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Comment Re:What's the real problem? (Score 1) 150

It's not a question of open vs proprietary, it's a question of buying support from the right people. If you're running code that wasn't developed in house, then you probably don't want to be supporting it in house either. You want an SLA with penalty clauses with someone who will fix it when it breaks. If it's open source, that just means that you have more options in terms of who will support it if the level of support that you want involves fixing bugs and adding features.

Comment Re:Comparison? (Score 1) 173

I was going to comment that I'd expect some variation depending on the quality of the venue, but then I looked at the list. Most of the places that they looked at are top-tier publications, so it's pretty depressing. That said, they are focussing on the wrong aspect of reproducibility. The real metric should be, given the paper, can someone else recreate your work. And I suspect that even more papers fail on that. At the ASPLOS panel discussion this year, there was a proposal that PhD students should spend their first year reproducing some published result. We often do something similar for undergraduate projects (take an idea from a paper, reimplement it, see if your results support their claim).

Comment Re:That's gonna be a nope (Score 1) 118

There's an increasing amount of good open source software on Android that can replace the Google crap. I'm now using:
  • OSMAnd, which is actually the reason that I'm still using Android. Best mobile maps app (Nokia's Here is better for driving, but not for walking): offline vector maps that are small enough that you can fit a few entire countries on the phone, offline routing, and so on. The version on the Play store is not as good. I used to use the free version on Play, but actually donated $10 to them after discovering the F-Droid version.
  • K9 Mail is a pretty reasonable mail client.
  • Standalone Calendar is a fork of the AOSP calendar (now replaced by the Google Calendar app on most devices). The UI is not great, but I've not found any mobile calendar app that is. I mostly just use the Calendar Widget on my home screen to look at upcoming events and DAVDroid to sync with my CalDAV / CardDAV server (which also syncs with my laptop).
  • Open Camera is definitely a geek's calendar app: far more configurable settings than the stock one, but the UI isn't quite as polished.
  • KQSMS provides a nicer interface to SMS. For backups, SMS Backup+ will sync SMS with an IMAP server.
  • AnySoftKeyboard provides a configurable set of keyboard layouts and, unlike the Google version, doesn't appear to be spyware.
  • Firefox on Android is actually pretty nice, and the addition of the Self Destructing Cookies addon makes it a lot nicer than any other Android browser I've tried (cookies are automatically deleted when you navigate away from a page, tracking cookies are deleted periodically while on the page. There's an undo button if you realised that you actually wanted them for one site, and and you can then whitelist just those ones).

I'd love to have a company adopt some of these, polish the UI a bit, and provide an Android phone that ships with them by default, instead of the Google stuff.

Comment Re:is the problem not ADOBE FLASH? (Score 1) 182

It's not just that they're complex. The code for decoding them is also not usually with security in mind. Remember that libjpeg was written in an era when a 486 was a high-end machine and all three sites on the web that contained images were pretty trustworthy. It needed to be able to decode and display the image in a limited amount of RAM, on a slow CPU, without the user complaining about the time it took (and it didn't - it was slow, and we complained). Modern CPUs are fast enough that even an interpreted JavaScript PNG or JPEG decoder is fast enough, but video decoding (unless offloaded to an accelerator) is still pretty CPU-intensive, so now video decoders are written with performance as the overriding goal and security a distant second. Doing proper bounds checks costs cycles (and, worse, often breaks autovectorisation), so gets overlooked.

Comment Re:"...need to be prepared..." (Score 2) 314

If you want to talk about paleo-climate, realise that the industrial revolution looks like an asteroid strike in the fossil record.
I will never understand why some people accept that "sea levels rose 125m in the last 10,000 years", but call BS when the same people tell them "AGW is a serious problem"? It seems to be related to the common religious behaviour where people pick and choose the bits they like, then labels the rest as BS?

Comment Re:Idiotic Summary (Score 1) 380

in-vehicle concierge (43%) - that means that 57% do use it

No it doesn't. It would have been faster for everyone if you had of said "I dont understand surveys" because that's what you said.

Remember there will be a large percentage of people who answered along the lines of "I dont have this feature", "I dont know" and "I'm not sure".

Comment Re:It's the interface, stupid (Score 1) 380

We do not need Apple for this. What we need is an interface that is porgrammable that can do all of this and do it regardless of Apple or Samsung.

What we need are head units that are replaceable.

Head units will become obsolete faster than brakes, suspension or radiators, yet all of these are easy to replace.

In 5 years, your head unit will be horribly out of date, not just in software but hardware which cant be fixed by a firmware update. A $150 head unit will be more advanced than a $1000 head unit from 5 years ago. Even if the manufacturer has bothered to update it.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 380

"I'd be happy if folks would just bother to use their blinkers, instead of fiddling around with other hi-tech in their cars."

I'd be happy if people would go forward when the light changes so I can get through the intersection before the light turns red again. instead of texting, or updating Facebook, or whatever the fuck they're doing with their stupid phones.

You have a device fitted to your vehicle for use in these cases. Its usually connected to the steering wheel (although old SAABs liked to put it in strange places) and when engaged it will make a loud sound.

I give people about 3 seconds before I do this, for those with a difficulty in perceiving time, this is long enough to say "wake up Jeff, we need you for the show".

BTW, as the owner of a loud car, when I see someone on their phone at the lights in my rear view mirror, I generally give it a bit of throttle to wake them up. Its fun to watch them drop their phone and panic. The death stares they give me after they realise I'm doing it deliberately are priceless.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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