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Comments

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Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

jandrese Re:Not a market back then (214 comments)

Microsoft seems to have taken the other track now. They are still bringing the Windows experience to the tablet, but they've revamped the windows experience to be the kind that works well on touchscreens, some say to the detriment of the mouse and keyboard crowd.

yesterday
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Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

jandrese Re:ob Henry Ford (214 comments)

What's annoying is the perception that salad is the only kind of food that qualifies as healthy.

At McDonalds, this is probably an accurate perception, and only if you skip (or go very light on) the dressing. Even their yoghurt is questionable.

yesterday
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Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

jandrese Re:Yeah, probably a VGA screen (214 comments)

Growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, I saw Tablet Computer prototypes come up every couple of years. Sometimes they would even make it to market, where they hit with a resounding thud thanks to their horrible clunky OS choices, lack of applications, and hardware limitations. Apple tinkered with the iPad for years before finally releasing it, waiting until the infrastructure grew up to make the device practical. They actually worked on the iPad before the iPhone.

Technologies that had to mature before the tablet computers became practical:

  • Wifi networking.
  • Capacitive Touchscreens -- Most early designs used a stylus, which sucks, and had poor resolution to boot
  • Low power but still acceptably fast processors -- A huge sticking point, lots of early tablets had extremely poor battery life on top of being slow
  • A touch enabled OS -- WinCE is terrible to use with a finger, and really pretty bad with a stylus. Symbian was never great. PalmOS was too narrowly focused on Palm pilots
  • Battery capacity -- Battery technology has come a long way in the past 15 years. Early attempts would use NiCad batteries, which just aren't good enough, especially with the relatively high energy consumption figures from the old chips.

Apple didn't have a smash hit with the iPad because they were the first to the market. They won because they tinkered and waited until the technology was ready, then came out with a solid finished well integrated product instead of some halfassed "laptop without a keyboard running a cut down version of Windows".

yesterday
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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

jandrese Re:old tech (165 comments)

It's the first computer many people had access to, and especially the first computer they could actually program themselves. In an era where PCs cost thousands of dollars, a C64 cost only a couple hundred. Parents could afford them and the default shell was a BASIC prompt. Plus, it had built-in hardware to support making games (sound chip, sprite generator, joystick port) which made interesting to the kids first learning how to program on it.

3 days ago
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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

jandrese Re:This could be cool (165 comments)

translates to:

file= open(firstavailablefile());
sleep(disksize(firstavailablefile()) / 1000);
read(file, memory, disksize(firstavailablefile()));

3 days ago
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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

jandrese Re:This could be cool (165 comments)

If you love them, get them all backed up on to a HDD ASAP, and make sure your HDD is backed up regularly as well. You can fit an insane number of C64 floppies on a modern HDD, so keeping the images around won't take much space at all. The only way to really preserve data long term is to maintain it by bringing it with you as you upgrade.

3 days ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:Fuck Obamacare (721 comments)

You found two examples of cases where the preventative care ended up being overzealous, and concluded that all preventative care is a bad idea?

about a week ago
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Five-Year-Old Uncovers Xbox One Login Flaw

jandrese Re:What kind of code that do that? (196 comments)

If the system accepted any bad password, then I could believe that it's a return code checking bug. But I would also be questioning Microsoft's code review standards quite heavily. A system that accepts only a string full of spaces as a password only makes sense if one of the return codes is "Error: Bad password: all spaces" and it somehow looks like a success code. That is not likely.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:What all is included? (721 comments)

Seriously, grasping at straws. What's the new talking point going to be when less than 1% fail to make their first payment?

I know an Obamacare success is a disaster for some people, but the administration set modest and realistic goals and largely met them.

A bunch of the really bad abuses perpetrated by insurance companies are now illegal, and many more people have access to affordable preventative care. Insurance company profit margins are effectively capped if they can't find ways to be exceptionally creative with the accounting. What a disaster.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:ACA was supposed to insure 42 million (721 comments)

You're confused. That's the old pre-Obamacare system. With the ACA you can't be dropped just because you get sick. You can't even be denied new coverage because you're already sick. There are other ways to be injured than in your car or on the job too, and most home insurance doesn't cover medical. If you have a $50 copay for a standard visit, then your plan isn't valid under the ACA and you've lost it anyway.

It's seriously amazing how many people want to return to the halcyon days of last year, like medical coverage outside of employer provided plans was a total clusterfuck and the sheer number of uninsured people with previously treatable but now catastrophic medical conditions that they couldn't pay for contributed to a relentless double digit increase in medical costs across the country.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:Fuck Obamacare (721 comments)

Believe it or not, some parts of the US have reverted to for-pay fire protection. If you don't pay, your house burns down. Tennessee for example. The homeowner was furious that the fire department wouldn't save his home, but that's the gamble you take when you opt out of coverage.

This case doesn't really apply to medical care however, because if you show up in the sick or injured to an ER, doctors ethically have to treat you. They can't just throw you out on the street and let you die, even though that's what would be most "fair" when you opt out of insurance.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:Fuck Obamacare (721 comments)

I just saw the nice new box on my W2 that shows "employer health insurance" payments. It was about five times what I would have paid out of my own pocket for my health care last year. Had my employer been legally allowed to hand me that money directly and allow me to pay as I go, I'd be several thousand dollars ahead of the game.

Yep, and then you would get cancer, run out of money after two weeks, and die.

If you could guarantee that you'll never get sick or injured, then insurance would be a waste of money. It's all about risk management. Hospital bills are ruinous (fun fact: they're the #1 cause of Bankruptcy in the US) which makes going without insurance risky. Worse, if you got injured and brought into an ER they would still operate on you, and then everybody else would have to share the burden (plus a big chunk of other fees associated with the inefficiency of trying to bill someone without insurance) anyway. So you're just being a selfish jerk really. You're not paying your fair share, but still expect to be treated when you get sick or injured.

If Libertarians were willing to just die on the street properly when they ran out of money after a simple injury, then the system would be cheaper for everybody. But they never follow through on this.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:Fuck Obamacare (721 comments)

Don't worry, that reactionary care will be a lot more expensive, so he's more likely to hit his deductible and actually use his insurance. Preventative care can so cheap in comparison that it doesn't make nearly enough profit.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:Just think, you could have had universal health (721 comments)

The worst part is, they removed the single payer option in order to bring over some Republican votes, and in the end no Republicans voted for it. IMHO, they should have put the single payer option back in there if Republicans weren't going to go for it anyway. What would they do, vote to repeal it a 52nd time?

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (721 comments)

Yes, but you try getting a proper single payer healthcare system through Congress. Senators are already bought and sold by the healthcare middlemen, there's no political will to fix the problem.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:Creative Counting (721 comments)

But don't you understand? Obamacare has to be an abject failure or they might not retake the Senate! No matter what is happening in the real world, Obamacare is a failure. A failure. A failure. Shut up, it's a failure! Lalalalala!

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:Terrible article (721 comments)

The "It doesn't count until they've paid a premium" talking point is pure desperation. They've already bet the farm on Obamacare being a huge flaming wreck, and now they're grasping at straws because it looks like it's more or less following the administration's expectations.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:Why is this so difficult to believe? (721 comments)

By law you should have all of the necessary forms by the first business day after Jan 31. If your bank/job/retirement manager/etc... is dragging their heels then the IRS can take them to task.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:What all is included? (721 comments)

This whole "but they have not PAID yet!!!" talking point has got to die. The Obamacare opponents are grasping at straws now hoping against hope that the majority of Americans are deadbeats.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

jandrese Re:What all is included? (721 comments)

A lot of it was just people waiting for the last minute to sign up. Massachusetts (where Romney first implemented this plan) saw the same pattern. Never underestimate the power of people to wait to the last minute to do something. Did you know that December 24th is the busiest shopping day of the year?

about a week ago

Submissions

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Help save historic space data

jandrese jandrese writes  |  about a year ago

jandrese writes "The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project has been recovering and digitizing NASA's old images from the Apollo program from dusty old tapes found in a barn. They are using modern techniques on the old data to achieve stunning results from the old material, but have run out of funding and are looking for help. They have a very modest goal of $75,000 and only 5 days left to reach it."
Link to Original Source
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Verizon CEO: US #1 in Broadband; Because I say so

jandrese jandrese writes  |  about 4 years ago

jandrese writes "Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg went on the record with the Council of Foreign relations to say that the US has far and away the best Broadband in the world, and that the European model has not served its customers nearly as well as the US model. Also how the FCC is making a big mistake if it starts regulating broadband and wireless.

Murray: So on the measures that matter most to you, where does the United States rank in terms of

Seidenberg: One. Not even close.

Seidenberg then goes on to explain how Verizon has laid more fiber than all of the telecom companies in Europe combined, and how Europeans have to carry multiple cell phones if they want to avoid roaming fees. He also promises to go after wireless bandwidth hogs."
Link to Original Source

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1.474 Gigapixel image of the Inagural Address

jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jandrese writes "David Bergman used a gigapan Imager to create this stunning 1.474 Gigapixel image of the inaugural address by taking 220 images with his Canon G10 with the robotic mount quickly and precisely aiming the camera for every shot. A fullscreen version of the image viewer is also available. The level of detail is amazing, you can almost read the band's sheet music."
Link to Original Source
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Clear Channel wants to clean up XM/Sirius

jandrese jandrese writes  |  about 6 years ago

jandrese writes "It seems that Clear Channel's terrestrial stations are tired of the XM and Sirius counterparts being free from the FCC decency guidelines, especially after they are forced to pay $1.75 million in fees. To fix the problem they are asking the FCC to impose additional restrictions on the pending XM and Sirius satellite radio merger. In particular, they want the FCC to apply the over the air decency guidelines to all channels on satellite radio. The worst part is that the FCC has not rejected this idea out of hand."
Link to Original Source
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jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jandrese writes "LONDON (Thomson Financial) — Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc could face a possible lawsuit for failing to include measures to control access to copyrighted material in products such as Vista OS, iTunes and the iPod, two companies have warned.

Media Rights Technologies and BlueBeat.com have issued cease and desist letters to both companies and to Adobe Systems Inc and Real Networks — which produce the Adobe Flash Player and Real Player respectively — for actively avoiding their X1 SeCure Recording Control, which they said is an effective copyright protection system.

I guess DRM companies have gotten so used to suing their customers that suing potential customers seems like a good idea."

Journals

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Why does C not have a heap checking function?

jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 6 years ago One of the things that has bothered me from the first day I learned about the Memory Management in C over a decade ago is how there is no apparently method in C for knowing how much memory is allocated behind a pointer that you are passed. I asked my teacher back in the day how we would prevent stuff from running off of the end of a buffer if we can't find out how big a buffer is and he just shrugged his shoulders and said "very carefully". It is no surprise to me that buffer overflows are by far the most common form of exploit on C based languages. The worst part is that a lot of that could be avoided with one simple function:

int heapsize(void* buffer, void** start);

Passed in your target pointer it would set the start pointer to the start of the buffer and return the length of the buffer in bytes. Now you would know exactly where your pointer is and how many bytes are left. Bounds checking suddenly gets really simple and buffer overflows, while not completely a thing of the past (lazy programmers would never check), appear far less often.

The normal argument against this function is "it's your program, you should know how big the buffers are", but frankly in an age of libraries and team coding this is just not true.

The worst part is that C already knows this stuff. It has to or the "free" command would not work. It is just hidden away and impossible to get at for some reason. Even with the many revisions of C over the years, it seems like this is one feature we're never going to get. I wonder why?

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Mkisofs

jandrese jandrese writes  |  more than 10 years ago Why in the world does mkisofs have such a crummy method for specifing what files you want burned?

In case you don't know, here's how it works, you specify one or more directories after the options to mkisofs like so:
mkisofs options_here directory1 directory2 etc...
If directory1 contains the file foo and directory2 contains the file bar, your CD will have foo and bar on the root. Directory1 and directory2 are gone.

This design is as frustrating as it is stupid. If you want to burn directories like that you either have to create a third directory and temporarily move them in there, or create symlinks in the third directory and turn on the (unreliable) -follow-symlinks option (hope you don't have any symlinks in those directories that you cared about).

The worst part is, the correct interface is trivial to implement. If mkisofs didn't get rid of that last directory, it would work perfectly. Using the above line you would get a CD with directory1 and directory2 at the root. If you want the old behavior, all you would have to do is explicitly glob the files like so:
mkisofs options_here directory1/* directory2/* etc...
Maybe it's time to pull out the source...

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S-Box mod chip

jandrese jandrese writes  |  about 11 years ago I've had the S-Box (also called the NeoKey) installed in my PS2 for some time now, and there are a few things I need to get off my chest:

  • Installation: The first problem was that the documentation was wrong. I apparently have the generation 3 PS2, but it has all of the markings of a generation 1 PS2. When I talked to one of the vendors about it, they said that Sony has been doing that to try to thwart the modchip crowd. Ok, they can't do anything about that. What they could do is actually mention that somewhere. I went to at least a dozen different mod sites and none of them had any sort of waring about that whatsoever. Also, they all appear to have copied the instruction pages from a single source, lock stock and barrell. The originals weren't very good though (the pictures were kinda small and fuzzy). Finally, as for the actual process of installation, it was no too bad, except that the PS2 has an incredibly compact PCB, my pencil tip soldering iron was almost too big for that tiny little patch I had to solder on. I'm also not sure if that USB port will ever be usable again (I suspect not). Fortunatly almost nothing on the PS2 uses the USB port.
  • Import/Burned PSx games: The chip works as advertised sometimes, and lets me play DDR on my US PS2, however it is rather flaky, only working about 50% of the time and requiring a reboot the other times. I've found that it works best if you power the PS2 completely off (using the switch in the back) and back on when trying to play an import. It does blink ALL of the time when it is on however, which is rather annoying (fortunatly the light is covered up by the controller plugs).
  • Import/Burned PS2 games: there were some conflicting reports on the sites about support for Ps2 games. Apparently you need a Gameshark, and even then you can only play PS2 games that are burned on CDr. I suppose that would be fine for pirates, but all I really care about are import games. I guess I'll just be playing the PSx imports instead. Also, instead of a Gameshark, I already had a Code Breaker. The Code Breaker is apparently not sufficent, as it does not work. Actaully, I havn't had a gameshark to test with either, so I don't know if it works at all.
  • Final Verdict: If your soldering skills are only so-so, and you only want to play PSx games, and don't mind a bit of a headache in the install procedure, then this is an acceptable modchip. It is also reasonably inexpensive compared to some of the more full featured mods.

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