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Comment: Re:"Linux Command Line Tirckery" HA! (Score 4, Insightful) 642

by Penguin (#39003753) Attached to: Windows 8 Features With Linux Antecedents

Well... since you didn't bother to limit it to only "simple user tasks".....

for i in * do mv $i `echo $i | tr [:upper:] [:lower:]` done

Done, all the files in that directory are now lower case.


  • it fails with file names with spaces in them (which shouldn't be anything out of the blue)
  • it fails with file names beginning with "-"
  • it might overwrite in an unwanted way if two files exist with the same name but different case
  • it warns when file is already lowercase

And that's just it. It's another case of "See how easy that was? Oh, we just need to add some quotes. Oh, and -- as an argument for mv. Oh, and -i as an argument for mv. But remember to put -i before --. Everybody knows that." - and yet you created a script that is a text book example of creating a fragile script.

Great default settings are of utter importance and the whole list of the default tools is much influenced by historic (and backwards compatible) reasons. It still leads to different interesting design cases:

  • head and tail are extremely similar but have two different commands. GNU head can't even behave as tail with command switches.
  • most people would want to create soft links (as opposed to hard links) in their daily routine but still have to go through ln -s instead of a command just for soft links. That is not unlike the -o loop example in GP, as a case of "yeah, you should obviously know that".

Comment: Re:Your math does not calculate (Score 4, Interesting) 140

by Penguin (#38541522) Attached to: Samoa and Tokelau Are Skipping December 30th
.. and cal even supports it:

$ cal 9 1752
September 1752
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

... however it's not that effective as locale is not taken into consideration. As your link mentions, "only" England+Scotland+colonies switched at that point.


Verizon Chief Defends AT&T-T-Mobile Merger 128

Posted by timothy
from the there-is-some-very-faint-praise-in-there dept.
The proposed merger of AT&T with T-Mobile doesn't impress everyone as a good idea; in particular, Sprint has filed suit to stop the merger, and while hardly a disinterested party, they're not alone in claiming that the resulting megacompany would harm customers. Verizon is taking a different tack; tekgoblin passes along this excerpt: "Verizon Communications chief executive Lowell McAdam has announced that he is supporting the AT&T T-Mobile merger. He warned that the Government has no choice but to let the deal go though unless they want to fix the current spectrum problems. He went on to say 'We need to be very thoughtful on what the impacts would be to the overall industry if this is a way to regulate the industry without actually passing regulation.' The current telcos need more wireless spectrum to continue expanding and operating efficiently so they have resorted to acquiring other companies."

Comment: US restricts US companies' of Israel (Score 5, Informative) 90

by Penguin (#37175548) Attached to: Google Street View Gets Israeli Government's Nod
There are some real bizarre laws out there. For instance, United States companies are restricted in the resolution of satellite imagery of Israel.

This is truly bizarre, albeit true. With the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act in 1997, private companies in United States aren't allowed to provide high resolution satellite/aerial imagery of Israel. This restriction boggles my mind for a free country. Not that it matters much longer as other countries such as Turkey are going to provide high-resolution imagery of Israel in 2013.

It could be possible to construct a rudimentary "aerial" view by warping street view imagery (of course several areas and building roofs would not get into that picture) however. So yeah, there are some pretty weird restrictions out there.

Camera Lets You Shift Focus After Shooting 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-can-focus-later dept.
Zothecula writes "For those of us who grew up with film cameras, even the most basic digital cameras can still seem a little bit magical. The ability to instantly see how your shots turned out, then delete the ones you don't want and manipulate the ones you like, is something we would have killed for. Well, light field cameras could be to today's digital cameras, what digital was to film. Among other things, they allow users to selectively shift focus between various objects in a picture, after it's been taken. While the technology has so far been inaccessible to most of us, that is set to change, with the upcoming release of Lytro's consumer light field camera."

US House Takes Up Major Overhaul of Patent System 205

Posted by samzenpus
from the cleaning-things-up dept.
Bookworm09 writes "The House took up the most far-reaching overhaul of the patent system in 60 years today, with a bill both parties say will make it easier for inventors to get their innovations to market and help put people back to work. Backed by Obama and business groups, the legislation aims to ease the lengthy backlog in patent applications, clean up some of the procedures that can lead to costly litigation and put the United States under the same filing system as the rest of the industrialized world."

Comment: TinEye matched a painting from Google Street View (Score 1) 109

by Penguin (#36444070) Attached to: Google Launches Search By Image

TinEye searches much more than exact images.

I just took a screenshot from Google Street View in The Museum of Modern Art. From the screenshot I cropped out a painting (and didn't even change the perspective) and searched at TinEye which resulted in this search. Colour me impressed. Once again, my image is just a screenshot from a photo taken non-orthogonally at a painting.

TinEye is also extremely useful to help understand a photoshop meme :-)


Large Scale 24/7 Solar Power Plant To Be Built in Nevada 475

Posted by Roblimo
from the let-the-sun-shine-in dept.
RayTomes writes "The Obama administration has provided a loan guarantee of $737 million to construct the first large-scale solar power plant that stores energy and provides electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." This solar power project, a heliostat rather than a photovoltaic system, with a molten salt system to store power as heat for times when the sun isn't shining, will be constructed in Nevada and, says the article, is expected to create "600 construction jobs and 45 permanent positions."

Is Twitter Censoring Wikileaks Trends? 191

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the or-just-sick-of-it dept.
comforteagle writes "There are suspicions coming to the surface this morning that Twitter may be censoring WikiLeaks-related tweets from forming a trending topic. Why is still unclear at this point, as during Iranian protests a short while ago Twitter appeared to be in the fray of helping to spread the word. As of this morning it appears that Twitter may have some explaining to do. One of Twitter's engineers has chimed in over the weekend, but some aren't convinced."

+ - Bing opens aerial imagery to OpenStreetMap->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Steve Coast, the founder of OpenStreetMap announced last week that he had accepted a position with Bing Mobile and that Bing was donating their aerial imagery for use in editing OpenStreetMap data. Yesterday the license details were released. As of this morning, the imagery is available for use in both the new version of the flash based editor (Potlatch 2) as well as the stand-alone java editor (JOSM).

This is a positive step after the previously covered story concerning Bing and OSM. Does Microsoft see the value in open data, is this just a PR stunt or are they just desperate to do something interesting with maps to try and catch up to Google as Mapquest seems to be doing with it's OSM based maps?

Link to Original Source

X-37B Secret Space Plane To Land Soon 252

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-secret-enough dept.
Phoghat writes "The highly classified X-37B Space Plane is scheduled to land soon. It was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on April 22 atop an Atlas 5 rocket, and the Air Force is still being very secretive on all aspects of the flight. We do know that it's set to touch down at Vandenberg Air Force Base's 15,000-foot runway, originally built for the Space Shuttle program. In many ways, the craft resembles a Shuttle with stubby wings, landing gear and a powerful engine that allows the craft to alter its orbit (much to the dismay of many observers on the ground). Its success has apparently given new life to its predecessor, the X-34, which had been mothballed."

Google Maps Adds Drone Imagery 141

Posted by timothy
from the hook-'em-horns-but-closer dept.
joshuadugie writes "Slashdot carried a story a while ago that Google had purchased drones for unknown purposes. Google Maps has now added new non-satellite imagery (at UT Austin, for example) when you zoom in close enough. Mystery solved!" I'd like to think that there really are (or were) drones over Austin, but would also like to see Google's explanation for the close-up images.

Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it. -- Donald Knuth