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Comment: Geriatric DVDs and Blurays (Score 1) 78

by caseih (#49156557) Attached to: Blu-Ray Players Hackable Via Malicious Discs

Arguably off topic, but anyone that thinks on-disc custom menus with interactive content are a good idea should have watched my grandmother try to just play a DVD. Pop the disc in, hit pay. Then after wading through unbypassable FBI warnings (how can they even get away with some of the things they claim in those messages?) and previews, you finally get to the movie. Erm no. It's video loop with an integrated menu. She could hardly remember which remote was which, let alone what button did what. Trying to explain to a hearing impaired person how to play the video was always very interesting. Sometimes hitting play again worked, sometimes it didn't. Turn on CC? Very difficult for her. In many respects the old VHS was way more usable for her. Put it in, hit play, hit the CC button. Call it good. interactive blu rays would probably have been completely unusable to her.

I learned a lot about technology over the years watching her try valiantly to interact with it. She did an admirable job for someone in her 90s (She learned computers with MS-DOS in her late 60s, so she's always had aptitude for it), but it made me realize most modern technology seems to be developed by 30 something year old hipsters who never think they will grow old and decline cognitively, or decline in terms of physical dexterity (drag and drop, double click, or any modern tablet action). Things that are obvious to me and easy now will be much harder some day. But never to worry. The next generation will roll their eyes and push buttons for us (or touch screens) while rolling out their own hip technology that we're just too old to appreciate.

Comment: Re:White balance and contrast in camera. (Score 1) 336

by caseih (#49153339) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

It's actually gold/black, white/blue. The real dress is dark black in the areas that people, including me, see as gold (and the rgb values are in fact gold), and the areas that people see as white (rgb values are highly saturated blue) are in fact dark blue.

Agreed that the picture is rubbish.

Comment: Re:Does this work for Consumer builds? (Score 1) 125

by caseih (#49151681) Attached to: Microsoft Finally Allows Customers To Legally Download Windows 7 ISOs

Most computers that shipped with Windows 7 have an OEM activation right in the BIOS. Last time I reinstalled Windows 7 on my Lenovo laptop, I used the official ISO from DigitalRiver (not available there anymore), and instead of using my license code, I followed the instructions here and used my OEM activation. Everything activated and ran normally. This is completely legit because the license is in the BIOS.

Comment: Re:Pull the disk (Score 2) 446

by caseih (#49143805) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Old PC File Transfer Problem

Indeed this is the way to go. And I checked the specs; these laptops appear to have IDE drives in them. I can't believe how many people are proposing incredibly complex solutions such as finding a PCMCIA ethernet card and trying to use the old lanmanager protocol to copy files off. Or using a serial cable.

Every slashdotter should have a IDE and SATA to USB adapter in their toolbox. They are dirt cheap (I own probably three I think) and they are always useful for doing data recovery. Most adapters you can buy today connect to SATA, normal IDE, and the 44-pin laptop IDE, and even come with a power supply.

Before you try going down any of those other complex routes, do yourself a favor and go buy a rosewell one from NewEgg or any other vendor really. You'll probably use it more frequently than you think.

Comment: Re:Linux? Is that still a thing? (Score 2) 261

by caseih (#49112975) Attached to: Linux Kernel Switching To Linux v4.0, Coming With Many New Addons

Yeah you've been gone a long time. Not just from Sashdot, but apparently there are yet rocks one can hide under!

Turns out that the Slashdot predictions in the 90s about taking over the world pretty much came to pass. The obscure project Linux is now known by everyone, and Linux is pretty much everywhere now for good or bad. Maybe not on the desktop, which is an every shrinking small part of the overall picture. Linux dominates the mobile world, pretty much swept clean the super computing world and the cloud computing landscape, and is still a huge player in the server world. It's not work for free either. Linux development is mostly done by full-time paid employees of quite a few companies that depend on Linux, and make serious money from it. So Linux really has been wildly successful, and makes people working on it a lot of money, and we all benefit. Pretty amazing picture.

Comment: Re:You are more Free than they let on (Score 3, Insightful) 201

by caseih (#49084399) Attached to: After 30 Years of the Free Software Foundation, Where Do We Stand?

Not having root access to my device is not legitimate? Are you serious? How can you think that is appropriate? Perhaps you are an app developer who's been burned. If so, I'm sorry. But two wrongs don't make a right. You're right to make money on your own proprietary app is legitimate. But so is my right to have full control of my own devices. If those come into conflict (I don't think they do), then it can be resolved with existing laws. To justify removing users's freedoms to preserve your income stream is a bit shaky. That is if you are a disgruntled app developer.

In any case, what if I want to develop my own homebrew apps using whatever tools I want or come up with, other than Xcode? Or access the raw hardware sensors directly and do cool things outside the Apple-defined garden? Or the ability for others to do this and for me to be able to run their cool stuff on my phone, tablet, or other device. Or the ability to replace the system software completely?

Right now in the RC toy world companies from China are shaking up the transmitter market by introducing low-cost transmitters that are completely open and hackable. Homebrew firmwares are very popular and do amazing things that the incumbent companies only offer on their most expensive radios. It's a beautiful mix of open hardware and open software. Niche market sure but it illustrates what can happen.

And Android does have some of this going for it, but most phones are, like Apple's phones, rather locked down and must be cracked open, sadly. Though google never tried to make that very difficult thank goodness. Still annoying, but less so than on iPhone, especially with sanctioned, boot-unlockable phones out there, such as the Nexus 5.

In the end it just comes down to personal freedom with my devices. On Android, thanks to root access, I have a number of utilities I use on a regular basis such as an ssh daemon that can give me full access to the file system (good for tweaking obscure settings, performing legitimate backups, etc). Titanium Backup is the killer app for rooted Android phones I think, though I confess Google made it less necessary for most users by syncing apps and data to the cloud (privacy!).

Comment: Re:You are more Free than they let on (Score 1) 201

by caseih (#49083725) Attached to: After 30 Years of the Free Software Foundation, Where Do We Stand?

Except that being "legal" isn't enough. iPhones are only able to be freed with a jailbreak because of Apple's bugs that are exploitable to gain root access. This is ridiculous and it's the reason I haven't bought any Apple device in many years. Buying an iPhone to jailbreak is kind of like buying an appliance knowing (and hoping) it has some kind of structural flaw (a chipped corner perhaps, or maybe missing screws) so that one get to device's innards. Except in physical machines I can always open them if I try hard enough. Digital is not the same way. Thus, in order to have true freedom, we need to not only make jailbreaking legal, but also require companies to give you the owner root access if you request it.

Comment: Re:Slashdot (Score 1) 171

by caseih (#49079867) Attached to: HTTP/2 Finalized

It's been this way for weeks now, off and on. I figure it must be Dice just screwing around with the site, trying to figure out how to get it working with a CDN, and maybe even with SSL! But failing and then reverting the normal, working, no-SSL site. Then trying again. At least a couple of times a week.

Comment: Re:A decade behind the rest (Score 2) 77

by caseih (#49075711) Attached to: Gets Routing

No it certainly doesn't highlight that. As others have mention you seem to fundamentally misunderstand what openstreetmap is. Openstreetmap can enable things that other map providers simply can't, such as quick, crowd-sourced updating of maps in disaster areas, which enables apps to be built quickly for the purposes disaster assistance, emergency planning, as well as routing. In short, OpenStreetMap is a platform, not an app, though they do host apps as well, such as a map viewer and now a route system. Google Maps is a platform too, with routing built on top of that, but few users of Google maps understand the difference (and hence are not likely to need or want to use OpenStreetMap for anything). But Besides that, accurate mapping is something too important to trust solely to proprietary companies who then want to limit access (IE sell access) to what should be public information.

Routing can be based on top of this, and several third-parties do this (osmand is one that worked rather well for me while traveling in a foreign country).

I encourage all slashdotters to update the maps in their neighborhoods. With accurate mapping information, routing based on top of the maps becomes more accurate. It's a win for everyone.

Comment: Re:A good language that'll get slammed... (Score 1) 520

by caseih (#49060465) Attached to: Nim Programming Language Gaining Traction

Whitespace code indentation doesn't mean anything about the people you're going to be working with. Sometimes Python is used simply because it's an excellent tool.

As far as I know Python has always had multiline strings. I don't know of any limitations in the multi-line strings that would preclude using them for things like SQL queries. They begin and end with """. I suspect you already knew that though.

Python's indentation mirrors natural indentation anyway (braces would be superfluous), so in most cases, the code just looks normal, natural, and pretty darn close to executable pseudocode. That's why people like Python. You don't have to use or like Python, though. You can always use "Python with Braces!"

Comment: Nim appears friendly enough, just avoid IRC (Score 4, Insightful) 520

by caseih (#49060335) Attached to: Nim Programming Language Gaining Traction

IRC is just a bad medium for mature discussion to begin with (but forums suck in many other ways, so where does that leave us). The IRC channel for most *any* project is unnecessarily toxic. Just because Araq is on the IRC channel doesn't mean the whole project is polluted by the ramblings of one or two fans/hecklers/wannabe devs.

My view of Nim from the web pages presented in the summary, and the online docs is very different from your IRC-centric view. I've personally been very impressed with the quality of the documentation, tutorials, and papers I've read so far. I don't think I've seen as friendly and readable documentation for any project in a long time. Perhaps quality will drop as Nim becomes more popular and people concentrate on developing. But for a project that has seemingly come out of nowhere, this really impressed me. Not only is Araq apparently a decent programmer, he's also a good writer too.

Thank you to the submitter for submitting this. I had never heard of Nim before today. Adding it to my short list of very interesting new languages to follow.

Comment: Re:Remoting status using Wayland? (Score 1) 189

by caseih (#49057877) Attached to: Wayland 1.7.0 Marks an Important Release

Ahh interesting. Makes sense, but I disagree about that being the right way to do it. The way you describe is hackish, having to run a client. We need the ability to simply remote log into a machine and run the binary and have it work. This is disappointing, if this is indeed the way they've chosen to go. Shouldn't matter what widget set an app uses; it should work (by some definition of the word "work") whether locally, or on a remote machine.

Comment: Remoting status using Wayland? (Score 2, Interesting) 189

by caseih (#49055659) Attached to: Wayland 1.7.0 Marks an Important Release

After it was announced a year or two ago, I have heard nothing about RDP support in Wayland. Is it getting to the point that Wayland will have first-class support for transparently remoting apps with RDP? Anyone know the status on this? There's precious little info about this on the interwebs, and no real information on what the workflow looks like, say with ssh forwarding.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead