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Comment: Re:Best Wishes ! (Score 2) 305

by MasaMuneCyrus (#47522431) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

I'd love to see a single UI that works across 4" phones and 7" tablets with gorilla glass, and 13" laptops and 10" convertibles with membrane keyboards, and 24" desktops with 101-keyboards, and 60" XBox Ones with controllers but I'm not holding my breath.

There are many benefits of a unified OS. If Xbox, Windows desktop, and Windows tablet all run under a single, unified OS, security updates can be pushed to all simultaneously, you can significantly reduce the amount of labor required to support all three, and developing cross-platform becomes much easier.

Buy why, oh why, do we need a unified OS? Desktop, Phone, Tablet, and TV all require different UI's. With Linux, we have essentially, a unified OS with different window/desktop managers and systems running on top. Why can't Windows be the same? You start your phone, Xbox, desktop, or whatever else, and the Windows kernel loads, and then it launches explorer.exe, xbox.exe, mobile.exe, or what have you, after that. It seems to me that it would be a lot easier to deal with a unified Windows like that. Such an approach would be future-proofing the OS, too, because when we inevitably get a new user environment in the future that Microsoft may want to expand to (e.g., automobiles), Microsoft can keep the core OS but just add a new window manager tailored for the specific environment. With our current approach, if Microsoft wanted to expand into automobiles, they'd have design a single, unified OS that works well enough for phone, tablet, car, tv, desktop, and laptop. Ridiculous!

Comment: Re:umm duh? (Score 4, Interesting) 148

by TheRaven64 (#47521437) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy
There are techniques that allow searching within encrypted files, but they rely on the client creating the index. You can then search the index for an encrypted search term and, if you know the keys, interpret the answer. Getting this right is quite tricky (there are several research papers about it), so he's right, but it's not impossible.

The main reason that I suspect DropBox discourages encryption is that they rely a lot on deduplication to reduce their costs. If everyone encrypted their files, then even two identical files would have different representations server-side if owned by different users, so their costs would go up a lot.

Comment: Re: Code the way you want... (Score 1) 353

by TheRaven64 (#47521383) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
Yes, almost certainly. The market for compiler engineers is very much a sellers' market at the moment. Universities neglected it for so long that most people graduate from undergraduate degrees with basically no knowledge of how a compiler works (if they're lucky, the know how compilers worked in the '80s), so there are 10 jobs for every person.

Comment: Re:"Just let me build a bridge!" (Score 1) 353

by TheRaven64 (#47521177) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
In The Humane Interface, written in 2000, Jef Raskin made the same complaint. The time between turning a computer on and having written a program to add two numbers together on, say, a C64 or a BBC Model B, was about 30 seconds. On a modern computer of the time, you wouldn't even have finished booting - starting the IDE would take even longer. The problem is, this misses the point. There are lots of scripting languages with REPL environments, including a POSIX shell and PowerShell on Windows, that can do this as a single command once the computer is running (on OS X, you can add numbers in Spotlight, so it's even quicker - just hit command-space and type the sum). If you want to write a more complex application, it's vastly easier today. Extend that simple calculator to show an editable history and show equations, and you'll find it a bit easier today. Now extend it to be able to print - if you've ever written applications to print in the era before operating systems provided a printer abstraction then you'll know how painful that was.

Comment: Re:Analogies are poor... (Score 1) 353

by TheRaven64 (#47521159) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
I don't understand why you think 'yum install gcc' is somehow different from 'download and run the installer for the VS command-line tools'. Especially on a modern Linux distro, where libraries come with -devel variants to save you the 10KB taken up by the headers in the normal install, so you end up having to install a load of headers as well to get the system useable.

Comment: Re: Code the way you want... (Score 1) 353

by TheRaven64 (#47521141) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'
I was a consultant for a few years and didn't find that it did. Most of my customers found me, as a result of my open source work (usually to work on the same projects, sometimes to work on projects in similar fields). Contract negotiation didn't take very long (they list some requirements, you mutually agree on a date, you pick a number, if they haggle then you politely decline).

Comment: Re: Not about leaks (Score 1) 275

That's great for you, but what would you do if you were a disabled and mentally retarded orphan? How would your personal retirement savings look then? Now, consider that the difference between somebody who can't walk without a walker and somebody who can win an olympic dash is entirely a matter of degree, with there being examples of individuals at every point in-between. Then consider that between somebody who can't figure out how to tie their shoes and a Nobel-prizewinner you can find somebody demonstrating some level of intelligence in-between. Then consider that between an orphan and the Gates family you can find examples of kids that start out with just about any level of parental support in-between.

We need to come up with a national approach to retirement/etc benefits that works for everybody - not just those who are both good at earning money AND good at investing it.

With steady advances in technology and increased specialization in the workforce we just keep raising the bar for the kinds of skills and talents somebody needs to have to earn their own way. Eventually, not even you would have been able to hold down a job.

Comment: Re:Documentation (Score 1) 353

by Rich0 (#47520051) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

Tutorials are also wanting. Android Studio has an online tutorial, but it doesn't match the current version of the application. They even made /. a little while ago about having an online course (free to women) on Android Studio, but it ALSO doesn't match the current version of the application.

I get that they're changing it frequently, but that just means that they have to update the documentation. I'm not talking about anything extensive either - we're talking about a Hello World tutorial. What does somebody who understands Android but wants to learn the new IDE need help with? That would be the exact functions they keep tweaking but leaving out of the tutorials.

Comment: Re:Hope and Change (Score 1) 230

by Archtech (#47518515) Attached to: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

"This led to a situation where the only way the parties could get more voters was to compete for those ideologically between them leading to a race to the middle".

I think it's more that most active voters have come to believe that no candidate or party can be credible or viable unless it spends billions on PR.

Comment: Re:Terrorist is an impossible label (Score 2) 230

by Archtech (#47518491) Attached to: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

"You can't be a terrorist unless you've actually done something terrorizing, so what the authorities have to do is predict, based on association, what you're going to do".

Which is merely an extension to US citizens of US government policy for at least the past 20 years: the One Percent Doctrine. As enunciated by Dick Cheney, it ran as follows: "If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response".

In other words, it's better to kill lots of foreigners and destroy their country (with a 99% chance of doing so for no good reason) than to take a 1% chance that Americans might be hurt or incur loss.

Mind you, the logic becomes a bit less convincing if you replace "foreigners" with "Americans".

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 61

by Rei (#47516505) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

That's not what everything I've read about the disaster has said. The mountain has gone through cycles - whenever it collapses, the river gets moved away, and the slides stop for a time, but eventually it wears away the footings enough that it falls again. They'd even tried to prevent landslides there by manually shoring up the base back in the 1960s, but it just flowed over their reinforcements.

The waterlogging of the soil is also a necessary factor too, mind you - not saying otherwise. :)

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 61

by Rei (#47516433) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

I had paperbark birch seeds, which are also pretty water tolerant (though not as much as river birch), but none sprouted - ironically I think the seeds were too wet when I stratified them (same with my maples). Isn't river birch (B. nigra) a warm-weather birch species? I've got some cuttings of random local birches from a neighbor but I have no clue whether any of them are water tolerant enough to take swampy ground. Also birches don't usually get that tall so I don't know how expansive of a root system they'll put down. The abundant local species B. nana (dwarf birch) grows (nay, volunteers) readily here almost anywhere that sheep don't graze, but it's just a shrub, I doubt it'd do the trick (though it's probably better than just grass). It can take wet soil, although not totally swampy conditions.

For the wetter areas I also have about a dozen or so western redcedar seedlings - they're not as swamp-tolerant as dawn redwood and western recedar, but they're still reportedly quite tolerant of wet or even waterlogged soils, and they should be more cold/wind hardy than those two (wind is actually the big issue, it doesn't really get that cold here). I've also got a number of other pacific northwest trees with varying degrees of standing water tolerance. Oh, and a species or two of tasmanian mountain eucalyptus (don't remember which ones) that tolerate fairly swampy ground and should at least stand a fighting chance against our winds.

Basically, I'm just going to plant a ton of stuff and see what survives. ;)

One plus is that where the ground is persistently wet and at landslide risk, it is slowly flowing water, it's not standing. It's constantly replaced by fresh, cold ground-filtered water, so there's probably not as much risk of root rot as might be common otherwise. But there's still the oxygen issue. That and the damned sheep, but I'm working to fix that issue once and for all...

"People should have access to the data which you have about them. There should be a process for them to challenge any inaccuracies." -- Arthur Miller