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Comment: Did that 23 years ago (Score 2) 57

by hyc (#47311903) Attached to: Programming On a Piano Keyboard

with my Atari ST. It was trivial then since the same chip controlled both the keyboard and MIDI ports, just redirect one of the intercept vectors to catch the incoming MIDI packets and feed the notes to the keyboard buffer.

It's more fun to do this with a Zeta MIDI violin. I programmed it to move the mouse pointer on glissandos too, could do pretty much anything without touching keyboard or mouse.

Comment: If iPods/iPhones Have Taught Me Anything... (Score 4, Insightful) 174

by nick_davison (#47095697) Attached to: Report: Apple To Unveil "Smart Home" System

So I'll have to rewire my house every couple of years when they change from one proprietary cable standard to another?

iPod: Firewire. Buy lots of firewire connectors.
Newer iPod/iPhone: Dock connector. Toss all of your firewire accessories and move to dock connectors.
Newer iPhones: Lightning connector. Toss all of your dock connector accessories, move to lightning.

Everyone else gets to stick with USB that doesn't carry a $10 premium per cable/device because Apple just invented another proprietary standard.

Comment: Don't Assume The Worst... (Score 1) 552

by nick_davison (#47081843) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

Absolutely do what you can to work with the moment. But... While the doctors may be giving you bleak prognoses, from experience, they're pretty much winging it when it comes to the brain.

My wife was in a massive car accident. Shattered arm, collapsed lung, multiple breaks to her jaw, cracked eye socket, brain injuries. They induced a coma to keep her alive long enough to get her to a major hospital, called family to her bedside with a prognosis of, "IF she survives the night, it's 50:50 if she'll live." At that point, her brain stem was busy trying to retreat out of the back of her neck.

It was two weeks before they could get any response out of her, another two before she was aware. At that point, they wanted to amputate her arm and told her parents she'd never walk more than a few paces at best, would never look after herself.

Consent was given for the amputation though her mother asked the surgeon to simply do whatever he'd do for his own daughter. He spent eleven hours wiring it together and told her mother he'd most likely be back in to amputate but he'd given it a shot.

Fast forward two years, the arm survived. The girl who'd never walk more than a few paces was out of her wheelchair and starting to try to build a life on her own. In a settlement hearing (she'd bought "unlimited" coverage car insurance for the wreck she was in but there was small print saying they could modify at any time and they swapped it to $100k max five days before the accident) they acknowledged she was lucky to be walking but even the insurance lawyers, whose job was to minimize her injuries, acknowledged she'd probably never be able to return to school. No longer being able to read was a big part of that. And a huge loss to a National Merit scholarship winner, English major and librarian.

About another two years later... I'd taught her how to read again. She'd been living on her own. She returned to school. Started off barely making Cs. GPA went up every semester. She got straight As in her final semester. She now has two degrees, is a certified personal trainer and works in physical therapy. If she doesn't tell people about her injuries, they've absolutely no idea. Not bad for someone who the doctors declared would probably die, would never walk again, never look after herself and never return to school.

To message to take from this is that Traumatic Brain Injuries are absolute bitches but the medical profession has educated guesses about outcomes at best. You read up on neuroplasticity and the like and you realize they're really only just beginning to get an idea of what's possible. There are even stories of key researchers whose family members had strokes, who ignored all of the expert advice and got them back moving again by doing everything "wrong."

So days, weeks, months in... Just because the doctors tell you to prepare for the worst, don't give up. The brain does amazing things, often things they're completely clueless about it being able to do.

Comment: Re:Can't say I disagree. (Score 1) 1098

by hyc (#46098861) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

As a related example, I was recently (last summer) confronted by a patchset from [a prominent network router manufacturer] for OpenLDAP, which they wanted to contribute back to the Project. Upon reviewing the patchset, I found they were using an OpenLDAP release from 2001, and this is the code they've been embedding in the firmware of many of their router products from then till now. Many of the patches they sent me were in fact patches I had written for the Project, which they had backported somewhere in the mists of time.

So, thanks to OpenLDAP's permissive license, there's a lot of network hardware out there running ancient, patchwork code that's massively obsolete, along with a crazyquilt of patches of widely varying quality. None of the users of this hardware have any idea of what's inside there, no one can say what security vulnerabilities may or may not exist in any particular model # or serial #, because the code itself is just a frankenstein jumble.

Personally I would have preferred the GPL, because it would have prevented this sort of situation, but it would be quite difficult for the OpenLDAP Foundation to contact all of the copyright holders and ask them to approve a license change, and I suspect a number of them would refuse to change.

Just keep in mind - the freedom that permissive licenses grants to proprietary software companies almost always works to the customers' disadvantage. They will allow their code bases to diverge, they will allow bitrot to set in, they will allow CVEs to go unaddressed, and no one outside will know exactly how bad things are. Until perhaps 10-15 years later, if someone inside the company wakes up and realizes how untenable their situation really is. But the problem is these companies always jump down this path at first; they haven't looked far enough down it to see where it goes.

Comment: When You Sollicit It? (Score 5, Insightful) 166

Tarantino's lawyers are arguing that it wasn't available online - until Gawker offered to pay anyone who leaked a copy.

It's not illegal to report a murder. It is illegal to say, "I'll pay $10,000 for the exclusive story for the person who kills my wife."

IANAL and I've no idea whether that analogy holds true for copyright but it's apparently the angle Tarantino's lawyers are pursuing - that it's not the linking so much as the linking to an act they solicited.

Comment: Who would be surprised by this? (Score 0) 221

by daveschroeder (#45857111) Attached to: NSA Trying To Build Quantum Computer

One of NSA's chief missions is breaking encryption. So (for the US folks among us) it's okay when it's the German or Japanese codes in WWII, but somehow sinister when the reality is that much of the world now shares the same tools, systems, services, networks, encryption standards, etc.?

In a free society governed by the rule of law, it is not the capability, but the law, that is paramount. And for all of the carping and hand-wringing about what NSA is doing because its capabilities continue to be laid bare, where is the worry about what states like China and Russia are doing?

Comment: They're destroyed first...that's the whole idea (Score 5, Insightful) 174

by daveschroeder (#45571237) Attached to: Mediterranean Sea To Possibly Become Site of Chemical Weapons Dump

The whole idea is that the chemical weapons are destroyed FIRST...they are being destroyed AT SEA, not "destroyed" by simply dumping them into the ocean.

The fact that the other blog entries hosted at the same site as TFA include:

- Rihanna Displays Illuminati Hand Gesture at Latest Music Award Performance

- SSDI Death Index: Sandy Hook 'Shooter' Adam Lanza Died One Day Before School Massacre?

- 15 Citizens Petition to Secede from the United States

- Will U.S. Troops Fire On American Citizens?

- Illuminati Figurehead Prince William Takes the Stage with Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift

- Has the Earth Shifted â" Or Is It Just Me?

- Mexican Government Releases Proof of E.T.'s and Ancient Space Travel ...should give you a hint as to the veracity of the content. (And yes, I realize it's simply a blog site with a variety of authors and content.)

As should the first comment, from "LibertyTreeBud", saying:

"Why not add it to some new vaccine? Or, perhaps add it to the drinking water and feed it to the live stock? These creatures will do anything for profits. Lowest bidder mentality rules."

What "creatures", exactly? The international organization explicitly charged with the prohibition and destruction of chemical weapons? What alternatives are people suggesting, exactly?

If you want a real article discussing this situation factually, not the tripe linked in the summary, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25146980

Comment: Re:All the better.. (Score 5, Informative) 204

by nick_davison (#43883931) Attached to: WY Teen Cut From Science Fair For Entering Too Many

“The South Dakota fair is close and gives our kids another opportunity to present their work,” Scribner said. “I think that was some of our motivation, and it did give our kids another chance to qualify.

The school absolutely used multiple fairs to get extra chances to qualify - they outright say so. And that's exactly why the rule's in place.

They put the rule in place to stop people failing at one using other fairs as a chance to succeed at another. He failed at one then used another to succeed. The school uses the second fair for exactly that purpose. And then they're shocked when they discover there was a rule to prevent the loophole they thought they'd discovered. That's not an unintended consequence. That's the intended consequence.

Comment: Re:World of Warcraft (Score 2) 400

by nick_davison (#43833517) Attached to: Xbox One: Cloud Will Quadruple the Power, Says Microsoft

Simcity was just a botched attempt to do what mmo do.

No. SimCity was a blatant attempt to impose DRM through the absolute lie that powerful calculations were carried out on the server.

Simple logic would tell you that it was a lie: To claim the servers offered more power than the desktop machines is to imply EA/Maxis stood up a server farm that was "more powerful" than gamers' home rigs. Even without the GPU, you've got to figure that'd be a couple of hundred dollars (let's say $200). Figure on gamers using the game at least 20% of the time during the launch month. That's $40 in server costs... For a $60 game. Yeah, sure they did that.

Same goes for Microsoft's current claim. The XboxOne comes with an 8 core processor and 500gb HDD. Three times the power of each, huh? Even cheap, non backed up storage alone, that's $60-80 in disk space. Which is illogical as 1.5TB would take forever at most people's net connection speeds. Add in another couple of hundred for the processors? For a console that'll launch at, what, $500? Consoles that are famous for running at a loss at launch and slim margins thereafter. And half the retail price goes to server AWESOMEZ?

In both cases, claims of amazing server power is an absolute lie to justify the real goal: Force users to connect to the server, attached to a single key you can track, piracy ceases to be such an issue.

And if there was any doubt about just how little processing power SimCity's servers provided, despite claims that hugely complex tasks could be offloaded, making a game like SC5 impossible without the cloud? The game keeps running, just fine, for a good twenty minutes after it loses its net connection. Cloud saves and a microscopic amount of processing to say, "this is the state of other cities in the region," is about it.

MMOs handle a huge amount of game state on the servers that has to be synchronized in real time. The difficulty of piracy is a nice side effect but a side effect nonetheless. SimCity 5 and the XBoxOne are both blatant attempts to make piracy as difficult as possible while waving the false flag of awesome server side processing.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission

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