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

samkass Re:10.4.8 (266 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 a week 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 a month 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 2 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 2 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 2 months ago

Iconic Predator-Prey Study In Peril

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

Maybe the author had a cold.

about 2 months ago

Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.

samkass Re:BOYCOTT STARTS NOW (299 comments)

Whatever will we do without your whining? The place just won't be the same without a dozen off-topic childish posts on every topic!

about 2 months ago

Graphene Conducts Electricity Ten Times Better Than Expected

samkass Re:Beta delenda est! (161 comments)

I've used all my mod points on "Offtopic" today. I was fine with the protest until Slashdot responded and opened a discussion area for it. Now, if you want to discuss beta, go to the beta article. Other people who care will be there, too. Maybe you can even effect positive change.

Spamming every single discussion is, quite obviously, now Offtopic and other people with mod points seem to agree with me.

about 2 months ago

FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

samkass Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (1098 comments)

>>The result it that some software turns into a hand-out for companies that, in the long term, are trying to make free software disappear.
> No company is trying to do that, especially not one that is relying on free software for their products.

Apple is.

Their current flagship platform is openly hostile to Free Software and even the concept of open systems where the end user has full control over the hardware.

Near as I can tell, Apple isn't doing anything to try to make Free software disappear. They are, however, creating many alternatives ever since GPLv3 made it unviable for them to continue to participate in that community as much. Even now, though, if you look at all the packages they use and contribute to as part of MacOS X (the core of which is all open source, although most of it isn't Free Software), there are many GPL packages among them: http://www.opensource.apple.co... . It does seem that with companies like Apple actively participating in Open Source but not as actively participating in Free Software, that to a certain degree it's proving many of the anti-GPL folks' points and probably really pissing off RMS.

about 3 months ago

Voynich Manuscript May Have Originated In the New World

samkass Re:I deciphered it last month. (170 comments)

There is no records of the romans having contact with China.

There are such records. The Bible discusses silk, and the Romans loved it. The Silk Road was established about 1800-1900 years ago to supply the Roman empire with Chinese silk. Later the Romans attempted to breed their own silkworms.

As for extensive pre-Colombian contact, I would assume based on the exchange of plants, animals, metals, disease, and technology, that such contact would stick out in the historical record. In my opinion it's far more likely that the carbon dating was inaccurate or that the interpretation of the plants as American than that extensive pre-Colombian exchange existed.

about 3 months ago

Largest Bitcoin Mining Pool Pledges Not To Execute '51% Attack'

samkass Re:If you're concerned... (351 comments)

This attack is not an all-or-nothing thing, either. 51% is just the threshold to be able to guarantee success. Controlling 40% of the mining capacity is enough to be able to double-spend a transaction that's been confirmed 6 times with 50% confidence.

about 3 months ago

U.S. Waived Laws To Keep F-35 On Track With China-made Parts

samkass Re:Don't imagine it stops there. (348 comments)

Here's a list of semiconductor manufacturing plants many of which are in the United States, including some of the most advanced fab lines in the world. It's true, as others have said, that assembly almost always happens in Asia now, though, but that's not a requirement if you're not price conscious. As for the capacitors and such, I think there's been less concern about them from a security standpoint.

about 3 months ago

Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

samkass Re:Link to Asimov's actual article (385 comments)

- Access to affordable birth control. In third world countries, birth control isn't always affordable or easy to come by.

These predictions were made in 1964. "The pill" had just become available for birth control use in the United States a few years previous, but only in some states and only to married women... it wasn't generally available to any woman who wanted it in all states until the early 70's. Maybe it was because he was a male, but not realizing the impact this would have on the (developed) world seems to be one of his bigger oversights.

about 4 months ago

What Would It Cost To Build a Windows Version of the Pricey New Mac Pro?

samkass Re:64 GB ECC 32 consumer, pcie vs. sata. compare H (804 comments)

The real comparison comes in how good the machine is at doing what you need it to do. If you're making a movie or doing serious sound editing, video editing, or modeling, this machine and the accompanying software is clearly top-tier, compared to trying to assemble a full workflow yourself that includes the hardware, software, and infrastructure integration. And the fact that you just order it off the shelf and it comes with everything and integrates with everything isn't really priced into this comparison.

about 4 months ago

U.S. Measles Cases Triple In 2013

samkass Re:stop the sensationalist crap (462 comments)

Measles is tracked in part because it's really easily preventable with a safe vaccine which had eliminated it on the North American content a decade ago, and because it's one of the single most virulent diseases known to man. In a susceptible population, breathing the same air of someone who has it will make you 90% likely to get it. Many of the "pandemic" worst case scenarios is the measles virus combining with a more deadly virus to create a super virus, but even without that measles complications are common and can lead to permanently reduced vision, encephalitis leading to brain injuries, or other long-term problems. In the developed world the death rate is something like 0.3%, but in the undeveloped world it's sometimes over 25%. Nasty, easily preventable stuff worth tracking.

about 4 months ago

Nasdaq 4000 — This Time It's Different?

samkass Re:Facebook is still overvalued (241 comments)

This makes no sense to me. First of all, G+ is a non-starter because Google is even worse than Facebook about collecting all the data they can on everyone who touches their services and trying to sell to them. If it ever were to catch on (however unlikely that may be), you'd see the exact same thing there or worse. The rest, well, if you can't monetize it somehow, who's going to pay the developers to develop it? A bunch of enthusiasts only gets you so far, and won't be able to keep up with an organization that has a revenue stream that's able to sustain a large development team. Apple's theory has been to tie their services to hardware and make money there, thus negating the need to track and spam, but it doesn't seem to produce great online services that way (and most geeks here seem to prefer Google monitoring their every move to Apple's model anyway). So basically, it's not going to become world-class if it can't be monetized, and while the only two models today (track and spam like FB and Google or tie to hardware like Apple and Samsung) each have significant issues, you don't seem to be proposing any alternate model that could be self-sustaining either.

about 5 months ago

Nasdaq 4000 — This Time It's Different?

samkass Re:BFD (241 comments)

The Matrix came out in 1999. Remember those switchblade phones they used? That was a Nokia 8110... state of the art in 2000. The PalmOS phones wouldn't come out for a few years after that, which are arguably one of the first mass-produced "smart" phones.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

samkass Re:Deep down.. (610 comments)

On this site a substantial number of readers use a phone whose OS is produced by a company that gets 95% of its revenue and profit from recording everything about you that it can, finding your weaknesses, and selling access to them to the highest bidder with zero oversight. Compared to that, what is the outrage over a Government agency sifting through metadata looking for people who want to hurt us and trying to stop them?

about 6 months ago

Java Spec Compatibility Weakened Android's TLS Encryption

samkass Re:How is this Java's fault (82 comments)

> The default cipher list for Java 7 was updated, but Android is stuck using JDK 6 and a default cipher list over a decade old.

The Android platform did not upgrade. How is that Oracle's fault? Next we will be blaming vendors for vulnerabilities that were patched years ago.

It can't possibly be Google's fault; this is Slashdot. It must be Oracle's fault that Google copied badly from Java.

about 6 months ago

UK Court Orders Two Sisters Must Receive MMR Vaccine

samkass Re:Good. (699 comments)

Yes and no. You do not have to include the high risk patients, and we do have a good reason to rule them out of that data.
Just compare the patents that a competent midwife would of warned away from a home-birth.

"A competent midwife" is a loaded statement. In the UK most midwives have at least a 3-year degree or an additional set of courses on top of a nursing degree. In the US, many midwives are "self-taught" or taught by apprenticeship by others and there is little oversight. And, of course, the US does not have universal health care so many more pregnancies are higher risk with reduced prenatal care of the mother or child. I'm not sure where the study the parent poster was quoting was done, but it should certainly control for health care systems as well.

about 6 months ago



Kari Byron To Host New Daily Science Show

samkass samkass writes  |  more than 2 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 4 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  |  more than 6 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 5 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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