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Comment: Perception (Score 4, Interesting) 340

by Dan East (#49153215) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

First off, the picture is crap. It's overexposed and the white balance is off by a mile. My 10 year old Razr flip phone took better pictures than that.

However, there's still a human perception factor going on. I had looked at the picture on my laptop, and it was clearly white and gold. Then later I pulled the exact same picture up on my iPhone to show it to someone, and it looked black and blue. I then concluded that the picture looked different on my laptop than my phone due to differences in the display. When I got back home I pulled the picture up on both my phone and laptop to do a direct comparison, and both, including on my phone, looked white and gold again.

So I think it depends on whether your eyes are currently adapted to dim indoor lighting or bright outdoor lighting, in addition to the backlight on your device also changing the hue depending on if it's automatically full bright for outdoors or dim for indoors.

Comment: Realistic (Score 4, Insightful) 360

by Dan East (#49129259) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

I think solar is great - I have some panels on my camper, which is very conducive to solar type use because it's already designed to function off-grid. But let's be realistic. Let's say every home in America stuck a couple thousand watts of solar power on their roof, and wanted to sell the power into the grid (as opposed of having to store it on-site). How is that supposed to work? If no power generation is required by the power company when the sun is shining, but the full normal generation is required the instant clouds sweep over a community or at night, etc, then how is that supposed to work? None of the power generation plants can function in that "instant on / instant off" type of a mode. Particularly not nuclear. The point is, once the adoption reaches some (rather smallish) percentage, there will be some major problems and costs that will have to be addressed.

Regarding the incentives (tax credits and the like), again, once solar hits some critical mass, why would the government provide incentives? The incentives did their job, and got some number of people to adopt solar.

Nothing is stopping anyone from using solar. It's just that it may not be a profitable (as in selling electricity or getting a tax break) endeavor. So don't whine when it can't be used purely for an economical advantage.

Comment: Interpretation (Score 4, Insightful) 97

by Dan East (#49126675) Attached to: Gemalto: NSA and GCHQ Probably Hacked Us, But Didn't Get SIM Encryption Keys

Translation of what they really said:

The investigation into the intrusion methods described in the document and the sophisticated attacks that Gemalto detected in 2010 and 2011 give us reasonable grounds to believe that an operation by NSA and GCHQ probably happened

The attacks were sophisticated, thus the fact that we were compromised was justified. We will play the victim card straight off. We presume that because the attacks were sophisticated that it was the NSA and GCHQ, although any hacker group and nation-state would give their left arm for our encryption keys. However NSA and GCHQ are scary acronyms, and so we were supposedly up against the most powerful hacking group in the world, again, justifying the fact that they succeeded.

The attacks against Gemalto only breached its office networks and could not have resulted in a massive theft of SIM encryption keys

The attacks resulted in a theft of our SIM encryption keys, although not a "massive" one, whatever "massive" means.

The operation aimed to intercept the encryption keys as they were exchanged between mobile operators and their suppliers globally. By 2010, Gemalto had already widely deployed a secure transfer system with its customers and only rare exceptions to this scheme could have led to theft

Rare exceptions to our scheme led to theft.

In the case of an eventual key theft, the intelligence services would only be able to spy on communications on second generation 2G mobile networks. 3G and 4G networks are not vulnerable to this type of attack

Intelligence services were able to spy on communications on 2G mobile networks, due to this one known particular theft of SIM keys that we managed to discover. Even the most modern cell phones fall back on 3G and 2G mobile networks if 4G is not available, so this could affect any phone.

None of our other products were impacted by this attack

Products of ours were impacted by this particular attack, but at least it wasn't every single product we have.

The best counter-measures to these type of attacks are the systematic encryption of data when stored and in transit, the use of the latest SIM cards and customized algorithms for each operator

We are trying to come up with better counter-measures to prevent them from continuing to access our encryption keys.

Comment: Re:Nuclear plants don't like sudden shutdowns (Score 0) 311

by Dan East (#49063711) Attached to: Nuclear Plant Taken Down In Anticipation of Snowstorm

But that has nothing to do with the generation of electricity, only the generation of heat. Surely the system can simply bypass the generators when the power is not needed. The cooling towers and ponds cool the steam / water back down before cycling back into the reactor anyway, regardless of whether the generators are part of the loop or not. An "emergency shutdown" of the reactor should not be necessary just because the electricity is not needed. Sounds like they think there is a high probability of a significant part the grid going down and not requiring all of the available power generation, so they're saving money by shutting it down now and shifting production to the natural gas / coal plants (which can be "turned off" and "turned on" much faster, to save even more money when the grid goes down).

Comment: Steadycam (Score 1) 165

by Dan East (#49059141) Attached to: Star Trek Continues Meets Kickstarter Goal, Aims For Stretch Goals

Please, for the love of Pete's sake, either get a steady cam or don't attempt the "lead the actors down the hall with the camera while they're talking" shot. There was one shot so bad that it totally pulled me out of the scene. I think the camera guy might have stumbled or ran into someone. It was that bad.

Comment: Guesstimate (Score 1) 121

by Dan East (#49049283) Attached to: Study: 8 Million Metric Tons of Plastic Dumped Into Oceans Annually

This entire study is a big guesstimate. More than likely they get it right with the top half-dozen polluters, but beyond that the margin of error makes it all guesswork.

“Of course we know these aren’t absolute numbers, but it gives us an idea of the magnitude, and where we might need to focus our efforts to affect the issue,”

The USA, at #20 in the list, is responsible for less than 1% of the global pollution of this kind, according to this study. The USA produces only 3% of the pollution China produces alone. Certainly the margin for error in this type of indirect approximation is no better than 5%, putting the USA on the list at all in just statistical noise.

Further, the major offenders that produce that vast majority of the pollution do so because their very infrastructure results in the trash entering the ocean. Whereas the USA, on the other hand, consists only of "litter" directly from individuals one way or another (probably washing down rivers when they flood, as opposed to actually be dumping straight into the ocean as the official method of industry to get rid of their trash):

The US and Europe are not mismanaging their collected waste, so the plastic trash coming from those countries is due to litter, researchers said.

So putting the USA on that list is one of those things like "You do very well considering your population, the fact that you are the largest consuming nation on the planet, and have extensive coastlines in two oceans, but we hold you to a much higher standard and we know you can do even better, even though reducing your total pollution by 100% will have less than a 1% affect on the pollution entering the oceans."

Comment: Give me a break (Score 3, Interesting) 146

by Dan East (#49029915) Attached to: Building the Developer's Dream Keyboard

Come on now, a developer keyboard with no navigation keys? Really? Okay, so you can map multiple key combinations to represent them. Still, no way. If I want to highlight the text to the left of the cursor, I use CTRL-SHIFT-LEFT_ARROW. If I want to select the text from the cursor to the end of the line, I use CTRL-SHIFT-END. I already use those navigation keys in 3-key combos. I don't need it to be a 4-key combo, or something totally proprietary to the point I can only function with any proficiency on a keyboard that there is exactly one of in the entire world.

When I chose my last dev machine a few months ago, I really, really tried to make it a Macbook. I figured I could dual-boot windows and have all my bases covered. I had already tried using my older Macbook as a dev machine, and had given up. Why? No Home, End, PgUp or PgDown keys. As I stated above, I already use 3 key combos with those keys. I'm not about to try and make it a 4 key combo because Apple puts style over functionality. (and of course no Macbooks are touchscreen, and part of my work is making sure that web based multitouch HTML5 works properly on modern touch-screen desktop browsers).

Comment: Boys and Girls are different (Score 4, Insightful) 493

When I was in Middle School in the mid 80s, everyone knew that computers were going to be a major part of the future. At that time, personal computers did not yet have an OS To Rule Them All, and the amount of things one could actually accomplish with a home computer was relatively limited. Pretty much any home computer of that era booted straight into BASIC, and most people perceived computers primarily as things in which people wrote software for to tell it what to do.

At that time schools were trying to make use of computers in the curriculum (beyond Apple IIs playing Oregon Trail and entering LOGO instructions to move the Turtle), and what most schools went with was BASIC programming. Our school had recently "upgraded" from TI-99/4A to Color TRS-80 (which was upsetting to me, because I owned a TI and could program for it very well). So my entire grade of 7th graders spent an entire semester programming in BASIC. Every boy, every girl - all of us. We always worked in teams of two (mostly boys paired up and girls paired up, as is typical at that age). Further, this was commonplace in most schools of the era.

So here is what we *should* have seen. Since we had boys and girls all being equally submersed in the writing of software for hundreds of thousands of children, if boys and girls equally relate to, identify with, and enjoy programming, then we should have seen a surge of that generation of girls also becoming computer scientists. But we did not. When I was in college less than a decade later, my fellow majors in CS consisted of only two females (and I'm friends with both of them on FB still). One does not do anything related to computers at all. The other is still involved in technology, but is more interested in and active in designing artistic elements at the company where she is CTO.

I think we're seeing the overall, general difference between male and female here. I think it's obvious that different talents and thus careers seem to carry with them trends in certain kinds of personalities. Generally, do musicians, artists, executives, managers and computer science people each seem to have personality tendencies that go along with their career? Those tendencies aren't "learned" by being in the career - those individuals had those traits before they entered their profession. So it is my belief that, generally, the typical female does not relate to software development. Perhaps it is because male and female brains are indeed physiologically different in various ways, and it is more enjoyable and / or natural for a male brain to think in a single-track mode required to deeply delve into one specific thought process for a long time while developing software. Or maybe it's for other reasons along that line.

Regardless, my point is simple. Why is anyone trying to point fingers at our educational system instead of just admitting men and women are different, and women just simply may not like software development?

Comment: Re:Those are substantial annual fees (Score 5, Interesting) 65

by Dan East (#48997277) Attached to: MPAA Considers Major Changes After Sony Hack

What value does the MPAA possibly offer that could come anywhere close to commanding such regal sums annually?

Lobbying. And the MPAA has done a tremendous job, which is why all of Disney's characters are still under copyright half a century after Disney died, and nearly a century after they were first created. $20 million from each of the 6 big studios is a pittance in return. FTA:

Under tightened government ethics rules, the building’s screening room [MPAA's in Washington DC], though still active, is no longer the scene of lavish movie-and-dinner nights that were once popular with lawmakers.

So they had a "lavish" theater where they would wine and dine lawmakers, and most certainly let lawmakers rub elbows with A-list celebrities, over the decades before more stringent rules were put in place. You bet that influenced laws that keep extending copyright in favor of the MPAAs constituents.

Comment: Just think... (Score 2) 253

by Dan East (#48978459) Attached to: Microsoft Open Sources CoreCLR, the<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Execution Engine

Just think if MS would have done this over a decade ago when they released C# / .NET. It could have nearly replaced Java. I could see 3rd party "standards" created for widgets that would be cross-platform (like Swing, etc, for Java), that people could use to create their cross-platform windowed GUI type apps. The formal Windows APIs would be used for people wanting to create full blown Windows-only apps. However all the core functionality (non-gui stuff) would be cross-platform and if written properly could have driven both the "Swing"-ish community created GUI, as well as the official Windows GUI stuff.

Comment: Options are good (Score 5, Insightful) 307

by Dan East (#48958121) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows For Raspberry Pi 2

I see a lot of negative comments so far (actually they are all negative). You have a good reason to not want Windows on a Pi? Then don't put Windows on a Pi and you can live in peace and happiness. Personally, I think this is very cool, and although Microsoft may have some hidden agenda to take over the world by releasing a version of Windows 10 for the Pi, I still think this is a positive thing in general. It also further legitimizes the non- X86 / PC / tablet / cellphone niche kind of single board general purpose computer, that obviously a lot of non-mainstream users are very interested in.

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