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Doug Engelbart Passes Away

not-my-real-name Re:Actually, (124 comments)

Talking to the dead is easy. It's getting them to answer back that the tricky bit.

about a year ago

97% of Climate Science Papers Agree Global Warming Is Man-made

not-my-real-name Re:Publication bias (1105 comments)

97% almost exactly the portion of biologists who believe in evolution according to one survey []. The Slashdot community seems perfectly ready to accept evolution as fact, yet anthropogenic global warming remains "controversial."

I would hope people believe in evolution because they've looked at the evidence, not because some scientist told them to.

I think that most people simply believe what someone tells them, whether a teacher, a scientist, a preacher, a news commentator or whatever. I know that I simply don't have the time or expertise to look at the evidence for everything that affects me, so I have to take some things on faith from an "authority". Now, if evidence comes up that contradicts that "authority", I should be able to reevaluate things and reject that position.

about a year ago

Apple Devices To Outsell Windows For First Time Ever In 2013

not-my-real-name Re:Define "computing" (391 comments)

Most computer users are using them as consuming devices.

This has been true since the very first computers were used to calculate things like sine tables for artillery use.

about a year ago

How Would an Astronaut Falling Into a Black Hole Die?

not-my-real-name Re:Gravitational tides will kill you (412 comments)

Actually this says that one member of the particle-antiparticle pair could fall into the black hole. It says nothing about which one would. Sometimes it could be the particle and sometimes the antiparticle. They are both treated the same by gravity. My understanding is that since the particle-antiparticle are separated by a tiny distance, sometimes one is inside the event horizon and is swallowed by the black hole leaving the other one to escape. Since they don't recombine, the one that is swallowed has negative energy causing the black hole to lose energy. Whether it's the particle or antiparticle is completely random, to the best of my knowledge.

about a year ago

Open Sauce Foundation Created

not-my-real-name Summoning Cthulhu? (95 comments)

I just realized that the ROT13 text looks a lot like the incantation to summon Cthulhu. I would suggest that people be a little more careful with using ROT13 (note that it even has 13 in the name). Who knows what sort of elder horror might be summoned.

about a year and a half ago

How Google+ Punk'd The Oatmeal

not-my-real-name Re:Sour grapes much? (218 comments)

You think so? I think that this is a much better response than the whole FunnyJunk saga with Charles Carrion (or whatever that lawyer's name was).

about 2 years ago

How Will Amazon, Barnes & Noble Survive the iPad Mini?

not-my-real-name Re:Who cares? (354 comments)

I still have a G3 iBook that I use regularly. It has the 13 inch screen and is good for taking text notes. It's nothing fancy, but it fits into a particular niche fairly well. I'll probably keep using it until the battery finally give up the ghost. I got it probably 2005-ish so it's not quite 10 years old yet, but getting close.

about 2 years ago

Microsoft's Lost Decade

not-my-real-name Re:lost? (407 comments)

They may have had real multitasking prior to NT had it not been for IBM insisting that OS/2 ran in 286 mode.

Intel produced an operating system iRMX that ran on the 8080 and 8086 processors. It was a real-time, multitasking operating system and was introduced in 1980. There was also MP/M which was a multi-user version of CP/M that was introduced about the same time. It had versions that also ran on the 8080 and 8086.

One thing that bugs me about the field of computing is that many people in it seem to be intent on deliberately ignoring its history.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft's Lost Decade

not-my-real-name Re:lost? (407 comments)

The first computers to have true preemptive multitasking were Commodore (1985). Not Microsoft which took ten years to get, and it didn't work with the then-standard 16-bit apps. Only new 32-bit programs. (Apple didn't get it until 2001 with OS 10.1.)

I understand that you're talking about mass market microcomputers, but I still need to point out that true preemptive multitasking was available in the 70s and probably even 60s on minis and mainframes (think Multics and a bewildering array of operating systems from IBM, DEC, HP, and others, as well as Unix). In the 80s, IIRC, Intel was selling something called iRMX which was a real-time multitasking operating system that ran on a variety of their processors, including the 8086 (no 80286 or 80386 here). I'm sure that there are many more that I missed.

more than 2 years ago

DNSChanger Shut-Down Means Internet Blackout Coming For Hundreds of Thousands

not-my-real-name Re:Why don't they... (264 comments)

In this case, they give you instructions to fix it. If you are on the net, and dont know what DNS is, you're on your own
The same thing that happens if you drive a car and dont know how to change a tyre

That's easy. Just call AAA.

more than 2 years ago

Ruby, Clojure, Ceylon: Same Goal, Different Results

not-my-real-name Re:Every programming language is touted as "simple (138 comments)

I'm not sure that C is that old. FORTRAN, COBOL, and LISP (and a number of others) are all older than C and are higher level than C. Not to mention that the LISP enthusiasts probably consider all other languages to be lower level languages.

more than 2 years ago

The $100 Masters Degree From Udacity

not-my-real-name Re:Mass Produced education. (191 comments)

Even worse, many of the students I encountered we're absolutely horrible writers and very, very poor readers as well, unable to do more than barely functional writing and often unable to appreciate nuance in a text, preferring instead to be hit over the head with bald statements.

Oh, the irony...

Sorry, but apostrophe abuse is a pet peeve of mine.

more than 2 years ago

FBI File Notes Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field

not-my-real-name Re:Breaking news (337 comments)

Yeah, there are four government agencies that have files on me, and I'm not even a potential presidential appointee!

That's just what they want you to think.

more than 2 years ago

Sunspot Tosses Plasma Cloud Toward Earth

not-my-real-name Re:A question: (94 comments)

For electromagnetic shielding, you want something that is highly conductive. Lead is a poor conductor, so it wouldn't be very good (unless you cool it enough to become superconducting). Silver would be good, but is a bit expensive. Copper is almost as good, but still expensive, though not as much as silver. Aluminum is fairly good and readily available. I would suggest wrapping any electronics that you're worried about in aluminum foil.

That said, for this sort of event, just unplugging your electronics or using a good surge suppressor would be adequate.

more than 2 years ago

NASA Open Sources Aircraft Design Software

not-my-real-name Re:rethink plane designs for safety in emergencies (116 comments)

What do you think that the airplane designers are doing? The aircraft industry is incredibly safety conscious. That's one of the reasons that everything is so expensive. The whole plane parachute is used on Cirrus airplanes and has saved some lives. Seats have been designed to protect people in impacts up to 26Gs. You can get seatbelts with airbags installed.

Every aircraft accident (at least in the U.S.) is investigated. The goal is to find out what caused the accident and how to prevent it. NASA has a program called ASRS which encourages pilots to report anything that might impact safety.

Please do a little research and see what is being done before accusing people of dragging their heels in the dirt.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Writing Hardened Web Applications?

not-my-real-name (333 comments)

I would also suggest reading "A Fire Upon the Deep" by Vernor Vinge. It's science fiction, but does actually talk a fair bit about data and communication security and ways of subverting systems. "A Deepness in the Sky" by the same author also covers similar themes.

more than 2 years ago

Intel Breathes New Life Into Pentium

not-my-real-name Re:Windows 95? (207 comments)

And OS I to OS X.

I just pitched a t-shirt that mentioned OS 8.5, and I have used Mac OS 6, 7, 8, and 9.

more than 2 years ago

Intel Breathes New Life Into Pentium

not-my-real-name Re:...of time, 22nm, till intel hit brick wall (207 comments)

PowerPC 74xx's

I remember that the 7400 was a quad two input NAND gate and the rest of the 74xx series was assorted other TTL logic gates. There were variants like the 74Sxx, 74LSxx, and others. There was also the 4xxx CMOS series, but the numbers didn't map, so 4000 was not a quad two input NAND gate. I think that there was also a 74xx variant 74Hxx(?) that was also CMOS, but used TTL logic levels. Now, a PowerPC built out of 74xx series chips would be quite the sight to see, especially if you wired it up to some blinkenlights.

more than 2 years ago


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