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Larry Ellison Believes Apple Is Doomed

mblase Re:He's right - Android is eating iOS's lunch (692 comments)

OK, I'll bite. Without using brand names, please tell me what you can do (e.g., use cases) with an iOS device that you can't do with an Android device of equal or lessor price?

I can give an iPod or iPhone to my kids and trust that they're not going to download any malware or spyware or SMS-overcharging trojans onto it.

All other things being equal, the inherent security of the iOS ecosystem is leaps and bounds better than anything Android is even capable of coming up with.

about a year ago
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Early Surface Sales Pitiful

mblase Re:sick of windows at work (251 comments)

OSX isn't competing with Surface, per se, and OSX may be a POSIX compliant system, but why does Apple do things like make Safari non-compliant with regard to standards like the W3? One web site I worked on had the worst rendering with Safari. I mean, almost useless W3 non-comliance. We had to develop a plug-in to deal with some of our stuff. Firefox, IE? No issues. We could use the stock browser components.

What website would that be? I prefer to do my testing in WebKit browsers, personally.

about a year ago
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Describe Any Location On Earth In 3 Words

mblase Re:um okay (478 comments)

Have you not realized that three english words are easier to remember than 12-20 random numbers?

...unless you're not an English speaker.

Which is significant, if this is being used to identify locations on a *global* scale.

about a year and a half ago
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Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For Ender's Game Movie

mblase Hate the artist, love the art (1448 comments)

My mom is a huge opera fan, and my brother goes along with her often when he can. It's not my thing, but I respect the history of the art form and I don't hate the music.

As a German-American family, perhaps, they're especially fond of the Ring Cycle. When they get a chance, they buy tickets to all four productions and go see them one after the other.

This is despite the fact that everybody who knows anything about opera knows that Wagner was a *huge* anti-Semite.

They both know this, and reject his point of view. But that doesn't stop the music from being great.

Now, it's a bit different when the artist is still alive and making money off his work, I'll grant you. But all the same, I have a hard time judging Card's work based on his personal points of view.

Yes, his Mormon-influenced views about people marrying young and as virgins and then having at least three to five children are a prominent influence on his plots. But I don't remember seeing anything anti-gay in his stories, either. He seems to keep that in a separate compartment from his creative life.

I'll go to see the movie, and judge it based on its own merits.

about a year and a half ago
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Edward Snowden Files For Political Asylum In Russia

mblase Re:Americans will never defend their constitution (447 comments)

The dream died years ago, I still have no idea why people still believe it is still a dream country.

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." -- Wiston Churchill

about a year and a half ago
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Edward Snowden Files For Political Asylum In Russia

mblase Re:Hypocrite (447 comments)

But it's not a hypocritical act to sacrifice yourself so that others may have greater freedom.

If he was sacrificing himself, he would have stayed in the USA after distributing all the documents he'd stolen and proudly stood trial for what he'd done.

Instead, he ran for it. And now he's having to deal with the unfortunate reality that most countries aren't going to stick their neck out to protect him from the United States if there's nothing to be gained.

about a year and a half ago
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Edward Snowden Files For Political Asylum In Russia

mblase "Everyone has the right..." (447 comments)

"Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution." That's not the same as saying that other countries are obligated to grant you asylum.

Also, I'm personally not sure if this is a "case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes". Theft of classified government data does not, in my opinion, qualify as a political crime.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With New Free Time?

mblase As you said (299 comments)

Develop hobbies, spend time with family.

How the heck are WE supposed to know what you'll enjoy doing? Try a few things and figure it out.

about a year and a half ago
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USA Calling For the Extradition of Snowden

mblase Re:It wont do much, but at least register interest (955 comments)

That would be actually reasonably smooth move by Obama if he wishes to temper the wrath of his own party. But it's completely absurd to imagine that it's the petition that would make him change his mind. Still, if you're into such things...

I liked it better when the trolls were subtle.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

mblase Re:Oh dear (656 comments)

"Good at computers" ?

you should put that on your résumé.

That was about my reaction.

Long bio short: I was *great* in math in high school, pretty good at calculus, but differential equations and their non-algorithmic problem solving methods just confused the heck out of me. (In hindsight, I should have asked my teachers for more help.) At the end of my freshman year I was introduced to NCSA Mosaic and then Netscape 0.9, started teaching myself HTML and, later, JavaScript, and got a job coding web sites. I still do that.

I took to programming so well, I wished I'd tried it sooner. Turns out that programs and math proofs use the same sort of abstract logic -- get from point A to point B using these pieces.

I always liked computers, but I don't suppose I'd describe myself as "good with computers." That means USING software, not WRITING it. Writing software requires judicious applications of logic and optimization, with varying levels of analysis and computation sprinkled in.

And the further you get in programming, the more advanced math you need. Graphics? Uses trigonometry. Animation? Matrix algebra. You probably won't need calculus or differential equations unless you're actually doing engineering, but how do you know at this point that you won't?

Heck, my state university wouldn't even let me get a CompSci minor without passing a class in circuit design, and you'd better believe I needed to know algebra when designing a binary multiplier.

My point is this: computer science IS math, just with a different vocabulary. Being a CS major because you're "good with computers" is like being an auto mechanic because you're "good at driving".

Math isn't about numbers, it's about logic and problem solving, and computer science is even more so. If you can't even find something to enjoy about simple algebra, then with all due respect, you're in the wrong field.

about a year and a half ago
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Google and NASA Snap Up D-Wave Quantum Computer

mblase Re:Meme splat! (108 comments)

the 90s called and want their memes back

They what? Did you warn them about 9/11!?

about a year and a half ago
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Google Demands Microsoft Pull YouTube App For WP8

mblase Re:I can't wait to see this battle (716 comments)

When this is exactly what Microsoft has been doing to everyone else for the past 20 years?

[citation needed]

about a year and a half ago
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Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

mblase B5 learning experience? (215 comments)

What would you say are the most valuable things you took away from your experience as creator/head writer of "Babylon 5"? In particular, the effort to create a single, long-running storyline over five seasons? Do you think you could have done things differently to avoid the issues with actors leaving mid-show and the network threatening to cancel the final season?

about a year and a half ago
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Razer Edge Gaming Tablet Reviewed

mblase hot little hands (48 comments)

All of those heat generating components also require a cooling fan, and this one gets humming pretty early on—it's the only tablet we've reviewed where fan noise is a concern.

I was wondering about that. Not sure if this is an advantage or a reason NOT to buy it, though.

about a year and a half ago
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What's the Best RSS Reader Not Named Google Reader?

mblase Re:Feedly looks ok (287 comments)

I tried Feedly for a few minutes, but it felt like it was trying to prioritize and reorganize my news stories automatically for me and the design was awful for simply reading stuff. And it required simply too many clicks to read slashdot since I had to expand the whole summary for each item myself and even mark items as read manually. Not going back.

I'm giving Feedly a try starting today, and I think you probably have the same reaction I did: It's NOT EXACTLY THE SAME AS GREADER. But it's learnable, and it's customizable.

Keyboard shortcuts exist, but they're all different than GReader, and that takes some getting used to.

If you like GReader's compact title-only view, that's an option -- but you can also show everything by default, which is preferable if you have a folder of comics feeds like I do.

I think Feedly has two big points in its favor, though: it can sync ONCE to GReader to download your feeds (including what articles you've already read), and it's cross-browser and cross-platform with its own mobile apps. (Plus it's ad-supported, which means they have a revenue stream to keep them going in the future.)

about 2 years ago
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How Close Is Iran, Really, To Nuclear Weapons

mblase Re:The IAEA has no actual evidence (299 comments)

Iran has been VERY good at making the West look like the bad guys in this, and every other, disagreement. Basically, it's extremely hard to know whether Iran is actually actually hiding a nuclear weapons program, or whether they're just making it look like they're hiding a nuclear weapons program. It's quite possible they're doing both. Lord Vetinari would applaud.

The good news is that Israel probably has a better idea than the IAEA as to when Iran will actually be able to launch a nuclear weapon, and Israel will keep that information close to their chest as well.

In the end, it's all just posturing for more respect from other nations. Iran isn't reckless enough to actually do anything that would end in the entire Western world declaring war on them in response.

about 2 years ago
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Security Firm Mandiant Says China's Army Runs Hacking Group APT1

mblase Re:No kidding (137 comments)

I think the news isn't that China has an unofficial hacking department, but that someone's managed to narrow down exactly where they work from. This makes it difficult for China to claim that the hackers are private individuals or non-government businesses.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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NCSA Blue Waters ready to go

mblase mblase writes  |  about a year and a half ago

mblase (200735) writes "The Blue Waters supercomputer will be officially opened for business this Thursday at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (known to Slashdotters as the birthplace of the original Mosaic web browser and the fictional HAL-9000). At a maximum speed of 11.6 petaflops, plus a 300-petabyte storage system, it will (probably) be the third-fastest supercomputer in the world. It almost wasn't completed when IBM pulled out halfway through the project, but persistence paid off. According to NCSA, the machine has already been performing useful research in biochemistry, meteorology, earth science, and more running at just 15% capacity."
Link to Original Source
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How NASA and SpaceX get along together

mblase mblase writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mblase (200735) writes "SpaceX and NASA have been working hard to make this weekend's launch happen--and that has meant navigating the cultural differences between this small, young startup and the huge veteran space agency. The relationship involves daily calls and emails between people who live in two different worlds: age versus youth, bureaucracy versus a flat startup-like structure, and a sense of caution versus a desire to move forward quickly. But they both have an almost religious belief in the need for humans to venture forth into space, a geeky love for rockets, technical know-how--plus, they both need each other to succeed."
Link to Original Source
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Mathematically predicting the 2008 US election

mblase mblase writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mblase (200735) writes "The results from the 2000 and 2004 United States Presidential Election suggested that it can be difficult to predict the winner of the presidential election based on popular vote. In fact, it is possible that the popular vote and the electoral college vote can lead to significantly different results. This web site provides up-to-the-minute estimates for the probability that the two presidential candidates (Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ)) win the election, the expected number of Electoral College votes for each candidate, and the probability that each candidate will win 300 or more Electoral College votes. (Further mathematical analysis of the Electoral College is discussed in this now-classic article from Discover magazine.)"
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just a quick political poll

mblase mblase writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mblase writes "Which executive US candidate would you rather be stranded on a desert island with? Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, or (naturally) Supreme Overlord CowboyNeal?"
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mblase mblase writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mblase (200735) writes "An unspecified plaintiff is asking for unspecified damages from Apple in a lawsuit charging them with creating an illegal monopoly with their FairPlay DRM. Apple said that "the suit, filed in July, centers on Apple's use of a copy-protection system that prevents iTunes music and video from playing on rival devices. As well, songs bought elsewhere aren't easy to play on iPods." Apparently someone hasn't heard you can still rip music from CDs for listening on any MP3 player on the market."
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mblase mblase writes  |  more than 8 years ago

mblase (200735) writes "So here's what Apple announced today: we get color iPod nanos, a tinier iPod shuffle, and an 80GB iPod as well; new iTunes 7 and iTunes Music/Media Store offers 640x480 TV shows and movies from Disney, as well as Palm-style games you can play on your 5th-gen iPod; and One More Thing(TM): an unofficially-named iTV which looks like a squashed Mac mini and can stream video wirelessly to your TV at "near-DVD quality" — target is Q1 2007 at a price of $299."

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