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Comment Forth (Score 1) 429

Did you know? (according to wikipedia) "...uses of Forth include the Open Firmware boot ROMs used by Apple, IBM, Sun, and OLPC XO-1; and the FICL-based first stage boot controller of the FreeBSD operating system."

I only vaguely remembered reading that somewhere, but I did know that are/were many Forth controlled Telescopes (which led to a better understanding of the cosmos.)

Personally, I used it back in the day to make very compact mission critical 24/7 programs.

United States

Submission + - Korea able to Destroy USA Now ( 3

boley1 writes: According to Russian, South Korean, and U.S. sources, North Korea has built and now has the ability to deliver a Super EMP bomb that would send the U.S. back to the stone age. This article was written by Peter Vincent Pry.
Peter Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, and served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA.


Submission + - 6 Weird Habits Of Successful People (

Esther Schindler writes: "With a title like 6 Weird Habits Of Successful People I bet you're expecting superstitions, like Charles Dickens insisting on sleeping facing north. (Gee, I thought you're supposed to face east?) But this short article really does have some useful advice, such as:

They are quitters. You know the saying “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” Not so much. In fact, that’s wrong. Winners quit a lot. They have a keen eye for what is not working and not supporting the finish line (check rule one again for that). Once they identify the thing sucking energy, money and resources from their business, they cut it out fast.

I liked it. I think you might, too."

Comment Re:i hate dirty fingerprints on my screen (Score 1) 526

Real Job, Real Experience, Real Place, with fire and smoke and occasional explosions. You would recognize the initials. We received a touch screen device. Very cool. Very expensive (money was not a problem). I was trying to get my point across to the operator, so I pointed (OK. I POKED) at the object on the screen.

It was not a good day. No one was killed. No equipment was damaged. I don't even think we really lost any data or too much schedule. But the implications of what could have happened were obvious. It was an often repeated story, that resulted in an un-official but institutional ban on all touch screens in the facility for the next 20 years.

Today I love multitouch, especially on tablets, phones and on my laptops and desktops when used with a horizontal trackpad or mouse with a touch surface.

Not sure I'll ever feel good about touching a vertical screen though.

Comment Re:Is it permitted to include anti-copying code? (Score 1) 12

"How does it make sense to claim software is free-as-in-freedom if it's designed with DRM or other anti-piracy measures? "
I think the pro "Tivoization" argument was that just because I'm obligated to share what I have done for free or nominal cost - possibly for educational value, I don't have to make "easy" for you to simply copy and use my work, and not put in your own blood sweat and tears. GPL 3 was intended to clear this up - I do have to make it easy and cheap for you to use my derivative - and legal - if I distribute my work. BTW Linus T. didn't agree with this change according to some articles I read. He was OK with Tivoization so long as he got to see the source code of the derivative.

"Can you even technically pirate GPLed software to begin with?"
Maybe. You aren't required by the GPL (either version) to distribute your derivative work. Only that you don't limit the rights of those you do distribute it to, - if they are outside your organization. Within your organization, for instance, Google or Amazon, you can have custom versions of GPL'd software that are trade secrets and could presumably use DRM to stop the distribution outside of your intended internal use, or to track who let it loose.

So getting a copy of a private version of a GPL'd derivative, intended for private use - could be considered piracy.

Just a thought - not dogmatic about the thought at all.

Comment Re:Is it permitted to include anti-copying code? (Score 1) 12

According to the wikipedia this was a provision added to GPL 3 to overcome a weakness of GPL 2. So if the code was derived from GPL 2 maybe not.

In explaining the changes:
"It also adds a provision that 'strips' DRM of its legal value, so people can break the DRM on GPL software without breaking laws like the DMCA.[27]"

Not agreeing with the developer - just saying he may have some legal ground to stand on. (I don't pretend to be a lawyer or even know when to hire one. )

Comment Sorry - Maybe I should have included and example (Score 1) 1

Lesson 7 - Don't include my billing address, my shipping address, my credit card number and the card's expiration date on the packing slip - but if you do, don't tell me none of your other customers complained. It makes me worry about why I would select the same company those guys use.

Submission + - Seven Lessons from my Three worst online shopping experiences for Developers ( 1

boley1 writes: For your consideration: "Tonight I had my third worst online shopping experience. It was a pain but as I considered that it might have been worse, I remembered two more that definitely ranked higher in the negative sense, which prompted me to come up with these seven lessons for Developers that might prove helpful." Can you add others?

Submission + - The Scourge of Error Handling (

CowboyRobot writes: "Dobb's has an editorial on the problem of using return values and exceptions to handle errors. "But return values, even in the refined form found in Go, have a drawback that we've become so used to we tend to see past it: Code is cluttered with error-checking routines. Exceptions here provide greater readability: Within a single try block, I can see the various steps clearly, and skip over the various exception remedies in the catch statements. The error-handling clutter is in part moved to the end of the code thread.""

Comment Metalworking - Seriously (Score 1) 360

Some people have commented you should try getting closer to the metal, meaning computer hardware. But take it to the extreme. Buy a small lathe, learn to use it and the jargon. Have some fun turning it into a CNC machine if you like. Spend time on the metal working forums. Then start talking to some small to midsize manufacturing companies about helping them compete by utilizing your programming skills. You'll get to pick the tools you use. But first you need a little bit of "real world" fabrication experience so you can at least carry on a conversation. Getting your hands literally dirty, lets the people who need you relate to you. Rub shoulders with some blue collar guys, listen to their ideas for making their company more competitive. The opportunity for software guys to be heros and rewarded, is out there, but frankly most of us are on another planet and separated from where we need to be to make it happen.

BTW. Yes, I'm taking my own advice, and having a blast. I can now do in an hour what a decent machinist can do in 15 minutes. :-)

Submission + - Texas Schools Using Electronic Chips to Track Students, Parents in Uproar 1

An anonymous reader writes: Two Schools in San Antonio are using electronic chips to help administrators count and track students' whereabouts. Students at Anson Jones Middle School and John Jay High School are now required to wear ID cards using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology embedded with electronic chips in an effort to daily attendance records. The article said the Northside Independent School District receives about $30 per day in state funding for each student reporting.

Every little picofarad has a nanohenry all its own. -- Don Vonada