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RNC Calls For Halt To Unconstitutional Surveillance

clem.dickey Re:Watergate? (523 comments)

Watergate was done by the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), which was in no way associated with the Republican Party. Trust them on that.

about 8 months ago

Apple Devices To Reach Parity With Windows PCs In 2014

clem.dickey Re:Incorrect correlation (511 comments)

The BIOS was "open" in that anyone could read it. The Technical Reference Manual included a source listing. It was copyrighted, however, and so could not be used in clones.

about 8 months ago

MPAA Backs Anti-Piracy Curriculum For Elementary School Students

clem.dickey Will this be on the test? (250 comments)

The student's grade, and the schools' grade are test-based. (The teacher's grade may be too, though that's still a bone of contention.) Until it's on the test (Common Core, in the current instance), where is the incentive to teach it?

about 10 months ago

Facebook May Dislike the Social Fixer Extension, but Many Users Love It (Video)

clem.dickey Re:I always justed used an external editor (176 comments)

History: The IBM 3270 series terminals, which predated the PC and with which all the original IBM PC developers were familiar, had separate "Return" (carriage return) and "Enter" (submit form) keys. This architecture minimized precious CPU interrupts. You would fill out an entire form in the terminal, with multiple fields and multiple lines on the peripheral device, then send the whole form to the CPU in one action. This was important in an architecture originally designed for batch processing, and which referred interactive support as the "Time-Sharing Option."

That's a long way from the Unix model, in which every keystroke generated an interrupt, or the PC paradigm, where every key-down and key-up action generated an interrupt.

On my IBM PC keyboard, the word "Enter" is above a "return" symbol. So for sites like Facebook, which require a shift for the "return" function, the non-shift action is the upper marking and the shift action is the lower marking!.

about a year ago

Owner of Battery Fire Tesla Vehicle: Car 'Performed Very Well, Will Buy Again'

clem.dickey Re:Kind of on topic (232 comments)

The lens probably provides an orientation neutral, disc-shaped image. If the image sensor and recorder supported a disc shape, then the viewer (or editor) could choose the framing: horizontal, or vertical, square, Cinerama, or just leave it as a disc.

about a year ago

True Size of the Shadow Banking System Revealed (Spoiler: Humongous)

clem.dickey Re:The key phrase here is: (387 comments)

The "occult quality" in this case being the applicability of Zipf's Law, to which the +2 comments so far have exactly one reference. And that reference getting things exactly backwards. Even the graph in the article omits most of the area of the curve which is key to the hypothesis. That is the area in the upper left corner, between the actual values reported for largest banks and their hypothetical position on the Zipf's rule line.

1 year,2 days

Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom

clem.dickey Re:Amusing scenario... (662 comments)

This is like vaccinations. If you are the sole anti-social person, no problem. But if you run into (pun intended) a like-minded person, they become your moderator.

1 year,28 days

Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan

clem.dickey Re:Frequency vs. Distance (867 comments)

I would not want to walk a whole block 6 days a week, but once a week would be okay. And put a big shared recycling container just below the mailbox cluster. Or would that make the obvious too obvious?

about a year ago

The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol

clem.dickey Re:Can't read the article (345 comments)

... and I apologize to C (and Slashdot), there is a C11!.

about a year ago

The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol

clem.dickey Re:Can't read the article (345 comments)

COBOL too is being updated. It is on its fourth ANSI/ISO standard, most recently in 2002. Compare with ANSI C, still stuck in 1999.

about a year ago

Florida DOT Cuts Yellow Light Delay Ignoring Federal Guidelines, Citations Soar

clem.dickey Possible to time yellows below speed limit reqs? (507 comments)

According to TFA, the Federal guidelines recommend times based on the posted speed limit or the 85th percentile of actual speed, whichever is greater. Florida is ignoring/removing the "whichever is greater" clause.

In most cases, one can assume that the 85th percentile is greater than the posted limit, in which case the times are based on the posted limit. The ones at risk of a ticket are speeding drivers. But reading the article literally, there is another possibility. If the 85th percentile of actual speed is *less* than the limit (as in a congested area), FDOT is free to time yellow lights according to the 85th percentile, and *below* what the posted speed limit would require. Such an action would put drivers who are otherwise law-abiding at risk for tickets.

about a year ago

You've Got 25 Years Until UNIX Time Overflows

clem.dickey Re:Shhhhh!! (492 comments)

"What are all these binary types?" "C++ is just so clunky" Wait - we hear that today. "Can't we just rewrite it all using q-bits?"

about a year and a half ago

Company Claims 80% of Facebook Ad Clicks Are From Bots

clem.dickey Re:I'm not surprised. (402 comments)

It is not surprising that people don't see the ads. The traditional Facebook page (I have not seen Timeline) has four columns, three of which can be entirely ignored.

I find myself developing a unique "blind spot" for every common page with static ad placement. It's hard for me to find the ads even when I want to browse them.

more than 2 years ago

Ohio Supreme Court Drawn Into Magnetic Homes Case

clem.dickey It's about "right to sue", not about damages (462 comments)

Slashdot summary does not agree with the original article, which says the Supreme Court will only decide whether the couple has the right to sue (a matter of law). Only later might the question move to whether magnetized joists have caused any trouble, a matter of fact.

more than 2 years ago

IBM's Watson To Help Diagnose, Treat Cancer

clem.dickey Re:Long time coming... (150 comments)

An anecdote from Dr. James C. Cain (former head of section, gastroenterology and internal medicine at Mayo), from about 1981:

A patient came to May Clinic with vague symptoms. One histologist remarked "This guy has weird blood. I've seen it before, but can't remember where." Several days later the histologist came back with the book where he had seen that "weird blood." Leprosy. Mayo didn't get many lepers.

"We were just lucky," said Dr. Cain, "that the histologist remembered the pattern. But imagine what we could do with a computerized search."

about 3 years ago

UN Names N. Korea Chair of Disarmament Committee

clem.dickey A more sensible chair (182 comments)

The United States deserves the chairmanship, on a semi-permanent basis.

In terms of volume, the United States is doing more to disarm itself than any other country. We presently have disarmament operations underway over Afghanistan, Libya, and to a lesser extent Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

more than 3 years ago

Google/Facebook: Do-Not-Track Threatens CA Economy

clem.dickey Re:Unconstitutional? (363 comments)

If it is unconstitutional, why are the companies complaining? Let the legislature pass the law and then the MPAA et al. can take constitutionality up with the courts. Except that the companies would have to hire a law firm to represent them in court.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon Named the "Most Reputable Company"

clem.dickey There is honor among thieves (199 comments)

Amazon does a very good job of looking after their customers' interests. Even when those interests include letting other people pay for police, fire suppression and education.

more than 3 years ago

Malicious Online Retailer Ordered Held Without Bail

clem.dickey (225 comments)

Did you put the name in quotes, to get an exact match? There is a good summary in this InfoWorld article. Note that in his first computer scam he passed as "Col. David W. Winthrop, USAF retired" in a Santa Maria CA computer club. Santa Maria is a stones throw from Vandenberg AFB, and I imagine that a large part of the tech community there worked at Vandenberg. Amazing, I think that he pulled it off. I never met him, but heard that he was a *very* personable fellow.

In those days (1977 or so) it was common for computer start-ups to take money in advance of shipment and use that money to fund development. Hunt used that model, except that he was planning to skip town with the money. He did hire engineering staff and a receptionist to make DataSync (no relation to any current company using that name) look legitimate. I understand that the staff were made corporate officers, which meant they were working for stock options rather than salary.

After Hunt was caught the staff - which had not known that they were working for a con man - tried to make a go of what was left. The receptionist was required to warn customers with a script that went something like this: "I must inform you that the advertisements placed by DataSync were fraudulent, and the person responsible for them is now in jail. Knowing that, would you still like to order quality products from DataSync?" But DataSync finally folded before filling any customer orders.

more than 3 years ago

Malicious Online Retailer Ordered Held Without Bail

clem.dickey (225 comments)

Modded funny. Okay, but perhaps the moderators have forgotten the case of Norman Henry Hunt. Mr. Hunt was convicted of mail fraud (phony computer parts). He escaped from prison, was caught and convicted again (more mail fraud, plus the escape). After the second conviction, he was found to be running a mail order business out of a P.O. Box at NNCC. His ads represented NNCC as the Northern Nevada Computing Center; it was actually the Northern Nevada *Correctional* Center.

more than 3 years ago


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