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Comment: Re:You guessed it: It depends (Score 1) 224

by Man Eating Duck (#48182135) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

I can't give anyone a non-GPL licence to this work, which is what they were demanding.

IANAL, but are you sure this is the case? I believe that in my country (Norway) at least, you're still the sole proprietor of your IP. You can sign an exclusivity contract, which of course puts restrictions on what you can do with your IP, but it can't put any liability on you for rights you've granted in the past (although an already contracted exclusivity can be transferred). Did they want to gain exclusive rights to code you'd already published under the GPL?

Under our laws, (again I believe that) that would make no sense. If there was a mechanism by which the license for a piece of code could be retroactively retracted most O project would have had huge problems. A license is different from a contract, and a license can't preclude other uses in the manner that a contract can. Even ignoring that, however, you would still be able to apply as many licenses a you want to your code. Does the GPL preclude that you grant, for instance, a BSD or Apache license for code which you wrote yourself?

Naturally I otherwise agree with your post :)

Comment: Re:As well they should. (Score 1) 243

Yellow. The color of the sun. Obviously.

No, the light from the sun is white. The reason why it appears yellow in the sky is that a good portion of the blue-ish spectrum is spread in the atmosphere, making the sky blue, but hindering most of the blue light coming directly from the sun. The aggregated daylight during mid-day is indeed white, being the sum of direct sunlight plus the other parts of the spectrum reflected in the atmosphere from other directions. Sunlight's not a certain colour in the spectrum, more or less by necessity it's a mix of *all* visible colours.

The human eye is most sensitive to green light a lower intensities, and yellowish-green at higher intensities. This is due to the nature of the colour receptors in our eyes. Observe the visibility of equally powerful red, blue and green laser beams to verify this.

Comment: Re:metric you insensitive clod! (Score 1) 403

Presumably Europe uses litres per 100 kilometres. At least that's what we use in Canada.

Yes, that's common. As a curiosity, in Norway we use liters/10 km. That's because 10km is the length of a Scandinavian mile, commonly used in colloquial speech in Norway.

Of course the l/100km unit is intuitively understandable for us, and it's also true that it makes more sense than mpg.

Comment: Re:Inverse Wi-fi law (Score 1) 278

by Man Eating Duck (#48064983) Attached to: Marriott Fined $600,000 For Jamming Guest Hotspots

The really dumpy hotels have no choice. Their plant is run down, and they may be a no-name. Unless they offer free amenities, nobody in their right mind is going to stay at their place (assuming similar nightly rents) unless there's no choice.

I'd say that the really dumpy hotels are just badly managed. Yes, it costs a bit more to keep your facilities maintained and properly cleaned as opposed to let everything run down, but nothing like the 2-3x increase in price that you'll typically pay at a decent hotel compared to a dump. The hotel might need to have a bit more cost for cleaning and maintenance personnel, but the cost is seriously not that high, and it makes sense to aim for repeat business.

As an example: one of my nicest stays was five nights at a nine-room B&B in Edinborough, run by an elderly widow (not active anymore, she probably retired) . Although the building was old and creaky the staff (one girl) was very friendly and helpful, the rooms were spotlessly clean, they had a cosy library-ish common room with a fireplace constantly lit in the evening, and the landlady prepared a home-cooked breakfast every day (brought to you in your room if you were to badly hung-over from sampling lokal whisky the previous night, regardless of whether you really wanted it). The price was £23/night. They made a good bit of extra money by providing simple food and drinks in the evening, but that was also at a reasonable price.

The point is that as they managed to make money (they did, I asked) running a pleasant establishment at budget prices, there's no reason why any dump motel shouldn't be able to convert into a nice place to stay while keeping a similar price point. No, they might not be able to provide shirt press and shoe polishing included (although I'm quite confident that the landlady at the mentioned B&B would have done that at no extra cost), but they *can* keep the place clean, have helpful and service-minded staff, and generally be not-a-dump at a budget as long as they have proper management that cares.

PS my keyboard has a marginal 's' key, apologies if I missed any of them.

Comment: Re:flash/disk/tape ratios still stand (Score 1) 183

I've stopped attempting to keep my game collection on the an SSD.

Install all games to an HDD, and only keep the games you're actually playing on the SSD. Under Windows 7 I use a 120GB SSD for OS and the 2-3 games I'm currently playing by using Steam Mover. Since it's simply a GUI for a few cmd commands (mklink being the central one) it'll work for any directory you point it at, not just Steam games, and it's very robust.

If you're on Linux you're likely already familiar with some ways of doing this, if not I can give you a few pointers :)

Displays

New Display Technology Corrects For Vision Defects 28

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the fuzzy-pixels dept.
rtoz (2530056) writes Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a new display technology that automatically corrects for vision defects without requiring glasses or contact lenses. This technique could lead to dashboard-mounted GPS displays that farsighted drivers can consult without putting their glasses on, or electronic readers that eliminate the need for reading glasses. The display is a variation on a glasses-free 3-D technology: a 3-D display projects slightly different images to the viewer's left and right eyes. Similarly, this vision-correcting display projects slightly different images to different parts of the viewer's pupil.

Comment: Re:We've observed and created antiparticles (Score 1) 214

by Man Eating Duck (#47490943) Attached to: Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

By coincidence I was discussing Orwell with a friend last night. We decided that while 1984 was fine sociology and politics, the plot really didn't depend at all on the small amounts of technoogy he described. The surveillance could have been provided by spies as well as by TV screens and cameras. "SF" isn't a category we'd put Orwell into.

Um, science fiction doesn't have to be technology-focused, and most of the best stories aren't (with some exceptions where some exotic tech is a plot device). Sure, as many sci-fi stories occurs in the future there is an assumption that new technology have been marching on, but many interesting stories concern themselves with how humans react to the possibilities enabled by technology and new societal structures, rather than the technology itself. Nineteen Eigthy-four is specifically a future dystopia, but I'd certainly place it within the Sci-Fi genre.

On a side note, I've found that providing performance specifics about technology, specifically computers, are a sure sign of *bad* Sci-Fi. I read a novel written in 1992 set in 2007 where one particular computer had a CPU of 400 MHz and was equipped with "several hundred megabytes of memory". Bad Sci-Fi writers: restrict yourself to describing what amazing feats the wrist-computer is capable of, do not venture into providing explicit hardware specifications :)

Comment: Re:Many worlds (Score 1) 202

by Man Eating Duck (#47455485) Attached to: How Deep Does the Multiverse Go?

Prove it.

I can't prove it as I don't know the math, but I've heard it explained this way:

Imagine a lot of parallel chess games between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand. There might be all three outcomes and a lot of different games played, but not every possible game. The ones where one player loses in five moves, or one player overlooks a trivial mate-in-one, or both players fumble so much as to resemble novice players aren't likely to exist anywhere. The probabilities are simply too low in a game between two high-level chess players.

Comment: Re:Sweden (Score 1) 1040

by Man Eating Duck (#47167801) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

The more socialist countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany) are doing far better than the more highly capitalist ones post crash.

Yup, Norwegian here. We weren't really affected adversely over here. I am not at all qualified to discern why, but the people who are generally claim it's because of our very solid societal structure and general lack of private interests' influence on our political system, which makes us less vulnerable to external market swings.

Norway as a nation is dependant on export industries (oil & gas, power, cargo shipping services, fish), and a few companies did suffer, but the regular Joes and Joettes didn't really feel any impact at all from the crash.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 321

by Man Eating Duck (#47127487) Attached to: I Want a Kindle Killer

I use the Kindle app on my Android phone. I would never buy a standalone reader because I read when it's convenient. My phone is almost always with me and fits in my pocket.

I use the Kindle app on my Android phone. I would never buy a standalone reader because I read when it's convenient. My phone is almost always with me and fits in my pocket.

And I habitually bring my Kobo reader everywhere I go, and read every time I have a few minutes to kill. It fits nicely in a jacket/cargo pocket. I usually read several hours each day, and there are several reasons why I also bring it when leaving my apartment:

  • * When reading for hours at a time the better display eliminates eyestrain
  • * Battery concerns is not an issue
  • * The display is larger and fits more text, making for a more comfortable reading experience
  • * Fewer distractions than on a phone

If the phone is good enough for you when it comes to reading, that's great, and I would also like that to be the case for me. But for me it's not cutting it, so I end up choosing clothes based on whether they can store my (admittedly light and sleek, but bulkier than a phone) e-reader. I really, really hope that E-Ink aren't going away anytime soon.

Comment: Re:Corporate directed not volunteer direct ... (Score 1) 403

Unless the locks on your doors are to lock people in, they aren't there because you assume all your houseguests are criminals, they are there because you assume some non-house guests are criminals. The locks don't stop the people you've already let in. And yeah, I do assume some of the people outside are criminals. Why wouldn't I?

The problem with this line of thought is that, to continue the analogy, a lot of your legitimate house guests will be kept out by the locks, while the criminals outside all know that you don't lock your cellar hatch and can help themselves.

Most DRM to date don't even slow down the pirates, as long as someone can see the content they can copy it. My experience is mostly from working at a publishing company, and the legitimate customers have a far easier time using a non-crippled file than a DRM'ed one. Basically, DRM is just a big fuck you to your legitimate customers, especially on downloaded files that are ostensibly usable anywhere like an ebook.

That said, I don't really understand why DRM-free streaming is so scary to content providers. Strong authentication would hinder casual link sharing, and the pirates would be able to make a copy of your stream even with any DRM you could imagine, as long as they could see the content. The only ones to suffer are legitimate customers that can't view the content because they don't have the right combination of equipment and software. The music business, and to a lesser degree the ebook industry, have found that in going DRM-free you can still rely on the majority of customers to be perfectly allright with paying for a good product, and they are happy that they can be sure of it being accessible. Currently the pirates are far superior when it comes to objective quality of product in the movie/TV-show department.

Comment: Re:next for NoSQL (Score 1) 162

by Man Eating Duck (#47042057) Attached to: New PostgreSQL Guns For NoSQL Market

While your parent *was* a bit snarky in his reply, I can see only two reasons why you would try to finagle your NoSQL needs into a PostgreSQL server: you don't understand how to use a traditional RDBMS but would still like to advertise that you're using PostgreSQL instead of MongoDB (not likely for most devs), or the decision is made for you by management for the reasons you mention. If you need some NoSQL solution in a new project it's not very difficult to create an instance, and the infrastructure for the future production DB of your project should be a consideration based on your needs, not what is incidentally already there (hey, it's a DB, it should do the job, right?). Right tool for the job.

For the record I am very used to working with traditional SQL databases, and I particularly like PostgreSQL. Still I know there are lots of use cases for the various NoSQL DBs. They are different beasts, some of which are tailored for very specific applications. I haven't scrutinised the new features of PostgreSQL, but if a NoSQL db were a better fit for the project I would need strong reasons not to go for it.

*Analogy warning* If you have to change a large amount of Torx screws, you could probably accomplish it with a flat blade screwdriver of an approximate size if that's what you have in your shed, but it might save you a lot of destroyed screws to buy a Torx driver instead.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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