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Comments

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Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

markhb Re:Intel (236 comments)

Microsoft was signed up to port Windows NT and it looked like you'd be able to run Windows and MacOS (the two most popular desktop operating systems) and possibly some of the other less-popular ones (most of which were m68k-based) on the same hardware.

You left out OS/2, which Lou Gerstner hadn't given up on yet (although the nightmare of the PPC port helped him make up his mind). IBM at this point still had hopes of re-conquering the desktop market, and the CHRP (Common Hardware Reference Platform, aka PPC hardware design) was part of that. Alas, it was not to be. I have booted exactly one machine in my life - a small tower RS/6000 running AIX - that came up and proclaimed itself to be a CHRP machine.

IIRC, either Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 did, in fact, ship with a PowerPC install on the CD, alongside i386, Alpha and MIPS. Whichever it was was also the last of the NT line to support multiple architectures until 64-bit came along.

about a week ago
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Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

markhb In other news.... (239 comments)

A family is reporting that a stranger named "Stan O'Neil" has invaded their home, apparently using a key to the premises, and is claiming to be their husband and father. The woman who heads the family says she does not remember ever seeing the man before, but could not name the father of her children or the person who gave her what appeared to be wedding and engagement rings.

about three weeks ago
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Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

markhb Re:Massive loses? (239 comments)

I think if they attach your name to a blockquote in a story, they apply the "you own your own words" policy and leave it as-is without so much as a smug (sic). For those portions of the story they actually write themselves, it is not required that they spell or use grammar more correctly than CmdrTaco did.

about three weeks ago
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Google Fiber Is Officially Making Its Way To Portland

markhb Re:Is it is? (153 comments)

I'd say that the "Portland" is the one in Maine that has a city in Oregon named after it. In fact ISTR that the Oregon folks lost a United Way bet to us a couple of decades ago in which they promised to change their name if they lost. Still waiting for that.

(Waiting for the folks on the English island that has all the cement to jump in...)

about a month ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

markhb Re:You make it... (519 comments)

In what world can "any [individual] elected school board member fire all those teachers"? Any school board I've ever seen can only act as a body; individual members can't do squat.

At any rate, public education unions tend to be some of the strongest out there; it shouldn't be harder to release a teacher than it is to fire any other unionized worker. Tenure at the university level serves a purpose: to ensure the academic freedom of the faculty to perform the research they see fit by insulating them from the vagaries of administrations. I'd be hard pressed to find a full-time public school K-12 teacher who does meaningful research as part of their job.

about a month and a half ago
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Toyota Investigating Hovercars

markhb Re: aka (186 comments)

What about off-solid-ground applications, where they are already used? I have an actual use case in mind for a hover vehicle similar to a DUKW, where it could go into hovercraft mode over water that is too shallow to use conventional craft mode, but with a bottom too shallow to use the tires.

However, the on-road applications face another stumbling block: the laws in my US state (and likely most if not all of the others) require all vehicles used on public roads to be exclusively propelled by means of power-driven wheels in physical contact with the pavement. No hovercraft, no strapping a jet turbine to the roof and throwing it in neutral.

about a month and a half ago
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Recommendations For Classic Superhero Comic Collections?

markhb Re:DC Omnibus (165 comments)

If you want to broaden it out a little beyond superheroes and comic books, Fantagraphics did collections of the Foster-era Prince Valiant and the pre-Depression Little Nemo in Slumberland which are worth your time particularly for the artwork.

about a month and a half ago
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New IE 8 Zero Day Discovered

markhb Re:American Date Format (134 comments)

As an American, for that particular day, there is an added significance to the number itself as 911 is our universal emergency telephone number, similar to the European 112 or 999. I would typically write today's date as 22 May 2014, but when I do so I am being consciously pretentious. Otherwise I'd use 5/22/2014 (I was the Y2K guy at my previous job; it cured me of 2-digit years for good).

about 2 months ago
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Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

markhb "Appeal to the mass market"? (93 comments)

Sam Raimi's 'Spider-Man,' which made its debut in 2002, proved (along with Brian Singer's 'X-Men,' released in 2000) that superhero movies could appeal to the mass market, provided they were done right.

As opposed to, say, the $400 million brought in by Tim Burton's original Batman?

about 3 months ago
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SCOTUS Ends Novell's Anti-Trust Cast Against Microsoft

markhb Re:way to over simplify the issue win the summery (174 comments)

WordPerfect 5 and 6 were a mess. WP pre-Novell had long made a habit of creating its own printer drivers, stemming partly from the fact that they supported so many wildly disparate platforms (they started on AOS/VS... now go look that up and get off my lawn!) in the pre-GUI era that they needed an internally consistent set of interfaces to work with. Once Windows started providing things like printer management, even in the 3.11 era, they had a hard time switching over and tended to GPF all over the place. I'm not absolving MS from any dirty tricks they may have pulled, but it's not like WP was building something that people outside certain vertical markets (they still rule the legal world AFAIK) couldn't move on from.

about 3 months ago
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

markhb Re:Connections...forward (276 comments)

Watch the show "Connections" some time. If you're not familiar with it (and you call yourself a Geek?) it takes a historical view of how we got from there (the invention of stirrups) to here (telecommunications). Take that kind of historical perspective and then try to extrapolate forward from it. Don't forget to figure in the technological growth curve, socio-economic factors, human psychology, a hundred other things that I don't feel like compiling a list of right now...oh yeah...and a big, healthy dose of random chance (think The Mule in Asimov's Foundation Trilogy). If you get better than 5% accuracy on a 25 year prediction I'll be very surprised.

Connections, indeed. Should be required viewing before being allowed to have an account on /.

about 3 months ago
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Hewlett-Packard Admits To International Bribery and Money Laundering Schemes

markhb Re:In most of the world... (139 comments)

Any waiter happening to read this article just pegged you as a Canadian.

about 3 months ago
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Born To RUN: Dartmouth Throwing BASIC a 50th B-Day Party

markhb Re:BASIC is where M$ got its start (146 comments)

The first Microsoft BASIC I ever ran was on the TRS-80 in my high school; I ran something like
10 FOR A = 0 TO 1024
20 PRINT CHR$(PEEK(A));
30 NEXT A

and somewhere along the way it came out with "M I C R O S O F T"

about 3 months ago
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Subversion Project Migrates To Git

markhb I miss the old days... (162 comments)

... when Slashdot posted nothing but joke stories all day on April 1; it was the best way to catch all of them. Maybe they decided they couldn't top themselves after OMG PONIES!!!!! (which I missed), but just sticking in one joke stories amongst a bunch of uninteresting real ones is lame. There isn't even an article on the Google prank!

about 4 months ago
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Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age

markhb Re:Um no (224 comments)

After all the 70's-era metric indoctrination I received (including weekly showings of "The Metric System" on PBS), I happily recognize that there are legitimate reasons in science and trade for the use of SI. However, beyond that, the fact is that there is no actual advantage in daily life between US standard and metric units. There's no functional difference between km and miles, and the decimalization of km doesn't mean a whole lot when you really think about how often you need to use the fact that there's 1760 yards in a mile (i.e., yes, it's easier to convert, but how often do you need to convert?) For scientific use the 100 degrees between the freezing and boiling points of water in Celsius makes sense, but Fahrenheit serves its intended purpose admirably: the range 0 to 100 is a reasonable coverage of the weather in the temperate zones of the world. There's no overwhelming advantage to making the switch, particularly in the USA where "because the rest of the world does it that way" is typically considered a misfeature.

about 4 months ago
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Recent news events re: Bitcoin ...

markhb Re:Bitcoin is hard to explain... (192 comments)

Specifically, he died in Stavro Mueller Beta. I should know; I'm a white mouse.

about 4 months ago
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It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

markhb Re:HEY (268 comments)

Flipper? As in "SEX BOMB MAMA, YEAH!" (Of course, I'm old enough to have voted for Reagan, so I'm outside your sample and I'm also in the "really don't care about music" category to boot.) But Sex Bomb is the only song I know by them, and I thought it was one of the most awful pieces of dreck I'd ever heard.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Modern Web Development Applied Science Associates Degree?

markhb Re:Not a good idea (246 comments)

If you're putting washout classes in a Community College curriculum, you're doing it wrong.

about 5 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

markhb Re: The Why (2219 comments)

Why? We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

The problem with that is that many of the current audience are here because the site lacks that "wider audence". Slashdot is (was?) a place where people could discuss and argue the benefits of various Linux desktops, or the importance of the changes Lucas made to the 1990's rerelease of the Star Wars trilogy, or whether The Glorious MEEPT! ever got laid, and not have to worry about being interrupted or looked down upon by people who didn't "get it." As the tagline said: "News for Nerds." The clearest example in the archives would have to be the Jon Katz post-Columbine stories; Katz was the archetype of the "wider audience" member you're looking for, and the comments clearly showed the disparity between his outlook and that of the Slashdot "community members" (quotes because I don't think those of us who were there considered it a "community" with a "membership" at the time). You're trying to de-nerdify a nerd site; that's as close as one can get to literally killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.

While we're talking nerd stuff: where's the source code for this beta? Is it even still written in Perl?

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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T-Mobile presents Facebook Voice Chat

markhb markhb writes  |  more than 3 years ago

markhb writes "T-Mobile has announced Bobsled, a Facebook app which enables VoIP voice chat via the Facebook Chat interface. Plans for the future include video chat and apps for Android, PC, and tablets. From the announcement: "Once downloaded, customers can use the Bobsled application for Facebook to place voice calls to their friends through Facebook Chat with just one click. This is one of the first VoIP application seamlessly integrated into Facebook Chat, which makes it quick and simple to place an impromptu call to a Facebook friend. The application eliminates the need for dialing – users simply click on a friend’s name to start the conversation. There’s also no need to remember screen names or to input numbers. With the new application, customers can also leave a voice message for friends when they’re not available. Anyone on Facebook can receive a call; no application download is required to receive a call via the Bobsled application for Facebook. " No word on how this is going to make them any money."
Link to Original Source
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Google: Um.. err... better now?

markhb markhb writes  |  more than 5 years ago

markhb writes "Google has rescinded the "We have rights to everything you look at through our browser" portion of their EULA for Chrome. As some commented, they just reused their global Terms of Service, apparently without thinking too much about it. Those readers who are programmers might recognize this as a "copy and paste error.""
Link to Original Source
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markhb markhb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

markhb writes "Sure, Google can show you your house, but can they show you what where there before your house? A Maine company is building a database of historic maps, making them scrollable and searchable much like Google is. The plan, as reported in today's Portland newspaper, is to eventually make it into a 3-dimensional map database: length, width and time."
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markhb markhb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

markhb (11721) writes "While the BBC homepage at www.bbc.co.uk appears to be working, squatters seem to have taken over the Beeb's News domain, as a look at news.bbc.co.uk will show. The BBC News site is one of the most heavily-viewed sites in the world, so this is likely to be disruptive — or at least disturbing — to many until it is fixed."

Journals

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"be the majority of voters"

markhb markhb writes  |  more than 10 years ago

In case you're wondering about an old posting of mine which contains the phrase "Remainder of my .sig:", the full .sig was originally supposed to be:

Those who would surrender essential liberty for a little temporary security may deserve neither, but they tend to be the majority of voters.

AFIAK, I am the source of that statement, with apologies to Ben Franklin.

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