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Comment: Re:First taste of Mac OS X (Score 1) 305

by Keybounce (#48183303) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

Full-screen was just implemented badly in OS X, to the point that I much prefer "maximize" to full-screen. In fact, I hate full screen.

1. I don't do single-tasking on my computer. Even if I want to have the full screen for a document I'm working on, I am using other apps, or other documents, or other terminal windows, etc., at the same time.

I can switch between maximized windows easily enough. Even if they are in different apps.
I cannot switch between two different full-screen windows easily, whether they are in the same app or not.

2. I use two monitors. Full-screen should mean "This window is the full size of this monitor", or "This window is the full size of my display, both monitors". There are times that I want A, and times that I want B. Let me select it.

*NOT*: "This window is the full size of this monitor, and the second monitor is unusable.

Now, I know what you are going to say: Starting in 10.9, it's possible to have the two monitors separate, giving me two different full-screen windows at the same time.

But that's no-good either. The point of two monitors is to show big things in two places. I can work at 72 DPI (sorry, these are *NOT* 25 year old eyes, they are 50 year old eyes), and still have enough screen space for a window. My main window is 1024x640, and I alternate the second monitor to either 960x640 or 1024x600, depending on whether I need to extend down, or to the right (or, in the case of iMovie, to the left -- keeping the movie on the main monitor at normal size, something that is not possible without this "split over monitor" behavior with iMovie).

3. A full-screen window is not a desktop. It's a window on a desktop, it's just the size of the desktop.

Apple does not understand the concept of "This desktop is for project X".
Apple wants to say "This desktop is for application Y".

Even if a window is full-screen in size, it's still part of project X, and that project involves other apps.

This can be made to work well-enough with maximized windows -- and hidden dock, plus maximized window, is almost as much screen space, and much easier to work with, than full-screen.

Comment: What happens to the bitcoins? (Score 1) 40

by Keybounce (#47800855) Attached to: Hal Finney, PGP and Bitcoin Pioneer, Dies At 58

We are now seeing the start of the death of bitcoin.

As people die, their coins -- protected by passwords not available to anyone else -- will be taken out of circulation.

So what happens to the bitcoins of the dead? What is the future of a currency that has to suffer hard decline in total units as generations go by?

What is the future of a currency where only corporations can live long enough to use it -- and they cannot prevent theft (if the corporation has a way to spend it, then at least one person must have the same way to spend it.)

Comment: DOS: XCom. Amiga: Titans of Steel, Killing Game Sh (Score 1) 382

by Keybounce (#47796677) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

For any platform?

XCom, the original. Can be made better with XComUtil (a tool to work around some of the shortcomings of the game's UI. Yes, this is an old-school, low-res DOS game.

If you like magic: the gathering, then the original M:tG game (based on 5th edition cards) is great on old, slower computers, but runs too fast to be playable on modern computers. (Microsoft Windows, worked on 3.1 and 95, if I recall)

On the Amiga: Titans of Steel was a Mech Warrior game with actual time-based physics and time-based heat (instead of turn-based heat). No more "I have generated 15 units of heat, and sink 10, so I'm only heat 5, and take no penalty". Now it takes time to sink that heat -- and all the old FASA mech designs turn out to be horrible when you have real heat issues to worry about.

Finally, Killing Game Show (Amiga) -- you need the original disk, the crack did not work properly -- is a platformer with a "timer/clock" to keep you going. But it has one wonderful feature -- when you die, it replays the level you died on. So you can see where you made your mistake. And, *** You can take over during the replay***. So you can take over *before* you make your mistake and avoid having to do all the drudge work over and over again.

Comment: Third party pass through (Score 1) 91

by Keybounce (#47716575) Attached to: Research Unveils Improved Method To Let Computers Know You Are Human

And how will even the best, most fool-proof Capcha protect you from a spam bot system that passes that game, or other capcha, to some people farm in a foreign country? Or just to visitors to some other website that gets high enough traffic for the spammers to post sufficient volume of spam?

This, by itself, cannot solve the issue.

The issue is not "Prove that there is a human there".

The issue is "Prove that you, right there, right now, are a human, and not being passed to someone else, elsewhere".

Comment: Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 267

by Keybounce (#47627655) Attached to: Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier


The old code works. My PPC machine actually still can log into skype -- apparently they only "retired" the intel programs. There is no reason to force people to upgrade except perhaps to steal more information, spy on more things, and give you ads where the older versions did not.

Apple, good or bad, right or wrong (I call wrong) has chosen to dismantle features of the OS every version, approximately.

10.5 could be made to run EOF and web objects, but they were really only happy in 10.4. 10.6, as I understand it, cannot.

10.6 has support for PPC code, but sadly, does not include running your old version in a VM -- heck, you are not even legally allowed to load 10.6 into a VM unless you have the server version of it. 10.7 can be put into a VM, fine, but that doesn't help anyone with legacy apps.

Apple's whole "We have the technology for your business" has turned out to be three busts now as I recall: EOF is dead, WebObjects became EOF's master, took it over, and then took it to the java side, and then abandoned it all completely. The toll-free bridging has gone poof. Java as a first-class language has gone poof. Etc.

That's a lot more than 3, actually.

The point it: It is very easy to be in need of a specific older version of the OS because none of the newer ones support what you want/need to do.

And: "The new version is free"?


Lets dumb it down. Everyone knows that a computer only works with one window at a time, so your finder is now single window (10.9). Everyone knows that grey on white is much easier to read than black on white, so lets make the finder displays of your files grey (10.9). Heck, 10.10 has this wonderful new feature: If you want to maximize a window, you must mean "full screen", after all, you never actually want to multitask between full screen windows and other things, right?

The full-screen app behavior is broken unless you are looking at a single-window app, like iMovie. And the new, free, upgrade to this new version of iMovie has lost features and become little more than a clip assembler with no smarts or power.

I'm on 10.7, only because I can't upgrade to 10.8 -- I cannot buy it. The horrors of "iOS is taking over the desktop", while at least partially true in 10.8, have workarounds; 10.9 and 10.10 are disasters.

Comment: Re:Where is IPv*8*? (Score 1) 250

I don't know about V7. But at the same time that V6 work was started, there was also work on a V8 system.

V8 was based on master regional gateways, if I remember correctly, called stargates. The central assumption in V8: Throw away the assumption that a single IP address always refers to the same machine everywhere. Within a single region, there is a mapping from name to IP to machine. But that mapping does not hold across stargates.

If I want to talk to a machine in my region, then getHostByName() returns an IP address that maps and routes just as normal.

If I want to talk to a machine in a different region, then getHostByName() returns a special 4 byte magic token that talks to the stargate that sits between me and whatever it takes to get to the destination.

It is another level of routers. Just as now, I can work within my regional area network -- perhaps I'm a comcast customer talking to another comcast customer -- or, I can go out over the "backbone" of routers that talk to routers with the special gateway router protocol (sorry, I forget the exact acronym -- BGP, I think?) to reach the final region for "last mile" delivery.

This extends it another layer. But at the same time, each region now has an independent IPv4 space.

Want to really enforce a "firewall of china"? V8 would actually permit it. If something like this was in place, then any attempt to talk to someone outside of china would have to send that hostname to a central authority router, which could then return either an accepted "cookie" (looks like an IP address, but treated special by the routers), or "no such host", or "here's the government re-education website".

What is the major compatibility problem? It is suddenly impossible to cache the outcome of "getHostByName()" across runs -- the cookie returned only has a lifespan as determined by the gateways.


There is a much better, much deeper question to ask.

** WHY THE BLEEP ** are we still using things like getHostByName()?

Why the bleep do we still expose struct sockaddr to programs? It's an OS internal.

Way, way, way back when, before there was an internet, when arpanet was just one of many networking protocols in use, networking changed far faster than BSD releases could come out. So a bunch of stuff that should have been OS internals were exposed, so network drivers could talk to application programs without an out-of-date kernel in the way.

Today, that should be gone.
Today, there should be a simple open() call that returns a network connection -- and for simple TCP streams, that's all you would need. Message-based (UDP/etc) would probably have a flag on open, just as we have for "read only", "create if not found", etc, there might be "best effort only". Heck, imagine a file system that could recover from "out of disk space" by eliminating old "best effort" files automatically. Sure, put up a warning on the console -- but programs can keep running.

All the issues we see from "How do we re-write all those programs from v4 to v6", all those "how do we migrate X from 4 to 6", etc. -- all come down to "Why do we even care?"

This is serious.

Why worry about the program ever knowing what address to talk to?
Why worry about the program ever knowing that port X is the destination?

Why would you ever want to say "This program/server can only run once on this machine because the port number must be reserved and known ahead of time to the users"?

Why not just say "Give me a channel to service X running on machine Y", and not worry about "I want a TCP channel over 4 bytes of address".

Why worry about "Hey, the TCP protocol fails spectacularly over networks that have a very high bit length wire" and "well, we'll fake the TCP protocol with a new one that looks sort-of like TCP, can handle high bit-length wires, but can be reset by a random packet from an attacker with a 1-in-4 chance of success". (High bit length wires == satellite links. TCP has a packet size, and a window size; put them together, and a bare TCP connection over satellite has to sit and wait for acks a large amount of the time.)

Get rid of struct sockaddr
Get rid of a program's need to even care what the underlying network protocol / address family is.

Then see if there is any need to worry.


Last I checked, there was no way for a V4 only machine to talk to a V6 only machine -- while the original V6 address space map included the V4 address space as a special segment, that was removed in a later revision. If this is true (I don't know, it's been years since I've checked), then since there are lots of v4-only hardware devices out there, V6-only systems are DOA -- and we'll never be rid of the V4 legacy.

Is that still the case? Has that changed?

Comment: Helium 3 (Score 1) 206

Someone several posts back mentioned that even getting gold from space was too expensive to be worth it. Well, there's one very good resource out there, in space, worth getting. Helium 3. Produced by the sun. Found in tiny quantities on the earth. Found in large quantities on the moon, but the cost of shipping back from the moon -- all return fuel must be carried to the moon -- makes it unprofitable.

But on mars? The return fuel from mars can be harvested on mars. So you don't need the fuel to ship fuel. That is the key difference, that makes mars worth using as a base.

Mars has Helium 3. How much does it have? I don't know.

What's involved in sending people to mars? Well, you need a habitat for them to live in, and you need return vehicles.

We've got plans for that already. Unmanned modules sent out to mars, that can set up mining / fuel production, a return vehicle, and a habitat. Send them off to mars; check out a location. Every two years, send something off to a different place on mars.

What happens eventually? You find a place with resources worth sending people to. And, you've got a fueled return ship. What? Something went wrong? Ok, send another set of survival/return resources to that same place.

Eventually, you have living space, and return trip, and fuel production, all ready to go. You can now send people and another return ship, just in case. And, some rovers -- you've got resupply points on mars, and now you can have people sent to do their own driving.

This is how you get people to mars -- every two years, a care package, until you've got something sufficient.

The why of mars? Two good reasons:

1. Helium 3.
2. You cannot mine an asteroid in the asteroid belt profitably. You have to move an asteroid someplace where you can mine it. There are four choices:
A: Earth orbit
B: Moon orbit
C: Mars orbit
D: Lagrange point.

We don't have the technology for D yet.
Attempting to move an asteroid into earth orbit ... lets just say that would be a political nightmare bigger than any technical challenge.

That leaves moon orbit -- with all the fueling problems -- or mars orbit, with much easier fueling/working conditions.

So the bottom line: Sending people to mars is not out of our technology. There are reasons to do so. It is the only currently known stepping stone to the next stage, and the first way we can get off this rock and prevent a single-point of failure that wipes out humans.

Comment: Lotus Improv Models vs Spreadsheets (Score 1) 422

by Keybounce (#47131211) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

Many years ago, there was a program on the Pizza Box (aka NeXT machine) called Lotus Improv. It even came out on early windows systems.

It did something wonderful to spreadsheets.
It moved the formulas out of the cells, into a formula plane.
It got rid of the 2d system, where you put different sections of data on different parts of the plane, and try to keep things straight as your database grows, and instead used a collection of n-d spaces. Each one of the collections dealt with one subject; each one could track as many as 8 dimensions, and tracking 3-5 was typical.

It worked. It worked well.

Code was readable -- nothing was duplicated in every cell, or rather, almost duplicated with slight variations in each cell that you had to hope and pray was given the same and correct slight alteration each time (and god forbid you needed to change the template spread across everything). Instead, you defined clear statements once, and it automatically adjusted for each different cell.

Improv was wonderful.

Why did it die?

Comment: Re:Use firefox ESR (Score 1) 688

by Keybounce (#46882273) Attached to: Firefox 29: Redesign

** Mod Parent Up **

I was just about to post this same thing. I have been using 24 ESR (and 17 ESR, for PPC compatibility) for a while now. I was fortunate enough to NOT get this bleep today.

My mother, on her microsoft windows based system, was wondering "What has happened? Where has my gmail gone?"

Massive change, just for the sake of change, with no warning, with no user awareness, with no customization? I used to think that only Microsoft could pull such bleep on us.

Comment: Re:as fast as Chrome? (Score 1) 688

by Keybounce (#46882123) Attached to: Firefox 29: Redesign

Funny, I am one of those "Open in new window" guys who still prefers new windows over tabs. I'm beginning to think I'm the only one.

My only reasons for wanting tabs over windows?

1. Memory. For some reason, it takes a lot more system resources/memory to have 10 pages in 10 windows, than in 1 window with 10 tabs.

2. I want to keep related pages together. But ohh, Firefox doesn't have any tools for selecting tabs and working with them as a group. I think it was just a couple of changes that were needed: Move all tabs here and to the right off to a new window as a group; and, open all new tabs on the far right (instead of next to me).

3. What we really need, and have never had, is the ability to say "Open all external links in a new window", rather than "in a new tab in the same window". If you have things set up so that command-clicking gives you a new window, then external links open in a new window. But if you have it set to use a new tab for command-click, then external links become a tab in the same window.

If I open new tabs from command-clicking a link, they are probably related and belong in the same group.

If I open 5 tabs, and then close that page, go to the first tab, and read ... and then start clicking: I am now looking at stuff related to the new page, not the old page -- so the tabs I am now opening have the potential to be unrelated to the rest of the tabs already on the bar. If I can say "Group these new tabs, and put them into a new window"? Wonderful. But no -- instead, as I wander the tab bar, I am browsing in stack-order, rather than queue-order, with no way to break the dozens of tabs up into reasonable grouping.

** And, even if I could, doing so drastically increases the system resources/memory usage.

+ - Might flight 370 just be an emergency landing?

Submitted by Keybounce
Keybounce (226364) writes "I was watching CNN today, and they were talking about flight 370. While discussing the auto pilot, transmitters, and emergency procedures, I came up with a simple idea.

Is what happened consistent with the simple idea of a cockpit disaster that destroys the transmitter, and triggers a need for an emergency landing?

If you need an emergency landing, you make a course change for the nearest reachable large-enough airport, and normally send a "Mayday" — but if you can't transmit, you can't transmit.

Would the course change correspond to a "nearby" airport for a plane over the middle of the water?"

Comment: "Unless we think we could get a court order" (Score 1) 206

Quote: Microsoft says it will not search a user's email or other Microsoft service "unless the circumstances would justify a court order, if one were available."

In other words, they are saying that they are the judicial review, the judge, and the jury, and then the executioner -- they decide the process, they determine who will review the case, they decide who will make the judgement, and then they will read your email.

The first three bullet points in that list of reform processes basically says, "We will either use an employee, or a paid contractor, to review the situation to decide if this will continue". And if the reviewer says "Stop", well, they might use a different reviewer next time.

There is no independence. No double checking. No review. No safety at all.

As bad as Google might be claimed to be, this is Microsoft's bare expose: Even in the face of admitting a problem, they won't actually do anything to fix it.

Did Google mess up with the predecessor to Google Plus -- their first attempt at social networking with the ability to make real comments, real content, no silly 140 character limit, etc.? Yep -- and they had a fix in their ToS and code for that program within two days. (Sorry I don't remember the name. I actually liked it better than this new bleep(*) they have.

The difference: Google may be aware that datamining can break privacy. Microsoft says from page 1, they will break your privacy.

(*): Due to the courts and the FCC, my right of free speech has been revoked.

Eureka! -- Archimedes