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Comment Re:Brilliant. Go Steve! (Score 1) 609

First of all, yes, I did read the whole article.

I could be totally wrong on this (but I don't think so...), but there doesn't seem to be anything new here. This is just a differential (like those between the right and left wheels of a car) where the input drive is the same as the input drive on a differential, the output drive is one of the wheels, and the electric motor that determines the gear ratio is in place of the other wheel.

They will find that the electric motor is really being run as a generator in lower gears, and so is actually just taking away energy, not increasing the torque.

I invented something like this when I was just a kid playing with Lego blocks. One of the pieces was a differential and I tried to create something like this, but then determined that it would only lose energy, not actually create a different gear ratio.

The vital thing that they are missing is that the way it is built, it is always trying to go into a lower gear. So even if you put a fly wheel in place of the electric motor, it would just spin faster and faster until the transmission was in neutral (as soon as you put any load on the output drive).

No holy grail here (unfortunately).

Comment Re:Refuting the imaginary article in your head (Score 1) 410

To me, it seems that the article does not actually detect unknown malware -- it only detects malware that is actively trying not to be detected. If the malware is currently unknown and is not trying to change how memory is accessed -- that is, it allows itself to be swapped out and overwritten like all the other running programs -- then it will not be detected by this method.

The idea seems to be that rootkits will always reside in memory but mask themselves by overriding OS calls. However, this may not always be the case.

Also, I would love to see how they plan to swap out the operating system along with all programs . . . as far as I know, this is not possible/practical on anything that exists. Obviously you have to do it in order to make the computer hibernate, but in that case the kernel stays in memory until the very end when it powers off the computer, and is reloaded again from disk when the computer resumes.

Comment Re:Faster than you think (Score 1) 407

I have a programming contest coming up this Thursday at NJIT. We have two choices: Java, or C++. There is a one minute runtime limit for the solution (which is why we came in sixth place last year instead of first -- we focused too much on finishing all the problems than coming up with efficient solutions for two of them).

Anyway, for a runtime limit like that, there really is no difference between Java and C++. They will both do well or poorly depending on the algorithm. It's much better to be able to finish coding everything with time to spare than to spend too much time debugging.

Comment Re:Poll timing (Score 1) 338

You are forgetting the microsaccades in your eyes as you stare at the screen. They are applying a force over a distance. (Of course, this does not apply if you are using a screen reader.)

Additionally, your heart is pumping blood through your body by applying a force over a distance.

Comment Re:Let's stop calling it "Chrome OS". (Score 1) 193

Google Chrome (the browser) actually does run on Linux. It even has flash and java support now.

I added the chromium-daily repository, and everything is stable and works fine.

By the way, I still use firefox for the most part. Adblock plus is nice.

Comment Re:Scroll lock! (Score 1) 939

In gnome, it's possible to bind the keys to the previous/next/play/pause commands in gnome. Then, any media player that supports those bindings in gnome can be controlled with those keys no matter what application has focus. I have no idea how you would do this in Windows, though.

Data Storage

Build Your Own $2.8M Petabyte Disk Array For $117k 487

Chris Pirazzi writes "Online backup startup BackBlaze, disgusted with the outrageously overpriced offerings from EMC, NetApp and the like, has released an open-source hardware design showing you how to build a 4U, RAID-capable, rack-mounted, Linux-based server using commodity parts that contains 67 terabytes of storage at a material cost of $7,867. This works out to roughly $117,000 per petabyte, which would cost you around $2.8 million from Amazon or EMC. They have a full parts list and diagrams showing how they put everything together. Their blog states: 'Our hope is that by sharing, others can benefit and, ultimately, refine this concept and send improvements back to us.'"

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 500

Oh, tor, of course. You could use tor to download it. That would still cause suspicion, though, because most people don't have tor installed. I know I don't. I have had it for brief periods, but only a couple of times before finding that I didn't actually need it and that it was wasting my time.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 500

Another possible solution would be to download the executable every time you needed to use it, then shred and delete it afterwards. You'd have to use a discrete way of downloading it, though -- I'm not sure if there is a way of doing that if your internet connection is being tapped.

Comment Re:How about some nice menus instead? (Score 1) 617

Is this unexpected for microsoft? Every single release of windows I've used has been the exact same features, but presented in a different way. Every single one has a learning curve, and no (or well-concealed) option for going back to the previous UI. The worst was probably either when they decided to make menus smaller by hiding the lesser used entries, or how they keep changing the freaking start menu.

So, no. None of the changes they've made are particularly *bad*; they just don't add any value. Personally, though, I think that the ribbon interface is misplaced, as it would better be used for an application related to photo or video editing, which have a lot of features that fall into groups in an easily defined way. An office application does not have enough features to warrant a ribbon-style interface, and its functions can not necessarily be sorted into groups easily.

Comment Re:Ribbon = Bypass for Menu hell (Score 1) 617

YES! A ribbon interface would do wonders for the GIMP! ...however, it is completely the wrong interface for an office productivity suite. The interface is perfectly suited to an application that is meant to make things look nice, but is terrible for anything that is actually supposed to be professional. It just has too many vain features for a professional, and presents the most counterproductive of them up front.

Comment Re:How about some nice menus instead? (Score 1) 617

I have to agree with you. The purpose of productivity software is to provide the use with features that are useful to them, and then get out of the way.

One of the worst things about the ribbon is probably that all the people who want to create eye-catching and time-wasting presentations will now be able to make them twice as much of each. The people who actually wanted to be productive with powerpoint will have to relearn where everything is.

The problem seems to be that Microsoft is treating powerpoint as a toy or a game. They are adding lots of fluff to it and making it look nice. If I had plenty of time on my hands and wanted to make something look pretty (*not* useful, but pretty), I would use powerpoint with the ribbon interface. However, that is not what I want to do, and it is not what I will ever conceivably want to do. I don't use multiple backgrounds -- I use one single background. I don't use slide transitions. I generally write my presentations entirely using the outline interface of Impress, except when I have to add pictures to help convey my point. Does powerpoint even have an outline view? That's probably the killer feature in Impress for me, at least.

Comment Re:double bubble, toil and trouble (Score 2, Informative) 124

So... Webkit renders html as far as I know. So the proposal seems to be to render the entire Gnome gui by feeding html at it. I hope I'm wrong, because if that is correct then it would be a really goofy way of going about things.

You're wrong, don't worry.

A window manager pretty much manages the window decorations (title bar, borders, et cetera) and window actions (close, maximize, resize, move, roll-up, sticky, always on top, always on bottom, et cetera).

Metacity is a window manager and nothing else. It doesn't handle what is in the windows themselves.

Oh, and their only proposing to use CSS. No HTML.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus