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Comments

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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

occasional_dabbler Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (211 comments)

It is honestly my first living memory. My Dad woke me up, age 4 years, 5 months to watch on our tiny black and white telly sometime in the small hours (in the UK I think it was 4am?). Several years later I earned a week of detentions at school for staying in the TV room to watch the first shuttle launch rather than going to German class. Very happy to have witnessed both events.

about two weeks ago
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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

occasional_dabbler Re:nice work (468 comments)

This windowless cockpit idea has few positives compared to the current status quo.

And you can prove this how?

Where is your analytical study?

The amount of time flown where this system could conceivably provide a better view for the pilot (that is one that allows him to perform his function more effectively) could well be a lot longer than when it does not. If it improves overall fleet safety then it's better.

about three weeks ago
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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

occasional_dabbler Re:nice work (468 comments)

This has nothing to do with 'marketing types' and 'blue sky thinkers'. Since the A380 Airbus have used a rigourous systems-engineering based approach to product design, starting with an analysis of the functions that the product is required to provide. This is a clear resut of the requirement to provide pilots visual information, i.e. the 'need' in you Patton argument

If it provides better information more often than it provides worse information compared with an alternative implementation then it's bought its way onto the product. If it's lighter or cheaper than the alternative then the weight and cost can be used in other systems or structure to improve overall safety or cost of ownership.

If someone comes up with an idea that has some merit it gets patented.

The aircraft industry is nothing like the software industry.

about three weeks ago
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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

occasional_dabbler Re:nice work (468 comments)

You probably did more analytical thinking when you formulated the following paragraph than the entire design team who made this crap

No. He did not. Details of execution are unimportant at the concept stage because they will be designed, analysed and tested to work at least as well as a transparency and last for thirty years in extremes of temperature, humidity and abuse.

The only thing that really counts in commercial aviation is price. Windows are heavy and expensive. Pilots are heavy and expensive. Once the industry can demonstrate safe operation without one or the other, they will be designed out.

about three weeks ago
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First Phone Out of Microsoft-Nokia -- and It's an Android

occasional_dabbler Anyone Can Produce a New Smartphone... (193 comments)

...in the couple of months that have passed since the Microsoft/Nokia deal...

This device was developed by Nokia long before the buyout and is ready to go to market, the Nokia name still moves lots of product in the key market for this device: India. Get them hooked, in two years Windows phone OS will displace this temporary line (it's already started with the 8.1 hardware spec, which effectively permits any Android-capable hardware to run Windows Phone, on-screen buttons, no camera button etc...) Most consumers won't even know they're changing OS. Microsoft would be stupid to ditch this.

about a month ago
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Some Users Find Swype Keyboard App Makes 4000+ Location Requests Per Day

occasional_dabbler Re:Not available for Windows Phone (191 comments)

Wow! Nice to hear from the "horse's mouth", so to speak. Thank you. Funny that it now seems impossible for something to have been developed for a Windows mobile OS and only later ported to Android.

about 3 months ago
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Some Users Find Swype Keyboard App Makes 4000+ Location Requests Per Day

occasional_dabbler Re:Not available for Windows Phone (191 comments)

It was ported to Windows Mobile, not to Windows Phone

I have the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 on a couple of devices and the 'Swype-style' keyboard does seem to work quite well.

about 3 months ago
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Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

occasional_dabbler Re:ARM is the new Intel (110 comments)

I used up my mod points tonight, and well you did post AC so it's kinda a waste. That said I agree with you. Why is it that my W8.1 tablet (ok its i5) boot up in a few seconds whereas my W8.1 phone takes over a minute? Same kernel.

about 3 months ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

occasional_dabbler Re:IANA Physicist, So... (630 comments)

Possibly. What is it made of? Without the full drawings and a week to think about it it's hard to say exactly what causes the effect.

Funny how that reminds me of the day job...

about 4 months ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

occasional_dabbler Re:No jetpacks yet... (630 comments)

I know there are examples flying, albeit briefly, but not one I can get from Target that flies me to work and back all week before refuelling with a nuclear pill...

about 4 months ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

occasional_dabbler Re:IANA Physicist, So... (630 comments)

This is simple. You are making the air near the missile move at Mach 7.

The temperature of the air will be around ten times ambient, so 3000K, which is more or less the stochiometric temperature for hydrocarbon fuels.

Read this for details of the isentropic flow relationships.

about 4 months ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

occasional_dabbler No jetpacks yet... (630 comments)

...but at least part of the future is here already.

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft Dumping License Fees For Windows Phone?

occasional_dabbler Re: It ain't the price (125 comments)

It has many deficiencies, but MAPS? At least on the Nokia phones is by far the best out there. Bing? Yeah, I'll give you that, but half the point of WP8 is to drive Bing traffic.

about 5 months ago
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Microsoft Dumping License Fees For Windows Phone?

occasional_dabbler Nokia (125 comments)

At the moment most of the really useful apps are Nokia's, and mostly only available on their handsets. The basic OS without these does not compare well with Android/iOS. It will be interesting to see if with the acquisition, MS makes these apps core, either for regularly licenced copies ir these free ones. I have a high-end Lumia925, more or less iPhone quality, and a Lumia520, which for less than £100 SIM free, is almost as good. WP8 really does run well on very cheap hardware.

about 5 months ago
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Steve Ballmer Blew Up At the Microsoft Board Before Retiring

occasional_dabbler Re:What a surprise. (248 comments)

I still use a wince device, a very nice HP3715RX (WM2003SE) just to run the HP48 emulator (a product that HP had the wisdom to purchase from its independent developer, who now writes the software for their new calculators). I don't think it's crashed once in the last five years.

about 5 months ago
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Cobalt-60, and Lessons From a Mexican Theft

occasional_dabbler Re:So In Effect... (174 comments)

And there are plenty around still who'd take a little radiation poisoning for TWO Nobels

about 8 months ago
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Pulsar Gets the Munchies, Snacks On an Asteroid

occasional_dabbler Re:I'm always impressed (54 comments)

The examples were emotive. The real loss to the universe will be the maths and physics we've discovered, and DNA. These are worth preserving, if only so later intelligences can use them for comparison

about 8 months ago
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Doctors Say James Bond at Risk for Early Death from Alcoholism

occasional_dabbler The Spanish have a saying... (1 comments)

...you don't ask a fish, how to be fished.

I refer to the BBC World Service reporting of this story, where a female psychologist explained why Daniel Craig was not attractive to women because touchy-feely. Every single girl I know, even the gay ones, just say 'phwoooar'

about 8 months ago
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Sci-fi Author Charles Stross Cancels Trilogy: the NSA Is Already Doing It

occasional_dabbler Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (208 comments)

At least in the cosy parts. Certainly you wouldn't want to live in a Neal Asher World (The Owner Trilogy)

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Windows Phone Outselling iPhone!

occasional_dabbler occasional_dabbler writes  |  about 9 months ago

occasional_dabbler (1735162) writes " Kantar Worldpanel reports generally improved sales of Windows Phone worldwide in Q3 2013 with double-digit sales in Britain France, and Italy and claiming over 10% in the European 'big five' (Germany and Spain being the other two).

In Italy, the iPhone sales slowdown before the 5s launch let Microsoft gain over 3% more of total sales than Apple, if only in terms of units and not price. Sales in the USA have almost doubled (2.7% to 4.6%) in China however they dropped by a similar ratio (4.5% down to 2.5%)

With Nokia already re-established in Russia and other emerging markets, is it time to start taking Redmond's offering seriously?"
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Technical Gadgets for a Blind child

occasional_dabbler occasional_dabbler writes  |  about 10 months ago

occasional_dabbler (1735162) writes "A young couple I know have a two year old child, a boy, who is blind. When they discovered his condition, I rather naïvely thought that there would already be "an app for that" so to say; lots of well developed gadgets and programs that would improve life for the child.

Well, there are some ideas around, but it seems very little of immediate, practical use, especially for a toddler.

What experience have Slashdotters of working with (or even, as) blind children or tech specifically for them?"

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft TouchDevelop Now Runs in a Browser

occasional_dabbler occasional_dabbler writes  |  about 2 years ago

occasional_dabbler (1735162) writes "The TouchDevelop programming environment, which has been available on Windows Phone for some time, lets you create apps in a simple and easy way. It has just been released as a web app (preview)

Your scripts can remain on your own device or account, or you can publish them for others to download, run and modify. You can even write full apps for publishing in the Windows store.

The list of supported browsers makes interesting reading: Obviously IE10 is there so you can code on your shiny new Surface, but iOS, Android and Chrome browsers? Write code on your iPad or Chromebook but for Microsoft products!

Not all APIs are yet implemented in the web app, it is only a preview at the moment, but it's free to use and has examples and tutorials that make it easy to get started with"

Link to Original Source
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What's the Best Way to Protect My Software?

occasional_dabbler occasional_dabbler writes  |  about 2 years ago

occasional_dabbler (1735162) writes "I am a hobby coder. In my day job I've been able to convince clients to pay for some small applications related to my main work as an engineer. All written in Python with wx GUIs. Everything else I've done has been OSS so copy protection was irrelevant

For several years I've been working on a project, firstly in Excel, now in a mix of Python and Fortran, that will be the first thing that I can sell as a stand-alone product. It is very niche; I might sell anything between zero and five copies, but the nearest comparable products sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

My question is this: What is the best way to protect such a product? Key it to a specific machine? Run it on a server via ssh -X and charge for a login? Rewrite as a web app (Can I use Numpy/Scipy?) or should I use a commercial licensing product like FlexLM?

As an added complication — it could conceivably be used for military purposes and be subject to ITAR or the EU equivalent. I think I would have to show some kind of effort to prevent it being used by unfriendly countries.

What have other Slashdotters done in similar situations?"
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Microsoft Surface Tablets to be Given Away (almost)

occasional_dabbler occasional_dabbler writes  |  about 2 years ago

occasional_dabbler writes "Big gamble by Microsoft. Will selling the ARM tablet at such a low price be enough to establish the Windows 8 platform? Hardware like a 10 inch iPad for the same price as a seven inch Android and it comes with Office? Is the MS cash mountain big enough?"
Link to Original Source
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Why is Window Phone getting such a beating?

occasional_dabbler occasional_dabbler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

occasional_dabbler (1735162) writes "Reviews by 'commentators' such as the link predict certain doom for both Nokia and Microsoft on the basis of the OS being a failure, yet whenever the Lumia handsets are reviewed in the mainstream press they are often highly praised. Windows phone is an immature OS, certainly, but it does pretty much everything you need in a smartphone, is getting better with each update and it is beautiful. I have a Lumia 800 and now I'm used to how it and the WP OS works I find it a painful process to go back to an Android or iPhone for some obscure app not yet supported on WP.
WP gave me the same feeling I got when I bought my first iBook, fired up OSX 10.1 and realised I had just been shifted up a decade.
So why so serious? What do slashdotters who have really tried WP think of it?"

Link to Original Source

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