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Comment: Re:Do the math (Score 1) 336

by Antique Geekmeister (#47736183) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

I've no objection to getting a better tool for that specific job. They're still electrical heating elements, so they're still using roughly 100 Watt for a typical car or truck engine.

Their main disadvantage is that they tend to have an electrical plug you have to fish out and connect at night, and put back safely in the morning. People tend to forget them and drive off with them connected, then rip the cord off. So what I've personally recommended to a few people is this.


The cord is bright orange, obvious sticking out from the hood, and 25 feet long, The hook on top is also very handy for storing it away safely when you take it out from under the hoood. it's very useful for seeing what you're doing from _under_ the car when working, as well, and if you have to you can still put a compact flourescent bulb in it. That didn't used to work well, but some of the flourescent bulbs are small enough now.

It's not a perfect solution, but it still works quite well.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 61

by Antique Geekmeister (#47735717) Attached to: Virtual Machine Brings X86 Linux Apps To ARMv7 Devices

> This allows wine to run on exotic hardware. (Well, at least ARMv7)

Except that it doesn't. Do check the compatibility ratings at, and select for the word "garbage". Sadly enough, even the compatibility site itself is quite horrible. Like maintaining Wine itself, it requires manual drilling down into individual components to get any useful information about them.

Comment: Re:Do the math (Score 1) 336

by Antique Geekmeister (#47735623) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

And they do have uses. There are places where the energy output is the _point_, such as putting a shoplight under the hood of your car, to keep the engine from freezing solid, in very cold winters. There are also electronic measurement environments where the high frequency signals of the flourescent electronics get into the power lines and the local ground lines, and _cannot_ be effectively filtered out. So you use 60 Hz incandescents for lighting, or even tun incandescent lights off a battery power supply.

Comment: Re:I'd love to be in his class (Score 1) 179

> it's not that hard to find a loyal customer

Then please, do name one. Please don't say "it's easy to do". If it's that easy, feel free.

> But there's a fair number of people who said they really liked their Zunes just for playing MP3s (back when they used them), they just didn't like the crappy sharing feature or the MS music store or the way MS screwed up "PlaysForSure".

I'm afraid that you've just reinforced my point.

Comment: Re:I'd love to be in his class (Score 0) 179

> It would appear that the only place he failed is in your mind.

I'm afraid that Mr. Ballmer was considered a liability by various stock analysts and stock holders by the end of his tenure. The failures of the smartphone, Zune media player, Surface tablet and Windows 8 to make their sales goals or to generate loyal user bases were demonstrable failures of his leadership. I'll challenge you to find _one_ loyal customer of any of those products, one who actually prefers it to an Iphone, Ipod, cheap notebook, or Windows 7.

Compounded by the failure to complete the migrations from Windows XP for thousands of businesses worldwide, he created grand visions for a series of failed projects. So yes, he became a failure in many stockholders' minds, as well.

Comment: Re:reality check (Score 2) 299

Blanket bricking of cell phones, or selective bricking of those of "ringleaders", is an inevitable problem for the most peaceful and well behaved political rally with this kind of technology in government hands. Remember the "Arab Sping", and Tianenmen Square, and even the more recent and quite peaceful "Occupy Wall Street" the US, and understand exactly why and how law enforcement want this kind of power.

Comment: Re:Patent Trolls arent just little companies (Score 2) 97

by Antique Geekmeister (#47711253) Attached to: How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

> Fixing this mess won't be easy.

Fixing the mess is at least straightforward. Discard software patents. Their legality has always been questionable, for sound technical and legal reasons, and they're one of the greatest drains on the patent office. They also have profound, demonstrable adverse effects on industry and on innovation in practice.

Implementing that legal and policy change will not be easy, I agree.

Comment: Re:Trolls or Not Trolls (Score 3, Interesting) 97

by Antique Geekmeister (#47711235) Attached to: How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

> The original purpose of Patents to create a period of exclusivity to regain the expense of research, tooling (and other capital risks), are good.

That benefit can often, not always, be retained by simply keeping a trade secret. The corresponding social benefit of limited patents is that they expire, and the invention is then available to the public.

Unfortunately, the patent office, and the patent system itself, is overwhelmed by software patents. These are by their nature nebulous, aggressive, and often overlapping in complex ways. They also open the doors for, yes, patent trolls, who do no innovation and produce no actual goods or services to the general public. They exist purely as legal entities to file lawsuits based on patents they've purchased, and have no history or intention of using themselves.

The ideal solution is to discard software patents altogether. They are a horrific drain on software design and productivity, not merely due to patent troll losses, but because they force companies to invest thousands or millions of dollars in patent suites to protect from potential patent litigation. And they directly interfere with software authors publishing their work as open source or freeware. The corporate lawyers, and the expense of patent review, cause many companies to refuse to publish even patches to open source, or freeware. There are good reasons the GPLv3 has tried to deal with software patents harshly. They've been a real problem with open source and freeware.

Comment: Re:Not much of a fix (Score 2) 101

by Antique Geekmeister (#47693675) Attached to: ICANN Offers Fix For Domain Name Collisions

> WHAT THE FUCK made you create these new TLDs in the first place? Did you just pull some TLDs out of your ass and say 'great plan' and only AFTER saying you would create them start to think about the impact?

ICANN charges the registrars, and the registrars collect money for people registering their domains across all domains for simple fraud protection or trademark protection. I'm afraid that the domain registration business is aimed at the domain squatters, since they easily squat the domains _just_ when you try to register them and release them before they have to pay fees, if you don't follow up and buy them. The remainder that do get registered, and the defensive registration of the same name across multiple domains, is where ICANN gets funding.

Comment: Re:Phew (Score 2) 58

> I'm glad that was made clear, us nerds know very little about IT in reality

I'm afraid that you're quite right. Many of our nerd friends and colleagues keep their SSH private keys un-passphrase-protected on backups and on NFS shares or removable media, we leave defaults in place for SNMP access. Moreover, a majority of the companies I've worked with in the last 10 years rely on their external firewalls to protect their internal networks from monitoring. This is even though people with VPN and laptop access connect to those internal networks all the time.

More generally, the Windows admins and most developers don't generally need to or try to understand how other protocol works. They click a few boxes on their configuration tools, they read a Google how-to, and that's the extent of their review. They don't bother to ready the man pages or do an "snmpwalk" because they don't _have_ to.

And it's not just the Windows admins or software developers. I spent an hour on Thursday walking a senior Linux administrator through SNMP. He'd never realized that SNMP was the core tool for scanning remote network devices. I could explain why, but that's a separate post.

Comment: Re:Version control (Score 2) 127

by Antique Geekmeister (#47682869) Attached to: Switching Game Engines Halfway Through Development

I've used all of them, quite effectively. Sorry, but Perforce's overly centralized control and the administrative expense of error prone Perforce management makes it unusable for long projects. The centralized control is too vulnerable to central administrator errors, such as having to delete content and accidentally deleting the only copy. Subversion has some similar issues, and relatively poor performance and very confusing upgrade cycles to deal with.

Git is working out _extremely_ well for small and large projects in my experience, and its ease of replication and offsite management are far superior. Bitkeeper is comparable to git in performance but now badly lags in cross-compatibility features and broadly available hosting resources like github or bitbucket.

Comment: Re:Rise of the middlemen (Score 1) 127

by Antique Geekmeister (#47682343) Attached to: Switching Game Engines Halfway Through Development

That's a ludicrous "version control" fee. Given that you have to set procedures anyway, for effective work flow and creating production releases, it sounds like someone made a mistake in the licensing. What feature could it possibly be adding when you can do robust software management and collaboration at,, or any of the git repositories with commercial support services?

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