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Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

toejam13 Re:/. is getting more and more unbelievable !! (204 comments)

Anglo-Saxon refers to the blending of Germanic and French roots. English is an Anglo-Saxon language because it is a mixture of Germanic- and Latin-root languages.

Not really. Anglo-Saxon is less recognized as a language family as it is a synonym for Old English. It is also an ethnic term for describing western Germanic tribes (Angles, Danes, Franks, Frisians, Jutes and Saxons) who came to colonize post-Roman southern Britain and people of their decent.

You are spot on about the Germanic and Latin roots. Back in the fifth century during the Anglo-Saxon migration, the intellectuals in southern Britain (and much of post-Roman Europe) spoke Latin. The spread of the Bible kept Latin as a influential language.

But Old English had only limited "French" influence. The Germanic Franks who lived in Gaul were never a major conquering force in Britain. There are some Old Frankish loanwords that influenced Old Saxon and Anglo-Frisian languages, but it wasn't much. The predominate French influence didn't come for centuries later via the Norman conquests. That resulted in Middle English, which is not synonymous for Anglo-Saxon.

According to the language experts, the classification is: English -> Anglic languages -> Anglo-Frisian languages -> Ingvaeonic languages -> West Germanic languages -> Germanic family. Ingvaeonic includes Old Saxon, but Anglo-Frisian does not. Likewise, West Germanic includes Old Frankish, but Ingvaeonic does not.

3 hours ago

Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

toejam13 Re:/. is getting more and more unbelievable !! (204 comments)

Most scholars in the linguistic world seem to disagree with you. While the three remaining Frisian dialects have moderately drifted from Old Frisian, there seem to be enough fundamental differences between the Anglo-Frisian family and the Old Norse family to disqualify Modern Icelandic from being the most closely related living language to Old English.

Having said that, that assumes that you are talking about Old English that was spoken in London. As you traveled into Northumbria (modern Yorkshire), Old English had significantly more influence from Old Norse due to the conquering Danes (see: Kingdom of Jórvík). So, your statement may be true, but only for what was spoken in York in the tenth century.

4 hours ago

FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

toejam13 Re:Alternatives? Same problem.. (453 comments)

I don't know much about FTDI's chip ... but it sounds like they designed something that was relatively easy to clone, and now they're stuck trying to sell something that many manufacturers don't see as differentiated enough from the copy-cats to try too hard to buy the original part? Trying to actively destroy the competition is NOT the solution. Perhaps more R&D to offer a superior update to the original chip would be?

The manufacture of inexpensive clones is nothing new in the chip industry. After the SN7400 TTL series was released in the 1960s, a flurry of clones were released. Same goes for the MC6800 IC series in the 1970s. Some were licensed second source suppliers, some were unlicensed compatibles, some were outright counterfeits.

Intellectual property law in many countries tends to prohibit counterfeits. Those knockoff Asian light bars you described could have been seized by customs if they tried to pass off as KC brand products. Likewise, it is unlawful in most countries to create a chip and sell it as an FTDI brand chip without their express permission. That isn't an issue of R&D issue, that's I.P. theft.

The issue of unlicensed clones is a little more murky. In some cases, the original product may have one or more patents that protect its design, function or interface. If those knockoff Asian light bars tried to used a patented housing design or voltage module without licensing, you have another I.P. theft issue. The owner of the patent could get judicial permission to have customs block or seize those products.

In the case of the affected FTDI compatible clones (and counterfeits), the issue comes down to their use of FTDI's vendor and device code in the USB stack. FTDI developed software drivers for customers of FTDI products. The unlicensed clone manufacturers have designed their chips to utilize FTDI drivers so that they didn't have to incur the expense of writing and maintaining their own drivers. So really, it is the unlicensed clone manufacturers who need to bump up their R&D research so that they don't facilitate I.P. theft and/or terms of use violations for their customers. If Microsoft wrote the device drivers or if unlicensed clone manufacturers wrote their own device drivers, we wouldn't have this mess.

The big question is if FTDI has a lawful monopoly on the USB vendor code it has been assigned. If it has, then it may have a right to physically stop squatters from using it (read: resetting the USB vendor ID code). Of course, being an international issue, it is going to vary by country. They may have broken the law in some places. They may only have the right to disable the driver. They may only have the right to degrade the driver. Or they may only have the right to display warning messages.

So I don't think it is just a cost, quality or R&D issue here. It really is about third parties designing their products to utilize work on FTDI's part without paying for it.

5 hours ago

Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

toejam13 Re:/. is getting more and more unbelievable !! (204 comments)

English is not a Romance language (it's derived from Old Low German), but due to many accidents of history, it has accumulated an incredible number of words directly from Romance languages or derived from words in Romance languages

After the Norman invasion, English barely hung onto its Germanic roots. So many English words have a Latin heritage, it has become something of a hybrid.

For non-native English speakers reading this who aren't familiar with its history, English is a blend of about five different languages: Old Celtic, Roman Latin, Old Low-German, Old Norse and Norman French, along with a sizable number of Greek, Arabic and [recently] Spanish loanwords.

Old English is the name for English after the infusion of Old Low-German. Middle English is the name for English after the infusion of Norman French. Modern English is what developed after the Renaissance.

The closest living language to Old English is Frisian, which is still spoken in small parts of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. Here is an example of it.


Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

toejam13 Re:Goolge is helping... (253 comments)

Goolge is helping... ...compiling dossiers on everyone.

The question is how public those dossiers remain. If Google locks the information up and refuses to share, then it is of limited consequence. If Google releases all of its dirty laundry at once, then it will probably result in some major changes to society as open secrets come to light and things thought to be taboo are suddenly found to be normal.

The danger is if Google uses and shares it sparingly and deliberately. Think blackmail, insider trading, identity theft and so on.


Killer Whales Caught On Tape Speaking Dolphin

toejam13 Re:Whales? (152 comments)

And upon hearing that the hyperspace bypass committee had approved the project, they were last heard saying: "So long, and thanks for all the seals"

about two weeks ago
top Blame Tech Diversity On Education Pipeline, Not Hiring Discrimination

toejam13 Re:I have a crazy idea (227 comments)

Nowhere in your statement did I see "acceptance of poor wages" and "H1B visa slave". Back to reeducation camp for you.

about three weeks ago
top Blame Tech Diversity On Education Pipeline, Not Hiring Discrimination

toejam13 Re:I'm glad SOMEBODY finally said this (227 comments)

Shouldn't the diversity crusaders be making waves calling for more male enrollment in fashion?

Actually, the call should be for more heterosexual males. One complaint about the fashion industry is that many of the men are gay. And it has been speculated that one of the reasons female models in the model industry are built like teenage boys is because gay fashion designers have a preference for this body type*. The frequency of female models with this body type are a well known cause of self-image and eating disorders in young women.

/* the other two reasons being that 1) clothes for skinny women without curves are easier to tailor and 2) designers want people to admire the clothes, not the women

about three weeks ago

Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

toejam13 Re:WfW in VM (554 comments)

An easier solution would be to include a Pentium compatible processor emulator for NTVDM. That's what Microsoft did for NT4 and NT5 for the DEC Alpha platform. I'm actually surprised they haven't done the same for x86-64 editions of NT.

I found that a surprising number of older Win32 programs came with Win16 installers. That's where I ran into troubles when I upgraded to XP 64-bit edition. Having a WfW virtual machine really wouldn't have helped.

These days, I'd argue that the majority of 16-bit programs home users have are old games. The vast majority are going to be DOS based, since gaming under Windows back in the 16-bit era wasn't very popular. DOSBox already provides a great solution, and is superior to NTVDM in most ways.

Over on the corporate and industrial side, you're still looking at more DOS based programs than Win16 programs. There is still a lot of industrial control and custom inventory software running on DOS. Might be nice to run that within a VM if you're running an all IPv6 house (let the VM do NAT6) or on new hardware that doesn't have a DOS drivers. But most of those people are probably going to hit eBay for used equipment that can still run DOS as opposed to new gear.

For the few Win16 programs still kicking around, a NTVDM under x86-64 that supports Win16 would be nice. Much easier than messing with a full VM. But there is probably so little demand, MS would rather leave it to third parties at this point.

about three weeks ago

At CIA Starbucks, Even the Baristas Are Covert

toejam13 Re:What's so hard about using the time-honored (242 comments)

Came to say the same thing. How many different restaurants print your order number on your receipt, then call the number when ready? While more impersonal than calling names, it makes it easier since you can display a number on a screen. Also, numbers are more easily pronounceable than some names, and avoids the issue when two or more customers have the same name.

about a month ago

The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

toejam13 Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (602 comments)

Actually, there are about 20 HVDC lines within the United States. Three are in California alone: Trans-Bay, Pacific Intertie and Intermountain Power. And given the recent advancements in HVDC breakers, that number is expected to rise significantly.

HVDC is no longer just for bridging grids or for short industrial lines.

about a month ago

ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

toejam13 Re:I LOVE READING PROPAGANDA (981 comments)

Geopolitics aside, some would say that a strong man who sees a horrific crime that he has the strength to stop has the moral responsibility to do so. ISIS has conquered territory by force of arms - do we want to allow that sort of thing to be acceptable on the world stage again? The way ISIS is treating their conquered subjects is horrific and appalling, and we should probably put a stop to it.

Some would also suggest that the current instability within the Near and Middle East is the result of European colonial powers drawing national borders in such a way to cause instability and invoke inter-racial and inter-religious tension.

Perhaps the better solution is to withdraw from the area and let the regional powers work the issue themselves. If that means a century of warfare, not unlike what Europe experienced after the Protestant Reformation, then so be it.

Sure, such a conflict would result in a spike in the price of oil. But last time oil went above $160/bbl, we saw factories in North America being brought out of mothball, a renewed interest in alternative fuels (methane, nuclear, solar, wind), higher urban growth, an increase in the use of transit and a decrease in the use of petroleum derived fertilizers. Our economy and environment actually benefit in many ways when oil gets expensive.

about a month ago

Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

toejam13 Re:Still behind the times (108 comments)

I believe that the boat for à la carte channel lineups has already sailed. Back during the 1990s when digital cable and mini-sat were starting to hit their prime, à la carte channel lineups would have been cutting edge.

But technology has since moved forward, and à la carte programming is now a mature market. Services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime and the like give you access to individual shows at any time. And you now have an entire generation that has been raised with DVRs, PPV and BitTorrent. Broadcast schedules are increasingly seen as antiquated.

Lastly, there is a larger force at play here. People aren't just cutting their cords because of price or because of poor quality content. They're cutting because they have better things to do. Video games and the Internet now consume a large chunk of my "wired" free time while cooking and home improvement stuff that I learned on PBS and online takes up the rest. I don't need 299 channels of crap to keep me entertained.

about a month and a half ago

Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

toejam13 Re:Nonsense (282 comments)

Except Microsoft went this EXACT same route of merging them all into a single system starting with Windows 2000.

My understanding is that the Windows NT series has always used a unified code tree for Workstation and Server, save for a few exotic one-off builds like NT4 Terminal Server and NT4 Enterprise Edition with PSE-36 support.

Maybe you remember the days when there was a separate uniprocessor and multiprocessor kernel? Both versions were available with the Workstation edition.

But otherwise, you're spot on. Mostly it came down to kernel tunings defined in the registry, available packages and licensing.

about a month and a half ago

Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

toejam13 Re:*drool* (181 comments)

I second this. It isn't always about performance.

I recently replaced my Core i7-930 (Nehalem) system with a Core i7-4790S (Haswell) system. The new system is modestly faster. But mostly, it requires significantly less power, resulting in a cooler and quieter system. My case fans now only run when gaming for long periods.

If I lived in a colder part of the country, I probably would have kept my i7-930 for another couple of years. But I live in an area where A/C is a must. So I expect the upgrade to eventually pay for itself in the form of reduced electrical bills.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

toejam13 Look it up (382 comments)

You could look up games based off of their annual sales rank or based off of the number of awards they've won. Probably more accurate than asking everyone for their personal favorite. Some of the lists are broken down to genre specific categories, so if a first person shooter isn't your thing, you can always look for what is.

about 2 months ago

ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

toejam13 Re:why can the world (329 comments)

If there is a social cause, then society can work to undo it. If it is a biological cause, then we can stop wasting time and effort thinking it is a social cause.

Had my mom been born a decade later or in a more progressive area, she probably would have pursued a career as a chemist. But my grandmother wouldn't allow it and many of her peers discouraged her. She became a nurse instead. She still has some regret over the decision decades later.

In her case, she wasn't so meek as to dismiss being a chemist from the start. She actually stuck her neck out only to be swatted down. But I bet that many women of her era would have convinced themselves that being a chemist was a foolish notion and wouldn't have pursued it at all. That's social self-regulation. That should be eliminated.

about 2 months ago

ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

toejam13 Re:why can the world (329 comments)

But why do they like different career paths? Is it that there is a biological difference that guides men and women to different career choices, or is there some social prodding that causes men and women to self regulate?

On the flip side, there have been few articles that talk about why men often avoid female dominated jobs such as primary school teaching, nursing, housekeeping, secretarial / office management, social working, accounting and the like. Often, it turns out to be self-regulating. Remember the movie Meet the Fockers and how Ben Stiller's character was given so much crap for being a male nurse? Yet male nurses are in high demand because they can lift heavier patients and better restrain unruly patients.

about 2 months ago

If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

toejam13 Re:What's the point? (511 comments)

Both Java and C# are nice in that they give you more power than many scripting languages, while obscuring some of the headaches (read: pointers) that come with lower-level languages like C. Both are [IMHO] also cleaner implementations of an object-oriented language than C++.

Another benefit of Java and C# are in their standard libraries. They're a bit more refined and a lot more consistent than the standard libC library. There has been a huge amount of drift in the libC world since wchars, long longs and safer array handling functions have been adopted. When writing portable C code for both Visual C and Klang, I'm constantly having to write wrapper code that deals with missing, renamed or depreciated functions on either the Windows or BSD side.

Lastly, if your Java or C# apps are speed sensitive, you just do the same thing that people have been doing with C and C++ for years: run your code through a profiler and then write your time critical code in a lower-level language that you call as an external procedure. I haven't written a large app entirely in ASM since my Amiga days (even then, it wasn't the norm).

When learning a new language, students shouldn't have to worry about if Getopt() is a valid function or not. Save that for a more advanced class. With Java, you can assign homework and know that students with Windows, Linux, BSD or MacOS will have the same environment. And in the real world, Java and C# eliminate some of the hassles of the C and ASM worlds, while still allowing you to reach back using external calls when needed. I really do find myself programming in C and C++ less and less every year.

about 2 months ago

New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

toejam13 Re:2GB of RAM? (215 comments)

That could be further reduced if Microsoft were to release another thin client edition of Windows.

Windows XP Fundamentals was great in this regard as it was based upon XP Embedded and not XP Workstation. It required about a third fewer resources, making it ideal for older PII and K6 machines.

about 2 months ago



Amiga looses Seattle area stadium naming bid

toejam13 toejam13 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

toejam13 (958243) writes "Amiga, Inc. has recently been negotiating for the naming rights for a proposed hockey arena in Kent, Washington. The city required a $2.5 million deposit, which Amiga ultimately failed to procure after much bickering and backtracking on Amiga's part. Unfortunately, this is an additional black eye regarding the company's dealings in Washington state, which includes an eviction from their former Snoqualmie offices and a bankruptcy that left several ex-employees with thousands in unpaid wages."
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