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Average latency to Slashdot.org?

ocratato Over 200 but on ADSL and not in space (558 comments)

I'm at 228ms from Canberra Australia.

I am surprised at how much slower some others from Australia are.

about a year and a half ago
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HP Chairman Raymond Lane Steps Down

ocratato Re:Anyone else remember? (89 comments)

Many, many years ago I worked as purchasing officer for a large research organisation. HP used to publish a magazine that showcased their latest equipment, usually describing the engineering that went into it in great detail. Within days of the magazine hitting the desks of our engineers we would get requests for these new gadgets, which HP was able to provide from local stock -- in Australia. That always impressed our engineers.

about a year and a half ago
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Falling Windows RT Tablet Prices Signify Slow Adoption

ocratato Re:I just checked Amazon - (290 comments)

If you could put Linux on one it would be a sweet little machine. One of the reasons they are so expensive is the Windows requires a higher performance CPU and more memory than the other brands. This in turn pushes up the battery requirements as well as the cost. It would be nice to be able to put something more efficient on them.

about a year and a half ago
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Falling Windows RT Tablet Prices Signify Slow Adoption

ocratato Re:Fire sale? (290 comments)

To quote from the referenced article:

"The specific value can't be permanently altered on devices enabled with Secure Boot"

So not much use really.

about a year and a half ago
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Falling Windows RT Tablet Prices Signify Slow Adoption

ocratato Re:And yet they look expensive... (290 comments)

I was watching a couple of youngsters trying to play with a Surface in one of our local electronics stores. It must have been that the keyboard was not connected correctly since nothing worked unless you poked at the screen. Not very impressive, and WAY too expensive compared to laptop computers.

about a year and a half ago
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Falling Windows RT Tablet Prices Signify Slow Adoption

ocratato Re:Fire sale? (290 comments)

Since its locked down so it can only run Windows RT, and the App Store would probably be shut down, what are you going to do with it?

about a year and a half ago
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Falling Windows RT Tablet Prices Signify Slow Adoption

ocratato Landfill (290 comments)

The only way these could have succeeded was to price them below Android and recover the losses from the App Store.

The way these are heading, we will see Microsoft soon abandon them and because of their locked down nature they will be consigned to landfill.

about a year and a half ago
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A New Version of MS Office Every 90 Days

ocratato Re:Crying unto the children... (292 comments)

There has been no spike in sales because PC sales are in decline overall.

However I purchased this W7 machine to avoid any W8 problems putting Linux on it.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Hasn't 3D Taken Off For the Web?

ocratato When there is an App that NEEDS 3D (320 comments)

Until very recently there was very little use for 3D for most people. Those few doing CAD, and some games were the only users, and they are not enough to bring 3D into the mainstream.

However we now have relatively low cost 3D movie cameras and 3D printers are also beginning to become common. I think 3D will finally start to take off.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Does the FOSS Community Currently Need?

ocratato A Cross Application Database (356 comments)

Rather than yet another database application, what is needed is a database layer, much like a graphics layer. This could then be a common resource for all applications.

Part of the problem is that each application has its own database. Users want to access data from multiple applications which usually means exporting from one or more databases and importing the data into another before you can run any queries against it.

The relational model is two restrictive for the sort of things a user needs to do. Something based on RDF or OWL might be a lot more flexible and hence useful.

about 2 years ago
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If I had a time machine, I would first visit...

ocratato Re:Limited to jumping? (658 comments)

If the time machine transfered an equivalent mass in the opposite direction this problem could be resolved.

more than 2 years ago
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If I had a time machine, I would first visit...

ocratato Re:Dangers of Time Travel (658 comments)

This assumes that the changes you make in the past can somehow catch up to the present. What if all changes just ripple forward at one second per second and those changes never reach our present (which is also travelling forward at one second per second.)

more than 2 years ago
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If I had a time machine, I would first visit...

ocratato Re:100 years in the past (658 comments)

But after your hunting trip, none of these people would feature in your history, so you would have no incentive to go in the first place.

more than 2 years ago
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If I had a time machine, I would first visit...

ocratato Re:There's no point in going into the past (658 comments)

If you went back 100 million years, you would be on the other side of the galaxy without the spatial correction cicuit. And that is ignoring the movements of the galaxy.

more than 2 years ago
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A Modest Proposal For Sequestration of CO2 In the Antarctic

ocratato Re:Interesting but... (243 comments)

Agree completely.

Once we have a means of sequestering CO2, then there is no longer much incentive to stop creating it. We will just build a lot more coal fired power stations, and probably a lot more of these plants to cope with the ever increasing demand.

Eventually all this CO2 goes back into the atmosphere, and probably very quickly.

more than 2 years ago
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Most Useful Scripting Language To Learn?

ocratato Roll your own (477 comments)

I voted for bash as the most useful to learn, but for a lot of tasks I often find I have built my own application specific language.

The advantage is that you can tailor it you specific requirements - but this must not be allowed to grow into a general purpose language. I have seen an attempt to create a C like interpreted language that was unbelievably slow. A few optimisations and it was 100 time faster, and using an actual compiler got another 100 times improvement !

more than 2 years ago
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Political Science Prof Asks: Is Algebra Necessary?

ocratato The real problem (1010 comments)

is in the teaching of algebra, not the need for it.

The TFA starts by complaining about how so many students fail the subject, but by the end is describing all sorts of scenarios where maths is a requirements. It would appear that the problem, then, is to find a better way of teaching the subject.

The best results that I have seen come when students can work together to explain stuff to each other, and where the maths is related back to real world problems. A student that has just grasped some concept is better able to explain it than someone for whom that concept is second nature. Some practical use can make the subject seem more real and can aid in the understanding - I never really understood matrices until I started doing some 3D graphics stuff - the classes never related them to anything solid - they were just an abstraction.

more than 2 years ago
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GNOME: Staring Into the Abyss

ocratato Static virtual desktops (535 comments)

I have been using Gnome 3 for a few months now, and with the extension tools available it can be made almost useable.

The two things that really need to change are the dynamic workspaces and the launcher.

The idea of dynamic workspaces is great for the casual user, but for the more experienced user we would like a set of named static workspaces. I have been able to kludge this by having a terminal session on each workspace - and making sure I never close them. This keeps the workspaces alive and fixed. GConf still has the ability to name workspaces so I use the workspace menu to switch when using the mouse (I am a developer, but I use the mouse a LOT).

The idea of always jumping to the running program when you hit a launcher is really annoying. I can see that it might be useful for some large programs, like Eclipse, but for terminal sessions or a calculator I want to stay on the current workspace and open a new instance. This needs to be made into a configuable option since different users will have different requirements for this.

Those two changes and it would be a viable DE.

more than 2 years ago
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The Nuclear Approach To Climate Change

ocratato Re:Refining (432 comments)

Well politics is the big one, but there is also the finance/economic problem. It would be uneconomic to build such a plant unless we had a lot of reactors, and an export market. Our good friends, the USA, would not like their markets being taken by us - so its more politics.

more than 2 years ago

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