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Comments

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HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Will it run Linux? (181 comments)

That's not the issue: Since virtually all (x86) systems built later than 2010 are 64-bit, the expected case is 64 bit UEFI. Contemporary linux distributions don't even bat an eye at booting on a 64-bit system with 64-bit UEFI (well, there are a lot of ugly details under the surface, probably enough to keep several devs more or less permanently alcoholic; but the user doesn't need to see that).

However, there are a few edge cases that really haven't gotten enough attention and/or love to smooth them over: Apple has some older models with 32-bit EFI, and 64-bit CPUs, that are a bit weird, and there was a period where MS/Intel was using 32-bit Atom processors, with UEFI and no BIOS fallback, in order to hit aggressive price points for 'win-tablet' systems. These are a huge pain to boot to anything except the OS they were designed for; because distributions with good UEFI support almost always expect 64-bit CPUs, and 32-bit distros almost always expect BIOS booting.

There may be others; but the 'clover trail' based hardware that uses Z2760 or similar atom processors is what I'm talking about.

2 days ago
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HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:How does it handle Pinterest? (181 comments)

The laptops are based on the Celeron N2840, with 2GB of RAM. I can't seem to find much in the way of benchmarks; but I suspect that they are surprisingly adequate. What is a bit surprising is that the the N2840 has a quoted tray price of $107, so either Intel is cutting HP one hell of a deal, or I don't even want to know what HP cobbled the rest of the system together from...

2 days ago
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HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:No touchscreen by default (181 comments)

Two different product lines: one is cheapy laptops(and since a touchscreen adds a nontrivial hit to the BOM, these don't come with them) and the other is inexpensive 7 and 8 inch tablets (which do have touchscreens, since they don't have keyboards or touchpads).

2 days ago
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HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Will it run Linux? (181 comments)

I would be interested, if I didn't have to run Windows on it.

You might want to be a bit careful, some of the ultra-cheap Windows devices are UEFI only; but 32 bit, which freaks most Linux installers out; but these are not Windows RT machines, so they will not be cryptographically locked out.

Time, and experimentation, will tell how good compatibility actually is; but it should be markedly easier than any Windows RT device, and honestly quite probably easier than doing a Linux port to a lot of common Android devices(yes, bodging a headless debian userland or something onto an Android system is easy; but getting X, using a mainline kernel, or not using bionic, less so...)

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Multimedia-Based Wiki For Learning and Business Procedures?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Bingo. (97 comments)

TFA doesn't provide enough detail to know for sure; but the problem may also be with expectations about what the system can do.

"Training" video snippets, regurgitated by various 'learning management systems' are something to be treated very carefully. Video tends to be slow and have poor information density as reference material(for, say, the arcana of some ghastly line-of-business software mess); but are also fairly shallow, and a bit condescending, as a substitute for a little hands-on guidance for your first time through a more complex activity. Does your company really deal in tasks so simple that a few youtube snippets can get you up to speed, or such churn that your colleagues can't spare some time to get to know the new guy?

(This is not to say that documentation isn't vital, it is, no human can be reasonably expected to remember all the arcane details; but 'reference material for people familiar with the task' and 'drool-proof intro videos' are extraordinarily different things.)

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Multimedia-Based Wiki For Learning and Business Procedures?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:A content problem (97 comments)

A wiki is a perfectly adequate CMS, if so configured, and if this is basically a vehicle for slinging video snippets at people the details of formatting are hardly going to be your biggest problem.

The more fundamental problem is that "Content management" and "Content" are fundamentally different things, and it's not a difference of degree. There is no CMS so brilliant, even in principle, that it will produce a single line of information for you. The best you can hope for is a system that auto-magics the production of indexes, bibliographies, other organizational stuff, and doesn't munge the formatting into unreadability.

You'd be better off with 'content' that is actually worthwhile tacked together with threadbare HTML hacked out in notepad than you would be with the finest of all possible CMSes and nothing to put in it...

3 days ago
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State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Rent a Tesla for $1 (335 comments)

If congress felt like passing a law regulating the matter, the interstate commerce clause would allow them to roll over the various state laws quite trivially(it's a very, very, elastic clause in general, and this would actually be pretty close to its intended use...); but 'Congress shall have the power' is not the same as 'Congress must exercise the power' to regulate interstate commerce.

Should a conflict arise, the states would be toast on this one; but it hasn't, yet.

3 days ago
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State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Rent a Tesla for $1 (335 comments)

Do you have a theory on what grounds Tesla could use to take the matter to court? Pure vexatious litigation isn't going to work against a target of this size, and it's far from obvious that anything is legally out of order with these assorted state bans.

Were the feds to take an interest, it'd be virtually certain that anything congress put out would supersede the state laws under the usual interstate commerce argument; but they haven't, so that isn't relevant for the moment. If they want to go to court, they'll need some argument about why the laws are legally unsound.

4 days ago
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The Odd Effects of Being Struck By Lightning

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Who would have guessed (191 comments)

What is interesting, though, is how relatively subtle the changes are. Death and/or ghastly electrical burns? Unpleasant; but likely enough. It's the relatively modest changes to things like personality or perceived energy level that really take some unraveling.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Obviously! (179 comments)

In fairness, I was being a trifle hyperbolic(I figure that I've done my job when I manage a post that is insightful and funny enough that you don't select 'flamebait'; but nasty enough that you are tempted); but I do think that there is more than a bit of truth to it.

For the sake of fairness, some 'dashboards' do suck because they are all trees and no forest: a hell of a lot of blinky lights and numbers that look great on a display wall; but historical data are unavailable or buried and hard to turn into comparisions/health-over-time displays, and the arrangement as a whole is strongly biased in favor of spewing data as though data were actually equal to knowledge and understanding at the expense of being able to get a sense of what is actually going on.

However, that's not an argument in favor of reports, it's an argument against 'dashboards' that suck. A good dashboard should be malleable enough to provide a coherent historical overview, over the desired period, at a suitably chosen level of detail. A 'report'; but fully dynamic and drawing on the same basis as the 'dashboard'.

If the dashboard sucks, it needs fixing; but there does seem to be an aesthetic thing (the effect is strongest in movies/games about naval or spaceship combat: lots of minions, huddled over viewscreens, sometimes physically below the command dais in little peon pits, while the CO stands against a dramatic backdrop, touching none of the systems, operating at such a high level that occasional verbal interactions with his inferiors, and deliveries of summaries by the yoeman, tell him everything he needs to know. ). Yes, all moderately complex, or worse, systems are too big for any one person, and different people need different views; but if you think that you are so important that your view should differ in kind, rather than in configuration, you are mistaken.

5 days ago
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NASA Expands Commercial Space Program

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Can somebody fill me in? (24 comments)

TFA makes it sound like this is a relatively significant shift from in-house to contract work for NASA; but I've also read stuff over the years that gave the impression that a lot of 'in-house' NASA projects had, either as entire programs or as significant subcomponents, major involvement from various contractors, mostly the same ones that crop up in military/aerospace work.

Does this move represent an actual change in NASA's in-house capabilities, or is it more of a shift between "NASA Project: virtually all details brought to you by Lockeed-Martin" and "NASA just pays SpaceX to do the whole thing and present the results"?

I don't really want to get bogged down in a slugfest over whether it's a good thing or not(unless somebody has an interesting perspective on 'morale among directly-hired-by-NASA engineers' or some other actual information, not just a regurgitation of the usual talking points on in-house, contract, and COTS; but I would like to know what this shift represents: is NASA actually cutting back in favor of buying off-the-shelf, or is NASA just switching from 'contractors do most of the work, overall program is theoretically NASA' to 'Contract is for finished product, NASA is buying results, not parts.'

5 days ago
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John Carmack's Oculus Connect Keynote Probably Had Samsung Cringing

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Samsung stockholder applause? (88 comments)

I'm amazed that Samsung was willing to work with him in the first place. To judge by their products, you can't do product development for Samsung unless your resume is utterly devoid of software that anybody would ever want to use.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Obviously! (179 comments)

It all comes down to movie psychology: A 'dashboard' is basically just a boring web based equivalent to the rows of screens and blinking lights and things that the jumpsuited minions hunch over, monitoring feverishly. A 'report' is the thing (piece of paper, datapad, etc. depending on era) that an obsequious yoeman hands to The Leader while he stands in a super-decisive Master and Commander pose in a suitably dramatic part of the set. The Leader then glances at the report and, thanks to the powers of decisive leadership, immediately gleans the relevant information and issues an order to rally his underlings.

'Dashboard' (while more useful) is basically a giant blinking signal that you are a peon, a cog in the machine. 'Report' is the executive summary with all the tedious detail drained out so that you can focus on being a big picture thinker and indispensable idea guy. It's like the difference between the giant bundle of keys that the janitor has (which can get you anywhere in the building; but show you to be a blue collar lackey) and the single RFID card that opens the suites on the top floor.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:LastPass, 1Password, KeePass....all impossible (191 comments)

The real hell is going to be administration:

The big perk of single-sign-on (aside from keeping users from spewing crap passwords) is how nicely it centralizes the credential management. Create a new account? Do it in one place. Lock an account? One place. Change a password, one place. The fact that the user sees very few login screens aside from the initial one is a nice bonus; but not really the major perk for IT.

The assorted password managers in common use are Not aimed at 'faking' single-sign-on. They are aimed at helping a single user remember the credentials they create. If you scrounge, you can probably find an installer that can be automated and deployed; but actually provisioning the stored keys automatically? Automatically updating/reseting/etc. passwords across a zillion 3rd party services? You. Are. Screwed. Best case, roaming profiles, network home directories, or a little folder redirection will ensure that the user gets the same password store on any computer they log in to; but it will still be up to them not to make a total mess of it(and they will).

There is no hope. Honestly, your best bet is probably kidnapping family members of your vendors and threatening to release them in bits sized to fit a matchbox until your vendor gets off their ass and gets AD/OpenDirectory integration working.

about a week ago
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Stanford Promises Not To Use Google Money For Privacy Research

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Money is fungible (54 comments)

Honestly, that makes the whole thing seem even weirder and sleazier:

If the restrictions are actually so tepid that fungibility allows a simple reorganization of a few internal payments and no actual changes, then why would anybody bother to have them? Is somebody involved in the process actually that dumb or that petty?

If the restrictions are there for reasons that aren't dumb or petty and spiteful, then one has to be nervous about how they are working, what other mechanisms might be in place to help achieve the same goal, and so on. Given that they are embarrassing, they would not be in either Google or Stanford's interest if they had no other effects besides potential embarrassment. Unless there's a loose idiot involved, somebody thought that they were worth the risk of writing down, possibly for good reasons...

about a week ago
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Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Third option (421 comments)

Tungsten might work. It won't actually perform any better; but it should make the phone prohibitively uncomfortable to carry in pocket.

about a week ago
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Now That It's Private, Dell Targets High-End PCs, Tablets

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Mind boggling (167 comments)

Statements like these are mindboggling.... "Because they are no longer reporting to Wall Street, they can be more competitive." Your share holders want you to maximize profits and growth, this rarely results in wanting you to be less competitive...

Only if you treat market rationality as axiomatic, rather than as something that requires empirical demonstration...

It is not beyond the realm of possibility; but it is hardly self evident.

about a week ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:Why did he lose tenure? (167 comments)

Indeed. I did not intend to imply that his allegations were true, so hopefully I didn't.

My point was just that, even according to his own alleged version of events, he was never stripped of tenure (at all, much less on the basis of anonymous comments), he just suffered loss of tenure when he had an unsuccessful transition between two jobs.

I have no way of telling whether his story is absolutely true or absolute bullshit; but either way it's much, much, less notable than the idea that he would directly lose tenure over these comments. Having an offer fall through sucks; but revoking the tenure of an already tenured faculty member is Serious Business. The article makes the timeline fairly clear; but the summary and some of the discussion made it seem more like he was stripped of tenure over some nasty internet comments, which would be real news.

about a week ago
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Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:all in all (221 comments)

I'm far from enough of a political scientist to say whether it's a matter of presidents drawing attention away from power, or a matter of president selection strongly reflecting the same factors that govern other areas of power allocation; but either way I'm having a hard time thinking of cases where killing the president will get you a new president with markedly different foreign policy attributes.

And, thanks to the combination of sheer size of government and the assorted more-than-slightly-creepy 'continuity' stuff they hashed out during the cold war, you'd really need to shoot Washington up to deplete the supply of people who are at least vaguely capable of keeping the status quo running for some time.

Ultimately, that's probably a better defense than the secret service could ever hope to be. If shooting the president were a good way to get a new president with substantially different behavior, it'd be worth it to a variety of interested parties with access to all sorts of dangerous toys. If it were a way to paralyze the American state, it would likely be even more interesting. In absence of those cases, you get a variety of dubiously rational actors and some domestic grudge settling, and most such attempts are far less competent and conducted on a relative shoestring.

about a week ago
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Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus Re:For today, yes; in the future, mostly no. (252 comments)

Ah, sorry. I thought you were referring to improved tower backhaul or similar technical upgrades, not the guys on the billing side of the office.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Massive DMCA takedown of anti-Scientology videos

fuzzyfuzzyfungus fuzzyfuzzyfungus writes  |  about 6 years ago

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) writes "The EFF reports that an entity by the name of American Rights Counsel LLC issued a massive number of DMCA takedown notices against youtube videos critical of Scientology. No word yet on who American Rights Counsel LLC is, or is working for, but I think we can all guess."
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1975 Wavemate Jupiter II Schematics

fuzzyfuzzyfungus fuzzyfuzzyfungus writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) writes "I've been forced to clean up my underground lair and I have unearthed a number of historical curiosities. Most notably a Wavemate Jupiter II computer, floppy disk peripheral, and full schematics. I've hit google and there seems to be almost no information about these things or the people who made them. Any chance that somebody here was connected to that system's history? Would people be interested in the documents if I were to digitize them?"

Journals

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WaveMate Jupiter II and Parts: Who wants some?

fuzzyfuzzyfungus fuzzyfuzzyfungus writes  |  more than 5 years ago So, a while back, I got my hands on a Wavemate Jupiter II. Vintage 1975, wire-wrap cardcage construction in a 4u rackmount case. Unfortunately, I am now moving, and don't have the space or time to hang onto this rather charming object.

I feel really bad throwing away a computer older than I am, so I'm looking for a good home for it. System includes the Jupiter II, the external dual 8 inch floppy drive, and a whole bunch of system schematics and documentation. Both pieces of hardware power up; but only one of the power supplies is good(the power supplies are interchangeable). It is heavy and probably a bit fragile, so local(Boston, MA area) pickup would be best.

If you are interested, leave a comment. If you know anybody who might be interested, have them leave a comment. If you aren't local; but are just that interested, we might be able to work some sort of shipping out, though it isn't my preference(a "no Nigerian princes who need my help to get US 20 Million out of the country" rule is naturally in effect).

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