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Comment Re: GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 1) 298

Of course there seem to be two kind of "developers".

Type one (you and me it seems) are people who stumble over "Dang, I (or my employee) has a problem that technology and software could solve. Let's solve that problem" situations. For those people (us) the GPL is great. You can pull together a solution that fixes your problem, and makes your company more productive. Basically by "directly making money" with the software you write.

Then there seem to be the "I have this great idea. People should pay me, because I had this great idea" developers. For those the GPL is basically the end of their business model.

Comment Re:MenuChoice and HAM (1992) (Score 1) 270

Of course the implementation differed. With a symbolic link all the "work" is done by the file system. A program can say "open that" and the OS returns the actual file the link points to.

With the Microsoft shortcut, the opening application itself had to know how to open and handle *.lnk files to find the actual file.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 2) 239

Another drawback is also that those DC transmission is still pretty expensive compared to AC. So it's mainly used when other factors make it cheaper than AC. Like in that case the long transmission distance, including undersea cables where AC has a lot higher losses.

But the cost might actually be brought down a lot with production volume and new technologies. There were not much real technological breakthroughs in transformer technology in the last ~100 years, but they still come up with new semiconductor technology.

Comment Re:Mandarin dependency and homophone confusion (Score 2) 196

Another interesting thing little tidbit I stumbled upon while learning Japanese: "Peking" is written with the Characters North-Capital, "Nanking" is written with the Characters "South-Capital", while "Tokio" is written with the Characters "East-Capital".

Comment The case in the example .... (Score 1) 251

... would be "kinda OK" in my book. (if the description is correct)

After all, it was NOT a password "linked to an account", but only a password to "access a document".

If you have documents that you have to give to a few thousand people, then a possible approach would be to just put them on a web server, protected by HTTP authentication. Then when a user wants the document, create a username/passwort, mail that to the user, and then perhaps a month later delete the username/password pair.

Probably works fine for documents that are not "really that secret" but you still don't feel comfortable putting on the open web for any search engine to find.

Comment Re:Drone It (Score 5, Interesting) 843

Especially the one belonging to Vladimir Putin.

I wonder how the same dogfight test would play out against the Sukhoi PAK FA, the somewhat comparable new Russian stealth fighter. The F-35 seems to have a maximum g-load of 9g, while the PAK-FA has one of over 9g. The thrust/weight ratio of the PAK FA also is higher, at 1.02 to 1.36 depending on configuration and fuel load, compared to the F-35s of 0.87 to 1.07. (At least as far as the "official/unclassified" specifications seem to go)

Comment We rolled out a few web applications ... (Score 2) 276

... at work recently. Bunch of crap the whole of them.

One basically only works reliably in Firefox, one only in IE, one only in Chrome. And then of course there is the problem that one other needs an option in Chrome set to "on", the other needs that same option set to "off" to work.

So at the moment it seems any more complex "web" application I look at basically needs it's on sandboxed browser to not interfere with all your other web applications, and the whole internet itself. And at that point, HTML is a pretty bad abstraction layer for GUIs compared to some of the desktop GUI frameworks.

The only technical plus side is that you "don't have to install anything on the client", but since we have Remote desktop server with "dumb" terminals anyway that is a moot point for us, we don't need to install anything on the client anyway.

Comment Re:NOT "network timekeeping", just timekeeping (Score 1) 166

Well, if the "network" is and should not be involved, then why do they ramble on about the "internet of things" in the article. That's what I don't get.

The short form of the article basically is "The IoT won't grow as fast as we would like, unless we do a massive upgrade on a lot of stuff so what we can do things over the network that make absolutely no sense to do over the network anyway".

It's like demanding that the postal service gets upgraded until it is efficient enough so you can sent a letter to your wife lying in bed beside you faster that you can tell her something in person.

Comment Re:Only if you trnaslate in your head (Score 1) 274

Of course that word exist.

"Hexenkunst" can either be translated as "witches art" or "very difficult job", so it essential is similar in meaning to "Hexenwerk" (witchcraft), with a slightly "higher level". Basically the "art" (kunst) of witchery instead of the "craft" (werk) of witchery.

Comment Re:Truck drivers live on a constant shifting clock (Score 1) 135

Exactly this. I also did a lot of "crazy shifts" in construction and engineering. Shifting to 25, 26 or even 30 hour cycles for a few months was perfectly doable. In fact, most of the time it turned into a "just sleep a little longer each morning" bliss.

On the other hand the thing that REALLY almost broke me was a crazy situation where for two month we had to supervise a construction project for 24 hours a day, with only two people available, and the customer being very strict about the 11-hours-on-site maximum. So it turned into a 11 hours on / 11 hours off job with a 22 hour cycle, where we had to get up two hours EARLIER every day. That's not something I would like to ever do again.

Comment Re:A smart phone is rarely convenient (Score 1) 248

And I think the main gain of automation is not "something fancy" but a "combination of sensible features"

For example, we had mechanical thermostats and switches to control the air conditioning in our offices, and mechanical thermostats to control the heating. They were replaced with small 2-inch touch screens to control both.

The "control itself" is worse. Instead of turning the thermostat and flipping a switch in under a second you have a screen with some "lag" so adjusting anything. But after you set up your "wished for" temperature you don't really have to use the control any more.

The thing starts heating / cooling up to "wish themperature" when the office ours start, and goes to "night mode" where it doesn't cool or heat as far after noon if nobody has triggered the motion sensor in the office for over an hour. it also goes into "night mode" when the alarm system is engaged. Engaging the alarm system also switches off all lights in the building.

A friend did some "home automation" back in the 1980s in his flat with switches and relays to control the lights and electric shutters . The main feature was a panel to switch all ten lights in the flat on and of beside the main entrance, including a "all lights off" button. and a "Close/Open all shutters" button. That was a sensible feature, but it was very involved since he had to pull wires from all switches and all actuators to a central switching cabinet. The same sensible automation these days could be done simpler and cheaper with a bus system. But STILL without any "smart-devices" in the internet-sense involved.

Comment Re:How about replacing it with the ORIGINAL Test (Score 1) 129

In my opinion the "what questions are asked" by the interrogator is only a small part of the test setup. I think the main point is "what is the question that is asked of the interrogator"

In that area the question "do you thing your opponent is a computer or a human" is influenced hugely by the interrogators knowledge and perception of what a computer should be able to do and what it should not be able to do. So asking the interrogator "find out if your opponent is a man or woman" might be a good way to have a more "defined" outcome of the test.

Because the moment in which a computer becomes better at impersonating a human of Type A than another human of Type B (man and woman would be one obvious choice, perhaps some other Types could be used also ) is able to do is not influenced so much by "what the interrogator thinks a computer is able to do or not."

"Ask not what A Group of Employees can do for you. But ask what can All Employees do for A Group of Employees." -- Mike Dennison