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Comments

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Tesla Model S Hacking Prize Claimed

iluvcapra Re:Not how this is supposed to work... (59 comments)

In fact until they tell Tesla and give them some time to get a fix, they probably shouldn't tell the general public.

The hell you say! O_O

4 days ago
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Tesla Model S Hacking Prize Claimed

iluvcapra Not how this is supposed to work... (59 comments)

The security firm declined to reveal details at this point about how the hack was accomplished

So it could be a hoax, but more likely they're black-hatting in public view.

4 days ago
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Apple and IBM Announce Partnership To Bring iOS + Cloud Services To Enterprises

iluvcapra Re:PowerPC worked out for Apple ... (126 comments)

Or Wii's for that matter? A lotta STBs and consoles run PowerPC.

about a week ago
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Apple and IBM Announce Partnership To Bring iOS + Cloud Services To Enterprises

iluvcapra Re:PowerPC worked out for Apple ... (126 comments)

Oh so really true, and that is why consumers are inundated with power PC chips today...

Are we counting Xbox 360s and Playstations?

about a week ago
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How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators

iluvcapra Re:They nailed it 500 years ago (128 comments)

Careful, Richard Feynman once said something very similar about computer programming:

Well, Mr. Frankel, who started this program, began to suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you *play* with them. They are so wonderful. You have these switches - if it's an even number you do this, if it's an odd number you do that - and pretty soon you can do more and more elaborate things if you are clever enough, on one machine.

After a while the whole system broke down. Frankel wasn't paying any attention; he wasn't supervising anybody. The system was going very, very slowly - while he was sitting in a room figuring out how to make one tabulator automatically print arc-tangent X, and then it would start and it would print columns and then bitsi, bitsi, bitsi, and calculate the arc-tangent automatically by integrating as it went along and make a whole table in one operation.

Absolutely useless. We *had* tables of arc-tangents. But if you've ever worked with computers, you understand the disease - the *delight* in being able to see how much you can do. But he got the disease for the first time, the poor fellow who invented the thing.

about two weeks ago
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

iluvcapra Re:Good? (273 comments)

The next one will be automated "city cars" built by Google, that will pickup and drop off people at work and take them shopping and whatnot.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, such a car has yet to be demonstrated. Google's demo vehicles are incapable of taking riders anywhere apart from a set track of stops, like a Disneyworld people-mover ride.

There's still probably a need in some cities for street-hail livery, which is what classic yellow cabs are -- in NY you can wait 5-10 minutes for the Uber or hail a cab in 30 seconds, and frankly the cabbie will be less of a pain -- my experience with Uber drivers in Manhattan has been a pretty mixed bag. As long as humans are doing the driving it might still be advisable for the drivers to get background checks and have commercial licensing and insurance, such things are prudent and won't kill the magic free market pixies that flutter about e-hailed car services.

As I understand it, city governments have a few simple problems with Uber-

1) Ubers can avoid poor neighborhoods at will, and there's really nothing the city can do about it. I live in LA, and if you live in, say, Watts, you must call a cab if you want a car, no Uber will find you there, because it's "the ghetto" and there's never an Uber within 20 minutes. Taxis can be and are required to pick up from all parts of the city, and their statistics are closely monitored by regulators to make sure they do.

2) Uber's trip pricing structure is very free-markety but it conflicts with most city's basic taxi regs, wherein a trip's price is a fixed formula of distance and time, no special charge for time of day or pickup/destination location. Uber can't provide this, because they use rate premiums to recruit drivers. Again the system is completely open to various kinds of discrimination, and the pricing process is completely private and not open to any sort of public accountability or scrutiny -- even they drivers, who are nominally the service providers ("Uber is not a transportation company"), can't control it.

3) These of course lead to the more philosophical dispute, namely, Uber handles the hailing, transaction processing, driver and rider ratings, and branding of the interaction, but whenever there's any sort of trouble, Uber can vehemently claim they have nothing to do with the driver or the ride, that it's none of their business, and governments and harmed parties must direct all their laws and lawsuits at little sole proprietors. This is a little too clever by half for some people and while following the letter of the law tends to skirt the equities a little too close.

All of this is totally fine as long as e-hail livery is a "premium" service, but some cities rely on taxis as a critical part of the transport infrastructure, and that's when price disparities and availability blackouts start to be problematic, politically.

about three weeks ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

iluvcapra Re:Xiki Sucks.. (176 comments)

Also, what problems does it solve exactly?

It is yet another attempt by Rails developers to construct a web app IDE that squares with their idealism.

about three weeks ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

iluvcapra Re:ithkuil (176 comments)

We used to think something like a simple text web search was "too impercise" and you needed a hierarchical organization or semantic web to organize information on the Internet...

When the domain is restricted natural language can be quite sufficient- SHRDLU had a workable natural language system in the 1960s, and the relevant Siri/Android solutions today are quite up to the task of creating and copying logical objects, selection by attribute, transformation...

about three weeks ago
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Long-Lasting Enzyme Chews Up Cocaine

iluvcapra Re:Hmmm .... (73 comments)

And, this will do nothing at all to fight addiction.

Nope, but it will save lives from overdoses.

There's a line of reasoning that's somewhat common, it goes: "We should never do anything altruistic ever, because it will create a moral hazard, and the mere potential of moral hazard is always worse than concrete good." Similar arguments are used against drugs that treat opiate overdoses, and relatedly, drugs used to fight alcoholism. Some of this is bound up in the idea that addiction is a moral or character failing, or strictly a psychological disorder that can only be treated with therapy and "getting to the real problem," and anything else we do is simply palliative and forestalls treating the "real" problem.

To your point, what needs to be done is a real epidemiological study, to see if people really end up taking more drugs, or if the trauma of OD'ing, being revived by the paramedics and spending a week in the ER with heroic interventions isn't sufficient to make some people hit bottom and scare them straight.

about a month ago
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Long-Lasting Enzyme Chews Up Cocaine

iluvcapra Re:Hmmm .... (73 comments)

What's a secretary?

about a month ago
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Mt. Gox CEO Returns To Twitter, Enrages Burned Investors

iluvcapra Odd parallels (281 comments)

He is confirming that he is a self-absorbed narcissist with an inflated sense of self-confidence who has no remorse.

So basically he's just a Wall Street bankster, but with Bitcoins.

about a month ago
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Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

iluvcapra Re:Program pretends to be foreign child, not adult (309 comments)

Foreign, no cultural context, limited language skills -- It sounds like this AI is ready to be deployed at Dell technical support. (You laugh today.)

about a month and a half ago
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Whom Must You Trust?

iluvcapra Re:Why 'must' I trust? (120 comments)

There is no necessity to trust anyone.

Well, you're commenting on slashdot, so firstly, even if you've validated all your apps and system software against certificates, you're trusting a hardware vendor.

You're also trusting Dice Media not to /dev/null arbitrary comments.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

iluvcapra Re:Designed for safety & performance (636 comments)

The Apple people do some significant jiggery-pokery to keep the atomic retainCount mutations down to a minimum in the Objective-C runtime.

ARC makes a lot of deallocations deterministic and static, I'm not sure of the usage stats but the biggest graphs people have in running applications are usually either their UI View tree or their model object graph, the retain/release calls for the former generally reduces to a malloc/free after static analysis, and the latter lives almost solely in autorelease pools.

about 1 month ago
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In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism

iluvcapra Re:Actual Facts (389 comments)

I'm not saying it's OK, I'm just saying the assertion that the NSA is "currently breaking the law" is doubtful. They shouldn't be doing what they're doing, but if you have congress passing acts authorizing X, a president who's regulations basically affirm X, and courts that refuse to rule on X, that's sorta the definition of legal acts.

There's a difference between "legitimate" and "legal," the NSA is doing the latter, not the former. Snowden is (claiming) to do the former, and freely admits to be in violation of the latter.

about 2 months ago
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In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism

iluvcapra Re:Actual Facts (389 comments)

To be honest I'm not actually sure the NSA is breaking the law, they've got FISA rulings, the Protect America Act 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, all of which basically legitimize the known aspects of PRISM -- PRISM's who schtick is basically implementation of Title 50 USC 1881a. I don't think these laws are constitutional or legitimitate, but we'd need new law or a constitutional amendment to clear the air, because a lot of lawyers (and the SCOTUS for that matter) seem to disagree with me.

How can you advocate punishing Snowden while the NSA continues to break the law? At least Snowden is done with his law breaking.

I would definitely advocate trying Snowden.

about 2 months ago
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In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism

iluvcapra Re:Actual Facts (389 comments)

We have a right to know what our government is doing, and the people voting for these idiots are responsible, but that does not mean they agree with their candidates 100%.

I don't see what "agreeing" with a candidate's actions has to do with it, we're responsible wether we agree or not. We're responsible regardless of who we vote for, or even if we vote or not. If you're a citizen, you're responsible -- if you don't like the candidates, you're responsible for changing the system to produce better candidates. Nobody else is going to do it. It's counterproductive and obnoxious to always vote for some marginal third-party and loudly assert "none of this is MY fault!" Your job is bigger than just turning in a ballot.

Did you ever consider why third parties in the US always lose? A protip: if your theory of politics insists that commanding majorities of people are persistently lazy, stupid or evil, you've got a bad theory.

Considering the situation, why would anyone have an iota of respect for the ignorant general public?

This sentiment seems completely at odds with his stated intentions. Again, if your theory of politics...

Another false dichotomy you're setting up. It is possible to believe that the general public is being fooled by the government or is ignorant, and still believe that there is a non-zero chance that positive change could happen if things are leaked.

I think this chance is significantly lessened by his refusal to stand trial, and his insistence on disclosing information that's patently intended to weaken the data collection of western powers to the benefit of his benefactor, Russia. His loyalty and intentions are definitely in question -- his actions are either fantastically principled, or he's epic trolling all of us. Most epic trolls, however, tend to lose track of exactly how serious they are and how much they're trolling. In this sense I agree with you, and Snowden is definitely not one thing or the other, though I suspect he's so deluded that even he isn't sure how much he's serious and how much he's just doing this to troll authority.

Insofar as he's leaking classified information just to tr0ll authority, though, he definitely belongs in jail.

about 2 months ago
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In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism

iluvcapra Re:Actual Facts (389 comments)

That we elected someone does not give them a free pass to fuck everything up and say it's our fault.

It might not be our "fault," implying moral or direct culpability, but as citizens of a republic, the actions of our government are our responsibility, even if we didn't vote for the guy, even if we didn't vote at all. We have elections and we agree to be bound by the rules of them, and we confer great powers upon the people that win elections.

Do votes hold zero consequence for voters? If an elected leader does poorly, is it always just his fault, and the voters don't have to reconsider anything?

(I would add that, in the case of Bush, it's pretty clear the voters did want him to start wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, considering they reelected him by a healthy margin subsequent to those events, so I'm not even sure your concrete example applies. He didn't "fuck things up," he gave people pretty much what they wanted, they just wanted really fucked up things.)

about 2 months ago
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In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism

iluvcapra Re:Actual Facts (389 comments)

Again it's like this total double-bind. If you think that there's a good chance that people won't properly debate the NSA after you've released the information, if you don't trust the American people to take it all in and take responsible steps one way or the other, there's absolutely no reason to release the information in the first place.

Unless, of course, you're motivated by pique and a desire to embarrass powerful people and institutions, because you're a radical that just likes to break things.

about 2 months ago
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In First American TV Interview, Snowden Talks Accountability and Patriotism

iluvcapra Re:Actual Facts (389 comments)

but he doesn't trust that we'd see he'd have a fair trial.

He doesn't trust the US government. And no, just because someone voted for someone, that doesn't mean they agree with the candidate 100%.

We're responsible for the fairness of our trials, not our government. The government isn't some foreign occupier that imposes its justice on us. YOU were the one downthread who was arguing that we're obliged to know everything the government does, because we're responsible for what it does on our behalf. Either we're responsible for what our government does, thus we must know everything it does, or we aren't responsible, so we have no duty to know. If we must know, we ar responsible, so we are responsible for the fairness of Edward Snowden's trial.

This would make sense if Snowden had an iota of respect for the American people's wisdom and discernment, as opposed to his doctrinaire ideology, but as you intimate, he probably doesn't:

When it comes to actually trusting the American people to come through and deliver on their own ideals, he'd rather take his chances with Putin.

That's actually a good idea, sadly. The American people are stuck in the mentality that they need to vote for 'the lesser of the two evils', which allows the government to distract people with 'hot topics' like abortion, gay marriage, etc., while making them ignore all the other important issues.

Exactly, he thinks we're moronic sheeple that must be lead by the nose to his morally superior position. This is why his argument is ultimately irreconcilable with his actions -- he says he made his disclosures to encourage debate and to let people know what's really happening, but he's unwilling to stand trial because he's reasonably sure that while people are upset with PRISM, they're probably just fine with the NSAs global surveillance in general, a program that he has utterly betrayed. He says he does this on our behalf, but he won't dare take the chance we won't be grateful. You cannot claim to be an idealistic American while fighting for American ideals from a Moscow safe house.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Most Citizens of the Star Wars Galaxy are Functionally Illiterate

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  about 2 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "Ryan Britt at Tor.com makes a bit of analysis that I think we'd have some fun with, in agreement or otherwise:

Not once in any Star Wars movie does someone pick up a book or newspaper, magazine, literary journal, or chapbook handmade by an aspiring Jawa poet. [...]As early as the 1990s-era expanded Star Wars books and comic books, we’re introduced to ancient Jedi “texts” called holocrons, which are basically talking holographic video recordings. Just how long has the Star Wars universe been reliant on fancy technology to transfer information as opposed to the written word? Is it possible that a good number of people in Star Wars are completely illiterate?

Read the whole thing,"
Link to Original Source

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Google Allows Carriers to Ban Tethering Apps

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "Google, in its continuing struggle to provide phone carriers (if not its end users) with an open platform, is now banning tethering apps from the Android market. These apps haven't disappeared and can still be sideloaded, insofar as your carrier doesn't lock this functionality or snoop on your packets."
Link to Original Source
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Google, Handset Vendors at Odds over Openness

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "It would appear that now that Android has achieved a commanding share of the smartphone market, openness for the sake of openness is no longer a driving priority. Ashley Vance and Peter Burroughs report for Bloomberg on the latest phase of Google's consolidation of the Android platform:

Over the last couple of months Google has reached out to the major carriers and device makers backing its mobile operating system with a message: There will be no more willy-nilly tweaks to the software. No more partnerships formed outside of Google's purview. From now on, companies hoping to receive early access to Google's most up-to-date software will need approval of their plans. And they will seek that approval from Andy Rubin, the head of Google's Android group.

"

Link to Original Source
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Google Delaying Release of Honeycomb Source

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 3 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "BusinessWeek reports that Google will not be releasing the source code for Android Honeycomb "for the forseeable future." Android lead Andy Rubin is quoted, stating that if Google were to release the source for Honeycomb, Google would be unable to prevent it from being installed on mobile phones and "and creating a really bad user experience.""
Link to Original Source
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Apple/Verizon in Talks for iPhone-Like Devices

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 5 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "For those of you waiting vainly to get an iPhone that works with Verizon's service in the US (you know who you are, we won't make you admit it here), there comes this interesting story in BusinessWeek

Verizon Wireless is warming to the idea of an Apple (AAPL) partnership. Verizon Wireless is in talks with Apple to distribute two new iPhone-like devices, BusinessWeek has learned. Apple has created prototypes of the devices, and discussions reaching back a half-year have involved Apple CEO Steve Jobs, according to two people familiar with the matter.

One device is a smaller, less expensive calling device described by a person who has seen it as an "iPhone lite." The other is a media pad that would let users listen to music, view photos, and watch high-definition videos, the person says. It would place calls over a Wi-Fi connection.

"

Link to Original Source
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Audit the Stimulus at Home with RSS

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 5 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "In a remarkable provision of Peter Orzag's instructions for implementing the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act, the Office of Management and Budget has instructed all government units responsible for disbursing stimulus money to provide its weekly reports, communications and block grant information on an RSS feed. From the memo(PDF):

For each of the near term reporting requirements (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) agencies are required to provide a feed (preferred: Atom 1.0, acceptable: RSS) of the information so that content can be delivered via subscription. Note that the required information can be supplied in the feed or the feed can point to a file at the agency using the convention noted below. If an agency is immediately unable to publish feeds, the agency should post each near term information flow (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) to a URL directory convention suggested below: ...

"

Link to Original Source
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Apple Open-Sources Leopard Garbage Collector

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 5 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "Apple has open-sourced AutoZone, the garbage collector used in Mac OS X Leopard's Objective-C runtime, under the Apache v2 License. Despite its current use case in Objective-C, the engine itself is implemented in C and C++ and is described as "a fairly generic scanning, conservative, generational, multi-threaded, language agnostic, collector.""
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iPhone SDK Announced, Exchange, OpenGL Supported

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 6 years ago

iluvcapra writes "Apple has just wrapped up their iPhone development roadmap and here are the features to be presented with version 2.0, due in June: Push email and contacts, ActiveSync supporting Exchange, remote wipe. Several video games were demoed using the iPhone accelerometer and OpenGL on the iPhone, such as Spore and Super Monkeyball. SDK with development in Xcode was announced, performance suite and remote debugging of iPhone apps over the sync cable. Apple will sell apps through an iTunes-style store, that will work OTA from the iPhone or with the host computer. They will exercise control over which apps are vended over the system, and will split the sales on the system 70/30 with the developer (dev gets 70%)."
Link to Original Source
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NORAD's Santa Tracking Goes Web 2.0

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 6 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "NORAD Tracks Santa 2007, NORAD's perennial mission of tracking the progress of Santa's sleigh as he makes his yearly sortie, has gone Web 2.0 this year, including a Google Maps mashup showing Santa's current position on Earth (at time of submission, Keetmanshoop, Namibia), a KML link to let you track Santa on Google Earth, and plots and keyhole imagery on youtube.

My only question: When Santa crosses into the ADIZ, what does he set his squawk to?"

Link to Original Source
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US Democrats Accidently Publish Whistleblowers

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 6 years ago

iluvcapra writes "The US House Judiciary Committee recently emailed all of its potential whistleblowers information about how it was restructuring its whistleblower program. Unfortunately for its sources, it emailed them this information with their addresses in the "To:" field (and not the Bcc: field). It also cc:'d this email to the Vice President.

I'd like to think think this is some sort of ingenious subterfuge, but I'm doubtful."

Link to Original Source
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9th Circuit Very Skeptical of NSA Surveillance

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 6 years ago

iluvcapra (782887) writes "Yesterday before a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, the US government argued that two class action lawsuits against the government and AT&T should be dismissed, because to litigate them in open court would cause the revelation of state secrets. The lawsuits allege that the government has installed a vast system of electronic surveillance gear at internet gateways along the US west coast to monitor all internet traffic, and that this information is monitored without a warrant, even when both endpoints are domestic. The panel was extremely skeptical of the governments argument:

"Is it the government's position that when the country is engaged in a war, that the power of the executive when it comes to wiretapping is unchecked?" asked 83-year-old Judge Harry Pregerson, one of the court's staunchest liberals, of a Bush administration lawyer. "The king can do no wrong, is that what it comes down to?"


The government was unwilling to even provide a sworn affadavit that the eavesdropping was only of foreign correspondence. If the 9th Circuit allows the lawsuits to proceed, the government will appeal to the US Supreme Court."

Link to Original Source
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Google Cookies to Expire After 2 Years, was 30

iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  about 7 years ago

iluvcapra writes "Google has announced that the cookies set on clients visiting its websites will be set to expire after 2 years, instead of the previous value of 30 years. It seems like a big difference, but does it really matter if you go to google 5 times a day?"
Link to Original Source
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iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iluvcapra writes "I recently came into the possession of about a hundred paper handwritten pages with tabular data, which I'd like to get into some kind of computer format (tab-delimited or XML would be fantastic, but any open database format would be good too. OCR wouldn't work, the handwriting is a little too fiddly, and I don't think I could hack a program that would properly interpret.

I'd rather not type the data in myself, I'd be happy to pay someone to do it. Is anyone aware of services on the web or in general that would take my stuff as a PDF and send me back a text file? I know there are services out there, but they seem to be oriented toward bulk and repeat business, and I'm really just looking for a one-time deal, and particularly I was looking for a reference and a story about how it all worked out."
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iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iluvcapra writes "Cocotron today released their MIT-licensed re-implementation of the Mac OS X Foundation and AppKit frameworks, which together form the dynamic libraries and resources that form the Cocoa environment on Mac OS X. In simple terms, this means a developer can write a program in Objective-C on Mac OS X with Xcode, and as long as he uses Cocoa widgets and objects, he can cross-compile a Windows version of his application; a bit like WINE in reverse. Here is a screenshot of TextEdit running on OS X beside TextEdit running on Windows."
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iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iluvcapra writes "This news is a little late, but on November 20th WarGames 2: The Dead Code began filming in Montreal, produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (distributor of the original WarGames) and directed by Stewart Gillard (apparently the director of such gems as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3.) Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes, the team behind the original film, are not involved, and the plot revolves around a hacker breaking into a terrorism-simulation computer.

I only became aware of the new production when I read MGM was suing the rightful owner of WarGames.com for his domain name."
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iluvcapra iluvcapra writes  |  more than 7 years ago

iluvcapra writes "Computerworld reports that in a 2004 company email read in the Microsoft-Iowa anti-trust trial, Jim Allchin, at the time head of Microsoft's Windows unit, would have bought a Mac if he wasn't currently working for Microsoft. "In my view, we lost our way," he writes about Microsoft. He continued:
"I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products."


It was also revealed by prosecutors that Bill Gates has an assistant who's primary responsibility is to "make sure no permanent record of Gates' e-mail existed.""

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