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Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 307 307

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 1) 64 64

Most of us do have a need to transmit messages privately. Do you not make any online purchases?

Yes, but those have to use public-key encryption. I am sure of my one-time-pad encryption because it's just exclusive-OR with the data, and I am sure that my diode noise is really random and there is no way for anyone else to predict or duplicate it. I can not extend the same degree of surety to public-key encryption. The software is complex, the math is hard to understand, and it all depends on the assumption that some algorithms are difficult to reverse - which might not be true.

Comment: Re:Bad RNG will make your crypto predictable (Score 2) 64 64

The problem with FM static is that you could start receiving a station, and if you don't happen to realize you are now getting low-entropy data, that's a problem.

There are many well-characterized forms of electronic noise: thermal noise, shot noise, avalanche noise, flicker noise, all of these are easy to produce with parts that cost a few dollars.

Comment: Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 2, Interesting) 64 64

True randomness comes from quantum mechanical phenomena. Linux /dev/random is chaotic, yes, enough to seed a software "R"NG. But we can do better and devices to do so are cheap these days.

I wouldn't trust anything but diode noise for randomness. If I had a need to transmit messages privately, I'd only trust a one-time pad.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 939 939

Communism has been tried on a large scale - see Mao's Great Leap Forward.

Nope. That was a totalitarian socialist program pushing a collectivism that didn't work. Communism is a post-scarcity society and obviously scarcity was the thing Mao produced best.

Comment: Re:Arrest (Score 1) 333 333

Good on the French - they are doing it right!

We protest stuff in "free speech zones" and our media ignores the people who are championing the average Joe unless someone walks buy in a sequin dress and clown make-up -- THAT GUY they interview. Ratings magic!

The French kidnap a CEO and nobody goes to jail. Maybe instead of making fun of them, we are the suckers, because we go for decade to decade with our prospects and power diminishing, and eventually we wake up being greeters at WalMart with no retirement savings.

We'll be complaining about the same things in a decade, likely.

Comment: Re:Arrest (Score 1) 333 333

In 5 years, there will be self-driving cars replacing the Uber AND the Taxi drivers.

Does anyone have a plan for this?

It's fine to say; "Well, just learn something new" when it's not you with a family and a tight budget having to jump into the marketplace and retrain while competing with people who've done that task their entire life -- but not everyone is as superior as the average person on Slashdot.

What do we do for the 'average person' when there isn't an easy alternative?

Comment: Re:Whatever means necessary? (Score 1) 815 815

If they had the South on their side, that number changes.

Also, they controlled India with a larger population, estimated as being around 100 million for 1600 to 1881;

The Brits were supporting the South for their financial and political gain -- so basically, they would be handing us back over to British rule because they didn't like the system they were in.

I think this is revisionist history as seen through the lens of the .1% and I figure the Tea Baggers of today will tell the same story about the poor billionaires trying to make a global market and do-gooders and environmentalists stopping them from creating a paradise one banking collapse after another.

Comment: Re:Whatever means necessary? (Score 1) 815 815

OK, you are going to need to have citations here.

I'm not saying it is impossible, but it seems to twist and turn history to make the plantation owners look like the heroes. The KKK probably couldn't invent better "lenses to see the world."

"It was fought to keep Brittan from reconquering the US."
Well, if the South had won, that would have been possible, because they'd be in debt to Britain and annexed. The Southern elite were throwing their lot in with the Crown. So are you saying they SHOULD have become part of Britain?

"Lincoln didn't free the slaves because he's a nice guy. Lincoln proclaimed emancipation to make the British government's support of slave-owning confederates EXTREMELY unpopular with the British people,"
Economically, today as it was back then, it's cheaper to use Capitalism to keep people poor -- rather than slavery. THEY have to go about feeding themselves anyway, and housing, and you don't have to guard people. Irish were probably cheaper in the North than slaves in the South -- I'll agree with that. But emancipation happened. If the South was unpopular for slavery and it wasn't that great an economic engine -- why the Hell did they keep people in slavery? The people who tried to abolish slavery did so at great risk. Whether you think Lincoln was a "nice guy" or not -- this is a self inflicted wound of the South.

The fact is; the Southern plantations had slaves. It had to have an economic or social reason so they were either profiting or being a bunch of dicks. I'm not seeing the nobility just based on the broad, inconvertible facts of history.

The UK didn't abandon the South because of the slavery issue -- they were blockaded and their ships kept from bringing in supplies. Whether or not it was popular, the crown had all kinds of operations around the world exploiting people. Local opinions didn't seem to matter when it came to making money.

"There were white people working the fields right next to the slaves" -- I never heard that before.

Comment: Re:Confederate soldiers in fact fought for slavery (Score 1) 815 815

I had been confused on this very topic by learning that people of means in the South were claiming their issue was with imports; they wanted to import goods from anyone they wanted to, and not pay taxes. On recent re-examination with the Tea Party having such a strong correlation to so much of the complaints of the "owner class" of the South. I think I finally understood; the South wanted to get cheaper goods and not pay what would be required to employ FREE CITIZENS of the USA.

And think about it; why would the average, non-rich Southerner have to gain from slavery or cheap imports other than a WalMart discount? Their labor would be undermined while the profits of the wealthy maintained.

So when you look at the Southern argument as an issue of "free trade" -- it was really all about economic slavery all over again. And Tea Baggers today are just as in the dark as the average Southerner fighting to make sure the estate owners got to live like kings.

People should be able to fly the "protest flag" of the South, but they should have to give up 20% of all income to education for someone else's kid for the privilege -- because the education would be wasted on them.

The Civil war was fought for the .1% of the South.

Comment: Re:What's the score now? (Score 1) 77 77

I didn't actually work on GPUs very much at Pixar, the image computer I worked on was the grandfather of the SIMD image processing instructions on modern CPUs. What would become a GPU later on was a very expensive box from Silicon Graphics, I had one that cost at least a quarter Million dollars.

The UNIX philosophy basically involves giving you enough rope to hang yourself. And then a couple of feet more, just to be sure.