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Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

samkass Re: And so therefor it follows and I quote (353 comments)

I would guess that yes, you could legally force Apple to refund you the $0 they charge for their OS.

about 2 months ago

How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

samkass Re:It helps to actually use the thing. (296 comments)

Pay no attention to the fact that Apple has sold an entry-level Mac Mini for $499 for the last 9 years.

They have sold the entry-level Mac Mini for $499 for 1 week. Before that, it was $599.

It used to be $499, then went up to $599 for a few years, now back to $499. Which is all beside the original point: there is not a high barrier to entry for the Mac. And it has a lot of additional value to a lot of people: simple for the beginner, and an entire open-source UNIX for the advanced user, combined with high-quality parts and great service, a big ecosystem of software and services, and almost no viruses or threats to worry about, and a lot of folks (me included) think life is too short to deal with Windows at home.

about 2 months ago

Apple Yet To Push Patch For "Shellshock" Bug

samkass Re: Issue with FSF statement... (208 comments)

It's true, Apple releases the full source code to the UNIX underlying MacOS X, including all the user land command line utilities and the OS kernel. You can rebuild them all.

So what is this article about?? Things are working exactly like FSF intended. Apple users can download the source to bash, patch it, and install it on their own machines. If people wait for the vendor to patch, what's the difference between it and closed source?

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

samkass Re:Obj-C (316 comments)

Apple has explicitly said in their "Using Swift with Cocoa and Objective-C" document that Swift isn't compatible with Objective-C++. You have to create a C API for the C++ code and call it through that. Hopefully that will be remedied soon, but in the meantime using Objective-C++ instead of Swift is a no-brainer for new development that needs extensive compatibility with a C/C++ installed base or set of libraries.

It looks like a fun language, and perhaps appropriate for small projects, but it's definitely not there yet.

As to the original poster, I think the answer is "yes". Learn them all. And Java and Scala and whatever else. The more language you learn the more you see it's 98% syntax changes and you can appreciate the 2% of each language/environment.

about 3 months ago

Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

samkass Re: Incompetence (167 comments)

Common misperception. Tenure simply means that your employment is no longer "at will" and to be fired requires going through an established process instead of just saying "you're fired and I don't need a reason!"

about 3 months ago

Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

samkass Re:HALO (368 comments)

If that happened everyone would just stick with the old version and tell Mojang-rosoft to f*ck itself. Just like open-source reveres engineered bukket server became the default Minecraft server for most servers the cracked client would become the default. As is many people run old versions already just to maintain compatibility with various mods already so its not that much of a stretch. I bought Minecraft specifically because they have Linux support, that would end if MS ever got their hand on it.

Not sure if you're aware what's been happening with that Bukkit server you cite. Turns out, Mojang AB secretly bought it two years ago when they hired away the lead developers. So Microsoft would own Bukkit, too. So it would have to be re-reverse engineered...

I agree... A Microsoft purchase would destroy Minecraft. Microsoft doesn't know how to do Java, or "open", or Mac/Playstation/iPad games... It would become just another banal property that gets milked for Microsoft Entertainment Division profit.

My older son literally burst into tears instantly when I was stupid enough to read the Verge headline out loud. He apparently shares my opinion...

about 3 months ago

Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

samkass Re: Stupid (561 comments)

If there were quotas, the ratios wouldn't look like this. My take was that Cook said what he did because he has a firm belief that there are more minorities who can do awesome work for Apple but for whatever reason (ie the bigotry displayed on this thread) are being dissuaded from the company or even the industry. And that Apple wants to take advantage of that.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

samkass Re: Real Programmers don't use GC (637 comments)

Fortunately JavaScript solved that. These days, programmers type == instead of ===! Progress!

about 4 months ago

Inside Ford's 3D Printing Center Where More Than 20K Parts Are Made Each Year

samkass Re:How can I not be a Cynic... (49 comments)

Given design, setup/prep, printing/molding, and trim work, that's still quite impressive. Mass producing one thing over and over is easy. Changing your tooling to deal with a new part is what's hard. When I worked in factories, we'd get laid off for a week when it was time to switch products. The engineers needed time to swap everything out. It was equivalent to rearranging a huge house where all the furniture weight over 30tons. I'd imagine these places are setup for lots of rapid changes so it wouldn't be so bad, but it's still probably requires a lot of work. Also, I doubt the workers are your regular linemen. They'd almost have to all be engineers.

When I wrote a bunch of software for InvisAlign over 10 years ago, we were ramping up to a capacity of 20,000 unique plastic parts per day while printing over half of that every day. I can only imagine what they're doing today. The actual printing was mostly stereolithography making molds, pressure forming, then CNC cutting them off, but there was also scanning, modeling, approvals, labeling, mesh cleanup, supports, etc., which all had to happen in 3d. The automation required to get all that humming along was substantial (lots of patents, and not just "on the internet" ones...)

about 6 months ago

Printing 3-D Replicas of Human Beings with a Home Brew Printer (Video)

samkass Re: Could it be.... (41 comments)

A dozen years ago when I was at Align Technology, the room full of these things churning out InvisAlign molds were, I think, the most the 3d printer is working printers at any facility in the world. I haven't been there in awhile but as far as I know they're still made that way.

about 7 months ago

Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

samkass Re:ANOTHER DEAD BODY! SWEET JUSTICE! (450 comments)

The strange concept is that you would bring up gun control when the statistics don't back you up. Over the last decade, the percentage of officers killed on duty, by guns vs other causes, in Britain is slightly HIGHER than it was in the United States. The US is far more violent than Britain, but guns do not contribute to that nearly as much as you would have others believe.

Do you have a source for that? According to the site linked below (which includes citations), "In the US – population 311.5 million – there were an estimated 13,756 murders in 2009, a rate of about 5.0 per 100,000. Of these 9,203 were carried out with a firearm. In the UK – population 56.1 million – there were an estimated 550 murders in 2011-12, a rate of about 1.4 per 100,000. Of these 39 were carried out with a firearm." I couldn't find similar statistics for police officers, but you're obviously pretty sure of your facts so I thought I'd ask. http://fleshisgrass.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/us-and-uk-murder-rate-and-weapon-updated/

about 7 months ago

Al Franken Says FCC Proposed Rules Are "The Opposite of Net Neutrality"

samkass Re:ya (282 comments)

Stop with the Netflix boogeyman. Netflix is 60% of prime-time traffic in the US-- there can thus mathematically be only one Netflix. Any law designed to solve any problem with Netflix will thus by definition not be relevant any other company. Netflix can't mathematically be on any single network and have even peering with any other network, which is the core of how all the little networks become "the Internet". Which is the basic problem-- there is no "the Internet", but maintaining the illusion of one requires certain agreements that we're all just making up as we go. Platitudes are unhelpful.

But Frankin is right, of course-- everyone debating the issues should at least understand them.

about 7 months ago

The Man Behind Munich's Migration of 15,000 PCs From Windows To Linux

samkass Re: GNU/Linux (264 comments)

I think you have it reversed. The OS was originally called "Linux", and it included a kernel, GNU user space tools, MIT's X-windows system, some BSD api's, and later Apache web servers, etc. There was a Linux kernel, but also an entire Linux distro.

It was only years later that RMS tried to retroactively name someone else's project with his organization's name, and that's one reason there's resistance there. Now the Linux kernel has "kernel" dropped and people try to say "Linux" only refers to that part. Ok, whatever. It's just RMS politics. People can name their distro whatever they want. But don't pretend GNU/Linux is a more "correct" way to refer to anything-- it's just a brand.

about 7 months ago

How 'Fast Lanes' Will Change the Internet

samkass Re:Finally (192 comments)

As far as Netflix is concerned, they painted themselves into a corner. They used a CDN (Cogent) that had settlement-free peering with many networks. Once Netflix started sending their traffic over those links it broke the settlement-free agreement. Netflix might have been in a better position if they didn't use a CDN and all their traffic went over transit. Then make agreements directly with the large ISP's that didn't involve existing peering ports.

And since there mathematically can be only one example of a single company pushing 60% of all the data into the tubes during peak hours, nothing done in response to their situation is generalizable to the rest of the Internet in the US. Let's just leave the Netflix situation out of it and we'll end up with better proposals.

about 8 months ago

Apple's Spotty Record of Giving Back To the Tech Industry

samkass Re:10.4.8 (268 comments)

What are you talking about? Apple has released the source of every version of the core OS X stack from 10.0 to 10.9.0 (including 10.4.9):

You can even recompile your kernel and swap in your replacement. Occasionally they take a little time to post it (I don't see 10.9's point releases up yet), but it gets there.

Why anyone holds these people up as innovators of industry is beyond me, they did not invent ...

Invent != Innovate. I'm glad that you can admit that you don't understand the industry, though. Admitting ignorance is the first step in learning.

about 8 months ago

3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

samkass Re: 3D printing (251 comments)

And OpenSCAD. If you have a 3D printer and haven't given OpenSCAD a thorough tryout you're missing out. I do the majority of my prints these days from OpenSCAD-created models, and the more you make the more libraries you build up to make better stuff later...

about 9 months ago

Facebook Shuts Down @Facebook Email System

samkass Re: Because people already have E-mail addresses? (149 comments)

Yeah, judging by the popularity of Gmail, people being concerned with their data being harvested doesn't seem to be a concern at all. I think it was just plain executed badly.

about 10 months ago

VA Tech Experiment: Polar Vortex May Decimate D.C. Stinkbugs In 2014

samkass Re: Hurray? (112 comments)

Yeah, I saw my first stink bug in months in my bathroom yesterday, right after hearing about this news. Amusing. I doubt there will be noticeably less of them in the spring.

about 10 months ago

Why Do You Need License From Canonical To Create Derivatives?

samkass Re:License needed only for specific things (118 comments)

It's kind of strange that on the same day Canonical is being called out for not being 100% free about everything, another article discusses Google's actions with Android, which is much, much more closed and yet most of Slashdot seemed eager to rush to their defense.

about 10 months ago

Iconic Predator-Prey Study In Peril

samkass Re:WTF???? (84 comments)

Maybe the author had a cold.

about 10 months ago



Kari Byron To Host New Daily Science Show

samkass samkass writes  |  more than 3 years ago

samkass (174571) writes "A new show named "Head Rush" — which aims to "trick kids into learning science" — starts on Monday on the Science channel. It's an hour a day of commercial-free, MythBusters-style science aimed at kids and hosted by Mythbusters' Kari Byron on the Science Channel. The show is part of President Obama's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Initiative, which is geared toward "moving American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade.""

Embedded Linux Achieves One Second Boot Time

samkass samkass writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Sam (174571) writes "A new goalpost has been set in the race for faster bootup times. MontaVista Software announced (and demonstrated at the Virtual Freescale Technology Forum) a dashboard application going from cold boot to operational in one second flat on their embedded Linux platform. Although this is unlikely to immediately benefit your average Linux user, previous real-time patches have eventually made their way into the main kernel."

SCO Returns From The Dead?

samkass samkass writes  |  more than 6 years ago

booga (174571) writes "c|net is reporting that "unnamed Middle Eastern partners" have invested enough money in SCO to take it private and see their litigation through to "their full conclusion". According to the article, SCO should exit bankruptcy within the year and continue to litigate while releasing "new innovations ready or soon to be ready to be released"."

Thief Pawns Engraved iPod Loaded With His Pic

samkass samkass writes  |  about 7 years ago

The Dumb Criminals Dept (174571) writes "KPRC in Houston, TX, reports that an unusually dumb criminal who worked for the US Transportation Security Administration stole an iPod from luggage he processed that had the owner's name and cellphone number engraved on it. He then loaded the iPod with photos of himself in his uniform. He then pawned the iPod without wiping his pictures. The pawnshop buyer called the number on the back, who confirmed the iPod was stolen, and the photos led the police right to the criminal mastermind."

samkass samkass writes  |  more than 7 years ago

samkass (174571) writes "In the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, Democrat Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone is going to vote for the Republican speaker of the house, effectively giving control of the PA house to Republicans despite a new Democratic 102-101 majority. This according to a Pittsburgh Post Gazette story, accompanied by the text of his letter. One hopes the federal US Congressional representatives will be more likely to represent their voters than they appear to be willing to do here in PA."



ChessClock app at iTunes App Store

samkass samkass writes  |  more than 6 years ago I submitted my first app to the iTunes App Store: a Chess Clock you can use to play chess or to split a meeting between two issues (management and technical?). The app's support page/blog is here.

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