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Comments

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New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

iamacat Never saw a less decisive company (251 comments)

MFC? Visual Basic? Bastardized Java? .Net? Silverlight? Windows CE? Windows Phone? Windows RT? It seems that if you stay with Microsoft, either as a user or as a developer, you will never be able to become an expert in what you do and capitalize on your investment in software and skills. Back in the days of VB6 and IE6, Microsoft was largely untouchable because of the rich ecosystem of useful 3rd party software and libraries as well as universal user familiarity.

By killing everything that works, Microsoft is making competitors lives easy as they can make users comfortable by just keeping things the same. Objective C is still well-supported on MacOSX and iOS. Oracle is sticking with Java as server software development language. First users and developers of Android and Chromebooks will still find a familiar environment.

I hope they actually tough it out and NOT kill Metro and its charms bar. While they are highly irritating to me personally, there are still millions of users for whom this was first experience with Windows and they would rebel at yet another breaking change. Keep them as an option and well supported until and unless users truly lose interest.

about a week ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

iamacat Probably an incredible design (194 comments)

The software detects weak signals from damaged nerves to usefully move fingers of the prostetic arm. This is no floppy bird. There was probably an incredible amount of difficulty to get the thing working in the first place and the issue of backup was left for later. One day these things would be both modular and not cost $70k.

about a week ago
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Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

iamacat It's one frigging process (810 comments)

How much effort does it take to create a systemd service wrapper to run init.d scripts, run sysvinit from systemd or run both independently. My guess is a week of work for a competent developer. If nobody is willing to invest this much time, people should stop grumbling and accept that minor changes like that are inevitable.

about a week ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

iamacat Java or JVM? (508 comments)

As long as the later is adequate, success of the former is immaterial. A language like Scala that runs on top of JVM can make full use of availability of the platform and libraries of existing code. For me, the biggest limitations of JVM seem to be 2^32-1 limit on array indices and no option for explicit, real time memory management. Perhaps experts greater than me can comment more. Does byte code provide enough information to support vector instructions of modern CPUS/GPUS?

about a week ago
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NVIDIAs 64-bit Tegra K1: The Ghost of Transmeta Rides Again, Out of Order

iamacat LLVM (125 comments)

Why not have all applications ship in LLVM intermediate format and then have on-device firmware translate them according to exact instruction set and performance characteristics of the CPU? By the time code is compiled to ARM instruction set, too much information is lost to do fundamental optimization, like vectorizing loops if applicable operations are supported.

about three weeks ago
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NVIDIAs 64-bit Tegra K1: The Ghost of Transmeta Rides Again, Out of Order

iamacat Re:Static scheduling always performs poorly (125 comments)

One critical piece of information which is available JUST BEFORE time and not much earlier is which precise CPU/rest of device the code is running on! I don't buy that an OOO processor can do as good of a job optimizing for than in real time than a JIT compiler that has 100x time to do its work. If a processor has cache prefetch/test instructions, these can be inserted "hundreds of cycles" before memory is actually used. OOO can work around a single stall, but how about a loop that accesses 128K of RAM, with start location and size discoverable far in advance the actual access.

I think it's obvious that in the ideal world, with unlimited power and money budget, you would do both. If you have to choose, well you take your best guess and go with it.

about three weeks ago
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Oracle Database Redaction Trivial To Bypass, Says David Litchfield

iamacat Missing the point (62 comments)

Database access should be already restricted by firewalls and to in-house developers/administrators. This is just a way to ensure they don't routinely get exposed to private information and then leak it in e-mails, bug reports and so on. It is understood that they can get to data if they are really determined, although database queries are usually audited and most should be deterred by potential consequences.

Ordinary users would access data through middleware that will return appropriate data subsets for their roles in the company. Like, not credit cards for most employees.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Tip Leads To Child Porn Arrest In Pennsylvania

iamacat Hold on to your DVD backups (353 comments)

We all know what kind files they will scan for next. Because MPAA/RIAA are way more important than children!

about a month ago
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Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell

iamacat Ancient history (387 comments)

A better question is what testosterone level increases one's chances of passing on the genes TODAY. And the answer seems to be clear. Maybe evolutionary pendulum swung too far and the nature is trying to compensate.

about a month ago
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Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

iamacat Re:GCC is Open Source (739 comments)

Yes, but want to bet that the bug ONLY happens with gcc 4.9 is compiled with gcc 4.9?

about a month ago
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Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

iamacat Re:Who does not have a computer in 2014? (91 comments)

Salvation army should take computers in good working order. The problem is that support and education need to go along with hardware. Your box should at least be able to run modern software and come with installation media for the same for someone to be able to support it.

about a month ago
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Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

iamacat Re:Tablets are cheap (91 comments)

Tablets are not the answer for serious learning. Chromebooks may be, with good guidance on finding educational websites.

about a month ago
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Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

iamacat Would computer itself be a limiting factor today? (91 comments)

Chromebooks are $200 new. Figure in used and people who can not afford one are in more urgent need of assistance in other areas of their lives. Once you have one, there are plenty of online tools for education, even coding.

Internet connections are a biggie. If anyone in the family has a cell plan, tethering would be an option. It would be a huge help if wireless providers donated access, even to a very limited plan with low speed and only selected educational sites.

about a month ago
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EA Tests Subscription Access To Game Catalog

iamacat Subscription and small catalog don't go together (63 comments)

I would consider buying a bundle outright, but I don't see for whom this is going to make sense. The whole point of Netflix is that you can continuously watch new movies and don't have to buy many from other sources. Here I will only like a portion of already small catalog and will still need to keep buying non-EA games. This kind of offering should really be done by Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft with games from many publishers.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space?

iamacat Resell/donate (208 comments)

Since you don't have a specific use for these servers, it's best to find someone who does. This could be a godsend for another small company that will be able to start it's services immediately rather than waiting for presumably more expensive new servers to arrive.

about a month ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

iamacat Re:Paid updates? (281 comments)

Do you prefer the current situation of no updates or low quality updates? That $30 will save you $400 if you are happy with your phone for another year.

about a month ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

iamacat Re:It is HARD to support non-shipping devices (281 comments)

They also have a much more limited number of devices, less 3rd party hardware and continued app/music/movies/books income stream from old hardware. One result is better support, but beware of trade offs.

about a month ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

iamacat Paid updates? (281 comments)

Would you pay $29.99 to update your device to a new version of iOS or Android? If so, I am sure you would get much better/longer support - more in line with Windows updates on existing hardware than current mobile status quo. But if most people figure they would rather get a new device as soon as their mobile contract is up for renewal every two years, why should device manufacturers care about support anything beyond this time?

In truth, contract subsidizes are not good for users by hiding the total cost they end up paying for their device. Most WOULD be better of paying for a higher quality OS update to make their $800 phone last 3-4 years instead of 2. We should also include full environmental cost of mining and recycling toxic elements of modern electronics into the device price. If someone can make these last longer rather than creating more pollution, they should have a solid incentive to do so.

about a month ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

iamacat It is HARD to support non-shipping devices (281 comments)

If you plan to support new code base on old devices at all, development of a large project will result in hundreds of decision points where you can either have more features and faster or easier to maintain code on shipping hardware or better performance on discontinued devices. Just how much effort would YOU spend in the later, especially with a hard deadline coming up?

A new OS is also likely to create new demands on device drivers. How much support are you going to get from the manufacturers after they have discontinued the hardware, got out of an entire area of business or simply went belly up? Anyone who has a working knowledge of the chipset could already have left the company or be engaged on other pressing projects.

I think the most realistic solution is to release all available and legally unconstrained knowledge about the platform to community so that they can provide solutions like CyanogenMod as long as there is sufficient interest. In the meantime, try to treat free updates to discontinued hardware as a glass half full. The vendor has spent millions of dollars developing, testing and certifying it, with no commercial gains for itself besides reputation.

about a month ago

Submissions

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ExtJS is trying to back down on LGPL

iamacat iamacat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

iamacat (583406) writes "For years, ExtJS was dual licensed under commercial license and LGPL. Now they decided to switch to GPL or commercial in an attempt to cash in on their popularity by pushing LGPL users into their commercial license. This is their right as code's owners. The catch? Jack Slocum of ExtJS is now claiming that their product was never licensed under LGPL and is threatening to sue people who redistribute old versions as such. That despite the previous license stating "Ext is also licensed under the terms of the Open Source LGPL 3.0 license". The author of a related project, gwt-ext, speaks out."
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iamacat iamacat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iamacat writes "Jack Valenti died shortly after a stroke after leading MPAA for nearly four decades. His obituary describes him as "a showman, a gentleman, an orator and a passionate champion of this country, its movies and the enduring freedoms that made both so important to this world". Let's all mark the April 26 as a day to mourn passing of a great gentleman who lobbied so hard for our freedoms."

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