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Comment Re:BASIC vs. Z80 assembly language (Score 2) 167

One thing I remember from CP/M was that when a program terminated you could save the memory it had been running in to disc as an executable program. A lot of programs (e.g. Wordstar) used this to avoid having to read any kind of configuration file: instead you just changed settings within the program, exited, and saved the memory; when you ran the saved version you had your saved defaults. I also always kept a 0 length file around in case I accidentally exited a program such as a text editor without saving: run the 0 length file and it would just restart the editor with everything restored.

Comment Re:Git is much better for large repos (Score 1) 378

You are confusing the repo size with the size of a checkout. With Git they are pretty much the same, but with SVN you only checkout the revision and indeed the branch that you actually need. If the repository has been well managed there may not be much in it, but as soon as someone adds binaries to the checkin the repository size is likely to explode. Here's an example: I wanted to play with a particular application environment just to get an idea what it could do. Their main 'kitchen sink' sample program at that time didn't have an up to date zip download, so the only way to get the latest version was to clone the github repository. For some reason they had included generated object files in the repository, so to get the example program it was a multi-GB cloning operation. If it had been in SVN it would have been a few MB total.

Comment Re:They don't appear to be used much anyway. (Score 1) 110

Anonymous Coward may be overstating things slightly, but there is an element of truth in what they wrote. Any large business in the UK will register both and the corresponding .com: they need both versions to prevent domain squatters muddying their name. So for example if you look at major UK supermarkets:,, all redirect to the corresponding .com address, Asda let you use either at the top level but all subsequent links are .com. Only Sainburys do it the other way round and redirect to
Smaller companies though may not want or be bothered about protecting their name that way so they pick one or the other. Also international companies like Amazon and Google often use the country specific domains to provide a localised service.

Comment Re:Actually (Score 1) 709

The 30% is supposedly dried powdered skin (and I would guess other bits). The point being that it's cheap and soaks up lots of water. It only has to be listed on the ingredients as 'seasoning' so it's not entirely clear that they even broke any rules over labelling.

Comment Re:What's up! (Score 5, Insightful) 186

Because one of Apple's objections to Samsung's motion to have the verdict overturned is that the information was readily available so Samsung should have known during the trial and therefore they've missed their opportunity to object. If Apple didn't know during the trial it undermines their argument (whereas if they had known and not brought it up it would have been even worse for them).

Comment Re:Firing in US (Score 1) 582

I'm afraid your argument doesn't really hold water. In the UK an employer can fire someone without a good reason if they've worked for them for less than 1 year (2 years if they employed them on or after 6th April 2012), so there's no disincentive to hiring someone as you can quickly get rid of them if you find you've made a mistake. The protection only means that you can't get rid of them easily if the relationship turns sour further down the line. FWIW, Google's public data page gives US unemployment 8.3% (Feb 2012), UK unemployment rate 8.3% (Dec 2011).

Comment Re:at the risk of sounding stupid.. (Score 5, Interesting) 228

Possible but unlikely. I think at the moment they are just jamming the GPS signal which is really easy to do. To redirect you to another location they have to provide fake signals that your receiver will think are real. You can do that but it requires more sophisticated equipment. New Scientist had an article about GPS jamming last year and one of the more interesting things they suggested was that if you could distort the GPS instead of just jamming it you could cause mains blackouts over large areas of the US. Apparently US power stations use GPS as the reference time signal to ensure that the different power stations keep their generators in phase, so knock a few of them half a cycle out of phase and the entire network could come down.

Comment Re:For Google, Two-Factor Authentication (Score 1) 238

Right now, before I've had my coffee, I can't think of any reason I'd want to log in to the web browser, either, though I'm sure there are cases. It's probably something to worry about on a case-by-case basis.

I use my Google credentials to access openid enabled sites such as StackOverflow. I think that's the main reason I need to be logged in to Google from my phone's web browser.

Comment Re:For Google, Two-Factor Authentication (Score 1) 238

For linking your Google account to your phone, turn on two-factor authentication. You can't actually use two-factor authentication to add your Google account to the phone, so you get the option to set up an application-specific password. Though nothing stops someone from reusing this password to access your mail, you can revoke this password at any time without affecting the rest of your application-specific passwords or your main Google account password. If your phone is lost, get to the nearest computer and revoke the phone password. Then if the thief does manage to extract your password, it's useless.

The catch with this is that for two-factor authentication you need the Google Authenticator app installed on some device which is probably your phone. So if someone does manage to break into your phone and extract the main password they've got all they need to get into your account. If you are very careful to use only application passwords on the phone and then you can revoke them all but if you use the main password to login to Google on the web browser then the two-factor stuff has added complexity but not a whole lot of security.

Comment Making an easy task harder? (Score 1) 86

Some of the suggestions such as "perhaps you were viewing your destination on Google Maps and want to transfer that to your smartphone" are already trivially easy from Chrome or Firefox. Using Chrome to phone I can transfer my Google Maps view to the phone with a single click. Using the phone to take a photo of the screen sounds like just another way to make an easy task hard for the sake of flashy use of technology.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.