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Comment Re:Idiots. (Score 1) 278

Mine is free though I do have to do various sorts of maintenance on it. It's nice to be able to go in with SQL queries to see what is in those 4.5TB or so of OTA ATSC rips, fix bad descriptions that came from the guide information, and fill in episode information for the stuff I want to keep around. (FYI it takes around 6GB/hour for full HD but more like 1GB/hour for an SD sub-channel.)

Submission + - Almost no real women on Ashley Madison

gurps_npc writes: Ashley Madison claimed to have about 31 million men and 5.5 million woman enrolled. Those odds are not good for the men, 6:1. But unfortunately, most of those 'women' were fake. This researcher analyzed the data and found only 12,000 actual, real women using Ashley Madison. That means for every 7750 men, there were 3 women. There are reports that Ashley Madison paid people to create fake female profiles. Their website admits that 'some of the users may be their for "entertainment purposes"' The article itself is well written, including a description of the analysis.

A charitable person would say that Ashley Madison was selling a fantasy, not reality. But a realist would say Ashley Madison is just a thief stealing money from lonely, unhappy men.

Submission + - In Praise of the Solo Programmer

HughPickens.com writes: Jean-Louis Gassée writes that once upon a time, we were awestruck by the solo programmer who could single-handedly write a magnum opus on a barebones machine like the Apple ][ with its 64 kilobytes of memory and an 8-bit processor running at 1MHz. Once such giant was Paul Lutus, known as the Oregon Hermit, who won a place next to Jobs and Wozniak in the Bandley Drive Hall of Fame for his Apple Writer word processor. "Those were the days Computers and their operating systems were simple and the P in Personal Computers applied to the programmer," writes Gassée. "There’s no place for a 2015 Paul Lutus. But are things really that dire?"

As it turns out, the size and complexity of operating systems and development tools do not pose completely insurmountable obstacles; There are still programs of hefty import authored by one person. One such example is Preview, Mac’s all-in-one file viewing and editing program. The many superpowers of Apple’s Preview does justice to the app’s power and flexibility authored by a solo, unnamed programmer who has been at it since the NeXT days. Newer than Preview but no less ambitious, is Gus Mueller’s Acorn, an “Image Editor for Humans”, now in version 5 at the Mac App Store. Mueller calls his Everett, WA company a mom and pop shop because his spouse Kristin does the documentation when she isn’t working as a Physical Therapist. Gus recently released Acorn 5 fixing hundreds of minor bugs and annoyances. "It took months and months of work, it was super boring and mind numbing and it was really hard to justify, and it made Acorn 5 super late," writes Mueller. "But we did it anyway, because something in us felt that software quality has been going downhill in general, and we sure as heck weren't going to let that happen to Acorn."

Comment Re:Problem with the solution? (Score 1) 193

Why do you automatically assume that "satellite" means latency? Only GEO has the latency problem. They could be using a LEO satellite constellation, in exchange for allowing the use of fixed antennas. Even Iridium is going that way, as they replace their whole constellation over the next few years with stuff that can do high-speed digital. (Iridium-classic is basically analog-voice-only.)

Comment Re:Use RTGs for ion propulsion then comm. (Score 1) 77

You could also use solar power for ion engines, but that barely gets you to the asteroids before you run out of sunlight (Jupiter gets what, 4% the sunlight of Earth?), not to mention the amount of reaction mass needed. It would work great for the inner solar system, though.

Comment Re:Now we need a NoHTML5Media plugin (Score 3, Interesting) 202

the FCC mandates a 1-frame black burst before and after commercial breaks

Tell that to at least one of my local TV stations that does a multi-frame fade between one of their self-advertisements and the program being returned to. Yes, prime-time on a major US broadcast network. I don't have cable (antenna-only), and it's not the only channel that does a quick fade in and out of programs. The good news is that more often than not, there's usually at least one black key frame between commercials and program.

I don't trust my MythTV box's ability to detect commercials, but I've got pretty good at manually snipping them from the shows that I want to keep around. But I still let it run so that the little flag icon is there to remind me to remove them myself. (yes, it's shameful)

Comment Re:I should also point out... (Score 4, Interesting) 284

Yes, OS/2 was a great DOS multitasking environment, I also used it to run a Fidonet BBS back in the '90s, but IBM had an obsession with trying to make the 286 useful, which crippled it from the start. Back in the day, I thought 64K segments were the height of stupidity, which is why I've been primarily a Mac user since '85. Also, this would be the second time that IBM let Microsoft use it to further their (MS) own goals.

Comment Re:old clunky junk (Score 1) 170

I'm not talking about in-line comments, I'm talking about blocks of comment-only lines and right-side comments. Sheesh.

And variables being declared in the scope where they are used is cleaner because it's better in terms of locality. Especially when you make functions way too long. Declaring "int temp1" at the top when it's used in a single if statement near the end of a long function is hardly "cleaner".

And I can't see why you're bringing function and parameter declarations into this.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 240

Chromatic music keyboards are a whole other holy war. I never learned the piano keyboard, but I know enough that you have to learn different fingering for each variation of a chord because of the black keys. With a chromatic keyboard, the same finger position works all the time, but I guess your fingers have to be farther apart, and/or the keys narrower.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."