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Comment Letters of Marque (Score 1) 233

While these brave women are in Russia, we have a good constitutional tool to encourage citizens to fight our enemies. Drying up ISIS recruitment money and eliminating their online presence would deal a measurable blow to organization that prides itself in media savvy. And it would be done for free by young people who would never consider joining Army or NSA.

Comment Re:Wong place to spend money (Score 1) 377

If there is any packet loss, retransmissions are needed. No problem for a single, audio-only link where the receiver can buffer data. If you also have video or multiple audio links, simply dropping the packet is probably a better option that breaking video/audio synchronization. For non-interactive content one could design a protocol with very precise clock synchronization, where each device will play a given frame of buffered data simultaneously. Have never heard of anything like this implemented in consumer electronics though.

Comment I for one welcome 3-nitrooxypropanol laced beef! (Score 1) 291

I have been lately very concerned that, even between all the pesticides, hormones and antibiotics, I am not getting enough foreign chemicals in my burgers. Maybe this one will finally do the trick and help me mutate into green and 2-headed superior species!

Comment Russia is known for building roads to nowhere (Score 1) 451

Just Google "Baikalâ"Amur Mainline". The project would make sense if Russia and USA were on visa-free travel level good terms, with vibrant urban or industrial centers on both sides of Bering Strait. Think of something like Channel tunnel. But, even in the best political climate, why connect remote areas requiring days of additional road travel to deliver people or goods? Air or sea shipping is the best option until huge changes in demographics of both countries and mutual political ties.

Comment Re:First explain benefits to anyone besides Samsun (Score 1) 80

Agreed, Tizen gives more control to Samsung compared to Android. But how is that going to make my life better as user or developer? Are Samsung APIs any better/faster/more secure than Google APIs? It would, I guess, make sense to have a framework on top of AOSP that lets users choose among many competing service providers just like they choose search engines. But Tizen is not it.

As a developer, having choice of graphics libraries would only benefit me if Tizen was a dominant platform already. Otherwise, I get to port my app to iOS and Android and then rewrite it using another graphics library. As an end user, I have to learn new gestures for each app and I shudder to think about accessibility.

When creating a product, the first question must be, what new value does it bring to the user and why nothing else in the market serves the same needs well. Making money down the line is obviously very important, but can not be the starting point or even expectation for a couple of years after launch.

Comment First explain benefits to anyone besides Samsung (Score 1) 80

Android is already open source and Google services are free. Why would any user, developer or vendor want another operating system with tiny market share that doesn't offer any compelling technological breakthroughs? FirefoxOS provides device-agnostic thin client computing. Various custom android ROMs emphasize security or customization. But what does Tizen really offer than is not already available on a platform with bigger mindshare? So far, sounds like wishful thinking on part of Samsung rather than a solid business plan.

Comment You are not the target audience (Score 1) 478

Most people want cloud services for convenience. Or they expect software crashes to magically resolve over time, which involves sending analytics to the developer. There is of course nothing wrong with having a different opinion. Just accept that Windows is not written with you in mind.

You may have better luck with MacOSX. Tim Cook made privacy/not sending things to cloud a big deal lately, partially because Apple cloud services are not very good and this spins their primitive nature as a feature. You still need to avoid adding cloud/store accounts, disable Bing search in spotlight/Safari, turn off diagnostics and probably do a few other steps I missed. But at least it's a much more tractable and documented process than with Windows.

There are Linux/Android distributions where privacy/security are primary features. Feel free to try them and discover usability tradeoffs for yourself. With POP3, e-mail used to be deleted from the server as soon as client had chance to download it. Yet most people choose IMAP, where years of your correspondence is stockpiled "in the cloud". Microsoft just goes where the money of most users is.

Comment Interesting != efficient (Score 1) 516

Acceleration is limited as much by available energy and limitations of materials as by the propellant. One can in theory shoot out a few particles at close to speed of light and accelerate arbitrarily fast. Or just shoot out lots of photons in one direction and move around "without propellant". This new drive has to not just work, but be more efficient than anything else we know. Else, it might well have some interesting science, but not be practically useful.

Comment FYI - sharing your salary legally protected in USA (Score 3, Insightful) 429

If your employer/manager implies otherwise, or discriminates against you in any way for discussing compensation, they are in legal hot water.

In practice, sharing your salary in personally identifiable way is probably not beneficial for your career. Coworkers who earn less are likely to be resentful, and those who earn more may feel you must be somehow inferior. Sites like glassdoor are probably the best balance of transparency and privacy.

Comment Bull (Score 1, Interesting) 634

Interviews are done by individual rank and file developers who are generally not compensated or recognized for doing this extra work in addition to their primary project. It's very unlikely that there was some top down directive to not hire people based on age. It's possible that younger interviewers have an unconscious preference for people similar to themselves, but dozens of folks who interviewed her would not be acting in consort or with malicious intent.

Comment C/Fortran (Score 1) 620

C was developed in 1972, still used for many if not most production projects. Fortran was developed in 1957 and continues to be important in scientific computation. Both predate MS-DOS, which was first available in 1981, and I definitely used both personally. When it comes to recognizably modern computing, I don't think one can go much further back in history than that.

Comment The importance of protecting our wallets (Score 1) 351

Would you like to pay for every Internet search, like the good old days of Lexus Nexus? Watching Antenna TV? Buying physical goods, because the company was not able to sell lots through advertisement and ramp up efficiencies on volume? Money in our wallets is limited resource and most of us want some choices on what to pay for and what to get for free while giving businesses a chance to sell something else to us later.

Ads can be seen as a kind of voluntary income transfer. It's possible to get lots of stuff for free or low price by accepting ads, gathering coupons or starting and canceling free trials. Poor do not have money to buy advertised products anyway. The only issues are deceptive/emotionally exploitive ads, and need for universal ability to opt out by paying fair price that the content provider would otherwise get for the impressions.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972