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Comments

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Apple Logging Locations of All iPhone Users

astrosmash Re:What the FUCK, Apple? (591 comments)

It's a cache of cell tower locations. The reasonable thing to do is limit that cache by size, but there just aren't that many cell towers. What size limit would you use?

iOS also caches wifi locations. This is a much larger dataset and is routinely flushed to make space for new data.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Logging Locations of All iPhone Users

astrosmash Re:What the FUCK, Apple? (591 comments)

It's a location cache.

When Maps (or any other app) requests your current location, the iPhone is able to provide it almost immediately because of this cache, without hitting the network or GPS. It's very convenient.

If your privacy is a concern, encrypt your backups (it's just a checkmark in iTunes) and turn off location services (it's just a switch in the iPhone settings).

And if you're *really* concerned about your privacy, don't use a cell phone, because your carrier also keeps a log of where you've been and will turn that information to authorities.

more than 3 years ago
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Remembering the Apple I

astrosmash Re:ahh, the good ole days (153 comments)

Good old days? There is far, far more technical information and tools available to developers today then there ever was for the Apple II, and today's machines are far more expandable using widely available cross-platform industry standard interfaces, from the smallest MacBook Air to the Mac Pro.

more than 3 years ago
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Kinect's Grandaddy Running On an Apple IIe In 1978

astrosmash PDP-8, Not Apple II (81 comments)

The mini-computer they talk about in this video is the PDP-8/L, not an Apple II, although the system was later ported to Apple II in the early 80s.

It's worth noting that the original Apple II (and most other microcomputers from the early 70s) would have been much more powerful, cheaper, and easier to program than the PDP-8, and the Apple II would have been an excellent choice for a project like this, due to its expandable and well-documented hardware architecture. However, I'm sure they started development of this system well before the original Apple II would have been well known or even available.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Wants To Take Away Your Capslock Key

astrosmash You don't need a Caps Lock key to get Caps Lock (968 comments)

The Chrome keyboard does support Caps Lock, in a design inspired by Steve Jobs' old company. Here's a little history:

The original NeXTcube keyboard (circa 1989) also did not have a Caps Lock key. Instead, Caps Lock was engaged by pressing Command+Shift, which would light up matching green LEDs on both Shift keys. Caps Lock was disengaged by pressing the Shift key a second time. This freed up valuable keyboard real estate, eliminated the possibility of hitting Caps by accident, and allowed the Control key to be placed next to the "A" key, where it has always belonged. It's an excellent design.

Fast forward 20 years and Google is doing the same thing with the Chrome keyboard. Its Shift key also has a green LED to indicate Caps Lock. Presumbaly, Caps Lock is engaged in a similar way as the NeXT keyboard.

Unfortunately, they're putting a "Search" button there in its place, which is just stupid.

more than 3 years ago
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Internet's First Registered Domain Name Sold

astrosmash Re:First .COM, not First Domain (137 comments)

DNS was introduced in the mid-80s. Established internet domains (network, govt, military, universities) transitioned more slowly to the new system via the temporary .arpa TLD.

Symbolics, on the other hand, jumped on board right away. symbolics.com is the oldest domain name in use today.

about 5 years ago
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CBS Hosts Ad-Funded TV Series, Incl. Original Star Trek

astrosmash Re:Outside the US? (276 comments)

That reason is copyright law...which, unless I'm mistaken, CBS doesn't control

Don't be ridiculous. CBS owns all the streaming rights to their shows. The problem is that they're trying to sell those rights.

By not streaming to, say, Canada, they create a product out of thin air that they can sell: Canadian streaming rights. As far as I know, the only network to buy this new "product" is Canada's Comedy Network, which purchased the streaming rights to a number of Comedy Central shows, including the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. So if you try to stream any Comedy Central shows from Canada you're redirected to The Comedy Network's (awful) website.

US networks have always sold their shows' broadcast rights to foreign TV networks, so it only makes sense that they'd try to do this on the web as well. Unfortunately, the implementation is terrible. For example, The Comedy Network bought the streaming rights to the Colbert Report so they could drive traffic to their site and run their own ads in the streams, but even though the content is legally available in Canada any blog links and embedded videos that point to Comedy Central's web site still won't work at all in Canada (they all redirect to the front page of the Comedy Network). It breaks the web.

I don't think regional streaming restrictions will be around for much longer. For all the money The Comedy Network spent on the streaming rights for the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, all they got was a bunch pissed off viewers who direct their rage at The Comedy Network instead of Comedy Central. I sincerely doubt any other networks will bother to buy streaming rights unless these serious implementation problems are sorted out.

more than 5 years ago
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Dvorak Layout Claimed Not Superior To QWERTY

astrosmash Not good enough (663 comments)

The world is full of people who tried Dvorak and didn't think it was all that special.

more than 5 years ago
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Best Introduction To Programming For Bright 11-14-Year-Olds?

astrosmash 400 comments, and no has mentioned Shoes... (962 comments)

Shoes! It's cross-platform, it uses the same powerful vector graphics engine that Firefox uses (Cairo), and it uses a simplified Ruby interpreter.

Shoes is to the modern computer what BASIC was to the Apple //e and Commodore 64. That is, it aims to be a way for hobbyists and young computer geeks to do creative stuff with their computer.

That means a modified Ruby interpreter with really nice graphics, web, network, and text layout APIs that hopefully a hobbyist would be comfortable using. Knowing that, the Shoes About Page should make more sense.

Compare 80's style BASIC and modern Shoes:

10 GR
20 PRINT "PLEASE ENTER YOUR NAME:";
30 INPUT NAME$
40 PRINT "HELLO ";NAME$
50 COLOR=6
60 HLIN 5,10 AT 10
70 HLIN 5,10 AT 20
80 VLIN 10,20 AT 5
90 VLIN 10,20 AT 10

vs.

Shoes.app {
name = ask("Please enter your name:")
title "Hello " + name
stroke blue
fill red
rect 100, 100, 100, 100
}

Programming for a young computer geek won't be fun unless they can make they computer do really cool things. In the 80's, that meant color graphics and sound, along with plain text output and input. Plain old BASIC (or Python or Ruby) won't cut it today. You need something that supports GUI development, web and network access, pictures and video, and text layout. I think Shoes fits the bill nicely.

more than 5 years ago
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In my life, I've filed ...

astrosmash Can't repro / Need More Information (310 comments)

Do you mean my bugs, or other people's bugs?

Well, the answer's the same either way, but I want to be precise.

more than 5 years ago

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