top Steve "CyanogenMod" Kondik Contemplates The Death of Root On Android
It is fairly obvious that it is in Google's best interest to provide these API's and to an extent they have. Apple makes a killing in the phone world not because their phones are locked down but because they are free of bloat. Heck if I could install a better browser and music player I'd be quite happy with iOS but I can't because it is locked down. Similarly my experience with Android is that I can't remove the Verizon crap and the HTC/Samsung crap so while Android is nice in an emulator (if really depressingly dark) it does not work in the real world without root because I need to substitute stock vanilla android to get the simple easier (Google you have a lot of work to do here...) to use interface that lets me just use my phone.
about a year and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: High-School Suitable Books On How Computers Affect Society?
Okay, you may think you only have time for 200 pages. And you may have some students putting in only the minimum effort but you really ought to have more than 200 pages. One of the best teachers I had assigned 100 pages a week for 11 grade history. I haven't read Blown to Bits yet (downloading) but it looks good. I would stay away from fiction even near reality works like Little Brother and 1984 as the primary source but they are important if only in how they have changed how we look at technology. Put them on an additional reading list and have them handy for the student that resonates with the material. Also consider having at least an excerpt of Lessig or watch one of his presentations in class. Have it ready for a substitute, he is a great speaker and I use him as an example when teaching presentation skills. You might also consider Bruce Schneier's blog as a source. Bruce has essays about this material and links to scholarly and popular works in this areas all the time.
about a year and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: IT Spending In Engineering?
8% may be low, just right or high depending on what else is in your "engineering budget". The 50% number is management BS. A number pulled out of someone's arse that is completely meaningless. You could just as easily spend more on engineering salary and grow the "engineering budget" to the magical 4% spending target as slash costs to the point you are out of business. Let me suggest the better approach to your manager. Look at where you are spending money, evaluate alternatives and if you see something offering a significant cost saving like say dropping expensive Microsoft Office licenses for Libre Office (especially in the engineering dept.) then make the decision to save some money.
about a year and a half ago
top Measuring LAMP Competency?
Lots of people have said: "have them design a trivial app". My experience is that a) a trivial app will be so trivial as to tell you nothing or b) take so long as to be unreasonable for an interview. It is a good idea in principle but hard to pull off. Something you could try is think back to the hardest exam you had in school what was a good problem on it. Try maybe: Write a derived type for use in this way... plus test cases, plus documentation. But ask talk with these folks do a code review together on a sample of their code/design review on a page of their's. Give them a short synopsis of a problem you had internally (and solved) and have them lay out a plan of attack. Check their references; good references can tell you a lot. And remember a probationary period is important too because an interview that lasts three months rather than a day is going to tell you a lot more about their work habits, coding style and ability to work with your team.
Oh yeah and like most people here are saying... most certifications in technology mean nothing more than the certified has worked at a job where the boss bought into the certification scam or they have too much time on their hands.
top Things To Look For In a Web Hosting Company?
Ditto on Dreamhost. They've been good to me. But whatever you do not use Powweb their service sucks and their billing is always messed up.
top How Many Admins Per User/Computer Have You Seen?
The parent post is right on with what I've seen. 250:1 (users to admins) in the environment where it was Windows+Office+Thunderbird on the desktop and 50:1 where it was Mac+Adobe+Office+Video production+1/2 doz other highly specialized pieces of software.
What is perhaps just as important as the ratio is having a great secretary. The ability to keep moving and not have to stop and worry about signing for the Fed Ex man or the boss making "executive decisions" while you are at a users' desk is invaluable.
top Fedora 12 Lets Users Install Signed Packages, Sans Root Privileges
Huh What? OS X let's standard users install software? Sorry but looking at my 10.4 and 10.5 machines that would be a no. Having worked on a few 10.6 machines today I am confident that they are the same but I don't have one here to test. Standard (non admin users) can not "install" software except in their own home directory just like Linux (though installing to one's home directory is not for the faint of heart). Standard users can not add launch deamons or otherwise modify
/Library or /Applications. This is actually how it should be. Users can do anything they want in their space so long as it does not affect other users or the system. That's actually security not this we will control what you can and can not do in infinitely fine detail. The big problem is that Linux and Windows require you to modify the SYSTEM in order to do practically anything. Want to run new/updated software then you need to drop some libraries in /usr/lib some resources in /usr/share etc. One of the ways OS X makes management so much easier is to let applications bundle their libraries inside those application bundles. Those same bundles that end users who happen to be the owner in terms of file permissions can indeed modify (unless they are a "managed" user) This enables drag and drop installs and the ability to have ~/Applications/Nifty*.app. So every user can have their own web browser and their own productivity software and it just works.
top If the Comments Are Ugly, the Code Is Ugly
Is it bad coding? Yes. Is this the worse coding? No. We've all been pressured to ship and all too often it sucks. But you commented the code indicating that you don't know why it works which helps your or the next person to come along to fix the problem. Points for actually commenting and saying you don't understand, shipping code you don't understand; not good. But the big question is did you go back and review the comments and try to fix the problem (ie understand your code)
top Apple Blurs the Server Line With Mac Mini Server
Heck for a tiny little 6 person company like mine this thing could be great. Only one problem... the local telco hates the idea of competition and thus blocks low ports so as to keep small companies from cost effectively hosting in house. Sure the D&E sales guy said he could offer me a static ip for $1200+ a month but still not allowed to host on ports 25 or 80 and hey their $25/month IIS + Exchange hosting with no uptime guarantee is such a great deal right so why don't I do that? So as much as I'd like to bring things in house I think we'll have to keep using keep using Dreamhost.
top Microsoft Leaks Details of 128-bit Windows 8
I once read that it took us 30 years to figure out 8 bits then about 5 years to exhaust the abilities of 8 bits so we moved to 16bits which we exhausted in 10 years so we moved to 32bits which took us about 20+ years (this post written on a 32 bit machine which has thus far been far more reliable than the wife's 64 bit machines) to exhaust so following this logic it will take us 40+ years to exhaust 64bits. Does this then mean I can expect Windows 8 in about 2050?
top Flash CS5 Will Export iPhone Apps
Just because Flash is single threaded and thus can only choke one core of a dual core machine at a time doesn't mean it can't bring a 2.8 Ghz machine to it's knees. Just try watching one hulu movie in Safari in one window and load some particularly crappy flash game in firefox. Your machine is now unusable.
Adobe treats mac users as second class citizens thus treating many of their power users like dirt. If you think like Steve Jobs, this is an insult to Apple since they went and did want industry members like Adobe have long demanded of them and built a better OS than Windows (much better) and built really solid hardware, the iPod Touch/iPhone anyways, and then been plagued with monopolists like Adobe/Microsoft shutting them out. If history is a lesson, (think iWork) Apple will soon deliver a native version of Inkscape and dump resources into Pixelmator, and start bundling them with Final Cut studio and new iMacs (well a trial version in Pixelmator's case). Apple somewhat reasonably demands more, Adobe and Microsoft refuse to/can't deliver so Apple just raises the bar... this is capitalism at its best; even if the Google Voice fiasco is capitalism at its worst.
top What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?
I want to plug Neal Stephenson's Zodiac, Diamond Age and Snow Crash, Asimov's Foundation, Cory Doctrow's Little Brother and Anda's Game but I'll curb my pitch. I think rather than just titles you need to get them reading and keep them reading the rest will happen with just a few well timed questions. Choose a few core books from the list on this page and give them the rest of the list as choices for books to read unguided. Make sure they get a mix of novels and short stories (hint my senior level high school history class involved reading at least one short story a week multiple documents and about six novels in the course of the year). You also want to get them to compare science fiction to non fiction. Have them read Thomas Paine and then reread one of the libertarian authors. Finally remember to have fun with it. Science fiction is as much about enjoying what you read as it is politics, envisioning the future man's place in the universe etc.
top R.I.P. FTP
Have you tried tunneling ftp with it's bizarre two port usage? Tunneling is harder than the average bear can comprehend to begin with but tunneling two ports is silly. sftp which is not just a tunnel is a better way of handling file transfers kinda like a prius is better than a K car.
top R.I.P. FTP
Once upon a time ftp's port usage made a twisted kind of sense but I agree it is time to take old FTP out behind the woodshed and put her down if just for this reason.
top How To Argue That Open Source Software Is Secure?
I propose a thought experiment: Have the client envision a box into which you place a kitten. Which method of keeping the kitten "safe" is better? The windows methodology is to tape the box shut while the linux methodology is to leave the box open. Now ask the client to envision placing the kitten/box system in a college dorm representing the hostile world. I predict that in the Windows world the box gets ignored or worse kicked down the stairs whereas in the Linux world the kitten defends itself and or finds a compatible human slave to care for it.
Much is the same in the computer world, a closed box does not make something "secure" it just limits what the kitten or your application can do, while an open box can encourage people to foster your kitten. Security comes from the provision of the necessities of life (warm building, food, water, clean litter, string and blanket) and five pointy ends for the kitten and while for software it is testing and an uncompromised (audited) host.
top Favorite text editor?
BBEdit seriously? I dropped that years ago for the far superior TextMate.
top What will Obama change most in the first 100 days?
In all honesty, he did let Hillary flitter away her time dropping the ball in NYC rather than telling her to get her butt to Israel to inform them that come Jan 20 no only would there would be a new sheriff in town but if they cut the BS off now things might go better for them. Condi & Bush weren't doing their jobs so there is no reason that Obama could not have picked up the slack internationally as well as domestically (he did pretty well at calming things down just by giving the media access). So yeah, Bloody Slacker!
top The In-Progress Plot To Kill Google
When they are hypocritical. Google at least fought the good fight to keep my records anonymized while the privacy spouting competition bent over backwards to violate my privacy.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5165530 On the simple facts Google thus far has been less evil.
top Is Mac OS X Slow?
The interface is slow... the kernal is slow... fine and dandy but how about some numbers. First the systems TiBook 800, iBook 500? (it is at work and I forget precisely), G4 tower 400, G3 Desktop 300, Apple 7300 (200 mhz). All system have maximum amount of memory accessible by the hardware/installable in given slots.
Now two observations 1 Darwin no longer runs on the 7300. I have used this box as a database server and had good results. Apple fix this. Second the G3 systems are noticably slower as far as windowing. Now is MacOS X slow? Yes as far as accessing memory. No as far as crunching numbers. And Yes as far as the window server is concerned. Yes as far as running OS 9 native apps is concerned, and yes as far as running anything that is not built on the Objective C Cocoa API's. Data MySQL look ups take longer on the TiBook (fastest system) than my Athalon Ghz system running Linux (Red Hat 7), but just slightly as in the difference is less than my reaction time at a console window, note I realize this is not a valid test, and have watched processor time and observed the macintosh to take about 1.3 times the time of the pc to do the same query and exit as on the macintosh using a cloned database. Crunching numbers using altivec accelerated code (simple data analysis on large amounts of data) the Mac wins the G4 400 is roughly equivalent to the Athalon and the Ti Book runs a process that takes 30 sec on the PC in about 23 seconds. Sorry I can't distribute code. Is the window server really slow? I don't think slow comparing the TiBook to a coworker's Dell laptop (the tiBook has an impressively better screen) running XP. but I would like to see some method of comparison. Notably the G4 400 running 10.2 has issues, Quartz Extreme is not supported on this machine and thus this machine is noticably slower refreshing the screen and drawing windows. I believe 10.1.5 is actually faster on the four systems that run it. But can't prove it with numbers. Those are the numbers. To summarize, use native applications Omniweb is a great browser, or write your own, Cocoa is much easier than programming for X. Provide your Mac with plenty of memory (but same goes for XP, Linux, and BeOS). And if you really want to play games buy a GameCube or Playstation. And write Apple and tell them to fix bugs, post more of the Operating System as Open Source, adding hardware support, to encourage Cocoa not Carbon (doesn't help that that Apple uses the "Carbon" code name for the API derived from Classic and for the General API for OS X including Cocoa") and not focus on adding features. Oh and in case anyone had any doubts I have been a Macintosh user since my LC in 1989,and I happen to enjoy being a Macintosh Zealot.
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