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Comment: The fix is to delete the font cache (Score 5, Informative) 179

by Anon E. Muss (#47675037) Attached to: Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

The way to fix this is to delete \Windows\System32\FNTCACHE.DAT. The file will automatically be regenerated on the next boot.

(Information found on Microsoft Support Forum and used to successfully fix my own system.)

How do you delete the file if you can't boot?

(1) Press F8 during boot to get to the Windows boot manager advanced options screen.
(2) Select "Repair".
(3) Provide password for a local account that's a member of the Administrator group.
(4) Select "Command Prompt".
(5) Find drive letter assigned to Windows partition (may not be C: in the repair environment!).
(6) Delete \Windows\System32\FNTCACHE.DAT.
(7) Exit command prompt and reboot system.
(8) Fixed!

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And now, since this is /., here is the required Windows bashing...

This bug demonstrates the danger of running your GUI in kernel mode (win32k.sys). One stray pointer can ruin your whole day. In this case the pointer was sufficiently invalid to cause a bugcheck. A stray pointer that silently scribbles on other kernel data structures is even worse.

"Those who would give up essential Safety, to purchase a little temporary Performance, deserve neither Performance nor Safety."

Comment: The Mill (Score 2) 125

I think NVidia tied their hands by retaining the ARM architecture. I suspect the result will be a "worst of both worlds" processor that doesn't use less power or provide better performance than competitors.

In order execution, exposed pipelines, and software scheduling are not new ideas. They sound great in theory, but never seem to work out in practice. These architectures are unbeatable for certain tasks (e.g. DSP), but success as general purpose processors has been elusive. History is littered with the corpses of dead architectures that attempted (and failed) to tame the beast.

Personally, I'm very excited about the Mill architecture. If anybody can tame the beast, it will be these guys.

Image

A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls 501 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the up-against-the-wall dept.
meghan elizabeth writes: Temple physicist Rongjia Tao has a utopian proposal to build three massive, 1,000-foot-high, 165-foot-thick walls around the American Midwest, in order to keep the tornadoes out. Building three unfathomably massive anti-tornado walls would count as the infrastructure project of the decade, if not the century. It would be also be exceedingly expensive. "Building such walls is feasible," Tao says. "They are much easier than constructing a skyscraper. For example, in Philadelphia, the newly completed Comcast building has about 300-meter height. The wall with similar height as the Comcast building should be much easier to be constructed." Update: 06/28 04:14 GMT by T : Note: originally, this story said that Tao was at Drexel rather than Temple -- now corrected

Comment: Re:Legally correct decision with awful results (Score 1) 303

Splits in the circuits are more common than you might imagine, and the Supreme Court doesn't always resolve them. A lot depends on how substantial the split is. Minor differences don't always get resolved.

In any event, this case isn't "ripe" for appeal to the Supreme Court yet. The Supremes rarely get involved until all lower court proceedings have been exhausted, and this case just got sent back for retrial on the issue of fair use. The process can be maddening for the individual litigants, but it makes sense for the legal system overall.

Comment: Legally correct decision with awful results (Score 5, Informative) 303

(I actually read the court ruling before posting this)

tl;dr version: The results will likely be awful, but the decision appears legally correct.

Google won at trial because the judge decided that the Java API was not copyrightable. I absolutely believe that API's should not be copyrightable, but that isn't what the law says. Copyrightability has a very low threshold. The trial judge screwed up by applying legal standards related to fair use to the question of copyrightability. The appeals court was correct to reverse.

The case now goes back to the district court. There will be a new trail with a new jury, but the only issue will be whether Googe's copying of the Java API is fair use. The original jury deadlocked on this question. Fair use decisions are very subjective, so it's hard to predict how this will turn out. All I can say is that I hope Google wins.

P.S. None of this decision was related to patents. Oracle lost on their patent claims at trial, and that stands.

Science

Nature Vs. Nurture: Waging War Over the Soul of Science 235

Posted by samzenpus
from the born-this-way dept.
derekmead writes "Wherever determinism appears, controversy attends, raising specters of days when colonialists, eugenicists, public health officials, and political idealists believed they could cure the human condition through manipulation and force. Understanding those fears helps shed light on the controversy surrounding a recent paper (PDF) published in the American Economic Review, entitled, 'The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development.' In it, economists Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor argue that the economic development of broad human populations correlate with their levels of genetic diversity—which is, in turn, pinned to the distance its inhabitants migrated from Africa thousands of years ago. Reaction has been swift and vehement. An article signed by 18 academics in Current Anthropology accuses the researchers of 'bad science' — 'something false and undesirable' based on 'weak data and methods' that 'can become a justification for reactionary policy.' The paper attacks everything from its sources of population data to its methods for measuring genetic diversity, but the economists are standing by their methods. The quality of Ashraf and Galor's research notwithstanding, the debate illustrates just how tricky it's become to assert anything which says something about human development was in any way inevitable."
Government

US Postal Service Discontinuing Saturday Mail Delivery 582

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the one-more-nail dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Postal Service has been losing billions of dollars each year as Americans increasingly rely on online communications that drive down mail volumes. Now, Reuters reports that the Postal Service plans to drop Saturday delivery of first-class mail by August, saving $2 billion per year. 'The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America's changing mailing habits,' says Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. But the Postal Service is already facing some pushback for moving forward with delivery schedule changes. 'Today's announcement by Postmaster General Donahoe to eliminate six-day delivery is yet another death knell for the quality service provided by the U.S. Postal Service,' says Jeanette Dwyer, president of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association. 'To erode this service will undermine the Postal Service's core mission and is completely unacceptable.' Package deliveries will continue under the new plan and were a bright spot in a bleak 2012 fiscal year, with package revenue rising 8.7 percent during the year. Donahoe says the changes would allow the Postal Service to continue benefiting from rising package deliveries as Americans order more products from sites such as eBay Inc and Amazon.com Inc."

Comment: Re:It's a trap! (Score 2) 171

by Anon E. Muss (#41896225) Attached to: GM Brings IT Dev Back In House; Self-Driving Caddy In the Works
At the macro level, adding employment to Detroit would be a good thing. At the micro level, it could be a bad thing for individuals who take a job at GM, and then find themselves working in conditions that make Dilbert look good by comparison. I understand "any port in a storm, and any job in a recession." But if you have a choice, would you really want to go to work for somebody who is absolutely hated by many of his prior employees?
Security

GoDaddy Goes Down, Anonymous Claims Responsibility 483

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A member of the Anonymous hacktivist group appears to have taken down GoDaddy with a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). The widespread issue seems to be affecting countless websites and services around the world, although not for everyone. Godaddy.com is down, but so are some of the site's DNS servers, which means GoDaddy hosted e-mail accounts are down as well, and lots more. It's currently unclear if the servers are being unresponsive or if they are completely offline. Either way, the result is that if your DNS is hosted on GoDaddy, your site may also look as if it is down, because it cannot resolve."

Comment: Re:At the end of the day (Score 5, Insightful) 387

by Anon E. Muss (#41155499) Attached to: Why Juries Have No Place In the Patent System

The jury saw that, and decided that that was wrong.

And therein lies the problem. The point of a trial is to decide what is LEGAL. It's great when Right and Wrong correspond to Legal and Illegal, but it doesn't always work out that way. One reason it doesn't is because right vs. wrong can be very subjective, but legal vs. illegal is supposed to be very objective.

I'm concerned that this jury simply got offended that "Samsung copied Apple", and didn't fully consider the prior art that would make such copying perfectly legal. The foreman saying they wanted to "send a message", in clear violation of the judge's instructions, calls the result into question.

Comment: The fight is really all about the codec (Score 2) 211

by Anon E. Muss (#40953689) Attached to: Microsoft Picks Another Web Standards Fight

From a purely technical perspective, Microsoft's proposal may actually be the better choice. The problem is that CU-RTC-Web doesn't mandate a codec, and lets the peers negotiate. Microsoft spins this as being flexible, and at a purely technical level, it is. The problem is that if the standard doesn't mandate some reasonable baseline codec, you're going to end up with implementations that can't talk to each other. Microsoft knows this, and they doesn't care.

Google isn't exactly a Saint either. They know full well that Microsoft and Apple won't implement VP8 (for semi-defensible technical/legal reasons, as well as evil intent). WebRTC with VP8 is unlikely to ever be available on iDevices, and that's a significant chunk of the market. Google knows this, and they don't care.

Programming

New Analyst Report Calls Agile a Scam, Says It's An Easy Out For Lazy Devs 491

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-i-just-revamped-my-entire-lexicon dept.
msmoriarty writes "We recently got a copy of a new Voke analyst report on Agile, and the firm basically blasts the movement from top to bottom. Some highlights: 'The Agile movement is designed to sell services. ... Out of over 200 survey participants, we received only four detailed comments describing success with Agile.' 'Survey participants report that developers use the guise of Agile to avoid planning and to avoid creating documentation required for future maintenance. ... Be aware that the Agile movement might very well just be either a developer rebellion against unwanted tasks and schedules or just an opportunity to sell Agile services including certification and training.' So did the analysts just talk to the wrong 200 people?"

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

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