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Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

topham Re:Once Upon a Time.... (465 comments)

Greenpeace started that way. There's been evidence over the years of key members participating (and providing funds) in more radical organizations, with Greenpeace acting as a nice cover/front. In recent years their lies have started to pile up and it's becoming more obvious they are simply in it for the money.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

topham Why should we let you in? (720 comments)

Felonies mean you likely can't be trusted. That's the reality. Why should we trust you?

about 2 months ago

Online Creeps Inspire a Dating App That Hides Women's Pictures

topham yeah, ok, whatever. (482 comments)

The whole dating situation is ridiculous these days. Dozens, or even hundreds of guys email a couple of women and almost none get any response at all; is it any wonder they escalate to crap? A response, positive or negative, is better than no response to a lot of people.

If you're in the top 20% on looks, congrats. Otherwise: you get treated like shit, whichever side your on.

about 4 months ago

MIPS Tempts Hackers With Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

topham Re:no price? (88 comments)

Sold it cheaper? Why?

The Rpi has an excellent price, it's low enough that price is not the deciding factor on using it.

about 5 months ago

MIPS Tempts Hackers With Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

topham Re:why submit a project without knowing the price (88 comments)

Because I don't care what it costs YOU to develop the project, I care what it costs me...

Ok, that's an over simplification. The board looks pretty sweet and would be an excellent choice for a project I'm working on. I expect that Imagination Technologies is trying to gauge demand, which will affect the price point of the final board / production. I've submitted an entry, however due to timing and their site problems (it initially crashed because of the load) it was a pretty short paragraph or two and I doubt my project will be selected. But I'm looking at other contenders rather than my initial plan of the Rpi because it has various short comings (of which, this board seems to sidestep quite nicely).

about 5 months ago

FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

topham Protecting Raytheon & Friends (218 comments)

This is an attempt by the FAA to protect Raytheon and friends. With the upsurge in UAV for military purposes aligning reasonably well with the ban on any commercial use it has allowed companies like Raytheon to establish themselves with hardware, as well as patents on the related technologies and purposes one would use remote controlled aircraft for. It's also why they don't actual have proper specifications to classify the aircraft, something which they so completely obviously should have done in the first place when the ban went into effect.

Should fly objects be regulated? Sure. But they've taken few steps to actually regulate them, it has just been a delaying tactic to prevent the upsurge in small companies from applying for, and receiving patents which could potentially be used to sue the likes of raytheon.

about 10 months ago

The Struggles of Getting Into the App Store

topham Re:HERE'S A NOVEL IDEA !! DO NOT PUBLISH CRAP APPS (329 comments)


I've personally developed and released multiple apps, and each app has had updates shortly after release. One was a rather embarrassing oversight. I didn't blame Apple, I blamed myself. I also used their expedite service to request a quick review for the update and was granted the expedited review. The updated application was approved within 2 days using that process. Apples process is frustrating, and can be extreemly aggravating, but I have to wonder how come they didn't have an application + iPad to use for their demo/tutorial. Creating an Adhoc version, as well as a corporate signed version are easy enough under restricted circumstances. (You can't distribute to everyone that way, but you can get it up and working on multiple devices so your client can review and test and train).

more than 2 years ago

3-D Printing Enables UVA Student-Built Unmanned Plane

topham Re:No, they didn't print an engine (87 comments)

As an engineering study of the applicability of printing 3D objects it's somewhat interesting. As to the importance of being able to build an airplane like that for under $2k it's entirely underwhelming. It's pretty easy to make one by hand with a very small collection of components and materials, and it would have taken less time. (So much so that even building a prototype, then dies to pre-cut material to produce the plane more traditionally would have taken less effort).

more than 2 years ago

Nintendo Ranks Last In Conflict Minerals Report

topham American companies respond, but not Japanese? (134 comments)

Is it really a surprise that the American companies responded and a Japanese company didn't? You think perhaps there are cultural issues involves in choosing to respond or not?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Shop For a Laptop?

topham Re:mac (732 comments)

I, along with a number of other people, second this.

As a long time PC user with well over 20 years of experience: buy a Mac. If you need Windows applications there are options (bootcamp, or virtual machines) and if she never -needs- a Windows version of anything she'll probably never have to call you for support either, or it'll be simple things like 'How do I sync my music?'.

And really, it takes about 10 minutes to pick what you want. Done.

(I've owned 4 Macs, a G5, an Intel iMac 17", a MacBook Pro 15" (2006 / Core Duo) and my latest purchase: an i7 15" 2.2Ghz machine with 8 Gigs of ram. (which I upgraded myself because Apple does charge way too much for ram).

And the best thing? Unix command line... (ok, your sister won't care.)

more than 2 years ago

The Lytro Camera: Impressive Technology and Some Big Drawbacks

topham Re:Revolutionize crap photos, perhaps (220 comments)

Nokia announce a phone with a camera sensor that's 41 Megapixels. -If- you can combine that sensor with the Lytro lens in a small camera assembly you'll get sufficient resolution to be used for more than just gimmicks.

more than 2 years ago

Avoiding Red Lights By Booking Ahead

topham Re:Roundabouts (299 comments)

Tell that to the people in my neighbourhood who don't have a clue how to deal with a roundabout.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Open Source vs Proprietary GIS Solution?

topham Re:MySQL and Drupal are fine (316 comments)

Your current best bet is: http://www.geonames.org/

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Open Source vs Proprietary GIS Solution?

topham MySQL and Drupal are fine (316 comments)

I can safely say that MySQL handles GIS data sufficiently for the type of scenario you've described on Slashdot. I've got a database I periodically play with that is all the cities / major towns of the world and can quickly query it with distance data. (as in: Give me everything within 100 miles of Lat,Long)

MySQL doesn't make all of it as easy as it should be, but with some careful design decisions it can work surprisingly well for it.
I previously had created a distance function that worked pretty good, but more recent versions of MySQL have better internal support and I was able to ditch some of my custom routines.
(Note: my routines performed efficiently, but gathered extraneous data that could later be filtered out to be more precise. The extra data was maybe 10% more than necessary, but meant the query was very fast.)

Perhaps you should be looking to upgrade your MySQL instance, or getting some procedures/functions written for MySQL to handle some of the calculations.
(It's pretty easy to calculate a rectangle for the query to run against, and then follow up with a more precise distance calculation to filter out a few stranglers that slip into the dataset. (better to include a few that are dropped in later stages than to exclude valid data up front)).

As for the moral issues: Stuff them. They aren't what you should be focusing on.

about 3 years ago

Canadian Government Seeking New Net Snooping Powers

topham Re:Wait, what? (77 comments)

Yes, it is highly likely a new version will be tabled.

But it is stupid to try and stir up shit over a version of the bill that is defunct. Call up your MP and mention this bill and they'll laugh at you. When the new bill is tabled and you can identify the sections you have issues with then your MP might actually listen to what you have to say. Most of them aren't even smart enough to correlate what is in the old bill with what may appear in a new bill. Assume they are all stupid and wait for the new bill to be tabled first.

Anything else is just stirring up shit without a purpose.

more than 3 years ago

Why PCs Trump iPads For User Innovation

topham Re:I read the article (523 comments)

Pretty much, I've noticed a resurgence of the trend in the last couple of months. But as attempts go this one seemed pretty lame. iPad unstable? really? My mom has one and she doesn't even know how to turn it off or reboot it. She uses it constantly. (Several hours a day on a typical day).

Now, my iPad is pretty unstable, but it's running beta software all the time. Hardly conclusive. And, even with its instability I don't have to reboot it.

Most of the statements in the article have some truth to them, but the implications are wildly out of wack. (Implying a stability equivalent to PCs for instance, while PCs have greatly improved in recent years they still often have issues waking from sleep for example.)

The article is pure FUD in the truest sense. Fear, Uncertainty, Disbelief. While I'd be somewhat hard pressed to accuse the author of directly being in Microsofts pocket, I think it's obvious that Microsoft had a influence in some manner. (Even if it was just a quiet little request made to an editor for a more 'balanced' perspective).

more than 3 years ago

Do Macs Have an Edge Against APTs?

topham Article is crap (210 comments)

"For example, Mac's Keychain software is vulnerable to what's known as a brute-force attack, he said."

Idiot alert, article is crap.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With the Business Software Alliance?

topham Re:We had this happen at a previous job (519 comments)

120,000 / 8 = $15,000 per employee for licenses is expensive? really? It's not unheard of at all. A software package I supported was $5k/seat, and that was only 1 piece of software they needed.

more than 3 years ago

Linux 3.0 Release Delayed

topham Re:Chicken? (187 comments)

And with the new policy they increment the major version number every time they hit 'Build'.

more than 3 years ago

Outgoing Federal CIO Warns of 'IT Cartel' In DC

topham Re:And this applies exclusively to IT. (198 comments)


In Manitoba we have a system in place on how to handle bribes ethically.

not kidding, and it's fucking sad.

more than 3 years ago


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