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US Secret Service Wants To Identify Snark

trb detecting false positives (213 comments)

They are talking about “Ability to detect sarcasm and false positives.” So now evil-doers will sprinkle their messages with omg lulz whatever i can has infidel pwnage.

about 3 months ago
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HR Chief: Google Sexual, Racial Diversity "Not Where We Want to Be"

trb Re:Who gives a shit? (593 comments)

The original note says "To put things in perspective, it [Google] looks like the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers." That doesn't put things in perspective. In 1947, there was a Negro League full of very talented players who were barred from major league baseball. If there was a league of very talented black hackers today, would Google (and the rest of the tech industry) hire them? How long would it take?

about 3 months ago
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One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

trb Re:Huh? (230 comments)

The article talked about 1983. In 1981, you could get the Cadillac of ASCII terminals, the Ann Arbor Ambassador, for about $1000. In today's terms, you might call that a dumb terminal, but in those days, dumb terminal was an LSI-ADM3A, and Ann Arbor Ambassador was the hacker's choice. The LSI ADM-3 cost about $1000 in 1975.

See: http://terminals.classiccmp.or...

You also had bitmap terminal options like Bell Labs Blit/Jerq and BBN Bitgraph that had Motorola 68000s but used them as display processors, sort of like an X Window System terminal, but with their own custom windowing systems.

By 1983, Sun, Apple, and dozens of other companies were selling fancier personal computers with UNIX and other OSes based on the Motorola 68000 series and other CPUs, but their cost was more like $10,000-$30,000.

about 4 months ago
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Siphons Work Due To Gravity, Not Atmospheric Pressure: Now With Peer Review

trb the Guardian article is wrong too (360 comments)

The article says: "how could a siphon possibly work by a difference in pressure when atmospheric pressure is the same for the liquid at both ends of the tube?" It does work by a difference in pressure, just not a difference in atmospheric pressure. The liquid falling out of the exit end of the siphon causes a difference in pressure.

about 4 months ago
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CmdrTaco: Anti-Beta Movement a "Vocal Minority"

trb poll? (30 comments)

Sounds like a good slashdot poll question - what do you think of the beta?

about 7 months ago
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The Ig Nobels Are Tonight

trb August Sanders Theater (41 comments)

It may be Harvard University's august Sanders Theater. It is not Harvard University's August Sanders Theater. It was not named for a person called August Sanders.

about a year ago
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Washington Post hacked

trb Re:More sources (3 comments)

I think Fox is wrong. I believe the explanation I quote below, from this link, is correct.

http://www.zdnet.com/what-happened-to-the-new-york-times-website-7000019453/

Specifically, according to a source close to the NYT, the primary cause for the outage was due to bad firewall configuration change that blocked all incoming traffic and for some reason the IT staff wasn't able to rollback the change.

1 year,13 days
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John E. Karlin, Who Led the Way To All-Digit Dialing, Dies At 94

trb Re:upside down keypads? (120 comments)

That's amusing. It's definitely possible to interpret the text the way you describe, and looking again, I'm sure that's what the author intended. But not only is the preceding phrase describing 123 on the top, so is the following phrase. So the parenthetical phrase refers to the 123 on the bottom, but in "it made for more accurate dialing," "it" flips back to 123 on top.

about a year and a half ago
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John E. Karlin, Who Led the Way To All-Digit Dialing, Dies At 94

trb Re:upside down keypads? (120 comments)

Yes, the upside down keypads are his "fault." The obit has the info wrong. Adding machine keypads always had the lower numbers at the bottom, and so do computer keypads. You can google for about this, but I think he figured that American phone users (who mostly weren't adding machine users) were used to reading from left to right and top to bottom, hence the order.

about a year and a half ago
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Air Force Sends Mystery Mini-Shuttle Back To Space

trb one-quarter the size (123 comments)

These high-tech mystery machines — 29 feet long — are about one-quarter the size of NASA's old space shuttles and can land automatically on a runway.

The X-37B is not one-quarter the size of the Space Shuttle, it's one-quarter the length of the Space Shuttle. The launch weight of the X-37B is 5.5 tons. The launch weight of the Space Shuttle is 125 tons. This ignorance about the meaning of dimensions reminds me of the Stonehenge scene from Spinal Tap.

about a year and a half ago
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What tech would you un-invent?

trb Re:Guns? (572 comments)

Guns can be used for attack and defense. They can be used for killing innocent people, they can also be used to protect innocent people. It has been said, "God made men, Samuel Colt made them equal."

about 2 years ago
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Why Non-Coders Shouldn't Write Code

trb it's easier than Japanese. (421 comments)

From tfa:

Inspired by the dictate within its Japanese parent company Rakuten to have all its employees become fluent in English, Jaconi decided to have everyone, from himself down to the interns, learn to code.

In other words, if anything, he should really be inspired by his parent company to force all his employees to learn Japanese, but JavaScript is easier.

about 2 years ago
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The Linux security stick you give to your clueless friends

trb Re:who gives a (3 comments)

re paying for a script, the value of a software product is not determined by whether its code is compiled or interpreted. re running old anti-malware, i assume you'll be able to update the control files for that over the web. re USB devices being writeable, I think a call to "mount -o ro,remount" on the stick solves that, doesn't it? re web surfing on an infected machine, usually it's the hard drive that's infected, and this system won't be using the hard drive as source for program files. if the nvram was corrupt, i assume this tool would be smart enough to deal with that too.

more than 2 years ago
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How Satnav Maps Are Made

trb old school (48 comments)

LISP had MAPCAR 50 years ago.

more than 2 years ago
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'Inventor of Email' Gets Support of Noam Chomsky

trb Re:Ask a better question (288 comments)

Articles mentioned him copyrighting the term EMAIL (and I repeated that non-fact), but his claim is really on the name EMAIL and his copyright, which was on his program and user manual, as noted on his web site here.

http://www.inventorofemail.com/

He calls himself the "inventor of email" which is silly. He registered a copyright with the US copyright office. Again, there did not seem to be any innovation involved. He wrote an email program, and registered his copyright. The only remotely interesting thing about it is that it was named EMAIL. If he had produced a television and called it TELEVISION, and it was after other people had already produced and refined televisions, it would be false to claim to be the inventor of television.

more than 2 years ago
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'Inventor of Email' Gets Support of Noam Chomsky

trb Re:Ask a better question (288 comments)

The guy wrote a program called EMAIL, and he copyrighted the name EMAIL. If he wrote a program called FMAIL, he could have copyrighted the name FMAIL. That doesn't mean he invented anything or did anything innovative. Again, saying he "invented email" is silly.

more than 2 years ago

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