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Comment Re:Sputnik? (Score 1) 98

The shuttle's misuse as a payload delivery platform was not a technical failure of the vehicle. You are right, it was a terrible cargo vehicle, but would have been an excellent vehicle on which to operate longer-duration special missions that required the equipment to be launched and returned in one configuration.

It was our own damn political fault that we decided that the shuttle should contain the parts for a station, parts that individually had to be smaller than the shuttle's cargo bay. Had the entire payload of the launching rocket been station parts plus enough cowl to protect it for launch we could have sent up much bigger station parts, and if we used the shuttle for anything, could have housed the astronauts that were to complete assembly of the station in-orbit, or could have been configured not as a cargo vehicle but as a crew transport vehicle to the station carrying significantly more than the eight that it was equipped for.

Comment Re:Summary is so broken (Score 2) 50

The PS4 and Xbox One both have "8 core" AMD CPU's.
Previously only 6 cores for both systems were available to game developers.

I have one question about this...


WHY in the HELL would these companies, that are fighting each other over which system is better, hobble their systems by disabling processor cores? Aren't the games multithreaded? Wouldn't two more cores, or approximately 25% of the processor power of the system, be useful to gamers that want better gameplay?

Comment Re:Is this really as typical as it seems? (Score 1) 107

You confuse "developers" with "management" and "architects". The developers almost never have any control over the product except to implement it as directed from above. If the management never hired security experts then there won't be any security of note. If the architects never considered security then it won't exist. Many of these companies probably just had someone at the board meetings wave their hands saying "yes, yes, our developers will add security, now let's not worry about such details and instead direct your attention to these slides about projected revenue".

I'm also amazed at how a lot of people just believe all the marketing, even internal marketing where they should know better. The people who run a company really prefer to stay beyond arms length from the actual products, they don't want to know how sausage is made or even know that a pig is involved.

Comment Re: I'm not surprised (Score 1) 107

A fundamental feature of security is that it is opposed to convenience. Adding convenience subtracts from security. Passwords are inconvenient, dongles are inconvenient, PINs for the debit cards are inconvenient, little metal keys to the front door are inconvenient. But if you want to sell to customers then you need to increase convenience. The result is that if customers are not specifically asking for security and verifying the security actually exists, companies aren't going to bother too much about security. A security sticker serves the purpose it was intended for.

I work in a building once used by a company that stored all their customers passwords in plaintext, and apparently the CEO was warned about this but took no action. After a hacker breach exposed all the data this made a couple of buildings available for us to expand into.

Comment Re:I'm not surprised (Score 1) 107

It's also a startup mentality. Get an entrepreneur with zero skills, but with an "idea". Then watch as a company is created to turn that idea into a product despite the lack of competence to create such a product. That's because the goal of a company is to make money. Without customer or inevestor demand there is no need for quality.

Comment Re:This (Score 1) 240

Except this is not really true. While each Chinese character was originally an idea or concept, this is not how they are generally used today, as the combination is more than just the original ideas mushed together. But it's what we tell school children to make a complex idea look simpler so that they stop asking annoying questions. In Japanese the original meaning of the Chinese character is quite often far removed from how it is actually used, because historically the characters were chosen partly for their sound as much as for the idea whereas over time the sound and meanings evolved. Much like how we can speak in English despite not knowing the original Greek or Latin root words.

And besides, Chinese characters are used to create words and communicate concepts whereas emojis are used as humorous inserts. It's a mini-game to look up and choose what emoji might work in a given situation, and a mini-game to try and decode what the sender actually intended. They have not risen to the level of language. Anyone who seems to be taking them seriously is probably just a lot more subtle about the humor than most.

Comment Re:More than 26 sounds (Score 1) 240

But those thousands of hanzi are being used by people speaking a real language, past or present. Emojis are a different category from languages. They're not even the same category as symbols used for mathematics, economics, or other soft and hard sciences. Emojis started life as jokes, a humorous extension of the smiley face, and after some time to fully mature emojis are still jokes. Nobody really communicates with emojis, they exist only to make the readers laugh or wince or face palm themselves so hard that they are knocked out.

The solution is to get rid of emoji from unicode, put emoji into their own standard, then wait and see if that standard survives for longer than a few years before people grow tired of this fad. They're already sort of outdated, as people are using animated emojis now and the static pictures are old school and no longer cool. Meanwhile a hanzi character from a thousand years ago is still useful.

Comment Re:More than 26 sounds (Score 1) 240

Those are symbols necessary to record a language in writing. Unicode was created to try (awkwardly) to standardize all the various written characters used in natural and artificial language, phonetic and sound markers needed to properly transcribe a language, and alternative transcriptions as necessary (braille).

An emoji is none of that. Symbols used to represent sign language would be appropriate and there may be some minimalist overlap with emojis. Emojis are not language. They may be part of communication for some people, but then so are words and yet we use dictionaries to keep track of words rather than Unicode. Emojis should be in their own damn standard. An ephemeral meme should not be standardized unless we want future anthropologists to have a good laugh at how stupid we were. Next up, an inclusion of very possible facial expression in unicode...

Comment Re:Why emojis/emoticons are in Unicode? (Score 1) 240

The question is not so much why not have a standardization of emojis. But instead why does this standard have to be Unicode? It's nonsensical because emojis are not characters and not used as characters. May as well have standardized under any random standard and screwed that up instead; add emojis to MPEG maybe.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson