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Comment: Re:Looking to move off of iTunes (Score 2) 165 165

Yeah, I started ripping my own CDs to MP3 early on in the game and quickly realized that putting my collection in Apple's hands would not let me retain control of my collection. That was back in the days of the white iPod. I currently use git annex to keep my collection synchronized across two computers and my android phone. That mostly seems to work, although the android client does seem to be a bit flaky.

Comment: Re:But will content be HTML5? (Score 1) 114 114

HTML5 video is some kind of moving target? I remember how years ago on slashdot it was about some raw video streaming with the universal ability of doing a right-click and "save as". But then it needed DRM. And then, it sucks because you want the ability to change video stream on the fly depending on bandwith. So you have "MSE", which is bleeding edge. Meaning unfinished, not supported, perhaps has the potential to up the CPU hungriness again.
Whatever, give me something that works in flash 11.2, it "only" requires an old 3GHz PC to play (if you don't have h264 hardware)

Comment: Re:No way in hell (Score 1) 114 114

Not direct hardware access per se, but we'll end up with OpenGL and even OpenCL code running if all goes like planned, under other names such as WebGL, WebCL. That may effect a pseudo denial-of-service through driver crash or overheating, or lead to a web page increasing your power consumption by 100 watts. Perhaps some javascript you automatically run will steal your CPU/GPU cycles for someone to profit from.

I don't know about security issues, seems like the GPU, its firmware and its driver are security choke points? One trivial example would be javascript malware grabs your GPU framebuffer or surfaces to be composited and sends them somewhere.

Comment: Re:Multiple multi-million dollar satellites. (Score 5, Funny) 331 331

Funnily enough at the satellite company I worked for that one time, one of the older guys there mentioned how he almost lost a satellite once by logging in to his own account and issuing a maneuver command to the satellite. Problem was the satellite was expecting times in GMT and got them in MST. Took them days to get it oriented correctly again.

Now the programmers in the audience could probably think of like 10 different specific things that could be coded into the system to prevent that from happening, but this company didn't. Which really isn't too surprising. I asked one of the devs on the ground systems team if the ground systems was using GMT or UTC. His answer was "What's the difference?" I was able to infer from his answer that it was most likely GMT, and that did appear to be the case. Somewhere deep in the bowels of the system there was presumably some piece of code written by an Indian contractor with a math degree adjusting times for leap seconds, but it wasn't in any code that anyone knew about.

The early history of that company read like a Monty Python sketch. The first satellite exploded on the launch pad. The second satellite fell over and then exploded. The third satellite burned down, fell over, exploded and then sank into the swamp. The forth satellite got into orbit and was promptly bricked by sending the wrong version of Windows(!) to it. To be fair they only had to do that because they launched it with the wrong version of Windows(!!) in the first place. One would think that ANY version of Windows would be the wrong version of Windows to shoot into space, but that's why you're not the head of a billion dollar satellite company.

Comment: Crashed the Uni Mainframe Once (Score 1) 331 331

Was curious what an apparently undocumented feature on the login page did. Turns out what it did was crash the mainframe. Go figure. You'd think they'd take that shit off the login page, but apparently no one had ever been so curious as to explore it before. Which says a lot about that uni, now that I think about it. Also, once trash talked a uni in a story on a news blag website. Yeah, those were the days...

Mostly I make my career out of fixing other people's tech mistakes. Which is not something that uni taught me how to do. Man I'm glad I got out of that place before I ran up any significant student debt. Did I mention I trash talked a uni on a news blag website?

Comment: Re:Converted wifi hub into network bridge (Score 1) 188 188

I converted a fairly old and small ISP box that was intended to do ADSL modem, router and wifi access point. After some protacted flashing through USB and a Windows program, it got a more "vanilla" and unrestricted firmware, then configuration was done with telnet and vi rather than the web interface. It became a 802.11b to wired ethernet bridge, with a "homeplug" type thing hooked to the RJ45 ethernet plug.
On the other side, a PC with a 802.11g thumbkey, whose speed I had to set to 5.5 Mbps instead of 11 for more reliability. A free wifi extender, unencrypted (security through low performance and low range)

Comment: Re:useful? (Score 1) 132 132

Well, they'll be useful when I decide to start jumping off perfectly good cliffs. If I ever get sick of IT, I could make a better-than-average living packing parachutes or possibly even flying a jump plane. I'd need to go get a pilot's license and a commercial rating for the latter, but demand definitely exceeds supply for skydiving pilots. Just because the majority of people never picks up a skill (Like lockpicking, contact juggling, parquor, etc) doesn't mean those skills aren't useful. They just require some creativity to use to their full potential.

More to the point, the skills I've picked up skydiving are not ones that are going to go away at any point in my life. Even if I quit the sport, I'd still be able to hop into the wind tunnel at any point and fly. Contrast that with the ability to, let's say, run Molten Core. Anyone in a guild who did that during vanilla WoW spent way more time learning how to do that than I did skydiving. Keep in mind that my actual freefall time at the time I got my A license was less than an hour. And that's with wind tunnel time. The hypothetical guild probably spent several times that much time wiping on trash to get to the first boss. Three years later, I'm still building on my skydiving skills. Three years later, the hypothetical guild's shiny purple crap has been obsolete for three expansions and if anyone runs Molten Core anymore, it's 1 or 2 people going for some vanity drop. That's a significantly less rewarding experience, and I know that first-hand.

Comment: Re:Does this concern anyone else? (Score 1) 132 132

Heh, yeah. I took up skydiving in 2012 and the progression does feel very much like a video game. Can't advance until you demonstrate proficiency in the current training level yadda yadda. I'm building useful skills, actually have a social life now and am in much better shape than I was before. And my accomplishments are actually meaningful to me. Down sides are it's a pretty expensive hobby and has a higher than average chance of killing me. I'm pretty conservative under canopy, though.

I'm still pretty interested in the VR headset technology. Seems like the Microsoft Holo Lens is what the wearable computing guys really needed for augmented reality a decade and a half or so ago. And I'm looking forward to being able to take an audience along for a jump with a 3D camera. It'll really be much more intense than just watching it on a flat screen on YouTube. Even that's a pretty amazing technology, though. For around $400 someone can give you a window into a world that most people will never see. And they want to see it. Pretty much everyone I talk to about it says skydiving's on their bucket list, but only a tiny percentage of them will ever do so much as a tandem jump.

Comment: A rhetorical asylum seek (Score 2) 143 143

I'm sure Julian Assange knew the request would not be granted and it's probably a simple maneuver to remember us which side France is on.
Since 2009 France is officially a full NATO member and a couple years later, it showed full allegiance and with the US it attacked Libya, a sovereign country. If we hold this to the same standards as the invasion of Iraq then that was a particularly abject and monstrous crime, which also makes France directly responsible for the rise of Islamic State.

In France, foreign policy affairs are typically directed by the president, who is totally unaccountable once elected (a republican monarch). There's never any debate about foreign policy, esp. in the media. The president styles himself as left-wing, though that is contested. But I haven't heard anything on the left about NATO and the wars, though it seems to me there's that obvious elephant in the room, that France is fully allied to the US, UK, Saudi etc. which implies embracing the neocons goals and methods.
More directly to the point I will say that Hollande and Fabius are comparable to Bush, Cheney, Tony Blair etc. and that the neocons cabbal is the gravest threat from the West since the nazis. Denouncing the US threat is fine (it's one of the few most dangerous countries on Earth) but it does not make intellectual sense to stop at the US or UK border and fail to consider that France is in. We need some great (democratic) purge that throws pro-war officials out of office. France need not embrace a dangerous ideology that worships death and destruction of States, presenting them with a convert-or-die deal (join the Empire or we'll destroy you) or pushing Arabs to kill one another to increase weapons sales.

Comment: Re:Indeed (Score 1) 359 359

Everyone has the right to express their disgust with you...

Yes. Absolutely.

...and take whatever measures they like in response.

No. Not even close.

the trolls keep telling us that there is "no right to be offended"

Well, perhaps, but I've never run into it. What I have run into, and said myself, is that "there is no right to not be offended."

The version you quote is ridiculous. The version I give you is profoundly defensible.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov