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+ - Maybe it is not worms, but Mars has holes

Submitted by DusterBar
DusterBar (881355) writes "NASA photographs of Mars have relieved some rather interesting holes on Mars.

The most interesting one also has a strange and very visible circular creator around it that is unexplained.

The holes are interesting as speculation is that they connect to some underground caverns that could act as shelter from the harsh surface conditions. This could be a place where, if there is life on Mars, it could be more likely to have survived."

Comment: This has me thinking of Höhlengleichnis (Score 1) 745

by DusterBar (#46267287) Attached to: Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?
We are just prisoners in a cave. Höhlengleichnis (or the Allegory of the Cave) is about the limit of understanding from seeing limited information (shadows on the wall).

Our view of the universe really is just like looking at shadows on the wall. One can come up with so many stories that seem to fit. Science is about eliminating those stories that seem to contradict something. We do this filtering by using our theory to predict something and then try to observe that "shadow" to validate it or fail to observe it to invalidate it.

While we have done a great job eliminating so many theories, the shadows still are so low in information that many theories still seem to fit. This is one that, by definition, would fit since, well, no matter what shadow we see we can claim that it is part of the simulation. In fact, maybe the shadows themselves are all there is to the simulation.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 398

by DusterBar (#41626593) Attached to: Why Eric Schmidt Is Wrong About Microsoft Not Mattering Anymore

I do not think the railroad is a necessary *evil* - railroads do some things much more efficiently and reliably than any other technology available today. It may not be the sexy thing anymore but railroads are vital.

Now, Microsoft is currently not seen as sexy, but there are things that they are doing well. Windows Phone is actually a nice product. It does not have the installed base or app selection or public mindset but from a usability standpoint, I would pick Windows Phone over Android any day (and especially if I had to pick one of those two for my wife or my mother).

The *buzz* is not with Microsoft right now but I think that may change - but even as such, I would not count Microsoft out. There is a lot of interesting and advanced technology in Microsoft R&D - it will just be a matter of delivering to the market things that the market gets excited about. That is not easy when you don't have automatic buzz about your products and your competitors (Apple) gets front page news coverage about rumors about future unannounced products.

Comment: Re:Linux on Mac?! (Score 1) 780

by DusterBar (#41030651) Attached to: Linux Is a Lemon On the Retina MacBook Pro
Let me see, 5 million pixels, 4 bytes per pixel = 20megabytes. Lets say we tripple buffer that, we are at 60megabytes. So how is 1,000megabytes (1GB) of video memory a limiting factor? You would have over 900megabytes available for 3D models and shaders even if tripple buffering *and* keeping the desktop display separate.

Comment: Re:Ironic (Score 1) 606

6% for 40 years is a bit over 10x (not 8%)

The math is (1 + %) ^ 40 == 10 which means if you put in 6% you get 1.06 ^ 40 == 10.28 thus 40 years at 6% will get you 10.28 times the number.

Now, add in the extras (anti-lock breaks, water cooled engine, airbags, air conditioning, power windows, etc) and you seem to have a much better/nicer/safer car for around the same price given your 6% number.

Note that inflation has been all over the map over the last 40 years. Since time value of money can not trivially be reduced to averages, it is not clear what the right number is, but if you look at the 3.5% number I have seen as the effective average over the last 40 years we see that you get only a 4x multiple rather than the 10x. This seems much closer to reasonable considering the significant differences between the VW bug from 1968 (a very simple device) to the one from 2008 (a rather complex and sophisticated device).

Comment: Re:Debugging Is the Next Frontier in Faster Browsi (Score 1) 125

by DusterBar (#40615381) Attached to: Firefox 15 Coming With Souped-Up, Faster Debugger
I wish that were the case. As web pages make use of more complex layout and dynamic data, the browsers have become key to not just rendering speed but debugging. Firebug was, for a long time now, key reason to use firefox.

Take a look at http://sinz.org/Maze/ for what turned into an interesting benchmark of layout and js/dom manipulation. (It was not the intent but it sure shows significant differences). Since I did that page, Firefox actually got much slower than it was but it still beats IE but loses badly to Chrome.

Comment: Re:When does a monopoly forfeit private property? (Score 1) 430

by DusterBar (#40550821) Attached to: Verizon Claims Net Neutrality Violates Their Free Speech Rights
They are asking us to use their property and we even pay to use it, many times, under service contracts. There is no misappropriation of private property or resources. If they don't want others to use it, don't ask them to and don't sell them the service.

Comment: Re:Verizon better watch it. (Score 1) 430

by DusterBar (#40550705) Attached to: Verizon Claims Net Neutrality Violates Their Free Speech Rights
Even worse, what if they don't throttle a child porn distributor but do throttle someone sending/downloading a Linux distribution?

What happens when they are then found to be co-conspirators in the illegal acts due to the fact that they claim that it is their microphone? Deep pockets to sue, that is for sure...

Comment: Common carrier or free speech (Score 1) 430

by DusterBar (#40550637) Attached to: Verizon Claims Net Neutrality Violates Their Free Speech Rights
I wonder if they really want to say that the network they built is their microphone. Doing so would state that it is their speech and thus they would be liable for any illegal speech.

Note that as a common carrier (like phone companies of old) they would not be liable for any illegal activities that were committed via their network. This is long standing law.

Once you start filtering, controlling, limiting the content that is transmitted then you can no longer to seen as just a carrier of opaque information and can then be held liable for that information (illegal data, illegal speech, etc.)

It would be interesting to see what stance they would take on that. For example, if their network was used to distribute child porn and thus they would be held equally responsible along with those who sent and received it.

+ - Apple.com DNS outage 5

Submitted by
DusterBar writes "What seems like a long lived outage has hit high flying Apple with at least 5 hours (and counting) outage of the whole apple.com domain.

The real interesting bit is that there does not seem to be any coverage of this, and yet it impacts all iDevice users, the app store, etc."

Comment: Re:Sony MDR 7506 (Score 2) 448

by DusterBar (#40305193) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Headphones, Earbuds, Earphones?

I would disagree. You can easily find some nice phones for reasonable price. The Grados were always highly rated (and considered under-priced) with the 60s available for just around the $50 price limit (over $50 but not by much)

And, if you want an enclosed set, the Monoprice 8323 are hard to beat and would beat most other enclosed phones in the under $200 price range and they are under $25.

However, if you really want the best, yes, they cost - but "decent" is available, just not from consumer brands like Sony.

Comment: Re:Monoprice! (Score 1) 448

by DusterBar (#40305143) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Headphones, Earbuds, Earphones?
I can attest to the quality of the 8323 from Monoprice. They easily match more costly enclosed headphones. Not quite to the level of a top end Sennheiser but the good Sennheisers are all open design. I would take this Monoprice model over any Sony phone, no matter the price. (Oh, and they are also rather comfortable for an enclosed headphone...)

Comment: Re:Neat (Score 1) 120

by DusterBar (#39210857) Attached to: MINIX 3.2 Released With Some Major Changes
Great post, but there are things that X11 needs to fix. The whole "visuals" bit and the capturing of the mouse? xlib is a mess to program to and the GUI toolkits try to hide that but the overhead still exists.

Now, having said all of that, I would rather have a push to streamline X11 while keeping a strong window manager separation (this is actually important for security in addition to usability) and the remotable constructs. X11 has drawing primitives that are better than bitmaps (wayland) but not really that great. And some of the behavioral requirements makes it really hard on connections that have any level of latency.

Fixing these core items (and bringing in better layer management with composition at the display server side and not client side) is the way to go. Doing so and still being compatible will be very painful. Doing so and having "fun designing new" (or suffering from NIH) does not mix well. Just beware of the draw of "green fields" (starting from scratch) as it rarely works out in the end. (You usually make mistakes that were already address/solved in the prior system since you are more concerned about the "mistakes" in the prior system that you are claiming is the reason for starting fresh)

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure