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Comments

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Intel Releases $99 'MinnowBoard Max,' an Open-Source Single-Board Computer

knarf Re:One of many (97 comments)

...or trying to get any non-Linux OS running on them with acceleration is painful.

How times have changed... a mere few years ago the complaint would be about the difficulty of getting Linux to run on some platform, now it is the other way around.

about two weeks ago
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WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

knarf Re:Fine, get rid of POTS, give us Net Neutrality (449 comments)

Nothing, we build our own mesh network and forego on using commercial services. They'll try to buy some laws to make that impossible - either ignore the laws on a massive scale, vote out the vermin which sold them those laws or make sure the mesh is law-proof.

about three weeks ago
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What Apple's iWatch Can Learn From Pebble

knarf Re:Form factor (97 comments)

No, it isn't. There is a reason I never replaced that watch I lost somewhere on a mountain in Switzerland - I always had to take the thing off because it was in the way. From building to logging to working the land on the farm to fixing the tractor to repairing the $random_piece_of_electronics to $insert_random_activity, the first thing I usually did was take of the watch and put it somewhere out of the way, both to save it from grievous harm as well as to save my arm from the results of getting the thing trapped in some piece of machinery.

Maybe watches work for desk jockeys? In that case it might be the ultimate form factor for *some* of the target group for wearable electronics, but not for everyone.

The optimal form factor for wearable electronics is a neural implant. Just don't forget the spam filter...

about three weeks ago
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Classified X-37B Space Plane Breaks Space Longevity Record

knarf Re: I know what it's doing... (123 comments)

"I, for one, will not go to sleep under the light of a communist moon"

Swap "communist" for whatever you want.

about three weeks ago
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Russian Officials Dump iPads For Samsung Tablets Over Spy Fears

knarf Re:Globalization (198 comments)

Russia has plenty of resources to create their own Android distribution for whatever piece of hardware they want. They have the resources to reverse-engineer any blobs, aside from the fact that there is a less than zero chance that they already have all the data on those devices through their own version of the NSA. Your reaction implies that they'd run whatever Samsung decided to install on those tablets. That is of course a silly assumption, for many reasons.

about three weeks ago
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Russian Officials Dump iPads For Samsung Tablets Over Spy Fears

knarf Re:Why Samsung? (198 comments)

CM is full of binary blobs which are as closed and proprietary as they can get. If you want Android without the nasty bits you'd better look at Replicant - that is if it works on your device, of course...

about three weeks ago
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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way

knarf Luddite view, maybe, but... (323 comments)

I might have a somewhat luddite view on this subject, but for me the whole concept of canned visual entertainment has failed. Since it has failed, I have given up on it. I can't remember the last movie I saw, I only know it was a long... time ago - many years. I do remember some movies from before that time which somehow managed to get stuck so I can not state unequivocally that movies are not worth the celluloid they used to be printed on but the industry has made the whole experience around it so distasteful that I feel better iff without. On the risk of sounding like a Luddite I can honestly say that I'd rather read the book. Which I do, a lot. Time and time again my own imagination produces better special effects than the UK, Canada and New Zealand manage.

about three weeks ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

knarf Re:Obvious Answer (747 comments)

How about denying medical insurance coverage to those that fail to get vaccinated, unless they can demonstrate that they are a member of a recognized religious congregation that specifically is against vaccination as a part of church dogma?

Why make an exception for 'church dogma'? If you willingly subject yourself to unnecessary risks because of 'church dogma' you should be willing and able to bear the consequences of your actions. Surely the ${deity} which instilled this 'church dogma' into its believers will come to the aid of the needy? And if ${deity} happens to fail to show up, that must all be part of the plan, right?

The only exception I see as necessary is that for underage children. They don't have a say in the matter and are just subject to whatever figment of imagination their parents or guardians impose on them.

about a month ago
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Ubuntu's Mir Gets Delayed Again

knarf Re:This could be good news... (241 comments)

It is not so much that commercial unixes sucked, more that they were encumbered with so many restrictions and limitations that it got plain annoying and hard to use them. From missing tools and compilers to forced kernel rebuilds for the most trivial configuration change, anything to extract just one more license fee from the user. This, combined with the unix wars where players tried to outdo their competitors by doing things their own way made life much harder than needed.

This is probably one of the biggest contributions Linux made to the unix world. While Linux might not officially be unix, it does away with all these artificial restrictions and offers the same options to everyone everywhere. The differences between Linux distributions are nothing compared to the difference between, say, HPUX and Solaris (or AIX or Irix or Non-Stop OS or AT&T system V, let alone SCO in its many incarnations...)

about a month ago
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Google Sued Over Children's In-App Android Purchases

knarf Re:Please.... (321 comments)

Also, isn't it possible to have a Google Play account without a credit card?

Yes, that is perfectly possible. Entering payment details is completely optional and does in no way limit the functionality, other than not being able to pay for apps and in-app purchases. Compare this to iOS which absolutely refuses to do anything unless you enter either payment details or a pre-paid card number. Android - iOS: 1 - 0.

about a month ago
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Google Sued Over Children's In-App Android Purchases

knarf And the solution is so easy... (321 comments)

There is a really simple solution to all these problems on Android: don't enter any payment details. No, you won't be able to buy anything on your phone. What have you lost? Nothing of value. What do you gain? Peace of mind. Freedom. No more bill shock, at least not from that side of the equation.

Take it one step further for even more freedom: remove - or disable - the play store and install F-Droid. It only holds a tiny fraction of the number of apps you'll find on the play store, but everything there is free software. This is both reassuring for those who care about what they run on their devices as well as handy for those who want to get into Android software development - just look at how other did it to get a head start.

about a month ago
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Android Beats iOS As the Top Tablet OS

knarf Re:And yet apple sells more tablets than anybody (487 comments)

The hardware on many of these tablets can be made to do much more than the often mediocre firmware provided by the OEM enables it to. I ported Android Cyanogenmod 10 (Android 4.1.2) to a RK3066-powered tablet which turned the thing from a sometimes sluggish, rather middle of the road performer to something which outperforms my parents' Galaxy Tab 3 (the 10.1", Intel Atom-powered version). I did the same with one of the earlier Chinese tablets (Ainol Novo 8) with similar results. For the price of a 'branded' Android tablet you can usually get two or three of these, if not more. Given the right attitude they can be made to perform like one of the branded tablets, with the added advantage of the usually larger range of interfaces and expansion options on the 'cheap' tablets.

The conclusion is simple: if you want a guaranteed 'out of the box' experience these cheaper tablets are hit and miss. If you are willing to do some work you can do really well with some of them.

about a month and a half ago
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Project Ara: Inside Google's Modular Smartphones

knarf Re:Drop-sensitivity (70 comments)

Hmmmm.... I wonder what you do to your phones which makes them do that. I have only ever had phones with removable batteries without these problems. Either you always buy lemons, you exaggerate the problem or you slam them down on the desk in a futile attempt to form a phone-shaped crater in the surface.

While the concept of a lego phone might not appeal to everyone, there certainly is some merit in being able to swap more than just the battery.

Also remember that GSM phones already contain user-swappable devices (SIM cards) which do not seem to suffer from your desk-dunking disease. There are ways of achieving this modularity without sacrificing reliability.

about 1 month ago
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The Bitcoin Death Star: KnC Plans 10 Megawatt Data Center In Sweden

knarf Re:About the proposed boycott (250 comments)

This is probably one of the better options, even though the S/N ratio on reddit often makes me long for a Dolby C switch on this here laptop.

Sooooo... boycottperson, please add a hint to gather at the slashdot subreddit for boycott-related communications. Open a thread there and keep it alive.

about 2 months ago
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The Bitcoin Death Star: KnC Plans 10 Megawatt Data Center In Sweden

knarf Re:About the proposed boycott (250 comments)

IRC is good for ephemeral communications but it is inferior for more long-term discussions. A web forum is probably best given the target audience.

about 2 months ago
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The Bitcoin Death Star: KnC Plans 10 Megawatt Data Center In Sweden

knarf About the proposed boycott (250 comments)

I've seen many calls for a boycott, and such a thing might be in order to get the powers that be to understand that the future of /. is rather bleak without actively participating users.

One thing is missing from these boycott calls: a means of communication before, during and after the proposed boycott. Without such a means of communication nobody will know whether the boycott is successful or not. At the most they'll head for /. - thereby negating the effect of the proposed boycott - to see whether it is as empty as intended.

If anyone has a suggestion for a good place to discuss and connect during the boycott, please speak up. Understand that many /.-ers are wary of all the social boondoggery which infests the web so don't come with suggestions like 'facebook' or 'twitter'. A newsgroup would work, as would another discussion forum. That newsgroup should have a web interface, preferably one which does not require you to login using a Google/Yahoo/Microsoft/Facebook/Twitter/other-big-data-vacuum account.

Any suggestions?

about 2 months ago
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Dried Meat "Resurrects" Lost Species of Whale

knarf [on-topic] deep living whales using scuba gear? (87 comments)

<content-disposition="on-topic">
TFA talks about these whales never having been seen because they live so deep in the sea. Either they have developed rebreathers or everlasting scuba gear OR they have to come to the surface every once in a while to breathe and thus be liable to be seen. The same goes for calves, they'd have to stay relatively close to the surface for the first few days. Good to know that there is still something left to be discovered.
</content-disposition>

Now that this is out of the way I'd like to add my voice to those who state that the beta is, shall we say, sub-optimal? I don't tend to use expletives so I'll refrain from them in this context but I do want to let it be known that I'll probably be a goner if I have to access the site through the JS-riddled monstrosity called beta. I already spend more time elsewhere (HN et al) even though 'elsewhere' also has its faults.

To those in command, accept that the beta is generally disliked. Either keep the site as it is until it bleeds dry or, if you insist in changing for changes' sake offer the content through an API so users can decide on their own frontend - think HN. Yes, you'll want to have some way of foisting ads and infomercial content and such pablum on your very suspecting users. They'll find ways to block it as they always did. Just accept that and keep the brand alive, or fight it and perish.

about 2 months ago
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Old-school Wi-Fi Is Slowing Down Networks, Cisco Says

knarf Re:so what about all my old devices? (254 comments)

For everything that doesn't move, it should be wired anyway.

Strange as it may sound to you there are actually reasons to have stationary things connect to the network through a wireless adapter. One good reason would be the simple fact that some of us live in areas where lightning plays havoc on infrastructure, especially telephone lines. If you connect to the 'net through ADSL you'll start seeing the wisdom of having as few wired connections between your modem and your network. While it is more or less impossible to protect the modem from a direct strike and usually inconvenient to protect the router, all other equipment should preferably be connected wirelessly or suffer the wrath of Thor.

This is no idle talk, I have personally lost three modems, two routers, three Thinkpad T23 network adapters, one Intel SS4200 server network interface and one HP Jetdirect card to lightning strikes. The damage always came from the telephone line and was carried through the wired network to the victims. Nothing ever happened to any wireless device, ever.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Macintosh Turns 30

knarf Re:The more things change the more they... change? (154 comments)

Not having a CLI and forcing developers to either limit their applications to what could be pointed at and clicked, or implementing their own application-specific CLI is one of the reasons why the Macintosh ended up being a niche platform, derided by some as having its manual 'printed on drool-proof paper'. If there is one thing Apple did right when they introduced OSX it is their decision to 'allow' command line access.

about 3 months ago
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Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store

knarf Re: That's fair enough (225 comments)

Oh well, there is plenty of malware on the Apple app store as well. The Windows store is also full of malware.

These statements are just as unproven as the one you just made. If you back up yours with some evidence, I'm sure I can find some for mine...

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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knarf knarf writes  |  more than 7 years ago

knarf (34928) writes "Here in Sweden the former state power monopolist Vattenfall is currently replacing all electricity meters with remotely readable versions. They have chosen to use Echelon NES system components. Recently I got an EM-1023 Poly-Phase (PDF) installed which includes an ANSI C12.18 compliant infrared optical port.

The power company can now follow my electricity consumption from day to day and... so could I... if only I could interface to that meter. Which leads to my question: where can I find a reference implementation of the ANSI C12.18 (or similar PSEM) protocol? I have the specs and can write everything from scratch but why reinvent the wheel?"

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