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Comment: Unsupported obsolete OS (Score 5, Informative) 349

by harperska (#49537899) Attached to: iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users

To be fair, Apple supported XP longer than Microsoft did. Microsoft has already stated that if you choose to continue using XP, you do so at your own risk. That not only means potential exposure to malware, but also the distinct possibility that third party stuff may at any time stop working. I don't see this a fault of Apple in any way whatsoever.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 355

Also, this is still relevant. If you are going to punish sites for not having mobile versions, are they also going to punish sites for forcing visitors onto worthless mobile versions? I appreciate added readability if the content is all still the same, but with the resolution on today's smartphones, I can view a desktop site just fine.

Comment: Re:Ridiculous article title (Score 1) 629

Felony burglary, no, as re-arranging potted plants is not itself a crime. It would be perfectly reasonable to charge that person with criminal trespass, however. Knowledge that the key is hidden under the doormat does not mean that you have the right to enter. In fact, the fact that it was hidden, even if weakly so, would imply that the intent is the opposite.

Comment: Re:Falsify the Big Bang (Score 1) 96

by harperska (#48948931) Attached to: ESA: No Conclusive Evidence of Big Bang Gravitational Waves

If you come up with a different theory that can explain doppler shift and the cosmic microwave background, as well as all other phenomena predicted by the big bang theory, while simultaneously correctly predicting observations that the big bang theory fails to predict, then yes, it is possible.

Comment: Re:Demonstrates the need... (Score 1) 220

by harperska (#48929425) Attached to: Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

Even when following a coding style guide 100%, there is still generally enough leeway to allow for plenty of personal style. There's the words you use to name things, use of whitespace and grouping of statements, basically everything about a piece of source code that's lost if you compile and then decompile a program. Just like the prose from two different authors are distinct from one other, even if they go through the same copy editor to fit a publisher's style guide. And if your corporate style guide requires your code to be indistinguishable from decompiled code, you need to find a new job.

Comment: Re:Bye_bye, Blackberry (Score 1) 307

by harperska (#48882339) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

Yes, not enough people understand net neutrality. No, what he is saying is completely illogical and is in fact 180 degrees backwards. His argument isn't wrong due to any libertarian idea about government interference. To understand why his argument is wrong requires understanding a distinction between platforms vs users of said platform.

Net neutrality is about classifying ISPs as common carriers. Common carrier laws state that the providers of certain platforms (e.g. shipping companies, ISPs) must treat all users of that platform (e.g. customers who want to ship a product, websites serving content) equally. The law says nothing about the opposite, and a user of a platform is perfectly within their rights to give preferential treatment to a particular provider over another. If you buy something and have it shipped to you, that retailer will usually either have FedEx or UPS as options, but rarely both.

The Blackberry CEO is arguing two things. First, he is arguing that app platforms should be treated as common carriers. That is a fair argument. I could get behind mandating that app platforms should treat all apps equally (e.g. not give some apps access to certain APIs while restricting access to those APIs for other apps. Such a classification might be necessary if for example Apple started giving access to GPU acceleration only to big game studios that could afford to pay a fee, while small indie game studios that couldn't afford the fee would be forced to use a slower GPU mode). But where he is being completely batshit illogical is where he argues that once app platforms are common carriers, the users must give equal treatment to the platforms rather than the other way around. To use the previous example, it would be as if the government mandated that if you offered to ship something via UPS, you must also offer to ship it via FedEx. Such a mandate has never happened, and probably never will. And arguing that there should be such a mandate for app platforms shows either a complete misunderstanding of common carriers and net neutrality on the part of the Blackberry CEO, or a deliberate obfuscation and intentional confusion of net neutrality in an attempt to gain sympathy.

Comment: Re:Treason is one reason for the existence of 2nd (Score 2) 385

by harperska (#48858533) Attached to: FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

First off, the Declaration of Independence was a call to arms, not a legally binding precedent. Only the Constitution can be used as the source of what is considered legal. Second, Using the second amendment to rationalize treason is absurd. The second amendment and the treason clauses are both within the framework of the US government. If you are planning on using the Declaration of Independence as precedent, you are talking about overthrowing the US government, which means throwing out the Constitution and starting over. So if you consider what the Constitution has to say about treason to be moot, you likewise must consider what the Constitution has to say about bearing arms to be moot as well, as you are declaring the Declaration of Independence to supersede the Constitution in its entirety.

Comment: Re:Why is this post even here? (Score 1) 786

by harperska (#48785357) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

On the contrary I would argue that it does, if only because the Slashdot community is largely made up of intelligent people who value reason and rationality, except in the one odd case where there is an inexplicable propensity to climate change denialism. So it is cathartic, if nothing else, to occasionally stir the hornet's nest on this one issue where ordinarily scientifically-minded people throw reason out the window to defend a genuinely anti-science political stance.

Comment: Re:In other words. (Score 4, Informative) 127

by harperska (#48365643) Attached to: FCC Confirms Delay of New Net Neutrality Rules Until 2015

The FCC was established by an act of congress (Communications Act of 1934), and therefore mandated by congress to do exactly what it does. And constitutionally the executive branch, of which the FCC is a part, is tasked with defining the implementation of law. The system is working exactly as designed.

As far as other ways to enact net neutrality, the only other constitutionally acceptable way of enacting any sort of regulations is for congress to do it directly. And there is so much partisan infighting that no regulations would ever get made and those that would would be so politically driven that they would be worthless and generally undone after two to four years anyway. Plus, even if congress was populated solely by reasonable and intelligent people who truly had the American public's best interest at heart, they simply wouldn't have time to debate and formalize every conceivable necessary regulation in every sector of public existence. So instead congress creates agencies which are (theoretically supposed to be) free of party affiliation to come up with the regulations themselves. Thus the FCC, FAA, FDA, etc.

Comment: Re: It's the OS, Stupid (Score 1) 252

by harperska (#48178857) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

Calling it "Mach" is correct in the sense that the kernel is still the Mach microkernel, which came from NeXTSTEP. It does not have a BSD kernel.

It's BSD in the sense that _much_ of its userland is BSD, but certainly not all.

It also has many things that BSD does not have, which were proprietary from {NeXT/Open}STEP. For instance, the "netinfo" subsystem, the "defaults" subsystem, the plist architecture, Objective-C, XCode (which, afaik, is a modernization of NeXTs InterfaceBuilder).

My understanding, which granted is mostly wikipedia based, is that it is too simplistic to just say that the kernel is Mach. XNU, the kernel used by OS X, iOS, and Darwin, isn't just Mach but rather a mishmash of Mach, the BSD kernel, and a bunch of custom code to implement all that other stuff you mentioned.

The best way to accelerate a Macintoy is at 9.8 meters per second per second.

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