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White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

emurphy42 Re:Relating the conceivable to the perceivable (1145 comments)

Officially, the United States and some other countries have defined non-metric units in terms of metric units for over 50 years.

Unofficially: The metric system has some units that you can directly perceive and understand: a meter is a little bigger than a yard, a liter is a little bigger than a quart, a kilogram is a little bigger than two pounds. ("Related to some portion of the body" is, AFAIK, specific to feet.) I'd argue that the big mental block is that you can "see" and are accustomed to multiple base points for the same type of unit (e.g. inch, foot, yard). Also, you can sort of "see" miles as its own base point, roughly equivalent to "minutes driving at highway speed" (at least in the absence of congested traffic).

about a year and a half ago

Green Meteorite Found In Morocco May Be From Mercury

emurphy42 Re:Dumb Question: (89 comments)

From TFA:

NWA 7325 has a lower magnetic intensity — the magnetism passed from a cosmic body's magnetic field into a rock — than any other rock yet found, Irving said. Data sent back from NASA's Messenger spacecraft currently in orbit around Mercury shows that the planet's low magnetism closely resembles that found in NWA 7325, Irving said.

Messenger's observations also provided Irving with further evidence that could support his hypothesis. Scientists familiar with Mercury's geological and chemical composition think that the planet's surface is very low in iron. The meteorite is also low in iron, suggesting that wherever the rock came from, its parent body resembles Mercury.

about 2 years ago

Malicious QR Codes Posted Where There's Lots of Foot Traffic

emurphy42 Re:I don't use QR codes (89 comments)

I love how those two things are like equally heinous in your book. :)

I scan 'em once in a blue moon, but my phone app shows you the URL and asks confirmation, so at least there's that.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Draw the Line On GPL V2 Derived Works and Fees?

emurphy42 Re:Pay the $3.99 (371 comments)

If you have to pay $3.99 to get the DOSBox Turbo binary, and then you get the source free along with it, then that's definitely not a violation of the license. (If you don't give someone the binary, then you don't have to give them the source either.) It's also definitely open to someone following the AC's suggestion.

more than 2 years ago

Biogas To Power Experimental Microsoft Data Center

emurphy42 Don't believe the lie (55 comments)

You've gotta tell 'em! BIOGAS IS PEOPLE! We gotta stop them! Somehow! Listen! Listen to me, PLEASE!

more than 2 years ago

GNOMEbuntu Set To Arrive In October

emurphy42 Re:Which Gnome? (157 comments)

From TFA: "Unity won’t be included"

more than 2 years ago

Content-Centric Networking & the Next Internet

emurphy42 From TFA, explaining *how* this would work (153 comments)

Similarly, in a content-centric network, if you want to watch a video, you don’t have to go all the way back to the source, Lunt says. “I only have to go as far as the nearest router that has cached the content, which might be somebody in the neighborhood or somebody near me on an airplane or maybe my husband’s iPad.”

Of course, caching data at different points in the network is exactly what content distribution networks (CDNs) like Akamai do for their high-end corporate clients, so that Internet videos will start playing faster, for example. But in a content-centric world, Lunt says, the whole Internet would be a CDN. “Caching becomes part of the model as opposed to something you have to glue onto the side.”

I suppose it makes sense. The smarter the intermediate nodes are about deciding what to cache (based on popularity, size, speed of original request, who's nearby and what they have cached), the better this would work.

more than 2 years ago

CERN Announcing New LHC Results July 4th

emurphy42 Re:obligatory (226 comments)

European agency, American holiday, so obviously I'ma quote a Canadian show: "It blowed up real good!"

more than 2 years ago

Eben Moglen: Time To Apply Asimov's First Law of Robotics To Smartphones

emurphy42 Re:We didn't "imagine" anything about 3 Laws (305 comments)

There's a big jump from special-purpose AI (your software) to general-purpose AI (Asimovian robots). That said, you can jump in the other direction (Asimovian robots : First Law :: your software : ???) and then consider whether the result is still reasonable in its new context.

more than 2 years ago

Axis, Yahoo's New Browser

emurphy42 Re:Thumbnail Results Are Useless (194 comments)

I actually tried it (for all of 2 minutes). First, it does show the page title overlaid on the bottom of each thumbnail, which makes them far less annoying than I expected them to be. Second, they do potentially convey "hey, this page looks like ass, I'm not even gonna bother".

What did annoy me right quick:

  • My home page is a local HTML file with a bunch of text links. Axis's thing-at-the-bottom does not show up, and AFAICT the only way to make it show up is to navigate to a non-local page. (Okay, this probably doesn't affect 99.44% of you. I don't think it shows up on an about:blank tab either, but I forgot to specifically test that.)
  • Thumbnail loading is sluggish. Slide up/down effects are sluggish. Only slightly in both cases, but I'm on a reasonably fast corporate laptop with a reasonably fast net connection; I don't want to futz with "slightly".
  • I already accomplish "keep the search results hanging around" via alt-click (open in background tab) and alt-PgUp/Dn (switch tabs; control-Tab / control-shift-Tab are equivalent, if you prefer those).
  • It adds largish "" buttons to the middle left/right of the page, which take you to the next/previous pages in your navigation-history-that-Axis-is-aware-of, or something. Which is potentially useful functionality, but I'd prefer them in the toolbar.
  • Have I mentioned there's no sign of an options panel anywhere?

more than 2 years ago

Company Accidentally Fires Entire Staff Via Email

emurphy42 Re:Wrong (333 comments)

firing people via e-mail using a form letter

I didn't see anything explicitly claiming that the person was fired solely by e-mail (as opposed to being fired in person and getting the e-mail as an addendum), nor that the e-mail was a form letter.

A high turnover rate is an unambiguous indicator of bad management.

I work for the software division of a CPA firm, and I'm told the CPA side routinely has a certain proportion of junior employees stick around for a few years to get experience and then leave to go independent, while others stay longer and move up the ladder. It didn't sound particularly high, though, nor is it turnover-by-firing (firings have happened but are pretty uncommon).

more than 2 years ago

Matt Groening Reveals Springfield Is In His Home State of Oregon

emurphy42 Re:Wrong (148 comments)

From TFA:

Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon. ...
You’ve never said it was named after Springfield, Oregon, before, have you?
I don’t want to ruin it for people, you know? Whenever people say it’s Springfield, Ohio, or Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, wherever, I always go, "Yup, that’s right."

more than 2 years ago

After 60 Years, Tape Reinserts Itself

emurphy42 Re:Reinserts itself (312 comments)

Only if you get the Mobius tape, which costs extra.

more than 2 years ago

Open Source Payday

emurphy42 Re:Free? As in Freedom? (129 comments)

Here's how it works under the GPL: FAQ - Does the GPL allow me to sell copies of the program for money? Most of the info is behind the "right to sell copies" link. tl;dr: you can sell the binary for whatever price you want, but (1) you have to also provide the source at no additional cost (except reasonable shipping fees if you send physical media) and (2) the user can turn right around and sell the software for whatever price they want. AFAIK this is exactly what happens with Red Hat Enterprise Linux vs. CentOS, for instance; Red Hat doesn't charge for the software itself, only for support contracts (and I think some branded images/names/etc. which the CentOS team can swap out).

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Which Multiple Desktop Tool For Windows 7?

emurphy42 I'm happy with VirtuaWin + two extensions (359 comments)

...those extensions being KvasdoPager (preview widget in taskbar, supports drag+drop) and SwitchDesk (separate wallpaper per virtual desktop).

Sysinternals Desktops mentions some limitations up front. I don't remember whether I've tried any of the others.

more than 2 years ago

Google To Devs: Use Our Payment System Or Be Dropped

emurphy42 Re:Google's payment options (305 comments)

According to TFA, it's because "how do you want to pay for this?" is one more opportunity for the user to stop and think "meh, I don't, really". (But this could be mitigated by letting you set up a default method.)

more than 2 years ago


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