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Comments

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LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers

_merlin Re:PTT ? (67 comments)

GSM push-to-talk is an abbreviated call establishment sequence with preconfigured recipients. It still runs everything via the base station and hence via the carrier's network, so you'd be paying. If the network didn't advertise the feature as being available it would disable it, even if you bought an unlocked phone directly from Nokia.

about an hour ago
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NVIDIA Begins Requiring Signed GPU Firmware Images

_merlin Re:Nvidia is shooting themselves in the foot (188 comments)

"The FOSS community" is tiny. The vast majority of the time Linux is selected for practical or pragmatice reasons. Most people using Linux aren't using it for ideological reasons. There aren't enough people prepared to boycott NVIDIA over this to make a difference. Also, it's firmware that needs to be signed, not drivers.

2 days ago
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Apple Yet To Push Patch For "Shellshock" Bug

_merlin Re:Issue with FSF statement... (208 comments)

You conflicted with their ideology and got a "-1 makes me uncomfortable" mod.

2 days ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

_merlin Re:That she didn't call their bluff... (590 comments)

Means that she probably did take some nudies at some point.

So? I've taken nudies of myself and others. It's a natural result of technology combined with curiosity. Nudies are more prolific than ever since with digital cameras you aren't implicitly sharing your pictures with the minilab operator. Why do people make such a big deal of it?

5 days ago
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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

_merlin Re:Manufacturing (408 comments)

Samsung's packaging for the Galaxy S3 is very slick. Also, Dell's origami packaging for their 4k displays is absolutely brilliant.

about two weeks ago
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Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

_merlin Re:Keep your important data on current storage. (113 comments)

Yeah, SVG renderers have more chance of being around in 50 years than WMF or PICT. But you still need to actively go through your data archives, find things in "endangered" formats, and migrate them to more future-proof formats. This requires substantial effort that increases as the collection grows. Then there's verifying that nothing was lost in the conversion to consider.

about two weeks ago
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Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

_merlin Re:Keep your important data on current storage. (113 comments)

ImageMagick doesn't support PICT with vector information. I'm just trying to make a point that even if a format seems to be widespread now, it may become effectively useless in the future. Believe me PICT files were everywhere in the classic Mac days.

about two weeks ago
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Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

_merlin Re:Keep your important data on current storage. (113 comments)

You're picking easy formats. What about Macintosh PICT, including vector information (not just a bitmap PICT)? What about WMF? I could see both those formats becoming effectively unusable within a decade, as they effectively depend on the drawing API/environment of ancient operating systems (classic MacOS and Windows 3).

about two weeks ago
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Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

_merlin Re:Keep your important data on current storage. (113 comments)

But seriously, JPG is everywhere now but how long will it last? Could you read pre-JPEG image formats? Do you have software that will open PhotoCD, or PBM, or XBM or IFF in all their variants? I expect some formats like DNG will be around for a while, but the XMP processing instructions contain a "process version", and how long will software continue to support the process versions we use today? Data security really isn't straightforward when you don't know what the future holds.

about two weeks ago
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A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

_merlin Re:Hmmm .... (112 comments)

Because you can see the doors being operated out the windows of the departure lounges as the ground crew load and unload baggage.

about two weeks ago
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Once Vehicles Are Connected To the Internet of Things, Who Guards Your Privacy?

_merlin Re:The good news is (130 comments)

All fuel injectors for gasoline-powered road cars (mechanical injectors were used in racing for a while and were used for many years in diesel engines) are controlled by an ECU.

That's not quite true. There were mechanical fuel injection systems for petrol cars, e.g. the Lucas system in some of the Triumphs. They weren't known for being particularly reliable - EMP resistance would be the least of your worries.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

_merlin Re:NFC isn't used for just payment (335 comments)

Yes, S-beam is great. The phones exchange some information, set up a one-time WiFi Direct connection and transfer the file. No messing with Bluetooth pairing or any crap like that, authentication is provided by proximity.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

_merlin Re:Too Late for Aus (335 comments)

US NFC payment system is apparently completely incompatible with the systems used in the rest of the world. The US system emulates swiping the magstrip while the European and Australian systems use some kind of PKI challenge/response.

about two weeks ago
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A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

_merlin Re:Hmmm .... (112 comments)

I fly on 737-800 all the time and they definitely have outward-opening cargo doors.

about two weeks ago
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

_merlin Re:I have a method (124 comments)

If it's patented, you're compelled to publish your method. Are you confusing patents with trade secrets?

about two weeks ago
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Amazon Is Killing Off Its Free P2P Money-Transfer Service WebPay On October 13

_merlin Re:Guess I'll have to use google wallet or paypal (34 comments)

I can send money from my GMail account.

Well I don't know whether the Amazon one worked outside the US, but the Google one definitely doesn't. But given a choice between Google and Amazon, I'd take Amazon. I find them slightly less intrusive and pervasive.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

_merlin Re:Abject brand mismanagement (352 comments)

Yeah, but very basic functionality like actually being able to type your name if you happen to be Japanese requires you to install the OS, then get a combination of strangely-named packages like ibus, im-chooser, anthy, some font packages, etc. and then screw around getting it configured. None of this is documented clearly. Windows or OSX lets you choose a language from a list at install time. Which do you think is easier?

Device drivers are another issue. Linux is simpler if there's a driver in the kernel tree and it works adequately. If there isn't, then it's far more trouble than Windows to find a driver and get it to work. Also, drivers often lack functionality on Linux. For example the Wacom tablet drivers aren't adequately configurable. There are some options in obscure text files that you need root to edit, but there's no simple way to switch mapping on-the-fly or reconfigure your buttons per application. This is all dead easy on OSX or Windows.

Linux may be easier for you, but there are far more use cases than "person with no exotic hardware speaking a language using Latin script".

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

_merlin Re:Abject brand mismanagement (352 comments)

It definitely doesn't just work if you need Japanese language support. You need to find the necessary packages, install them, configure ibus... Seriously it's a nightmare. On Windows or OSX you just choose it from the dropdown during installation. Every time I do a distro upgrade I have to go through this stupid pain-in-the-arse procedure again, trying to work out exactly which packages I need with no help from any documentation.

about three weeks ago

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Journals

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Reinventing myself as a troll

_merlin _merlin writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I keep having these thoughts of reinventing myself as a troll. I could try to make first posts, and join the GNAA, and post goatse links and ASCII art, and flame Mac users and other stuff like that.

But then I'd lose karma, and I'd start out at -1, so no-one would see my trolling, anyway, and if I did post something worthwhile, no-one would see that, either.

I could make another account, just for trolling, but that stinks of effort. Oh well, I guess I'll just stay my boring self.

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