Feeds

* Posts by TheOldBear

15 posts • joined 2 Jun 2010

Ford to dump Microsoft's 'aggravating' in-car tech for ... BlackBerry?

TheOldBear
Holmes

Maybe a QNX based system

will have a working clock.

Since I got my Focus, with version 2.11 of MFT, Ford has released three updates without providing a working clock [or addressing other outstanding defects]. Ford has removed useful features, and added an unwanted animated compass. [And the BSoD claims to be 'performing scheduled maintenance']

I think that this is mostly a project management problem. To put it mildly, Ford is not seeking input from users/customers about defects and misfeatrues. [no issue tracking system, pathetic online forums and support]

1
0

Star Trek: The original computer game

TheOldBear
Boffin

Still have the source code for this around [ASR-33 paper tape] from a vintage 1972 port to DEC TOPS-10. Printing out a full galaxy map took a while

And I recall a version of the game ported to the HP 67/97 calculators [on six program cards, plus a data card]

0
0

Dragon capsule makes fiery entrance, safe splashdown

TheOldBear
Holmes

Re: Your science is rubbish

" around 3,000 pounds – on earth, that is"

The pound is a unit of mass, not weight.

(I assume the article wasn't making some bizarre monetary valuation.)

Actually, in the old style engineering units popular when the Saturn V was flying, the pound is a unit of force, not mass. [Units of Force, TIme and Length are fundamental in the old engineering system]

The 'slug' is the unit of mass - and it is a derived quantity [the amount of mass that a force of one pound accelerates at one foot per second squared].

This is one reason the MKS [Meter - Kilogram - Second] units are more popular today, even with these new fangled calculators to help out.

1
0

Health pros: Alcohol is EVIL – raise its price, ban its ads

TheOldBear
WTF?

This all sounds quite familiar somehow. Wasn't this sort of thing tried before, and failed dismally?

39
7

Yet another Java zero-day vuln is being exploited

TheOldBear
WTF?

Attack vector includes a DLL and Registry updates - so this Java attack only impacts Windows [not cross platform]

2
0

Climate-change scepticism must be 'treated', says enviro-sociologist

TheOldBear
Holmes

Re: Science is not in the business of "proof"

<q>

If you're waiting for scientific proof, you'll wait forever. Science is about "disproof" (falsifiability) - if AGW is theorized (on the basis of available evidence, modelling etc.), then attempts must be made to disprove it - if it continues to resist all such challenges, it is a valid theory, but it can *never* be proved formally.

</q>

Actually the burden on proponents of a hypothesis [before it graduates to being a 'theory'] is to provide one or more testable predictions. These would be tests / predictions that would have a different outcome if the hypothesis was a better description of the world than the current, generally accepted theory.

The problem with the CAGW hypothesis is that it fails to accurately predict anything - even [as best as we can measure] the current global climate vs predictions made in the 1980's and 90's [e.g. the hockey stick graph and the underlying model's extrapolations].

What we have seen is all manner of weather events [measured as warmer, cooler, wetter, dryer, with tropical storms, absence of tropical storms....] claimed to be 'consistent with' CAGW scenarios.

4
0

MeeGo and the Great Betrayal Myths of tech history

TheOldBear
Big Brother

Countering the Ministry of Truth

Back in 1989 The _Microsoft_ OS/2 2.0 developer kit was $2600. That was the official dev kit for both the IBM and Microsoft developer community.

In 1990, just before the 'divorce' MS was still encouraging developers to target OS/2 2.x and showing previews of OS/2 NT [written in C instead of assembler was it's big feature]. WordPerfect was one of the companies caught in the trap, investing in a native OS/2 version.

In 1991, IBM's OS/2 developer kit was part of a $100 / year annual subscription - and several third party compilers were released.

In 1992 Microsoft's version of OS/2 still had the old program manager / file manager interface, looking just like Windows 2.1 or MS OS/2 1.2

Also in 1992, IBM released their OS/2 2.0 [on 26 floppies] featuring the document oriented 'Workplace Shell'

In 1993 Microsoft renamed the OS/2 3.0 project to Windows NT, and also stated it was a fashionable 'microkernal' based OS. The promise of multiple API personalities had Bill the Gates proclaim "NT is UNIX, in six months it will be the most popular UNIX'. Needless to say, NT was not and is not UNIX [even the fossil POSIX subset api layer has been deleted]

8
1

2011 Ford Focus

TheOldBear
Gates Horns

Sync Naming

In the US, when Ford introduced Sync, it was always called 'Microsoft Sync'.

For the past year, they've dropped the 'Microsoft' part of the name - apparently MS is not a name that increases car sales.

5
0

Google Linux servers hit with $5m patent infringement verdict

TheOldBear
WTF?

More prior art

A CP/M based [medical office] accounting system that I maintained in the early 80s did this with its transactions. This was actually the company's third generation design, the first two used custom microcomputers programmed in assembler/machine code [mid 1970's design]

1
0

Praying for meltdown: The media and the nukes

TheOldBear
Alert

some negative feedback

[quote]Technically true - nature has shown the advantage of the negative feedback loop. From stellar fusion, to homeostatis, negative feedback keeps things nicely in order. This reactor design relies on positive feedback with the feedback being actively tempered. It can run perfectly well for many years, but if something goes awry you've got problems.[/quote]

Actually, all water moderated reactors [Boiling water, pressurized, CANDU....] have a strong negative feedback component. If the working fluid [water] inside the reactor core boils neutrons are no longer slowed to where they can be captured efficiently, halting the fission chain reaction.

Graphite moderated reactors [e.g. Chernobyl] can continue fissioning after the coolant boils away - one of their many disadvantages.

8
0

Japanese earthquake sparks nuclear emergency

TheOldBear

Inherently Safe reactors

To a great extent, this is part of the basic design of water moderated reactors - if the moderator [water] has boiled away, the reaction _STOPS_.

What is left is the residual decay heat - not the fission chain reaction.

There has been extensive work on designs that are 'inherently safe' - capable of sealing with the residual decay heat without damage or intervention [human or mechanical]. The gas cooled 'pebble bed' reactors and the PIUS reactor concept [http://www.euronuclear.org/e-news/e-news-17/nps-kth.htm] are two examples.

2
0

Samsung EX1 compact camera

TheOldBear

Small Sensor advantage

Remember, it's easier to make a lens for a smaller sensor - my Panasonic FZ50 has an f2.8 [at the wide end] 12 to 1 zoom lens.

The equivalent lens for 35mm full frame would be huge [200mm filter size] and too heavy to hand hold.

0
0

iPad hits Asus Eee PC sales

TheOldBear
Linux

As an iPad owner

I am also looking at a netbook - but only if there is no 'windows tax' included in the price.

0
0

Microsoft's past - the future to Android's iPhone victory

TheOldBear
WTF?

Some actual history

Actually, Microsoft not IBM was the original source for the OS/2 2.0 development kit. IBM was working on OS/2 1.3.x and LAN Server

Back in 1989, the prices were $2600.00 for the OS/2 SDK, the Windows 2/286 SDK was only $200 or so [this was just before MS's developer subscriptions]. Most developers preferred the Borland tools to Microsoft compilers anyway.

While the core of the API [API names beginning with 'DOS'] was available, the UI [presentation manager] was unfinished - MS OS/2 2.x used the same UI as their OS/2 1.2.1 and Windows 2.x

For that matter, the Microsoft OS/2 3.0 NT project [later renamed to Windows NT 3.0] still used the same File Manager / Program Manager UI.

0
0

Ballmer, black turtlenecks, and Microsoft's next big idea

TheOldBear
Megaphone

UCSD p-System

The p-system [one of the original operating systems available for the IBM PC, along with CP/M-86 and PC-DOS] also used a virtual machine interpreter. The same binaries would run on Z80, 8086 and 68000 flavors of the virtual machine.

0
0