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Comment: What stupid patents? (Score 1) 96

by thogard (#49179767) Attached to: Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

A friend's boss saw him talking to a valve actuator using a tapping device and told him to talk to the patent lawyer about the invention. The "invention" was using a single wire to talk to something inside containment areas where drilling holes was a bad thing so wires could cost about a million a conductor. The resulting patent application didn't have that bit in it. It did have the use of a single wire for sending code using a keying device to another device. He ended up with a patent for using Morse code complete with encoding and everything else that was invented long ago. The bit about using the old technology in a unique way was missing.

Comment: Can too healthy be bad? (Score 2) 129

by thogard (#49179677) Attached to: Treadmill Performance Predicts Mortality

There is an old test known as the Schneider Index which was used by the US Navy for divers and pilots in the 1940s. An old movie called "Dive Bomber" shows details of how the test was done at the time. The test ended the flying careers for many pilots at the time if their score decreased much. It turns out that the guys who did best in the test were the ones most likely to pass out on dive bombing runs. The Schneider Index uses reclining heart rate, blood pressure with standing and then rapid activity for about 30 seconds and then factoring in increase in pulse, BP and the time to return to normal.

Comment: Re:How much CPU power & storage in HDD control (Score 2) 322

by thogard (#49161743) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

There is enough flash and ram to run Linux on the controller. I've seen it done at Ruxcon/Breakpoint where the hard drive booted up to the point where it couldn't find a root disk to mount.

It is trivial to make firmware that watches for things like /etc/shadow files and returns something else. You can have this code activate by searching for data that would be logged and hunting for the magic key and that is trivial since every system logs to disk.


Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge 676

Posted by timothy
from the line-in-the-sand dept.
conoviator writes Bill Nye, one of the foremost science educators in the United States states that only the upper crust members of American science and technology (with degrees from top tier schools) understand science, particularly climate change. He opines that "regular software writers" dwell in the realm of the semi-science-literate. Nye rates science education in the U.S. an F. ("But if it makes you feel any better, you can say a B-minus.")

Comment: Re:At Bat (Score 1) 78

by thogard (#49100115) Attached to: Australian ISPs To Introduce '3-Strike' Style Anti-piracy Scheme

I've seen the baseball diamonds near my house used exactly twice. Once involved using it for fireworks. It was built around the time of the 1964 olympics like nearly every baseball diamond in the country.

When a bat is going to cost you $300 and a full uniform and gear to play on a team is close to a $1000, there isn't much demand. The Melbourne girls baseball teams positions are more about forfeits than wins.

I don't know why the local baseball teams need such formal rules with such official imported uniforms. What ever happened to wearing a shirt the right colour?

Comment: Re:1 employee? Not the entire story. (Score 2) 158

That was true before the days of disposable servers. Today, when it breaks, drop it from the pool of working systems. The HVAC is on a lease contract which makes them far more reliable as the manufacture no longer gets s cut by selling parts that used to be used for maintenance. The same is true with power systems but the electrical wiring is massively overbuilt between the stuff under contract and the racks. I have a rack in a recently built data center and they have an electrician on site less often than some small companies I work with.

Comment: Yes and Yes! (Score 1) 716

by thogard (#49028343) Attached to: Is Modern Linux Becoming Too Complex?

The problem is modern operating systems have taken on too much of the operating environment role leading to excessive complexity. Our modern opening systems are hypervisors like like xen or vmware. The OS has become a mess of other things that aren't related to security and suability of a system. The Operating Environment is where the rapid changes and R&D should be so features can progress and mistakes can be quickly removed.

Comment: Re:Screen tearing for everyone! (Score 1) 193

by CRC'99 (#49013377) Attached to: Xfce Getting a New Version Soon

A thousand times this..... XFCE is great - but screen tearing and vsync problems make me rage. Now, I'm back to Windows 7 - although I did enjoy KDE - simply because it was the closest to XFCE and doesn't have tearing / vsync issues.

Now if only we could get decent power management on Radeon cards and three screens..... :)

Comment: Re:Uhhhh (Score 5, Interesting) 222

by CRC'99 (#48995863) Attached to: GPG Programmer Werner Koch Is Running Out of Money

I hate to say it - but most people who do OSS work for the masses don't get paid for it.

I do packaging for Xen used from hobby users through to Disney - yet I get about $400AUD per year in donations. I also have to go buy my own test hardware (I need UEFI kit atm!).

I understand exactly what Werner means and the challenges faced - but I too don't see a solution for this. OSS has been linked for too long as a 'free solution' - which means nobody puts a currency value on the software and services that are made available to the world. I think its the mental relationship of OSS being 'free' causes it. Nobody blinks an eye to pay $100 for a Windows license - yet go for a $10 donation to an OSS project and people lose their minds...

Comment: How about a better feature? (Score 1) 88

We need keys and host passwords checked as authentication types without having to revert to PAM hackery. Just how many systems have been exploited because some root process found a way to read some .ssh/keys and then hopped to other systems with no human intervention.

Comment: Re:Well Shoot... (Score 1) 280

by CRC'99 (#48944693) Attached to: Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen

How did Cyanogen screw over phone makers? Not saying they didn't I just have never heard that.

Where they acted like children:

The fun continues:

And then this:

So yeah - they're nowhere near a mature company - and lets not forget when they forked CyanogenMod and pulled the "You made this? .... I made this!" move when getting venture capital in the first place...

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.