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Apple Gets the Importance of Packaging; Why Doesn't Google?

pohl Re:Not Google's Fault (639 comments)

"First rule of leadership: everything is your fault." - Hopper, A Bug's Life

more than 2 years ago
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Google I/O Sells Out In 20 Minutes

pohl Re:no scalping (221 comments)

All Google has to do is ban scalping of the tickets. You buy a ticket, YOU get in, not the holder of the ticket.

How would one implement that while maintaining the ability for a business to decouple purchasing a ticket from the decision of which member of a development team gets to go?

more than 2 years ago
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Physicists Call For Alien Messaging Protocol

pohl Re:Try this on Earth first, noobie. (279 comments)

That's why you need multiple layers in your transmission. The obvious signal should be a long, slow count of all of the prime numbers up to some arbitrary cut-off, like 9973. Then the transmission should repeat. This will give the aliens a strong clue that you're operating in base-10. Then, layered in your transmission - perhaps in a side channel, or by having different signals in amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, and polarization modulation, you can give multilayered information.

The next-most-obvious signal in your "palimpsest" should be a primer of some sort. This is where you can build basic mathematic, chemistry, etc. — ultimately building up to the detailed instructions for building a device the aliens can build that will transport one of them through a wormhole to talk to her dead father.

That should do it.

more than 3 years ago
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Google To Drop Support For H.264 In Chrome

pohl Re:Open standards (765 comments)

...the absence of Flash.

more than 3 years ago
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Make Your Own DHS Threat Level Display At Home

pohl not so fast, cowboy (132 comments)

That would be true if we were to use this display for the uncreative purpose of displaying whatever threat-level the DHS is currently at.

I would pay for a display like this. Back in 2004 I had to resort to using the various colors of the dry-erase-marker rainbow to create a threat-level display on the whiteboard in my office. Back then my team's product had a memory leak somewhere in it, and nobody believed me. The servers would be up for a handful of days, and then just when everybody was lulled into a false sense of security we would get a flurry of random OutOfMemoryExceptions as the whole thing would sieze up and become unresponsive - pulling system administrators out of their scheduled meetings to conduct emergency rolls in a panic. And then, back to business as usual.

At first I was alone in suspecting a leak. Back then we didn't have any memory monitoring in place so it was all thruthiness from my gut. But worse than being alone in my suspicions was the sinking feeling that the leak was proportional to user load, which was on a steady incline with no sine of abating. So over the course of a few months - while everybody went about their business of making sure to only work on things that could be billed to client project numbers - the frequency of emergency rolls steadily increased, and I kept elevating my threat level in response.

"What's that on your whiteboard," some would ask. I would explain that a shitstorm was on the horizon and that we had better take some time to find and fix the memory leak even if it meant taking a hit to billable hours. "Leak? What leak?"

By doing this I got a partner onboard who put some hand-rolled memory monitoring in place using JFreeChart to plot the decline. "See...a memory leak!," we would insist. "No, no," said the best and brightest of our software engineers. "It'll pick up," he continued, suggesting that maybe I didn't really understand how the garbage collector worked and that maybe it merely needed to fall below some threshold before it kicked in.

And with that, I once again elevated the threat level, and kept elevating it until it hit the top. Eventually we got to the point where one out of four nodes in our cluster was always in the process of being rolled, with users spilling over to the remaining 3, and one of them would crumble just as the 4th node was coming back up.

We eventually discovered a dubious use of ThreadLocal in the old version of Xalan (the pre-xsltc version), and fixed the problem by upgrading the library. But without the threat-level indicator in my office, I might never have gotten attention to the problem before it was too late.

I'll pay $200 for one of these boards. And I want all of the colors, damn it.

more than 3 years ago
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A Close Look At Apple's A4 Chip

pohl Re:Not sure if this is right... (245 comments)

How is it not the 4th model of the iPhone? There was the original, which spoke the 2.5G Edge protocol, then there was the 2nd one which spoke a 3G protocol, then there was the 3rd phone - the 3GS - which added a faster processor and video recording, and now there is the 4th phone, dubbed the iPhone 4.

more than 4 years ago
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Porn Sites Pop Up In China

pohl Up next in the news... (126 comments)

...half a billion priapic pop-ups in China.

more than 4 years ago
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Harder-Than-Diamond Natural Carbon Crystals Found

pohl Re:Slighly confused now (250 comments)

So diamond is no longer the hardest [material] known to man?

It hasn't been for quite some time now, but the myth lives on. It was the hardest "naturally occurring" material until this discovery, apparently.

more than 4 years ago
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Apple's "iPad" Out In the Open

pohl Re:VOIP (1713 comments)

Reading sometimes helps.

more than 4 years ago
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Apple's "iPad" Out In the Open

pohl VOIP (1713 comments)

There's an app for that.

more than 4 years ago
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Open-Source JavaScript Flash Player (HTML5/SVG)

pohl Re:This is great! (300 comments)

...while the WebKit JavaScript VM is a bytecode interpreter.

The world has moved on since those days. Squirrelfish was a bytecode interpreter, yes...but Squirrelfish Extreme has been using JIT compilation since 2008. Note that Chrome also uses WebKit, and has been using a different Javascript VM called "V8", and it also compiles just-in-time. On the mozilla side of the fence, Tracemonkey also compiles just in time. The only laggard is IE.

I recon javascript will be used differently now that the runtimes are more capable. Your observation about how Javascript is used today only reflects the limited capabilities of yesterday's browsers. Flash can no longer be thought of as being uniquely optimized for long-running things. Those days are over.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Everyone Has High Hopes For Apple Tablet

pohl Re:iPhone causing low hopes (596 comments)

Is there a point you wanted to make without a strawman? I didn't say that all phones had stupid restrictions. I would, however, go so far as to say that devices without stupid restrictions were not available by the carriers in my region at the time, and so you're free to rail against me for living in the "right place" back then...if you really must.

My point was to counter the notion that the industry was not already "turned back" before Apple entered the market. The grandparent is propagating a fiction that the industry was somehow open until the iPhone singlehandedly closed it.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Everyone Has High Hopes For Apple Tablet

pohl Re:iPhone causing low hopes (596 comments)

Every cell phone I've ever had has been burdened with stupid restrictions, so Apple isn't really innovating in the Restrictions Department - they've just wrested some of the ability to restrict from the hands of the carriers. The last phone I had was a Motorola e815, which had the ability to do Bluetooth OBEX built into it, but Alltel decided to configure it off so that I couldn't load my own ringtones easily and had to buy theirs.

more than 4 years ago
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Steve Jobs Crowned "Person of the Decade"

pohl Re:First decade of this millennium (346 comments)

There was no Year 0 so the indices start from 1 in this case.

I'm always amazed how on a forum brimming with computer scientists, there's always an ample supply of pedants willing to insist that whatever calendar Gregory XIII pulled out of his ass in 1582 by papal fiat is somehow intrinsically less arbitrary than demarcating decades by years that end in zero.

more than 4 years ago
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The Best, Worst, and Ugliest OSes of the Decade

pohl Re:Aren't we looking at this a year too early (378 comments)

I've checked since you last have, and your notion of when decades end is based upon the year 1 being the first calendar year...which is, of course, entirely arbitrary. So since we're already being arbitrary, why not be a computer scientist for once and just willingly accept the one time when everybody else is willing to start counting with zero like god intended?

more than 4 years ago
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Palm Sued Over Palm Pre GPL Violation

pohl Re:Well (374 comments)

Your post has forced me to either respond or not respond. Damn you and your restrictive discourse.

more than 4 years ago
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Respected Developers Begin Fleeing the App Store

pohl Re:Irony (485 comments)

Everybody take note that the defense is not claiming that their garden has no walls, but is only claiming that they are not made of the same material.

more than 4 years ago
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Respected Developers Begin Fleeing the App Store

pohl Re:Irony (485 comments)

Everybody take note here that the defense is not claiming that the garden has no walls, but is only claiming that they are made of a different material.

more than 4 years ago

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