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The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

thevirtualcat Re:One Kernel? What Does That Mean? (270 comments)

Yes, it's true. They run the same kernel.

But no, you can't run Windows applications on a Windows RT or Windows Phone device.

iOS runs the same kernel as Mac OS X, but you can't run OS X applications on iOS.
Android uses the Linux kernel, but you can't run Linux Desktop applications on Android. (At least, not without a lot of work adding the needed libraries and recompiling everything for ARM.)

"Same kernel" doesn't mean "all the applications are interoperable."

about two weeks ago
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Comcast Takes 2014 Prize For Worst Company In America

thevirtualcat A pattern emerges. (195 comments)

I was curious about historical results of this poll, so I did some digging.

2009 - AIG - Bailed out in 2008, makes big news for giving executives $165M in executive bonuses, $1.2B in total bonuses.
2010 - Comcast - Makes big news by buying NBCUniversal in 2009.
2011 - BP - Deepwater Horizon happened in 2010
2012 - EA - Mass Effect 3 (Not sure how much news this generated, but someone mentioned it above.)
2013 - EA - SimCity's problems made news. Not on the same level as, say BP in 2010, but it certainly came up outside of tech and gaming sites occasionally.
2014 - Comcast - Makes news by trying to buy TWC.

I'm noticing a bit of a pattern here. (Though there does seem to be a bit of a tech bias, unless someone did something particularly egregious.)

about two weeks ago
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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

thevirtualcat This isn't hard to figure out. (130 comments)

"We absolutely support your ability to have one remote control for everything... so long as it's produced by us and we lease it to you for a nominal monthly fee." -- Every programming provider ever.

about two weeks ago
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Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

thevirtualcat Re:That's a shame. (242 comments)

That would have been hilarious and I wish I had thought of it.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

thevirtualcat £5.5M to delay the inevitable. (341 comments)

If government busybodies in the UK are anything like they are here in the US, all this means is this:

"Horray! Another year of not having to do anything to fix the problem!"

about two weeks ago
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Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

thevirtualcat That's a shame. (242 comments)

I've been using my dyn.com domain for probably ten years now. Long enough that I don't actually remember when I originally signed up for it.

Regrettably, they don't register the TLDs I use and it's not worth $25/year to keep a "something.ath.cx" domain.

It was nice while it lasted, though.

about two weeks ago
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A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

thevirtualcat Re:I avoided bluetooth for years... (180 comments)

OBD adapter? As in car diagnostics?

Yeah. The market is flooded with cheap knockoffs, right now. Let me guess. The MAC address is 11:22:33:DD:EE:FF?

It's a problem with a good number of bluetooth devices out there, really. My ODB II reader, my headphones and my keyboard would probably all be a lot better if I was willing to spend more than $20 on them.

about three weeks ago
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A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

thevirtualcat I avoided bluetooth for years... (180 comments)

I avoided bluetooth for years becuase it was unreliable and awkward. The headsets were expensive and uncomfortable. Some didn't work in that they required pairing every time you turned it on. (Both the phone and the device completely forgot about each other.) Buying a corded headset was far cheaper, had far better quality, and was far more comfortable.

But times change, as do needs. Most bluetooth devices now have just enough non-volatile memory to remember what they were last paired with and most bluetooth hosts will quite happily keep a list of every device it's ever pair with. Other than the initial setup (which can still be awkward and annoying) it's quite simple to use now. Hold the button for a few seconds until the light blinks and/or the sound chimes. Now I have a whole host of bluetooth devices. A headset, a car, a smart watch, a pair of headphones and a keyboard.

Wearables are very much in that early adoption phase. Everyone who owns and actively uses one knows this, I should think.

"Why would I want to read a text message from my watch? I've got a perfectly good phone in my pocket."
"Why would I want to check my email from my phone? I've got a perfectly good laptop in my briefcase."
"Why would I want a laptop? I've got a perfectly good computer back at the office/at home."

about three weeks ago
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Subversion Project Migrates To Git

thevirtualcat Ah, there it is... (162 comments)

Not as bad as some of the jokes in years past.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

thevirtualcat Re:Simple fix: Air gap. (423 comments)

Oh, crap. That must be why there's a camera crudely duct taped to every oscilloscope we've ever ordered. We were given strict instructions to NEVER EVER EVER remove them for ANY REASON EVER because the were EXTRMELY CRITICAL to the operation!

about a month ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

thevirtualcat Remember when Eich became the CEO of Mozilla? (824 comments)

I do. It was a pivotal day in the history of the organization.

His first action as the CEO was to immediately fire anyone who was in any way, shape or form connected to the GBLT community and issue a public statement that says "Fags should use Chrome or IE. Google and Microsoft like you perverts for some reason, but we don't want any of that here." Within a week, he had diverted a substantial portions of Mozilla's revenue to anti-GBLT orgnizations and publicly backed candidates who actively oppose gay rights. There were unsubtantiated rumors he would be working to remove code contributed by GBLT developers from Firefox, but those turned out to be just rumors.

Oh wait, no. That didn't happen.

He gave some money to a cause he supports a few years ago that a lot of people disagree with (including me) and didn't apologize for it.

But I can see how it's easy to get those two things confused.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

thevirtualcat Simple fix: Air gap. (423 comments)

That's what's going to happen to all the XP machines (that haven't been air gapped already) where I work.

Most of the XP holdouts are lab equipment. (Oscilloscopes, Arbitrary Waveform Generators and the like.) They were already air gapped, anyway.

There are a few machines that run old development tools needed for production. (As in factory, not web services.) They will be left connected long enough to catch the last batch of updates, then relegated to USB storage and optical media for data dransfer. (With sensible precautions, like disabling autorun, of course.)

Fortunately, those projects will not be around forever and will slowly be replaced with newer versions that run on Windows 7 and/or Ubuntu 12.04. (Maybe 14.04.)

Next on the todo list, Ubuntu Server 10.04. It's number is up soon, and that one will be a lot more obnixious to get rid of than XP was.

about a month ago
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Minecraft Creator Halts Plans For Oculus Version Following Facebook Acquisition

thevirtualcat Don't care about Minecraft VR, but... (300 comments)

I'm glad to see that I won't be seeing "See what your friends are building in Minecraft. Connect your Facebook account today!" plastered all over Minecraft anytime soon.

(Incidentally, f*ck you, Netflix.)

about a month ago
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Microsoft Ships Surface Pro 2 Tablets With Wrong, Slower Processor

thevirtualcat Time for a car analogy... (147 comments)

I recently bought a 2014 model year car. But they gave me a 2013 model since "they had a few left in stock that they needed to get rid of, first." Regrettably, since this is completely normal in the car industry, I have no recourse.

about a month ago
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GNU C Library Alternative Musl Libc Hits 1.0 Milestone

thevirtualcat Re: Reinventing GPL wheels (134 comments)

Ah, so it saves them the trouble of writing the LGPL wrapper around it. Good to know.

about a month ago
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GNU C Library Alternative Musl Libc Hits 1.0 Milestone

thevirtualcat Re:Reinventing GPL wheels (134 comments)

If you're a developer working for a company and you have your choice between an MIT|BSD library and a GPL library that, on a technical level, work equally well, it's a hard sell to choose the GPL library.

Consider...

"Well boss, if we use libfoo, we'll have to disclose our source code since it's GPL. There are ways around it by doing things like writing LGPL wrappers and dynamically linking it, but we'll have to distribute THAT source code, instead. Plus, you may want to run this by legal, since the developer has outright refused to sell non-GPL licenses..."

Versus...

"Well boss, if we use libbar, we can just use it since it's MIT. If we make changes to it, we should contribute them back, but we're not obligated to do anything except keep their copyright notice."

With that in mind, is it any wonder projects like llvm and musl are popping up and gaining the support of large companies that use them?

about a month ago
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Scientists Build Three Atom Thick LEDs

thevirtualcat Re:Insulation... (54 comments)

As other people have said, the advantage is speed.

Of course nobody is expecting this tech to replace silicon based chips anytime soon. There's obviously a lot of R&D to be done and, let's face it, nothing may EVER come of it. That's just how science is. We don't know in advance what theories and tech will pan out.

As for leakage between structures? I'm willing to bet we don't need perfect isolation. Just enough isolation that the interference is predictable. (Much like electrons in silicon...)

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

thevirtualcat Re:I have your conversion right here... (860 comments)

The comment was meant to be sarcastic, to point out that suggesting a system with a 4-5 year support cycle to someone who has hung on to an XP system since 2001 is a fairly silly suggestion. (And to be fair, Apple has gotten a fair bit better about support cycles lately. Maverics and Mountain Lion run on Macs from 2007. Lion will get you back to 2006, though I don't imagine that one is long for the world.)

The only way I know of to accomplish that feat involves a few parts from your favorite computer parts retailer, a visit to the OSx86 project and a lot of dremelling.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

thevirtualcat Re:I have your conversion right here... (860 comments)

Indeed. In fact, just the other day I updated my Mac OS 9.2.2 G3 to Mac OS X 10.9.

I really don't understand why Microsoft is so quick on the draw to kill off their old products with no warning and alienate their customers.

about a month and a half ago
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RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

thevirtualcat Re:I started liking Radio Shack again (423 comments)

The RadioShack near my school had a large selection of components, including some old-school 74-series ICs. (74AHCxx, if memory serves, but still.) There were very likely catering to CE/EE students who needed parts.

I have not seen a RadioShack since then that wasn't 97% consumer electronics with a few bins of parts at the very back. My usual RadioSshack visit goes like this:

1. Walk in.
2. Walk past all the cell phones. (1/2 of the store, usually.)
3. Walk past all the cell phone accessories. (Another 1/6th or so.)
4. Walk past all two or so blu-ray players and TVs they sell.
5. Go into one of the three alcoves that the parts and Arduino stuff are consigned to. (One of the others is consumer electronics, the other is audio gear and cables.)
6. Don't find what I need.
7. Walk out.
8. Order the part on Amazon/SparkFun/DigiKey/Mouser

about a month and a half ago

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