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Comments

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NTSB Recommends Lower Drunk Driving Threshold Nationwide: 0.05 BAC

gcnaddict Re:Mythbusters show just how impaired you are at . (996 comments)

Erm, no one has a right to drive let alone to have a certain amount of alcohol while driving.

Driving is a privilege earned by proving you have significant competence in controlling a two ton missile. It is a privilege revoked once proof exists to justify that you don't have that competence anymore. Adding an additional condition indicative of a lack of competence behind a roadgoing vehicle (regardless of how arbitrary one might think it seems) is within the bounds of the law because driving itself is a privilege.

Sorry to burst your utopian bubble there.

about a year ago
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3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

gcnaddict Re:Clip (1862 comments)

Agreed.
Clip versus Magazine

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do Coding Standards Make a Difference?

gcnaddict There was a post on /. (12/19) that answered this. (430 comments)

"How Experienced and Novice Programmers See Code

From one of the links:

I’m excited to see what else Mike’s research uncovers. One aspect he’s interested in is how the approach of inexperienced programmers differs from that of experienced programmers. For example, there seems to be some evidence that following variable naming conventions helps experienced programmers understand the code much quicker, while breaking these conventions leads to a severe penalty. On the other hand, inexperienced programmers seem to take about as long regardless of how the variables are named.

-Eric Holk

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Steeply Raising Enterprise Licensing Fees

gcnaddict Re:How to treat a loyal customer (571 comments)

Microsoft has worked long and hard to make sure that nobody can compete with them by erecting barriers to the free market.

What barriers to switching exist on a fully deployed enterprise Microsoft-based platform that wouldn't otherwise manifest itself on any other platform?

about a year and a half ago
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Half of GitHub Code Unsafe To Use (If You Want Open Source)

gcnaddict Re:Why? (218 comments)

...no, it's for the original coder(s) to build trust among the people using the programs.

about a year and a half ago
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Half of GitHub Code Unsafe To Use (If You Want Open Source)

gcnaddict Why? (218 comments)

But if you're not going to give anyone permission to use your code, why post it on GitHub in the first place?"

Lets say I stumble across a fantastic utility, and the source is open for me to view. I'll dive through the code and make sure I'm comfortable with its functionality (i.e. it's not doing anything I don't want it to do) before grabbing the tool.

I'm not using the code for my own projects. I'm just vetting the code. Plenty of developers throw code for small utilities up for exactly this reason, and the vast majority of the world is totally cool with it.

about a year and a half ago
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Hackers Stole Information From IAEA Servers

gcnaddict It's an Iranian attack group. (55 comments)

Parastoo means swallow (as in the bird) in Farsi, for anyone wondering.

about a year and a half ago
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DOOM 3 BFG Edition On Github, Timed For Oculus Rift

gcnaddict No depth fail? (83 comments)

Is it just because it's still covered by US6384822? Or was there some other reason for why Carmack's Reverse wasn't included in this release?

about a year and a half ago
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AMD Licenses 64-bit Processor Design From ARM

gcnaddict Can we see (213 comments)

x86-64 and 64-bit ARM on the same chip?

I can see this being a remarkable selling point for Windows devices if both ARM and x86 code can execute on the same device without emulation.

about 2 years ago
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No Smiles At NJ Motor Vehicle Commission

gcnaddict Virginia has the same problem. (265 comments)

It's also worth noting that Virginia sued Northrop either last year or two years ago for issues over creating driver's licenses, so I suspect New Jersey decided to also contract with Northrop for the same system.

Oh well, their loss. Everyone in VA looks like a serial killer on their black-and-white photos.

about a year ago
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NASA Releases HiRISE Images of Curiosity's Descent

gcnaddict Re:Freaking incredible. (220 comments)

You're not the first to think that, either. The same message was conveyed by the BadAstronomy blog when the same such shot was released from Phoenix.

Think on this, and think on it carefully: you are seeing a manmade object falling gracefully and with intent to the surface of an alien world, as seen by another manmade object already circling that world, both of them acting robotically, and both of them hundreds of million of kilometers away.

Never, ever forget: we did this. This is what we can do.

about 2 years ago
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NASA Releases HiRISE Images of Curiosity's Descent

gcnaddict I'm sure most of you already know this, (220 comments)

I neglected to mention the obvious point in my submission that this was HiRISE's second such shot.

http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/phoenix-descent.php

The first shot of the sort was this one from the Phoenix lander.

about 2 years ago
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Bill Would Force Patent Trolls To Pay Defendants' Legal Bills

gcnaddict Re:Heh, the bill isn't bad (167 comments)

The legislation appears intended to cause potential plaintiffs to reconsider, with the secondary benefit of codifying an already-implemented tactic.

I agree with you in that the legislation should be unnecessary, but perhaps it's needed as a deterrent.

about 2 years ago
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Bill Would Force Patent Trolls To Pay Defendants' Legal Bills

gcnaddict Heh, the bill isn't bad (167 comments)

6 ‘‘ 285A. Recovery of litigation costs for computer
7 hardware and software patent
8 ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding section 285, in
9 an action disputing the validity or alleging the infringe-
10 ment of a computer hardware or software patent, upon
11 making a determination that the party alleging the in-
12 fringement of the patent did not have a reasonable likeli-
13 hood of succeeding,
the court may award the recovery of
14 full costs to the prevailing party, including reasonable at-
15 torney’s fees, other than the United States.

The language allows the judge presiding over the case to effectively determine whether the case was a frivolous case, meaning there's a decent chance that this won't deter legitimate patent suits. That said, only time will tell.

about 2 years ago
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Author Kills DarkComet Spyware After Syria Uses It

gcnaddict Interesting. (50 comments)

So this was... legal malware? Can someone clue me in on the history of this utility? As far as I can tell, this looks like proof-of-concept/research malware designed to be used for testing purposes, but that's the best I can gather.

more than 2 years ago
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ADA May Force Netflix To Provide Closed Captioning On Content

gcnaddict Serious question: (694 comments)

What if Netflix doesn't consider the deaf to be its target audience and specifically indicates this fact? Why can a private service which requires people to pay before viewing content be forced to accommodate people who may not be their target market?

By this same token, a duochrome-colorblind person can petition for color-adjusted films. A blind person can request a specific voice feed that describes the actions of the characters in a film, and so forth. Why not just let some other service create closed captions for deaf viewers to subscribe to?

more than 2 years ago
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Judge Rules API's Can Not Be Copyrighted

gcnaddict Re:Good to Know (365 comments)

via c|net:

On many days, the San Francisco courtroom where he presided was more like a computer science classroom. Alsup acknowledged during the trial that he had learned about Java coding to better prepare for the case, and it showed. On a daily basis, he would deftly query the lawyers and expert witnesses on the structure, sequence, and organizations of APIs to assist the jury in understanding the key facets of the copyright phase of the trial.

This is why I have respect for Judge Alsup. In order to apply the law in a complex engineering-related case, he worked to learn the subject matter in order to properly apply the law to the material. That's how I expect every Judge should apply the law rather than just sit and "trust the experts" per-se.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Security Blunder Exposes Lion Login Passwords In Clear Text

gcnaddict We have QA processes which automatically detect (205 comments)

things such as debug logs during testing.

Does Apple have no such thing? This leads me to think that Apple either has no development lifecycle or, in case they have one, only half-heartedly obey it.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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CO2 Effects on Plants Can Increase Global Warming

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Bryant writes "Counterintuitive as it may seem, increased exposure by vegetation to carbon dioxide can actually lead to an increase in global warming. As discovered by scientists with the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, it turns out that higher levels of carbon dioxide gas can actually constrict the stomata (the pores, essentially vents for gas exchange used by plants and typically located on leaves) and lead to a drop in water released by the plants, hindering evaporative cooling."
Link to Original Source
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Why Windows Doesn't Mean Windows Anymore

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Bryant (841664) writes "Microsoft took a brand (ahem) new approach to their Windows Mobile platform with the Metro UI. The catch: there are no windows in Windows Phone 7. In fact, the concept itself is completely opposite from how Windows works. Microsoft fell back on the Windows Phone 7 name for the sake of benefiting from positive mental association, but the long-term risk is that the Windows brand no longer has a rock-solid definition of what it is, which risks turning Windows into a meaningless brand. To top it off, this isn't the first time Microsoft butchered product branding for some form of short-term gain."
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GM Unveils Android OnStar Mobile App

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Bryant writes "Yesterday at CES, OnStar and Chevrolet demonstrated a mobile app and separate web interface which can remotely lock, unlock, and charge the Chevy volt, as well as notify the user in th event that a process, such as a vehicle charge, is interrupted (thereby giving you a heads up if someone unplugs your car). Though the Droid is the only Android model which supports the preview build of the app, Android isn't the only platform getting it. Walt Dorfstatter did state that both the iPhone and the BlackBerry Storm will also get the app, and while both the iPhone and Storm apps should be available by the time you read this, nothing was dropped offhand as being in the works for Windows Mobile or other platforms."
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When Software Leaks (And What Really Goes Down)

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Bryant writes "The Windows community is somewhat notorious for leaks from upcoming versions of Windows (obligatory link to this guy since that's most of what he does), and while the official PR word from Microsoft and many other companies with regards to leaks is a simple "no comment," no one has really gotten a candid, inside look at the various things that go down when word, screenshots, or builds of upcoming software leak. I managed to get some time with a senior Microsoft employee for the sake of discussing leaks, and the conclusions reached (leaks heavily affect communication, not so much the product schedule) as well as what these guys actually have to deal with whenever someone leaks a build, breaks an embargo, etc. may actually be a surprise given what most companies try to instill in the public mind."
Link to Original Source
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FSF's Windows 7 Sins Campaign Violates Own Beliefs

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Bryant writes "It seems the Free Software Foundation, in their latest campaign against closed source, may have committed an egregious sin of their own. The content of their latest campaign is licensed, perhaps against their own ideals, under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License (ironically, their choice of license does not prohibit commercial redistribution of their work). Furthermore, they may have actually nullified their own license by infringing on Microsoft's intellectual property. The campaign itself leads some to question whether the FSF might be squandering funds on what may come off as a campaign of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, an accusation perhaps given credibility by their latest efforts to contact Fortune 500 companies, a step typically unusual for them. What are your thoughts: is the Free Software Foundation doing free open source software any good with their campaigns, or might their campaigns simply be causing more problems than they solve?"
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Windows 7 E users can still download a browser.

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bryant writes "Rafael Rivera (of Within Windows fame) decided to dig deep into Windows yet again and, this time, managed to find a rather ingenious workaround for downloading a browser on Windows 7 E. It's a win-win for everyone involved, as it allows Windows users to download a browser through Windows Media Player and it gives Microsoft advertising revenue. The trick involves using the Windows Media Player media guide to grab a browser through advertisements provided on the guide site, thus giving Microsoft some advertising revenue and yourself a browser which you can use to, well, browse the internet. The fact that Windows Media Player can actually still render web pages also means that Trident is still in Windows 7 E, which also poses a few other interesting questions."
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Windows 7 Home Premium to sport family licensing?

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bryant writes "Blogger Kristan Kenney discovered a clause in the EULA of the RTM candidate builds which suggests that Microsoft is planning a family licensing pack for Windows 7. While this isn't anything new (Microsoft has done this for Windows Vista as well), the fact that it hasn't been announced before the discount seems to have some people upset. Ed Bott suggests that Microsoft would be most successful pricing this at $189.99, which is more expensive than three discounted upgrade licenses for Home Premium while remaining ten dollars cheaper than Apple's Snow Leopard family pack, thus keeping contented everyone who took the bait on the discount."
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"Colossal magnetic effect," a tech revolut

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bryant writes "Scientists with the Carnegie Institution for Science have discovered what could bring yet another massive advance in memory and storage. The discovery, a magnetoresistence literally "up to 1000 times more powerful" than the Great Magnetoresistence Effect discovered roughly 20 years ago which led to one of the major breakthroughs in memory, seems to be a result of high-pressure interactions between Manganites. Manganites aren't new to this game; MRAM uses Manganite layers to achieve the Magnetic Tunnel Effect needed to keep the state of memory stable. Applying significant amounts of pressure to known tech-useful materials isn't a new trick; slashdotters might recall the recent breakthrough with Europium superconductivity thanks to similar high-pressure antics."
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Internet Explorer 8 can be removed from Windows 7

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bryant writes "The latest leaked build (7048) of Windows 7 allows users to remove Internet Explorer 8 (steps included). Given that this change was added after Beta 1, the odds of this persisting into Windows 7 RC or even RTM are pretty high. Granted, this only removes iexplore.exe and reconfigures Windows not to complain, but it's a step in the right direction for those who believe in the ultimate in free choice. The remaining IE8 components and dependencies only exist to let IE-dependent Windows components run without problems."
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Windows 7 Beta 1's CEIP causes rampant crashing

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 5 years ago

JasonM (841664) writes "A blogger recently discovered a nasty bug in Microsoft's implementation of the customer experience improvement program which causes various subsystems feeding the CEIP to repeatedly fail, leading users to format and reinstall Windows 7 only to run into the same problem yet again. The problem, as Bryant of AeroXP later uncovered, isn't so much the fact that things in a beta OS are crashing. Rather, it's with the fact that the very feedback mechanisms Microsoft is relying upon to improve Windows 7 are themselves failing and causing other parts of the operating system to fail as well."
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Windows 7 Superbar is in the PDC build.

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bryant writes "The Windows 7 superbar is in build 6801, the build handed out to PDC attendees last week, and was concealed by twelve elaborate checks. In the end, all it took was one flipped bit to conquer these twelve checks and load the hidden UI elements. The patch (and documentation) is available here, but the build must be found on your own."
Link to Original Source
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Does New York Hate The Dark Knight?

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 6 years ago

conhopper writes "People keeping track of The Dark Knight's percentage of fresh/rotten reviews on Rotten Tomatoes seem to have picked up on an interesting trend: They are all New Yorkers (reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 respectively). In addition to three of them sharing the name "David," I personally thought it was an odd coincidence that these five reviewers either live in New York, write for a New York-centric publication or are a member of a New York film critics group. Why does New York hate The Dark Knight?"
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Microsoft's "Blueprint" for Windows 7

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bryant writes "Up until now, people had no idea what Microsoft was using as its guidelines for Windows 7. Now that Microsoft's 'pillars' for Windows 7 are public, people can get a general idea of where Microsoft will take it's next client operating system. The five pillars have a number of target usage scenarios which Microsoft plans to fulfill sometime between the Beta 1 and Beta 2 milestones (putting it into context, Windows 7 is still pre-alpha). Each pillar specializes on a particular aspect of use: specializing for laptops, designing for services, personalizing computing for everyone, optimizing for entertainment, and engineering for ease of ownership. I've included a few screenshots to show some examples of Microsoft's early partial implementations of some of the scenarios within the pillars.
Due to the fact that Windows 7 is still very early in development, all of this could (but likely won't) change."
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Microsoft forces automatic updates yet again

gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bryant writes "Microsoft has done it again with another forced update and reboot for Windows Vista users on patch tuesday. This comes despite people setting Automatic Updates so that the updates do not install without a user's consent."
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gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 7 years ago

gcnaddict (841664) writes "Seems like those pictures of the Mobile Metro which were shown off were nothing more than marketing concepts. Unlike the last time the Metro hit the front page, there's actually video footage of the sleek notebook being used. It's mostly limited to the e-ink display, but you can also get a glimpse of the keyboard seen in those concept photos. There's also some quick time with a new LG Sideshow-enabled laptop, the old ASUS Sideshow concept laptop which eventually became the ASUS W5Fe, and a weird little technology demo with what looks to be a Samsung Q1P modded in order to support Sideshow on the main display. You can catch the full 1080p video here (Reduced to a torrent, it seems)."
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gcnaddict gcnaddict writes  |  more than 7 years ago

gcnaddict (841664) writes "Seems like those pictures of the Mobile Metro which were shown off were nothing more than marketing concepts. Unlike the last time the Metro hit the front page, there's actually video footage of the sleek notebook being used. It's mostly limited to the e-ink display, but you can also get a glimpse of the keyboard seen in those concept photos. There's also some quick time with a new LG Sideshow-enabled laptop, the old ASUS Sideshow concept laptop which eventually became the ASUS W5Fe, and a weird little technology demo with what looks to be a Samsung Q1P modded in order to support Sideshow on the main display."

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