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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

smallfries Re:Yes, worse (305 comments)

I would guess that it is part of a system survey. About this mac takes a snapshot of OS version / point release / software installed / modules active etc. Or it certainly does when you press More Info, but I guess it does it when you trigger the dialog. The cookie sounds like a GUID. Firing off both would allow them to build up a distribution of platforms that Yosemite is running on, similar to the Steam hardware survey. Can be useful for finding out how and where the code is used (i.e. in combination with which hardware / software). Would work better than a periodic push of the data from every machine, and it would bias the sample towards people having problems with their configuration (because that is when most people hit that menu item).

yesterday
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

smallfries Re:Step one (348 comments)

If you want to make the serious money, look into frozen concentrated orange juice futures.

4 days ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

smallfries Re:Einstein's Nobel was for Photo-electric effect (973 comments)

You should have a slashbox on the right hand side with your user details and recent messages. I believe it's the default although it is possible that I turned it on long ago and forgot. Every reply to something that you have posted will appear as a message in the box. In particular old messages and new messages are distinguished by your browser colouring in visited links. The messages are in chronological order so you do not need to skim a whole story to check for replies in different branches. Makes things a bit easier.

about a week ago
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New OS X Backdoor Malware Roping Macs Into Botnet

smallfries Re:Quite useless article (172 comments)

Well I'm a mac user and I think that you'll find that I am quite superior to you in every way.

about three weeks ago
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Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

smallfries Re: Here's the solution (577 comments)

So basically what your saying is that unix has fixed the OS decay problem by removing the uninstall feature. Well that sounds reasonable :)

The solution to the other problems that you describe is not shrinkwrapped / easy. My latest attempt is a dual install with one partition for stable, one for unstable and a shared home. This allows disk snapshots of the not running system to allow primitive versioning and rollback.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

smallfries Re:May I suggest an Etch-A-Sketch? (334 comments)

The original didn't come with network access, but you can buy DHL for it.

about a month ago
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Intel's 14-nm Broadwell CPU Primed For Slim Tablets

smallfries Re:Thank GOD (96 comments)

Are you sure that you are average? Perhaps you should not entirely discount the idea that you are in the 50% of the population with better than average vision.

I have no trouble seeing the difference between 720p / 1080p on a 55" screen at 5m (15'), what I find strange is that I notice that many other people do. I always thought the figures for average vision must be underestimates, but other people seem to roll with them.

about 2 months ago
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SRI/Cambridge Opens CHERI Secure Processor Design

smallfries Re:Any questions? (59 comments)

Is the code for the LLVM support publically available / do you have a link for it?

about 3 months ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

smallfries Re:Xiki Sucks.. (176 comments)

Also I went through a phase of doing most of this inside vim anyway. It was a time when I was doing a lot of string manipulation in bash with long complex pipelines and I needed to explicitly show the state / track the output of each component.

In vim you just need to keep a :r! at the beginning of each command line, to execute just check that you are in command mode with esc then select the cmd line and middle click to execute, allows piping in results by selecting the input and dropping the r to get :!. There is no support for custom hit regions for the mouse, but in compensation it works everywhere already.

If you already use vim, then having access to vim motions and commands to edit output makes for a surprisingly good shell.

about 4 months ago
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SpaceX To Present Manned Dragon Capsule

smallfries Re:About time. (128 comments)

Hmmm, I saw that in a movie once. Wonder how much the air will cost?

about 5 months ago
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Sifting Mt. Gox's Logs Reveals Suspicious Trading Patterns

smallfries Re:Easy to solve (143 comments)

FYI - it is more politically correct to refer to them as Tea Baggers.

about 5 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

smallfries Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (355 comments)

So, I'm having trouble understanding this. The OS has a buffer somewhere in memory, and the the host controller has full R/W acess to the entire memory space so that it can try and write into that little buffer? Never mind the security implications, what about reliability? It seems nice and easy to take a system down through some really simple address arithmetic bugs. I really can't see the advantage they were trying for.

about 5 months ago
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Mathematical Model Suggests That Human Consciousness Is Noncomputable

smallfries Re:Memories do decay (426 comments)

Not strictly true.

Sometimes a particular item can be degraded by the the storage of another item. For example, artificial neural networks store trained stimuli in the weights between nodes. This storage is global in the sense that storing a new pattern causes a shift in all weights and so alters every other stored item slightly. No idea how it works in the human brain, but it seems completely plausible that storing a memory changes all of the others slightly up until saturation at which point they all get erased.

The idea that (in the article) that human memory should be lossless is bizarre and has no basis in any neuroscience whatsoever.

about 5 months ago
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EVE Online's Space Economy Currently Worth $18 Million

smallfries Re:More or less than bitcoin? (88 comments)

There is a little under $6B of bitcoin in circulation, and it has a much wider range of uses. The thing to bare in mind about this story is:

Economist who studies Eve says it is very important and interesting to have economists studying Eve. Srly?

The article contains little or no value (cough, bit like the Eve economy then, cough) and the only vaguely interesting point that he makes is glossed over. Apparent ISK is not a fiat currency because CCP closely control the supply by tying it directly to... *stuff*. Remarkable.

about 5 months ago
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Chernobyl's Sarcophagus, Redux

smallfries Re:Deaths per TWh (121 comments)

Did in fact read it as a total rather than an average and assumed the China figure was an error. Makes more sense now.

about 5 months ago
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Chernobyl's Sarcophagus, Redux

smallfries Re:Deaths per TWh (121 comments)

How many births outside of China is coal responsible for to make those numbers?

Or, they are not net, then when did China cease to be part of the world? I hope there was some kind of memo about this, I haven't seen it.

about 5 months ago
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SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year

smallfries Re:Oh goody (264 comments)

That's interesting, thinking of scenarios where there is no adversary (other than "dumb luck") would a usage pattern like the following degrade the life of the drive:

Random access to live data: e.g. using the drive as a cache or hosting a database on it that contains live data. (in both cases assuming the size of the cache/database was filling the drive).

Or, to put it another way: what is the probability that a (uniformly?) random-access pattern on a drive-filling file would trigger the worst-case behaviour?

about 6 months ago
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SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year

smallfries Re:Oh goody (264 comments)

How is that the worst case? Block erasure is only necessary to free up space, not to make a write.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Kurzweil's aura failing?

smallfries smallfries writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smallfries (601545) writes "Ray Kurzweil has a reputation as a futurist that has remained intact for the past two decades. As we catch up with the first year for which he made concrete predictions it seems that cracks are starting to appear. Kurzweil's predictions of the future have revolved around technology providing exponential returns on investment. But the latest evidence suggests that these returns may fail in the semiconductor business as economics catches up with technology.

"The usable limit for semiconductor process technology will be reached when chip process geometries shrink to be smaller than 20 nanometers (nm), to 18nm nodes," explains Len Jelinek, director and chief analyst for semiconductor manufacturing at iSuppli in a new report. "At those nodes, the industry will start getting to the point where semiconductor manufacturing tools are too expensive to depreciate with volume production, i.e., their costs will be so high, that the value of their lifetime productivity can never justify it," he adds.

Which area will maintain such a high rate of improvement as microprocessors succumb to economic reality?"

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BBC Faces uphill battle over DRM

smallfries smallfries writes  |  more than 6 years ago

smallfries (601545) writes "Yesterday the new BBC service to push non-DRM content to iPhones was opened up for use by linux and mac users. This morning the BBC announced that despite "hackers exploiting" their system the security hole had been closed. The "hack" involved a simple change of user agent string to access the iPhone content. By closing the hole again the BBC has entered an arms race with non-microsoft users determined to use higher quality content than the flash streams. The BBC seems to believe that it can identify connections from trusted iPhones, and deliver non-DRM content without linux and mac "hackers" using the system. After only a few hours the system was opened up again. How long will the BBC ignore technological reason and pretend that it can deliver non-DRM content to one group of its users, while denying another group the same service?"
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Irresistible Force Meets Immovable Object

smallfries smallfries writes  |  more than 6 years ago

smallfries (601545) writes "After a long battle with Linux users in the UK, the BBC was forced into releasing a flash version of the iPlayer streaming service to fulfil their obligations to license-fee payers. After claiming that development of linux and mac versions of the iPlayer would take two years, the beeb has rushed to support the iPhone. Unlike those untrustworthy scum who use non-microsoft operating systems, iPhone users can be trusted because their platform is locked down ... so the beeb opened a non-DRM hole in the iPlayer to support them. This was guarded by the extreme security of User Agent strings! Long story shut, linux and mac users have made their own non-DRM, non-microsoft platform from firebug and wget. UK users can now watch (and keep) their favorite BBC shows, just follow the links in the 'el Reg story."
Link to Original Source
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Net Neutrality Debate crosses the Atlantic

smallfries smallfries writes  |  more than 7 years ago

smallfries (601545) writes "The network neutrality debate has raged on in the States for some time now. Now broadband providers in the UK have banded together to threaten the BBC that plans to provide programming over "their" network could disrupt operations. The BBC is being asked to cough up the readies to pay for bandwidth charges, otherwise traffic shaping will be used to limit access to the iPlayer. Strange really, I thought that the monthly fee we pay already was to cover access ... but maybe it only covers the final mile and they need to be paid twice to cover the rest of the journey."
Link to Original Source

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