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Comment: Re:Nothing really new (Score 2) 185

by c (#47799509) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

Hundreds of millions of potential customers will have this technology on Apple's [single] platform. Keyword: "Single."

Seeing how NFC typically needs hardware support, it would be starting with this generation of devices, and unless Apple does something different from the usual "downgrade existing top tier models and drop the bottom" then only the top end and most expensive models for the next couple years will have it.

Unless they sell a lower-priced iWatch or some other dongle that "expands" the existing iPhone range to support NFC (which would actually be pretty smart of them, so I wouldn't be surprised) or unless the last couple generations of devices have sold with disabled NFC hardware buried inside, it's not unreasonable to say that there will be NFC versus non-NFC fragmentation for at least another year.

Comment: Re:customer-centric (Score 1) 403

by c (#47796967) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Actually they data is in Europe the judge is trying to say since they have access to it from the US they need to turn it over. The data is under the control of a division incorporated in Europe.

If the parent company, located in the US, can just access the data any time they want and (presumably) do whatever the heck they want with it, then it's a bit of a stretch to say that the data is "under the control" of anyone else under anyone else's laws.

Basically, if a multinational corporation doesn't structure itself such that it actually respects borders and separate jurisdictions in its day-to-day operations, I see no reason why stuff like this shouldn't happen.

It'd be a whole other story if there were internal firewalls. You know, something like "well, according to Corporate Directive 1444.18.c, the only way we can transfer this account data to the US is either at the request of the user or under an EU court order; yeah, too bad, take it up with Legal".

Comment: Re:Rule of thumb (Score 1, Insightful) 122

by c (#47780455) Attached to: No, a Stolen iPod Didn't Brick Ben Eberle's Prosthetic Hand

Yeah, apparently "what engineer would ever design a product like that?" was the correct question to ask.

Because the answer is "no engineer"

I once pulled apart a cheap shop vacuum to fix an electrical problem. The motor was held in with about 10 screws evenly spaced around the core.

Nine of those screws were a phillips head.

The other screw? Otherwise identical to the others, nothing special about its location or anything to differentiate it from the others. Security torx.

Because some engineers are just assholes.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 1) 620

by c (#47767681) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

The problem with this is that if all cops feel like they're being audited all of the time, they're less likely to let you off the hook for a minor violation.

I'd expect that any "audits" would typically occur in response to serious complaints.

I'll grant that there *are* people out there stupid enough to formally complain about being treated with lenience (possibly the same people who call 911 to report the theft of their illegal drugs), but I can't see it happening often enough to be a major concern.

Comment: Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (Score 2) 304

I've never, ever had the severe kinds of problems you mention, and I've been on Ubuntu or its derivatives (most recently Mint) for years and years.

I've seen all sorts of similar stuff. Mind you, it's not as bad as the GP suggests. If you're running Debian testing, you *will* get bit on the ass inevitably. And Ubuntu prompts you to boot more than any other distro largely because the others don't really prompt you to boot at the GUI layer after a kernel update.

I've seen some updates that render a system unbootable (the one that comes to mind was that /dev/hd* to /dev/sd* migration a while back), and there's been some pretty boneheaded small glitches too (Ubuntu recently updated to show a pretty background image at boot rather than the far more useful prompt for my whole-disk decryption password). And things like drivers can be a pain (nvidia graphics and anything involving the name "Broadcom" in particular).

The main difference from Windows, though, is that I've never, *ever* had to solve a Linux distro issue by reformatting. I've had to boot into rescue to edit files, sure, but in over 20 years of running Linux, I've never had to completely nuke a system in order to "save it" from a broken update. In fact, I think the only time I've had to do so was way back when I had to tweak my own storage drivers.

Comment: Deeper experience (Score 1) 637

by c (#47616065) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

I'd trust a programmer who's never dealt with the sorts of problems caused by manual memory allocation (or, even nastier, compiler bugs) about as much as I'd trust a plumber who's never gotten shit on his hands.

It's not that I think garbage collection is bad, but the sorts of bugs caused by memory stomping tend to be some weird non-deterministic stuff which makes you question your sanity and your tools. You have to learn to narrow things down as deep as possible, to trust nothing, question everything, abuse your tools, and occasionally go on some very strange side-trips.

Now, Java can lead you down some strange alleyways (concurrency, for example), but it doesn't even come close.

Comment: Re:it's not that hard to use Wikipedia (Score 1) 189

by c (#47566329) Attached to: An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

If you see a statement in a Wikipedia article that you are thinking of repeating or relying on for something, look first to see: does it cite a source?

The problem being that Wikipedia's been around long enough that (like in this case), it's entirely possible to point to a source which got its original erroneous information from Wikipedia.

Which leads to a much harder secondary problem: how to determine/rank the quality of Wikipedia sources.

Comment: Re:Thankfully those will be patched right in a jif (Score 2) 127

by c (#47564967) Attached to: Old Apache Code At Root of Android FakeID Mess

should I have to throw away a $300 paid for phone that still works, electrically (at least)?

Well, there *is* an unofficial CM11 port. It sounds like the limited memory and storage was a bit of a deal-breaker for everyone trying to support the Nexus One (even the alternate ROMs) until KitKat came along with its reduced resource needs. I suspect installing the Google Play Services stuff to get the app scanning might be asking a bit much.

But yeah, generally speaking I don't disagree with your premise. The Nexus series, of all devices, would be something I'd expect Google to go above and beyond to keep working. I can sorta understand OEM's dropping their flagships pretty much as soon as the conveyors on the production lines stop spinning (and fuck-you-very-much HTC), but I'd hope that platform champion number one could do a little better than that.

Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 160

by c (#47545339) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

Perhaps you mean something different with the term 'muscle memory' then?

Hmm. Yes.

I'm talking about it from a cognition perspective, which I think is also termed "motor learning". You're using a definition which describes my second point, which is that (in a nutshell) the body undergoes a physical change which adapts it to better performing those rehearsed movements.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure it's meaningful to talk about those separately, though. If you repeat a physical task often enough to change the body at a physical level, you're almost certainly going to rewire the brain to repeat that task efficiently as well.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.