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Comment: Re:Xylitol to the rescue? (Score 3, Interesting) 630

by Smurf (#49566059) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

You are right in that xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, but the dosage you mention is way off. In this study, for example, they gave 1 or 4 grams of xylitol per kg of weight to 12 adult Pekingese dogs. Since adult Pekingeses weight around 4.5 kg, that means that six of the dogs in the study received around 18 grams of xylitol. (Six other dogs received the lower dose, and six more were controls who received distilled water; the abstract is misleading as it suggests that all 18 dogs received xylitol).

All of the dogs who got xylitol showed significant effects, in several cases very severe. But... none of them died.

Comment: Horrible butchering of the guy's name (Score 1) 128

by Smurf (#49261187) Attached to: The Mexican Drug Cartels' Involuntary IT Guy

The poor guy's full name is Felipe de Jesús Pérez García, which is usually shortened to Felipe Pérez. TFS butchered both by calling him Felipe del Jesús Peréz García and Felipe García.

There are three errors in TFS's version. First: Felipe de Jesús means Philip of Jesus. The incorrect version, Felipe del Jesús means Philip of the Jesus and sounds even more absurd in Spanish than it does in English.

Second: It's not Peréz, it's Pérez. That means that the main emphasis is on the first syllable, not on the last one (regardless of how Perez Hilton pronounces his made-up name). Again, in Spanish the wrong version sounds... horribly wrong.

Finally: The complete surname of the guy is Pérez García. He got Pérez from his dad, just like people usually do in English, and he passed it to his own kids. García is his mother's maiden name. If you are going to contract the name, you drop the maternal surname, never the paternal one.

Comment: Re:Patent reform will never happen (Score 1) 186

by Smurf (#49134087) Attached to: Jury Tells Apple To Pay $532.9 Million In Patent Suit

Okay, but as you well said Judge James Rodney Gilstrap serves at the Marshall division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. But TFA clearly states, the case took place at the Tyler division, which is served by District Judges Leonard Davis and Michael H. Schneider, Sr., both of whom, along with Chief Judge Ron Clark were appointed by George H. W. Bush (not that who appointed a judge at that level has as much significance as it does for Supreme Court Justices).

Here's an idea - how about you do some, I dunno, decent research, before you spout veiled partisan politics.

Comment: Re:Backup? (Score 1) 343

by Smurf (#49089669) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Version Control For Non-Developers?

The built-in versioning that the AC is referring to was detailed by John Siracusa in his Lion review. You can see that it is a close cousin of Time Machine interface-wise, so it is easy to mix them up.

I'll agree with you that anyway it is not the solution the poster is looking for anyway, for a number of reasons.

Comment: Re:A good reason not to: (Score 1) 592

by Smurf (#48853715) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

EFI updates. On Mac hardware, they can only be delivered by a Mac OS update. Run Linux exclusively, and you will not get firmware updates.

Just make a minimal install of OS X in a small partition in your HD, or much better yet, in an external drive. Use it for Mac-only maintenance, disaster recovery, and stuff like EFI updates.

Of course, as Ash-Fox said, you should research the EFI update very carefully before installing it to make sure Linux compatibility isn't affected.

Comment: Re:Application installers suck. (Score 2) 324

by Smurf (#48845695) Attached to: How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

c) there's nothing preventing you from shipping a zip (because windows still doesn't understand a tarball) which has everything packaged up nice and neat (ie, a bundle)

It seems you don't completely understand what an app bundle in OS X is. Yes, it is a directory where all the files that comprise an app are packaged up nice and neat.

But that directory is treated by the Finder in a special way: from the point of view of an end user, it is just a file. He double clicks on it, and the app launches. He drags a document icon on top of it, and the document opens in the app. He can move it around, move it to another disk or to another Mac, etc., and it consistently behaves like a single file and retains its functionality. Only when he right-clicks on it and chooses "Show Package Contents" is its true identity as a neatly organized folder revealed.

In fact, app bundles aren't the only kind of packages (i.e., directories that present themselves as files) in OS X. There are many others. For example, some apps like Apple's Keynote save documents as packages. From the point of view of most users, a Keynote file is pretty much like a PowerPoint file, except for the app that opens it. A slightly more advanced user knows that he can right click on the Keynote file, search for the graphs he included in the presentation, and replace those files (PNG, JPEG, PDF, whatever) with updated versions that reflect updated data... and the presentation gets updated without even opening Keynote.

Comment: Re:Forced upgrade path, Re: Nosedive (Score 1) 598

by Smurf (#48742695) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Mmmm... Ok, but you are exaggerating in this statement:

My MacPro, four Xeon cores and 20GB of RAM, with six drive bays,
doesn't have a MacOS upgrade path beyond 10.6.8,

Of all Mac Pro models only the earliest four don't run OS X 10.10 Yosemite. But all four of them can be upgraded to 10.7.5, as you can verify by clicking on their links in that page.

I find it odd that an owner of such a machine wouldn't know that.

Comment: Re:This is why Time Machine is such a boon... (Score 1) 463

by Smurf (#48741543) Attached to: Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

Searching again for a suitable replacement for Time Machine I found Back In Time, which seems to have the same functionality as tym but with a reasonable GUI. That's great and helps alleviate the pain for a non-technical user. But it is still based on rsync --link-dest and as I said before that has very big technical disadvantages when compared to Time Machine.

Comment: Re:This is why Time Machine is such a boon... (Score 1) 463

by Smurf (#48741291) Attached to: Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

VSS (shadow copy / system restore) is essentially Time Machine on Windows.

No, not by a long shot. They both allow you to take snapshots of your files/drive, but that's where the similarity ends.
Time Machine's implementation, both from the technical standpoint and from the user experience one, sets it apart from VSS. A consequence of that is that Time Machine is a system that even clueless end users can (and do!) take advantage of.

For a good summary of Time Machine's implementation see the excellent Ars Technica review of OS X 10.5 Leopard by John Siracusa.

Quite frankly the only backup+versioning system that I can recall that has similar functionality to Time Machine is tym, a rather complex bash script that leverages the --link-dest option of rsync. I use it to back up other Unix-like systems, as well as data on OS X machines for which I don't have administrative access.

But quite frankly it has many technical disadvantages, and furthermore it is not something that I would expect an end user to be able to configure and use. Of course you can roll out a much simpler script like this, but then again you are losing even more functionality and still suffer from the technical drawbacks without really improving the usability for non-technical users.

Comment: Re:This is why Time Machine is such a boon... (Score 2) 463

by Smurf (#48734247) Attached to: Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

Nope. As SuperKendall said in a separate reply, regular users can't modify the backups and administrators (sudoers) need to authenticate to modify them. (And yes, I verified it before posting this).

The malware would therefore need to escalate the privileges in order to encrypt the backups, making it far more challenging.

Comment: Re:Another idea... (Score 1) 203

by Smurf (#48727587) Attached to: Why Aren't We Using SSH For Everything?

Condoms are pretty good for safe sex. I think we should be using condoms to protect our bank accounts, for giving everyone safe drinking water, for screening passengers at airports and for securing your valuables in hotel rooms.

I can assure you: leave a used condom on top of your valuables and no one who enters that hotel room will touch them.

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.