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X Window System Turns 30 Years Old

simonbp Re:Slackware 2.0.12 (204 comments)

You mean back before the 20-odd years of kernel 2.6?

Also, you gotta love the Slackware package management system: "Here's a tarball. Just untar it (as root) in the root directory and hope it doesn't clobber anything you care about."

about 3 months ago

Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs

simonbp Re:"HTML5 video" doesn't actually exist. (202 comments)

"very recent versions of Chrome"

It's been supported for around a year now on the ARM chromebooks. Which, combined with their HDMI output, makes them great Netflix boxes for on the road.

about 4 months ago

Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

simonbp Re:So what's the alternative? (422 comments)

Python plus Numpy. Plus Pandas if working with large amounts of data.

about 4 months ago

Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

simonbp Really? (310 comments)

And sitting in a boring classroom for hours on end enhances their ability to learn?

about 4 months ago

How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

simonbp Predictive Power (560 comments)

That's because you are looking at climate models calibrated against that data that you are comparing to. Circular logic.

If you look at the predictions from past IPCC reports, very few of their predicted temperature profiles match the later observed conditions. That is a failure of the models' predictive power. That doesn't mean there isn't warming, just that the Earth's climate is a more complex system than can be accurately simulated with modern computing hardware.

about 7 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

simonbp Re:Just be honest - it's not for *US* (2219 comments)

About their unemployment plans?

We all would love a backend update (that's what most of us do), but I think it's clear that there would be a substantial net loss of users by changing the user interface so radically. That benefits nobody (except maybe the design team).

about 7 months ago

Is Intel Selling Bay Trail Chips Below Cost?

simonbp Re:Editors are scared (156 comments)

Because all the editors that cared left long ago.

The fucked-up beta is the latest fuck-up in a long decline. OMG Ponies was more usable than beta.

about 7 months ago

UK Council To Send Obese People 'Motivational' Texts Telling Them To Use Stairs

simonbp Sample Texts (225 comments)

"Get off your arse and walk, fatso!"
"Put down the fork, you slob!"
"You're disgusting! No one will ever love you!"

"Be sure to vote in Council elections next Tuesday!"

about 8 months ago

Silicon Brains That Think As Fast As a Fly Can Smell

simonbp Short Cuts (84 comments)

That's the last thing we need: robot overlords who keep taking shortcuts. Next thing you know, they'll kill all humans and then go bankrupt from ill-advised mortgages!

about 8 months ago

PC Makers Plan Rebellion Against Microsoft At CES

simonbp Re:You mean, doomed like iPads? And ChromeBooks? (564 comments)

I don't know good your adb-fu is is, but it's not that hard to package and sideload a console program on an unlocked device.

That said, the definition of Linux distribution is that it builds an operating system around the Linux kernel, which Android does. It just has its own peculiar user interface.

about 9 months ago

Linux Voice Passes Its Crowdfunding Target

simonbp Readership (57 comments)

I'm sure all eight people who still buy physical computer magazines will quite excited.

about 9 months ago

This Whole Bitcoin Thing Could Be Big, Says Bank of America

simonbp It's official (276 comments)

Whelp, it's official. If Bank of America thinks it's a great investment, Bitcoin is going to expand rapidly to biggest bubble anyone has ever seen, and then murder several developed economies when it bursts. Look for the Countrywide Bitcoin Exchange coming soon!

Could be worse though, they haven't come out with a Beanie Baby Bitcoin yet...

about 10 months ago

Patent Battle May Loom Over 'Copenhagen Wheel' Electric Bike

simonbp Re:Does FlyKly work... (152 comments)

Careful...hipster-hating is the new cool thing. And slavishly doing the new cool thing...makes you a hipster.

Man, I was hating hipsters years before it was cool. These hipster-hating hipsters are ruining everything!

about 10 months ago

Chinese Chang'e-3 Lunar Rover On Its Way After Successful Launch

simonbp Re:Asia is playing catch up (101 comments)

Actually the Apollo missions did deploy a few UV telescopes on the lunar surface. They weren't much better than Earth-orbit telescopes, and so noone has bothered since. The radar is more interesting, but probably of limited utility given the power requirements to actually penetrate deep enough to see the layered mare deposits.

Where China is decades behind the US, Europe, and Japan is that they don't really release their science products. US missions legally must release all raw and processed data after a short proprietary period (typically a year). Europe and Japan take longer, but still do usually release all their raw data. China does not, and often waits until after the mission is over before releasing even highly processed versions of the data. The lack of raw data (and opacity of how it is processed) means that it is hard to compare to other sources, and belies any claim to actual scientific motivation.

about 10 months ago

Jury Finds Newegg Infringed Patent, Owes $2.3 Million

simonbp Re: Stupid judge/jury. (324 comments)

Good. If it really easy to get a patent overthrown, only patents which are strongly defensible will be granted. And then everyone (but the patent trolls) wins.

about 10 months ago

Study Suggests Link Between Dread Pirate Roberts and Satoshi Nakamoto

simonbp Re:A link between DPR and an early Bitcoiner (172 comments)

Regardless if there was an official link, it is probably true that Bitcoin really took off when illegal/quasi-legal enterprises like Silk Road started using them. That's not to say Silk Road created Bitcoin or that all Bitcoin commerce is illegal, just that it would never have grown to real prominence without it.

about 10 months ago

Dell's New Sputnik 3 Mates Touchscreen With Ubuntu

simonbp Re:Why do you find it interesting? (166 comments)

It doesn't come with Windows or OSX.

Not exactly hard to do, but still exceedingly rare for laptops in the US.

about 10 months ago

FCC App Lets Android Users Measure Mobile Broadband Speed

simonbp Re:Tempting... but no thanks. (93 comments)

What precisely are you afraid of? And I'm being serious, what could the app access that you find worrying? It does grab your location, but that is trivial for any law enforcement agency these days.

If this app helps the FCC ensure that wireless companies are honest, I'm all for it.

about 10 months ago

Venezuela: Cheap Television Sets For All!

simonbp Get it now (702 comments)

Get it now, because no one in their right might is going to import electronics into Venezuela anytime soon.

Isn't vaguely socialist dictatorship great?

about 10 months ago



Apple, Amazon trademark spat turns surreal

simonbp simonbp writes  |  more than 3 years ago

simonbp (412489) writes "Apple suit against Amazon's use of the name "Appstore" for it's version of the Android Marketplace is being to get bizarre; from El Reg: "The legal reasoning here appears to be pretzellian in the extreme: since an app store is not a store for apps, Apple's App Store and Amazon's Appstore are not app stores, but an App Store and an Appstore — and the Appstore is violating Apple's trademark on App Store. Or so it seems.""
Link to Original Source

House Passes NASA Authorization Bill

simonbp simonbp writes  |  more than 3 years ago

simonbp (412489) writes "The US House of Representatives has just passed the Senate version of the FY2011 NASA Authorization Act. This bill is a compromise between Obama's proposed budget and earlier House bills. It cancels Ares I in favor of commercially-operated crew transportation to ISS, adds technology development funds, and keeps a version of Orion and a new heavy-lift "Space Launch System" to both be operational by 2016. The timing of this bill was crucial to keeping key NASA personal and contractors from being laid off."
Link to Original Source

Senate Bill Adds Shuttle Flight, New Shuttle-Deriv

simonbp simonbp writes  |  more than 4 years ago

simonbp (412489) writes "The Senate Commerce Committee this morning marked up a compromise NASA Authorization Act that rolls back some of Obama's plans for NASA, while keeping others. The bill adds at least one more shuttle flight, keeps Obama's technology demonstrators and commercial access to ISS (albeit at reduced funding), restores the Orion crew capsule, and replaces the Ares rockets with a Shuttle-Derived "Space Launch System" for going to the ISS and Beyond, and which could be ready as soon as 2015."
Link to Original Source

NASA Rethinks Escape Rocket

simonbp simonbp writes  |  more than 6 years ago

simonbp writes "NASA is in the process of rethinking how to save astronauts from an exploding rocket. All previous systems (US, Russian, and Chinese) all used an escape rocket housed in a tower on top of the capsule. A new effort at NASA, though, has redesigned this so that the rockets are mounted next to the capsule and housed in a much more aerodynamic bullet-shaped cover. If approved, the first flight test of the system would be in September 2008."
Link to Original Source

simonbp simonbp writes  |  more than 7 years ago

simonbp writes "NASA's Orion Spacecraft, designed to return the United States to the Moon, has undergone some massive changes recently. The design, which originally looked like a scaled-up version of Apollo, has evolved considerably under the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin. Changes include an encapsulated service module, circular solar panels, a rearranged reaction-control system, a larger escape rocket system, and deadbeat airbags for landing, rather than Russian-style retrorockets."

simonbp simonbp writes  |  more than 7 years ago

simonbp writes "Looking like it would appear more at home to the nearby Disney attractions in Orlando, NASA is favouring a Rollercoaster Escape System for the Ares I pad. The Emergency Egress Systems (EES) are currently going through trade studies at NASA, with the Rollercoaster option coming out on top... The current slidewire basket system used for Shuttle crew and pad workers will be removed, with a new system installed into the taller pad configuration for the Ares [moon rocket] program."

simonbp simonbp writes  |  about 8 years ago

simonbp writes "Lockheed Martin and Bigelow Aerospace have entered into a deal to move towards the use of the Atlas V for private manned space flight ... A formal agreement between the two companies to study Atlas V feasibility for space tourism — including up to 16 launches a year — will be announced shortly. The initiative could radically transform both the "New Space" and traditional launch marketplace ... Bigelow Aerospace plans to build an orbiting hotel from inflatable modules for space tourists. The company is interested in Lockheed Martin's Atlas V to provide human and cargo transportation to their planned space station."


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