* Posts by RLWatkins

25 posts • joined 14 Feb 2013

T-Mobile US goes gaga for Wi-Fi calling, AT&T to launch in 2015

RLWatkins

Re: Unbelievable..

Hasn't T-Mobile had this for... what? Three, four years? I got a G1 when they first were offered, and T-Mobile already had WiFi calling then.

No, this is the second time Apple has adopted a mature technology, then convinced you that they pioneered it. Good advertising that, but not real honest.

(No, not the second time. The tenth? Fifteenth...?)

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Daring danger-drone dives into VOLCANIC eruption – what happens next has to be seen

RLWatkins

picked the wrong track

Didn't listen to the audio, but "Fistful of Silence" would have been a better soundtrack.

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

RLWatkins

Re: QNX is Blackberry by name only

Yes. I recall a QNX ad from fifteen years or so ago showing a computer in a power station.

"Uptime: Six years".

Reliable. I like reliable. Especially in critical systems in the piece of heavy machinery that moves me back and forth to work every day.

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Self-forming liquid metal just like a TERMINATOR emerges from China lab

RLWatkins

Old news

Wow! Take droplets of room-temperature liquid metal, mercury and gallium are old favorites, apply an electrical charge, and lo and behold, they're attracted to one another! And like any other liquid with a bit of surface tension, when they touch they merge!

Gee whiz!

People were doing stuff like this for science fairs 40-50 years ago when I was little.

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Amazon patents caches for physical goods

RLWatkins

OK, this is a "me too" post....

The notion that a retailer can patent the practice of housing inventory near where they expect people to buy it is prima facie absurd.

If that can be done, then I shall resume my effort, first mentioned on this site in 2006, to patent the graphical representation of verbal communications, and to patent the use of artifacts, i.e. the use of anything not simply found lying about on the ground.

This new Amazon patent-of-the-obvious gives me renewed hope.

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Anatomy of a 22-year-old X Window bug: Get root with newly uncovered flaw

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Kepler data yields Earth-mass 'gas giant'

RLWatkins

Gotta be a rock in there somewhere

At that low a mass it couldn't possibly have that high a density unless there's a pretty big rock in its core. Too low gravity to compress a mass of mostly gas that much, the way Jupiter does.

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Google's Dart on target to replace JavaScript? That'll be the day

RLWatkins

Java

We already have a high-performance, typed, difficult language that runs in Web viewers: Java. We already have a low-performance, untyped, easy language that runs in Web viewers: Javascript.

Dart is a solution in search of a problem.

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Native Americans were actually European - BEFORE the Europeans arrived!

RLWatkins

Why is this a surprise?

Europeans crossing the Atlantic were trying to colonize North America for five or six hundred years before Columbus got anywhere near here. Mostly Vikings, mostly got the pants beat off them by the Americans.

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Nvidia to Intel: 'Which HPC chip brain will win? Let the people decide'

RLWatkins

Xeon? You mean the silicon space-heater?

Nice thing about GPUs is that they can run rings around any Xeon with any conceivable improvement short of scrapping the chip's architecture and starting over... all without having to install an extra air conditioner.

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Winamp is still a thing? NOPE: It'll be silenced forever in December

RLWatkins

It was a good run

Sad. I use it on Win7 and on Android. Works well, stays the hell out of my way, doesn't need a lot of tinkering. And it beats the bundled players by miles.

Do I sound too non-technical? No. I've been programming for 40 years and know the value of a tool I can install and use without making a career out of tweaking it.

Typical of AOL to say, "Huge user base? Screw 'em."

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Britney-obsessed Ubuntu 13.10 DUMPS X Windows-killer Mir in desktop U-turn

RLWatkins

You just lost me.

Please. It's called "X", not "X Windows". It's a window service called "X". [sigh]

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Pivotal pivots with Xtreme Labs acquisition

RLWatkins

Quote Of the Day

I know what is taught to writers about using too many adjectives, but a few important ones were omitted from this story.

"'Today's acquisition further aligns with Pivotal's strategy to capitalize on the nexus of converging forces in the industry,' Pivotal wrote in a *moving but otherwise incomprehensible* statement."

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Microsoft defends Azure with two-factor auth security

RLWatkins

This is not two-factor authentication. Authentication factors include what you know, e.g. a password, what you have, e.g. a hardware token of some sort, or what you are, i.e. biometric factors.

This is two or three forms of one-factor authentication. Not the same thing.

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US House Republicans: 'End net neutrality or no debt ceiling deal' – report

RLWatkins

I'm tired of hearing about "who owns the infrastructure".

Capitalism works well because of competition. In the case of national infrastructure, that notion breaks down completely. Without regulation the owners of national infrastructure can, and always do, wind up blackmailing their customers.

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Psst.. Wanna Android all-in-one PC? We have the chip tech, says Intel

RLWatkins

VSD220

But, but... wait. Such systems *already* ship for between $300 and $400. ViewSonic has been shipping them for some time now. Why is this news? Because Intel spoke up about it? Meh.

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Python regurgitates Dropbox secrets to boffins

RLWatkins

Two factor authentication?

Drop Box's Web site doesn't require two-factor authentication. It requires a user ID and password: one factor.

For a quick refresher, authentication factors can be described very simply as:

1) What you know, e.g. a user ID and password, passphrase, secret question, etc.

2) What you have, e.g. an RSA key, smart card, or other piece of unique hardware.

3) What you are, usually determined biometrically.

Using two factors is great, but people who claim it because they want a user ID *and* password, or because they demand two challenge-response sessions, e.g. a user ID and password followed by a secret question, haven't bothered to learn much about authentication.

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'Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you're fired. Out!'

RLWatkins

I keep hearing about "Oracle's Java language", but as I recall Sun released it into the public domain before Oracle bought the company. So it ain't Larry's.

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That Retina display iPad mini delay scuttlebutt? Fuggedaboutit

RLWatkins

You forgot the quotation marks...

... in the headline. It's "retina display", not retina display.

Take note that in order for the pixels on the display to be as close together as the cones in the center of one's field of vision, which we're told is the meaning of "retina display", the device must be viewed from a distance of about four feet.

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Linux 3.11 to be known as 'Linux for Workgroups'

RLWatkins

Doh?

WFWG did run on 80286 chips, and it talked to others of its kind using NetBIOS, not TCP/IP.

Would that it had been 32-bit, that would have saved my clients money and me time farting around with 'memmaker'. Would that it had TCP/IP, as NetBIOS over ArcNet didn't scale up all that well.

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How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

RLWatkins

CUA

I hate to bring this up,but they didn't descend from Win95, they descended from CUA, part of a standard which predated Win95 by a decade or so.

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Missed the Hyper V Virtual machine migration training?

RLWatkins

Why?

I also missed the part about why we should migrate functioning VMs to Hyper V.

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Analysts brawl over 'death' of markup language

RLWatkins

Too many disjoint questions rolled into one. Try this:

Are markup languages dead? They're a way of adding metadata to text, and are often used to describe data structures in human-readable form. We'll be doing that for a long time.

Is XACML dead? No, the markup part simply describes a record of data used for authentication. The semantics are separate. It will evolve, the semantics will evolve. Standards do that, you know.

Is XACML going to be superseded by Oauth? That's a lot like asking whether crescent wrenches will render socket wrenches obsolete. They'll probably both change beyond recognition sooner or later.

Is it important? Insofar as it is a tool, yes. About like vice-grips are important.

As a humor piece this article is quite good, but otherwise worth a yawn.

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John Lennon's lesson for public-domain innovation

RLWatkins

"transaction costs"?

Interesting argument that open-source licenses "incur significant transaction costs" when in fact most such licenses state simply that if one uses the code one must (a) attribute it to its original authors and (b) make any improvements one makes to it open-source also. Such licenses cover far and away the majority of what's called "FOSS".

A little more thorough survey of the FOS codebase and a little more thorough reading of the licenses (There are several variants.) might have been advisable before publishing.

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Forget wireless power for phones - Korea's doing it for BUSES

RLWatkins

"Pantograph"

It is indeed a wonderful word, and refers to a device used to create a drawing by tracing another drawing.

It's used occasionally and *fancifully* for the gizmos on top of electric streetcars, because of the gizmo's slight resemblance to an actual pantograph.

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