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Comment Re:Kitty loves Robot (Score 2) 144

One thing that would be really great is a laptop with an eInk screen, so that you'd be able to use it in full sun. Even the best laptops are difficult to read under the shade of a tree (and at max screen power the battery doesn't last long). But as far as I know color eInks have been in the development stages for forever, and B&W ones have not made it out of eReader displays.

I'd love to have a laptop with a changeable screen (press the button and pop it out): normal and eInk. Or even: eInk, Glossy, Matte, very high-res, etc... It could also be a fun DIY project to take an eReader and add a video input, put the tablet in front of your screen and connect it to the DVI or whatever video port of your laptop.

Comment Re:A simple test is in order (Score 2) 456

Exact same story here. We installed a wifi repeater in the lobby at work. The hostess started complaining about the 'microwaves hurting her'. But it wasn't even turned on yet (we were still building the rest of the system), only the LED on its power. When we finally turned it on we put a piece of black tape over the LED and told her that we'd turned it off. Everything was fine after that. Some people deserve to be slapped.

Comment Re:The cars can detect gestures. (Score 1) 236

Here's one case: there's been a small mudslide on the road and more is expected. Police / road workers are closing the road in a hurry. Central authority / maps have not been updated. You car MUST stop. But I guess it's enough to put a barrier in the middle of the road to get any car to stop, automated or not.

Comment Yeah, right. (Score 4, Interesting) 168

In the words of Knuth the Great: "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."

It reminds me of a story from the late 80s (?) at a tech conference. The makers of a real-time OS with real-time snapshots would periodically pull the plug on their systems, plug it back in and it would resume exactly what it was doing, to the delight and amazement of all the techies in the assistance. In the much larger and much more expensive booth in front of them was a richer vendor. The techies started coaxing them to do the same. After much hand wringing, they did, and after a very long rebuild time the system came back as a mess. Conclusion: the 1st vendor went out of business, the 2nd one is still very big.

Data Storage

MIT's New File System Won't Lose Data During Crashes 168

jan_jes sends news that MIT researchers will soon present a file system they say is mathematically guaranteed not to lose data during a crash. While building it, they wrote and rewrote the file system over and over, finding that the majority of their development time was spent defining the system components and the relationships between them. "With all these logics and proofs, there are so many ways to write them down, and each one of them has subtle implications down the line that we didn’t really understand." The file system is slow compared to other modern examples, but the researchers say their formal verification can also work with faster designs. Associate professor Nickolai Zeldovich said, "Making sure that the file system can recover from a crash at any point is tricky because there are so many different places that you could crash. You literally have to consider every instruction or every disk operation and think, ‘Well, what if I crash now? What now? What now?’ And so empirically, people have found lots of bugs in file systems that have to do with crash recovery, and they keep finding them, even in very well tested file systems, because it’s just so hard to do.”

Comment Re:Every public venue is amateur hour ... (Score 2) 37

Every public distribution channel is amateur hour, open source or commercial.

This. If the download is compromised, it doesn't matter how secure the source is. Maybe what you thought was XCode is actually a CIA rootkit.

Why is there no gpg signature on downloads? Why are the jars in the eclipse executable even signed if the signatures are not verified by default in Eclipse? Why does the Oracle Java 8 ppa:webupd8team for Ubuntu download and install from http sources just after I typed in sudo?

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year