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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

markjhood2003 Re:The Government also ruined my washer and dryer (602 comments)

Same story here with a Whirlpool HE front-loader. The washer quickly developed a moldy smell. The clothes often came out of the machine with completely dry spots because of inadequate water levels. It started leaking a few months ago. We replaced the logic board and the front door baffle only to have the problems return. All this despite taking all the preventative steps and using the recommended products as directed.

The service techs that came out to deal with the machine had the same story as well -- these front-loading HE washers just do not work due to the difficulty in meeting the new efficiency requirements, and the manufacturers will not design them to do so, since it would cut into their profit margins and reduce demand.

I am also now thinking of purchasing Speed Queen while they are still available.

Also notable -- there is a class-action lawsuit pending against Whirlpool, and it looks like it's getting some traction: http://www.forbes.com/sites/da...

about 2 months ago
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Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than You

markjhood2003 we need a better name for these contraptions (722 comments)

"Self-driving car" is beginning to sound a lot like "horseless carriage". I would suggest "automobile" but that seems to be taken already...

about a year ago
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LinkedIn's New Mobile App Called 'a Dream For Attackers'

markjhood2003 How is this different from Gmail? (122 comments)

I'm not trying to troll here, but not being a Gmail user, I'm not sure how LinkedIn's scraping of email is any different than Google scraping it for advertising services. I understand that technically LinkedIn is acting as a proxy, and Google as an ISP, but how is the result any different?

about a year ago
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Software Rendering Engine GPU-Accelerated By WebCL

markjhood2003 Re:I/O Bandwidth (84 comments)

While I'm sure it would allow customized algorithms, they would have to be rather unique to not be handled by the current state of geometry/vertex/fragment shaders. Are they thinking some of non-triangular geometry?

The FA mentions voxel rendering for Minecraft-type applications. Although volume rendering can be achieved with traditional hardware accelerated surface primitives, there are many algorithms that are more naturally described and implemented using data structures that don't translate so easily to hardware accelerated primitives.

Constructive solid geometry, vector based graphics, and ray tracing are also not such a nice fit to OpenGL and DirectX APIs. You don't always want to have to tessellate geometry that has an analytic expression, such as conics, rational quadratics, b-splines, and NURBS, so a more software-oriented approach can provide better renderings for those types of mathematical objects.

The challenge here is that graphics primitives that APIs such as OpenGL provide are of course those that the hardware can most readily accelerate. If you don't use primitives and operations that can be massively parallel then you may not get much use out of the hardware.

about a year ago
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Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics

markjhood2003 Re:Hold up. (600 comments)

What's interesting there is we say it reflects reality because it makes the calculations easier.

That really is the most interesting thing in this discussion. Essentially we are making a leap of faith, that simpler models are more likely to be true as long as they continue to support the data and allow us to make predictions. But it is at root an aesthetic judgement: beauty is truth, and truth is beautiful. It is the essence of rationality.

It's cool to see how Feynman's diagrams may be like the epicycles of the earth-centered view of the universe: they can be made to work as long as you keep refining the model, adding loops within loops within loops. But with this new breakthrough, all that can be thrown away for a much simpler model that leads to deeper insights. And those deeper insights are awe-inspiring: locality and unitarity as emergent phenomena.

about a year ago
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GNOME 3.10 Is Now Properly Supported On Wayland

markjhood2003 Re:Now make GNOME work (128 comments)

X was so "ahead of its time" that its entire architecture was dumped in version 10 to give way to X11, and then it remained so far ahead of its time that to this day NextOS, MacOS, Android and Windows have yet to adopt a single thing from it, contrary to the rest of Unix most of which has made its way into those operating systems.

Mac OS X, Android and Windows are consumer operating systems, for which eye-candy UIs are considered more important than network transparency. Their remote connectivity needs are limited to accessing corporate Web, cloud, and IT services, not other peers on the network.

NeXT was a great OS that used Display Postscript as the rendering engine, but it was also wrapped in a networked desktop environment, NextStep, and used with X11 and NeWS as well (Sun's Network Extensible Window System). I did find NextStep and NeWS superior to X11 and it's a damn shame they didn't succeed (although NextStep evolved into OS X, and Applie did include a rootless X11 implementation with it until Mountain Lion).

As for other companies, there were entire industry consortiums dedicated to expanding X and Unix, such as X/Open and the Open Software Foundation: these included companies like AT&T, DEC, Unisys, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sun, Prime, and Apollo.

And no, it was not designed to access resources from the desktop. It was mainly designed so that you could use a dumb terminal to access your server. When it became clear that was pie on the sky, instead of redesigning the turd, they just added layer upon layer of cruft, so you ended up with a dumb as doornails protocol running on a heavy weight, expensive "dumb" terminal.

The dumb terminal at that time was a VT100. X was designed to run on bitmapped displays. Although there were such bitmapped terminals available at the time, X mostly ran on engineering workstations. You didn't usually use it access a server (although you could); rather, other networked peers used it to display a UI on your local X display. I'm not sure why you think that is "pie in the sky" since it worked and continues to work rather well. Part of the reason for that was because the protocol was rich enough to transmit graphics primitives at a higher level than a bitmap. Nothing dumb about it.

Lastly the web browser has nothing to do with Unix. It is platform independent. The fact that you think the web==unix shows how little you know about deep OS architecture.

Don't be silly, I'm not conflating the Web with Unix. Sure, web browsers are supported by most computing platforms. But the web browser's roots in Unix go way back to NextStep and the beginnings of the Internet, at that time mostly Unix-based, and the web browser remains a central and crucial component of desktop Linux. My main point was that cleaning up web browser architecture would be vastly more useful and relevant than replacing a stable and functional part of Linux with something that is less useful, but prettier.

about a year ago
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GNOME 3.10 Is Now Properly Supported On Wayland

markjhood2003 Re:Now make GNOME work (128 comments)

X is one of the few remaining *big* mistakes in Unix. It was designed with the wrong philosophy and overtaken by actual usage. Wayland is an effort to clean up and refactor the code.

X was ahead of its time and nothing ever caught up to it. It was designed around the idea that all the resources of the network should be seamlessly accessible from a single user's desktop, and embodied the old Internet ideal of ubiquitous peer-to-peer connectivity (still perfectly reasonable and incredibly useful on a secure LAN). Wayland is an effort to make it easier to develop eye-candy user interfaces for consumers and throw out any functionality that gets in the way of that goal. It's totally appropriate for mobile but unnecessary and counter-productive for the desktop.

If you want to talk about really big mistakes in Unix, and computing in general, take a look at the modern web browser and the development environment that it requires. Doing anything interesting on the web requires an unholy mix of technologies and infrastructure like JavaScript, PHP, HTML, XML, CSS, cookies, DOM, BOM and all the interfaces between them. What we really need is a Wayland for the Web, not a Wayland that destroys much of what is stable and functional in Unix.

about a year ago
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Yahoo CEO Says It Would Be Treason To Decline To Cooperate With the NSA

markjhood2003 Re:Its fun to read comments on this kind of topics (524 comments)

Google CEO Page is worth 25 billion dollars and along with Brin owns enough voting shares to completely control the company. Mayer is worth 300 million. They have resources that you and I don't: the ability to hire the best lawyers in the world and media platforms that reach the majority of the people in the US and perhaps the world.

If they had any sense of responsibility, obligation, or patriotism they could fight this thing and have a good chance of winning.

about a year ago
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Intel, Red Hat Working On Enabling Wayland Support In GNOME

markjhood2003 Re:Why? (168 comments)

Thanks for the info. I knew about RDP providing access to audio and printers but I didn't know that it supported seamless integration of remote apps into the local desktop. I'll have to check out xrdp.

about a year ago
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Intel, Red Hat Working On Enabling Wayland Support In GNOME

markjhood2003 Re:Why? (168 comments)

Actually, what the clients are doing right now is assembling bitmaps, widgets, and font glyph assets into a pixmap on the client side, most likely without the benefits of GPU acceleration, and sending the result as an uncompressed pixmap over the wire to the X server, which hands it off to a compositor, which combines the pixmap with images from other applications and hands the result back to the X server.

Yes, I think you are right for the most part, especially with Gnome and GTK applications. It explains why the resource tab of gnome-system-monitor consumes over 1MB/sec of bandwidth on my LAN. It's a shame really since it could have been coded to be much more network efficient if it would just draw the damn lines on the server side instead of rendering them into a pixmap on the client side.

In general Gnome is extremely network unfriendly. I get tons of error messages on the console because Gnome applications feel so insecure when they can't connect to a Gnome desktop. They seem to work fine, but it's annoying.

Composited UIs are important for mobile because of the limited physical screen space; it gives additional information beyond the spatial dimensions of the viewing surface. And the lower overhead and simplicity of infrastructure such as DirectFB and Wayland are also essential for mobile. On the desktop, not so much: with enough screen space I can be happy and productive with a tiling window manager and completely opaque windows. That and network transparency in my opinion trumps any advantage that Wayland would have in terms of desktop environments.

The GPU acceleration issue is puzzling. I've experienced this -- if there is no monitor attached to a Linux machine, then the GPU drivers are not loaded. There's no good reason for that (it's not an issue on Solaris), and I've read that it can be worked around with a dongle and a resistor attached to the display port to make the driver think there's a monitor there.

If Wayland will support legacy X11 desktop applications the way you describe, then fine, I guess I'll get used to it. But it seems like a lot of work for not much benefit: work that could be more effective if applied to the mobile use case.

about a year ago
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Intel, Red Hat Working On Enabling Wayland Support In GNOME

markjhood2003 Re:Why? (168 comments)

VNC is a pixel-based screen-scraping desktop replicator. I have never seen one that performs better than individual X11 clients over a fast LAN, and over the Internet it's even worse. Besides that, I already have a full X11 desktop running on my local machine, so I don't want another desktop environment intruding. I just want the individual clients to display on my existing X11 server's desktop. This is especially important when working with several remote hosts.

RDP is a little better in that it has some understanding of the higher-level desktop objects it is rendering. But it still functions as a complete desktop that really wants to take over your entire local desktop.

about a year ago
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Intel, Red Hat Working On Enabling Wayland Support In GNOME

markjhood2003 Re:Why? (168 comments)

In the real world, the network transparency support features are not used, EVEN WHEN YOU ARE USING A REMOTE DISPLAY because it's easier and more effective to actually render on the remote machine and bang the interface, so that's exactly what every widget toolkit does.

I have three headless Linux machines and the only display I have is on my laptop. My remote X11 clients run on these machines and present their UIs on my local X11 display server running on my laptop. While it is probably true that these clients are not transmitting XDrawLine and XFillArc protocol elements to render their UIs, they are still mostly assembling pre-rendered bitmaps, widgets, and font glyph assets to send down the wire for rendering on the local server. How is this going to work on Wayland?

I keep reading that this will be supported through some backward-compatible protocol, but has anybody actually worked out the details of how existing X11 clients will migrate to this new protocol? My fear is that these clients will stop working with future versions of Linux and their replacements will not support network transparency.

Wayland has a real use case for mobile devices, but why make the same mistake as Microsoft by gratuitously trying to unify mobile with desktop? On a desktop, the only advantage to Wayland is that it facilitates implementing a pretty compositing desktop. This is a fad that is already starting to fade from fashion.

about a year ago
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US Intercepts Iranian Order For Attack On US Embassy In Iraq

markjhood2003 Re:Angling to get Iran too (433 comments)

Exactly. Intervening in Syria allows the US to engage in a proxy war against Iran. The chemical attack provides the opportunity to intervene.

about a year ago
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Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2: Now With New Kickstand!

markjhood2003 Re:Finger Grease on a Laptop Screen? (294 comments)

Not a Surface user, but I can't stand finger marks on the screen either, so I generally use a stylus when interacting with a tablet. The only problem is the pinch-zoom gesture. Somehow the thought of wielding two styluses like a pair of chopsticks isn't appealing to me.

about a year ago
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Users Revolt Over Yahoo Groups Update

markjhood2003 Re:Change is hard (331 comments)

Now explain to me how it is not a fear of change?

It is exactly a fear of change. The people who use Yahoo Groups are older and have been using it for over a decade. Most older people have a greater resistance to change than younger people.

This reminds me of how car manufacturers are finally realizing that it's stupid to keep trying to market new cars to young people -- they're just not interested. It's the boomers who are still buying new cars, and it's much more effective to direct their marketing at that generation than the kids. Yahoo should try to understand who their users are and cater to their needs instead of the audience they wish they had.

about a year ago
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Users Revolt Over Yahoo Groups Update

markjhood2003 Re:Ignoring your users is the new mantra (331 comments)

So nerds, geeks, and dweebs do not rule the tech universe anymore, we are just along for the ride.

This.

The synergy between geek culture and the broader mainstream tech culture looks like it is coming to an end. We were there creating technology and products for other geeks, engineers, and scientists before the public knew what the heck we were doing. Then the marketers caught on to us and used our leadership positions to expand the market for technology to the broader public, and we got the benefits of that scaling in the form of cheaper, more powerful devices. Now we are diverging again, and the devices and technology we prefer will be relegated to a new, more expensive niche.

about a year ago
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Tiny $45 Cubic Mini-PC Supports Android and Linux

markjhood2003 Re:good for headless usage? (197 comments)

VNC and RDP are really slow screen replicators. Why would you use them if you have X11 running on your local machine with a Gigabit connection to your remote clients?

If you have a web browser like Chrome as your remote client, then it will certainly benefit from having access to the GPU, especially for highly composited web interfaces and 3D WebGL web applications.

about a year ago
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Tiny $45 Cubic Mini-PC Supports Android and Linux

markjhood2003 good for headless usage? (197 comments)

Why do these newer small computers always seem to lack a serial port? Do you have to connect a physical keyboard and monitor to configure sshd before you can get in through the ethernet or wireless interfaces and run it headless? Or can you get console IO through the USB ports?

Related question: is GPU acceleration available without connecting a physical monitor? Some systems seem to require a dongle to fool the computer into thinking a monitor is attached before loading the drivers that provide access to the GPU.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Ephemeral web links vex Supreme Court decisions

markjhood2003 markjhood2003 writes  |  about a year ago

markjhood2003 (779923) writes "We all know that content on the web tends to move and disappear, making our carefully curated bookmarks more like a heap of unresolved links over time. This phenomenon is known as link rot, and now a team of researchers has found that over 70% of URLs within law journals and over 50% of URLs in Supreme Court decisions are broken. Adam Liptak in his NY Times blog also notes an amusing 404 error message that results from trying to follow a URL reference from a 2011 Supreme Court decision. The researchers' proposed solution: a consortium of thirty law libraries around the world which will allow authors and editors to store permanent caches of these ephemeral links. What are some of the tactics that Slashdotters use to preserve links in their private bookmark stores?"
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Google planning on replacing cookies with AdID

markjhood2003 markjhood2003 writes  |  about a year ago

markjhood2003 (779923) writes "According to a story published in USA Today, an anonymous source at Google familiar with the plan has revealed that Google is developing an anonymous identifier for advertising tracking, replacing the function of third party cookies currently used by most major advertisers. The new AdID supposedly gives consumers more privacy and control over their web browsing, but the ad industry is worried about putting more power in the hands of large technology companies. Sounds like the idea could have some promise, but at this point the proposal is not public so we will probably have to wait until Google reaches out to the industry, government and consumers to provide the details."
Link to Original Source
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Microcode updates and NSA surveillance

markjhood2003 markjhood2003 writes  |  about a year ago

markjhood2003 (779923) writes "Has your CPU's microcode been updated lately? According to Steve Blank of the Wall St. CheatSheet, "Since 2000, Intel has put out 29 microcode updates to their processors. The microcode is distributed by 1) Intel or by 2) Microsoft integrated into a BIOS or 3) as part of a Windows update. Unfortunately, the microcode update format is undocumented and the code is encrypted. This allows Intel to make sure that 3rd parties can’t make unauthorized add-ons to their chips. But it also means that no one can look inside to understand the microcode, which makes it is impossible to know whether anyone is loading a backdoor into your computer." Has the NSA secretly installed undetectable microcode backdoors into your hardware?"
Link to Original Source
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Yahoo (yes, Yahoo) releases a new iOS browser

markjhood2003 markjhood2003 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

markjhood2003 (779923) writes "Fresh on the heels of Slashdot's discussion of the lack of browser choice on mobile devices comes the announcement of Yahoo's new web browser Axis. According to VentureBeat, the browser runs on iPad and iPhone as a separate standalone browser and as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, with support for Android and Windows Phone coming soon. It actually appears to bring some innovation to mobile search, displaying results and queries on the same page for more productive navigation between the two."
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Flash Player 10.3 simplifies cookie deletion

markjhood2003 markjhood2003 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

markjhood2003 (779923) writes "Adobe has released a beta version of Flash Player 10.3 that will allow major web browsers to directly delete Flash cookies.

"The Flash Player 10.3 beta local storage settings will apply to Mozilla Firefox 4, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and higher, and future releases of Safari and Google Chrome...
Mozilla executives said Tuesday that the release candidate for Firefox 4 is expected sometime this week, with a final release expected later this month. ""

Link to Original Source
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MP3Tunes to face safe harbor challenge

markjhood2003 markjhood2003 writes  |  about 4 years ago

markjhood2003 (779923) writes "The MP3Tunes cloud-based music storage and search engine service is facing a lawsuit from EMI. Opposition briefs are due on Wednesday and oral arguments will start in January. From the article:

"Among the key issues is the â½ÂÅ"safe harborâ½Â provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects Internet service providers like Google, Yahoo and Facebook from copyright liability if they promptly remove infringing content upon notification. Last Tuesday several influential digital rights groups filed a brief supporting the defendant in the case, MP3Tunes, urging the court to uphold the â½ÂÅ"safe harborâ½Â provision, lest online innovation be stifled.

For MP3Tunes CEO and founder Michael Robertson this case is personal. He is named as a defendant and if he loses, he could be personally be held liable for massive monetary damage.""

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ABC, CBS, & NBC block Google TV

markjhood2003 markjhood2003 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

markjhood2003 (779923) writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that "ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking TV programming on their websites from being viewable on Google Inc.'s new Web-TV service... Spokespeople for the three networks confirmed that they are blocking the episodes on their websites from playing on Google TV, although both ABC and NBC allow promotional clips to work using the service". Google has responded, "Google TV enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owners' choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on the platform." Is the opening shot in the media companies' bid to end network neutrality?"
Link to Original Source

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