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Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 210 210

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 blog.algoram.com 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:Umm... (Score 1) 142 142

Also, why do we care what a former biologist, now sci/tech article writer for the WSJ has to say about technology-related education? Is there some connection that I'm missing?

Wall Street dreams of coding to become yet another minimum-wage unskilled job. It probably will, simply because coding isn't all that difficult, just tedious, and as computers continue getting everywhere programming will ultimately become like literacy is now.

+ - ITER won't be ready until 2027->

Taco Cowboy writes: Started back in 1985, the ITER, (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project has suffered repeated delays and cost overruns, so much so that the first plasma originally scheduled for 2019 is "clearly not feasible", according to Dr. Bernard Bigot, the newly appointed director general

Part of the reason for the slow progress is down to the way the project is structured. The European Union, as host party, will contribute up to about 50% of the costs and the other parties 10% each. However, technical decisions require consensus and because those relating to the design of components will inevitably impact some parties more than others, it is difficult to reach. In one case discussions dragged on for six years without a definitive answer. Without that decision work did not progress

Dr. Bigot decides that ITER must gear up to take a more decisive role in the project. “What was plaguing the project before is that there was confusion between the best technical solution and sharing of the cost," said Bigot. “Now I want just the best technical decision. The cost will be covered according to the share of the parties, reflecting the spirit of the ITER agreement"

Dr. Bigot's current aim is to accomplish the deuterium-tritium plasma (previously planned for March 2027), to a more realistic date. “We are now considering the best way to move on from the first plasma and rush as much as possible to the DT plasma, which will please the scientific community," Bigot said

ITER intends to step up to the plate whenever some parties face difficulties complying with the schedule for delivery of equipment by putting the interests of the project first, and redistribute tasks. For example, the organization has already taken charge of procurement of some components on behalf of domestic agencies, although they still remain responsible for the costs

Dr. Bigot stresses that the project is too far advanced for design changes, with more than €7 billion of procurement contracts in place and over 1000 companies at work

“You could not just change [the scope] in the middle...you have to go, or stop." He concluded: "The time has come for the ITER Organization to demonstrate it is serious. The biggest risk is that we lose trust of the political leaders and public opinion, then the project would be dead"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:If you're using GPL code, you have no choice (Score 3, Insightful) 152 152

Project Gutenburg would be a counter-proof.

Well, no. The issue is whether code - or any other copyrighted work - will ever enter public domain. Mickey Mouse Protection Act says it won't, and Project Gutenbert doesn't contradict that.

Not that it matters: copyright law has almost no legitimacy whatsoever, so it simply gets ignored despite draconian punishments. The whole concept of property law seems to simply be incompatible with the digital realm, consequently various message boards and other sites depending on user-generated content basically operate as communist utopias: everyone contributes whatever they can, the results are free for everyone to use at their leisure, and even personal glory isn't an issue, at least in anonymous messageboards. That's right: aside from its current immaturity, Anonymous is pretty much a model Marxist collective.

Funny, isn't it? Capitalism won the Cold War, but its natural development is now leading to Communism because that maximizes production in the Information Age. It wasn't a good model for industrial production, but as that keeps getting automated and focus shifts on coordination and cultural production, it turns out hierarchies simply get in the way. So nominally communist countries were arranged like giant corporations, while the new organizational model everyone's learning growing up now is "contribute according to your abilities, enjoy other people's contributions freely".

I wonder if this is why neoliberalism has been so fashionable lately: it's the struggle of a fading system to maintain it's dominance rather than be relegated to handling just a small subsection of total economy?

Comment: Weak-minded officials == corruption (Score 1) 224 224

Weak-minded government officials are an example of government corruption.

Anyone who accepted the idea, "not allowing parking lots was to push people into not having cars", was weak-minded. The idea was always to save the builders money, and have residents use the surrounding streets instead. The resulting lack of parking reduced the values of surrounding houses, because, for example, house owners could not have parties if their guests could not find a place to park.

+ - Ask Slashdot: For What Are You Using 3-D Printing?

An anonymous reader writes: I've been thinking about getting a 3-D printer for a while: the quality is rising, the software is better, STL files really do seem a sufficiently good standard ("sufficiently standard," that is — I'm not worried that printers are going to stop supporting it anytime soon), and prices have dropped quite a bit. Importantly to me, it also seems like less of a jumping-off-a-cliff decision, since I can get a completely assembled one from places as wild and crazy as ... the Home Depot (not that I plan to). However, even practical things I can think of to print can't truly justify, and that's OK — I hope not to require enough replacement knobs and chess pieces to necessarily *need* one, and playing around with it is the main likely upshot, which I'm OK with. But still, I'd like to hear what uses you have been putting your 3-D printer to, including printers that aren't yours but belong to a hackerspace, public library, eccentric neighbor, etc. What actually practical / useful tasks have you been using 3-D printing for, and with what printer technology? It's OK if you just keep printing out those chess pieces and teapots, but I'm curious about less obvious reasons to have one around. (And I might just use the local Tech Shop's anyhow, but the question still applies.)

Comment: Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 3, Informative) 103 103

Somebody got drunk and noisy, so what?

So your business is causing a disturbance that extends to my property. The noise and drunks are basically waste products of your business; you don't get to dump them on my lawn.

People living in those houses never drink? Never get noisy?

Sure they do, and when they do, the police comes to take the criminal scum away. But that doesn't work when you have a whole new customer lined up for the next night, and another one for the next, and another one...

Are hotels covering tourist behaviour outside of hotel premises?

Hotels are subject to zoning laws which generally put them into commercial districts, precisely for this reason.

You are full of shit, just like this entire case.

No, I'm simply defending my property rights. The hotels are defending their right to equality before law. The only one full of shit here is you, even by your own standards.

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:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 5, Insightful) 103 103

Not having insurance means this: the hotel industry lobbies the government to make competition illegal, that is all it is.

According to the summary, the customers are "partying all night, some running around naked, and generally trashing their neighborhoods". The hotel industry is perfectly within their rights to demand everyone plays by the same rules. If you can figure out a better way to run a hotel, good for you; but if you simply figure out a new way to externalize the costs, you should be forced to eat them - and for Joe Average, that means licensing and insurance.

As a side note, we have far too many people who want to be treated as business geniuses despite doing nothing but turning costs to externalities, and often even making them costlier in the process. It's that failure of human spirit that makes it impossible to have completely free markets.

Comment: Re:Prime Scalia - "Words no longer having meaning" (Score 1) 591 591

If you aren't from here, haven't grown up here, live here, then you are talking out of your ass.

Roof is from there, grew up there, and lives there. I think he's made his view on what the Confederacy flag stands for quite clear. Nor does your testimony contradict his.

The oppression and racism thing ended down here back in the 60's. You just don't see that here anymore and no..the Stars and Bars for my lifetime has not been use or seen as something for oppression.

Yet here we have an incident of just that: someone who identifies with the Confederacy and southern pride murdering blacks for living like humans (that is, not knowing their place). How do you reconcile the fact that such things happen with your claim that they don't?

It was a backdrop for a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, nothing more than that level of southern pride thing.

For you it was. For a black church, the Confederacy flag is a backdrop for a racially motivated terrorist strike. That, too, is a southern pride thing.

That said, simply banning the flag won't do anything to help the situation. It can't cast Confederacy's dispersed essence the rest of the way into oblivion because, as you keep demonstrating, it's part of a lot of people's identities; such cultural excorcism would be extremely painful, just like de-nazification was painful for post-war Germany. Nor does redeeming it seem possible, since there's no entity left which could represent it - after all, the Confederacy is no longer embodied by a political system, but lingering cultural influences. So that leaves it free to continue its war from the shadows, claiming a victim here and another there and then using those possessed meat-puppets to murder other people, incapable of coordinated action but also almost invulnerable to a counter-attack due to its intangible and distributed nature.

Issues like this are why I believe we desperately need to put resources into developing social "sciences" into real science and corresponding technology. Because then the question becomes: how do you precisely identify the memetic organism - or "spirit" - the Confederacy flag represents, remove unwanted elements - such as racism - and put the rest back together so the result is able to outcompete the original in the cultural ecosystem? No, not outcompete, "upgrade" or "reinterpretation" would be better terms.

Because, as a certain other terrorist demonstrated, lingering darkness coming out of hiding, possessing people and causing havok is hardly an issue limited to America. And it's just a matter of time before one happens to get access to nukes rather than a mere rifle.

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.

Much of the excitement we get out of our work is that we don't really know what we are doing. -- E. Dijkstra

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