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* Posts by Christopher E. Stith

139 posts • joined 21 May 2007

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Plans for fully 3D-printed gun go online next week

Christopher E. Stith

Re: David, you missed the point

Apparently do you not only not know how to using a milling machine. You also don't know that it's possible to mill plastic or that milling machines have been CNC-ready for years before at-home 3D printers. You can get a ready-made CNC tabletop mill for around the same price as a 3D printer. It's just subtractive shaping rather than additive. Here's one model: http://www.robotshop.com/sherline-5400a-cnc-tabletop-vertical-mill-package-1.html

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Anonymous/LulzSec chick-lit MP kid threat pooh-poohed

Christopher E. Stith
Facepalm

Who do they think "Anonymous" really is?

Anonymous as a group came up from the chan scene. It started as an in-joke as most posts are attributed anonymously. There's no membership card, no roster, and no party platform. That one or two "members" of what's barely an association of individuals might threaten violence is not a mystery.

These people have done everything from breaking into the computer networks of major nations to organizing groups of people to reportedly call a particular GameStop video games store and ask for a copy of the game Battletoads.

If one has a strong stomach and no fear of what is in one's browsing history and cache, one could take a look at http://boards.4chan.org/b/ and see the humble beginnings of the movement.

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Hobbyist killed by home-made hovercraft

Christopher E. Stith
Big Brother

allow no helmet, but require eye protection

In the US state of Illinois it is legal for those 18 years and older to decide not to wear a helmet on a motorcycle. It is still required by law to wear eye protection consisting of goggles, safety glasses, or sunglasses capable of deflecting insects, dust, etc. from the eyes without breaking and coming apart into the eyes. This is in the same state that recently expanded front-seat seatbelt laws to include all seats in the car, and that is the last US state not to have some sort of concealed handgun permit. So maybe there's something to this particular personal freedom.

There are actually arguments against helmets. One is that in lower-speed accidents unlikely to cause serious head injuries the extra weight can compound neck injuries. Another is that most helmets obstruct part of your vision or hearing so that you're more likely to be in an accident in the first place.

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Gamer claims complete console collection

Christopher E. Stith
Facepalm

almost complete list of his many missing systems

The red 3x3 was Merlin. It's already in the list of missing ones in an earlier comment.

Here' s a not qutie complete list of things missing from his complete list.

Besides the Atari 5200 that someone else mentioned, I noticed an even more egregious Atari omission. He has the 2600 but what about the original VCS from before it was sold by model number? There were six-switch and four-switch VCS models before the model number was ever prominent on the box.

Atari 2800 (Japanese only IIRC)?

I have an Intellivision. He doesn't. I don't have an Intellivision II, but neither does he.

I guess the Atari XL series, Atari Falcon, C64, C64c, C128, and Coleco Adam were too much general purpose computers to be on a list of consoles. Still, though, no Amiga CD32/Amiga CDTV? No C64gs? But he includes an MSX... Atari 400 was more console than computer, surely.

No Famicom or Super Famicom? No FC SuperTwin -- he has other clones, after all.

The standalone game consoles don't appear to include Pong, Atari StuntCycle, Coleco Telstar Combat... Atari Video Pinball?

Magnavox Odyssey s100 yes... Odyssey original? Odyssey 200? Odyssey 300? Odyssey 400? Odyssey 500? Odyssey 2000, 3000, 4000? Odyssey2?

Coleco Telstar? Coleco Telstar Classic? Telstar Alpha, Telster Colortron, Telstar Arcade, Telstar Gemini...?

Bally Professional Arcade?

Fairchild Channel F?

Zircon Channel F System II?

Vectrex has been widely mentioned...

Emerson Arcadia?

Coleco Gemini?

NEC Turbo Duo?

NES Model 2? Really? It's complete without that?

Sega Genesis 2? Sega CD? Genesis 32x? Sega CDX? Did I miss the $30 Genesis 3?

XavixPort?

Pong? Super Pong?

Wonder Wizard 7702?

RCA Studio 2?

I see the Flashback, but no Atari Flashback 2?

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Feds indict poker sites, seize domains

Christopher E. Stith
Thumb Up

it is well within US jurisdiction

When a US citizen in the US uses a US bank to do business in the US with a company doing business with US citizens within the US using a US bank to transfer funds, how the hell could any of you think that's outside US jurisdiction?

The FBI isn't saying they'll come shut down overseas poker sites for what they do overseas. They also are find with non-gambling sites in the US that really are only play money (even Yahoo has this).

What they don't want is online sites to pop up, go away, cheat people, and launder money with none of the regulations and inspections of the state-licensed casinos. I think they should reconsider licensing, regulating, and inspecting online casinos myself, but these sites that are trying to run outside the law are illegal for a reason.

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Natty Narwhal with Unity: Worst Ubuntu beta ever

Christopher E. Stith
WTF?

Cangratulations on duplicating PM.

It's nice to see Ubuntu almost has OS/2's presentation manager only 20 years later. I must wonder, though, with all those billions if it would've just been faster and cheaper to buy eComStation and actually have all of OS/2 to open source. Oh, or maybe if the dock's the big feature someone should give the folks making WindowMaker and GNUStep a ring.

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Gosling blows lid off Jobs Java nonsense

Christopher E. Stith
Alert

Oracle just sued Google over having a competing Java tool set that isn't from Oracle.

Jobs and Co. spent their own time and money making Java programs on Mac look like Mac programs. Oracle has started suing people for doing things with Java that differentiate them from Oracle's bog-standard Java tools. Many of the cross-platform challenges Java was supposed to fix are now handled by GUI compatibility layers like wxWidgets anyway, with native GUI look and feel (wxWidgets itself does this on at least OS X, iPhone, Windows, Windows Mobile, Linux, OS/2, and embedded GTK+ from at least C++, Perl, Ruby, Python, .NET).

Apple is probably concerned not only that they are behind Oracle's release curve but that they are wasting effort. They may even be concerned that Oracle will eventually sue them for their effort at keeping Sun's baby alive on OS X in a way that Oracle wouldn't exactly approve.

I don't think much of Apple, but I think less of Oracle. This is a move I'd seriously consider at this point in time if I was distributing a Java system. Oracle is making a mess of the software landscape both commercial and open source, and against their calls for Sun to be more open and engaging before the buyout.

You can blame Apple for pulling support for Java all you want, but I blame Oracle.

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Apple threatens Java with death on the Mac

Christopher E. Stith
FAIL

Blame Oracle

Everyone seems to link Apple deprecating their own Java version to not liking non-native apps and trying to kill Android for the benefit of the iPhone. Well, consider that Oracle just reversed years of Java policy of their own and of Sun's and decided to sue Google for developing Java that didn't exactly please Oracle. Perhaps Apple would rather have Oracle provide you with Java for the Mac than be sued by Oracle for providing it themselves.

Oracle's policies on Java, Solaris, MySQL, and pretty much everything else from Sun Microsystems is so far full of Fail.

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OOo's put the willies up Microsoft

Christopher E. Stith
Gates Horns

Tune in at 11!

We'll be tackling a new revelation: people used to one interface take some time adjusting to a new one!

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Google open sources JPEG assassin

Christopher E. Stith

GIF is lossy for photos

Unless your camera is only taking pictures in 256 colors, you're losing a great deal of data in a GIF. It is primarily useful for commercial graphics and illustrations. Just because it encodes every pixel does not mean it's maintaining all the data. PNG can be either lossy or lossless, even though it keeps every pixel, because you can downcode to small numbers of color bits per pixel optionally in that format.

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Devil manifests in Hungarian bathroom

Christopher E. Stith
Gates Horns

Am I the only one...

Am I the only one who thought it looked more like Keith Richards than like the devil?

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Indiana judges dismiss girl's nipple exposure appeal

Christopher E. Stith

Actually in 44 states it is illegal to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave an establishment.

It is also protected by law on Federal property. Indiana happens to be one state where it is specifically legal to breastfeed in public.

Seriously, people, look this shit up before posting blindly in the dark. http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14389 has US breastfeeding laws by state and territory.

This case was about exposing the nipples completely as a means of expression, which has little to do with breastfeeding.

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Oracle on Unix biz: We can rebuild it

Christopher E. Stith

35,000?

I believe that number in the linked memo was speaking of Oracle-on-Solaris, not Solaris as a whole.

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OpenSolaris spork ready for download

Christopher E. Stith
Grenade

How about native ZFS and containers on Linux?

How much would that have cost? If those are the major concerns, then it might've been smart to see just how much it would've cost to get those features into an OS that already has lots of contributors and has been shipping production releases for years. It might have been prohibitively expensive, but there's no mention of that option at all so how can we be sure it was even considered?

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Intel to pay $1.4bn for Infineon WLS

Christopher E. Stith

Intel itself was already an ARM licensee

Intel only sold XScale PXA processors to Marvell. They still make IOP and IXP series chips with ARM cores for their own products (I/O parts for boards based on their Core chips and also for embedded stuff). They also buy LSI Logic chips based on ARM cores for the Intel RAID controllers.

These are smaller, slower ARM cores and they're used as cores rather than to implement the ARM instruction set for outside applications to access. Yet they certainly are ARM.

Don't be surprised terribly if Intel sells Infineon Wireless products with ARM chips in them, possibly side-by-side with Atom.

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Defcon speaker calls IPv6 a 'security nightmare'

Christopher E. Stith

I'm scared of the amount of ignorance in this discussion.

I hope only a few of you have anything to do with the industry.

The very idea that more addresses and the option not to use DHCP means there will be no DNS just displays a total lack of understanding. Guess what -- there are options to use other than DHCP now. DNS is needed because people don't remember 32-bit addresses well, even as octets translated to decimal. There's no way it's going to be irrelevant with 2^128 addresses. DNS or some successor will be much more relevant.

The idea that name-based virtual hosting is so much harder than IP-based virtual hosting is laughable.

There certainly won't be a dramatic sudden IPv4 to IPv6 shift in large companies like many of you think. New blocks allocated will be IPv6. Eventually, the IPv4 blocks will be routed through a v4-v6 gateway router. After that, there will be v4 NATed networks behind a v4-v6 gateway that is behind v6 NAT even after v4 isn't publicly routable. The companies will still have v4 equipment internally. It will take years to phase out all the v4 in some organizations, even with v6 being the only newly allocated addresses on the public Internet.

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Christopher E. Stith

not just NAT.

One of the big culprits of IP exhaustion is SSL. There's no real reason for SSL to require a unique IP address for every host name. You've been able to run thousands of small sites on a single server for years, whether they have the same IP address or multiple ones. Having the RIGHT address and the private key should be plenty, and requiring the IP to be unique adds nothing to security ever since virtual hosting became possible.

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Sarah Palin 'boob job' debate dominates US right - and left

Christopher E. Stith

Nah.

Take a look elsewhere around the pics. Her waist and hips gained several sizes as well. Larger breasts are part of a thin woman gaining a few pounds. They are mostly fat, after all. She might have had a little work done on them, like a lift. She may even have had some minor augmentation, but I don't think it's necessary when you compare her overall change in weight. We might be looking at just a better bra and a few extra glasses of wine per week.

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Flash embraces Google's open video codec

Christopher E. Stith
Thumb Up

The Flash Blog has info on the new Flash Pro CS5 save format

http://theflashblog.com/?p=1986

It's essentially a folder with all your project's materials in it. Adobe calls it the XFL format. There's an XML serialization of the Flash DOM including timelines and motion paths along with a couple of settings files also in XML. Then there are the resource files for everything like graphics, video, sound, and such in a library sub-folder. ActionScript source files go at the same directory level as the project folder rather than in it, though. That may turn out to be a hassle.

Adobe's really excited about letting people use standard text tools to edit the files, like your favorite editor or an automated search and replace. In fact, the FLA format for Flash Pro CS5 is still available, but it's now just a zipped version of the XFL project folder.

Let's see Apple make QuickTime or GarageBand so easy to use with external tools, huh?

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Christopher E. Stith
Flame

17 years? That's funny for someone with a worldview of a 6-year-old.

Spot the idea below that is not like the others:

"I've never been to India. I don't believe it exists. I think it's just someplace made up so people can get away with funny accents."

"I've used the net for seventeen years and I've never seen Flash used for anything other than linear video playback. It must not be capable of anything else. Those of you with jobs in the field and portfolios of work that use your real names should all FOAD because I know everything that exists in MY world."

"Recorded music started with the CD, and now we use iPods. What do you mean cassette? What's a record? Is that like a recording? I think you're pulling my leg. Vinyl? You mean like mommy's favorite bra?"

"The problem with the gold standard is I can't see the gold. If I can't see the gold, money tied to it is worthless paper. Floating currency has real, intrinsic value, because that's what mommy gives me to buy my Lady Gaga tracks on iTunes."

"Gee, you mean there's a powerful virtual machine that's often used just for video playback? I hadn't really considered that. Thanks. I'll look into that so I can make an informed statement next time."

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Christopher E. Stith
Flame

Adobe is more open than Apple ever was.

Remember that Flash was originally Macromedia Flash. Adobe has made it progressively more open and standards-based with every post-Macromedia version. The SWF file is well documented. ActionScript 2 and 3 are well-documented and standardized. AS3 is even ECMAScript compliant. Now the save format for Flash CS5 is an XML file rather than a memory dump.

Adobe is the same company that took pretty standard PostScript and embedded fonts and images into the file to make PDF, for which they have always published the file specs. OS X's main graphics output is based on PDF. How's that for open?

Adobe maintains that their authoring applications are where the money is. After all, their Flash Player is free and has clones (which are made that much better by them opening the file format). You can make Flash with the HaXe programming language. You can make Flash with Namo FreeMotion. You can make Flash with any number of open-source tools and any number of specialized single-purpose $10 commercial titles (just for banners, just for photo galleries, just for animation, etc.).

You can use other tools even more easily for what their other products do. PhotoShop is an image editor. After Effects is a film postproduction package. InDesign is for desktop publishing. Illustrator is for graphic design and layout. Hell, how many HTML editors are there to compete with DreamWeaver? Almost any office suite can output to PDF. Yet their applications sell for hundreds of dollars and the suites of them for a couple thousand.

Yeah, they really need a closed format, like JPEG for PhotoShop or XHTML for DreamWeaver. Give me a break.

Oh, and the next time I read that Flash is nothing but video, please let it be a joke and not some misinformed "We only just now Evolved to use the internet 2.0 years ago" Web2.0 drivel. Try getting a plain vanilla video container to present Bow Man, Portal: The Flash Version, anything from the Protector series (or anything from Kongregate at all), any of the interactive Flash software tutorials, interactive Flash sales brochures, the media players on sites like MySpace, or flashcard systems for kids in school. Make Matroska or H.264 by themselves do anything else that requires user interaction, conditional branches, handling of multiple input files, and real-time animation.

Flash Player (or Gnash, or SWFDec) is a VM with libraries and a graphics system built in. It is not just a codec, and in fact it already supported multiple video codecs, containers, and compression schemes before all of this publicity -- including VP6 from On2! Support for VP8 probably would have happened even if Google hadn't bought On2.

I really wish you people who know nothing of how programming, web design, media production, and graphic design are done would just go back to playing with your cool toys and leave the bitching and moaning about formats, containers, codecs, languages, authoring tools, and playback VMs

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'Completely useless' Windows 3.1 hits Google's Android

Christopher E. Stith
FAIL

How about checking some other facts (or proofreading)?

DOSBox is usually used to run DOS programs on PCs that _are_ running more modern OSes like Windows 7 or Linux. It's not used because those PCs can't run newer OSes. It's because the old DOS games can't run on the newer PCs with more modern OSes.

Perhaps the line:

"DOSBox is usually used to run old MS-DOS games for Intel x86 PCs that can't run modern operating systems such as Window XP, Vista, Linux, or FreeBSD."

Was meant to be written as:

"DOSBox is usually used to run old MS-DOS games that can't run on modern Intel x86 PC operating systems such as Window XP, Vista, Windows 7, Linux, or FreeBSD."

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WiGig gets spec and Alliance endorsement

Christopher E. Stith
Pint

Forgot about 802.11n?

802.11n at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz please, preferably simultaneously. 802.11 g is nice, but dual-band simultaneous n is the way to go for a busy area.

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Apple demands public apology for iPhone parody

Christopher E. Stith
Flame

Xerox PARC

Go piss up yourself. Apple stole the original Mac's UI from Xerox. They stole the dock from OS/2 and WindowMaker. They make a shitty phone with a shitty screen that happens to have a great app store. Their music player, desktops, and laptops are mostly far overpriced based on style and branding while lacking serious features. Only their very high-level desktops match or beat other vendors on price vs. features, and that's if you're okay with having very few video cards as options. They screwed all the people who invested in PowerPC Macs by discontinuing OS support way too soon after switching to their iBMclones.

I fail to see where Google has ripped off Apple. Do you really think Android is anything like iPhone OS? Touchscreens, OSes, application repositories, cell phones, and WiFi were all around a long time before the iPhone. At least the Android phones mostly have decent black level and contrast ratio. Touch-screen only phones really do suck for heavy typing, BTW, no matter who makes them.

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ATI Stream upgrade embraces OpenCL

Christopher E. Stith
Thumb Up

Do OpenCL + OpenGL as standards = standards-based games?

Only time will tell, of course, but what a boon that could be to OS X and Linux. I know the whole ball of hype around OpenCL has been for scientific clusters and business-critical apps. However, if there's a standard way to get vector math for game logic and physics that meshes well with OpenGL for graphics, and assuming SDL or something is up to the input tasks and audio, then that sounds like a good cross-platform substitute for DirectX.

With Apple, IBM, ATI, Arm, NVidia, and more behind it, it might actually catch on well enough to gain some traction among developers. If the cross-platform (OS and hardware) wrinkles can be ironed out and the end-user libs work acceptably well everywhere, not only things like render farms and investment banking could use it. Everything that needs lots of processing help from a vector engine could use it. That includes games -- and for more than graphics -- as NVidia's few PhysX titles have shown us.

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New road made from pigsh*t in Missouri

Christopher E. Stith

only about 20 miles from Quincy, IL, that made Slashdot headlines today

<a href="http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/04/16/1751248">Databases in Caves? A Unique Google Fiber Bid</a>

It's unusual for either place to make much news until spring flooding gets drastic. It's quite a coincidence.

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Commodore 64 may come back as Warren Beatty

Christopher E. Stith
Grenade

Trademark schademark

What ever happened to a trademark only protecting a product or service that was actually recently at trade? Is this new venture actually going to confuse people selling an AMD64 processor machine and calling it a "Commodore 64"? I mean, really, who would look at the specs and say they bought one in the 1980s?

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Men at Work appeal Down Under plagiarism ruling

Christopher E. Stith
Linux

What about limiting one's damages?

It is a legal duty in most jurisdictions to mitigate the damages done to one's self rather than allowing damages to build in order to sue. Tux, since Caldera is still trying to sue themselves a fortune for having been a Linux company.

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Christopher E. Stith
Alert

John Fogerty got sued for writing and singing songs s in the style of John Fogerty..

Seriously, he was sued for plaigiarism of all things. For one song he wrote solunding too much like another song he wrote.

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Microsoft promises no patent prosecution of open-source .NET

Christopher E. Stith
Gates Horns

This is binding in the US, but only for the two standards in their current form

Anything separate or any new Microsoft-specific extensions that don't hold strictly to the standards would not necessarily be covered. That's what they'll sue over after people think this means they can completely recreate .NET.

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A Google monopoly today means packet snooping tomorrow

Christopher E. Stith
FAIL

onyl reliable revenue stream?

I suppose Newegg, Thinkgeek, Amazon, Powell's, eBay, and a few tens of thousands of other businesses don't rely on their income.

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Google recaptures $761 from Facebook nemesis

Christopher E. Stith

Selective enforcement of contract terms or license terms is the norm.

Selective enforcement of contract terms or license terms is the norm. It's even a negotiation tactic in some instances. Microsoft doesn't sue everyone who installs their licensed copies of Windows plus one. A parts vendor doesn't send a good repeat customer to collections for paying late once or twice out of a hundred invoices. A sports star can start at the league minimum on a multi-year contract and suddenly after a breakout season have that contract voided and have a higher-paying contract signed. None of these scenarios mean that if you violate the terms of your agreement that action can't be taken against you. Contracts are not statutes, and nothing guarantees you equal treatment in line with what the next guy gets.

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Boffins: Ordinary lightbulbs can be made efficient, cheaply

Christopher E. Stith

get the low-voltage LED fixtures

The LED replacements for your current incandescent sockets are having to adjust the voltage at each socket. It's those electronics that are failing, because the manufacturers are trying to make the bulbs inexpensive despite their relative complexity. If you want to use LEDs, get a room-sized low-voltage kit and use multiple individual LED elements that are just wires, an LED, and a reflector. You'll be much happier with the reliability that way.

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Safe signals in Perl

Christopher E. Stith

Perl 5.8.0 was released July 18th, 2002

So at least it took a while for this signal handling to seriously bite someone knowledgeable about Perl. The previous signals were a nuisance, but still useful. This newer method is an improvement in almost every case. It is probably close to the best one can ask of an opcode-compiled language on a VM. Signal, by their nature, can be problematic even at the level of C, although their usefulness often outweighs any trouble they may cause in edge cases.

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'Air fuelled' battery tech invented in Scotland

Christopher E. Stith
Flame

A diesel sub will take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide

As did the hand-cranked subs of the US civil war, what with the human power and all. I can't see how taking up oxygen and then releasing it again would be so much an engineering challenge as taking up oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide, which is apparently already solved since diesel subs already exist.

As for flammability and explosiveness, flung any burning cigarettes into your local petrol station's pumping area lately? Yes, releasing oxygen while charging could be hazardous, but we perform tasks in hazardous scenarios all the time. Some care has to be taken to avoid releasing power with disastrous quickness no matter what your dense power source. Getting the power density of the batteries higher is exactly the point, so some care will be needed.

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US journo school mandates iPhone, iPod touch

Christopher E. Stith

$300? Who cares? You'll spend more on books the first semester.

They require this, amortized over 4 or 5 years of study. The student owns it, and can use it for other things. The Federal Student Aid program can help buy it. A typical selection of textbooks for a freshman at a state university will run three to six hundred dollars per semester. The students will likely spend more on parking tickets on campus over a four to five year degree program than the price of an iPod Touch.

Big surprise for you: when I was in the university band where I went, I was required to either rent an instrument from the school or provide my own. I played the tuba, so that's a $4k investment for a single class (I wasn't a music major) if I chose to buy a new one. I rented, but I might pick up a used one some day because it's a fun and interesting instrument to play.

Nursing students provide scrubs for their clinical time. Musicians provide instruments. It was possible years ago to be a CS or MIS student and not own your own computer, but now all students at many school must have one. Often a laptop is required over a desktop. I really don't think that an iPod Touch or iPhone is that onerous a requirement for a journalism student when journalists in the field don't use pay phones and pads of paper these days. Equip yourself with the tools of the trade, or pick another trade.

0
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Apple says sorry for Mac Perl breakage

Christopher E. Stith

Don't use two package managers to manage the same package.

CPAN is a wonderful resource. CPAN.pm and CPANPLUS are great interfaces to it. They download set up not just the code but the tests for the code, the build mechanism, and an automated way to run the tests. They keep track of which modules you have installed and manage dependencies. That makes the CPAN interface modules a package management system.

Apple's system updater is another package manager completely independent of CPAN. It will update anything on your OS X system without concern for what other mechanisms you're using for updates.

The problems arise from using both of these on the system's perl installation ('perl' being the tool for the language 'Perl' -- people can get picky about the capitalization of the two). There are ways to have the CPAN package management modules install to places other than where your system-wide modules are. It's even possible (and not difficult) to keep a completely separate installation of perl that's updated separately from the system's perl.

Many people in the Perl programmer community recommend having a separate perl installation which can be updated without regard to the system's installation. This allows one to go through a system update without breaking your production environment. It also allows you to update your production environment without breaking parts of the OS distro that may depend on certain versions of perl with certain features or certain versions of certain modules . I've never checked how much in OS X depends on the language, and I'd guess it's not much if at all. Mandriva and some other Linux distros OTOH use a great deal of Perl in their distro-specific tools.

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Microsoft claims Firefox- and Chrome-whopping IE8 speeds

Christopher E. Stith
Thumb Down

1: test a beta vs. already superseded released software 2: profit!

Where's Firefox 3.1 beta? Where's Safari 4 beta? Where's Opera? Where's Chrome 1.0.1? This smacks of desperation. Shame on El Reg for putting forth such unabashed PR puff pieces for Microsoft.

0
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Boffins build 'slow glass' light-trapping nanodoughnut

Christopher E. Stith

why abuse "unfeasibly"?

If it's common for these things to be made quite by accident, how is it they are unfeasible? It sounds as if they are more feasible than the product from which they are an erroneous castoff.

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Developers more 'satisfied' with PHP than other codes

Christopher E. Stith
Thumb Down

There is celarly some misunderstanding.

Perl doesn't have one of the three best communities? I guess http://perlmonks.org, http://use.perl.org, http://cpan.org, http://search.cpan.org, comp.lang.perl.misc, comp.lang.perl.moderated, comp.lang.perl.modules, #perl on freenode, http://www.pm.org and the global PerlMongers user groups that site represents, the annual Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPC) in North America and in Europe, the annual Perl Geek Cruise, http://www.perlbuzz.com, and O'Reilly's Perl.com have all been outdone?

Let me know when Ruby runs on more platforms than Perl, please.

PowerShell and Ruby offer better client-side scripting than Flex and ActionScript? Do these people know what "client-side" means? What clients are we talking about? The Windows OS? A browser? A Unixish OS (please show me PowerShell there!)? ActionScript is in every Flash client out there. Flex can target every Flash client. HaXe can target JavaScript, the neko VM, or Flash, but wasn't even included.

Anyone who ranks PHP so high for maintainability has never had to upgrade the runtime system for it and had to rewrite a good portion of their code. Those of us who have know better. A single namespace for everything doesn't exactly aid maintainability, either.

PHP is near the top for security? Really? Over JavaScript, Python, and Perl? If you search just for vulnerability reports on SecurityFocus you get 428 pages of reports for "PHP", containing 6,414 reports. "Perl" returns 40 pages with 595 reports. "Python" returns 5 pages with just 71 results. "JavaScript" (which has many disparate implementations included) returns 29 pages including 423 results. "Ruby" is 3 pages for 32 results, and "Flash" gets 7 pages for 101 results ("ActionScript" by itself gets just one page with 6 results). "F#" did worse than several others, too: 20 pages for 299 results. "VBScript" got 3 pages for 31 results. "PowerShell" oddly enough has had 0 vulnerability reports. "Flex" gets just 3 vulns. Keep in mind, too, that Perl and Python are over 20 years old, and have had most of those vulnerabilities fixed for a very long time.

Now, some of these reports will of course be spurious, but they show a trend. The PHP vulnerabilities reported on SF are 6,414 as stated before. The sum of all the others is 1,561. So for security, we're supposed to choose a language with more than four times the vulnerability reports of all the other languages in the survey combined? Clearly the tools offered for the PHP language are themselves buggy and also do not very well support writing secure code (as some of the reports are with applications implemented with the language).

It appears people were not selected for the survey very carefully. They are giving impressions of languages that are just incorrect. The languages included miss completely on Unix shell languages (such as bash, ksh, zsh, csh), Tcl, C#, HaXe (okay, so that doesn't have a very big following yet), Lua, all the Lisp variants used for scripting (eLisp, InterLisp, NewLisp, guile,...), and probably more.

Perhaps the survey is an accurate representation of someone's views somewhere, but that sampling of people seems isolated from the real world.

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US cops called to McDonalds menu cock-up

Christopher E. Stith

@Hud Dunlap

The phone number for the "vehicle crimes squad" (which is different from the "auto theft unit") in Dallas, TX is 214-670-5817. Look here for more DPD phone numbers: http://www.dallaspolice.net/index.cfm?page_ID=2317&subnav=51 There, you didn't even have to pay for phone information.

Dallas PD's web site does advise all crime reports to come through 911 in a place or two. They'd probably still be upset if you called three times about some chicken bits. That's abusing the system even if they do accept non-emergency calls at that number, and she wasn't reporting anything the second and third calls. She was just whining about not having an officer on scene yet.

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Christopher E. Stith
Alert

911 is an EMERGENCY number, not a general police number

In the US, 911 is a number for emergency services (police, fire, ambulance, wilderness rescue, etc) in case of an actual emergency. Being shorted $4 is not a life or death matter. She should have called a non-emergency number for her local police department. She wasn't arrested for contacting the police. She was arrested for misusing the emergency contact system for a non-emergency situation. There is a great deal of difference between settling a theft or fraud dispute and someone's life being in imminent danger.

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Brits 'a bunch of yellow bastards', says irate Yank

Christopher E. Stith

Brits aren't yellow. The guy must've confused the UK with France.

There ya go. Now the US has offended two countries. Still a bit slower than when Bush was in office. We'll need to ramp this up to have a shot at the record.

Seriously, though, have fun with your non-assault rifles over there in Blighty just as I do with my non-assault rifles over here. Some of us in the US love our British friends. I'm pretty glad my ancestors broke away, but that doesn't mean we can't be civilized to one another in present times.

By the way, Royal Marines and the rest of the MoD are some of the world's finest and bravest fighting forces. Anyone who says any different is a clueless dolt. Oh, and the whole thing all the way back in WWII? Britain was under constant bombardment and didn't surrender. The US did play a big role, but to say the Brits didn't fight that war bravely and honorably is just ignorant.

Long live the US, the UK, and our friendship.

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Russian rides Phantom to OS immortality

Christopher E. Stith

IBM beat him to it by a few decades

This idea is neither new nor universally helpful. For some things a flat persistent storage scheme is a big help. For others it's a big hindrance. For this guy, it's just ignorant self gratification in his thinking that he's the first.

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US woman says Ubuntu can't access internet

Christopher E. Stith
Unhappy

OS is part of the specs

Don't say she checked the specs and bought it with Ubuntu instead of Windows. The OS is the most important spec a prebuilt, preloaded computer has. Dell makes it very clear that Ubuntu is not Windows and that most people want Windows. Then, when she calls to say she wants Windows, she lets some PFY convince her she wants Ubuntu even though she can't use it.

I don't think she's stupid because she can't use Ubuntu. Lots of people who haven't been exposed to it experience a learning curve. I think she's stupid because she went out of her way -- twice -- to be the owner of something she doesn't know how to use and then blames it on everyone else.

My biggest complaint with the situation isn't the woman who bought the computer at all. It's the reporter and news editor at the TV station not at all researching the woman's issue. Sure, they could help her get Windows if she's more comfortable with it. They could help her get accustomed with Ubuntu. What they shouldn't do is call Dell on the carpet for shady business practices and question the quality of Ubuntu when they know nothing about the topic. They might want to talk to Dell about the poor customer service of that one PFY, but it was the customer's decision to accept his reasoning.

Oh, she can't use what she bought? Help her return it. Maybe buy her a Windows license and find someone to install it for her for public goodwill. Don't attack what you don't understand. For investigative journalism, they didn't do very damn much investigation of the situation. Now, I have a consumer complaint about the poor quality of reporting at WKOW TV in Wisconsin...

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Christopher E. Stith
Linux

Woman and TV station both obviously quite clueless - film at 11

I even tried to contact them, but they insist on having a "home phone number" and a "wireless email address". I haven't had a home phone in years, and having been an Internet professional for more than a decade I can't see how a "wireless email address" is any different from an "email address". If I want to access any of my email on a wireless device, I just do so.

If someone's going to order a computer with Ubuntu installed, I don't see why they should expect it to come with anything other than Ubuntu. Love the penguin. Don't shill for Microsoft in the media.

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Latest Firefox beta gets touchy on Mac

Christopher E. Stith

older one and two-finger gestures

page up: page up

page down: page down

top of page: home

end of page: end

back in history: alt, left arrow

forward in history: alt, right arrow

place cursor in location bar: control, l

zoom in: control, +

zoom out: control, -

move cursor to search box: control, k

find text: control, f

cycle tabs forward: control, tab

refresh: F5 (or control, r)

refresh, ignoring cache: control, F5

Keyboards do input, too. Who knew?

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US couple sue over McNudes

Christopher E. Stith

Some of you must be terribly forgetful

I've seen several comments assuming the owner's full name and address or his wife' address would be saved on his phone. Why in the world would that be? Do you think the guy doesn't know without looking at his phone where he and his wife live? I have never put my own address into my own address book. I just always figured finding my way home was something I should be able to do from memory.

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Yee-hah! Ford demos electric pick-up truck

Christopher E. Stith
Go

Yes, at full power a 400bhp vehicle does go fast

I'm not sure why some of you folk think the full power of a vehicle has to be used for a quick jaunt to the corner store. Highway speeds in a car use about 5 to 75 horsepower depending on the weight of the vehicle and the incline of the road. The ability to get to that speed in a reasonable time with some cargo is why vehicles use more. Don't expect to get the rated range and efficiency of any vehicle if you put it on a drag strip and race it flat-out all the time.

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Intel apologises for 'inappropriate' iPhone critique

Christopher E. Stith
Happy

Intel is off wandering in the woods here.

A handful of netbooks already are built around ARM processors. At least one is a MIPS. There's a stripped-down desktop running a FreeScale PPC (CherryPal).

Macromedia versions of Flash (authoring and playback) run just fine on PPC Apple machines. I don't see why Adobe wouldn't be able to maintain that type of performance. Flash Player 10 is available for OS X on PowerPC. Flash Viewer for Flash MX 2004 ran on Solaris on x86 and Sparc (and maybe newer versions, but I haven't checked). Linux is now a day-one platform for the Flash player. So what we have here is an application that runs on a number of operating systems and at least three chip families... but wait.

Adobe has Flash Player for Microsoft Pocket PC/Windows Mobile. Many Windows Mobile devices run Freescale MX series processors, which are ARM. The Intel XScale line which has been used for many of them (now sold to Marvell) used ARM coprocessors for lots of important functions and was based in part on ARM itself. Lots of portables have used FreeScale DragonBall processors, which are portable versions of the Motorola 68000 series. I'm not sure Flash ever supporte the 68k, but Flash versions as recent as Flash MX and MX 2004 support 600MHz G3 and G4 processors.

QuallComm and Adobe have put Flash Lite Player on BREW. The phones supported include the Motorola Razr line (all ARM based) as old as the v3c. I don't know the speed or core version on the v3c, but the v3m I've seen reported as a 100-mhz ARM9. Flash Lite 3 runs on the Nokia n95 which is built around an OMAP2420 (ARM11-based) processor at 332 Mhz (two of them, actually).

I very seriously doubt any lack of Flash on ARM-based processors caused Apple any headaches. There is Flash on ARM, after all.

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