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Comment: Re:Population and cancer (Score 1) 235

by dikdik (#30467734) Attached to: Scientists Crack 'Entire Genetic Code' of Cancer
It seems to me that any number of debilitating and lethal diseases can be seen this way and that population control should be proactive. If we can cure cancer, it would seem that population control through education would be a far better way to ensure population control without the horrible pain and suffering that the afflicted and their loved ones endure.

I realize that birth control education/legislation/etc. brings up an entirely new conversation (one I'm not trying to start here) but I'd pretty much support anything that would have kept friends and family from dying a slow, painful death.

Comment: TikiWiki (Score 2, Interesting) 428

by dikdik (#30464418) Attached to: What Does Everyone Use For Task/Project Tracking?
I set up TikiWiki for my department to track projects. We are a commercial HVAC firm (my dept is the automation side), so CVS and the like don't (at least I don't think!) really apply. But I do the engineering and layout, with others doing the actual installations and we needed a way to easily transfer information. They always have their laptops with them, and have VPN access to the office, so this idea came to mind.

It has worked pretty well, and quite a few people in other departments have started using it too. It's a nice way to do "brain dumps" and record those things people tend to say in passing in the hall! I still have a few people that "forget" about it and call / barge into my office to ask a question. "Did you check the wiki?" standard response now!

Comment: Virtualbox (Score 4, Interesting) 289

by dikdik (#30463856) Attached to: VMware Workstation vs. VirtualBox vs. Parallels
I use Virtual box on a pair of mac intel core duo 2 machines to run windows XP pro I'm very pleased with it. It essentially works perfectly. I don't care that it is only single processor since All I want is basic seemless windows functionality for those few cases where software is windows only.

it works well with USB devices. I use it to program Lego Mindostorms, and for Midi (to USB) keyboard input and some thumb drives.

it will mount any folder on my mac disk either permenantly or temporarily (these show us as X: or Y: or whatever). What's mildly annoying is that this is 2 step process: first you tell the VM to "add the drive" then you have to use a windows "run" command "net use x: " to tell windows about it. the second step seems strange to me, but you only do it one time.

I've had three things I could not figure out.

I never was able to get a windows media player to mount in media player mode so I could use windows DRM protected WMA files on it and manage it from within windows media player 11. Instead it only will mount as a thumb drive.

I was not able to get a virtual CD device to mount an iso image or burn an iso image (as a work around for getting the WMA files in a format I could play).

It will not burn a CD or DVD.

also I never figured out how to add my Samsung C310 printer to it or my HP multifunction printer to it. it does see them, it just never finds the drivers. However I'm pretty certain this is a windows driver problem and nothing to do with the VM.

I don't game so open GL means squat to me.

Comment: Downhill (Score 0, Troll) 806

by dikdik (#30462598) Attached to: Student Banned From Minnesota Campus Over Facebook Comments
When I was young I thought USA was a really cool country. For whatever reason, probably because of pop culture export, USA seemed great and my own country (Sweden) boring. I remember a kid on my block was really into the marines, he had a US flag above his bed. He knew lots of presidents, pretty good for someone not native to the country.

Then I grew older. I realized no country is inherently cool, when you look at the society and politics and not just action movies. USA seemed reasonable though, I remember a history (or geography) lesson in elementary school when a teacher described the basic ideas of the constitution, and the emigration from Sweden->America in the previous centuries. Inspiring.

Fast forward til now. Do I awe you? No, because in my opinion (which will be modded down really freaking fast), your country is going downhill. You are teaching religion as science, I don't even think fundamentalist muslims do that. Then you sort-of ban freedom of speech by forbidding blogging, of all stupid things to ban (whatever happened to land of the free?), introduce laws like DMCA, and are actively trying to destroy the whole worlds intellectual property laws.

Think about it.

Regards, Swedish citizen.

Comment: Freedom of Speech Should Prevail (Score 1) 806

by dikdik (#30462476) Attached to: Student Banned From Minnesota Campus Over Facebook Comments
No matter what the circumstances, no matter what the fora, and no matter what, I think that Freedom of Speech is to be protected. Any attempt at stifling it with whatever justification is the first step towards a slippery slope leading to authoritarian rule and erosion of all kinds of privacy and freedoms...albeit this could take many decades to actually happen.

If the erosion of freedoms starts now, I fear that by the time I die, the world will be much, much different from the heydays of the internet when everything was open and without restrictions...I fear that we will have a very strict and monitored society where your every move will be logged and your every thought will be scrutinized for compliance with the dominant peoples' satisfaction.

Comment: Can we get rid of the music "industry" soon? (Score 5, Insightful) 146

by dikdik (#30456070) Attached to: ASCAP Seeks Licensing Fees For <em>Guitar Hero Arcade</em>
The music "industry" is not music. It's just middle men. They create drag, friction, between the musicians and the fans. They are an unneeded artifice, a relic of an earlier age, in my mind. For instance:

"Despite the fact that these games are very successful and are drawing a great deal of attention to the music represented in the games, the industry is not pleased with the licensing arrangements that allow the games to use their songs."

Does anyone here think "their songs" refers means "the artist's songs" or does it rather mean "Corp X's songs". Their original argument in the opening salvo of their war against the internet was "think of the artists!" Well, apparently they don't abide by their own logic (nor have they ever). From the very same article:

"Music games are proven earners--Aerosmith has reportedly earned more from Guitar Hero : Aerosmith than from any single album in the band's history." Fuck the music industry. Please, just die already.

Comment: Re:Power Glove (Score 1) 110

by dikdik (#30453360) Attached to: Using Hacked Wiimotes As Scientific Sensors
That could be cool, but keep in mind that the WiiMote has two modes -- accellerometer mode and infrared pointing mode.

Accellerometer mode is useful for things like shaking, tilting, and swinging. Sadly, it has almost nil information for determining where in space something actually is -- only how it's moving, and to back-extrapolate position from motion data is highly inaccurate.

The way Wiimotes get highly sensitive positioning data for things like aiming and driving is by using the secomd mode, whihc is the infrared sensor mode. This only works when the Wiimote is pointing at a dual infrared source (the "sensor bar" that hangs out by your TV). So if you point the Wiimote at the floor, the Wii has very little idea of how your Wiimote is actually oriented.

So what all this mumbo jumbo means for your PowerWiiGlove is that you would have to use accellerometer mode, and that it would make your glove highly inaccurate for detecting sensitive motion (such as manipulating VR objects). Your idea is highly feasible (especially with the advancements in small accellerometers that the Wiimote uses), but just not with the accellerometer configuration present in the existing Wiimote. In other words, your idea is good, but sit on it until Wii 2.0 comes out.

Comment: Re:It's too proprietary (Score 1) 52

by dikdik (#30439984) Attached to: Amazon Introduces Bidding For EC2 Compute Time

If you're using Amazon for hosting, you can't switch hosting services; their system is too nonstandard. Do you want to be in a position where they can raise prices or cut off your air supply?

EC2 allows you to setup your own servers on their infrastructure. Ultimately, this is as standard as getting a virtual or dedicated server at any one of thousands of other hosting providers. Switching is as easy as replicating the environment you've created for yourself (which is likely a standard LAMP stack anyways) and then doing a DNS change.

Comment: Re:More power to 'em (Score 2, Interesting) 647

by dikdik (#30438686) Attached to: Eolas Sues World + Dog For AJAX Patent
Seriously- software patenting is a rich boys club; or another manifestation of the motto "the one with the most money wins". There are thousands of patents like this; scads of unoriginal montages of half-baked and recycled ideas, cleverly disguised and slopped up to the USPO, and approved, cha ching. It takes this kind of outrage and political pressure to get one patent reviewed. What chance does the small software company have protecting itself against patents with a lineage of prior art? It's also a positive feedback system; patents breed patents, just look at the crazy exponential explosion of USPO patents over the last five years. And sitting in the middle of the web is the black widow, the USPO, raking in the fees while spending precious little fix the spiraling problem. Once practical answer: maybe register your software company in the Cayman Islands or Vanuatu, or some other such place and take your international profits offshore. Better defensive legal system; and better protection against the system fueled by common-revenue-oriented legislation and wayward lawyers.

Comment: A Modest Proposal, but... (Score 1) 647

by dikdik (#30438672) Attached to: Eolas Sues World + Dog For AJAX Patent
Why don't we create an industry funded board whose job is to make sure that silly software patents are no longer awarded? Oh wait... The industry only dislikes SOME software patents, while anyone who cares to look will see that all software patents threaten innovation and are largely anti-competitive because they rig the game in favor of big corporations. Unfortunately, software patents have become the last hurdle that the proprietary world can throw at the free software movement. Moglen and Lessig are both very persuasive (If you got a bit of free time, read "Free Culture" by the latter) I hope that upon hearing their arguments European Commission will be wise enough to reconsider its position on software patents.

Comment: Price Inflexibility (Score 1) 496

by dikdik (#30435934) Attached to: Is Console Gaming Dying?
What is killing console games is the inflexibility in pricing structures. Although AAA release game is okay at $60, a game like "Darkest of Days" is not. But since they are stuck in the same distribution channels they are forced into this pricing structure that doesn't make sense for the game.

This is why online stores like Steam have taken off. "Plants vs Zombies" is a hell of a lot of fun and would have died at the fixed $60 price. A developer may notice their game sales are slowing down so they do a price cut weekend which is impossible to do with the classic distribution chain. Even in the citation, half of the cost instead of being consumed in the distribution chain just putting disks on shelves can be put elsewhere. I don't have much illusions the big boys with the big games will pass the savings on to us but having the flexibility is at least a start.

Comment: New Military Branch Needed. (Score 1) 104

by dikdik (#30435744) Attached to: Cybersecurity Czar Job Is Useless, Says Spafford
We don't need a "czar", we need a new military branch. I am not aware of ANY real and lasting contribution any "czar" has ever made in the United States. The first drug czars came close... if you call that a contribution, but from everything I've seen, they're basically PR and cheerleaders, and don't have much authority or get much done.

If we're serious... and I mean really serious... we need a branch of the military to do the heavy lifting. We don't need to start this in a big way, but we need the security infrastructure to build on should tensions begin rising with nation states. These guys would be the grunts doing the front line lifting and poking around while the NSA focuses it's talent on developing high level techniques. This is what we'd do if we got really serious.

In my view, the position of czar is a joke. Czars are for 19th century Russia and have no place in a modern United States government.

Comment: Re:Recession (Score 3, Insightful) 104

by dikdik (#30435700) Attached to: Cybersecurity Czar Job Is Useless, Says Spafford
The second they use the term "Czar", to describe a person in administrative capacity over a regulatory body, they betray the authoritarian and anti-democratic ideology with which they conspire against representative government and individual rights and liberties.

Czar is the Slavic rendering of Caesar. Why anybody sees this as an expediency worthy of trade-off for democratic involvement and oversight is a question I leave you, the dear reader to resolve.

Comment: Re:well (Score 1) 156

by dikdik (#30434832) Attached to: Oracle Responds To MySQL Purchase Concerns
I agree that Oracle's dominance and proprietary nature places it in a unique position to dictate terms to its customers. The problem is that Oracle is at least twenty years ahead of all of their competitors in database technology. Oracle 7, ca 1991, has a better overall implementation than the latest and greatest from IBM, Microsoft, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and so on. I mean MySQL is barely out of the 'toy' stage (special purpose applications excluded). In the intervening two decades Oracle has widened the gap. That means for a certain classes of OLTP applications, people tend to think you are suicidal if you recommend anything else.

The only way to minimize this problem is to bring (open source) databases closer to parity, even with where Oracle was twenty years ago. PostgreSQL is the only one that comes close in the open source world. MySQL started out with so many bizarre design decisions and gratuitous incompatibilities, that I wonder if it will *ever* come close, at least not without losing backward compatibility in a big way.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.

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