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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

elgatozorbas Re:*Spoiler alert* (554 comments)

The fiction gets even worse! Game reviewers are typicalle die-hard gamers, known for not having sex -let alone with other people.

5 days ago
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LAX To London Flight Delayed Over "Al-Quida" Wi-Fi Name

elgatozorbas Re:A Pox on Both Your Houses (339 comments)

A agree. How is this different from making "bomb" jokes at the airport. Everyone knows "bomb"-jokes are not taken lightly by serucity personnel. Same holds for using such stupid SSID. I *also* know this does no actual harm and, most likely, real terrorists would not use this name etc, but broadcasting such an SSID in an airport is just not a very smart thing to do because it can be expected to trigger security folks. Note that I am not defending them, just saying that their reaction is not completely unpredicatable. If you value such a joke more than your time, go ahead, but I don't.

about a month ago
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"Police Detector" Monitors Emergency Radio Transmissions

elgatozorbas Re:Encrypted? (215 comments)

Yes, with ROT13. (Twice, to be safer).

about a month ago
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Bill Gates: Bitcoin Is 'Better Than Currency'

elgatozorbas Re:If Bill Gates likes it (130 comments)

Wish I could joint, but only have tails.

about 1 month ago
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Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled

elgatozorbas Why is it necessary to reverse engineer this? (167 comments)

I think all first year computer science / programming / engineering students should be introduced to this and learn how to write programs for this environment first before moving on to modern systems. True power is being able to write useful stuff with only 64kb of ram and 1mhz of processor, and have it run in an acceptable time frame, and taking those skills and scaling up today's multi-core/ multi-gigahertz/multi-gigabyte address spaces.

While I agree, I wonder if this is actually true. To what extend does knowledge about efficient coding on an 8 bit machine with limited memory teach us anything about programming these heftier CPUs? Maybe the only people that should really have chewed the bits are the writers of compilers. For all others it might not matter so much how the compiler and the OS handle memory allocations and the like, and it may be more useful to focus on the program structure instead of the implementation on the CPU.

about 2 months ago
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The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading

elgatozorbas Re:HAL 9000 (120 comments)

Why not? Apart from the idea that lip reading may complement speech recognition and make it more reliable. Also it may be more useful in a loud environment, which is frequently the case when machines are around, btw. Or in cases where speaking up loud to a computer is not appreciated, such as in office environments. And if all of this would not be enough, note the title of this website: news for nerds. You want a machine to lipread because it CAN (maybe).

about 2 months ago
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Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

elgatozorbas Re:No. (448 comments)

Could sophisticated military tanks and anti-aircraft missiles given or sold to countries like Iraq be equipped with a way to disable them if they're compromised, without opening them up to hacking by an enemy?

A tank with a kill switch?

On topic: who would buy such a device that can be disabled by others? And even if it is made for the "domestic" market: why be at risk that someone else hacks into your own stuff and disables it? The solution to this problem wasn't technical, but political.

about 3 months ago
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You Got Your Windows In My Linux

elgatozorbas Re: What's wrong with Windows Server? (613 comments)

Even if I were to never even look at a single line of the source, the fact that it's availble to others adds value for me. I can go download a patch someone else wrote that fixes a bug MS hasn't bothered to fix. [...]

I am also in favour of Open source myself and get your point. However, after the OpenSSL bug, my belief in this "someone else" has significantly lowered. If too many people rely on "someone else" fixing a problem in his/her spare time you are worse off than when people are paid to fix closed source software. If the problem is important ($$$) enough, it wil be fixed.

about 3 months ago
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A Look At the Firepick Delta Circuit Board Assembler (Video)

elgatozorbas Only a part of production (43 comments)

While this looks like an interesting and cheap device to populate empty PCBs, it is only a small part of the total sulution. The PCB has to be made, solder paste added (maybe this device could be extended to do so), and most importantly: heated. Of all these steps, the pick-and-place may be the least enjoyable, but also the one that _could_ be done manualy, if needed. Still, if this device saves two days of manual labor, it already pays itself.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

elgatozorbas Re:To answer the question directly (113 comments)

With all due respect: why is this modded insightful instead of the funny it was probably aimed at? Especially because the device can be destroyed by means currently available, such as the volcalo mentioned above. And simpler means too.

about 4 months ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

elgatozorbas Apparently not a keyboard lover (544 comments)

All of what you say is true, except for your assumption that "there actually ISN'T that much demand" (citation?) and your condescendence on the people in want of a keyboard. I used to be very happy with my Sony Ericsson Xperia mini pro which was actually smaller be it a but thicker than most phones of its day. It could be small exactly because it had a separate keyboard and none of the screen had to be sacrificed for a virtual keyboard. This "more expensive" phone was sold for €200 at a time when iPhones were in the +€500 region. If the Applefolks are prepared to shell out such amounts for some fancy looks, why wouldnt keyboard lovers do so for a real feature? There need not be hundreds of models, just one Samsung, one LG would do. But apparently not.

No discussion on one point, though: the slide keyboard made it more vulnerable and eventually it broke down on me, after intensive use. On the other hand: its 512 MB internal memory was also becoming a hurdle, so one year later I would have needed to replace it anyway.

about 4 months ago
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Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

elgatozorbas Programming CAN be judged (89 comments)

They can understand how a toilet is cleaned, how a sale is made, how a 1099 is filled out, how a fire drill works, how a sandwich is put together, how oil is changed, etc... but Coding might as well be a dark art.

Disclaimer: I am in hardware myself and may completely miss the point here. However, our software/firmware folks do agile programming involving dividing programming problems into pieces which are assigned to programmers, followed-up on large whiteboards and being daily discussed in "scrum meetings" etc. (I may be confusing some concepts here but that is of less importance). The point being that your statement, that programming is some sort of unique dark-art-which-cannot-be-measured-by-managers, appears untrue to me and, honestly, rather pedantic. What these guys are doing is quite measurable. Maybe not by a silly measure like "lines of code", but by the measure of number of problems being solved, having a complexity that apparently everyone of them agrees on.

Indeed, the CEO doesn't know the exact details of how this works, but neither does he personally count the number of cleaned toilets.

about 4 months ago
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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

elgatozorbas Not a large improvement (238 comments)

According to wikipedia , normal black paint reflects 2.5%, making it 97.5% efficient, according to this metric. Going to 99.99xx is an insignificant improvement compared to the cost of ordinary black paint and this new stuff. I doubt highly that the bottleneck is in the reflectivity of the coating.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

elgatozorbas Cool but better do something else. (176 comments)

This is the type of stuff I used to find cool and tinker with 10 years ago. Nowadays, I value my time (a bit) more and prefer to dedicate it to other, more useful projects. Why waste time trying to run an old version of an OS that has been improved over the years? Processing power and RAM are dirt cheap. Even the small systems, like the raspberry pi support modern distros. It was cool to struggle with a slackware installation 10 years ago and succeed. Given enough effort and time, it can also be done on recent hardware but what does it prove? I would prefer to start a more useful and challenging project.

about 4 months ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

elgatozorbas Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

That has nothing to do with sloppyness. If you know how to teach writing, publish a book and harvest a noble price. (Strictly speaking, that should be spelled Nobel, as that was his name).

Then why don't you write Nobel prize in the first place? Your comment, on how bad writing should not be contributed to sloppiness is the first time I ever encounter this "noble prize". Also, "Strictly speaking" is completely out of place here. "Strictly speaking" we should also refer to "Murphy's law" and "Newton's law" instead of "muphries law" and "netwon's law", which no-one ever does anyway.

about 7 months ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

elgatozorbas Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

Classic: "My dog has no nose. How does he smell? Aweful." That joke relies on "smell" working as a verb and a adjective

This may be a detail in your explanation, but you are wrong. That joke relies on "to smell" meaning both to observe odors and to spread them. Apart from that, I agree completely with you. There is no good reason to "wrongify" languages, except laziness. Okay, go ahead and stop using correct grammar, but don't attribute this to some higher bullshit principle. The only reason for all this crappy writing is that people are to lazy to put in any effort. As a correct grammar contributes some redundancy, it eases the reading. (non-native English myself).

about 7 months ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

elgatozorbas I am so confused... (431 comments)

How about grammar-nazis? Should they now be referred to as grammar-stalinists?

about 7 months ago
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Danish Expert Declares Vinland Map Genuine

elgatozorbas Re:J. Lawrence Whitten... (210 comments)

Thanks for pointing out mistakes in his explanation. This allows other readers to see his statement in another light. But why "mod him to oblivion"? He offers a remarkable story. Why should others not be able to judge for themselves (taking into account your own comment)?

more than 5 years ago

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