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Ask Slashdot: Hearing Aids That Directly Connect To Smart Phones?

jsebrech Re:Hearing aids have been discussed before (183 comments)

I'm wondering if the gradual loss of hearing fidelity with age is one part of the reason why most people at a certain age stop listening to new music. The music they already listen to is adjusted by their minds to sound like it used to, but new music sounds bad because their ears lack the ability to hear it properly.

about 2 years ago
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Is MySQL Slowly Turning Closed Source?

jsebrech Re:Just use Postgresql (336 comments)

There are really two competing architectures here. One is to use a powerful db, know it really well, and tune every query and every schema change so load is managed well. Stack exchange runs 100 million page views a month off of a handful of sql server instances with such an approach. The entire stackoverflow.com site basically runs on one well-tended database.

The other one is that of using the db as a dumb data store, hidden behind an api. The api hides the fact that you have dozens of sharded mysql instances behind the scenes. You can care less about query performance and throw code against the wall faster, but growing comes at a bigger hardware cost. Digg manages comparable loads to stack exchange using a few dozen mysql instances this way. I believe facebook is even running on something like a thousand mysql instances.

The second strategy is very much a case of "worse is better". Yes, you need more hardware, but you only need to buy it when you have the users (and revenue) to match, whereas the expertise in the first strategy is an upfront investment. This is why you'll see many startups doing the second strategy. They can't afford to know better.

about 2 years ago
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The Long Death of Fat Clients

jsebrech Re:Yuck! (277 comments)

HTML5 appcache. It's not well known, but you can build web apps that "install" their code locally and keep running when the network is down or slow. IE is the only browser that doesn't support it, but IE10 will rectify that.

I just built an offline mobile web app using appcache. Works just fine. I was even able to show a progress bar to the user while downloading application updates. It's just like the abilities you get from native apps, except that updates are installed automatically (without user intervention or action).

more than 2 years ago
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Developer Blames Apple For Ruining eBook Business

jsebrech Re:Business 101 (660 comments)

It has to not be able to load books that are purchased from your company. So, you can either sell the books or you can sell the reader, but not both.

Or you could build it as a web app. I've made a proof of concept before, even with offline support. Amazon could ship kindle to iOS as a pure web app, without being in the iOS store.

more than 3 years ago
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Developer Blames Apple For Ruining eBook Business

jsebrech Re:Business 101 (660 comments)

Which is why I am hoping the kindle app gets pulled. Up to this point the "locked down" aspect of iOS hasn't been really felt by the users, but not having kindle purchases would be noticeable.

On the other hand, apple is clearly building a walled garden. Perhaps their whole intention is to make amazon leave iOS, and they're betting that users won't mind being forced to use iBooks.

more than 3 years ago
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NSA Advises Upgrade To Windows 7

jsebrech Re:No such Agency. wants what is best for the coun (377 comments)

Can you claim zero remote code vulnerability in linux, despite it being open source?

Having the source is meaningless when it consists of tens or hundreds of millions of lines of code. Back of the envelope calculations indicate that it would take you about 500 years to review 100 million lines of code, provided 8 hours a day are spent on it, every day. And then there's the bootstrapping issue. How can you be sure that the binary components you use to bootstrap the OS (be they executables or just a compiler) actually are secure?

In short, the only security metric that matters for operating systems is "do i trust my vendor?". Having the source doesn't buy you a single bit of security.

If you don't think microsoft can be trusted, I would have to ask why. Granted, in the 90's they had an awful track record, but if I look at the past decade, I see a business that "gets it" when it comes to security.

more than 3 years ago
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NSA Advises Upgrade To Windows 7

jsebrech Re:Goddamnit Slashdot (377 comments)

It's not just the app support. XP's user interface and security model is far inferior to windows 7's. For most people going back to XP when they're used to 7 is painful. Even if XP ran every single app that 7 runs, 7 would still be a worthy upgrade.

more than 3 years ago
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NSA Advises Upgrade To Windows 7

jsebrech Re:The Limit Use of the Administrator Account seem (377 comments)

This is what frustrates me most. In my experience, the actual incidence of malware being installed without the user's knowing is close to zero these days. Since Vista, whenever I've heard of someone who got a virus it turned out that they were actually clearly warned that they were doing something very dangerous, sometimes even their antivirus software protested that it was a virus, and still they click continue. Why? Free movies online! Just download this video plugin first!

Users cannot be relied upon to make security decisions. The only way to make a secure OS is to remove the human factor, to take away all decision power for installing malware, which means you have to prevent them from installing anything that's not from a curated app store. In short, although it pains me to admit it, apple's model is the only one that can be truly secure.

more than 3 years ago
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NSA Advises Upgrade To Windows 7

jsebrech Re:So... (377 comments)

Or (5) like in any large organization there's no mastermind that controls all the NSA's actions, and this is a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Someone could be honestly arguing in favor of better security for end users, while another part of the organization is working to undermine that. The question is: which of the two sides sent out this advice?

more than 3 years ago
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Oracle Asks OpenOffice Community Members To Leave

jsebrech Re:Easy to solve.. (589 comments)

I propose "Comet Office". Maybe the renaming will incentivize them to finally do something about its performance.

Word is no speed demon, but OOo Writer makes computers sprout physical gears just to be able to grind them.

more than 3 years ago
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Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime

jsebrech Re:Going for a run or a ride... (222 comments)

I find my efficiency increases by sequentializing the tasks into a stream. Research I've read seems to back this up. We're not meant to do a lot of context switching (the brain sucks at context switching). That's also why it's better to group tasks together by subject matter, even if that means you'll do a low priority task before a high priority one.

more than 3 years ago
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Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime

jsebrech Re:I take several short naps a day (222 comments)

That's why god invented the rest room. If anyone complains, tell them you have irritable bowel syndrome.

It's what I do when I get stuck on a programming problem. Works every time.

more than 3 years ago
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'Retro Programming' Teaches Using 1980s Machines

jsebrech Emulation? (426 comments)

Wouldn't it be better to use the emulation route? For example, writing a program for the original gameboy, and running it through the emulator. I remember at university we learned assembly on an emulated MIPS. We could focus on the individual instructions, on hardware that was simple and clean, but it all ran on the unix servers (x terminals).

more than 3 years ago
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Belgian ISP Claims One Customer Downloads 2.7TB

jsebrech Re:Human nature (276 comments)

Governments can't hold on to infrastructure that can be exploited commercially. Whether it's buildings or cable networks, eventually it gets sold off to balance that year's budget. The belgian government went on a decade-long selling spree to balance a structurally unbalanced budget, and the consequence is that now there are gigantic budget issues and the government needs to make the deepest cuts in the history of the country.

In other words, just another typical government.

more than 3 years ago
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Internet Explorer Turns 15

jsebrech Re:Update often please! (271 comments)

I'm glad they didn't implement those form elements, because once they implement a part of a standard, their implementation becomes the rule. If they implemented HTML5 form elements now, that essentially means marking the current HTML5 draft as finalized. I don't think that would be good for HTML5.

about 4 years ago
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Internet Explorer Turns 15

jsebrech Re:PNG too (271 comments)

PNG is also about 14 or 15 years old, but IE still cannot handle its color correction chunks (gAMA, iCCP) properly:
http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/png-gammatest.html

Only firefox renders that page correctly. All the other browsers fail in some way. Chrome doesn't even support color profiles at all.

IE9 's platform preview supposedly has full support for gamma, and v2 and v4 color profiles, but it has issues rendering that page. I'll report that page in their bugtracking system, so IE9 has fully accurate color rendering by release time.

about 4 years ago
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Internet Explorer Turns 15

jsebrech Re:It's hard to believe... (271 comments)

Your problem is not that it is bad. Netscape 4 was just as bad. Your problem is that it is still widely used.

No, netscape 4 was much, much worse. IE6 was to Netscape 4 what Chrome is to IE6.

about 4 years ago
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Internet Explorer Turns 15

jsebrech Re:IE turns 15... (271 comments)

And all of that for what? Pretty graphics (Aero) that will be turned off right after Autorun?

If they're pretty, why do you turn them off? They run on the graphics hardware, so they don't affect the performance of your apps.

Why is it that a linux system isn't configured well if it doesn't run compiz, but at the same time aero on windows is a bloated monstrosity that needs disabling?

Anyway, the main reason to run windows 7 is responsiveness. XP regularly blocks if you're multi-tasking, because it has lousy CPU scheduling and no IO scheduling. Windows 7 remains responsive in almost all situations (at least in my personal experience).

about 4 years ago
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Internet Explorer Turns 15

jsebrech Re:IE turns 15... (271 comments)

IE8 does not have an IE6 compatibility mode. It can only emulate IE7.

about 4 years ago

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