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Comment: Re:Stability (Score 1) 405

by _xeno_ (#49743893) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

Hell, I've run into Java code that only runs on 32-bit versions of Java.

I'm not sure how they did that, but it absolutely requires you to have 32-bit Java 6 prior to a certain patch level.

Thankfully the part of IT demanding we run that software eventually caved to the part of IT demanding that the software running on every computer was, y'know, not full of security holes.

User Journal

Journal: Slowness of Slashdot

Journal by Taco Cowboy

Slashdot used to be superfast

No matter where I happened to be - be it in America, in Asia, in Europe, in Africa or in Australia, - Slashdot loads up fast

No matter if the device is a smartphone or a desktop PC, you could almost always count on Slashdot to load fast

But no more

Now Slashdot takes something like 10+ seconds to load, and sometimes it took more than half a minute to load

What happened?

Has Dice shrunk the pipe to the Slashdot server?

Comment: Re:Fiber is fast! (Score 2) 220

Define "fast." This is apparently not about download speed but about latency. The idea is apparently to keep the majority of traffic that doesn't care about latency on fiber and move only that which does to a microwave network. (How do you do that? They didn't say.)

I'm not sure why they think latency is a big issue. Latency simply isn't a concern for the vast majority of Internet applications. They admit as much in the article and claim the majority of traffic would remain on fiber links.

So what's left that requires extremely low latency, lower than what we already have? They didn't say, other than mentioning that high frequency traders already use microwave links to reduce latency.

Comment: Re:Cui bono? (Score 1) 70

by _xeno_ (#49720009) Attached to: Apple Acquires GPS Start-Up

This thread is about Apple Maps, so yes, Apple has a maps search engine. It's limited to searching for POIs that exist on Apple Maps, but it's there.

Even so, there's nothing preventing Apple from gathering anything you search through using their browser anyway. Whether or not they actually do I can't really say: the privacy policy is vague on what exactly counts as "Apple services" where they absolutely do collect search queries.

Comment: Re:Cui bono? (Score 1, Insightful) 70

by _xeno_ (#49718859) Attached to: Apple Acquires GPS Start-Up

It wasn't money at stake. It was user privacy. I'm glad Apple didn't "pay".

Huh? Apple collects the exact same user information Google does, the change is that they now keep it in-house instead of sharing it. If you value privacy, you won't be using either Google or Apple's products. (And if you value "getting to where you're going," you still won't be using Apple's maps.)

Comment: Re:Economics is a science! (Score 2) 335

by MobyDisk (#49718689) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

In their defense, it is because eEconomics perfectly follows t his Douglas Adams quote:

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

As soon as an algorithm is created that can accurately predict the market, investors will start using it, thus altering the market so the algorithm no longer works.

This kind of economic theory is really attaching a name and a measurement system to a phenomena that is already understood. To say the Q-value predicts bubbles is a bit backwards since the Q-value is defined in terms of bubbles. So it really isn't a predictor of anything, any more than a ruler is a predictor of the length of an object or a scale is a predictor of the weight of an object.

Comment: Re:"Ends spy agency bulk collection of phone data" (Score 4, Insightful) 142

by MobyDisk (#49686833) Attached to: House Votes To End Spy Agencies' Bulk Collection of Phone Data

I'm reading... but it is like reading a patch file for a language I don't understand, when I don't have the file that is being patched.

(A) in subparagraph (A), by striking “an order” and inserting “an order or emergency production”; and

That might as well be:

Go to line 57 and insert "else break;"

It looks like they are trying to say that, in order to bulk collect data, they must have a specific search they are running that involves a specific telephone line. See SEC 201.

Can someone define "tangible things" as in "SEC. 103. Prohibition on bulk collection of tangible things" or "“(i) Emergency authority for production of tangible things."

Comment: Re:I understood some of those words (Score 4, Insightful) 67

by MobyDisk (#49685253) Attached to: New Device Could Greatly Improve Speech and Image Recognition

I would come here more often if orasio wrote the summaries.

The problem with the summary is that it assumes the reader is already familiar with the device. Your summary does not suffer from that problem. For instance "prototype eight-terminal device consisting of a magnetic matrix with micro-antennas to excite and detect the spin waves." WHAT spin waves? What is a terminal in this context and why is the a key thing in the summary? The summary already presupposes too much, even for a technical news site.

On the flip side, it would be nice if you didn't also insult the person who asked for clarification. The summary is indeed confusing.

+1 for insightful explanation.
-1 for being an asshat about it.

Comment: Re:dreams over, the manifesto is dead. (Score 3, Insightful) 371

by MobyDisk (#49675841) Attached to: Firefox 38 Arrives With DRM Required To Watch Netflix

DRM = encryption + key obfuscation.

If DRM was merely encryption that would be great. Then we could save the encrypted streams to our hard disk, then play them while on vacation. Or we could copy those encrypted streams for time shifting. We could decrypt them, then re-encode them into another format for playing on another device. Or take fair-use protected clips from them.

The goal of DRM is to prevent the the end-user from doing the things listed above. But encryption alone isn't enough to do that. You need a way to give the key to the user, but obfuscate the key so that they can only use it limited circumstances. It's infuriating to the user.

Comment: Put this in perspective (Score 2) 202

by MobyDisk (#49663611) Attached to: Study Reveals Wikimedia Foundation Is 'Awash In Money'

Before getting alarmed about numbers with no context, take a look at Charity Navigator. Compare The Wikimedia foundation with your favorite charity and see how they look.

Charity navigator rates the Wikimedia foundation as 4/4 stars. The system they use is quite fascinating: the site is generates the numbers mathematically from non-profit tax filings. What the site doesn't tell you is if the charity is actually doing good work. If a charity's goal is to feed babies to demons, and they do it efficiently, they will get good marks.

Comment: Re:Code can be a weapon (Score 1) 312

by MobyDisk (#49641169) Attached to: Defense Distributed Sues State Department Over 3-D Gun Censorship

Code can be a weapon (stuxnet, et al.). It isn't, in this case, of course - but it can be.

Yeah, that is a good counterexample. It's interesting because in both cases you need something else to actually make it work. With stuxnet: a computer to run it on. With the gun design: a 3d printer, plastic, a bullet, and a human to pull the trigger. The stuxnet example is much closer to the code being an actual thing.

All great discoveries are made by mistake. -- Young