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Comment: Re:Better idea (Score 1) 490

by PPH (#49175733) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

OK. I'm not sure what it is we are arguing about here. The 'old archaic' standard to which I refer is the magic number embedded in the executable file. Often just a bunch of digits, but sometimes a string like

!# /bin/sh

That is inextricably linked to the file (being a part of it) and identifies it as an executable type and its execution environment (shell script in the above example). Ownership, file date, execution permissions are attributes of the file on one particular file system. These have security implications beyond the file type. For example, the administrator of a server may choose not to grant execution permissions to a script for which the system is only intended to provide storage.

I agree that file extensions are a bad place to hold such data. But that was a Microsoft innovation to provide a human readable (and editable) place to hold such information.

Comment: Re:The Big Bang Is Obsolete (Score 1) 139

by PPH (#49173595) Attached to: Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

Maybe not obsolete. But perhaps not accurate for all cases. Assuming that redshift is proportional to distance for all cases may be in error if some phenomenon could cause a higher receeding galactic velocity. Something like a slingshot effect due to a close encounter with another galaxy, black hole or other massive object.

Comment: Re:Better idea (Score 1) 490

by PPH (#49172139) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions

Instead of insisting that modern OS design carry forward an old and archaic standard set of digits describing the type of file, show users visual information about the file type/associations in way that is meaningful to them.

That's an issue of he UI, not how the attribute is atached to the file. Processors still prefer 'digits' to dancing icons. Its up to the O/S to map one to the other consistently and in a manner the user will still understand.

Keep in mind* that many of the bits and pieces of a system will never be seen by the user. It's one executable calling another, unseen by any human.

*A problem I repeatedly see in communicating with Windows vs Unix users. With Windows, the paradigm is that everything is a clickable icon, waiting on some user. They have trouble grasping the idea of autonomous processes just doing their own thing.

Comment: Re:I don't think Obama is really paying attention (Score 1) 517

Back in my day, it was 'get a funny haircut to piss off dad'.

Now, its 'behead non-believers to piss off dad'.

If these people were true believers, they would come out with their identities. Because they would have no expectation of ever needing to live outside the Caliphate for the rest of their lives. Jihad John wore a mask with the mistaken belief that he could conceal his identity and eventually return home to England, blend into society and earn a living as an IT guy.

Comment: Re:Crazy People (Score 1) 410

by PPH (#49159531) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

I get what's going on now.

It may have started as a demonstration of poor color encoding, white balance and perception. But it quickly morphed into a demonstration of suggestibility.

There are (at least) three dress pictures out there. Not counting the re-balanced original. The first was of a blue and black dress, probably taken with a cheap camera phone. And that started it all off. The dress, way overexposed (mis-balanced) looked white and gold (tan, yellow, etc.) But the photographer knew it was supposed to be blue and black. So they posted this and started the discussion. Finally, some professional equipment was taken out, the dress photographed and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's blue and black.

But there are at lest two other photos out there. A photoshopped copy of the original (thanks, /b/tards), with the colors changed to white and yellow. And a second dress with a very similar striped pattern, white and tan. But if you look closely, its not the same one and it has been cropped so as to eliminate background cues. Now, if you show these two pictures to people, some will still say "blue and black". But its not a matter of perception anymore. Thee two photos were never blue and black. Its all about suggestion. People 'know' that its blue and black because they've been told so. So that's the correct answer.

It's sort of like the Jimmy Kimmel Man on the Street prank interviews, where someone asks a passer-by a question about something that never happened. And they formulate an answer, just to sound well informed. And they might even believe that the incident in question actually happened when they walk away.

Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.