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Comment RDP is NOT a replacement for network transparency (Score 2) 101

RDP is simply not an adequate substitute for a network-transparent window system. Yes, it'll let you do some things badly, and other things mediocrely, but that's about it. And I haven't seen any evidence that the Wayland folks understood that early on, so I haven't kept up with Wayland when there's working X.Org.

Comment $60 4x100Mbps Open Switch got crowdfunded (Score 1) 83

There was a recent crowdfunding campaign for a open-protocol switch (I forget if it was OpenNFV, OpenFlow, or OpenVSwitch? Probably NFV.)
4-port 100 Mbps, so easy enough to do cheaply these days. I didn't really have any experiments I wanted to do with one that I couldn't also do with a virtual switch, so I didn't join the crowdfunding, and for production work I'd want at least GigE, but it was still interesting thing to go by.

Comment Re:Hipsters fight over limited supplies of juice (Score 1) 538

The batteries will not in fact last as long as the gas engine will in a normal car.

Pure BS, the battery packs in the first generation Prius were good to hundreds of thousands of miles, far beyond the average ICE, and battery tech has only advanced since then.

As far as the greenness, that depends on where you are, a Prius plugin run in San Fran produces .06g/mi of NOx, well below the CARB limit for ICE vehicles and the CO2 per mile is also lower than almost every ICE vehicle. If you throw up some solar panels then the NOx per mile is nearly zero as is the CO2 (there is most likely some embedded pollution in the panels but with an eROI of months and a panel life of decades it's going to be negligible). The batteries can be almost 100% recycled, Toyota has a significant bounty on the old packs and still turns a profit on their recycling program.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 364

I know this is off topic, but now I'm curious. Do people who are incapable of taking the test still impact the scores? Does a 100 IQ indicate the median score of the set of "successful" test takers, or of the set of "functional humans", or of the entire population of all humans?

I believe you're saying that IQ 48 is approximately the minimum required level of functionality required to successfully take the test, but there is obviously a set of people who can't achieve that. And while 48 may be the lowest point on the curve that can be measured, the continuation of the curve is still implied below that point. People below 48 will still fall along some spectrum of abilities, but they're not measurable using the current test. So there may very well be someone with an "equivalent IQ" of 14; it's just the current IQ test lacks the resolution needed to identify that person.

And I'm not saying we should expend any effort to alter the test to measure lower IQs. I doubt that would add any value to society, nor would it be likely to benefit the people who can't take the test today. Such people are already identifiable as requiring a certain level of care, and most of the disabilities at that point are so profound you probably couldn't even use the scores to predict the costs of caring for them.

Comment Re:Can Verizon Stealth cookies be spoofed? (Score 1) 84

Browser fingerprinting is where it is at, and there is -no- browser that is resistant to this.

Au contraire. Apple iPhones are as common as houseflies, and as indistinguishable. Because Apple doesn't really let their users change anything about their browser configs, all the non-jailbroken Safari browsers for a given iOS version return the same fingerprint. So if you have one of those phones, you can hide in a very large crowd.

That implies the marketplace could actually use a common browser everyone can rely on to not share these details, but erasing fingerprints also means giving up useful functionality. Will people accept a browser that doesn't display a variety of fonts because they could be tracked? Will they be happy if the web sites can't deliver a page to fit their screen size? Are we looking for a tradeoff of not being tracked that only a few thousand privacy wonks will accept?

Comment Re: Waaaahhhhh!! (Score 2, Insightful) 688

Linus has been acting that way since the beginning, in fact since Matthew Garrett is 22 Linus has been acting that way since before he was born. Linus's behavior is not an existential threat to the project since it's one of the most successful projects in human history despite the fact that he has always acted like that.

Comment Would you buy a 300dpi printer? (Score 2) 178

How long ago did 300dpi printing become obsolete? These days I usually print drafts at 600dpi, because laser printers and LANs are fast enough that it's not annoying, and I don't usually explicitly notice jaggies at 300dpi, but you can still tell that the higher resolution looks better, if you care.

But that's black and white text printed on dead trees, not screens. Sure, it's harder to notice minor resolution differences with color photographs than with letters that have well-defined edges, and even harder to tell with moving images, but if you're using anti-aliased text on your screen, because it just looks better than non-anti-aliased, that's because you need more pixels. And yes, you've got enough GPU horsepower these days to trade the processing needed for anti-aliasing against the higher screen resolution, but you're doing it because your screen resolution isn't high enough.

I'm using a 17" 1920x1080 screen, and I'd like more pixels. This is generally good enough, with anti-aliased fonts, and the 22" 1080p screen at my office looks surprisingly good, but I'd still prefer 2560 instead of 1920, and the big advantage of 4K would be to have two readable pages side-by-side, which means more pixels vertically. (Sure, 16:9's fine for watching movies, but that's very seldom what I'm using that screen real estate for.)

Comment Depends on the account (Score 2) 258

Sure, you can have my NYTimes password - it's "passw0rd", unless they required mixed-case, in which case it's Passw0rd. (No, I'm not mentioning the login I use there, but it's no big loss if somebody starts impersonating me there.)

My Slashdot password? It's pretty complicated, my browser remembers it, and on the rare occasions where I need it, I have to remember where I wrote it down.

My bank account passwords? Sorry, get a warrant, and since cops who actually need to know that can get the information from my bank, they don't need MY password to do that, and don't need the ability to drain my bank account.

Comment Last time I had a credit card stolen (Score 1) 345

It was Christmas Eve, somebody lifted the Visa card out of my wife's purse while we were at dinner. They bought coffee at a mall (successful), then tried to buy a TV at a Radio Shack 10 miles away (failed), and we got a phone call from the credit card company. It wasn't my home state (visiting family, and my mom actually did need a new TV :-) Successful detection!

But I've also had a couple of rounds of false alarms, where I've been traveling somewhere and gotten the "Card declined, call us" when I tried to use the card, because their fraud detector triggered on purchases in an unusual city - even though I'd also used that card to buy the airline tickets :-) They should have done better.

The only other times I've had credit cards physically stolen were once when my wife's purse got stolen (we canceled the cards before they got used), and once decades ago, back when credit card verification was handled with little paper books, and I had to go into the Sears store in Oakland and give them 25 signature samples (which felt a lot like I should also be writing "I will not let my credit card get stolen again".) The thief, or somebody they sold the card to, eventually bought about $1300 worth of stuff over a few months, even though I'd reported the theft and I wasn't liable for any of it.

Comment Repeat Business, every 2-3 years? (Score 1) 123

Old Apple customers aren't a drain on Apple's financials, even in between the times they're buying new shiny Apple products, but that's Apple.

If you're selling competitive-market hardware like Android phones, you not only need to sell your new phones to new customers, you have to keep the old customers happy enough that 2-3 years from now they'll consider buying a new phone from you, or at very minimum, you're going to have to keep them happy enough they're not saying Really Terrible Things about your support of the old products that trash the willingness of new suckers to buy your products.

For instance, I'm currently a semi-happy Samsung customer, though I've heard rumors they've abandoned my G4 mini. It took me about 8-10 months to go from being a happy owner of a shiny HTC phone to being a disgruntled one (the Aria had a highly customized Android 2.1, locked to the Android Market, and by the time their highly customized 2.2 came out, my phone would no longer accept any software updates, because Google Play was not the same as Android Market.) And Coby? Sure, I knew it was a low-end no-name tablet, but even the manufacturer's web site appeared to have forgotten the product's name by the time I'd opened the box, though on the other hand, Google Play keeps working just fine on it, so until 4.0.4 becomes totally unsupportable, it's doing pretty well.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen