provides a pretty nice article on how IBM is playing with technology like that of Google's GoogleEarth, only for medical, electronic health records instead. From the article:

"The 3-D coordinates in the model are mapped to anatomical concepts, which serve as an index onto the electronic health record. This means that you can retrieve the information by just clicking on the relevant anatomical part. It's both 3-D navigation and a 3-D indexed map," explains Elisseeff..."You can think of it as being like Google Earth for the body," is how Elisseeff frames the mapper engine. "We see this as a way to manage the increasing complexity that will come in using computers in medicine.""
"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Microsoft's Real Plan?

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 7 years ago What's Microsoft's real plan? With the advent of .Net, the Microsoft/Novell deal, the splitting of Microsoft into three major groups internally, and the impossibility of Windows being developed the same way that Vista was for the the generation of Windows it becomes quite possible that Windows as we know it - with an NT Kernel and all - is no longer the future of Windows. Just how might Microsoft surive? Check out my full blog describing Microsoft's Real Plan.

From the blog:

It has been my speculation that .Net was the start of Microsoft's plan for how they will survive in a post Windows world.

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Imagine (for a moment) Microsoft releasing a new version of Windows - Windows NG (for Next Generation) - that does not provide any backwards compatibility whatsoever. If Microsoft did this, they would need to be able to quickly push a lot of people to support their new system; or they could ride on the shoulders of giants - existing OS's that are already out there that have a lot of software

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then how could Microsoft use an existing OS? What would there be for them to use? Well, there is always the BSD's, but then Microsoft would have to fork and support their own - kind of like Apple did; which could be costly. Or, Microsoft could chose a Linux Distribution (Novell's SuSE?) and make it its primary back end; add on the extra tools to move their infrastructure over (Vista's User Mode Sound and Video drivers, and .Net) and a user interface to make it look like Windows

A possibility? Sure. Likely? Only time will tell.

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Programming vs. Software Engineering & Why Software Is Hard

TemporalBeing TemporalBeing writes  |  more than 7 years ago I noticed the Slashdot Article on Why Software Is Hard and wrote a response in my Blog. Should be a good read for any techy. The blog entrie primary talks about Software Engineering vs. Programming. Needless to say, these go hand-in-hand with why software is hard. To quote from the Blog:

The key difference, however, is that the Software Engineer realizes that the "programming process" is just the implementation phase of creating software; and that there is a lot more to be done before the implementation phase can even begin. Comparitively, the programmer wants to just jump in and start writing code as soon as they have been handed a task, skipping the rest of the process, and possibly even ignoring any part of that process if anything from it was handed to him/her.

And FYI - the blog is more than just a link to the Slashdot article, and its related article. It also includes a link to few postings on OS News and its sister article, as well as some responses to a couple of the comments to that article. Needless to say, Slashdot (from what I could see) was a lot more forgiving of the original article.

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