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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: How Long Will the Internet Remember Us?

kermidge Re:If you or something you did was noteworthy: (126 comments)

Some choice, eh? Sheesh. Long way off, natch, but I still have to wonder a bit about who or what might yet be around - some disembodied intelligence losing itself to entropy, becoming enfeebled, dim, with enough fading wit to know it's dying.

Oddly enough, Bucky Fuller in (I'm going by really faded memory here) volume one of Synergy around where he gave his hierarchy of concept, mused that maybe the purpose of intelligence in Universe was to counter entropy. I have no idea, other than it's something interesting to be going on with.

Some hold that Life is an organizing force. A far-fetched extrapolation would be for Life to influence or alter the eventual thermodynamic outcome.

One would be curious to see how things turn out.

about 8 months ago
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A Short History of Computers In the Movies

kermidge Re:Macs, not just for product placement (165 comments)

Now that is one fine story.

Closest I ever got (and a long, shallow distance from you, to be sure) was helping some friends with the Altair we got in '78, I think it was. That spring we got a surplus teletype from the college and bread-boarded an interface so's we could do I/O with the paper punch tape. Still, fun - except for the part about getting the teletype down the basement stairs.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Long Will the Internet Remember Us?

kermidge Re:Depends (126 comments)

I'd like to have some of the stuff from GEnie - there was some good discussion, some stuff that would now be Internet or computer history as told by the people who were there. Ditto a few things from CompuServe and Delphi. Not to mention the files libes for use with an old OS or two running in emulators (there are a few apps, for instance, for which I've found no modern examples with the same capability - or ease of use for that capability.)

Your last paragraph: amen. Lot of good info now lost - or at the least not readily found. A newer example, maybe, is that pages, information, even whole sites went missing after 9/11. Items in public domain, gone. At least, to my casual searching, looking for some things I'd read and wanted to get back to.

The whole preservation idea gets weird; why preserve old Victorian romances, for instance. Maybe somebody finds use for them for a thesis. Who knows? Is it worth hanging on to... how much? And what? How do we predict what a mind yet unborn will find of interest or use? I'm guessing that with increasing storage density, better search and data mining, a lot will get saved; and yet, as with every generation, a lot will be lost. Do we need to know how to make button-hook shoes? In a hundred years will we need to know how to change a spark plug? But yeah, that weird face you made at that frat party will live on....

cheers

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Long Will the Internet Remember Us?

kermidge Re:I, for one, do **NOT** want to be remembered (126 comments)

In older days people had a family Bible with entries for births and so forth; scrapbooks; photo albums. "That was your great-grandmother's rocking chair." "Your old uncle Charlie got these drafting tools when he went to work for Glenn Martin." And so on.

Nowadays, families and friends are scattered - and much in the way of family mementos as well. Is it worth anything to be remembered? And how will that be done?

I've built a few things that ought to last for a while, tho I doubt anyone will remember the builder - my satisfaction there is the knowing of what I've done. If along the way I manage to say/write something interesting or witty or even just a funny story about an experience, I wouldn't mind if it's recalled down the road. But on the Internet at large? I dunno. I guess if something got left behind that another found useful or amusing I'd be happy with that - and I likely wouldn't care if I got credit for it. Now, it might be different if I wrote the next Great American novel or something, but that's a whole 'nother category. Even then I have to figure the idea is more important than the thinker; bodies go to worms, ideas can stick around a while.

about 8 months ago
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Italy Approves 'Google Tax' On Internet Companies

kermidge Re:Good (236 comments)

Two questions: what is capital? Where did it come from?

You use the term "productive wealth" - which I've met before, and have often found it to be a code phrase; then you use "confiscate" as, I'm guessing, a euphemism for tax. So I'm also curious - how would you go about rationalizing the existing way of doing things? I suppose I have a third question, first: what is the purpose of wealth? Or perhaps, what is the proper use of wealth?

(Some clarification, I guess, seeking some common definition. Likely my bad, but I tend to use this long-held definition for starters - a rich person has money; a wealthy person own things whereby people get rich.)

about 8 months ago
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

kermidge Re:The Solution is Obvious (829 comments)

That's good to know about the XP vm hardware and drivers - makes it an even more compelling solution.

I can dig it about the graphics - the laptop I'm using is an late '09 Toshiba Satellite with a Turion II 520m. It's not bad for what it is (and onboard Radeon 4250, I think). It's running Ubuntu 12.04.3 (drat, 'cuz that broke my Crossover install of Steam/Civ V, with the shift in labeling 386 libraries) but when I still had Win7 64-bit on it it did manage to run Civ with DX11, albeit not all that quickly. But I got it on sale for more general use anyway, not expecting to run anything too demanding. Works fine for an older machine.

If I can get out from under some of my medical-related costs this coming year so's to be able to get components, I'm gonna have to dig into the Bobcat; I keep running across folks using old machines, and not all of them because they can't afford to upgrade a bit. But I tell you now, after an initial setup and security guide*, if they're going to stay with XP I will _not_ do Windows washing for them. I had enough of that when I helped out at my buddy's store a few years ago. (In the rush to profit, the computer industry did 'most everyone a great disservice by marketing PCs in the manner of appliances, IMHFO, even if it did give the AV biz a huge boost, spawn the help-desk end of things, and created some jobs for those with the stomach and patience to clean a dirty system. After a while, one could well understand the "reformat and re-install" answer to most any problem - it was often the simplest and least time-consuming solution.)

*Although, on reflection, if I found an easy way of setting XP up as a vm on either Win7 or a basic Linux host and then giving folks a "reset" button on their desktop to wipe the vm and re-start from a clean snapshot, that'd mean mostly no maintenance - just a short list of tasks for the user to do for themselves on a par with checking the oil level and tire pressure (if you're asked to update, then click yes kind of thing for the host OS.)

One thing I do miss about helping at the store - I like fixing stuff, and I really like being able to help folks out - when they come in to pick up their restored system and you watch their eyes light up 'cuz it works, and it's faster, and I could give 'em a price they could afford... kinda makes one's day.

about 8 months ago
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

kermidge Re:So upgrade already (829 comments)

Or, maybe, use shared folder as is or as LAN network share, with appropriate sharing permissions, between vm and host. Could that work OK?

about 8 months ago
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

kermidge Re: Install Classic Shell (829 comments)

"....worrying too much about petty stuff like how an OS looks or feel...."

Excuse me, but, no. The 'look and feel' were mostly developed at Xerox PARC and continued at DRI with GEM. The windowing GUI was entirely fact-based upon years of careful research done at universities around the country, from basic psychology/human factors outward, and often using grants from DoD and DoE (AEC, I think, at the time); it started with the fundamentals of perception, of visual- cortex shape and color acquisition (icon development), of hand-eye coordination (mouse, light-pen, etc.; menu style and list length, conceptual grouping), control - click, scroll, drag, and the whole shebang analyzed to a fair-thee-well for real, live, measured usability, all feeding into a synthesis that gave us the desktop metaphor with the then-standard classes of icons (file cabinets, etc.) in the computer space.

Much of the original research was done in search of more effective display and control presentations for operators at nuclear power plants and for pilots, as some examples (and along the way the "seven digits for seven steps can be remembered" was validated). For a while Navy and Air Force were largest customers - split roughly twixt HUD/glass cockpit and engineering (nuke ops and missile control; the HUD for sensor integration, target acquisition and fire control for Abrams came out of this as well.) [I don't know how much of the background on all this is still out there, I haven't looked for any of it in almost fifteen years.] All told, nigh twenty years of various pieces of research from myriad sources coalesced to give us, among other things, a basic useful way of handling user-facing chores at the computer.

Current GUI - excuse me, UX design - is willy-nilly throwing much of this hard-won knowledge and fact-based, carefully-crafted interface design parameter set overboard based on.... well, I really don't know what it's based on, but it's not done for greater ease of use by the end user.

Look and feel is precisely the issue for those who spend the workaday in front of a computer working with it. Do whatever it is that needs doing under the hood; the focus ought always be the easiest and most pleasantly effective experience by the person using the software on the machine - and this includes being able to readily and comfortably see and use those parts of the OS they interface - larger window borders for easier re-sizing, scalable fonts, easily-apprehended icons, what have you, for just the simpler elements to start with.

I've watched for forty years and more the widening disconnect between those who spec, design, and build stuff and those who have to use the crap that's churned out - from the location of a drain plug in an oil pan to menu selection of a popular word mangling program.

If somebody is gonna design something new and useful and good, go out in the world and use what's already there, until your knuckles are bloody or you've got eyestrain - then go make better. Please do not gift me with the aftermath of what you pull out of your nethermost because "oooh, shiny."

about 8 months ago
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

kermidge Re:The Solution is Obvious (829 comments)

Nifty solution; thanks for the tip. Alone or with the case, it's a sweet deal.

This approach seems as though it could help out a bunch of people who regard themselves as stuck. Unless they're using some very intensive graphics stuff, I'm gonna guess that the emulated display might could work just fine for them. XP in a vm wouldn't need to ever connect to the Internet. Files could be handled via a shared folder and if needed could be scanned by local or online AV. Use of image copy and snapshot would let one always have a clean sys if anything went wonky anyway.

about 8 months ago
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Putting a Panic Button In Smartphone Users' Hands

kermidge Re:Immediate Danger of Harm is the Criteria (175 comments)

Yes, I do.

If you leave your house with the door locked and come home to find it open, you call 911 while removing yourself from the the immediate vicinity.

about 8 months ago
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DoD Public Domain Archive To Be Privatized, Locked Up For 10 Years

kermidge Re:American Revolution 2? (183 comments)

Yeah, Kent State worked. Oh, wait, it was just college students, musta been commie hippies, they don't count. Yawn.

about 8 months ago
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DoD Public Domain Archive To Be Privatized, Locked Up For 10 Years

kermidge Re:Legality vs Enforceability (183 comments)

"continue distributing the material"

Unless you already have a copy of said DoD archive, how will you distribute what you can't get? Unless you're able to pay the as-yet-unknown fees, or be patient enough to wait ten years, minimum, for unknown future terms and conditions, the public that paid for all this is screwed.

about 8 months ago
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Verizon and AT&T Join the 'Transparency Report' Club

kermidge Re:Wrong Focus (37 comments)

Good band-wagon PR move, costs little to make and issue the report, and the convenient smoke-screen of openness on the easy stuff while, as you point out, doing nothing on the more substantive intrusions. They got it made in the shade - consumer lock-in for their market share, bulk of business exempt from public utility oversight (we're entertainment, not communications....), exorbitant rates across the board for services and products, and comfortably in bed with both Hollywood and Washington. With a bit of care they're also too large to be bought. Nice work.

about 8 months ago
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Panel Urges Major NSA Spying Overhaul

kermidge Re:Thank you (242 comments)

Yeah, EO 12333. Section 1.12b(13) what you refer to? A loose interpretation could allow that, especially given the relevant 'as directed by' clauses'.

Look, simply: dig it, you want to capture and connect signals from Bad Guy A to Bad Guy B. Fine; it may or may not be as crazy as some of the stuff show up in movies and on TV, but what with proxies and VPNs and all, the comms can route through all kinds places, in and out of US.

So to connect the dots you gots to follow the stuff. OK, I get it. I was at least reading about this stuff thirty years ago, not long after I dug into the seminal stuff on packet-switched networks.

Had the admin come to the people, especially after 9/11 and the weirdly-named Patriot Act, and said, hey, to help try to track some of these guys we gotta Hoover everything and hang on to it for a few weeks, and if it happens to pass through or involve stuff inside US we'll do it with specific and highly-limited warrant and all, and then everything not needed gets thrown away.... and oh, by the way, no, we have no interest, let alone the time, energy, money, or even capability of reading Aunt Milly's email, is that OK with you?

Instead all this comes out of the secret places where we're repeatedly assured that everything's above-board...

Now, you wanna talk intel gathering? Or how our gov doesn't trust us? Or their historical excuses for so much of what's been classified for seventy years or so, national security, when in fact the great bulk of 'secret shit' is that way to prevent the people from knowing it (when all the bad guys already do) or, commonly enough, to prevent embarrassment to highers? (Last I looked, two presidential studies and one either via Congress or a contracted third-party all came to the above conclusions, btw; the first study was done at the behest of Ike.)

Color me really simple - I tend to get rankled by under-handed crap. Protecting then minutiae of operational ways and means is one thing; hiding the whole shebang behind the magic curtain because we're too simple and have 'no need to know' is another entire.

about 8 months ago
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Panel Urges Major NSA Spying Overhaul

kermidge Re:Thank you (242 comments)

"It's their job to watch for threats both foreign and domestic."

Nope. Only NSA domestic tasking is to develop secure comms and crypto for use by military and State. Like CIA, they are forbidden to do deomestic intel gathering. By law, anyway.

Everything I've read in the past six months indicates that less than half of what he took has even been released to Greenwald et al, and they've released but a portion of what they're working with. But maybe you have better sources (no, that's not snide; you're a sharp cookie when you're on your game, so maybe you read something that I didn't.)

My understanding is that the purpose was not particularly to 'expose the NSA' as to expose such things that they are doing that are counter to, or an un-authorized expansion of, tasking, and done in violation of the several laws that apply, and perhaps, even likely, of the constitution under which those laws operate.

I mean, c'mon, while I know that Bamford's "The Puzzle Palace" was news to some when it came out back when, but the essentials of the basics of what the various intel agencies were doing was kinda obvious, not to mention stated outright in public documents. So long as there was no drama, things just went along quietly, is all. Thing is, going back to Church et al, historically those same agencies have a recurrent problem with both mission creep and off-the-books activity.

I'm enough of a realist to figure that there are some gray areas; that things can get nasty in the dark corners. But that's a long sight different than the wholesale vacuuming of every domestic electronic comm up to garage door openers. So far as has been reported, despite repeated questions from Congress, so far no information on terrorist activity leading to its disruption that could not just as easily and readily and legally be obtained by heretofore existing means and methods has been given. Further, claims to the contrary, no one has been shown to have been harmed by the disclosures, although certainly some reputations and business deals have been affected.

Look, I have no particular axe to grind here. I mostly tend to favor law and order; the right to privacy, the right to speak, the right to peaceably assemble, all without chilling consequences stemming from total surveillance.* I also tend to look with disfavor on over-reach and skullduggery. Quaint tho it may be, especially given the hypocrisy and, some would say, the corruption of Congress, I really don't like it when public officials lie to the only body that ostensibly is looking out for me, either.

  *(Btw, I recall few if any contemplating the heavy psychic load and attendant mental health problems that arise in such a state. (You ever talk to someone came out of East Germany? Not pretty.) We're already training our schoolchildren to accept such things as being arrested, handcuffed, and taken to jail from out of a fifth-grade class for doodling with a dry marker, along with invasive searches and withholding of needed medication; the list goes on. Then we have college free-speech zones requiring a two-week reservation and approval. Say what? That would have been popular in '70. Bad enough children have no childhood now; far worse is molding them to compliance with a totalitarian state by high school. Heck, looking back, I and most of my classmates would have been imprisoned or dead by fourth grade, way things work today. The times are not that different, but our collective heads are sure twisted up pretty bad to let this shit come to pass and think it somehow good and "justified". Only IMO, of course.)

about 8 months ago
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How much of your media do you store locally?

kermidge Re:Exactly (187 comments)

Not when they're all on the same drive.

Unless that was some of the more subtle sarcasm to show up here in quite a while.

about 8 months ago
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Soviet Union Spent $1 Billion On "Psychotronic" Arms Race With the US

kermidge Re:Whoah whoah whoah (230 comments)

Indeed. Correct. Understood. Thanks for the history; I'd known bits and pieces, but nothing like the fine picture you describe. Hypergolics are just plain strange - neat, but strange; finding stuff that you can use the word "stable" about in the same acreage was a big challenge. Solids are handy for military - only thing extra needed is an abort package. I was saddened when I learned about Nedelin; I was also amazed that so many had parked themselves so close to the pad.

Even after all these years, with the military, civilian, commercial uses, thinking on some of the things involved in the doing - no matter how straightforward the engineering - gives me pause and wonderment. I remember watching the live TV of the Vanguard launch attempts. Ouch.

If you've not heard of it, and if you want, track down the pdf "Ignition" - it's a history of fuels research in the U.S. covering the critical twenty years by a fellow who was right in the thick of it. It's fascinating reading even if one hasn't the chemistry to follow all of it. The guy writes well and has a sense of humor like a fine dry martini.

Dunno, man, sitting atop great gobs of propellant that's _supposed_ to burn at a controlled rate but has the potential for going boom - the folks that do that.... I fergit who it was, one of the Seven, while waiting through yet another hold, said something about how all the gee-whiz machinery he was sitting atop had been built by the lowest bidder. Capcom had kittens.

about 8 months ago
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Soviet Union Spent $1 Billion On "Psychotronic" Arms Race With the US

kermidge Re:this article doesn't have enough posts yet... (230 comments)

Ok, I remember when I first read on qt.... you're right, I'm not quite that old. I think it might serve to make the point, tho. I never meant to say, and don't think I did, that "the maths" imply anything about ESP; how you got that I canna fathom. It seemed to me a simple way to illustrate that over the years a variety of things formerly un-explainable become so, by way of suggesting the possibility only that such might apply to some things we don't now know or understand. It seemed clear enough, but obviously not sufficient.

Even in my approaching enfeeblement I do know what year it is, but thank you for the information. I've read a fair amount over the years, pre- and post-search engine, on the topic and related stuff. I think that I'm sufficiently aware of the distinction and body of info available (enough, anyway, maybe two or three hundred books covering the ground, to be able to follow on to more sources should I care to revisit all that) apart from my personal experience. I dropped a personal tidbit and figured that would be OK. How it got to some scrum has taken me by surprise. It was in no wise meant to be some examination of the field, fer Chrissakes.

Of course my "argumentation" is personal. That's all I ever said it was. Unless you want to hold my poor attempt at illustration against me forever, that is.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Japan: state secrets are whatever we say they are and you don't need to know.

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about 9 months ago

kermidge (2221646) writes ""Japanese scientists and academics are warning that legislation threatening prison terms for those who divulge and publish what the government deems a state secret threatens academic freedom and the public’s right to know."

Seems that what constitutes a state secret is not clearly defined, but punishments for divulging one are: 10 years in prison for government employees; 5 for journalists.

This new law, which sailed through the lower house of the Diet on 26 November and is expected to pass the upper house on 8 December, was fast-tracked, apparently in a bid to avoid much in the way of discussion, especially as about the only ones in favor of it are the ruling party.

This law is similar to provisions to be subscribed by all of the 12 initial members of the upcoming TPP, which is also to be fast-tracked by Congress. Slashdotters from the U.S. and abroad will likely recognize similar laws, or proposed laws, in their own countries."

Link to Original Source
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The Invisible 800lb. Gorilla in Banking

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about 10 months ago

kermidge (2221646) writes "Old hat to those that follow the financial world perhaps, but it blew me away: the size of the shadow banking system, which escapes the scrutiny of regulators.

From the article at https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/5e1dd9d1642, "On the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s largest companies, the first non-financial firm is General Electric, which ranks 44th." And that's just the size of what we can see. The hidden part comes next.

The relevant bit is that "Davide Fiaschi , an economist at the University of Pisa in Italy, and a couple of pals reveal a powerful and simple way of determining the size of the shadow banking system." What their index reveals is a shadow banking economy much larger than shown by the Financial Stability Board set up in 1999 by the Group of Seven developed nations.

How big? "$100 trillion in 2012." Even the Board's conservative estimate of $67 trillion for 2011 betters the total GDP of the 25 countries which provide the data.

The original article can be found at Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1309.2130: The Interrupted Power Law And The Size Of Shadow Banking.

(Submission contains unmarked phrasing lifted whole from the first linked article.)"
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Data massacre or stored items lost due to back rent?

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about a year ago

kermidge (2221646) writes "Dutch firm LeaseWeb has wiped and re-provisioned 630 servers which had been rented by Megaupload. While the U.S. had confiscated 60 servers owned by Megaupload, the rented servers had been left alone. LeaseWeb claims they sent notice of the impending wipe; Kim Dotcom says they didn't. In the event, European former users of Megaupload lost all their content. According to Dotcom, other hosting firms have continued to hold on to Megaupload data, which he says constitutes evidence in his prosecution by the U.S."
Link to Original Source
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How does Super SOPA and NAFTA on steroids sound to you?

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about a year ago

kermidge (2221646) writes "Washingtonsblog.com has a somewhat over-the-top story on Congressman Alan Grayson getting to read the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a large, secret trade agreement that is being negotiated with many countries in East Asia and South America. It takes but a few minutes to read the whole story, and I suggest it's worthwhile to do so. If TPP is half as bad as Grayson says, it's bad indeed. Too bad that we are not allowed to read it for ourselves, but, hey, we're living in the days of open government. For those having real interest, I suggest starting with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Strategic_Economic_Partnership."
Link to Original Source
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late to the party but brought good whine

kermidge kermidge writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kermidge writes "From The Register: Cryptoboffin: Secure boot a boon for spooks' spyware.

Ross Anderson, a professor at Cambridge, suggests that Secure Boot can make it easier for governments to inject their own trojans.

Regarding approved apps: "That’s a lot of firms suddenly finding Steve Ballmer’s boot on their jugular.""

Link to Original Source
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not on my metal

kermidge kermidge writes  |  more than 2 years ago

kermidge (2221646) writes "From the blog of Red Hat's Matthew Garrett, machines with Windows 8 logo certification will require secure boot. Unless OEMs provide a cop out, this will prevent installing Linux, or even a retail copy of Windows. I came across this in an article at ITWorld by Brian Proffitt.; http://www.itworld.com/it-managementstrategy/205255/windows-8-oem-specs-may-block-linux-booting"
Link to Original Source
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mobile patent chart

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about 3 years ago

kermidge writes "Gina Nolan at Byte has a blurb with "infographic" — the latter originally from Thompson/Reuters on the current state of mobile patent suits relevant to the recent EU stuff viz. Samsung and Apple.
      Link for the concise article by Eric Zeman: http://www.informationweek.com/byte/news/mobility/smart_phones/231600072
      Link for a much clearer graphic: http://flowingdata.com/2011/08/22/mobile-patent-lawsuits-2/

      [this is not meant to be a re-post, nor a repast, rather a quick way of seeing what's what; I also screwed up the tags and didn't know how to fix 'em, sorry]"

Link to Original Source
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Google open sources $68.2m realtime comm platform

kermidge kermidge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

kermidge (2221646) writes "Google has open sourced a framework for realtime video and audio inside the browser. Known as WebRTC, the framework is based on technology the company acquired with its $68.2 million purchase of Global IT Solutions last year."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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The Joy of Ubuntu

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about 10 months ago

So, I upgraded in place from Ubuntu 13.04 to 13.10 on the 22nd during the wee hours. Most everything seemed OK. I saw how things got moved around in the menus of ClassicMenu-Indicator with the addition of "Sundry" and "Utilities".

After some sleep I started going about normal stuff, even using the built-in backup instead of what I'd been using and was pleased with the ease and simplicity for a simpleton like me.

Then I saw a few disturbing things. When I opened, closed, and re-opened several programs some of their windows did not get put where I had placed them.

The worst example by far was Domination (a Risk-like, if you haven't heard of it). The battle, move after battle, and the tactical move windows all would not re-open where I had moved them - they all creeped upward towards the title bar where they eventually stopped. This is ungood. No, actually; it's pretty fucking bad, even if some might dismiss it as a bagatelle. But hey, it's just a stupid game, right?

After some of the daily surfing routine of news, mail, and a bit of writing, I decided it was time for some Civ V, which I hadn't played for most of a week.

Big wrong. Seems 13.10 wiped CrossOver. I could not re-install it. There was a missing dependency, lib32asound2 (which I later found required lib32asound).

I'll leave out a day's worth of reading and fiddling with stuff.

There's a new CrossOver out - 12.5.1 - that is supposed to address the i386 multi-arch stuff (there was a recent change, from lib32foo-i386 to lib32foo:i386) but I can't afford it right now.

So right now I either wait until I can buy the new version (Wine itself is out - every time I manage to get something working I also manage to screw it up.) or I re-install Ubuntu 13.04.

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nifty tool for language

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about 10 months ago

In my usual roundabout fashion I happened onto Google Books Ngram viewer:
https://books.google.com/ngrams

Wow.

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illiterates

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about a year ago

I am baffled. Why the fuck can't people tell the fucking difference between

where - were
loose - lose
ect. - etc.
infer - imply
virtually - almost or almost all (and still not grasp the meaning of virtual anyway)

and dozens of others. Did all these children sleep through English classes? Don't they read things written by people who know better?

And yupper, I know about carelessness, inattention, Spoonerisms, brain-farts, typos, and the like; but to see this shit over and over again.... it just doesn't make sense to me.

And for Christ's sake, enough already with the "going forward" and similar horseshit. What, you're gonna go back? You don't know tenses? Context is a complete mystery to you? If you really truly cross-your-heart have to spell it out for your audience, then use "in [the] future". "Going forward"? Fuck you and the horse you rode in backwards on.

If anything it's worse than the "viable" this and that or "on-going" whatever or "virtual" or "cyber" shit. Talking heads and on-air air-head TV "presenters" are not your instructors in using English, nor are the vapid rabid sound bites from politicos. Most of them abuse the language; I swear some of it's deliberate so's to fuck with people's heads. Enough.

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Kaiser Foundation health premium calculator

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about a year ago

Verrry interestink, as Arte Johnson might say. For grins, I entered my annual income, a state, and my age when I was required to retire early due to receiving SSI for a year.

Herewith the result, sorry 'bout the formatting:

If your state does not expand Medicaid

You will not be eligible for subsidies in the exchanges because your income is below 100% of the federal poverty level.

The information below is about unsubsidized exchange coverage. Note that depending on your state's eligibility requirements, you may still be eligible for coverage through Medicaid.
Household income in 2014:
78% of poverty level
Unsubsidized annual health insurance premium in 2014:
$8,265
Maximum % of income you have to pay for the non-tobacco premium, if eligible for a subsidy:
None
Amount you pay for the premium:
$8,265 per year
  (which equals 91.84% of your household income and covers 100% of the overall premium)
You could receive a government tax credit subsidy of up to:
$0
  (which covers 0% of the overall premium)

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The Guardian has an interactive guide to metadata.

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about a year ago

One can see what metadata is associated with what devices or services. Enlightening, it is.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/interactive/2013/jun/12/what-is-metadata-nsa-surveillance#meta=1100011

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late night OS

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about a year ago

Got up at 2:30am to take a leak and a pain pill, spent the next four hours reading about OSes, mostly Linux, at a very light level, but included a good two hours diving into Qubes - which looks damn interesting. I first read of it when it was still mostly a thought-project, and I like the approach of security by isolation rather than correctness or obscurity.

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So little time, so much to read.

kermidge kermidge writes  |  about a year ago

Not for the first time, today when I started going down the list of stories, many made the cut to look at, some starting with source before going to the comments. I just counted, there are twenty tabs open, each earmarked for an unknown but not trivial length of time to read, try to digest, maybe have an attempted coherent thought on, and then perhaps to consider posting.

I note the time - 8:51pm - and realize that no matter how interesting many of the stories are to me, some even important in some fashion, there is no way that I can do anything more than quickly skim through at best half of what I would prefer to have the time to dig into as I find needful.

Yes, I know, poor li'l me and my first-world prob and all. Yet the problem is there. No real solution is available. Draconian triage can help, certainly, but that's not an actual solution. Thinking ahead, even given the large numbers of neurons that could handle the load did we know how to do some kind of 'out there'-into-the-brain thing, that still would not solve the problem of highly constrained time with the wealth of things to spend thinking on.

None of this is new. I found a similar situation pre-Web, pre-Usenet, pre-Internet. All that happened was that a small number of things got read, fewer digested - background reading, analyzed, etc. - and then disposed of. Of the remainder, some made it to a To-Do list or a 'rainy day' note on the bulleting board. Looking back, had each item been a dollar bill rather than adding to the pile of things to be gotten to "Real Soon Now" I'd be wealthy indeed.

My life likely won't become any the poorer for not getting to any of these tabs at the top of my screen. Yet, in the time I've been coming to slashdot, I have learned things. Some even about myself and about how to try to think and act more in line with who I am wanting to continue to become - a living, growing, improving sort better able to help himself and others as opportunity provides, beyond satisfying curiosity or addressing concerns.

Given the wealth of skills, talents, and the wealth of background and history of people, some expert in their field, some who have been around since the electronic age started making real inroads into daily existence and importance thereof, I've had the grand opportunity for the price of an Internet connection and my time, to become aware of technologies, how-tos, personal knowledge of what happened or is happening, and potential ways to proceed. Sometimes I'll find deep thinking, good questions, and good stories as well.

Such wealth, and twenty tabs, and it's now 9:15pm. And I still feel like the little kid at the grown-ups table.

Cheers.

Later....
Ok, it's 2:30am, eight tabs and three more external articles read along with two quick Wikipedia look-ups. I'm done; tabbed through the remainder and blew them off. Enough's enough.

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