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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

overshoot Re:Wake me up when any flavor of OO has outline mo (267 comments)

Ah, yes. Issue number 3959. Originally filed April 10, 2002. More than twelve years ago. In that time it has remained in the top-voted issue list year-in and year-out. Others come and go, but 3959 keeps on pissing off users. At last look, there are about ten duplicates requests on file.

Every few years some developer wanders by and tells the people following it that nobody needs outline view, or that there are tools available to do it, or whatever. Often, they close the issue. In effect, "I don't use outline mode so obviously it's not important." The mailing list heats up for a while, the developer either mumbles something about maybe the team should look into it and vanishes or else just vanishes, but the issue is either reopened or left open. I've seen at least four of those cycles so far. We're probably due for another one.

At this point, I suspect that 3959 will outlive (Open|Libre|Star)Office for the classic open-source software reason: if it doesn't scratch a developer's itch, it ain't happening. And apparently, developers don't outline, edit, or otherwise structure their writing or much care about the people who do.

yesterday
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

overshoot They could start by (267 comments)

dealing with bug/enhancement issues that have been pending for more than twelve years. Issue #3959 (notice the position in the queue?) has been either ignored or brushed off as unimportant since April of 2002, despite seniority and votes in the issues list.

Classic case of writers telling programmers "this is a must-have function" and programmers responding with "I don't use it so neither do you."

yesterday
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Bill Gates Patents Detecting, Responding To "Glassholes"

overshoot Picky details (140 comments)

I haven't seen the application yet, but I'd be quite surprised if it contains enough information to actually detect cameras -- given, after all, that a camera doesn't necessarily look like anything in particular, nor emit a signal declaring "I am a camera."

More likely, Gates et al are doing the old trick of patenting the idea of detecting a camera and then planning to fill in the blanks as the technology improves. Jerry Lemelson was the grand master of this trick and made billions (yes, with a "B") with it. On numerous occasions he actually sued, and prevailed, against the people who actually invented the technology that he incorporated in revised patent applications because his application predated their invention.

2 days ago
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Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

overshoot Re:Green wave (364 comments)

Those with lead feet would be accelerating hard, then waiting at the lights as you

... arrive in queue behind them.

about two weeks ago
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Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

overshoot Why bother? (364 comments)

I've been timing my lights for decades. When you arrive at that "next green light" you'll find that the cars that left the last green light with you are already parked there ahead of you, so you have to stop anyway while they jackrabbit out to beat everyone to the next red light.

about two weeks ago
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The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs

overshoot Re:..and we need this technology why exactly? (176 comments)

Wouldn't it be better to put the connectivity into the light fixture, especially if it has more than one bulb?

If we work really, really hard at it and spend enough money on the electronics in each bulb, we can give you that by making them imitate a 19th century lamp.

about two weeks ago
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Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity

overshoot Between them, they're right (516 comments)

Greenspan is right that taking the lid off of immigration will drive the top of the wage scale down, greatly reducing wage inequality.

Gates is right that there's one "job" that won't be automated: ownership.

I confess that I am assuming that Greenspan (who was never a dummy) is talking about wage, rather than income inequality. Otherwise I'm not sure how he expects a rise in immigration to do anything but accelerate the shift of income from wages to rents.

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

overshoot Re:Why worry - its natural selection in action (747 comments)

For every family that takes unvaccinated kids to France and brings them back sick

Is there something particularly disgusting about France that I am unaware of?

A particularly low vaccination rate, mostly. Along with Switzerland, it seems that most of the USA's trip-to-X-and-came-back-with-measles cases seem to be from France.

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

overshoot Re:Tell them a story (747 comments)

You can't reason someone out of a belief that they didn't reason themselves into.

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

overshoot Re:MMR Outcry? (747 comments)

Question, if the vax works so well, why then are the vaxxed so worried about the few who dont.

Short answer: because measles is a human-only disease like smallpox and polio. We could eliminate it. In which case, the we'd have as many adverse outcomes from measles and its vaccine as we do now from smallpox and its vaccine: zero.

There are other reasons, but IMHO that's good enough. Except, perhaps, for the virus-rights movement.

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

overshoot Re:Why worry - its natural selection in action (747 comments)

ALL the weak get culled, not just the dumb ones.

Most particularly, the very young. Possibly not a trait we want to eliminate from the population.

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

overshoot Re:Why worry - its natural selection in action (747 comments)

Its sad, but if the kids of parents who only think on a base emotional level die then its clearing out the human gene pool.

For every family that takes unvaccinated kids to France and brings them back sick, there are scores more who are in the pediatrician's waiting room, in pulic places, etc. with a kid too young to be vaccinated. Not to mention the small percentage for whom the vaccine just doesn't work.

Unless you're advocating keeping babies and others locked up and leaving public places to the shambling hordes of carriers, perhaps?

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

overshoot Re:MMR Outcry? (747 comments)

Maybe this is just the half-time of the shots, and it's time to refresh? I.e. "2014, third dose recommended"

If that were the case, you'd be seeing the new cases in people over the age of 30. Instead it's pretty much all kids.

about a month ago
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Getty Images Makes 35 Million Images Free For Non-Commercial Use

overshoot Re:Embedded player (66 comments)

Let me guess -- it's all Silverlight, right?

about a month and a half ago
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Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain

overshoot Re:Two things (353 comments)

And if they had gone with the most powerful available boxer, it would still be significantly under-powered compared to the original. Remember, the engines in the original engines were designed by Bugatti.

Using 1930s technology -- downdraft carbs and all. (Don't try fling them inverted!)

Since they weren't going to match the original power anyway, they chose inexpensive.

Street-legal Boxers put out over 300 BHP. Take liberties that are only legal for off-road use and they're a lot closer to the Bugatti 450 than to the replica's 200. Even with less weight. Don't underrate the value of fuel injection, modern alloys (esp. in the turbochargers) and electronic engine controls. And they're relatively inexpensive, even tricked out.

about a month and a half ago
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Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain

overshoot Re:Two things (353 comments)

The problem is that they needed an aviation engine.

Plenty of "experimental" planes use turbocharged Subaru Boxers. Compact, 2.5 liter, not hard to get more than factory power out of them. Especially with thin, cold air and minimal exhaust modifications.

about a month and a half ago
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Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain

overshoot Re:Two things (353 comments)

Drag is proportional to dynamic pressure, which is in turn proportional to the square of velocity.

For incompressible flow, anyway. When you're sneaking up on Mach 0.8, though, wave drag is a serious part of the equation and the power curve gets even steeper.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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PICing Arduino

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 2 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "At the Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend, Digilent showed a couple of new Arduino family boards — but these are based on 32-bit PIC micros. The IDE is the standard Arduino one, GPL, but with support for both AVR and the PIC devices. The performance is nice, but the thing that got my attention is all of the serial I/O of the Max32."
Link to Original Source
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There really is a "stupid" gene

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 3 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Researchers have discovered a gene in mice that reduces the ability to learn and remember. When researchers produced mice without the RGS14 gene, they were better able to remember objects they'd previously encountered and were quicker to learn mazes. Humans also have RGS14, so science has confirmed what we've always joked about: there really is a "stupid gene.""
Link to Original Source
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Speech gets (slightly) freer in UK

overshoot overshoot writes  |  about 4 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Simon Singh, the science writer sued by chiropractors in the UK for daring to call their claims "bogus," just won an appellate decision that his writings are "fair comment." Best of all, the Court was extremely critical of British libel laws and compared the standards Singh faced in the lower court as an "Orwellian ministry of Truth" and held that scientific disputes should not be fought in the courtroom."
Link to Original Source
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Jury rules in SCO v Novell

overshoot overshoot writes  |  about 4 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Looks like the obese lady in Utah is at least warming up: the jury in SCO v. Novell has returned their decision. It would seem that like Judge Kimball, they don't believe Novell transferred its Unix copyrights (whatever they may be, not that anyone knows by now) to CalderaThe SCO Group."
Link to Original Source
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LED wiring for new construction?

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "With any luck I'll be building a new house in the next year. Rather than wire it for 19th century lighting, I figured it was about time to plan ahead for LED illumination, complete with designed-in addressable color controls and all that. Which is all well and good, but the current house was preplanned for LAN, too — and I totally missed the boat on LAN wiring standards. I'd rather not repeat that little bit of history, but I haven't found any standards in the pipeline for 21st century home lighting connections.

Anyone have suggestions?"
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Mindwipe: we has it

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 4 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "How often have we all read science fiction stories where someone has the ability to "wipe" memory, perhaps down to tabula rasa? It's a pretty stock plot device, often used as a threat against a framed protagonist. Well, peeps, it might be closer to fact than we'd like. Apparently long-term memory is dynamic, and interfering with the "refresh" process just makes the past ... disappear. So far the experiments involve injections into specific regions of mouse brains — but we all know how technology advances, right?"
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First it was voting machines

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Now it's breath sniffers. An Arizona Court has ruled that the manufacturers of a popular portable breath sniffer have to turn over the source code to the machine to defense attorneys in 23 criminal DUI cases. The decision was based on Constitutional grounds, and the Pima County Sherriff's department (not, please note, Maricopa County's comedy case) will be appealing. IANAL, but this looks like one to go the distance unless the manufacturer caves."
Link to Original Source
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Landshark Cage Match

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 5 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "From the "it couldn't happen to nicer people" division of the "a plague on both your houses" department: The Church of Scientology's premier Cruise ship seems to have an asbestos problem — that they've been literally sweeping under the carpet for more than 20 years. Asbestos lawyers all over the place must be cranking out class-action boilerplate at this moment for everyone who's been aboard since the ship was renovated two decades ago.

Popcorn, anyone?"

Link to Original Source
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What happened to OpenMoko?

overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "Does anyone know what happened to OpenMoko? First they were going to have development hardware last December, then it slipped to February, with commercial availability in June, then the development units showed up in the summer but the consumer devices were going to be available in October. Well, my calendar says October was two months ago, the website hasn't been updated since July, and I'm still lusting after that phool fone."
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overshoot overshoot writes  |  more than 6 years ago

overshoot (39700) writes "I hate to break the news, but the /. readership isn't all that important politically. The people who really count are the over-65 set, who have money and (more important) actually vote. Which is why I was totally floored last week.

I was chatting with my (over 80) mother on the way to a University graduation party for two of my kids when, in response to a rather innocuous comment, she let loose with a rant about how patents and copyright have to change before they ruin the country. Now, this is a woman who has been a Republican for her entire adult life and for years was a loyal party worker — by no means a child of the 60s (that's me, actually.)

So, I'll ask: how many of us have actually talked about the IP wars with our past-retirement-age family? Is there a profound public perception change happening that the noisy (as in, you and me) /. set haven't noticed because we're making too much noise ourselves?"

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