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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) 257

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.

Comment Re:Big Surprise (Score 1) 488

Even better - GOP picks somebody exciting, like Ben Carson or (ok, it's too late to get Rick Perry, maybe Santorum?), Trump says "Bah, I can do better than that on my own", starts a "HUUUUGE Party", THEN we get Sanders. Or Lessig, with Sanders as VP.

(Disclaimer: I'm a Libertarian, so I get to pretend to be neutral between the two big-money parties, which is going to happen shortly after the Republicans clean up the corruption of the Rove/Cheney/Koch/Bush years, or at least get it down to the average Democratic level of traditional personal corruption, like having another Warren Harding instead of the Military-Industrial Complex's latest mouthpiece.)

Comment Re:Fun, for about an hour! (Score 1) 26

Sure. It's technically much more powerful, and in theory there could be more things you could do with it.

In practice, it was as much fun as a Viewmaster that comes with half a dozen photo disks, and that was more than enough fun to justify the $5 and the time to build it (which was part of the fun), but there wasn't anything to get me to come back and use it again after a day or two.

Comment At least 3 Servers, more as needed. (Score 1) 158

You need to have at least three hardware servers, all with lots of memory and disk, so you can have a primary and backup for production use and another for IT infrastructure development. If you're doing both VMware and OpenStack, which is not a bad position to take, you really need 5, two per hypervisor plus a spare.
Otherwise you're going to be spending your time keeping your Shiny New Virtualization Platform up to date, instead of spending it Virtualizing Old Non-Shiny Stuff, which is what you should be doing.

Comment The lesson from Ingres was (Score 1) 61

"Friends don't let CA buy their friends" - Several friends of mine had worked at Ingres, and when Computer Associates bought them, if you wanted to stay you had to sign a really aggressively pro-company agreement, with lots of non-compete and similar clauses (and I assume lower salaries.) They all quit, some of them in groups. CA got the intellectual property, but lost a lot of the intellect and corporate knowledge that gave it value.

Comment Malicious test case development, not just fuzzing (Score 1) 205

These days, there's enough spare CPU and virtual machines to throw around to do random-junk fuzzing, but decades ago when I was taking CS100, and we were being taught to never ever ever trust input and always check for corner cases and off-by-ones and other malformed input, we had to run most of our class programs against data sets that were designed to check whether we'd done everything correctly. Maybe your testers won't think of everything, but they ought to be putting as much effort into finding things that can go wrong and testing for them as the coders and designers are into coding and designing the code, and if you don't have enough QA people to do that, you don't have enough QA people.

A QA engineer walks into a bar and orders a beer. Orders 32768 beers. Orders -1 beers. Orders a lizard. ...

Comment Custom Circuit boards vs. Breadboard (Score 1) 662

He's doing pretty well for a 14-year-old who also hacks go-kart engines. Sure, if you're trying to build a production thing, custom circuit-boards are the way to go, but if you're doing a quick learning project, bread-boards are the way to go. From my perspective, if he'd used a project-specific circuit board, it would have looked more like one of those beginner education projects you could get from Radio Shack until they went bust (and I'm not criticizing that; I've used some of those in the past couple of years), but if he'd done that, the same crowd would also be dissing his work, because the objective is to draw attention away from how badly he was treated.

Comment Dissing the kid's work to defuse critics of racism (Score 1) 662

Yup. It's clearly an attempt to deflect from the obvious demonstration that there's too much racism* and Islamophobia around, as well as too much of the "Zero Tolerance - Panic About Everything" movement. Probably the most vilely opportunistic part of it I've seen was the "#HalfABomb" crowd - well, duh, a "movie set bomb" or "hoax bomb" has something that looks like a timer, and something that looks like an explosive, and maybe also some wires of different colors so Our Hero can create extra dramatic tension about which wire to cut.

* It's probably more Islamophobia than racism, though both of those were part of it, but for instance one of the cops who shows up in the "Ahmed in NASA T-Shirt" picture is black, and the mayor of the town is a well-known Islamophobe. ( And ok, I partly emphasized racism in the Subject line because there weren't enough characters to fit Islamophobia.)

Comment My siblings gave me lots of extra credit for that (Score 1) 662

It turns out my younger siblings had always given me more credit than I deserved for taking things apart and putting them back together - they apparently hadn't realized how few of the things I took apart were the same things that got put together (though I did reuse parts), and the things that I did successfully put back together were mostly ones I didn't aggressively disassemble. (So the vacuum-tube amp from the old record player - this was back when those were current or a bit old, as opposed to retro - did get a bunch of different things attached to it, but the dead TV mostly had parts unsoldered, back when parts were still big enough to recognize and reuse.)

"One Architecture, One OS" also translates as "One Egg, One Basket".