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Comment: Re:1 million dollars per family? (Score 1) 536

by JonTurner (#49513687) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Infrastructure for a subdivision (especially one this size) has costs. Clearing land, grading, cutting in roads, installing water, sewer, natural gas, electric and phone utilities, permitting, inspections, impact studies & statements, insurance, contracting, setbacks, advertising, etc. all adds up rather quickly.

+ - GAO says IRS taxpayer security stinks!

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: A GAO report has found the IRS financial security system has gigantic holes, including allowing former employees access to taxpayer confidential records long after they have left the agency.

The GAO report says the IRS uses old outdated software without proper security functions. IRS passwords can easily be compromised, the report notes. Even worse, the report says the IRS does not always delete employee access when workers quit or are fired.

But don’t worry. The IRS might not be able to protect your private data, but it is still very good at losing the emails of employees and using the tax code to harass their political opponents.

Comment: It is about choice- you're looking at this wrong. (Score 1) 439

by JonTurner (#30120914) Attached to: Apple Patents "Enforceable" Ad Viewing On Devices

"I will never buy such a product".

That's the point. You may not have to. If, in exchange for watching a few advertisements a day, consumers were given a shiny new Apple iPhone300kTurbo for "free", or were given "free" cell service, that might be seen as an acceptable trade.
It benefits Apple by giving them evidence that those pricey advertisements they sell are reaching eyeballs.

Pure speculation on my part, btw. I have no inside knowledge (nor do I really care) about Apple's marketing or product plans.

Comment: your home is likely online, already (Score 3, Informative) 174

by JonTurner (#29600919) Attached to: Google Wants to Map Indoors, Too

>>A least Microsoft isn't taking picture of people's homes and posting them online without permission.

They don't have to -- if your home has been built or purchased in the past 30 years, it's likely the floorplan is already available online. Just check with your county/parish tax assessor's office. With many of them, just enter the street address and you can see a county tax appraisor's estimate of value beside a photo or two of the home and a floorplan drawing.

This information, in most cases is considered public information and is thus available free to anyone who can click a mouse. Worst case, a simple data scraper would yield an entire county's data in a few days.

So no, they don't have to drive around and take photos when photos are already available online, complete with a floorplan courtesy of the government.

Comment: Re:It's 1980 all over again (Score 1) 164

by JonTurner (#28708775) Attached to: Embedded Linux Achieves One-Second Boot Time

good catch -- indeed, that was a goof. meant to write 66 but my fingers had other ideas. Sorry. But at any rate, I don't think the specific numbers are that important. The point was the new machine was computationally hundreds of times faster. But in actual use, it was slower in some areas that really matter, to the degree that even a young child noticed!
BTW, It's been a few years since I read it, but I believe this story is included in Abrash's book titled "Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book" since it's largely a compilation of his DDJ "Mode X" articles and a few others.

Yep, the early 486 with the clock-doubled processor. I had a DX2-80 *I think* (with a VESA local-bus video card so I could play Aces Of The Pacific in 256 color 800x600 mode -- woot!) and thought it was the cat's whiskers. Couldn't believe how fast it was compared to my lowly 33MHz machine @ work. And it only cost me $2300, what a great deal! And to think, now a $99 iPod Touch could run a PC emulator faster than that machine. That's serious progress.

Comment: It's 1980 all over again (Score 5, Interesting) 164

by JonTurner (#28706317) Attached to: Embedded Linux Achieves One-Second Boot Time

Impressive and would be a huge improvement over the current state of things.

But then again, my 1Mhz Apple ][ could cold boot in just a couple seconds.Of course, loading Applesoft Basic from tape took an additional two minutes but Integer Basic was in the ROM.

Michael Abrash wrote a great article about this in Dr. Dobbs magazine in the 90s. His young daughter (5 years old?) asked him why he never used his "fast" computer. Abrash was using a state-of-the-art 266mhz DX2 powerhouse and couldn't figure out what she meant. She was referring to the old Vic-20 in the corner that would boot in just a few seconds. Windows 3.0 took several minutes to load. IIRC, the article was titled "perception is everything"

Comment: Reason #9883459 (Score 1, Insightful) 176

by JonTurner (#27801531) Attached to: Chicago Tribune Reporters Don't Want Readers' Pre-Approval

Yet another reason why the newspaper business is bleeding money and descreasing subscriptions year after year after year. Kudos to the editors for attempting something different -- trying to match the product they sell to the market demand.

I don't believe these employees understand they are just that -- retained at the pleasure of their employer. If they wish to spout off with unpopular opinions without fear of retribution, they should have either been college professors or Supreme Court justices.

In the meantime, so long as someone else is paying them, they will do as they are told. Call the Waaaambulance.

Don't panic.