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Comment: Re:Download an app???? NO!!!! (Score 3, Insightful) 403

And it _does_ have note taking capability. I take notes all the time on mine (mostly with Nebulous). With dropbox I even share my note files between my phone, iPad 2, PC and Mac systems. I can also use Noteshelf (with a Jotz stylus) to do hand-written notes and drawings. Folks have to get out of the "it don't work fer me so it must not work for anybody" mindset. If the iPad was not a useful tool for both consumption and creation you would not have millions of repeat customers for it.

Comment: Composting toilet (Score 3, Informative) 124

by Dhrakar (#41564487) Attached to: Why Worms In the Toilet Might Be a Good Idea

There are actually several models of these out already. Some of the folks up here have them instead of an outhouse. http://www.envirolet.com/ The funny part is that you have to turn a handle on the toilet to mix the, uh, contents around after you go. I think you can put other wastes in them (like kitchen scraps) and they will be composted as well...

Comment: Re:Here is more from John Gruber of Daring Firebal (Score 4, Informative) 561

by Dhrakar (#41480391) Attached to: Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

Actually, no. John Gruber is often an Apple apologinista, but he has been more than willing to call out Apple when he thinks they have done something wrong. For example, he frequently runs a "WTF App Store?" article on some odd App store rejection or other.

Comment: Apple does not like software dependencies (Score 1) 561

by Dhrakar (#41480285) Attached to: Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

I dunno, it seems pretty straightforward to me. Apple does not like having their OS and user experience dependent on some other company's timetable (see also: Flash). They also like to have alternatives (see also: Pages, Keynote, etc). So it is not at all surprising that Apple would migrate away from Google's maps once Google and Apple started down their separate roads. They have been acquiring mapping companies and expertise for a couple of years now so this can't have been a surprise to Google either. The only surprise for Google is probably that Google could not get Apple to knuckle under to their demands and that Apple decided to release iOS maps as-is (warts and all).

Comment: And paying for this how? (Score 1) 729

by Dhrakar (#41217137) Attached to: Do We Need a Longer School Year?

How do we pay for this? Many school districts are struggling to pay bills as things are and with their teachers on 9 month contracts. Is there the will to start paying teachers for year-round contracts? For paying janitorial staff for the summer months? Many schools don't have good enough ventilation and/or air conditioning since they are usually closed during the summer.
    If we can start actually valuing education again as a society and pony up the money, then this might work...

Comment: Silverlight was temporary anyway (Score 1) 336

by Dhrakar (#40145479) Attached to: Mono Abandons Open Source Silverlight

Silverlight just like Flash was only ever going to be temporary anyway. They were both technologies trying to do the same thing of abstracting the GUI to something that crosses OS versions, platforms, etc. Once Flash started giving way to HTML5, the writing was on the wall for Silverlight. Soon, I imagine, we will have native apps for things the need deeper/privileged access to the platform (phone, tablet, desktop, whatever) and web-style HTML rendering for everything else.

Comment: It stopped being about the software (Score 0) 808

by Dhrakar (#38409926) Attached to: GPL, Copyleft Use Declining Fast

Personally, I think that the downhill slide started when the GPL became more about protecting the philosophy and less about protecting the programs. Keeping open source open is all well and good, however, forcing folks to open up their goodies is not good. One person's freedom to share their code is just as valid as another person's freedom not too. Of course, having said that it is important to note that the person who does not share their code is going to have to work that much harder to ensure that their users are getting(and kniw that they are getting) a good,reliable deal. We have all seen examples of both great and sucky closed source and open source software.

Comment: Re:Asus Transformer TF101 (Score 2) 270

by Dhrakar (#37574184) Attached to: The (Mostly) Sad Fates of 32 First-Generation iPad Rivals

Look, it is not just about marketing and it has never been just about marketing. Yes, Apple is great at marketing its stuff. However, if that was all it was good at then you would not have any repeat customers -- nor would you have a loyal fan base of Apple users. Not only that, but you would not have Apple as the highest rated consumer electronics company http://www.google.com/search?q=apple+customer+satisfaction+rating&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official for multiple years in a row. You just can't buy that with marketing. Apple knows that it is not about the hardware and it is not about the software -- rather, it is about the intersection of hardware/software/environment that hits the sweet spot for many, many users. Apple users are not, as a whole, clueless sheep. We have just decided that the sum of the parts that go into an Apple system is much better than the sum of the parts of other systems. Simple. I like my Apple stuff. I like it enough that I buy other Apple stuff. It does not matter what other folks think because the systems I have fulfill my needs. You are welcome to go find stuff that fits your needs, but that does not mean that either one of us is dumb. We all make choices based on our needs and at this point in time Apple systems fit a whole bunch of people's needs.

Comment: Re:How sad is this (Score 1) 269

by Dhrakar (#37321668) Attached to: NASA Reveals New Images of Apollo Landing Sites

No. What's sad is that you can't see the fact that if there had been no Apollo, then there would be no COTS. The money that was spent on the early NASA programs laid the foundation for all that has gone since. From the hardware and computer advances to all of the trained personnel ... it has all added up to get us where we are today.

I agree that NASA is doing some truly amazing things today and I am really, really hoping that Bigelow gets his hotels in orbit and that SpaceX is successful and that Virgin manages to launch a bunch of customers into low-earth orbit. However, credit has to be given to the Mercury, Apollo and Gemini programs (not to mention the Soviet/Russian programs)-- they paved the way.

Comment: Re:Wrong Question (Score 1) 503

by Dhrakar (#34098636) Attached to: Is the ISS Really Worth $100 Billion?

Sir (or ma'am ;-), I greatly wish I could give you a 'Hell Yes!' and a + to the moderation. For several years now the US has been reduced to focussing on the next quarter and no longer looks at the big picture. You can see this in Wall Street, in the budgets for technology companies, in the lack of University R&D... etc. If it isn't shiny and available-right-now it is beyond our attention span and seen to be without value. Even in my own field of supercomputing I see this (folks don't want a bleeding-edge system ... they just want big clusters).
    We are, I think, currently living on the fruits of fundamental research that was done in the 60s and 70s. Since then, we have been (to stretch another analogy) eating our R&D seed-corn and not planting for 10, 15 or more years out. It will definitely bite us in the butt soon.

Comment: Re:Astroturfing on Slashdot (Score 1) 353

by Dhrakar (#34007170) Attached to: Want Flash Player On a MacBook Air? Download It Yourself

I'm definitely with you on this (and wish I had some mod points). At work I use a mix of OSX, Linux, Solaris, Cray-flavored Linux and a bit of Windows. I can get work done in all of those, but I really prefer the look and feel of OSX. That does not make me a sheeple, just a person who prefers working in OSX.
    In a way, I think that much of the bashing is due to the echo-chamber effect. That is, folks who are trying to call attention to themselves so they push harder and harder on things -- no matter how slippery the logic. Kinda like politics I s'pose. Anyway, for some reason, Google is still seen as an underdog fighting the 'good' fight but, in reality, they are a corporation with an agenda just like any other corporation.
    Not to say that Apple is all sweetness and light, but they have always been an 'Appliance' company that strives to provide the best in hardware and software. This can be seen as far back as the Apple //c (I still remember people complaining about the fact that it had no expansion slots :-)

Comment: ok, then: a couple questions (Score 3, Insightful) 413

by Dhrakar (#33831726) Attached to: Microsoft Eyes PC Isolation Ward To Thwart Botnets

First; who will be administering this program? Under what authority could an organization possibly 'certify' systems that are located around the world?
Next; How often would these certificates need to be updated? Every time a vendor issues a new patch?
Third; What kind of crazy-ass DRM would be needed to keep folks from just spoofing the certificates?

    Unfortunately, this is the kind of simplistic easy-to-follow proposal that our congress-critter really go for... yeesh.

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