1173 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007
wacky release naming/numbering
Perhaps he can take a leaf from Knuth's book (figuratively) and switch to using pi-based release numbers once he gets to 3.14. That is, 3.14 -> 3.141 -> 3.1415 -> 3.14159 -> ...
Re: makes it tricky to get good data back from the old fellow
Eh, just an update on this. I decided to get a second opinion on whether vehicles should be male or female. I asked the wisest guy I know---my karate instructor. I asked him if my car was male or female. Definitely female, he said. Why? "Because each Nissan, she go!"
makes it tricky to get good data back from the old fellow
old girl, surely?
@AC: Unless it has 8GB there's no need for 64-bit.
I think this has been amply dealt with by previous posters, but for another example, what if you want to mmap a file (or device) that's bigger than 4Gb? The switch to 64-bit means a bump in addressable space, which isn't the same thing as physical RAM!
Re: "unlocks the phone when it recognizes the sound of its owner from voiceprints read"
What could possible go wrong, do you think ?
Well I suppose there's the off chance that you might transform into a fly and the voice recognition software wouldn't recognise you. You know, like in that thing ... "Metamorphosis".
(OK, I deliberately got the film name wrong)
Bruce Schneier got it about right ...
Don't forget that this is the same Bruce Schneier that thought it was fine to start displaying passwords on screens. Also the same man that never complained about Phorm, despite working for BT. Sure, the guy's a legend, but he's not always right.
Re: Why compress helium...
> when you can take in and compress air instead?
Notwithstanding the excellent reason given by another poster, compressing air rather than helium could also be quite handy for giving the ship an extra push when taking off or as an aid to manoeuvring. You wouldn't mind ejecting compressed air at all, as opposed to expensive helium. Given the quantities involved it's probably not practical, though.
Re: I'm curious @Frumious
> never met a flying iceberg!
There was a Michael Caine film called "Blue Ice". Imagine some mixup in plumbing between the toilet systems and the gas compression system and voila: lighter-than air icebergs :)
Re: I'm curious
I am sure a Hydrogen airship could be built segmented enough that even a gas bag exploding would not destroy the whole ship)
ISTR that they used that logic with the TItanic, too. Interestingly, they reckon that if the captain had just ploughed straight into the iceberg the ship wouldn't have sunk. As it happened, the evasive action gouged all along the side, breaching many bulkheads in series. I can imagine that an airship pilot would probably take the same sort of evasive action in similar circumstances.
Now if they had something like an aerogel with the ability to absorb a lot of hydrogen in the case of a leak ... though maybe not (since the resulting fuel/air mix might actually make any explosion more potent than pure Hydrogen).
Re: Rigid Airships have a place
but never as military transport unless well to the rear
So a force of Scouts and Dragoons on the vanguard, backed up by long-range fire from your Carrier, then? Preferably backed up by Arbiters. Got ya!
re: Something about that picture makes me think of Ghostbusters
My first thought (based on age, but definitely not the smiling) was Solyaris. Such a motley crew is the antithesis of Hollywood's "Right Stuff" view of advanced aviation, and rightly so.
Re: Regarding the Title
Has there been some sort of serious outbreak of a poetry related disease
You don't seem to know [Grandmaster] Flash, do you? For shame :)
Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre - Japanese
Hi.. thanks for that. I'd never actually considered the humble verb forms when I was counting up. I just lumped all of these things in as being idiomatically polite. And maybe, as you say, the proper distinction becomes increasingly important the longer your stay in Japan. I'm reminded of the Nihongo Notes series of books. They do a very good job of walking through the pitfalls in how the Japanese actually use the language, with Mr. Lerner making some mistake or other in each capsule lesson---sometimes, though by no means always, involving inappropriate levels of politeness.
I suppose that I was really more trying to get across that honorific speech in Japanese isn't actually as difficult as people think it is. More to the point, I actually think that Japanese is quite a simple language to learn on many fronts. It's got regular verb conjugation (with only a handful of tenses/modes to worry about), no male/female versions of words to learn, or even definite/indefinite articles. It's also got explicit topic and object/subject markers, so it's easy enough to parse. On the downside, adjectives and adverbs need to be conjugated (but they're all regular, with only two forms) and you have to count things differently depending on the type of object it is classed as (eg, days, bank-notes, plates, bottles, etc.). Other than that, I honestly think that learning Japanese grammar is a lot easier than for other languages.
I'm leaving aside the issue of learning to read and write, obviously, but even there Japanese is a whole lot easier than Chinese thanks to having hiragana and katakana for lots of the grammatical glue that holds the nouns, verbs and so on together. Chinese script just looks like an wall of hieroglyphs to me, despite being able to read a fair amount of kanji.
Re: @ElReg!comments!Pierre - Japanese
there are (at least) 6 different honorific forms
I don't think there are that many, but maybe I'm wrong on that. You really only have to learn two form: the dictionary forms (like taberu, kiku, aru, iru, etc.) is informal, while (if you're a foreigner) the polite forms (tabemasu, kikimasu, arimasu, imasu, etc.) are perfectly fine for almost any social occasion. Conjugation of both forms follow some very simple rules, with a minimum of irregular verbs. It's only if you're talking with someone of very high standing or you want to ask someone to do a favour for you that you need to worry about other forms. Apart from a few set phrases (things like "itadakimasu", "gochisousamadeshita), knowing how to ask someone of higher status to do something for you or describing something they have done for you (conjugating agemasu and morau, to give and receive) and the odd time you might have to use "degozaimasu" instead of the regular copula "desu", there's really not much to it. The only other major pitfalls as regards levels of politeness are to do with avoiding using certain verbs when a more polite version is appropriate (sometimes in specific social circumstances, so one never uses the verb kiru, to cut, at a wedding, since it conjures up thoughts of divorce in that context, but generally because, eg, kuu, to eat, is conventionally vulgar, while taberu and itadaku are safer or more polite, respectively) or not using the honorific prefix o- (or, sometimes go-) when talking about certain things (or using honorific terms to describe yourself, which is never acceptable regardless of your rank).
I think that these three levels (dictionary form, polite -masu form and a smattering of more idiomatic phrases) are enough for most interactions in Japanese. I find that yakuza films and (to a lesser degree) older samurai films (since the language used can be a bit dated) are a handy way of picking up at least some of the ultra-polite expressions. Of course, as I said, as a foreigner you can get away with just using -masu forms for the most part, and you'll be forgiven for most mistakes. But then, even Japanese people have difficulties with ultra-polite language. There's a particularly good scene in "Ososhiki" (the funeral) where the next-of-kin have to watch an instructional video to learn the appropriate phrases for greeting mourners. It mightn't teach you any practical phrases, but I'd recommend the film nonetheless...
Re: No wonder
A very nice, cogent and obviously well-informed post. Thank you :)
I couldn't help but chuckle, though, when just after saying how fluent you were, you described having learned Russian and English from birth "for practical purposes". Not a criticism, just that it conjures up a completely different picture to having learned the languages "practically from birth" or "to all intents and purposes, from birth". I never considered infants making a concious decision which languages they're going to learn based on how practical they'll be :)
So, have an upvote for an informative post first, and the unintentional humour second.
Re: Utterly Butterly...
Well it's got to be better than that new low-fat Eucharist wafer the Catholic church is rolling out in some areas---they're calling it "I can't believe it's not Jesus".
I always pick '2'. Nobody expects that.
Here's what they need:
It is ridiculously high, but it's no doubt as you said that a combination of paranoia and being able to do such far-reaching network checks tends to throw up many, many false positives.
Bob Dylan had a song about this. Check out his "Talkin John Birch Blues":
OK, it was Communists then, Terrorists now, but plus ça change ...
"Java programmers". Pfft. Try "Pretend programmers"; it's closer to the mark.
Steady on. You'll be telling us they eat quiche next!
Re: Do they mix?
Yup. I can confirm this. They do mix---I just checked a few of the MoS albums I have in my collection. That being so, I fail to see how they even have a case. If users are allowed to comment on spotify tracklists, they'd be much better off commenting on the playlists themselves. Something along the lines of "this is not a MoS album. The real album has different remixes of some tracks than are listed here and it's professionally mixed so that one track leads seamlessly into the next. If you want to hear this the way it was intended to be heard, then go and buy the album". Surely a much more sane/rational approach.
I notice that this is not the first time that MoS has sued someone over something that they may or may not have just grounds for. Google turned up quite a few hits for previous cases (just use "-spotify" to eliminate the current case). They may claim to be "down with the youth", but their behaviour is pure corporatism.
I'm much rather have ...
* a keyboard with a small screen, local edit buffer and customisable keybindings (with emacs as an option)
* extensions to the Bluetooth protocols so that any dumb device (or smart one) can pre-populate entry fields for you to edit in comfort without needing to use the application's idea of how to do things like cut and paste or whatever (editing things on phones or tablets is just very fiddly)
* more extensions so that the application can tell the keyboard when markup should be available (eg, bold, underline and font information) as well as maybe letting the keyboard access the device's dictionary for spell checking and maybe auto-completion (on the grounds that if you're going to have a bi-directional protocol you might as well exploit it fully)
Basically the above would be like the very old style of stand-alone word processor, except that it's mostly designed to be used as an intelligent slave device. If you give it a bit of local storage, you should be able to use it as a basic word processor (or capable text editor) without being tied to any any one device. You might even be able to use it for storing passwords (with actual passwords being stored on an external SD card, protected by a standard encryption algorithm).
Another type of keyboard I'd love to see is one that made it easier to switch between controlling different machines—basically a K (no V) M in a handy box. Bluetooth pairing is all well and good, but it mostly has to be initiated from the PC/phone/tablet side, and once you're paired you have to unpair and re-pair if you want to switch to providing input for a different machine. So basically, I'd like to see a keyboard that can pair with multiple devices at once and use key combos to swap between them. It would probably need to have a separate USB dongle plugged into each machine you want to type on (for compatibility—just have it recognised as a regular keyboard/mouse combo), but that would be a small price to pay for the convenience. I know that there's also software to enable you to share USB devices (like keyboards, mice) over the network, so a keyboard that worked over that stack might also work (depending on OS support, naturally).
Of course, nobody wants a shitty keyboard either. I'm sorry, but this flat thing with no travel or tactile feedback just doesn't cut it for me. A keyboard that you're going to use every day doesn't have to be as good as the IBM Model Ms that I use as my main keyboards, but it should be a lot better than this..
Re: They may be toothless...
Well that's maybe one way of looking at it, AC. For another, look up "bait and switch"—it's illegal. Actually, I'll save you the bother of looking it up ... from wikipedia:
Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by merchants' advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items ("switching").
In England and Wales it is banned under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Breaking this law can result in a criminal prosecution, an unlimited fine and two years in jail.
re: We don't know what Microsoft will call the phones yet.
Probably something snappy like THFKAN (the handset formerly known as Nokia).
Just remember that "analysis" is a portmanteau of "anal" and "lysis".
Which reminds me of the wise words of Jack Handey:
Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Basically, it's made up of two separate words — "mank" and "ind." What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.
Re: Easier solution?
Why don't laptop manufacturers just put the camera in the bezel at the bottom of the screen, angled up slightly?
Pedantry is just fine. As in "Behold! ... I give you THE UNIVERSE!. You... give me pedantry :("
Having UK report on the US and vice-versa is basically what the spooks have been doing for years. No sir, say the yanks, we don't spy on our people. The brits say likewise. Only they conveniently forget to mention that their other half does the spying on their behalf. Turnabout is fair play, I say!
Also, not sure about that editor. When he says "The Independent was not leaked or ‘duped’ into publishing today's front page story by the Government" you'd think that he'd be able to construct a sentence better. The "by the Government" part could be glommed into the sentence to mean either "today's front page story by the Government" or "The Independent was not [leaked or] ‘duped’ by the Government". Just sloppiness (as engendered, no doubt, by it being a twitter post) or something else? Probably the former, but it's still one of those "things that make you go hmmm".
Re: This isn't very new really.
That was my first thought on reading the headline--it's nothing new. I strained to remember the exact expression, but then found it online... "madogiwa zoku", literally "window-seat gang/tribe". This has been going on since the economic downturn in the '90s.
Check out Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Tokyo Sonata" for a really good film exploring similar themes (particularly the loss of a job and how central having one is to Japanese sense of honour/self-worth/identity).
transaction limit of 10,000,000 bytes, key size limit of 10,000 bytes, and value limit of 100,000 bytes
Nice to see that BCD is still alive :) (and no, that's not "Boyce-Codd Database")
Re: 64-bit, why?
Damn.. I meant to add: 4Gb of RAM should be enough for anybody!
Re: 64-bit, why?
Classic mistake, 64-bit's is not always faster depends on what your application does.
Yup. I'm with the crowd that says 64-bit---huh? In general it's going to slow things down if your instruction bus width has to double in size. I'm not sure how ARM is handling the transition to 64-bit. A new 64-bit wide instructions plus legacy (retroactively named Thumb-32?) plus Thumb-16 seems awkward, to say the least.
Besides the inherent disadvantages of 64-bit with respect to increased code size and/or need for different ISA modes, what advantages would it have? Only scientific applications really need double-precision floats, so that's the preserve of clusters, not phones. And there are precious few other applications that are screaming out for bigger integers that can store values > 4Gb or +/- 2Gb for signed. This is especially true when your physical RAM doesn't even extend beyond 1Gb (though I guess mmapping a really large file or externally shared memory might be a potential use).
In my opinion, the best way to improve current 32-bit ARM chips would be to increase the number of registers (though it's already pretty decent with 16, and bumping this also means increasing instruction size) and/or improve the range of NEON SIMD instructions (with ability to do things like summing and testing conditions across values and a way to select/shuffle sub-words based on the condition, though again, this is much more useful with 64-bit or better registers). So going 64-bit for its own sake is a terrible idea, but if it's just a side effect of implementing a richer set of features, it's OK I guess.
Or indeed The Sentinel in 1986
+1 to that, though if you look it up you'll see that it wasn't true 3D as it fudged the proper perspective transform. Still looked pretty good.
Elite is the best exemplar of true 3d of the time (and before), but it wasn't shaded, at least on C64. Also on C64 was Quake Minus One (basically features on either side of the "road" scaled and translated as they approach, so I guess it's 3D, but simple). Space Harrier was highly touted as 3D but gameplay left a lot to be desired. Someone's already mentioned Zarch/Virus for the Archimedes and Amiga, so I'll leave it at that.
the frame was then dumped by DMA into the console's video RAM as a series of tiles
DMA? You were luuucky!
Re: This was the game
Many papers were delivered to achieve that goal!
Huh? How did playing lots of Paperboy help achieve your goal?
Microsoft implicated in a reboot? I'm shocked, I tell ya!
As some people have pointed out, compression might actually be a bad thing. An All-or-Nothing Transform (AONT) on the data would mitigate against this attack because as the name suggests the attacker gains nothing from being able to "probably" figure out correlations for small parts of the message.
Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about
Are you sure that device drivers are the cause of these broken installations? Because none of the posts I saw above mention it as a problem. And anyway, even if drivers are implicated, there's nothing stopping people sticking with an earlier kernel until new drivers are available in the latest kernel. Most distros trail the current kernel by a few releases anyway, so users are protected from the bleeding edge.
As to HP, are their drivers in the mainline kernel, or are they external to it? If they're external, then why don't they just do the work required to contribute the code once and have it accepted. Then it's up to kernel developers to do the work required if they break anything.
I'm certainly in the camp that says there's nothing broken with the model of having shifting in-kernel APIs. The only time it's ever affected me has been when I needed to get VMWare working again after a kernel update, and even then, if there wasn't an update available for VMWare, the fix was simple: go back to using the old kernel. I certainly don't accept your assertion that the Linux device driver model is broken!
Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about
... because ultimately the broken driver model has become a religious element ...
So your rant is basically that you want a stable API for implementing device drivers on? Not going to happen:
"Stable API nonsense" doc from the Linux kernel.
Note the last paragraph:
As Linux supports a larger number of different devices "out of the box" than any other operating system, and it supports these devices on more different processor architectures than any other operating system, this proven type of development model must be doing something right :)
Re: Linux has bigger things to worry about
and updating it boots up well only about three times then cant find it's shell on the last
That sort of transient error suggests to me that you have faulty RAM or, less likely because you'd probably see error messages, disk corruption. Run a memory check from a live CD (if it's not already installed as a grub option) and check logs or run gsmartcontrol to check disks for corruption. If "not able to find its shell" is supposed to mean "not able to find the kernel" then it may be that disks are being detected in a random order at bootup (thanks, BIOS!), and so the root filesystem isn't where grub expects it to be. All Debian-based OSs (including Mint, I guess) have been using UUID-based drive detection for a long time now, so I doubt that's what's going one.
The above assumes, of course, that you're not just causing or making up the problem yourself so you can have some weak trollbait.
Happy Birthday Deb!
And not to forget Ian, too :)
Re: Mixing up artforms to create a new artform
... And what of the bard from Verdun?
Re: 1,100 *haikus heading to Mars on next NASA mission
For Benefit of
Make the Reader Edified:
A Short Translation:
Between Ear(s) and Assemblage,
Which would be preferred?
1,100 *haikus heading to Mars on next NASA mission
To Japanese ear
Plurality is inferred---
"Haiku" would suffice
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