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Comment: Re:Virtual Desktops (Workspaces) (Score 2) 344

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47923055) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9
Aside from price, which makes accepting multiple monitors rather compelling(you can get physically big ones for relatively small amounts of money, because of TVs; but if you want resolution the cost goes up fast and things really start to misbehave if you go high enough that DP MST or the like is required to drive the thing), it mostly comes down to how good your windowing system is at tiling and how well applications that expect 'full screen' can handle playing with others.

A good window manager makes carving up a single large monitor into chunks suitably sized for your various programs easy and painless. If you are enduring a less obliging one, it can be a fairly ugly business, actually less pleasant than getting some help from multiple physical displays, which are more widely respected even by poorly behaved programs.

That said, the 'two side by side, giant bezel in the middle' configuration is not my favorite. A larger primary screen, with ancillary screens on one or both sides gives you plenty of room for assorted lesser windows; but also avoids annoying bezels in the center of your field of view.

Comment: Re:Virtual Desktops (Workspaces) (Score 2) 344

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47922835) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9
You don't choose between workspaces and physical screens, you just have multiple physical screens so that each workspace can be even larger and more pleasant to use...

You do eventually run into diminishing returns; but being able to display more than one monitor worth of stuff simultaneously definitely has its uses, and is something that being able to switch between workspaces, be the transition ever so elegant, cannot replace.

Comment: Re: Car Dealers should ask why they're being bypas (Score 1) 145

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47916055) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts
In addition, Tesla(whether or not you see this as an improvement is a distinct issue, it simply is so) sells cars much more like an enterprise IT hardware vendor sells hardware: at least within the warranty period, there is very much an ongoing interaction between the hardware and the vendor. System health information gets sent directly back, on site techs with specialized parts and firmware get sent out and so on. More traditional car companies are closer to buying a PC: the dealer will offer (often absurdly priced; but available) maintenance; and the vendor may become involved with certain warranty or recall cases; but they are otherwise largely out of the loop, with third parties handling the ongoing interaction with the hardware.

Comment: Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (Score 1) 177

How is blinding someone with a laser worse than killing or maiming them with a bullet?

The assorted 'laws of war' are heavily leavened by what their framers suspect that they can actually get at least some people to agree to; but the overall theoretical foundation always seems to be an attempt to steer weapons in the direction of "Kills outright, or leaves a wound that, if treated, will heal with comparatively limited permanent damage."

It's not an easy standard to maintain(both in terms of convenience, mass-maiming is a hell of a shock to morale and logistics, and engineering, something that will kill if it hits you as designed will likely cause serious tissue damage and/or amputation if it scores a sub-par hit); but it's not really a terribly strange shared desire, from the perspective of the warring European powers of the 20th century that wrote most of them.

Comment: As a layman... (Score 2) 104

I'm fairly out of my depth with this stuff, so this is an honest inquiry: how do the magnetic nanoparticles fit into the equation?

I realize that, once coated with a suitably tailored binding protein, the particles will collect whatever target the binding protein was specified for (presumably this could even be tailored, for any target where a suitably tame binding compound is available), and probably fairly efficiently because of the absurd surface area of nanoparticles.

What I don't understand is the necessity of using the nanoparticles. It was my understanding that, outside of seriously immunocompromised victims, T-cells(and possibly other flavors of phagocytes, I'm fuzzy on the details) are extremely adept at engulfing and destroying foreign bodies, including 'clumps' produced by targets bound to the antigens produced by B-cells. This technique appears to be using a synthetic/introduced antigen(which makes sense if the immune system isn't producing the necessary antigen, or not ramping up production fast enough); but it also introduces the nanoparticles so that the antigen clumps can be magnetically scrubbed from the bloodstream, rather than cleaned up by the T Cells.

What is the peculiarity here that would make introducing the novel clump-scrubbing mechanism necessary and worthwhile?

Comment: Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (Score 5, Interesting) 177

The Protocol contains a loophole large enough to drive a truck through, never mind some photons:

"Article 3 Blinding as an incidental or collateral effect of the legitimate military employment of laser systems, including laser systems used against optical equipment, is not covered by the prohibition of this Protocol."

As long as the blinding is a side effect (mitigated by "all feasible precautions to avoid the incidence of permanent blindness to unenhanced vision") of a non-blinding purpose(setting things on fire, destroying machine vision/optical sensor gear, 'dazzling', and basically anything else you might feel like using a laser for, it's all legal. That is not exactly fertile ground for any sort of serious arms control, even if lasers weren't comparatively cheap and trivial to build, especially at the modest powers that will really boil your eyeballs but aren't subject to the engineering challenges of aspirational air-defense and antimissile systems.

It gives me no pleasure to say so; blinding is a pretty ugly thing to do; but the Protocol as written is about as effective as forbidding murder; but making it legal to put a bullet through any hat you see, regardless of whether it contains a head or not.

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 1) 324

It's also an overcomplicated solution. OBD can get pretty nasty if you want access to esoteric stuff or manufacturer proprietary crap; but a basic, bluetooth-capable, OBD dongle that'll report the rough outlines of how a vehicle is being used is quite cheap indeed and not especially complex. I wouldn't necessarily want to try dead-reconing with nothing but that output; but answering "Am I driving right now?" is considerably less demanding.

Comment: Re:+-2000 deaths? (Score 3, Informative) 119

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47898637) Attached to: US Scientists Predict Long Battle Against Ebola
It's not really polite to say so that bluntly; but the difference is that measles deaths are basically optional(1st world anti-vaxxers) or just another bad thing that happens to poor people in poor and unpleasant places. By contrast, Ebola is currently just another bad thing that happens to poor people in poor and unpleasant places; but we've got basically nothing available to do about it if it spreads beyond the usual outbreak sites(yes, unlike the usual outbreak sites, we have limited supplies of high grade medical isolation gear and some interesting experimental drugs; but nobody has enough of the cool tech to deal with an outbreak of nontrivial size, especially if they want their medical and logistical systems to continue handling routine functions and care at the same time).

There are loads of places far less poor and squalid than Liberia and the other oubreak sites; but without any good options on the table it wouldn't take long to run through your supply of isolation wards and fancy positive-pressure protective suits even in the most upmarket first world locations with well regarded research hospitals and such, were the population to be affected.

Comment: Horse, meet barn door... (Score 0) 163

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47898029) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World
Was she asleep for, oh, the past quarter century? We've put together a neat little system (really an untidy patchwork of them) such that you can't touch something Turing-complete, drive on a substantial percentage of reasonably major roads, or do just about anything involving commerce without it dropping into the gigantic database somewhere and she's freaking out about somebody's little model airplane with a gopro?

It is the case that there are quite a few values of 'somebody' where worrying might be a good idea; but as a relatively petty footnote to the Orwellian world we've already put into operation. Pretending otherwise is clueless at best and actively dishonest at worst.

Comment: What's the angle? (Score 1) 35

I can understand the interest in the existence of Eucalyptus itself (it's a more or less interface compatible implementation of a bunch of Amazon's heavily used 'cloud' services that you can run stuff on in house or at a non-Amazon 3rd party). Amazon's pricing is crazy aggressive; but sometimes you need to do things in house, want to do things in house, or want to go mixed-strategy(in-house/Amazon for overflow, spread across more than one 3rd party provider, etc, etc.) and in general it's not a good feeling to have a stack of important stuff dependent on a single vendor.

What I find much harder to understand is what HP gains from this, or what I, the hypothetical customer, as supposed to be willing to pay HP to put its name on here.

Is this just more HP flailing, or is there an angle I'm missing? Are there lots of potential customers who won't touch Amazon (perhaps because they have to keep stuff internal); but won't touch Eucalyptus without some giant company selling them a support agreement? If so, since Amazon is off the table, why would they care about Amazon API compatibility? Who is the target here, and why aren't they either DIYing it, paying Amazon's incredibly aggressive prices for the real thing, or using an architecturally different cloud/VM arrangement?

Comment: Re:Why not all apps at once? (Score 5, Insightful) 129

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47886411) Attached to: Chrome OS Can Now Run Android Apps With No Porting Required
Even if it were perfect, almost no ChromeOS devices have touchscreens and almost all Android devices do (especially if you count on the ones Google even slightly endorses, not the media-player-mystery-HDMI-dongle stuff). For applications that are basically hobbled by the touchscreen, a keyboard and mouse will be an improvement. For those that are enhanced by, or actively dependent on, it, that will be a bit of a mess no matter how perfect the runtime is.

Unless those proportions change fairly markedly, it probably makes sense for them to start with some popular, mouse and keyboard friendly, applications that don't lean on native ARM blobs much or at all.

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