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Temporal Cloak Erases Data From History

nielsm So eavesdrop at the endpoints? (102 comments)

Without having really understood the physics behind this, what I gather is that it basically would allow you to conceal optical signals from eavesdropping on the transmission line. But that's only on the transmission line. Obviously the transmitted data still needs to exist at the endpoints in one form or another... so eavesdrop on the endpoints instead? Unless you have a true point-to-point line, your data will also likely be routed over some sort of IP network, where it will have to exist in some other form for at least short periods of time.

about a year ago

Big Asteroid (With Its Own Moon) To Have Closest Approach With Earth Today

nielsm Re:Intellible units... (87 comments)

On the other hand, the comparison to the Moon's distance is useful. "It's more than 15 times further away than the moon" gives a good point of comparison. It certainly makes it clearer to me that there's no risk it will hit anything we should care about.

about a year ago

How Game Streaming Went From Shaky Webcams To the PS4

nielsm Re:Hey gamers! (113 comments)

...and then there is also ofcourse Sega who started slapping around people over footage of an age old Dreamcast game.

Silly, silly Sega.

That sounds like some kind of vengeance. "We couldn't make this popular, so we'll make certain you won't either."

about a year and a half ago

GNU Texinfo 5.0 Released

nielsm Re:Do not want (173 comments)

No, it's not. It is clunky and difficult to navigate. A set of linked HTML pages would be good for learning the deep details of a product. Texinfo is just crap.

Isn't that a property of the `info` reader and not so much a property of the format? The idea is good, the user interface is horrible.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Surface Pro Arrives Feb. 9

nielsm Re:Can it run linux? windows 7? Windows XP? (268 comments)

Actually it's Windows 6.2 aka. "Vista with even more tweaks", but it's not like version numbers really matter much.

about a year and a half ago

Linux Nukes 386 Support

nielsm Re:oh Linus you so funny (464 comments)

As far as I know, ISA is still used for some legacy hardware, e.g. PS/2 keyboard, PC speaker, floppy controller, but it's almost purely conceptual by now. The ISA bus might not even exist outside a single chip (e.g. SuperIO controller.) I don't know about MCA, but I think that was only on some 386 and 486 IBMs, so that would certainly be irrelevant to have in by now.

about 2 years ago

Slashdot Asks: SATA DVD Drives That Don't Suck for CD Ripping?

nielsm Re:Advice from a DAE veteran (330 comments)

I think you missed the part where he asked for something that is fast, and doesn't care as much about bit-accurate copies.

about 2 years ago

FreeBSD Project Discloses Security Breach Via Stolen SSH Key

nielsm Odd way to announce it (86 comments)

Why would you use a stolen SSH key to announce a security breach?

about 2 years ago

Productivity and Creativity Software Coming To Steam

nielsm Re:Don't underestimate Microsoft (194 comments)

On the other hand way too many Steam users have hundreds of dollars worth of games on their account, those users aren't just leaving the train mid-journey.

more than 2 years ago

Bill Gates: the Traditional PC Is Changing

nielsm Re:Le sigh. (552 comments)

Except that they don't. If you write Metro apps in C++ you don't use .NET. If you write them in JScript you don't use .NET. They were careful at the //build conference last year to explain that the WinRT API is native C++ but there is a transparent marshalling layer to the .NET runtime. The host for JScript/HTML apps is presumably also native code that marshals the objects.

But yes they must run on all the platforms, of which C++ is the only that will need to be built for every platform.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What's Your Beef With Windows Phone?

nielsm Search button (1027 comments)

The search button.
I've hit it by accident countless times (Lumia 800, so touch button), and only actually wanted to use it maybe 10 times.

more than 2 years ago

Designing a Programming Language For Embeddability

nielsm Re:Forth (52 comments)

Except this is not about languages running on embedded platforms, this is about hosting a language inside an application, for providing e.g. scriptability of a GUI application.

more than 3 years ago

GPS Maker TomTom Submits Your Speed Data To Police

nielsm Or maybe it's used to change speed limits (422 comments)

In the US, speed limits are legally to be set after the 85th percentile of actual speeds. So if everyone is speeding, the speed limit should legally be changed such that at most 15% of drivers will be speeding at that stretch of road.

This kind of data might just as well be used to help determine areas where the speed limit is wrong.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Counts Down To XP Death

nielsm Outdated software is outdated software (766 comments)

I'm installing a new computer.
I know, I'll use Linux!
I'll use kernel series 2.2 because I remember that one from when I was a kid. Simple and proven. Great choice I just made!

more than 3 years ago

US Students Struggle With Understanding of the 'Equal' Sign

nielsm Re:Confusing symbols (1268 comments)

I remember seeing this kind of notation in my grade school textbooks. (I'm from Denmark by the way.)
Though usually it'd be presented with otherwise marked fields, rather than parentheses, and accompanied by short instructions. In earlier grades accompanied by a drawing representing the kind of problem solving needed, instead of written instructions. Like this:

Fill in the blanks, so both sides are equal:
4 + 3 + 2 = ___ + 2

In later grades, regular equation notation was then introduced, substituting x and y for blanks to fill in. Then you'd get a question like this:

Find the value of x in each equation:
4 + 3 + 2 = x + 2
x = ___

more than 4 years ago

PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License

nielsm Re:FLOSS software? (356 comments)

My following argument might not work if you follow it through, but consider it anyway.

Every time you consume a plant, you might deny an animal a source of food or a space for living. What if you eating an apple caused a sparrow to die of hunger, who could otherwise have survived off that apple? In this way, consuming plants might also negatively affect animals.

more than 4 years ago

Canonical Explains Decision to License H.264 For Ubuntu

nielsm Closed source? No. (372 comments)


H.264 is not "closed source", it's an open standard with open source encoders (famous x264, everything points to it being the best quality encoder available anywhere) and decoders (libavcodec), it's just that a bazillion companies have patents that cover every corner of video coding. It might be "unfree", but it's certainly not "closed source" or "closed standard" or "proprietary".

more than 4 years ago

How To Get 39 Megapixels From a 53-Year-Old Camera

nielsm Re:14k buys a lot of film. (347 comments)

Last time I had a 35mm film developed (which was late last year), apart from the negatives, I got digital prints of it. I didn't ask for it, but it's what I got. Naturally the negatives were developed chemically, as that's required, but after that most shops will scan the negatives and produce digital prints from that. And it isn't even cheap. Don't get me started on the price of getting low-resolution (about 5-6 MP JPEG) scans burned onto a CD, it's ridiculous.

more than 4 years ago

Windows 7 Has Lots of "God Modes"

nielsm Re:Unfortunately... (422 comments)

So all that stuff about a "tunnel of light" is a lie? It's just infinite blue?

I want my money back.

more than 4 years ago

VC Defends Farmville, Touts Virtual Tractor Sales

nielsm Re:So? (148 comments)

What about that game "Chess" where you command an army to mercilessly slaughter an entire kingdom? If that isn't brutal I don't know what is.

more than 4 years ago


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