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Comments

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How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

multimediavt Re:WOWZA! (240 comments)

You are the one who doesn't understand how money is made with open source software, or even most closed source software for that matter.

You seem fixated on the mistaken notion that paying for software is what drives the business, open or closed. it does not.

And you don't seem to understand how truly rare successful, not-for-profit software is. I have been involved with software start-up companies since 1994. If there is no money to be made its chances for success are slim to none. Sure, there are some labors of love that have lasted for years, but their usage and continued existence are limited. Of all the projects you can name, or even Google, there are thousands for each one that have failed or been abandoned. Money is made on open source software the same as any other, supply and demand. If there's no charge for the software then something related must be monetized, e.g., support, upgrades, etc. in order for supply to keep up with demand. Red Hat monetizes both support and upgrades (RHEL) for its Linux distros. Google monetizes data about their customers to sell ads. Two of the most successful open source companies anybody can name. Labors of love can monetize by donation, but that's usually the same as monetizing upgrades should donation lead to continued suppression of any nagware feature going forward through successive versioning of the application. How many labor of love projects are used by more than a niche in the world of users? I guess if you have limited metrics of success any labor of love project is a crowning achievement. Bound in a nutshell and master of infinite space and all, but to speak as if all open source software is developed intentionally for free and only for the enjoyment of the developers is beyond naive of how the world works. Sure open source software has helped a lot of people make their own money and not a lot has been given back to some of those developers, but if all software was open source there'd be a lot less people interested in developing it. Which is why so few people actually develop open source software, because they need to pay the bills. I did not say that paying for software drives a business. If there's no commerce (an exchange of goods or services for a fee, goods or services) there really isn't business, is there? If you develop a piece of software and just put it out there you're not doing business. Business requires an exchange. If all I do is download your software I am not doing business with you. If I send you an email about a bug and you fix it, I am still not doing business with you. If you don't see how giving software away is disruptive to the actual monetized software business then you and the rest of the masters of infinite space that mod you up are truly lost because you don't even understand what you're doing. This was a stupid poll. I should really stop coming here for this stuff. You probably haven't read the new Dice terms for this site! Amateurs!

4 days ago
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

multimediavt Re: instant access to computers around the world (275 comments)

Quite. Its amazing how many people today still think the internet = the web. Mention stuff like ftp, gopher, archie or WAIS and you just get blank looks.

Bah! They glaze over at telephone modem. They would think a BBS was an early Facebook. Of course, they'd be right, but Zuck probably doesn't know about the BBS days, either.

5 days ago
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

multimediavt Re: instant access to computers around the world (275 comments)

instant access to computers around the world

Actually, in 1981 the internet existed, you could FTP and use email, as long as you knew the bang path routing.

It wasn't for 2 more years after 1981 that I learned of it, but I knew people that were using it in the late 70's even. Contrary to what seems to be the popular public belief, the internet didn't start in the 1990's. That's just when the masses became aware of it, largely due to the influx of AOLers.

Granted it was much smaller then as far as number of connected machines.

Well, it was also a DARPA (ARPnet) project back then and only participating universities, govt contractors and govt agencies could get on. It was not publicly available. What was publicly available then was modem Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs). Those had chat forums, localized email and file sharing. If you were lucky and "knew a guy" or a guy who knew a guy, you could get on a networked BBS that exchanged files with other boards around the world via nightly sync or even luckier if you had someone from one of those universities or other running a board that also bridged to ARPAnet. That's where a lot of old usenet content got started. Those were the good ole days of social media. BBS meet and greets were fun. A lot less scary than now, fore sure and for a lot of new and different reasons.

5 days ago
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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

multimediavt Re:"it's also a smart visual explanation of why... (275 comments)

FTFA:

"it's also a smart visual explanation of why the future of technology so often bears so little resemblance to anyone's predictions"

No, it's not an explanation at all. It was intended as a metaphor for miniaturization of electronics. Noone in their right mind would take a full QWERTY keyboard with keys the size of pin heads literally.

Except for the pinheads!

5 days ago
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Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi

multimediavt Re:What would a real nerd do? (307 comments)

A real nerd would know how to calculate Pi from scratch, no shotgun required...

Pi = (4/1) - (4/3) + (4/5) - (4/7) + (4/9) - (4/11) + (4/13) - (4/15) ... (keep going until you get the number of decimal places you need.)

Gaaaa! What? How about 22 / 7 . Way closer, less painful. Nerds do it more efficiently and more accurately. That was about as bad as the shotgun method, maybe worse. I stopped doing the math at (4/15) when the result was 3.01[something] and adding (4/17) was 3.25[something] ... Not even close.

about a week ago
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Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi

multimediavt Re:Only in America... (307 comments)

a gun to calculate Pi value...

Not only are they Canadian, they're French Canadian. Calling them American is worse than calling them Canadian as the Québecers would rather be their own country all together. I just think they're smoking something to not use simple long division to calculate Pi, especially as a university research mathematician. I mean, really! 22 / 7 = closer to Pi than their stupid shotgun embarrassment.

about a week ago
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Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi

multimediavt Re:um.... (307 comments)

":...being a mathematician, they turn to you." You're not much of a mathematician if you don't already know the value of Pi out to several decimal places without the need to expel valuable ammo in an experiment. /john

Yeah, and how hard is it to divide 22 by 7 with a twig in the dirt, "Mr. Mathematician"? That's also an acceptable approximation of Pi that is 4.0249943477E-2 percent off the "true value". I think the colder climate and/or recreational hallucinogens has slowed those Canadians' brains a might. Maybe that's the way to avoid zombies, after all.

about a week ago
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How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

multimediavt Re:WOWZA! (240 comments)

you have some bad misconceptions between your ears, advocating and using open source has nothing at all to do with whether or not a person is pro or anti capitalism. Plenty of money to be made in open source, that's how I make my living. I run quality free apps on my phone, I pay the phone provider for the platform and connectivity to do so. Capitalism all around, good stuff.

Meanwhile, Microsoft and some other closed sourced companies have governmet in its pockets to sway things their way, that is not capitalism.

No, not at all really, having been an avid reader and commenter for more than 15 years I can say that this crowd (as a majority that comments in these threads dealing with mobile apps) may be for making money but certainly not spending it on the work of other people. Have you read the comments in this thread? The clear consensus is that this crowd doesn't spend money on applications that they use. I hate to tell you this but capitalism requires consumer spending to work. You can't make money if no one gives you money for your work. And I love the little libertarian bullshit dig at big business and the government at the end to get mod points from that crowd. Show me one profitable open source company that isn't lobbying the government? Google is in the same boat as Microsoft and Red Hat for that matter when it comes to trying to have ignorant or corrupt government officials in their pockets. Don't be naive and think that I am so. You may want to do your own research rather than parroting and pandering like former ignorant and corrupt politicians. Plus, one of the reasons behind open source software development was to disrupt capitalism in the software industry. What do you think the effect is when your competition is giving its product away? No, definitely no misconceptions here. Your definition of capitalism and your understanding of economics just don't jive. You have a misconception in that the money you spend for a phone and cell service somehow makes its way to the app developers and capitalism all around. Not so much really.

about a week ago
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How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

multimediavt Re:WOWZA! (240 comments)

I am not surprised. This crowd typically leans toward open source freeware. It's why this is a pointless survey for the /. audience. They are about as anti-capitalism a crowd as you can get. Make money from your work = bad.

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

multimediavt Re:Even for desk jockeys not good (97 comments)

Maybe watches work for desk jockeys?

I always found the strap was annoying when letting my wrists rest near a keyboard.

Watches also interfere with your sleeves when wearing a dress shirt.

Watches were fun for a while when I was young, but I never missed them after I started using my phone as a watch and it would take quite a bit of compelling reasons beyond what I see now to get me to wear a watch again.

Well, if you learned to keyboard properly and wore shirts that fit properly you may still be wearing a watch. You're not supposed to rest your wrists on something while typing. It's like playing the piano. Your wrists are supposed to be elevated with you hands flat, parallel to the floor and fingers naturally angling down to the keys. Dress shirt sleeve cuffs should terminate just behind the opposing joint of the thumb and not constrict around your wrist so jewelry (watches, bracelets) doesn't get caught easily. Might want to try French cuff shirts. Sounds like the boat may have already sailed for you though. I don't wear watches often these days either, unless I am getting dressed up, but the right clothing does help the getting caught problem. As for they keyboarding, you may want to work on your technique to prevent any long term injuries, or to mitigate any existing ones. I learned piano before typing so I had a bit of a head start on proper wrist-hand posture when I did finally start typing.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

multimediavt Re:Bullshit Made Up Language (512 comments)

I had to explain "cross the Rubicon" to my wife just yesterday, in fact. (Her English is good, but it's mostly everyday/around-the-house English

Is that just an English idiom? I'd assumed it would be known in most places where Roman influence was strong.

You would assume correctly. Has to do with our common Roman/European roots. It's not an original English idiom, nor is it an English idiom at all, really. Since modern English is a hodge-podge of borrowed words from several different cultures and root languages, and some ridiculous meldings ("television" for instance-half Greek, half-Latin) one could see how some could get confused. The great 20th century philologist, J.R.R. Tolkien, saw Icelandic as the closest thing to what Old English was. Modern English is a mess. It's ok, most people don't know what the words they're saying mean anyway so what difference does it make. I had some idiot the other day in a meeting try to make themselves look cool by using "bifurcated" to describe something that was split in three parts. [facepalm]

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

multimediavt Re:or 2 competing providers before an area loses P (449 comments)

The problem is the people outside of town. It's easy to have a cell tower or 2 in the centre of town but to have multiple towers will mean eating into their profits.

One other thing to note is that cell towers have limited range, dependent on a myriad of factors it can be as little as several hundred yards to 10 miles. Do you know how many towers would be needed to cover, say, rural Nevada or Utah? It's completely unfeasible from a cost stand point. If they tried, everyone's basic cell service would cost over $500/month, nationwide. Besides, they would still need the cables in the ground to get the signal from place to place because wireless interconnects would only be line-of-sight.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

multimediavt Re:Worst episodes? (512 comments)

I hated pretty much all of seasons one and two.

Actually, if you look at most long running series television shows, the third season is usually the best. The writers, actors and directors seem to hit a stride and it's shades of season three or a downward slide from there on, with few exceptions. My personal feeling is that series shows should not go beyond four seasons. After 100 episodes they tend to take a dive and everyone wants to do something else.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

multimediavt Re:Conspiracy (512 comments)

I think that was one where they were thinking of taking the story line in a certain direction, got the reviews and changed their mind. The Borg went over better as an arch enemy rather than some parasitic race trying to take over the Federation.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

multimediavt Re:What? TNG? Come on Grandpa (512 comments)

How old are you? Are you still hung up on your DVD collection?

Wow, how naive are you? That show blows away most sci-fi screenwriting done since. Maybe when you grow up you might realize that good stories aren't just written and portrayed within your limited lifetime or experience.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

multimediavt Re:Pretty much the whole first season (512 comments)

I liked the first episode and I liked the last episode. There was very little of redeeming value in between.

Wow, just wow. How can you dismiss episodes like "The Measure of a Man," where Data's sentience is on trial? One of Picard's best lines in the whole series (start about 38 minutes into the episode to get to), "Your honor, the courtroom is a crucible. In it we burn away irrelevancies until we are left with a pure product, the truth--for all time." Those court proceedings speak to how we as a species treat other life forms, and how "racist" and narrow minded we can be. Science fiction, Star Trek in particular, is mostly made up of morality tales. If you haven't realized that then you've missed a lot. There are many amazingly well told morality tales in those in between episodes. It's a shame you missed them.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

multimediavt Re:Darmok is Awful (512 comments)

See some of my posts above. Yes, language is based on referents, most of which require a great deal of cultural context and why there is no such thing as a literal translation between any language, even those based on the same roots, i.e. the Romance languages. I am sad that so many disliked the Darmok episode. It is actually one of my top 20. I can only hope that you learn more about different languages and cultures and to appreciate how interesting that episode really is.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

multimediavt Re:Bullshit Made Up Language (512 comments)

As somebody who studies language - I agree. You can't make analogies in the first place without a functional language. And if you have a functional language, why make up analogies? And seriously, how can the communicate complex ideas? Can you imagine them trying to write a book explaining microprocessor design?

Ok, as an armchair philologist I am going to say that spoken language and the ability to design microprocessors are not mutually essential. Mathematics is more important to processor design than spoken language. If their society's understanding and expression of mathematics is advanced the spoken language is almost irrelevant. We don't express processor designs, nor computer code in spoken language. We use mathematics or an abstraction (insert your favorite programming language here).

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

multimediavt Re:Bullshit Made Up Language (512 comments)

Ummm, you say "It's not about idioms. It's about meaning," and then explain how it's about context. It's all about context. Context is key and why words pulled out of context have different meaning. It's also why people who are philologists or armchair philologists enjoy the Darmok episode. To bash that episode only proves how little someone actually knows about language, culture and meaning, the basis of context. The worst episodes of TNG are like the worst of any screenwriting. Most of the 24x7 (that's 24 episodes by 7 seasons) were very well written, some not so much. Hey, even the best home run hitter strikes out every now and then, but you don't poo-poo his career because he had seven strike outs and 120 home runs.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Manage Your Personal Data?

multimediavt multimediavt writes  |  about 2 years ago

multimediavt writes "Ok, here's my problem. I have A LOT of personal data!

And, no, it's not pr0n, warez, or anything the MPAA or RIAA would be concerned about.

I am realizing that I need to keep at least one spare drive the same size as my largest drive around in case of failure, or the need to reformat a drive due to corrupt file system issues. In my particular case I have a few external drives ranging in size from 200 GB to 2 TB (none with any more than 15 available), and the 2 TB drive is giving me fits at the moment so I need to move the data off and reformat the drive to see if it's just a file system issue or a component issue. I don't have 1.6 TB of free space anywhere and came to the above realization that an empty spare drive the size of my largest drive was needed. If I had a RAID I would have the same needs should a drive fail for some reason and the file system needed rebuilding. I am hitting a wall, and I am guessing that I am not the only one reaching this conclusion. This is my personal data and it is starting to become unbelievably unruly to deal with as far as data integrity and security are concerned. This problem is only going to get worse, and I'm sorry "The Cloud" is not an acceptable nor practical solution.

Tape for an individual as a backup mechanism is economically not feasible. Blu-ray Disc only holds 50 GB at best case and takes forever to backup any large amount of data, along with a great deal of human intervention in the process. So, as an individual with a large data collection and not a large budget, what do you see as options for now (other than keeping a spare blank drive around), and what do you see down the road that might help us deal with issues like this?"
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Can SSD Electronics Be Replaced & Retain Data?

multimediavt multimediavt writes  |  more than 2 years ago

multimediavt (965608) writes "I know that because of the delicate calibration between electronics and read/write heads in standard hard drives, that even with matching electronics it is next to impossible for those not fortunate enough to work for a data recovery lab to retain the data stored on the platters after replacing the onboard controller electronics should they fail. I am curious if that is true of SSD drives as well? I would assume not, but wondered if any /. folks had any insight on whether this was true or not? Beyond the speed increases and not having to worry about head crashes due to traumatic, sudden deceleration, the ability to replace faulty controller electronics (or even to upgrade them down the road) would be yet another huge advantage of the technology."
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Apple: Consumer Reports Antenna Testing Flawed

multimediavt multimediavt writes  |  more than 3 years ago

multimediavt (965608) writes "Many seem to be jumping down Apple's throat about the iPhone 4 antenna issue, but there still has not been any independent, credible, scientific diagnosis of the problem. Bob Egan, an electrical engineer, has posted a blog explaining how Consumer Report's testing was flawed and simply reinforces anecdotal evidence of a problem, but does not give any credible scientific diagnosis as to the cause.

From TFA:

"Consumer reports '½ÂoeRF'½Â engineers should know better than to think they can run an engineering grade test for an issue like this in a shielded room. And certainly not one with people in it.

To even reasonably run a scientific test, the iPhone should have been sitting on a non-metallic pedestal inside an anechoic chamber. The base station simulator should have been also sitting outside the chamber and had a calibrated antenna plumbed to it from inside the chamber."

Ok, there's a problem, but let's not overreact until we know the real cause and how it can be fixed. A recall may be needed, but it could really be a simple software fix."

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