* Posts by John D. Blair

23 posts • joined 2 Apr 2008

Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule

John D. Blair

we celebrate Yuri's night in the US, at NASA

We actually do celebrate Yuri's Night here in the U. S. of A. I attended what can only be properly described as a nerd rave in a tent at Moffett Field, home of NASA Ame's Research Center. DJs, flashing lights, scientific and artsy displays, re-purposed Burning Man projects, and I suspect a few mind altering substances - all the hallmarks of a Bay Area party :)

Linus Torvalds won't apply 'sh*t-for-brains stupid patch'

John D. Blair

Re: He's right. Again.

1000 times yes.

When Linux was young it was great to know that a stable ABI would not be maintained at the expense of a broken design just for the sake of compatibility. Now that Linux is 25 years old its well past the time it should have provided a stable driver interface. The notion that VMWare has to rebuild its drivers from source whenever I update the kernel is an abomination.

SEC chair blasts Silicon Valley for its hokey valuations

John D. Blair

April Fools?

I hope this is true, but I'm suspicious of anything published on April 1.

Microsoft did Nazi that coming: Teen girl chatbot turns into Hitler-loving sex troll in hours

John D. Blair

clippy? is that you?

I've seen MS AI before...

Splashdown! Orion lands safely in the Pacific Ocean

John D. Blair

Re: Precisely how

For a long mission (e.g., mars) the capsule is mated with a habitation module.

See here for some concept studies:


LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

John D. Blair

Because then we're probably not alone

Because if it didn't start here, but "out there, somewhere" then there's a high probability life, as we know it, exists on any planet with a similar climate.

If it only started here then the rare conditions that led to life have to happen in more than one place for life to exist in more than one place. If life spreads around the universe it only has to happen once in the lifetime of the universe.

Sun of a beach! Java biz founder loses battle to keep his shore private

John D. Blair

Re: Public highway

That *is* how it works in California. You can't own public waterways and beaches, and you can't prevent people from using them. In this case it was the only land access to this public property that was in dispute.

Orbital Sciences' Cygnus resupply truck blasts off to the Space Station

John D. Blair

Re: Launch scheduled to take place at 1307 EST?

You, sir, win the internets this morning.

Study: Arctic warming at 'stunning' rate – highest temps in 44,000 years

John D. Blair

Do Rik and Lewis have fistfights in the hall at The Reg?

I think we should resolve any arguments about the data with a cage match.

Microsoft watches iPads flood into world's offices: Right, remote desktop clients. It's time

John D. Blair
Thumb Down

Re: tried using exchange on my Nexus 7

Look, asshole AC, I did read all the requirements, and I acknowledged in my post that "I get why that was a security requirement to allowing my device access to the email."

Accessing my corporate email required me to allow my email app access to administrator privs on my table, and the very first one on the list is "Erase all data: Erase the tablet's data without warning by performing a factory data reset."

That's pretty clear to me. Factory. Data. Reset.

You're right its only the email app that gets the right, but that right is pretty sweeping.

John D. Blair

tried using exchange on my Nexus 7

I know this isn't exactly the same thing, but I want to relate this story.

I tried setting up the Exchange connector for the email app on my Nexus 7. I entered the appropriate hostname and my credentials and it looked like things were going to work. Then it popped up a notice that said to proceed I had to agree to allow the IT department of my company the ability to remote-wipe my own device. I get why that was a security requirement to allowing my device access to the email, but it was a deal-breaker. I don't trust my IT department not to accidentally wipe my own device. I went back to using the clunky HTTP interface that works badly on a normal PC.

Android adware that MUST NOT BE NAMED threatens MILLIONS

John D. Blair

I hope they release the name of the library and/or the affected apps soon...

I would like to know if I've installed any of them so I can remove them from my phone ASAP.

Gmail, Outlook.com and e-voting 'pwned' on stage in crypto-dodge hack

John D. Blair

ARP spoofing means you don't need to install/compromise a router

The article fails to mention that you don't actually need to install special man-in-the-middle hardware such as a rogue wifi AP or ethernet router. You can use ARP spoofing to perform man-in-the-middle attacks as long as you have access to the same subnet as the target.


NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

John D. Blair

Re: Vaporware

I think it has to achieve better-than-break-even performance or you could use an electric ion drive powered from the solar panels. However, perhaps I'm missing something about propellant mass savings due to the high-energy exhaust from the fusion drive (since f = m * a, more acceleration would require less mass).

Even if it has to achieve break-even, harvesting the energy would be significantly easier than terrestrial power generation: just aim it out the back. No need to absorb the heat w/o destroying the containment vessel, generate steam, etc.

Google's JavaScript assassin: Web languages are harder than VMs

John D. Blair
Paris Hilton

Re: ...eyeroll...

I have to quibble with this.

Side-effects refer to effects a method or function has other than its return value. A common best practice is to eliminate all side effects b/c it makes the code a lot easier to test.

Of course, at some point your code has to have side effects - it has to draw on the screen, or send packets, or whatever the point of the program is. However, the core of the program can still operate "without side effects."

Facebook's sexy pick 'n' mix OCP model is great... for Facebook

John D. Blair

it will help anybody who uses "the cloud"

You overlook the growing number of IT shops who move applications into servers hosted by Rackspace, Amazon, etc. I don't want to bother with buying computing hardware from suppliers and plugging them in either - I lease computing services as needed. Because OCP will help Amazon build better datacenters it helps me and more and more other people every day.

Of course we still need some hardware, for running back-office applications, but I'm confident we'll still be able to buy cheap hardware for mail servers, Quickbooks, etc.

I realize my view is skewed towards small companies or small engineering organizations in larger companies, and there's a whole world out there of purpose-built datacenters and there's a whole other world out there, but you can't just ignore AWS-style hosted compute services in your OCP analysis.

Quantum computer boffin 'had to sit down' on getting Nobel Prize call

John D. Blair

Re: Author wont be winning a nobel prize for grammar


Apple seeks whopping $2.525bn Samsung patent payout

John D. Blair

The original prop "pad" from 2001 was a CRT monitor mounted flush inside the surface of the set so it looked like a flat tablet computer.

Viviane Reding says imitate US and form FEDERAL EUROPE

John D. Blair

Re: Nights_are_Long

Finland and Austria seem to be doing all right as well. I'm still with your sentiment that the UK should stay the hell out.

Facebook's Eduardo Saverin: I'm not a tax-dodger

John D. Blair

what goes around comes around

People have long come to the US from higher tax regions (i.e., Canada, Nordic countries) to pay lower taxes on their earnings. I think huffing and puffing about somebody leaving the US for the same reasons is a bit naff.

Schwartz puts comforting arm around stricken Sun

John D. Blair

sun can look good on your resume

I have found that sun can look good on your resume, but I left a little over 2 years ago.

I'm a little sad to see sun go, but its been equally sad to watch its slow motion death spiral.

--Employee #138699.

The best (of the worst) patent claims of 2009

John D. Blair

the gloves are already a product

I learned about these from a friend who got some for christmas:


I wonder if they've licensed it from Apple, or if they will soon be receiving a letter from Apple's lawyers?

Is Google Gears safe?

John D. Blair

this is the same security model as Java

This is the same security model for Java, if it wants to save a file in your sandbox, or save an application preference. The former prompts the user for permission... I don't remember specifically if saving application prefs requires user approval.

This is not to say this was a necessarily good, or easy to understand policy when it was introduced in Java. However, I'm sure Google's developers (correctly) figure as long as they do no worse they're meeting the status quo expectation.

Web applications will be storing data on user's machines, whether in a sandbox, gears, or some magic lockbox of the future. The faster the developers can all agree on the same method the better, so we can focus effort (and education) on this single point.

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