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FSF Criticises Ubuntu For Dropping Grub 2 For Secure Boot

smbarbour Re:The FSF (296 comments)

Actually, from reading the story, it appears that the FSF is feeling hurt because Ubuntu is switching to another open source bootloader that doesn't use the GPL.

Ubuntu has no control over hardware manufacturers putting in a secured BIOS, so Ubuntu decided to take the route of compatibility: Ubuntu signed with Microsoft's key. Ubuntu has their own key as well.

Just as software developers have the right to NOT open source their code, companies have the right to secure their computers. This step allows Ubuntu to run on those secured computers.

more than 2 years ago

Research Promises Drastically Increased LiOn Capacity

smbarbour Re:The magical ingredient (378 comments)

I figured the magical ingredient would be Onnesium, as the headline insinuates.

"Research Promises Drastically Increased Lithium Onnesium Capacity"

Though from the description of Onnesium - viable room-temperature superconductor - this is great news!

more than 2 years ago

Adobe To Donate Flex SDK To Open Source Community

smbarbour Re:ColdFusion (158 comments)

That won't happen. It is specifically a cash cow for them. It's only used by web developers who don't know better. It is on the same tier as FrontPage (or perhaps even lower).

more than 2 years ago

Failures Mark First National Test of Emergency Alert System

smbarbour Re:Complete waste (451 comments)

I received an alert on my cell phone (from the local junior college that my wife goes to). However, we do receive all of the state EAS tests on TV (and I hear them on the radio occasionally. In actual emergencies, the EAS system has worked as well (specifically tornado warnings).

more than 2 years ago

Teaching Programming Now Emphasizes Sharing

smbarbour Re:A Bad Method (132 comments)

Sounds like a great way for the teacher to make other students do the job of the teacher. I certainly don't want my son going to school and spending the majority of his time teaching rather than learning something new under some false assumption that they can all be winners. As the kid who always held the class record for math speed tests in elementary school, its a shitty teacher that would make that me spend most of my time helping other students on rudimentary problems when I could have instead moved on to something more challenging.

I want kids to go to school to learn, not teach remedial topics to their classmates.

One of the best ways to solidify one's grasp of a topic is to teach it to someone else. Additionally, everyone has a different method of presenting information to others, and some people are more receptive to different methods of learning. Ideally, students of similar levels of aptitude would be paired together to learn from each other, increasing the knowledge of both, but we all know that the real world does not revolve around ideal situations at all times.

more than 2 years ago

HP Pondering Sale of WebOS

smbarbour Re:Morons (99 comments)

Seriously, did they really think Palm wasn't going to fail? What on earth were they thinking? Has Palm ever done an OS correctly? EVER? Lets see, their competitors were Apple, which has been lauded as the most user friendly in every type of OS they've ever produced... Google, who doesn't seem to be able to write anything that geeks don't love... and Microsoft... ok, maybe they could steal all 25 of Microsoft's mobile customers. Good Business decision HP... oh wait, I forgot, HP makes all their money off of printer ink.

Let's see, when Palm was first starting out, their competition was Apple in the form of the Apple Newton... I remember how the Newton flew off the shelves... oh wait... no they didn't... Palm PDAs were flying off the shelves. In fact, Palm's OS was put into a smartphone an entire DECADE before Apple got into the market. Then came Windows CE, which actually was competition for Palm. The original developers for Palm split off into their own company called Handspring, which produced the Treo (which first ran Palm's OS). Palm acquired Handspring, and for some strange reason, switched the Treo to run Windows Mobile. ALL of this happened before Apple and Google entered the smartphone market.

more than 2 years ago

HP Pondering Sale of WebOS

smbarbour Re:WTH HP (99 comments)

Its lifespan is only defined by the products that run it. It is a good, solid mobile OS that languished without the marketing hype it needed. It's the best product that nobody considered buying. For the record, when I had the choice between the Motorola Droid and the Palm Pre Plus, I chose the latter. WebOS has the better interface. Now, when I replace my smartphone, I'll be going with an Android phone since there are no new WebOS devices.

more than 2 years ago

The Software Patent Debate Is Incorrectly Framed

smbarbour Re:Mask Work Law and Why the Heavy Process? (274 comments)

There are plenty of resources online that get you from nothing to your first "Hello, World!" program in a matter of minutes. The same is not true of hardware circuits -- especially if you want to manufacture them at all in a commercially viable way.

This analogy is rather flawed.

Actually... the analogy is not really that flawed. Your first "Hello, World!" program is about as complicated for software as wiring a light bulb to a battery is for hardware. I'm not arguing for or against software patents, though personally, I feel software should be patentable if it exceeds a certain threshold of complexity. Something along the lines of, "Wow! I'd have never thought of doing that." should be the litmus of whether the software is complex enough to be patentable (and should be done by someone with expertise in the applicable field).

more than 2 years ago

Ubuntu Heads To Smartphones, and Tablets

smbarbour Re:Canonical? I seem to vaguely remember them... (281 comments)

Yeah, because Canonical strayed oh so far from GNOME... Have you seen GNOME 3? It looks like Unity.

What was that? You can still use GNOME anyway (or KDE, XFCE, Enlightenment, or whatever else floats your boat)?

Are you aware that GNOME's website is hosted by Canonical?

more than 2 years ago

Is Perl Better Than a Randomly Generated Programming Language?

smbarbour Re:Quorum looks a lot like Pascal (538 comments)

Quorum looked a lot like BASIC to me. Only the keywords were different. The headline for the article is horrible (as usual). The headline (and summary) neglect to mention that this test was given to people who had no experience in programming.

We compared novices that were programming for the first time using each of these languages, testing how accurately they could write simple programs using common program constructs (e.g., loops, conditionals, functions, variables, parameters).

My takeaway from this "research" is that Perl is not a good language for beginners. If you already know the general concepts of programming, Perl is fairly easy to pick up.

more than 2 years ago

Doritos Creator Art West Dead at 97

smbarbour Re:Plain Doritos: exist anymore? (178 comments)

The original Doritos flavor was Taco. Right now, they appear in retro packaging. I see them all the time at the local convenience store in Podunk, USA. If you are looking for unflavored Doritos... They're sold by Frito-Lay under the trade name Tostitos.

more than 2 years ago

Intel Shows RealVNC Embedded In the BIOS

smbarbour Re:DHCP? Huh? (154 comments)

Exactly. All that is required is that the packet reaches the intended destination. The easiest way to do that on a TCP/IP network is the magic packet sent to one of the broadcast addresses (either network specific i.e. or the general purpose one: Every switch knows how to handle network broadcasts (and every hub, though I haven't seen an actual network hub in ages since small switches are commodity hardware now, transmits every packet to every connected port).

more than 2 years ago

World's Oldest Running Car Up For Sale

smbarbour Re:88 mph (107 comments)

But where will you get the pinball machine parts to replace it?

more than 2 years ago

Your State University Doesn't Want You

smbarbour Re:Costs of education? (551 comments)

With the exception of professions where there is either very little expansion of knowledge, but a vast knowledge base (such as literary professions) or an ever increasing knowledge base where knowledge is seldom replaced (such as medical professions), most of what a college degree proves is that you have learned how to learn. This is especially true in the IT professions where the industry changes so quickly that the curriculum is already multiple generations behind by the time changes have been approved.

My advice for those entering the IT professions: Try to get in with a start-up. The work is not stable, but they will be more willing to take a risk on those with less experience (due to the fact that the more experienced will be looking for something more stable.)

more than 2 years ago

Intel Shows RealVNC Embedded In the BIOS

smbarbour Re:DHCP? Huh? (154 comments)

Using VNC, one can now ... power up,

Before I VNC in to power up the box, I need DHCP running so I have an IP address to connect to. No problemo, I'll just power up the box to get a DHCP address before I power up the box to power up the box. Its turtles all the way down.

I'll take it you've never heard of Wake-on-LAN. Third-party services such as LogMeIn actually can turn on remote machines as long as there is another computer on the network with LogMeIn installed. That doesn't even require an IP address. It's a packet addressed to the MAC of the NIC (which is why the originating packet needs to be on the same network).

about 3 years ago

Learning Programming In a Post-BASIC World

smbarbour Re:Start with what you find easiest and move to C (510 comments)

...and then once you have learned what you set out to learn by programming in C, immediately stop programming in it unless you are doing some heavy-duty programming (like writing an OS or bleeding-edge game development) You can write robust apps in nearly any language, but the language you are using when you make a mistake (and you will make mistakes) will determine what happens. Screw up in Python, Perl, BASIC, Java, etc. and your app will crash. Screw up some memory management in C or C++ and your OS will crash.

more than 3 years ago

The History of the Videophone In Sci-Fi

smbarbour Re:Call me a Luddite... (97 comments)

You are aware that visible light is also electromagnetic radiation (as well as infrared and ultraviolet - both provided in gratuitous amounts by the sun... far more than produced by any artificial light source)

Of course the back pain reported by workers of electronics stores has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they are likely moving heavy objects (probably without taking proper precautions to prevent injury) and are on their feet for most if not all of their shifts.

Ignorance does not improve the credibility of your field.

more than 3 years ago

Weird Al Says "Twitter Saved My Album"

smbarbour Re:Is there still a place for Al? (160 comments)

I was an immense fan of "In 3D", and one of the most notable things about it is the polka versions of classics (Hey Jude, My Generation, etc.)

On a tangent, now that 3D is popular in movies again, would you agree that it's time for "Nature Trail to Hell" to actually be made?

more than 3 years ago

Human Eye Protein Senses Earth's Magnetism

smbarbour Re:Haidinger's brush (103 comments)

I, personally, am unable to perceive the Haidinger's Brush effect, which may be related to my poor night vision (in low light situations, I perceive an effect similar to the white noise static seen on televisions). In normal lighting, I have no apparent adverse conditions.

more than 3 years ago

GUI Revolutions: From Flashing Bulbs To Windows 8

smbarbour Re:The 30's? (120 comments)

        Konrad Zuse - Z1 Computer First freely programmable computer.

more than 3 years ago



smbarbour smbarbour writes  |  more than 7 years ago

smbarbour (893880) writes "The Mono project (the open-source .NET compatibility library acquired by Novell when Ximian was purchased) has released version 1.2 which now includes support for WinForms. For a more detailed summary, please see the Ars Technica article regarding this.

Also, the Mono project supports Visual Basic.NET, so developers that use VB.NET now have the possibility of directly porting applications to Linux."


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