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Death to the Trapezoid... Next USB Connector Will Be Reversible

paramour Re:What's wrong with good old TRS plugs? (408 comments)

Because you can't get a new patent on that.

You could I suppose at least trademark a new name, say USB360(tm).

about 10 months ago
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Charge Your Mobile Device With Fire

paramour Re:BioLite (126 comments)

Because it weighs 7oz as opposed to 33oz, is a fraction of the size, and has the same power output (2W at 5V, continuous). True, the BioLite is also a stove and this isn't, but there are many high efficiency light weight stoves that should work with FlameStower, or apparently an open campfire if you're in a place where that is permitted.

If you're car camping or day hiking you may not think saving over a pound in pack weight is important, but then again you probably don't need a USB recharger either. For multi-day back country hiking lots of people pay attention to this level of weight difference (not just the ultra-light types).

I have no connection to the FlameStower people, other than considering getting one.

about a year ago
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Open-Source Python Code Shows Lowest Defect Density

paramour Re:Python is readable (187 comments)

The reason for newline-tab being syntactically significant in makefiles is because by the time make's author, Stuart Feldman, realized the problems with this choice there were already about a dozen users of make and he didn't want to break any of their makefiles with an incompatible change. See _The Art of Unix Programming_ by Eric S. Raymond.

The lesson is the time to fix a bad design decision is as soon as possible, because it's not going to get any easier later; unless or until your program becomes irrelevant, at which point there's little reason to fix it at all.

1 year,19 days
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Swimming Robot Reaches Australia After Record-Breaking Trip

paramour This is where James Gosling went (72 comments)

James Gosling, of Java, Display Postscript, Gosling Emacs, and other fames is the chief software architect an Liquid Robotics.

about 2 years ago
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Why Coding At Fifty May Be Nifty

paramour Re:Coding at 50? Why even ask?!? (317 comments)

... Tragically, of course, if you're a fifty year old geek, coding is as close as you're getting to sex for the rest of your life....

Boy, are YOU doing it wrong....

The coding or the sex?

about 2 years ago
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Texas Attorney General Warns International Election Observers

paramour Treaties supercede state laws (817 comments)

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

-- US Constitution, Article VI

Why does the Texas AG not know this?

about 2 years ago
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California Employers Can't Ask For Your Facebook Password

paramour Re:Finally, a law recognizing privacy (363 comments)

You're blaming Woodrow Wilson and the isolationist Congress/Senate of 1912 for everything that's happened in our country since?

He's referencing the Dec 23, 1913 Federal Reserve Act, creating "The Fed" and letting it print money. I don't think this had much to do with isolationism.

about 2 years ago
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Calorie Restriction May Not Extend Lifespan

paramour Re:I'll die happy (251 comments)

Congratulations on having spotted a statistical trend armed with whopping total of 2 data points.

I learned in college that a mathematician requires 2 points to determine a straight line, an engineer prefers at least 3, a statistician 4 or more, but a sociologist only needs 1.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?

paramour R. A. Lafferty and Thomas M. Disch (1130 comments)

Lafferty specialized in science fiction that was more folk-tale like, or as I see Wikipedia puts it "shaggy characters and tall tales". His short stories, in such collections as Lafferty In Orbit or Nine Hundred Grandmothers, are more approachable than his novels, especially for someone new to his style.

Disch wrote both horror and science fiction. If you're literate you owe it to yourself to read Camp Concentration. His first novel, The Genocides is an easier read, if a bit heavy-handed in its message.

If you're deeply religious you might want to avoid Disch, especially The Genocides.

more than 2 years ago
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US Courts Approve 30,000 Secret Surveillance Orders Each Year

paramour ECPA = wiretaping law (85 comments)

Since the summary didn't say, ECPA is The Electronic Communications Privacy Act, an updated version of the 1968 Federal Wiretap Act.

FISA is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the FISA court (technically the FISC, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) generally rubber stamps wiretapping warrants, even after the fact.

more than 2 years ago
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Firefox 13 Released, Debuts Brand New Tab Page and Homepage

paramour FUCK (320 comments)

Fuck Mozilla's fucking releases every fucking other fucking week. Want me to pay attention to a new release? then don't bombard me with requests to update, or call versions barely worth an increment to the patch level a fucking release. Buy a clue and stop ruining what was a pretty decent browser. As ColdWetDog already joked, only for real, you're actually making IE look good again. The level of fuckitude necessary to reach that level of fuckedupness is almost unfuckingbeliveable.

more than 2 years ago
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Jury Rules Google Violated Java Copyright, Google Moves For Mistrial

paramour Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (475 comments)

Name another company that size that is as friendly to open source software.

Sun Microsystems, in its day. In addition to Java: NFS, ZFS, D-Trace, virtual box, StrongTalk, GlassFish, OpenSolaris, NetBeans; after buying them but keeping them open: MySQL, OpenOffice, BlueQuartz (former Cobalt stack); and in the realm of open hardware, OpenSparc T1. (No question, Sun botched some of the companies it bought.)

At its largest Sun was never as big as Google today, but proportionally Google has done far less.

Oracle is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Sun Microsystems. (For one, they make money.)

more than 2 years ago
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SpaceX Launch To International Space Station Delayed For Code Tweaks

paramour Title is wrong, /. SOP (97 comments)

TFA says the delay is for hardware in the loop testing, not code tweaking.

One hopes normal end-to-end testing was done long before this, but given the costs and logistics of assembling the actual hardware this final phase of testing pretty much has to wait until shortly before launch.

I'm a developer and am pretty much in the camp of "if it complies and boots, ship it", but I appreciate the need for QA. When you're shooting a missile at a fragile target keeping a crew alive 200 miles above earth just maybe before you sign off on the launch you want to finish testing. It's the low delta-v docking code they're testing apparently, but docking coupling damage has happened in the past, and that or just a failure to dock would be kind of a big deal.

about 2 years ago
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IBM Creates 'Breathing' High-Density Lithium-Air Battery

paramour Re:Comparable? (582 comments)

Did you read even the summary or just Wikipedia? 12kWh/kg, the projected max energy density of these batteries, and what they were calling "comparable", is about 43 MJ/kg (1 kWh = 3.6 MJ). That's only10% less than gasoline and "comparable" seems apt. Open question how close actual batteries ever get to that max, but that's not what you were complaining about.

And then there is effective density, when you consider the amount of energy that can be used for productive work. A gas engine typically wastes 70% to 80% of it's energy while electric motors over 100hp waste less than 8%. So lets see, using the best efficiency for gas, .3 * 47 = 14MJ/kg and for electric the NEMA minimum, .92 * 43 = 40MJ/kg, and we have electric motors with li-air batteries at 3 times the effective density of ICE with gasoline. There are other real-world considerations for true effective density, but it seems you were right after all, "comparable" isn't fair -- to a li-air car, which you seemingly would be willing to pay $60,000 for.

more than 2 years ago
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EFF Reverse Engineers Carrier IQ

paramour Re:If it's unencrypted... (103 comments)

Pah, kids these days. Try TECO

"It has been observed that a TECO command sequence more closely resembles transmission line noise than readable text. One of the more entertaining games to play with TECO is to type your name in as a command line and try to guess what it does. Just about any possible typing error while talking with TECO will probably destroy your program, or even worse - introduce subtle and mysterious bugs in a once working subroutine."
    -- Real Programmers Don't Use PASCAL

The first versions of emacs were written in TECO, inspired in part by tmacs -- TECO macros.

Or try APL. Uses a special character set, permits composed characters, assumes you know linear algebra, and reads right to left -- the epitome of a write-only language.

Now get off my lawn.

more than 2 years ago
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GameStop Opening Deus Ex Boxes, Removing Free Game Coupon

paramour Thanks for the heads-up on OnLive, Gamestop (343 comments)

I don't really game much anymore and so don't follow gaming news., but Deus Ex was an old favorite and I've thought about getting the new iteration. Good job Gamestop, your tactics made it made it to slashdot and my radar, introducing me to OnLive, something I hadn't heard of (or had and mistook it for a branding of Microsoft Live). Although I wonder how well it will actually work for me it seemed worthwhile enough to at least download the free client and watch some games in progress -- on a Mac where Deus Ex sn't otherwise available at that.

Not quite the Streisand Effect, but mostly because few here are as clueless about OnLive as I was. Gamestop, you don't yet seem to understand that every company memo is a public document these days.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Bid Pi Billion Dollars For Nortel Patents

paramour Re:Pi (213 comments)

If only they had bid Tau they would have won.

more than 3 years ago

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