Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 230 230

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See blog.algoram.com for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:here's a prototype without the camo paint (Score 1) 247 247

I rented a gasoline powered Chevy Spark a year ago. It's one of the worst cars I've ever driven. The seats felt damned uncomfortable (even though there was plenty of room for me), the dashboard was a clusterfuck to put it mildly and I knew when I was going 65 on the freeway because I knew damned sure I didn't want to go any faster in the thing. It just felt unstable. It was worse than the car I had in college, and it was an under-powered piece of crap from the early 1980s. I hear the Spark EV is a lot better. Then again my last three cars were a '91 Ford Probe, '06 Toyota Prius, and currently a Tesla model S. The only car that I've driven that was worse was the one I learned to drive on, a 1970 Toyota Corona with shitty brakes that barely worked.

Comment: Re:Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 1) 64 64

Most of us do have a need to transmit messages privately. Do you not make any online purchases?

Yes, but those have to use public-key encryption. I am sure of my one-time-pad encryption because it's just exclusive-OR with the data, and I am sure that my diode noise is really random and there is no way for anyone else to predict or duplicate it. I can not extend the same degree of surety to public-key encryption. The software is complex, the math is hard to understand, and it all depends on the assumption that some algorithms are difficult to reverse - which might not be true.

Comment: Re:Bad RNG will make your crypto predictable (Score 2) 64 64

The problem with FM static is that you could start receiving a station, and if you don't happen to realize you are now getting low-entropy data, that's a problem.

There are many well-characterized forms of electronic noise: thermal noise, shot noise, avalanche noise, flicker noise, all of these are easy to produce with parts that cost a few dollars.

Comment: Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 2, Interesting) 64 64

True randomness comes from quantum mechanical phenomena. Linux /dev/random is chaotic, yes, enough to seed a software "R"NG. But we can do better and devices to do so are cheap these days.

I wouldn't trust anything but diode noise for randomness. If I had a need to transmit messages privately, I'd only trust a one-time pad.

Comment: On the other hand... (Score 1) 289 289

it would be very nice if Windows stopped insisting that its driver for "Unknown Device" is up to date, at newest version and doesn't need to be replaced by another driver supplied by the manufacturer. Once new hardware in Windows is recognized as "Unknown Device" it's about impossible to convince Windows to change it to something more reasonable. Remove the hardware, wipe all traces of its past existence from system, install the correct drivers and only then install the hardware.

Seriously, Microsoft, the first this issue appeared was Windows 95. And it still persists!

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 937 937

Communism has been tried on a large scale - see Mao's Great Leap Forward.

Nope. That was a totalitarian socialist program pushing a collectivism that didn't work. Communism is a post-scarcity society and obviously scarcity was the thing Mao produced best.

Comment: Re:What's the score now? (Score 1) 77 77

I didn't actually work on GPUs very much at Pixar, the image computer I worked on was the grandfather of the SIMD image processing instructions on modern CPUs. What would become a GPU later on was a very expensive box from Silicon Graphics, I had one that cost at least a quarter Million dollars.

Comment: Re:What's the score now? (Score 5, Interesting) 77 77

If they actually told us how to program their microengines, something good might come of it. But they'll probably just BSD-license a list of numbers, as others have.

I liked writing bit-slice microcode at Pixar. I really could get every last bit of power out of the hardware.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 4, Insightful) 937 937

Maybe you should learn what communism is before calling anyone "commiefriend". (Which I have to say, is really repulsive. It's sort of like picking your nose over the internet.) I think you are discussing the difference between lasiez-faire ecomomics and regulated markets. Communism is a very great difference in scale from that. And it's never been tried on a national scale just as "free market" has never been tried because there are always economic biases that make it impossible. What there has been so far is socialism.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 937 937

I think you're missing the fundamental economic issue that drives all of this. It's the provision of essentially infinite amounts of credit. This is done by government, not banks. Essentially all home loans come from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, banks and finance companies are really just front-ends for them and sell their loans to the government once financed.

Given infinite credit, any scarce but necessary resource is going to be bid to absurd values.

It is by no means being a hippie to assert that government should not distort the market for credit, and to expect that urban and suburban land values would return to more realistic rates once the distortion was removed. Too bad that lots of people have already invested in unrealistic land values. They would have to lose.

Much of the excitement we get out of our work is that we don't really know what we are doing. -- E. Dijkstra

Working...